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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-07-25
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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. 142/12 25.7.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Eroglu's office assesses the UN Security Council resolution for extending the mandate of UNFUCYPTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (25.07.12) reports that the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu issued a written statement yesterday assessing the Security Council resolution 2058/2012, which extended the mandate of the United Nations' Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus until 31 January 2013. The statement expressed the hope that the future of UNFICYP is discussed from the point of view of the needs regarding the Cyprus problem and not only of the needs of the Greek Cypriots. It argued that UNFICYP's function and relation with the process is further questioned by the fact that the resolution was not adopted unanimously.
The statement reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Turkish Cypriot side fulfilled the expectations of the UN Secretary-General regarding the negotiations process passing into its last stage and that the only reason for not having a result in the negotiations is the Greek Cypriot "lack of will".
The statement also argued that the agreement and the cooperation of the Turkish Cypriot side are also needed for the extension of UNFICYP and for the force to implement its task effectively. The statement adds that the Turkish Cypriots cannot accept the fact that the resolution notes that the mandate of UNFICYP was extended only having the approval of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
 Turkey to close all Syrian border gates - Turkey sends experts on chemical weapons to Syria borderAnkara Anatolia news agency (25.07.12) reports that all Turkey's border gates with Syria are to be closed from Wednesday, an official from the Turkish Customs and Trade Ministry told Reuters, in response to worsening security conditions.
Syrian rebels seized control of several gates on the Syrian side of the frontier over the last week in their 16-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
The closure will halt the passage of vehicles between Turkey and Syria. Thousands of refugees from Syria, who have been fleeing into Turkey to escape the conflict, cross the border through smuggling routes.
Tensions along the border were fuelled by the shooting down, last month, of a Turkish military reconnaissance jet by Syrian air defences.
Wednesday's move will close the only three border gates that were still open, at Cilvegozu, Oncupinar and Karkamis, the unnamed official said.
Crossing the border had become increasingly hazardous for truck drivers involved in trade between the two countries. They faced the constant risk of being targeted by combatants or caught in the crossfire between the two sides.
In addition, Dogan News Agency (25.07.12) reports that Turkey's military has sent teams specially trained in dealing with chemical weapons attacks to the Syrian border region after Syria warned that it could used such weapons against forces from outside the country, Turkish media reports said on Tuesday.
Dogan News Agency said the chemical weapons battalion, previously based in western Turkey, had been transferred to Konya in central Turkey two months ago and one group of the personnel had now gone to the Syrian border area.
The agency did not specify a source for the report and officials were not immediately available to comment on it. Other news outlets were also carrying the report.
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi acknowledged on Monday that the country had chemical weapons, saying it would not use them to crush rebels but could use them against forces from outside the country.
 "Ankara: Assad leaves Turkish border to Kurds"Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.07.12) reports the following:
"Ankara has furiously accused Syria's embattled government of turning over the area along their mutual border to affiliates of the PKK.
The Syrian administration has deliberately left the three districts on the Turkish border in northern Syria to the control of the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PYD), known as an affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), reliable Turkish sources have claimed. Ankara is concerned that the potential expansion of the Syrian Kurdish-controlled area in northern Syria could establish another front for the PKK in its attacks against Turkey.
'We are not concerned about the creation of a new Kurdish state," said Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, speaking to reporters after a meeting on the refugee camps for Syrians. Dismissing reports that the control of the entire northern area has passed to Kurdish groups, Atalay said "This is not true. Our foreign minister informed us about it. ? There was a minor flag issue in a little town,' he stated, referring to the raising of the PKK's flag in a small town just across the Turkish border last week.
'Damascus left the region to the PYD both to deploy its troops in the center of the country for its clashes with the Free Syrian Army and to intimidate Turkey," the sources told the Hurriyet Daily News.
'We are closely following developments, but they only control three districts. The situation should not be presented as if they control all of northern Syria."
With the escalation of clashes in Syria and the momentum given to the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA), Kurdish groups in Syria have also begun mobilizing to get the best position in the likely post-al-Assad period. In a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government leader Masoud Barzani, 16 different Kurdish groups have agreed to stand together as part of the Syrian Kurdish National Council.
However, the PYD has gained the control of three towns, including Kobane and Efrin in Aleppo and Amude in the city of al-Hasakah, on the Turkish border. There are also reports that the PYD and Syrian forces were in talks for Qamishli in northern Syria.
