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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-02-10

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.: 29/12 Date: 10.2.12 C O N T E N T S

  • [01] Eroglu: "There is no meaning to continue the negotiations after 1 July"
  • [02] Columnist says Eroglu did not submit any serious and new proposals
  • [03] Ozgurgun replies to Omirou's statements
  • [04] Ozersay criticized the Republic of Cyprus for putting into practice "discriminatory implementations" at the crossing points
  • [05] Rasmussen said that there will be no progress in the cooperation between EU and NATO until there is a solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [06] The Turkish Minister of Sports to sign cooperation Protocol with the occupation regime
  • [07] Yiorkadjis and Bulutoglulari vow to cooperate
  • [08] Columnist says that Erdogan asked for land in occupied Mia Milia to be given to a religious foundation
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot firms participated at the Fruit Logistica 2012 Fair in Berlin; FTI German tourist operator company announced the launching of charter flights to the occupied area, as of May
  • [10] Davutoglu Begins his contacts in US-he will discuss regional issues
  • [11] Turkey's EU Energy Chapter was discussed during a quartet meeting with Fule, Ottinger, Bagis and Yildiz
  • [12] The Turkish Government to change a penal code to prevent MIT from testifying before a prosecutor
  • [13] Turkey's imports total $240 billion in 2011
  • [14] Columnist writes about the obstacles faced by Turkey in the path of democratization

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Eroglu to NTV television on the Cyprus problem, allegations by Huseyin Ozgurgun that the Turkish occupation army is the guarantee of peace and stability on the island, complains by Ozersay regarding a new practice implemented by the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the driving licenses issued by the breakaway regime, the illegal visit of the Turkish Minister of Sports to the occupied area of Cyprus, a report that the leasing of land in occupied Mia Milia area to an Islamic foundation was realized after a phone call by Prime Minister Erdogan to Dervis Eroglu and Irsen Kucuk, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to the participation of the breakaway regime in a fair in Berlin and a tourism fair in Istanbul.

    Statements by the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Turkey's role in NATO and on the Cyprus problem, Sarkozy's new call to Turkey to face its history on the issue of the Armenian genocide, more statements by Davutoglu on the developments in Syria and other internal issues are some of the main topics highlighted by the Turkish press today. About Cyprus, the Turkish press covers the meeting between the ?ayor of Lefkosia Constantinos Yiorkadjis and the "mayor" of occupied Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari and also reports that the two leaders in Cyprus will resume talks on February 14.

    [01] Eroglu: "There is no meaning to continue the negotiations after 1 July"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (10.02.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has argued that there is no meaning to continue the negotiations after 1 July 2012, when the Republic of Cyprus will assume the EU term presidency. In an interview yesterday with Turkish journalist Selim Sayari, NTV's correspondent to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Eroglu said he is losing his hope as regards reaching an agreement with the Greek Cypriot side, which has allegedly the mentality of "always taking and not giving".

    The interview was in simultaneously broadcast by NTV and illegal Bayrak television.

    Eroglu alleged that President Christofias is delaying the negotiations with the aim of being able to secure the support of two opposition parties in the presidential elections which will be held in 2013. Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot "people" are getting tired of following the negotiations with no result.

    Asked what will be their plan in case no solution is reached by 1 July, Eroglu said: "The Turkish Cypriots cannot remain out in the cold. We are not out in the cold. We have a state. We have to protect this state".

    Eroglu argued that if there is no result in the negotiations with this last effort, this for the Turkish side would mean that there is no point in continuing the negotiations.

    Asked whether the federal formula will be on the table after 1 July, Eroglu alleged that the time has come for the UN Secretary-General and the UN to see the realities, that federations in the world are dissolved, that insistently pursuing a federation in such a time, in spite of the fact that the Greek Cypriots oppose to federation, gave no result until today and it should be seen that this possibility decreased, and in the light of all these, the UN should determine its strategy.

    Eroglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side continues the negotiations with the intention of finding an agreement but it is clear and obvious that the other side does not exhibit the same will. Eroglu argued that the Greek Cypriot side was saying "no" to everything at the second tripartite summit held recently at the Greentree in New York. He said that they suggested to the UN Secretary-General to take a decision from now on "because it is not possible to reach an agreement in these conditions".

    Eroglu said that on Tuesday the meetings of the leaders will resume, that the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor Alexander Downer will prepare a report and that Ban Ki-moon will decide whether a multilateral conference will be held and whether it is possible to have a result from the negotiations. "In our view, if no result is taken with a last effort in the ongoing negotiations, it would be tantamount to that there is absolutely no meaning to continue these negotiations", he added.

    Eroglu said that the issue of guarantees should be decided at the multilateral conference and that the map and the figures on the territory issue could be discussed after the date of this conference is determined.

    Asked about the stance of the Greek Cypriot side in the negotiations, Eroglu alleged that President Christofias is delaying the talks because he is considering of becoming a candidate in the presidential elections to be held in 2013 and wants to secure the support of at least two opposition parties. He claimed: "It is not possible to agree with a person having this mentality. You can be as flexible as you want. You remain with your flexibility. You do not see a step from the Greek Cypriot side".

    Responding to a question as regards what will happen if the negotiations continue in the same manner, Eroglu said that the federation in Cyprus is discussed since 1968 and alleged that it is not possible to reach an agreement with a mentality which says "no" and could not even make use of the Annan Plan that would distress the Turkish Cypriots.

    Eroglu argued that the Greek Cypriot side exerts efforts to take advantage of its "no" vote to the Annan Plan and that President Christofias has the mentality of wanting more than the Annan Plan in order for being able to persuade his people. He alleged: "The Annan Plan ceased to exist. As long as Christofias thinks of having a better plan than the Annan Plan, he will always be asking from me. Mr Christofias only knows the word 'take'. He does not know the word 'give'. This is an issue which will be solved with mutual give and take. The Greek Cypriot side has no intention of entering into a give and take process. I should take but give nothing; [it says]?As a person who wants agreement at the negotiating table, I am losing hope. I see the stance of the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiating table and that they have no intention to agree?I think that if an agreement will be reached, it will be reached by 1 July. If we could not, the UN Secretary-General, the Security Council and the world must see this reality?The reality is that the Turkish Cypriot side is tired of pursuing, following these negotiations. I think that alternatives must come onto the agenda."

    Responding to a question, Eroglu argued that he is the most patient politician in the "country", but added that "the negotiations have become boring". He alleged that he takes steps in the negotiations, but the other side does not respond and tries to gain time.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Columnist says Eroglu did not submit any serious and new proposals

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.02.12), columnist Unal Findik reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu did not submit any serious and new proposals on the Cyprus problem during the second summit at Greentree. Under the title: "The proposals which the Turkish side submitted at Greentree", Findik writes, inter alia, the following:

    "?What are the proposals put onto the table by the Turkish side at the second Greentree summit? As far as I have been able to find out with my own efforts, in parallel to the fact that there is no serious proposal, the proposals were not new. The Turkish side submitted proposals on three issues: the citizenship, the property and the election of the executive. Now let us have a look at what these proposals include.

    1. Citizenship: The proposal of the Turkish side regarding the citizenship says in brief the following: 'Accept all citizens of the TRNC. In any case, there are not as much as you fear. They are totally 210 thousand persons'.

    This proposal is not new. A similar proposal had been submitted at the table during Talat's period and then the total number given for the citizens was 225 thousands. Since everybody knows that citizenship is granted to more people every day, how come and the citizens of the TRNC are not increasing and on the contrary they are decreasing? For this reason, the Greek Cypriot side has not taken the proposal seriously into consideration. As far as I understood, this number includes only the citizens living in the TRNC. It does not include the Turkish Cypriots who live in London, Australia, Turkey or elsewhere and are citizens of the TRNC.

