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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-10-26

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.205/05 26.10.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talats meeting with Gul prior his departure to the USA.
  • [02] Gul said that there is no change in Turkeys policy on the Cyprus issue.
  • [03] The self-styled Prime Ministers meeting with the British Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State.
  • [04] Serdar Denktas said that they will change their policy after February 2008.
  • [05] Changes in the new National Security Policy document have been announced.
  • [06] A large number of dead chickens was found in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [07] The Justice and Development Partys visit to the Republic of Cyprus came across the obstacle of the airports.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] What will Erdogan, Putin, and Berlusconi talk about?
  • [09] No groundbreaking US move expected in Rice-Talat talks.

  • [A] NEWS ITMES

    [01] Talats meeting with Gul prior his departure to the USA

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26/10/05) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said yesterday, "Now, it is time to take steps for a comprehensive solution (in Cyprus).

    After meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Ankara, Mr Gul hold a press conference on Talats visit the USA upon the invitation of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    According to information given by Gul, Talat had in the past met former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw and European Parliament President Jose Manuel Barosso.

    Mr Gul noted: This visit (Talat's visit to USA) is an important visit, we hope some important developments will be recorded.

    Noting that Turkish Cypriots had done their best for a comprehensive settlement on the island and that a historic opportunity was missed as the Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan in a referendum (held in 2004), Mr Gul said that UN Secretary-General's new efforts should be supported by the UN and EU members and added: Otherwise, this matter will continue to be a chronic problem, and overshadow many strategic issues. We hope that important steps will be taken after Talats visit (to the USA).

    Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on his behalf, said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's gesture inviting him to the USA was a significant step aiming to end isolation of TRNC (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus).

    Mr Talat also said: As Turkish Cypriot Administration and Turkey, we aim to resolve the Cyprus problem through a comprehensive settlement. We have fulfilled our responsibilities up to now, and will continue to do so."

    Mr Talat noted that the UN has a mission to resume Cyprus talks, and expressed belief that the international body should work actively to bring the Greek Cypriot administration to the negotiating table. I will insist that isolations be ended during my visit, although I know that this won't be the same as a comprehensive settlement. I believe that this visit will particularly help end of isolations, and contribute to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat added.

    Noting that it is the duty of the United Nations Secretary-General to launch a new initiative towards finding a solution, Mr Talat said that the United States as Superpower can play an important role in the efforts towards the resumption of the Cyprus negotiating process.

    Moreover, the paper reported that according to diplomatic sources, Mr Talat, during his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will demand the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations as soon as possible, as well as the direct flights and cruises to the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    NTV television (26/10/05) broadcast that Mr Talat, during his visit to Washington will ask from the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice the four following requests:

    The U.S. ships and planes to come to the North Cyprus

    The U.S. Administration to open an office in the TRNC

    The U.S companies to make investments on the tourism field

    The establishment of sports and culture activities with the TRNC

    [02] Gul said that there is no change in Turkeys policy on the Cyprus issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (25/10/05) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, speaking at his partys group, said claims that Ankara will grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Cyprus are just part of a propaganda campaign, which is far from reflecting the reality.

    Noting that existing close relations between Turkey and the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus will continue, Mr Gul added that there was no change in Turkeys policy on the Cyprus issue.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25/10/05) reported that Mr Gul hosted yesterday fast-breaking dinner for the ambassadors of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries and countries which are in observer status in the OIC.

    Commenting on the Cyprus issue, Mr Gul said: Although it was the Greek Cypriot party that rejected the Annan plan, it was again the Turkish Cypriot side that was punished. This is extremely unjust.

    Noting that TRNC (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) and the Turkish Cypriots proved their peaceful intention, Mr Gul added that the report prepared by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan should be approved by the UN Security Council.

    Mr Gul also thanked to all friendly countries that advanced contacts with the TRNC administration (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) and acted in solidarity with the Turkish Cypriots.

    [03] The self-styled Prime Ministers meeting with the British Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25/10/05) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, after meeting British Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State John Prescott, told reporters that EU-member Republic of Cyprus was a republic contrary to the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee and Treaty of Alliance.

    Mr Soyer said: During our meeting, I said that we are supporting a solution, and expressed our views about end of isolations. Also, I expressed our views that (Cyprus) negotiations should be resumed as soon as possible.

    Commenting on the statement Prescott made after meeting the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, saying Turkey's existence on the island is illegal, Mr Soyer noted: Turkey is present on the island within the framework of 1960 Treaty of Guarantee and Treaty of Alliance. And also, Britain is a guarantor state. Therefore, he should think about the dimensions of such an agreement if he has said something like this. If legitimacy is what is wanted, he should know that the EU member 'Republic of Cyprus' is illegal and against the constitution.

