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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-02-07

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No.: 26/12 Date: 7.2.12 C O N T E N T S

  • [01] Eroglu continues finding excuses for his intransigent stance
  • [02] Eroglu slams EP's High Level Contact Group's report
  • [03] Bozer claims that their contacts in Indonesia were "very productive"
  • [04] Ozgurgun evaluates the decision of the House of Representatives regarding Alexander Downer
  • [05] Self-styled honorary representative of the breakaway regime in Los Angeles complains of the actions of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] 8,455 applications for the migration amnesty in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] Durust says no "Turkish" property will be expropriated for expanding the illegal Tymbou airport
  • [08] Seyh Nazim Kibrisi of Lefka in a bad health condition
  • [09] An investigation initiated in Switzerland against Bagis for his remarks against a Swiss law that criminalizes the rejection of the Armenian genocide
  • [10] E-education project kicks off in Turkey ? Erdogan rejects criticisms over remarks on raising "pious generation"
  • [11] Turkish columnists criticize Erdogan's remarks on AKP's aim to raise a "pious generation" in Turkey

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Eroglu on the Cyprus problem and EP's High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots, Huseyin Ozgurgun's evaluation of the decision taken by the House of Representatives on Alexander Downer, assessment of the visit of a "parliamentary delegation" of the breakaway regime to a meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in Indonesia, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to a letter sent by the self-styled honorary representative of the breakaway regime in Los Angeles to the US House of Representatives and Senate, the end of the deadline for the illegal workers to apply for "amnesty" and the deterioration of the health of Sheikh Nazim Kibrisi.

    A new calling by Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, to the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to leave power, reports that Gul has expressed regret over Russia and China's veto on ? Syria Resolution at the U.N. reports that Switzerland has launched an investigation against Egemen Bagis for his remarks against a Swiss law that criminalizes the rejection of the Armenian genocide pertaining to the incidents of 1915, Gul's meeting with his Korean counterpart and other internal issues are some of the main stories highlighted in today's Turkish dailies. About Cyprus, the Turkish press covers statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu on the Cyprus problem.

    [01] Eroglu continues finding excuses for his intransigent stance

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has alleged that they are exerting intensive efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but the solution does not depend only on the Turkish Cypriot side. In statements during a meeting yesterday with a delegation from the "Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen", Eroglu claimed that the Greek Cypriot side has no intention for finding a solution.

    "Therefore, they do not prepare their people for an agreement and reject every proposal we submit in order for not having an agreement", he alleged.

    Eroglu went on and argued that it would be difficult to do anything after 1 July 2012 because the Republic of Cyprus will overtake the EU term presidency and in 2013 presidential elections will be held. He claimed: "There is a situation I established after the beginning of the talks. They are playing with time; they are trying to postpone the issue for the second half of 2013. We can see more clearly now that this is correct. We cannot say now that we are in the position of having an agreement tomorrow, because this will not happen only with our wish. The other side must also show this will".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu slams EP's High Level Contact Group's report

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (07.02.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu replied a question yesterday regarding the latest report of the European Parliament's High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots and the Group's newly elected chairperson. Eroglu alleged that the Group "has been specialized in preparing reports against the Turkish Cypriots" and added that he still does not understand what the duty of this group is.

    He argued: "It should be a contact group which should protect our interests. I think they named it wrongly, because it is not possible to say that they are a high level contact group with us".

    Eroglu wondered whether this group has been established for holding contacts with the Turkish Cypriots or the Greek Cypriots and added that some members of this group do not even visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus when they come to the island. Even those who visit the occupied area, he said, create problems on the issue of the room where their meeting will take place. He argued that the members of the group should not only briefly visit the occupied area of Cyprus, but also spend the night there, if they are a high level contact group.

    Eroglu said that the previous chairperson of the group was known for his rapport to the Turkish Cypriots, but some members of the group "show a strange stance" by not holding a meeting in a room where the flag of the breakaway regime exists.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Bozer claims that their contacts in Indonesia were "very productive"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (07.02.12) reports that Hasan Bozer, self-styled speaker of the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, claimed that the 7th General Assembly of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, held recently in the Indonesian city of Palembang, was very productive and influential and added that reference was made to the positions of the Turkish side in the decision taken at the meeting on the Cyprus problem.

    "A decision approving our expectations came out from the meeting", Bozer said yesterday at a press conference during which he evaluated the results of the visit of the Turkish Cypriot "delegation" to Indonesia.

