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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-11-21

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] Paper refers to moratorium on constructions as demanded by the EU while CTP official stated that the decree applies only to river-beds and hills
  • [02] Statements by Talat after meeting the UN Secretary General. Contempt for EU efforts
  • [03] Finland sets December 6 deadline for Turkey to open its ports. Turkeys reaction to this demand through diplomatic sources
  • [04] Cemil Cicek comments on Matti Vanhanens statements on Turkeys EU obligations
  • [05] The Finnish Ambassador to Turkey speaks on Turkey-EU ties and the Finnish initiative on Cyprus
  • [06] German Rotary club RC Roth will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] The Turkish Cypriot Press Council participated in an international meeting in New Delhi
  • [08] Results of the ELF CUP tournament in which FIFA member countries are participating
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot NGOs call on Kofi Annan to start comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus issue
  • [10] The Turkish Airforce Commanders mentality over Greek and Turkish planes dog fights in the Aegean
  • [11] Turkey major transit country for illegal migrants


    [01] Paper refers to moratorium on constructions as demanded by the EU while CTP official stated that the decree applies only to river-beds and hills

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (21.11.06) continues its reference to the issue of the 2nd Area of Kyrenia 2006 decree which has been published by the self-styled government and forbids any constructions to be built in certain areas until 31 January 2007.

    The paper writes that the information was verified and that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) gave a blow to the constructions sector. It adds that there will be no new buildings in the area beginning from Vasilia village until Kalogrea village (northern coast of Cyprus).

    The paper notes that in statements to Kanal T on Sunday night, the general secretary of CTP, Omer Kalyoncu said that this decree is intended only for the beds of the streams and the hills which have been smoothed away.

    Meanwhile, in statements to CUMHURIYET, Ahmet Bahceci, director of the City Planning Department, revealed the content and the scope of the decree and confirmed that no permission for any new development will be given until 31 January 2007.

    Mr Bahceci noted that they will be giving permission only for one building for every plot of land, no matter how big this plot is. Those who do not like these conditions and want to build are in the situation of waiting for the other decree, he added.

    The paper alleges that in this manner the moratorium on the constructions, which Papadopoulos and the EU were putting as a precondition for a long time for the beginning of the talks, is de facto being applied.


    [02] Statements by Talat after meeting the UN Secretary General. Contempt for EU efforts

    Under the title The place of the solution is the UN, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.11.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat met yesterday with the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan in Geneva.

    In statements after the meeting which lasted one hour, Mr Talat said that the file of Cyprus can never go to the EU, that the Turkish Cypriot side does not approve of such a development and that the EU has no capacity to solve the problem.

    Mr Talat described his meeting with Mr Annan as comprehensive and very positive and added that the interest that the UN Secretary-General showed for the issue and the fact that he stated that the solution of the Cyprus problem will be in the framework of the United Nations is very important.

    Mr Talat argued: Our meeting with the esteemed Secretary-General Annan was a meeting which brought again onto the agenda the UN comprehensive solution plan, in other words the Annan Plan, which efforts are exerted to be murdered.

    Mr Talat said that during the meeting, Mr Annan referred to the report that he had submitted to the Security Council in May 2004. Talat argued that his meeting with Mr Annan was at the same time a warning to the Security Council.

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (21.11.06) refers to the meeting under the title The Annan plan on the agenda again.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (21.11.06) refers to the issue under the banner front page title A farewell message: The isolations must be lifted and reports that Mr Annan stated that the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots must be lifted. The paper writes that the sides left happy from the meeting. Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRILSI newspaper (21.11.06) reports that Mr Annan called on the sides in Cyprus to act so that the difference between their words and actions to be eliminated.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (internet version, 21.11.06) reports, inter alia, the following on the meeting: Speaking to reporters following the key meeting, Annan urged Greek and Turkish Cypriots to make progress on ending the 32-year division of Cyprus, saying, "We want to see actions from both sides that close the gap between words and deeds." He also called on the international community to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Talat, for his part underlined the need to continue the Cyprus peace talks under UN auspices and said he proposed Annan to continue his goodwill efforts even after leaving his post to find a comprehensive solution to Cyprus dispute.

    Describing the Finnish proposals as "unbalanced and unjust," Talat stressed that the Cyprus problem should not be made an issue of Turkey's membership talks with the European Union. "The ending of Turkish Cypriots' isolation should not be bound to a condition," he added& .

