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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-08-12

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 <>



  • [01] Ertug assesses the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Talat comments on the Cyprus problem and insists on a CTP-UBP "coalition government"
  • [03] Turkish settlers have reportedly made an agreement with CTP before the "parliamentary elections" and campaigned against UBP
  • [04] Self-styled prime minister said that "individual agreements" on the property issue will end the "occupied territory" rhetoric
  • [05] Breakaway regime's "transition government" safeguard the selling of immovable property to around 260 foreigners
  • [06] Anti-militarist peace movement will be held by YKP
  • [07] Jordan Education Ministry suspended accreditation of illegal YDU diplomas
  • [08] Turkey's graduate students in the occupied part of Cyprus have increased to 6,929
  • [09] Basbug asks Erdogan and Ozel to voice reaction against the court's ruling
  • [10] Kilicdaroglu says specially authorized courts "illegitimate"
  • [11] Columnist argues on AKP-Gulen community quarrel about 2014 polls
  • [12] PetroChina to join giant Iraqi oilfield
  • [13] Turkey, Japan take important step toward reaching free trade accord


    [01] Ertug assesses the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (10.08.13) publishes an interview with Osman Ertug, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's spokesman and special representative. The paper reports that Ertug has alleged that President Nikos Anastasiades is not the same with the party leader Nikos Anastasiades, who had said "yes" to the Annan Plan in 2004, and claimed that now the President has transferred his decision taking power to the National Council avoiding to undertake his responsibility.

    Ertug alleged that from President Anastasiades' statements it is understood that he exerts efforts to degrade the level of the negotiations and shows lack of will. Replying to a question, Ertug said that the Turkish Cypriot side expects for the negotiations to start in October and added that the statements made by the Greek Cypriot side create difficulties and are turned into "delaying tactics". "This worries us", he argued.

    Referring to the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side as regards the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal owners within the framework of confidence building measures that could contribute in the solution process, Ertug recalled statements allegedly made by former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Rolandis who had allegedly said that "this has been suggested seven times and seven times has been rejected". He argued that it is wrong to dig up again issues on which success had not been achieved in the past. Noting that Varosha is a substantial issue, he alleged that "you cannot put forward substantial issues only as confidence building measures". He reiterated the allegation that the Turkish side did whatever it could for the commencement and the success of the negotiations until today and recalled that it was the Turkish side that opened the crossing points in 2003 and voted in favour of the Annan Plan in 2004.

    Ertug argued that Varosha is a part of the territory issue and therefore it would come onto the agenda when the territory would be discussed within the framework of the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem. "While referring to gestures and confidence building, the main issue should be the lifting of the embargoes and the isolations", he alleged claiming that the opening of Turkey's sea and airports and the benefits from this development should be taken into consideration in return for lifting all restrictions.

    Replying to a question, Ertug said that the lifting of the "isolations" is not tantamount to upgrading or recognizing the breakaway regime, because "recognition is a separate issue ", and "it is an issue of political declaration mutually made between two states". "Wanting to be recognized is our right and when we decide this we will go out honestly and demand it", he claimed alleging that "at the time being we are discussing bi-zonal, bi-communal federation", "a federation based on political equality".

    Asked as to whether the involvement of international players in the issue of the island's natural gas resources has made the process more complex, Ertug alleged that the alliance of the Republic of Cyprus with other countries and mainly with Israel on this issue and its cooperation with foreign companies, have made the issue more complex. He argued that the Turkish Cypriots are determined to protect their so-called rights on this issue in cooperation with Turkey and alleged that "the Greek Cypriot side is not the only side which has right on this issue". He claimed that the Greek Cypriots need the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey at the stage of finding, extracting and especially exporting oil and natural gas.

