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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-02-11

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No: 29/02 9-10-11.2.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] US warns Greek Cypriots.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot side is trying to exploit the issue of Russian helicopters.
  • [03] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides.
  • [04] Turkey/s ECHR judge Turkmen says Greek Cypriots filed most cases against Turkey.
  • [05] Reference to Cyprus during a press conference by the Foreign Minister of Turkey and Libya.
  • [06] The new head of the so-called Cyprus Turkish Airlines, a politician from Turkey with military background, stresses that the company is obliged to conduct political propaganda.
  • [07] Talat admits that the pseudo-government do not rule the occupied areas of Cyprus; Turkish Cypriots speaking on a programme of ATV sent the message that peace could not be achieved
  • [08] Echinococcus in the occupied Nicosia
  • [09] The so-called Foreign Affairs Minister went to Turkey to attend the Joint EU-OIC Forum
  • [10] Threatening e-mails to the Turkish Cypriot members of the Oslo Group

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] US warns Greek Cypriots

    Under the above title and sub-title "Washington tells Greek Cypriots to abandon the deal or face 'consequences,' asks Turkish Cypriots to remain calm and engaged in peace talks", Turkish Daily News (11.2.02) writes the following:

    "The United States has mounted pressure on the Greek Cypriot government for buying 40 Russian attack helicopters which is casting a shadow on the Cyprus peace talks, diplomatic sources said.

    Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides meet three times a week in a bid to settle the island's long-running division problem.

    A Greek Cypriot deal with Russia on the purchase of the Black Shark assault helicopters upset not only Turkey and the `TRNC/, but also the United States and western countries that are pressing for a united Cyprus before the island becomes a member of the European Union in two years.

    Washington had warned the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot administration that the armament move was "not a sign of goodwill," and that Greek Cypriots would face "consequences" if they did not abandon the deal, a diplomatic source that declined to be identified told the Turkish Daily News.

    He refused to elaborate on the possible consequences, but said the United States had asked the Turkish Cypriot side to remain calm and engaged in peace talks.

    The U.S. pressure was said to have forced the Greek Defence Minister Sokratis Hasikos' resignation. The minister, however, changed his mind after talking to Clerides, the source said. Hasikos launched a verbal attack on the Turkish Cypriot armed forces and described it as an "invading force" as part of mainland Turkey's military. "We know that the Turkish forces (on Cyprus) are being armed and developed," he said.

    Details of the Greek Cypriot-Russian deal, which was struck last month, were not immediately clear. But it is widely viewed as a potential trouble that would lead to an escalation on the eastern Mediterranean island similar to the purchase of S-300 missiles by the Greek Cypriot Administration from Moscow a few years ago.

    Under western and Turkish pressure, the Greek Cypriot administration had to agree the deployment of the missiles on the Greek island of Crete, instead of its own soil in 1999.

    Analysts say the Russian choppers are sophisticated attack weapons, contrary to S-300 missiles, which were, classified as defensive armaments.

    "Turkey has those helicopters too," said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, warning of a deepening crisis as he and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides were in face-to-face talks in search of an end to Cyprus' 28-years of partition.

    The two leaders have come together since January in the U.N.-controlled Nicosia airport in the buffer zone that divides Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

    "It is unnecessary to go for armament in any time and in a period when there are talks," said Denktas. He said the negotiations have hit snags since they began, but he and Clerides have moved on to discussing issues of territory.

    Denktas predicted that a second phase of the talks, starting in March after a break for a Muslim religious holiday later this month, would be smoother.

    "In the first phase there were some difficulties and hitches experienced by both sides ... The second phase is a period of rapprochement. The two sides will come to understand each other," Denktas told reporters in the north of the island.

    The pair discussed the sensitive issue of territory and documents on that were to be exchanged next week. "On Thursday we will exchange documents and continue. The documents are on territory," Denktas said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said meetings due to take place on Monday and Wednesday would be postponed to make way for Turkish Cypriot representation at a Joint Forum of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union in Istanbul early next week, but the two leaders would meet on Thursday and Friday."

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot side is trying to exploit the issue of Russian helicopters

    KIBRIS (10.2.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, speaking on Saturday after one of his meetings, recalled that the Greek Cypriot side had purchased assault helicopters, adding: "This is an issue that might give us a headache in the future".

