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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-12-19

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.245/06 19.12.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The commander of the Turkish occupation army said that Cyprus is Turkish territory
  • [02] Tayyip Erdogans contacts in New York
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce: Exporting the products of northern Cyprus through ports of south Cyprus without the realization of free trade is unacceptable
  • [04] Meetings between the ministry of finance and Turkeys Directorate of Customs in order to upgrade the customs in the occupied areas
  • [05] Georgian president to seek energy alternatives in Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Turkey's EU Bid and the Cyprus Card
  • [07] 'Islamic capitalism' faces secular challenge in Turkey
  • [08] Columnist in YENI SAFAK argues that Hizbullah was used by the Turkish state

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The commander of the Turkish occupation army said that Cyprus is Turkish territory

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.12.06) reports that the Turkish occupation army and the security forces have undertaken the repair work of 107 houses at occupied Rizokarpasso village. The people who live in those houses are not in a position to carry out maintenance and repair work in them because of their bad economic situation. In some of these houses there is no toilet and bathroom, reports KIBRIS.

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (19.12.06) refers to the issue under the title Blow to the civilians. The army came down into the field. The paper reports that a placard writing that The army and the nation together, we do not want to live without the army has been hanged at Rizokarpasso. There is a surprise by the army command for Talat who on Friday night said on BRT that the army does not interfere in the civilian life, writes the paper adding that the commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus, lieutenant general Hayri Kivrikoglu met with people living in occupied Trikomo village and said: We are neither up to giving or thinking of giving to anyone even a span of these lands. We think that building scenarios and being hopeless believing in what the others say and want to say is extremely wrong. We are here, we are on duty and we continue our duty together with you. General Kivrikoglu noted that within a year the army gave support to 176 schools, built 29 parks for children and restored 16 health centres. These lands are real Turkish land, we will look after our land, he claimed.

    GUNES newspaper (19.12.06) refers to the same issue under the banner front page title Promise of the army and reports that general Kivrikoglu alleged that the TRNC is an independent and democratic state and added: It is the main duty of all of us to protect, look after and exalt this state and raise our flag to the highest level. Kivrikoglu noted that no one can break them off from their people and their nation.

    VOLKAN newspaper (19.12.06) refers to the same statements under the banner front page title Protecting the TRNC is the duty of all of us.

    (ITs)

    [02] Tayyip Erdogans contacts in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (19.12.06) reports that in statements during a press conference yesterday at the building of the UN in New York, the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the fact that UN Secretary-Generals report for Cyprus is held up for two and a half years at the Security Council. He noted that this creates questions and leads to loss of trust. Mr Erdogan criticized the EU as well and argued: Until now the EU has not approached the solution in Cyprus in a just manner, because it has not kept the promise it had given. When we put before them the statements of 26 April 2004 they bend down their heads. We wish for a just decision to be made with the steps made after the recent summit.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.12.06) reports from New York that Mr Erdogan met with the former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Qualifying his one-hour meeting with Mr Clinton as fruitful, Erdogan said that Turkey pursues transparent policies. "Turkey will continue contributing to peace and stability in the Middle East," he stated.

    According to sources, Erdogan and Clinton discussed Turkey's EU membership bid, the Cyprus problem and Turkey's recent diplomatic initiatives, Armenian genocide allegations, developments in the Middle East and PM Erdogan's initiatives regarding the Middle East in their meeting.

    Mr Erdogan briefed Clinton on his working trips to Iran, Syria and Lebanon, and expressed his views about developments in Iraq and Lebanon. Mr Clinton stressed that Erdogan makes positive contributions to the Middle East, and underlined the importance of formation of a coalition government by Fatah and Hamas in Palestine. On the other hand, Erdogan explained Turkey's theses on the Armenian genocide allegations, and added that this is a matter concerning the historians, not politicians.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.12.06) reports from New York that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Sheika Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa, who is the 61st president of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting took place behind closed doors in the UN HQ in NYC. Al-Khalifa, a lawyer and diplomat from Bahrain, is elected the President of 61th session of the General Assembly that began on September 12th.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce: Exporting the products of northern Cyprus through ports of south Cyprus without the realization of free trade is unacceptable

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.12.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce has stated that they will continue to struggle in every way against the efforts which President Papadopoulos is allegedly exerting in order to make the direct trade inactive. In a written statement issued yesterday the chamber said that exporting the products of northern Cyprus through ports of south Cyprus without the realization of free trade is unacceptable. It also argued that the trade through Limassol and Larnaka is not direct trade, because the products should pass first to south Cyprus and the exporting procedure should be made by south Cyprus.

    [04] Meetings between the ministry of finance and Turkeys Directorate of Customs in order to upgrade the customs in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.12.06) reports that meetings are being conducted between the self-styled ministry of finance and Turkeys Directorate of Customs in order to upgrade the customs in the occupied areas and bring them to the level of the customs in the EU member countries. A delegation from Turkeys Mediterranean Sea Directorate of Customs is visiting the occupied areas for this reason.

    [05] Georgian president to seek energy alternatives in Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish The New Anatolian newspaper (19.12.06) reports the following: Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili will pay a three-day official visit to Turkey beginning today to seek alternative natural gas sources, amid a Russian threat to double the price of gas early next year.

    The Georgian president, who will be accompanied by a delegation of energy and economy ministers, will meet with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Necdet Sezer today, and the two are expected to sign a trade agreement following a meeting of the delegations.

    Saakashvili will also participate in the inauguration ceremony of the new Georgian Embassy building and residence on Wednesday. He will meet with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, State Minister responsible for foreign trade Kursad Tuzmen in Ankara on Wednesday and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Thursday.

    Following talks between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey on Thursday over the redistribution of gas quotas from Azerbaijan's Shah-Deniz field, Georgia announced that it will receive Caspian Sea Gas starting on Dec. 20, meaning tomorrow. Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation President Aleksandr Khetaguri told the APA news agency that Georgia will get 10 million cubic meters of gas by this year's end. He said that the meeting of experts and officials on the redistribution of the Caspian Sea gas is ongoing and that Turkey's quota, originally set at 2.8 billion cubic meters, will be distributed.

    "Georgia will get 800 million cubic meters of gas from the Turkish quota and plus 250 million cubic meters as per the previous agreement. Georgia's demand for natural gas in 2007 is estimated at 1.8 billion cubic meters," he added.

    In an interview with CNN International, Saakashvili said on Friday, "Georgia will not pay a political price for its natural gas supply," following a Russian threat to double gas prices by early next year.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Turkey's EU Bid and the Cyprus Card

    Under the above title Turkish ZAMAN newspaper (17.12.06) reports the following by Sahin Alpay: It can be said that Turkish political and bureaucratic elites hold two views regarding the Cyprus issue. According to the first view, which is not expressed openly, the Cyprus problem is a trump card for Turkey to open EU doors.

    Namely, if it was not for this problem, the European Union would reject Turkeys membership. Therefore, resolution of the Cyprus problem should be interrelated with Turkeys EU accession. In other words, the problem can and should be resolved after Turkey has become a member of the Union. This view is widely shared by Turkish foreign bureaucracy and state elites.

    Thats why Ankara had avoided several chances to resolve the problem long before a referendum was approved on the fifth version of Annan Plan in March 2004 in Burgenstock and raised its criteria to delay a solution. It said that after Tassos Papadopoulos came to power in Greek Cyprus, Ankara, convinced that Greek Cypriots would reject the Annan Plan, took the risk and agreed to a referendum on the plan. It is further claimed that there were only two figures on the Turkish delegation to Burgenstock that supported the plan and foreign ministry diplomats were reported to have wished for the rejection of the plan by Greek Cypriots.

    The second view of the Cyprus issue is triggered by observation that the issue had caused problems for Turkey in international platforms, particularly in the United Nations, the European Council, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Union. According to this view, apart from Turkey, no member of international bodies, including our closest allies Azerbaijan and Pakistan, has recognized Turkish Cyprus. Therefore, the Cyprus problem should be resolved not at any cost, but on the basis of political equality of both sides. If equality of both societies is taken under guarantee of the European Union, it will be in great interest of both Turkey and Turkish Cyprus. This view is endorsed by certain politicians in Ankara, openly and clearly by Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat in particular. I also have been mostly in favour of this view.

    However, both views mentioned above lost ground after Greek Cyprus, backed by Greece, was granted EU membership on May 1, 2004 as the representative of the entire island and attempted to turn Turkeys EU bid into a game in order to bring back pre-1974 status of the island. The first view is in jeopardy because the strategy to interrelate the Cyprus issue and Turkeys EU bid might not work. It is obvious that certain EU countries have started objecting to Turkeys membership hiding behind the Greek Cypriot administration. The Cyprus problem estranges Turkey from the European Union. The further solution is delayed, the more likely it will be to the disadvantage of Turkish Cypriots.

    The first view is also in jeopardy, because occurrences that followed reciprocal opening of border gates proved assumptions that both sides favour coexistence baseless. Seventy-six percent of Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan Plan and now 46 percent of them say they do not want to live with Turkish Cypriots, and the feeling is mutual on the other side of the island. Turkish Cypriot Metin Munir from Milliyet newspaper put it precisely: A Two-state solution is cut out for the island (Dec. 12). Greek Cypriots, beside their Turkish counterparts, know coexistence is no longer possible. This should be the starting point for a solution. Lets give them land and money and let them give us peace. Everybody should take their own path (Dec. 13). What I wrote above might be the reason of a statement by Ozdem Sanberk, former undersecretary to Turkish foreign ministry, at a Zaman-hosted meeting on the Cyprus issue: We should maintain our cool-headedness while insisting on a solution. This leads us to a two-state solution.

    [07] 'Islamic capitalism' faces secular challenge in Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News newspaper (18.12.06) publishes the following by analyst Mustafa Akyol: Not everybody in Turkey is the greatest fan of Erdogans government, especially because of its Islamic credentials, but virtually nobody can deny its pro-business attitude.

    Attracting more foreign direct investment is one of the government's most ambitious goals. Some of its staunchly secular critics accuse it of bringing in Arab money, but it has been welcoming Israeli financiers as well. Whoever wants to invest in my country is welcome, said Erdogan in a famous speech. Money has no religion or nationality.

    Those who are alarmed by all this -- the rise of what some have called Islamic capitalism -- are not only the campus Trotskyites but also some of the top officials of the state, including President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. In an address on Nov. 10, the anniversary of Atatürk's death, Sezer gave a reminder that Turkey had prospered in Atatürk's time thanks to a fully independent economic policy. Turkey should resist globalization, the president added, Because it is indeed colonialism; they [the colonialists] couldn't succeed with guns, now they are trying it through economics.

    In recent years Mr. Sezer and the like-minded Constitutional Court have vetoed several new pieces of legislation that would have helped attract more colonialism, i.e., investment.

    And all this creates an interesting contrast with Turkey's age-old modernization rhetoric. A government with a Muslim outlook is championing economic freedom, whereas the secularists, who traditionally define themselves as modernists and progressives, are standing against it. It is a new Turkey in which faith and freedom flourish hand in hand. Max Weber and Alexis de Tocqueville should have lived to see it.

    [08] Columnist in YENI SAFAK argues that Hizbullah was used by the Turkish state

    Istanbul Yeni Safak newspaper (16.12.06) publishes the following article by Taha Kivanc under the title "My Greatest Concern":

    Just recently an extraordinarily interesting development happened that forced MIT (National Intelligence Organization) to issue an explanation. It was a development on the pages of one newspaper and on the MIT website that I could not let be forgotten.

    Star writer Samil Tayyar detailed a "deep conversation" he had had with two parliamentary deputies the other day. These deputies are part of a group that had been briefed at MIT prior to the European Joint Parliament meeting on 23 November. The writer writes with hesitation about what the deputies told him: "MIT might react, but..."

    The two points he wrote were important. The first: "The Hizbullah terrorist organization used to be used by the state." The MIT Under Secretary confirmed this allegation. The second was this: "Hizbullah had been silent for a very long time. But it is on the move again. We are watching. They may want to make themselves heard pretty soon." Samir Tayyar writes that a "Hizbullah briefing" was given at the latest Supreme Military Council meeting.

    In reply to the question, "Fine, but why?" he gives this reply stating he is using the "if anything" method: "Certain circles may wish to escalate terrorism during the presidential election process. Assassination attempts against several left-wing intellectuals could enflame the secular/anti-secular conflict. Acts could be staged that could ramp up the tension between the military and the government in order to cause instability in Turkey."

    MIT debunked this article, given the headline "Frankenstein Returns," with an explanation. After noting that "the points discussed at the meeting have been misconstrued and used in such a way as to leave them open to speculation" the MIT statement said that the information given in the article "overstepped the aim and went far beyond what was intended to be expressed."

    I read in Guler Komurcu's column in Aksam remarks by AKP [Justice and Development Party] deputy Zekeriya Akcam, who was at that meeting, saying, "The Hizbullah issue was not explained by MIT as written in Star." But Samil Tayyar says he stands behind what he wrote.

    What is going on? I think this is what is going on: State civil servants tasked with observing what is going on and making predictions shared with the parliamentary deputies their views as to what they expected to happen in the days ahead. Moreover, they voiced their expectations of action that could be defined as "reactionary." I think that the parliamentary deputies who talked about their notes from the briefing in which the term "Hizbullah" was mentioned were putting the emphasis on a point that was so wrong that it forced MIT to issue a statement.

    You can put this down to the fact that I have similar expectations.

    Over the last year and starting in January I have shared my "March syndrome" deduction with you. This has been accompanied by the view that "from now on every development will be to do with the process that will begin when the office of the President of the Republic is vacated." The attack on the Council of State had not yet happened but I continued to make my warnings as the attacker with bombs in hand became a frequent visitor to the Cumhuriyet newspaper. Explaining the method: "Preventing the current Parliament from choosing the new President of the Republic by forcing the country to take early elections."

    If you like let me recite a paragraph from a column I wrote on 15 May 2006: "When I was voicing the March syndrome phrase all I had on my mind then was a 'warning' notion. This warning in short went like this: To prevent this Parliament from choosing the next President of the Republic. They can only do this by forcing an early election. The shortest way to force an early election is to force the government into a tight spot during a real tumult. Stand by for tumult starting in March."

    You can add a lot more water to this dough. Whatever you do take another look at what I wrote in May and June. Better yet, let me compile a montage for you to jolt your memory. You will see that we debated back then what is going on now and what will happen tomorrow.

    So, what about the Hizbullah issue? That is what my "greatest concern" is all about. As I have always thought that the name and style of organization is not important I never mentioned any name, but I wrote this: "Do you know what my greatest concern is? For the tumult to achieve its aim and for the AKP to throw in the towel and announce 'early elections' at the most inopportune time. Whatever the broadcasts are now you will see the real tumult then. The bloody terrorist organization that made us all sick to our stomachs in the past may even get resurrected. Prepare yourselves for images of the 'execution using pig wire' kind." I wonder if the parliamentary deputies were told this kind of thing at that briefing?


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