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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-01-12

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 06/15 10-12.01.15

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu on the Cyprus talks: "We have prepared ourselves for both possibilities"
  • [02] Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Olgun: Cyprus gas can be a blessing or a curse
  • [03] Nami said that the declaration of the 2nd NAVTEX was the least that they could do
  • [04] Akinci: A Cyprus settlement gets harder as time passes
  • [05] Cavusoglu will pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Statistics on the number of prisoners in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] The illegal Middle East Technical University in the occupied area of Cyprus has signed an academic cooperation agreement with the New York ?New Paltz Campus
  • [08] Davutoglu's statements from Paris: "If Turkey had been integrated into the EU, this cultural tension would not exist in such extend"
  • [09] Davutoglu participated in Paris marching against terrorism but noted that Turkey expects same sympathy for mosque attacks
  • [10] Turkish columnist calls on Davutoglu to control the domestic political climate which is providing a fertile ground for Islamist militarism
  • [11] Kilicdaoroglu: Turkey has become harbor for terrorist sleeper cells
  • [12] During Latvia's presidency of the EU, the 28-nation bloc will open new chapters for Turkey, claims Latvian envoy in Ankara
  • [13] TUSIAD Business group head does not step back in clash with Turkish President Erdogan
  • [14] Freedom of press in Turkey in worst downturn of last 60 years

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu on the Cyprus talks: "We have prepared ourselves for both possibilities"

    Illegal Bayrak (10.01.15) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has called for the introduction of a timetable in the Cyprus negotiations process, stating that the talks cannot continue open-ended forever.

    Speaking during the visit he paid in occupied Keryneia, Eroglu claimed that negotiations in Cyprus had been going since 1968 and alleged that the Greek Cypriot leadership abandoned the talks by citing poor excuses.

    He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side had no intention of solving the Cyprus problem.

    Pointing out that President Anastasiades had announced his decision to suspend the negotiations just days before the talks could entered the third phase of give and take, "by citing exploration activities carried out by the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa research vessel as an excuse," Eroglu said that Anastasiades's predecessor Christofias had resumed talks in 2011-2012 when the Turkish Piri Reis ship was conducting seismic research in the area.

    Alleging out that the next few years will be critical for the Cyprus problem, Eroglu said he believed the negotiations could be concluded successfully during this period of time. "We have prepared ourselves for both possibilities" he added.

    [02] Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Olgun: Cyprus gas can be a blessing or a curse

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.01.15) reported that Turkish-Cypriot negotiator Ergun Olgun stated that oil and gas reserves off Cyprus can hold benefits or risks for the region depending on how the issue is handled.

    "The only way to manage the issue properly is through cooperation. Only through cooperation this issue can be resolved for the benefit of both Cyprus and the region," Olgun told the Anadolu Agency on Friday.

    "In October 2014, the reunification talks were unilaterally suspended by the Greek-Cypriot side after Turkey issued a Navtex (navigational telex) on behalf of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for seismic research off the coast of Cyprus", Ankara Anatolia reports and writes that Olgun made the following claims on the issue: "This is what we have been trying to explain to the international community: the hydrocarbons issue can be a blessing or a curse, negotiations are the only platform for settlement of any dispute".

    He also alleged that the Greek-Cypriot move to suspend the negotiations and insistence on unilateralism ran the risk of increasing instability in the region and scaring away foreign investment. "Such an eventuality is in no one's interest and can end up in a lose-lose situation," he said.

    He also claimed that the Greek-Cypriot side is also in pursuit of forming a regional alliance with Israel and Egypt, both of which have seen worsening of relations with Turkey in recent years. Olgun alleged that the Greek-Cypriot efforts to form a "regional bloc against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are very dangerous for the region, as such efforts only serve to create new polarizations, new conflict zones and new rivalries." He claimed that the dispute in Cyprus is not a violent conflict and that they sought to reach a comprehensive settlement through negotiations and dialogue in a region plagued by instability.