    Noting that they informed the pertinent authorities of the dimensions of the crisis this purchase might cause, Mr Denktas said that the issue will be discussed once again and a written complaint will be filed. He continued: "Choosing the path of armament in the Cyprus issue at a time when the negotiations are continuing or at any other time is unnecessary".

    Pointing out that the Greek Cypriots saw that the issue could not be solved through the force of arms in 1955,1958, 1963, and 1974, Mr Denktas said: "This period only helped the division of the island. It did not serve any other purpose".

    Noting that Turkey is also in possession of the helicopters the Greek Cypriot side has purchased, Mr Denktas asked that reasons for further exacerbating the crisis not be created. Reiterating that the solution of the problem depends on accepting the so-called realities, the Turkish Cypriot leader continued: "The realities in question are about occupying through bloodshed a joint state and government established in the past. The realities are about not renouncing this occupation, thus causing the division of the island and the creation of two states".

    Pointing out that it is possible to bring together the two communities and build bridges, Mr Denktas said that this is what they are trying to achieve at the talks, adding that they are aware of the difficulties. He noted that it will be impossible to surmount these difficulties if the approach continues, namely the approach that says the following in connection with the office that has been occupied through the use of force: This is my right. The world recognizes this right. So should you. Mr Denktas concluded by saying: "Our intention is to overcome these difficulties, and we are exerting efforts in that direction. We have to overcome them".

    Meanwhile, KIBRISLI (10.2.02), under the banner front - page title "The rope can break off!" claims that the helicopters which the Republic of Cyprus has bought from Russia, could create a crisis similar to the one of the S-300 missiles. The paper argues that "black clouds are wandering around above the talks" towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [03] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (8.2.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, replied to reporters' questions in occupied Nicosia before he left for the meeting that was to be held at the conference centre near the Nicosia International Airport on Friday. In reply to a question on whether the territorial issue would be discussed at today's meeting, Denktas said:

    "This is what the Greek Cypriot press reports". Upon being reminded about a promise Clerides made to his people that all the refugees will return to their homes, Denktas replied: "Are there any refugees left after 28 years?" Denktas alleged that by now everyone has settled, that their rights to land and property will be met without displacing them, and that this was the case for both sides. He added that there are now no refugees left.

    On the course of the talks, Denktas said: "Naturally, there will be certain hurdles. This is what is expected at this stage. The second stage is important. At this stage both sides are making an observation. What is the position of the other side? How far will they backtrack? How far will they advance? Observations are being made. Naturally, there are obstacles".

    He further stressed that one should be patient. Reiterating that one should be optimistic but cautious, Denktas added: "It is not wise to rejoice as if an agreement is being signed next month". Noting that the first stage is dedicated to determining the positions of the two sides, Denktas added that the second stage is about determining if there can be a rapprochement. Upon being reminded about Greek Cypriot press reports to the effect that he will change his stand in the second stage, Denktas said: "If you look at the Greek Cypriots press, it is as if I do not exist. Do not pay attention to it".

    Denktas replied to reporters/ questions after the meeting as well. In reply to a question, Denktas said that the territorial issue was discussed at today's meeting. He added that they will continue to discuss the same issue on 14 February as well. Noting that at the meeting to be held on Thursday, the two sides will exchange documents on the territorial issue, Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriot side has not prepared a map but that in the event the Greek Cypriots submit a map then it can be discussed.

    [04] Turkey's ECHR judge Turkmen says Greek Cypriots filed most cases against Turkey

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (6.2.02) reports that Riza Turkmen, Turkey's judge at the European Court of Human Rights visited Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk on 5.2.02 and after a two-hour meeting he said Turkey needed to open the way for retrials. Turkmen stated that the availability of retrials for cases filed against Turkey at the ECHR would see the number of problems reduced. "If Turkey forms a body that can decide which cases can be given a retrial, then the ability for everybody to avail themselves of this right would be curtailed.

    Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said a bill on retrials had been turned back because of an error in timing. "We will put it back on the agenda as soon as possible," he said. Stating they were dealing at length with issued directly concerning Turkey with respect to the European Human Rights Convention, Turk said, "We have done some reciprocal refueling." Turk noted that the 159 cases opened against Turkey in 2001 at the ECHR were over custody duration and torture. "We amended the law so that no form of torture can be carried out at all and we increased the penalties for torture. It seems the problem lies not in the law, but in its application," said Turk.

