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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-11-03

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.210/05 03.11.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat's statements on his arrival from the United States.
  • [02] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the lowering of the Turkish flag from a sentry post the Turkish occupation army is erecting in the buffer zone.
  • [03] "Celebration without Turkey in Cyprus".
  • [04] US and British officials met with the new chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Erdil Nami.
  • [05] Soyer describes as provocative the statements of Ali Erel on issuing health certificate for Turkish tomatoes.
  • [06] Mr Bryza: "Rice and Talat share a common vision in Cyprus".
  • [07] A TAYAD group came under attack while returning from a cemetery in Rize.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] "EU priorities make AK Party government sweat".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat's statements on his arrival from the United States

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (03.11.05) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, held a press conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, on his arrival from the United States where he met Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. At the conference, Mr Talat said his aim is Cyprus settlement and added: "We consider the end of blockade (against Turkish Cypriots) not as a target but as a means of solution (of the Cyprus problem)".

    Mr Talat said his meetings in the United States were very important, noting that "as the Turkish Cypriots, we had the opportunity to express our policies both to the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan".

    Referring to his meeting with Ms Rice, Mr Talat said: "We mentioned the importance of ending the isolation of 'TRNC' (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus). We have stated that end of the blockade would mean that Turkish Cypriots were appreciated as they acted in line with the search of a solution and at the same time would be a warning to Greek Cypriots that they should act for a solution."

    Commenting on his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr Talat said launching of a new UN initiative in a near future was discussed during their meeting and added: "We emphasized that the UN should not stay idle. Mr Annan feels concern over a new failure. He wants an unequivocal success. Annan is unwilling to launch new talks unless success is guaranteed and the parties display an assertive stance to resolve Cyprus question. He appreciates our determination on the issue."

    Noting that the essential goal was the solution of the Cyprus question, he said: "However, we emphasized that the end of the blockade would not mean solution."

    Replying to a question on what would Turkish Cypriots demand from Britain if London extends to him an invitation for talks, Mr Talat said that Britain is an important country, which supports the "TRNC" (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) apart from Turkey. He also added: "Britain is a guarantor country. Because of this, it has responsible. So, our demands would be more than those from the USA. Because in the actual field, our economic and other dealings with Britain would be profitable economic dealings. The launching of direct flights to Britain will bring a serious drop in our air fare and tourism would be boosted. Direct flights to Britain would be on one hand symbolic, but in the economic sense, they would be logical and correct. Because, Britain is a very important country for the Turkish Cypriots. We would be more demanding of Britain on issues regarding the lifting of 'isolation' and the launching of direct flights."

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily "Ozgur Dusunce" newspaper (03.11.05) reported that Mr Talat, in a press conference held at Turkevi in New York, said that Russia is the greatest obstacle for discussing at the UN Security Council the report on lifting Turkish Cypriot "isolation". He also added that the change of Russia's stance would add impetus to launching negotiations.

    (DPs)

    [02] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the lowering of the Turkish flag from a sentry post the Turkish occupation army is erecting in the buffer zone

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.11.05) reported the following from Ankara:

    "Turkey strongly condemned on Wednesday the behavior of Marios Matsakis, European Parliament MP of Greek Cypriot origin who climbed yesterday on a flagstaff in `TRNC´ (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) in Akincilar region and lowered the Turkish flag.

    Commenting on this incident, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan recalled the Greek Cypriot government spokesman's statement that "Matsakis only represented himself", and said that "this statement was not enough to explain violation of the buffer zone."

    Tan said, "Matsakis is a person who lost his immunity at the EP after a vote on September 27th, 2005 on charges of bribing the police and historical artifact smuggling. It is not surprising to see that this person, who has been used to committing heinous crimes, is trying to make his name be heard by again an illegal act."

    `TRNC´ authorities were making necessary warnings to UN officials, added Tan.

    On the other hand, `TRNC´ (self-styled) President Mehmet Ali Talat, speaking on the same matter, said, "this is a shame which cannot be seen anywhere in the world."

    [03] "Celebration without Turkey in Cyprus"

    Under the above title Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (03.11.05) reports that the self-styled president in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus (OTRC), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, "has changed a protocol tradition which went on for thirty years".

    The paper writes that the tradition, which continues for 30 years now and according to which at the religious festivities the Turkish Cypriots so-called officials accept congratulations together with the military and political representatives of Turkey at the island, has been demolished. The Turkish "ambassador" in Cyprus, the Turkish occupation army commander and the so-called security forces commander of the OTCR, will not stand on the side to accept the congratulations, as they did during the time Rauf Denktas was self-styled president of the OTCR. They will pass in front of Talat shaking his hand like all the other persons who will come to congratulate him.

    The paper writes that in the announcement which was given to the papers by the self-styled presidency, it was stated that "President Mehmet Ali Talat and his wife Oya Talat will exchange Bayram greetings with the people". It was noted that the Turkish "ambassador" to occupied Lefkosia Aydan Karahan and the "commander" of the security forces" Hasan Memisoglu were not invited "to be present at the celebrations to stand next to Talat". However, they were invited to the celebrations.

    According to MILLIYET, it was stated that Rauf Denktas will not exchange greetings with Talat because of these developments.

    C/S

    [04] US and British officials met with the new chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Erdil Nami

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (03.11.05) reports that Michael Dixon, Economy and Trade Attache at the US Embassy in Cyprus and Mr David Reed, the 2nd Secretary at the British High Commission in Cyprus yesterday paid separate visits to the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of commerce (TCCC) in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus and met with the newly elected chairman Mr Erdil Nami.

    In a written statement issued by the TCCC, it is mentioned that during Dixon´s visit, the US official congratulated the new chairman and the members of the executive committee for their election to the board and wished them a successful term.

    Dixon further said that his country will continue to work until a solution is found to the problem. Mr Dixon also said that on 11 November the US Embassy with the TCCC´s cooperation will organize a conference on "copyrights in Cyprus" at the TCCC premises.

    In his turn Erdil Nami, thanked Mr Dixon for the invitation of Mr Mehmet Ali Talat to Washington and said that the USA could encourage certain countries to start direct flights to the occupied areas thus helping removal of the so-called isolations, which was very important to force the Greek Cypriot side to sit around the negotiation table. Mr Nami also repeated the known Turkish view that unless embargoes imposed on the occupied area´s ports and airports are removed Turkey will not open its ports to Cyprus registered ships and planes. He said that if Turkey opens its ports and airports to Cyprus registered ships and planes, the Greek Cypriots´ next demand will be withdrawal of Turkish troops.

    During David Reeds visit, Mr Erdil Nami, raised the Direct Rade regulation and the EU Financial Aid issues and expressed his views on these issues.

    (MY)

    [05] Soyer describes as provocative the statements of Ali Erel on issuing health certificate for Turkish tomatoes

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (03.11.05) reports that the self-styled Prime Minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer described as provocative the statements made recently by the former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Ali Erel, who accused the self-styled government of exerting pressure on him to issue a health certificate presenting tomatoes from Turkey as being produced in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Mr Soyer said yesterday on the issue: "It is absolutely not true and no minister of our government and no authority exerted pressure on the former chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Ali Erel. And I am saying it very clearly that this allegation is untrue. Why did Mr Erel not reveal this when he was at the administration (of the Chamber of Commerce)? I am calling on him to say this and at the same time to tell the community when this pressure was exerted, by whom, on what pretext and with what means. There is no such incident and doing this is extremely saddening."

    AFRIKA publishes also statements by the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), Mustafa Akinci, under the title "Akinci: The EU officials will put under observation the Chamber of Commerce".

    Mr Akinci said that this incident was something that should be seriously taken into consideration. He also noted that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) wants to control all the civilian organizations starting from the "football federation", the Chamber of Commerce, the trade unions and the associations.

    I/Ts.

    [06] Mr Bryza: "Rice and Talat share a common vision in Cyprus"

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (03.11.05) reported that a panel conference titled "Cyprus impasse: Prospects for a breakthrough" was held yesterday in Washinghton by the Institute of Turkish Studies and the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association in the USA.

    In his opening remarks, Mr Matthew Bryza, deputy Assistant Secretary of the US State Department, said that Talat's views on the Cyprus issue are on the same wavelength of American views and added: "Our aim is the unification of the island and the lifting of the isolation 'embargo' imposed on the Turkish Cypriots".

    Mr Bryza described the meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as "the first" and added that Rice and Talat share a common vision on the Cyprus issue.

    The self-styled Assembly Speaker, Ms Fatma Ekenoglu, in her opening speech at the panel, said that the Turkish Cypriots are ready for negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan. She also noted that the lifting of the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots "will strengthen the political will for a solution" and added that they expect a "more active stance" from the UN and they want the UN to launch a new initiative soon as possible.

    (DPs)

    [07] A TAYAD group came under attack while returning from a cemetery in Rize

    Istanbul NTV television (02/11/05) broadcast the following:

    "A TAYAD [The Association for Solidarity with the Families of Detained and Convicted] group came under attack from clubs and stones while returning from a cemetery in Rize where they paid their respects to two persons at their graves who had lost their lives in the hunger strike [of 2001] in protest of F-type prisons.

