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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-12-08

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.238/06 08.12.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press cover the decision of the ECHR on Myra Xenides Aresti case.
  • [02] How the TurkishCypriot and the Turkish press cover Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus .
  • [03] How Turkish officials assess Turkeys conditional proposal on Cyprus.
  • [04] General Buyukanit says the AKP government did not take their opinion about the conditional proposal on Cyprus.
  • [05] History of the Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus .
  • [06] Finland indicates that Turkeys proposal needs clarification.
  • [07] Mehmet Ali Talat on Turkeys conditional proposal and ECHR decision.
  • [08] Statements by Mehmet Ali Talat after meeting with the Dutch Foreign Minister in the Netherlands.
  • [09] A protocol was signed between the TRNC and Turkey for cooperation on technical issues regarding the European Union.
  • [10] Estonia is planning to open a representation office in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [11] Eight journalists, who tried to take pictures of a fire near the buffer zone, were arrested.
  • [12] Statements by Ali Babacan after meeting with the Latvian Prime Minister.
  • [13] Turkey fined for the abuse of women prisoners.
  • [14] Turkeys President appoints Ruhi Ozbilgic as the new TRT Director General.
  • [15] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will participate in the 2nd International Business Womens Forum in Kuala Lumpur.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press cover the decision of the ECHR on Myra Xenides Aresti case

    The Turkish Cypriot press covers today (08.12.06) the decision of the ECHR on Myra Xenides Aresti case.

    KIBRIS newspaper under the title A historical decision in the properties, reports that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced yesterday its decision on the Greek Cypriot refugee Myra Xenides - Aresti case. The paper writes that the court accepted the Property Compensation Commission established in the occupied part of Cyprus as domestic remedy. The court ordered Turkey to pay the sum of 900 thousand euros to Mrs Aresti as compensation for her occupied property in Varosha, notes KIBRIS pointing out, though, that the Greek Cypriot refugee demanded a compensation of two million euros. Experts stressed that the fact that the ECHR accepted the Property Compensation Commission as domestic remedy is a positive development for the Turkish side.

    AFRIKA refers to the reaction of the Greek Cypriot side and writes that while the Turkish Cypriots consider this decision as acceptance of the Property Compensation Commission, the Greek Cypriot side interprets it in a different manner.

    HALKIN SESI refers to the issue under the title Approval for the Property Compensation Commission by the ECHR. OZGUR DUSUNCE refers to the issue under the title Legal victory.

    YENI DUZEN describes the decision as important and argues that the property issue is carried to a new dimension. The paper writes, inter alia, the following: Your paper, YENI DUZEN, had announced in its issue the day before yesterday the decision which the ECHR took yesterday. Our columnist Sami Ozuslu had conveyed to his readers from Brussels that the Property Compensations Commission, which has been established in Northern Cyprus, will be accepted as a domestic remedy.

    CUMHURIYET refers to the issue under the title Approval on conditions for the Property Compensation Commission. GUNES refers to the issue under the title The ECHR treats Turkey like an occupier. VOLKAN points out that the court does not change its decision that the occupied areas of Cyprus are under the sovereignty of Turkey.

    ORTAM refers to the issue under the title Approval for the Commission by the ECHR.

    (I/Ts)

    [02] How the Turkish Cypriot and the Turkish press cover Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus

    The Turkish Cypriot press covers today (08.12.06) Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus

    KIBRIS, under the title Turkey´s ports offensive reports that Turkey has suggested opening a sea and an airport for one year for the Republic of Cyprus in return for the opening of illegal Tymbou airport and the occupied Famagusta port for one year for direct trade. The proposal, which was discussed at the COREPER meeting in Brussels, provided for the commencement of an initiative for the solution of the Cyprus problem under the UN umbrella until the end of 2007. The paper notes that the Greek Cypriot side rejected the proposal for the very first moment. In the beginning the proposal created satisfaction in the EU and afterwards it created disputes, according to the paper, which adds that the Finnish term presidency of the Union has announced that the Turkish proposal is not yet sufficient for making Turkeys EU negotiations go smoothly. AFRIKA refers to the issue under the title Shock from Turkey for the ports and reports that the Turkish proposal has suddenly increased the tension. The paper notes that the proposal had not been submitted in writing and that it does not say which port Turkey is ready to open. HALKIN SESI refers to the issue under the title Counter proposal from Turkey and reports that COREPER is expected to discuss the proposal in more details today. YENI DUZEN refers to the issue under the title Proposal for the ports from Turkey on conditions. The paper argues that the proposal caused shock in the political circles. KIBRISLI describes the proposal as Proposal which shocked the EU. OZGUR DUSUNCE, under the title Ohi again! argues that while Turkey is making one more step forward, trying to open the way for the solution, the Greek Cypriot administration is becoming like Denktas. The paper reports that the Finnish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Tuomioja stated that he could verify that Turkey informed them that it will temporarily open one of its important ports. CUMHURIYET refers to the issue under the title Proposal for the ports on conditions from Turkey to the EU. VATAN refers to the issue under the title The answer to the shocking proposal: It is not enough. The paper writes that AKPs deputy Salih Kapusuz has said that Prime Minister Erdogan will not participate in the EU Summit which will take place in Brussels even if he is invited. The leader of the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, speaking during a visit yesterday, argued that Turkeys proposal will be a step made towards recognising South Cyprus as a legal and legitimate state. The vice president of the CHP, Onur Oymen said that there is no difference from the legal and political point of view between opening one seaport and airport or ten ports. Turkeys State Minister Kursat Tuzmen said that Turkeys opening a port in any manner is not in the question. VOLKAN refers to the issue and argues that the AKP government and the self-styled government in the occupied areas are preparing to recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration and alleges that they will finish off the TRNC.

    The Turkish press covers today (08.12.06) Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus as follows:

    HURRIYET newspaper, under the title Pressure for the Greek Cypriots for the ports, writes that the proposal made yesterday by Turkey in response to the danger of the suspension of its EU negotiation, for opening temporarily a port to the Greek Cypriots was dropped like a bomb onto the European agenda.

    Turkeys proposal is as follows:

    An important Mediterranean Port to be opened for the Greek Cypriots.

    In return of the opening of the occupied Tymbou airport as a response to opening of a Turkish airport.

    Steps to be taken by the EU for the lifting of the isolation of the TRNC.

    The revival of the UN process for a permanent and comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The chairman of the European Commission Mr Barroso, stated that the EU is welcoming this proposal and added that the EU wants the lifting of the isolation of the TRNC. He also stated that this proposal is an important step for the full implementation of the Additional Protocol. The paper writes that the Greek Cypriot side stated that it will never accept the opening of the occupied airport in Tymbou. On its part Athens stated that the opening of a port is not enough. The paper writes that Turkey may open the port of Mersin. As regards the airport they are thinking of opening is either the Istanbul, or the Izmir, or the Adana or the Antalya Airports.

    The paper also writes that, according to the EU circles, the change of attitude by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel derived from the fact that she was informed by Ankara for this step. The paper writes that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who had a telephone conversation with Mrs Merkel prior to her meeting with the French President Jacque Chirac informed the German Chancellor about the issue. Therefore an ultimatum did not come out of the Merkel-Chirac meeting, adds the paper.

    The German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, stated that Turkey showed with its new proposal on Cyprus that it is ready, in a cautious manner, for a solution. As he stated he met with his Turkish and Greek counterparts before this issue and they did not know under what conditions Turkey was ready to open its ports and airports to Cyprus. As he said, in case these proposals are constructive, they could be positive elements during the forthcoming negotiations which are going to take place next week at the EU Summit.

    SABAH reports also about Turkeys proposal and that the golden goal proposal by the EU Commissioner Rehn has been realized. The paper writes that the Greek Cypriots were surprised and that the EU term president Finland invited Turkey to clarify the proposal.

    (I/Ts/C/S)

    [03] How Turkish officials assess Turkeys conditional proposal on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.06) reports the following:

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Onur Oymen, regarding Turkey's new proposal to EU about the Cyprus issue, said, "there is no jural difference between opening one port and ten ports. There's no need to fool each other. This will lead to recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration by Turkey gradually."

    Oymen, prior to the Turkish Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee's meeting, assessed Turkey's recent proposal for "opening an airport and a port to the Greek Cypriot administration by Turkey in return for opening Turkish Cypriot Ercan Airport (occupied Tymbou) to international traffic and the Magusa port (occupied Famagusta) for direct trade".

