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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-07-03

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.125/06 01-02-03.07.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Vodafone is getting ready to take over TELSIM in the occupied areas.
  • [02] KOBI Centre established with U.S. funds to develop the "TRNC" economy.
  • [03] More on the possibility of the establishment of a new self-styled government.
  • [04] The leaders of CTP and DP discuss the future of the coalition "government" in occupied Cyprus.
  • [05] Statements by Serdar Denktas: "No new developments on the Cyprus problem until later in the year".
  • [06] The UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs arrived in Istanbul.
  • [07] The MIT Batman Chief killed in armed attack.
  • [08] The Turkish President vetoed Ombudsmanship.
  • [09] The Turkish Board of Statistics announced the foreign trade figures of the January-May period.
  • [10] Statements by Matt Bryza supporting Turkey´s refusal to abide by its EU obligations.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] EU´s special Status and US apprehension.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Vodafone is getting ready to take over TELSIM in the occupied areas

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (03.07.06) reports that mobile phone company the British Vodafone, which won the bid for acquiring the Turkish Telsim for 4.5 billion USD, now is getting ready to receive the Telsim in the occupied area for a bid amounting to 30 millions USD.

    The so-called Ministry of Works and Communication undersecretary, Sener Cagan had said that according to the tender conditions all the transfer operations should be completed by 14 August. He said that the Vodafone will pay as tax to the 'TRNC' amounting to 10.9 million USD for transfer operations which include all the personal allowances of the employees.

    The paper reports that in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus (OTRC) two GSM companies operate, one of them is the North Cyprus Turkcell and the other is Telsim which is overtaken by the British Vodafone. Turkcell has 230 thousand subscribers in the OTRC and Telsim around 50 thousand.

    (MHY)

    [02] KOBI Centre established with U.S. funds to develop the "TRNC" economy

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.07.06) reported that the KOBI Centre (SMEs, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises), which was established with a U.S financial grant of 30.5 million dollars, aims to develop the economy in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The KOBI Centre gives professionally support to firms and professional organizations, especially to agriculture and tourism sectors.

    Ayse Donmezler, an accountant at the KOBI Centre, explained to the illegal TAK news agency the Centre's operations and activities. According to Ms Donmezler, the U.S. government - following the April 24, 2004 referendums on the Annan plan - set aside 10 million dollars from a financial aid package to Turkish Cypriots totalling 30.5 for activities such as trade development and increasing exports from the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Ms Donmezler said that KOBI Centre will complete its projects in 2008, after 3 years of work. In case the Centre meets all its targets, it would continue its work with new financial sources.

    (D/Ps)

    [03] More on the possibility of the establishment of a new self-styled government

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (03.07.06) reports that Mr Omer Kalyoncu, the General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), speaking at the illegal BAYRAK station on Friday, referred to the forming of a new self-styled government in the "TRNC" (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus).

    Mr Kalyoncu's statements are evaluated by political observers as a strong signal that the coalition government between CTP and the Democratic Party (DP) can come to an end, according to GUNES.

    In addition, Mr Kadri Fellahoglu, the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) Lefkosia district Organisation and self-styled deputy of the UBP, speaking at SIM radio station he referred to a strong "government" which could be able to materialize constitutional changes. According to GUNES with these statements Mr Fellahoglu gave an important signal as regards CTP's search for a new "government coalition".

    The paper writes that UBP's officials "see positively and without unprejudice" the possibility of forming a "coalition government" with CTP. The Party's chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun stated to GUNES that UBP "cannot escape from undertaking a responsibility if a search for establishing a new government started which will be beneficial for our country and our people".

    In addition, Huseyin Ekmekci writes in Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN (03.07.06) that UBP's Chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun is returning to Cyprus today from Strasburg and will hold a meeting the CTP's leader Ferdi Soyer later this day. "We cannot know if there is secrecy as regards this meeting but looking at the timing various things come into our minds", writes Ekmekci. He goes on and writes that Mr Ozgurgun will hold a meeting tomorrow at 11 in the morning with the self-styled president of the "TRNC" Mehmet Ali Talat.

    (C/S)

    [04] The leaders of CTP and DP discuss the future of the coalition "government" in occupied Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.06) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    "[`Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´] Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that they were not inclined to maintain the coalition government unconditionally for the sake of avoiding a crisis.

    The future of the coalition government consisting of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Democratic Party (DP) was discussed in a meeting held by delegations from the two parties led by Prime Minister and CTP leader Soyer and DP leader Serdar Denktas, who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, at the Prime Minister's Office.

    In a statement he made after the meeting, which lasted almost two hours, Soyer said that they had informed the DP officials about various issues, which they regarded as problems in the last 12-month period. He noted that the meeting particularly focused on the changes that had taken place during the election period.

    Pointing out that they would discuss and assess the issues raised during the meeting in the party's organs, Soyer went on saying: "Our party is determined to defuse crises rather than creating them. We are experiencing problems with the Democratic Party, which is our partner, with regard to a possible settlement, democracy, and certain other issues. We have shared our concerns about those issues with them today."

    Soyer said that the DP officials had expressed their own opinions, adding that their traditions did not dictate a Catholic marriage and that they were guided by an approach open to all kinds of alternatives.

    Noting that they would make a final decision after sharing those opinions with the party's officials, Soyer stated: "We are not inclined to maintain the coalition government unconditionally for the sake of avoiding a crisis."

    Serdar Denktas, for his part, said that they had listened to the CTP's complaints during the meeting, adding that they had confirmed their commitment to the government protocol.

    He noted that they had discussed various problems not only those witnessed during the election period but also those, which surfaced and remained unsolved in the past 12 months. Denktas commented: "We will assess what they have told us. We will have a second round of meeting after making our own assessment."

    Denktas emphasized that the government would continue to function during that consultation process. Responding to a question about the concerns voiced by CTP leadership, Denktas said: "It would not be appropriate to disclose them now. We will continue working together if a compromise is reached to dispel those concerns after making our own assessments."

    Asked whether or not they had scheduled another meeting, Denktas noted that he would be abroad from 2 through 7 July, adding that consultations within the party would continue and the secretaries general of the two parties could hold a meeting during that period.

    After winning two vacant seats in the National Assembly as a result of the by-election held in the `TRNC´ on 25 June in order to fill the vacant seats in the organs of local governments and the national legislature, the CTP increased the number of seats in the National Assembly, which consists of 50 MPs, to 25. A political party needs 26 MPs to form a government although it would be a highly unstable one. The Peace and Democracy Movement, which is represented by one MP in the National Assembly, has said that it would lend unconditional support for the CTP's policies aimed at reaching a settlement, strengthening ties with the EU, and achieving democratization and civilianization if it needs the backing of another MP in addition to 25 CTP deputies".

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of Cyprus occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops.)

    [05] Statements by Serdar Denktas: "No new developments on the Cyprus problem until later in the year"

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.06.06) broadcast the following:

    "The Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said that he didn't expect any developments on the Cyprus Problem until later in the year.

    He added that the UN Secretary-General's Undersecretary for political affairs Ibrahim Gambari's forthcoming visit to the island next week was a fact finding mission aimed at listening to the views of both sides.

    The Foreign Minister was speaking on AKIS program last night broadcast on BRT's first channel.

    Commenting on the issue of setting up the bi-communal technical committees, Mr Denktas complained that no progress had been achieved in establishing the committees due to the Greek Cypriot Side's negative stance on the issue.

    He expressed the view that President Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Tassos Papadopoulos will find the opportunity to take up the issue during their scheduled meeting on the 3rd of July at a reception hosted by the foreign member of the autonomous missing persons committee Christophe Girod.

    Referring to the warnings made yesterday by the European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn on the possibility of suspending Turkey's negotiations if it fails to open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic, the Foreign Minister said that such statements did not mean that Turkey will abandon its determination to become a member of the Union.

    Reminding that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made it clear that Ankara will not open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot registered vessels and aircraft before the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people, Mr Denktas expressed the view that the Turkish Prime Minister will stand by his word.

    "The EU has launched membership negotiations with Turkey. There will be new developments as obligations and criteria are met, he said adding that the Cyprus problem was not one of those criteria."

    [06] The UN Under-Secretary-General for political affairs arrived in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.07.06) reported that the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari arrived in Istanbul on Sunday.

    Later, Mr Gambari proceeded to the Turkish capital of Ankara.

    The UN earlier issued a statement noting that Mr Gambari would be traveling to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey at the beginning of July to assess the political situation in Cyprus and to evaluate the prospects for resumption of political talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement.

    [07] The MIT Batman Chief killed in armed attack

    Istanbul NTV Online (02.07.06) reports that the MIT [National Intelligence Organization] Batman Chief Ismet Onal has died in an armed attack. It is reported that the assailant was an employee on contract in the organization.

    Mr Onal was attacked by contract employer V.K. at the entrance of the MIT building in Kultur quarter. The reason for the attack is unknown. Mr Onal, who was seriously injured, died at the Ozel Sifa Hospital. Batman Governor Haluk Imga said that Mr Onal was killed by an employee on contact as a result of insanity. The assailant was detained.

    [08] The Turkish President vetoed Ombudsmanship

    Istanbul NTV Online (01.07.06) reported the following:

    "President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has vetoed the Public Oversight Institution Law, known in the public as the "Ombudsmanship" law.

    In justifying his veto, Sezer stated that the Constitutional system does not permit the establishment of a public oversight body subordinate to the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    Law number 5521 would have provided for the establishment of a body consisting of one chief overseer and at most ten subordinate overseers, all subordinate to the National Assembly, in order to monitor the actions and procedures of the administration. Studying the law, President Sezer concluded that the principle of the separation of powers stressed in the Constitution does not allow the formation of a body, subordinate to the National Assembly, which would review and investigate the actions, procedures, and behavior of the "administration".

    Sezer, in justifying his veto, also pointed out that the ways by which the executive is overseen are set forth in the Constitution, and stressed that the National Assembly is not given such a task in the Constitution. It was noted in the justification that the actions and procedures of the administration are already subject to oversight by the judiciary.

    Included in addition was the warning that the law could take the actions and procedures of the President under its purview. Sezer, with these justifications, returned the law to the Assembly in order for certain of its provisions to be reviewed."

    [09] The Turkish Board of Statistics announced the foreign trade figures of the January-May period

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.06) reported that the Turkish exports are up 14.4 percent to 6.8 billion USD, and imports climbed 24.4 percent to 12.2 billion USD in May 2006, over the same month last year.

    The Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) revealed today foreign trade figures in May.

    Foreign trade deficit rose 40 percent from 3.8 billion USD to 5.3 billion USD, and the ratio of exports meeting imports dropped from 60.9 percent to 56 percent.

    Meanwhile, exports increased 8 percent to 31.7 billion USD, and imports 18 percent to 53.2 billion USD in the January-May period.

    Foreign trade deficit is 36.6 percent or 21.5 billion USD, in the same period.

    [10] Statements by Matt Bryza supporting Turkey´s refusal to abide by its EU obligations

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.07.06) broadcast that the US State Department's Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Matt Bryza said it was not an easy task for Turkey to open up its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot registered vessels and aircraft.

    Mr Bryza said that Washington was trying to help the European Union understand the difficulties Turkey faced in fulfilling its obligations towards the Greek Cypriot side.

    Referring to Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul's visit to Washington on the 5th of July where he will be meeting with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice, Mr Bryza said that a wide range of issues including the Cyprus Problem will be on the agenda.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] EU´s special Status and US apprehension

    Under the above title, the daily ZAMAN online newspaper (01.07.06) publishes the following commentary by Ali Bulac:

    "In my recent article, I quoted Austrian Prime Minister Wolfgang Schuessel as regards Austria's support for a different status for Turkey's EU membership.

    Oddly though, Schuessel said Turkey will not be granted full membership in spite of his previous statements that it was necessary to tie Turkey more closely to Europe.

    Is there an inconsistency here? Apparently there is, but in truth no. Quite to the contrary, Schuessel's words carry traces of the subtle and deep strategies the EU pursues in its handling of Turkey's membership.

    It is the United States that is insisting on Turkey's EU membership and even exerting pressure on the EU.

    The US explicitly admits that Turkey's EU membership is necessary for its own strategic interests.

    In this sense, the EU keeps Turkey active in the process owing to US pressure.

    Moreover, the US has as much influence on the EU as it has on Israel.

    The EU can act on its own initiative to a certain extent but in the end it has to give in to US demands.

    This means Turkey's membership is beyond Ankara's and the EU's control.

    Turkey's EU membership benefits the US in several ways:

    1) The US with Britain and Turkey encircle Europe.

    2) Turkey's full membership will thwart the EU's internal unity.

    3) It will also protect US and British interests.

    4) The US will dictate EU's security through NATO and Turkey.

    5) Turkey will be completely isolated from the Middle East and the Islamic world, and relations will only be maintained in accordance with EU dictates.

    Hence, "We should make Turkey part of the EU," says Schussel, hinting that the EU decision makers see the US motives in the same light.

    If Turkey is offered a privileged partnership as Merkel suggested, the aforementioned advantages for the US will all but evaporate.

    On the other hand, the fifth item --regarding Turkey's isolation from the Islamic world-- will still hold to the benefit of the EU.

    Neither Europe nor the US wants Turkey very close to the Muslim world.

    However, another important point is that, some circles in the US are uneasy with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    Reports claim that the AKP is taking Turkey in the wrong direction and Ahmed Davutoglu, Erdogan's chief foreign policy adviser, is the person criticized the most.

    The US uneasiness with Turkey stems from recent relations between Turkey and its neighbors, rather than from "secularism or the republic is under threat."

    Davutoglu, with his book, "Strategic Wisdom" earned a rightful reputation.

    Davutoglu first called it "multi-dimensional foreign policy."

    Later, however, he used the term "a diverse foreign policy but Turkey's core foreign policy is EU-oriented."

    Despite this guarded and clear statement, the US and the EU are uncomfortable with Turkey's good relations with its neighbors (Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia).

    Furthermore, Turkey's latest attempts in Asia and Africa to enhance its trade and diplomatic relations could pave the way for Turkey to move independently in the future.

    Turkey should not necessarily sever relations with the EU.

    However, it should pursue a diverse foreign policy that will make Turkey the focal point of a new geopolitical axis covering the region from the west to Jakarta."


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