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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-08-07

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. 151/12 7.8.12

  • [01] Bulutoglulari returns to his duties at the occupied Lefkosia municipality
  • [02] BKP: Eroglu blew up the negotiating process with his intransigent and separatist policies
  • [03] Turkish government will reveal the identities of businesspeople that hold large sums of non-taxable funds in Swiss banks
  • [04] Chairman of "martyrs families society" said that he does not want to live with Greek Cypriots
  • [05] Young members of TMT decided to join the "TMT Fighters Association"
  • [06] Tore supports Kasif's candidacy for UBP's leadership
  • [07] Church in occupied Famagusta is used as toilet
  • [08] Agreement between illegal GAU and Kazakhstan British Technical University
  • [09] Erdogan stated that Turkey will continue staging operations wherever it is needed
  • [10] "Seven zones declared forbidden in Hakkari"
  • [11] Ecumenical Patriarchate cleric says hopeful over reopening of Halki Seminary
  • [12] Alevis angered by PM's "freak" remark for their house of worship

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Bulutoglulari returns to his duties at the occupied Lefkosia municipality

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.08.12) reports that the "constitutional court" of the breakaway regime has sent the "mayor" of occupied Lefkosia municipality, Cemal Bulutoglulari back to his duties. The "court" decided yesterday that the "decree in the power of law", which had been adopted by the self-styled government providing for Bulutoglulari's and the members of the "municipal council's" taking a 90-day obligatory leave, was contrary to the "constitution".

    Under the title "The decision of the government is invalid", the paper writes that the "court" examined the issue after separate applications filed by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP).

    In statements after the decision, CTP's chairman Ozkan Yorgancioglu said that this is one of the many times that the National Unity Party (UBP) "government" violated the "constitution". He argued that the UBP "government" and "mayor" Bulutoglulari should resign and "pave the way of the community".

    TDP's general secretary, Cemal Ozyigit said that a "shame of democracy" was prevented with the decision of the "court" and described UBP's decision as "attempt for a civilian coup". He argued that the UBP has no "legitimate majority" in the "parliament" and therefore repetition of the "parliamentary elections" is inevitable.

    Evaluating the decision of the "court", self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk argued that as "government" they have carried out their duty and stopped the chaos which existed when their "decree" was issued. He noted that now the duty of not returning back to the situation which existed 3-4 months ago belongs to Bulutoglulari and the members of the "municipal council".

    Commenting on the decision of the "court", Bulutoglulari argued that "justice has been done" and added that they will continue their way from the point they had left it.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.08.12) refers to the decision of the "court" under the title "It was magnificent" and reports that it was obvious from the very beginning that this would happen. The paper argues that the "government" had taken the decision to adopt the "decree" knowing that it was contrary to the "constitution" and that now it is understood why Irsen Kucuk had stated that the return of Cemal Bulutoglulari to his post would be "magnificent".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] BKP: Eroglu blew up the negotiating process with his intransigent and separatist policies

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.08.12) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), issued a statement yesterday, describing as "unacceptable" the ending of the negotiations for finding a comprehensive solution in Cyprus and expressing the view that the negotiating process should recommence from the point it is left with the target of finding an early solution.

    Izcan said that the negotiating process collapsed and that Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu "blew up the negotiating process with the intransigent and separatist policies" he follows since he came on duty. Izcan accused Eroglu of trying to drag the Turkish Cypriots into new adventures and impasses with his policies in favour of division and recognition.

    Izcan argued that the separatist policies of Eroglu and of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in Ankara "are nourishing the anti-solution, nationalist and chauvinistic circles" in the Greek Cypriot side. He expressed the view that pro-status quo circles in both sides and foreign powers are playing a dirty game to make the non-solution and division in Cyprus permanent.

    Izcan noted that the progressive Turkish and Greek Cypriot forces should carry out joint struggle for an early federal solution. He said that with the congress of the National Unity Party and other "artificial agendas" efforts are exerted to distract attention from the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish government will reveal the identities of businesspeople that hold large sums of non-taxable funds in Swiss banks

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (07.08.12) reports that the Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek has said the Turkish government will reveal the identities of businesspeople who hold large sums of non-taxable funds in Swiss banks when an agreement to exchange tax information between the two countries takes effect in 2013.

