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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-17

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.33/05 17.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Sources on the visit of representatives of US companies to the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.
  • [02] Specialists in Washington on the US plans over Syria, Iran and Turkey.
  • [03] Former Turkish Prime Minister and a cabinet minister face charges of corruption. Yilmaz denies.
  • [04] RTP is allegedly related to a person arrested in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus as the brains behind a network selling Turkish Cypriot properties with false documents.
  • [05] The "police" of the occupation regime arrested a person holding five kilos of heroin.
  • [06] Imports up by 78% and exports up by 22% during 2004 compared to 2003 in the occupied areas.
  • [07] A new party to be established in Turkey under the name People's Ascendancy Party.
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot from occupied Kyra complains that Turkish Cypriots are being removed from the election list while colonizers from Turkey are given the right to vote.
  • [09] Turkey wants international monitoring in Iraq for the referendum because it fears Kurds might do what it is doing in Cyprus for over 30 years,
  • [10] Serdar Denktas criticized Mr Papadopoulos for trying to present the Cyprus problem as an issue between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey.
  • [11] The positions of the Turkish Cypriot political parties on the Cyprus settlement.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] MILLIYET assesses the repercussions of Mumcu´s resignation on the government and the JDP. He reportedly disagrees with Erdogan on Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Sources on the visit of representatives of US companies to the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.02.05) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia: "Representatives of some U.S. companies will arrive in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´) tomorrow (Thursday) to look for business opportunities, sources said on Wednesday.

    Sources said that representatives of 12 U.S. companies working in banking, finance, consulting services, medicine, cargo, transportation, communication and software industries in Turkey, would meet representatives of the same industries in `TRNC´ and discuss possible business deals.

    The representatives of U.S. companies will meet Turkish Cypriot businessmen at the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce tomorrow afternoon.

    On the other hand, whether or not the representatives of the 12 U.S. companies will meet `TRNC´ state and government officials is not immediately clear".

    [02] Specialists in Washington on the US plans over Syria, Iran and Turkey

    Istanbul NTV television (16.02.05) broadcast the following report by Umit Erginsoy from Washington under the title: "US pressure on Turkey over Syria":

    "It is being said that the US Administration is expected to pressure Turkey into reducing its ties with Syria and Iran to the minimum.

    According to specialists in Washington, the United States, which is indirectly holding Syria responsible for the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, is planning new measures against Damascus.

    There were reports today that Iran and Syria have decided to form a joint front against the threats. And Turkey has increasingly closer ties with both Iran and Syria.

    According to the specialists we met, the United States, as part of its goal to isolate Syria and Iran, is expected to ask Turkey to reduce its relations with these two countries to the minimum.

    Already, today's editorial of The Washington Post suggested that the US Administration should take initiative with Europe, Russia, and Turkey for the isolation of Syria.

    Washington is now expected to make the withdrawal of the Syrian troops from Lebanon its priority. The United States and France, the two Western rivals, are said to be of the same opinion on this issue and that Washington is expected to benefit from this situation".

    [03] Former Turkish Prime Minister and a cabinet minister face charges of corruption. Yilmaz denies

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.02.05) reported from Ankara that the High Tribunal has started hearings against former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and State Minister Gunes Taner today (Wednesday).

    Yilmaz and Taner are accused of corruption in the privatization of Turkbank.

    If convicted, Yilmaz and Taner may face up to 10 years in prison.

    Defending himself during the hearing, Yilmaz claimed that he had not intervened in Turkbank privatization and insisted that he had no contacts with interested people during the privatization process.

    Yilmaz said: ''The SDIF (Savings Deposits Insurance Fund) executive board was authorized to carry out this tender. The adhoc commission which was appointed by the administration of this fund carried out the tender. And, the Central Bank of Turkey was authorized to fulfil the tender procedures. Therefore, as the prime minister, I did not intervene in this tender. To claim that I was involved in irregularities is senseless and goes against reason, conscience and the law. Only those who act with political motives can say otherwise.''

    Three-time premier Yilmaz is accused of rigging the state tender of the bank in favor of a businessman and media magnate, namely Korkmaz Yigit. The scandal led to the collapse of his government in late 1998.

    Yilmaz last served under the coalition government formed by three parties, namely the Democratic Left Party (DLP), Nationalist Action Party (NAP) and Yilmaz's Motherland Party (MP) which collapsed in the 2002 elections. Yilmaz has quitted politics since then.

    Yilmaz and former state minister Gunes Taner are accused of alleged irregularities and abusing powers by implementing wrong and illegal policies that caused the state to lose money.