    Bozer noted that the decision pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots have the same rights as the Greek Cypriots on the issue of the oil reserves in Cyprus and condemned the "unilateral stance" of the "Greek Cypriot side". He argued that the Greek Cypriots exerted efforts to prevent the Turkish Cypriots in that meeting and added: "It has been a very tiring but successful effort. We will continue our lobbying activities".

    The paper publishes also the decision on Cyprus taken at the meeting. The decision, which consists of seven points, argues, inter alia, that the "isolations" of the Turkish Cypriot community should not continue in case the negotiating process fails again and expresses the view that ending the "isolations" is not contrary to the UN Security Council's Resolutions on Cyprus.

    The paper writes that the "MP" with the Republican Turkish Party, Omer Kalyoncu, and the "MPs" with the National Unity Party, Afet Ozcafer and Mutlu Atasayan were also present at Bozer's press conference.

    Kalyoncu described the meeting as positive for the Turkish Cypriot side and added that he could not say that the initiatives of the Greek Cypriots are successful at the Organization for Islamic Cooperation. He argued that the Turkish Cypriots should participate in such meetings "in order for being able to explain the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people".

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ozgurgun evaluates the decision of the House of Representatives regarding Alexander Downer

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (07.02.12) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has described as a "planned action" the recent decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus regarding Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Advidor envoy on the island. Ozgurgun alleged that Downer is not a supporter of the Turks, but he is closer to the Greek Cypriots. He said that the Turkish Cypriots had very hard debates with Downer and argued: "Not wanting such a person now is tantamount to changing the agenda?This is tactics".

    Ozgurgun said that the negotiations came to the point of being interrupted and claimed that even the fact that Downer is presented as supporter of the Turks is an indication of this. He went on and alleged: "South Cyprus [Translator's Note: as he describes the Republic of Cyprus] wants to deal with its own problems. It does not attach importance to the negotiations any more, but they will continue their efforts in order for the TRNC [Translator's Note: breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] to live disconnected from the world. They will exert efforts for the Turkish Cypriots to live as minority in their own state".

    Ozgurgun said that the Turkish Cypriots should show their existence and alleged that this struggle will show results, if they carry it out all together.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Self-styled honorary representative of the breakaway regime in Los Angeles complains of the actions of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.12) reports that Mehmet Mustafaoglu, self-styled honorary representative of the breakaway regime in Los Angeles, has sent a letter to the members of the US House of Representatives and the Senate alleging that the policy followed by the Republic of Cyprus harms the national interests of the USA. In his letter of 28 January 2012, Mustafaoglu argued that the actions of the Republic of Cyprus are contrary to the policies of the Turks who support their Western allies. He claimed that the support which the Turks provide to Syria's democratization movement, the fact that Turkey hosts NATO's missile shield and the "flexible and conciliatory stance" allegedly exhibited by the Turkish side for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem show that the Turks support the objectives of their Western allies in Eastern Mediterranean.

    According to the paper, Mustafaoglu attached to his letter a report published in the British newspaper "The Guardian" on 26 January 2012 allegedly showing the influence of Russia over the Republic of Cyprus. He argued that there are rumours that the Russian Gasprom company is very much interested in the natural gas reserves found in the southern sea of the island and alleged that the results of this interest might be bad, because Gasprom is currently providing 40% of the needs of the NATO allies in natural gas and this means that it will continue this monopoly.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] 8,455 applications for the migration amnesty in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Under the title "8,455 applications", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (07.02.12) reports that the deadline for the illegal foreigners, who are living in the occupied area of Cyprus to apply for benefiting from the migration amnesty, expired yesterday.

    According to the paper, a total of 8,455 persons have made an application since yesterday morning in order to be benefited from the migration amnesty, while a total of 5,359 persons applied for Social Insurance amnesty.

    The paper continues and writes that all the foreigners who will be detected as illegal will have to pay the amount of 6,500 TL as a penalty. Meanwhile, the employers that employ illegal workers and have neglected to fulfil their responsibilities, they would get a penalty like closing down the working place for two months or they might be sentenced in prison from six months to two years.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (07.02.12) reports on the same issue under the title: "The illegal are disbelieved" and commenting on the issue writes that only 8,455 persons have applied for the migration amnesty, something that shows that even the illegal workers do not believe the callings of the so-called government to apply for amnesty.

