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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-01-23

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. 15/14 23.01.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] The French Ambassador to Nicosia: A part of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey
  • [02] Erdogan: Cyprus problem's solution depends on Anastasiades
  • [03] Eroglu's letter to Ban Ki-moon asking him to convince Anastasiades to sit at the negotiation table
  • [04] TDP discusses the Cyprus problem and the EP elections in Brussels
  • [05] "2014 -expectations opinion poll" shows that the most important issue is the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [06] Nami met with the US Ambassador to Lefkosia
  • [07] The Swedish Ambassador to Cyprus met with UBP leader
  • [08] Turkey expects objectivity in EU progress reports, chief negotiator says
  • [09] AKP official: Turkey may seriously consider SCO as alternative to the EU
  • [10] French President to visit Turkey; Turkish PM to visit Berlin early February
  • [11] Columnist wonders what Erdogan's reassurance to the EU mean

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] The French Ambassador to Nicosia: A part of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.01.14) reports that the French Ambassador to Nicosia, Jean-Luc Florent has said that a part of Cyprus is occupied by Turkey and added that this is a stance which France has been adopting at the UN Security Council from the very beginning and it is based on the principles of the international law.

    Responding to questions of Havadis' correspondent Esra Aygin, the Ambassador was asked to comment on criticism that France's stance in Cyprus is one-sided and closer to the Greek Cypriot side. He said that France has been following a stance based on principles from the very beginning and added, inter alia, the following:

    "The reality is that a part of this island is occupied by Turkey. This is a stance which we have adopted from the very beginning at the UN Security Council and is based on the principles of the international law. However, we want a solution here. As member of the EU and permanent member of the UN Security Council we are ready to help as we can in finding a solution here. However, I want to repeat that we are not against the one of the two communities here. No, definitely not. But our stance from the very beginning is that a part of this island has been occupied by Turkey and the situation here is not recognized by the international law and the international community and of course we have to take this into consideration. However, our stance is definitely not against the Turkish Cypriots…"

    Replying to another question, Ambassador Florent said that it is out of the question now Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's special adviser for Cyprus, to leave his duties in Cyprus. Pointing out that he had met with Downer during the latter's recent visit to the island, he noted that the report which Downer would submit to the Security Council would fully reflect the realities. He added that Downer would brief the members of the Council on the developments that happened during the past few months. He said that as far as he had understood, the report would not include any suggestions or proposals.

    The Ambassador said that he did not see as a waste of time the period that passed with the efforts for reaching an agreement on a joint declaration. He pointed out that as a diplomat, who had served in many multinational organizations and especially at the UN in New York, he could say that it is a traditional method to reach an agreement on the method and the result desired to be achieved with the negotiations. "I have to say that this is a useful process", he added and described as "saddening" the fact that the sides could not reach an agreement on this issue for months. He noted, however, that progress was achieved on many issues during the efforts for agreeing on a joint declaration.

    Asked why they want a solution in Cyprus and to whose benefit this solution will be, he noted that the reunification of Cyprus would be tantamount to benefits for everyone and said that "the solution in Cyprus is primarily to the benefit of the Cypriots".

    Replying to a question on the hydrocarbon resources in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, the French Ambassador said that these hydrocarbon resources should become an opportunity for the unification of Cyprus and expressed the hope that this issue would help in the negotiations and in finding a solution.

    Ambassador Florent said also that the leaders should educate their people in order for getting two "yes" in a possible referendum.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Erdogan: Cyprus problem's solution depends on Anastasiades

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (23.01.14) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan commented on the contacts he held in Brussels upon his return to Turkey to a group of Turkish journalists and made references to Cyprus.

    Erdogan said that 2014 can be a milestone as regards Turkey's EU bit, since Ankara's relations with France and Germany, two countries that created problems for Turkey's EU road, have improved after they changed governments. He added that he will visit Germany and the French President Francois Holland will visit Turkey, arguing that these contacts will help towards the opening of new chapters for Turkey. He also said that the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barrosso and the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy will withdraw as of April. Erdogan said that in general these changes could turn to be beneficial for Turkey and that if they manage to make progress, this year can be different for the country. He added that both the European Union Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet davutoglu will work towards this direction.

    Asked if Cyprus will be included in this year's work, Erdogan said that this depends on President Anastasiades. "He is under the pressure of the church and radicals. If he manages to get through them, progress can be made. We are trying to make the TRNC constructive", he alleged.

    [03] Eroglu's letter to Ban Ki-moon asking him to convince Anastasiades to sit at the negotiation table

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (23.01.14) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday asking him to persuade President Anastasiades to either accept the Turkish Cypriot side's proposal dated 14 December 2013 or to sit at the negotiation table without preconditions.

    In his letter sent to UNSG on Monday, 20th of January, Eroglu claimed that the proposal for a short joint statement that President Anastasiades made in his letter to UNSG dated 2nd of January lacked sincerity. He added that at the beginning the first draft had been envisaged as a short text, however, as a result of the Greek Cypriot side's effort to excessively weight the text with specific issues, the practice has been turned into dragging complicated process.

