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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-07-27

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 <>



  • [01] Turkey´s EU obligations among the red lines of a booklet issued by the ruling Islamic party of Erdogan.
  • [02] Turkey donates for the Missing Persons Committee.
  • [03] The head of the EU Commissions task force for the Turkish Cypriot community was interviewed by illegal BRT.
  • [04] Only 11.8% of Turks believe that Turkey should open its ports and airports to Cypriot-registered ships and aircraft. The results of opinion poll.
  • [05] Greek General Staff Chief in Turkey to discuss confidence-building measures.
  • [06] Statements by Ferdi Sabit Soyer.
  • [07] Cultural and environmental devastation in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [08] Turkey's Central Bank reduces the amount of currency in circulation.

  • [09] Turkey's regional position highlighted once again.


    [01] Turkey´s EU obligations among the red lines of a booklet issued by the ruling Islamic party of Erdogan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.07.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Justice and Development Party (AKP) Foreign Relations Department prepared a booklet --''EU in 100 questions'', aiming to introduce Turkey's European Union (EU) adhesion process to the society.

    One hundred questions have been asked in the booklet as well as the answers regarding the foundation of the EU, its history, motto, decisions, consultative and jurisdictional bodies, enlargement process and screening process as far as Turkey is concerned.

    ''Turkey's unifying identity appears to be an important asset at a time when efforts are underway to polarize the world in the axis of civilizations and at a time when terrorism gradually became more destructive and merciless,'' Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote in the preface of the booklet.

    Erdogan also reaffirmed that Turkey's EU perspective was always ''full membership''.

    In the booklet, Turkey's red lines are listed such as:

    -''Turkey cannot recognize Cyprus Greek Cypriot administration under the name of Cyprus Republic. A political recognition is only possible after a comprehensive and durable settlement.

    -''Acknowledging 'so-called Armenian genocide' can never be a pre-condition in the negotiation stage. No concessions will be made from the Lausanne Treaty and (Turkey's) territorial integrity.

    -''It is out of question for Turkey to accept 'Privileged Partnership Status' (offered by some European politicians). Screening process is expected to be concluded at the end of this year.

    ''Agriculture and environment will be the two topics that will strain most Turkey at the negotiation process,'' it was also underscored at the booklet.

    [02] Turkey donates for the Missing Persons Committee

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.07.06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkey made a donation of 137,000 USD to the Committee on Missing Persons which was set up in order to determine the fate of people who are still missing (in Cyprus).

    Turkey's `Ambassador´ in Lefkosia Aydan Karahan handed over the donation check to `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (TRNC) President´ Mehmet Ali Talat.

    87,080 USD of the grant will be used to purchase equipment for the anthropology laboratory built in the buffer zone; 50,000 USD for the renovation of DNA laboratory of Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu state hospital (in occupied Lefkosia); and 50,000 USD for the excavations.

    The committee is expected to make its first excavations in August and they are expected to last for two months. If remains of missing Turkish and Greek Cypriots are found, they will be returned to their respective families after identification.

    The committee was established in 1981 by the United Nations in order to determine the fate of hundreds of missing people .

    According to official figures, 500 Turkish Cypriots are listed as missing while number of missing Greek Cypriots is about 1,450.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of Cyprus since the Turkish invasion in 1974, as a result of which 1% of the Greek Cypriot population was massacred and nearly two thousand went missing).

    [03] The head of the EU Commission´s task force for the Turkish Cypriot community was interviewed by illegal BRT

    Illegal Bayrak television (26.07.06) broadcast the following:

    The Head of the EU Commissions Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community Andrew Rasbash has said that when the Cyprus problem will be resolved still remains a big unknown .

    Andrew Rasbash says the two sides have moved towards a new process during the recent visit to Cyprus by the UN Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs - Ibrahim Gambari.

    Mr Rasbash was speaking in an interview with the BRT newsroom when he was asked about the EU Commissions proposal for Direct Trade with North Cyprus, made in April 2004 after the referenda in the two sides on the island.

    He said the future of the Direct Trade Regulation remains unknown as the member states have not made it into law yet and remains as a proposal.

    Mr Rasbash said that it is important to consider the practical day to day relations between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot `People´, and referred to the Turkish Cypriot journalists recent visit to Brussels as a good example to this.

