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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-01-31

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.20/05 29-30-31.01.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The British Residents´ Society is lobbying for the occupation regime against the interests of European citizens evicted from their homes by the Turkish army.
  • [02] Baykal re-elected RPP chairman with majority of votes.
  • [03] The new U.S. Secretary of State will visit Turkey on 5 February.
  • [04] Reference to Cyprus during an interview of the Chinese Ambassador to Turkey with Ankara Anatolia.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot party leaders continue their campaign for the pseudo-elections; Eroglu tries to take the votes of the Turkish settlers.
  • [06] Rustem Tatar says that the meeting of the Missing Persons' Committee has not been realized because the Greek Cypriots did not participate in it.
  • [07] KIBRISLI newspaper sees a British organization behind the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family.
  • [08] Three opinion polls conducted in the occupied areas show the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party in the lead.
  • [09] The pseudo-mayor of occupied Nicosia stated that a way out was found regarding the direct trade with the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [10] The Turkish Foreign Minister appears worried about the demographic structure of Kirkuk while with 40,000 troops his country is imposing ethnic cleansing in Cyprus. Only the Turks have sensitivities.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The British Residents´ Society is lobbying for the occupation regime against the interests of European citizens evicted from their homes by the Turkish army

    Under the title: "Trust and goodwill being eroded by secretive KDV hike and other measures" and subtitle "Time to stop discrimination and treat us as equals", Turkish Cypriot weekly "Cyprus Today" (29.01-04.02.05) publishes the following letter:

    "The content of your recent "Opinion" column entitled "Where´s the transparency?" concerning the increase in Value Added Tax (KDV) on the sale of property to foreigners will undoubtedly find much support within the foreign community.

    The British Residents´ Society (BRS), which is the representative body for the vast majority of foreign nationals living in the TRNC, has made strong representations to the Prime Minister opposing this measure which it sees, inter alia, as clearly discriminatory and grossly unfair, especially to those 2,500-plus purchasers whose transactions will not be completed before the implementation of these changes, solely because the government cannot get its act together to deal with the backlog of applications for approvals to purchase.

    Recently the Interior Minister and Attorney General warned buyers to act within the law and only pay a deposit for land and house purchases until permission to purchase has been granted. It seems illogical, then, that the minister did not also warn estate agents, builders and developers to also act within the law and not accept advance payments. Moreover, either there needs to be a permission system that can adequately deal with the amount of building over a given period or there needs to be a building programme that matches the existing permission system. At the present time we have a system that is painfully mismatched, can be extremely costly depending on your position in it and does not satisfy anyone. What is the government´s intention on this matter?

    Perhaps more importantly, however the issue does highlight the increasing concerns of the BRS, and its members, about the apparent changes in attitude and approach towards foreign residents that may be taking place in government circles and, possibly, elsewhere.

    While the government, and particularly the Prime Minister, publicly acknowledges the need for foreign assistance, both in terms of the economy and its foreign relations, there appears to be a growing gap between the words and the actions. The leasehold Bill for example, although now abandoned, raised considerable concern and uncertainty about the government´s attitude towards, and treatment of, foreign nationals. The new discriminatory KDV tax changes will further fuel these concerns and engender resentment in the foreign community. Moreover if the government is so concerned to attract foreigners to it shores, why is the procedure for them to obtain residency and/or citizenship so protracted, so cumbersome and so expensive? I believe there is a great difference between people who reside in the TRNC for the majority of the year, and those who have holiday homes here, and this difference should be recognized in the treatment of those who have made the TRNC their home.

    Similarly there is a rising degree of frustration and dissatisfaction with the way in which proposed changes that may have considerable implications for foreigners are dealt with by the government. All too often such changes are surrounded by secrecy and/or confusion, promulgated at very short notice and with no attempt at consultation or discussion. Such actions do not sit well with a government that is supposed to be a democracy and this one, in particular, which has the declared aim of transparency in its workings. Of course, at the end of the day, the elected government will decide on any changes to be made, but surely this is better carried out after due consultation with the affected parties.