"Of course, we will closely monitor whether the PYD acts with other Kurdish groups or not," the sources said, without giving further details. Ankara fears that the deepening instability in Syria could push Syrian Kurds to declare an autonomous region in northern Syria on the Turkish border.
As part of the Turkish military's measures taken on the Syrian border, new troops have been transferred to the frontier from Nusaybin, a district of Sanl?urfa, in 200 civilian vehicles, Dogan news agency reported yesterday. The military had already deployed some surface-to-air missiles on the border after Turkey changed its rules of engagement after its jet was downed by Syria on June 22.
In related news, thousands of Syrian Kurdish soldiers trained by Barzani's forces in northern Iraq crossed the Syrian border yesterday, a day after the Iraqi Kurdish leader confirmed for the first time, the presence of a training camp in the Kurdish region of Iraq, in an interview with Al-Jazeera.
"A good number of the young Kurds who fled have been trained. We do not want to interfere directly in the situation, but they have been trained," he said. These soldiers were intended to be deployed in northern Syria to fill any "security vacuum" when the Syrian security forces retreat, he added.
Barzani said the fighting force, made up largely of Syrian Kurds who deserted the army and made their way across the border, would take its orders from a new high committee, formed two weeks ago when two major Kurdish opposition groups put aside their differences.
Ankara's concerns about the Kurdish mobilization were addressed during the July 23 meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Abdulbasid Seyda, head of the Syrian National Council (SNC).
Seyda, himself a Kurd, said the Kurdish groups were on the side of the revolution. "The Syrian regime has handed over the region to the PKK or the PYD. The Kurdish people are not on the side of these two groups, but on the side of the revolution," he said in a statement after his talks with Davutoglu. After being told that the PKK had raised its flag in the cities it controls, Seyda said that no flag other than that of the SNC was permitted to be raised. He said the Kurds were a natural part of the Syrian people and that the Kurdish problem could only be solved within the territorial integrity of their country.
Turkey's concerns with regard to Syria are not limited to the Kurds. As the end of al-Assad is looming, it is time to consider plans for a healthy political transition in Syria, officials said. "The victory of the Syrian people should not turn into chaos. We have to think over two processes from now on. The first one is the transition period immediately after the toppling of the regime, which will be followed by the political transition period," they said.
The victory of the opponents of the regime should not pave the way for future disagreements between different ethnic and religious groups, and the political transition process should be designed in such way as to not to revive old sectarian disputes. Instead, the transition should embrace all groups and should give political ground to each and every group to form their own political party and run in the elections, the Turkish officials said."
 Elcil says appropriating Cypriot land violates the international law and wonders whether the target is the establishment of a military baseTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (25.07.12) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), has criticized the fact that 5000 donums of land [Translator's note: a land measure of about 1000 square meters] in the area of occupied Agios Andronikos and Gialousa villages in Karpass peninsula have been given to the Technical University of Istanbul (ITU). In a statement issued yesterday, Elcil said that "appropriating land which belongs to Cypriots, whatever the excuse for this is, is tantamount to violating the international law". Elcil noted that they will carry the issue to the international field.
Elcil said that the land given to ITU is an example of the colonization policy, which the ruling in Ankara Justice and Development Party (AKP) implements in the occupied northern part of Cyprus. He pointed out that the total area occupied by the campuses of the above-mentioned university in Turkey is 50 donums and described as "thought-provoking" the fact that 5000 donums of land was granted to ITU in the occupied area of Cyprus. He argued that 100 universities of the same size could be built on 5000 donums of land.
Elcil expressed the view that other intentions should be searched behind granting 5000 donums of land for the establishment of a "Maritime Faculty" and wondered whether the target is the establishment of a military base.
