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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-02

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.01/07 30-31.12.06, 01-02.01.07


  • [01] Statements by Talat regarding the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Reference to Cyprus by President Sezer in his message for the Feast of Sacrifice and the new year.
  • [03] Prime Minister Erdogan warns of provocative actions on the Cyprus issue.
  • [04] Turkey to go ahead with Reform Program on 10 January. Statements by Babacan.5. Works to demolish the footbridge at Ledra Street were suspended due to the Four-Day Muslim religious festival.
  • [06] Messages by Turkish Cypriot politicians for the Feast of Sacrifice and the New Year.
  • [07] Statements by Hasan Ercakica on Mr Christofias´ statements.
  • [08] HURRIYET refers to ultimatum to the EU from Turkey´s National Security Council.
  • [09] Cyprus expert the new Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman.

  • [10] BUGUN newspaper: Cyprus, the natural flow of the river, and division.


    [01] Statements by Talat regarding the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (02.01.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in an exclusive interview to the papers Editor-in-Chief Basaran Duzgun, said that the decision to pull down the bridge at the end of the Ledra Street is genuine and not for creating images. Mr Talat added that the bridge will be pulled down after the Kurban Bayram.

    Mr Talat went on and claimed that the Greek Cypriots want to exploit the Cyprus problem during the election period in 2008 and added that for this reason they will avoid holding substantive talks aimed at a comprehensive solution. As for the EU role Mr Talat said that it could force the Greek Cypriot side for a solution. As a side which will enter into the EU I Could say the following: Europe is both the obstacle and the solution. Noting that there is an inclination in Turkey that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be postponed until Turkeys full membership, Mr Talat said: This is very dangerous and could deprive us of our rights.

    When asked to comment on the inclination prevailing today in Turkey that Let us not to take steps in the Cyprus problem until the accession negotiations are completed. Only at the full membership moment let us take steps. Talat said: This will be against Turkey. There are two categories that put forward this idea in Turkey, one of them says, `since they will not admit us in the EU, Cyprus is ours, let us not accept it´. The other group says that ´as a means to accept us to the EU, let us exploit the Cyprus problem to the very end and at the last moment if we are admitted we could let loose Cyprus away and enter the EU´.

    As far as we are concerned both of them are very dangerous for us. If the first group gains weight in the government the Cyprus problem and the EU Process will enter into an impasse. If the second groups thinking prevails then this means that none of our rights will be protected. There are foreigners who point out this situation: Sir David Hanney in one of his articles wrote: It will be very dangerous and harmful for Turkey, if Turkey does not settle the Cyprus problem until its accession to the EU. Turkey which will be on the threshold of the EU will not be Turkey of today. Turkey will be different. Sir Hanney says that at that time the Turkish Cypriots will be in a very difficult situation. Turkey will enter the EU by sacrificing the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. How could Turkey sacrifice the rights of the Turkish Cypriots? By giving up supporting us. The Greek Cypriots are already in the EU. The Greek Cypriots with the support of the EU is imposing on us. Today we need Turkeys support more than any other time.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (A.A.) news agency (01.01.07) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat said on Monday, "We expect Germany (the new EU rotating president) to end the isolations imposed on Turkish Cypriots."

    In an exclusive interview with the A.A. correspondent, Talat said: "with the referendum, it was revealed that Turkish Cypriots favored unification of the island. Thus, the reason of the isolations is meaningless."

    Talat said the UN Secretary-General stated that removal of the isolations did not contradict resolution no: 541 and 550 of the UN Security Council.

    Talat said a decision was made on April 26th, 2006 to carry out works in 2007 about Direct Trade Regulations. "However, the decision was not discussed so far. Furthermore, the elements, which we consider as unjust and inadequate, should be adjusted," he noted.

    Asked how the elections scheduled to take place in 2007 would affect Turkey, Talat said making the Cyprus question an element of domestic policy in Turkey would affect the developments.

    "It seems that the Cyprus question will affect and will be affected from the elections in Turkey. Actually I am not pleased with this, however it seems there is nothing to do.

    TRNC President Talat wished the process, initiated by UN's Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari in July, to yield result.

    Talat said progress of this process will lead to a solution, indicating that he was foreseen to meet Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos in this process.