    As for the finalization of the Financial Aid Regulation for the Turkish Cypriot `People´, Andrew Rasbash stated that this is a unique situation and the parties concerned are going through various procedures in preparation for its implementation.

    Pointing to the existence of other EU funded projects in co-operation with the United Nations, he said the EU is still working on the matter.

    Asked whether the EU considers itself a direct party to the Cyprus problem or not, Mr Rasbash said the UN is leading the process and the EU is coordinating its position closely with the UN.

    Addressing the importance of communicating with the Turkish Cypriot `People´, he said visits from the Task Force officials will continue in order to promote mutual understanding and cooperation.

    As for the Greek Cypriot Administrations recognition as the only political authority on the island, he said the EU Task Force will establish direct contacts with the Turkish Cypriot Side within this legal framework, by avoiding a formal recognition of a Turkish Cypriot `government´.

    Reaffirming that the EU is working to remove the international `isolation´ on the Turkish Cypriot `People´, he said the Green Line Regulation is a starting point and an enormous step in the process, although, he said, that the low level of trade across the Green Line is disappointing.

    [04] Only 11.8% of Turks believe that Turkey should open its ports and airports to Cypriot-registered ships and aircraft. The results of opinion poll Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper (26.07.06) reports that a broad new survey carried out by the A and G Research Company on June 17-27, points out some surprising, if not inconsistent, trends among the Turkish public.

    Among the 2,387 people polled in the seven regions of Turkey, the number of those undecided on political issues has risen to 25.5 percent, in other words, one in four of those interviewed. Add to that another 10.7 percent who declared that they won't go to polls or will resort to other forms of protest voting, then it appears that about 36.2 percent of voters have made their political choice about not voting for any party.

    The survey shows that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has lost part of its support but remains the leading party. The same is true for the two intra-Parliament opposition groups, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the True Path Party (DYP). The Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) has gained slightly more support. But the most striking result is the large group of "undecided."

    According to the survey, only half of the voters have decided on just who they'd vote for. Some 50.9 percent said they do know while 32.7 percent said they don't know yet, with 4.2 percent "still hesitating between several options" and 7.4 percent finding it difficult to find a party to vote for.

    Forty percent of the group interviewed said that they'll vote again for the party they backed in the 2002 elections with 16.1 percent stating that they'll most definitely not vote for the same party. The number of those uncertain is around 22.7 percent while another 13 percent said that they'll be voting in the next elections for the first time. Some 8.1 percent declined to answer.

    The key question in the survey was: "If there were general elections tomorrow, who would you vote for?" While 25.5 percent replied they were undecided, followed by 24.6 percent for the AK Party, 11.5 percent for the CHP, 6.7 percent for the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and 6.1 percent for the DYP. Those who'd be protest voting -- such as not going to the polls or voiding votes -- ranges around 10 percent. The Motherland stays at 5.3 percent, Democratic Society Party (DTP) at 3.2 and the Youth Party takes a mere 1.6 percent. Democratic Left Party (DSP) stays at 1.4 percent while Felicity Party (SP) is at 1.3 percent.

    When asked: "Suppose the party of your choice doesn't enter the elections, which party would be your second choice?" most of those polled opted for the DYP. But the vote was rather fractured, with 13.7 percent replying that there's no second choice while 5.9 percent indicated the DYP, 5.1 percent the MHP and another 4.6 percent ANAVATAN.

    When asked: "When we speak about the opposition, which party or parties do you have in mind?" 57.9 percent replied that the CHP or its leader Deniz Baykal come to mind. Another 7.8 percent cited the DYP and its leader Mehmet Agar, while 6.4 percent had Erkan Mumcu and his ANAVATAN party in mind.

    More than half of those polled would like Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be successful in politics, while 35.7 percent wish the same for Mumcu and 30.9 percent for Agar. Only 26.7 percent would like to see Baykal and a slimmer majority of 26.1 percent would like to see the MHP's Devlet Bahceli succeed.

    The survey also makes it clear that new figures seeking to enter to politics, such as Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Yilmaz Buyukersen and Ilhan Kesici, are either unknown or unapproved of by the public.

    Subtitle: Turks' EU hopes and Cyprus

    Despite a Eurobarometer survey which showed declining support for the European Union among Turks, the A and G survey shows that the Turks' EU hopes continue with 50.6 percent of Turks believing that Turkey will become a member of the European Union, although the Union is asking for concessions. There are 23.4 percent who believe that Turkey may not become a member after all, but still needs to do what it should for membership. Another 15.4 percent flatly refused to reply to questions on the Union.