    Furthermore, Turkish daily M0LL0YET newspaper (21.11.06) under the title Talat: EU is not honest and impartial , reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat exchanged views with UN Secretary-General on the latest proposals for a Cyprus settlement.

    The paper writes that in a statement after the meeting, the outgoing Secretary-General called on both sides to take new steps in order to find a solution to the 32-year problem and to end the division of the island.

    Mr Talat described the meeting as very effective and added that the Annan plan, which was accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side and rejected by the Greek Cypriot side during the referendums in 2004, contains essential principles for a possible solution in the future. He also added that Mr Annan expressed his desire for lifting the isolation from the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Mr Talat noted that the EU cannot solve the Cyprus problem because Greek Cypriot side and Greece are members and for this reason, the EU cannot play an honest, impartial mediator role.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.11.06) reports that replying to a question in Istanbul airport upon his return from Geneva, Mr Talat said that he submitted no new proposals to Mr Annan, but he told him that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready for a comprehensive solution, that the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots should be lifted and that they will not accept to give anything to the Greek Cypriots for this and that the lifting of the isolations will contribute to the elimination of the economic difference between the two sides in Cyprus and thus to the unification of the island and the solution of the Cyrus problem.

    Mr Talat said that the statements made by Mr Annan confirmed the above mentioned views and added: I could say that we agree on almost all issues with the Secretary General.


    [03] Finland sets December 6 deadline for Turkey to open its ports. Turkeys reaction to this demand through diplomatic sources

    Turkish daily HÜRR0YET newspaper (21.11.06), under the headline Open the ports until the 6th of December and the subtitle Pressure from EU on Cyprus , reports that Matti Vanhanen, Prime Minister of Finland which currently holds the EU s six-month rotating presidency, said Turkey must reach an agreement on the issue of opening its ports to vessels under the Republic of Cyprus flag before the 6th of December, abiding by its obligations under its additional Customs Union Protocol.

    In case Turkey does not implement the Protocol, Mr Vanhanen said that they expect the EU Commission to formulate recommendations on this issue during the two first weeks of December.

    Speaking at a meeting in Helsinki, Mr Vanhanen said that Turkey must reach an agreement on the port issue before the Commission makes some recommendations, and the last date for this is by the 6th of December meeting - meaning that the deadline is the night of the December 5. Mr Vanhanen said that the EU Foreign Ministers may take a decision on 11th of December in line with the advisory decisions of the European Commission. He also added that the decision regarding Turkey will be taken before the EU summit on December 14-15 and that they do not want to transform the EU summit in a Turkey summit.

    Noting that he believes there is still a chance for a solution, Mr Vanhanen said: Time is running out. If there is not an agreement and if Turkey fails to fulfil its commitments then the EU will be forced to come up with assessments that might affect the talks. This isn't a good scenario and it means an ambiguous future.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily AKSAM newspaper (21.11.06), under the title Rehn talked also like Vanhanen, reports that the European Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Mr Olli Rehn, recalling the 17 December 2004 Summit said: As a matter of fact, we held a Summit on Turkey and there is no need for another Summit.

    Moreover, under the banner headline Pressure for Cyprus on 6 December, AKSAM paper reports that the messages came in from Brussels to Turkey: Solve the Cyprus problem until the 6th of December. Ankara, on its part, is preparing to give the following answer regarding yesterdays statements by the Finnish Prime Minister and by the European Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Mr Olli Rehn, who also supported Mr Vanhanens statement: It is not possible that we will accept such kind of date restrictions. The problem cannot be solved in such a way. They fix dates by themselves. Turkey will not take steps with such restrictions. From this point of view, the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Gul, to Helsinki in the coming week, carries a critical importance. During that visit, Mr Gul will say the last word on the issue, outlining Turkeys red lines as well as what steps Ankara can take. Mr Gul will say that this problem cannot be solved with one-sided steps and that this will constitute an obstacle before the solution. High-ranking diplomatic sources, who talked to the paper, stressed that this stance cannot be accepted and made the following assessment: It is not possible that we will take steps with such deadlines. They may put dates, but Turkeys stance is clear. The problem cannot be solved with these methods. So, we cannot accept this date restriction.

    The paper also reports that during Guls contacts in Helsinki on 27 November, it is expected that Gul will exhibit clearly the stance on the issue that the Cyprus problem will be solved under the auspice of the United Nations. According to the paper, Gul will also say that such pressure on the talks cannot be accepted.