    He further said that the solution of the Cyprus problem through dialogue and cooperation "would also serve as a model for the region if two different ethnic groups overcome their differences without resorting to violence".

    "In order to attain this, the Greek-Cypriot side must abandon unilateral initiatives and agree to collaborate with the Turkish-Cypriot side for ensuring the welfare and security of both peoples of the island," he claimed and alleged the following: "If they continue to take steps to consolidate the status-quo and overlook the legitimate rights and interests of the other side, it will not be possible to realize unity in Cyprus."

    He said that influential EU countries, in particular the U.K., should send "the right messages" to the Greek-Cypriot side that would encourage a compromise deal in Cyprus.

    "The U.K. has bases in Cyprus and is a guarantor state. (...) What it guaranteed in 1960 was a state of affairs based on partnership of two equal sides. Now it needs to take steps to ensure that such a partnership is re-established in Cyprus," Olgun said.

    [03] Nami said that the declaration of the 2nd NAVTEX was the least that they could do

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.01.15) reports that self-styled minister of foreign affairs Ozdil Nami claimed that while they were evaluating the developments in recent days, the Turkish Cypriot side gave an opportunity to the Cyprus President Anastasiades to return to the negotiating table, but this opportunity was not utilized.

    Nami, in an interview to the paper, under the title "We are not desperate", with journalist Osman Kalfaoglu, he said that the proclamation of NAVTEX by Turkey on behalf of "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) and the dispatch of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa's vessel to the south of the island again were of the least things that they could do in the presence of the Greek Cypriot side's stance.

    Stressing that although war ships were not sent to the area and the drilling by the Italian-Korean energy consortium ENI-Kogas was not prevented, Nami added that a drilling could be launched in the region on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side after the seismic exploration was done. Nami also said: "The Greek Cypriot side should not think that we are desperate".

    Nami noted that Turkey declared the second NAVTEX on the 6th of January 2015 in order to give a message to the Greek Cypriots and to the countries in the region that the Turkish Cypriots have rights on the natural sources of the island and should not be treated as if they do not exist.

    Nami said that their aim is for all the countries in the region to discuss within a framework of cooperation the natural sources and to send the natural wealth in Europe through Turkey. He added that Cyprus is playing a key role here and the Cyprus problem should be solved in order for the sides to be able to cooperate. Nami also said: "Signing an agreement the sides with each other, without a Cyprus settlement first, is not possible to be done. The solution of the Cyprus problem is very important for the region. While we try to act with such vision, the Greek Cypriot side places in the middle of the negotiating table old concepts. These past topics come as spooky and blow up the negotiations".

    [04] Akinci: A Cyprus settlement gets harder as time passes

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (12.01.15) reports that independent "candidate" for the upcoming "presidential elections" Mustafa Akinci said that in case he is "elected", he will make an effort for a federal solution, adding that the political will of the Turkish Cypriots will be the basis and be reflected to the negotiating table. He also said that as time passed a Cyprus settlement is getting harder.

    Speaking at a conference in Istanbul, Akinci also said that their relations with Turkey require a new understanding and should be based on mutual respect.

    [05] Cavusoglu will pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (12.01.15) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus on Wednesday.

    Cavusoglu will exchange views regarding the Cyprus problem with Turkish Cypriot "officials", according to the paper.

    [06] Statistics on the number of prisoners in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.01.15) reports that according to statistics given by the so-called "central prison directorate" in the occupied area of Cyprus, a total of 208 persons were convicted in "prison" during 2014 while 91 are under custody without being trialed. The total number of people under arrest in "prison" until January 2015 is 299 persons.

    According to the statistics, 78 out of the prisoners were taken into custody for drugs related cases.

    Also, the statistics said that 62 out of the total prisoners are Turkish citizens while 111 are "trnc citizens". Also the number of foreign citizens who are imprisoned is 81.

