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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-05-22

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. 97/12 22.5.12

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies plans to deploy troops in the Republic of Cyprus
  • [02] Gul met with Obama, Merkel and Hollande in the framework of the Chicago NATO Summit
  • [03] Bagis on the "Positive agenda" issue
  • [04] BKP wants the continuation of the Cyprus talks
  • [05] One more protest by the Trade Union Platform
  • [06] Efforts for football matches between teams from the occupied area of Cyprus and Kosovo
  • [07] The occupation regime decided against constructing a fuel storage terminal in occupied Eptakomi village
  • [08] The Turkish Prime Minister, the President and the Chief of the General Staff accused of crimes against humanity for Uludere
  • [09] Turkey earns over 25 billion USD in tourism
  • [10] Turkish Column Calls on the Turkish Government to open sea and air ports to vessels of the Republic of Cyprus

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies plans to deploy troops in the Republic of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (21.05.12) reported the following on the issue:

    "Spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Yigal Palmor said on Monday that they made no demand to deploy troops in the Greek Cypriot administration.

    A source close to the Greek Cypriot administration told AA correspondent that Israel wanted to deploy '20,000 commandos' in order to protect a natural gas terminal to be erected in southern Cyprus.

    Speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA), Palmor said that this issue 'did not come up during Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahus visit to the Greek Cypriot administration in February'.

    We have not made any such demands to the Greek Cypriots, Palmor stressed.

    Netanyahus visit to the Greek Cypriot administration in February was the first one ever by an Israeli Premier to this country.

    A Greek Cypriot source close to the February meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Greek Cypriot administration leader Demetris Christofias told the AA that Israel conveyed the desire to build a pipeline and a terminal to pump natural gas from fields in the Eastern Mediterranean to European markets.

    Israel offered to build the terminal and to cover all the expenses -which is estimated around $10 billion - but it also demanded to employ 10 thousand Israelis in the construction work and 20 thousand commandos to protect the terminal and the pipeline as well as Israeli workers and their families, which would bring up the number of Israelis to come to the port city of Limassol to nearly 50 thousand.

    The terminal is also essential for the Greek Cypriot administration to carry natural gas it extracted from fields at a unilaterally-declared exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    'You give a single finger to Israel and Israel will chop off your whole arm. Israel wants to come here to stay and never to return,' the Greek Cypriot source told the AA on the condition of anonymity.

    The Greek Cypriot source said the bargain between Netanyahu and Christofias included as well Israeli use of Greek Cypriot air and naval military bases in return for barring Israeli investments in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Israel also demanded to carry out search and rescue missions in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    [02] Gul met with Obama, Merkel and Hollande in the framework of the Chicago NATO Summit

    The Turkish press reports about the contacts of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in the framework of the Chicago NATO Summit and writes that Gul met with Obama, Merkel, Hollande and other political leaders.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.05.12) reports that Gul met with the U.S. President Barack Obama and stated during the meeting that Turkey expected the United States to meet Turkey's demands in "combating terrorism". Gul told Obama that Turkey's demands in fighting against "terrorism" should be met, stating that they knew the United States was working with a positive approach on the matter, but they had to get results as soon as possible.

    Gul said that they could not get any result in regard to sale of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Gul said that some steps have been taken regarding Turkey-U.S. economic relations, but there was need for more concrete progress.

    Diplomatic officials quoted Obama as saying on sale of UAVs that the issue was also on their agenda. But this was not something he could deal with alone, he said, adding, "There is Congress regarding sales."

    Obama said there was need to work together on the matter, stating that Turkish and U.S. teams would continue to work. Obama said that Turkey played constructive role in sessions of NATO summit meeting, thanking Turkey for its contribution.

    In addition, Turkish daily Sabah (22.05.12) reports that during the meeting he had with the US President, Gul reminding Turkey's demands on the Cyprus problem and Armenia he emphasized the necessity a solution to be found to these two problems.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.05.12) reports that Gul met with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel over a lunch ahead of the NATO summit meeting in Chicago.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu participated in the meeting which was held on the invitation of the German chancellor. The lunch was closed to news media.

