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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-07-05

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.127/06 05.07.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot political party leaders discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Talats spokesman said that the meeting between Talat and President Papadopoulos cannot be called as an important development
  • [03] Statements by the UBP on the possibility of forming a coalition government with the CTP
  • [04] Annan sends letter to Turkish Foreign Minister
  • [05] Gul to discuss with Rice Turkey's EU membership process and Cyprus developments
  • [06] President of the Austrian Parliament: Customs Union additional protocol should be implemented
  • [07] Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams invited the self-styled Mayor of Lefkosia to the US capital
  • [08] Turkish Cypriots march in central London in support for the Orams´ family
  • [09] Abdulkadir Saribas was elected to the Grey Wolves` leadership in occupied Cyprus
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Why can't more chapters be opened with EU?
  • [11] Turkish Columnist Speculates About Purpose of Gul's Visit to United States

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot political party leaders discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.07.06, internet version) broadcast the following regarding a meeting that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat had yesterday with the leaders and representatives of the political parties represented in the self-styled assembly of the TRNC (Breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus):

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

    Todays meeting was the second in less than a week and came a day after the Presidents discussions with the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos.

    The meeting which took place at the Presidential Palace was attended by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the partys General Secretary Omer Kalyoncu, the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Huseyin Ozgurgun and the partys General Secretary Turgay Avci, Democrat Party General Secretary Ertugrul Hasipoglu and Peace and Democracy Movements General Secretary Mehmet Cakici.

    The latest developments on the Cyprus issue and this weeks visit to Cyprus by the UN Secretary Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari were among the topics taken up at the meeting which lasted two hours.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.06) reports that the meeting lasted two hours and publishes statements by the party leaders after the meeting.

    According to the paper, Mr Soyer reiterated the allegation that the Greek Cypriots became a member of the EU unilaterally as a result of the mistakes of the Turkish policy in the past, that they are using this opportunity and blackmail Turkey and that they are following the policy of damaging the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots. Noting that the Turkish side will definitely not facilitate this policy, Mr Soyer reiterated their support to the Annan Plan.

    Furthermore, Mr Ozgurgun said that the meeting was very positive and reminded that for a long time now his party has been calling on everybody for the formation of a common policy on the Cyprus problem and for having a common voice. He expressed the opinion that such meetings should continue, because a strong voice should be heard against the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriots and their approach which considers the Turkish Cypriots as minority.

    Meanwhile, Mr Hasipoglu said that Mr Talat informed them on his recent meeting with President Papadopoulos. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution and that all parties concerned should encourage the Greek Cypriots and try to influence them diplomatically. Mr Hasipoglu said that they discussed Mr Gambaris visit to the Island and some confidence building measures.

    Finally, Mr Mehmet Cakici said that they conveyed to Mr Talat the views of their party regarding the meeting which the Turkish Cypriot leader will have with Mr Gambari. He noted that they said many times that the policy of lifting the isolations is now insufficient and reiterated the view that the Turkish Cypriots must follow the policy of searching their rights deriving from the 1960 agreements.

    Mr Cakici noted that they asked for the realization of confidence building measures such as the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners under the supervision of the EU and the UN, the lifting of the bridge which the occupation regime had built in the area of Ledra Street barricade, the reduce of the number of the Turkish troops on the Island in a manner that does not harm the security, the demilitarization of the within the walls part of Nicosia, the opening of a Turkish Cypriot school in Limassol and facilitating the crossings between the free and the occupied areas of the island.

    (I/Ts)

    [02] Talats spokesman said that the meeting between Talat and President Papadopoulos cannot be called as an important development

    Illegal BAYRAK television (04.07.06) broadcast that Mehmet Ali Talats spokesman Hasan Ercakica has alleged that the latest remarks by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos had brought to the light the fact that he doesnt intend to work towards ending the current stalemate on the Cyprus problem.