    The paper points out to the general problems that exist in the "central prison" in the occupied area of Cyprus and writes that amongst them is the lack of personnel and the lack of bed capacity.

    (AK)

    [07] The illegal Middle East Technical University in the occupied area of Cyprus has signed an academic cooperation agreement with the New York ?New Paltz Campus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.01.15) reported that the "Middle East Technical University campus in north Cyprus" ("ODTU) has signed an academic cooperation agreement with the New York ?New Paltz Campus.

    According to the paper, the agreement envisages for the students who study management and complete the second and fourth year of their studies at the "technical university", to obtain a double diploma from both "universities".

    The agreement provides further the opportunity to the students to be benefited from student exchange programs such as the Erasmus program.

    (AK)

    [08] Davutoglu's statements from Paris: "If Turkey had been integrated into the EU, this cultural tension would not exist in such extend"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (12.01.15) reports that Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in statements during a press conference in Paris where he attended the solidarity rally which was organized in protest against the terrorist attacks there, referred, inter alia to the Cyprus problem and said: "If Turkey had been integrated into the EU after the Cyprus referenda in 2004 and if the EU had not set obstacles to Turkey, this cultural tension would not exist in such extend. Unfortunately, exercising politics via this animosity, it has brought the EU in this position. This is the source of the problem".

    (AK)

    [09] Davutoglu participated in Paris marching against terrorism but noted that Turkey expects same sympathy for mosque attacks

    Turkish daily Sabah (12.01.15) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu participated in a unity rally in Paris being held in solidarity for the victims of recent deadly attacks in the country.

    On his official Twitter account, Davutoglu wrote a post in French: "I am in Paris in solidarity with the French people against terrorism." The Turkish Prime Minister said Turkey's participation at the unity rally in Paris would give a strong message to groups that want to blame the recent attacks in France on the Islamic world. Addressing a press conference before he departure for France to join the rally, Davutoglu said, "Our participation in the Paris march is a strong message for groups that want to blame the Islamic world, especially Muslims who live in Europe."

    He said Turkey is against all kinds of terrorist attacks and highlighted the fact that Turkish security officials were willing to cooperate with other states to deal with terrorism threats.

    In addition, the paper also writes that Davutoglu stated that Turkey expects the same sympathy shown towards the Paris murders also for the recent wave of Islamophobic attacks on mosques in European countries such as Germany and Sweden. Davutoglu made the remarks after attending Sunday's unity march at the Parisian square Place de la Republique.

    "As a country long suffered from terror, we will continue to raise our voice against acts of terror no matter where in the world these are staged," Davutoglu told a press conference late Sunday at the Turkish Embassy in Paris. "Our presence here today is significant for the global message to be better understood, as it is a scene of unity and integrity for the European continent," he added.

    "From Andalusia to the Ottoman Empire, Islam is the most essential element of the European continent. Those who wish to arouse tension in Europe over an Islam-Christianity conflict are betraying the European culture," he said.

    [10] Turkish columnist calls on Davutoglu to control the domestic political climate which is providing a fertile ground for Islamist militarism

    Under the title "Keep marching Mr Davutoglu, in Ankara too", Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.01.15) publishes the following article by Murat Yetkin:

    "Millions rallied in Paris on Jan. 11, in protest at the Jan. 7 killings in which two terrorists with radical Islamist links killed 12 people in a raid on the French weekly satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. Some 50 heads of government or state joined the rally to show their solidarity with the French people against terrorism. Among them was Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    It was not clear up until Saturday whether or not he would join the march. The decision was announced following a call of condolences from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to French President Francois Hollande.

    Whatever might have been the motivation, Davutoglu's decision to join the protest was right. His attendance at the rally was important not because of the fact that Turkey was the first Muslim country to announce that its Prime Minister would take part in the rally. The opposite would have been wrong, since Turkey is still an active member of the Western security alliance NATO and the Council of Europe, (if not the European Union).