    [04] Cemil Cicek comments on Matti Vanhanens statements on Turkeys EU obligations

    Under the title Cicek rejects Vanhanens proposal, Turkish NTV television (21.11.06) broadcast that Turkeys State Minister and Governmental Spokesman, Cemil Cicek, commenting on the statement made by the Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen on Turkeys opening its ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels before 6th of December, said: We are, at the point which we are. It is out of the question for us to take a step.

    Mr Cicek, who was replying questions at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting, stated that Turkey has done its part regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the Turkish sides yes to the Annan Plan, Mr Cicek said: They asked for a concession from the side which said yes to the solution. This is incompatible with justice and right. It is the EU and the Greek Cypriot side that should take a step.


    [05] The Finnish Ambassador to Turkey speaks on Turkey-EU ties and the Finnish initiative on Cyprus

    Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (20.11.06) publishes an interview with the Finnish Ambassador to Turkey, Maria Serenius, by the papers reporter Nazlan Ertan.

    Following are the replies of the Finnish Ambassador to questions on Cyprus and Turkey-EU relations:

    QUESTION: We seem to be at an important juncture in Turkey and EU relations and there is not a very positive atmosphere now, between the progress report and the December Summit of 14-15, it does not look very easy on ties - with declining support for EU in Turkey, with Turkish experts, including former ministers, who say that talks should be suspended. "Train crash" has become a household word. How does the Finnish term presidency of the European Union see the developments? Where are we heading?

    SERENIUS: I think we are heading into trouble at the moment unless there is advancement in the Cyprus initiative that Finland has taken. We do not have that much time; the Council meeting is December 14 -15 and not too many weeks to go. Our initiative is to start direct trade between the European Union and Northern Cyprus and the elements related to that. If there would be an agreement like that, it would unblock the situation related to Turkey's accession negotiations. Because of course, Turkey signed a year ago the Ankara protocol (which extends the customs union to new EU members and leads to opening of Turkish ports and airports to the Greek Cypriots), and now it has to implement it, that is a fact. There should be some movement before the Council meeting - this is the general understanding.

    QUESTION: Finnish diplomacy is very transparent in general but on the Cyprus question, there has been some tight-lipped diplomacy. The plan was never written down, which led some circles to believe that it is not serious. Given the shortage of time, the reluctance of parties to come together for a meeting, do you think anything can be realistically achieved?

    SERENIUS: There is no document, paper or memo and all parties agree that this is a good thing. However all the parties know what the content is. Most of it has been reported in the media as well. The idea is that it is a genuine proposal. It is quite general, because the more details you have, the more problems you have.

    The basic idea is that it is a temporary arrangement. It does not aim at the final solution of the Cyprus question. This would just enable Turkey to continue its adhesion process. We have been having very intensive discussions with all the parties and we will continue to do that. Soon, however, we are approaching the moment when we will have to decide whether there is enough development and positive signals in order to make a proposal in writing. We are not yet there.

    QUESTION: But is there enough time? Many EU countries would rather like to see some solid move before the General Affairs Council, the meeting of foreign ministers, rather than at the last moment at leader level? If there is no move, what will the Finnish presidency do or suggest?

    SERENIUS: The recommendation will come from the European Commission. We are presently working on our proposal and if there is the conclusion that we cannot make progress, it will then be mentioned in the Commission recommendation to the Council and the Council will have to decide what course of action it would take based on the Commission report.

    QUESTION: If there is no move, are the alternatives a total suspension or slowing down, by not opening some chapters of negotiations?

    SERENIUS: I do not want to talk of alternatives. I want to say that this is the only game in town at the moment. This is a serious initiative and the only initiative that would unblock the situation. We do not know what will happen in the Council meeting or in the General Affairs Council, but considering what is the mood in Turkey and what is the mood in Europe; I would encourage all parties to find a compromise on the basis of our initiative.

    QUESTION: What is your reading of the progress report? What is the message that the Commission is giving Turkey?

    SERENIUS: It was a report that in my opinion reflected the factual situation in the Turkish accession process. The message was that the process has slowed down. There are things to do and this has been discussed in the government, among officials and the media. Most of the people realize that this is more or less correct analysis. I think it is a good demonstration of dialogue. The Commission says something and Turks respond; it is the normal way of doing business with a country that is in the accession process to the Union.

