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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-03-26

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. 58/13 23-26/3/13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkey threats with new crisis in the region if the Republic of Cyprus use hydrocarbon resources' to overcome the economic crisis; Davutoglu and Kerry discussed over the phone Turkish-Israeli relations, Cyprus and Iraq
  • [02] Babacan does not approve EU's bailout solution for the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Sarcastic statements by Bagis on the economic difficulties of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [04] AKP Deputy: "Europe is now facing the consequences of allowing the Greek Cypriots to join the EU, the Euro zone and to take on the EU Term Presidency"
  • [05] Talat comments on the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] Serdar Denktas: Economic and non political approach must be adopted for the Cyprus problem
  • [07] "A new business model for Cyprus"
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot-Russian Business Council's chairman sees the crisis in the government-controlled area as an opportunity for the regime
  • [09] Israel's apology to Turkey over flotilla raid incident
  • [10] Erdogan hopes that Turkey-Israel rapprochement will help resolve the Mideast conflict
  • [11] Davutoglu on the recent developments in Turkish - Israeli relations; Turkish and Israeli officials to meet soon to discuss the compensation to be paid by Israel
  • [12] Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency: "Turkey-Israel to isolate Greek Cypriots on energy"
  • [13] CHP raises concerns over Israel's apology
  • [14] Eroglu commented on Israel's apology to Turkey for the raid on the Mavi Marmara
  • [15] Kucuk meets Erdogan; he plans on going to Strasbourg in May
  • [16] 72% of the water project to carry water to the occupied area of Cyprus via Turkey has been reportedly completed
  • [17] The CHP deputy chairman says that the breakaway regime will not be recognized by anyone and that AKP Cyprus policy is wrong
  • [18] AKP deputy says that the time for the solution of the Cyprus problem has come
  • [19] A "parliamentary delegation" of the so-called assembly participates to the general assembly of the inter-parliamentary union in Ecuador
  • [20] The breakaway regime participated in the "Le Salon Mondial du Tourisme ? MAP 2013"
  • [21] Turkish jets fly over PKK camps in northern Iraq 'for observation'

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Turkey threats with new crisis in the region if the Republic of Cyprus use hydrocarbon resources' to overcome the economic crisis; Davutoglu and Kerry discussed over the phone Turkish-Israeli relations, Cyprus and Iraq

    Turkey's MFA published in its website (http://www.mfa.gov.tr/default.tr.mfa) a written statement entitled: "No: 83, 23 March 2013, Statement Regarding the Claims of the GCASC on Hydrocarbon Resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, regarding the Republic of Cyprus current economic crisis, the establishment of an investment fund and the issue of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. The statement said:

    "The idea of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC) to offer the natural resources of the island as collateral for a solidarity investment fund or any other borrowing scheme to be established due to its current economic crisis, ignoring the inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriots who are co-owners of the Island, is a dangerous manifestation of the illusion of being the sole owner of the Island, which may lead to a new crisis in the region. The views of the Presidency of the TRNC, expressed in the statement of 21 March 2013 are shared. The Turkish side is committed both to protecting the rights and interests on its own continental shelf and to maintaining its support to the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The Turkish Cypriot side has made two calls of cooperation to the Greek Cypriot side for an equitable sharing of the natural resources, on 24 September 2011 and 29 September 2012. The Greek Cypriot side, however, has not responded positively to these calls up to date. It is not acceptable that the Greek Cypriot side uses the economic crisis it is facing as an opportunity to create new fait accomplis.

    In this context we see merit in once again reiterating Turkey's views regarding this subject:

    Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, desire a negotiated settlement in the Island. Turkey's vision for the Island and the Eastern Mediterranean is one of joint prosperity, stability and security. Economic problems, like political conflicts can be overcome by creating an atmosphere of peace, reconciliation and cooperation in the Island.

    The two founding peoples of the Island must jointly decide what kind of a future they want and with the participation of their Motherlands must establish a new state of affairs. There is no longer any time to lose.

    The Turkish side is expecting the negotiations to begin immediately with a spirit of joint prosperity and security.

    It is not our preference that the problem we are facing should lead to a crisis. We sincerely believe that it should constitute an opportunity and a new beginning for peace and a lasting settlement.