    (AK)

    [07] Durust says no "Turkish" property will be expropriated for expanding the illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (07.02.12) reports that Hamza Ersan Saner, self-styled minister of public works and transport of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has said that no "Turkish" property will be expropriated, as it had been alleged, for the project of modernizing the illegal Tymbou airport according to the Build-Operate-Transfer model. In statements to Heberdar, Saner noted that they decided to build a second landing field in the south of the existing one and that the terminal building will also move to the south in the same manner. Saner said that no "Turkish" properties will be expropriated in this project.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Seyh Nazim Kibrisi of Lefka in a bad health condition

    Under the title: "Seyh Nazim is seriously ill", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.12) reports that the Seyh of occupied Lefka, Seyh Nazim Kibrisi is critically ill and it was needed to be hospitalized for a while at a clinic in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    As the paper writes, the health condition of Seyh Nazim Kibrisi is very bad and it got worse last night since the Seyh suffers from pulmonary heart disease.

    (AK)

    [09] An investigation initiated in Switzerland against Bagis for his remarks against a Swiss law that criminalizes the rejection of the Armenian genocide

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.02.12) reports that a Swiss prosecutor has launched a probe into Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bagis for his remarks against a Swiss law that criminalizes the rejection of the Armenian genocide.

    "There is no Armenian genocide. Let them arrest me," Bagis said last week following a question from a French reporter.

    Zurich public prosecutor Christine Braunschweig confirmed the probe and told Dogan news agency that they were looking into whether or not Bagis had said these words.

    "We will look into Minister Egemen Bagis' immunity," Braunschweig further said. "If there is anything illegal and if he does not have diplomatic immunity, then we will file a lawsuit."

    Bagis has refused to speak on the matter until the initial probe ends, daily Hurriyet reported.

    In addition, reporting on the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.12) reported that the Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Feridun Sinirlioglu summoned the Swiss Ambassador in Ankara, Raimund Kunz, and demanded an explanation from the Swiss Government regarding the investigation against Minister Bagis.

    Sinirlioglu told Kunz that this constitutes an "unacceptable" development.

    [10] E-education project kicks off in Turkey ? Erdogan rejects criticisms over remarks on rising "pious generation"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.02.12) reports that Turkey's Government launched its long-awaited e-education project to gradually replace traditional blackboards and textbooks with electronic boards and tablet PCs over the next four years.

    "The meaning of education is changing, not only in Turkey, but globally. Many countries are following this program closely. We are starting a new age of information technology in education. I am excited and proud to witness this historic moment," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a ceremony at an Ankara high school.

    The Movement of Enhancing Opportunities and Improving Technology (FATIH) project was launched at 52 pilot schools in 17 provinces, with 12,800 tablet PCs handed out to students. The program will reach 570,000 classrooms in 42,000 schools over the next four years, said Erdogan, adding that there were plans to equip libraries and laboratories with similar technologies.

    The electronic boards in classrooms are equipped with Internet connections and interact with the students' tablet PCs, which feature pre-loaded textbooks. The students will also be allowed to use the computers at home.

    In further remarks during the ceremony, Erdogan rebuffed the wave of criticism that he unleashed last week when he said that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) aimed to raise a "pious generation" for Turkey. "We are not trying to format students," he said. "Our principles and goals are clear. We are not talking about any impositions. On the contrary, we are talking about freedom and democracy."

    Erdogan insisted, however, on religious education and rejected the criticism as a "smear campaign" against the AKP. "Do you want our youth to be substance abusers, to rebel against their elders and not have any spiritual and national values? Can't a person be both modern and pious? A pious generation would be respectful of freedoms, different thoughts and other faiths," he said.

    [11] Turkish columnists criticize Erdogan's remarks on AKP's aim to raise a "pious generation" in Turkey

    Turkish press publishes various commentaries criticizing Erdogan's remarks that the Justice and Development party (AKP) aims to raise a "pious generation" in Turkey.

    Under the title: "Let's not replace militarist youth with religionist youth", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.02.12), published the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "We were just kids and we were not able to fully comprehend; moreover, we did not even know what we were saying when we took an oath every morning. We 'gave away our existence for the existence of the Turkish nation.'

    It was like a game for us. After this, we entered classrooms. Facing each of us and in a most visible place, there was an extremely handsome picture of our 'Ata' (father), there with his penetrating looks.

    Right below it was his 'Address to Youth.' I have forgotten his name now, but we had a military science teacher who used to salute Ataturk's picture each time he entered and exited the classroom. We all thought this was extremely funny but nobody dare raise a voice. Moreover, it was a strange class where heroic lectures were given and nobody took it seriously.

    We grew up. Then we had to do our military service. The military service was demonstrated as a privilege to the youth, an opportunity to pay the debts owed to the nation. We were surrounded by interior and exterior enemies and how happy we were that we had the opportunity, if necessary, to give our lives to protect our land.