    I was told by the head of the Turkish Unit in the Commission that he personally has met with 1,300 Turkish bureaucrats during the last two years. He said that the Commission was pleased with the performance of the bureaucrats and officials in Turkey. In the beginning, there were misunderstandings on what the Commission was doing and on what accession process really means. This is the case with every accession country. Once this was solved, the Commission has been pleased with the progress and the willingness of the bureaucrats to work together with the Commission. At the technical level, the accession goes quite well. It is an important process. We must be able to continue that. Therefore, Finland made the initiative (on Cyprus).

    QUESTION: Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code has acquired both real and symbolic value in the Turkish-EU relations because it both touches freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Turks say that there are similar articles in the EU members' legislation. Although many countries would have articles on protecting their constitutional institutions, do you actually protect "Finnishness"?

    SERENIUS: This is the point that Olli Rehn was making. Quite often in Turkey, when talking of a particular legislation, you hear that European countries have similar laws. In this case we all have laws against insulting the state and the president, but they are seldom being used. However we do not have laws against insulting Finnishness, Swedishness or Frenchness. When you have laws like that, you run into trouble because you cannot define what it is, this "Turkishness."

    Freedom of expression is one of the Copenhagen criteria; it is the pillar of democracy as long as you express a non-violent opinion. So we are encouraging the government to change the paragraph or to scrap it altogether. There are some positive signals that this might be the case and we welcome that. Let us see what will happen. What is also important is just how the judges will interpret it, and it may take a longer time to change the attitudes and the value system of the judges.

    QUESTION: Turkey is entering an election year - and there are many who say that this would take the attention away from the European Union and others say that the government has given up on the EU already. Do you think that this would create further strain in the Turco-EU relations? Are sides calculating on a slower pace of accession?

    SERENIUS: In any accession country, there are ups and downs and speedy paces and slow paces. It is quite evident that it will not be smooth sailing all the time in the accession process in the coming ten years.

    Elections affect the political situation in most of the European countries, this might be the case also in Turkey. However I hope that the reform process will continue also during this time.

    QUESTION: In the European accession, all candidates feel that they have a hard time at one time or another. But there are easy candidates and there are some not so easy candidates. Why Turkey is considered such a hard candidate? Is it the size or the fact that it has adversaries in the Union?

    SERENIUS: Maybe all of that.. But size is an important factor. Remember how difficult the UK had it, or Spain had it. Also many other countries faced difficulties during their accession process.. Turks are sometimes saying that no country has been treated this way before. I do not think this is correct. For example UK was vetoed twice and Spain once. All applicant countries went through difficult times during accession process but big countries particularly, because each big country that enters the EU will change the Union a bit. Then Turkey will be one of the biggest when it joins. So of course, this raises questions and discussions.

    It is natural that there is a debate - this is democracy. Pros and cons are heatedly debated in many circles. They must be able to do that both in Europe and in Turkey. Turkey will never have a hundred percent acceptance rate in Europe but it is important it will have majority.

    Size of Turkey is important, the difference of culture and then the fact that part of Turkey, such as the southeast is not very developed, and the socio-economic challenge is great.

    QUESTION: Do you thing religion is a factor?

    SERENIUS: Religion is part of the culture. I do not think that it is main element - but it depends on how dialogue between Islam and West develop. Turkey has an important role to play as a bridge. Its secularist nature is important - in Turkey, Islam and democracy can coexist impressively.

    On a final note, my country, Finland, has been supporting Turkey in its European accession for a long time, since 1999 and we will go on supporting Turkey on the condition that it fulfils all the Copenhagen criteria.

    [06] German Rotary club RC Roth will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.11.06) reports that the administrators of the German Rotary club RC Roth will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus on 29 May 2007.

    The visit will last for a week and it will be realized upon the initiative of Turgay Hilmi, TRNCs so-called Cultural Attaché in Germany, who is also member of the above-mentioned club. Important names in Germany such as Baron Freiherr von Frydag and his wife will participate in the German delegation, reports the paper.


    [07] The Turkish Cypriot Press Council participated in an international meeting in New Delhi

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.11.06) reports that according to a statement issued by Ismet Kotak, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Press Council, the Council participated in the International Special Meeting organized in New Delhi on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Indias Press Council.

    According to the statement, the meeting took place between 16 and 19 November. Twenty two countries participated in it, including the TRNC and Turkish HURRIYETs editor Oktay Eksi, chairman of the World Association of Press Councils (WAPC).


