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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-09

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.27/05 09.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The chairman and Members of the Human Rights Consultative Council resigned.
  • [02] The Human Rights Department under the Prime Minister´s Office released a report on human rights violations in 2004.
  • [03] Statements by Gul after meeting the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
  • [04] The suspects for the Guzelyurtlu murder were set free; The son of late Elmas accuses the occupation regime of hiding the criminals and asks their being handed over to the Police of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [05] "Eroglu met with member of the European Parliament Hamans".
  • [06] Anastasiades: "We expect military withdrawal gesture".
  • [07] Rasit Pertev: "In two years the problems in the electricity sector will be solved completely and we shall be able to compete South Cyprus".
  • [08] The American Ambassador to Ankara stated that the issue of the direct flights to and from occupied Cyprus is a many-sided subject.
  • [09] Talat hopes that in the future the pseudostate will have its own international telephone-code and internationally recognised postal service.
  • [10] Turkish weekly magazine sees an increase in the number of clerics moving to Ministry positions.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Columnist Sami Kohen argues that EU demand for customs protocol initialling makes sense.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The chairman and Members of the Human Rights Consultative Council resigned

    Ankara TRT 1 Television (07.02.05) broadcast the following:

    "The Chairman of the Human Rights Consultative Council, Mr Ibrahim Kaboglu and the members of the Chairmanship Council have resigned. The Council's report on the minorities and cultural rights in Turkey created a controversy for a long time in 2004. Meanwhile, the question of the appointments to be made to the Council remained as a controversial issue on Turkey's agenda for some time. Kaboglu and the other members of the Chairmanship Council said that they resigned because they were unable to achieve the desired results.

    Mr Kaboglu said: "We made decisions. They created reaction. We made proposals. They caused anger. We drew up a report and we were cursed by the legislative organ. We were interrogated by the judiciary. We were dispersed by the executive organ. In short, we were able to fulfill the requirements of Law No. 4,643 only at a minimum level because of the obstructions".

    [02] The Human Rights Department under the Prime Minister´s Office released a report on human rights violations in 2004

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.01.05) reported from Ankara that alleged violations of prohibition of torture and maltreatment, the right to personal inviolability and security, the right to fair trial, citizenship rights, right to receive medical care and patient's rights, and prohibition on discrimination were the main human rights violations reported in 2004, according to data released by the Human Rights Department under the Prime Minister's Office.

    A written statement issued by the Department provided details about allegations of human right violations in Turkey, which were reported to the Department between January and November 2004. According to the statement, a total of 76 persons filed complaints about 138 alleged human rights violations in January. Alleged breaches of prohibition of torture and maltreatment, the right to personal inviolability and security, and the right to fair trial occupied the first three places in the list.

    In February, complaints about 118 alleged human rights violations were received from 64 individuals. Reported violations of the right to fair trial ranked first. It was followed by infringement of citizenship rights and the right to receive medical care and patient's rights.

    A total of 74 persons filed complaints about 177 alleged violations of human rights in different categories in March. Complaints about breach of the right to fair trial, citizenship rights, the right to medical care and patient's rights were atop the list.

    In April, the Department received complaints from 66 individuals about 134 alleged violations of human rights mainly in the fields of the right to fair trial, citizenship rights, the right to medical care and patient's rights.

    In May, complaints about 39 alleged human rights violations were received from 48 individuals. Reported violations of the right to life ranked first. It was followed by infringement of citizenship rights and the right to receive medical care and patient's rights.

    A total of 110 complaints about alleged violations of human rights were received from 63 citizens in June. Complaints about breach of the right to life, citizenship rights, the right to medical care and patient's rights constituted the majority in the list.

    In July, the Department received complaints from 52 individuals about 143 alleged violations of human rights mainly in the fields of the right to life, citizenship rights, the right to medical care and patient's rights.

    A total of 86 persons filed applications about 153 alleged violations of human rights in August. Most of the complaints were related to breach of the right to fair trial, prohibition of torture and maltreatment, and prohibition of discrimination.

    In September, complaints about 102 alleged human rights violations were received from 72 citizens. Reported violations of prohibition of torture and maltreatment, the right to receive medical care and patient's rights, and right to property occupied the first three places in the list.

    In October, the Department received complaints from 68 individuals about 102 alleged violations of human rights. Reported violations of prohibition of torture and maltreatment ranked first. They were followed by alleged violations of the right to receive medical care and patient's rights and right to property.

    A total of 66 citizens filed complaints in November about 108 cases of human rights violations. Most of them were related to breach of the right to property, the right to free trial, and prohibition of torture and maltreatment.

    [03] Statements by Gul after meeting the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (08.02.05) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul has stated that, in case of a new step is taken by the Greek Cypriots, Turkey is ready to start negotiation for a lasting peace, in Cyprus.

    In a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart Abdelbaki Hermassi at his residence, Gul replied to a question reminding him on recent comments made by President Tassos Papadopoulos who said 'now is not the right time to start negotiations with Turkey on the island's future'.

    ''I am surprised...apparently, the leader of Greek Cypriots has begun to talk on behalf of the European Union. There is a lot the EU must learn from such a situation. Everything will go on as decided at the Brussels summit,'' remarked Gul.

    Gul argued that Turkey would continue its efforts for a lasting solution on the island. ''If there is a party that must take a step, it is the Greek Cypriots. They are the ones who have shocked the world, rejected the UN plan, replied with a 'NO' to all the EU calls and put the EU in a difficult position. If the Greek Cypriots reverse their past attitude and prove to the world that they are willing to take a new step, Turkey is always ready to start negotiations for a lasting peace,'' claimed Gul.

    [04] The suspects for the Guzelyurtlu murder were set free; The son of late Elmas accuses the occupation regime of hiding the criminals and asks their being handed over to the Police of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.02.05) reports that Akin Sait, the so-called attorney general of the occupation regime, said yesterday that the eight suspects who have been under custody in the occupied areas regarding the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family were "for the time being" set free, because of lack of evidence and sufficient witnesses. Mr Sait said that the investigation goes on.

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (09.02.05) reports that Akin Sait said that the suspects were not banned from leaving the occupied areas so that a door for their coming to the free areas of Cyprus and being tried is left open.

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (09.02.05) wonders whether or not the suspects will come now to the free areas of Cyprus to be tried.

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.02.05) reports that one of the suspects, Emin Ozvehit stated that his relations with late Elmas Guzelyurtlu had been like father and son and argued that the suspects are victims of the politics.

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (09.02.05) publishes an interview with the son of late Elmas, Mehmet Guzelyurtlu who is currently in London. Under the banner front page title "I have seen them", Mr Guzelyurtlu said: "I watched these persons while they were abducting my family. I saw them. What are they expecting me to do? Let them reply to me on this. Let them say something. Let them say 'stay calm and leave them to God'. Everybody knows everything. I am finished now. I have lost my family. This is not a car or a house. Lives have been lost!"

    The paper notes that Mr Guzelyurtlu protested for the fact that the suspects were set free and asked: "Is the TRNC, which wants to have a say at the European Parliament, a state that hides the criminals? It has openly hidden the criminals in front of our eyes. Who ensured this? Is this the justice of the TRNC?"

    AFRIKA writes that Mr Guzelyurtlu accused the Turkish Cypriot side because it does not hand over the suspects to the police of the Republic of Cyprus and added that "the easiest thing to do was for the Turkish side to hand them over".

    The paper adds also the following: "Guzelyurtlu said that the Police of the Republic of Cyprus have all the evidence, from pictures from the camera to DNA tests and from finger prints to eye witnesses and that he saw these things with his own eyes. Furthermore, Mehmet Guzelyurtlu stated that Serdar Denktas has talked with Papadopoulos and asked the evidence from him. Serdar has said to Papadopoulos: 'Give us the evidence and let us see them. If we decide that they are guilty we shall return the men'".

    [05] "Eroglu met with member of the European Parliament Hamans"

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.02.05) reports the following:

    "The leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), Mr Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with Camiel Hamans, Dutch member of the European Parliament and General Secretary of the Social - Democrats group.

    During the meeting that took place at NUP's headquarters in Famagusta, General Secretary of EP's Social - Democrats group, Hamans stressed that more intensive efforts towards the lifting of the isolation of the TRNC must be exerted.

    Hamans noted that the Turkish Cypriot people put forward their will at the referendums, that a beautiful example of democracy was given and furthermore the referendums showed that there are two separate parts and peoples on the island.

    Noting that the important thing on the island is the solution, Hamans said that by exerting pressure on the politicians in the south and by giving them advices, the EU should ensure that they sit at the table for achieving a solution.

    Hamans said that he had visited the Greek Part of Southern Cyprus before and had contacts and that now he is visiting the TRNC".

    [06] Anastasiades: "We expect military withdrawal gesture"

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (09.02.05) reports that the leader of the Democratic Rally Party (DYSI), Nicos Anastasiades, on the eve of his visit to Ankara, with an invitation from Turkey´s Rulling Party, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) told the paper´s correspondent Utku Cakirozer: "If Mr Erdogan does away with our concerns, then we will get rid of the headache known as Cyprus problem".