    He said that the meeting held between Mehmet Ali Talat and the President Tassos Papadopoulos cannot be called as an important development because of the remarks issued at the end of the meeting by President Papadopoulos.

    It has been understood that the Greek Cypriot Administration will do its utmost to make the UN Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambaris visit to the region unproductive`, he said.

    Speaking at his weekly press conference, Hasan Ercakica said that the latest remarks by President Tassos Papadopoulos made it clear that he will not accept to take part in a trio meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari.

    Pointing out that Mr Papadopoulos latest statements are in fact in line with the Greek Cypriot strategies to leave the Cyprus problem unresolved, he said the Greek Cypriot side will continue to act with the same strategy and raise the Cyprus problem as an obstacle for Turkeys EU membership process.

    This strategy is the basis of all difficulties and deadlocks being faced in the way of a solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.

    Accusing the Republic of Cyprus of blocking the release of the EU financial assistance to the Turkish Cypriots, he said that the Committee dealing with the release of the aid postponed its work on the issue for October.

    This is an attempt proving that the Greek Cypriot side is determined to prevent all kinds of steps towards lifting the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, he added.

    The spokesman said that the Turkish Cypriot side had made it clear several times that the European Councils decision calling for the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots cannot be achieved with step by step actions.

    He said that the latest decision by the Committee dealing with the financial assistance justifies the statements by Mr. Talat that the separation of the Financial Assistance and Direct Trade Regulations will make their implementation more difficult.

    Referring to the arrest of some Turkish Cypriots crossing from the occupied part to the free areas of the Republic, he called on the people to be careful and take this reality into consideration while crossing.

    He also said that the latest actions by the Greek Cypriot Administration reminded the days of fighting lived through 1963. Touching upon the arrest of architect Osman Sarper by the police of the Republic of Cyprus for possessing the building plans of a hotel, he called it as an inhuman act.

    Explaining that a protest note has been lodged with the United Nations Peace Keeping Force over the arrest of Mr. Sarper, he said the UNs help was asked for the release of the architect but added that no concrete results has yet been achieved so far.

    [03] Statements by the UBP on the possibility of forming a coalition government with the CTP

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.06) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that there is no governmental crisis at the moment and that in case such a crisis comes up, his party will not leave the country without a government.

    Mr Ozgurgun visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat accompanied by the UBPs General Secretary, Turgay Avci.

    In statements during the meeting Mr Ozgurgun replied a question regarding the latest developments on the issue of a possible coalition government between his party and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    Mr Ozgurgun said: There is a government and it continues. If there is a governmental crisis, the UBP will be included in it then. A governmental crisis means that the government broke up. Then we will not leave the country without a government. As there is no such a thing at the moment, we are continuing our duty as the main opposition party.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Annan sends letter to Turkish Foreign Minister

    According to CNN TURK TV channel (04/07/06), the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has sent a letter to the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Cyprus . The CNN TURK reports that the letter was brought to Ankara by Secretary- Generals Deputy, on Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari. According to the CNN TURK, Annans letter is a reply to Guls previous letter sent to the UNs Secretary- General on Cyprus.

    Commenting on the letter, without giving detailed information on the content of the letter, Mr. Gul said that the reply was positive.

    When asked to comment on whether the UN chief will make any new effort in the Cyprus problem Gul refused to elaborate. He said that a solution to the problem could be found only if realities in Cyprus are taken into consideration.

    Moreover, under the title Annan sends letter to Gül, Turkish Daily News newspaper (05.07.06, internet version) reports the following on the issue:

    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has sent a letter to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül extending support to an action plan Ankara announced earlier this year for resumption of the reunification process on Cyprus, Foreign Ministry officials said yesterday.

    Annan sent the letter via Ibrahim Gambari, U.N. undersecretary general for political affairs, who was in Ankara earlier this week as a part of a tour to Turkey, Greece and Cyprus in order to evaluate the prospects of fresh talks for a settlement on the divided island.