    According to the paper, Ertug said: "At the moment we are discussing a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. We are discussing a federation based on political equality. However, we are giving the following message to them: If you are not sincere about this and you see the negotiations as a game and delaying tactics, come then and let us cooperate on the issue of hydrocarbons, just like Mr Davutoglu had said. Let the whole of Cyprus be benefited. If you do not agree on this as well, come then and let us discuss a two-state solution. We can discuss this through negotiations?"


    [02] Talat comments on the Cyprus problem and insists on a CTP-UBP "coalition government"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.08.13) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has alleged that a "chaos of concepts" was created with the appointment of Andreas Mavroyiannis to the post of the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side at the Cyprus talks. In statements to a television station, Talat recalled yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot side has also a "special representative" and argued that in this manner the level of the negotiations has been degraded. "This issue will last for another 40 years", he alleged.

    Asked what would happen in October, Talat claimed that with this stance by President Anastasiades, the matter "will be delayed". When he was reminded of news in the Greek Cypriot press that UN Secretary-General's special adviser Alexander Downer has positively reacted to the appointment of Andreas Mavroyiannis to the post of negotiator, Talat criticized Downer's stance.

    Asked to comment on the view that NATO will undertake a role in the area as regards the oil and that this could be related to the solution of the Cyprus problem, Talat argued that this is really related to the solution of the Cyprus problem and added that Cyprus should join NATO in order for NATO "to be able to establish such an umbrella".

    Responding to a question, Talat reiterated his view in favour of the establishment of a "coalition government" between the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) and the National Unity Party (UBP) and denied that he supported this view upon suggestions from Ankara. He argued that UBP and the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) are the same and added that DP-UG is under Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's control. He said he knows the problems which exist within the members of the parties in case of a "coalition" between CTP and UBP, but "what is essential is achieving an agreement on a good governmental program".

    Asked to reply to those who say that he supports the CTP-UBP "coalition government" because he wants to be "candidate" in the next "presidential elections", Talat wondered: "Are those who criticize this proposal of mine very satisfied and happy with Eroglu's presidency?"


    [03] Turkish settlers have reportedly made an agreement with CTP before the "parliamentary elections" and campaigned against UBP

    Under the title "We are not for sale", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.08.13) reports that Bertan Zaroglu, chairman of the association of the illegal Turkish settlers who have come to the occupied area of Cyprus from Alexandretta district, has argued that the "voters" from Alexandretta "played a great role" in the decrease of the "votes" of the National Unity Party (UBP) during the recent "parliamentary elections" held on 28 July, 2013. In statements to Star Kibris, Zaroglu said that the people whom he represents are facing some problems, which the last "government" did not take into consideration.

    Alleging that efforts had been exerted to bribe settlers before the "elections", Zaroglu argued: "We have buried in the ballot box the mentality which suggested bribery instead of solution of problems and thought that it could buy out people with money".

    Asked to comment on news published in the press that they had made an agreement with Turfan Erhurman, "MP" with the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG), Zaroglu confirmed that they had met and made an agreement with Erhurman. He added: "This was not an agreement based on financial gain. It was aimed at changing the stance of the CTP who had built a wall between itself and the people from Alexandretta. And success was achieved in this".

    The paper notes that the settlers from Alexandretta have usually been voting for the UBP, but changed this "habit" during the recent "elections".

    Zaroglu complained of the "long period" which settlers should wait for taking the "citizenship" of the regime and argued that during the last "government's" term of duty they had experienced a lot of problems and they are angry because of these difficulties.

    Zaroglu said that 17.000-18.000 persons from Alexandretta are living in the occupied area of Cyprus and noted that one third of these people are "voters" and stay in Nicosia. He noted that he had talked to 2.500 persons before the "elections" and told them he wished for UBP's chairman Irsen Kucuk not to win. He said he had supported Ahmet Kasif, who ran as "candidate" with the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG). He noted also that 300 "mixed votes" of people from Alexandretta went to the CTP.


    [04] Self-styled prime minister said that "individual agreements" on the property issue will end the "occupied territory" rhetoric

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (10.08.13) reports that the road has opened for "individual agreements" regarding the "problem" of the Greek Cypriot properties in the breakaway regime, for which Turkey has paid until now 400 million Turkish Liras.