    Mr Prescott did not make any statement, while British High Commissioner Peter Millet said that Prescott wanted to listen to views of both parties, and learned the position of the Turkish Cypriot side during this meeting. According to Mr Millet, Mr Prescott will brief the British Prime Minister and the Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the views of the two parties.

    [04] Serdar Denktas said that they will change their policy after February 2008

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25/10/05) reported from Munich that the self-styled Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas, holding a press conference after completing his talks in Munich, Germany, said that the Republic of Cyprus had started to use the EU to increase the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    He also added: EU member states should make a decision. We will wait, but the deadline is February 2008, noting that promises made to TRNC (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) to end its isolation and lift embargoes had not been kept yet.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television broadcast (25/10/05) that Mr Serdar Denktas said: We will continue to strive towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal structure and for the unification of the island within the European Union, adding that the Turkish Cypriots will decide on a new policy if the Greek Cypriot political leadership does not change by the 2008 Presidential elections of the Republic of Cyprus.

    [05] Changes in the new National Security Policy document have been announced

    Istanbul NTV television (25/10/05) broadcast that the National Security Council (NSC) approved the new National Security Policy Document yesterday. The new document, which was sent to the Council of Ministers, renders the role of the army in internal security more pronounced. In other words, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) will now be able to play a role in internal security, alongside the gendarme and the police. The policy whereby an increase of Greece's territorial waters to 12 miles would be considered casus belli remains intact. Meanwhile, the extreme right wing is no longer listed as an internal threat.

    The main elements of the new policy document, over which the army's objections were eliminated and an agreement was reached during the latest NSC meeting, are as follows:

    The initial document stated that in accordance with the law, the police and gendarme will be used for internal security, but if inevitable, the TAF may be tasked for this purpose. The army's objection focused on the word inevitable. The word inevitable is removed from the new document, which now states that it is natural to task the TAF in internal security whenever necessary.

    The extreme right-wing threat, which was first introduced into the policy document in 1992 and which was preserved in subsequent revisions, is removed from the new document. While the extreme right-wing threat was defined in the old document as the Idealist movement that uses nationalism, the new document does not include such an expression. Internal threat factors are listed as fundamentalism and separatism, with equal priority, as well as the extreme left wing.

    The casus belli policy, whereby Turkey will consider Greece's increase of its territorial waters to 12 miles a cause for war, is preserved in the new document, but is worded in a diplomatic manner. In view of the EU process, the new phrasing does not mention the word war, but strongly underlines Turkey's rights and interests in the Aegean.

    For the first time, the document includes threats such as international terrorism and narcotics smugglings under the heading of asymmetric threats. The document is composed of three sections -- internal threat, external threat, and defence policy.

    Moreover, Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (25/10/05), published, inter alia, the following:

    Debates on the Document on National Security Policy, which reportedly included strongly-worded comments about the disputes related to the Aegean Sea and Cyprus before 3 October 2005, when the entry talks with the EU were scheduled to start, had been postponed indefinitely due to fears that it could cause problems in Turkey's relations with the EU. Arguing that the Document on National Security Policy should be simplified in order to ensure harmony with the EU, the government drew up a new proposal, which excluded various definitions and concepts included in the original draft. The TAF described fundamentalist and separatist threats as domestic threats as important as international threats whereas the government took a softer approach to that issue. The government was keen to ensure that the final document contained paragraphs in favour of finding solutions to the disagreements arising from Cyprus and the Aegean Sea but its suggestions met with the TAF's objections. The TAF's blueprint drew attention to efforts designed to turn Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot-controlled island. In a press briefing given by General Ilker Basbug, Deputy Chief of the General Staff, the TAF signalled that there could be no backtracking on the key conclusions of the Document on National Security Policy. Interestingly, a compromise over the document was reached in the last NSC meeting held after the formal start of the negotiations with the EU. The compromise led to speculation in Ankara that some issues, which the TAF considers important, were mentioned in the document. Following ratification of the Document on National Security Policy by the Council of Ministers, the document will be implemented by the Council.

    [06] A large number of dead chickens was found in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (25/10/05) broadcast that the discovery of large number of dead chickens in the occupied village of Ayios Sergios had led to panic among the villagers.

    The owner of the birds, Sidika Serinay had informed the self-styled Health Ministry officials to conduct tests on the dead chickens.

    Speaking to the illegal Bayrak, Ms Serinay said that it was the first time she had experienced such a thing and that she had immediately informed authorities after discovering that 30 of her 40 chickens perished in only a week.

    [07] The Justice and Development Partys visit to the Republic of Cyprus came across the obstacle of the airports

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (26.10.05) reports that the visit of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey (AKP) to the Republic of Cyprus came across the obstacle of the airports.

    As the paper writes, the invitation received by the AKP from the Democratic Rally Party (DISI) to visit the Republic of Cyprus was rejected by AKP after it was evaluated for about nine months. The visit that the AKP was going to pay in Cyprus came across the obstacle of the airports since AKP insisted on using the illegal Tympou airport to come to the island and DISI insisted on the use of the Larnaka Airport.

    The paper writes that the two parties exchanged letters on the issue and DISI noted to the AKP that it wants rapprochement but if the AKP comes from the Tympou airport, misunderstandings could be created. Therefore it has to come from Larnaka Airport. After the ruling party in Turkey did not see positively this idea, DISI brought up a new formula according to which AKP could come to Larnaka Airport from a third country. However, the AKP did not see warmly this new suggestion as well and finally it took the decision not to accept the invitation.

    (C/S)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] What will Erdogan, Putin, and Berlusconi talk about?

    Istanbul daily RADIKAL newspaper (22/10/05), under the above title, published the following commentary by Murat Yetkin:

    The items that will appear on the agenda of the three leaders who will meet in Samsun on 17 November concern the future of the region.

    The decision regarding the Samsun meeting that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting last Tuesday was reached in principle in September, during the dinner given by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan within the framework of the UN Summit that was held in New York. The diplomats of the three countries exerted feverish efforts and 10 days ago they determined the most suitable date for the meeting of the three leaders -- in other words, the meeting of Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi: 17 November.

    The natural gas that flows through the Blue Stream pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea has been used in our kitchens and by our factories for almost two years. Two former energy ministers, Cumhur Ersumer and Zeki Cakan, are still being tried by the High Tribunal on grounds of the Blue Stream project. In other words, the Russian gas that flows through the Blue Stream pipeline will not enter our lives on 17 November.

    So why did the leaders of Russia, the seller of the natural gas (actually the Gazprom Company), Italy, the constructor of the pipeline (actually the Eni Company), and Turkey, the buyer (actually BOTAS [Pipeline and Petroleum Transport Corporation]) feel the need to hold this three-party meeting? What will they prove about this system that already works? What part of the system will they talk about?

    Of rather, what will Erdogan, Putin, and Berlusconi talk about?

    When you ask energy and diplomatic sources such a question and when you bring together all the answers that you receive with difficulty, it is understood that the talks will focus on two issues:

    1. The expansion of the Blue Stream to Ceyhan and from there to Israel;

    2. The construction of a crude oil pipeline between Samsun and Ceyhan (SC).

    Both are very important projects and both projects have been appearing on the international agenda since the beginning of this year.

    For example, the project related to the expansion of the Blue Stream to Ceyhan first and then to Haifa (or Ashkelon) in Israel had first been raised officially during the visits that were conducted by Putin and Erdogan to Israel with an interval of one day (at the end of April and the beginning of May). (With this project, the pipeline project that will carry water and electricity from Turkey to Israel also appeared on the agenda during the same period.) This project also constituted one of the items on the agenda of the meetings that Erdogan held with Putin in Sochi two days in a row in July. These cooperation areas were included in the meeting protocol of the "Turkish-Israel Energy Working Group" that was signed in Ankara on 10 October.

    The Samsun-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline project was also put into circulation during the same period. This project knocked on the doors of oil companies as well as on the doors of the Ministries of Energy and Foreign Affairs. Currently only the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline carries crude oil in Turkey. Despite the fact that it is not fully productive due to the war and to the sabotages, this pipeline has an annual capacity of 70 million tons. The annual capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline that will be fully operational within several months is 50 million tons. It is proposed that the annual capacity of the SC stands at 60 million tons. The fact that this pipeline will reduce the intensive tanker traffic in the Bosphorus and as a result, the environmental threats constitutes one of the most important trump cards of those who put the SC pipeline to the fore.

    The Italians' interest in this project is not limited to their wish to construct the pipelines.

    Even more important is the fact that as of 2010 15-20 million tons of crude oil will flow to the Black Sea from the shares of the Italian Agip Company in the Kashagan field in Kazakhstan.

    According to energy experts, the feasibility of a pipeline is based on two conditions. First the throughput [last word in English] guarantee and second, the financing [last word in English] guarantee.

    It is possible to look at the following paragraph in the 10 October Turkish-Israel meeting protocol in terms of the feasibility of these conditions: "The Turkish side will extend support to the efforts that aim to promote the Ashkelon-Eilat (AE -- the Red Sea -- this is an important factor that reduces the costs of the Suez Channel -- Murat Yetkin) as an option for carrying the oil that arrives from the BTC pipeline to the markets in the Far East. The Israeli side is ready to make commitments related to transport capacity from the AE pipeline to the markets in the Far East. Furthermore, the Israeli side will support the efforts that aim to promote the SC pipeline as a project that will bypass [last word in English] the Turkish straits."

