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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-03-05
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 44/12 3-5.3.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Bagis threatens that the occupied area of Cyprus might be annexed to Turkey; Wolf in lamb's skinTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.03.12) reports that the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis has said that all options are on the table for the solution in Cyprus and threatened that the annexation of the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey might be possible.
Bagis made exclusive statements to Kibris' correspondent in London, Eylem Eraydin. He said the following:
"Every option is on the table for the solution in Cyprus. Just like the solution could be [reached] with an agreement of the two leaders and a unification formula which they will get accepted by their communities, it might be possible with the agreement of the two leaders to break up in the form of two states or with the annexation of the TRNC [Translator's note: breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] to Turkey as well. All these options are on the table, but we hope that (and this is our wish), the two states in Cyprus are united under a single roof and both sides' living in peace is secured with a structure which will be created by two founding states".
Bagis said that Turkey will back any solution which the two leaders will convince their communities to accept and added: "Both unification and non unification is included in these [solutions]. As long as the two leaders are able to make their communities accept this. Turkey has only one sensitivity. And this is that a political equality should be secured on the island".
Bagis reiterated that Turkey will not accept as its interlocutor the Republic of Cyprus which will overtake the EU term presidency as of 1 July 2012. He said that during this period Turkey will continue its relations with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the candidate countries, but it will ignore the Cypriot term presidency.
Bagis noted that there are two meetings during which the candidate countries need to have the term presidency as their interlocutor and explained that one of these meetings is the partnership council meeting, in which Turkey had not participated during the term presidencies of other countries, such as France as well.
Bagis added the following: "The second kind of meetings in which the term presidency would be [our] interlocutor, are held during the ceremonies of opening and closing of chapters. During the last three term presidencies, Turkey opened absolutely no chapter. And the reason for this is the spoilt attitude exhibited by the Greek Cypriot side. If now during their term presidency they say that 'we raised our veto' regarding the chapters they vetoed, and 'let Turkey come and sit in front of us', then it might not be possible for us to go to Brussels because of our heavy schedule during that days. The opportunity for us might be created to postpone these chapters for a next term presidency. We have warned them not to fall into a comical situation. We will not take as our interlocutor a state, whose authorities we do not recognize in normal conditions because some told them that 'you are president now'".
Bagis, who met in London with the British Foreign Secretary William Hague and the British Minister for Europe David Lidington, said that Britain fully supports a solution in Cyprus, but "it behaves a little bit hesitantly on the issue of putting this support into practice". "Britain watches with sensitivity both sides, but I do not see that it behaves very enthusiastically on the issue of using its sanction power", he argued and added: "We tried to convince them on this issue. We believe that Britain, as guarantor power, should follow a more active policy and play a more constructive role on the Cyprus issue".
 Reactions to Bagis' statements regarding the annexation of the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey; Bagis mocks Turkish Cypriot party leadersTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.03.12) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), has "strongly criticized" the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis for his statement that the annexation of the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey is among their options as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In a written statement issued on Saturday, Yorgancioglu described as "unacceptable" to say that annexation to Turkey is an option and asked from Bagis to correct his statement.
"We think that Mr Bagis needs to explain his statement, because we have obtained no official information that Turkey abandoned the policy it has been following since 2003 as regards being one step forward or that it returned to the old line of the Turkish foreign policy", he said and argued that all politicians should avoid approaches which could put Turkey into a difficult position as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem or cause damage to its relations with the EU.
Yorgancioglu noted that Bagis' statements created such a serious situation that the "good will" of the Turkish side in the negotiations could be questioned. He described as an "imaginary scenario" and "far from reality" Bagis' statement that the two leaders might agree to break up and create two separate states. He said no Greek Cypriot leader would sign a velvet separation.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.03.12) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has also criticized Bagis' statements. Cakici issued a written statement yesterday noting that Bagis has no right to say that if no solution is found, the occupied area of Cyprus will be annexed to Turkey. "This is a statement that went beyond limits", he said and added that the Turkish Cypriot "people" wants a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality and that this solution is included in the UN parameters.