    Although one out of two Turks have faith in Turkey's eventual membership, about 70 percent believe Turkey should draw the line if the EU urges Turkey to open its harbors and airports to the Greek Cypriots. Some 11.8 percent, however, believe Turkey should open airports and harbors for use by Cyprus registered ships and aircraft.

    Some 70.7 percent of Turks would prefer to choose the president through direct suffrage, while only 22.7 percent advocate the present system of Parliament electing president. Some 6.6 percent replied they don't know.

    Asked: "Who would you choose as a candidate[s] for president?" 62.5 percent replied that they had no candidate in mind. The most-cited name is the current one, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, followed by 7.5 percent of support for Bulent Arinc and, contrary to popular assumption, with lower support, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Some 45.7 percent, as opposed to 36.9, would like a new Parliament to choose the president but there's a sharp division between AK Party voters and those backing other parties in their opinion of the current AKP-dominated Parliament's ability to choose.

    The results were also close when the survey group was asked whether they consider the present government successful: 36.3 percent replied "yes," 28.1 percent said "no," 29.9 percent said neither one way or the other with 5.7 percent choosing not to reply.

    [05] Greek General Staff Chief in Turkey to discuss confidence-building measures

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.07.06) reported the following from Ankara: Greek General Staff Chief Vice Admiral Panayotis Hinofotis has arrived in Ankara at 12:25 p.m. today.

    Hinofotis is in Turkey upon an invitation by the Turkish General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok.

    Ozkok and Hinofotis will discuss mutual confidence building measures.

    Adm. Hinofotis and his delegation will depart from Turkey on Friday, July 28th.

    [06] Statements by Ferdi Sabit Soyer

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (27.07.06) reports that the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer commented on the opinion, which nine Turkish Cypriot civilian organizations had expressed accusing Turkey of being responsible for the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Replying to question before the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, Mr Soyer argued that holding Turkey responsible for the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is wrong and alleged that Turkey keeps a very determined stance, risking its own EU accession process for the sake of the lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Soyer claimed that the fact that the Greek Cypriots wish the continuation of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots should not be forgotten and alleged that the aim of the Greek Cypriots is to prevent the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Soyer accused the mayor of Nicosia, Michalakis Zambellas for visiting the newly elected mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari who was candidate with the Democratic Party (DP) and reminded that Mr Zambellas has never visited the former mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, Kutlay Erk, who was elected with the votes of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    Mr Soyer argued the following: Zambellas came to the north as soon as the candidate of the DP was elected in the place of Mr Kutlay Erk, who does not regard the non-solution as a solution and exerts the most important effort in the Turkish Cypriot people continuing to a great extent the struggle for peace. This should be a very clear proof of the reason why the administration in the south insistently wants the continuation of the isolation. ..

    Furthermore, in an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (27.07.06) Mr Soyer referred to the Cyprus problem, the views of Greek Cypriot left-wing AKEL party and the meeting which AKEL and the CTP will have this week. Mr Soyer said that after painful discussions which lasted for years the Turkish Cypriot people and its pro-peace forces reached an understanding between them and decided that the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation is the most realistic solution for the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Soyer added: The Turkish Cypriot people are the one who lived the pain. In the end they adopted the position for a bi-zonal federation with a great majority. If you as AKEL present this as painful concession, you create the biggest distance against the solution. We will ask these during our meeting. We need another thing as well. We will say: Come and say on which points you have objections in the Annan Plan. Tell them to us. We want to know.

    Mr Soyer alleged that in twenty years time AKEL will regret the fact that it voted no to the Annan Plan.


    [07] Cultural and environmental devastation in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27.07.06) reports that the historical cathedral of St. Nicolas in occupied Famagusta, which had been converted into the Lala Mustafa Pasa Cami mosque during the Ottoman period, has been condemned for demolition.

    According to the paper, the cathedral faces serious problems due to insufficient maintenance. The stones of the building have begun to deteriorate badly and there are cracks on the walls. The last time the cathedral was renovated was fourteen years ago.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper reports that a company, which had recently received permission from the self-styled coalition government to run a quarry in the occupied area of Kantara, began dynamiting the Kantara mountain peaks to transform the area into a valley. It is also reported that a pine-forest which is in the area, has also been put at risk.

