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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-26

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.98/04 26.05.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot mayors will be represented in the Council of Europe under the umbrella of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [02] Talat expects direct charter flights from Heathrow to occupied Tymbou airport to begin in June 2004.
  • [03] Andreas Christou: "We are ready to open the crossing at the end of the Ledra Street".
  • [04] The chairmen of the Union Travel Agents in the free and the occupied areas state that the pseudostate must reduce the formalities as regards the crossings through the barricades from the free to the occupied areas.
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot leader wants recognition of the occupation regime before any new talks on the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Latest developments concerning the Greater Middle East Initiative.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot mayors will be represented in the Council of Europe under the umbrella of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (26.05.04) reports that the General Assembly of the Local and Regional Administrations of the Council of Europe decided yesterday that the Turkish Cypriots should have the right to be represented in the body under the umbrella of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The paper writes that for the first time the Turkish Cypriot municipalities are given the right to be represented in Europe, but everybody was shocked due to the fact that the delegation of Turkey abstained from the voting. "For the first time a delegation from Turkey decided in favour of the Turkish Cypriots being represented by the Republic of Cyprus", notes the paper which also publishes statements by the "mayor" of the occupied part of Nicosia, Kutlay Erk who said that they were shocked from the abstention of the Turkish delegation, because thus the Turkish Cypriots entered under the umbrella of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, under the banner front page title "Our municipalities will represent the Republic of Cyprus at the Council of Europe", Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (26.05.04) writes that the Turkish Cypriots will have two representatives, one full member and one reserve.

    [02] Talat expects direct charter flights from Heathrow to occupied Tymbou airport to begin in June 2004

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (26.05.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, expects direct charter flights from the British Heathrow airport to the occupied by Turkish troops Tymbou airport to begin in June 2004.

    The paper notes that the United States and Britain "have given the green light" for the launching of direct flights to illegal Tymbou airport. Therefore, the above-mentioned airport is prepared to host foreign aircraft. It is said that the USA are positively approaching the issue of transit flights.

    According to YENI DUZEN, Britain has made some investigations on the issue whether or not there is any legal problem for charter flights between Tymbou and Heathrow. The Turkish side, which had reportedly consulted with the International Civil Aviation Organization on the issue, has informed Britain that there was no obstacle for such flights.

    Meanwhile, the issue of the flights to the occupied Tymbou airport is expected to be included in the package of the measures that the USA will be announcing in favour of the Turkish Cypriots, supports the paper, adding that the US Minister of Transport, Norman Minetta said, during a meeting in Istanbul with his Turkish counterpart, that they were investigating the possibilities of starting flights shortly. It is said that the American airplanes could stop to illegal Tymbou airport to take or leave passengers on their way to the Far East countries.

    [03] Andreas Christou: "We are ready to open the crossing at the end of the Ledra Street"

    According to the local Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.05.04) the Minister of the Interior Mr Andreas Christou, has said that request to open the crossing at the end of the Ledra Street was conveyed to the competent authorities and that they want to open five more crossings.

    Saying that to this end they are ready to extend all possible assistance, Christou added that "it is my dream to see the opening of the crossing at the end of the Ledra Street". The Interior Minister further said that apart from this crossing they have proposed the opening of four more crossings at Limnitis, Zodia, Ayios Kassianos and Dherynia.

    Noting that opening the crossing at the end of Ledra Street would not only revive the life there, but it would also have symbolic meaning of uniting the old Nicosia, the minister said: "It is my dream to see the crossing opened".

    Referring to the old and dilapidated houses and buildings in the area the Minister said that the Cyprus government is ready to provide the necessary financial sources to restore and repair these buildings. He said if in the north the same view prevails as regards the opening of the crossing then this is possible.

    The Minister also informed that as of 1 May Cyprus became a full member of the EU and as a result of it new EU passports will be issued to Cypriot citizens. He said that delivery of the new passports will start towards the end of this year. He went on and said that the new passports will have security arrangements adopted by the EU.

    As for the identity cards Mr Christou said that there will be no change. Regarding allegations that the Turkish Cypriots are treated harshly at the crossings, the Minister said that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is against such unbecoming and unacceptable behavior. Christou said that two incidents took place where one was a female and the other one a male. The female suspect was bodily searched and the male suspect was harshly treated and in both cases search for narcotics were carried out, because of misinformation. Similar incidents could happen in the future the Minister noted. He expressed regret for both cases and said: "This is not our government's policy".

    [04] The chairmen of the Union Travel Agents in the free and the occupied areas state that the pseudostate must reduce the formalities as regards the crossings through the barricades from the free to the occupied areas

    The Turkish press writes today about the comments of the chairmen of the Union of Travel Agents in the free areas and the occupied areas of Cyprus regarding crossing through the barricades.

    Speaking to the Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (26.05.04) the general secretary of the Cyprus Union of Travel Agents, Mr Thasos Katsourides, stated that they are ready for cooperation as regards taking tourists to the occupied areas. "We are ready to do whatever is necessary in order to take tourists to northern Cyprus. We are trying with all our powers to solve either the issue of insurance or the difficulties in other subjects", he said. However, he called on the occupation regime to limit the formalities as regards the crossing from the free to the occupied areas of Cyprus, pointing out that in this case both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots will be benefited.

    In addition, speaking to the Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (26.05.04) the president of the Cyprus Union of Travel Agents, in the occupied areas, Mr Ismail Cetin also commented on the formalities regarding the crossing of tourists from the free to the occupied areas and called on the occupation regime to limit them. Mr Cetin also said that he does not find appropriate the fact that the agencies which organized tours from the free to the occupied areas must submit to the so-called tourism Ministry and the pseudopolice a list with the tourist names, two days prior to their visit, stating that the jobs of the Turkish Cypriot travel agencies is becoming more difficult with all these procedures.

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot leader wants recognition of the occupation regime before any new talks on the Cyprus problem

    NTV television (26.05.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that he would definitely not seek a further term of office at next year's "poll".

    Earlier this month, Denktas had said he would only contest the 2005 "poll" if his supporters pushed him to do so.

    Denktas also said the US State Department Special Co-ordinator on Cyprus, Thomas Weston, was mistaken in comments made Tuesday claiming that the Turkish Cypriots did not want "a separate state and official recognition". "We should insist on recognition. We should not sit at the negotiation table before we are recognised", he said.

    Should there be any further attempts to restart the failed reunification negotiations, of the proposal to reunite Cyprus, Denktas said that it would be the pseudogovernment and so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat who would represent the country.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Latest developments concerning the Greater Middle East Initiative

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (24.05.04) publishes the following article by Gunduz Aktan:

    "The Greater Middle East Initiative will be examined at the NATO, G-8, Atlantic and European Union summits. No one expects a finalized strategy to come out of these meetings. However, opinions about the initiative will be clearer.

    Developments in Iraq will have great influence on the future of the Greater Middle East Initiative. Transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis is very important from this perspective. Everybody, including those countries that objected to the United States invasion of Iraq, should help in this process. If the U.S. is forced to pull out of Iraq that has plunged in to civil war, it won't be only the Greater Middle East Initiative that will suffer. The instability that will result will affect the entire region, maybe even areas beyond it.

    Sunni resistance centered around Fallujah may be just a precursor to a war by those who aim at controlling the country, if such an eventuality comes to pass. Forces under al Sadr's command resisting U.S. occupation without consulting larger Shiite groups may hint at a future division of the Shiite community in Iraq. While one thing that is uniting these Shiite and Sunni rebels may be their wish to put an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq through peaceful means, another matter that unites them is their common hatred for Kurds, who they accuse of cooperating with occupation forces and targeting them with snipers. It is not hard to imagine these groups starting an armed resistance against any Kurdish move towards independence.

    The likelihood of the U.S. having stabilized the country as it transfers sovereignty on July 1 seems very low under these conditions. Actually, this is not that important, because the U.S. army will continue to remain in the country. Moreover, the members of this provisional government will continue to be chosen by Americans. The U.S. will have the right to veto any laws that the new Iraqi government will pass. The objective is to hold elections in January, 2005 and to assure the formation of a representative government, even if it may be a religious one. This policy is too optimistic in expecting an automatic stabilization of the country after the formation of a representative government and the U.S government believes it will be able to pull out from the country without trouble.

    Reaching these objectives depends on how successful the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Iraq Al Akhtar Al Ibrahimi will be. The U.N. Security Council will also have to pass a resolution to legitimize the process. France's prerequisite to approve such a resolution is for the U.S. to actually transfer sovereignty to Iraqis, the ownership rights of Iraqi natural resources to be given back to Iraq and convening of an international conference among Iraq's neighbors and their approval of this solution process. It warns that if these conditions are not met, the U.S. and the entire world will be buried in the dark-hole of Iraq. This last point is very important. If the U.S. leaves Iraq without resolving any of its problems, neighboring countries may also be pulled in to the civil war, resulting in a wider conflict.

    Even if there is a successful withdrawal process from Iraq, the implementation of the Greater Middle East Initiative won't be easy. Democratization means replacing almost all of the Arab regimes. Can anyone expect their cooperation with the U.S. on the Greater Middle East Initiative? Moreover, the way Iraqi prisoners were treated make it that much harder for the U.S. to bring human rights and freedoms to the countries of the region.

    That's why it would be better for the U.S. to emphasize regional economic development as part of the Greater Middle East Initiative. Then the Arab leaders might agree to cooperate to democratize, in the hope of not losing their seats in the process. Because economic development, as opposed to democratization does not necessarily involve western values, the regional people may feel less opposed to it. Especially it would not involve the introduction of the controversial force of secularism by Christian countries on Muslim ones.

    However, the U.S. seems more likely to pursue democratization through its liberal agents in these countries. Olivier Roy, who knows a lot about these matters, says that liberals will fail, because in the Middle East it is the nationalists that are considered legitimate.

    The U.S. has most probably realized that democracies cannot become imperialists. It would be good for it to listen to those who know what they are talking about, because it is harder to correct a mistake when it is too late."

    /SK


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