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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-02-24

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. 39/12 24.02.12

CONTENTS

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Columnists: The Turkish Cypriot side will be considered guilty for the interruption of the Cyprus talks; The UN is preparing to submit proposals
  • [02] Reactions continue regarding the religious complex in Mia Milia
  • [03] Columnist refers to "extraordinary interest" from Israel for Cyprus
  • [04] Bagis accused EU of the "deadlock" in Cyprus
  • [05] TPAO to start drilling in the occupied part of Cyprus by the end of February
  • [06] Data on the arrivals and departures of passengers and vehicles from and to the occupied Keryneia port
  • [07] Turkey's RTUK to sign a cooperation protocol with the illegal YYK
  • [08] Turkish Minister Yildirim cancels his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus due to bad weather conditions in Turkey
  • [09] Columnist comments on media freedom in Turkey; Media owners are the primary censors
  • [10] Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35; Turks have spent 353.3 million TL on guns and bullets during the last 5 years
  • [11] Turkey works on bill to improve the illegal aliens' status

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Reports by two Turkish Cypriot journalists who citing sources very close to a high ranking UN official, write that the Cyprus negotiations process is about to be interrupted and reports about the continuing reactions regarding the construction of a religious complex in Mia Milia are the main topics in the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers also report about the statements of Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, that he did not consider as pragmatic the mentality which on one hand criticized the situation in Cyprus and on the other hand spoiled those responsible for the deadlock in Cyprus. Finally the Turkish Cypriot press reports that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation announced that the launching of oil drilling in the occupied area of Cyprus will begin with a ceremony by the end of February and that the well has been named 'Turkyurdu-1'.

    Reports about Erdogan's health condition, more statements by Davutoglu about Syria developments and the "friends of Syria meeting" which is to take place today in Tunis, reports that Turkey is to begin land drilling in occupied Cyprus by the end of this month, the discussion of the Cyprus problem in an "International Mediation Conference" which will be begin today in Istanbul and other internal issues are some of the main stories highlighted by today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] Columnists: The Turkish Cypriot side will be considered guilty for the interruption of the Cyprus talks; The UN is preparing to submit proposals

    Writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.02.12), journalist Sami Ozuslu reports that as he and the paper's editor-in-chief Cenk Mutluyakali have found out from sources very close to a high ranking UN official, that the Cyprus negotiations process is about to be interrupted. According to Ozuslu, the United Nations and mainly UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer intent to close down their offices and abandon the island. Ozuslu goes on and writes, inter alia, the following:

    "?We have heard that General Secretary Ban expresses around his intention never to come again to Cyprus. And the worst of all, we found out that the final countdown for this 'bad end' has started and that only five weeks are left. What will follow then is a complete cyclone! Especially for the Turkish Cypriots... The source that is close to the high ranking UN official says that 'the Turkish side is about to be considered guilty'. Why? The response is open and clear: 'Eroglu and Ozersay, instead of expressing views on the fundamental issues at the table, enter into details and drown the process with these details'.

    With this, the job of Christofias on the other side becomes easier. Especially the statements as regards the 'Taiwanization' heard from Eroglu's team and the visits of the committees for 'keeping the TRNC alive' which are intensified these days, continuously give positions to the other end of the negotiating table?

    Whatever the reason is, the UN cannot interfere very much in the negotiations. Very well, will the UN silently turn a blind eye to this tragedy? When we asked this question the source which is close to the UN says some things which could be 'a light of hope'. If the leaders make no surprise and behave positively during the forthcoming critical weeks, the UN is preparing to submit proposals to the sides. Actually, the original thought is for the two leaders to be able to achieve this and to produce a text, but they (the UN) do not see such a hope. In this situation, the UN is preparing to submit at the table two different 'packages' on the issues of 'Governance and Power Sharing' and the 'Property'. If progress is achieved on these two packages, the package as regards the 'Population and the Citizenship' will follow?"

    Writing on the same issue, Yeni Duzen's editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali reports that this source talked to them at length about the talks and expressed the UN's concerns. Under the title: "'The process will collapse over the Turkish Cypriots'", Mutluyakali writes that the team which carries out the negotiations for the Turkish Cypriots has no intention of "building peace" and that the community does not believe that "this team wants peace". Mutluyakali summarizes what the source told them noting, inter alia, the following:

    "- The Turkish Cypriot leadership is continuously drowning in the details. It delays the achievement of progress.

