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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-28

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.40/05 26-27-28.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Taiwan compared to occupied Cyprus to justify the sales of Greek Cypriot stolen properties to foreigners.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas´ so-called undersecretary to address the British Residents´ Society.
  • [03] Talat: 'EP decision is not binding'.
  • [04] NSC assessed call for improvement of US image in Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq.
  • [05] Turkish FM was interviewed by Murat Yetkin.
  • [06] Mr Erdogan may visit the occupied part of Cyprus soon.
  • [07] Erdogan´s address to the nation.
  • [08] The NET HOLDING company will make a 24 million-dollars investment in the tourism industry in occupied Kyrenia.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Turkish hitch between Europe and NATO.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Taiwan compared to occupied Cyprus to justify the sales of Greek Cypriot stolen properties to foreigners Under the title: 'Orams: Tables turning on lawyer', Turkish Cypriot 'Cyprus Today' newspaper (26.02.05 '" 04.03.05) reports the following in its front page:

    'The tables are being turned on the Greek Cypriot lawyer spearheading legal moves against foreign homeowners in the `TRNC´, as a new organization fires the first shot in a counter-campaign.

    Court orders are being sought by a number of foreign residents against lawyer Constantin Candounas and a judge is expected to rule on the first next week.

    The action has been initiated by the new European Property Association of Northern Cyprus (Eupro) after it was reported that Mr Candounas had told villagers in Karaman (occupied Karmi) that he intended to sue 10 of them in the South. Eupro argues that under international law the `TRNC´ is recognized as a de facto state, like Taiwan, and as such its courts have the same standing as those in any de jure state in all actions. 'It follows that any summons issued in any other jurisdiction, but which needs to be served here, must first have the endorsement of a local court, as would be the case elsewhere in Europe', said Eupro´s chairman, Shelley White.

    Eupro advises that anyone approached by Mr Candounas should call police on a new hotline number.: 22 83311 ext 243'.

    In its 'Property and Home' supplement the paper publishes a reportage on the European Property Association of Northern Cyprus (Eupro) with statements by its chairman, U.S. attorney Shelly White, who lives in the illegally occupied areas of Cyprus with her husband and fellow attorney Robert.

    'Although we have been very low-key pending the Orams decision '" now deferred until May 11 '" word seems to have got around somehow' said Mrs White.

    'Eupro says it is retaining leading counsel in London to advice it on a number of legal issues relating to the overall property issue in North Cyprus and to the recent high profile campaign conducted against foreign property owners in the `TRNC´.

    They also plan to instruct constitutional lawyer in Germany and elsewhere', adds the paper.

    The paper also publishes statements by Mr Donald Crawford, one of Eupro´s directors in London, who, referring to the report by the British Foreign Affairs Select Committee warning British buyers of property in occupied Cyprus that since 'Cyprus became EU member British residents may find themselves increasingly subject to legal action, said:

    'We shall now address that issue directly with MPs at Westminister. We shall tell them the facts'.

    The paper publishes a photograph of Mrs White with occupied Lefkosia´s so-called mayor Kutlay Erk who stated: 'We shall stand shoulder to shoulder with you and help you in every way'.

    Eupro Limited publishes a full-page advertisement calling on foreigners who bought property belonging to the Greek Cypriots, who were forced by the Turkish army at gun-point to abandon them, to enroll by filling the application form cited in the paper and paying '¤25 as annual membership fee.

    The European Property Association of Northern Cyprus is introduced as a company incorporated in England on February 8, 2005 under the companies Act 1985 and 1989 with offices in occupied Kyrenia and 26 York Street, London.

    [02] Rauf Denktas´ so-called undersecretary to address the British Residents´ Society

    Turkish Cypriot weekly 'Cyprus Today' (26.02.05 '" 04.03.05) reports that the so-called undersecretary to Rauf Denktas, Mr Ergun Olgu, will be the speaker at a talk to be organized by the British Residents´ Society (BRS) on Wednesday March 16, at LA Hotel and Resort in occupied Lapithos of Kyrenia.

    The subject will be: 'Cyprus: The need to be Pro-active'.

    [03] Talat: 'EP decision is not binding'

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (27.02.05) reports that the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said that the European Parliament's (EP) decision on the bills that envisaged financial aid and direct trade for the Turkish Cypriots is not binding. In a statement to the paper, Mr Talat asserted that the Turkish Cypriots securing the support of 250 parliamentarians without having an opportunity to prepare for the voting showed that the way the EP viewed the Turkish Cypriots significantly changed.

