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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-07-03
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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. 126/12 3.7.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Eroglu assesses the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidencyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has described as a "historic mistake" the fact that the Republic of Cyprus overtook the EU term presidency. In a written statement issued yesterday, Eroglu called on the EU to be "fair and equal" for Cyprus. Referring to Cyprus's EU term presidency, Eroglu alleged that "this will pass into Cyprus's and EU's history as a new and historic mistake".
Eroglu reiterated the Turkish view that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots continues in spite of their "yes" vote in the referendum for the Annan Plan and described as "serious mistake" the accession of the "Greek Cypriots", as he described the accession of Cyprus into the EU, in spite of the fact that they rejected the plan. He alleged: "With the overtaking of the EU term presidency by the Greek Cypriot administration another mistake is added to this and the rules of democracy, human rights and justice are ignored. By doing this, the EU is once more backing the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side which is known by everyone".
Moreover, Eroglu claimed that the Greek Cypriots do not want to share their political power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots and accused the EU of contributing to the decrease of the possibility for an agreement in Cyprus, of strengthening the status quo and of damaging the hopes for an agreement.
 Bozer argues that the Turkish side does not intent to create tension during the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidencyTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Hasan Bozer, self-styled speaker of the illegal assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied are of Cyprus, has argued that the Turkish side does not intent to create tension during the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency. In statements yesterday during a meeting with diplomatic correspondents from Turkey, Bozer alleged that the little hope for finding a solution in Cyprus disappeared, because of "the intention of the Greek Cypriot side to unilaterally use the natural resources in Eastern Mediterranean".
Bozer expressed his satisfaction with the visit of the Turkish journalists to the occupied area of Cyprus and added that the Turkish Cypriots have been wondering whether the Turkish press had forgotten them. He then recalled "the very important role" of the Turkish press in the "Turkish Cypriot people's struggle for existence and freedom".
Bozer alleged that "the hot developments" experienced after the existence of natural resources became definite led Eastern Mediterranean "to political developments and a point where conflicts are expected".
Bozer claimed that the Turkish Cypriots, as equal political partners of the Republic of Cyprus which was established in 1960, are equal partners of all natural wealth on the island and in its surrounding area. He said that they feel the need to further use the power of the press during such an important period.
Describing the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus as "the last point of the injustice", Bozer argued that they do not intent to create any tension during this term presidency and they also do not think of recognizing it.
 Ozgurgun alleges that a negative period started in the Cyprus problem with the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidencyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime, has alleged that a negative period started in the Cyprus problem with the overtaking of the EU term presidency by the Republic of Cyprus.
In statements to illegal Bayrak, Ozgurgun argued yesterday that the next ten months will be a stagnant period for the Cyprus problem and alleged: "In April ? May a new process will start. That is, this is the point on which 1st of July will create the biggest problem. Together with this, a period during which the EU will be seriously questioned will be experienced".
Ozgurgun claimed also that the statement made by an advisor of German Chancellor Merkel, who referring to the Cypriot EU term presidency described it as handing over a warehouse with sausages to a dog, shows that the EU started to question itself. He argued that this statement was a warning to the Greek Cypriots that they could not use everything in the EU to cause harm and they could not do whatever they want.
 Akansoy describes as "bitter reality" the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidencyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Asim Akansoy, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has described as bitter reality "the fact that south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, has "unilaterally overtaken" the EU term presidency. In statements during a television program, Akansoy assessed his contacts in London, which he visited to contribute in the activities of CTP's organization there.
Referring to the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, Akansoy described it as "bitter reality" and argued that "the Turkish Cypriots should use Turkey's broad diplomatic network in order for not being further victimized".
He added: "Turkey has a lobby for increasing the practicability of the Green Line Regulation. This is not used well by our government".
Akansoy expressed also the view that Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu should sit again at the negotiating table and defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. He noted that there are actually no negotiations now and argued that it is not possible to find a comprehensive solution to the problem only by discussing confidence building measures.
Referring to the activity held recently in Brussels by some Turkish Cypriot organizations, Akansoy said that there was no need to hold an activity in the streets dressed like ghosts. "The Turkish Cypriots are not a community which is ignored", he noted adding that "what we expect is to secure gains, not to make a show". He argued that this activity, which was without a plan and a program, harmed the image of the Turkish Cypriots. He expressed the view that it was beneficial but it did not create awareness.
"Since we have money, it should be used for other purposes in a planned manner. We should speak the language which the Europeans understand", he concluded.
 Izcan: Cyprus EU Presidency should be used as a vehicle for an early solution for the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Izzet Izcan, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) commenting on the undertaking of EU Presidency by the Republic of Cyprus, stated that it should be used as a vehicle for an early solution for the Cyprus problem.
Izcan, who issued a written statement, also said that the Cyprus negotiations must continue during the next six months where Cyprus will act as EU President and that the confidence building measures should also continue during this period.