    [04] RTP is allegedly related to a person arrested in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus as the brains behind a network selling Turkish Cypriot properties with false documents

    Under the banner front-page title "2.5 million sterling pounds to Cavlan, supporter of RTP", Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (17.02.05) reports that Vakiflar Bank which is bound to the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime and chairman of the Republican Turkish party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, has given "millions of pounds streling" to the member of the party Turgut Cavlan, who had been arrested by the police of the Republic of Cyprus as the mastermind of a network that has been selling Turkish Cypriot properties, which are in the free areas of the island, using false documents.

    The paper argues that Turgut Cavlan is the brother of Hatice Cavlan, who has been appointed as general director of the Administration of the Efkav, which is the biggest shareholder of the above-mentioned bank. According to VOLKAN, the fact that Mr Cavlan was a member of the RTP has played a role in being able to take from the bank 2.5 pound sterling credit.

    Meanwhile, the paper writes that Halil Cavlan, Turgut Cavlan's brother, has been a partner of the late Elmas Guzelyurtlu having 4.801 shares in Everestbank, when the above-mentioned bank bankrupted. Halil Evlan was in the Board of Directors of the bank with late Elmas during that period, notes VOLKAN.

    [05] The "police" of the occupation regime arrested a person holding five kilos of heroin

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.02.05) reports that the so-called police of the occupation regime arrested yesterday a person named Halil Erkan having in his possession 5 kilos and 300 grams of heroin. The same person had been arrested last week holding 600 grams of heroin.

    The paper notes that the six kilos of heroin found in the possession of Bekiroglu is the biggest quantity of heroin found ever in an operation of the "police" in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    [06] Imports up by 78% and exports up by 22% during 2004 compared to 2003 in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (17.02.05) publishes statistical data given by the "Trade Office" regarding the foreign trade for the year 2004.

    The paper stresses that compared to 2003 the year 2004 recorded important increases in both the exports and imports. Thus, in 2004 imports were 852 million dollars and exports 61 million dollars scoring an increase of 78.4% and 22.1% respectively as compared with the year 2003.

    The exact numbers were given to the illegal TAK news agency by the so-called Director of the Trade Office, Mr Huseyin Maneoglu, as follows:

    Imports from January-December 2004, were I quadrillion, 223 trillion, 359 billion and 740 million Turkish Lira (TL), i.e. 852 million 48 thousand 223 dollars.

    Of the imports 60.3% came from Turkey and 39.7% from other countries roughly as was the case for 2003 when imports from Turkey were 62.7% and from other countries 37.3%.

    The item the import of which experienced an explosion during 2004 was cement, recording an increase of 279.3% compared to 2003. Then came iron for constructions with an increase of 219.2% and machinery for trade with 204% compared to the year 2003.

    [07] A new party to be established in Turkey under the name People's Ascendancy Party

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (17.02.05) reports that Mr Yasar Nuri Ozturk, the independent deputy of Istanbul, made a written application to the Turkish Ministry of Internal Affairs for the establishment of a new party, under the name People's Ascendancy Party.

    The new party, which was founded by 46 persons, is the 48th party operating in Turkey and the fourth party that it is represented in the Turkish National Assembly.

    After this development, the distribution of seats in the Turkish Grand Grand National Assembly is as follows:

    Justice and Development Party (JDP): 366

    Republican People´s Party: (RPP): 171

    True Path Party: (TPP) 5

    People's Ascendancy Party 1

    Vacant: 1

    Independent: 6

    [08] Turkish Cypriot from occupied Kyra complains that Turkish Cypriots are being removed from the election list while colonizers from Turkey are given the right to vote

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (17.02.05) reports that the occupation regime removed the names of some Turkish Cypriots from the so-called election list on the ground that they do not permanently live in the address they declared to be their permanent residence.

    The Turkish Cypriots, who are from the occupied Kyra village, were obliged to live in another residence, away from the houses of their village because they found a job in occupied Famagusta, since they could not find a job in Kyra because of the widespread unemployment in occupied Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots live in occupied Famagusta during the week but stay in their village during the weekends.

    Commenting on the issue, Mrs Eliz Fellahoglu, the name of whom was removed from the "election list" criticised the pseudostate for this development and stated that the occupation regime gives "voting rights" to the settlers but it takes it away from the Turkish Cypriots. "They took by force from our hands, from my family and me who we are Cypriots, the right to vote'In the meantime, a lot of Turkish citizens are coming from Turkey and they can vote, but my family and I, as Cypriots, we cannot vote in our country", she said.

    [09] Turkey wants international monitoring in Iraq for the referendum because it fears Kurds might do what it is doing in Cyprus for over 30 years

    NTV television (16.02.05) broadcast that Turkey says it wants to see international observers monitor the referendum in Iraq to approve the country's new constitution and prevent irregularities.

    Citing what he described as the deficiencies, disorder and irregularities in the election last month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan said that Turkey hoped these could be avoided in the referendum, which will be held before the end of this year.

    "We believe a comprehensive presence of international observers at this referendum and the elections is an absolute must, on which work should start from now," Tan told a press conference Wednesday.

    Among the greatest concern of Ankara was the strong showing of Kurds in Northern Iraq, especially in the disputed city of Kirkuk, where Turkey says many of the ethnic Turkoman community were unable to vote. Ankara has also said that Iraqi Kurdish parties transferred thousands of their supporters to Kirkuk ahead of the poll to chance the demographic balance of the region.

    "It is a fact that the most irregularities occurred in Kirkuk," said Tan. "Kirkuk is an Iraqi city and no single group should establish dominance over it."

    [10] Serdar Denktas criticized Mr Papadopoulos for trying to present the Cyprus problem as an issue between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (17/02/05) reports that the so-called Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Serdar Denktas met yesterday with the French Ambassador in Cyprus, Mr Hadelin de La Tour-Du-Pin, within the framework of his campaign to meet and inform all the Ambassadors of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's request from the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Papadopoulos, to prepare a list of his rejections to the Annan Plan, Mr Serdar Denktas said that the UN Secretary-General's request had created the impression that a new initiative is to be launched on the Cyprus issue. He also added that the Turkish Cypriot side is working on the changes it wants to be made to the plan.

    Calling Mr Papadopoulos' rejection of the request by Mr Annan as an attempt to delay the start of the negotiation process, Mr Serdar Denktas said that Mr Papadopoulos wants the continuation of the punishment of the Turkish Cypriot "people".

    Noting that the aim of Mr Papadopoulos was to postpone the start of the negotiations until October in order to sit at the negotiating table with Turkey, he warned that Mr Papadopoulos is trying to leave the Turkish Cypriots out of the negotiation process and added: "The Turkish Cypriot side launched an initiative to explain this danger and Mr Papadopoulos' negative stance to foreign diplomats".

    Mr Serdar Denktas said that there is a shared view among the permanent members of the UN Security Council that the negotiation process cannot start before May, but added that the Turkish Cypriot side will not let Mr Papadopoulos take the Cyprus issue out of the agenda of the international community. Reminding the decision taken by the so-called Assembly that the Turkish Cypriot side is one of the two sides concerned with the problem and that it will not accept any solution plan that ignores this fact, Mr Serdar Denktas said he is explaining the Turkish Cypriot side's position to all foreign diplomats and criticised Mr Tassos Papadopoulos for trying to present the Cyprus problem as an issue between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey.

    Mr Serdar Denktas added that he will be meeting with representatives of UN member countries starting from Tuesday.

    Referring to his meeting with the French Ambassador, Mr Serdar Denktas said that the partial lifting of restrictions on the movement and difficulties that are being faced were among the topics taken up.

    Responding to a question, Mr Serdar Denktas said the difficulties that are being faced after the partial lifting of restrictions on the movement are not confined with the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family.

    [11] The positions of the Turkish Cypriot political parties on the Cyprus settlement

    Under the title "Here are' the solution strategies of the political parties", the Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (17.02.05) reports the positions of the Turkish Cypriot political parties on the Cyprus settlement.

    The National Unity Party (NUP) and the Democratic Party (DP) see the resumption of the negotiations as the last chance to solve the Cyprus problem and support that the Turkish Cypriot side must sit on the negotiation table only if they are given guarantees before the negotiations that the "TRNC" will be recognized in case a solution is not found.

    The Republican Turkish Party (RTP) supports that they must wait for an initiative from Mr Papadopoulos. On the other hand, the Peace and Democracy Movement and the Communal Liberation Party support that they must take some steps in the internal front in order to force the Greek Cypriot side to take initiatives.