 UBP's congress will be held in October instead of November; Reactions to AKP's interferenceTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (25.07.12) reports that National Unity Party's (UBP) congress, which was planned for 11 November this year, will be held on 7 October, more than one month earlier. The proposal for holding the congress earlier is expected to be discussed and approved within the party, on Friday. Sources close to "prime minister" and chairman of UBP, Irsen Kucuk told Haberdar that the reason for this decision is that they do not want the congress to prevent the discussions of the "budget" of the regime and to coincide with the hunting period. The same sources said that they do not want the congress to be on the agenda of the "country" for a long time and they want to finish it so that they could go on with the activities [of the self-styled government]. The source noted that Kucuk wanted the congress to be held even earlier than October.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.07.12) reports that sources, which oppose to Kucuk, said that the latter has chosen this way in order to weaken Ahmet Kasif's, his opponent for the presidency of the UBP, ability to maneuver and use Kasif's health problems in his favour. Kasif returned yesterday to the occupied area of Cyprus from Istanbul, where he was hospitalized due to heart problems.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (25.07.12) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) issued a statement yesterday, noting that officials of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) openly interfere in many issues in the occupied area of Cyprus, including the UBP's congress. Cakici said that TDP rejects these interferences regardless whom or where they come from. Cakici recalled that the person who will be elected chairman of the UBP will also became "prime minister" of the breakaway regime, and noted that this person will be forced to administrate the "country" with instructions from those who will put him to that post. Cakici accused Kucuk of defending the interferences by Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (25.07.12) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) commented yesterday the news in the press regarding interferences by AKP in the developments prior to UBP's congress. Denktas told Volkan that this kind of interferences harm "democracy" and recalled that in year 2006 the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) invited the AKP to interfere and thus the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) was established by some "MPs" from the DP and the UBP in order to substitute the DP in the "coalition government' with the CTP.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (25.07.120 publishes statements by DP's general secretary Bangu Sonya, who said that any interference in the "TRNC's democracy" is unacceptable, including interference that comes from "motherland" Turkey.
 Statements by Kilic from London: "Turkish Cypriot youth have the same rights with Greek Cypriot youth to participate to international sport organizations"Under the front page title: "Give this chance", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (25.07.12) reports on statements by Turkey's Youth and Sport Minister, Suat Kilic who has said that the "youth" in the "north" have the same rights as the "youth" in the "south" to participate to the Olympic games and other international organizations.
Kilic made the above statements upon his arrival to London Heathrow Airport, where he went in order to participate to the inauguration ceremony of the UK 2012 Olympic Games.
Asked to comment to the fact that the Turkish Cypriot will not participate to the UK 2012 Olympic Games, Kilic said that this is very distressing and wrong.
Underlining the need for the lifting of the so-called embargoes in the "TRNC", Kilic said that the Turkish Cypriot youth should be able to use their rights to participate to international sport organizations. "Sports means friendship and thus, in this sense, the youth in the north have the same rights with the youth in the south to participate to all international organizations. Do not begrudged this opportunity from them".
The paper writes that the so-called minister of transportation and communication Ersan Saner was among those who travelled with the same airplane, together with the Turkish delegation (team) to London.
 Ustel says 72 thousand tourists were carried to the occupied area of Cyprus with chartered flights in six monthsTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (25.07.12) reports that Unal Ustel, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, has said that during the 15 months of his duty at the "ministry", they exerted great efforts for the development of tourism and within this framework they launched scheduled flights from Iran to the occupied area of Cyprus. In statements yesterday Ustel said that Atlas Jet Company has started flights once a week to Iran through Gaziantep and added that as of August these flights will be increased to twice a week.
Ustel said that scheduled flights to the occupied area of Cyprus are held from Lebanon as well and pointed out that they had also chartered flights from the Netherlands, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Britain, Italy, Slovenia, Iran and the Czech Republic. This year, he noted, charted flights from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) also started. He noted that 72.247 tourists were carried to the occupied area of Cyprus with 162 chartered flights within the period January-June this year.
Ustel said that the number of tourists who were hosted in the hotels in the occupied area of Cyprus reached 303.909 within the period January-June 2012, that the foreign tourists increased by 19.8% this year and that the number of the tourists from Turkey increased by 17% in 2011 and by 20.9% this year.
Ustel noted that they participated in fourteen tourism fairs in the period 2011-2012 and added that this year they participated for the first time in the fairs in Moscow, Kiev, Scandinavia and FYROM. He went on thanking Turkish Minister of Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay and his team for their big support.
 Turkey's MUSIAD opened a representation office in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.07.12) reports that the Independent Industrial and Businessmen's Association, (MUSIAD), which is an association (NGO) with representation office in every country of the world, and with 5000 members, has opened a "representation office" at the "TRNC". MUSIAD: [Translator's Note: MUSIAD is an Islamist association].
Speaking to the paper, MUSIAD's representative in occupied Cyprus, Okyay Sadikoglu explained the goals of MUSIAD for the "TRNC" and said that MUSIAD will be the bridge between the Turkish Cypriot businessmen and the global market. Sadikoglu explained further that thought the contacts of the members of MUSIAD in the near future, the products which are produced in the "TRNC" will be brought to the global market.