    Eroglu noted in his letter, that on the following day after his election as a Turkish Cypriot leader on April 2010, he sent a letter expressing that he is ready to resume reunification talks from the point they were left off and confirmed that the talks would be a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality as envisaged by Security Council resolutions. Eroglu repeated his accusations that President Anastasiades has not shown the same constructive stance and of denying to sit at the negotiation table by putting forward various excuses.

    Eroglu also said that they accepted a "food for thought" document that was prepared by the UN was dated 7 October 2013. He said that on 11th of December, they accepted another paper also prepared by the UN. He reportedly said, in his letter, that the last Turkish Cypriot draft proposal (submitted on December 14) had been prepared with the active participation and support not only by the UN, but also other important players including Turkey. He alleged that the last draft proposal of the Turkish Cypriot side was prepared in a spirit of reconciliation to address the concerns and demands of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Eroglu argued that instead of accepting this gesture, the Greek Cypriot side tried to disrespect the Turkish Cypriot proposal by ignoring openly the reportedly rightful concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding vital issues.

    [04] TDP discusses the Cyprus problem and the EP elections in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.14) reports that a delegation from the Social Democracy Party (TDP) discussed the Cyprus problem and the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the elections for the European Parliament (EP) which will be held this year. The delegation completed its three-day contacts and returned to the occupied area of Cyprus yesterday. The Turkish Cypriot delegation met with Hannes Swoboda, President of the Socialist Group at the EP, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Co-Chairman of Greens' Group and officials from the European People's Party (EPP), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL). They also met with Cypriot Takis Hadjigeorgiou, MEP with AKEL party and member of GUE-NGL group. The Turkish Cypriot delegation had also the opportunity to meet with the heads of the Cabinet of EU Commissioners.

    In statements to Kibris, Deniz Birinci, Foreign Relations' Secretary of the TDP, said that they conveyed the demand of their party for the EU to undertake a more active role in the solution of the Cyprus problem. She noted that some of their interlocutors were surprised by this demand and noted that the EU wants to participate in the efforts of finding a solution in Cyprus, but there has been no call by the Turkish Cypriots on this issue.

    Birinci went on and said that they also expressed their view that confidence building measures should be implemented in the way for a comprehensive solution and that the occupied closed city of Varosha should be returned [to its legal owners] and in return for this the illegal Tymvou airport should open for direct flights and the port of Famagusta should open for direct trade between the Turkish Cypriots and the EU under the supervision of the EU.

    She noted that all the political groups which they met expressed a positive view on the issue of the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EP elections which will be held on 25 May. "However, they are not positive on holding a separate election in the north [Translator's note: as she described the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus]", she added.

    Birinci said that what will happen in practice is that those Turkish Cypriots who want to participate in the elections should vote or become candidates in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus. "According to information we acquired, 80 thousand Turkish Cypriots will automatically be registered in the election lists and that they have the right to vote and if all of them vote there is a possibility for the Turkish Cypriots filling up the two seats", she noted adding that "this is what is possible in practice, but how good it is an issue of a separate debate". She noted that the Turkish Cypriots have two choices: either to participate in the elections in the government-controlled area of the island or to hold elections in the occupied area under the control of observers from the EP, if the EP accepts this.

    She said that they will launch a close cooperation with one of the political groups they had met and added that the organs of the party would decide which this group would be.

    Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the TDP, Hannes Swoboda said that he attaches importance and supports TDP's views. He further noted that they could invite TDP officials to participate as observers in future meetings of his political group.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] "2014 - expectations opinion poll" shows that the most important issue is the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.01.14) reports about the results of the "2014-expectations opinion poll" conducted by the illegal Keryneia American University (GAU) and the Keryneia Research Institution, and writes that the most important issue for the persons participated in the opinion poll is the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The poll was conducted between 14-15 of April 2013 in five "districts" in the occupied area of Cyprus, with the participation of 486 persons.

    Asked to define the three most important issues that need to be solved in the breakaway regime, 32.4% of the participants replied the Cyprus problem, 20.8% the unemployment and 11.3 health and social safety.

    Asked about their biggest expectation from the "coalition government" 48.8% replied the solution of the Cyprus problem. 26.7% unemployment and 12% the implementation of the economic protocol.

    Asked if they expect the Cyprus problem to be solved in 2014, 78.3% said no and 15.3% said yes. On those responsible for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, 52.4% blamed the Greek Cypriot side, 18.3% blamed Turkey, 15.1% USA and 6.4% blamed the Turkish Cypriot side.

    In addition, 56.7% believed that the natural gas resources in Cyprus will not help towards the solution of the Cyprus problem, while 33.5% replied that it will help the solution. However; 53.9% believes that the water transfer from Turkey will help the solution, while 41.3% gave a negative answer.

    The army is the institution that most people trust with a percentage of 35.1%, the "police" is coming second with 16.9% and the "courts of justice" 11.7%. 15.1% has no trust to any institution.