    Turkish companies and businesspeople who hold large amounts of non-taxable funds in Swiss banks, will soon feel the heat of the spotlight as the government gets set to publicly release their names in 2013.

    Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek explained the latest developments in an interview with the Sabah daily on Monday. The amount of money kept in offshore bank accounts by Turkey's wealthiest individuals and businesses is worth $158 billion, says a report by the UK-based financial transparency group Tax Justice Network. The amount is around 1.5 times the total foreign exchange reserves Turkey holds at home. Observers argue offshore banking remains an epidemic that Turkey must contend with.

    Turkey and Switzerland signed an agreement in June 2010 to exchange tax information between the two countries. The agreement with Switzerland enables Turkey's Finance Ministry to access information about Turkish citizens' accounts in Swiss banks in a bid to combat tax evasion. As a centre for secret accounts, Switzerland's information exchange with Turkey also allows the latter to identify Turkish citizens who have previously transferred their money from Swiss banks to other tax havens.

    Determined to crack down on off-shoring in recent years, Ankara has signed various financial information exchange agreements with other known as tax havens, including the UK's Channel Islands, Bermuda and the island of Guernsey, which has allowed Ankara to track and tax some of the revenue earned in Turkey but later moved outside. The countries are known as tax havens due to the minimal or nonexistent taxation that they offer.

    Simsek was also asked about recent allegations that Turkish private bank Garanti was involved in money laundering. Earlier reports claimed that Mahmut Kamis Garanti's branch manager in occupied Lefkosia, attempted to transfer TL 7 million in cash from the bank's headquarters in Istanbul to offshore islands, but was later arrested. Self-styled finance minister Ersin Tatar commented on the allegations saying, "We are wary of some Turkish private banks using the country as a hub for illegal money transfers to safe havens." In response to the issue raised by Ersin, Simsek said, "This is a crime in any part of the world, and we are taking the necessary measures."

    In addition, commenting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (07.08.12) reports that following the Garanti bank scandal, the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) of Turkey decided to conduct close scrutiny to offshore banks and branches in the breakaway regime. The paper further reports that the Garanti bank scandal brought to the surface that the occupation regime is money laundering place and a tax free paradise.

    [04] Chairman of "martyrs' families' society" said that he does not want to live with Greek Cypriots

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.08.12) broadcast that the self-styled Ersin Tatar paid a visit to the "Society of martyr's families and disabled war veterans".

    During the visit Tatar alleged: "The martyrs did not die for nothing, we have gained a state and we now live in liberty". He added that the existence of the "TRNC" as he called the breakaway regime "is a reality that is slowly being accepted by the world".

    He also alleged that it is "their duty to improve the economy and the structure of the state in order to leave a strong state" and asserted: "TRNC was born from the ashes of martyrs.

    On his part, the chairman of "society of martyr's families and disabled war veterans", Ertan Ersan alleged the following: "The society wants the perpetuation of the TRNC and never wants to live together with the Greek Cypriots".

    [05] Young members of TMT decided to join the "TMT Fighters Association"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.08.12) reports that the young members of TMT decided to join the "TMT Fighters Association".

    According to the paper, the young members of TMT explained in a press briefing the aim of their decision stating that their goal is to strengthen the TRNC as they called the breakaway regime so that its sovereignty to continue to exist.

    [06] Tore supports Kasif's candidacy for UBP's leadership

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (07.08.12) reports about the crisis within the National Unity Party (UBP) which is holding its election congress in October 21 continues.

    The paper, which reports that the intentions of UBP's members started to clear regarding the main two candidates for the position of UBP's leadership, self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk and "health minister" Ahmet Kasif, writes that Zorlu Tore "MP" with UBP in Lefkosia expressed his support towards Kasif's candidacy. In statements to Volkan, Tore said that Kucuk did not rule well, neither in the "government" nor in the party. He also accused Kucuk of exerting pressure towards the UBP "MPs" to vote for him and added that Kasif is a new hope for the party. He also claimed that Kasif is supported by more persons than it seems and has good chances to win.

