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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-03-02

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.42/05 02.03.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Two charges were filed against Greek Cypriot lawyer Kantounas.
  • [02] Turkey´s Minister of Defence: "US planes did not use Incirlik for transportation of equipment or personnel to Iraq".
  • [03] Statements by Erdogan before leaving for a tour in Afrika.
  • [04] Efforts to establish a new political party in the Turkish left.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot businessmen to participate in the 30th International Fair.
  • [06] Two persons were arrested by the illegal police for arranging Greek lessons without "permission" from the pseudo ministry of education.
  • [07] Turkey's top Muslim cleric denies allegations of discrimination against Alevis.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in VATAN assesses today´s relations between the US and Turkey.
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot daily argues that the army command behaves in a harder manner than before in cases that it considers within its authority.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Two charges were filed against Greek Cypriot lawyer Kantounas

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.03.05) publishes the following:

    "Two separate charges have been filed against the Greek Cypriot lawyer Constantis Candounas, known as expert in the south on the issues of properties in Cyprus, by the `TRNC police´ on the ground of continuously annoying and harassing British people who live in Greek Cypriot properties in the North.

    Kantounas, who was taken yesterday around 16:30 in the afternoon to the Kyrenia police station, was released at around 18:00 after the two charges had been filed against him, in order to be tried without being under custody.

    It is expected that Kantounas will be brought before court within this month.

    Subtitle: Harassing the British

    Kantounas, who crossed over to the north last Wednesday, had been again called to the police station by the Turkish Cypriot police on the ground that he was annoying the British. According to information we have gathered Kantounas, who was worried about his life in the north because of the above mentioned complaints, crossed over to the north yesterday in order to meet with the director of the information department Huseyin Ozel. Two separate charges have been filed against Kantounas who was taken to Kyrenia police station because of complaints made against him by some British persons living in Karmi.

    It was known that Kantounas did not accept the charges against him and did not sign the indictment on the ground that he did not understand it because the charges were filled in Turkish language and that he only signed a document that he had taken the indictment.

    As it is known the Greek Cypriot lawyer Kantounas is the advocate of a Greek Cypriot named Meletis Apostolides, who filed charges against a British woman who built a house on his property in Lapithos".

    It is expected that a decision on the case against the British woman will be taken on 11 March".

    [02] Turkey´s Minister of Defence: "US planes did not use Incirlik for transportation of equipment or personnel to Iraq"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.03.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Tuesday that the U.S. planes did not use the Incirlik air base in Adana (southern Turkey) to transport equipment or personnel to Iraq.

    In a written response to questions of Mustafa Gazalci of the Republican People's Party (RPP) Gonul said: "Turkey did not sign any agreement with the United States about use of Incirlik air base or other facilities as regards United States' military operation in Iraq."

    "Under the resolution no: 1483 of the UN Security Council, the Council of Ministers decided on June 23rd, 2003 to allow friendly and allied countries to use Turkish ports, airports, facilities and bases for a period of one year, for logistic support including transportation of humanitarian aid, equipment and personnel.

    The said UN resolution was confirming Iraq's independence and territorial integrity, and launched an appeal to support efforts to provide stability and security, rebuilding process and dispatch of humanitarian aid to Iraq.

    "Taking into consideration another resolution of the UN Security Council, the Turkish government has extended the period for one more year on June 22nd, 2004," Gonul said.

    Recalling that the Incirlik was one of those bases mentioned in the decision of the Council of Ministers, Gonul added: "However, U.S. planes did not use Incirlik for transportation of equipment or personnel to Iraq."

    [03] Statements by Erdogan before leaving for a tour in Afrika

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.02.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Ethiopia on Tuesday.

    Erdogan said: ''Our visit is an important opportunity to develop and diversify bilateral relations in political, economic, commercial and socio-cultural areas.

    Both Ethiopia and the Republic of South Africa exert efforts to settle stability and permanent peace in Africa. I think we can cooperate with both countries in this area. Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is the political capital of the African continent.