    Turkish diplomatic sources close to the meeting, said that Merkel praised Turkey's economic performance and briefed Gul on a meeting of the G8 countries summit held on Saturday. Sources said Gul conveyed Turkey's expectations from the European Union to ease visa requirements on Turkish citizens.

    Sources also quoted Gul as telling Merkel that Turkey would not contact EU term presidency if Greek Cyprus assumed Union's rotating helm, but continue talks with the European Commission and other EU bodies.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (22.05.12) reports that Gul and his newly-elected French counterpart, Francois Hollande, have discussed ways to reset bilateral ties, "strained mainly because of previous French President Nicolas Sarkozy's firm opposition to Turkey's membership in the European Union", according to the paper.

    Hollande, who met with Gul on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Chicago, said relations with Turkey will not be a matter for internal politics during his term in office, Gul told a group of journalists accompanying him on his trip.

    Gul said during the meeting that Turkey and France have deep-rooted ties and that Turkey was willing to open "a new page with France," as Hollande said "past misunderstandings" should not be allowed to cast a shadow over relations.

    Gul underlined in the meeting that there has been no presidential visit from France in the past 20 years and asked if France has any interest in shunning Turkey. He said the Turkish authorities had reluctantly welcomed Sarkozy when he visited Ankara for only a few hours for a working visit within the G-20 framework out of respect for France.

    The two leaders have agreed to instruct their ministers to work on ways to expand bilateral ties.

    In addition to Hollande and Karzai, Gul also held bilateral talks with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, as well as his counterparts from Azerbaijan and FYROM.

    [03] Bagis on the "Positive agenda" issue

    According to the Turkish website www.ensonhaber.com (22.05.12), Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, in statements to a televised program as regards the "Positive Agenda" which was established with the EU, supported that with the "Positive Agenda" the EU Commission has come to the point that Turkey was supporting for years now.

    Underlining that Turkey's EU negotiation process is blocked because of several political obstacles, Bagis reminded that the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he referred to the Republic of Cyprus, which Turkey does not recognized, as he said, will overtake the EU term Presidency on July 1st.

    Commenting on the election of Hollande in France, Bagis said that he is hopeful that Mr. Hollande will not fall into the error that Sarkozy made and expressed the belief that Hollande will be mild with Turkey.

    (AK)

    [04] BKP wants the continuation of the Cyprus talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.05.12) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has said that the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem should continue without interruption. In a written statement issued yesterday, Izcan noted that the UN wants the continuation of the talks and works in this direction, but the process could collapse because of Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the fanatic chauvinistic circles in the Greek Cypriot side.

    Izcan pointed out that the AKP government in Turkey wants the negotiations to be interrupted using as pretext the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus which will start on 1 July 2012. He noted that Eroglu and the AKP seek for promoting their separatist targets and making non-solution permanent by showing as excuse the 1st of July.

    According to Izcan, the fact that Cyprus will overtake the EU term presidency was not something new and that Turkey had approved this process in 2003 when the Republic of Cyprus was given a date for joining the EU and Ankara was given a date for launching its accession negotiations with the Union. "Therefore, artificial tensions should not be created by showing this as pretext and the negotiations should continue after 1 July, from the point they were left in order for achieving a solution as soon as possible.

    Referring to the allegations published by the Turkish press that 20 thousand Israeli commandos will be sent to Cyprus, Izcan expressed the hope that this news is speculation and called on President Christofias to clarify the issue. Izcan said that BKP is against the presence of foreign troops and armaments in Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] One more protest by the Trade Union Platform

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (22.05.12) reports in its front page, that the Trade Union Platform organized yesterday afternoon a protest in front of the building of the "embassy of Turkey" in occupied Cyprus.

    According to the paper, the protesters were holding placards writing slogans such as: "Turkish Cypriots reject to be under Turkey's administration", "Sent for trial the plunderers and the thieves who lead the country to bankruptcy", "Respect the political will of the Turkish Cypriots".

    In statements during the protest, KTAMS trade union chairman Ahmet Kaptan, explained briefly the problems experienced in the "country" and accused the National Unity Party (UBP) for being incapable to take decisions.

    Kaptan further referred to the problems experienced by the workers at the occupied Lefkosia municipality and the fact that they are not paid for 83 days now. He said that they will continue their protest, every day at the same place, until Friday.

    (AK)

    [06] Efforts for football matches between teams from the occupied area of Cyprus and Kosovo

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.05.12) reports that Hasan Sertoglu, chairman of the so-called football federation of the breakaway regime, stated yesterday that they have agreed with the former general secretary of FIFA Jerome Champagne, to offer them advices in a very low price. Speaking at a press conference, Sertoglu noted that thanks to this development they will give importance to backstage activities towards FIFA.

    Sertoglu said that they want to exhaust their energy from now on to contacts abroad and to the junior/youth football teams. Noting that they have two matured projects, Sertoglu added: One of them is holding contacts with European sports newspapers which have the highest circulation and bringing representatives of these newspapers to the occupied area of Cyprus to brief them on the situation in the island. He gave as examples the Spanish Marca and the Italian Coriella Della Sport newspapers.

    Sertoglu said that the other project is their effort to arrange marches both in the occupied area of Cyprus and in Kosovo between, the champions and the cup holders of the two "countries".

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The occupation regime decided against constructing a fuel storage terminal in occupied Eptakomi village

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.05.12) broadcast that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk stated that the "government" of the breakaway regime had removed from its agenda the planned construction of a fuel storage terminal near occupied Eptakomi village.

    Kucuk, who was speaking at the "10th Annual Eptakomi Eco-Day", also said that the environmental impact report on the planned construction had stated that such a construction would have a negative impact on the environment.

    [08] The Turkish Prime Minister, the President and the Chief of the General Staff accused of crimes against humanity for Uludere

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.12) reports that Mahmut Tanal deputy of the Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey, has filed a criminal complaint against President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel over the botched air raid that killed 34 civilians in Uludere last year, claiming that they had committed a crime against humanity.

    Tanal, a member of Parliament's Human Rights Commission for the Republican People's Party (CHP), argued that the raid on Dec. 28, 2011 was launched deliberately, despite the fact that military officials were aware that the people seen in drone images were not members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, but smugglers.

    "All military commands are carried out in a chain. The chief of the General Staff is at the top of this chain and he takes consent from the prime minister. For this reason, the chief of the General Staff and the prime minister are responsible for this massacre. All allegations should be examined and those who are found guilty should be charged," Tanal said in his complaint, which he filed at an Ankara court.

    Noting that the President is the army's commander-in-chief under the constitution, Tanal claimed that Gul also bore responsibility for the strike. The U.S. officials who provided intelligence ahead of the raid, as well as Turkish military and civilian officials who supplied intelligence and issued the order for the raid should also be prosecuted, he said.

    [09] Turkey earns over 25 billion USD in tourism

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (21.05.12) reports that Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said that Turkey earned more than 25 billion USD from 30 million tourists it hosted in 2011.

    We hope to earn 50 billion USD by hosting 50 million tourists within the next ten years, Gunay told AA.

    Turkey is the 6th country in the world in the aspect of the number of tourists it hosts in 2011, said Gunay, adding that Turkey prepared a road map aiming to be among the top five countries.

    Gunay noted that more than 10 million out of the 30 million tourists visiting Turkey, preferred to stay in southern Antalya province which showed that Turkey was considered a country of sea, sand and sun tourism.

    This is not a bad thing, but tourism should be diversified in order to be sustainable, he said. Turkey he added had historical and archaeological beauties and rich natural resources and architectural potential.

    Gunay also said that Turkey earned 256 million Turkish lira from the tourists visiting the museums in the country in 2011.

