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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-04-08

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.66/05 08.04.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Mr Jack Straw's proposal for withdrawal of Turkish troops. Ali Tuygan to visit the US.
  • [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during an address of the war academies.
  • [03] Talat on Deniz Baykal's visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [04] Statements by Baykal and Rauf Denktas after meeting in occupied Lefkosia.
  • [05] The Republican People's Party opposes the use of Incirlik by the Americans for fear of attacks against Iran and Syria.
  • [06] Erdogan and the Interior Minister on the lynching incident in Trabzon.
  • [07] Turkish Tourism Minister apologizes for calling Russian tourists `Nouveau Riche´.
  • [08] Arinc: "The 12-mile decision which was not put to vote in the Parliament should be repealed".
  • [09] JDP Deputy General Chairman stated that Turkey expects gestures from the US including in Cyprus.
  • [10] The trade deficit in the occupied areas is 791 million dollar. The Turkish side speaks of "isolation" to legalize the faits accomplis but they are trading even with Greece.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Mr Jack Straw's proposal for withdrawal of Turkish troops. Ali Tuygan to visit the US

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ali Tuygan will go to the United States next week to hold several meetings.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan, replying to a question at a weekly press conference, said Tuygan and an accompanying delegation will go to Washington D.C. between April 13th and 15th.

    Tan said Tuygan will meet related authorities, several congress members and members of Turkish-American Friendship group in the Congress within the scope of his visit.

    Tuygan will also meet Nicholas Burns, the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

    Cyprus, Afghanistan, cooperation in NATO, EU process, Iran, Syria, Russia, Caucasus, and Middle East as well as the bilateral relations will be discussed during the talks.

    Asked about the reply of the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw to the questions and proposals asked by House of Commons Foreign Relations Committee about Cyprus, Tan said: ''We think the presentation which Straw made explaining the views of the British Foreign Office reflected a comprehensive approach about the Cyprus question.''

    ''The report points out that EU Direct Trade Regulations, which will have important impact on lifting the embargoes on `TRNC´, should be taken up together with Financial Assistance Regulations as a package. The report advocates start of direct trade and flights to Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport of `TRNC´, it states that restrictions brought by the Greek Cypriot side should be removed, and Green Line Regulations should be implemented,'' Tan said.

    ''Likewise the report underlines that the solution of the Cyprus question was not a condition for the start of Turkey's entry talks with the European Union (EU). We think the statements of Straw that Turkey's withdrawing some of its soldiers from Cyprus would have a positive contribution for solution should be assessed in a proper content,'' Tan stressed.

    ''The Turkish side considers security and military issues as a part of a comprehensive solution. We consider that Straw, with this statement, meant withdrawal of soldiers together with the solution. If the Annan plan, which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side last year had been accepted, withdrawal of soldiers would have been brought onto the agenda as a part of the solution,'' Tan said.

    When asked about the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about an application from the Greek Cypriot Myra Xenides-Aresti, Tan said that the decision could not be considered as a victory or defeat at this stage as the ECHR had only announced that the case was admissible. Tan said that the court would later discuss the merits of the case and this would not probably take place before one year.

    [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during an address of the war academies

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.05) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Thursday addressed the War Academies Conference. In his speech Mr Sezer explained his views about the daily military and strategic problems in Turkey and the region.

    Sezer said Turkey, which is located in an important geography, was in the center of many developments as a stable country, and added: "Turkey tries to be constructive, be interested in issues which has regional and global importance and tries to present solutions. We hope that Turkey's efforts are perceived correctly by our friends.

    Within this scope, it should not be disregarded that 12 of the 22 crisis regions envisaged in NATO assessments concern our country."

    Referring to Turkey´s obligations towards the EU Mr Ahmet Necdet Sezer said: "Turkey can only recognise the 'Republic of Cyprus' when a fair and lasting solution is found to the problem and when a new partnership state where the two communities live together is set up on the island."

