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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-05-20

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.94/05 20.05.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Soyer says they will reform the so-called Compensations Committee in a way that provides for returning of property and appointment of foreign judges.
  • [02] The Turkish Minister of Defense on relations with the US after Turkey´s refusal to facilitate the US troops during the war against Saddam Huseyin.
  • [03] Erel wants Free Trade Regulation to be put into practice.
  • [04] Abdullatif Sener will reportedly be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus for signing an agreement for economic cooperation.
  • [05] The pseudoparliament to discuss the property issue today.
  • [06] Twenty two Russians who are owners of tourist agencies visited occupied Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Columnist in HURRIYET argues that the planned visit of US Senators to occupied Cyprus aims at exerting pressure on the Greek Cypriots.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Soyer says they will reform the so-called Compensations Committee in a way that provides for returning of property and appointment of foreign judges

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.05.05), reports that the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, has said that they will reform the so-called Compensations Committee established within the framework of the Turkish police for global exchange of properties in Cyprus in a way that provides for returning of property and appointment of foreign judges in the committee, in accordance with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

    KIBRIS writes that in a statement to illegal TAK news agency, Mr Soyer noted that the reforms in the committee will be discussed together with the amendments of the so-called constitution of the occupation regime.

    Commenting on the cases filed by Greek Cypriots against foreigners and Turkish Cypriots who usurp their property, Mr Soyer reiterated that they will give a very serious struggle in the legal field on this issue and said that a serious work is taking place at the presidency in cooperation with the government. The only guarantee of all the cases is the state, he added.

    Mr Soyer noted also that they are thinking of launching a legal struggle regarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and their properties, which are allegedly usurped since 1963 by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr Soyer argued that the aim of the Greek Cypriots, who file charges against foreigners and Turkish Cypriots who usurp their property, is to prevent the changes in the occupied areas and cause a crisis.

    They are trying to stop the dynamics of change of the Turkish Cypriot people and its stance against the status quo. The Greek Cypriots are not satisfied about the overall change of power in the TRNC and they are worried, he alleged.

    Mr Soyer said that there was a tradition for the new governments of the pseudostate visiting Turkey and that his government is at the stage of preparing its visit to Ankara. He noted that the date and the agenda of the visit will become definite within the next few days. He added that within this framework they will clarify whether or not Prime Minister Erdogan will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to Mr Soyer, the main target of the occupation regime in the economic field is reaching the point of being able to meet all the needs of the current budget with local resources.

    Commenting on the recent visits of the EU officials and officials from the US State Department as well as the visit of members of the Congress of the USA to the island which is reportedly planned for the beginning of June, Mr Soyer said that all these visits show the interest of the international community for a solution in Cyprus. The messages given during these visits are a reply to the policy of the leadership of the Greek Cypriot side, he alleged.

    Mr Soyer claimed that the main factor for accelerating the solution in Cyprus is the lifting of the so-called isolation allegedly imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. He also reiterated the view of the Turkish side that the regulations for direct trade with the occupied areas and granting financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots must be accepted together.

    Mr Soyer expressed the opinion that the financial aid regulation by itself means nothing. When reminded that as from the end of June, the Turkish side will not be able to use the half of the 259 million euro aid in case it does not approve the regulation, Mr Soyer said: A way can be found for this. Not being able to use an amount of money may cause a problem, but this does not mean that this money could not be used in the future.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Mr Soyer expressed the belief that a solution will be definitely found. This may be in one year, may be in five years, but it will be definitely solved, he argued.

    [02] The Turkish Minister of Defense on relations with the US after Turkey´s refusal to facilitate the US troops during the war against Saddam Huseyin

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (18.05.05) published the following interview with Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul by Nur Batur under the title: "We could not push the motion through, but permitted 4,300 flights":

    Questions: The Turkish Grand National Assembly rejected to allow deployment of US troops in Turkey on 1 March 2003. You later decided to open up Incirlik air base. Are you not required to get the National Assembly's approval for that?

    Answer: No. The 1 March motion was providing for the transfer of all units of their armed forces together with all kinds of equipment. This is not the case now. We have concluded a new agreement extending the term of a permission previously granted under a UN resolution.

