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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-10-03

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. 187/13 03.10.13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry: solution by the end of the year is possible in Cyprus
  • [02] Eroglu: a new partnership state should be emerge from the merger of the authorities of the two "states" in Cyprus
  • [03] Nami: the sides disagree on how the Cyprus negotiations will resume; "Water Conference" with the participation of OIC countries in occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Ertug and Maurogiannis held a meeting yesterday
  • [05] Ozgurgun: we want a new model based on two separate founding states in Cyprus; UBP-CTP "coalition" is not impossible
  • [06] More calls by the Turkish Cypriots to return to the Cyprus Republic's village names in the breakaway regime
  • [07] Bagis says Chapter 22 would be opened in November
  • [08] Turkey needs to be "encouraged" to reopen Halki Seminary: Bagis
  • [09] Erdogan: Turkey's step on education in mother tongues sets example for Europe; BDP: poor Kurdish families cannot afford private schools
  • [10] Iraqi FM to visit Turkey as part of rapprochement
  • [11] Former Turkish minister faces life sentence over murder allegations
  • [12] Columnists evaluate the democratization package

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry: solution by the end of the year is possible in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.10.13) reports that Levent Gumrukcu, spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has said that the visits of the representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides to Ankara and Athens "could create a negotiations format that might contribute to the solution" in Cyprus.

    In statements during his regular press conference yesterday, Gumrukcu said that the date of these visits will be determined "simultaneously and at equal level with Greece and the sides in the island". "There is absolutely no reason for the negotiations not to be completed by the end of the year in case political will could be exhibited after they start", he argued.

    Responding to a question as to whether Turkey has a road map in the negotiating process expected to resume on the Cyprus problem, Gumrukcu, who was evaluating Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu's contacts at the United Nations, noted that Cyprus was an important subject on the agenda of Davutoglu's contacts in New York. He claimed that the stance which Turkey showed from the very beginning is that the negotiations in Cyprus should start the soonest and be concluded with "determination and effectiveness". He said that they have also been stating that the two guarantor powers should constructively contribute in the process.

    Noting that the visits of representatives of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to Ankara and Athens is something which will happen for the first time, Gumrukcu pointed out that the position of Turkey that the actual interlocutor of the Greek Cypriots are the Turkish Cypriots has not changed. He noted, though, that while they were saying that, at the same time they have been stating that "we should actively contribute to the process as sides and facilitate the solution".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu: a new partnership state should emerge from the merger of the authorities of the two "states" in Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 02.10.13), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said that the new partnership state to be created in the event of a solution, should emerge from the merger of the authorities of the two "states" in Cyprus. Eroglu also said that Cyprus President Anastasiades should not speak in riddles.

    Evaluating the latest statements made by the Cyprus President, Eroglu, during a visit paid to him, called on Anastasiades to be clearer in what he was trying to say.

    According to "BRT", Anastasiades had said that the Republic of Cyprus had completed its time and that the transformation of the Cyprus Republic into a federal state was inevitable.

    Commenting on the issue, Eroglu said that any new partnership state to be created in Cyprus must emerge from the merger of the authorities of the two "states" in Cyprus.

    Eroglu concluded by saying that the new negotiations process was the last opportunity as talks between the two sides in Cyprus had been going on since 1968.

    [03] Nami: the sides disagree on how the Cyprus negotiations will resume; "Water Conference" with the participation of OIC countries in occupied Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 02.10.13), self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami, speaking on "BRT", said that a joint paper to be prepared by the Special Representatives of the two sides will be finalized when the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor Alexander Downer arrives on the island next week. Nami drew attention to the fact that differences existed between the two sides on how the negotiations should recommence and proceed.

    Stressing that the talks must proceed at the leaders' level, Nami also underlined the importance of conducting the negotiations within a timeframe.

    Nami said that intense lobbying activities were continuing in the US and 20 other countries, adding that efforts to export goods produced in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to other countries were continuing.

    Nami also announced that a conference on water to be attended by OIC member countries will be hosted by the "TRNC" in November this year.

    [04] Ertug and Mavrogiannis held a meeting yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (03.10.13) reports that Osman Ertug the special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu held a two-hour meeting yesterday with the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavrogiannis.

    Speaking to the illegal TAK news agency after the meeting, Ertug stated that they worked with Mavrogiannis on the initial statement that will be announced by the two Cypriot leaders after their meeting to be held in October. He also stated that the UN Secretary General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer will arrive on the island tomorrow (Tr. Note: today) and that he will meet with Eroglu on October 4. Ertug also said that Downer will have separate meetings with him and his team and with Mavrogiannis' team and that he is also planning to meet with Ertug and Mavrogiannis over a meal.

    He also said that Downer will hold contacts in Greece before coming to Cyprus.

    [05] Ozgurgun: we want a new model based on two separate founding states in Cyprus; UBP-CTP "coalition" is not impossible

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.10.13) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has alleged that the Cyprus problem exists for 53 years and absolutely no progress has been achieved. In statements yesterday to Ada television, Ozgurgun claimed that the aim of the Greek Cypriots is to allegedly "patch" the Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus and take away some rights from them. "As for us, we want a new model based on two separate founding states", he noted adding that "for years only delegations change, but the same things are said".