"The demand of the Turkish Cypriot people is not to be annexed to Turkey. The target of the Turkish Cypriot people is, by signing an agreement, to become EU president in the future", he noted pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot "people" and not Mr Bagis is the one who will decide the form of the solution on the island.
Cakici wondered whether the views expressed by Bagis are personal views, or reflect the stance of his party. He noted that Bagis' statements are contrary to Prime Minister Erdogan's "vision" of being one step ahead.
Furthermore, Kibris (05.3.12) reports also that Turgay Avci, leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) issued a written statement criticizing Yorgancioglu's stance against Bagis. He argued that Bagis is treated in an "unjust manner" and expressed his regret for questioning Turkey's will for a solution in Cyprus. He argued that Bagis has always been protecting the interests and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and devotes a big part of his time to the Cyprus problem.
Moreover, in an exclusive written statement to Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (05.03.12), Bagis responded as following to those who criticized him: "I have an advice to the sympathizers of the Greek Cypriots who tried to distort my statement in London: Let them read my statement again syllable by syllable. Their perceptional ability will develop". The paper publishes the statement under the banner front-page title "They cannot understand what they read".
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.03.12) calls on the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk to either oppose to the integration policy as announced by Bagis or to resign, if they have such a secret agenda "contrary to people's will". "Integration is not the solution formula for the Turkish Cypriots and the world", notes Yeni Duzen in its editorial today.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (04.03.12) reports that the statement made by Bagis in London shows that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the primary school teachers' trade union, was right when he had wondered whether the passports and the identity cards of the Republic of Cyprus will be prohibited for the Turkish Cypriots as of 1 July 2012.
 Turkish columnist on Bagis's interview to "Kibris"Under the title: "Annexing northern Cyprus", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.03.12) publishes the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli:
"The Turkish Cypriot main opposition leader is fuming nowadays. The ruling party must have been upset as well but cannot dare to antagonize the Turkish Government and thus pretends as if it is deaf and dumb.
At the heart of the controversy is a statement from Turkey's European Union Minister Egemen Bag1s. In an interview with Turkish Cypriot newspaper K1br1s, Bag1s very rightly stressed that establishing a federation should not be the sole option of the Cyprus talks. Why, for God's sake, should the two sides on the island talk about how to establish a federation if for some important reasons neither of them sincerely wants such a deal? Can they reach a settlement deal since they just pay lip service to a federation goal but in practice have been always engaged in deals that would imperil a federal resolution?
Bagis stressed that all settlement options must be on the negotiations table and the two sides should agree on one option and finish off the Cyprus problem. He said Turkey wanted a united Cyprus which would bring the two peoples on the island under one roof composed of the two constituent states and which would provide both peoples of the island peace, calm and prosperity.
So far, so good. But Bag1s continued elaborating about the settlement options and spelled out some ideas shared by many but equally hated by many others in Turkey and in northern Cyprus. He suggested the leaders might agree on a settlement that would bring the two peoples under a common roof or it might be one of separation and establishment of two independent states on the island and the northern Turkish Cypriot state deciding to join Turkey. All these options are on the negotiation table,' a wishful-thinking Bag1s was quoted as saying, perhaps unaware or in ignorance of the fact that the goal of the current talks is to reach an accord creating a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the basis of political equality of the two founding entities.
Bagis further elaborated that whatever the settlement, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Christofias agreed upon, Turkey would welcome it provided that settlement was built on 'political equality' of the two sides on the island and the leaders managed to get backing from their peoples for the deal they agreed on.
Bagis is of course wrong or misquoted by the "K1br1s" newspaper. The fundamental strategy of Turkey regarding Cyprus is not to have a hostile Government in part or in all of Cyprus. For overall Turkish security and strategic interests, particularly for the security of Turkey's Mediterranean coast and, in the meantime, one of the most important energy hubs of the Western world and particularly for Turkey having the option to open up to seas, the status quo is unacceptable for Turkey.