    Question: We experienced a great shock when the motion was rejected and sacks were put over the heads of Turkish army officers in Iraq. Have we overcome that shock after conclusion of the new agreement?

    Answer: It is true that there was a disappointment in the United States after the rejection of the 1 March motion. There was, however, nothing that my ministry or the government could do about it. The decision was made by the National Assembly. It was something that would not be found difficult to understand in a democratic and parliamentary system. I made a speech in a meeting of my party's parliamentary delegation and advised them to support the motion. I explained the possible consequences to be faced if it was passed or rejected. I pointed out that there could be 37 risks if it was not carried as compared with only eight risks that could be faced if was passed. In other words, its endorsement would be much more advantageous than its rejection. The negative consequences of its endorsement were much less than the possible risks of a rejection. I tried to explain this to our parliamentary delegation but they were uncertain about it. It was, therefore, decided to wait for the NSC's [National Security Council] decision before tabling the motion in the National Assembly and submission of the motion was postponed. Since the NSC's decision did not reflect a clear stance on the matter many MPs did not vote for the motion because of their uncertainties. A considerable number of MPs abstained. The voting produced a negative decision as the abstentions were regarded as votes cast against the motion pursuant to a ruling handed down by the Constitutional Court. In fact, the total number of the MPs, who supported the 1 March motion, was higher than the number of those who opposed it.

    Question: What were those 37 risks?

    Answer: That is past history now.

    Question: It seems that the shock has not subsided yet.

    Answer: Although 30 out of the 37 negative consequences probably occurred, I might have overstated some points. We did not face a major financial problem. Turkey would have received $28 billion had the motion been passed. I predicted that Turkey would experience financial hardships if we did not receive those funds, which did not eventually prove to be true. Turkey did not experience a major financial trouble although we did not get that money.

    Question: That event led to a serious rift between the two countries, did not it?

    Answer: We made efforts to overcome it. We later pushed a motion on overflights through the National Assembly, which allowed the United States to carry out 4,300 flights over Turkey. It is not something that could be disregarded.

    Question: To what extent have we overcome the crisis caused by the sack incident?

    Answer: It was an incident we were not expecting and it made us upset. Nonetheless, I believe that it would be much better to look ahead rather than being fixated on that incident. We share so many common interests that we have even forgotten the embargo imposed on after our intervention in Cyprus. I hope that the Americans will forget the 1 March motion.

    Question: Had the US ships not arrived at Iskenderun port and waited for unloading military equipment, would not the ensuing shock have been less severe?

    Answer: A certain progress was made based on the assumption that they would enter Iraq from the north. The United States might have lost time, materials, and money. In fact, I would not describe it as a disappointment. It is better to put those events behind us.

    Question: To what extent the logistical support we have recently provided will assist the United States in its military operation in Iraq?

    Answer: The United States is conducting a large-scale military operation in Iraq. I do not think that Incirlik plays a very important role in that operation. The decision reflects that Turkey has taken a significant stand and approach but it would be wrong to presume that the United States will no longer experience the problems it faced in the past simply because an agreement was reached over Incirlik.

    Question: Does the United States also seek logistical support to be provided from Izmir or any other port?

    Answer: No, it is only limited to Incirlik.

    Question: It will probably facilitate transportation of materials destined for northern Iraq.

    Answer: They have been using Incirlik as a NATO base for a very long time. They are allowed to maintain airplanes, military personnel, and materials there. They wanted to use it also with regard to Iraq under the UN resolution. The matter should be viewed from that angle. We are doing our best in terms of humanitarian aid. Tractor-trucks regularly carry relief materials, construction materials, and medicine to Iraq.

    Question: Is there any plan to extend the military base? When will logistical support start to be provided?

    Answer: The General Staff is discussing the details and the implementation process with the United States. It will include everything such as military personnel, food, and clothes. Military personnel were transported in the past too. We allow them as part of our relations. It, however, does not include weapons.

