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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-01-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.12/06 18.01.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Ali Babacan stresses Turkey's determination regarding its EU courseAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:
"EU is a process of no return for Turkey. We fulfill reforms to please the Turkish people, not the EU countries," said Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan on Tuesday.
Babacan informed MPs on annual working plans of the European Commission and Turkey's efforts during the negotiations with the EU.
Babacan said: "The European Commission pursues its 2006 working plan under titles of 'increasing prosperity', 'development of solidarity', 'increasing security' and 'EU's becoming a global actor'. These concepts are important for Turkey."
"Turkey will have important contribution to the stability and security of the EU. Turkey will bring a new strategical dimension to the EU. By accepting Turkey, the EU will be a global power," he added.
He noted that the government fulfilled the economic and political reforms in the last three years which all can be defined as a 'silent revolution'.
"Turkey has a better democracy when compared with the period before December 17th, 2004" he added.
Babacan said: "The screening process with the EU under 25 chapters will be completed in September 2006. After completion of their screening process, chapters are discussed with non-governmental organizations, and people are informed on these chapters."
He said: "We fulfilled 100 percent of political reforms. Everything is perfect. The reforms should be deepened and refined.
This will naturally take time. There were problems regarding implementation of the reforms and there will be problems in the future. Reforms follow-up committee examines all problems about implementation, and necessary measures are taken."
 Extract on the property issue from an interview given by Mehmet Ali Talat to AFRIKA newspaperTurkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (18.01.06) publishes an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, taken by Ozcan Ozcanhan
Following are Mr Talat's replies to questions on the property issue:
Question: Our esteemed President, I will have a lot of questions to you... I will try to get your views, assessments and thoughts regarding domestic and foreign issues and problems.
First of all there is the property issue. The Greek Cypriots give much important to this issue. In our side a law was prepared regarding, Compensation Law and Compensation Committee. But, it was expected that certain amendments were going to be introduced. Amendments that were going to be acceptable to the EU and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Were these amendments realized? It was said that experts arrived from Turkey for the amendments to the new law.
Answer: Of course, you are aware of the fact that the law has recently passed. Arrival of experts (from Turkey) is a total lie. This law is a new law that removes the old law from being in force. This Law was published and put into effect in December.
In order for this Law to be accepted by the ECHR, and not by the EU, as domestic remedies, certain steps should be taken.
Before all else, the ECHR pointed out certain issues as regards Myra Arestis case. This shows us the way, this directs us. The ECHR gave us three months to create a path for domestic remedies and another three months to see these remedies put into effect. It has also mentioned what could be considered as domestic remedies.
Not major, only minor, amendments could be introduced to this law. For example the section that prohibits the members of the Compensation Committee to engage in a second job.
Question: Now, let us refer to the Greek Cypriots┤ recourse to the ECHR, Loizidou, Arestis and others. Thousands of Greek Cypriots filed lawsuits, saying that they are unable to reach to their property...Aren't up to now the Turkish Cypriots who were expelled from their villages who lost their entire property, who were buried in mass-graves?
Why nobody opened a lawsuit at the ECHR? Why the government and the state does not extend moral and material assistance to this end? Recently, Arif has filed a lawsuit for his house in Episkopi, and some other Turkish Cypriots recourse to court for their property. In Tylliria properties belonging to the Turkish Cypriots are being sold with forged documents. What are you doing regarding these cases?`
Why help is not extended to the Turkish Cypriots while regarding the Orams case 200 thousand pounds Sterling has been paid as lawyers┤ fee? Why a counter attack against the Greek Cypriots is not started?
Answer: The state and the government could intervene up to a certain point. But it should extend help tot hose who file a lawsuit. At least my lawyers and the Human Rights Foundation are extending help. I am not aware of what has been paid or to be paid in Orams case. Filling a lawsuit in the courts in Cyprus is not very expensive, but opening a case in the ECHR is very expensive. And since at the end one will win the case, the expenses will be paid by the side that loses the case. For this reason cases could be opened, they should be opened".
 AFRIKA: "Talat: We are more legal than the Greek Cypriots"Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (18.01.06) publishes an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, who answered the questions of Mr Ozcan Ozcanhan on various issues.
Asked to comment on the information that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has established a fund in order to ensure financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat referred as well to the Financial Aid Regulation prepared by the EU for the Turkish Cypriot community and claimed that the Greek Cypriots do not want the Turkish Cypriots to take even a penny as financial aid. He said that the UNDP wanted to find a solution to the fact that the Turkish Cypriots cannot take financial aid from institutions such as the World Bank. "The situation has not been yet clarified, but you will see that soon this job will also be done", said Mr Talat adding that the Greek Cypriots have no say regarding the northern part of the island or regarding the Turkish Cypriots.
Mr Talat alleged that the government of the Republic of Cyprus cannot represent the Turkish Cypriots and claimed: "They are not more legal than we are. We are more legal than they are".
Mr Talat accused President Papadopoulos of not wanting to meet with him and of having the aim of solving the Cyprus problem through the assimilation of the Turkish Cypriots.
When he was reminded by Mr Ozcanhan that President Papadopoulos many times said that he wants a meeting under the auspices of the United Nations, Mr Talat alleged: "He does not want this as well. He says that because he knows that the UN Secretary - General will not undertake a new initiative without being sure. ...".
Asked to comment on the opinion that Turkey intents to "sell out" the Turkish Cypriots during its EU accession course and to hold them as hostages until its full accession, Mr Talat said that this is out of the question and cannot happen. He claimed that Turkey does not try to gain time and to use Cyprus as a trump card.
Mr Talat said that the British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Jack Straw will visit Cyprus on 24 January and that, as British officials informed him, Mr Straw will meet with him on the 25th of this month.
Responding to another question, Mr Talat said that both the mayor of Nicosia, Mr Michalakis Zambellas and the United Nations knew that the Turkish side would build a bridge in the Ledra Street area. He claimed that the UN did not oppose. "They only said stop it because tension is created", he added and accused the Greek Cypriots of not wanting to open the barricade. He expressed the opinion that opening the barricade with the bridge will not be a military advantage for the Turkish side, but on the contrary it will be a disadvantage.
Referring to the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Talat expressed the opinion that if the party of President Papadopoulos, that is DIKO, gets stronger, reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem will be more difficult.
 Dead chickens were found in Omorfita, in the occupied part of LefkosiaUnder the title "Panic from dead chickens in Lefkosia", Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (18/01/06), in its front leader page, reported that dead chickens were found yesterday afternoon on the side of a road in the area of Omorfita, in the occupied Lefkosia. The paper said the chickens were immediately handed over to the self-styled Veterinary Department for testing to determine if they were infected with a deadly strain of bird flu virus.
The self-styled Director of Health Department of Lefkosia Municipality, Mr Ozay Kalyoncu, said the culling of poultry in the area, which has begun since Monday, is continuing. Mr Kalyoncu said in one operation carried out yesterday, officials culled approximately 416 chickens and other birds.
 The Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots formed in the European Parliament held its first meetingTurkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (18/01/06), in a report filed by Sevgul Uludag from Strasburg, said the European Parliament announced yesterday in an official press conference held at the European Parliament building in Strasburg that the "Contact Group with Turkish Cypriots" has been formed.
The group, which is headed by Ms Francoise Grossetete of the European People's Party, is named "A Group for High-Level Contacts for relations with the Turkish Cypriot community in the north part of the island". The group will twice visit the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus during the months of March and June and discuss their relations with the Turkish Cypriots.
Among the aims of the group is the direct contact with political parties, media, civil organizations and local officials, as well as, to monitor progress on the implementation of the EU Financial Aid and the Green Line regulations which were approved by the EU for the Turkish Cypriots. Another aim of the group is to end the "economic isolation" of the "North Cyprus (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus)".
The group is composed of representatives from eight political groups represented in the European Parliament. One representative is the deputy of the German Green Party, Mr Cem Ozdemir, who is of Turkish descent. Another representative is Greek independent deputy George Karatzaferis. The deputy president of the group is Ms Mechtild Rothe from the Socialist Group.
Apart from visits to the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus, the group would also invite representatives from civil organisations from the illegal regime and other European institutions to Brussels and Strasbourg for contacts.
The sixth working-program of the group was announced yesterday at the press conference. The group would submit a report to the Conference of Presidents at the end of each visit.
Ms Francoise Grossetete, replying to questions at yesterday's news conference, inter alia, said:
"All the groups of the European Parliament are represented in the Contact Group. There are eight persons in the group. The composition and work of this group does not mean in any way the recognition of an authority in the North. We are bound by the decisions of the European Parliament regarding the Cyprus problem, as well as international law. There are elections on the island in May and we will not interfere in any way. For this reason, we have planned our visits to the island after this date. We will visit Cyprus in March and June. We will meet with leaders of the north part of the island in the buffer zone. I believe that we will be able to solve technical problems regarding our arrival. We will be able to solve among ourselves the problem regarding which side of the island we will visit."
 Izzet Izcan criticized Talat's chauvinistic statementUnder the title "The statements that were made are frightening and chauvinistic", Turkish Cypriot daily OZGUR DUSUNCE newspaper (18/01/06) reported that the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Mr Izzet Izcan, commenting yesterday on Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's statement "We are more legal than the Republic of Cyprus", said that this kind of chauvinistic statements do not help in efforts towards solving the Cyprus problem but rather perpetuate the division of the island.
 Per capita income of the Turkish Cypriots exceeded ten thousand dollarsTurkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (18.01.06) reports that Mr Dervis Kemal Deniz, self-styled Minister of Economy and Tourism of the "TRNC" (occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus), has said that the national per capita income in the occupied part of the Island has exceeded 10.000 U.S dollars.
Mr Deniz was speaking during a courtesy visit paid to him by the Turkish so-called Ambassador to Nicosia, Aydan Karahan, who was accompanied by newly appointed advisors to the "embassy".
Mr Deniz said that the credit agreement signed between the "TRNC" and Turkey in 2005 within the framework of the supplementary protocol is still continuing and that significant developments have been taking place in the field of the infrastructure.
He noted that the results of these efforts have been seen and that according to facts of the "State Planning Organization" the annual per capita income in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus exceeded the ten thousand dollars. He added, though, that the definite numbers on this issue will be announced after some months. Mr Deniz said that the important thing is the continuity of the economic development and closing the economic gap between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots by further increasing the above-mentioned number.
Mr Deniz noted that they needed the economic support from Turkey.
The paper writes that Mr Karahan visited also Mr Serdar Denktas, self-styled "Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs" of the "TRNC".
 KIBRIS: "Seven-day darkness"Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.01.06) reports that due to a serious damage in the "Teknecik" power station the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus will not have electricity for a week.
The paper writes that first a turbine broke down and afterwards damage occurred elsewhere. "Officials", however, said that they could not begin immediately to repair the damage, because the turbine had to get cold first.
 The Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the radar to be deployed at IskenderunAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.01.06) reported the following from Ankara: "The radar which will be deployed in Keseciktepe hamlet of Iskenderun town (in southern city of Hatay) is not related with the United States," said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan on Tuesday.
Regarding a news report in a newspaper, Tan said: "The radar will be operated by Turkish Air Forces Command for Turkey's security, and NATO's joint funds will finance the assembling of the radar."
"Assembling and correspondence procedures of the radar were completed but the radar has not been handed over to us yet. Thus, it is not active yet," added Tan.
"So there is no personnel at this facility. Security measures in this facility are the same as those in other military facilities," he noted".
 Turkish VATAN poll gives four parties more than the 10% thresholdAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.01.06), a recent poll conducted by Turkish Vatan newspaper indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost some of its support since the November 2002 elections but it is still the number one party in Turkey.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP would win just under 30 percent of the votes if there were elections today, down from 34.3 percent in the November 2002 general elections, the poll in Vatan newspaper demonstrated.
Four parties are seen clearing the 10 percent threshold to enter the next parliament, the poll displayed, making a coalition government a high possibility.
The parties that are expected to enter the next parliament are AKP with 29.9 percent, the center-left Republican People's Party (CHP) with 14.4 percent, the right-wing True Path Party (DYP) with 13.6 percent, and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) with 11.5 percent.
4,942 men and women participated in VATAN┤s poll in ten constituencies deemed to represent national voting patterns.
The next general elections are not scheduled until November 2007.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Poll findings change the political agenda in TurkeyEnglish language The New Anatolian newspaper (17.01.06) publishes the following analysis under the title: "Political agenda changes":
"Expected cabinet reshuffle is delayed, political agenda shifts to opinion polls predicting what sort of Parliament would emerge if there were early elections. Polls indicate 4 political parties win seats in Parliament if elections were held today.
Various polls report different findings but almost all predict drop in AKP votes. According to daily Aksam, AKP wins 27 percent of votes nationwide.
The Turkish political agenda, which was focused for a long time on an anticipated Cabinet reshuffle, now focuses on speculations on what type of a Parliament would emerge if there were early elections right away.
The focus on possible early elections stems from the government's delay to revise its much-debated Cabinet.
A Cabinet reshuffle was expected to take place on New Year's Eve, but despite the passage of three weeks, there's no move in that direction. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's objection to the new ministers is reportedly influencing the delay as much as the power struggles within the Justice and Development (AK) Party. Sources close to the government claim that the president objected to the appointments planned for the posts of justice and interior ministries. AK Party members say that the names nominated to take over the justice ministry from Cemil Cicek weren't approved by President Sezer.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is reportedly afraid that the power balance within the AK Party will be disturbed by the Cabinet reshuffle. The current Cabinet includes former Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) members, alongside ultra-nationalist figures such as Kursad Tuzmen. Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek and Labor Minister Murat Basesgioglu represent the center-right as they are former ministers from the ANAVATAN Party governments. Various orders of the political Islamist movement are also represented within the AK Party cabinet at present. Health Minister Recep Akdag, Education Minister Huseyin Celik and Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim are seen as the representatives of different political Islamist movements. Prime Minister Erdogan reportedly failed to create a new Cabinet that would guard such delicate balances.
However, the delay in the Cabinet reshuffle led to a change of the political agenda. Issues such as the government's failure to manage the bird flu crisis and the early release of international murderer Mehmet Ali Agca, which have dominated the headlines, were exhausted after a very short while.
The media initiated a new debate in politics partly because of the failure of the government to bring solutions to hotly contested issues, by publishing opinion polls on the elections, one after another. Daily VATAN announced that the results of an opinion poll of over 5,000 people will be published starting today. Daily AKSAM, wanted to lead the race and published the first opinion poll results yesterday. According to the poll, AK Party's votes dropped to 27 percent. The AK Party won 42 percent of the votes in the last local elections, and assumed power with 34 percent of the total votes. The poll, which is reportedly organized by a large company, indicates that at least four political parties will pass the 10 percent national threshold in the elections and win seats in Parliament. According to the poll, the Republican People's Party (CHP) will get 16.5 percent of the votes -- lower that it got in the last elections, while True Path Party (DYP) received 15 percent and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) 11 percent.
In the poll put out by daily VATAN, respondents were asked whether the AK Party will assume power as a single party again after the next elections, the CHP will assume power, the ANAVATAN is exhausted or not, and whether the votes of nationalists will be won by the MHP.
Meanwhile, daily HURRIYET, which didn't publish any political news on its front page for about a month, changed its attitude and published an interview with Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu on the front page. Aksu was criticized for his son Murat Aksu's commercial dealings and being a mafia attorney. Murat Aksu was most recently said to be involved with the removal of Police Chief Hanefi Avci, who was running a probe about corruption in energy sector, from his office. HURRIYET was said to be expressing its implicit support of Aksu through publishing the interview on the front page.
The focus on early elections may prompt an intervention of Prime Minister Erdogan, who may fear that the debate will wear the AK Party out. Erdogan may go ahead with Cabinet reshuffle plans if the polls published begin to reveal that the AK Party lost a significant portion of its votes".
 Columnist in Turkish Daily News analyses the reasons behind the US policy on IranEnglish language Turkish Daily News newspaper (17.01.06) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: "Can failure in Iraq set an example for Iran?":
"The U.S. failure to bring peace and stability in Iraq is a fact known to all. The incompetent leaders of the United States, the neocons -- who are obviously incapable of making any sound decisions -- the U.S. soldiers -- new recruits who joined the army due to their failure to make anything of themselves in civilian life and who went to Iraq to earn money, some with psychological problems -- are all producing the exact opposite results of what they intend.
Iraq is breaking up, and it is very likely that the Shiite majority, which is under Iran's hegemony, will increase its influence. Kurds are gradually moving towards an independent state.
It is a fact that the chaos the United States faces in Iraq is just what Iran wants. However, it is also very na´ve to believe that the problems the United States faces in Iraq will force it to alter its policies towards Iran. Maybe the U.S. failures in Iraq are delaying the Iran operation.
I am still sure that U.S. President George W. Bush will end the "Iran issue" one way or another before the end of his second term. I believe some people confuse the shortcomings of the Bush administration with the general needs of the United States. If the United States does not reach its objectives for the 21st century during the Bush term, don't think another president will ignore them.
So what is the big plan? This plan is a negative, not a positive, one. It is not some plan to reach a definitive target. It is one to prevent others from reaching an objective.
The United States became the empire of the world, the strongest country in the 20th century. Now it is trying to prevent others from taking over, creating obstacles to processes that may lead to this.
The plan is to ensure that the United States remains the empire of the world in the 21st century. So what are the factors that endanger the United States' continued leadership?
1-- Energy imports account for 55 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. If the United States is to remain "big," this needs to increase to 70 percent by 2025. In other words, the United States needs to increase its energy imports by 28 percent by 2025.
2-- If this fails to happen, as all scientific analysis indicates, China, and maybe India, will definitely surpass the U.S. in size between 2025 and 2030.
3-- The economy of China plus India will be bigger than the United States and the EU combined by 2025. China and India are preparing for a huge "strategic partnership."
4-- Chinese demand for energy is growing at the fastest pace in the world. Russia is increasing its energy supply at a huge rate. These two factors are beyond U.S. influence.
5-- The euro has become the other global currency. If oil starts being sold in euros, there will be no difference between the United States and, for example, Turkey.
It is contrary to the rules of the game for the United States to tolerate regimes in the Middle East, where 64 percent of the world's oil is located, that don't tow its line.
This fact will not change, no matter which president rules the United States, until such time when another country beats it militarily".