    Reminding the EU's commitment to remove all embargo on the TRNC on April 26th, 2006, Oymen said: "This commitment was the removal of all isolations on the TRNC upon Turkish Cypriot side´s "yes" vote to the Annan Plan in the referendum.

    This commitment was unconditional. It was decided that all embargo would be removed unconditionally".

    Stressing Greek Cypriot administration's intrigues prevented EU from fulfilling its commitment, Oymen said, "apparently the government is taking steps to legitimize an administration (Greek Cypriot administration), long perceived unlawful step by step. We are warning the government. Don't commit this grave mistake, resist against unjust pressures. Those who put forward the Cyprus issue against Turkey are not honest about their true deeds."

    Meanwhile, Chairman of the Turkish Parliament´s Foreign Affairs Committee Mehmet Dulger noted that they had not contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yet.

    "Such a proposal was made. If it is adopted, an individual comes to that port with papers and passport, and you accept it and put a stamp on the passport.

    It would mean a de facto recognition. We've got to be careful with this one. And if the other side comes to the Ercan Airport (occupied Tymbou), this would also mean a de facto recognition. It's a jural matter," he said.

    On the same issue, "Turkey's opening its ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot traffic in anyway is out of question," Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said on Thursday.

    Upon a question about Turkey's proposal to the EU on the Cyprus issue, Tuzmen told reporters: "Our opinion is clear. Turkey's opening its ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot traffic in anyway is out of question. Those who do not have enough information about the Cyprus issue, make such statements, and complicates efforts to find a solution."

    On the other hand, Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Deputy Group Chairman Suleyman Saribas said: "the real problem is not related with allowing the Greek Cypriot administration to use a few ports and airports, but it is recognition of the Greek Cypriot community as the government of whole Cyprus."

    "Whatever concessions we make, the EU will not accept Turkey's membership.

    Because the EU, which has been engaged in dealing with its own problems, is not ready for enlargement. The EU is being ruled by clumsy Merkels, clumsy Chiracs and the other clumsy politicians. The EU could not display the necessary courage to make a decision of enlargement with such irresponsible politicians. This is a dead end," he commented.

    Meanwhile, Rauf Denktas, the former president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said: "if Turkey advocated in its proposal that embargoes imposed on the TRNC should be lifted, those proposals can be debated. The Cyprus issue can be resolved on the basis of two states. Otherwise, it will be submission."

    Furthermore, Deniz Baykal, the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said there was no difference between opening a port and an airport or opening all of them.

    Speaking to reporters after meeting with Dervis Gunday, the chairman of the Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (TESK), Baykal said the government was trying to make concessions before the European Union foreign ministers' meeting on December 11 and the European Council meeting on December 14 and 15.

    "When we expect Turkey to maintain its determined and clear position, it has started to take backward steps," Baykal said. "Turkey has committed to open a port and an airport to the Greek Cypriots in return for opening of an airport and port in northern Cyprus. This is an issue concerning Turkey's future and national interests. As the main opposition, we are not informed about the bargaining because this decision was not discussed at the parliament. This is a significant breaking point in Cyprus policy,"

    The CHP leader said that Turkey was walking into a dangerous trap if it gave limited access to Greek Cypriot trade, saying that it would no longer have the right to refuse to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.06) also reports the following:

    "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not attend the EU Heads of State and Government Summit in Brussels on December 14th-15th even if he is invited," Salih Kapusuz, deputy group chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), said on Thursday.

    When asked whether Erdogan would attend the EU Summit in Brussels, Kapusuz told reporters, "our parliament will start debating the budget for the year 2007 on December 15th. Prime Minister Erdogan will not attend the EU Heads of State and Government Summit even if he is invited. He will attend the parliamentary debates on the budget."

    [04] General Buyukanit says the AKP government did not take their opinion about the conditional proposal on Cyprus

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (08.12.06 Internet version) reports that the chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit has stated that the AKP government took the decision about the conditionally opening of one Turkish port to Cyprus and submitted it to the EU without consulting with them and that he was informed about the issue from the TV.

    Responding to HURRIYETs questions, General Buyukanit said regarding the proposal: I am saying it clearly. I am not saying it off the record. Our opinion has not been taken.