    Subtitle: TVRCICVM IMPERIVM or the Turkish Empire in 1658

    There is a new map hanged on one of the walls in Gonul's office. A note below the map says: "It was drawn by Johannes Janssonius in 1658. The original is kept in the Austrian Library in Vienna." It shows the territories of the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Sultan Avci Mehmet, who succeeded to the throne when he was seven years old and ruled the empire for 39 years. It is described as an era when Grand Vizier Koprulu Mehmet Pasha, who followed Sultan Murad IV's example.

    Gonul said: "I found this map in Vienna and asked them to give me a copy."

    I read the text printed on the map. It contained detailed information about the boundaries of the Ottoman Empire and said: "They regard the Turks as their rulers without any exception. It is so large and strong that the Turks are now dominating and ruling an area previously ruled by the Romans." The words "Turkish Empire" in Turkish were printed at the top of the map. I was surprised and asked: "Why did not you write 'Ottoman Empire'?" Gonul pointed at the words "TVRCICVM IMPERIVM" under the Ottoman crown at the bottom right-hand corner.

    The Austrian cartographer actually wrote "Turkish Empire."

    Subtitle: Codes of the telephones

    There are several telephones on the Defense Minister's table. One of them is black and the others are grey.

    Gonul said: "The black telephone is directly connected to the offices of the General Staff, President, and the Prime Minister. It will be used during a war although I hope that God will not let it happen." I looked around to spot the famous red telephone, which was said to be connected to the Greek Defense Minister's office. Gonul grinned and said: "It is not red." He picked up the grey telephone receiver on his table and said: "I can call the Greek Defense Minister from this line. We have established this line with former Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and used on several occasions. He complained about the flights over the Aegean Sea when he called me the last time. I have not conversed with the new Defense Minister yet." I asked whether new dogfights had taken place between Turkish and Greek warplanes. Although he was apparently anxious, he replied: "Both sides are taking great care to avoid such incidents."

    [03] Erel wants Free Trade Regulation to be put into practice

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.05.05), reports that the bottle-neck in the Green Line, Direct Trade and Financial Help regulations, proposed by the EU General Affairs and Foreign Relations Council in order to do away with the applications that keep the Turkish Cypriots under isolation, still continue.

    The paper goes on and reports that despite the fact that the Green Line Regulation, is in force which envisages selling of goods produced in the occupied area to south Cyprus, products like milk, fish, citrus fruits, potatoes and animal products could not be sold in the south Cyprus because of the lack of necessary health and sanitary information.

    The Turkish Chamber of Commerce, has repeated its proposal of Free Trade Relation which will encompass the Direct Trade Regulation as well.

    Speaking to KIBRIS, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Ali Erel has said that the Free Trade proposal which envisages the free circulation of goods, persons and services could be encompassed in the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Mr Erel added that goods, persons and services could move freely within the areas covered by the customs union, that encompasses Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

    Mr Erel noted that the said free movement, the sea ports and airports in the occupied area, could be administered together with the TRNC institutions, in line with the EU norms, and under the control and observation of the EU.

    Subtitle: If the Free Trade is not accepted then additional Protocol will put the TRNC in a difficult situation

    Mr Ali Erel has declared that signing of the additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement between Ankara and south Cyprus will put the `TRNC´ in a difficult situation.

    He said that in case the free trade commences this will isolate the Turkish Cypriots and their economy as well. Erel noted that, on the one hand while Turkey normalizes its relations with south Cyprus under the Customs Union agreement, on the other hand the Turkish Cypriots once more will be ostracized. He urged to take up the Free Trade Regulation urgently.

    Subtitle: Problems in the Green Line Regulations continue

    Mr Ali Erel also said that problems in the Green Line Regulations which envisages selling of goods produced in the occupied areas in south Cyprus, still continue.

    Mr Erel said that milk, fish, citrus fruits, potatoes and animal products produced in the occupied area are not allowed to cross into south Cyprus. He said that the problem has been created because the EU officials were unable to get necessary health and sanitary information.

    Mr Erel claimed that the said regulation was adopted and put into practice before Cyprus became full EU member.

    [04] Abdullatif Sener will reportedly be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus for signing an agreement for economic cooperation

    According to Erol Atabeks column in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (20.05.05), Turkeys Minister responsible for Cyprus, Mr Abdullatif Sener, will reportedly be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus for signing an agreement for economic cooperation with the pseudostate.

