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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-06-27

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. 119/13 27/06/2013

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkish columnist refers to MIT's involvement in the developments in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [02] Self-styled police's uniforms to become the same with the ones in Turkey
  • [03] Alarm for pseudo-fowl pest in occupied Cyprus
  • [04] EU official has thanked Kucuk for their cooperation
  • [05] UBP says that sponsored a film written and produced by "prime minister" Siber aiming to the recognition of the breakaway regime
  • [06] MEMUR SEN Trade Union participated in the International Trade Union Education Conference in FYROM
  • [07] Sibel Siber's "government" cancelled decisions taken by UBP
  • [09] New arrests in Ankara and Izmir regarding Gezi Park protestors-294 children detained during Gezi protests
  • [08] Erdogan met with members of Wise Persons Commissions which issued a report urging need of democratization over Kurdish issue
  • [10] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Views Possible Legislation for Social Media
  • [11] "Might Gezi Result in New Political Movement?"
  • [12] EU envoys respond to Bagis's comparison of Turkish and EU police
  • [13] Turkish, Russian Foreign Ministers Discuss Syrian Crisis by Phone
  • [14] Trans-Adriatic Pipeline knocks out Nabucco to carry Caspian gas to Europe

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Turkish columnist refers to MIT's involvement in the developments in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Under the title "Dirty jobs in Cyprus and MIT", Turkish daily Taraf newspaper's columnist Emre Uslu, referred yesterday (26.06.13) to the political developments in the occupied area of Cyprus and the involvement of Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and Ankara in them. Uslu noted that the process as regards the bribery allegations made by self-styled MP Ejder Aslanbaba had a "background", and said:

    "?Games of power played by the TRNC president Dervis Eroglu, prime minister Irsen Kucuk, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs Besir Atalay, the candidate for the presidency of the UBP Ahmet Kasif and Turkey's MIT representative in Lefkosia Ender Onkol are in the background of the incident.

    The issue is the following: Ankara could somehow not reconcile with her honor the fact that Dervis Eroglu became Cyprus president in spite of MIT's effort to prevent this during the last presidential elections. After this it launched operations on the island?"

    According to Uslu, the first signs of this "bribery operation" had been seen in the Turkish Cypriot newspapers on 23 September 2012, when Afrika newspaper had referred to the establishment of headquarters at self-styled prime minister's office as regards the National Unity Party's (UBP) congress and to the assignment of MIT undersecretary, Ender Onkol and Prime Minister Erdogan's "propaganda expert", Erol Olcak with the duty of having Irsen Kucuk elected.

    According to the newspapers, said Uslu, the operation carried out by MIT aimed at "eliminating" Eroglu. "In spite of the operations held over MIT, however, great Ankara could not eliminate Dervis Eroglu in the 250 thousand-person-Cyprus, which is under its control", he pointed out.

    "It wanted to overturn this defeat with operations by MIT", he noted adding that "the bribery incident is said to be one of these operations".

    Noting that a new operation was initiated with the aim of Kucuk's being elected chairman of the UBP, Uslu said that Besir Atalay and MIT's representative in occupied Cyprus supported Kucuk in this "struggle for power" at the UBP's Congress, which ended with Kucuk's victory.

    Uslu referred also to an article published in February by Turkish Cypriot Havadis newspaper's columnist Hasan Hasturer, who had said that the process for electing the chairman of the UBP "was a period when every imaginable sort of embarrassing offer was being thrown about". According to Uslu, Hasturer had noted that the strange aspect of the situation was that those who had weaknesses were revealing these weaknesses and their approach showed that they were "open for offers".

    Noting that Turkish Cypriot Volkan newspaper had published an open letter to President Abdullah Gul complaining of Ender Onkol's behavior from the very first moment he had arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus, Uslu said that Volkan had reported, inter alia, the following:

    "At the same time, open pressure began being placed on ministers, MPs, mayors, civil society leaders and journalists while allegations were made against the TRNC president, the UBP general leader candidate [Translator's note: Ahmet Kasif] and anyone who supported them?