    Ethiopia hosts the African Union and the UN Africa Economic Commission. We have also opportunities of cooperation within the frame of economic cooperation organizations like 'new partnership for development of Africa' and 'eastern and southern Africa common market'.

    The Republic of South Africa is important in its region with the political and economic power it has. It is a leading country for stability. It undertakes important roles to end poverty in Africa.

    During my tour, I will meet Ethiopian President Girma Woldegiorgis, Premier Meles Zenawi as well as President Thabo Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa, Vice President Jacob Zuma and Western Cape Premier Ebrahim Rasool.

    My visit will also be beneficial in the aspect of commercial activities and mutual investments as well as investments in third countries.''

    I will address Turkish and Ethiopian businessmen in Addis Ababa. I will open Program Coordination Office of Turkish Cooperation & Development Authority (TIKA). I will also make opening remarks to the Turkey-South African Republic Businessmen Meeting on partnership for development in Cape Town.''

    Erdogan will return to Turkey on March 5th.

    [04] Efforts to establish a new political party in the Turkish left

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (27.02.05) reports that Celal Dogan, former Gaziantep Greater City mayor, who has asserted that "it is no longer possible to make something of the RPP [Republican People's Party]," is holding meetings with Kemal Dervis and politicians who support Mustafa Sarigul.

    The debates on early elections that began due to the recent resignations from the JDP [Justice and Development Party] and the ongoing elimination process initiated by the RPP administration have accelerated the efforts to establish a new party in the left wing. Taking an unexpected step, Celal Dogan, former Gaziantep Greater City mayor, called Istanbul Deputy Kemal Dervis and the RPP deputies who support Sisli Mayor Mustafa Sarigul and he checked their pulse regarding the establishment of a new party. Dogan who held contacts regarding the new party in Istanbul yesterday said to the dissident deputies, with whom he met during the week: "It is no longer possible to make something of the RPP. The RPP will remain below the election threshold in the next elections. It is imperative to establish a new party in the left wing."

    Drawing attention to the SDPP [Social Democratic Populist Party] and the Sarigul movement, the deputies have also lit a green light by saying: "There is the RPP, on the one hand, and the others, on the other. A new party will be meaningless in such an environment. Only a party that embraces everyone can become the center of attraction." The dissidents underlined that recovery will be possible and a great number of people will resign from the RPP only if Dogan is able to persuade Istanbul Deputy Zulfu Livaneli, who has recently resigned from the RPP, and Dervis to join the new party.

    Mustafa Sarigul has once again begun to tour Anatolia. Sarigul, accompanied by his wife as well as RPP Deputies Hasan Aydin and Erdogan Kaplan, went to Besni in order to thank the delegates who supported him during the congress. Sarigul declared Mayor Hasan Dogru who extended support to him "a hero." In his speech, Sarigul praised the JDP, saying: "The JDP has been in power for two years. May God bless it for its achievements. We will resolve the problems that have not yet been resolved through dialogue. I am giving them time."

    Sisli Mayor Sarigul met with the RPP deputies who support him during the week. It was noted that Mustafa Sarigul who noted that he is in favor of Inter-party struggle is closely following Dogan's contacts and that the deputies who support him may consider resigning from the RPP according to the founding cadre of the new party.

    Given the recent developments in the JDP, RPP Chairman Deniz Baykal has also put the possibility of early elections on his party's agenda. Baykal who will accelerate the elimination process will later begin with the province and district congresses. Deniz Baykal intends to hold the congress that is planned for October after cleansing the dissident cadres from the party.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot businessmen to participate in the 30th International Fair

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (02.03.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (TCCI) will participate in the 30th International Fair which will be organized in the free areas of Cyprus between 20 and 29 May 2005.

    The paper notes that an agreement was signed on 28 February between the TCCI and the Cyprus State Fair Authority, providing for renting the pavilions no 58 and 60 to Turkish Cypriot businessmen. The space given to the TCCI is 418 square meters.

    [06] Two persons were arrested by the illegal police for arranging Greek lessons without "permission" from the pseudo ministry of education

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.03.05) reports that two persons were arrested by the so-called police of the occupation regime because they arranged and gave Greek lessons in the occupied Afania village, without permission from the so-called ministry of education and culture of the pseudostate.

