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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-01-12

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.7/05 12.01.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan is holding contacts in Moscow
  • [02] Sources on what Erdogan asked from Putin on Cyprus and more on Cyprus from Erdogan's visit to Moscow
  • [03] Reply to a question on Cyprus by the U.S. Ambassador in Ankara during an interview with Zaman newspaper. He stresses that the future of Cyprus is in the EU
  • [04] Turkey, US, Iraq discuss measures against PKK in Iraq
  • [05] The coverage of the Turkish Prime Minister's visit to Russia by the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot papers
  • [06] An ancient tomb dated on the Geometric era was discovered in occupied Agios Andronikos village
  • [07] Human rights violations in Turkey increase in 2004
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in Vatan assesses the recent opinion poll in Turkey on the power of the parties and the talk on the presidential system

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan is holding contacts in Moscow

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11/01/05) reported from Moscow that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that a political will exists in Turkey and Russia to make mutual investments. ''Such investments could not have been imagined 10-15 years ago,'' said Erdogan.

    In a meeting with Erdogan, President Putin remarked that Russia supports the UN Secretary-General Annan's plan on Cyprus. ''We do not think that the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is fair,'' said Putin.

    Erdogan and Putin got together with Turkish businessmen in Moscow.

    In a speech delivered at the meeting, President Putin stated that the trade volume between Turkey and Russia will increase. ''Our trade volume could easily reach 15 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to reach 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2007. Joint projects should also be encouraged,'' said Putin.

    Putin stressed that the cooperation agreement he signed with the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on December 6, 2004, makes an important reference to the good relations between Turkey and Russia.

    ''We pay high attention to Turkey's relations with the European Union. Half of our trade volume is with the EU states. With Turkey's integration into the EU, we are eager to make our relations better,'' said Putin. ''In this framework, many obstacles could be eliminated. Obstacles could be removed with Russia's entrance into the World Trade Organization. We are pleased with Turkey's positive approach in this regard.

    We will soon celebrate the 60th anniversary of the victory against fascism. We would be happy to see Erdogan at the celebrations on May 9. Erdogan's visit will be a turning point in our relations. The year 2005 also marks the 85th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish-Russian relations,'' said Putin.

    Speaking after President Putin, Mr Erdogan said that the good relations between Turkish and Russian businessmen will not only help the two countries but the whole region. ''Turkey will strongly support Russian membership to the World Trade Organization. This question will be discussed in Davos on January 24, 2005,'' said Erdogan.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot Trade and Industry Chamber Chairman Salih Tunar stated that, despite the Turkish Cypriots' approval of the Annan Plan, the Turks still face blockade. ''We want the isolation of Turkish Cypriots to end and wish to contribute to world peace.''

    Erdogan has reminded media members that a ''Russian Year'' will be celebrated in Turkey and a ''Turkish Year'' will be celebrated in Russia in the near future.

    Putin added that he discussed the re-construction of Iraq with Erdogan. ''What is happening in Iraq is a matter of concern for the Russians. We will work together with Turkey on Iraq and with the aim to solve (its) problems,'' remarked Putin.

    According to Putin, Turkish and Russian delegations also discussed the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline, railways and means to make better use of the Black Sea region.

    In response to a Turkish journalist's question on Cyprus, Putin explained that Russia supports the Annan plan. ''We will vote in the Security Council according to the document presented to the Council,'' said Putin.

    Asked about what he thinks on the Karabagh issue, Putin said that neighbourly relations between Russia-Armenia, Turkey-Armenia and Azerbaijan-Armenia should be developed. ''We are all aware about the historical problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Russia will contribute to the peace process,'' he indicated.

    Erdogan also expressed the view that Armenia must be positive in its approach to find a solution. ''Turkey's policy is based on finding a lasting solution. If Armenia claims that it does not recognize the Kars Agreement, this would be a negative approach. The Ataturk Airport in Istanbul has been made available for Armenian passenger flights. We do not want negative relations with any of our neighbours, including Armenia. We will open our border with Armenia for trade once we witness a positive approach from Armenia,'' stressed Erdogan.

    [02] Sources on what Erdogan asked from Putin on Cyprus and more on Cyprus from Erdogan's visit to Moscow

    Ankara Anatolia (11/01/05) reported from Moscow that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his expectation during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia would support the end of the so-called isolation of the occupied by Turkish troops territory of Cyprus, sources said on Tuesday.

    Noting that Erdogan asked Putin to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem during their meeting, the same sources said that Erdogan also asked Putin to be beside Turkey during talks regarding Cyprus in the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

    The same sources quoted Erdogan as saying in the meeting: ''We expect Russia to support end of isolations of North Cyprus. The Cyprus problem can be solved with the good offices of the UN. Guarantor state Turkey supports this mission. And, the European Union (EU) will naturally make a positive contribution to the solution of the Cyprus problem.''

    Ankara Anatolia (11/01/05) further reported from Moscow that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that the Cyprus issue should be resolved within the United Nations and not the European Union. After a meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish businessmen, Erdogan replied to questions from journalists. In reference to a question on solution of the Cyprus issue and lifting the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Erdogan remarked that there is no change in the Annan Plan. ''The process related to Cyprus is going on. Turkey's position is firm and unchanged. Cyprus is an issue that should be resolved within the framework of the United Nations and not the EU,'' said Erdogan.

    Furthermore, Istanbul NTV television (11/01/05) broadcast that Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the Annan Plan in connection with the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    On the second day of his Moscow visit, together with Putin, Prime Minister Erdogan called on businessmen. Pointing out that bilateral relations have reached the level of multilateral partnership, Erdogan expressed support for Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization. Putin, in turn, said that the volume of bilateral trade can be increased to $15 billion, adding that political dialogue lies at the bottom of commercial and economic partnership.

    The Cyprus problem was also on Putin's agenda. Noting that the developments pertaining to Cyprus were discussed, Putin expressed support for the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the Annan Plan. The isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots is not fair, the Russian president stressed, adding that the matter is sensitive and one must act delicately. Putin also remarked that Russia's stand with regard to the report to be submitted to the UN Security Council will depend on the document to be submitted to the council.

    In reply to a question, Putin also commented on the Armenian issue. Pointing out that Russia could act as a mediator or a guarantor with regard to Armenia's problems with Azerbaijan and Turkey, Putin said: "We are ready to do our utmost".

    [03] Reply to a question on Cyprus by the U.S. Ambassador in Ankara during an interview with Zaman newspaper. He stresses that the future of Cyprus is in the EU

    Istanbul Zaman newspaper (09/01/05) published an interview with US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman. Following is Mr Edelman's reply to a question on Cyprus:

    Question: It is said that America should do something to end the isolation of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots in order to improve its situation in Turkey. Why does America not land a plane in northern Cyprus? Would not this be a good sign to prompt Papadopoulos to reconsider?

    Answer: As for the Cyprus issue, firstly, we appreciate what the Turkish Government and the Turkish Cypriot leadership did last year for solution efforts on the island. We all know the outcome of the referenda held in Cyprus on 24 April. We know who supported the Annan Plan and who rejected it. As America, we are considering what we can do to lighten a little the isolation that Cyprus and our friends in the Turkish community there have been subject to all these years. We are doing this in a concrete way. Our ambassador on Cyprus visited Prime Minister Talat's office. Mr Talat met with Secretary of State Powell. In the fall a delegation of ours discusses how $30 million of direct aid could be sent to the Turkish community. Steps were taken regarding the education exchange programs so that the Turkish Cypriots can get an education in the United States.

    As for direct steps like flights and port visits these are more complex than people think because these matters fall within international agreements like the International Aviation Convention. These are a part of the legal regime and the multi-sided legal obligations that we too have to work with. We have to work within these limits. But we are trying to see what we can do with respect to flights and visits within even these limits.

    I have noticed that everybody is concerned about America. For example, it was said that they used to be multi-sided in all their actions until international law and international agreements began having an impact on them individually. Now, they want the United States to do something unilaterally to solve the problem. We are going to do the best we can within the existing limits. The fact is that the best factor for the Turkish Cypriot community is the aid and commercial arrangements that the EU is thinking of making. In the end the size and scope of everything we are doing with respect to commerce and aid will be dwarfed by what will happen with the European Union, which is where Cyprus' future lies.