    The paper asks how the self-styled coalition government had given permission to this company to destroy the environment and the surroundings of the historical castle of Kantara. The paper denounced the action and called on the company to stop the destruction.


    [08] Turkey's Central Bank reduces the amount of currency in circulation

    Istanbul NTV Online (26.07.06) reports that the Central Bank has held a number of auctions in recent weeks to withdraw lira from the market and ease the drop in value of the local currency.

    ANKARA - The amount of Turkish currency in circulation has been reduced even further, in the main due to a policy of the Central Bank to drain liquidity from the market. According to a statement issued by the Central Bank on Wednesday, the volume of Turkish currency in circulation stood at YTL22,958,229,400. This was down YTL350,917,900 on the amount in the market on Monday, when there was YTL23,309,147,300, the bank's statement said.


    [09] Turkey's regional position highlighted once again

    Under the above title, daily Turkish Daily News newspaper (27.07.06) publishes the following article by Semih 0diz:

    The only country that I have read about which is griping about Turkey over the Lebanese evacuation is Austria. Apparently, Ankara's refusal to allow a Greek Cypriot plane carrying Austria-bound refugees through Turkish airspace has been latched on to by some in that country as further reason why Turkey should not be allowed into the EU.

    The fact that there was no emergency involving the plane, which could easily have -- and did -- used the usual route used by Greek Cyprus aircraft, or the fact that the Greek Cypriots have been doing all they could to prevent Turkish Cyprus from being used in the evacuation in any way -- lest recognition creep in, is, however, conveniently overlooked.

    But if someone has his mind made up in advance, then there is little others can do to alter his self-centered perceptions. So if we put the Austrians aside, the countries in Europe that matter in the grand scheme of things are having another important reminder of where Turkey is and what it stands to represent as far as Europe's interests are concerned, as a result of the latest conflagration in the Middle East.

    Neither are we talking here about the role Turkey is playing -- which is being lauded by the U.S., Canada and Australia -- in the Lebanese evacuation, given the extremely well-prepared reception for the refugees in Mersin, which, according to the Canadian media in particular, stands in stark contrast to the cool reception in Greek Cyprus.

    This is the humanitarian side of the matter, and Turkey has played this role on more than one occasion over the past three decades, a fact that many in Europe choose not to remember.

    The bigger issue here is the question of the role Turkey can play in stabilizing the region.

    The most immediate issue in this context is, naturally enough, the issue of a multilateral force being proposed for Lebanon. The Western media is rife with speculation that Turkey will not only play a role in this, but also a leading role.

    The other country being mentioned in the forefront in this context is France -- which is ironic, given that this country is also doing its utmost to keep Turkey out of the EU. At any rate, it seems that if there is a force that is set up for Lebanon, these two countries will be asked to play a major role.

    If this is an EU force, which some say it still may be, despite the reference coming out of Rome yesterday to an UN-led force, then the fact that Turkey could be involved in this would, of course, not be a new phenomenon. We saw this in Bosnia and most recently in Congo.

    There will also, no doubt, be a need for Turkish assets in the future, given the other volatile regions of the world that concern the EU closely. This is all very well, but we have to issue some words of caution here.

    Turkey must not be captivated by the mystique of being in an EU force simply to prove its importance to Europe, but should, instead, weigh the issue from all sides if a call is made for it to participate in such a force for any part of the Middle East.

    There are broader issues at stake here that Ankara has to consider closely, not the least of which is the historical baggage it has in terms of this part of the world. Judging by the Arab media, there is some enthusiasm to see Turkish forces in Lebanon, which is a surprising change for the Arab world.

    But there are also those -- most notably some members of Hezbollah -- who say that, if Turkish troops should arrive in Lebanon, they will be seen as allies of Israel and hence as adversaries. The last thing that Turkey would want is to get embroiled in another's war, of course.

    On the other hand, it is clear that there is a growing need for Turkey in Europe on a number of issues having to do with international crises. Turkey should, if it considers giving a positive response to the requests that are made in this regard, make sure that it is sitting at the decision-taking table as an equal partner, and not a mere subcontractor stepping in to take over where the Europeans are reluctant to go.

    Put another way, it should be Turkey's interests that are up front here and not Europe's, but not until Turkey starts getting better signals from Europe than it is presently getting and is made to feel as a partner and not a country that is being kept at arm's length.


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