    [07] Church in occupied Famagusta is used as toilet

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.08.12) reports that historical churches in the within the walls area of occupied Famagusta are neglected and this is the reason why no one visits them. In parallel to the weed and the thorns in the yard of many churches, during the night some persons drink alcohol inside the churches, abandon their garbage there and cause environmental pollution.

    According to the paper, the church of Saint George is used as toilet by some persons and its walls have been dirtied with paint. The paper writes that many historic monuments in the within the walls area of occupied Famagusta are collapsing and only the gardens of some churches, which could be visited by tourists, are cleaned.

    Havadis reports that churches such those of Saint George, Saint Simeon, Saint Zoni and Saint Nicolas are neglected.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Agreement between illegal GAU and Kazakhstan British Technical University

    Under the title "Huge investment by GAU in Kazakhstan", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.08.12) reports that the illegal American University of Kerynia (GAU) has established the first maritime education centre of Kazakhstan within the framework of an agreement signed with Kazakhstan-British Technical University. According to a statement issued by "GAU", the Kazakh students will be educated in "GAU's" campuses in Istanbul and occupied Kerynia. The education will start in August with an official ceremony in Istanbul. The agreement was signed by "GAU's" rector and chairman of the administrative council, Serhat Akpinar and Kazakhstan-British Technical University's rector, Prof. Dr. Iskender Beysembetov.

    [09] Erdogan stated that Turkey will continue staging operations wherever it is needed

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.08.12) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that armed forces would not stop cross border operations in Iraq's north until PKK organization cease to pose a security threat against Turkey.

    "It should be known that as long as the region remains a source of threat for Turkey we will continue staging operations wherever it is needed. That was exactly the terms we had agreed upon with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who personally told me that he lacked power to deal with [terrorist PKK organization] in Iraq's north," Erdogan told a televised interview on Sunday, defying al-Maliki's criticisms that Turkey had violated Iraq's borders.

    Erdogan claimed that PKK used Iraq's northern mountains including Mount Qandil as a springboard for attacks inside Turkey, adding that a group of 200 PKK terrorists just recently attempted to infiltrate from across the Iraqi border.

    Answering a question over possible response to similar PKK infiltration from Syria's north, Erdogan did not rule out that military operations might be held in Syria's north as well if PKK began to pose a threat toward Turkey from that region.

    "One cannot rule that out. We have three brigades along the border currently conducting manoeuvres there. And we cannot remain patient in the face of a mistake that can be made there," Erdogan said.

    Regarding the Syrian conflict Erdogan said Syrian opposition fighters made significant progress against government forces in Aleppo, adding, "I believe the Assad regime draws to its end with each passing day."

    Erdogan also said that Iran's stance in supporting the Assad regime could not be accepted, adding that the Syria issue risked instability in the region.

    In addition, Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (07.08.12) reports that a Turkish deputy from the ruling party has claimed that Turkey has strong intelligence that the Syrian army left heavy weapons to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) when it abandoned areas in northern Syria.

    Omer Celik, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), told reporters on Monday that Ankara has strong intelligence that the Syrian army left heavy weapons to the PKK while abandoning Afrin and Kobani districts in northern Syria. He was responding to a question about possible arms smuggling from Syria by the PKK, which is in fierce clashes with the Turkish army in the past few weeks.

    Celik said that the PKK has shifted its strategy and it was aiming to take control over territories in Semdinli district of Hakkari province on the Iraqi border. The Semdinli district has been the scene of intense clashes between the Turkish military and the PKK for over two weeks, in which up to 120 PKK members were killed, according to Turkish authorities.

    Celik claimed that PKK deployment in Semdinli, the number of terrorists in the area and the arms the terrorist organization is using reveal that the latest PKK attacks are being orchestrated in a different style, referring to the Syrian support. He said it is important to look at chain of events before the Semdinli clashes, in which he claimed the Syrian army left heavy weapons to the PKK in northern Syria.

    Celik downplayed drawing analogy between the PKK attacks and the Middle East uprisings, saying that the PKK has nothing to do with legitimate demands of people in the region.

    [10] "Seven zones declared forbidden in Hakkari"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.08.12) reports that seven zones in the south-eastern province of Hakkari will be under a temporary military prohibition until Oct. 6, 2012, the provincial Governor's Office has announced in a written statement.

    Operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been carried out in Hakkari amidst great conflict in recent days, resulting in some areas being declared temporary military safety zones. The Hakkari Governor's Office announced the prohibited zones in the Hakkari, Semdinli, Cukurca and Yuksekova districts in a written statement. The seven zones are the "Ikiyaka zone, east of Sirnak Beytussebap and Altindagar in the central region of Hakkari, Buzul Mountain, Alanduz, the Balkaya Mountains, Gediktepe and Karadag, and the Caglayan and Pirinceken zones."

    "Between the dates of July 6, 2012 and October 6, 2012, citizens are prohibited from entering these zones for the safety of their lives and property," the statement read.

    [11] Ecumenical Patriarchate cleric says hopeful over reopening of Halki Seminary

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.08.12) reports that a senior cleric with Istanbul's Fener Ecumenical Patriarchate has said he was hopeful over the reopening of the Halki Seminary.

    "Everything is ready for the reopening of the Seminary. There is no specific pledge or a date given to us but we believe it is time for it. Because the public opinion, media, state and even the opposition are ready. We are hopeful, excited and waiting," Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, Metropolitan of Bursa and chief priest of the Halki Seminary, told the Anadolu Agency.

    Lambriniadis said the Seminary had been highly respected by both the Ottoman Empire and by Ataturk, adding that it was shut down in 1971 with "a decree that has nothing to do with laws."

    Lambriniadis said the Ecumenical Patriarchate never demanded that the Seminary functioned as an independent institution free of any laws in Turkey.

    "The Seminary should open in line with the laws of our state and the laws of National Education. It would make no difference whether the Seminary will be under the Ministry of National Education or the Board of Higher Education," Lambriniadis said.

    [12] Alevis angered by PM's "freak" remark for their house of worship

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (07.08.12) reports that Alevi organizations in Turkey have reacted harshly to a remark from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he called an Istanbul "unlicensed" Alevi house of worship a "freak."

    "The Karacaahmet cemevi was built there as a freak, and still remains an illegal building ? it has no license," Erdogan said during an interview broadcast on the private A Haber channel on Aug. 6, in response to a question about the status of Alevi cemevis in Turkey.

    "I am not discriminating against [our] Alevi brothers and sisters. If Alevism means loving the Prophet Ali, I am more Alevi than anyone who says he is Alevi," Erdogan said. "There must be only one house of worship for all Muslims."

    The Karacaahmet Sultan Solidarity Association, which manages the cemevi Erdogan mentioned, issued a press release yesterday condemning his remark.

    "We find it hard to understand why [the prime minister] has brought this issue up 18 years later. The prime minister, who must maintain an equal distance from every belief, has offended millions of Alevis by calling a cemevi a 'freak,'" the statement read.

    Muharrem Ercan, the head of the association, also asked if there was any way to issue licenses for cemevis, which are not considered houses of worship.

    "All of the cemevis, nearly 900, in Turkey, are unlicensed because of discriminatory policies. The reason cemevis are unlicensed cannot be found by blaming Alevis; the state is responsible," the statement read. The association had applied for legal status with architectural plans before, it added.

    Erdogan was risking Turkey's peace by targeting Alevis with such words, said Selahattin Ozel, chairman of the Alevi Bektasi Federation.

    "I found it normal that Prime Minister Erdogan would call a cemevi a freak; he also tried to tear it down once. Yes, it is true, a part of that cemevi is unlicensed, but do you know how many unlicensed mosques there are in Turkey? But we would never call a mosque a 'freak,' because we respect believers," Ozel told Hurriyet Daily News yesterday.

    Every religion has a house of worship, and the mosque is Islam's, Idris Bal, a deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said yesterday, adding that the tension between Alevis and Sunnis was being created intentionally to "drain Turkey's battery."

    Loving Ali and humiliating Alevis in violation of their human rights at the same time does not make sense, Ozel said. "[Erdogan] is using Alevis as a political tool to gain ground against [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad."

    Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals ruled on July 25 that only mosques and masjids can be considered places of worship, overruling a request to register a cemevi in Ankara as a house of worship.

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EI/


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