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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-05-06

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 <>


No. 79/97 -- 6.5.97


  • [01] Italian senator promises to help with recognition of "TRNC passport" by Italy.
  • [02] UNFICYP says Commander's statement misunderstood.
  • [03] Serdar Denktash meets foreign officials.
  • [04] Turkey and Israel discuss tank project, joint military exercise.
  • [05] Committee to Protect Journalists blasts Erbakan as worst oppressor of the press.


    [01] Italian senator promises to help with recognition of "TRNC passport" by Italy

    According to KIBRIS (6.5.97) Italian senator Antonio D'Ali, member of the Froza Italy, is currently in the occupied area conducting investigation regarding the development of political and tourism relations between Italy and the occupied area.

    The Director of the Banca Commerciale Italiana, Roberto Amadasi, is accompanying the Italian senator.

    KIBRIS reports that the Italian Senator arrived in the occupied area as the guest of Riccardo Spadola, who is engaged in the tourism industry.

    The Italian Senator has said that here will try and help Turkish Cypriots to travel to Italy with the pseudostate's "passport", that the Italian embassy opens a liaison office in the occupied area and that Italy recognizes the illegal Tymbou airport as an international airport.

    D'Ali had meetings with Hakki Atun and Semi Bora. He stressed that he is in the occupied area on a private capacity.


    [02] UNFICYP says Commander's statement misunderstood

    According to KIBRIS (6.5.97) the UNFICYP's Political and Legal adviser, Peter Schmitz, has declared that the Force's commander, General Evergisto Arturo De Vergara, in his statement to Cyprus News Agency did not brand Turkey as an "occupier" of Cyprus.

    He categorically denied that the General had accused Turkey of occupation. Peter Schmitz noted that General Vergara's statement was misunderstood.


    [03] Serdar Denktash meets foreign officials

    According to KIBRIS (6.5.97) the so-called deputy prime minister of the pseudostate, Serdar Denktash, had separate meetings in the occupied area with a group of former British MP Michael Stefan, who is also member of the Friends of North Cyprus, with a group of Italian senators that KIBRIS says are visiting the occupied area, as well as France's Cyprus Embassy counsellor Lapeyre de Cabanes.


    [04] Turkey and Israel discuss tank project, joint military exercise

    According to Turkish Daily News, Gen. Cevik Bir, deputy chief of the Turkish General Staff, currently on a three-day visit to Israel, on Monday visited Israeli defense industry facilities while the Turkish delegation of defense experts held meetings with their Israeli counterparts, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    The Turkish delegation briefed Israeli officials on the 10-year purchasing program of the Turkish Armed Forces and the two parties discussed possible joint projects.

    The two sides also discussed the modernization of Turkish M-60 tanks by Israel and the Turkish "tank project" which involved the joint production of tanks in Turkey and their sale to a third country.

    Another topic discussed was the possibility of a joint military exercise in the Mediterranean within the scope of agreements signed between the two countries on cooperation in military training.

    On Sunday, Gen. Bir said that the Turkish army was quite favourable towards carrying out such a military exercise.

    In reference to concerns in neighbouring countries about the recent intensive meetings between Israel and Turkey, Gen. Bir reiterated that the agreements between the two sides were not aimed against any other country. He described the agreement as a way to increase Turkey's offensive effectiveness and to show other countries in the region what the two democratic countries, Israel and Turkey, can do together.

    [05] Committee to Protect Journalists blasts Erbakan as worst oppressor of the press

    According to Turkish Daily News (5.5.97) Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan was singled out by an international human rights advocate as one of the ten worst oppressors of the free press in the world.

    Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has included Turkish PM Necmettin Erbakan, the Islamist leader of the senior coalition partner Welfare Party (RP), as one of the ten worst offenders of press freedoms.

    In a related development, Freedom House, another non-profit organization which monitors political rights and civil liberties around the world, called Turkey in its recent global survey of press freedoms as a country in which the press was "not free".

    Also included in the same CPJ list of "dubious achievement", were some bonafide autocrats like Jiang Zemin of China, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, and Suharto of Indonesia. The heads of Albania, Belarus and Burma were cited in CPJ's annual ranking for the first time.

    The leader of Algeria's militant Armed Islamic Group (GIA) was named the worst of the enemies for the third year in a row.

    "These ten individuals are characterized by their relentless hostility to the very concept of a free and independent press in their own countries and around the world", said William Orme, Jr., CPJ's executive director. "They have deliberately engaged in hundreds of press freedom violations ranging from censorship, harassment, and physical attack to imprisonment and even assassination."

    The list of CPJ's top ten "enemies of free press" is as follows:

    1. Algeria's Antar Zouabri. 2. China's President Jiang Zemin 3. Cuba's President Fidel Castro. 4. Nigeria's General Sani Abacha. 5. Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. 6. Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko. 7. Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. 8 Indonesia's President Suharto. 9. Burma's Senior General Than Shwe. 10. Albania's President Sali Berisha.

    CPJ explained why Erbakan was placed on this list as follows:

    "Erbakan keeps up Turkey's repression of independent journalists."

    "The press remains under threat from the sweeping provisions of the anti- terror law and the penal code, which permit the arrest and prosecution of journalists for critical reporting on the government's ongoing conflict with Kurdish insurgents".

    "Broadening his assault, he increasingly subjects journalists to arbitrary detention and trial for expression of unfavourable political opinions. Under Erbakan's regime, 78 journalists were in jail at the beginning of 1997 - more than in any other country", the CPJ report said.

    Turkey unfortunately was included by Freedom House (FH) in the category of countries in which the press is not free. The report on "Press Freedom 1997: Law Epidemic" placed Turkey in the same class with some countries where the press does not exist like Saudi Arabia, Central African Republic, Yemen, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Syria, Zambia, Togo, Oman, Niger, Laos, etc.

    Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzystan and Palestinian Authority were also placed in the same category.

    Turkish broadcasting and printed press, according to FH, especially suffered from "laws and regulations that influence media content" as well as the "political pressures and controls on media content".

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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