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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-06-27

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.119/05 25-26-27.06.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reports that Taiwanization of the occupied areas is starting with investments by the Bear Stearns Bank
  • [02] Talat is not very hopeful about settlement of the Cyprus problem soon
  • [03] Colonizers brought by Ankara in the usurped properties of EU citizens are presented as having been denied their voting rights
  • [04] Reports of disagreements in the NSC over the National Security Policy Document
  • [05] Sezer to meet Talat at the Cankaya mansion in the beginning of August
  • [06] The US Ambassador in Ankara criticized the Turkish government stand on missionary work
  • [07] A protest march will be held in London

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reports that Taiwanization of the occupied areas is starting with investments by the Bear Stearns Bank

    Under the title Top U.S. firm seeks local investment, Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Times newspaper (25.06.05) reports the following: The biggest step towards Taiwanising Northern Cyprus may well come from the Americans, not only by diplomatic means, but through their interest in investing the local economy. This possibility is being considered because of the US government´s encouragement of investment in ´TRNC´(occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member State).

    Bear Stearns Bank, part of Bear Stearns Companies, considered the biggest investment firm in America, recently sent a top-level delegation to seek investments here in the north. Bear Stearns reportedly has capital of over $49 billion and property worth a total of $255 billion.

    After giving a short description of the Bear Stearns Company Ltd, the paper goes on:

    Timothy Ash, Directly of the Department for Developing Markets, one of the top leaders in this organization, led the delegation to ´TRNC´ last week, indicating the level of interest in ´TRNC´ economy. The visit by the Americans was kept low key to avoid protests and attempts from the Greek Cypriot authority to block the meeting before it could take place.

    Ash held important meetings with government officials including President Talat and Prime Minister Soyer, and key businessmen. The visit began on 11 June and carried on through the weekend to the 16th.

    Although little is known about the results of these meetings, the signs are promising, and it only remains to see what happens next. At the very least, this visit suggests that the world is ignoring embargos in order to do business with ´TRNC´.

    On Monday June 27, Cyprus Times publishes a long report under the title Taiwan Plan free trade model may be good for TRNC. Supported with a map of Taiwan and the Chinese Coast, the report cites a summary of the Taiwan Six-Year National Development Plan.

    In line with past statements made by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot politicians that the occupied areas will be turned into a free trade area on the Taiwan model, the introduction of the report includes, inter alia, the following: The Taiwan authorities´ decision to build the island into a free trade area will virtually invalidate their ban on cross-Straits direct links, said experts, and thereby enhance cross-Straits trade and economic co-operation, he said.

    The three direct links between the mainland and the island are still forbidden by Taiwan authorities except those between Xiamen of East China´s Fujian Province and Taiwan´s Jimmen and Matsu. Turning into a free trade area will also boost Taiwan´s economic development by avoiding marginalization in regional economic co-operation.

    The arrangement, proposed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa and supported by the central government, is actually a free trade zone and is expected to help Hong Kong and Macao gain an edge over competitors in the Chinese mainland now that China is a member of the World Trade Organization. The lack of direct links between the mainland and Taiwan has made closer trade ties impossible.

    [02] Talat is not very hopeful about settlement of the Cyprus problem soon

    Turkish daily KIBRIS newspaper (25/06/05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said on Friday that the views of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast and the Greek Cypriot side didn't give much hope about the settlement of Cyprus problem in the near future.

    Referring to Prendergast's presentation to the UN Security Council about his meetings in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece, Talat said that the views of both Prendergast and the Greek Cypriot side don't give much hope for resolution of the Cyprus problem. We must overcome that, as this is not to the interest of our people and the whole of Cyprus.

    Mr Talat added that he would make a more detailed statement on the issue in a news conference he would hold on Monday, June 27th.

    [03] Colonizers brought by Ankara in the usurped properties of EU citizens are presented as having been denied their voting rights

    Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Times newspaper (27/06/05) publishes a front page report supported by a large Bulgarian passport under the title Bulgarians denied their voting rights.

    The report by Ozcan Ozcanhan, inter alia, includes the following:

    The UNFICYP Indian officers, billeted in Cyprus to protect civilians at great expense, stood by as mere onlookers, when the Bulgarians were denied entry into the south.