    Mr Talat went on: 'Some 250 votes were cast in favour of the motion that called for an urgent decision on the bills that were related to financial aid for the Turkish Cypriots and direct trade with north Cyprus. The matter was not on the EP agenda. No preparation had been made for that purpose. The EP is not authorized to take up the two bills. However, the outcome of the voting that was held in accordance with British liberal deputy Andrew Duff's initiative showed that the votes were almost equal. It also showed that the way the EP viewed the Turkish Cypriots in the past is quickly changing. It will be recalled that the decisions that were made in the past strongly criticized the Turkish Cypriots. Considering that no preparation was made prior to the voting, the EP decision showed a significant change. In view of that, the claims that have been made in the media organs to the effect that the 'European Parliament rejected the bills' and that the 'European Parliament's decision is a slap on our face' are assessments by those who are not informed on the realities, who are unaware of the developments that took place in the past, and who fail to realize what might happen in the future. The decision is not binding at all. The rules and regulations are approved by the Council of Europe. An EP recommendation will be required for the approval of the bill on financial aid. It has already been made. It was made in November 2004. In view of that, the rejection of the proposal for an urgent debate should not be taken to mean that the EP is opposed to the bills. The rejection will not have a bearing on them.'

    [04] NSC assessed call for improvement of US image in Turkey, Cyprus, Iraq

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (26/02/05), under the title 'NSC gives green light to Annan on Cyprus', reports the following:

    'In its first meeting in 2005, the National Security Council (NSC) stressed that the work on the constitution in the post-election era in Iraq must be maintained with the participation of the representatives of all the peoples and noted that, for the sake of stability, the Sunni groups, which protested the elections, must not be left out. The NSC gave the green light to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the resumption of the solution process in Cyprus.

    The NSC meeting chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer lasted for five hours yesterday. It discussed the developments related to the relations between Turkey and the United States, the election outcome in Kirkuk in Iraq, the EU, and the Cyprus problem. The meeting also discussed Washington's request that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan assume an effective leadership role for the improvement of the US image in the eyes of the Turkish people and the steps that might be taken to that effect.

    The NSC noted that the Sunni groups, which protested the elections in Iraq, must participate in the administration of the country for the sake of stability. A statement by the NSC said:

    'The meeting assessed the situation after the elections in Iraq and agreed that all the sectors of the Iraqi people must participate in the political process that has been supported by a UN Security Council resolution and in the work carried out to draw up the new constitution. The meeting focused significant attention on the importance of the success of the political process, the establishment of durable peace and stability, and the protection of Iraq's national unity with the participation of the Iraqi administration and all the sectors of the Iraqi people. It stressed the importance of a close dialogue with Turkey for that purpose.'

    The NSC noted that the outcome of the elections in the 'TRNC' was an affirmation of the existence of a democratic state and people on the island. Calling for the realization of the promises related to the lifting of the embargo on the 'TRNC', the NSC asserted that 'support for the initiatives made within the framework of the UN Secretary General's good-will mission will be maintained'.'

    Moreover, Istanbul NTV television (26.02.05) broadcast that the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the elections in Iraq and the 'TRNC' were discussed at the (NSC) meeting in addition to ways to develop the national defence concept of the Under Secretariat for Defence Industries. Erdogan further said at the NSC meet that a security summit will be held in the first week of March in order to discuss the terror of purse-snatching.

    Mr Erdogan said: 'As you know, our defence industries assume various roles at present. What are these roles? One of them is to assume the duties of a coordinator. The second is for the defence industries to enable all the production mechanisms in Turkey to be able to work jointly. Another one is to acquire from abroad what is needed.'

    Mr Erdogan further noted that he conferred with the interior minister in order to hold a security summit on the terror of purse-snatching as lately it reached a worrying dimension.

    [05] Turkish FM was interviewed by Murat Yetkin

    Istanbul RADIKAL daily newspaper (25.02.05) published the following interview with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by Murat Yetkin under the title: 'Gul: The EU process is on track':

    'Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said that there are absolutely no delays in relations with the EU and that the results of the work done in this area will become evident soon. According to Gul concrete developments related to the EU, including the naming of a chief EU negotiator and the start of talks for the expansion of the Customs Union to include the Greek Cypriot Republic [as published], can be expected starting early next week. Gul said: 'Does anyone think we are slumbering? We are not asleep; we are working.'

    Gul described to Radikal the government's recent work related to the EU:

    --There are no delays either in the appointment of a chief EU negotiator or the protocol to expand the Customs Union. The EU itself is not very sure about how the Customs Union protocol should be formulated. For months now opinions have been obtained from the some of the biggest law firms in the world. As a result the talks on the Customs Union protocol will begin in early March. Our colleagues will depart for Brussels in one or two days.

    --The issue of the EU negotiating team was discussed on several occasions and for many hours in the Council of Ministers. Specialist colleagues from the Foreign Ministry briefed the ministers in detail. The government is criticized instead of being commended for taking the matter seriously. In the coming days we will be organizing in Ankara an important meeting that is funded by the World Bank. This will be an 'Experience Sharing Conference'. The most senior negotiators of countries that have recently joined the EU will attend this meeting. In any event, at the bilateral level our ambassadors in those countries have been collecting information about the negotiation processes of those countries and holding meetings for many months.

    --The person to head our negotiating team will become known before this 'Experience Sharing Conference' starts. We will have one last meeting, and that is where the person will be named. Do not expect me to disclose any names. That is the discretion of the prime minister. Nevertheless we are evaluating every possibility.

    Uniting Split Iraq

    Gul said that even as work related to the EU continues, the top item on the agenda of the Turkish Foreign Ministry is stability in Iraq. When we asked him whether the meeting between Turkey's Special Representative in Iraq Ambassador Osman Koruturk and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan leader Jalal Talabani was related to Talabani's bid to become Iraq's president, Gul replied:

    --No there is no direct relationship. Recently Talabani sent a message to our prime minister. It was a message of good will. It emphasized Iraq's territorial and political integrity--something we have always underscored ourselves--and the theme of Kurdish-Turkoman brotherhood. It stated that our comments were taken into consideration. So our prime minister wrote a letter to Talabani. In that letter he stated that unity rather than division must prevail in Iraq, that it is time for everyone to turn their faces to Baghdad for the sake of Iraq's stability and welfare, that Turkey will support every step in that direction, and that the drafting of the new constitution is an important stage in this process. Our delegation took our prime minister's letter to Talabani. Iraq is not our country; it is Talabani's country. A stable, democratic, and united Iraq is more in the interests of the Iraqis than to Turkey.

    Gul also made important disclosures in connection with his dismay at statements to the effect that an independent Kurdish state will be formed and the picture that has emerged from the Iraqi elections:

    --We do not have any fears or uneasiness. Turkey is a strong and attractive country. It is the most important country of the region. On 17 December it was affirmed that its democratic standards have reached European levels. Turkey is concerned about the possibility of disintegration [of Iraq] not for its own interests but for the Iraqi people and the region. The Iraqi people have suffered enough. [In the event of disintegration] Iraq will end up expending its resources on chaos rather than a bright future for itself. A new chaos in a region that has not been able to settle the Palestinian-Israeli dispute cannot benefit anyone. Nothing can be more wrong than using Kurds to threaten Turks.

    --Iraq was already split. We are unifying it. It was effectively split after the Gulf War, and Turkey contributed to it. We talked to various groups in Iraq. We had long meetings here with the probable prime minister, Ibrahim al-Ja'afari. Till recently Turkey had links with only the Iraqi Turkoman Front, disregarding the fact that half the Turkomans are Shiites. We invited the Shiite Turkomans also. Perhaps it was for this reason that five Turkomans were elected to the Iraqi parliament from the Shiite list. In the Iraqi elections 4,000 Turkomans cast their ballots in Turkey. We were told that 25,000 would vote. I am still uncomfortable about that.

    US, Self-confidence of Intellectuals

    --An article entitled "Sick Man" was published in a US newspaper and certain people in Turkey got sick. We hug US officials, they write something different. These were the same people who listed Mr Erdogan was one of the best politicians in the world only a month ago. Criticism or praise must not have such a big impact on us. What did the government do last week to deserve so much criticism from certain writers and academics to the effect that it is anti-American? We took over the command [of ISAF] in Afghanistan. Condoleezza Rice came to Turkey and had a meeting with Sergey Lavrov. It was reported extensively and with exaggeration. One wonders what they would write if she had not come. The lack of self-confidence in our intellectuals is dismaying. There might also be some people who might have thought: 'We gave too much credit to the government. Now let us take it back.'