    Some UBP delegates and presidents of local organizations received phone calls at midnight, were put onto airplanes and were taken to Ankara. The same conversations were made there and interventions in UBP's internal affairs were made. They were not contented with this. They had arranged meetings with Mr Besir Atalay and [Translator's note: Transportation Minister] Mr Binali Yildirim and secured that they made propaganda in favor of Kucuk?

    And the most painful thing of all was that they prevented Turkish ministers from routinely visiting the TRNC president. .... And thus, as though it was not enough that they took sides within a party congress, they hit the esteem of the TRNC state, striking a final blow to the ties between the Cypriot Turkish people and their homeland..."

    The Turkish columnist concludes by saying the following: "Will MIT, which stirs up an island of 250 thousand people that it controls, put Middle East into order? You think about it".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Self-styled police's uniforms to become the same with the ones in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.06.13) reports that the efforts for assimilating the "police" of the breakaway regime to the police in Turkey have been intensified. Afrika notes that the first action of Prime Minister Erdogan [in this direction] had been to assign a "general coordinator" to the "police" of the regime, who had more rights and authorities than the "general director of the police" himself. The appointment was made two years ago. According to information obtained by the paper, this "coordinator" was the "father of the idea" of purchasing the known Vehicles for Interfering in Social Incidents (TOMA), which the Turkish police used during the recent incidents at Istanbul's Gezi Park.

    Noting that uniforms similar to the ones of the Turkish police had been prepared for the "police" of the breakaway regime, Afrika writes that these uniforms will be presented to the press tonight at the "police" headquarters. Afrika recalls that since the British colonial rule the uniforms of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot policemen have been prepared according to the same rules.

    According to the paper, the aim of AKP government with the change of uniform is to "disconnect" the "police" of the regime from the police of the Republic of Cyprus, to maintain in occupied Cyprus a "police" organization, which is depended on Turkey and to further instigate separation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Alarm for pseudo-fowl pest in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title "Alarm for pseudo-fowl pest", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.06.13) reports that the pseudo-fowl pest disease, that had occurred in the free area of the Republic of Cyprus, has influenced the occupied area of the island as well. The disease was reportedly detected first on birds in occupied Morfou, Lysi and Vadili villages and afterwards it passed onto the poultry. According to the paper, the disease kills the poultry but does not constitute a danger for the human. Halkin Sesi writes that the number of the destroyed chickens is not known yet and it is estimated that the "influence of the disease is about to end".

    In statements to Halkin Sesi, the director of the so-called veterinary department, Huseyin Ataben said that the above-mentioned disease is observed especially at the "borders", as he called the Green Line which divides Cyprus. He noted that the disease occurred on birds such as pigeons and doves at the first stage and afterwards passed onto chickens. He argued that there was nothing to worry about at the moment.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] EU official has thanked Kucuk for their cooperation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.06.13) reports that Joost Korte, EU Commission's Deputy Director General for the Enlargement, has sent a letter to former self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, Irsen Kucuk, thanking him for the results of their cooperation and the important developments between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots during the period of his "government".

    Korte said that it was satisfying to see that some problems of the Turkish Cypriot side had been overcome with the support of Kucuk's "government". He referred to the approval of new "legal texts" on the "legal framework" chosen between a contractor and an international organization, the organization of the "Silk Festival' outside the area of "the Special Protection Area" in occupied Karpasia etc.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] UBP says that sponsored a film written and produced by "prime minister" Siber aiming to the recognition of the breakaway regime

    Under the title "Contribution to prime minister's film", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (27.06.13) reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) issued a statement noting that while was in power offered any service and assistance towards the recognition of the breakaway regime. In this framework UBP sponsored a film dated 22.04.13, the scenario of which was written and produced by the current "prime minister" Sibel Siber, according to the statement.

    The film named "Kuyu" (Well) was sponsored with the amount of 97.500 Turkish Lira after a proposal made to the "council of ministers" by the "ministry of tourism" .

    [06] MEMUR SEN Trade Union participated in the International Trade Union Education Conference in FYROM

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.06.13) reports that Turkish Cypriot MEMUR-SEN Trade Union participated in the International Trade Union Education Conference (UAESEB) which took place between 5-10 of June in Skopje, FYROM.