    When the Bulgarian Refugees Association Spokesman asked me to interpret, the UNFICYP soldiers and their translator became involved. The Bulgarians said, We have our passports. We simply want to cross, go to the Bulgarian Embassy to cast our votes and then come back. The Greek Cypriot migration officers and police commander, who were there at the time, were immediately informed as to the plans of the large Bulgarian contingent.

    Passports were collected from the Bulgarians, who naively hoped, that they would be allowed to cross, but instead, the Bulgarians were left waiting in the scorching sun and heat. When some elderly members of the party and young children complained they were thirsty and could not stand in the sun, the UNFICYP officers helped them to shade and showed them a tap from which they could drink.

    After a considerable period of time elapsed, the Bulgarians asked me to retrieve their passports, but when I tried to reach the migration office box, I was denied entry by a police sergeant. I showed him my press card, saying, I am a journalist, my Cyprus ID number is 232531. Other Greek Cypriot journalists tried to help, explaining that I was a well-known journalist from the north. But still, I was not permitted to cross the police line

    After explaining that he successfully acted as mediator and translator between all the parties involved, Mr Ozcan Ozcanhan goes on: Finally, the Bulgarian Ambassador and consular in the south arrived to calm down the protestors, who by now ere getting impatient and after some groaning and murmuring, seemed ready to blow up. He asked them not to cause any trouble and to wait until he, the one who was in touch with the authorities to settle this problem of crossings once and for all. The crowd listened to his quiet and determined call.

    Then I asked the ambassador, Mr Ambassador, is Bulgaria going to be a full member in 2007, and do the EU norms, statutes and rules not cover the Bulgarian people? He replied, Yes. But, the point here was that the EU member Cyprus Republic was claiming that these Bulgarians were illegal settlers in North Cyprus.

    [04] Reports of disagreements in the NSC over the National Security Policy Document

    Turkish daily The New Anatolian (25/06/05) reports that the National Security Council's (NSC) "National Security Policy Document," which is also known as the "secret constitution" and the "red book," has turned into a major problem for Ankara's top military and government brass.

    The NSC meeting at the beginning of this week was supposed to discuss the final version of the policy document. According to an official announcement by the General Secretariat of the NSC, attendees at the three-and-a-half-hour meeting were not able to agree on what constituted Turkey's internal and external threats. As well, it is unclear when more meetings will be held to resolve this problem. "Future meetings on the National Security Policy Document will be determined in the following meetings," said the General Secretariat equivocally.

    It is understood that the General Secretariat of the NSC solicited input from 18 institutions before writing up the document in May. In the end, the secretariat put forward a lean 25-page document, annotated with the observations and opinions of the chief of General Staff.

    NSC General Secretary Yigit Alpogan had at first decided not to send the document and to reveal it at the meeting by suddenly opening it to discussion. This "surprise attack" was thwarted by the military. Military officials had requested that the General Secretariat keep the document off the meeting's agenda until everyone had enough time to look it over carefully. The document was accordingly sent to the Prime Ministry, the chief of General Staff and other relevant institutions.

    However, several parties still were not satisfied as they received a copy of the document only shortly before the meeting, and had postponed its final publication until it had been properly looked over.

    There are rumors in Ankara's backrooms that military officials do not like Alpogan. He is branded a "political figure" for preparing the document to fit the requests and opinions of the government.

    Another factor that aggravated their irritation was that the document says that military forces are only responsible for the protection of the Turkish borders and representing Turkey abroad in organizations such as NATO, and not for its domestic security. But, Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces Domestic Services Law states that the Turkish military is responsible for the protection of Turkish lands and the Turkish Republic as defined by the Constitution. These officials are reporting that they are not enthusiastic about the document in its present state.

    Changes military officials would like to see to the documents are as follows:

    Reactionary: Reactionary circles have finally realized that they cannot alter the fundamentals of the state through attacks, terrorist or otherwise. As a result, they seem to have "signed an armistice" with Turkish society and the state. However, this doesn't mean that the reactionary attacks are over. It simply suggests a new approach. They are now trying to corrupt the concept of secularism by finding new definitions of secularism, nationalism and the religion-state relation. They are trying to deceive people by expertly abusing the tolerance of the regime and democracy, and restructuring themselves in both legal and illegal groupings under categories of reactionary elements, religious groups and sects.

    PKK: They use northern Iraq as a shelter. The U.S.' lack of assertiveness about eliminating the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) from this region has allowed the organization to ramp up its attacks and reinforce its presence in the region by becoming the third-strongest power there. In addition to this, some of the groups in northern Iraq support them. It is important to take counter-measures against the actions of the PKK. The organization must be cut off from external support and its hope for success must be destroyed.