    - The process has come to the point of collapse and the Turkish Cypriot leadership will have important responsibility for this.

    - Very well, what will the UN do if the process collapses?

    - Four choices are being considered:

    1. The negotiations might continue in an aimless and unproductive manner.

    2. The UN process will be postponed until the elections in the south are completed. However, this is not viewed very positively.

    3. The UN will close its offices in Cyprus and will completely withdraw, except for its troops.

    4. The UN Security Council will be consulted on the issue of what should be done from now on.

    - However, in absolutely no situation, a new basis [for the talks] is possible over the recognition of the TRNC or the 'Turkish Cypriot State'.

    - Citizenship is not a problem. The Turkish Cypriot side brought to the table the number of 210 thousands. The Greek Cypriot side spoke about 630 thousands. There will be no problem.

    - Issues such as the foreign relations, the House of Representatives could be overcome. The cross voting and even the property and the territory are not chapters which cannot be overcome, but the Turkish Cypriot side must look at the whole picture.

    - The UN is preparing together with the sides two framework packages on the chapters of Governance and Property.

    - If these packages are prepared, afterwards an international conference could be convened.

    - At the end of the day, the territorial arrangement which will come up or the map will not include very serious differences comparing to the Annan Plan.

    - The Turkish Cypriot side should refrain from causing big debates on small details and thus distance should be covered.

    - If this process collapses, the UN will announce who are responsible. The Turkish Cypriots will be harmed."

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Reactions continue regarding the religious complex in Mia Milia

    Under the title: "Obscurity at the backstage", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (24.02.12) reports that the self-style assembly of the breakaway regime voted unanimously in favour of a proposal for conducting an investigation regarding the decision taken by the Evkaf religious foundation to dispose a land of 200 donums [Translator's note: A land measure of around 1,000 square meters] in the area of occupied Mia Milia village-near the illegal International University of Cyprus- to the "Cyprus Science, Ethics and Social Assistance Foundation" (KISAV).

    According to the paper, the "Foundation" which rented the land caused public interest and writes that it has been learned that it has been established only two months ago under the chairmanship of Mehmet Kaynarci. The paper also writes that KISAV has close relations with Huseyin Bekmez, Necati Ozgur and Ali Ata.

    KISAV plans to build mosques, a seminary/religious vocational lyceum, and sports installations. It will use the land for a period of 30 years and pay 100 Turkish liras (TL) annually.

    The paper also reports that the Evkaf foundation rejected another profitable proposal by a company, which offered 417 thousand sterling pounds in advance and a monthly rent. The Evkaf foundation submitted its proposal for giving the above-mentioned land to "KISAV" on 20 January 2012 to the self-styled council of ministers. The proposal was approved and published in the "official gazette" of the breakaway regime within very short period of five days.

    Commenting on the issue, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ozkan Yorgancioglu who made the proposal for the investigation to the self-styled assembly, accused the "government" of the National Unity Party (UBP) of taking a decision regarding the renting the land to "KISAV without respecting the laws" as he stated. He also said that since other proposals were on the table regarding the land, they should have gone out to tenders.

    On his part, the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, stated that his party has nothing to hide and added that there was no infraction of rules regarding the decision taken by the self-styled council of ministers.

    Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (24.02.12) reports that Mehmet Cakici, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) stated that his party is in favour of conducting an investigation on the issue, stating that there is infraction of rules. He also said that someone is trying to impose the imam hatip lyceums to the occupied area and added that this model of schooling is against the principles of secularism of Kemal Ataturk. "Why do they want to change our model of life? Shall we change the normal trousers for the shalwar?", he asked.

    On his part, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that he understands the need for the construction of a mosque, but he does not understands the need for constructing a complex of buildings adjacent to a mosque. "Our ancestors will be turning in their graves", Talat stated.

    [03] Columnist refers to "extraordinary interest" from Israel for Cyprus

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.02.12) under the title: "Extraordinary interest from Israel for Cyprus", columnist Ahmet Tolgay refers to the investments of Israeli businessmen in the occupied area of Cyprus and reports that while Israel is developing diplomatic, strategic and commercial relations with the Republic of Cyprus, it is not indifferent towards the occupied northern part of the island.