    There also seems to be an attitude of mind gaining ground that it is acceptable to discriminate financially against foreign nationals since it is the influx of so many of them in recent times that has given rise to many of the problems of development, infrastructure and the environment that the TRNC now faces. This may be a tempting argument to put forward, especially by a government facing an election, but it needs to be countered, and strongly so, since it has no substance.

    Undeniably the rapid development of recent times has generated some very undesirable features, but the causes of them cannot be laid at the door of the foreigner. It is not the foreigner who has made the land available before permission to buy is given (and at often greatly increased profit) for all the building; and it is the contractors and developers that are responsible for the destruction of the olive trees - which appears to have gone on without permission - and other desirable physical features along with the damage to the road system. Similarly, it is the failure of various government agencies to effectively enforce the appropriate regulations that has led to many of the abuses in the development process. Where extra costs have been involved for the country, the foreigner has made the appropriate financial input made to the economy in general by their spending power has significantly raised the level of economic activity within the country.

    Traditionally, relationships and trust between foreign and local communities have been excellent in the TRNC and the BRS is concerned to see that this continues. The foreign community at large has a fund of goodwill and affection towards this country and has always been willing to make whatever contribution it can to its progress and development. This has been evident, for example in funds raised by the BRS and other excellent charities for the equipment and improvement to hospitals and clinics. The blood donor days are a further example of this goodwill. Maybe the government is not aware of all these activities.

    At a recent meeting organized by the BRS, the President urged the foreign community to write to the UK´s leading government ministers and ministers in the European Union to press the case for ending the discrimination against, and isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. This was done and the BRS even now is continuing its correspondence with the Foreign Secretary of the UK on this matter. The BRS has also presented a detailed memorandum of evidence to the select committee of the House of Commons which is considering the future of British foreign policy towards Cyprus. It seems rather ironic, therefore, that the government of North Cyprus seems to be embarking on a policy of discrimination against foreign nationals while urging them to make representations on their behalf against such a policy in relation to itself.

    It now seems that this trust and goodwill could be in danger of being eroded. The BRS would urge the government to give due thought to this situation. The foreign community seeks no privileges or special treatment, but it does require equality of treatment with the local community if it is to continue to make its contribution to the future progress of the TRNC.

    What can we do? We could shut up and say nothing. We could consider moving elsewhere, as people are increasingly mentioning to me, or, we can, as I believe we must, voice our concerns in the proper manner if we wish to continue to live here in harmony with the local community.

    If you have any thoughts and comments you can forward them to the BRS "Hut" in writing, by e-mail, or to Cyprus Today who I´m sure would forward them to me. In the meantime, the BRS will continue to make its appropriate representations to the government through our normal liaison channels".

    Mike Maternaghan

    Chairman

    British Residents´ Society

    info@brstrnc.com

    [02] Baykal re-elected RPP chairman with majority of votes

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.01.05) reports that in the 13th extraordinary congress of the RPP (Republican People's Party), Deniz Baykal was re-elected party chairman in the first round of voting with 674 votes. A total of 1,219 delegates cast their votes in the congress. Mustafa Sarigul received 460 votes, while 85 votes were declared invalid.

    Announcing the election results, congress committee chairman Sinasi Oktem said that of the 1,253 delegates, 1,219 participated in the voting, and Baykal was re-elected party chairman with 674 votes. Sarigul received 460 votes.

    Baykal had been elected RPP chairman during the party's 30th routine congress on 23-24 October 2003 with the votes of 973 delegates. He was the only candidate. During the 12th extraordinary congress of the RPP on 3 July 2004, Baykal sought a vote of confidence and received 781 votes.

    [03] The new U.S. Secretary of State will visit Turkey on 5 February

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.01.05) reports that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Ankara on February 5.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that Ms Rice, who was approved by the Congress, will visit Turkey between February 5th and 6th within the scope of her tour covering some European countries.

    Rice will be received by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She will also meet Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Bilateral relations, as well as regional and international questions will be taken up during the visit of Secretary Rice, noted the Ministry.

    [04] Reference to Cyprus during an interview of the Chinese Ambassador to Turkey with Ankara Anatolia

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (30.01.05) reports that the Chinese Ambassador to Turkey, Mr Song Aiguo, in an interview with the A.A, referred to Cyprus.

    Replying to a question about Cyprus, Song said that they were in favour of a fair solution. Recalling that the international community and the UN Security Council had expended great efforts recently to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, Song said that the problem should be resolved peacefully through a political method and with the consent of the two communities in the island.

    "We believe that finding a solution to the Cyprus issue will be beneficial for both the two communities in the island and the regional countries. The People's Republic of China has expended efforts for a fair and lasting solution under the UN Security Council. We will continue to do so in the future. Also, we think that contributions of the other international organizations like the EU, are of great importance," he said. Song noted that good-will of all the relevant sides would help the efforts to find a solution.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot party leaders continue their campaign for the pseudo-elections; Eroglu tries to take the votes of the Turkish settlers

    The "election" campaign in the occupied areas of Cyprus is continuing twenty days before the so-called parliamentary elections and the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders are trying to gain the votes of the Turkish settlers as well.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (31.01.05), during a visit to the Karpass peninsula, where the majority of the population is settlers from Turkey, the leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), Dervis Eroglu, referred to his recent meeting with the Turkish prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said:

    "This visit was very positive, but I am hearing that they are trying to influence you by saying here and there that 'the JDP does not want UBP'. However, I am asking you: Why should the JDP not want NUP? The most radical party of the TRNC is the NUP. We are a party faithful to the army, the government and the state of Motherland Turkey and we are in dialogue with all the governments that are in power in Turkey. Therefore, the Republic of Turkey not wanting us is never possible and all these are a complete fiction and not true'".

    Meanwhile, according to KIBRIS, in statements during a cocktail party with businessmen in the sector of tourism living in the occupied town of Kyrenia, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat said communications is the "most important" problem in the tourism of the occupied area of Cyprus and pointed out that this problem must definitely be solved.

    Mr Talat reminded that the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines are for years not controlled by the Turkish Cypriots and argued that they would solve this problem.

    Mr Talat noted that the direct flights towards the illegal airports of the occupied areas of Cyprus would have a great contribution to the tourism and the economy of the Turkish Cypriots and argued that during his recent visit to Brussels he saw that the world´s approach towards the Turkish Cypriots has positively changed. He also said that he was sure that the Turkish Cypriots will reach all their goals, one by one.

    "The Turkish Cypriots need a steady government, a steady policy. This can be achieved by making the RTP - UF stronger so that it could be in power alone", alleged Mr Talat.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (31.01.05) reports that in statements on a program of Genc TV, Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), said that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas is administrating the Democratic Party (DP) and that only the votes of the people could prevent RTP from establishing a new "coalition government" with the DP.

    Mr Akinci called on RTP to stop heading towards cooperation with Mr Denktas and pointed out that PDM should be strong after the "elections" so that the authority of Mr Denktas is broken.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (31.01.05), the leader of DP, Serdar Denktas said that he is the only one that is interested for the post of the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime because both Mr Eroglu and Mr Talat are interested for the "presidency".

    Addressing a meeting of the youth organization of his party in occupied Famagusta, Mr Denktas said they were expecting a percentage around 30 % in the "parliamentary elections".

    [06] Rustem Tatar says that the meeting of the Missing Persons' Committee has not been realized because the Greek Cypriots did not participate in it

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (31.01.05) reports that Rustem Tatar, Turkish Cypriot member of the Missing Persons' Committee has said that the work of the Committee was not postponed and that its officially scheduled meeting for 17 January was not realized because the Greek Cypriots did not participate in it.

    Mr Tatar noted that the Greek Cypriots did not participate in the meetings scheduled for 19 and 26 January and added that the Turkish side was informed that this act of the Greek Cypriots was a protest for the fact that the excavations at the occupied area of Trachonas, which began upon information given by the Turkish Cypriot side, had no result.