    2. Property: The Turkish side, in the proposal it submitted on the issue of property, exerted an effort to legalize all the procedures as regards the [property] of equivalent [value] that were conducted in the TRNC until today. That is, everything which has been taken will be accepted, even if some took less or more, and these [persons], if they want, can apply to an independent property committee which will be established after the solution. The methods of exchange, return and compensation of property will encompass the properties which remained outside this?If those who took more will not be able to apply [to the committee], how will the balance be established? It is known who became rich with the property they took through their tricks with the points. Moreover, with this proposal, effort is exerted to silence the refugees of the south, who have been deceived with the trick of the points and expect that they will be able to bring some ones to account for this one day.

    3. The election of the executive: You know that this issue had been overcome to a great extent with the package of 4 January 2010 put onto the table by the Turkish side during Talat's period. However, Eroglu, by allegedly making an opening, watered down the issue with stretching exercises regarding the cross voting in the package whose substance was that 'cross voting will meet the rotating presidency', and brought it to a point which the Greek Cypriot side cannot accept. As for the new proposal at Greentree allegedly showing flexibility on the issue, this was: 'The first elections will be held separately, afterwards the issue will be asked to the members of the senate which will be established and mix voting will be implemented in the next elections if 50% plus one of the Turkish senators and 50% plus one of the Greek senators do not say no'.

    The counter proposal of the Greek Cypriot side to this was for the same thing to be valid for the rotating presidency. The debate on this issue continues in this way since the day Eroglu was elected. Even the slightest progress was not achieved?

    Eroglu, who tries to present these proposals as flexible and new, did not refrain yesterday from saying his real intentions replying to questions ?n NTV. As to whether the federal formula will remain on the table after 1 July, Eroglu said that  federations in the world are dissolving, the chance for a federation in Cyprus during such a time decreased, and he thinks that the UN should develop a strategy in the light of this'.

    I want to ask him: 'Since the federations in the world are dissolving and you do not believe that a federation in Cyprus will happen, then why do you discuss federation at the table?'

    The reason for this is one. In any case, you also know that there will not be a solution and you try to persuade the world for this and prove this to them. Actually you sit at the table not for finding a solution, but to present the other side as the guilty one. There is no other explanation than this".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozgurgun replies to Omirou's statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (10.02.12) reports on statements by self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun who has alleged that the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, is following an aggressive attitude during the last stage of the negotiations and called on the world to see the insincere attitude of the Greek Cypriot leadership.

    Ozgurgun made the above statements while meeting yesterday a delegation in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Evaluating the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, Ozgurgun characterized as unacceptable the latest statements made by the President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, Yiannakis Omirou, who has called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from the island and to fulfil its responsibilities related to the Republic of Cyprus.

    Commenting on Omirou's statements, Ozgurgun said that those statements were directed to Turkey and added that they indicate that the "Greek Cypriot administration" is not sincere towards the issue of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. He then added that it is out of the question for the Turkish army to leave the island since as he said, its presence in Cyprus is the guarantee for peace and stability in the island.

    Ozgurgun stated also that "motherland Turkey" has no responsibilities related to the so-called Republic of Cyprus and reiterated that Turkey will not accept as its interlocutor this illegal structure [he means the Republic of Cyprus]. Ozgurgun added also the following: "No unilateral steps should be expected to be taken by motherland Turkey before the solution. Motherland Turkey will accept as its interlocutor the new partnership to be formed when a comprehensive solution will be found".

    Referring to the conflicts in the Greek Cypriot side which came up after the Greentree Summit, Ozgurgun said that those conflicts aim to abolish the timetable that is to find a solution by the 1st of July and to extend the finding of the solution of the Cyprus problem after the 2013 presidential elections.

    Ozgurgun referred also to the issue concerning the recent decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus regarding Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor and said that this, is also a part of the same scenarios. He further alleged that the criticism expressed by the Greek Cypriot side to Downer, is a part of an effort to affect him towards the preparing of his report on May.

    Ozgurgun reiterated also that the aim of the Turkish Cypriot side is to exert efforts for finding a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem by the time being determined. However, he said, if this is not possible to happen, everyone should have no doubt that they will continue on their own way, in order to protect the rights and interest of their "people".

