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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-03-04

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. 44/13 2-4/3/13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu went to Istanbul; statements on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Talat says President Anastasiades is a reasonable person with positive views on the Cyprus problem 3 "The new President of the Republic in Cyprus is a historic chance for Turkey!"
  • [04] German Social Democratic Party believes that Cyprus should not be an obstacle to Turkey's EU road
  • [05] Yildiz said that the Exclusive Economic Zone in the East Mediterranean has not been defined yet
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the European Commission on the honey issue
  • [07] A "deputy" of UBP to carry out contacts in Germany
  • [08] The occupation regime is represented in a tourism fair in Hungary
  • [09] Self-styled ministers of Energy and Agriculture to hold contact in AbuDabi
  • [10] "Swine flu" suspicions in the occupied area of Cyprus; one person died, another in the intensive care
  • [11] "Penal proceedings" increased by 73% during the past couple of years in occupied Cyprus
  • [12] Final number of "candidates" for the forthcoming "by-elections" at the occupied Lefkosia municipality
  • [13] Cyprus problem among the issues discussed during Kerry's visit to Ankara
  • [14] Erdogan: No amnesty for PKK members
  • [15] Turkish government pledges no step back in its peace bid
  • [16] Reports on Greek Prime Minister Samaras visit to Turkey. Erdogan: Turkey will not adopt a policy based on rumors towards Greece
  • [17] Y1ld1z: Turkey to up resource investment in Afghanistan
  • [18] Press body in Turkey reacts to Erdogan's criticism

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu went to Istanbul; statements on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (02.03.13) the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, along with spouse Meral Eroglu flew to Istanbul today, upon an invitation by the Rize Cultural and Social Solidarity Foundation, where he will be holding a variety of contacts within the framework of his visit.

    Eroglu is being accompanied by his "private secretary" Gokturk Otuken during his visit to Istanbul.

    Reporting on Eroglu's visit to Istanbul, Turkish daily Gunes (04.03.13) writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in statements during a reception cocktail organized by the Rize Cultural and Social Solidarity Foundation in Istanbul, referred to the Cyprus problem and said that when the UN's Secretary-General special advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer will come to the island on March 11, he will meet with him as well as with the Greek Cypriot leader.

    Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side is in favor of the continuation of the negotiation process that will yield to a result, Eroglu stressed the need for reaching a fair and lasting agreement which will be based on the existing "realities" in Cyprus.

    Eroglu went on and alleged that "south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, is unwilling to share the reserves of oil and natural gas to be found. He added that the Greek Cypriots did not even wanted to evaluate the proposal of the Turkish side for the transferring and marketing of the oil and natural gas to be found, via Turkey.

    Referring to Anastasiades' election, Eroglu recalled that he called Anastasiades and congratulated him and added that he convey to him the Turkish Cypriot side' readiness for the solution.

    Eroglu stated also that they are expecting more investments to come from Turkey. As regards the water project envisaging the transferring of water from Turkey via pipelines, Eroglu said that with this project will contribute to the further development of the "TRNC" as well as to the "peace" in the region, as he said.

    Referring to the negotiation process, Eroglu said he is not very hopeful about the stance to be followed by the Greek Cypriot side.

    (AK)

    [02] Talat says President Anastasiades is a reasonable person with positive views on the Cyprus problem

    Under the title "Serious warning from Talat", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (03.03.13) reported that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades is a reasonable person with positive views on the Cyprus problem, but argued that "there are some persons with negative views" around the President. He said that President Anastasiades has a positive image in the UN, the USA and the EU and called on the Turkish side to take this into consideration.

    In statements during a television program, Talat alleged that 3 1/2 years with former President Papadopoulos had been wasted, that negotiations had been held for 1 1/2 years during his own period and that this period was not enough for achieving a result.

    Talat argued that former President Christofias refrained even from announcing the issues on which they had reached agreement and when Talat was saying that "progress has been achieved", President Christofias was saying the opposite.

    Talat said that he does not expect a positive result during the new process arguing that "the conditions are not appropriate".