A negotiated settlement, even if it might bring two independent states, would be great. Even if it comes with a mutually-agreed upon accord ? definitely a wild fantasy ? partition and consequently annexation of northern Cyprus to Turkey would mean Turkey being encircled by Greece from the east as well. Greece is of course not an enemy, but the situation would not be at all pleasing for Ankara. Thus, for Ankara, the best settlement has been a united Cyprus".
Also, columnist Mehmet Barlas, writing in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (05.03.12), under the title: "A solution proposal by Egemen Bagis against the non-solution?", comments on the latest interview by Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis in the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper.
Barlas writes that Bagis' proposal in case of Cyprus talks' failure then the breakaway regime may be annexed to Turkey is an optimism agenda. He also congratulates Bagis for his approach as a serious exit contrary to all the problems of this non-solution of the Cyprus problem.
 Reactions in the Turkish Cypriot side against Downer continue; Statements by Eroglu, Ozgurgun and BozerAccording to illegal Bayrak television (03.03.12), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has once again criticized the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer's meetings with political parties and some NGO's and his statements while continuing the negotiations aimed at solving the Cyprus Problem.
Eroglu said that such acts are dynamiting the negotiations process.
Speaking during a visit paid to him, Eroglu noted that the only absent thing in Cyprus is an agreement and the Turkish side is trying to complete this absence.
Reminding that the Greek Cypriots who said no to the Annan Plan has become member of the European Union and the "embargoes" are still being imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, Eroglu added: "I always tell the Greek Cypriot leader Christofias and Downer that they will never find the Cyprus Turkish people as they were in 2004".
Eroglu also stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side will take the necessary steps unless reaching a solution until the 1st of July.
Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (03.02.12), the so-called foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun also expressed his reaction to the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer.
Speaking at a TV program, Ozgurgun said that Downer is still under the influence of the Greek Cypriots. "If there are equal sides, equal people and equal founding states, this equality should be displayed", Ozgurgun alleged.
He also stressed that the 1st of July is an important date for the negotiations process.
Also reminding that the Greek Cypriots had rejected many solution plans, Ozgurgun said they have lost their persuasiveness.
Illegal Bayrak television (02.03.12) broadcast also that the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Hasan Bozer has said that it is everyone's primary duty to defend the "national cause".
Bozer made the above statements while meeting separately the "TRNC Combatants Veterans Society" and the "TMT Freedom Fighters' Association".
Views expressed by Alexander Downer during his latest meetings with various "TRNC political parties" and civil society organizations were discussed at the meeting.
Bozer said that the international community, the Greek Cypriots and Downer were all attempting to portray the Turkish side as intransigent, just as the UN had reached a point where it was considering ending the current negotiations process and was preparing a progress report on the talks. "Downer's provocations towards the process are unacceptable and unethical?it is taking sides" he claimed.
Bozer also said that the Turkish Cypriot side will not fall prey to the attempts of foreign powers to spread division among the Turkish Cypriots.
 Ozersay evaluates his contacts in Germany and the Czech RepublicAccording to illegal Bayrak television (03.03.12), the so-called special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Kudret Ozersay evaluating his contacts to Germany and the Czech Republic to Bayrak Haber, has stated that permanent derogations within the European Union will also be valid for Cyprus.
Ozersay noted that during his contacts, he clearly expressed the Turkish Cypriot side's views over the current phase of the negotiations process.
Referring to President Christofias's statements about the EU Court, Ozersay accused President Christofias of continuing to use the Republic of Cyprus' EU membership against the Turkish Cypriots.
He also stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side's priority was to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution in Cyprus, not the EU membership.
 The Cyprus problem among the matters of discussion between Davutoglu and the Italian FM; Italy to work together with Turkey to overcome the problems in CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency in English (03.03.12) reported that the Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said on Saturday that more efforts were needed in Cyprus as the ongoing negotiations did not yield any progress.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul, Terzi said that "there has to be tangible progress in Cyprus".
"The trade volume between Turkey and Italy is over 21 billion USD. Such a figure is important for our economies", Terzi said.
Pointing out that growth, regional dialogue and stability were key factors for Italy's foreign policy, Terzi underlined that their relations with Turkey showed them that they were on the right track.