 Self-styled minister of economy called on the Republic of Cyprus to expand the scope of the Green Line RegulationIllegal Bayrak television (02.07.12) broadcast that the self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun speaking on the TRT News Channel, called on the Republic of Cyprus to approve the EU's Direct Trade Regulation and to expand the scope of the Green Line Regulation. Atun alleged the following: "The unjust embargoes imposed on the TRNC had a negative impact on the social and economic lives of the Cyprus Turkish people".
Answering questions about the financial crisis experienced by the Greek Cypriots, Atun stressed the need for economic cooperation between the two sides on the island, adding that such cooperation would reveal the economic potential of the island as well as the region.
He also said that the occupation regime is a "country" with a growing economy despite the "embargoes and hardships" it faced. Commenting on the Republic of Cyprus which took over the EU term presidency; Atun said that it was an opportunity to ratify the EU's Direct Trade Regulation and to help expand the scope of the Green Line Regulation for the Cyprus Turkish people.
 Turkey's Finance Minister on the Republic of Cyprus' EU presidencyTurkish daily Aksam (03.07.12) reports that Turkey's Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek in statements to Ankara Anatolia news agency, referred to the Republic of Cyprus EU presidency and stated once more that Turkey's policy towards this issue is clear. He said that during this period, Turkey will continue to make reforms; he however said that they will not proceed to any dialogue with the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus.
 Elcil stated that efforts are exerted by the AKP government to implement in occupied Cyprus the right direction of drivingTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika (03.07.12) reports on statements by the general secretary of KTOS trade union Sener Elcil, who in a written statement yesterday said that in the framework of the integration and assimilation policies followed by Turkey to occupied Cyprus, an action plan under the name "traffic action plan" has been prepared for the traffic stream in occupied Cyprus in order to pass from the left direction of driving to the right, as it is in Turkey.
In statements on the issue, Elcil said that the traffic issue has been discussed in a meeting on April 17 during which the so-called Turkish ambassador was also present. He further said that the efforts which are exerted to change the traffic stream of the occupation regime are under the name "Traffic action plan", and added that it is a part of the efforts of Turkey to implement its assimilation and separatist policy, by using the traffic issue as an excuse. Elcil continued and wondered in which other independent "country", an ambassador can interfere even to issues related to traffic.
Elcil went on and asked from the "officials" of the so-called UBP government to make a statement on the issue in order to inform the public opinion.
 The occupation regime destroyed the Greek Cypriot cemetery in occupied Trachoni in order to built a police stationUnder the front-page title: "They flattened the Greek Cypriot cemetery in Trachoni", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (03.07.12) reports that the occupation regime has flattened the Greek Cypriot cemetery in occupied Trachoni village in order to built a police station.
Writing in his daily column in the paper, columnist Sener Levent criticized the flattening of the cemetery and writes that the gravestones where transferred to another place. He further asks an explanation for the issue.
 Kurdish defence crisis marks first hearing of Kurdistan Communities Union trialTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (03.07.12) reports that the first hearing in the trial of 205 suspects facing charges of membership in or aiding and abetting the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) -- an umbrella organization encompassing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and related organizations -- began on Monday but was halted when several suspects responded in the Kurdish language during an ID check in court.
The hearing in the KCK case started at 10 a.m. on Monday with the attendance of 193 suspects, 132 of whom have been jailed pending trial. The suspects include publisher Rag?p Zarakolu and Professor Busra Ersanli, and all face lengthy prison terms on charges of leading and aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.
The suspects were first asked to provide personal details for identification purposes. After suspects Kudbettin Yazbasi and Mumtaz Aydeniz answered Judge Ali Alcik's questions in Kurdish, the judge said the suspects could not be identified as they "have spoken in a language that is not Turkish." Lawyers for the suspects insisted that their clients wanted to defend themselves in Kurdish and that therefore a translator should be assigned by the court.
The hearing ended when the ID check process was halted. After the judges reviewed the lawyers' demands amongst themselves, the presiding judge announced that the requests had been denied.
Meral Danis Bestas, lawyer for several suspects, argued lack of jurisdiction of the court, stating that the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and its political activities are the real target of the trial.
The Istanbul 15th High Criminal Court is hearing proceedings, involving more than 200 suspects, 140 of them jailed pending trial. The hearing began on Monday, while security forces implemented increased security measures around the Salivary Courthouse.
BDP deputies Gulten Kisanak, Ayla Akat Ata, Ertugrul Kurkcu, Sebahat Tuncel, Sirri Surreyya Onder, Pervin Buldan and Levent Tuzel, as well as Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Binnaz Toprak, attended the hearing to follow the trial.
In front of the court, Kisanak addressed members of the press, saying a new bill abolishing specially authorized courts through a review of Articles 250, 251 and 252 of the Turkish Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK) did not introduce many changes and vehemently criticized the government.
Presiding judge Alcik announced that the hearing would begin following checks of the personal information for the purposes of identification of the 140 jailed suspects. Alcik read the name of Kudbettin Yazbasi and asked him to stand up. Yazbasi, speaking with the aid of a microphone, said the word "present" in Kurdish. The chief judge read Yazbas?'s personal information aloud, including the names of his parents, and asked whether they were true and correct. Yazbasi again responded in Kurdish.
