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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-04-02

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/>



  • [01] Davutoglu sent to Kerry the new proposal on Cyprus problem
  • [02] Atun called on the Republic of Cyprus to exit from Euro zone and enter to the Turkish lira zone
  • [03] Statements by Kucuk on the financial crisis in Cyprus
  • [04] Sber-owned Denizbank eyes cash from Cyprus
  • [05] Israeli companies build villas for foreigners in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Turkish daily alleges that Greek Cypriots are abandoning their properties in occupied Cyprus for money
  • [07] Economic crisis and decision for casino establishment affects the casinos of the breakaway regime
  • [08] Natural gas from Israel's Tamar field starts flowing
  • [09] Third oil pipeline in line between Turkey and Iraq
  • [10] Astrophysics and Space Science Research center to be established in the breakaway regime with Kazakhstan's aid
  • [11] The breakaway regime participated in a tourism fair in Ukraine
  • [12] Turkey's dairy product exports to EU to restart
  • [13] Turkey's GDP expanded at 2.2% in 2012
  • [14] The flag of the breakaway regime on the Pentadaxtylos mountain rage was maintenance


    [01] Davutoglu sent to Kerry the new proposal on Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 01.04.13), under the title "US and Turkey discuss Iraq, Syria over the weekend", reports, inter alia, the following:

    "The fragile situations in Iraq and Syria were discussed on March 30 during a telephone call between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Ahmet Davutoglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey, which shares a border with two critical Middle East countries, diplomatic sources told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    On Syria, the discussion centred on the measures to be taken regarding a warning by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding the Syrian government's use of Scud missiles against rebel forces in populated areas and the possible use of chemical weapons in President Bashar al-Assad's arsenal. (?)

    Kerry had voiced his reaction to the weapons support the Syrian government gets from Iran and elsewhere via Iraq, during his visit to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on March 24. Al-Maliki, himself a Shiite, the official religion of Iran, does not hide his support for al-Assad and was quoted as saying in return that he did not have the sufficient means to control the planes and trucks carrying cargo to Syria through Iraq.

    But al-Maliki, who ironically has political support from both the U.S. and Iran, has serious problems with his country's own Sunni population. His decision to delay local elections in the Sunni-populated provinces of Anbar and Ninevah amid opposition criticism as to its 'unconstitutionality' was another issue raised by Kerry during his Baghdad visit. That issue was discussed between Kerry and Davutoglu, who expressed Turkey's concern regarding the future of Iraq.

    There is a discrepancy between Turkey and the U.S. over the licensing of energy sources in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) by the Turkish border; Turkey has pointed to American companies like Chevron and Exxon as examples for Turkish companies to follow, even as Washington says improving Turkish-Kurdish relations further weaken al-Maliki's position.

    The whole Syria-Iraq-Iran balance might change as Turkey's relations get back on track with Israel following the latter's U.S.-mediated, March 22 apology to Turkey over the nine Turks killed by Israeli commandoes in 2010. That might get Russia involved in the area again, as well as lead to lucrative energy projects between Turkey and Israel, thereby perhaps affecting the Cyprus issue as well, given the new energy sources discovered around the divided island and given the economic crisis there.

    Davutoglu also asked Kerry whether he had received his letter dated March 26 proposing a 'new state of affairs' regarding Cyprus, with the involvement of Turkey, Greece and both communities on the strategically important eastern Mediterranean island. Kerry said he received the letter and would follow up on it, sources told HDN."

    [02] Atun called on the Republic of Cyprus to exit from Euro zone and enter to the Turkish lira zone

    Under the front-page title: "Calling from 'minister' Atun to the Greek Cypriots" Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (02.04.13) reports on statements by the so-called minister of economy Sunat Atun who has called the Greek Cypriots to exit from the Euro zone and enter to the zone of the Turkish lira, which is also used by "TRNC".

    According to a statement issued by the so-called ministry of economy and energy, Atun made the above statement in a program broadcast by Kibris TV, where he evaluated the latest economic developments in the Republic of Cyprus.

    Atun said in his statements that if "south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus exit from the Euro zone and enter to the zone of the Turkish lira, then, its economy will become more competitive.