    Mr Tatar said that the next meeting of the Committee is planned for 2 February.

    [07] KIBRISLI newspaper sees a British organization behind the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family

    Under the front - page title "Is repayment the reason for the crime?" KIBRISLI newspaper (31.01.05) reports that as it is alleged the Guzelyurtlu family was kidnapped for ransom, but it was murdered for unknown reasons.

    The paper writes, that according to the allegation, behind the murder is an organization based in Britain which was trying to take back two million sterling pounds which it had deposited in the bankrupted Everest Bank, owned by the late Elmas Guzelyurtlu.

    Invoking reliable sources, the paper notes that the incident might not have been closed with the assassination of the Guzelyurtlu family, that "they will continue until they get their money" and that "new incidents must be expected".

    KIBRIS newspaper (29.01.05) reports that three more persons were arrested on Friday regarding the case. Thus the number of the persons under custody reached eight.

    The "police" of the occupation regime announced that on 6 January 2005 some of the suspects went to the foreign exchange office of Mehmet Guzelyurtlu, son of Elmas, and threatened that they would kill him.

    AFRIKA newspaper (30.01.05) writes that conducting a credible trial in the "courts" of the occupied areas of Cyprus and reaching a definite result does not seem possible. The paper notes that the "police" conduct the investigation very secretly and that the suspects refuse to give a deposition in writing.

    One of the persons that have recently been taken under custody, writes AFRIKA, is said to have been in prison for sixteen years, but the "police" do not confirm this information.

    [08] Three opinion polls conducted in the occupied areas show the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party in the lead

    Three daily Turkish Cypriot papers, KIBRIS, GUNES and ORTAM, publish a different opinion poll today (31.01.05) as regards the power of the Turkish Cypriot political parties in occupied Cyprus. The opinion polls, which are conducted in the framework of the forthcoming 20 February "elections" in occupied Cyprus, show the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) of Mehmet Ali Talat and the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu, in the lead.

    * KIBRIS publishes an opinion poll which was conducted by KADEM (Cyprus Social Research and Consultancy Centre), with a sample of 6.650 persons who live in occupied Cyprus, between 17-27 of January, 2005. The method of face to face interviews was used for the opinion poll.

    The results of the poll are as follows:

    Parties Percentage % Number of "deputies"

    Republican Turkish Party-United Forces 35,9 20

    National Unity Party 32 28

    Democratic Party 10,9 7

    Peace and Democracy Movement 6,8 5

    Communal Liberation Party-Left Powers Alliance 2,9 -

    Nationalist Justice Party 1,2 -

    New Party 1,1 -

    No opinion/no answer/undecided 9,2

    The paper writes that the opinion poll's results show that the equality in the percentages and the 25-25 number of "deputies", that came out in the 14 December 2003 "elections" will continue. It also writes that the RTP-UF appears to increase its power compared to an opinion poll conducted by KIBRIS two months ago and which showed Talat's party getting 33%.

    In addition, the paper writes that the opinion poll shows that the smaller Parties will have difficulties to overcome the percentage of the 5% needed in order to "elect" so-called deputies for the pseudoparliament. The Communal Liberation Party -Left Powers Alliance can have a surprise result if it takes "votes" from the undecided persons. However, the New Party and the Nationalist Party have no chance to "elect" so-called deputies, writes KIBRIS.

    * GUNES publishes an opinion poll which was conducted by SUAL (Economic and Social Research Centre), between 3-9 of January 2005, with a sample of 1.500 persons who live in occupied Cyprus. The method of random selection and face to face interviews was used for the opinion poll.

    The results of the poll are as follows:

    Parties Percentage % Number of "deputies"

    National Unity Party 34,1 22

    Republican Turkish Party-United Forces 19,6 19

    Democratic Party 9,4 5

    Peace and Democracy Movement 8,8 4

    Undecided 9

    Other Parties 3,5 -

    Mixed votes 2,5 -

    The paper writes that only four parties can overcome the 5% percentage that a party needs in order to enter the pseudoparliament and notes that there is a high percentage of undecided "voters".

    * ORTAM publishes an opinion poll conducted by CDC Advertising Agency, between 25-29 of January 2005, with a sample of 650 persons.

    The results of the poll are as follows:

    Parties Percentage % Number of "deputies"

    Republican Turkish Party-United Forces 39 24

    National Unity Party 23,8 14

    Democratic Party 12,3 6

    Peace and Democracy Movement 8,1 3

    Communal Liberation Party-Left Powers Alliance 7,4 3

    Other parties 2,7

    Undecided 6,7

    As the paper writes, the opinion poll results show that an one-party "government" cannot be established and that the coalitions will continue.

    [09] The pseudo-mayor of occupied Nicosia stated that a way out was found regarding the direct trade with the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (30.01.05) reports under banner headlines "A way out" that, the so-called Nicosia mayor, of the occupied Nicosia, and Foreign Relations Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party, (RTP), Kutlay Erk, who held contacts in Brussels with the EU officials, speaking to a local Turkish Cypriot TV station "GENC TV" to the "Time for talk" programme has claimed that a way out regarding the legal obstacles being faced by the "Direct Trade Regulation" in the EU Council, has been found.

    He said that until now a way out to overcome this problem within the article 133 of the EU Trade Law was not successful because the North Cyprus was considered an EU territory.

    However, added Erk a way out was found by the article 308 of the same Law.

    He heralded that efforts have started by the EU to settle the issue within the provisions of the Article 308 of the same Trade Law. Article 308 stipulates that:

    "If action by the community should prove necessary to attain, in the course of the operation of the common market, one of the objectives of the community, and this Treaty has not provided the necessary powers, the Council shall, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, take the appropriate measures".

    The paper says that it is not known what the Greek Cypriot reaction to the article 308 would be.

    [10] The Turkish Foreign Minister appears worried about the demographic structure of Kirkuk while with 40,000 troops his country is imposing ethnic cleansing in Cyprus. Only the Turks have sensitivities

    Turkish Daily News (internet version, 31.01.05) reports the following: "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said Turkey has no territorial designs on Iraq but added that it cannot remain indifferent to the sufferings of the Turkomans should an altered demographic composition of Kirkuk trigger an ethnic clash.

    In an exclusive interview with the TDN, Foreign Minister Gül stressed that Turkey was not threatening an intervention but that everyone should bear in mind that the government of any democratic country must take into consideration the sentiments and sensitivities of its public.

    Top priority: normalization of Iraq.

    "First of all, we want normalization in Iraq. We hope, as the roadmap is implemented after the elections, that things will get better, but the potential exists for the eruption of a problem that we have not seen thus far: ethnic confrontation," Gul cautioned, adding "The soft under-belly of this appears to be Kirkuk. That's why we are so worried."

    No territorial designs.

    "Kirkuk and Mosul are Iraqi provinces. Our borders are clear. We have no territorial designs. We have no territorial demands on any country. When we talk about the integrity of Iraq, we mean the internationally recognized borders of Iraq," Gül said.

    A new campaign under way.

    Foreign Minister Gül complained that it was unfortunate that lately, in a manner different from that employed by the Saddam Hussein regime, a concerted campaign was again under way, this time by Kurdish factions, to change the demographic composition of Kirkuk. "This could trigger a civil war" he warned.

    Is Turkey threatening an intervention?

    In a veiled threat, Gül warned Iraqi Kurds that should a civil war start in Kirkuk, the Turkish government may feel compelled to heed to public sentiment in Turkey and take actions that it otherwise would not consider.

    Pessimistic on Cyprus.

    On the thorny Cyprus issue, Foreign Minister Gül stressed that Ankara very much wanted a resumption of the peace process but said both the restart of the Cyprus talks as well as their success depended in large part on whether the Greek Cypriot side had changed its position and wanted a settlement".

    /SK


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