    Cyprus: The fact that attention to this issue has not faded has much to do with Turkey's national interests and its international agreements. Stability and balance in Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean can only be provided through the resolution to this problem. The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) will always support efforts for a lasting and fair solution. Since the April 2004 referendum, no one can accuse Turkey of being responsible for the deadlock on Cyprus. There are two politically equal nations on the island that do not represent each other. While the isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus continues, it is not fair to expect Turkey to make the overture.

    [05] Sezer to meet Talat at the Cankaya mansion in the beginning of August

    Turkish HURRIYET newspaper (27.06.05) reports that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will receive the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat with an official ceremony at the Cankaya Mansion between 2-3 August 2005.

    Mr Sezer will receive Mr Talat for the first time after the latter was elected president of the pseudostate on the 18th of April.

    As the paper writes, prior to his meetings with Mr Talat the Turkish President will meet with Mr Rauf Denktas between 5-6 of July. Mr Denktas will receive the State Honour Medal, by Mr Sezer in a ceremony that will take place at the Cankaya Palace. The Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the speaker of the Turkish General National Assembly Mr Bulent Arinc, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Army General Hilmi Ozkok are expected to be present at the ceremony.

    [06] The US Ambassador in Ankara criticized the Turkish government stand on missionary work

    Turkish daily Sabah (25/06/05) reported that it has been disclosed that Eric Edelman, the outgoing US Ambassador in Ankara, wrote a letter to Minister of State Mehmet Aydin just before his return to his country criticizing Turkey on the issue of "religious freedom and missionary activities." Similar remarks Edelman made to other ministers during farewell visits have generated indignation in Ankara. According to information Sabah has obtained from officials of the Prime Ministry and US diplomats, attached to Edelman's 11 June letter to Minister of State Aydin was a list of attacks against Christians in Turkey. Enumerating incidents in Turkey one by one Edelman cited as examples an attempt to lynch a Christian citizen on the accusation that he was engaged in missionary activities, the bomb attack on the Protestant Church of Ankara, and the sermon published by the Religious Affairs Directorate [DIB] on 11 March. Edelman expressed concern that the style used in this sermon could be perceived as threatening Christians in Turkey.

    Referring to the negative public opinion and media climate against Christians Edelman cautioned Aydin by saying: "I am afraid more serious incidents may develop if leaders like you do not take a position on this type of attacks against freedom of religion in Turkey." He added: "We urge the government to take a more explicit stance against such incidents and to state that Turkey's arms are open to all religions." Before sending the letter dated 11 June Edelman visited Aydin and expressed his concerns on religious freedom verbally.

    Earlier Edelman used the title "Ecumenical" with reference to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Phanar in a reception he gave and caused tension with the government. Prime Minister Erdogan refused to give Edelman an appointment for six weeks because of this incident. Now Edelman has again drawn the government's ire with his letter to Aydin. The minister expressed his indignation for Edelman's style by saying: "What kind of tone is this?" He also said that the incidents mentioned in the letter were discussed in detail when Edelman visited him. Sources in Ankara note that Edelman violated protocol rules because, as ambassador, he should have sent his letter to the Foreign Ministry.

    The DIB's 11 March sermon that gave rise to Edelman's concerns said: "As in the past, today the same forces work in a planned and organized manner to break our people away from this religion. They try to steal the faith of our children and youth by exploiting ethnic and sectarian differences, economic and political problems, and even earthquakes, floods, and scarcity. Important duties are incumbent upon Muslims. We must stand up for our religion and values."

    The 2004 Human Rights Report of the US State Department also contained criticisms against Turkey on the issue of "religious freedom": "Occasionally the police prevent Christians from distributing publications related to their religion and arrest missionaries on charges of upsetting public order or insulting Islam. The courts generally refuse to try such cases. The work of Christians is denigrated and foreigners may be sent back to their countries. In addition the police file complaints about individuals who talk to Christian missionaries."

    [07] A protest march will be held in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27/06/05) reports that a protest march against the embargo, which is allegedly imposed on the occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops areas of Cyprus, will be held on 3 July in London. It will be organized by the North Cyprus Exists Foundation. The march will start from Palmers Green and will end at Turnpike Lane.

    EG/


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