    "I'm hopeful for this process. A solution will certainly be found if Greek Cypriots want and if there is necessary advocation," he added.

    Furthermore, speaking to the illegal BRT (30.12.06) Mr Talat said that although the EU has become a party concerned in the Cyprus issue after the EU membership of the Greek Cypriot Administration under the name of the `Republic of Cyprus`, this does not mean that the Union will provide a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Talat emphasized that a solution to the Cyprus problem can only be brought about under the aegis of the United Nations.

    Making an evaluation of the year past, Mr Talat stated that there was an ongoing process started on the Cyprus issue with the UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambaris visit to the island in July, in line with the set of ideas agreed by him and the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Mr Talat stressed that the Turkish Cypriot Side would be in touch with the new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who will take over the post on the 1st of January.

    He also said that Mr Ban was expected to launch new initiatives on the Cyprus issue and to keep on with the ongoing process launched by Mr Gambari.

    Asked to comment on the statements earlier made by the German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier that the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation would be one of the priorities for his country when it takes over the EU Term-Presidency in January, Mr Talat said the implementation of the Regulation will be possible if the German Presidency succeeds in removing the obstacles being created by the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    Pointing out that the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation was a political will not only expressed by Germany but also by the EU Council, he expressed the hope that the issue would be negotiated during the first months of 2007.

    Reminding that the Turkish Cypriot Side applied to the British Aviation Department to establish direct flights to-and-from the occupied Tymbou Airport, Mr Talat expressed the hope that such a step will be taken as it will not be in breach of international law.

    In conclusion, Mr Talat called on the Turkish Cypriots and foreigners living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus not to lose their hope for a solution and reiterated the Turkish Cypriot Sides willingness for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution based on the political equality of the two sides in Cyprus.


    [02] Reference to Cyprus by President Sezer in his message for the Feast of Sacrifice and the new year

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.12.06) reported from Ankara that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, released a message to mark the Feast of Sacrifice and the new year. Sezer indicated that 2007 will be an important year for Turkey because of developments, which will have a direct impact on Turkey's future, particularly elections (presidential election and general elections).

    "Everybody should behave sensitively to overcome the problems by being loyal to democratic values and without causing any tension. And, the executive power should fulfil their duties carefully. All steps should be taken by compromise, and everybody should refrain from initiatives, stances or behaviours which will block the path of our country and cause tension," he emphasized.

    On Turkey's foreign policy, Sezer said that Turkey has always supported solution of international disputes through dialogue, respect and tolerance, adding that Turkey calls on the humanity to cooperate and be in solidarity to ensure regional peace and stability.

    Sezer went on saying: "It is one of our prior targets to find peaceful and sustainable solutions to ongoing disputes between our friends and neighbors in the Caucasus in 2007. We believe that a peaceful solution in (Upper) Karabakh, in which Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will be protected, will be for the best interests of all regional countries. Similarly, we think that the solution of Abkhazia and South Ossetia disputes by regarding Georgia's territorial integrity will be for the prosperity and well-being of all parties."

    "We have been pleased that the clashes in the Balkans have been replaced with harmony and cooperation within the framework of Euro-Atlantic integration (of the countries in this region). We hope that this cooperation and harmony will be a leading factor for Kosovo talks and constitutional transformation efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2007," Sezer added.

    On Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership bid, Sezer said: "A fair and sustainable settlement in Cyprus is a rightful demand like our country's EU membership goal.

    Therefore, we are determined to maintain our sincere and constructive efforts regarding these two matters."

    "It is our main goal to make Turkey a secular and well-managed country which has completed its EU membership process, which is committed to Ataturk's principles and reforms, which is preserving its domestic peace. The Republic of Turkey will protect its characteristics, unity and indivisible integrity, fulfil the requirements of being a contemporary country in the light of Ataturk's principles and reforms without any concessions, and reach brilliant days with the efforts of generations and institutions which are in compliance with the Republic," Sezer added.

    [03] Prime Minister Erdogan warns of provocative actions on the Cyprus issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.01.07) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that there have been provocative policies carried out on the Cyprus issue.