    According to the paper, the so-called current owners of big hotels and restaurants in occupied Cyprus can pay directly and can come with an "individual agreement" with the "old owners" of the properties, as the paper describes the Greek Cypriot owners of the properties.

    The paper which alleges that the breakaway regime took an important step for the solution of the property issue, which is one of the touchstones of the Cyprus problem, reports that the agreements will be accepted by the so-called Immovable Property Commission (TMK) as well.

    In statements to Milliyet on the issue, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime Sibel Siber, said that through the individual solution of property, the value of the property will be increased and it will be turned into "original Turkish property" [in the occupied area of the island]. She also said with this development the "occupied territory" rhetoric will come to an end.

    She went on and added that before the Greek Cypriots applied to the TMK, the payments of which were given by the "state" something that brings out the very high cost of the process and lengthen the procedure. However, from now on the money will be paid by the Turkish Cypriots and this agreement will be accepted both by the TMK and the breakaway regime. In this way, the "state" will save a severe amount of money, according to Siber.

    She also said that the hotels and restaurants in occupied Cyprus were under attack and were called "stolen", but now the "current" owners are met with the Greek Cypriot owners and try to find a way to reach an agreement. She claimed that there are many persons who are looking for an agreement. Finally she said that both Ankara and the "TRNC presidency" support the proposal.

    [05] Breakaway regime's "transition government" safeguard the selling of immovable property to around 260 foreigners

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.08.13) reports that the self-styled minister on interior Gulsun Yucel, stated that the transition "government" of the breakaway regime made savings up to 5.5 million Turkish Liras for the "state budget" during the one and a half months that it was to power.

    According to the paper, Yucel said these savings were made by safeguarding the selling of immovable property to around 260 foreigners who waited for long time to buy property and by providing solution to issues they faced regarding mortgages.

    [06] Anti-militarist peace movement will be held by YKP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (11.08.13) reported that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) will hold the 4th event under the name "Anti-militarist peace movement" on 14th of August, to protest for the existence of the British and Turkish military bases in the island.

    The event will be organized by the youth of YKP and some independent activists within the walls of the occupied part of Lefkosia. A group of Greek Cypriot musicians will also participate in the event.

    Haluk Selam Tufanli, member of the organization committee of the event, said that they live in a geographical area, where the occupation has been continuing for 38 years now, adding that they don't hesitate to call it occupation and they are against it. He also said that Turkey's presence in the island should come to an end, adding that they will continue to organize every year events until the British bases and the military bases of other countries close down.

    Finally, Tufanli said that the Turkish political party Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) sent a message supporting this event.

    [07] Jordan Education Ministry suspended accreditation of illegal YDU diplomas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (12.08.13) reports that the Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry of Jordan decided to suspend the accreditation of the diplomas of the illegal Near East University (YDU).

    According to the paper, this decision was taken on the ground that the English language knowledge of the YDU personnel as well as its educational quality was inadequate.

    Kiblisli notes that this has a big impact regarding the reliability of higher education system of the breakaway regime in the Middle East and notes that this development may also have a great impact on the "economy" of the breakaway regime.

    [08] Turkey's graduate students in the occupied part of Cyprus have increased to 6,929

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (12.08.13) reports that 6,929 students, coming from Turkey, will study in the illegal universities in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the academic year 2013-2014.

    According to the paper, the numbers of students from Turkey studying in the occupied area in the previous years are as follows:

    2008: 8,143

    2009: 4,273

    2010: 3,940


    2012: 5,798

    2013: 6,929

    The "East Mediterranean University" ("DAU") is the most preferable "university" among the Turkish students.

    [09] Basbug asks Erdogan and Ozel to voice reaction against the court's ruling

    Under the title "PM Erdoan, general must speak up against coup case, retired General Babu writes", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 10.08.13) reported that Retired Chief of General Staff Gen. 0lker Babu asked the current officeholder, Necdet ?zel, whether he would remain silent about the convictions given to him and other generals in the Turkish military, and criticized Parliament for failing to prevent the verdicts by making the necessary legal amendments despite the prime minister's earlier remarks, in a letter sent to daily H?rriyet on Aug. 9.

    "It should not be forgotten that chief of General Staff is the commander of the Turkish Armed Forces. He has to protect this institution against unfair, groundless and harsh attacks. Today will the commander, who holds the position of chief of General Staff, keep his silence on this issue, to which Mr. Prime Minister already reacted to and rejected?" wrote Babu, addressing ?zel.

    Babu's letter came after the landmark ruling released Aug. 5 in the Ergenekon coup plot case. The court ruled for the conviction of more than 250 people on charges of attempting to topple the government, while jailing Babu for life.

    Babu recalls Erdoan's remarks on case

    "Some of those at the Turkish General Staff headquarters have been [convicted for being] the managers of a terror organization and others have terror organization member status. The Turkish Armed Forces' supreme headquarters is a terror organization's headquarters [according to the verdict]. The Turkish Armed Forces' commander is the manager of a terror organization. Let's stop here, take a breath and ask justifiably these questions: Mr. Prime Minister said on HaberT?rk channel on Feb. 1, 2013 that 'Yes, it's is a serious and unforgivable mistake to call active and retired generals members of a terror organization. If they [those who call generals terrorists] see their status as safe now, history will not forgive them. The Turkish Armed Forces is an organization but not a terror organization. It's a constitutional organization.' However, in a decision given around six months after this speech, the 13th High Criminal Court announced that some of the high-level officials at the General Staff headquarters are 'members of a terror organization' and some of them, including the chief of staff, are 'managers of a terror organization.' What will be thought and written about those holding the majority in Parliament failing to make the necessary amendments to prevent the historic mistake of the court and not making these amendments in the future?" asked Babu.

    Babu cited Professor Sami Sel?uk and Professor 0zzet ?zgen?'s remarks saying that the chief of General Staff is accountable to the Prime Minister and ruling out any terror accusations against the chief of General Staff.

    "The chief of General Staff is appointed by the President upon the Cabinet's suggestion. The public wonders about the opinions of the Cabinet members, who proposed the appointment of the 26th Chief of General Staff and who worked with him, as well as Mr. President, who approved this proposal and worked with the chief of General Staff, over the remarks of these two respected legal experts," Babu wrote.

    The verdict trial, which decided the fate of 275 suspects at the end of the five-year process, resulted in hundreds of years of imprisonment in total and several aggravated life sentences for a series of the country's high-ranking army members, journalists and academics.

    Babu criticized the high security measures, disorganization and inhuman conditions during the trial in his letter. He wrote that the court's decision not to allow the relatives of the suspects inside the courthouse increased the tension in the country.

    "The court's decision was mistaken in terms of its methods. It should be declared in an open trial and announced to the public with its justifications," Babu added. The courtroom was filled with deputies, press members and lawyers. Security measures were abnormally strict? the lawyers climbed on the bench to see the suspects. Were we being tried in our own country or in an enemy country? Or was the court seeing us as an enemy? What was the court expecting the suspects to do?" he added.

    Babu said some of the suspects could not hear their sentences and had to ask the court to repeat it. Retired Gen. Babu said he walked off the courtroom when the release of Osman Y1ld1r1m, who was involved in several attacks, including the fatal State of Council shooting, was read.

    "When the release of suspect Osman Y1ld1r1m is read, I thought that it would be an insult to my personality to stay in this room and I stood and walked off the room while applauding the decision," he said.

    [10] Kilicdaroglu says specially authorized courts "illegitimate"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 10.08.13) reported that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K1l1?darolu said that specially authorized courts do not have any legitimacy, adding that he did not recognize rulings by them.

    He was apparently referring to the recent controversial ruling by a specially authorized court that convicted a former top commander and more than 250 other people on charges of attempting to overthrow the government of Turkey.

    "Specially authorized courts do not exist in democracies. Rulings made by specially authorized courts are not legitimate in democracies. The judiciary needs to be independent and impartial; the judiciary should not be in the hands of the political authority," K1l1?darolu said in an interview with Doan news agency Aug. 9 in the eastern Anatolian province of Tunceli, his hometown, where he was observing Eid al-Fitr.

    Decisions made by the martial law courts in the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup d'?tat were not accepted by the conscience of the society, K1l1?darolu said. He also said a court established after the May 27, 1960 coup against the Democratic Party (DP) government led by late Adnan Menderes that sentenced the toppled prime minister, Menderes, to death, was not a "natural" court and the decisions made by it were not accepted by the conscience of society either.

    "The extraordinary courts do not deliver justice; the extraordinary courts fulfil the orders of the political authority; that's why we do not consider the decisions made by these courts legitimate. We do not consider the judges serving there as judges either. No offense. If you limit the right to defence, then should we consider him a judge? Should we consider that court as the court that delivers justice?" K1l1?darolu said.

    [11] Columnist argues on AKP-Gulen community quarrel about 2014 polls

    Columnist Erdem Gul, writing in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (online, 09.08.13), under the title "AKP and Community Fell Out Once Again", published the following commentary on the deepening row between AKP and Gulen community in 'calculations' for 2014 polls:

    "Behind the argument between the AKP [Justice and Development Party] and the [Fethullah Gulen] community, which started as a polemic among newspaper columnists and grew on social media, lie calculations for the crucial year of 2014 when first the local and then presidential elections will be held. According to the AKP's estimates, the community can steer a proportion of 6% of the votes in the elections. There are indications in the political corridors that starting in autumn, the process between the AKP and the community will take shape around the 6% share of the cake.

    The first clear indication of the AKP-community row appeared in the national media through columnists. Mehmet Barlas in the Sabah daily asked why Today's Zaman, which is among the media organizations close to the community, did not publish the advertisement that had been placed by Oscar winning actors in The Times, to which Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had strongly reacted.

    Barlas accused media organizations close to the community, and principally Today's Zaman, for publishing harshly critical comments targeting the government during the Gezi protests. Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of the Zaman newspaper, responded to Barlas: "Are you the party spokesman?" and then the polemics continued with the participation of other newspaper columnists. Thereafter, Orhan Kemal Cengiz's article in Today's Zaman titled "How does Erdogan fall from leadership" led to mutual recriminations that bordered on a fight, which were then transferred to social media. The hashtag started by AKP supporters, "Zamannewspaper, get yourself together," won third spot in Turkey's top news agenda.

    Frozen Since 7 February

    It is pointed out in the political corridors that the Gezi protests has reignited what the AKP supporters had called the "7 February coup" tension, which had cooled off after rising to a peak when MIT [National Intelligence Organization] Director Hakan Fidan was called to give evidence. It is stressed that Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc's visit to Fethullah Gulen, when the former accompanied Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in his US trip, had not been positive. Following this development, decisions to carry out an operation within the police force and to shut down Gulen's teaching institutions that came in tandem have brought the row out into the daylight, it is pointed out.

    Six Percent Cake

    People in the corridors say calculations over 2014 when two critical elections will be held constitute the political background of the media row that erupted with these developments. According to the information obtained, the AKP calculates the proportion of voters who are guided by the community as 6%. It is stressed within the AKP that the community has estimated the proportion of votes it guides as between 15-20%, but that this does not reflect the truth. The AKP said of the community's vote capacity: "They clearly worked toward a 'yes' in the 12 September referendum. The hoja [Gulen] announced that 'even the dead must vote.' Then they supported us in the 2011 elections. What we have established is an electoral proportion of around 6%."

    Gul Dimension

    According to the AKP, President Abdullah Gul's indecision about whether to seek another term is another factor that has triggered the fight. According to the AKP's expectations, questions over how Gul's political future will take shape and if Erdogan becomes a presidential nominee, who will he nominate as his successor for the AKP and the government will also keep on fueling the fight and give it new dimensions.

    Even Half Percent is Vital

    It is regarded as certain in the AKP that the fight that has unfolded will continue until after the two elections in 2014. Expectations are voiced by the AKP that this fight will carry on with its news dimensions starting in autumn when the solution package and the issue of the new constitution will be on the parliamentary agenda. However, it is said that bearing in mind that the president will be chosen by the public and that a 50+1 percent vote is required, no opportunity for voter support for Erdogan will be sacrificed. It is said: "Even half a percent is vital for us." Evaluations are also being made within the AKP that the one-year period during which the two elections will take place will be very stressful due to the troubles being experienced with the community, but that in the last instance a division of paths will not be risked."

    [12] PetroChina to join giant Iraqi oilfield

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.08.13) with the above title reports that China's biggest energy firm PetroChina will join Exxon Mobil in developing Iraq's giant West Qurna oilfield and is in talks with Russia's Lukoil to buy a second project at the field, industry sources said.

    China is already the top foreign player in Iraq's oilfields. A deal at West Qurna, which is around 50 km northwest of the southern oil hub of Basra, would boost its dominance and could make PetroChina the biggest single foreign investor in Iraqi oil.

    West Qurna is central to Iraq's oil expansion plans, with enough reserves to pump more than 5 million barrels per day (bpd), and it could rival the world's biggest producer, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar field, when its two phases are running fully.

    "PetroChina will participate in developing the field," an industry source with direct knowledge of the deal with Exxon said on Friday.

    The agreement would be announced in weeks, the source said, but declined to give further details on how the world's two most valuable listed energy firms would work together in Iraq. Both PetroChina and Exxon declined to comment.

    PetroChina already partners BP at Rumaila, now Iraq's largest producer, and operates the Halfaya and al-Ahdab fields. The company was the first foreign firm to sign an oil service deal in Iraq after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein.

    Baghdad signed a series of service contracts in 2009 that committed international oil companies to raising Iraq's oil output by 2017 beyond 12 million bpd - more than Saudi Arabia produces now.

    Infrastructure and security problems have since forced the government to cut the target to 9 million bpd by 2020. The issues are so acute Iraq could report a year-on-year output fall for 2013, its first after two years of robust gains.

    Despite the frustrations, Exxon, which holds a 60% stake in West Qurna-1, has made steady progress with minority partner Royal Dutch Shell and the field, a $50 billion investment project, is pumping around 480,000 bpd.

    [13] Turkey, Japan take important step toward reaching free trade accord

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.08.13) with the above title reports that a study group established by Turkish and Japanese representatives has presented a report on a potential free trade agreement, marking another important step towards a trade pact.

    The report prepared by the Joint Study Group, has been finalized and is ready to be sent to the Japanese side, the Turkish Economy Ministry said in a statement released on its website last week.

    Japan and Turkey agreed to look into the possibility of negotiating a bilateral free-trade agreement in July 2012 during ?alayan's Japan visit, in order to develop trade volume, which totalled $3.9 billion in 2012.

    The statement said that after the Japanese side completes the internal approval process of the report, the countries will be ready to pass to the subsequent phase of beginning FTA negotiations.

    The group's report reflected authorities' previous remarks regretting that the trade volume between the two countries was below the real potential. Turkey especially wants to balance its trade ties with one of the largest economies in the world.

    Turkey conducted only $332 million in exports to Japan last year, figures that were dwarfed by Japanese exports to Turkey totalling $3.6 billion. "A free trade to be negotiated between the parties is expected to deepen the economic relations and enrich the investment and cooperation opportunities as well as boosting bilateral trade ? which currently weigh against Turkey ? while turning it into a more balanced structure," the report said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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