    Referring to the identity of the Turkish Cypriots, Ozgurgun argued that it is wrong to make the Cypriot identity an issue in politics and claimed: "I am a Cypriot and I am proud, but at the end I am also a Turk, like a person from Trabzon, from Antep".

    He alleged, inter alia, the following: "The situation in Cyprus today suits everybody. The EU, the USA, Greece, Turkey, Britain have bases here. And they use them without anyone even knowing anything. It is a sovereign area. Actually, this suits us as well. Do not see what it is said. Those who remember the period before 1974 can understand. Where we have been and where we have come to. A half island with seven universities, a bed capacity of approximately half a million, Turkey investing 3.3 billion dollar in two years, a people that administrates itself living here having created its own public system and state even though its income is not sufficient. Being economically depended changes nothing. Both Turkey and Britain are economically depended on somewhere. There is no country in the world which is not depended on somewhere? In the end we are happy. If there is a change in the Cyprus problem, there will definitely be unpredictable loses. Everyone has taken a position and does not want to go back?"

    Referring to the internal politics in the Turkish Cypriot community, Ozgurgun said that ten years ago no one could even refer to a "coalition" between the UBP and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). "Today the situation is not like this", he said and added that serious problems which need to be solved exist in the occupied area of Cyprus. "A sound coalition which can do this might come up. The only alternative which has not been tried is CTP-UBP or UBP-CTP", he noted.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.10.13) reports that replying to allegations that some "MPs" from the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) might return back to the UBP, Ozgurgun said that his party is not in favour of transfers of "MPs". "The direct transfer of MPs is problematic. Everyone could resign from his party, but we are not positive to the issue called transfer", he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] More calls by Turkish Cypriots to return to the Cyprus Republic's village names in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (03.10.13) reports that the self-styled minister of occupied Keryneia Sumer Aygin stated that this is the time the occupied village of Templos, which is now called by the breakaway regime "Zeytinlik" to return to its former name.

    Aygin made these statements during the "Keryneia olive festival" taking place in the occupied area of Cyprus these days.

    Aygin referred to the democratization package which was announced by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday and provides the use of the old names of Turkish villages in Turkey and wished that the name "Templos" was used for the village as well.

    [07] Bagis says Chapter 22 will open in November

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 03.10.13), EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis said Chapter 22, one of the 35 negotiating chapters, would be opened on Nov. 5, after months of delay.

    An actual date for the start for negotiations on Chapter 22, "Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments", will be set after the EU Commission releases an annual progress report on Turkey's membership efforts in mid-October.

    Bagis told Turkish reporters on Wednesday that a meeting between Turkish and EU officials could take place on Nov. 5.

    [08] Turkey needs to be "encouraged" to reopen Halki Seminary: Bagis

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.10.13) reported that EU Minister Egemen Bagis has said Turkey needs to be "encouraged" to reopen the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary in Istanbul, calling on Greece to keep its promise by opening a mosque in Athens.

    "The Halki Seminary was closed not by our government, nor by any political party. It is closed by court order. If some regulations are needed to overcome the court order, I'm calling on [Greece] from Brussels to make the necessary arrangements: Encourage us too, keep your promises," Bagis said at the opening ceremony of state-run news agency Anadolu Agency's Brussels office.

    The Minister said they had always emphasized the need to take simultaneous and well-intentioned steps on the issue. "This is not reciprocity, but a sign of good will. We have shown many times that we are in good faith toward Orthodox people," Bagis said, giving examples of the government's steps and drawing attention to Greece's promise to open a mosque in Athens.

    The reopening of the Halki Seminary was not included in the Turkish government's recent democratization package, an exclusion that has drawn some criticisms.

    Bagis said he would make a trip to Greece on Oct. 7-8 and express these issues to officials. "It is time to keep promises. If they do so, it will encourage us in other issues," he said.

    [09] Erdogan: Turkey's step on education in mother tongues sets example for Europe; BDP: poor Kurdish families cannot afford private schools

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.10.13) reported that reforms that allow students to receive education in their mother tongue in private schools sets an example to follow for European countries, home to a large Turkish migrant community, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The new policy was unveiled as part of a much-anticipated democratization package announced earlier this week.

    "Those people who contribute to the economy of the country they reside in by working and [turn an honest penny] for more than half of a century have become, to a great extent, permanently settled. However, a large part of those [Turkish] citizens have not been granted education in their mother tongue despite their great efforts and demands," Erdogan said during the informal meeting of the OECD Education Ministers in Istanbul Oct. 2.

    Erdogan stressed that measures foreseeing the provision of education in one's mother tongue was included in the European Union acquis.

    "So, this right has not been provided to [Turkish citizens] despite this falling within the EU acquis. So, we have made a step that will allow European countries to take an example from Turkey on this matter," he said.

    Although branded as an important step for the resolution in granting cultural rights to Kurds, the reform was described as "falling short" by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

    "This is another sort of discrimination. Poor Kurdish families will not be able to enrol their children in these private schools," BDP's co-chairwoman Gultan Kisanak said, demanding the measure to also apply to state schools.