    The paper writes that seven Turkic Republics participated in the conference in which a statement was issued that included occupied Cyprus. According to the statements, it is an irrevocable position of the UAESEB the lifting of the "TRNC isolation" must be lifted without conditions and the "TRNC" must be recognize as an independent Turkish Republic as soon as possible.

    [07] Sibel Siber's "government" cancelled decisions taken by UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.06.13) reports that the self-styled council of ministers of the breakaway regime delivered a meeting yesterday it cancelled previous decision taken by the National Unity Party (UBP) "government".

    According to the paper, the "council of ministers" cancelled the decision of the oil storage facilities in occupied Gastria village which had caused heavy reactions in occupied Cyprus in the past.

    In addition, the paper also writes that Siber met with the commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus Lieutenant General Ismail Serdar Savas. No statement was issued before or after the meeting.

    [08] Erdogan met with members of Wise Persons Commissions which issued a report urging need of democratization over Kurdish issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.06.13) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came together with 'wise men' committee in Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul. The committee presented its final report from Turkey's seven regions to Erdogan.

    Deputy Prime Ministers Besir Atalay and Bekir Bozdag, Interior Minister Muammer Guler, Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Celik, vice chairmen of ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Undersecretary of Prime Ministry Efkan Ala and Undersecretary of Public Order and Security Mehmet Ulvi Saran attended the meeting.

    Murat Belge, an academician who had announced his resignation from his membership to 'wise men' committee in his column in Taraf newspaper, along with Prof. Dr. Baskin Oran, Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag and Mustafa Kumlu did not attend the meeting. Zaman newspaper (26.06.13) reports that Belge resigned over his disagreement to the way the Turkish government handled the

    In addition, Zaman (27.06.13) reports that the report prepared by the Southeastern Group of the Wise People Commission has highlighted urgent need for deeper democratization in order to solve the decades-old Kurdish dispute and terrorism problem through introducing constitutional, legal and administrative changes to the political system in address to demands of Turkey's Kurds.

    The 39-page report appeared on media after the Wise People Commission, tasked with working on the details of the settlement process aimed at ending the decades-old conflict with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul in a meeting finalizing its work.

    After analyzing the underlying dynamics and causes of the decades-old Kurdish dispute, the report presents a proposal including a long lists of demands to bring a permanent and viable solution to the simmering conflict which killed at least 40,000 people over the past three decades.

    According to the report, majority of the people in the region demand constitutional guarantee for Kurds' cultural and political rights. The major rights of Kurdish population, such as education in one's mother tongue, identity, political decentralization, equality and others must be guaranteed in constitutional basis.

    According to the report, people address the need for introduction of a new definition of citizenship, a much more inclusive in comparison to existing one in the current constitution in which citizenship is defined in reference to Turkish ethnicity.

    The report also insists the need for adopting programs for social rehabilitation of militants once they return to home after de-armament of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is fully completed as part of the settlement process aimed at finding a political and peaceful solution to the Kurdish dispute and armed conflict. The report also suggests that establishment of truth commissions is required to investigate the crimes committed by state officials during the three decades of the armed conflict in a move to heal the wounds in the region and to restore the sense of justice.

    [09] New arrests in Ankara and Izmir regarding Gezi Park protestors-294 children detained during Gezi protests

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.06.13) reports that the Turkish Police have detained a total of 29 Taksim Gezi Park protesters in Ankara and Izmir.

    Police warned the crowd gathered in Turkish capital of Ankara to disperse, and later intervened in the protesters using tear gas and water cannon. Sixteen people who erected barricades and hurled stones at police in Dikmen district in Ankara were detained.

    Police also detained 13 people on charges of being member of terror organization, attacking police and destroying public properties in the western province of Izmir, increasing the number of detainees to 29. 14 people were detained on June 20 and 13 were arrested.

    The number of policemen who were injured since the protests broke out more than 3 weeks ago has reached 680.

    In addition, Turkish Hurriyet (27.06.13) reports almost 300 children at least were taken into custody and one child was wounded by a bullet during protests related to the Gezi Park unrest, according to a report.

    The report by the Gundem Cocuk (Children on the Agenda) Association covered violations of children's rights during the Gezi Park protests between May 28 and June 25.