At this, Alcik said, "It seems that a language other than Turkish was used and the microphone was taken away from the suspect."
Lawyer Sinan Zincir said his client had spoken in his mother tongue. He demanded the court should continue to check personal information regardless of whether his client spoke in Kurdish.
Following Yazbasi, the court went on to confirm the personal information of another jailed suspect, Mumtaz Aydeniz. Aydeniz also responded in Kurdish to questions from chief judge Alcik. The ID check was halted upon the suspect's insistence on speaking Kurdish.
"The suspects speak in their mother tongue, Kurdish. You cannot treat a language that is spoken by 20 million people in this country as an unknown language. If you did that, you would become a part of this case and lose your neutral position," lawyer Mein Aktar told the presiding judge.
In response to Aktar, presiding judge Alcik said: "I didn't say it was an unknown language, I said the suspects spoke a language that is not Turkish. Don't employ polemics. Suspect must speak Turkish so as to be understood."
Bestas claimed that the BDP and its political activities were the real target of the investigation and gave information about bylaws of the BDP. She said the BDP is not an illegal party and does not engage in secret activities; rather, it is a legal political party involved in democratic activities within the scope of the law.
She said most of the activities the subject of charges levelled against suspects could be considered the activities of a political party, and that therefore a new investigation should be launched by Yarg?tay to establish whether the BDP is also being investigated. If so, she asked, the case must be dropped.
 Turkey's economic growth slows to 3.2% in the first quarter of 2012Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (03.07.12) reports that Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed down to a still-strong 3.2 percent in the quarter ending in March, signalling that the national economy is experiencing a soft landing following more than two years of speedy expansion.
The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) announced quarterly economic growth figures Monday. Its data proved a hard landing -- an immediate stop of economic growth coupled with high inflation -- scenario is far from a reality in the country. "We can speak of an expected and also a desired deceleration here," said Sengul Dagdeviren, chief economist for Dutch bank ING's operations in Turkey.
The 3.2% economic growth attained in the January-March period was the lowest rate Turkey saw in a quarter since the final quarter in 2009, when its economy started rebounding from the immediate impact of the global financial crisis. Yet it stands solid enough at a time when the EU, its main trading partner, anticipates poor growth, if not none at all, this year.
The Turkish economy grew by nearly 7% on average each year for the six years between 2002 and 2008 but could not remain unaffected when financial turmoil with global consequences erupted with the mortgage crisis in the US. Turkey's economic growth ground to a halt in 2008, only to be replaced by a contraction of some 5 percent for the whole year in 2009. Quickly weathering the storm thanks to its robust financial sector and powerful domestic market, however, it started posting high growth rates in last three months of the year. The national GDP expanded by some 9 percent in 2010 and by another 8.5 percent last year. Accompanying such profound economic growth were a widening current account deficit (CAD) and two-digit consumer inflation, which led some observers to discuss a hard landing as a scenario for the Turkish economy in 2012.
The announcement of 3.2 percent rate of economic growth for the first quarter added to the good news related to the CAD and inflation, both of which seem to have been tamed by appropriate fiscal and monetary policies. According to the Central Bank of Turkey, the country's CAD dropped by more than a quarter to $21 billion in the first four months of 2012, compared to nearly $30 billion during the same period in 2011. The figures led Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan to pronounce the CAD issue dead. "We told you we were going to beat the CAD in Turkey. The data show that this issue is over," he told a press conference in Istanbul on June 11.
Turkey's main trading partner is the EU, but its commercial links elsewhere have substantially improved, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. But because its economy is highly dependent on foreign supplies in the area of energy, any appreciation of the dollar against the euro, which also pushes down the value of the Turkish lira against the greenback, increases its energy bill. It also causes the national economy to produce a larger foreign trade (FT) deficit. With improving terms of trade, however, the Turkish FT deficit dropped by about one-fifth, to $27 billion, this year, from $33.75 billion in the same period last year.
Likewise, according to TurkStat, consumer inflation declined to 8.2 percent from 11.1 percent in April, hitting the single-digit level for the first time since December of last year. Downward trends in international oil and gold prices as well as durable consumer goods have contributed to this sudden decline.
The 3.2 percent economic growth for the first quarter, however, put the government in a difficult spot as it wants to make Turkey one of the 10 largest economies in the world by 2023, the centennial of the foundation of the modern republic. Turkey is now the world's 16th-largest economy, with a $770 billion GDP at the end of last year.
The government foresees a 4 percent rate of economic growth for the whole year in 2012 and a 5 percent rate for the next and the following years in its Medium-Term Economic Program (OVP). Starting this year, a 5 percent rate of economic growth per year on average will bring Turkey's GDP up to just over $1.3 trillion by the beginning of 2023. Even with such a performance, Ankara's goal will be a long shot since Canada, the world's 10th largest economy today, had a GDP of some $1.73 trillion at the end of last year. To reach a total GDP of, say, some $2 trillion -- which would put the country on a better footing to meet the 2023 goal -- by its 100th anniversary, the Turkish economy grow by around 9 percent every year for 11 years from this year on. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION