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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-10-12

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.195/04 12.10.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Plundering of the Greek Cypriot property in the occupied area continues unabated. British are the main buyers.
  • [02] Bomb found at the Ledra Palace barricade.
  • [03] The British High Commissioner visited the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry.
  • [04] Altinbas family from Turkey has an annual 150 million dollars revenue in occupied Cyprus while Turkish Cypriots complain that they are poor and isolated.
  • [05] Political party leader jailed for calling Erdogan treacherous and godless during election campaign.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses the meeting between Erdogan and the Chief Justice of the ECHR.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Plundering of the Greek Cypriot property in the occupied area continues unabated. British are the main buyers

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (12.10.04) reports that currently the most discussed issue in the occupied area is purchasing of property by the foreigners. The former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), Mr Eren Ertanin, has said that the majority of the buyers are British and that the prices of immovable property in the occupied area in the last two years have doubled. He said: "The houses which were 50-60 thousand Sterling now reached 100-130 thousand Sterling."

    Noting that the sale of houses reached to the level of ten thousand, Ertanin added that the sales are made in areas between 50 to 60 kms East and West of Occupied Kyrenia.

    In his turn the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Estate Agents Union, Mr Hasan Sungur, has said that the recent "bill" regulating the purchase of property by foreigners in the occupied area has slowed down the sale of property.

    He went on and said that it has reached to a point where some buyers wanted to cancel the purchase agreements. He said: "If this bill that envisages leasing the land for 125 years passes a reverse process will start. Until now there were 1850 foreign applications asking for permission from the `TRNC Government´. We expect this figure to go up to 3500. There are a lot of deficiencies in the bill .Some of the foreigners have already started taking steps to nullify the contracts".

    [02] Bomb found at the Ledra Palace barricade

    Under the banner front-page title "Bomb at the barricade", Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.10.04) reports that panic was created yesterday at Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, when two boxes with explosives were found between a parking place and the buildings of the Courts of the Republic of Cyprus near the barricade.

    The suspicious boxes were found by a Turkish Cypriot named Ekrem Karadayi, who works at the parking place and were destroyed by the police of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper writes that Mr Karadayi found the explosives in two empty boxes of milk. According to information acquired by Greek Cypriot journalists, notes KIBRIS, the police are examining the possibility that the explosives were brought from the occupied areas of the island.

    In statements after the incident, the Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr Doros Theodorou, who visited the barricade, said that the police noted that the explosives in the packages might have been of C3 or C4 type. Mr Theodorou said that it has not yet been established who put the bombs there and that the investigations continue. He also noted that the police would increase the security measures at the area of Ledra Palace.

    The paper writes that the movement between the occupied and the free areas of Cyprus was stopped from 13.30 yesterday and for about an hour. The movement began again at about 14.40 and after the police and the United Nations Peace Keeping Force took the necessary security measures, continues KIBRIS.

    Meanwhile, referring to the issue, AFRIKA newspaper (12.10.04) wonders whether or not some circles "have pressed the button in order to bring confusion in Cyprus and cause conflicts again between the two communities".

    VOLKAN newspaper (12.10.04) refers to the issue under the title "Panic for bomb at Ledra Palace" and calls on the Turkish Cypriots who cross over to the free areas of Cyprus to be careful. "Greek Cypriot fanatics, who wanted to intimidate the Turks who cross to the south and the Greek Cypriots and the tourists who cross to the north, have left a package decorated as a bomb at the Greek Cypriot Ledra Palace border gate", argues VOLKAN.

    [03] The British High Commissioner visited the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (12.10.04) reports that the British High Commissioner Lyn Parker visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, where he exchanged views with its new leadership on the Customs Union agreement of Turkey with the Republic of Cyprus and the new situation after this last development.

    They also discussed issues such as the trade problems of the occupation regime with the EU, the direct trade and the financial aid.

    [04] Altinbas family from Turkey has an annual 150 million dollars revenue in occupied Cyprus while Turkish Cypriots complain that they are poor and isolated

    Turkish mainland HURRIYET newspaper (12.10.04) reports that the Altinbas family from the town of Gaziantep in Turkey opened its 54th fuel oil station in occupied Cyprus. The Altinbas family has started to make investments in occupied Cyprus since 1975, after the 1974 Turkish invasion to Cyprus and became "one of the biggest groups of capital".

    The chairman of the Altinbas Holding's Executive Board, Mr Imam Altinbas stated that the company has a share of 50% as regards the distribution in the sectors of fuels and jewelleries in occupied Cyprus and added that the company can make annual revenue of 140-150 million dollars from these two sectors.

    In addition, as Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper reports (12.10.04), the chairman of the Executive Committee of the Altinbas Holding, Mr Ali Altinbas, stated that the company will make a 20 million dollars investment in occupied Cyprus this year in order to build a "holiday village" in occupied Kyrenia. Stating that there are a lot of "consumption potentials" in (occupied) Cyprus, Mr Altinbas said that they are having discussions as regards the plot of vacant land that the village will be built and that they are thinking to make the investment together with another company from Turkey.

    [05] Political party leader jailed for calling Erdogan treacherous and godless during election campaign

    Under the title "YP leader Uzan sentenced to prison" Turkish Daily News (12.10.04) reports the following:

    "The Bursa Third Criminal Court has sentenced Young Party (GP) leader Cem Uzan to serve 8 months in prison and pay TL 694 million for insulting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a campaign rally on June 13, 2003 in Bursa. The organizers of the rally were found not guilty.

    In the last court session of the case on Monday, Erdogan's lawyer Numan Guney asked Judge Mustafa Ozturk to find Uzan guilty of insulting Erdogan. Uzan's lawyers claimed that the speech had not included any statements that could be construed as personal insults and asked Ozturk to find their client not guilty.

    When asked by the judge, Public Prosecutor Ali Yilmaz repeated his statement that he believed Uzan should be found guilty, while the rally organizers should be found not guilty.

    Ozturk, after an intermission of 10 minutes, said that Uzan had insulted the prime minister of the republic in his speech and sentenced him to serve 8 months in prison.

    Businessman Cem Uzan had entered politics and founded his party, YP, before the 2002 national elections. Despite a better than expected showing at the polls, he failed to pass the necessary 10 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament.

    For the Uzan Group, their public falling out with Motorola over the group's failure to pay back billions of dollars owed by them, was just the start of their long descend from the heights of power. U.S. courts ordered the Uzan family to pay $ 4 billion to Motorola and Nokia for defrauding them.

    The state seized their dams and electricity distribution holdings for failing to adhere to their contractual obligations. And then their pride and joy, Imar Bank, was seized for corrupt practices by the Turkish Savings and Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). The TMSF also seized the rest of Uzan Group holdings in order to pay the debt owed by them.

    Cem Uzan's brother Hakan and father Kemal, who are fugitives from justice, are yet to be brought to court for their involvement in channeling billions of dollars of investors, money into their offshore accounts.

    Cem Uzan, who was a political leader at the time, claimed that his family was being unfairly targeted by the government, which feared the threat posed by the YP. Uzan's Bursa rally was just one of a string of rallies held by him around Turkey against the government. Uzan had called Erdogan "treacherous" and "godless" at the Bursa rally.

    While Cem Uzan is still the leader of YP, his and his party's influence significantly decreased after the Uzan Group's media holdings were seized by the TMSF.

    Cem Uzan's lawyer Saylan Ciggin said that they had filed an appeal against the court decision."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses the meeting between Erdogan and the Chief Justice of the ECHR

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (11.10.04) publishes the following column by Sukru Kucuksahin under the title: "Three warnings from the Chief Justice of the ECHR to Prime Minister Erdogan":

    "During Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Strasbourg on 6 September he also talked with Luzius Wildhaber, the Chief Justice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), who is struggling with thousands of Turkey's lawsuits.

    The talks were expected to pass in a rather interesting manner due to the Islamic headdress judgment of the ECHR.

    The Prime Minister praised Chief Justice Wildhaber by saying, "Your judgments are a guide and enlightening for us," without making any reference to the Islamic headdress judgment of the court.

    Chief Justice Wildhaber must have been affected by this sincere introduction. Once again, he made a speech, which could be a guide for Turkey.

    The Chief Justice said that the great number of torture, mistreatment and expropriation of property lawsuits opened against Turkey at the ECHR have almost been reduced to zero.

    "Watch out for these lawsuits"

    After this introduction, Chief Justice Wildhaber raised the subject of the new lawsuits, which have been a headache for Turkey:

    - The results of the recourses made from Cyprus are not yet known. The number of these lawsuits has already exceeded two thousand (In the Titina Loizidou lawsuit, only one of the lawsuits indicated by the Chief Justice, Turkey was sentenced to pay an indemnity of one million euros.)

    - The petitions of the Turkish citizens who have suffered from terrorism are coming in great numbers. At present, the number of lawsuits has exceeded one thousand. It would be quite beneficial for you to solve these internally.

    - And the lawsuits related to the properties of your minority citizens would also be a problem for you.

    Prime Minister Erdogan stated that they would take seriously the warnings of Chief Justice Wildhaber related to the lawsuits on these three subjects, in which Turkey could be sentenced to pay billions of dollars and stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side on Cyprus has done whatever it could. Prime Minister Erdogan indicated the need for the fulfillment of the Annan Plan in order to conclude the lawsuits on this subject on the Island.

    Prime Minister Erdogan stated that the problems related to minority properties would be solved and that a law was promulgated in July for paying indemnities for losses due to terrorism.

    Prime Minister Erdogan also gave the promise, "Progress will be made in this field in the shortest period of time."

    Abdulkadir Aksu, the Minister of Internal Affairs, with whom we talked, also made statements supporting Prime Minister Erdogan.

    Minister Aksu said that they have acted quickly and announced that they had prepared the regulation related to the law and sent it to the Prime Ministry on 20 September.

    Minister Aksu said, "The regulation will be promulgated soon. Committees will be formed immediately in the provinces and petitions will be decided upon. There will not be a loss of time on this subject."

    Islamic headdress reproach From the JDP

    One of the most interesting moments during the talks was experienced when Murat Mercan, the Turkish Group Chairman of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (CEPA) and the JDP [Justice and Development Party] Deputy Chairman, who accompanied Prime Minister Erdogan, took the floor.

    Mr Mercan criticized the ECHR judgment ratifying the ban on the Islamic headdress at the universities by negatively concluding the petition of Leyla Sahin, who was expelled from school due to wearing the Islamic headdress.

    Mr Mercan said, "Forcing the female students to make a preference between fulfilling their religious requirements and using their freedom of education is in conflict with the basic philosophy of the ECHR. As a member of the CEPA, I cannot accept this judgment of an organ, which is connected to the CEPA."

    Chief Justice Wildhaber responded to Mr Mercan's statements by saying, "There are different views on this subject and yours is different too." It is improbable that Mr Mercan made these statements without the knowledge of Prime Minister Erdogan.

    It is understood that they made a division of labor at the ECHR."

    /SK


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