    The Nationalist Justice Party announced that they can discuss a confederal structure for a solution and the New Party supports that all the conditions must be put on the negotiation table.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] MILLIYET assesses the repercussions of Mumcu´s resignation on the government and the JDP. He reportedly disagrees with Erdogan on Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (16.02.05) publishes the following article

    by Elcin Ergun and Onder Yilmaz under the title: "Resignation that shook the JDP":

    "The Justice and Development Party [JDP] has had its first major jolt since it came to power after the general election of 3 November 2002. Erkan Mumcu, who hails from the Motherland Party [MP], has resigned both as Minister for Culture and Tourism and from the JDP. While it is being asserted within the party that JDP members without a National View background may also resign, Mumcu gave the message that he was after a new political formation. The Cabinet meeting the other day was filled with tension, and this was the last straw for Mumcu causing him to resign. At the meeting Mumcu gave the impression he had decided to burn all his bridges with the government. He criticized the fact that bureaucrats were being taken into custody during the police investigation of the Energy Ministry. "The bureaucrats are also given political order. Are the politicians blameless here?" he said. Criticizing also Erdogan's statements: "We are working on a plan to enable headscarves to be worn at educational establishments" Mumcu spoke of inconsistent behavior and said: "For two years now these kinds of ventures have been attempted and then the government has backed down. This creates tension among the people."

    What Mumcu said that really ramped up the tension concerned the student amnesty. "Seeing that an amnesty is going to be passed there should be a sound arrangement that includes the Higher Education Council. Contrary arrangements cause arguments," said Mumcu to which Erdogan reportedly said: "I did not ask for permission from anyone to say what I said. Nor will I start asking permission from now on. I decide what I am going to say." It was after this argument that Mumcu went firm on his decision to resign.

    In the lobby areas another reason was cited for Mumcu's resignation, that being an argument between Mumcu and Erdogan over the sale of Tourism Ministry land in Antalya to a businessman in Germany. Erdogan reportedly sent a message to Mumcu saying, "Say it brother, and you can resign from both the ministry and the party." It is also alleged that Mumcu was afraid of a police investigation similar to the one at the Energy Ministry being mounted against the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is why he resigned. Mumcu joined the JDP before the general election of 3 November 2002. His first remark to prompt a reaction in the Cabinet came when he voted against the 1 March Troops Motion. Mumcu was also harshly critical in the Cabinet of Erdogan's Cyprus policy.

    Stating that his resignation had given rise to much speculation Mumcu said: "It is a good thing there is a free press in Turkey. We are going to continue to keep the public informed via the free press," and thus sent a message to Erdogan. Stating that there had long been differences of opinion with the Cabinet most recently with the amnesty issue Mumcu went on:

    "I do not want to put my signature to solutions I do not agree with. I decided to resign because it goes against both my political and personal moral values and against my understanding of politics to be seated in a minister's chair in a place I make no contribution to and where I am seen as a guest."

    Failing to give any tangible reasons for his resignation Mumcu said: "If you want proof all the facts are recorded in the Cabinet minutes." Noting he had not informed Erdogan of his resignation Mumcu said he had been striving for a long time to talk to Erdogan in private about these matters but that no opportunity had presented itself. "Besides, nothing would have changed even had we talked," he added.

    When Erdogan first heard of Mumcu's resignation while on his tour of Albania his first reaction to his inner circles was, "Not important." When he got back to his hotel Erodgan said: "I am not going to go into detail about this. Our friend availed himself of his power of personal discretion. May it work out for the best." The rumor in the lobby areas is that Erdogan's political advisor Omer Celik or JDP Deputy Chairman Murat Mercan or Deputy for Eskisehir Ibrahim Kosdere might replace Mumcu.

    While Mumcu's resignation gives rise to the question, "Whom might he take with him?" it is being said in the lobby areas that Deputy for Mugla Hasan Ozyer, Deputy for Malatya Mirac Akdogan and Deputy for Isparta Memet Emin Bilgic might also resign from the JDP. It has been alleged that some 8-10 JDP deputies from Motherland, True Path and Nationalist Action Party origins might break ties with the JDP after Mumcu starts up a four-way movement. According to scenarios Mumcu will form a party with a liberal-secular base and will act together with liberal personalities who will leave the JDP. Thus the JDP will be weakened and new government models with a new party headed by Mumcu will be tried out. Mumcu is known to have the support of some groups within the Nurist sect, and it has been noted that he may shape his efforts to form a new political body going by messages coming from these groups.

    It is also being said in the lobby areas that Mumcu has been in contact with Republican People's Party (RPP) Deputy for Istanbul Kemal Dervis. It is also being alleged that Mumcu might act together with Dervis' team in the forming of the new party.

    Following Mumcu's resignation Erdogan appraised the current situation with his lieutenants last night. A source closed to Erdogan said: "Mucmu was on his way out anyway with the reshuffle about to be made." Meanwhile, it is being asserted that Mesut Yilmaz, staying at the Ankara Sheraton, has met with Mumcu's advisors while the Ihlas News Agency announced that MP Deputy Chairman Halil Ibrahim Ozsoy met with Mumcu and asked him to run for party chairman."


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