    After military service was done, around this time every year, we had to show up at the Military Draft Office and sign the register under the name of "roll call." This annual rendezvous was as if the General Staff wanted to be remembered, giving the message, 'I have my eye on you. Don't ever think of fleeing. I will call you back again when the time comes.' For some, all of this might sound and look as if it was a trivial or unnecessary game. But, they have nailed militarism to all of our brains.

    We have raised and trained militarist young generations. Also, circumstances were favorable for this; moreover, developments beyond our control were stimulating this approach.

    The years between 1920 and 1950 were spent with two world wars and efforts to sustain the Republic. The years from 1950 to 1990 were the Cold War era, living with fear of communism. NATO and the United States wanted all of us to be trained as strict anti-communists, as militarist young people ready to die for, not only for his country but also to protect Europe from a possible Russian invasion, if necessary. That suited our book also and we trained and raised generations 'thinking like a soldier' in an exaggerated way. For this reason we never questioned military coups; we acted like soldiers.

    Now, it is enough. There is no room now in today's world to 'think like a soldier.' There is no room now in today's world to train militarist youth. Because of this, it is a right decision to abandon military classes in secondary education.

    Because of this, it is a right decision to close 181 military draft offices...

    Is it religious youth or religionist youth? Just as it was time to end the era of raising and training militarist-minded youth, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech the other day stirred minds. There is nothing wrong in his words. 'We will raise a religious youth.'

    Well, indeed, a generation of atheists (those who don't believe in God) will not be raised. But we know from previous practices that we are not a society who masters in moderation.

    While we attempt at raising a generation who knows his or her religion well, a religious generation, we can very easily, in a short time, get caught up in a race of raising a strictly conservative religionist generation. There is a fine line between them. Once we overdo it, then we will find ourselves in a much more dangerous field. Please beware."

    In addition, under the title: "AK party's new mission", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (06.02.12) published the following commentary by Ihsan Dagi:

    "Should a state design its institutions and policies to create a 'religious generation'? Even if it does this, can it achieve such an objective? On both accounts I think Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has described his Government's objective as 'bringing up religious generation,' is mistaken.

    Pursuing such an objective is obviously an attempt at social engineering. It assumes a hierarchical relationship between the state and society, and assigns the state the duty and power to shape the minds, beliefs and lifestyles of the next generations. This is what the Kemalists tried to do for decades. Their mission was to 'enlighten' the people with positivist ideas that were expected to erode the influence of religion over society and thus make it easy to generate loyalty for the new secular regime. They dictated to the people what to think, believe in and how to dress. To do this, the Kemalists designed education, public institutions and law. And in doing so, the Kemalists destroyed the right to choose, the right to be different, and thus strangled democracy and pluralism.

    Does the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) now want to follow the same path as the Kemalists? I hope not. However, as a conservative political party, they may wish to see the spread of a conservative way of life. This is natural. But once they use state authorities and public funds to generate such a society, they fall into the trap of authoritarian top-down social engineering. From this moment onwards they will lose the moral ground to criticize all other attempts of social engineering at the hands of the state. No one has the right to interfere in society to create his own 'imagined' society. This indicates not only an authoritarian but also a totalitarian mindset.

    In the long run, it is futile and also not practical. The Kemalists failed in creating their own 'loyal generation.' If they had succeeded we would have all been Kemalists, positivists and non-religious. We are not. Such policies do not create new generations of either Kemalist or religious masses but only destroy pluralism and democracy. At the end of the Kemalist indoctrination that lasted for decades, an ex-Islamist politician is the Prime Minister today.

    So social engineering does not work. The AK party leadership should know this the best. But the issue is not whether it is possible to generate a 'new generation,' the issue is that a government trying to do this will turn into an authoritarian one, dictating its own worldview to the people by using state authority and public funds.

    It is more an issue of democracy and pluralism than secularism. Yet it clearly contradicts the notion of secularism defended by the AK party itself as freedom of religion and conscience and neutrality of the state vis-?-vis all religions. Once the Government asserts that 'bringing up religious generations' is its governmental objective, this will constitute an intervention in the consciences of the people. Here the term 'religious generations' obviously refers to Islamic religiosity and a particular Sunni interpretation of it. Thus a state with such a mission violates the neutrality principle of secularism. In a normal secular state, even in the one so far advocated by the AK party, it is not the duty of the state to bring up religious or non-religious generations.

    You may wish to live in a society in which religious values and practices are upheld. This is perfectly fine. Individuals, civil society organizations, NGOs and religious circles should be free to spread their word.

    The problem is that once you try to do it by using state authority and public funds, you may end up with a state with a religious mission." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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