    (AK)

    [04] Ozersay criticized the Republic of Cyprus for putting into practice "discriminatory implementations" at the crossing points

    Under the title: "Relationships are poisoned", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (10.02.12) reports on statements by Kudret Ozersay, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, who in statements yesterday expressed criticism to the "Greek Cypriot Administration" as he called the Republic of Cyprus, condemning the fact that during the past two days, officials of the Republic of Cyprus implemented new proceedings at the crossing points.

    According to Ozersay, those proceedings, which are discriminatory as he said, are related not only to the entrance to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, but also to persons who took their driving licences from the occupied area of Cyprus and visit the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus with their vehicles.

    Ozersay went on saying that they have undertaken yesterday an initiative to the UN as well as to Brussels towards this issue.

    Ozersay stated further that it is not the first time that the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he referred to the Republic of Cyprus, tries to put into practice new implementations at the crossing points, and recalled that in the past the Republic of Cyprus has decided to implement the decision to allow only individuals holding Republic of Cyprus identity cards to cross.

    Ozersay went on saying that putting into practice and imposing these kind of implementations which are based on the ethnical origin of the persons, especially by "an administration" which is an EU member, is both unacceptable and inconceivable. He added also that these kind of approaches cause only damage to the ties of the two communities.

    Ozersay continue and said also the following: "In case that a comprehensive solution will be found to the island, those persons will be citizens of the United Cyprus; The Greek Cypriot side should be aware of this. For this reason, if there is no end to those approaches, the conditions for living together and for peace in this island would be in a risk. We call on the Greek Cypriot Administration to behave with responsibility and to contribute to the normalization of the ties between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, instead of protecting their rights of its own people only".

    (AK)

    [05] Rasmussen said that there will be no progress in the cooperation between EU and NATO until there is a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.02.12) reports that NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stated that there will be no progress in the cooperation between EU and NATO until there is a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Rasmussen was speaking ahead of a visit to Turkey next week to mark the 60th anniversary of Turkish membership in NATO.

    The NATO Secretary-General, who according to Today's Zaman "worked intensively in the past for an arrangement to clear the way for closer NATO-EU military cooperation", said he will not be taking any new initiatives to Ankara during his visit next week on this or other issues.

    "I won't bring new initiatives to Ankara during my visit. I will repeat what I said previously, that irrespective of the Cyprus problem, I think we can find pragmatic solutions that could improve the relationship," he said, and added that a past proposal he put forward for an arrangement between Turkey and the EU to pave the way for closer NATO-EU cooperation remains a "valid package," a "pragmatic proposal."

    "But let's face it. The fundamental problem here is the continued dispute in Cyprus. Realistically speaking, I don't think we will see real progress in the cooperation between EU and NATO until there is a solution to the conflict in Cyprus," he stated.

    In other statements, Rasmussen praised Turkey's commitment to the alliance and its "crucial role," saying NATO needs "the voice of Turkey."

    "I know that Turkey is strongly committed to our alliance. I appreciate very much the significant Turkish contributions to our operations in the Balkans, in Kosovo. Turkey contributes to Afghanistan, contributed to Libya and recently it announced it would host a missile defence facility," Rasmussen said. "Across the board, Turkey contributes significantly and plays an important role within our alliance. It is my clear assessment that Turkey will continue to play such an important role," not only in its region but also in the Euro-Atlantic region. "In this respect, we need the voice of Turkey," he said.

    [06] The Turkish Minister of Sports to sign cooperation protocol with the occupation regime

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.12) reported that the Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports, Suat Kilic, is visiting the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in order to sign a cooperation Protocol.

    Kilic arrived in the breakaway regime upon an invitation of the self-styled minister of national education, youth and sports Kemal Durust.

    In statements at the illegal Tymbou airport, Kilic said that his Ministry and the self-styled ministry of national education, youth and sports will sign a cooperation protocol on Friday. "We are here to strengthen the bridges of feelings between the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot youth," Kilic stated. He also said that their aim is to increase the opportunities for cooperation and plan the future mutually.

    The self-styled minister said that they were highly pleased to see Kilic in the occupied area. "It is the first country Kilic visited after assuming his post as a Minister", Durust said and added: "With Kilic's visit, we feel the support of our motherland again".

    Kilic will attend a "Youth Workshop" at the Acapulco hotel in occupied Keryneia on Friday. After a meeting with Durust, Kilic will hold a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and with the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    [07] Yiorkadjis and Bulutoglulari vow to cooperate

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (9.02.12) reported that the new Mayor of Lekosia Constantinos Yiorkadjis hold a meeting with the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari at the Solidarity House at the buffer zone in Lefkosia.

    Yiorkadjis and Bulutoglulari issued a joint press statement following their meeting. In their press statement, they stressed that they were determined to deepen cooperation and boost relations. "We are open to new ideas for projects that will facilitate cooperation between the two peoples in Lefkosia," they stated.

    [08] Columnist says that Erdogan asked for land in occupied Mia Milia to be given to a religious foundation

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.02.12), columnist Cenk Mutluyakali reports that a "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) called him yesterday and told him that the "well-known" land in occupied Mia Milia [Translator's note: 200 donums of land leased to a religious foundation from Turkey for constructing theology school, mosque, etc] was given to a Turkish religious foundation after a call by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself.

    The "deputy", who did not want his name to be disclosed, said that Erdogan called to the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and the self-styled prime minister Kucuk and asked them for the land to be given to the above-mentioned foundation for the construction of a mosque, a theology school and other schools and sports installations. He noted that the same circles will also undertake the building of a shopping mall in occupied Lefkosia and argued that everyone would have accepted this proposal as the "state" will gain money from this. The issue is as clear as that, he said.

    "Yes, the issue is as clear as that! ?The one who pays the piper calls the tune. We understood this?", points out the columnist.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Turkish Cypriot firms participated at the Fruit Logistica 2012 Fair in Berlin; FTI German tourist operator company announced the launching of charter flights to the occupied area, as of May

    Under the front page title: "14 firms from the TRNC participated at Berlin's Trade Fair for Fruit and Vegetable", Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (10.02.12) reports that 14 firms from the occupied area of Cyprus participated at the International Trade Fair for Fruit and Vegetable Marketing, called Fruit Logistica 2012 which took place in Berlin, Germany between February 8-10.

    According to a statement made by the "Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry", the so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun has participated to the inauguration ceremony of the fair.

    As the paper writes, it is the fifth time that the occupation regime is participating in the fair and adds that the occupation regime participated with its own stand under the name "North Cyprus" and under the umbrella of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry.

    In statements, the Turkish Cypriot producers who participated at the fair pointed the importance of the fair from the point of view of the marketing of their products, of meeting their competitors and of increasing their customer's potential.

    The paper reports also that the so-called minister Sunat Atun who participated at the fair, visited the occupation regime's stand and was informed about the fair. Among the visitors of the occupation regime's stand were also Turkey's Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan and the Ambassador of Turkey to Berlin Avni Karslioglu.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet (10.02.12), the Meeting Point International, brand of the German travel enterprise FTI Group, (Translator's note: FTI is a German tourism group which is among the top three German tour operators operating in Turkey) has entered to the Turkish market after signing a cooperation protocol with IQ Travel, Tourism Operators in Turkey.

    In statements, FTI's CEO, Dietmar Guntz has said, inter alia, that their goal is the winter tourism and added that their goal until 2015 is to bring to Turkey 1.5 million tourists from Germany.

    Guntz further said that they are planning to start charter flights to "North Cyprus" as of May and added that they are the only tourist operators that include the "TRNC" in their tourist catalogues.

    ('K)

    [10] Davutoglu begins his contacts in US-He will discuss regional issues

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (09.02.12) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is visiting US and adds that bilateral and regional issues will be on the agenda.

    Davutoglu will meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta and US President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon on Monday.

    Amid speculation that a foreign intervention will be staged in Syria, Davutoglu said in televised remarks that the Syrian situation will not be discussed at the meetings.

    Meanwhile, he is scheduled to deliver a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and attend a lunch with members of the American-Turkish Council (ATC) on the second day of his visit as well as attend a reception of the Turkic American Alliance (TAA) and visit the Washington office of the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA).

    In addition Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.12) reported that Davutoglu begun his talks at the U.S. Congress by meeting the House of Representatives Majority Leader Republican from Virginia Eric Cantor and his assistant Republican from California Kevin McCarthy.

    Davutoglu will meet with the Chairperson of the House Foreign Relations Committee Republican from Florida Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the Chairman of the House Republican Party Campaign Committee from Texas Pete Sessions, the Senate Armed Services Committee member Republican from Arizona Senator John McCain, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Democrat from Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrat Senator from Massachusetts John Kerry, the Chairperson of the Senate Sub-committee on Europe Democrat from New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen and other dignitaries.

    [11] Turkey's EU Energy Chapter was discussed during a quartet meeting with Fule, Ottinger, Bagis and Yildiz

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.12) reported that Turkey's EU Energy Chapter was discussed during a quartet meeting In Istanbul.

    European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz and EU Commissioner for Energy Guenter Ottinger participated in the quartet meeting.

    Fule stated that they were focusing on the deepening and increasing cooperation between the EU and Turkey in various issues. He also said that they discussed visa, commerce and customs issues, adding that they were also focusing on the energy issue. "We have very important targets in the energy area," said Fule, adding that a dialogue was initiated on this issue.

    Meanwhile, Ottinger said that there is a sound and deep cooperation mechanism especially in the energy sector between Turkey and the EU for many years. Ottinger noted that Turkey attaches very much importance in opening the energy chapter to negotiations in its EU membership process, adding that Turkey stated that it fulfilled its responsibilities on a large scale on this area.

    On his part, Yildiz said that the justification for not opening the energy chapter to negotiations "based on political reasons", saddened them.

    Yildiz alleged the following: "Turkey did everything it had to do. The fact that Shah Deniz 2 project was signed implies opening up the path to carry natural gas to EU member countries. Up until now, Turkey has assumed a positive mode and will continue its positive approach". "Reaching energy is a human right. We do not foresee the opening up of the energy chapter to negotiations as a precondition as we meet EU's energy needs," Yildiz stated and added: "With this fact, the justification of not opening the energy chapter to negotiations based on political reasons saddens us. The talks to be held here will be related to solving this problem. Turkey fulfils its duties as much as it can", he stated.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.12) reported that Egemen Bagis stated the following: "Our guests also want the energy chapter to be opened, as we do. But there are some political obstacles. However we are resolute to conduct our works on the matter,"

    [12] The Turkish Government to change a penal code to prevent MIT from testifying before a prosecutor

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.02.12) reports that the Turkish Government moves to change a penal code to prevent the intelligence team which held talks with PKK from testifying before a prosecutor in an alleged terror case.

    The National Intelligence Organization (M0T) rejected an Istanbul prosecutor's invitation for its head to answer questions in an ongoing judicial process as the Government lent its full support to the chief in an effort to avert the deepening crisis.

    M0T head Hakan Fidan, as well as two former M0T officials, Afet Gunes and Emre Taner, did not appear in court to provide testimony. In an urgent move to avert the prosecution of the M0T officials, the Justice Ministry launched an initiative to amend both the M0T Act and the Penal Code in order to make probing intelligence members' more difficult. The details of the amendment were specially crafted by Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, who met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan twice yesterday.

    In the first phase, Article 250 of the Penal Code, which gives broad autonomy for specially authorized prosecutors to prosecute whomever they want, could be changed. Second, the amendment will also include Article 26 of the M0T Act, which essentially says that a M0T member could be prosecuted only with the Prime Minister's consent. This article could be rewritten to increase its scope to exempt M0T brass from being prosecuted.

    Specially authorized Sadettin Sarikaya's unprecedented move to summon Fidan and the two former M0T officials has shaken Ankara, with some speculating on the existence of a simmering power struggle within the state.

    [13] Turkey's imports total $240 billion in 2011

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.12) reported that Turkey's imports amounted 240.8 billion USD in 2011 as the country broke an all-time record in exports last year, according to data from the Economy Ministry and TurkStat, Turkey's statistics authority.