    [04] Turkey, US, Iraq discuss measures against PKK in Iraq

    Istanbul NTV television (11/01/05) broadcast live the following statement by Osman Koruturk, Turkey's special envoy to Iraq after the tripartite security meeting held among Turkish, Iraqi and US officials.

    "The information to be given in connection to this meeting will be limited to this communiqué. We will not be replying to any questions. The delegations, however, have reached an agreement on this communiqué which is a summary of the work carried out. Now I will be reading the communiqué:

    A tripartite meeting was held among the high ranking representatives of the Turkish Republic, the United States, and the Iraqi Republic in Ankara today in a bid to discuss the principles of the cooperation aimed at putting an end to the threat of terror directed from north Iraq to Turkey and to eradicate from the region the elements of terror that give rise to this threat. Delegations comprised of the civilian and military officials of the three countries participated in the meeting. The Turkish and Iraqi delegations agreed to hold future meetings and to continue the bilateral cooperation activities in a bid to struggle against the terrorist PKK/KONGRA-GEL [Workers Party of Kurdistan/People's Congress of Kurdistan] organization. The US side welcomed this expanded bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Iraq and stressed its commitment to conduct activities with Turkey and other countries on a bilateral level in the struggle being waged against the PKK/KONGRA-GEL throughout the world. At the first meeting of this tripartite cooperation that is being initiated toward achieving the above mentioned goals, the parties confirmed the existing understanding among the three countries with regards to the need for an effective international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, discussed the measures that should be taken in a bid to eliminate the presence of the terrorist PKK/KONGRA-GEL organization and its extensions in north Iraq, and agreed to continue the tripartite meetings at various levels in a bid to develop and implement these measures".

    [05] The coverage of the Turkish Prime Minister's visit to Russia by the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot papers

    The visit of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Erdogan, to Russia is the main topic in most of today's (12/01/05) Turkish and Turkish Cypriot papers. The titles of their front leader page are the following: Turkish Cypriot press

    KIBRIS: "Strong support from Russia to the Turkish Cypriot"

    HALKIN SESI: "Support from Putin to the Turkish Cypriots"

    ORTAM: "Putin: 'We support the Annan plan"

    KIBRISLI: "End to the siege"

    YENIDUZEN: "The Russian greeting"

    CUMHURIYET: "The isolation is not just"

    AFRIKA: "The isolation is not just"

    Only VOLKAN and VATAN papers do not cover the visit in their front pages.

    Turkish press

    SABAH: "A gesture from Putin to Cyprus"

    MILLIYET: "A historical announcement from the Russian leader Putin: 'The embargo on the North Cyprus is not just'."

    HURRIYET: "A gesture from Putin to Cyprus; Embargo is unjust and the isolation must be lifted"

    [06] An ancient tomb dated on the Geometric era was discovered in occupied Agios Andronikos village

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.01.05) reports that a three thousand years old ancient tomb was discovered yesterday in occupied Karpass peninsula.

    The tomb, which is dated on the Geometric era (1050-750 B.C), was discovered in occupied Agios Adronikos village, during works for changing water pipes in the area. Three human skeletons along with twenty-five pieces of earthenware works of art were found in the tomb. Among the earthenware jugs were four pieces of decorated amphora, two wine jugs, three decorated plates, two bottles of perfume and one conical spinning wheel.

    [07] Human rights violations in Turkey increase in 2004

    Turkish Daily News (11.01.05) reports that despite 2004 becoming a year of reforms in human rights issues, some violations continued to occur in 2004, the year Turkey obtained a date to open membership negotiations with the European Union.

    According to a report released by the Diyarbakir Human Rights Association, the total number of violations experienced in the southeastern and eastern regions in 2004 increased to 7,208 from that of 6,472 in 2003.

    The report also stressed, "The number of armed conflicts between security forces and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK/Kongra-Gel) increased: While 104 people died and 31 people were wounded in armed clashes in 2003, 219 people died and 126 were wounded in 2004. Deaths due to landmines rose in 2004; 19 people died and 37 were wounded in 2003 while 18 people lost their lives and 46 people were injured due to mines in 2004. The number of unsolved murders decreased in 2004: 80 such murders were committed in 2003 while 68 were committed in 2004.

    The number of torture and degrading treatment cases decreased in 2004. A total of 489 such cases were reported in 2003, but 2004 saw 338 such cases."

    "Two radio and TV stations and two non-governmental organizations were closed down in the region in 2004 where prisons continued to be a problem with 266 rights violations in 2004 compared to 304 in 2003," was written in the report.

    Stressing that 2004 was a year of both good and bad, the area's Human Rights Association's Mihdi Perincek said that 2004 was a year when law reform on broadcasting and education in different languages, the law of association, the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and the release of the former deputies Leyla Zana and her friends of the now defunct Democracy Party (DEP) were all pleasing developments regarding human rights. However, he said the year had witnessed very serious violations, namely, armed conflicts, legal investigation against freedom of thought, torture, arbitrary executions and arbitrary custodies. Furthermore, he stressed, legal investigations into those who committed these violations were insufficient. The most important reason for this was governmental indifference. Moreover, some consciously blocked the democratization process, he added. In order to reassure the sense of justice in society the government should punish those who committed the violations," said Perincek, adding: "The role of local administrators in preventing violations is very important. For example, the newly appointed Diyarbakir governor has brought very visible improvements to the city where torture and violations have now decreased. However, such improvements must become institutionalized in order to become permanent."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in Vatan assesses the recent opinion poll in Turkey on the power of the parties and the talk on the presidential system

    Istanbul Vatan newspaper (11/01/05) publishes the following commentary by Okay Gonensin under the title: "The threat of a 'Single-Party'":

    "It is possible to see a significant "threat" behind the debate set forth on the presidential system: The regime is going towards a "single-party" system that would come to power with elections.

    - The JDP [Justice and Development Party] has been successful in many fields (although the reasons and sources of these are the subjects of different debates) and it has come to the position of "covering" the centre and centre right in a very extensive manner.

    Only the TPP [True Path Party] is continuing its efforts to form an opposition platform through the problems of the farmers. A different voice, which has a societal foundation other than this, is not being heard.

    Subtitle: "If the Elections were held today"

    Recently, a public opinion poll conducted by the ANAR on 30-31 December 2004 gives the answers as follows to the question of "if the elections were held today":

        JDP ........................ 61.3 percent
        RPP........................ 12.9 percent [Republican People's Party]
        NAP.......................   6.5 percent [Nationalist Action Party]
        DEHAP..................   6.0 percent [Democratic People's Party]
        TPP........................   3.5 percent
        FP...........................   3.0 percent [Felicity Party]
        YP........................... 1.6 percent [Young Party]
        MP    .....................   0.7 percent [Motherland Party]
        Others...............   4.5 percent
    

    According to this, even if the election threshold were reduced from 10 percent to 7 percent, once again, no political party other than the JDP and the RPP would enter the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly].

    Furthermore, the RPP group would shrink considerably and the JDP would obtain a majority, which would not be very distant from a "single-party" regime.

    Subtitle: Where is "Politics?"

    The political picture of Turkey has never been this much out of balance. An imbalance close to this emerged in the 1954 and 1957 elections and became the source of great tensions.

    In the democratic parliamentary system, the most basic organ, which controls the executive branch, that is, the government, is the parliament. If a political party had such a great majority in the parliament, then it would be actually impossible to undertake the functions of supervision and balance.

    In such an atmosphere, Adnan Menderes came to the point of saying, "If I were to place firewood as a candidate, then it would become an MP."

    Such an election success would turn anyone's head. The number of politicians, who have the spirit and brainpower to be able to withstand this, is probably very small.

    And it is impossible to accuse the JDP due to this picture. It would be an injustice. But all of the other political parties, led by the RPP, have already deserved the strongest criticisms, due to this picture alone.

    Even the probability of actually orienting to "a single party regime" is an important threat for both the JDP and the democratic regime and of course, for Turkey".


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