    The TAYAD group wanted to issue a press release in front of the Rize municipality. But the group could not complete its statement because of reaction from citizens. Ten TAYAD members then went to the cemetery at Dagbasi and paid their respects to the two persons who had lost their lives in F-type prison.

    The minibus carrying the TAYAD members back from the cemetery was halted by a group. The assailants attacked TAYAD minibus with stones and clubs. The stones broke the minibus' windows and those inside came under attack from clubs and stones.

    Police fired into the air to disperse the crowd. Having taken the assailants under control, the police helped the minibus to depart the area. Reportedly three TAYAD members who had been involved in the Trabzon incidents some months ago were also on the minibus.

    Rize Governor Enver Salihoglu said the incidents erupted when the 10-man TAYAD group tried to unfurl a poster. Salihoglu also said that the minibus carrying TAYAD members was moving out of the city boundaries under police protection."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] "EU priorities make AK Party government sweat"

    Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (02.11.05), under the above title, published the following commentary by Zeynep Gurcanli:

    "Ankara receives 1st information on critical EU progress report. EU Commission sets out priorities and asks Ankara to take steps over next few years 'Ensuring Turkish judiciary's independence,' 'protection of minorities' religious rights' and 'full implementation of zero-tolerance on torture' are items Ankara expects to be in short-term homework for membership process.

    But the Commission also includes full control of military by civilians, normalization of relations with Greek Cyprus and removal of obstacles to education in Kurdish in short term. New attitude creates great concern in Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government trying to contain rise of Turkish nationalism

    On the eve of the official release of the European Union Commission's progress report for Turkey, Ankara has been initially disappointed over three key issues.

    The progress report, set to be published next Wednesday, is interpreted as crucial by both Turkish officials and the international community as it will show both the EU's short and long-term expectations of Ankara as the first step is taken in screening.

    EU's short-term expectations appear to be of most interest to the ruling AK Party government, which has played a major role in Turkey's EU drive and harmonization reforms. So the initial information leaked from Brussels about the content of the report is creating great concern in government circles.

    Subtitle: Acceptable, non-acceptable expectations

    According to the first information leaked about the report, the EU Commission determined the time interval of "short-term" expectations as "two years". However, many of the points previously in the medium term are now jammed into short-term expectations. This section contains more than 100 items in Ankara's short-term homework.

    Ankara was already aware of some of this, so the AK Party government doesn't appear to be surprised to see that "ensuring independence of the Turkish judiciary," "protection of minorities' religious rights" and "full implementation of zero-tolerance to torture" are among the EU's short-term priorities. But three key issues, also included in this category, have created great disappointment in the AK Party government: "Full control of the military by civilians," "normalization of relations with Greek Cypriots" and "the removal of obstacles preventing education in 'other languages' including Kurdish."

    It's above all the items on education in Kurdish and the Cyprus problem that seem to be headaches for the AK Party government, which is trying to contain an increase in nationalism among the Turkish public.

    The concerns of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the balance sheet showing a loss for the AK Party, in terms of domestic politics due to the rise of attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), surfaced in his recent statements. Erdogan, in a speech last month to his party's parliamentary group, severely criticized the U.S. for permitting the PKK use of the northern part of Iraqi territory, neighbouring Turkey.

    It seems that the EU's expectations on Cyprus will be more problematic for the government to implement due to uneasiness within the AK Party. Some of its deputies have already announced that they will vote against approving the Ankara Protocol, which extends the Customs Union between Turkey and the EU to new members of the bloc, including Greek Cyprus. Having problems getting full support from its parliamentary group on even such a technical agreement about Cyprus, it appears that it will be impossible for the Erdogan government to take steps towards normalizing relations between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration in the EU's proposed time frame.

    The third issue, full civilian control over the military, moreover, seems to be equally problematic for the AK Party, due to a history of clashes of opinion between the military and members of this particular political party on the definition of secularism in Turkey.

    The AK Party's roots are in the Turkish Islamist movement, which the Turkish military have perceived as one of the greatest dangers to the current regime, and above all to the secular character of the republic. It seems very hard for the AK Party to take steps to implement EU standards on this issue, such as putting the chief of General Staff under the Defence Ministry in Turkey's protocol hierarchy. The General Staff is currently directly related to the Prime Ministry.

    With this information from Brussels, Ankara is still trying to influence EU countries to change its lists of priorities on the eve of the report's release. The only ammunition that Ankara has to influence the EU is its special conditions due to its geographical location, a factor which finds limited sympathy with Europeans."


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