    Tolgay notes that it is not secret any more that Israelis invest especially in the field of real estate in the occupied part of Cyprus. He says that Israeli investors seek to buy any kind of land regardless of its qualities, that is, they do not see whether it has "Turkish title deed", or whether it is near the sea or whether it is agricultural.

    He goes on and writes, inter alia, the following:

    "?During researches which we have carried out in Karpass as a team of KIBRIS regarding the local administrations, we found out that the Karpass decree issued during the period of the Republican Turkish Party mostly benefited Israeli real estate agents. Many persons from Karpass, thinking that due to this decree they would not be able to develop their lands and that they would suffer a great damage, met with Israeli real estate agents trying to sell out their property and sold to the Israelis their land. Another concrete example of how much the economic power of Israelis developed in Karpass is the modern marina constructed in the area of Yialousa. This marina was built with Jewish capital. Let us not confess this, but when I went to the area of this marina last autumn, what I felt coincided with my feelings during my visit to the British sovereign base in Dhekeleia?"

    Noting that another indication of the dimension of the Israeli influence in the occupied area of Cyprus is the opening of a synagogue in occupied Keryneia district, Tolgay writes that according to data announced last week by Turkish Cypriot lawyer Baris Mamali, at least 15% of the land in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is property for which Israeli investors possess "title deeds". Tolgay calls on the self-styled minister of interior to announce how many donums of land [Translator's note: a land measure of around 1,000 square meters] the Israelis possess in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Bagis accused EU of the "deadlock" in Cyprus

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.02.12), Turkish Minister for European Union (EU) Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, answering questions during the 68th meeting of Turkey-EU Joint Parliament Commission in Istanbul on Thursday, said that he did not consider pragmatic the mentality which on one hand criticized the situation in Cyprus and on the other hand spoiled those responsible for the deadlock in Cyprus.

    Bagis said that Turkey did not aim to be a role model to any country but was rather a source of inspiration.

    On Cyprus, Egemen Bagis said that if the EU countries had placed the same pressure that Turkey placed on the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, on the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus, the Cyprus problem would have been solved since 2004.

    [05] TPAO to start drilling in the occupied part of Cyprus by the end of February

    Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman (online, 23.02.12) reported, inter alia, the following:

    "The state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) announced on Thursday that the drilling in the TRNC [editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus] will begin with a ceremony by the end of February and that the well has been named 'Turkyurdu-1'.

    In the announcement, TPAO said that the first onshore drilling will go as deep as 3,000 meters to look for natural gas and petroleum, and a platform will be set near the city of Iskele [editor's note: occupied village of Trikomo].

    Speaking to Anatolia news agency, civil engineer Dogus Ekenoglu, who is the construction site manager of Arpakli Ltd., Co., which is Dadasoglu Construction's subcontractor in the TRNC that manages TPAO's infrastructure projects, said the ground solidifying work at the drilling site will be concluded in a week, and the drilling will be conducted in accordance with the results of seismic studies in the region.

    Ekenoglu noted that waste wells have also been dug near Turkyurdu-1, and the platform is 95% ready to start operation. 'Hopefully, we will be able to cover our own energy needs with our own resources,' Ekenoglu said. (?)"

    [06] Data on the arrivals and departures of passengers and vehicles from and to the occupied Keryneia port

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (24.02.12) reports on the official data given by the so-called authorities of the occupied Keryneia port on the arrivals and departures of passengers and vehicles from and to the occupied Keryneia port between the years 2008-2012, underlining that there is a remarkable decrease (average 30%) on the number of the arrivals and departures of passengers from and to the occupied Keryneia port.

    Following is a table indicating the figures:

    YEAR	Passenger's	Passenger's	Vehicle's	Vehicle's
    	arrivals	departures	arrived	departed
    2008	111.267	107.918	15.732	14.749
    2009	87.687	82.801	15.479	14.860
    2010	87.922	84.176	17.729	16.554
    2011	71.978	64.009	17.875	16.861
    2012-02	2.141	1.835	938	1.197
    

    In statements on the issue, the so-called mayor of occupied Keryneia Sumer Aygun pointed out that the majority of the persons who use the occupied Keryneia port for entrance to the "TRNC" are persons from Turkey who are coming to work.

    Aygun underlined then that the main reason for which there is a decrease in the maritime transportation, is because of the fact that there are no works in the construction sector.