    Noting that 18 cases concerning "freedom of expression" had been filed against Turkey at the ECHR, Turk said they were trying to amend Articles 159 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code in order to loosen the restrictions to freedom on expression. Minister Turk stated that almost half the 5,000 cases filed against Turkey at the ECHR to date had been filed by people living in southern Cyprus, but added there had been a marked decline in such cases. Touching on the subject of damages Turkey had been ordered to pay, Turk said, "We have absolutely no problem when it comes to paying damages."

    Riza Turkmen said that Turkey was fifth on the list of countries with cases filed against them at the ECHR and added that the former Eastern Bloc countries were ahead of Turkey here. On the matter of when the case filed by Justice and Development Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be seen, Turkmen said: "The court sees the case when it is put on its agenda. I cannot give a specific date."

    Abdullah Ocalan's lawyers objected at the ECHR to him standing trial on Imrali island. The trial, which the relatives of martyrs also attended as third-party witnesses, has had no decision made on it at the ECHR. However, the ECHR has issued a stay of execution on Ocalan's death sentence. All parties in the trial have submitted extra defense, evidence and other documents to the Court Secretariat. If all of Abdullah Ocalan's objections are upheld, a request will be made for him to stand trial not at a State Security Court, but at a regular court. This will give Turkey a major headache.

    [05] Reference to Cyprus during a press conference by the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Libya

    Istanbul NTV (8.2.02) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Libyan Foreign Minister Abd Al-Rahman Shalgam held a joint press conference after their meetings in Ankara on 8.2.02. Cyprus was among the issues discussed between the two Ministers. Mr Cem and Salgam replied to questions as follows:

    Cem: You are asking me what Saddam Husayn's reply letter says. Let me tell you in general terms, because it is the honourable prime minister himself who will disclose the content of the letter which was addressed to him. In general terms, we do not see a positive development. I know that contacts are being held between Iraq and the UN Secretary-General. I know that from my contacts with the UN Secretary-General and the Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa. I hope that there will be some progress toward the implementation of the relevant UN resolutions.

    Question: You said that there is no change in Iraq's attitude. Did you observe an aggressive attitude toward Turkey, or did you get the impression that Iraq is disturbed by Turkey's stand? My second question is for the Libyan foreign minister. You said that Turkey and Libya can establish a mechanism. Will that mechanism be in connection with Iraq?

    Cem: There cannot be a stand against Turkey in these letters and there is not. This correspondence is taking place within the boundaries of full courtesy. Everybody knows that we are exerting efforts with goodwill, values them, and thanks us for them. Ultimately, however, every country pursues its own policy, just as Turkey pursues its own.

    Shalgam: This mechanism is not established in connection with a certain country. It is a general mechanism on issues concerning the two countries. On issues concerning our two countries, we may consult directly through our embassies, through correspondence, or in other ways. Libya has quite an effective role in Africa. In connection with that, it may consult with Turkey. Turkey may have certain questions for Libya regarding that, and so on. Cyprus is close to us and we have certain interests there. That is why we are closely interested in Cyprus. The contacts we will hold with Turkey are important. I greatly benefited from my talks with my brother Ismail Cem in connection with Cyprus. I will be visiting both Greece and Cyprus in the near future. It was very beneficial for me to hear Turkey's views on this issue before my visits.

    Question: Mr Cem, you said that you did not observe a positive development in Saddam's letter. And then you said that you see that the Iraqi leader is ready to cooperate with the United Nations. Does that mean that you do not see this as a positive development?

    Cem: When I said that I do not see a positive development, I was not referring to the letter. I meant that I did not see a positive development in general. I believe that any contact with the United Nations will be positive if it leads to the implementation of the UN resolutions. That is what I support. I did not interpret the letter. I do not find it right to talk about a letter addressed to the honourable prime minister.

    Question: Is Saddam refusing to open Iraq's doors to the UN arms inspectors?

    Cem: Again, I am not speaking about the letter: Turkey considers the allowing of the UN arms inspectors into Iraq as a positive step that will reduce tension. We have constantly told Iraq that if its problem with the United Nations gets onto a positive track, through its membership in various international organizations such as the EU, NATO, and the Organization of Islamic Conference, Turkey will act as a positive factor in starting a process to eventually have the economic sanctions lifted. We even told Iraq that if there is progress in its problem with the United Nations, we will act not on our own but together with Iraq's other neighbours such as Jordan, Iran, and Syria. I clearly wrote that in my own letter. We hope that this issue will move toward a peaceful solution. Ultimately, however, every country formulates its own policy. There is nothing much we can do about that. Every friendly country with which we discuss this issue - such as Libya, for example -- supports our policy in this regard. They all find our approach to be the right approach. I hope that something will come out of it.

    [06] The new head of the so-called Cyprus Turkish Airlines, a politician from Turkey with military background, stresses that the company is obliged to conduct political propaganda

    Under the title "New KTA team, with a mission to fly TRNC flag", Turkish Cypriot weekly "Cyprus Today" (9-15/2/02) reports the following:

    "Three months after taking helm of Kibris Turkish Airlines (KTA), the airline/s new president and directors were introduced to the press this week.

    Addressing a news conference at Kyrenia/s Jasmine Court Hotel on Tuesday, new boss Ilter Tuncay set out KTA/s "three-part" mission", spearheaded by a "political propaganda" drive.

    "It is the political duty of the airline to display the (TRNC/s) flag in as many countries as possible, to raise awareness of the TRNC", said Mr Tuncay, explaining that the company was obliged to conduct "political propaganda".

    A "politician is now sitting at the head of the company" he declared.

    Mr Tuncay listed KTA/s second aim as a "social mission" which was to serve the North Cyprus tourism industry and to serve Turkish Cypriot people as their national carrier.

    "The third mission in this trio is maintaining the professionalism and the profitability of the airline".

    Mr Tuncay, who took over as president of the KTA board from Sozer Ozel on October 8,2001, said the airline would adopt a policy of "transparency", making details about its operations more readily available.

    He declined, however, to detail the financial position of the company, three months after he had taken up the baton with a $35 million company profit from Mr Ozel, saying only: "The money is still there".

    He was ambiguous in response to questions as to whether the managerial team headed by KTA general manager Zeki Ziya would continue under the new board of directors. There was currently no need for a change in management and the team remained, he said, but "our friends" situations are being reassessed".

    Mr Tuncay indicated that KTA/s current fleet of nine aircraft was enough for now, saying the profitability of each of the `planes would be a priority.

    "No additional planes are necessary-each aircraft needs to fly 3,000 hours annually for it to start earning a profit.

    "A `plane may fly to London all year, totally full, but only fly a total of 1,500 hours, which subsequently puts it at a 50 per cent loss".

    KTA was not conducting studies on passenger potential in Italy, and considering which airport it could best use for a route into the country.

    Schedule

    Flights to Dublin are scheduled to start next month, alongside resumed Manchester flights, and a route to Tel-Aviv was also being considered.

    SERVING on the all-male new board of directors headed by Mr Tuncay, representing the `TRNCs/ 50 per cent share of the airline, are Mehmet Turgut, Mehmet Ali Ozyalcin and Umit Hansel.

    Representing the Turkish leg of the airline and Turban AS are Ahmet Neidim, Kurtcebe Gurkan and Pertev Arikan.

    Who is KTA director Ilter Tuncay?

    With a military background, Ilter Tuncay graduated with a Master/s degree in finance and entered the Turkish Prime Ministry/s Planning and Principles Department.

    He was also MP for Cankiri and Ankara in the Turkish Parliament, sitting on the parliamentary National Defence, NATO Turkish Group and Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs commissions.

    He served several terms as Motherland Party vice-president, and was Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs Minister.

    From 1998 to 2000, Mr Tuncay was president of the directors assembly of Rinaldi Piaggio Aero Industries in Genoa, Italy, where he was in charge of restructuring the aircraft producer, bringing it into profit and increasing international sales by 80 percent on two aircraft models.

    He has 7,000 hours/ flying experience as a civilian and military pilot.

    [07] Talat admits that the pseudo-governments do not rule the occupied areas of Cyprus; Turkish Cypriots speaking on a programme of ATV sent the message that peace could not be achieved

    "Afrika" (11.2.02) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) has admitted that the governments of the pseudostate do not rule the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Talking on a programme of the Turkish private TV channel ATV, Mr Talat described as a "great mistake" the fact that the 1996 Derynia protests organized by the Greek Cypriot motorcyclists ended with bloodshed.

    In August 1996 members of the extremist and fascistic "Grey Wolves" organization lynched and beat to death the Greek Cypriot Tassos Isaac, who had been participating in a protest march against the occupation and the division of Cyprus. A few days later after Tassos Isaac's funeral another young Greek Cypriot, his cousin Solomos Solomou, who was trying to climb the flag-pole in the neutral zone to pull down the Turkish flag in order to demonstrate his protest for Tassos's murder, was shot dead by Turkish army officers. Mr Talat's party was then participating in the so-called "coalition government".