Touching on the ongoing negotiation talks in Cyprus, Terzi said that the negotiations in Cyprus have not made progress. "We will work with Turkey to overcome the problems in Cyprus", Terzi underlined.
"Italy's policy is clear on Turkey-EU relations and the need to open all chapters to negotiations. Our policy on ending visa requirement from Turkish citizens is also clear", Terzi said.
Touching on Syria, Terzi said that diplomatic pressure had to be placed on the Assad regime. "I share the same vision with Davutoglu that the atrocity in Syria must come to an end and humanitarian assistance must reach the Syrian people", Terzi underlined.
In response to a question on Syria, Terzi stated that it was unacceptable to see the International Red Crescent and Red Cross Aid Organizations not being permitted to enter Syria.
"It is a must for the members of the UN Security Council to act in a parallel way with each other on Syria. The process must make sure that Syria does not enter an era of civil war. Unfortunately, there seems to be a possibility for a civil war. We have a responsibility to solve the Syrian issue in the shortest time possible", Terzi also said.
Also, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.12), speaking at a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart, the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, referred, inter alia, to the ongoing negotiation talks in Cyprus stating the following: "Unfortunately, the negotiation talks which are carrying out under the auspices of the UN have not reached the desired progress, in spite of the strong willing, the determined stance and the clear messages that Turkey has sent. We do hope that this situation will be overcome the soonest and that a solution is to be found by June 30. However, if this does not happen, South Cyprus; which we do not recognize, will de-facto take over the EU term presidency; and we did shared with Italy which has always supported Turkey's EU bid, the view that steps should be taken towards this issue".
 Straw: "The division of Cyprus should be an option"Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (04.03.12) publishes an exclusive interview with former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw who was visiting Istanbul. Asked to make a prediction regarding Turkey's EU accession course he said, inter alia, the following:
"There is no stronger supporter than Britain for Turkey's EU membership?I am disappointed because the French - Greek Cypriot alliance blockades the negotiations process. Turkey said: 'very well, if we cannot negotiate with Brussels, we can negotiate with ourselves'. Very well, what should we do in this case? For example the energy chapter is blockaded. What does this mean? The elephant in the room is the Cyprus problem. Eleven years ago, when I was Foreign Secretary, I was impartial on the Cyprus issue. However, gradually I became more impatient. In 2004, in Birkenstock, the Greek Cypriot sector signed an agreement. However, Papadopoulos betrayed the agreement. The EU has been taken hostage by the Greek Cypriots. The EU is harmed from this. If we cannot secure a change, the international community must start considering the division of the island as an option. Division is another way of solution in a land dispute. This exists in the back garden of the United Kingdom. The division should be taken onto the agenda. The existing 'de facto' division benefits only South Cyprus, not the Turkish Cypriots".
Asked what will happen during the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency and whether there could be a surprise on the issue of opening any chapter in Turkey's negotiations with the Union, Straw replied: "I do not know. Normally, when a country becomes term president, it comes under pressure to abandon its own personal interests in favour of the EU. Paradoxically, the term presidency prevents you from pursuing your interests. I hope that the Greek Cypriots will follow this example, but I will not keep my breath waiting for this".
Meanwhile, according to Turkish Daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.03.12), the former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw blamed the leaders of Germany and France, who are opposed to Turkey's EU membership, for the deadlock in the country's EU accession talks.
Straw made these remarks while visiting Istanbul to prepare for the British-Turkish Silver Tongue Forum which will take place in October.
Straw told Hurriyet in an interview that there are two major barriers to Turkey's EU accession process. "One is that the Greek Cypriots are electing increasingly entrenched leaders. The second is that the new leaders of Germany and France, [Chancellor Angela] Merkel and [President Nicolas] Sarkozy are opposed to Turkey's membership," Straw said, adding that the second reason is working more strongly against Turkey's EU membership bid.
Straw offered an explanation for this, saying that his contributions to Turkey's EU membership bid could have not be possible "without the support of the Foreign Ministers Joschka Fischer and Michel Barnier and their bosses [former French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder]."