Sadikoglu explained also that MUSIAD will contribute a lot to the economy of the "country" and underlined that the market problem which is experienced by the Turkish Cypriot businessmen, will be overcome soon.
According to Sadikoglu, MUSIAD will also contribute to the tourism sector and the "universities".
Speaking about the general goals of MUSIAD in occupied Cyprus, Sadikoglu said that these are in general, the development of the "community" and the "country".
 Twelve persons, including a so-called police officer, under arrest for illegal excavations at the occupied Trikomo villageUnder the front-page title: "12 under arrest", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.07.12) reports that the so-called police has taken into custody 12 persons, including one "police officer at the illegal Tymbou airport" with charges of involving at illegal organized excavations at the area of the Long Beach Forest at occupied Trikomo village.
According to the paper, the so-called police investigated the place of excavations the day before yesterday and found out and seized several elements such as generators, drilling machines, dipper and other. The paper writes that that at the excavation place, a part of a water jug which belongs to the Iron Period was found out.
Also, after an investigation at the house of one of the arrested persons, Hasan Karamanoglu, the so-called police seized a sensor, a sword, a wedges, and jugs.
The arrested persons were taken into custody after a decision court for three days.
 Victoria Hislop visited the so-called prime minister KucukTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.07.12) reports that the English author of the famous bestselling book, "The Island", Victoria Hislop has paid a visit yesterday to the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk.
According to the paper, the British author presented to Kucuk her book being translated into Turkish.
 Turkish daily reports that Netanyahu wants to restore relations with TurkeyTurkish Daily Today's Zaman newspaper (24.07.12) reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has maintained that Turkey and Israel are looking for ways to normalize political relations, saying, "We want to restore relations with Turkey."
Speaking to a group of Turkish journalists in Jerusalem, he added: "In a region where instability reigns, Israel and Turkey are two quite stable countries. I believe in [our] common interest." Netanyahu went on to say, drawing attention to the fact that Turks and Jews have a long history.
According to the paper, as the crisis in Syria aggravates and instability in the region looms, Israel has started to send warm messages, the first of which came from Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman last week, to Turkey in an effort to mend significantly damaged diplomatic relations. Relations between the two countries have been strained since 2010, when Israeli troops killed nine civilians of Turkish origin during a raid of the Mavi Marmara vessel in international waters as it headed to the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid supplies. Noting that restoring the once-excellent political relations is of great importance for the two countries, and the region, Netanyahu said, "Both countries should look for opportunities to achieve that."
As it was the case for Lieberman, the Israeli Prime Minister also spoke to the Turkish press for the first time after the Mavi Marmara raid. And it's also the first time, as noted by Israeli authorities, that the two politicians have spoken to the same group of journalists. "And it's the Turkish press. That should have significance," the same authorities commented.
As another indication of the importance Israel attaches to restoring political relations with Turkey, Netanyahu received Turkish journalists in the same room where Israel's National Security Cabinet meets. And in the back, behind Netanyahu both Israeli and Turkish flags stood. A high-level Israeli official's comment on the present situation in the region was revealing as to why Israel finds it necessary to mend ties with Turkey: "Now that the circumstances and interests have changed, we need to get positioned accordingly."
It was also noteworthy that the high-level official noted that politics and public opinion are two volatile things. Speaking on the necessity of cooperation between Turkey and Israel, the official, who requested to remain anonymous, added: "The elements of the national interest are political will, public opinion and the changing circumstances. In our region, swift changes have been taking place. Circumstances may lead you to the national interest, and the national interest forms the will."
According to the high-level official, the two countries have been trying to find a magical formula to mend the bilateral ties, but the efforts remain fruitless. Noting that they are open to proposals from third parties regarding the magical formula, "The formula needs to not only appeal to both countries but it should also not harm the dignity of either country," the official remarked. The Israeli official repeated their standard version of the Mavi Marmara incident, maintaining that the incident also led to trauma in Israel, but he is of the opinion that it is important for the two countries to get over the trauma at this point. "Have a look at the developments in the region and you will see Israel and Turkey have common interests," he noted.
Answering a question about when Turkey and Israel would restart negotiations, he said: "Negotiations with Turkey have never been cut off. We still have open channels." The official also implied that the two countries continue to share intelligence through the US. Noting that both Turkey and Israel have close ties with the US, and both countries share important information with the US, he said, "We share our concerns about chemical weapons which may get into the hands of illegitimate groups."