    Describing how the Cyprus bank's enter to this position and how the economy of Cyprus has come to a position of bankruptcy, Atun recalled the bank crisis in the occupied area of Cyprus during 2000, and said that due to the necessary measures taken by the "country", they achieved to become stronger and over pass the crisis.

    Atun said further that the only remedy for the Greek Cypriots to have a competitive and a sustainable economy is to enter to the Turkish lira. He pointed out that the Greek Cypriots have the advantage to circulate the Turkish lira in their market in the name of rescuing their future, as he said.


    [03] Statements by Kucuk on the financial crisis in Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.04.13), so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk, evaluating the economic crisis in South Cyprus [Trans. Note: government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus] has stressed that Greek Cypriots should improve their relations with the breakaway regime and motherland Turkey in order to be able to overcome their economic deadlock.

    Kucuk claimed that the "TRNC" economy definitely won't see huge reflections of the economic crisis in the south, since the "TRNC" has a strong banking structure and economy.

    Kucuk underlined the fact that "the Greek Cypriot side should withdraw from its old stance regarding relations with the TRNC, as this would help south Cyprus overcome its economic crisis".

    Also reacting against the "burning of the Turkish flag in south Cyprus last week", Kucuk said that the incident is a sign of how far the Greek Cypriots are away from reaching an agreement with the Turkish Cypriots.

    Reacting also to the incident, so-called finance minister Ersin Tatar said that such acts will never serve peace in Cyprus, adding: "Motherland Turkey is a strong country and the perpetuation of the TRNC state lies in Turkey's further development".

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.04.13) reports that so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk, speaking to press members on Sunday, said "there might be a slight impact but they did not expect the crisis would affect TRNC", adding that "there was a strong banking system and sound economy in TRNC".

    Kucuk said hydrocarbon reserves off Cyprus and the "Turkish Cyprus water supply project" were important economic developments and in order to benefit from those projects mutually, there should be first peace and agreement.

    [04] Sber-owned Denizbank eyes cash from Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.03.13), under the above title, reports that after tax imposition on deposits in Greek Cypriot banks, Russian oligarchs may deposit their money in Turkey's Denizbank, which was acquired by Russian Sberbank last year, the head of Denizbank has said.

    "Russian oligarchs' money will target Turkey thanks to Sberbank's acquisition. When their money enters the Turkish banking sector, we hope that it also reaches Denizbank," said General Manager Hakan Ates, in an interview with Reuters on March 28. He noted that they had not received any definite indication of this. Sberbank acquired its 99.85 % stake in Denizbank for $3.5 billion last year.

    The 10 billion-euro EU-IMF deal will see Russians, who have an estimated total of $31 billion deposited in Greek Cypriot corporate and private accounts, lose cash from a so-called "haircut" placed on deposits of more than 100,000 euros in Greek Cypriot banks. Also, several capital controls have been imposed on transactions, including payments and money transfers, in order to prevent capital flight from Cyprus, which reopened its banks on March 28.

    The state-controlled bank, which controls a third of overall lending in Russia, made a net profit of $11.2 billion in 2012, as its retail loans had grown by 57.1%, leading to a 32% rise in its gross loan portfolio. The rise in loans was helped by Sberbank's acquisition of Denizbank in Turkey, and Austria's VBI, which has operations across Eastern Europe. Without these deals, corporate and retail loans were still up 16.1% and 43.2% respectively.

    [05] Israeli companies build villas for foreigners in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.04.13) reports that two Israeli firms have constructed 1500 villas in the occupied area of Cyprus in villages which are by the sea, but it is forbidden for Turks to buy these villas. Citing information published by journalist Cagdas Ulus in Vatan newspaper, Afrika writes that Israelis and Britons have established 443 "bubble companies" through Turkish lawyers and purchased land in occupied Keryneia, Famagusta, Morfou, Karpassia, Akanthou, Rizokarpasso, Komi Kepir, Kalogrea, Gialousa and Livera areas. Afterwards they have reportedly started building luxury construction sites in these areas.

    Two Israeli companies named David Lewis and Koll Mann, notes the paper, purchased 30 donums [Translator's note: a land measure of around 1000 square meters] of land in occupied Trikomo area and started building villas in areas by the sea such as occupied Agios Andronikos, Gialousa and Pervolia. The villas were put up for sale for 240 thousand sterling pounds, but the companies announced that they would not sell to Turks.