    Talat claimed that President Anastasiades' "reservations and fears" are less than the ones of former President Christofias, because of what he described as his closeness to nationalistic and religious circles. Talat, however, expressed the belief that President Anastasiades "could not achieve a solution by dragging the Turkish side" towards the solution.

    Referring to the insulting statements by Turkish officials against the Republic of Cyprus, Talat said that only by using the method of persuasion they could reach a result and expressed the view that insulting statements against the Greek Cypriot side should be avoided.

    Touching upon the issue of transferring the duty of negotiator to the self-styled ministry of foreign affairs, Talat said that this would be wrong and pointed out that this duty belongs to the "president" and only if the latter assigns the "minister of foreign affairs" or somebody else with this duty, such an arrangement could be made. He noted, though, that the level of the negotiations would be lowered and that final word would again belong to the "president" as the community leader.

    Asked to comment on Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's statement that "not reaching an agreement could also be an agreement", Talat said that "the feat is to make a good agreement" and not to declare the non-agreement. He added: "If there is no agreement, everyone will continue their own way and our ways are known. This means a new version of the mentality that 'the non-solution is the solution'. The 'non-agreement' is not an alternative to the solution".

    Asked whether the federation was a reasonable solution, Talat noted that if we take into consideration the statement made by the Greek Cypriot leaders that "the federation is a painful compromise", there was no other alternative than the federation. Talat recalled that the USA, Russia and Germany are also federations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] "The new President of the Republic in Cyprus is a historic chance for Turkey!"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Taraf newspaper (02.03.13) published an article by Ismail Ertug, Member of the European Parliament (MEP), who describes as "pleasing development" the election of Nikos Anastasiades to the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, and argued that Turkey should use this development as "a historic opportunity" in order to reexamine its relations with "south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, which he described as a "permanent obstacle for Turkey" since its accession to the EU.

    Ertug expressed the view that this was the time to leave aside the mistakes and the injustices of the past and "take correct steps in Cyprus", "because a politician who had said 'yes' to the Annan Plan referendum, sits at the post of the President of the Republic of Cyprus".

    He noted that in spite of the statement by President Anastasiades that he respects the decision taken by the people in 2004, "he is a politician who had more than enough proved his good will for Turkey and northern Cyprus", as Ertug described the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Referring to Turkey's negative stance against the Republic of Cyprus, Ankara's refusal to open its airports and seaports to Cyprus, he went on and said: "Turkey continued this stance for nine years, but nothing changed within this period. Now Turkey must understand that the policy it follows on Cyprus produces no solution?"

    Ertug noted that Turkey should understand that Cyprus is "fairly or unfairly" a member of the EU, that the EU cannot impose anything to Cyprus and that the EU has also responsibility for the developments that followed the referendum in 2004. "The Cyprus problem became a play into the hands of the countries which as a principle do not want Turkey in the EU", he argued adding that even if Turkey opened its ports to Cyprus, these countries might find other excuses to prevent Turkey.

    He went on and said: "However, why should Turkey, which adopts the policy of zero problems with its neighbors, not develop good relations with its neighbor Cyprus, only because other excuses will be put in front of it? Turkey will not break the resistance of Cyprus by preserving the status quo. On the contrary, it will further decrease the potential of reconciliation".

    Ertug referred also to the Turkish threats regarding Cyprus' explorations for oil and natural gas in its Exclusive Economic Zone and expressed the view that Turkey's stance might cause disagreements between Ankara and other countries in the future. In order for not allowing this to happen, he said, Turkey must establish good relations with its neighbor and carry out together these explorations.

    "The AKP government should use the Presidency of Anastasiades, who had supported the Annan Plan like it had supported it, in order to take correct steps in Cyprus and revive its EU process, which has been turned into a Gordian knot", he argued adding that "even very small gestures" towards Cyprus could have very big symbolic value.

    He referred to the opening of the Turkish ports to Cyprus as example of these gestures, arguing that "in this case there would be absolutely no reason for the EU to block 14 chapters in Turkey's negotiation process and that this could create pressure on the EU and Cyprus to take steps.

    In addition, under the title "Greek Cyprus puts ball on Turkish side: Experts", Turkish H?rriyet Daily News (02.03.13) reports the following:

    "Greek Cyprus President Anastasiades' positive messages on the Cyprus issue raise a cautious optimism, according to experts. 'Nicosia tries to throw the ball into Turkey's court,' says an academic. [?] "Anastasiades' policy is meaningful and right," Ali Faik Demir, an academic from Galatasaray University, told the H?rriyet Daily News in a phone interview.

    "We are ready for a new relationship with Turkey in the new era. We are ready for a solution," Anastasiades said during his economy-dominated inaugural speech in the Parliament in Nicosia. The president, who expressed his support for Turkey's accession to the European Union, said the Cyprus issue should be solved with the aid of treaties and U.N. decisions.

    "The situation of Greek Cyprus and Greece is obvious," Demir said, referring to the economic crises they are dealing with. "It wouldn't be logical to say, 'We don't want a solution,' or to oppose Turkey's EU membership."

    Anastasiades had supported the failed "yes" vote for a U.N. reunification blueprint in 2004, known as the so-called "Annan Plan," even though it was overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots, resulting in a divided island joining the EU.

    "The conjuncture today is different than before. Turkey is seeking alternatives to the EU like the Shanghai Organization. Greek Cyprus does not want Turkey to leave the table because then they won't have the instrument of pressure against the European Union any more. It also doesn't want to be the part causing economic and political trouble in the EU. Because they are in crisis, it is obvious that they won't benefit from this situation. What they want is to say that they are in favor of a solution and throw the ball into Turkey's court," Demir said.

    Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bag1s invited Greek Cyprus to put words into action. "If Mr. Anastasiades is sincere on this issue, Mr. Kucuk and Mr. Eroglu are there, he should have dialogue with them," Bag1s told a group of journalists in Istanbul on March 1. "If they agree on a deal that is based on political equality and is approved by the people of both sides, we will stand by that deal whatever it is. We do not have a problem with Cyprus, Cyprus has an internal problem it should solve," he said.

    "In this period, if the EU supports a solution, Greece Cyprus can take steps to solve this crisis; if not it can give up and apply an 'abandon the other' policy," Demir further said. "Even though Anastasiades' commitments do not guarantee anything, we can be cautiously optimistic."

    Right after the elections, Anastasiades, a lawyer, said he aimed to solve the problem as soon as possible. "What interests us is a solution that will not only be accepted by Greeks, but of course by Turkish Cypriots as well, particularly a solution that creates the expectation of development," he said Feb. 24.

    [?]

    Another expert, meanwhile, said Greek Cyprus could no longer play the economic card in terms of pushing for a solution. "Greek Cyprus was saying that in the event of a probable solution, Turkish Cyprus would benefit from the economic prosperity of the Greek part. They are now in middle of an economic crisis, so they don't have this excuse any more. The EU's support is also very important. Turkey, for its part, has to benefit from any opportunity for a solution and it has to conduct an extensive, step-by-step strategy towards the European Union during this period," Fatma Y1lmaz Elmas, an EU specialist for the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), told the Daily News. [& ]"

    [04] German Social Democratic Party believes that Cyprus should not be an obstacle to Turkey's EU road

    Ankara Anatolia news agency, (01.03.13) reports that the leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel who visited Turkey over the weekend, referred to Turkey's EU accession process and said that the Greek Cypriots refusal to accept the Annan Plan was "the beginning point of difficulties."

    "If the EU and Turkey really want to negotiate in a fair manner, I don't believe Cyprus would be the major obstacle faced," he added.

    "The truth is the EU can't enlarge and this is a very complicated situation. This not about where Turkey is heading, it is about where the EU is heading," he stated.

    Supporting that Turkey had to become a member of the EU due to political and geostrategic reasons, Gabriel said Turkey's accession to the EU was discussed for more than 50 years and more emphasis needed to be put on it.

    "The truth is that the EU can't enlarge and this is a very complicated situation. This is not about where Turkey is heading, it is about where the EU is heading," Gabriel said.

    The EU isn't homogenous and democratic and although EU citizens support the EU, they have doubts about the EU institutions, according to Gabriel.

    Gabriel stated that the question of what type of structure the EU should have in 10-15 years time must be discussed with Turkey. He added the EU had to change as much as Turkey needed to.

    [05] Yildiz said that the Exclusive Economic Zone in the East Mediterranean has not been defined yet

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (03.03.13) reports that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, replying to journalists' questions, said that concerning the agreements that Republic of Cyprus has made with Italian and French companies for gas and oil exploration in the Mediterranean, the status of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the East Mediterranean has not been defined yet.

    Yildiz also said that they believe that the whole of it (gas and oil) belongs to Cyprus, adding: "There are two roads; either there will not be works or they will continue the works. The whole earnings of oil and gas will be basically shared by all means of the whole of Cyprus. This is the right thing, this is the fair and this is the necessary point to reach. Because of this, the most right thing is to prefer the road for reconciliation and not for tension. We, as the Turkish side, have never been the side of tension and won't be. We will continue the relevant procedure by protecting only our rights and our laws."

    [06] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the European Commission on the honey issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (02.03.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KKTO) has sent a letter to the European Commission regarding the latest crisis on the honey issue, asking from the Commission to give clear and strong message supporting the Green Line Trade and this message to reach the Greek Cypriot public.

    The Chamber pointed out that in case the crisis on the honey issue continues the trade, which is carried over, will be reduced and this will lead to the breaking down of the trust between the two communities.

    According to information given by the Chamber, the letter wrote that the arguments of the Greek Cypriot beekeepers' Union regarding the honey which is being trade from the occupied area through the Green Line, will create a prejudgement towards to all the Turkish Cypriot products. It is also reminded in the letter that a similar incident has happened with potatoes.

    [07] A "deputy" of UBP to carry out contacts in Germany

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.13) reports that Afet Ozcafer, "deputy" of the National Unity Party (UBP) and "chairwoman" of the "committee of economy, budget and planning" of the so-called assembly, will travel together with Nezaket Emine, chairwoman of Turkey's Confederation Community, to Germany for several contacts.

    According to information acquired, Nezaket Emine and Afet Ozcafer will visit Germany between March 4-10, where they will have several contacts and have the opportunity to inspect the working system in several municipalities there.

    In statements about her visit to Germany, Afet Ozcafer said that her visit will be very helpful in order for the "problems" and "needs" of the "municipalities" in the "TRNC" to be improved.

    Ozcafer said also that she will participate to an event to be organized by the Hamm Municipality in Germany on the occasion of the Women Day and also added that she will meet with Turks living in the region. She said that she will promote the "TRNC" and especially the occupied Famagusta during her visit.

    (AK)

    [08] The occupation regime is represented in a tourism fair in Hungary

    Under the title: "The TRNC in a fair in Hungary", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.02.13) reports that the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture has announced that the occupation regime is represented for the first time in a tourism fair called "UTAZAS" which is taking place in Budapest, Hungary.

    According to the paper, the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel and the "director" of the "department of promotion and marketing" of the so-called ministry, Dervis Gezer, attended the fair.

    The fair has opened on February 28 and will close on March 3.

    The occupation regime participated in the fair with its own 40 meters square stand writes the paper and underlines that the aim is to bring tourism to the "TRNC" from the Hungarian market.

    (AK)

    [09] Self-styled ministers of Energy and Agriculture to hold contact in AbuDabi

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.03.13) reports that the self-styled economy and energy minister Sunat Atun and the minister of agriculture and natural resources Ali Cetin Amcaoglu held contacts in Dubai, within the framework of the 17th edition of the Gulfood Exhibition, which ranks as the biggest fair of food and beverage industry.

    After completing their contacts in Dubai they went to Abu Dabi where they paid a visit to the self-styled representative office of the breakaway regime and met with "representative" Hasibe Sahoglu.

    Later they held a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador to Abu Dabi Sefik Vural Altay.

    Atun and Amcaoglu then took part in a dinner given in their honor by the Turkish Ambassador.

    In addition, Bayrak broadcast that the producers of the breakaway regime who took part in the fair under the joint stand of the "North Cyprus Brand and Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry" were very pleased with the event.

    According to a statement released by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, "the fair had been very successful in allowing producers to reach new markets and widening their current market shares".

    The chamber also said there was wide interest for Halloumi cheese and producers "have now new markets to consider".

    [10] "Swine flu" suspicions in the occupied area of Cyprus; one person died, another in the intensive care

    Under the front-page title: "Swine-flu suspicion", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.03.13) reports on the case of the 57 years old Kemal Oner Erureten, who lost his life on Saturday night after he was treated for one week at the occupied Famagusta "state" hospital with stomach-ache.

    The paper writes that Erureten's death caused "suspicions" in the occupied area of Cyprus, since there were allegations that his death was caused from the "swine flu" illness.

    Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.13) in its front-page and under the title: "Panic in the health sector", reports on the case of a 28 years old young who in treated in the intensive care unit of the occupied "Famagusta state hospital", also with suspicions that it suffers from the same illness.

    In statements on the issue, the so-called minister of health, Ertugrul Hasipoglu has said that samples which were taken from Kemal Oner Erureten who died, were sent to Turkey for further examination, adding, that as soon as they have the result, they will find out about the illness which caused his death.

    The so-called minister went on and said that they could not speak about "swine flu" at the moment and called everyone not to get panic.

    (AK)

    [11] "Penal proceedings" increased by 73% during the past couple of years in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title "Scary", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.03.13) reported that the chairman of the so-called high court, Nevvar Nolan has announced the "court's" action report for 2012, which showed increase in crimes. Nolan said that 46.915 "penal proceedings" were filed last year in the district "courts" in the occupied area of Cyprus. He noted that the number of the "penal proceedings" increased by 39.42% in comparison to 2011 and by 73.35% in comparison to 2010. He said that the "lawsuits" also increase every year, noting that the situation should be seriously questioned and "what is necessary to be done".

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Final number of "candidates" for the forthcoming "by-elections" at the occupied Lefkosia municipality

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.03.13) broadcast that the "candidates" who are running for forthcoming "by-elections" at the occupied Lefkosia municipality submitted their applications to the self-styled High Electoral Council.

    According to Bayrak, the following persons are running for the "mayor's" position:

    Suphi Hudaoglu with Social Democracy Part.

    Kadri Fellahoglu with Repupbican Turkish Party.

    Mustafa Arabacioglu with Democratic Party.

    Hasan Sertoglu with National Unity Party.

    Murat Kanatli with the New Cyprus Party.

    Zehar Cengiz with Cyprus Socialist Party.

    Arif Salif Kirdag independent.

    Nurhayat Aytok independent.

    Yahya Eran independent.

    The official and final list of candidates to run in the "elections" will be announced on the 11th of March.

    Meanwhile the candidates who are running for the 15 seat "Municipal Assembly" also filed their candidacies.

    [13] Cyprus problem among the issues discussed during Kerry's visit to Ankara

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (01.03.13) reports that US Secretary of State John Kerry met with top Turkish officials, including Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul, in Ankara as part of his regional tour to discuss cooperation and the coordination of efforts aiming to find a viable political solution to the two-year-long Syrian conflict which the UN says has claimed nearly 70,000 lives.

    "Kerry, as part of his regional tour after becoming Secretary of State, arrived in Ankara on Friday, to extensively discuss the unfolding Syrian crisis in a bid to harmonize the efforts of the two close allies.", writes the paper. Following his meeting with Davutoglu earlier in the day, Kerry met with Erdogan at his office.

    Prime Minister Erdogan and Kerry reportedly discussed the festering Syrian conflict and its regional implications as well as bilateral relations, which both countries call a model partnership.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.03.13) reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Friday said that Turkish-US relations were one of the main pillars of Turkish foreign policy. According to the web site of the Turkish Presidency, Gul, Kerry and an accompanying delegation on Friday discussed bilateral and regional relations in detail. Gul conveyed his thoughts on bilateral relations, the solution of the Cyprus problem, possible participation of Turkey in a Free Trade Agreement between the US and the EU, counter-terrorism, Syria, Iraq and the Middle East peace process to Kerry.

    [14] Erdogan: No amnesty for PKK members

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (03.03.13) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shut down rumors of a possible general amnesty for members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as part of government-sponsored efforts to end the decades-long problem in the country.

    "A general amnesty will not happen by any means. I have stated this several times before. I do not consider myself eligible to pardon a man who killed innocent people," said the Turkish Prime Minister on Sunday as he attended a breakfast organized by representatives of some civil society groups in Bal1kesir.

    Erdogan's remarks came as a clear response to rumors that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government had secret plans for a pardon for the PKK. However, the prime minister categorically denied the rumors. "If a man committed a crime against the state, the state may pardon him. But if a man killed a man, then the state does not have the authority to pardon the killer," he stated.

    According to the prime minister, his government is decisive about putting an end to the problem, despite all attempts to force the government to give up its efforts for peace. "We have been faced with obstacles whenever we took a step towards the solution in the past 10 years. We have been faced with walls whenever we moved a step forward ? None of them has discouraged us. We have always said we will solve the terror problem if God permits us," he stated, adding: "A country where mothers cry cannot prosper. We will stop the crying of mothers and open a new and brilliant page for 2023 [the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey]."

    [15] Turkish government pledges no step back in its peace bid

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (04.03.13) reports that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister B?lent Ar1n? stated that the Turkish government will not step back from the ongoing peace process, "despite the negative repercussions of the Kurdish talks leak".

    Ar1n? compared the publication by daily Milliyet of the alleged record of the Feb. 23 meeting between the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and three Kurdish deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to the killings of three Kurdish women, including one of the co-founders of the PKK, in Paris on January 9.

    "All were incidents due to happen that we were expecting back when we [first] took this road. So we are not surprised. But we are not at a point where we can turn back, either," he said. Ar1n? also objected the criticisms questioning the legitimacy of talks with Abdullah ?calan, referring to the fact that part of the media labels the jailed PKK leader a "baby killer." "Call him the killer of 30, 40,000 people if you wish, or call him another name. However, he is still a central, important actor for those masses who love him," he said.

    [16] Reports on Greek Prime Minister Samaras visit to Turkey. Erdogan: Turkey will not adopt a policy based on rumors towards Greece

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.03.13) reports that speaking to Greece's state-owned television station ERT, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan stated that Turkey does not want to adopt a policy based on rumors regarding its relations with Greece.

    "While we consider the partnership between the two countries as strategic, we want to add a different dimension to this partnership," Recep Tayyip Erdoan was quoted as saying on the state-owned television station ERT in the fragments of an interview that is to be published on March 4 prior to his meeting with Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras in Istanbul.

    Erdoan said the delegations were set to discuss a number of issues, such as tourism, energy, telecommunications and defense, while also signing new agreements in several of these areas.

    "We had found the opportunity to talk about many of these issues with Samaras in our short meeting in Doha [on Jan. 29]. We will make new steps in the matters previously discussed. I presume that everything will work out all right," he said.

    One of the topics on the agenda of Erdogan and Samaras' 40-minute summit in Doha, was a project to build a mosque in Athens. Erdogan announced that he had offered Turkish help for the building of the house of worship, while adding that Samaras was "warm" to the idea.

    However, a week later on Feb. 7, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Constantinos Tsiaras told deputies in Parliament that the building would be built entirely using the country's own financial resources and that the project was not a specific topic on the agenda of Greek-Turkish relations.

    The surprise meeting in Doha also came amid renewed debate about the reopening of Istanbul's Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary.

    In the fragments of ERT's interview, Erdogan also emphasized that the trade volume between the two countries reached $5 billion in 2012.

    "$3.5 billion is the amount of Greece's exports and $1.5 billion is the amount of Turkey's exports. We are moving forward, protecting the due rights of the neighbors and with solidarity," he said, adding that he expected tomorrow's meeting to be a crucial one for boosting cooperation among both countries.

    In addition Anatolia News Agency (02.03.13) also reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu attended a working group meeting with his Greek counterpart, Dimitris Avramopoulos, in Istanbul on March 3, finalizing more than 20 agreements, a day before a Turkish-Greek High Level Strategic Partnership Council summit.

    Both ministers overviewed the agenda of tomorrow's meetings and finalized the more than 20 agreements expected to be signed during the summit.

    The delegations of the two countries expressed their satisfaction with the number of agreements and said the council's second summit would add dynamism and boost bilateral relations. They also agreed to closely follow the implementations of the agreements and stay in close touch in the upcoming period.

    Avramopoulos and Davutoglu also met Feb. 15 in Ankara to conduct preparations for the gathering.

    "[While] boosting good relations between Turkey and Greece, we want to create a model network of relations for the region and for the eastern Mediterranean," the Greek minister had said regarding moves to expand the areas of cooperation between the two neighbors.

    [17] Y1ld1z: Turkey to up resource investment in Afghanistan

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (04.03.13) reports that the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z said during a visit to Afghanistan, that Turkey is planning to increase its investment in mines, oil and other natural resources in the country.

    The minister told journalists on Sunday that meetings with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and various cabinet ministers, had been "fruitful" steps toward? bringing Turkish mining and oil operations to Afghanistan. "Turkey is growing its presence in Afghanistan, and that presence will have a very positive impact on Turkey's development," the minister was quoted, by the Anatolia news agency, as saying.

    "We spoke to eight different ministries over mining work. ? It is critical that we work together as [Turkish] public and private firms on Afghanistan's natural resources and the riches it possesses underground," the minister said. Y1ld1z did not elaborate on the scale of mining or other investments proposed during his visit.

    [18] Press body in Turkey reacts to Erdogan's criticism

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (04.03.13) reports that the Progressive Journalists' Association (CGD) called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be respectful of the people's right to knowledge, freedom of the press and expression, by no longer regarding journalists as public servants or advisors working for the government.

    "Newspapers, televisions are not units or institutions working under the prime ministry or the government, and journalists are not public servants or advisors of the prime ministry," CGD President Ahmet Abakay said in a statement released on March 3.

    The statement came in response to Prime Minister Erdogan, who condemned on March 2 the leak of details of a meeting between the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and deputies of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to the Turkish press, labeling it a "dark operation conducted through the media."

    Criticizing the journalists responsible for publishing the story, Erdogan said media organizations that tried to hinder the ongoing peace process were "against the government."

    Referring to daily Milliyet's headline story, Erdogan said the media should not have covered this report if they truly cared for the Turkish people and wanted to contribute to the steps undertaken by the government, stressing the sensitivity of the process. "If that's how you are doing your journalism, shame on you! The media will say [the same thing all over] again: The prime minister is attacking us. But whoever tries to spoil the process inside the media is against me and my government," he said.

    "Journalists and media institutions do not ask what to report or not and what to write or not to prime ministers, the Governor, the Prosecutor, the Imam or the Diyanet. They wouldn't be journalists if they asked; they would be embedded journalists," Abakay said.

    What could be debated was the reliability of the story, Abakay said, stressing that the reporter would not care about who benefits from the story.

    "In democracies, prime ministers do not interfere in freedom of expression, freedom of media and the people's right to get news," Abakay noted.

    The prime minister asking media to stand with the government is a request outside of democracy, he stated, adding that 80 percent of media intuitions in Turkey have already been standing with the government, with or without pressure. "The prime minister is not satisfied with that and wants to receive the entire media," Abakay said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    /EI


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