    Mr Erdogan delivered a speech at a Bayram ceremony organized by the Justice and Development Party in Istanbul in which he evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

    Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized that no one has the authority to take away the rights of the Turkish Cypriot ´People´.

    Mr Erdogan added that Turkey is well aware of its rightness and legitimacy in Cyprus.

    Warning the people not to be deceived by provocative actions and policies on the Cyprus issue, the Turkish Prime Minister said that Turkey will be doing its best on the issue.

    [04] Turkey to go ahead with Reform Program on 10 January. Statements by Babacan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.12.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    "We will convene all undersecretaries and heads of concerned authorities under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister (Abdullah Gul) on January 10th (2007), and give the kick-off to our own reform program and road map that will be pursued in coming years," Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said when commenting on relations with the EU.

    Appearing on a program broadcast on private CNN Turk TV channel, Babacan noted: "We will draw a road map for our structural reforms till 2013."

    Babacan said that sub-committee's works began a month after the screening process was over, and stated that all these works would be completed by mid-March.

    Qualifying 2006 as a year in which the Cyprus problem was used as a pretext and EU's own domestic policy problems were reflected, Babacan said that the speed of Turkey-EU process would from now on depend on when the EU would be ready for Turkey.

    "We will set our own schedule regarding chapters like food, transportation and agriculture, and make progress. If we keep up with the schedule of the EU, which is to last longer than expected, Turkey will lose. Turkey has no time to lose, and we have to make progress rapidly," he emphasized.

    "A chapter may be suspended, this is not important for us. Because there is no obstacle before carrying out technical works by ourselves," Babacan noted.

    Reiterating that the Cyprus problem was just a pretext (to suspend talks with Turkey), Babacan hinted that some other pretexts and preconditions would be put before Turkey if this problem was solved.

    Babacan said that Turkey now expected the EU to keep its promises to the ´Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)´.

    "We will launch efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement (regarding the Cyprus problem) with the new UN Secretary-General," he added.

    On economic expectations for 2007, Babacan recalled that elections would be held in Turkey in 2007, and added that they would never make concessions from their reforms.

    [05] Works to demolish the footbridge at Ledra Street were suspended due to the Four-Day Muslim religious festival

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.12.06) broadcast the following:

    Works to demolish the footbridge at the Lokmaci Barricade have been suspended due to the four-day Feast of the Sacrifice the Moslem religious festival.

    Yesterday, the Turkish Cypriot Side decided to remove the footbridge at the Lokmaci Barricade, which was seen as an obstacle by the Greek Cypriot Side against opening a gate there, with the aim of improving the relations between the two sides and promoting the basis for the restart of negotiations aimed at bringing a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem in the first quarter of the new year.

    Works at the Barricade will go on starting from next Thursday.

    [06] Messages by Turkish Cypriot politicians for the Feast of Sacrifice and the New Year

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.12.06) broadcast the following:

    Many government officials and political parties have issued messages in line with the Feast of Sacrifice celebrations this year.

    Speaker of the Republics Assembly Fatma Ekenoglu in her message said that the Feast of Sacrifice Festival and the New Year which is being celebrated together will contribute to the efforts aimed at bringing civilizations together.

    Expressing hope that tolerance will dominate Bayram, Mrs Ekenoglu called on people to make extra efforts to bring happiness to children, the elderly as well as the disabled.

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer in his Bayram and New Year message said that as the government they will do all they can to overcome the difficulties that are being faced by the Turkish Cypriot people.

    He said the governments priority is to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, improve the economic situation in the north and to unite the Turkish Cypriot people with the rest of the world.

    Explaining that although the Turkish Cypriot side had done all it could to achieve peace on the island throughout 2006, Mr Soyer said no matter what the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to extend its hand of peace to its neighbors in the New Year as well.

    Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci in his message wished everyone a happy Bayram and expressed the hope that the New Year will be prosperous for all.

    Reminding that the countries interests must come before political and individual gains, Mr. Avci said the key for the Turkish Cypriot people to overcome this critical phase is to unite under a democratic, tolerant, compromising and modern society.

    The Leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Tahsin Ertogruloglu in his message expressed his belief that the Turkish Cypriot People will reach better living conditions it deserves in the New Year despite many obstacles and difficulties it is facing.

    He also wished for peace and happiness for all humanity in the New Year.