    He added: The way of how the official view of the Turkish Armed Forces is taken is known. We give in writing our official view. No one can announce an official view in the name of the Turkish Armed Forces without my approval. And I say that our official view was not taken.

    He then explained that their official view is the view which the Turkish state expressed until today, that is: The solution of the Cyprus problem should be reached at the UN and it should be comprehensive, just and lasting.

    He added: According to our opinion, this opening is tantamount to a deviation from the official opinion of the state. You are saying that you will open the ports. Which ports are you going to open?

    When reminded that the Greek Cypriots rejected the Turkish conditional proposal, General Buyukanit said: The fact that the Greek Cypriots rejected it is not important at all. As I have said, there has been a deviation from the states official view. And we found very strange the fact that this came onto the agenda in a surprise manner. We are not administrating. We are only expressing our view.

    Asked what he would answer if his opinion had been asked, he noted: it would be completely the opposite of what the government did. Doing something like this suddenly was not right.

    Replying to other questions he said: Of course this is the governments decision. You asked and we are just announcing the view of the Turkish Armed Forces. I am not the person that govern Turkey. I am not the one who determines the state policy. I am just representing the Armed Forces and I am expressing its view very clearly. I was at a meeting. When I returned I learned about it from the TV. I am underlining the following: They might take our view and not accept it, but the person who is the head of the Armed Forces must not learn such a decision from the television. Is it not necessary to inform and take the view of an institution which maintains there 40 thousand of its soldiers for such an important decision?

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] History of the Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (08.12.06) writes that Turkeys conditional proposal for opening one seaport and one airport to the Republic of Cyprus has started to be formed in October by the National Security Council (NSC).

    Invoking sources from Ankara, the paper writes that during the evaluation meetings at the NSC, the Council proposed the opening of one port and one airport of Turkey in return of the opening of the Famagusta Port for international trade. However, afterwards the opening of the occupied Tymbou airport was added on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

    According to the paper, the proposal which the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul conveyed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Finnish EU term Presidency Erkki Tuoimoja, during the telephone conversation which they had the night before yesterday did not include any direct condition, in spite of what it was alleged.

    According to the proposal, Turkey would open a port and an airport to Cyprus, unconditionally, starting from the 1st of January 2007 and for a period of 12 months. However, Turkey would expect during this period, the opening of the occupied Tymbou airport for international flights and the opening of the Famagusta port for international trade.

    In addition, Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (08.12.06) under the title Step-by-step telephone diplomacy, writes that the new proposal has been shaped up during the last three days through telephone-diplomacy:

    On Monday, the 4th of December, Mr Gul met with the American Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson. Mr Gul expressed to Mr Wilson that Turkey expects continuation of USA support and informed him about Turkeys strategy.

    On Tuesday the 5th of December, the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan called Mrs Merkel and told her that they do not expect a negative result to come out from the German-French alliance. On his part Mr Gul met with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Mr Gul shared Turkeys position with him and asked for support. The same day Gul called Geoff Hoon, the Minister Responsible for European Affairs of Britain.

    On Wednesday the 6th of December, Gull called the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and shared with him the final form of the new proposal. Gul called Tuomioja in the evening and conveyed to him the new proposal.

    In addition Ankara Anatolia (07.12.06) reports from Brussels, Finland, has indicated that it received a letter from Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul including Turkey's proposal about opening of a Turkish port and an airport to the Greek Cypriot traffic. Mikko Norros, spokesman for Finland's EU Permanent Representation, said that Finland had begun reviewing Gul's letter.

    (C/S)

    [06] Finland indicates that Turkeys proposal needs clarification

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.06) reports the following from Brussels:

    "I can confirm Turkey informed us that it may open one of its important ports temporarily," Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of Finland said today.

    "Turkey's proposal is an important step towards full implementation of Ankara Protocol. But it still needs clarification," said Mr Tuomioja in a written statement released on Turkey's proposal on Thursday.

    The Foreign Minister of Finland said: "If Turkey is ready to take this step unconditionally, this positive step will affect the EU talks on continuation of entry negotiations with Turkey."

    [07] Mehmet Ali Talat on Turkeys conditional proposal and ECHR decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.12.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat met yesterday in Holland with Bernard Bot, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. Commenting on Turkeys conditional proposal regarding the opening of one sea and airport to Cyprus, Mr Talat said that they support this proposal and described it as new opening and as positive and right approach.