    In the letter, Annan appreciated Turkey's action plan, expressing hope that the talks to reunify the divided island would resume under U.N. auspices as set forth in Turkey's plan, the Foreign Ministry officials added.

    Ankara's plan supported by the European Commission and the United States envisages the opening of Turkish ports to traffic from Greek Cyprus in return for steps to ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and calls for a high-level meeting of the sides involved under U.N. auspices.

    MHY

    [05] Gul to discuss with Rice Turkey's EU membership process and Cyprus developments

    Istanbul NTV television (05.07.06) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul is in Washington in order to meet with US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

    The meeting will be held at the State Department at 1800 Turkish time. At their meeting, Gul and Rice will discuss Iraq, Iran, Israel's Gaza operation, Turkey's EU membership process, the Cyprus developments, and the cooperation in the field of energy.

    According to NTV, the visit is important because the two sides will release the "strategic vision document' that has been on the agenda for a long time now. The document will record the shared view and cooperation of Turkey and the United States on Iraq, Iran, Syria, the Black Sea, Cyprus, broader Middle East, reform in the Caucasus and the Middle East, the economic and military fields.

    Talking to Turkish reporters in Washington, Gul commented on the visit paid by Ahmet Davudoglu, the prime minister's chief adviser, to Damascus in connection with the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

    Abdullah Gul implied that the visit was paid upon the request of the United States and Israel. He added that all the concerned sides have requests from Turkey in terms of help toward the solution of the problem.

    [06] President of the Austrian Parliament: Customs Union additional protocol should be implemented

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (05/07/06) reports that President of the Austrian Parliament, Prof. Andreas Khol had said that Turkey should implement the Customs Union additional protocol. He added that unless Cyprus problem is solved, it will always be before Turkey in every stage of the negotiation process.

    Expressing his anxiety that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem was not approved, Prof.Khol said, that from this point on, Turkey should implement the Customs Union additional protocol.

    Speaking to Turkish journalist accredited to Austria, Prof.Khol said that his country is following a sincere policy towards Turkey.

    MHY

    [07] Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams invited the self-styled Mayor of Lefkosia to the US capital

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05/07/06) reported that it has been announced that the self-styled Mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Mr Cemal Bulutoglulari, received an invitation from the municipality of Washington D.C. for an official visit to the United States.

    According to the paper, Mr Bulutoglulari participated in the Fifth Annual Globalization Conference, sponsored by the Ankara Municipality and held at Ankaras Sheraton Hotel between 30 June and 3 July.

    The official invitation to Bulutoglulari was handed by Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams who also attended the forum.

    The self-styled press office of Lefkosia municipality announced that the self-styled mayor, Mr Bulutoglulari, accepted the invitation and had also invited Mr Anthony Williams to the occupied part of the divided capital of the Republic of Cyprus.

    (DPs)

    [08] Turkish Cypriots march in central London in support for the Orams´ family

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (05.07.06) reports that the Association of Turkish Cypriots living Abroad (ATCA) is organizing on Sunday, 9th July, at 12:00, in central London a march in support for the Orams´ family.

    During the march, the participants will also ask for the lifting of Turkish Cypriots´ isolation in occupied Cyprus.

    In a written statement, ACTA´s representative in Britain, Cetin Ramadan, said that if the Orams lose the case, the foreigners and the Turkish Cypriots who posses immovable property in the occupied part of Cyprus and the EU, will face many difficulties. He also added that they are exerting efforts for the same march to be simultaneously organized in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    (M/L)

    [09] Abdulkadir Saribas was elected to the Grey Wolves` leadership in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS (05.07.06) newspaper reports that Abdulkadir Saribas was elected as the new leader of the nationalist Hearths of Ideal, known as the Grey Wolves, in occupied Cyprus.

    According to a written statement issued by the general secretary of the Hearths of Ideal, Mr Saribas received the leadership from of Alper Hasta.

    (M/L)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Why can't more chapters be opened with EU?

    Under the above title TURKISH DAILY NEWS (04.07.06) publishes the following article by Cengiz Aktar:

    After the completion of the initial stage of the negotiation process, the screening, between the European Union and the candidate country Turkey, the second stage i.e. opening of the chapters, has failed to happen with the exception of Science and Technology chapter. There are three reasons why the chapters are not being opened. One is the Turkish side's failure to make commitments. In other words, it doesn't provide a timetable and a methodology on how it will address the deficiencies that were found between the EU acquis and Turkish regulations during the screening process. The second reason is the action of certain EU countries that want to introduce new conditions in order to slow our negotiation process. Thirdly, Turkey's failure to ratify the Customs Union's additional protocol that expands the Customs Union to the ten new EU members, including the Republic of Cyprus and to duly apply it create a negative incentive. The opening of the 15 chapters that are directly or indirectly linked to the Customs Union seems very unlikely without Turkish ports are opened to trade with the Republic of Cyprus due to the potential Greek Cypriot veto.

    In recent weeks, the government is arguing that the highly vocal reports about the deceleration of the EU process in the media show the empty side of the glass, claiming that the work is proceeding perfectly. Despite this argument, chapters are not being opened and according to reports from Brussels, opening of the chapters apart from the one on Education and Culture seem highly unlikely.

    The government recently tried to prove its stance by producing a document. The chief negotiator in early June released a report that details the legal and administrative changes on 17 chapters, which the detailed screening process had been accomplished since Oct. 3, 2005, as well as the planned activities on these chapters in 2006 and 2007. While examining closely the report, one can see that most of the work said to be done after Oct. 3 are really those laws that were scheduled to be passed before Oct. 3, 2005 and none can be considered to entail strong commitments on Turkey's part that will facilitate the opening of new chapters. In short, we are continuing to deceive ourselves.

    The relations between the EU and Turkey, which is comprehensive and old, on the issue of harmonization cannot be compared to the relations between the EU and a virgin candidate Croatia. Turkey has already implemented countless EU regulations due to the Customs Union that is in effect since 1996 and has concentrated on membership since 1999. The function of the National Program of Turkey for the Adoption of the Acquis Communautaire, which was prepared in 2001, was updated in 2003 and is in need of a new update, was to facilitate progress on the harmonization front. At the end of the screening process that started on Oct. 3, something akin to the National Program must have come out. The work that needs to be done is known. They are known for many years. However, the political will to implement what needs to be done is not present and Turkey, as of today, has completed only 30 percent of the National Program it unveiled in 2001.

    This is why on chapters like Public Procurement, Environment and Agriculture, which have nothing to do with Customs Union and consequently do not face the Cyprus veto threat, have yet not been recommended by the European Commission to be opened.

    Similarly the reason why it will be hard to open the chapters on Customs Union and Competition Policy is because Turkey has failed to fulfil many of the Customs Union obligations it promised to do since 1996, before talking about any veto. In other words, even without the veto by Republic of Cyprus, Turkey's failure to do what's necessary precludes the opening of these chapters.

    Lastly, there is the Ninth Reform Package that was expected to be passed before Parliament recess begun. It was passed with insufficient content, while there is the new Antiterror Law that many human rights activists in Turkey and abroad describe as anti-democratic.

    This environment is harming the negotiation process, in other words, the country's transformation and modernization. It harms Turkey's stability. If it persists, it has the potential of creating even more harm.

    [11] Turkish Columnist Speculates About Purpose of Gul's Visit to United States

    Istanbul´s Radikal (04.07.06) publishes the following article by Murat Yetkin under the title: "How Should we Read Gul's Visit to the United States?":

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's visit to the United States, which is scheduled to start today, will take place during a critical period in terms of Turkey's foreign policy priorities and preferences. Hoshyar Zebari, the foreign minister of the new government in Iraq, and Ibrahim Gambari, the new Cyprus coordinator appointed by the UN Secretary General, were in Ankara yesterday for visits as diplomatic initiatives related to Iran and Israeli-Palestinian dispute continue.