    The Leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement Mustafa Akinci said he wishes that 2007 will witness important steps taken towards establishing more stable and confident future for the Turkish Cypriot people. He too wished for the New Year to bring peace and happiness to all people.

    [07] Statements by Hasan Ercakica on Mr Christofias´ statements

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.12.06) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Palace denied the statement by the Speaker of the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives Demetris Christofias that he and President Mehmet Ali Talat have reached a common understanding that the necessary conditions should be created next year for the resumption of serious negotiations on the Cyprus issue in the year 2008.

    The Presidential Palace said that Mr Christofias words do not reflect the reality.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, the Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that President Talat is in support of an immediate solution to the Cyprus problem as it was made clear long ago.

    Mr Ercakica said that it is impossible to accept the idea that the whole of the next year should be used to prepare the necessary conditions for the resumption of the talks and reminded that, in his letter to the two sides, the UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari proposed the restart of the comprehensive negotiations in the first quarter of the next year.

    He reminded that the Turkish Cypriot Side had informed the United Nations in writing that it accepted the proposals put forward by Mr Gambari concerning the method to be followed and that the Greek Cypriot Side too responded positively to these proposals.

    `The Turkish Cypriot Sides objective is to restart the comprehensive negotiations before the 31st of March 2007´ he said, reminding that President Talat too made it clear that he wanted to see the establishment of a United Federal Cyprus Republic in the New Year.

    [08] HURRIYET refers to ultimatum to the EU from Turkey´s National Security Council

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (29.12.06) publishes the following report by Ugur Ergan under the title: "MGK issues ultimatum to EU for the first time":

    The National Security Council (MGK) has hinted for the first time that accession talks with the EU might be suspended if the EU continued to insist that its conditions about Cyprus be fulfilled by Turkey in order to proceed with the negotiations.

    The MGK cautioned the EU that it should share Turkey's opinion that there was no link with the Cyprus question and the negotiating process if the EU is in favor of the continuation of the negotiations. According to a high-ranking source, the MGK clearly emphasized that the EU's precondition about Cyprus should be withdrawn from the negotiating table. But, the Council emphasized that Turkey would remain committed to its goal to join the EU and resolutely continue to make efforts in order to achieve its objective.

    Subtitle: There should be no double standards

    The conclusion that the EU's attempts to pose an obstacle to the negotiating process in connection with Cyprus were unacceptable and that it was applying a double standard to Turkey was highlighted in the statement issued after the five-hour MGK meeting chaired by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in the President's Office: "We are expecting that that criteria and methods not applied by the EU to other countries will also not be used for Turkey and that obstacles such as the Cyprus issue which are not related to the negotiation process will not be posed. It is essential that the EU shares our understanding in order to ensure the continuation of the negotiation process,"

    Subtitle: Similarities with Gul's remarks

    The MGK statement also noted that "Turkish-EU relations entered a new phase" after the EU foreign ministers' decision to suspend eight chapters in the accession talks with Turkey. This section of the statement bore similarities to the statement made by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in a news conference he held on 19 December.

    Subtitle: Iraq and Saddam

    Another major item on the MGK's agenda was Iraq. Sources said that possible developments that could take place after the approval by the Iraqi appeal court of Saddam Husayn's death sentence was analyzed during the MGK's deliberations on Iraq.

    Subtitle: Terrorism was the first item

    Meanwhile, terrorism was the first item mentioned in yesterday's statement like previous MGK statements. It noted: "The separatist terrorist organization and other issues related to internal security were discussed."

    [Sabah of 29 December reports the following:]

    Subtitle: MGK discussed Saddam

    The National Security Council convened yesterday. A statement issued after the meeting highlighted the expectation that obstacles related to issues such as the Cyprus question which, it said, were not related to the accession talks with Turkey would not be posed. The meeting also focused on possible developments that could take place after the execution of Saddam Husayn, Iraq's toppled leader. It was emphasized that Saddam's execution would worsen the situation in Iraq and intensify resistance against the coalition forces.

    [09] Cyprus expert the new Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (26.12.06) publishes the following report by Metehan Demir under the title: "Critical foreign ministry appointments made":

    Appointments have been made to two key posts within the Foreign Ministry. The new Foreign Ministry Spokesman is Cyprus expert Levent Bilman and the new Minister's Special Advisor is negotiations expert Murat Esenli.