    Reminding of his visit to Syria next week, Sezer said that he would have the opportunity to discuss both bilateral relations and also regional developments during that visit.

    Referring to Cyprus issue, Sezer said that Greek Cypriots didn't only reject the Annan plan, but also the solution in the island, as it was also put forward in the report of UN Secretary-General.

    [03] Talat on Deniz Baykal´s visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Istanbul NTV television (07.04.05) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party and candidate for the so-called Presidential elections, has

    said that the timing of the visit to be paid today by RPP [Republican People's Party] leader Deniz Baykal is not appropriate. Talat said that Baykal is going to meet with Mr Rauf Denktas and Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party, just before the 17 April "presidential" elections, and this will mean supporting the "presidential" candidates other than himself. This will not affect the situation, however, Talat stressed.

    Mr Talat affirmed that he is not opposed to Baykal's visit, adding: "We are a hospitable `nation´, he is welcome to come and welcome to go".

    Talat stressed that he is in harmony with the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government, especially regarding the Cyprus question.

    Talat expressed his disapproval of the war of words between Rauf Denktas and the JDP government, and warned that this will play into the hands of the Greek Cypriots. He went on to say that Rauf Denktas was causing a rift within the nation and between himself and Turkey, adding: "Had the people been behind Denktas, they would have announced their stand against Turkey".

    [04] Statements by Baykal and Rauf Denktas after meeting in occupied Lefkosia

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.05) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, said on Thursday that he had the impression from his meeting with Republican People's Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal that Baykal and his party would strongly continue to defend the Cyprus cause.

    Speaking in a joint press conference with Baykal, Denktas said that Baykal knew very well the Cyprus cause and he and his party closely monitored the developments about Cyprus.

    RPP leader Baykal said on his part that he paid a visit to the island to express his respect and gratitude to Mr Rauf Denktas for the efforts he launched to defend Turkish Cypriots throughout his life. Stressing that Denktas contributed significantly to the formation of "TRNC" and to all international negotiations, Deniz Baykal said that the aim of his party and himself could never be interference with the internal politics in "TRNC".

    ''We regard the Cyprus cause as a national one and we try to contribute to its solution. Everybody should know that Turkish Cypriot people are not without alternatives and remedies,'' Baykal added.

    [05] The Republican People´s Party opposes the use of Incirlik by the Americans for fear of attacks against Iran and Syria

    Istanbul NTV television (07.04.05) broadcast that Kemal Anadol, deputy leader of the Republican People's Party [RPP] parliamentary group, has said that the government may respond positively to the US request for Incirlik only after a parliamentary decision on the matter. He added: "We will not give the government the authority to respond positively".

    At a news conference in parliament, Anadol pointed out that in 1980 he was one of the deputies who had asked for an investigation about Suleyman Demirel, the prime minister at the time, because Demirel had not asked for parliamentary approval for the 1980 accord signed with the United States. He added: "Then there was the 12 September coup and our request did not get any results".

    Anadol pointed out that the current government is trying to solve the problem with the help of this agreement left over from 1980. He said: "As we saw during the 1 March memorandum, Article 92 of the Constitution authorizes the parliament to decide whether or not foreign troops can be deployed in Turkey. The government is not even attempting to inform us of the developments. We will exercise our democratic rights till the end and not allow the violation of the Constitution".

    Anadol charged that the agreement is not legitimate, adding that Iran and Syria may be attacked if Incirlik is given to the United States.

    [06] Erdogan and the Interior Minister on the lynching incident in Trabzon

    Ankara TRT 1 Television (07.04.05) broadcast that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has commented on the citizens' reaction to the persons who tried to distribute illegal pamphlets in Trabzon.

    The prime minister made a statement at Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Rome where he will attend the Pope's funeral. Commenting on the harsh reaction of the citizens when four persons tried to distribute pamphlets in Trabzon, Erdogan said:

    "In the incidents that occurred in Trabzon yesterday [6 April], of course the sensitivity of our people was extremely important. Everyone should act keeping in mind the sensitivities of the society. When our people's national sensitivity is challenged, of course the reaction is not ordinary, but naturally, nobody should exploit this. I am confident that with its common sense and wisdom, my lofty nation is capable of eliminating all kinds of ulterior motive calmly and without hurting the principles of brotherhood. Nobody should even think that our state or nation are weak. I cannot stress that point enough".

    Asked if the incidents in Trabzon were linked to the recent incidents in Mersin, Erdogan said:

    "Those who will engage in such planned activities will find the Turkish Republican state that has already made these plans. All our citizens and all the units of our state should be certain that nobody can sabotage brotherhood, peace, or tranquillity in any corner of our country."

    Furthermore, Istanbul NTV television (07.04.05) broadcast that the Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu has said that the security forces prevented any grave incidents from occurring in Trabzon. The opposition, however, blamed the government.

    Commenting on the attempts to lynch four persons who were distributing pamphlets in Trabzon, Interior Minister Aksu called on everyone to be calm. He said that the security forces made great efforts to fulfill their duties for 24 hours and prevented any grave incidents from occurring in Trabzon.

    "As in the incidents in Mersin, we saw the sensitivity of our security forces and our policemen in Trabzon too. By intervening immediately, they prevented any graver incidents from occurring as a result of a misunderstanding", he said.

    Aksu said he congratulates the police in Trabzon, and declined to answer if there was any provocation in the incident.

    On his part RPP's Kemal Anadol said: "Tense in the wake of the insistent allegations about the so-called Armenian genocide, and having gone through the incidents in Mersin, that is how our society reacted in Trabzon. The government must prevent this tension".

    Speaking to NTV, DPP leader Agar warned that symbols should not be used as political tools.

    [07] Turkish Tourism Minister apologizes for calling Russian tourists `Nouveau Riche´

    Istanbul NTV television (07.04.05) broadcast that Turkey's Tourism and Culture Minister has apologised for insulting Russian tourists, saying that he had not intended to belittle the country's guests. He said his comments may have come from his humorous nature. Tourism and Culture Minister Atilla Koc expressed his apologies Thursday in a letter to Moscow's ambassador in Ankara.

    The Minister had been quoted as saying that Russians were ill-mannered, a result of them becoming richer in recent times.

    "Russians, with the uncouth attitude of the nouveau riche, leave more money. Let the Russians not hear what I said as we expect lots of Russian tourists this year," he said.

    Koc later apologised for this statement, saying he had no bad intentions and had been deeply saddened by what happened.

    The Minister had also said that of all tourists who come to Turkey, including those on holiday packages, the Germans spent the least money.

    [08] Arinc: "The 12-mile decision which was not put to vote in the Parliament should be repealed"

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (08.04.05), reports that the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, (TGNA) Bulent Arinc, has said that the decision taken in 1995 in the TGNA that Turkey will consider as "casus belli" if Greece extends its territorial waters in the Aegean from 6 to 12 miles, was taken without voting. He said that this decision which is a stumbling block in the relations with Athens should be repealed. Arinc who gave a luncheon to the Turkish newspapers´ Ankara representatives at his residence, gave the indication that Turkey´s 30 years of Aegean policy might change. Arinc has argued that since in 1995 the said decision was not put on voting and was taken without voting in the TGNA, then he said it means that no decision was taken.

    Arinc said: "The way I understood the `casus belli´ decision has created misgivings in the Greek Parliament. You know there was a Parliament decision in 1995. As a result of this decision, Friendship Group was not set up. This decision is an obstacle. I have asked people to look into the case. This is not even a decision. Someone had said `let us vote´, and Kamer Genc (the then speaker of the TGNA) did not let it to be voted. One has to look into it, it seems that it is an obstacle in developing the relations".

    When journalists recalled that Turkey´s "casus belli" policy is being implemented since 1970s Arinc replied: "If we continue to dig up the history, there would be no end to this. Now, we have entered into a new era, consultative talks, geared to settle the Aegean issues between Turkey and Greece continue and they progress well. In this era this decision should be repealed".

    [09] JDP Deputy General Chairman stated that Turkey expects gestures from the US including in Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (04.04.05) publishes an interview with Justice and Development Party Deputy General Chairman and Eskisehir Deputy Murat Mercan under the title: "We will not do everything the United States says".

    Following are some of the replies given by Mr Murat Mercan, who had just returned from the United States, to the questions of Derya Sazak:

    Question: Conservative writers who support the JDP were upset by your remarks of "do not confuse us with marginal anti-American groups or Red Apple proponents" during a panel discussion in the United States. How does Washington see the JDP?

    Answer: The message I sent in the United States was this: The JDP is a conservative democratic party. Do not confuse the JDP with marginal groups. If the US media engage in anti-Turkish rhetoric, they would only serve the interests of these radical movements.

    Question: US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has tried to blame the Iraqi insurgency on Turkey by arguing that "a northern front could not be opened." Incirlik is also on the agenda. What does the United States want?

    Answer: Turkey will obviously not do everything that the United States wants.

    Question: Do Turkey's national interests dovetail with US objectives in Syria and Iran? We went in different directions in Iraq.

    Answer: If the international community and the UN Security Council adopt a unified stand on Syria and Iran, then Turkey's position cannot oppose that. As for the 1 March authorization bill, the United States cannot dismiss its relations with Turkey simply on the basis of what happened there.

    Question: Land Forces Commander Gen Yasar Buyukanit came out and said that "Turkey does not have an Iraq policy."

    Answer: It is not so correct to conduct politics on the basis of fears. We should naturally see these as threat factors in one corner of our mind. However they must not be the determining factors when we are formulating our policies. There are also steps that the United States must take. The image of the United States in Turkey stood very high when Clinton visited Turkey. If the United States wants to improve its image in Turkey, President Bush must also make certain gestures.

    Question: What type of gestures?

    Answer: Opening a new crossing point on the Iraqi border. Second, an active campaign against the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] which has established a presence in northern Iraq. Third, the lifting of the isolation of northern Cyprus. When I was in Washington I got the impression that the United States will take certain steps.

    Question: There is a public impression that it is the United States that is expecting a gesture from Turkey on Incirlik. Did you not send any signals related to Incirlik when you were in Washington?

    Answer: I cannot say that I know the details. This is entirely the decision of the government.

    [10] The trade deficit in the occupied areas is 791 million dollar. The Turkish side speaks of "isolation" to legalize the faits accomplis but they are trading even with Greece

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (08.04.05) reports that the occupation regime made imports during the year 2004 of 853,101,000 dollars and exports of 61,535,000 dollars. The trade deficit for 2004 was 791,565,000 dollars. The figures were announced according to the "2004 foreign trade, export and import statistics", which was prepared by the so-called Trade Department of the "Economy and Tourism Ministry".

    The major amount of money was spent in car imports, 145,634,000 dollar. 43,000,000 dollars were spent for fuel, 36,000,000 for iron bars used in constructions and 25,000,000 for industrial machines. The distribution of the exports was as follows: 20,000,000 dollars for citrus fruits, 11,800,000 dollars for dairy products and 11,700,000 dollars for clothes.

    The 60% of the imports were from Turkey, the 26% from EU countries, the 8% from far-east countries, the 3% from Islamic countries and the 1% from European countries, which are not included in the EU.

    The 47% of the products were exported to Turkey, the 24% to the EU countries, the 19% to European countries, which are not included in the EU and the 7% to the Islamic countries.

    During the year 2004, exports and imports were also made with Greece and with the government-controlled areas of Cyprus. Products of value 30,000 dollars were imported from the government-controlled areas of Cyprus and 32,000 dollars from Greece. Products worth 1,322 dollars were sold to the free areas of Cyprus and 184,000 dollars to Greece.

    There was also an increase of 78.5% in imports compared to the year 2003, but only 21.5% increase in exports.

    /SK


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