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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-19

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.115/06 17-18-19.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan speaks tough regarding Turkey´s EU obligations.
  • [02] Gul leaves for Kazakhstan. Statements from Almaty and before his departure from Ankara.
  • [03] Kazakh oil through Ceyhan.
  • [04] Mr Talat calls President Papadopoulos crazy and comical.
  • [05] Turkish paper: Who will foot the billions of dollars bill?.
  • [06] The spokesman of the U.S. State Department explains how the U.S is helping Turkeys EU course.
  • [07] The Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the EU declaration regarding the Additional Protocol.
  • [08] Gary Robb confessed that the self-styled government helped him to return to the TRNC.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Turkey aspires to become a global energy player through energy diplomacy.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan speaks tough regarding Turkey´s EU obligations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.06) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Friday speaking at a meeting of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, said: "We have very openly indicated to the actual 25 members of the EU that they should not expect anything from Turkey on the additional protocol, airports and ports unless the isolation of the `TRNC´ ends. Turkey has done whatever it should do as a guarantor state.

    You wanted support from us for the Annan plan. Northern Cyprus voted 'yes' to the plan and Southern Cyprus voted 'no'. You have awarded the South which voted 'no' to the Annan plan and punished the one who voted 'yes'.

    We did what we had to do (in supporting the U.N. plan)... We will show ourselves positive to those who are positive towards us.

    The issue of additional protocol is the same thing. If the (EU) negotiations halt, then let them halt."

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.06) reported from Istanbul that delivering a speech in a regular meeting of the Justice and Development Party in Istanbul on Saturday, Erdogan said: "We don't take into consideration statements of the opposition parties. We only take into consideration the Turkish nation. We will never do anything that will dissatisfy the Turkish people. The Turkish Cypriot `administration´ has taken the steps that had to be taken in Cyprus. We have taken necessary steps. In the following process, we can take any positive step provided that there is a positive step (from the other side). But as long as we do not see a positive step, our interlocutors should never expect a positive step from us."

    Erdogan noted: "We have always kept our promises. There are some people who do not keep their promises. They should fulfill their promises first. As long as they do not keep their promise, nobody should expect anything new from us. We will maintain our current attitude. We will stand firm, but we will not be stubborn. This is our criteria and understanding.'

    [02] Gul leaves for Kazakhstan. Statements from Almaty and before his departure from Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.06) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Friday replied to the questions of reporters prior to his departure for Almaty to attend the Conference on the Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

    Gul said on June 19th he would attend the 33rd meeting of foreign ministers of OIC in Azerbaijan.

    "Draft resolutions which member countries earlier submitted are expected to be approved at the meeting," Gul said noting that Turkey has two draft resolutions; one on the situation in Cyprus and the other is about the situation of the Western Thrace Muslim Turkish minority.

    "Yemen will take over the rotating presidency of OIC foreign ministers conference in the Baku meeting. Turkey is ready to expend every kind of support to the steps which Azerbaijan will take on the issue," he noted.

    Replying to a question, Gul said that he would start his talks in the United States on July 5th, noting that he hoped that U.S. authorities and he would release a Strategic Vision Document during his visit to that country.

    Gul said the trip could be seen as preparation for a visit to Washington D.C. by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Gul stressed that there was no problem regarding preparation of Strategic Vision Document with the U.S. executives, noting that the two parties were working jointly on this matter.

    When he was reminded that technical committees within the scope of the UN have not started their studies in Cyprus, Gul said: "We hope that these technical committees should start their studies without precondition."

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.06) reported from Almaty that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has indicated that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest statement on the negotiations between Turkey and the EU was nothing new. Following the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Gul replied to questions.

    Yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan stated: "Turkey will not open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot administration, unless isolations on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are lifted. If it (EU) suspends negotiations for this reason, then let them be suspended."

    When reminded of PM Erdogan's statement, Gul said that there was nothing new regarding Turkey or EU, and that the EU knew Turkey's views well.

    Gul said that there was not any crisis, stating that there were platforms in Customs Union and EU regarding solutions of some problems.

    Gul stressed that Turkey was disturbed by the situation that the EU issue (the country's EU accession process) was being limited to the Cyprus issue, adding that it was not fair.

    Replying to a question, Gul said that Turkey had many things to do on its path to the EU accession.

    Gul said that he held meetings with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyzstan President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin and some other officials during the CICA summit.