    Aygun stated further that the stagnation on the maritime transportation as well as the decrease which is experienced on the number of passengers from and to the "Keryneia tourism port" will have both positive and negative effects to the occupation regime's tourism. He then added that the only way to revive the port is to increase the quality of the maritime transportation in order to attract the interest of tourists.

    (AK)

    [07] Turkey's RTUK to sign a cooperation protocol with the illegal YYK

    Under the title: "Turkey's Radio Television Supreme Council's delegation (RTUK) in the TRNC today", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (24.02.12) reports that a delegation of the RTUK, headed by the chairman of the council, Prof. Dr. Davut Dursun will be visiting illegally the "TRNC" today in order to sign a cooperation protocol with the breakaway regime's broadcasting higher board (YYK).

    As the paper writes, Dr. Dursun and his delegation will meet also today with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, while tomorrow they are expected to visit the tomb of former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. The delegation will visit also the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    (AK)

    [08] Turkish Minister Yildirim cancels his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus due to bad weather conditions in Turkey

    Illegal Baryak television (24.02.12) broadcast that the Turkish Minister of Transportation and Communication Binali Yildirim who was due to pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus today, has postponed his trip to the occupation regime because of bad weather conditions in Turkey.

    [09] Columnist comments on media freedom in Turkey; Media owners are the primary censors

    Under the title: "Turkey's migraine: media freedom (3)", columnist Yavuz Baydar publishes the following commentary on media freedom in Turkey:

    "In a remarkable and worrisome manner, one column after another in the Turkish press has been discontinued and shut down. The latest 'victim' is reported to be Nuray Mert, an academic known for her harsh criticism against the Justice and Development (AKP) Government and for her visible sympathies for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

    Rumour has it that she was dismissed at the direct request of the proprietor of the Milliyet daily. And, in a rare and bold move, Hasan Cemal, a senior columnist at the same paper, yesterday defended Mert's right to express a free opinion, maintaining the hope that the decision be reversed. It is highly unlikely.

    I dedicated my columns this week to the most burdened, most bruised, most problematic sector of Turkey in 2012. 'I think most of us no longer have any pride left. Though I see some brave work in the small, free newspapers, journalism in Turkey has simply become just a way of making a living, with obedience to the authorities as the rule,' complained a gloomy, elderly colleague recently.

    'Authorities' is not as plain as it may seem to a foreign eye. What he meant and what we discussed were the root causes of censorship and a profoundly internalized culture of self-censorship. 'Authorities' is a term that exposes a double-layered mechanism to keep the media on a leash. It is a ruthless combination of political power and proprietors, which in most cases operate in unison. Their interests overlap; media freedom and editorial independence certainly do not have anything to do with them. They have already been sacrificed, wasted.

    For those familiar with the contact between the power holders (in the Government and bureaucracy) in Ankara, cases like Mert come as no surprise. When Prime Minister Erdogan invited some months ago all the major media proprietors to a meeting to discuss how to report the stories on 'terror', he was certain of what he was doing. He knew that none of them would miss the opportunity to shake hands with him, and to willingly declare that 'my media group is at your service, just tell us what to report and what not'. They did. They even went so far as to propose him a joint (Government-media) censorship committee to filter news and comment. This is verified stuff: There were those honest enough to record the meeting with their cell phones.

    Understandably, the Turkish public was the last to know that a large group of Kurdish villagers were killed in an air raid by Turkish fighter jets. The story was 'blacked out' for over 13 hours. Thanks to social media, what happened saw daylight.

    As a long term observer and commentator of patterns in the sector, my fundamental argument has therefore remained unchanged. I agree, surely, that we have a very serious issue with journalists who are in or are facing jail, but it does also distract us from seeing the bigger picture; it leads us to the illusion that even if Parliament amended all the restrictive laws, we would have a sufficiently free and independent journalism industry in this country.

    That is the reason why I time and again remind international observers that what keeps Turkey's journalists on a leash -- either through fear of jail or anxiety over censorship -- is a mentality which sees the alliance between the Government and media as controlling the free flow of information as normality. Consequently, both the Government (and other actors in Parliament) and media proprietors should be given equal shares of the blame and condemnation.

    In today's Turkey, the proprietors (not the Government) act as the primary censors by acting as regular 'shadow editors' and they are the ones (not the Government) who silence our colleagues. This has to do with their wide economic interests, including areas other than media, which are kept alive in a system which makes it possible for them to enter public tenders. They keep the media to use against the Government in bad times, and at its service during good times. Media owners have so far successfully deterred all trade union activity in their offices; this adds hugely to the fear of being fired. As a result of all these, journalism is now on its knees; a monkey that is afraid to see, hear or speak.