    The paper reports that since 1963, for the first time, within the bilateral relations, Nicos Anastasiades is the first politician that visits Turkey. The last visit, adds the paper, from the Greek Cypriots to Turkey was on 22 November 1962 by President Makarios.

    In his statement to the paper´s correspondent, Anastasiades explained the reasons and the objective of his visit to Turkey: We have to get rid of this headache, known as Cyprus problem. The time has come to solve the problems through dialogue, in an European way. I will convey the Greek Cypriot people´s feelings and our expectation to leader Erdogan who phoned that he has vision for his people and for the Turkish government".

    Saying that they expect from Erdogan to contribute to the solution efforts Anastasiades added: "There are certain points that worry our people. For example security. There is lack of trust that comes from our past history. We expect that once Turkey becomes full EU member the island will be completely demilitarised. However, in this process the more troops withdraw in the better. We have other concerns as well. I will convey all this to Erdogan. I do expect that I will find a good listener".

    MILLIYET correspondent reports that Anastasiades praised Erdogan with the following words: "After several years for the first time a leader with leadership came who has vision, and struggles to secure the best for his country".

    Praising JDP´s constructive stance in the Cyprus problem the DYSI leader said that the Turkish Army is heading those who oppose JDP´s constructive stance in the Cyprus problem. Anastasiades said: In Turkey, there is something which does not exist in Europe: The Army plays a different role. Turkey has to try to overcome this. The impression in Europe is that the generals play a higher role than the politicians, and there is a deep state. I am not against the Army. However, their role should not be ruling the country, their role should be to defend the country in line with the government policies".

    Accusing General Yasar Buyukanit, the Turkish Land Forces chief of harming the dialogue atmosphere, Anastasiades said: "Sometimes a single phrase by a generals is enough to shake and destroy the policy established by governments, which is the result of years of hard struggle. It is a good excuse to say that `the Greek Cypriots by rejecting the Annan Plan have rejected the withdrawal of the Turkish `troops´ but do we need army to protect us? Instead of saying `I will not withdraw a single soldier, he could make a gesture and say `I am withdrawing a few thousand troops, this kind of gesture will be both appreciated by Europe and it will create major trust to the Greek Cypriot community".

    [07] Rasit Pertev: "In two years the problems in the electricity sector will be solved completely and we shall be able to compete South Cyprus"

    Under the title "The `government´ cannot give guarantees regarding the power cuts", HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.02.05) reports that due to the increasing rate of power cuts the pseudo-minister of Agriculture and Forests, Mr Rasit Pertev, yesterday gave a press conference in occupied Lefkosia.

    In his statements Mr Pertev blamed past wrong investments in the sector for the power cuts and added: "Despite the huge amounts of financial and other assistance coming to our country for years, North Cyprus could not set up a modern system yet. The problems appearing from time to time are identified and repaired under primitive conditions".

    Mr Pertev also said that within the framework of a "road map" prepared by his "ministry" the problems in the electricity system will be solved and by the end of the year there will be a great relief and went on: "Everything, including the load distribution centre will be in a position to compete with South Cyprus while the electricity system will be established by 2007.

    The production will be increased to 260 megawatt from 155 within the year and first step of this is the expected operation of a unit at Gastria".

    [08] The American Ambassador to Ankara stated that the issue of the direct flights to and from occupied Cyprus is a many-sided subject

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (09.02.05) reports that Mr Eric Edelman, the American Ambassador to Ankara, stated that the United States has taken various steps towards the lifting of the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots and that the USA is working on some additional steps in the same direction.

    Mr Edelman commented on the topic of the direct flights to occupied Cyprus and stated that the issue of air traffic is a subject that is under the control of various international authority centres. He stated that the issue of direct flights to and from occupied Cyprus is still evaluated and that the process of the topic is not easy.

    Mr Edelman also said the steps already taken by the USA towards the Turkish Cypriots, were in the framework of the promises given by a number of countries, including the United States, that in case the Turkish side had given a positive vote to the Annan Plan, but the Plan was not approved, efforts would be made towards the lifting of the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The USA Ambassador to Ankara, also stated that the steps taken included visits to the pseudostate by the US Trade and Agriculture attaches, the easing of visa requirements to "TRNC" citizens; the granting of official invitation to the so-called "TRNC" ambassador in Ankara on the occasion of the United States National Day on the 4th of July and the provision of a 30-million dollar direct financial aid.

    [09] Talat hopes that in the future the pseudostate will have its own international telephone-code and internationally recognised postal service

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (09.02.05) reports that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime said that he hopes that in the future the pseudostate will have its own international telephone-code and its internationally recognised postal service.

    Mr Talat made these statements yesterday during a meeting he had with a delegation of the Postal Services of Turkey (PTT) which is visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The pseudo prime minister also stated that the whole world has realised the "isolation" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots and added that the big problems are solved with small steps. He also said that the positive attitude that the Turkish Cypriots showed as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem and the European Union, has had a positive effect on the world.

    [10] Turkish weekly magazine sees an increase in the number of clerics moving to Ministry positions

    Istanbul Nokta weekly magazine (04.02.05) reports under the title "Imams Move to the Education Ministry", the following article on this issue:

    "There has been an increase in the number of civil servants transferred from the Religious Affairs Directorate to other public agencies after the Justice and Development Party (JDP) has come into power. A total of 909 imams or clerics have been transferred to various ministries, especially the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Interior so far despite the fact that there are 16,445 vacancies in the Religious Affairs Directorate and there is even not a single cleric in 9,299 mosques.

    There has been a considerable migration of employees from the Religious Affairs Directorate to other public agencies after the formation of the JDP government. A total of 909 imams or clerics were transferred to various ministries, especially the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Interior to date. The Religious Affairs Directorate sends its personnel even to higher councils although it has 16,445 vacant posts. There is no mufti in five provinces and there is not a single employee in 9,299 mosques across the country. Emin Koc, a deputy of the Republican People's Party from Yozgat, submitted a motion to the Turkish Grand National Assembly Speaker's Office, seeking information about the precise number of civil servants who have been transferred from the Religious Affairs Directorate to other governmental departments, public agencies, and local governments."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Columnist Sami Kohen argues that EU demand for customs protocol initialling makes sense

    Under the title "February Surprise!," Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (04.02.05) publishes the following article by Sami Kohen:

    "Was it really a surprise? At first glance the statement made by EU official Leopold Maurer in Lefkosia surprised all except few people who "knew" in Turkey.

    According to Maurer the EU Commission sent a letter to the Turkish government asking that Ankara initial the "protocol that envisages the Customs Union expanding to cover the Republic of Cyprus" by the end of February.

    So, when was this letter sent? The way the news made it to the press, giving the impression that the EU Commission had renewed its request, caused people in both mainland Turkey and the `TRNC´ to ask, "Where on earth did this February shock come from?"

    Yet, this letter was sent last month; it was sent by the director for EU Enlargement.

    For whatever reason nothing was even mentioned in Ankara about this letter inviting the Turkish government to initial the protocol in question by the end of February. What we heard from `TRNC´ Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat, who visited our offices on 3 February, showed us that Lefkosia did not know much about this. A breakdown in communications? We do not know. However, Talat does not see "by the end of February" as a condition. In his words: "The sooner this signature business is done the better. It would stop this topic hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles."

    True. If Turkey is going to sing the protocol in its current form it would be natural to do so without waiting until October. Is it actually possible for Turkey not to sign? Frankly, it is not. For one thing, Turkey gave its word at the EU Summit of 17 December. Then it was necessary to comply with this condition in order to be given an accession talks date. Now, it has to fulfill its promise as an unavoidable consequence of this. Failing this then as Director for EU Enlargement Jean Christophe Filori warned the other day the talks would not start on the date given.

    The reason for the EU Commission's request to have the protocol "initialed by the end of February" is explained as "the desire not to lose time".

    The business of initialling a document can take several months. Once Turkey has initialled the documents they are then submitted for Council of Europe approval, and afterwards to the European Parliament. After getting ratified there the term president (Luxembourg until June) will place the final period. As one diplomat said, if this process were to start nearer to 3 October then the start of the talks could be put off to a later date. From this perspective it makes sense to start the initialling process for the protocol in February.

    However, two snags emerge for Ankara in this regard. The first is that what is asked for is not a signature but an initial. The second concerns the legal significance. Up till now Turkish authorities have been saying that the signature does not mean recognition of southern Cyprus, and that this point would be clearly stated along with the signature.

    Another issue pointed out by officials was that should talks resume for a settlement on Cyprus the issue of recognition would be sorted out in this context anyway. However, just as these talks are not on the horizon it is also a fact that the Papadopoulos administration is sticking closely to its conditions and is pressurizing the EU.

    It is odd that the Greek Cypriot administration, "a half-country", can lead around the giant European Union! In fact, the opposite should be true. The EU should really be trying to bring into line the side that rejected a settlement and should at least try to save the Turkish side from the injustice and problems that it has endured over the years.

    Yet, Leopold Maurer said during his statement in Lefkosia that the regulations concerning financial assistance to the `TRNC´ and free trade "had not yet been put on the agenda of the EU term president"!"

    /SK


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