Straw also said Turkey's membership would benefit the EU. "It can't be in France's or Germany's long-term interest to keep Turkey outside the EU rather than inside. It is actually more in Europe's interest than Turkey's interest. Just like having Turkey in NATO," he said.
Despite these challenges, Straw said the Turkish Government has been "very sensible to continue with negotiations," promising the U.K.'s continued support for Turkey's membership.
"There is a historic empathy for Turkey in the U.K., partly because both countries are located at the edges of the continent," Straw said.
Speaking about the French government's attitude to Turkey's EU membership, Straw said there is no guarantee that it will change, even if Fran?ois Hollande is elected as France's new President, given that Turkey's membership has become an issue in France. "So it will take some time and will require the high-level efforts of Turkey's friends."
Speaking on the topic of the Arab uprisings, Straw said that Iran and Israel have both become isolated as a result of the Arab Spring. "Israel has lost a lot because of its obvious support for oppressive regimes, especially [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad," Straw said, adding that Israel had also supported Egypt's overthrown regime.
Straw said that Iran has also lost significant ground in the Arab world because of its support for oppressive regimes, especially in Syria. On the issue of the Iranian nuclear talks, Straw advised Iran "not to push their luck."
"I just hope that they will engage in sensible negotiations, because no one in the rest of the world wants to see any kind of military operation against Iran; there is no appetite for it whatsoever," he concluded.
 Kucuk said that the foreign "representation offices" of the breakaway regime have been increasedTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.03.12) reports that self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, who was in Istanbul carrying out contacts, explained during his contacts the Cyprus talks, the oil exploration works, the tourism and the education in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Asked by NTV correspondent to comment on whether there is a plan B in case the Cyprus talks fail or interrupt, Kucuk said that they have meetings with the Turkish Government on this issue.
Kucuk said that the foreign "representation offices" of the breakaway regime have been increased and added that the recognition of "TRNC" is important from the view to keep warm their relations with other countries. He explained that the "representation offices" have great contribution to the education and tourism fields.
Kucuk said that they continue to work and cooperate with the Turkish Government in order every field in the occupied area to be developed.
Referring to the oil exploration work in the occupied area, Kucuk said that the works for oil exploration on land in the occupied area continues and that the land drilling may start by the end of March.
Moreover, Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (04.03.12) reported that Kucuk, who was accompanied by self-styled minister of tourism, culture and environment Unal Ustel, during his visit to Istanbul, visited also Radikal paper, where he made statements.
Commenting on the Cyprus role regarding Turkey's process for the EU membership, Kucuk said that he doesn't believe that developments in the EU affect Turkey's policy on the Cyprus problem, because Turkey is a country that sees Cyprus above the EU. He also noted that he doesn't see a lot of involvement in the works of Turkey related to the EU with the Cyprus problem. However, Kucuk added that they may think that the EU uses Cyprus as pressure on Turkey.
Evaluating the news reports that reportedly Israel will establish a third base in Cyprus, Kucuk said that he sees this initiative by Israel as a bluff. He added that this initiative is not a serious one. Kucuk also said that Israelis bought land in the occupied area 3-4 years ago and during that period around 150 Israelis also got the "TRNC citizenship".
 Self-styled deputies held contacts in Brussels and called on for an international Cyprus conferenceTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.12) reports that a delegation of the "assembly" consisting of the "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) Hasan Tacoy and "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Teberruken Ulucay, held contacts in Brussels between 28th of February and 2nd of March.
According to the paper, during their contacts the two so-called deputies called on for the support of the idea of conducting an international conference for the Cyprus problem and also stated that the two leaders and the two sides in Cyprus should urge for such an action.
Tacoy and Ulucay met with the Liberal Group of the European Parliament and called on for the imposition of the April 2004 decision for the lifting of the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots. They also stated that the Direct Trade Regulation, the Green Line Regulation and the Financial Aid Regulation must be applied. They also stated that Turkish should become one of the official EU languages.