    Commenting on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights ECHR regarding the Arestis case, Mr Talat argued that it showed that the Turkish Cypriots are right and that they approach the issue seriously. Mr Talat is in Holland for a one day visit in order to conduct talks on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem, notes KIBRIS adding that the Turkish Cypriot delegation under Mr Talat had lunch with a Dutch delegation under the deputy of the permanent undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and afterwards Mr Talat met with Mr Bot. Mr Talat argued that the Greek Cypriots strange approach for the Turkish proposal shows how hard is the Greek Cypriot side and how much it wants to keep the Turkish Cypriots under pressure.

    Talat alleged: What can I say? We are proposing reasonable and sensible things and the Greek Cypriot side rejects them, because they think that by making their own demands as preconditions they will lead to failure Turkeys EU accession negotiations or they will get concessions. I want to say once more that this is not possible. Talat said that he discussed with Bot the developments regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkeys EU accession course and explained once again the importance of the UN procedure for the solution of the problem. He noted that they also discussed the decision of the ECHR on the Myra Xenides - Aresti case. Mr Bot made no statement after the meeting, in spite of the insistence of the Turkish media.

    (I/Ts)

    [08] Statements by Mehmet Ali Talat after meeting with the Dutch Foreign Minister in the Netherlands

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.12.06) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the whole world especially the European Union, has started to realize the fact that the Cyprus problem should be solved under the aegis of the United Nations.

    Speaking to the Turkish Television, President Talat said the Greek Cypriot Administration has also started to realize the need to stop dragging its feet on the issue.

    He added that in the near feature, this reality will receive more support from the international community.

    The President Mehmet Ali Talat who is currently in the Netherlands met this afternoon with the Dutch Foreign Minister Bernad Bot in the Hague.

    Referring to contacts he is going to have in Brussels, President Mehmet Ali Talat said that during his discussions, he will underline the need for the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People and a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the UN auspices.

    The President said he will also point to the importance of the fact that the European Commission highlighted the need for the Cyprus problem to be solved under the aegis of the UN in its latest recommendation on Turkey.

    Referring to his meeting with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, Mr Talat stated that he will be explaining to Mr Rehn the reasons behind the Turkish Cypriot sides disapproval of the European Commissions recommendation on Turkey.

    The President said he will also underline the need for the immediate implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation which he said, should have a proper content.

    Commenting on the Finnish proposals which was prepared with the aim of preventing a train crash in Turkeys EU membership process but ended with failure and the Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehns words on the Cyprus issue, he said that both of them proved the fact that the EU cannot be a basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem and that the issue should not be made more complex with EUs interference.

    Referring to a statement by the Finnish Ambassador to Cyprus Risto Pipponen that the Cyprus problem must be solved on the basis of the UN warning that, otherwise the situation could get worse, President Talat said that these statements are the signs showing that the Cyprus issue is a hindering factor for all the EU initiatives.

    Tomorrow, the President will go on to Brussels where he will meet with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.

    Mr Talat is expected to return to the Republic on Saturday.

    [09] A protocol was signed between the TRNC and Turkey for cooperation on technical issues regarding the European Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.12.06) reports that a protocol was signed yesterday between the TRNC and Turkey for cooperation on technical issues regarding the European Union. The self-styled Prime Minister Soyer met yesterday with Ambassador Oguz Demiralp, General Secretary for the EU at the office of the Turkish Prime Minister, who is visiting the occupied areas on the occasion of the signing of the protocol. Mr Soyer said that they will act in cooperation with Turkey for the EU target. Soyer argued: Cyprus does not belong only to the Greek Cypriots. It is an island where the Turks have also a say. It is our common country. Turkey is a part of Europe.

    (ITs)

    [10] Estonia is planning to open a representation office in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.12.06) reports that Estonia is planning to open a representation in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus aiming at supporting the recognition of the TRNC in the international field. Invoking information acquired by Turkish Anatolia news agency, the paper writes that Estonia is planning to open an international diplomatic representation in the occupied areas of the Island similar to the one in Taiwan. Officials said that Estonia will send to the occupied areas a delegation of parliamentarians and businessmen within the framework of strengthening its relations with the TRNC. It is noted that the Baltic countries, and mainly Estonia, want the lifting of the isolation of the TRNC and the Turkish side to be benefited from the funds of the European Union, reports KIBRIS.