    [08] Results of the ELF CUP tournament in which FIFA member countries are participating

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (20.11.06) refers to results of the ELF CUP tournament which is taking place in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The national team of the TRNC won by 5-0 the team of Crimea. The other results are Zanzibar-Kyrgyzstan 1-0, Greenland Gagavuzia 2-0 and Tajikistan Tibet 3-0.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.11.06) also refers to the results of the ELF CUP tournament which is taking place in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The national team of the TRNC won by 5-1 the team of Tajikistan and Crimea won by 1-0 the team of Tibet. The other results are Gagavuzia - Kyrgyzstan 2-6 and Greenland-Zanzibar 1-1.


    [09] Turkish Cypriot NGOs call on Kofi Annan to start comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.11.06) broadcast that ten non-governmental organizations led by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce have sent a message to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to express opposition to attempts aimed at taking the Cyprus problem out of the United Nations platform and into the European Union framework.

    In their letter, the NGOs thanked Mr Annan for his contributions towards a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Pointing to the disappointment created at international level by the rejection of the UN peace plan in 2004, the NGOs said it was unjust for the Republic of Cyprus to join the European Union despite having rejected the Annan Plan.

    They reminded that in spite of the collapse of all attempts for a solution, South Cyprus was admitted as a member of the European Union, while the Turkish Cypriot People was left out and is still suffering under an unjustified international isolation, despite having approved the international peace plan.

    Calling on the UN Secretary-General to launch a new initiative to help end the unjustified isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people, they called on Mr Annan to restart comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

    The NGOs expressed support for a solution based on the existing UN parameters which, they say, envisage a federal solution based on a bi-zonal and bi-communal order respectful to the political equality of the two sides and which also maintains Turkeys position as a guarantor power.

    [10] The Turkish Airforce Commanders mentality over Greek and Turkish planes dog fights in the Aegean

    Under the title: The warning that put an end to dog fights: If one downs one of my planes I will down his two planes, columnist writer Fatih Cekirge reports in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (20.11.06) that during a reception given in Ankara on the occasion of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) of the occupied by Turkish troops northern Cyprus, he had a brief discussion with the Turkish Air Force Chief, General Faruk Comert, during which he asked the General about his reaction when a Turkish fighter plane was crashed into the waters of the Aegean Sea few months ago. Here are the answers given by the General: Of course it is not easy. We want peace in the Aegean and for this reason we conduct flights without weapons. Even this was a message.

    In fact the General was trying to avoid giving a complete answer, but I have insisted: Well, if they (the Geeks) fly with weapons, are you in a position to control it?

    And the commander gives a satisfactory answer: We want peace, but we never let loose. During the last incident one of our planes was downed. And I told openly to the other side: This is a plane downed during my commandership and if a similar incident occurs then, I will retaliate in twofold.

    That is?

    That is, if you down one plane we will down two.

    Yes, General Comert had officially conveyed this reaction or warning to his interlocutor in Greece. When the General was telling these, his face was very serious and sober. Following this reaction by the general, dog fights without using arms had stopped. That is, from that day on the Greek jets stopped harassing our planes in the Aegean. This means that for peace, force and will power are useful at least for a while.


    [11] Turkey major transit country for illegal migrants

    Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (20.11.06), under the above title, reports the following:

    Illegal migrants attempting to relocate to Western countries prefer Turkey as a transit country mainly because they have confidence in its Muslim identity.

    Field studies and statistics also confirmed that geographic location was another important factor behind this preference. Over the last 11 years, more than 600,000 people have been captured while trying to cross Turkish borders.

    Regional wars, internal turmoil, terrorism, and economic problems are leading factors behind illegal immigration

    Ethnic repression, famine, epidemics, family problems and policies encouraging illicit immigration in some countries were also cited as other reasons for illegal border crossings.

    Middle Eastern, Asian and African migrants prefer Turkey because of its Muslim identity as well as for similarities between languages. The relatively lenient measures against illegal immigration in Turkey and assurances given by immigrants already settled here also increased illicit migration, the studies indicated.

    Erdogan: Neighbours non-compliant with their obligations

    In regards to the illegal immigration issue, and the fact that Turkey is a major transit country, the Turkish prime minister said that Turkeys neighbours were not doing enough to deal with the problem. Erdogan said that 600,000 people have been captured over the last ten years trying to cross Turkeys borders, many coming from the East.

    It has been observed that our neighbours and others have not complied with their obligations, and occasionally exported the issue to Turkey. Turkey offered the ratification of bilateral extradition agreements with 16 countries, including Pakistan and Iran.


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