Diplomatic relations have significantly developed in the last couple of years between Israel, Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, a fact which seems to coincide with the deterioration of relations between Turkey and Israel. But Benjamin Netanyahu maintains that this has nothing to do with the deteriorating relations with Turkey, noting that the seed for good ties between Greece and Israel was sown four months before the Mavi Marmara incident took place. "For many years we had only diplomatic relations with Greece, and with Cyprus the relationship was only at consular level", he stated.
In addition, Turkish Daily Today's Zaman newspaper (24.07.12) also reports that a Turkish Foreign Ministry official has told Today's Zaman there has been no change in Turkey's attitude regarding the tragic Mavi Marmara incident, saying "Turkey demands an apology and reparations" for the families of the activists who were brutally killed by Israeli troops on the Mavi Marmara ship.
His words came in response to statements by Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman that appeared in Today's Zaman on Monday that Israel is ready to discuss with Turkey the issue of an apology for the Mavi Marmara incident, the Israeli raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that resulted in the deaths of nine Turks. Speaking to Turkish journalists in Jerusalem, Lieberman said, though noting he personally saw no reason for an apology over the incident, that the Israeli side would only be willing to take up the issue of an apology in a discussion package -- that is, along with "many [other] issues such as the Iranian problem, the Gaza Strip [and Turkish] support for Hamas." Speaking as to why the two countries should cooperate, he said: "I think there are many more common interests between the two countries than the contradictions. Maybe today that is clearer, considering the Syrian issue." He added that maintaining the present state of affairs does not offer Turkey any advantages either.
 OIC to hold 4th Extra-ordinary Session of Islamic Summit Conference on August 14-15Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.07.12) reports that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold the Fourth Extra-ordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Mecca between 14 and 15 August, 2012.
Member countries' presidents will gather at an invitation by Saudi Arabia's King Abdallah bin Abd al-aziz Al Saud.
King Abdallah bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud will examine the situation in many countries of the Islamic world, address the sources of discord and division therein, reunify the Islamic Ummah and promote Islamic solidarity.
The Fourth Islamic Summit will be preceded by two meetings, the first at the level of foreign ministers to prepare for the Summit and the second at the level of senior officials to prepare for the ministerial meeting.
 Turkish Military reportedly started transformation into professional forceTurkish Daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.07.12) reports that in line with an action plan drafted by the ruling Justice and the Development Party (AKP) government, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has begun its transformation to a professional force, rather than a conscripted one.
Since July 2011, 35,877 people have applied to the TSK to join the army as professional soldiers, according to figures provided by Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz. Of these, 1,388 have so far been trained and sent to border units, Yilmaz said. Yilmaz's explanation came as a written response to an official request from Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) Hakkari deputy Adil Kurt for information about practices underway to create a professional army.
Professional soldiers have been contracted in three phases, Yilmaz said in his response, without elaborating on the dates of these phases. In the first phase, 17,827 people applied to the army, of whom 3,038 were tested. Of those, 1,992 passed the tests, and eventually 503 of this group were employed as professional soldiers. In the second phase, 453 people were hired, and in the third phase, 432 were hired, Yilmaz said.
Applications are still being reviewed, and candidates are still undergoing physical examinations and security investigations, the minister said. Hiring will also continue gradually, according to the results of the personnel examinations and background checks, he said.
"The contracted soldiers are being employed at border units within internal security zones, in line with the TSK's needs," Yilmaz said.
No soldiers among the 1,388 professional soldiers hired so far have died in service, Yilmaz said, while adding that 41 soldiers (commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers) died in service between Sept. 3, 2011 and June 26, 2012.
The minister didn't specify the terms of the contracts under which the current 1,388 professional soldiers are employed.
According to a law adopted by Parliament in March 2011, candidates to become professional soldiers first sign a pre-contract agreement in order to receive military training. Those who successfully graduate from training are supposed to then sign a contract for at least a three-year, and no longer than a four-year, term of employment. Consecutive contract agreements for those who have already been employed, will pave the way to extend this term from one year up to three years. Contracted soldiers will serve for a maximum of 10 years in total.
One of Kurt's questions, concerning rumours that "according to agreements, the TSK will not inform the public of the professional soldiers' deaths if they are killed while serving," was not addressed in Yilmaz's response. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION