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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-29

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.123/06 29.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

No.123/06 29.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

[01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the parties represented in the Assembly. Cyprus problem top on the agenda.

[02] The Turkish Foreign Minister comments on the Cyprus problem from Moscow.

[03] The Turkish Prime Minister comments the Cyprus problem and Turkey´s reform process from Strasbourg.

[04] The Turkish Prime Minister briefs the President of the ECHR on the so-called Property Commission.

[05] Erdogan meets in Strasbourg with Turkish Cypriot political leaders.

[06] Turkish political parties MHP and CHP reject the alliance offer by Rahsan Ecevit.

[07] Nabucco gaz pipeline to bypass Russia. Statements by Hilmi Guler.


[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

[08] Columnist in MILLIYET: The ports are closed, the crisis is open.


[A] NEWS ITEMS

[01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with the parties represented in the Assembly. Cyprus problem top on the agenda

Illegal Bayrak television (28.06.06) broadcast the following:

President Mehmet Ali Talat met today with leaders and representatives of political parties with seats in the Republics Assembly.

The Cyprus problem was top on the agenda of the meeting at the Presidential Palace.

Several other topics including next weeks visit to Cyprus by the UN Secretary- Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari - were also taken up during the meeting which lasted nearly one-and-a-half hours.

The meeting was attended by the Leader of the Republican Turkish Party Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer the Partys General Secretary Omer Kalyoncu, Democrat Party Leader Foreign Minister Serdar Denktash and the Partys General Secretary Ertugrul Hasipoglu, General Secretary of the main opposition National Unity Party Turgay Avci and Assistant-General Secretary Enver Ozturk, Peace and Democracy Movement General Secretary Mehmet Cakici and partys Lefkosia District Officer Ozgun Kutalmis.

Todays meeting was described as `very useful` by political party leaders who told reporters that President Talats next weeks separate meetings with the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos and the United Nations Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs- Ibrahim Gambari were on top of their discussions.

Its been also announced that another similar meeting will take place between the President and 4 parties on the 4th of July a day after the planned meeting between President Talat and the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Tassos Papadopoulos.

The first statement about the meeting came from the Democrat Party Leader - Foreign Minister- Serdar Denktas who said he was pleased to see that there wasnt much difference between his partys position and the Presidents views on the issues discussed.

For his part, the Peace and Democracy Movement General Secretary Mehmet Cakici underlined the need to find a solution to the Cyprus problem as Turkeys EU membership process continues.

Mr Cakici expressed the view that besides working for the lifting of the international isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people, alternative policies should be formulated on the Cyprus issue.

Speaking to the reporters also was the National Unity Party General Secretary Turgay Avci who said that political parties explained their views regarding the Cyprus problem.

Mr Avci said the Presidents call for such a meeting can be a starting point for the creation of a national council.

The Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the President and political parties discussed ways of taking the Turkish Cypriot peoples rightful thesis forward.

Reminding that the President will meet with the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Mr Papadopoulos on the 3rd of July, he said that a triplet meeting is also possible among President Mehmet Ali Talat, Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos and Mr Gambari.

But, he said that no clear answer has yet been given by the Greek Cypriot Side on the issue, in spite of the Turkish Cypriot Sides expressed readiness for such a meeting.

Accusing the Greek Cypriot Side of trying to sabotage the meeting scheduled to take place between Mr Papadopoulos and President Talat on the 3rd of July, the Prime Minister said he is not sure whether the Greek Cypriot Leader will even attend that meeting.

Asked to comment on the opening of Turkish sea and airports to the Greek Cypriot vessels and aircraft, he pointed to the fact that Ankara had made its position on the issue `very clear`.

He noted that the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ and Turkey maintain their determination to work towards their common goals of protecting the Turkish Cypriot Sides political equality and of achieving progress in Turkeys EU membership process.

[02] The Turkish Foreign Minister comments on the Cyprus problem from Moscow

Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.06.06) reported the following from Moscow:

''Reciprocal blackmails do not help us in our efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue,'' said Turkish Foreign Ministry and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Wednesday.

Gul, who is currently in Russian capital Moscow to attend the Paris Pact Initiative Ministerial Conference, replied a question about the Cyprus issue and Turkey's EU membership process. ''We are aware of our responsibilities. We are determined to pursue our reform process. We believe that the Cyprus issue should not block our EU process. We display the necessary good-will to find a solution to the Cyprus issue. Reciprocal blackmails do not help us in our efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue. Actually, blackmail is contrary to the EU's spirit. We should increase confidence-building measures instead of blackmailing each other'', he said.

Upon a question about opening of Turkish ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot vessels and aircraft, Gul said: ''The EU cannot lift embargoes imposed on one party while it has been keeping embargoes imposed on the other. The EU can assist the parties to find a solution. But the solution should be reached under the auspices of the United Nations. On the other hand, a solution cannot be found by ignoring the facts and realities prevailing on the island.''

Meanwhile, Gul held a telephone conversation with EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana yesterday. Gul informed Solana on his visit to Iran last weekend.

Gul and Solana are expected to hold a tete-a-tete meeting in Moscow later today.

[03] The Turkish Prime Minister comments the Cyprus problem and Turkey´s reform process from Strasbourg

Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.06.06) reported the following from Strasbourg:

''Islamophobia cannot be considered within the framework of freedom of expression just as Anti-Semitism. And, no tolerance can be shown to Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism,'' said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Holding a news conference in Strasbourg after participating in the summer session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Erdogan noted that the incidents that occurred after publication of cartoons which caused uneasiness in the Muslim world have indicated how important the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative is.

''There is need for mutual affection and respect to co-existence. The important thing is to find the common values among differences, and form a unity. Therefore, the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, we launched together with Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, is very important. I believe that PACE will make significant contributions to this initiative,'' he emphasized.

Referring to Turkey's reforms on the road to EU membership, Erdogan said: ''We continue our reforms without any interruption. We have made public an important reform package last April. The package envisages establishment of an ombudsman's office, and it has been passed from the parliament. It also foresees a number of amendments to Turkish Court of Accounts, foundations and housing institutions, and private education institution. These amendments are being debated at the parliamentary commissions. And, all these steps are the most important indicators of the determination of our government to reach European standards.''

On the Cyprus problem, Erdogan said that Turkey is still asked to take further steps. ''First they [should] take the steps they have to, and then they [can] expect us to take further steps,'' he noted.

Stating that Turkey has not seen the outcome of the steps it took, Erdogan said: ''To include the Cyprus issue in the policy chapters is, from an ethical point of view, absolutely unfair. What do science, culture or environment have to do with Cyprus? ''

Commenting on his visit to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Erdogan said that he discussed two issues, including the efforts of the compensation commission set up in Cyprus, and the Anti-Terror Law.

[04] The Turkish Prime Minister briefs the President of the ECHR on the so-called Property Commission

Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.06.06) reported the following from Strasbourg:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Luzius Wildhaber, President of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) within the framework of his talks in the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

Anti-terrorism law as well as Greek Cypriot applications to ECHR were discussed in the meeting.

Wildhaber asked for information from Erdogan about Turkey's anti-terrorism law as well as Property Commission which was established in `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´).

Turkey sent its report on activities and decisions of Property Commission to ECHR last week. ECHR is expected to make a decision in autumn after examining Turkey's file.

[05] Erdogan meets in Strasbourg with Turkish Cypriot political leaders

Illegal Bayrak television (28.06.06) broadcast the following:

A delegation from the Republics Assembly is in the French city of Strasbourg for the meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is also in Strasbourg- visited the `TRNC MP´ Ozdil Nami and Huseyin Ozgurgun.

The Turkish Premier and the two `MPs´ exchanged views on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem and made an evaluation of last week-ends elections in the Republic.

During the meeting, Mr Erdogan reiterated Ankaras continued support for the Turkish Cypriot `people´ and said that Turkey will continue to work towards helping to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

For his part, Mr Nami thanked the Turkish Premier for his countrys efforts towards getting the `international isolation´ on the Turkish Cypriot `people´ lifted in spite of all the difficulties it faced in its EU membership negotiations process.

The Republican Turkish Party `Deputy´ - Ozdil Nami and the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party- Huseyin Ozgurgun are also having the opportunity to meet officials from the Parliamentary Assembly and to inform them on the recent developments on the Cyprus issue.

Tomorrow, Mr Ozgurgun will meet with the Council of Europes Rapporteur on Cyprus Joachim Horster.

[06] Turkish political parties MHP and CHP reject the alliance offer by Rahsan Ecevit

Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (28.06.06) reported that the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, has rejected an offer by Rahsan Ecevit to meet in pursuit of an "alliance" between left and right wing parties in Turkey. Ecevit, who is calling her platform "Hand in hand for the Republic," received a "no" answer from Bahceli yesterday, a response many sources in Ankara said was linked to accusations made by Ecevit about the MHP in 1999.

In a written statement released by MHP leader Bahceli yesterday, the following explanation was given regarding why MHP would not be joining an alliance against the ruling AKP: "Entering into a 'false' alliance against the AKP would be allotting them more power than they deserve."

On the same issue, daily The New Anatolian newspaper (28.06.06) reported that in a move likely to hinder recent quests for a broad-based alliance, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal turned down the offer of Rahsan Ecevit for a right and left-wing alliance yesterday.

"We deal with the nation, not the parties. We will continue our fight against the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party within the CHP. We look neither for unity, nor an umbrella party or an alliance. We will be cooperating and developing friendly relations with everybody but won't deal with unnatural, illegal, unethical actions and rumors," said Baykal.

Speaking at a party group meeting in Parliament minutes before the visit to be paid by former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's wife Rahsan Ecevit, Baykal heavily criticized Ms. Ecevit's initiative towards forming a left- and right-wing alliance to counter the AK Party. Baykal referred to Ecevit's initiative as artificial and said that it's only aimed towards the elections.

Mr Bayakl also implicitly criticized former President Suleyman Demirel´s and former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz´s meeting with individuals or groups to forge a new political movement.

[07] Nabucco gaz pipeline to bypass Russia. Statements by Hilmi Guler

Turkish Daily News newspaper (28.06.06) reports the following:

Representatives from Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria and the European Commission on Monday gave their backing to the construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline.

The 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline is expected to cost between $5 and $8 billion. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008, with the first gas expected to start flowing in 2011.

The pipeline, which would cross Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, will transport Caspian and Middle East gas to the European Union, bypassing Russia. It could transport between 25.5 and 31 billion cubic meters per year by 2020.

On the same issue, Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (28.06.06) reported that speaking at a meeting on the Nabucco pipeline project in Vienna on Monday, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler said that Turkey will be the energy bridge of the EU.

Through the Nabucco project, Turkey will be the most important partner which will transfer natural gas to EU countries," adding, "natural gas which will be received from some canals, especially from Azerbaijan, will be transferred to EU via Turkey. Thus, Turkey will be an important bridge."

''When the pipeline becomes active, Turkey will transfer 30-100 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe,'' said Guler.

He noted: ''The cost of the Nabucco project is 6 billion USD. 65 percent of the pipeline will pass over Turkey.''


[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

[08] Columnist in MILLIYET: The ports are closed, the crisis is open

Under the above title Metin Munir writes the following in his column in Turkish daily MILLIYET (28.06.06):

Very well kids! You have not opened the seaports and the airports. You duped the Greek Cypriots. You thumbed nose at Brussels.

There is, however, a small problem. What you are doing is harming us more than it harms them and it is not legal. Opening the seaports and the airports to all EU members is an obligation of Turkey deriving from the agreements. The (Greek Cypriot) Republic of Cyprus is an EU member. Turkey has to secure for the Greek Cypriots the facilities it secures for all other EU member countries, even if it does not wish so. This obligation is not open for bargain. It cannot be done away with.

It is true that after the acceptance of the Annan Plan at the referendum, the EU promised that it would work for putting an end to the isolation in which the Turkish Cypriots are, that is their being left alone.

However, the difference between the commitments of Turkey towards the EU and the promise of the EU to the Turkish Cypriots is the same as the difference between kissing between doors and the marriage ceremony. The one is a private issue concerning the two sides. The other is an agreement which has legal results for the sides.

Furthermore, it could not be said that the EU did absolutely nothing on the issue of the isolations. It skipped over the Greek Cypriots and granted the Turkish Cypriots the aid of 139 million euros. After some days, the EU is opening an office in the Turkish part of Nicosia.

Subtitle: The EU has no power for sanctions

The President of the TRNC Mehmet Ali Talat has been invited to Britain and Germany for official visits.

The only important thing left is for the Turks to conduct imports, exports and banking with the world without mediation and the opening of the seaports and airports to the international traffic.

And this is not in the hands of the EU. The Greek Cypriots, and not the EU or the United Nations, brought the embargoes on the Turks and only they can lift them. The EU has no power to put sanctions on the Greek Cypriots on this issue.

The position that the opening of the ports will destroy the economy of the Turkish Cypriots is also not true. If the Greek Cypriots want they can conduct imports from Turkey at this moment as well. They do not do this because they hate Turkey. Selling a product stamped with Made in Turkey is a commercial suicide in the South.

The issue has one more aspect. The Greek Cypriots put forward the issue of the ports, in order to create problems between Turkey and the EU. According to what I have found out from ship-owner Asaf Guneri, opening the ports has no practical use for them. The Greek Cypriots have no noteworthy fleet. Ships, the majority of which are Russian and German and carry the Cyprus flag found the way and are already using Turkish ports. Even Greek Cypriot cruise ships stop by our ports.

If there is a way the ship-owner finds it, says Guneri.

The Prime Minister, by making this an issue of honour, has locked himself in the room and threw the key outside the window. Following a policy which suits your enemy and harms you in order to harm him must not be something genius.

I/Ts.


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