    According to the paper, Turkish Cypriots and Turks from Turkey were surprised when they were told that they could not buy villas and argued that foreigners purchase land in the occupied area of Cyprus in order for acquiring rights in the international waters. "During the past few years, the sales of property to foreigners increased in the TRNC. The politicians turn a blind eye to this in order for money to come", they said adding that only Israelis and Britons could buy villas sold for 240 sterling pounds in the most beautiful and virgin areas of occupied Cyprus.

    Moreover, the paper publishes statements made by the self-styled minister of finance, Ersin Tatar, who said that ten thousand British citizens and three thousand Russians live in the occupied area of Cyprus, and added: "Britons and Russians who live in south Cyprus [Translator's note: as he described the government-controlled area of the island] could come and settle in the north. They could carry their pensions here. They could bring benefit to our economy. There is absolutely no problem for British and Russian citizens, who live in the south Cyprus, to settle in the TRNC and acquire property here".


    [06] Turkish daily alleges that Greek Cypriots are abandoning their properties in occupied Cyprus for money

    Under the title "Greek Cypriots are abandoning their properties in the TRNC for money"", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (02.04.13) reports that due to the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of the island, Greek Cypriots are abandoning their property rights in the occupied area of Cyprus, applying for compensations from the so-called Property Compensation Commission.

    Citing "officials", the paper writes that during the past few days too many applications are filed at the so-called Property Compensation Commission established by Turkey in 2006 with the aim of allegedly solving the problems as regards the Greek Cypriot properties, which are occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

    The paper writes that the number of the Greek Cypriot applications was 1926 in 2011, 1601 in 2012 and around 1000 in the last six months.

    In statements to Spanish ABC newspaper, Gungor Gunkan, chairman of the so-called commission, said that 15-30 persons were visiting the commission every day and that they did not know how they could manage to deal with so many applications because they are a "very small office". The paper writes that some Greek Cypriots argue that the compensations given are the one tenth of the real value of the properties and this is why they keep away from this method. The paper publishes also statements by Greek Cypriot lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, who said that the regime is aware of the crisis in the government-controlled area of the island and that the "commission" is making use of this crisis.


    [07] Economic crisis and decision for casino establishment affects the casinos of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (01.04.013) reports that the economic crisis in the Republic of Cyprus affected the casinos in the breakaway regime.

    Speaking to the paper, the Coordinator of the Casino Enterprises Union Ayhan Saricicek, stated that during last years the number of the Greek Cypriots who visit casinos have been decreased and added that the recent economic crisis have brought the visits to a stopping point.

    In addition, Turkish daily Milliyet (02.04.13) reports that the recent decision taken by the Republic of Cyprus for the establishment of a casino created worries between the casino owners of the breakaway regime. The paper publishes statements by the chairman of the Casino Union Unsal Ecesoy, who said that around 200 thousand Greek Cypriots visit casinos in occupied Cyprus every year but this number will be decreased if a casino is established in the free areas. He also stated that the Greek Cypriots spend five million Turkish lira only by using credit cards at the casinos every year.

    [08] Natural gas from Israel's Tamar field starts flowing

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 01.04.13), under the above title, reports that natural gas from the Tamar field off Israel's Mediterranean shores began flowing on March 30, the head of a partner in the field said in a statement.

    Israel, once energy poor, is expected to become a gas exporter by the end of the decade, with the Tamar field holding enough reserves to meet the country's gas needs for decades.

    The gas discovery in 2009 led to an exploration frenzy in the Levant Basin - shared between Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon - and the uncovering of a second bigger find, Leviathan, which prompted Israel to set up a natural gas wealth fund.

    "Today (we begin) independence in Israeli natural gas. It is an enormous achievement for the Israeli economy and the start of a new era," said Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, the controlling shareholder in Delek Group, one of the partners in Tamar.

    Tamar has already signed a number of large deals, including one to supply as much as $23 billion of natural gas to Israel Electric Corp and $4 billion worth to units of conglomerate Israel Corp.