    [10] The Iraqi FM to visit Turkey as part of rapprochement

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 03.10.13), Ankara and Baghdad are looking to bury their hatchet, with the latter's Foreign Minister expected to pay a visit to Turkey later this month to help smooth over the neighbours' strained relations.

    Hoshyar Zebari's visit, scheduled for late October, has come in the wake of a message from Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Osama al-Nujayfi noting Baghdad's wish to normalize ties with Ankara.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Iraqi counterpart had a meeting in Geneva on Sept. 25 during which both ministers expressed "eagerness and determination" to mend relations, Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Gumrukcu said yesterday.

    Undersecretary of Turkish Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu met his counterpart twice, in April and July, to search for ground for rapprochement between Baghdad and Ankara after ties became strained following Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's accusation that Turkey was interfering in Iraq's internal affairs.

    President Abdullah Gul also recently met with Iraqi Vice President Hudayr al-Huzai in New York on the side lines of U.N. General Assembly meetings.

    Iran's new Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, is also expected to visit Turkey in October.

    Davutoglu will also pay an official visit to Greece in the near future for preparation talks ahead of a high-level cooperation summit between the two countries, Gumrukcu added.

    [11] Former Turkish minister faces life sentence over murder allegations

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.10.13) reports that an Ankara court has accepted an indictment asking for life sentences for 12 suspects, including former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar and former Chief of Police Ibrahim Sahin, over the murder of Mecit Bask?n.

    Prosecutor Mustafa Bilgili filed charges of "homicide within the framework of activity of an armed organization established to commit crime." Bask?n was the former head of the registry office in Ankara's Altindag district. The indictment accuses the suspects of involvement in the killing of Bask?n by kidnapping him in Ankara and shooting him at night, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Ayhan Carkin, one of the 12 suspects and former special operations police, said in his testimony that a 60-member special team was established on the order of Agar, who was the chief of police, with the aim of taking part in a fight against terrorism in southeast Turkey and educating new personnel. He continued and said the team went beyond its target and "undertook some executions in Ankara." Carkin claimed Baskin was targeted because he was providing counterfeit identity cards to outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants and was a key figure for the terrorist organization.

    Agar previously gave his testimony upon prosecutor Bilgili's demand, in which he denied that he had ever been involved in any illegal activity. He was previously sentenced to five years in prison for "establishing an armed organization to commit a crime" during the time he served as the chief of police, as a part of the Susurluk "deep state" case, but was released on probation after one year and four days in prison.

    [12] Columnists evaluate the democratization package

    Most of the commentaries agree that the democratization package is a step forward, but a tiny one. However, it is generally believed that it has a lot of shortcomings. It is argued that the democratization package lacks any amendments to the Counterterrorism law or to the articles of 215, 220 and 314 of the Turkish Penal Code. It is also debated that the package lacks a timetable of implementing these changes.

    Columnist Koray Caliskan, writing in Radikal (01.10.13) argues that the democratization package was opened "for the sake of opening it". No article at regarding the opening of Halki Theological School. He writes that Turkey has become first country in the world to extend freedom to letters [referring to lifting the ban on the letters "W," "Q" and "X" in the Kurdish alphabet]. He also notes that the AKP government had thrown the democracy package onto the demonstrators during the Gezi events, adding that in the aftermath of such events, no one expects to see democracy emerge from the package. Caliskan also writes that although, there has been already a consensus by the opposition political parties in Turkey to lower the threshold to 3%, the AKP is just putting an alternative to water down the debate, just to pretend that it is giving something without actually giving it.

    Serpil Ceviskan, writing in Milliyet (01.10.13), under the title "Text for transitional period", argues that this democratization package announced by Erdogan was not much as manifesto but more of a text for a period for transition. He writes that the vast majority of the arrangements in the package are important in terms of Kurd politics and Kurd voters.

    Serkan Demirtas, writing in Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.10.13), under the title "We like packages not democracy, we like processes not reforms", argues that this package is neither a revolution nor a betrayal. It's rather a small step taken in the direction of expanding the right to education in Kurdish; of liberating those who wear the headscarf in public offices except for the army, the police and the judiciary; of opening a debate on the election system; all of which form the three most important elements of the package.

    Sedat Ergin, writing in Hurriyet (01.10.13), believes that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to target many birds to kill with one stone in the new democratization package he announced on Monday. According to Ergin, Erdogan, with this package, will try to disperse the opinion formed to convey that he has drifted apart from Western criteria in fundamental rights and freedoms. It should not be surprising that he initiates an ambitious publicity campaign in this direction. He also writes: "If democratization is the aim, then amendments in laws and regulations are not enough. Democratization in the real sense should provide for the elimination of these pressures that stem from several practices and methods that fall outside of a legislative context. For example, a journalist or a columnist losing his/her job after being targeted by the government may have nothing to do with legislation but it is directly connected to the democratic culture and the level of democracy. For this reason, if real democracy is targeted, then a new political language and discourse should also be developed with a threshold of tolerance for different voices - much higher than today's." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    /X.CHR.


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