 Cavusoglu said that "since the day that TRNC was declared there is struggle in the world"According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.03.12), Nazim Cavusoglu, self-styled minister of interior and local administrations, who was in Hatay (Alexandretta) as guest of the Youth Businessmen Association of Iskenderum, in statements to the Ankara Anatolia news agency, said that since the day the "TRNC" was declared there is a struggle in the world, adding: "We will definitely win this struggle with our motherland (Turkey)".
Criticizing once more that Cyprus will take over the EU term Presidency on 1st of July, Cavusoglu reiterated the view that the acceptance of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU before a Cyprus settlement was a wrong decision. Noting that Turkey's stance towards EU at this moment is the correct stance, Cavusoglu added that he supports Turkey's policies.
Referring also to the oil exploration works in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Cavusoglu said that the reason they support the oil exploration work is that in case oil is found then it would be huge financial profit. He added that the works have been continued with official institutions from Turkey.
Explaining that too many persons from Hatay visit the occupied area in Cyprus, Cavusoglu called the businessmen to make investments in the occupied area, adding that they are ready to give them any kind of support.
 Tatar stated that Turkey gives one million TL to occupation regime but exports one million US Dollars worth of goods to occupied CyprusUnder the title: "Who is feeding who", Turkish daily Afrika reports that the self-styled finance minister of the occupation regime Ersin Tatar, made statements to Turkish Hurriyet and commented on those who say that Turkey is feeding the occupation regime.
"Ankara is giving us one million Turkish lira; but as regards us we import from Turkey goods worth one million dollars", Tatar stated and added that the money are returned to Turkey even more so. He went on and added that 35,000 Turkish workers work in the occupied area and constantly send their money to Turkey; therefore he said that this can also be considered an important contribution to Turkey by the occupation regime.
Afrika writes that if someone adds the imports from Turkey, the workers' salaries the services in health and education, and the social aid, the contribution of the occupation regime to Turkey is by far more than one million TL.
The paper goes on and writes that if Ankara reduces the aid to the occupied area, this will be harmful for Turkey and not for the occupation regime.
 Rixoh Investments LTD said the oil storage installation in occupied Cyprus will be the biggest investment since 1974Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (04.03.12) reports that Rixoh Investment Ltd, the company which plans to build oil storage installations in occupied Komi Kepir area, held a press conference on Saturday in the occupied part of Lefkosia and responded to various criticisms against this project.
Halis Bektas and Mehmet Karalim, directors of Rixoh, Huseyin Pasa, the company's general coordinator in occupied Cyprus, Ahmet Korman, owner of Derin Maritime Company who is advisor of Rixoh, and Prof. Dr. Ergun Yasar and Hasan Sadi Kocaoglu, experts in the field of oil, attended the press conference.
Huseyin Pasa described the project as "the biggest project having international dimensions" during the 38-year period that followed 1974 [Translator's note: when Turkey invaded and occupied the northern part of Cyprus]. He said their discussions with the so-called ministry of interior have come to their final point. He expressed the hope to sign an agreement with the regime within the next few days.
He said that their company was registered in April 2011 by the "Free Harbour Directorate" under the name of Rixoh Investments Ltd and it has two partners. He said that one of the partners is Halis Bektas, who was born in Turkey and lives in Switzerland since he was young and therefore is a Swiss citizen. He noted that Bektas is at the same time owner of an oil company and deals with the trade of oil. The other partner, he added, is businessman, Mehmet Karalim, who is a "citizen' of the breakaway regime, "born and raised" in Cyprus. He said that the legal advisor of the company is lawyer Serhan Cinar.
Pasa argued that the Greek Cypriot side is annoyed by this investment and claimed that another company, in which the Swiss partner of this company is partner, receives threats.
 The chairman of Izmir Chamber of Trade stated that Cyprus could become like SingaporeUnder the front-page title: "Politics should not be an obstacle for trade", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (05.03.12) reports on statements by Ekrem Demirtas, chairman of the Izmir Chamber of Trade, who in exclusive statements to the paper, gave positive messages as regards the sector of trade.
According to the paper, Demirtas who often visits the Republic of Cyprus, stated, inter alia, that it is not logical for the Turkish Cypriots who are in a period of economic recession to consider the Cyprus problem as an obstacle to their economy. "I have said this to Christofias, as well", Demirtas stated.