    According to the report, a minimum of 294 children were taken into custody during the protests. The number of children taken into custody was 78 in Ankara, 35 in Istanbul, 130 in Adana, 34 in Izmir, two in Kayseri and 15 in Mersin. The report also consisted of cases where children were exposed to pepper gas, pressurized water and noise bombs, where some were beaten and roughed up with batons. Some were taken into unregistered custody and were subject to handcuffing and profiling. The report argued that some children under custody were held within the scope of the fight against terrorism. Remarkably, the report suggested presence of a case where a child was wounded by a bullet.

    [10] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Views Possible Legislation for Social Media

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.06.13) reports that Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc explained in reply to a question, that the topic of legislation for social media had not been raised at the Cabinet Meeting but that he had discussed the matter in private with the Minister for Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim and with Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin.

    Saying, "We have no intention of adding new legislation to our current legislation," Arinc went on: "We are not working on coming up with a new crime. I mean, we know very well that in these latest incidents there have been instances of irresponsibility on some social networking sites with respect to manipulating the masses, encouraging crime, invading people's private lives, and making them targets. There is no question of introducing punitive sanctions against these incidents by means of a new article in the penal code or of adding a handful of restrictive provisions in addition to all these. However, there is this: according to general legislation, if a person has committed a crime or is committing a crime, I mean without paying attention to the topics I just listed, call it Twitter, call it Facebook, call it anything you like, if it leads to some incidents that invade a person's private life, that violate their personal rights, that can incur society's anger, or lead to instructions to kill or capture or commit theft, or insult somebody's mother, spouse or children, according to the general provisions here the alleged culprit's identity and location cannot be determined. It is such a complicated world that it is really hard to determine who put it out there, whether the account is bogus or genuine, who opened that account, who tweeted it first.

    In addition, Hurriyet Daily News Online (26.06.13) reports that the state's offer to cooperate with social media micro-blogging website Twitter over the Gezi Park protests has not been received positively by the company, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim said today, Ankara Anatolia news Agency has reported.

    Yildirim said the same offer had also been made to Facebook, and that the company had responded "positively" and was currently is in cooperation with the state. Twitter however turned down the offer, according to Yildirim.

    However, Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.06.13) reports that Facebook said in a statement on Wednesday [26 June] that it did not share with Turkish authorities any user data in relation to Gezi Park protests.

    "Facebook has not provided user data to Turkish authorities in response to government requests relating to the protests. More generally, we reject all government data requests from Turkish authorities and push them to formal legal channels unless it appears that there is an immediate threat to life or a child, which has been the case in only a small fraction of the requests we have received.

    "We are concerned about legislative proposals that might purport to require Internet companies to provide user information to Turkish law enforcement authorities more frequently. We will be meeting with representatives of the Turkish government when they visit Silicon Valley this week, and we intend to communicate our strong concerns about these proposals directly at that time," the company said.

    [11] "Might Gezi Result in New Political Movement?"

    Under the above title, Turkish Taraf (26.06.13) publishes the following commentary by Huseyin Cakir:

    "It turns out there are two major component parts to the Gezi protests. The first consists of organization and political parties and groups acting on orders from central offices. The second is made up of non-organized people not acting on any centrally given decision and who form both vertical and horizontal relations within social media networks and making dates to meet up for the first time in the Gezi resistance field.

    Industrial NGOs with their organizational models and forms of action met up with the "information and communications society" "network relationships" and their models of action in the same fields during the Gezi resistance.

    Might This Result In A New Political Movement? This question is being asked by left-wingers with expectations of a left-wing opposition, by liberal intellectuals and by libertarian Muslim democrats. Might a new opposition emerge by taking a chunk out of the 50 percent that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] is trying to block, the CHP's [Republican People's Party] 25 percent and the MHP's [Nationalist Action Party] 14 percent? This all depends on the reformist line that the AKP might or might not adopt.

    The way that many leading AKP figures have been winding back time and using the same mindset and language of the 1960s, 1970s and 12 Septemberists has aggravated suspicions of "are we heading towards authoritarian rule?" To say, "We have carried out so many reforms, grappled with coups, expanded the areas of freedom and stopped the [Kurd] war" does not make what is happening today right, cannot be used to camouflage it. When police actions are hurting everybody, to first announce more powers for the police then to call them heroes and say, "They passed the test of democracy" makes people ask: "Are we heading towards a police state? Where is the regime headed?" You cannot say: "We are growing and advancing, so that means we are a democratic country." Growth and development does not necessarily mean there is democracy and liberty. Just look at China and Russia.

    Speeches that are earning the indignation of the world in international relations, the strain in EU relations via Germany, the nationalist rhetoric in the "Respect for the National Will" rallies. These are all images of introverted regimes, of latent tutelage regimes trying to break out.

    While all this is going on the most important thing is concern that the [Kurd] peace process might be stopped in its tracks. However, statements to the effect that "the peace process" would continue were made and it was announced that a "package of judicial reforms" amounting to "clearing the road" had been prepared. If we look with good intentions at this good cop, bad cop routine, we can conclude that this is just how the AKP's politics works to keep its conservative-nationalist-chauvinist voting base happy. But these words or policies lead to a rise in tension between the secular segment of society and the conservative-Muslim segment. This attitude of "playing both sides" takes all the sincerity and trust out of the "peace process" and the reforms.

    The overwhelming majority of Muslims and conservatives are just like today's "standing man" - immobile in the face of demands for more freedoms and more democracy. They are hardly expressing any demands for democracy and freedom now, probably because they associate changing the regime and making it more democratic with usurping the state! This means they were expecting their demands and their spiritual and moral values to become the official ideology using the state's apparatus. The current central position of the downtrodden, persecuted and vilified Islamic circles of yesterday is taking shape as unification with the state. An attempt is being made to create a sovereign "bloc" with an armed and a civilian bureaucracy, a conservative middle and upper class, and new capital that has unified with global capital. When this situation is analyzed, the scope and the goal of the AKP's reformism and ability to affect change become clear. When this bloc becomes complete all democratization and expansion of freedoms will halt.

    The "anti-capitalist Muslims." who are seen as marginal, are trying to draw the attention of the conservatives-Muslims to this class-based distinction and this bloc forming.

    The Kurds are the driving force for change today. The second component of change consists of the Alevis. The third component is made up of liberal intellectuals, libertarian left-wingers, social democratic who advocate social democracy with universal values, and libertarian Muslim democrats. The fourth component consists of anti-authoritarian and libertarian youths who are one the social networks both inside Taksim Gezi Park (Gezi Park is now a symbol) and outside of it too. Finally, there are the urban new middle class and the urban poor who think they are part of the bloc that is taking shape and who are for now staying silent for the sake of "stability." These disparate societal and social groups have not been able to unify politically.

    The Kurds' legal political parties have constantly tried to set themselves the goal of being a "Turkey party." The objective and subjective conditions for being a "Turkey party" have taken shape. The BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] sees itself as being on the left. It takes part in the "Socialist International" as an observer. It is not a party that favors changing the system through revolution. It wants to democratize the regime. In which case, it needs to establish and develop relations with those ideological, political and social segments of society that match this goal. The more it can develop relations with the forces of change as stated above, the better placed it will be to play the role of an active and effective opposition party in Parliament as the voice of social opposition. Even if a new left that favors change is going to happen, this change can only emerge from these dynamics."

    [12] EU envoys respond to Bagis's comparison of Turkish and EU police

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.06.13) writes about the reaction of EU envoys who were invited by EU Minister Egemen Bagis at a lunch on June 25 in an effort to explain the Turkish government's stance on Gezi Park protests. Bagis was accompanied by Ibrahim Kalin, an adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and top police officials. Ambassadors were given a dossier of pictures and were shown a 15-minute recording, including footage showing used beer cans in the Dolmabahce Mosque over the Gezi Park demonstrations.

    "Comparing the Turkish police's brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators to other countries' police interventions is pointless and not helpful, according to EU ambassadors, who have requested "transparency and accountability" in the investigation into the Turkish police's harsh crackdowns on civilians during the Gezi Park protests", writes the paper and notes the following:

    "In the face of harsh criticisms from the international community, the Turkish government increased its efforts to explain to the world the motives of the three-week protests, with "evidence" detailing how the protests turned violent.

    Bagis presented other examples from European countries like Italy, Greece, Spain and Germany where police also used excessive force in dispersing protestors. However, an EU diplomat talking to the Hurriyet Daily News said making comparisons and bringing bad examples to the forefront was not helpful for Turkey to resolve this problem. "We have brought this point to the attention of Turkish officials at different levels, including at this meeting," the diplomat stressed.

    Recalling that the police used excessive force even during peaceful demonstrations, the ambassadors also asked for "transparency" in investigating the police's unlawful interventions. "Freedom of assembly and free media are essential elements of European values. We highlighted that these values have been violated in Turkey," the diplomat stated.

    At the lunch, the ambassadors also expressed their unease about the language used by Turkish officials in both local and international media, underlining that it was not appropriate or compatible with regard to the principle of freedom of expression. The ambassadors also brought up the issue of detained lawyers and doctors, and questioned some statements from Turkish government officials on restricting the use of social media.

    Bagis denied that the government had exerted pressure on the media not to cover the protests, saying such coverage was a result of self-censorship of media groups that are part of large conglomerates who were concerned that tarnishing the country's image would negatively affect business."

    [13] Turkish, Russian Foreign Ministers Discuss Syrian Crisis by Phone

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.06.13) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday [26 June] discussed over the phone the Syria crisis with his Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    According to Turkish diplomatic sources, the conversation was held over the request of Lavrov. Lavrov informed Davutoglu about the preliminary meeting of the US, Russia and the United Nations for the Geneva 2 conference to find a solution for the Syria crisis. Davutoglu shared his impressions from the Friends of the Syrian People Ministerial Core Group meeting in Doha over the weekend. Both foreign ministers agreed to come together at the ASEAN conference next week in Brunei to talk about the Syrian issue.

    [14] Trans-Adriatic Pipeline knocks out Nabucco to carry Caspian gas to Europe

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (26.06.13) reports that the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) has been selected over Nabucco, another proposed pipeline project, to transport natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field across Turkey to the European market.

    The Diplomatic sources who spoke to Today's Zaman on Wednesday, confirmed that the decision regarding TAP's selection was announced to the Nabucco Consortium on Tuesday and official comments concerning the decision would be made on Friday.

    The long-awaited decision between the 1,300-kilometer-long Nabucco project and TAP, which is 791 kilometers long, was finally made. Financing has long been an issue for Nabucco, with energy experts claiming that the Azerbaijani side was receptive to the Nabucco project but British Petroleum was more insistent on TAP.

    Evaluating the decision, international energy expert Mehmet Ogutcu commented that Nabucco seemed to be the front-runner up until the last phase of the decision making process while TAP had been criticized for not being able to provide a solution to the supply problems of Southeastern Europe as it plans to carry gas to Italy via pipelines across Albania. "My belief is that TAP has taken steps to overcome the concerns during the last phase, maybe even providing sub-branching to its main pipelines."Ogutcu noted that TAP was a better project in terms of planning compared to Nabucco, saying: "The current decision does not harm any of Turkey's benefits. However, changes in the consortium's shares will be on the agenda."

    TAP oversees the transportation of Caspian gas that will be carried to the Greek border in Turkey via the 10 billion euro Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) to European markets. According to the plans, the pipeline will carry a total of 16 billion cubic meters of gas per year, keeping 6 billion cubic meters in Turkey while transporting 10 billion cubic meters to European markets. The gas will be transported to southern Italy via an undersea pipeline that will be built in the Adriatic Sea between Albania and Italy, according to the framework of the project.

    Europe aims to diversify its natural gas supply markets via the implementation of the pipeline. The TANAP consortium includes the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), the Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), with BOTAS and TPAO comprising 20 percent of the consortium, SOCAR owning 51 percent of the shares and the remaining 29 percent allocated between BP, Statoil and Total.

    Meanwhile, the TAP consortium comprises Swedish AXPO and Norwegian Statoil, with each holding 42.5 percent of the shares, and German EON with a 15-percent share. The pipelines are projected to begin construction in 2014 and be completed by 2018.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

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