    Texas-based Noble Energy holds 36% of Tamar. Isramco Negev owns 28.75% and Delek Group subsidiaries Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling hold 15.625% each. Dor Gas Exploration has a 4% stake.

    [09] Third oil pipeline in line between Turkey and Iraq

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.04.13) with the above title reports that Turkey is keen on keeping its energy ties with Baghdad strong despite recently warming up with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), the Energy Minister has said, noting that Ankara would be willing to build third pipeline from southern Iraq to Turkey with a previous proposal by the Iraqi government.

    "In a previous meeting, Iraqi Oil Minister [Abdul Karim] Luaibi indicated that they wanted to develop a 'joint' project with Turkey. We expressed our readiness for a pipeline that would extend from Basra to the north and Ceyhan. We will begin the project when our Iraqi brethren are ready," Turkish Economy Minister Taner Yildiz said in a written statement released March 31.

    The pipeline between southern Iraqi province of Basra and Turkish province Ceyhan, would be third after already operating two Kirkuk?Ceyhan oil pipelines.

    Composed of two different routes 970 km long pipeline that carries crude oil from Kirkuk to southern Turkish province Yumurtallik, is also Iraq's largest crude oil export line.

    "Turkey's projects have continued in all corners of Iraq," Yildiz said.

    "We have spent $600 million with our partners in the natural gas and oil fields in the south [of Iraq]. Our projects in these regions are continuing," Yildiz said.

    Yildiz had already said last June, that both parties agreed in principle for a 1,200 km Basra-Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline and he believes realizing joint interests, would leave ongoing problems of two countries behind.

    Relations between Turkey and the central Iraqi government have plummeted due to the former's energy ties with the KRG, as well as due to plans to build an oil export pipeline between northern Iraq and Turkey despite Baghdad and the United States' objections.

    Baghdad says it alone has the authority to conduct exports and sign contracts, while the KRG say its right to do so is enshrined in Iraq's federal Constitution.

    Turkey and KRG has initiated the process on an energy deal including building a pipeline, as the KRG Prime Minister Necirvan Barzani said last week during his visit to Turkey.

    [10] Astrophysics and Space Science Research center to be established in the breakaway regime with Kazakhstan's aid

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (02.04.13) reports that illegal Keryneia American University (GAU) will sign a protocol with Kazakhstan Astrophysics Institute for the establishment of Astrophysics and Space Science Research center in the breakaway regime.

    According to the paper, a GAU delegation will visit Kazakhstan between 8-11 of April upon an "official invitation", to sign the protocol.

    [11] The breakaway regime participated in a tourism fair in Ukraine

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.03.13) reports that the occupied regime participated in the 19th "UITT Kiev Tourism Fair", which was organized between 30-31 of March 2013 in Ukraine.

    Tourist agencies, airlines, hotels and various tourism organizations participated in the fair. The breakaway regime distributed brochures in Russian and English.

    [12] Turkey's dairy product exports to EU to restart

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.04.13), under the above title, reports that Turkey has gained the right to export dairy products to the European Union once again after a period of 13 years, Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker announced yesterday.

    "The EU's Directorate General for Health and Consumers has confirmed that Turkish firms comply with EU standards for selling dairy products to the EU members. The legislation about the issue will enter into force on April 3," Eker said at the introduction meeting of the dairy exports project, which is being carried out by the Ministry and the Packaged Milk and Milk Products Industrialists Association (ASUD).

    The Minister stated that Turkey's dairy exports to the EU had been halted in 2000 when the Union took a decision on dairy exports regulations and found Turkey's standards low. He also said that Turkey had not been able to export dairy products to other countries that also applied the same EU standards. "Some Middle East countries did not import dairy products from Turkey because it could not be exported to the EU," he said.

    The EU did not allow Turkey to export dairy products because Turkey was not able to provide safeguards against animal diseases, did not take adequate measures on animal health, or provide control mechanisms in the dairy production phase, including hygiene and laboratory conditions.

    This approval by the EU shows that the standards applied by the Turkish state, private sector and laboratories on animal health, animal products and the struggle against animal diseases are at the same level as the Union, according to Eker.

    He stressed that efforts had been made since 2006 to restart dairy exports to the EU. "A seven-year struggle has come to an end with a success," he said.