    The truth is that there is no need for too many words. Giant projects that concern the future of the region are on the table. It may be needless to write that despite the fact that they will not participate in the meetings, the United States, Israel, and probably India will also constitute sides to the talks that will be held between the Turkish, Russian, and Italian leaders, but we have already written it down.

    [09] No groundbreaking US move expected in Rice-Talat talks

    Ankara daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS (TDN) newspaper (25/10/05), under the above title, published the following analysis by TDN Defence Desk on Talats visit to Washington:

    The U.S. administration is expected to voice solidarity with the beleaguered Turkish Cypriots and send a goodwill message to Ankara when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice meets with President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) later this week, but no breakthrough is expected towards lifting the Turkish Cypriots' economic isolation, informed sources said.

    "Rice's meeting with Talat mostly will be symbolic in nature, but it will be an important event because it is taking place despite strong objections by the Greek Cypriot side," said a source close to the Washington administration.

    "But the U.S. administration is not ready for groundbreaking moves on lifting the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and, moreover, it believes this kind of a move should mainly be the European Union's responsibility. Expecting a breakthrough on this visit is not realistic."

    The meeting at the State Department on Friday will be the highest-level U.S.-Turkish Cypriot contact in 14 years. Former President Rauf Denktas met with then-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker at the same symbolically important location in 1991.

    Talat had talks with former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations last year, and Powell referred to him as the Turkish Cypriot prime minister. Talat was elected president earlier this year. U.S. officials said this time Rice will meet Talat as leader of the Turkish Cypriots.

    In simultaneous referendums in April 2004 on a U.N. document aiming to reunite the island, Turkish Cypriots overwhelmingly voted "yes" but the plan failed as a vast majority of Greek Cypriots rejected it. Despite the rejection, Cyprus' internationally recognized government joined the EU one month later as "representing the whole island."

    Before the referendums, the EU and the United States encouraged the Turkish Cypriots to accept the U.N. plan, pledging rewards in return. But nothing major has happened since then, with an international trade embargo remaining in place on the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The Greek Cypriot administration systematically has vetoed efforts by the EU to ease the Turkish Cypriot isolation. Washington has done more, launching a $30 million program to improve the banking sector in northern Cyprus and allowing visits by U.S. Congress members and government officials. But Turkish Cypriots want more.

    In earlier months, Washington made clear it would not grant a request for the launching of flights between the TRNC and the United States by Turkish Cypriot Airlines because of the Chicago Convention, which governs the rules of international aviation.

    During Talat's visit, Rice could urge the EU to do more to relieve the plight of the Turkish Cypriots, analysts in Washington said.

    Talat also is scheduled to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York on Monday, but their talks are expected to mainly review the situation, analysts said.

    "Until Annan gets a clear and strong message from the Greek Cypriots that they are willing and ready for fresh reunification talks, he will continue to feel reluctant to open up a new diplomatic process because Annan doesn't want to spearhead another failing initiative," a former U.S. government official said.

    Talat told Turkey's CNN-Turk television over the weekend that he would push for Turkish Cypriot rights on his upcoming U.S. visit. "I will tell them that we want a solution and that we have already demonstrated this. We are a European community, more European than the part of Cyprus that joined the EU," he said.

    In Washington, Talat also is scheduled to meet Henry Hyde, a Republican lawmaker heading the U.S. House of Representatives' International Relations Committee, and other key committee members. He will speak at an event to be held jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, two Washington-based think tanks.

    Greek Cypriots staunchly criticized Rice's invitation to Talat, with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos saying, "I do not think that such moves assist in the reunification of Cyprus. On the contrary, they foment and breed the Turkish Cypriot side's secessionist tendencies."

    But U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said Rice's invitation to Talat was "part of efforts to support a settlement of the Cyprus issue."

    Analysts in Washington also view the invitation as part of recent American moves to improve relations with Turkey, seriously damaged because of the Iraq war.

    But they also say Talat's Washington visit comes at an unfortunate time, when President George W. Bush's attention to foreign policy matters is distracted because of turmoil in domestic politics, where legal consequences may hurt the U.S. administration. Federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is likely to be laying the groundwork for indictments this week over the outing of a covert CIA operative, including possible charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

    The prosecutor's investigation has focused largely on Karl Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, and their conversations about CIA operative Valerie Plame with reporters in June and July of 2003.

    "Presently, everyone in Washington is thinking and talking about the fates of Rove and Libby, and not much attention is devoted to other matters," one analyst said.


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