    Finally, on the question on who is influencing the "government" the most, 40.4% replied Turkey.

    [06] Nami met with the US Ambassador to Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot Dialog newspaper (23.01.14) reports that self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami met with the US Ambassador to Lefkosia John M. Koenig yesterday.

    During the meeting, Nami evaluated the latest stage reached in the Cyprus problem, No statements were made after the meeting.

    [07] The Swedish Ambassador to Cyprus met with UBP leader

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.01.14), the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun met on Wednesday with the Swedish Ambassador to Cyprus Klas Gierow. Views were exchanged between the two at the meeting held at the UBP's headquarters in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    No statement was issued before or after the meeting.

    [08] Turkey expects objectivity in EU progress reports, chief negotiator says

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.01.14), Turkey expects objective and balanced reporting by the EU in 2014, Ankara's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.

    Speaking to journalists after his visit to the European Commission in Brussels, Cavusoglu praised the European Commission's 2013 Progress Report on Turkey while criticizing a status report that was released several months before it.

    "A hasty, unbalanced and unacceptable report was released in the wake of (last summer's) Gezi Park protests," he said, while praising the progress report released in October for being objective and containing true reflections on the progress shown by Turkey. Ankara does not expect a pro-government report, but one that is "objective and balanced," Cavusoglu said.

    [09] AKP official: Turkey may seriously consider SCO as alternative to the EU

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.01.14) reports that a senior official from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said that Turkey could seriously consider the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative if Turkey's long EU membership process ends up in failure.

    AK Party Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz said Turkey, as an independent country, has the right to consider other options if the EU insists on keeping the doors closed to Ankara.

    Kapusuz's remarks came after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised the SCO as a likely alternative given a possible deadlock in the EU process during a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday.

    [10] French President to visit Turkey; Turkish PM to visit Berlin early February

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 22.01.14) reported that French President Francois Hollande is preparing to pay a two-day official visit to Turkey upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to add new momentum to the relations between the two countries. His visit will mark the first presidential visit from France to Turkey in 22 years.

    According a statement released on the website of the President's Office on Wednesday, Hollande will be in Turkey on Jan. 27-28. The bilateral ties between Turkey and France, political and economic issues, new areas of partnership and possible areas of cooperation will be discussed during Hollande's official meetings in Ankara on Monday, the statement says.

    The statement also says the two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues, including the European Union.

    The visit of the French president will secure the multi-dimensional relations between the two countries to gain new momentum and contribute to cooperation being strengthened, the statement said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 20.01.14) reported that Turkey's EU Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on January 20 that French President Francois Hollande's visits to Turkey and Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Berlin early February will also constitute good opportunities for Turkey to express its views vis-a-vis accession talks.

    [11] Columnist wonders what Erdogan's reassurance to the EU mean

    Under the title "What does Erdogan's 'reassurance' to the EU mean?" columnist Semih Idiz, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.01.14), reports that "the first thing to be said about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's talks in Brussels on Tuesday is that it was good to see no tension emerged from the meetings."

    Idiz writes that "during their joint press conference with Erdogan, European Council President Herman van Rompuy indicated that he had stressed the need for Turkey to stick to the rule of law and separation of powers, while Barroso reiterated 'the European concerns' about the latest events in Turkey. He added that Erdogan had given 'reassurances of his intention to fully respect the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and, generally speaking, the separation of powers'.

    This is the most important statement to come out of Erdogan's talks in Brussels. Many wonder now what this will mean in terms of the ongoing effort by the government to change the law governing the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).

    Erdogan clearly wants to bring this institution under government control. If he did indeed give the reassurances that Barroso is talking about, then his party should immediately withdraw the bill it has submitted to Parliament on this topic.

    Just about every impartial legal expert, after all, is saying that it violates the principle of the separation of powers in its present form. Meanwhile, President Gul is saying that whatever steps the government takes in this regard has to comply with the rules of the Venice Commission, which is attached to the Council of Europe that Turkey is a member of."

    Idiz continues: "There is an essential contradiction here for the government, of course. On the one hand, it wants to control the judiciary in order to prevent the kinds of legal investigations over corruption, or other issues, that have started to embarrass it, and to undermine its credibility. On the other hand it says it is committed to advance democracy.

    But you cannot have it both ways, not even in Turkey, where logic can be bent in such a manner that politicians can claim to be advancing democracy at the very moment that they are undermining it. This is why we have to see what the reassurance Erdogan is said to have given the EU means.

    If this "reassurance" turns out to be hollow in the end, it is clear that the president of the EU Commission will only feel let down, but also that he has been taken for a ride.(…)

    If, however, Erdogan is seen to be changing track in favour of democracy in terms of what his government has been doing of late, this will show that the EU continues to have positive influence over Ankara, which will be good since this influence represents a push for EU standards of democracy in Turkey.

    Time will tell if the assurance Erdogan is said to have given the EU actually means anything." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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