    Six Turkish firms have been approved to export dairy products to the EU for the first phase. They are Aynes Gida, Pinar Sut, Ak Gida, Tat Konserve Sek Sut Isletmesi, Natura Gida and Unilever's Algida.

    Eker also noted that breeding incentives had increased to 2.2 billion Turkish liras last year from 83 million liras, adding that they expected it to reach a better point this year.

    He also revealed that a "Turkey Dairy and Meat Institution" would be established after Cabinet approval this week.

    [13] Turkey's GDP expanded at 2.2% in 2012

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (01.04.13) reported that according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Monday, Turkey's economy grew slower than expected in 2012 at a rate of 2.2%.

    The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) announced on Monday that gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 2.2% in 2012, an outcome below market and government expectations.

    Turkey's GDP grew by 9.2% in 2010, followed by an 8.8% expansion in 2011 but failed to meet the 4% expectation for 2012. The government had to revise their 2012 year-end growth targets two times last year. The 2012 figures mark the lowest GDP growth since 2009.

    Market experts agreed on Monday that the economy had experienced what is called a "hard landing" with the below-expected growth rate. Turkey experienced strong growth, which was mainly supported by domestic consumption, between 2010 and 2011. The low savings rate and dependency on foreign energy sources -- which are subjected to volatile price increases -- led to a high current account deficit (CAD). As a result, the government has been working hard to reduce domestic consumption since early 2012. The government and the central bank separately implemented measures for a "soft landing" for the economy.

    The data showed that the economy, which grew 1.4% in the fourth quarter, has continued growing for 13 quarters. However, the 2.2% growth lagged behind the predicted rate of 3.2%, bringing total GDP for 2012 to only $786.2 billion, down from $773.9 billion in 2011.

    Commenting to Today's Zaman, Turkish Economic Association (TEK) President Ercan Uygur said that the fall in domestic spending in 2012 was not the sole contributor to the low growth and said that economic developments in the world also limited the flow of foreign capital into the country, which directly effects growth since the economy is reliant on exports. "At the end of 2012, many world economies also saw growth rates that were at least one point lower than their predictions," he said.

    Uygur noted that the lower demand, a result of the measures taken by the central bank to curb domestic spending, has been favorable for inflation and increasing unemployment. He also explained that Turkey's 2023 goals, which projects GDP to reach $2 trillion, are based on projections of not only the Turkish economy but the world economy as well, calling some of the predictions too ambitious.


    Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek noted that 2.2% growth is a sign of success as many developed economies have been experiencing a slowdown, adding that growth for 2013 is predicted to be around 4%. He added that despite the slowdown in the global economy, the deepening crises in Turkey's main trading partner, the eurozone, present geopolitical tensions and high energy prices, Turkey has acquired important gains as its CAD narrowed by $28 billion and inflation went down to its lowest levels in 44 years. "In last year, 1 million jobs were created while the country saw its lowest unemployment rates in the past decade," he added in the written statement.

    Furthermore, Simsek explained that growth would speed up in a balanced manner in the next year, stating: "Parallel to the decrease in inflationary pressure and flexibility in monetary policies, the rising confidence will contribute to the recovery of domestic demand. Also, a healthy banking sector and a strong household structure will support growth as well. In this framework, growth is expected to be around 4%."

    Meanwhile, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan expressed that the economy had experienced a "bitter landing," noting that 2.2% growth is not a bad result but it could have been better considering the potential. Caglayan commented that the economy is capable of much better growth, blaming the central bank for "pressing the brakes too hard" -- something he had been criticizing for about a year. "In 2013, our economy will achieve faster and more stable growth with the contribution of the increase in domestic demand and net exports. In order to rank in the top 10 economies by 2023, we need to grow by at least 6%," he said.

    [14] The flag of the breakaway regime on the Pentadaxtylos mountain rage was maintenance

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.04.13), maintenance and cleaning of the "TRNC flag" which is 216 m2 was carried out on the weekend by personnel of the "Civil Defence Organization", academicians, university students, members of the "TMT Fighter's Association" and the "TRNC Besparmak Mountains Illumination Committee".

    Close to 210 people took part in the cleaning event. The group pulled out grass and dried bushes from the ground which the flag is painted on. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION



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