    Mr Atabek reports, inter alia, the following:

    I heard it the day before on the news broadcast every hour in the morning zone of BRT radio. It was the first news. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Serdar Denktas stated that an Economic Cooperation Agreement will be signed between Turkey and the `TRNC´. He said that for this agreement which will be signed on 3 June technical committees will arrive in within few days and Turkeys state Minister Minster Abdullatif Sener will arrive on 3 June. After these brief news, the same information was broadcast on Radio Mayis. However, afterwards I did not hear it in BRT or in any other TV and radio station. It was not published in the newspapers yesterday as well. Even in the newspaper of Serdar Denktas party. I found it interesting. Did the Prime Ministers of Turkey and the `TRNC´ know anything about it? This information reminded me of many things. As you remember in August 2003 a Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the `TRNC´ was signed and in the end it was put on the shelf by the authorities of Turkey. .

    [05] The pseudoparliament to discuss the property issue today

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (20.05.05), reports that the so-called parliament of the occupation regime will convene today under the chairmanship of Mrs Fatma Ekenoglu, in order to discus, among other issues, the property issue.

    As the paper writes on the agenda of todays meeting, there is the preliminary discussion which was presented in the name of the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu regarding Proposal for opening for general discussion regarding the ownership lawsuits which were filed by the Greek Cypriot Government and the Greek Cypriots.

    [06] Twenty two Russians who are owners of tourist agencies visited occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (20.05.05), reports that twenty-two Russians who are owners of tourist agencies visited occupied Cyprus.

    As the paper writes the twenty-two Russians are visiting the occupied areas of the island in order to see the possibilities in the area of tourism and to have contacts with Turkish Cypriot tourist and travel agencies. The Russians went to occupied Cyprus under the cooperation of the Aura Travels and Fellahoglu Tourism.

    Mr Dervis Deniz, the so-called minister of economy and tourism of the pseudostate, stated, during a dinner given to the Russians, that especially during the two last years north Cyprus has been the focus of interest of tourist from Europe.

    As the paper also writes Aura Travel along with Mr Deniz will participate, in a reception that will be held in St Petersburg in Russia on the 6th of June in order to introduce the tourism of north Cyprus to Russia.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Columnist in HURRIYET argues that the planned visit of US Senators to occupied Cyprus aims at exerting pressure on the Greek Cypriots

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (17.05.05) publishes the following commentary by Fatih Altayli under the title: "A US delegation of senators will visit the TRNC":

    A US "delegation of senators" will come to Turkey in the days ahead.

    The delegation headed by Senator Ed Whitfield, a friend of the Turks, aims to hold meetings that may contribute to the solution of the problems between Turkey and the United States.

    The delegation will not merely hold meetings with the politicians.

    It will also hold contacts with business circles.

    This is not Whitfield's first visit to Turkey.

    He had come to Turkey in the past and he had made positive efforts.

    This time however, there is a high probability that something will be realized first time.

    Whitfield and the accompanying delegation of senators will also go to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [`TRNC´].

    The delegation's visit to Cyprus is not an "official" visit.

    Here they will also hold meeting with `TRNC´ administrators.

    The delegation will take an unprecedented step and it will go from Turkey directly to northern Cyprus. Thus something realizing for the first time.

    After all, no US delegation has ever gone directly to northern Cyprus.

    Low-level US officials had passed from the south to the north several times in the past, but this is the first time that a delegation of senators is visiting the `TRNC´. Furthermore this is the first time that a US delegation is going directly to the `TRNC´.

    This visit has driven the Greek Cypriots "crazy."

    They are sending messages to the US Administration via the US State Department. They are trying and to prevent this visit.

    They have not received a positive answer to these calls thus far.

    Despite the fact that it has problems with Turkey, the US Administration appears to be determined to make efforts in order to ensure that the Greek Cypriots sit around the negotiation table within the framework of the Annan plan.

    It is therefore possible to describe this visit as "showing an iron hand beneath the velvet glove."

    /SK


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