Referring to the demand of the Greek Cypriots who ask for the opening of occupied Famagusta port in return for the opening of one Turkish port, Demirtas stated that according to his personal point of view, all the restriction in the sector of trade should be lifted. "Problem might exist on the property issue. However, it is not right to block the trade in order to solve these issues,"Demirtas said.
Demirtas continue and stated the following: "We do not have the right to quarrel. Cyprus, due to its geostrategic situation could become a rising and shining centre like Singapore in the Far East. If a free trade exists, it might become a free trade town. It could become a Singapore where investments from worldwide could be made".
Evaluating the economic situation in Greece, Demirtas said that Greece is at the moment in a croquette situation adding that it is Turkey's duty to help Greece to find solution to its problems. He further said that if Greece which is their neighbour country would get rich they will be also get benefited from this.
 More persons departed than those who entered the occupied areas in January 2012Under the title: "They leave and they do not come back", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (05.03.12) reports about the entrance and the departure of persons from the illegal airports and ports of the occupation regime and writes that during January, more persons left the occupied area than the persons who entered it.
According to records by the self-styled ministry of public works and transportation, 84,386 persons entered the occupied area in January 2012 while 116,555 persons departed.
 Arab-Turkish journalists' society established in CairoTurkish daily Today's Zaman (04.03.12) reported that a group of Turkish and Arab journalists established the Arab-Turkish Cultural Bridge League (ATACA) in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday.
Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday that the society was established by the Arab-Turkish Journalists Association with the aim of promoting media relations between Turkey and Arab countries.
Mujip Rusti, chairperson of the newly formed organization, said during a reception to mark the league's establishment that ATACA aims to contribute to improving relations and dialogue between Turkey and the Arab world.
The reception at Cairo's inaugural meeting was attended by the Turkish Ambassador in Cairo Huseyin Avni Botsali, as well as by the Egyptian Ambassador in Ankara Abdurrahman Selahaddin. ATACA Vice Chairman Cumali Onal said the first action of the society will be to extend an invitation to a large group of Arab journalists to visit Turkey.
 Exports to 29 countries boost profits of Turkish state-run arms firm; Saudi Arabia on the top of the listTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.03.12) reports that the Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK) has broken its own record in profits.
MKEK increased its net profit 180 % to 165 million Turkish Liras in 2011, according to company data gathered by Anatolia news agency.
MKEK is a state-controlled corporation with a mandate to supply the Turkish Armed Forces with guns, ammunition, missiles, rockets and explosives.
The total turnover of MKEK rose to 850 million liras last year, up from 650 million liras the previous year.
The total value of the orders placed by the National Defence Ministry, military departments, Interior Ministry, Security General Directorate and Turkish National Intelligence Service amounted to 350.8 million liras in 2011.
The export volume of MKEK is on the rise in recent years with new models developed in cooperation with universities and private industrial firms.
Saudi Arabia topped the list of countries receiving the most guns and ammunition exports from MKEK with 44.6 million liras. Saudi Arabia is also the leading exports market for the overall Turkish defense industry, according to official figures. The oil-rich Arab country bought SS30 rockets particularly and a great number of cartridges from MKEK last year.
Bahrain followed Saudi Arabia with 17.2 million liras and Oman with 7.1 million liras. These two countries mostly imported cartridges and bullets.
The export markets of MKEK spanned 29 countries from Panama and Switzerland to the Philippines and U.S. with a total turnover of nearly 98.5 million liras.
Total profits of MKEK including domestic sales hit 165 million liras. MKEK also signed 630 million liras of export sales contracts in 2011.
MKEK is collaborating with 28 universities on various projects. The public corporation is currently carrying out 127 research and development projects including Altay, the national tank project, and modern infantry and automatic rifles.
The budgets regarding these projects total 283 million liras.
MKEK has recently revealed that domestic gun sales are rising rapidly. Turkish citizens have spent roughly 353.5 million liras on guns in the last five years, according to MKEK data. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio