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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-05-16
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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.92/06 16.05.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The British High Commission in Cyprus confirms Northumbria police spokesmans statement on Gary RobbTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (16.05.06) reports that the British High Commission has issued a statement noting that the British Embassy in Bangkok had absolutely no contact with the director of AGA Development company, Gary Robb during the period when the latter was under custody in Thailand and that the Embassy had no interference in Mr Robbs release.
The High Commission confirmed the statement by the Northumbria police spokesman, who responding to a question of a Turkish Cypriot newspaper said last week that an international arrest warrant was issued against Mr Robb after he disappeared during a case at a British court in which he was accused of being involved in drag trafficking.
Meanwhile, under the title He is lying! Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (16.05.06) reports that Mr Robb commented on the above-mentioned statement and accused the British High Commissioner to Nicosia of lying. Mr Robb alleged that there is no international arrest warrant against him. He added that he visited the British High Commission to Nicosia in 2001 in order to renew his passport and that had there was an arrest warrant against him, they would not renew it.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (16.05.06) reports that the chairman of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) Mustafa Akinci put yesterday the Robb issue at the self-styled assembly of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus) and asked whether or not the citizenship of the TRNC has been returned to Mr Robb. Responding to Mr Akinci, Mr Serdar Denktas, self-styled Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that a wide investigation is being conducted on the issue and that the constructions of Mr Robbs company will be completed under the control of the state.
VOLKAN calls on Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled Prime Minister, to resign because the British High Commission has declared his statement on Gary Robb issue to be false.
 KIBRIS: The number of Greek Cypriots who applied to the Immovable Property Commission reached to eightTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (16.05.06) reports under above title and says that the Immovable Property Commission established to look into the property issue in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus, is working at an increased pace . The Commission created under the Article 159 of the so-called Constitution of the self-styled TRNC in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus is aimed at being domestic remedies as regards the Greek Cypriot property claims.
The paper reports that the Commission has started receiving applications of Greek Cypriots who either demand return of their property or payment of compensation for the property they were forced to abandon during the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the island.
The paper adds that eight applications were put into processing. The Greek Cypriots demand return of their property or compensation for their property in Kyrenia, Famagusta and Morphou.
KIBRIS writes that according to the so-called bye-laws of the Commission, it should reply to the person who made the application within 21 days.
The paper adds that the Commission meets regularly every week under its chairman, Sumer Erkmen. The foreign members of the Commission, reports the paper, attend the meetings from time to time. The foreign members of the Commission are: Hans Christian Kruger and Daniel Tarschys.
In case the commission decides to pay compensation to the owner, reports the paper, the state will pay the compensation to the Greek Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot will have no claims whatsoever later on.
 Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer met with young Turkish diplomatsIllegal Bayrak television (15.05.06) broadcast that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the solidarity and cooperation between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey over the Cyprus problem will be maintained and improved further.
Mr Soyer was speaking this morning, during a visit paid to him by young members of the diplomatic corps at the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara.
Touching upon the Cyprus problem, Mr Soyer said the Cyprus problem required cooperation and solidarity with Turkey for both of which a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem is an objective.
Seeking a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the political equality of the two sides on the island; continued status for Turkey as a guarantor power and the related rights; and helping promote Turkeys progress towards integration with the European Union are the objective of this cooperation, he said.
Mr Soyer said that the TRNC and Turkeys rights and interests are in the direction of progress towards EU integration, and for the Turkish Cypriots to take its honourable place within the European Union as an equal partner to a solution to the Cyprus problem.
(Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops)
 Fatma Ekenoglu, speaker of the self-styled Assembly of the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus, accuses Cyprus Government over Cyprus problemIllegal Bayrak television (15.05.06) broadcast that the self-styled Speaker of the Assembly Fatma Ekenoglu has accused the Cyprus Government of trying to take the Cyprus problem out of the United Nations framework.
Mrs Ekenoglu said President Tassos Papadopoulos is trying to pull the Cyprus problem into the European Union.
Speaking during a visit paid to her yesterday, Mrs Ekenoglu said the latest remarks by President Tassos Papadopoulos are in conflict with the relevant UN resolution on the Cyprus problem.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of continuing to create hurdles in the way of a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem, she said the Cyprus Government´s negative attitude is also having a negative effect on the functioning of the Technical Committees that would have worked on day to day humanitarian issues between the two sides.
She said the struggle to secure the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would continue.
Earlier, Mr Talat sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to express the Turkish Cypriot Sides disappointment over remarks by President Papadopoulos that he does not favour a bi-zonal, bi-communal solution to the Cyprus problem.
 The Turkish Cypriot leader left to Istanbul for contactsIllegal Bayrak television (15.05.06) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, left for Istanbul this morning. He will hold talks with various establishments and assess the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat will round up his talks in Istanbul and return to occupied Cyprus tomorrow evening.
 Turkish opposition leader Deniz Baykal favours early electionsThe New Anatolian newspaper (15.05.06) reported from Ankara that after suggesting that Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener should run for president, main opposition leader Deniz Baykal made a call for early elections over the weekend, saying the president should be elected by a new Parliament.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Mr Baykal said yesterday that the President's Office isn't a place to battle with constitutional principles. He said that a president should be able to work in harmony with constitutional principles and that people who have beliefs which contradict the Constitution shouldn't be elected to the post.