    The fact that Gul's visit will start on 4 July, which will be marked as the United States' Independence Day, and that Gul will probably attend celebrations in the U.S. capital amid a display of fireworks and meet with Condoleezza Rice, his US counterpart indicates that the Bush Administration attaches a symbolic meaning to the visit.

    Attaching a symbolic meaning of the visit may be justified. We should, however, take a closer look at its content.

    A long-debated document on a common vision regarding strategic cooperation is expected to be signed during Gul's visit. The document will not constitute an agreement or a treaty and, therefore, not be binding on both countries in terms of international law. This fact, however, does not diminish its significance. In fact, the United States does not document its common strategic vision with every country. But, the term "strategic cooperation" has started to lose its essence like a chewing gum chewed for a long time because it has been used so frequently.

    Strategic cooperation requires not only sharing the same ultimate goals and pursuing fundamental policies not conflicting with each other but also working together. It could, therefore, be assumed that the United Kingdom is the only strategic partner of the United States, which does not share similar policies vis-à-vis various issues with any other country, including Israel.

    For example, could it be said that Ankara's approach to Iraq, which is the most important strategic issue as far as Washington is concerned, is aligned with that of the United States or Washington lends unqualified support to Ankara with regard to Cyprus, which is one of the crucial issues for Ankara? It seems that there are serious differences between the two key members of NATO over the Black Sea and that Russia stands in the way of relations between the two allies with regard to energy issues, which has strategic importance from the standpoint of the United States, as it does vis-à-vis the Black Sea. Moreover, this is despite the fact that the United States is probably the only country giving clear support to Turkey about Cyprus and the PKK whereas Russia obstructs Turkey's efforts aimed at resolving both problems. Oddly enough, unqualified political backing given by the United States for Turkey's accession to the EU in addition to its support about those issues does not prevent Turkey from being one of the countries where strong anti-US sentiments prevail among the public. Meanwhile, statements emphasizing that anti-American feelings basically stem from the situation in Iraq and are directed to the Bush Administration rather than the United States are overshadowed by perceptions.

    Iran is another issue. Probably being aware of Ankara's intention to highlight the dispute between Iran and the West as one of the most important issues to be discussed during the visit, the US Government has conveyed its message to the Turkish public, pointing out that Turkey's efforts were appreciated but talks were already continuing through a diplomatic channel between the EU and Teheran. Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek has said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be the main topic of the visit, taking care to note that Turkey had stepped into the picture in response to suggestions made by the parties concerned. Both sides, however, are now making desperate efforts and it would be implausible to say that Erdogan has contributed to a possible solution by criticizing Israel's polices during a telephone conversation with US President George W. Bush.

    Gul's program does not include a visit to the US Congress. He will only address meetings organized by some think tanks consisting of people, whose jobs involves monitoring, interpreting, and reaching conclusions about developments taking place in Turkey.

    So, what is the main objective of this visit, then?

    Could it be that this visit is intended to convince the Turkish public that the US Government has no problem with the ruling AKP [Justice and Development Party] in response to strong criticism voiced in the US capital against AKP leadership mainly in connection with the ongoing debates over secularism in Turkey?

    It would not be realistic to say that improving the AKP's tarnished image is not one of the objectives of Gul's visit. We should not forget that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made unsuccessful attempts to visit Washington and meet with Bush in June in order to give the message that there was no problem. It was announced that Bush would have a very tight schedule and that a meeting could probably be arranged in September. Although it has not been said clearly, one could infer from body language that an invitation was extended to Gul rather than Erdogan due to the US Government's keenness to avoid creating the impression that it sides with the government against other establishments in Turkey. Gul has actually shouldered a very heavy burden.

    /X.CHR.


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