    The Turkish Cypriots will never become a minority in a Greek Cypriot state. Turkey will not allow this in any way. However, Turkey will respect the preferences of the two peoples on the Island. As this preference could be for establishing a new partnership ? of which the parameters are well known ? if the Greek Cypriots are to act unilaterally regarding the natural resources in the south of the Island and if they do not desire a partnership with the Turkish Cypriots, it could also be for the negotiation of a two state solution.

    The only way to exploit the natural resources of the island before any settlement flows through an agreement in line with the proposals made by the Turkish Cypriot side in 2011 and in 2012, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General and thus through getting the clear consent of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the sharing of these natural resources.

    Based on this understanding, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are ready to work with Greece and the Greek Cypriots".

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.03.13) reported from Ankara that Turkish diplomatic sources said that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke on Saturday with his US counterpart John F. Kerry over the phone, the Turkish-Israeli ties, Cyprus and latest developments in Iraq.

    The phone talks follows Israel's apology to Turkey for deaths of nine Turks in May 2010 during an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, a move expected to normalize relations between the two nations.

    Davutoglu also conveyed Turkey's objections to a Greek Cypriot plan to pledge hydrocarbon resources around the Mediterranean island as collateral for an international bailout package the "Greek Cypriot administration", as the Republic of Cyprus is called, desperately needs to save its economy from bankruptcy.

    A source quoted Davutoglu as telling Kerry that the Turkish Cypriot community had equal rights to island's hydrocarbon resources, adding that Turkey would not accept any "Greek Cypriot administration's" use of its economic dire straits as an excuse for 'a fait-accompli.'

    [02] Babacan does not approve EU's bailout solution for the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.03.13) reports that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said that Turkey does not approve of the European Union's bailout solution for "Greek Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called, adding that he also finds unacceptable a loan method that provides natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean as a guarantee.

    "The method applied in Greek Cyprus may be necessary for the country. But I say it is not right on principle," Babacan was quoted as saying by Anatolia news agency yesterday.

    Babacan noted the uniqueness of the method, which imposes a tax on deposits in Greek Cypriot banks, during the informal meeting of the EU to discuss the future of the union in the small town of Saariselka, in the Lapland region of Finland last weekend. He stressed that it should not represent an example for other eurozone members in crisis.

    Babacan also criticized Greek Cyprus' banks that had accepted inappropriate deposits by offering them a higher interest rate than market average. He said "Greek Cyprus" tried to pay their debt with debt.

    Babacan underlined that "reliance" was the key element of the banking sector. He said this plan should not apply to other countries' bailouts, adding that they should not allow the Greek Cypriot example to cause a general unreliability in the banking system in Europe and the EU.

    However, Babacan, who criticized the EU bailout plan that imposes a cut on deposits, also said that "Greek Cyprus" could not provide natural resources in the East Mediterranean as a guarantee in any loan method.

    "The resources around the island do not belong only to Greek Cypriots. They belong to all people that live on the island in the framework of international law", he added.

    (?)

    [03] Sarcastic statements by Bagis on the economic difficulties of the Republic of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (23.04.13) Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, evaluating the economic crisis in "south Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called, said that Turkey would be ready to accommodate a transition to the use of the Turkish Lira in "south Cyprus", if the possibility for exiting the Euro zone ever comes up.

    Speaking to reporters, Bagis said that unfortunately, the government of the newly elected Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiadis was forced to pay the political price of the mistakes made by his predecessor.

    Pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were neighbors who will have to co-exist on the island for centuries to come; Bagis repeated that Turkey was ready to lend assistance to "south Cyprus, if such a request was ever made.

    Bagis also expressed the hope that steps still will be taken to find an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem in the near future.

    [04] AKP Deputy: "Europe is now facing the consequences of allowing the Greek Cypriots to join the EU, the Euro zone and to take on the EU Term Presidency" According to illegal Bayrak television (22.03.13) the chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly's Foreign Relations Committee- AKP Istanbul Deputy Volkan Bozk?r has evaluated the economic developments in "south Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called.

    Bozk?r said that the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he referred to the Republic of Cyprus, was trapped into a corner and could eventually be sacrificed by the international community.

    In a statement made over the social media, Bozk?r said that the "Greek Cypriot Administration" will go bankrupt if it fails to close its 17 billion euro deficit which in return would have a devastating effect on the Eurozone.

    He said that those who had allowed the Greek Cypriot side to join the Eurozone on false figures were in panic. "The Greek Cypriot Administration is trapped between bankruptcy, the EU the Eurozone, Russia and western interests. It doesn't know what to do. It couldn't act even if it did know. The Greek Cypriot Administration could come to a point where it could be sacrificed", he said.

    Bozk?r also said that Europe was now facing the consequences of allowing the Greek Cypriots to join the EU, the Eurozone and to take on the EU Term Presidency by usurping the "TRNC's rights".

    [05] Talat comments on the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (26.03.13) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has argued that the Greek Cypriots should thank the EU and added that attacking the EU was meaningless. In an interview with Kibrisli, Talat commented on the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Noting that the EU told Cyprus that it would grand 10-billion-euro aid and that it should find the rest itself, Talat claimed that we should see the positive aspect of the EU's reply and that it gave 10 billion euros trying "to bring the Greek Cypriots to a certain level" by applying a plan.

    "Attacking the EU while they should thank it, is meaningless", he argued alleging that the Greek Cypriots are paying the price of nationalism and trusting Greece for years. "They suffered the events of 1974 and of today because of Greece. As a person, it is not possible for me to be pleased by these events", he argued.

    Talat said that this crisis influences the Turkish Cypriots as well, because "we have our people working there". He said that the trade through the Green Line has also been influenced. He alleged: "The Greek Cypriot people must understand that the mistakes and the wrongs have a price. It is very important for them to understand that there is a price for saying 'no' to the Annan Plan and come closer to the solution".

    Talat accused the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu of building his philosophy on the non-solution in Cyprus. He added, inter alia, the following: "He cannot get the best of it, because he started wrongly as a fundamental philosophy. If we were two separate states, 'not agreeing' could give a result".

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Serdar Denktas: Economic and non political approach must be adopted for the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.03.13) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas stated that the two sides will equally experience the benefit of discussing and bringing the Cyprus problem to result having an economic approach rather than a political approach.

    He also said that it will be helpful towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem if the new President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades treat the Turkish Cypriots with respect and take into account today's realities.

    He went on and added that he sympathizes with the economic problems faced by the Republic of Cyprus.

    [07] "A new business model for Cyprus"

    Under the title: "A new business model for Cyprus", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (26.03.13) publishes a commentary by Javier Solana who writes the following about the latest economic developments in Cyprus:

    "Once again, Europe has peered into the abyss. But the tentative agreement between Cyprus and the troika (the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank) probably means that the worst has been avoided. Big losses for large depositors in Cypriot banks will now be imposed, and the country's second-largest bank will be shuttered. Looking ahead, however, Cyprus has the means not only to recover, but even to heal its longstanding division with the Turkish-backed statelet in the north of the island.

    Cyprus, of course, is just the latest country to be hit by the economic crisis surging through the Mediterranean. For years, Cyprus had an immense banking bubble, with the sector's assets estimated at roughly seven times the country's GDP, as foreign money poured into a tax haven within the eurozone's secure environment.

    The design of the bailout has been shaped both by domestic pressures faced by eurozone leaders and by the exceptional nature of the Cypriot banking bubble: many European leaders suspect that the island had become a money-laundering center for Russian individuals and entities, which pumped an estimated ?68 billion into the country's banks. Regardless of the details of the ultimate deal, the risk is that the ghost of Russia's bailout of Cyprus in 2011 could provoke severe side effects across southern Europe, both for governments' borrowing costs and for small savers.

    Nevertheless, it is imperative not to lose sight of some very valuable assets that Cyprus holds ? assets that could mean the country's economic salvation.

    In 2011, the American energy company Noble discovered some 200 billion cubic meters of gas in the Eastern Mediterranean ? the value of this block, known as the Aphrodite gas field, has been estimated at some ?80 billion. Work has already begun on extraction, with production expected to commence in 2018. Experts say that the reserves could provide some 100 years of energy for Cyprus ? and an alternative supply source for energy-hungry Europe. In fact, in the search for an acceptable bailout package, the future revenues from these assets were at one point considered as possible guarantees.

    The United States Geological Survey has estimated that the Levant Basin, which extends across the Israeli, Cypriot, and Lebanese seabed, contains some 3.45 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas and 1.7 billion barrels of oil. Given their geographic location, however, these incredible reserves can be uncapped, extracted, and exported only on the basis of inter-state cooperation.

    As with all marine gas and oil deposits, the rights to the waters and the riches below are critical. And, given such riches, competition might appear lucrative at first sight. But cooperation stands to enlarge the pie.

    Moreover, economic agreements may promote closer cooperation in other realms. Energy matters have already led to an unprecedented warming in relations between countries such as Israel and Cyprus in recent years, with an agreement signed in 2010 formally delimiting these states' respective exclusive economic zones. It is not unimaginable that this type of cooperation could be extended to include other neighbors around the Levant.

    The good news is that Cyprus's newly elected President, Nicos Anastasiades, may be open to such an agenda. Naturally, much will depend on how he fares politically in the current turmoil surrounding the bailout package. Anastasiades, a member of the pro-European Dimokratikos Sinayermos (Democratic Rally) party, won 57% of the popular vote on a platform that emphasized economic recovery, and this will naturally be his top priority. Nevertheless, a cautious look beyond the current turbulence ? and into Anastasiades's history ? provides grounds for optimism.

    In 2004, Anastasiades and his party supported the Annan Plan, developed by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and supported by the European Union. Annan's reunification proposal provided the blueprint for a 'United Republic of Cyprus' comprising a federation of two states.

    When put to a referendum, roughly two-thirds of the island's 250,000 Turkish Cypriots in the north supported the Annan Plan, but 76% of the 860,000 Greek Cypriots in the south rejected it. It is not inconceivable; however, that Anastasiades's victory could provide impetus for reopening the dialogue between the island's north and south ? that is, once the current crisis has passed.

    Such an outcome would be a major breakthrough for Cyprus and the region. Resolving the island's longstanding division would nest Cyprus more comfortably in the EU, and the economic effects would be manifold, extending throughout the eastern Mediterranean.

    For example, both Turkey and Greece could reduce their military spending (though naturally to varying degrees, given their respective geopolitical environments). Greece is the second-largest defense spender, relative to GDP, in the EU; clearly, in today's economic climate, savings here could provide hugely welcome budget relief. And the Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan's recent call for a ceasefire is an encouraging sign that Turkey, too, stands to benefit from a peace dividend.

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's visit to Istanbul earlier this month was a heartening sign that tensions between Greece and Turkey are already beginning to ease. A deepening of cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean would provide myriad economic opportunities, not least the many related to developing the region's cross-border maritime gas reserves.

    Anastasiades has endured a perfect economic storm during his first month in office, and the current crisis is certain to continue to dominate his agenda. But, beyond today's tempest, there is light on the horizon. Cyprus, and its neighbors, must now pull together to reach it".

    **Javier Solana was EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, Secretary-General of NATO, and Foreign Minister of Spain. He is currently President of the ESADE Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics and Distinguished Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    [08] Turkish Cypriot-Russian Business Council's chairman sees the crisis in the government-controlled area as an opportunity for the regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (26.03.13) reports that Cetin Atalay, chairman of the so-called Turkish Cypriot-Russian Business Council, has described the recent agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the Eurogroup as an "operation to seize the Russian capital". In a written statement issued yesterday, Atalay said that a small part of the money in the banks came from "unknown source". He argued that the EU and the Cypriot government know this and added that those who suffer are the Russian businessmen, who carry out international trade and trusted the EU and the Greek Cypriots. "This is a robbery", he argued.

    Atalay alleged that the Greek Cypriots have illegally taken a credit of around seven billion euros and that this money is deposited in banks of Far East countries and Canada.

    "If the EU is sincere, it should pursue this money", he claimed alleging that this situation could be an opportunity for the "TRNC", the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus. He argued that important flow of money could exist towards the occupied area of Cyprus in case the regime does not afraid of money the source of which is unknown.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Israel's apology to Turkey over flotilla raid incident

    According to illegal Bayrak television (23.03.13), the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered an apology to Turkey for a 2010 raid on an aid flotilla that resulted in the deaths of eight Turks and a Turkish American, ending a deep crisis in ties between the two former allies. In a statement carried by Reuters, Netanyahu said he "expressed apology" to the Turkish people for any error that could have led to loss of life in the flotilla incident.

    He also said Israel has agreed to pay compensation to the families of the victims and that Israel and Turkey agree to work together to improve the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.

    A Turkish official in Ankara confirmed the apology, stating that Netanyahu called Erdogan to offer an apology and that Erdogan accepted it.

    The breakthrough came as a result of what appears to be a US bid to normalize relations between the two former allies. News of the apology came just after President Barack Obama said that Erdogan and Netanyahu spoke on the phone on Friday.

    The announcement came hours after Obama wrapped up a visit to Israel.

    Israel bowed to a long-standing demand by Ankara, once a close strategic partner, to apologise formally for the deaths aboard the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara.

    [10] Erdogan hopes that Turkey-Israel rapprochement will help resolve the Mideast conflict

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.13), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his hope on Saturday that the fence-mending in relations between Turkey and Israel would lead to a broader settlement in the region, one that would resolve the Middle East problem.

    "My wish is that common sense prevails in this process and we make this process a permanent one to end years-long suffering with withdrawal to 1967 borders," Erdogan told reporters.

    Turkey's ties with Israel fell to a historic low after Israeli commandos raided in May 2010 a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine Turkish citizens. Turkey expelled Israel's Ambassador in Ankara, saying that relations would not go back to normal unless the Israeli government made an official apology, paid redress to the relatives of the victims and removed blockade on Gaza.

    On the issue of redress for the relatives of the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid, Erdogan told reporters that officials from the two countries would work on a compensation agreement.

    Erdogan said the process of removing the embargoes on Gaza has started, adding that the entry of civilian goods into Palestinian territories should expand to include all border gates. "We need to see the implementation in this process. As long as the implementation is carried out in a healthy manner, we are willing to make positive contributions," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan also said he might pay a visit in Gaza and in the West Bank later in March.

    [11] Davutoglu on the recent developments in Turkish - Israeli relations; Turkish and Israeli officials to meet soon to discuss the compensation to be paid by Israel

    Turkey's MFA on its website (www.mfa.gov.tr) publishes statements by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who assessed during a TV program, the developments regarding the apology of Israel to Turkey on the "Mavi Marmara" attack.

    Foreign Minister Davutoglu said that tough negotiations were conducted in the last 3 years concerning Turkey's demands from Israel with a view to normalization of relations and in the end Turkey's demands were met.

    Pointing that the content of the phone call between Prime Minister Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister was agreed in advance, Davutoglu mentioned that negotiations were held through U.S. officials. !Prior to the phone call between the Prime Ministers, officials of Al Fatah, Hamas, Egypt and Qatar, were contacted", added Davutoglu.

    Recalling that Israel did not object the compensation but opposed the demand for apology from the very beginning, Davutoglu explained that there would be negotiations concerning the compensation to the victims' families in respect of international law. He said that the easing of embargo on Gaza started and stressed that Turkey would closely monitor the practice concerning the embargo.

    Foreign Minister Davutoglu, pointing the timing of the recent development said that this step would strengthen the position of Palestine and would crystallize Turkey's role in the Middle East Peace Process.

    Meanwhile, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.03.13) the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni discussed Mavi Marmara issue on the phone on Monday.

    They decided that the Foreign Ministry officials of both countries would meet and discuss the compensation which would be paid by Israel for the victims of Mavi Marmara raid.

    The officials were planned to gather in coming days.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish people on March 22 during a phone conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for an Israeli raid on the "Mavi Marmara" aid ship which resulted in the killing of nine Turks in May 2010.

    [12] Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency: "Turkey-Israel to isolate Greek Cypriots on energy"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.03.13) reports from Istanbul that the Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said that the Israeli apology would facilitate the close partnership between Turkey and Israel on energy projects in a way to isolate the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus.

    "(Israeli apology) opened the way for Turkey to be world champion in energy transferring", said Erol, stating that Turkey could transfer the energy resources to the world market together with Israel.

    Erol indicated that Turkey offers the most economically advantageous way for Israel in transferring the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas to the international markets.

    Also, Erol predicted that Israel had the capacity to extract gas 7-8 times more of its internal need to be sold in the international markets.

    Erol said that no obstacle remained in importing Israeli gas, while there is a rising interest on the gas around Cyprus. Adding that the cost of extracting the gas is not known yet he said: "we know there are rich reserves".

    On the other side, according to an article which had appeared on Financial Times on March 25, the "Greek Cypriot administration" was envisaged to be isolated as Turkey and Israel could cooperate on natural gas reserves issue.

    (?)

    [13] CHP raises concerns over Israel's apology

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 26.03.13), with the above title, reports that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chairman Faruk Logoglu has dismissed Israel's formal apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara killings of 2010, stressing that Israel's apology came after a push from U.S. President Barack Obama. "If someone is to be congratulated, President Obama, who is the architect of the process, should be congratulated," Logoglu said at a press conference in Parliament yesterday.

    The delay, timing and method of Israel's apology caused concerns, according to Logoglu. "Is this development a prologue to new conflicts in the region, or it heralds a peaceful and stable era for the region?" Logoglu asked.

    In addition, CHP deputy Osman Koruturk asked Foreign Minister Davutoglu to reveal scripts of telephone conversation in which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netenyahu expressed a formal apology to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Has Turkey made a commitment to a joint operation with Israel and the U.S. against Syria as well as against Iraq and Iran as next phases in return for Israel's apology?" Koruturk asked Davutoglu.

    [14] Eroglu commented on Israel's apology to Turkey for the raid on the Mavi Marmara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (24.03.13) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in a written statement, commenting on the apology of Israel to Turkey on the "Mavi Marmara" attack, said that this is a product of Turkey's patient and stable policy. He evaluated this apology as a very important development in terms of "regional and world peace".

    Noting that on behalf of the breakaway regime he is very glad for these developments, Eroglu said: "Israel made some agreements with the Greek Cypriot Administration [Tr. Note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus] on the issue of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean. The relations between Israel and the Greek Cypriot Administration were pushed forward after the problems between Turkey and Israel. We hope that during the new era of the relations between Israel and Turkey, Israel realizes that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots cannot be ignored."

    Claiming that the "TRNC is the first "country" which recognised Palestine", Eroglu said that "the people of Palestine should live in safety under the framework and within the boundaries of their own state".

    Eroglu concluded by saying: "It seems that there are very important developments in the region, which will continue. In this context, I want to stress that we, as Turkish Cypriots, want peace in the Middle East and we hope all problems experienced until today come to an end. We are also determined to do whatever we can to reach peace in the island and to reach an agreement based on the 'realities' on the island."

    [15] Kucuk met Erdogan; he plans on going to Strasbourg in May

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (26.03.13) reports that the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has met with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and held various contacts in Ankara. In statements during his return from Ankara last night, Kucuk said that according to information he obtained from Erdogan and the deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay, the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus is advancing very fast and could be completed earlier than planned.

    He said that during his visit to Ankara he saw that it was possible for the water to come to the occupied area of the island in February instead of March 2014.

    Kucuk noted that this weekend or in the beginning of next week Besir Atalay and the Turkish Minister of Forest and Water Affairs, Veysel Eroglu would illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus in order to observe the works on the spot. After these studies, the tender for the supply pipe will be invited, he added.

    He noted that with Erdogan they had the opportunity to discuss ways of recommencement of the Cyprus negotiations as well as the Cyprus problem in the light of the recent statement issued by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kucuk said that with Atalay they discussed economic issues and especially the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus as well as the tender for the supply pipes which will be invited in the occupied part of the island.

    Kucuk said that during his visit in Ankara, he participated in a program of TRT television, and met with the former Turkish Tourism and Culture Ertugrul Gunay as well as with the AKP deputy and co-chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee, Arif Demirkan. Kucuk noted that ten months ago they had very productive meetings in Brussels with Demirkan. He said that during their meeting they stressed that it would be beneficial for them to participate in a meeting which will be held in Strasbourg next May. He added that Demirkan offers great support to the "TRNC's" efforts towards the EU.

    (I/Ts.)

    [16] 72% of the water project to carry water to the occupied area of Cyprus via Turkey has been reportedly completed

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (25.03.13) reported that the project of transport water to the "TRNC" via a system of underwater pipelines from the Alakopru Dam in Mersin's Anamur district, is close to completion, as the construction of the dam is almost finished.

    The project manager for the building of the dam, Ali Cakmak, told reporters during Mersin Governor Hasan Basri Guzeloglu's visit to the site on Monday, that 72% of the work is done. The wall of the dam will be finished in two weeks.

    The land on which the dam is constructed and over which the water distribution pipeline passes was bought by the government, Cakmak said, adding that TL 67 million was paid for the land. The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning will put the building of new residences for the families who lived on the land, out to tender on April 14.

    Mersin Governor Guzeloglu called the project the "pride of Turkey" and the prestige of the country. He said the construction of the dam is one of the phases of the project.

    The plan, which is called the "dream project" and is the first of its kind in the world, aims to carry 75 million cubic meters of water annually from the Dragon River to the Panagra Dam near "Girne" [occupied Keryneia] in the "TRNC2 through a pipeline 78 kilometers in length. Around 15 million cubic meters of this water will be used as tap water, whereas the remaining 60 million cubic meters will be designated for irrigation purposes.

    [17] The CHP deputy chairman says that the breakaway regime will not be recognized by anyone and that AKP Cyprus policy is wrong

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (26.03.13) reports that Faruk Logoglu, the deputy chairman of the main opposition party in Turkey, the Republican People's Party (CHP) stated that the breakaway regime will not be recognized by any other state.

    Logoglu, who gave an interview to the paper, said that the reason for this is the lack of such a policy by the ruling in Turley Justice and Development party (AKP).

    He went on and added that the non solution of the Cyprus problem cannot be accepted and claimed that the new "Greek Cypriot administration: as he called the new government of the Republic of Cyprus", is not fond of the solution.

    [18] AKP deputy says that the time for the solution of the Cyprus problem has come

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.03.13) reports that Ahmet Aydin, MP with the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) in Turkey stated that the Cyprus problem must be solved and added that Turkey wants a solution.

    Aydin, who gave an interview to the paper, said that Turkey is a global actor and added that the time of the solution has come. He went on and said: "We see the Cyprus problem as our own problem. Cyprus is extremely important for us, we cannot abandon it. We do everything possible to solve the Cyprus problem, but the EU and the UN must abandon the two-standard approach on this issue", he claimed.

    [19] A "parliamentary delegation" of the so-called assembly participates to the general assembly of the inter-parliamentary union in Ecuador

    According to illegal Bayrak television (25.03.13) a delegation from the so-called assembly is attending the 128th Assembly of the Inter- Parliamentary Union which will be held in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, between the 22nd and the 27th of March.

    The delegation is headed by the "deputy speaker" of the "assembly" Mustafa Yektaoglu and consists by the National Unity Party "deputies" Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Mehmet Tancer, the Republican Turkish Party "deputy" Sonay Adem and the Social Democratic Party "deputy" Huseyin Angolemli.

    The delegation will return to the occupied area of Cyprus on Thursday, the 28th of March, after completing its contacts in Quito.

    [20] The breakaway regime participated in the "Le Salon Mondial du Tourisme ? MAP 2013"

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (23.03.13), a delegation from the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture attended the tourism fair "Le Salon Mondial du Tourisme-MAP", which was inaugurated in 24 March in Paris.

    The paper reports that the breakaway regime participated in the fair for the first time and distributed brochures in French and in English from their stand.

    [21] Turkish jets fly over PKK camps in northern Iraq 'for observation'

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.03.13) Dofan news agency has reported that five F-16 fighter planes took off from a Diyarbakir Air Force base before conducting flights over Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq.

    The jets flew over Hakkari's Cukurca district and over PKK camps near the border.

    The flights had no offensive nature but were conducted to check the camp sites, Dogan news agency reported, adding that they were set to be repeated frequently to discover and follow movements occurring in PKK camps.

    The jets will not bomb the areas unless an armed attack against Turkey occurs, officials said, adding that their sole purpose was to inspect the areas. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    /EI


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