Mr Baykal also called on the government to hold early elections and said that the president should be elected by a new Parliament.
A call from the CHP leader last week for Deputy Prime Minister Mr Sener to run for president sparked speculation that he isn't seeking early elections but that he may be willing to compromise with the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on the debate surrounding the presidential elections, scheduled for next spring before the general elections.
"General elections are held at four-year intervals in many countries. The president should be elected by a new Parliament because the election of the president by a Parliament that is four-and-a-half years old is inappropriate," said Mr Baykal.
The CHP leader also added that holding elections at four-year intervals is a custom in Turkish politics.
 Turkey´s Central Bank announced the suspension of foreign currency purchaseAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.05.06) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Central Bank said on Monday that it has suspended foreign exchange buying auctions.
Releasing a statement, the Central Bank said: ''Linked to a reduction in foreign currency supply, which stemmed from global liquidity conditions, there has been a reduction in the depth of the foreign currency market and fluctuations in rates. Therefore from May 16 onwards, foreign currency buying auctions have been suspended.''
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Turkey and the US are getting closer on the Iran issueIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (15.05.06) publishes the following commentary
by Yasemin Congar under the title : "We are getting closer to the United States regarding Iran":
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had a telephone discussion last Thursday with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. According to US officials, the topic of the discussion, which was "short" but "reflected a strong understanding and cooperation", was Iran.
A top-level US diplomat, relating the telephone conversation, said that "We are seeing that Turkey is together with us on the issue of Iran. There is every reason for us to believe that Ankara is conveying the proper messages to Tehran."
These words reflect the way in which the Ankara visit of Iranian Supreme National Security Council General Secretary Ali Larijani, and the meeting between Iranian leader Mahmud Ahmadinezhad and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are being assessed in Washington.
Subtitle: Shared interests
And there is more: There is a side of the coin in the Iran issue that is not very well understood by the Turkish public, and that is that Ankara has convinced Washington that it "does not want an Iran that possesses nuclear weapons."
US officials are certain that an Iran with nuclear weapons, by upsetting the regional balances of power, would force Turkey as well to acquire nuclear weapons, as well as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. What they have been hearing from Ankara is this: "We are going to move into nuclear energy, but we do not want to have to invest in nuclear weapons."
Consequently, prevention of Iran's acquiring nuclear arms has created a "commonality of interests" between Ankara and Washington that did not prevail earlier, for instance, with regard to the goals of overturning Saddam Husayn or isolating the [Bashar] Al-Asad regime.
US officials are unhappy that this has not been fully comprehended by the Turkish public, and by the fact that the Turkish people, their media, and even an important part of their political establishment have been unable to look beyond the fixation that "The United States is going to strike Iran, and is going to ask for help from us." They are hoping that statements will come from the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] leaders, and from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Armed Forces, that stress in a clear way the commonality of interest in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms.
Subtitle: Role of dialogue
This newly taking shape Turkish-American harmony on the Iran issue is not limited just to the mutual acknowledgement of shared interests.
One high-level US official, in comparing the Ankara/Tehran contacts with the dialogue between Ankara and Damascus in 2004 and 2005, says that "The closeness to the Syrian regime at that time, and the going back and forth, were problematic for us", but indicates that the same problems do not arise from the most recent contacts between Turkey and Iran.
It can be said that Washington considers it "useful" for Iran to have heard, from Turkey, the warning that "You are making a mistake. If you do not move quickly toward transparency and cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency, this affair will end badly."
Naturally, this does not mean that Washington would be pleased at this stage at an approach with Tehran apart from this message, or at any contacts or visits of a type that, instead of forcing the Iranian regime into cooperation with the international community, would encourage it along its own path.
Subtitle: Pressure for negotiations
While the messages that Turkey has conveyed to Iran have been congruent with the United States' expectations, they also help to allow Washington to say "We have communications with Iran."
According to one official, who pointed out that they do not want Turkey to seek to serve as a "mediator" between the international community and Iran, "This does not mean that we have no indirect communications with Iran. After all, an ally like Turkey is already talking with Iran, so why should it not please us to have joint messages be conveyed in this dialogue."
These words are particularly important during a period in which those pushing the Bush administration toward negotiations with Iran are increasing.
One top-level US diplomat, to whom I noted the gradual increase in the number and influence of those calling upon Washington for "direct engagement with Tehran", gave me a striking response in terms of the "open door" implied between the lines:
"There does have to be this sort of engagement, but we will see whether or not this will be direct dialogue. Let us first see what results come out of Zal's (referring to US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad) speaking with the Iranians."
Subtitle: Speaking of the "willing"
And finally, a warning: The conclusion that the Iran issue will not constitute a problem between Turkey and the United States should not be drawn, for at least two reasons.
For one thing, the Bush administration continues to keep the military option against Iran "within the realm of possibility". Secondly, should the rifts in the UN Security Council combine with Iran's stubbornness, this could lead Washington to seek a "coalition of the willing" against the Tehran regime. US officials are saying that "Then, naturally, we will try to bring Turkey as well, just like the EU and our other friends, into this coalition."
And these two possibilities, which worry Ankara, will put great pressure on the Turkish-American cooperation.