    Unless the media owners become sensitive to and protective of the universal values of journalism, the media will continue to suffer. Media freedom in today's world has become so complicated that it cannot be placed in a simple box of 'state oppression'; all forms of it must together form criteria. This is necessary to see a fair and real picture of an emerging, struggling democracy like Turkey."

    [10] Turkey plans to buy 100 F-35; Turks have spent 353.3 million TL on guns and bullets during the last 5 years

    Turkish daily newspaper Hurriyet Daily News (online, 24.02.12) reports that Turkey is planning to purchase 100 multi-purpose F-35 jet fighters worth $16 billion, Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz has said, according to daily Milliyet.

    The first two of the military aircraft will be delivered by 2015, he said. The decision to order two F-35s was made last month.

    The multi-purpose F-35 fighter jets are being produced by the U.S.-based arms producer Lockheed Martin. Turkey became a member of the international F-35 consortium in 1999. Other partners of the consortium include Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Norway and Denmark.

    The statement indicates that Turkey is insisting on proceeding with its plan to purchase 100 F-35s even as many other partner countries, including the United States, have backtracked on their purchase plans due to delays and incremental costs.

    The Pentagon postponed the purchase of 139 F-35 fighter jets for five years, while Britain said the decision regarding the number of F-35s that the country would buy would be delayed until 2015. Italy last week said its F-35 orders would be scaled down by 30%.

    The U.S. Government plans to manufacture 2,443 F-35 fighter jets, according to a recent statement, Yilmaz said. "Purchase orders in the upcoming years regarding the [F-35 military aircraft] will be subsequently assessed depending upon the negotiations."

    Turkey has spent $315 million so far on three phases of the development of the F-35 fighter jets that the country is producing as part of the partnership, Yilmaz said.

    Progress has also been made on negotiations with the United States over granting Turkey the permission to load war software, weapons and ammunition onto the aircraft independently, he said in a reply to a written question by Ismet Buyukataman, an opposition Nationalist Movement Party Deputy.

    Responding to claims that the U.S. would not sell the software and block the independent integration of weapons and ammunition, the Minister said: "Negotiations regarding the independent loading of war software, weapons and ammunition to secure the independent deployment and maintenance of the F-35 in Turkey are continuing."

    Moreover, HDN (online, 24.02.12), under the title: "Turks have spent 353.3 million TL on guns, bullets during the last five years", reports that Turks have spent roughly 353.5 million TL on guns in the last five years, according to data from the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK).

    A total of 74,750 pistols, some 55,575 of which were manufactured domestically, and 164 million bullets have been sold since 2007. MKEK earned 103.2 million TL from locally manufactured pistols and 84.9 million TL from imported pistols. The revenue from bullet sales, meanwhile, was 161.5 million TL. MKEK also sold 612 rifles worth 3.9 million TL between 2007 and 2011.

    Turks purchase an average of 15,000 pistols every year. The figure decreased to 13,838 in 2010, but the following year the sales recovered to 15,369.

    MKEK's income last year from locally manufactured pistol sales totalled 24.3 million TL, while the income figure was 15.1 million TL for imported guns. Some 34.5 million bullets were sold last year, bringing 34.6 million TL into the coffers of MKEK, while the number of imported rifles was 169, worth a total of 933,000 TL.

    The total income of MKEK from gun and bullet sales hit 74 million TL in 2011. MKEK sells varying models of pistols manufactured by 10 domestic and 15 foreign firms.

    [11] Turkey works on bill to improve the illegal aliens' status

    Turkish daily newspaper Today's Zaman (online, 23.02.12) reported that the Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said on Thursday that the Government is working on a bill on migration and asylum that will bring legislation on illegal migrants and asylum seekers up to international standards.

    Sahin said the bill will introduce changes to current employment legislation governing both illegal and legal aliens to match international standards and principles set by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). "The Ministry has prepared a bill on the protection of foreign nationals and it will be presented to Parliament soon," Sahin was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency. Sahin said that many immigrants come to Turkey from neighbouring countries, the Middle East and Africa to use the country as a transit route, but an increasing number of immigrants opt to stay and usually end up joining the workforce, either as legal or illegal aliens. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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