    Replying to a question, Gul said that he hoped that other Turkish republics would also be included in the cooperation among Turkey, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

    Gul said that CICA's permanent secretariat in Kazakhstan was established within the scope of the summit.

    He added that studies were under way for Kazakh natural gas to be connected to Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline.

    On the other hand, Foreign Minister Gul will proceed to Azerbaijan tomorrow to attend the 33rd meeting of foreign ministers of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

    [03] Kazakh oil through Ceyhan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.06) reported from Almaty that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on Friday received Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Gul said Nazarbayev and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an agreement to link Kazakh oil to Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, emphasizing that this was a historic step.

    Gul said the construction of a refinery in Samsun or in Ceyhan to process Kazakh oil was brought to the agenda at the meeting.

    Gul said Nazarbayev was also invited to the formal opening ceremony of BTC.

    Turkish Foreign Minister stated that Kazakhstan became the "shining star" of Asia, noting that Turkey was proud of this.

    [04] Mr Talat calls President Papadopoulos crazy and comical

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (17.06.06) publishes statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Mr Talat was answering questions on Thursday evening from journalist Mete Tumerkan, on the program Akis ["Echo"] broadcast on illegal Bayrak Television (BRT).

    He said: Mr Papadopoulos, who is seeking a "solution via osmosis" on Cyprus, will not be able to succeed in this. The European Union will not shelter such fanaticism in its midst. The policy pursued by the Greek Cypriot side will soon go bankrupt.

    Declaring that in order for Annan to be able to be confident of a solution, the EU as well would have to go into action, and would have to direct its member, the Greek Cypriot side, toward a solution in a serious way, Talat said: "There is no other way. It will do this. I also said it to the German Foreign Minister, that the only way is to do away with the isolation."

    Stating that the technical committees would aim at resolving day-to-day and burning issues, Mr Talat indicated that for the committees to start work it would also be helpful in the initiation of efforts aimed at a comprehensive solution.

    Stating that he favored the technical committees beginning work immediately, without preconditions, Talat noted that the technical committees should be established and begin work immediately, without preconditions, before UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari comes to the island.

    Asserting that he is calling for free trade by taking the Direct Trade Regulation, which clearly will not bring much in its current state, a step further, Talat emphasized that occupied Cyprus as well must enter into the European Common Market.

    Talat said: "We have now gone beyond the Direct Trade Regulation. The Direct Trade Regulation is not going to bring us all that much; instead, we want free trade."

    "We want goods coming from other countries, by being treated as if they had entered the EU market, to be able to go to Southern Cyprus within the framework of the Green Line Regulation, and from there to Europe, or else directly from here to Europe, upon condition that the EU common customs rates and EU import norms apply. In short, the north of Cyprus has to enter into the EU customs union, the common market."

    Subtitle: Papadopoulos "Crazy" and "Comical"

    Alleging that President Papadopoulos will be unable to continue his current policies, which he termed "crazy" [Turkish cilginca] and "comical" [komik], Mr Talat said: "If Papadopoulos had the strength to do so, he would send tanks against us. Papadopoulos's goal is not to allow the Turkish Cypriots to breathe. The world must no longer tolerate this policy, and must put a stop to it. And it should do so by lifting the various forms of isolation applied against the Turks of Cyprus."

    Reminded that Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos has asked to discuss the Cyprus issue not with himself, but with Turkey, Talat said: "Look what he's done. This is impossible. He is not going to be able to talk with Ankara about anything in terms of Cyprus."

    Pointing to the reports that Cyprus is going to launch an initiative to be included within the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mr Talat asked: "How can Papadopoulos, who was elected without a vote from a single Turk or Muslim, and [in a country] where priests have the second rank in terms of protocol, dare to work for this?"

    Noting that the Turks of Cyprus believe they should govern themselves, Mr Talat continued as follows:

    "A unified Cyprus under a federal roof is definitely going to be established. It has to be that way. This is our goal. This is the future of Cyprus. This is not just my goal. The resolutions of the UN Security Council also point to this. I have that same approach. But will this approach change me? Will I change? I will not change, but if the conditions of the day compel me to, and bring us to the point where we have to, then I will evaluate things under the conditions prevailing at the time. But you could someday see that the Turkish people of Cyprus, in order for the separation to become final, will say 'This is enough', and strike out on their own path. They cannot wait forever for Papadopoulos. The people may change things."

    Mr Talat continued as follows:

    "I am not claiming that I would work with the government within the framework of this vision even if the government should change in Turkey. I will not pursue a policy without principles. This is my policy. If I should be forced to change this policy, at the moment my limits in terms of flexibility were exceeded, I would count myself out."

    Finally, Mr Talat provided information on his visit to Germany, and stated that a talk with British Prime Minister Tony Blair retains its place on his agenda.

    [05] Turkish paper: Who will foot the billions of dollars bill?

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (19.06.06) in a report by its occupied Lefkosia correspondent Ömer Bilge , writes that the six month period given to Turkey by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for using the domestic remedies as regards the lawsuits on Greek Cypriot properties will end on 22 June and the time will come to pay compensation to the Greek Cypriots. The papers correspondent reports that the Property Compensation Commission soon has to start to take decisions which will amount to billions of US dollars. Mr. Bilge reports that there are 1300 lawsuits filed in the ECHR waiting decision and once these applications are put into processing there will be a huge bill to be paid, and the extra property tax to be introduced in the occupied area will not be enough to foot the bill. Then it is Turkey that will pay this compensation.

    He reports that the so-called Compensation Commission soon should pass decisions on five applications filled by the Greek Cypriots including the Arestis case and inform the ECHR accordingly. Some of the property belonging to the Greek Cypriots will be bought, but if one considers that 80% of the land prior to 1974 belonged to the Greek Cypriots, then one could calculate the amount of the compensation to be paid to the Greek Cypriots reaching to billions of US dollars. And to the question who will foot the bill, the TRNC administration replies by saying that part of it will be paid by property tax to be collected in the TRNC and the rest by Turkey, Ömer Bilge concluded.

    (MHY)

    [06] The spokesman of the U.S. State Department explains how the U.S is helping Turkeys EU course

    Illegal BAYRAK television (17.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The Spokesman for the US State Department Sean McCormack said that Washington has called on the Greek Cypriot Administration and several other European Union countries to be as constructive as possible during important turning points in Turkeys EU accession process.

    Speaking at his daily press briefing, McCormack said that the US State Department Undersecretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Dan Fried had sent a letter to the `Greek Cypriot Administration´ criticizing it for its stance adopted against Turkeys accession to the EU.

    Answering a question on whether or not there has been a change in the United States policy on Cyprus, Mr McCormack said that Washington supported the idea that Turkey and the European Union should have the final say in the decisions involving their relations.

    He said that Washington was only trying to encourage the EU member states to be more flexible, understanding and compromising towards Turkey.

    Our contacts are only carried out within this context he added.

    [07] The Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the EU declaration regarding the Additional Protocol

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.06.06) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Namik Tan has said that the European Unions declaration on the obligatory implementation of the Additional Protocol among its new members was a one-sided benefit.

    Evaluating the declaration which was included in the Customs Union Protocol under the chapter on enlargement, Mr Tan stated that Turkey has an opposing declaration to this.

    He said that Turkeys counter declaration on the implementation of the Additional Protocol among the 10 new members included the disposition for a UN-based comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot obstacles to be faced at every EU Summit and Council meeting does not mean that Turkey will accept concessions on the new declaration Mr Tan said the Cyprus issue should not be pledged within this aspect.

    [08] Gary Robb confessed that the self-styled government helped him to return to the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (18.06.06), in its front page, under the title Important revelations from Gary Robb, reported that Gary Robb, who appeared in a programme yesterday morning on private television Genc TV, said that those who helped him to return to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus were the self-styled Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Serdar Denktas, his adviser, Mr Kudret Akay and the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer. He also thanked them publicly.

    Moreover Mr Robb, who appeared in the programme with his lawyer Mert Guclu, said that when he was trying to transfer funds from his bank account in the TRNC (breakaway regime of the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) to his account in Bangkok, the self-styled coalition government of CTP-DP (Republican Turkish Party-Democratic Party) made enormous efforts so the amount of 1.5 million sterling, which was confiscated by the British government at the time of transfer, not be considered as laundered money.

    Mr Robb also added that the self-styled government continues its initiatives so that the amount of 1 million sterling, which has been frozen by the illegal regime and is deposited in the HSBC Bank in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, is unblocked.

    (D/Ps)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Turkey aspires to become a global energy player through energy diplomacy

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (17-18.06.06) published an interview with Minister of Energy Hilmi Guler by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Guler: We will become a center for energy":

    Minister of Energy Hilmi Guler spoke excitedly as he went from one map to another: "Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [BTC] was Turkey's prestige project. They said that it cannot be completed and that it cannot work. It is now complete and operational. We did not have to hold the oil coming from Georgia even for a day. We loaded the first tanker on time and we shipped it forward. We will open the Haydar Aliyev Terminal in Ceyhan with a huge ceremony on 13 July."

    Guler does not see the opening of the Aliyev Terminal as just an inauguration ceremony. So how does he see it? Guler explained:

    "With the activation of the BTC project and the opening of the Aliyev Terminal Turkey is acquiring the potential to join the world's energy players. Energy is becoming one of the principal factors of Turkey's foreign policy. The Ministry of Energy is assuming a role in energy diplomacy. Turkey is now in a position to show its energy cards."

    It was probably no coincidence that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul started out on a trip to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for talks mainly on energy and security issues on the same day that the minister of energy spoke about "energy as a foreign policy factor." So what is included in Turkey's energy cards related to Ceyhan? Guler could disclose the following "for now":

    "I think we have now been able to convince everyone that, in the long run, the use of the Turkish Straits for the transportation of oil is not sensible from an environmental standpoint or dependable from a shipping standpoint. Tankers larger than 120,000 tons in size cannot sail through the Straits because of the physical limitations of these waterways. In winter tankers may have to wait for as long as 28 days because of bad weather conditions. This is problematic from environmental as well as supply standpoints. In contrast 350,000-ton tankers can dock at Ceyhan every day."

    "This is why the Russians have begun to view Ceyhan with a new perspective. I had a meeting with Russian Minister of Energy Viktor Khristenko last month. Subsequent to that Mr Gul handed Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov a file. We demonstrated to the Russians that a Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline is feasible--in other words that it is a profitable and workable project. Now we are waiting for their response. Italy's Eni Group is most supportive of this project. It is not just the Russians; Total of France, the British-Dutch Shell, Chevron of the United States, as well as Japanese investors are interested in the project."

    "We can complete the Samsun-Ceyhan project in two years. Turkey gained experience in construction technology as well as environmental awareness as a result of the BTC project. During the construction of that project pipelines were laid through 300 river beds and 2,800-meter-high mountains. We will use that experience in the Samsun-Ceyhan project."

    "Ceyhan is turning into an energy center. We have an opportunity to operate three oil and three natural gas outlets from there. One of these, the BTC, has been completed. Another one, the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline, has been operating flawlessly for the past few days. Samsun-Ceyhan will add to these. An agreement in principle has also been reached on pumping Kazakh oil into the BTC pipeline. Our ministry has been engaged in energy diplomacy for nearly a year. Talks on details are in their final phase."

    "We are working on three natural gas projects that will use Ceyhan as their outlet terminal. Talks are already under way on building a natural gas pipeline alongside the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik oil pipeline. The second project is a new natural gas pipeline that the Russians want to build under the Black Sea to parallel the Blue Stream pipeline. The third project is related to Egyptian natural gas. We plan to complete the segment of that pipeline extending from Kilis to Ceyhan by the end of this year."

    "For now we do not plan to link Ceyhan to the Nabucco project that will deliver Caspian natural gas from the Shahdeniz field to Europe. With this project that has its terminus in Vienna the EU is taking a strategic step to increase its natural gas sources from three to four. The project adds Azeri and possibly other Caspian resources to natural gas supplies from Russia, Algeria, and Norway. In addition, natural gas will be delivered to southern Europe via Karacabey and Thrace, through Greece via a pipeline under the Maritsa River, and from there to Otranto, Italy, via pipeline under the Adriatic Sea. Over the long run natural gas will be much more important than oil."

    "These projects will also raise the possibility of other investments in Ceyhan." (Guler refused to confirm this, but it is well known that energy experts are working together with other ministries and state agencies on projects such as oil refineries, liquefied natural gas storage facilities, resupply and maintenance centers for supertankers, and the construction of shipyards.)

    "If you draw a line between Samsun and Ceyhan on the map and you extend that line to the north and south, you will see that 70 percent of the world's oil and natural gas resources lie to the east of that line. Turkey is already an energy corridor between producer countries and regions and the consumer countries. We are planning to use this location in the most appropriate manner for our national interests. Part of this plan is to go beyond being a transit country and to become also a terminus country. We are also adding a north-south corridor to the existing east-west corridor. Our work on pipeline projects targeting Israel and Japan-India via the Mediterranean are within this framework. As we do these we try not to step on US and Russian feet and we try to act with their support. We are essentially playing on a chess board with four players."

    /SK


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