    [10] Turkish Column Calls on the Turkish Government to open sea and air ports to vessels of the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title "Positive Agenda' from the EU Most Welcome", Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (21.05.12" publishes the following commentary by Sahin Alpay:

    "Francois Hollande's victory in the presidential elections in France was celebrated not only in Turkey in general but also among those who are in favour of Turkey's further integration with the European Union.

    That former President Nicolas Sarkozy argued that there was no place for Turkey in Europe and pursued a policy in line with that position had created considerable negative sentiment in Turkey.

    There is now hope that President Hollande, following the parliamentary elections next month, will lift the blockade on five chapters of the acquis Sarkozy had suspended (arguing they would lead towards full membership), and that term president Denmark will open talks with Turkey on at least one before July 1, when South Cyprus takes over the term presidency. As it stands, out of a total of 35 chapters to be negotiated in the accession talks, only 13 have so far been opened (with one provisionally closed), a total of 17 chapters are suspended by the European Council (in response to Turkey not extending the customs union to Cyprus), France and Cyprus, and none of the remaining chapters was opened during the last two years, bringing talks to a halt.

    Last Sunday the victory of German Social Democrats in North Rhine-Westphalia against Christian Democrats led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who together with Sarkozy was in favour of offering "privileged partnership" to Turkey, was also cause for celebration for the pro-Europeans in Turkey. In case the Social Democrats, who advocate full membership for Turkey when it fulfils the criteria, return to power with general elections to be held next year, a new page may open in EU-Turkey relations. It was the Social Democratic-Green coalition government in Germany which led the way to Turkey's candidacy in the EU in 1999.

    The European Commission, which, in contrast to most national governments, has a long-term perspective of the European integration, has been the most consistent advocate of Turkey's accession to the EU. An initiative dubbed "positive agenda" designed by the enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fule, last fall to overcome the blockage in accession talks, was launched last week in Ankara. The initiative aims at reviving the accession process by establishing eight working groups to work towards deepening cooperation in certain areas, including energy, visa liberalization, human rights, judicial reform, constitutional reform, trade ties, counterterrorism and foreign policy.

    Another remarkable event in the context of Turkey-EU relations last week, was the visit to Turkey of the leader of Germany's Liberal Democrats in a coalition government with the Christian Democrats. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, in a press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, said: "What is important is to seize the opportunity that emerged after the latest elections in Europe and restart EU-Turkey ties," leading Davutoglu to counter by saying, "What we all hope for is a positive acceleration of Turkey-EU relations following Mr. Hollande's election in France."

    Westerwelle, in a talk he gave at the 14th Kronberg conference held in Istanbul on May 15, highlighted Turkey's achievements in both economic and political fields during the recent years, and suggested initiatives to enhance not only bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany but also cooperation of the two in improving EU-Turkey relations and in foreign policy issues. Westerwelle's remarks seemed to be an indication of a favourable attitude, concerning relations with Turkey, growing among European political circles.

    What Helene Flautre, co-chair of the Joint EU-Turkey Committee in the European Parliament, wrote in an article published last week was also remarkable in this context. Flautre claimed that Le Monde's headline upon Hollande's victory, "Le changement, c'est maintenant" (Time for change) referred even to relations between France and Turkey. She strongly called on the new French government to support Turkey's accession process, and concluded with the following remarks: "I am now happy not only with the change in France, but also with watching Turkey trying to write a new constitution, confronting its history, trying to face up to incidents like Dersim and developing exciting political dynamics. And I do not know if there is any luckier political position in Brussels than being a French deputy responsible for policy on Turkey." (Today's Zaman, May 14, 2012).

    It seems that Turkey's friends in Europe, alarmed by the stalled talks with Turkey, are exerting efforts to help save relations from total derailment, even under such adverse conditions as the worsening economic crisis and ensuing rise in Islamophobia and Turcophobia in Europe. Ankara should reciprocate, and strengthen the hand of its friends in Europe. There is absolutely nothing to lose for Ankara by opening its sea and air ports to South Cyprus vessels. It can, on the contrary, benefit much from this." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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