    RTP leader said that he was against the murder of the two young Greek Cypriots. Asked why he did nothing to prevent the incidents since he was deputy "Prime Minister", Mr Talat said: "You know the conditions in Cyprus".

    Furthermore, according to "Afrika", retired general Hasan Kundakci, former commander of the so-called Turkish Cypriot "Security Forces" intervened in the programme by phone and said that he was not sorry for the assassination of the two Greek Cypriots. "I would do the same thing today", he added.

    It is noted that the so-called "Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister", Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas' advisor, Sabahattin Ismail, participated in the programme.

    "Yeniduzen" (11.2.02), under the banner front-page title "Treachery to the peace process", writes that Mr Ertugruloglu and Mr Ismail have given the message that "peace cannot be achieved, agreement is not possible" in Cyprus.

    "They were not content with this, but they played the drums of war and created disappointment in the public opinion both in TRNC and in Turkey", adds "Yeniduzen".

    Mr Ertugruloglu said that the Turkish Cypriots could not join the European Union, before Turkey becomes a member of the Union. "If needed we shall be connected to Turkey", he threatened.

    [08] Echinococcus in the occupied Nicosia

    KIBRIS (11.2.02) reports that the disease of echinococcus has been found in the liver of animals at a butcher shop in occupied Nicosia. The paper writes that doctors who visited the shop to buy meat understood that some animals were infected by the above-mentioned disease. The most worrying aspect of the incident, adds KIBRIS, is that the disease was found in animals on which there were stamps of the so-called "Veterinary Department".

    So-called "officials" of the above-mentioned department told KIBRIS that at the slaughterhouse the animals are checked for every kind of disease and added that echinococcus could be found only after analysis.

    Meanwhile, Dr Mehmet Inan, who has made a research on the issue of echinococcus in the occupied areas, told KIBRIS that the disease is met on 1.72 persons out of every 100 persons in the pseudostate.

    [09] The so-called Foreign Affairs Minister went to Turkey to attend the Joint EU-OIC Forum

    KIBRIS (10/2/02) reports that the so-called Foreign Affairs and Defence Minister of the pseudostate, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, went yesterday to Ankara at the head of a delegation, in order to participate as an observer in the Joint EU-OIC (Organization of the Islamic Conference) Forum, which will be held in Istanbul on 12-13 February.

    The Cyprus Republic will take part in the forum as a EU's candidate country, the paper writes.

    Ertugruloglu was accompanied by the advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Ergun Olgun, the so-called Undersecretary of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministry, Resat Caglar, the so-called Legal Advisor of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministry, Zaim Negatil and the so-called third secretary of the Ministry, Zeliba Erden.

    The delegation will go to Istanbul on Monday and return to the occupied areas on Wednesday.

    [10] Threatening e-mails to the Turkish Cypriot members of the Oslo Group

    YENIDUZEN (10/2/02) under banner headline "Threat to the members of the Oslo Group" reports that the Turkish Cypriot members of the bi-communal Oslo Group have been receiving threatening e-mails for their lives and their families due to the Oslo report.

    Oslo Group is a team consisting of 25 Greek Cypriots and 25 Turkish Cypriots who went to Oslo in 1998 as the guests of US Fullbright Commission and Oslo Peace Research Institute. After the end of their works, they prepared a report, which was distributed among the members. One of the aims of the group is to encourage the rapprochement between the two communities and the establishment of trust between them.

    Serdar Atai, a member of the Oslo Group, said that they do not participate in the meetings on behalf of any organization nor of the "state", but only as individuals. He criticized the fact that the occupation authorities do not give them permission to have meetings at the Ledra Palace hotel and said: "As a result of this the group cannot meet and cannot exchange views. If the people do not meet and do not discuss how will they know each other, how will they understand each other. We can only have contacts with the outside world through the internet."

    He continued: "I do not understand why they have criticised this report. I am not sure whether they have read the report. The Greek Cypriot participants were subjected to attacks due to elements of the report that were favourable to the Turks; I can understand this. However I do not understand why they attack us." Atai said that he had received threatening e-mails and he launched complaints to the so-called police. One e-mail was signed by a person with the name Fuat Ozdemir with the following message: "If you continue to harm the national cause with your contacts with the Greek Cypriot side, then you and your family is in danger."


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