    --I looked at the text of Douglas Feith's remarks. It does not contain anything disquieting. I would sign it myself. Nor is there anything special said about Turkey. There is one question about the anti-American stance of the Turkish government, and he answers even that in general terms. We investigated this and found out that the person who asked this question was a Turkish journalist. This is very sad. A relationship that maintains mutual interests with a superpower is not an ordinary relationship. Obviously we read what is written and the criticisms. However principally I look at my ministry. I rely on information provided by my diplomat colleagues. There is nothing to be concerned about at present.'

    [06] Mr Erdogan may visit the occupied part of Cyprus soon

    Under the title 'At the 'presidential elections' there is not a place for sentimentality', Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.02.05) publishes an exclusive interview with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The interview was conducted at the Prime Minister's office by the paper's correspondent in London, Ms Eylem Eraydin.

    Mr Erdogan, inter alia, said that he had an invitation to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus and that he might visit 'TRNC' before the campaign period of the so-called elections starts.

    Commenting on the so-called presidential elections, Mr Erdogan said that there is not a place for sentimentalities and that the common values that are represented at this moment in 'north Cyprus' should be brought to power.

    Mr Erdogan also announced that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdullah Gul, will meet with his british counterpart, Mr Jack Straw on 14 March and they will discuss among other things the issue of direct flights to the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    [07] Erdogan´s address to the nation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.02.05) reports from Ankara the televised speech of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the nation on new diplomatic vision, Iraq and Cyprus.

    Mr Erdogan, inter alia, said that they had exchanged a series of visits especially with the neighbouring countries and others in Turkey's region. He also noted that very close relations had been established with Russia, Syria, Ukraine, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Albania, which, enabled them to further cooperation in all fields. Erdogan went on saying that the steps taken in good faith with respect to the Cyprus question within the framework of the plan devised by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had been appreciated by the international community, which, he noted, was aware of the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side was making more efforts than the other side to reach a settlement on the island.

    Erdogan said: 'As a result of those endeavours, Turkey has given a clear message that it wants to maintain friendly relations with the other countries without experiencing any problem while making maximum contribution to global peace. We also strengthened our ties with the United States, EU-member countries, Russia, the People´s Republic of China (PRC) and Japan, which we call global players, during the same period. We paid visits to those countries while German Chancellor Schroeder, EU Commission President Prodi, US President Bush, EU Parliament speaker Borrell, and Russian President Putin visited our country during that period. In that context, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's visit to the PRC made a major contribution to relations between the two countries. Similar efforts were also made in various international fora.'

    Noting that relations with the EU were one of the main issues on Turkey's foreign policy agenda, Mr Erdogan said that the public was aware that they had made great efforts after in order to achieve Turkey's accession to the EU after his party had come into power and that they had taken a series of steps, which were delayed for 40 years, one after another in the past two years. Noting that they had been maintaining their efforts and preparations with the same degree of care and meticulousness, Erdogan added that they had made considerable progress in setting up a team, which will represent Turkey during the process of negotiations with the EU.

    Erdogan went on saying that a statement about the formation of the team would be made and the public would thus be informed about the matter, pointing out that a variety of issues would be discussed during the negotiations, which, he said, required comprehensive preparations on technical details.

    Noting that the government had prepared itself for the negotiating process seriously and in the best manner and that a well-equipped and reliable team would start the negotiations in due course, Erdogan also commented the Cyprus question. Mr Erdogan said that some allegations had been made by some circles in Turkey and abroad about this issue, which, he said, disturbed Turkey and created question marks on people's minds.

    Mr Erdogan said: 'From our perspective, the decision announced in Brussels on 17 December 2004 was clear enough to avoid speculation. Turkey has assumed no legal obligation to recognize 'South Cyprus'. Turkey is ready to make efforts in order to find a solution to the Cyprus question under the aegis of the United Nations. By endorsing the plan devised by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Turkey and the 'TRNC' have demonstrated that they were in favour of a solution. After the referendum held on the island, our goodwill gesture was not reciprocated by a response it had deserved despite earlier promises made by the international community. Unfortunately, the anticipated steps aimed at putting an end to the 'TRNC's' international 'isolation' were not taken. The dilemma that the EU is now facing about Cyprus has stemmed from the admission of a part of Cyprus, which is still a problematic area from the United Nations' standpoint, without waiting for reaching a final settlement. Turkey has no intention of taking another step before steps are taken on the international stage and conditions conducive to reaching a fair and lasting solution are created. The step that should be taken now is to mobilize the international community in order to lift the 'embargoes' imposed on 'North Cyprus' as soon as possible. If that step is taken and the ground is prepared for a fair and lasting settlement on the island under the aegis of the United Nations, the Turkish side would never refrain from sitting at the negotiating table in order to seek a solution.'

    [08] The NET HOLDING company will make a 24 million-dollars investment in the tourism industry in occupied Kyrenia

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.02.05) reports that the NET HOLDING company, which is of Turkish interests, will make an investment of 24 million dollars in occupied Kyrenia for tourist purposes.

    As the paper writes the 24 million dollar investment will be used for increasing the number of beds in the Merit Crystal Cove hotel from 450 to 650, for the building of a new hotel named Aphrodite and the building of a modern shopping centre which will also have a conference centre. Besides, a special elevator will be build at the seashore, which it will be used for the clients of the Merit Crystal Cove hotel who come and go to the beach.

    Speaking to the paper Mr Reha Arar, the chairman of the executive committee of the Merit International stated that the NET HOLDING is making the 24 million dollar investment in the occupied Kyrenia region, on the 10th anniversary of the company's establishment in occupied Cyprus. He also said that the company will continue to make investments in the pseudostate and added that the reason for this is the wish of the Chairman of the executive committee of the NET HOLDING, Mr Besim Tibuk, who considers Cyprus to be one of his most favourite places. He also said that the NET HOLDING will try to take advantage of the fact that Cyprus has such a good climate for 8-9 months a year and will find alternatives, in addition to the sun and the sea, for increasing the tourism in occupied Cyprus, like organising congresses and meetings at the hotels.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Turkish hitch between Europe and NATO

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (28.02.05) publishes a commentary by Ferai Tinc in her column 'Dipnot' under the above title that, 'a problem which was simmering behind the closed doors in Brussels, at the end turned into a crisis.

    The reason for the crisis is Cyprus. When Turkey, put on the breaks because of Cyprus, the strategic negotiations between EU and NATO came to a standstill'.

    Ferai Tinc goes on and writes that, the USA wants to continue its strategic relations under the NATO´S roof, while a group of European countries headed by Germany and France, want this relation to be continued on bilateral basis. 'Brussels, favours to debate with Washington outside of NATO, because it calculates that this way the Security and Foreign Policy of the EU will get stronger', writes Tinc and adds that 'Europe is not happy of NATO´S trusteeship'.

    She then goes on and gives the background information that calumniated and eventually turned into a crisis today.

    'As you recall, a few years ago, Turkey because of Cyprus, came on the verge of exercising her veto power in the NATO. `When Europe decided to create its own military power and its foreign policy, it wanted to make use of the NATO facilities, it faced Turkey´s opposition. The issue was settled in 2003 at the Washington Summit.

    Then came the Berlin Plus agreement between the EU and NATO. One of the articles of this agreement stipulated that, Cyprus and Malta would be kept out from negotiations between NATO and Europe. Turkey felt relaxed. Well, what had happened then that after two years of this agreement we are face to face with a crisis? A crisis that puts Turkey under pressure.

    As far as I am concerned the real reason for the crisis, has as a source Europe´s resistance to NATO. But the specter is different.

    Some time ago, Washington wanted to open discussion with Europe within NATO regarding terrorism Europe´s answer to this was: `Yes, we come, but Cyprus and Malta as well will come with us and take part in the negotiations, because they too are our members now. Either they too come or we do not attend´. Turkey´s answer, based on the agreement (translator´s note: Berlin Plus) was that it will not sit around negotiation table where Cyprus was present, thus putting break to NATO. As a result the process entered into impasse.

    What about the agreement? It emerged that there was a difference between the EU documents and the NATO text. In the NATO´S decision it is said that; `Cyprus and Malta shall not take part in the military and strategic negotiations that will take place between NATO and the EU´ and in the EU documents it only says: `They (Cyprus and Malta) cannot take part in military negotiations´.

    Of course you can control the results on platforms that you are present and you cannot control if your are absent.

    As a result the EU presses on saying that all my members shall take part in the strategic negotiation. Turkey is resisting.

    The USA and Britain come and press and tell Turkey: `Do not resist, you have your interest as well in the negotiations in the strategic cooperation with Europe on issues like terrorism´.

    Well what would happen if Turkey continues to resist? Then they have told Turkey: `In that case this relation will be developed and you will be out of it´.

    This issue was discussed last week between Prime Minister Erdogan and British PM Blair and there was no result.'

    /SK


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