    (ITs)

    [11] Eight journalists, who tried to take pictures of a fire near the buffer zone, were arrested

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.12.06) reports that as a result of a fire in the area called by the Turkish Cypriots as Yediler near the buffer zone, four shops, the three of which had been in use, were partly destroyed. YENI DUZEN reports that five shops were destroyed and that eight journalists, who tried to take pictures of the fire, were arrested because they took pictures of a prohibited military zone. The journalists were set free later. KIBRISLI refers to the issue under the title This time the police arrested local journalists!!! The paper reports that the policemen warned the journalists not to take again the picture of a military zone. The journalist, who were arrested, are Kartal Harman, Hasan Kosen, Meltem Aslan and Hande Canlikan from KIBRISLI, Ozlem Saglam from HALKIN SESI, Mehmet Moreket, Alihan Pehlivan, Sezgin Madencioglu and Hasan Yagiz from Kanal T.

    (I/Ts)

    [12] Statements by Ali Babacan after meeting with the Latvian Prime Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.06) reports the following from Riga:

    "There is not yet any official statement over recent developments about the Cyprus issue," Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said on Thursday.

    Babacan, who is currently in Latvia, the 3rd leg of his tour of the EU-member countries, was received by Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis of Latvia.

    Holding a news conference following the meeting, Babacan said: "Our government has not yet released an official statement over recent developments about the Cyprus issue."

    Referring to bilateral relations between Turkey and Latvia, Babacan said, "our relations have been further improving in every area. The Turkish Embassy was opened in Riga. Also, the Turkish Airlines has begun direct flights to Riga."

    "We extend full support to Latvia's membership to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In return, Latvia supports Turkey's EU membership bid," he told reporters.

    Upon a question, Babacan said: "Turkish people support reforms as well as economic and democratic changes in our EU membership process. However, our people react to some negative developments about the Cyprus issue and several other matters."

    "Next eight days are of great importance for Turkey-EU relations. The Cyprus issue will be high on agenda once again. We hope that short-term problems would not disturb long-term and beneficial relations between Turkey and the EU," Babacan added.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Kalvitis said in his part that they would continue supporting Turkey in its EU membership process.

    Furthermore, Sources said that Latvian government executives are expected to say (at the scheduled EU Foreign Ministers' meeting) that 2-3 negotiation chapters, only concerning Customs Union, should be suspended.

    [13] Turkey fined for the abuse of women prisoners

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (07.12.06) reports that the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday found Turkey accountable for the abuse of three female political prisoners held on suspicion of belonging to an illegal far-left organization.

    The three women complained they were threatened with death, sexually harassed, beaten, strung up and doused with cold water when they were questioned in March 1998 as part of a government probe into the Turkish Communist Party-Marxist Leninist (TKP/ML).

    A physician noted bruises and swelling on two of the women, while another doctor highlighted injuries on the back of the third, who was examined the day after she was detained at Umraniye Prison in Istanbul.

    The court concluded there was an absence of plausible explanations from the Turkish government concerning the injuries, which could only be attributed to behavior for which the Turkish government should be held accountable.

    It awarded two of the women damages of 10,000 euros, while the third received 7,000 euros.

    [14] Turkeys President appoints Ruhi Ozbilgic as the new TRT Director General

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.12.06) reports that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed on Thursday the decree on appointment of Prime Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Ruhi Ozbilgic as the new director general of the state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).

    The Council of Ministers chose Ozbilgic among the three candidates nominated by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) as the new head of the TRT, and presented the decree to President Sezer for approval.

    The other two candidates were Anadolu Agency (A.A) Director General Dr. Hilmi Bengi and A.A Deputy Director General Tahsin Akti.

    The RTUK nominated Ozbilgic, Bengi and Akti as candidates for the post on October 11th.

    [15] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will participate in the 2nd International Business Womens Forum in Kuala Lumpur

    KIBRIS reports that Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will participate in the 2nd International Business Womens Forum which will be organized in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to a statement issued by the TCCO, the Forum will begin today and end on 10 December.

    (I/Ts)

    /SK


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