    The importance comes from its domestic effect. If Davutoglu (or Erdogan) had not attended the Paris rally, then the perception among the Turkish people - especially the supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) - would have been that the government "understood" the root causes of the terrorist act, even if it was not sympathetic to it.

    [?] the government managed to give the message to international public opinion that it is against the terrorist attack, even though it was committed by Muslims.

    [?]

    However, the steps that Turkey must take in countering terrorism sourcing from within radical Islamist movements should not be limited to the march in Paris.

    Before flying to France, Davutoglu endorsed reports about Turkish support to French security and intelligence services, along with the services of many other states, especially the countries of NATO, of which both France and Turkey are members. Of course, Turkey should help its allies when they are under threat, just as it expects help from its allies when needed.

    What the Turkish government can still do more about is control of the domestic political climate, which is providing a fertile ground for Islamist militancy due to the rise of radical Islamism with al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq on Turkey's southern borders. This comes at a time of rising Islamic rhetoric from government figures, who are operating in a secular, democratic Turkey, under the rule of law that is still written in its Constitution.

    What the Turkish government could and should do more is to impose tighter measures along its borders against the infiltration of radical Islamist militants, putting more pressure on their activities in Turkey, including recruitment. It may be true that Islamophobia is a problem in Europe, but to make it a propaganda issue in everyday domestic politics will not help weaken Islamophobia in Europe; rather, it will strengthen anti-Western sentiment in Turkey, from which radical organizations could benefit. So, Mr Davutoglu, please continue in Ankara your rally in Paris."

    [11] Kilicdaoroglu: Turkey has become harbor for terrorist sleeper cells

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.01.15) reports that Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal K?l?cdaroglu has claimed that Turkey has become a centre for terrorist organization "sleeper cells."

    "Turkey has become a centre harbouring terrorist organizations' sleeper cells. Ministers have started to make statements saying 'watch out for sleeper cells' one after another," said K?l?cdaroglu in an interview with daily Hurriyet. "The people who are saying this did not come to power just yesterday, they are the ones who have ruled for 12 years," he added.

    K?l?cdaroglu said the government had allowed the country to drift into a "terror swamp," claiming that the government "built its foreign policy on supporting terrorist organizations." "For these reasons [Prime Minister Ahmet] Davutoglu cannot govern the country. At this point [after] 12 years in power, there is a problem-making government, not a problem-solving government. The problems they make not only worry their citizens inside [the country], but are also a reason for anxiety in the modern world. There are great worries about Turkey," the CHP leader said.

    [12] During Latvia's presidency of the EU, the 28-nation bloc will open new chapters for Turkey, claims Latvian envoy in Ankara

    Turkish Sabah (12.01.15) publishes an interview with the Latvian Ambassador to Turkey Atis Sjanits who claimed that during Latvia's presidency of the EU, the 28-nation bloc will open new chapters for Turkey. He also said that the absolute majority of the EU countries look forward to having part in the Turkey-EU relationship.

    Latvia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2015.

    Asked if Latvia which has always been supportive on Turkey's EU bid will help towards opening new negotiation chapters during the Presidency, Sjanits stated: "We will open new chapters because I may reassure you that the absolute majority of EU countries would like to have dynamics in the Turkey-EU relationship. There is forward momentum, which means that there are new chapters to open. There is talk about several chapters, and EU Commissioner Hahn also affirmed during his visit to Ankara that he will do his best to open new chapters in Latvia's presidency, and he repeated the same in Riga. [?] It is not only related to the Latvian position but the other 27 members agreeing on that. However, an absolute majority of countries are very keenly interested in maintaining these dynamics. Despite some problems that exist for some countries, an absolute majority thinks that a supposedly frozen relationship with Turkey is out of the EU's interest. Also one of the issues that we are good at is the visa liberalization issue, and further progress will be witnessed in our presidency term. We will try as fast as possible to eliminate the bureaucratic hurdles [?]"