    The pseudo police arrested 59-years-old Kyriacos Tziambazis for delivering the lessons to six persons and the 53-years-old KM for organising the lessons.

    [07] Turkey's top Muslim cleric denies allegations of discrimination against Alevis

    Istanbul Yeni Safak newspaper (26.02.05) reports that in an address to a panel discussion entitled "Relations Between the Clergy, State, and Society in Turkey and the Religious Affairs Directorate" organized by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), Prof. Ali Bardakoglu, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, said that the Directorate had never been a Sunnite-controlled organization and that it was not trying to protect, advocate and spread that branch of Islam. Bardakoglu commented: "We regard Islam as the supra-identity while offering our services. We do not discriminate against any group." Bardakoglu delivered the opening speech in the panel discussion held at Kustepe campus of Bilgi University.

    Pointing out that the Religious Affairs Directorate was regarding Islam as the supra-identity in terms of provision of its services, Bardakoglu went on saying: "We take care to remain at equal distance to all kinds of different attitudes and approaches within Islam." Responding to a question put by a reporter, Bardakoglu commented: "Politicians, businessmen, and sub-Islamic groups within society should not attempt to manipulate the Religious Affairs Directorate. We would not consider such attempts appropriate."

    In reply to a question about representation of the Alevis in the Religious Affairs Directorate, Bardakoglu said: "The Religious Affairs Directorate has never been a Sunnite-controlled organization. It does not pursue a policy aimed at maintaining, advocating and spreading the Sunnite sect. The Alevis are not a minority. They are our brothers within the Islamic community. They are the members of a sub-Islamic group just like the Hanefis, Safis, Naksis, Mevlevis, and Caferis."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in VATAN assesses today´s relations between the US and Turkey

    Istanbul VATAN newspaper (25.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Onur Kumbaracibasi under the title : "It seems that black clouds are approaching":

    "The relations with the United States have not been so good since the rejection of the 1 March motion [for the stationing of US troops in Turkey]. The Bush administration is levelling criticism against the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government. The Americans are not hiding their disappointments. Rumsfeld is even able to claim that if Turkey had given permission for the passage of the troops, they would not have experienced terrorism in Iraq. The article that was undersigned by Pollock and that was published in the Wall Street Journal which reflects the stance of the United States complains about the anti-American sentiments in Turkey.

    It demands that the Erdogan government correct its changing attitude. Using a threatening style, it asserts that the EU does not like Turkey and that if Turkey loses the United States by adopting a small-minded and paranoid approach, it will take place among second-rate countries that are sentenced to isolation.

    The timing of the new campaign of criticism that is related to the motion is very interesting.

    -- The fact that new Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice came to Ankara within the framework of her first international visit and the fact that she held urgent meetings with the prime minister and the Russian foreign minister at the airport are very important. There is no doubt that Rice put forward certain demands. The fact that the Russians were enabled to step in shows that these demands are related to the United States' policies regarding Iran and Syria. The truth is that Bush's statements resemble the statements that he used to issue prior to the war in Iraq. This time, the EU seems to have adopted a moderate stance! Under these circumstances, the Americans stress that they may forget about the motion. They add however that if Turkey does not want the "strategic partnership" to turn into a tragic partnership, they expect Turkey to place its hand under the stone.

    -- Probably the substantial demands go beyond the use of the military bases in a possible intervention. Most probably the United States demands direct military support. The JDP government, which erroneously believed that it was over the Iraqi crisis, albeit at the cost of losing the red lines, has been seriously trapped this time.

    -- Turkey is of the main entities in the region and therefore the repair of its damaged interests in Iraq will require time and patience. Nonetheless, Turkey should not assume responsibility for the operations that may be launched against its neighbors such as Syria and Iran. Its relations with Syria have improved to a considerable degree. Turkey does not have even yellow lines in Iran, let alone red lines. Currently Turkey's diplomatic pretexts have weakened in the face of the pressures, against which it could have resisted if the motion had been approved and if the necessary positions had been taken in Iraq.