    Turkey's main commercial and financial hub Istanbul claimed more than half of overall imports with 123.9 billion USD followed by Kocaeli with 12.7 billion USD, Ankara and Bursa with 11.9 billion USD each, and by Izmir with 10.6 billion USD.

    Energy claimed the biggest share in imported items with 54.1 billion USD as machinery came second with 27.1 billion USD, and steel and iron products with 20.4 billion USD.

    Russia was the major trade partner for Turkey's imports last year with a share of 24 billion USD, which was followed by Germany with 23 billion USD, China with 21.7 billion USD and by the United States with 16 billion USD.

    [14] Columnist writes about the obstacles faced by Turkey in the path of democratization

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (08.02.12) publishes an article by columnist Dogu Ergil, under the title: "Difficulties":

    "The biggest challenge recently faced by Turkey has been the redrafting of its outdated constitution. Although the present constitution has undergone many organ transplantations since its birth in 1982, as the child of a military father and a subdued mother -- a society taken ransom by the 1980 military coup -- its authoritarian and tutelary spirit is still very much intact.

    This is one of the four major obstacles to further democratization and the establishment of civilian rule in Turkey. From the beginning of the republic in 1923, the state was sanctified because it was presented as the last vestige of Turkish existence under the relentless threat of external enemies and internal traitors acting in unison. Only the state and its glorious army could protect the nation, which possessed neither the power nor the wisdom to run itself. This dictum became the core of the state philosophy called Ataturkism, or Kemalism, named after the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    Mustafa Kemal was awarded the title -- not family name, because other members of his family were not allowed to use it -- of Ataturk in 1934. The word is generally translated as "father of Turks," but more so it means "ancestor of Turks." The title virtually marks the beginning of the history of Turks under his leadership and mentorship.

    Republican generations were raised with this ideological baggage. Law, education and statecraft were all fashioned accordingly. That is why approximately one out of four Turks adheres to this indoctrination and votes for the Republican People's Party (CHP), the political heir of Kemalism.

    Military coups are not illegal for them; they are merely adjustments to bring the regime back to Kemalism's original principles. The army is not only a professional defence organization; it is also the guardian of the regime. Authoritarianism is not a threat to democracy, provided the Kemalist bureaucracy rules. A union between political and military power is only bad if other political actors benefit from it. This hypocrisy has created a fertile ground for authoritarian politics that can be exploited by all political actors in positions of power. After all, authoritarian politics was one of the founding principles of the revered republic.

    The second obstacle is the definition of the nation and citizenship. Constitutionally the nation comprises of Turks. All others are either nonexistent or non-entities; hence, they are ephemeral. A sundry of ethnic and religious minorities were subdued and deterred from opposing this legal and factual inequality. Being too populous, autochthonous and ready to pay the price of their opposition, only the Kurds effectively objected to the system that afforded them neither equality nor the opportunity to participate in it as what they are. The conflict drives the wedge further between the Turk and the Kurd. The continuation of the conflict requires animosity and antagonism, which are unfortunately still perpetuated by the leaderships of both sides.

    Reconciliation and due reforms are blocked by the opposition, the military and a considerable part of the general public -- that vote for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) as well -- because it is believed that cultural concessions will eventually lead to Kurdish secession. Caught between a deep-rooted suspicion of minorities, especially of the Kurds, and predominance of the Turkish identity as the sole persona of the nation and the state, Turkish governments have not been able to find a way out.

    There are two more obstacles to a mature democracy in Turkey. The first is the "dominant leader" cult. Everything, including the constitution, party and election laws, reinforces obedience to the leader or those who are in power. Their authority is not questioned until they fail.

    Finally, the cultural trait based on the superiority of men over women, that is reinforced by law, juridical practices, the belief system and folk culture depletes much civic energy, undermines the contribution of women to social life and inhibits synergy between the genders. Cultivating democratic values and institutions in this masculine and antagonistic culture will take time, to say the least." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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