    [13] TUSIAD Business group head does not step back in clash with Turkish President Erdogan

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.01.15) reported that Haluk Dincer, the outgoing head of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), has stressed that the leading business organization generates around 85% of the taxes in the country, saying its words should be taken seriously amid a recent verbal rift with the government.

    Dincer also stood behind what he had said earlier regarding the group's addressee being Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other Cabinet ministers, not President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which both politicians have reacted against.

    "As TUSIAD members, we have the largest share in production and creating employment in the country. Some 85% of all taxes are paid by the TUSIAD members. TUSIAD is an effective - but more importantly, an independent - non-governmental organization. What TUSIAD's members say is naturally heard in Turkey," he said, speaking in a meeting with reporters in Istanbul on Jan. 9.

    In an interview with Hurriyet on Dec. 29, Dincer had stated that although his organization has no problem with President Erdogan, "TUSIAD's addressee is not the President, but rather the Prime Minister and the Ministers related to our field." In response, Prime Minister Davutoglu vowed not to attend TUSIAD's general assembly meeting, during which the new TUSIAD head and administration will be elected, on Jan. 22, 2015, according to Prime Ministry sources.

    Upon a question about whether TUSIAD is acting as an "opposition group," Dincer stressed that TUSIAD is not a political party and emphasized the huge share of its members in the Turkish economy. |"TUSIAD acts in line with its founding principles, written in 1971", he added.

    [14] Freedom of press in Turkey in worst downturn of last 60 years

    Turkish Today's Zaman newspaper (11.01.15) reported that the president of the Turkish Journalists' Association, (TGC) Nazmi Bilgin, said during an event for the Working Journalists' Day on Saturday that journalism in Turkey is facing its worst downturn in the last 60 years, as press freedom is hampered with accreditation bans, arrests and dismissals.

    Speaking at the reception at the Ankara headquarters of the TGC, which was established on Jan. 1, 1946 , Bilgin said some journalists have sold their pens out of small financial interests. "If only we lived in a Turkey where a journalist didn't have to worry about tomorrow." Bilgin added.

    Bilgin urged his colleagues in attendance to be hopeful for the future and announced that the TGC had launched a campaign called "Freedom for Press" to report the instances of interference and pressure on the press in Turkey. Bilgin also said that while celebrating Working Journalists' Day it is important to remember there are still jailed journalists in Turkey.

    Reiterating the fact that Turkey ranks lower than many developing countries on lists measuring press freedoms, Bilgin argued that press freedom is a must in real democracies. Speaking on the government accreditation ban on some media outlets, Bilgin noted that discriminating against journalists and media outlets in official press conferences and official visits means constitutes a violation of the freedom of information.

    In addition, also reported that the European Parliament, set to convene in Strasbourg on Monday (today), is preparing to issue a harsh warning to Turkey on Jan. 15 about freedom of the press in the country, according to draft texts by major political groups in the European Parliament obtained by Today's Zaman (11.01.15).

    A government-backed operation against independent media outlets that took place on Dec.14 resulted in the detention of dozens of individuals including Zaman editor-in-chief Ekrem Samanyolu TV network top executive Hidayet Karaca, script writers, producers and directors and caught the attention of the European Union. Discussing these events at a meeting in December, major political groups in the European Parliament agreed to make a joint decision regarding the issue on Jan.15. Draft texts of the major groups in the European Parliament take a unified stance, either condemning or deploring the Dec. 14 operation.

    The draft text of the Social Democrats' statement says that the group "condemns the recent police raids and the detention of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey" and "stresses that these actions call into question the respect for freedom of the media, which is a core principle of democracy."

    The group also underlined that a number of provisions in the Turkish legal framework and their interpretation by members of the judiciary continue to hamper the freedom of expression, including freedom of the media. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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