    The United States' economic trump cards

    Counter arguments such as the fact that the United States has not kept its promises regarding the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan], the fact that it has disregarded the warnings and it has continued to extend support to the Kurds, and the fact that it has failed to contribute to the Cyprus and EU processes effectively are not strong enough.

    -- Rice has stressed that they will continue to take steps in Cyprus and to support Turkey's EU membership. She has also announced that they do not see any difference between Al-Qa'ida and the PKK. She has clarified the stand of the Bush administration, which forces Turkey to make a clear choice. We should therefore not be surprised with the fact that Bush spared T. Erdogan only eight minutes during the NATO meeting. After all, the United States does not have anything to add and it is currently waiting for T. Erdogan's reply.

    -- The truth is that the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] had been in favor of the approval of the motion, but it had delayed announcing its views in order to force the JDP to assume responsibility for the decision. The RPP's [Republican People's Party] mistakes and the damages of this tactics are gradually being exposed. The soldiers will sincerely avoid interfering in the Iranian and Syrian issues and they will especially remain silent. The government will face difficulties and the disputes within the JDP will deepen. The government will have to choose between involving Turkey in possible military interventions and dragging it toward isolation and this is truly a very difficult choice.

    -- The lack of a decision will make it difficult to maintain the economic balances. We should not overlook the link between the United States' demands and the economy. Turkey's credit rating has increased after Rice's visit. The IMF agreement is on stand by. Everyone should know that these are the United States' economic trump cards.

    Putin had proposed policy changes for these reasons. Can T. Erdogan find a third formula that does not force us to become the enemy of our neighbors and that does not push away the United States? If he can, everything will be fine. If he cannot, on the other hand, this means that black clouds are approaching not only regarding international politics, but also regarding the economy".

    [09] Turkish Cypriot daily argues that the army command behaves in a harder manner than before in cases that it considers within its authority

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.03.05) expresses the opinion that the command of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus behaves in a harder manner than before in cases that it considers within its authority. In its "Letter from AFRIKA" column the paper refers to the arrest of a Greek Cypriot named Kyriacos Tziambazis by the "police" of the occupation regime, with the pretext that he had been teaching the Greek language to six Turkish Cypriots at Afania village.

    Under the title "The corridors of the courts is something else", the paper, writes, inter alia, the following:

    "'There was another interesting case yesterday at the court. A Greek Cypriot would be tried. He was kept in the cell for 24 hours. And do you know what his crime was? He was teaching Greek language without permission in Gazikoy village that is in Afania. His name is Kyriacos Tziambazis. He is 59 years old. We were very interested in the issue as soon as we heard this name. We closely knew Tziambazis. He came very often to our paper after the gates had been opened. He even wrote some articles in our paper. A Turkish friend that knew very well Greek has translated his articles. Tziambazis was a sincere peace supporter. It seems like it is the first time he was arrested for such a crime. Furthermore, this was reflected in a very strange manner in the police bulletin. It is said that the police unexpectedly attacked the house where the course was taking place and arrested him. Is the word 'attack' not very crooked here? Tziambazis was not doing anything secretly or some underground cell activity. Neither did he take money for this job. He was just a simple volunteer for peace.

    Officials from our Ministry of Education were also in the court yard yesterday. They have been assigned to follow the trial, but they have not had any complain. In fact, the issue was not worthy to be exaggerated so much. That is, there was absolutely no serious reason for keeping this citizen in a dirty cell for 24 hours. If behaving like this without permission is considered a crime, he could be sent home after he had been warned. However, for some reason the officials preferred to arrest him.

    The incident is simple, but it is important from the point of view of showing that not many things have changed in northern Cyprus. The army command to which the police is bound, looks in a harder way than in the past the issues it considers to be in its own field. It is just like the incident with the correspondent of CUMHURIYET newspaper Leyla Tavsanoglu who was not given permission to cross over because she had entered from Larnaca into the island. It seems that the 'Yes be annem' slogan was good for nothing. '". (Translator's note: This was the slogan of the Republican Turkish Party during the referendum on the Annan Plan and means 'yes my mother').

    /SK


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