    The critical appointments for the positions of Foreign Ministry Spokesman and Minister's Special Advisor, which effectively means Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's right hand man, have at last been made. Cyprus, one of the most irritating problems of recent times, influenced the appointment of Foreign Ministry Spokesman. Replacing Namik Tan, who has been made Turkey's Ambassador to Israel, is one of Cyprus Department Under Secretary Ertugrul Apakan's most trusted men Levent Bilman. Replacing Minister's Special Advisor Altay Cengizer, over whom there was various speculation and problems to do with his rapport with the Ministry and the press, is Murat Esenli from the America Department. Normally, both Bilman and Esenli would be expected to be ambassador in rank.

    Subtitle: Bilman Cyprus expert

    Levent Bilman played a role at the historic Buergenstock meetings, where the Annan Plan for Cyprus was discussed, and is known as one of the diplomats who most recently made Turkey's ports initiative. It is said that Cyprus expert Under Secretary Apakan asked for him considering him able "to defend Turkey's point of view at critical times." Interestingly enough no appointment has been made to fill Bilman's vacated position at the Cyprus Department. It is said that Apakan, who believes that the current staff is up to the job, may appoint someone in the coming months. The new Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bilman is a professional photographer and last year opened an exhibition in Ankara. He also has a photography book. Spokesman Bilman has a Canadian wife and has served in the Balkans Department, as Under Secretary Chief Clerk, in policy planning and in Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Rome and the UN Permanent Representation.

    Subtitle: Brazil's bridegroom

    Minister's Advisor Murat Esenli speaks excellent English and Spanish and has always served in the most critical posts at the Ministry. Still married to the daughter of Brazil's Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Esenli has served as the Chief of Staff to Foreign Ministers Vahit Halefoglu, Hikmet Cetin, Mumtaz Soysal, Murat Karayalcin, Erdal Inonu and most recently Ismail Cem. It is known that Esenli, who has so far served in Washington, Mexico City, New York and Geneva, specializes in multi-party negotiations. Esenli plays many sports professionally such as surfing, fencing, horse riding and canoeing. He is known as one of the key diplomats behind the Common Vision Document with the United States.

    Subtitle: Long in waiting

    As a result of these appointments, which took place after a long wait and many headaches because of the failure for the ministry's internal balances to find their place, the decree for new assistant general directors at the ministry has become clear. Accordingly, Omer Onhon, who returned to Turkey after his career in New York handing over to Minister's Chief Clerk Mehmet Sansar, has been has been made Assistant General Director Middle East Department. Ersin Ercin, who was conducting Turkey's negotiations at the UN on critical matters, has been made Assistant General Director America Department. Two seasoned diplomats Sakir Torunlar and Aydin Sezgin have been made Assistant General Director Intelligence Department. Umit Yardin has been made Assistant General Director Caucasus Department. Levent Sahinkaya has been has been made Assistant General Director International Institutions Department. Erdogan Kok has been has been made Assistant General Director Diplomatic Affairs. Vural Altay has been has been made Assistant General Director Energy-Environment. Basat Ozturk has been made Assistant General Director of Maritime-Aviation.

    Murat Ozcelik, who also worked as Foreign Ministry Spokesman once, has been made Assistant Special Envoy for Iraq. Cengizer has been taken from the post of Minister's Advisor and made General Director Policy Planning. At the Ministry Feridun Sinirlioglu, Ugur Dogan, Bozkurt Aran, Unal Cevikoz and Haydar Berk are all being mentioned as assistant under secretary.


    [10] BUGUN newspaper: Cyprus, the natural flow of the river, and division

    Under the above title, Turkish daily BUGUN newspaper (30.12.06) published a commentary by Lale Sariibrahimoglu, in which it is claimed that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has become self-sufficient and it does not depend so much on Ankara as it used to do.

    The columnist claims that the Turkish invasion in 1974 was a correct decision, although bad policies were followed. She also wrote that the initiatives that the AKP government took on the Cyprus problem at the last minute were also correct, although a bit late. But, as a matter of fact, since the day that the Turkish Cypriots said yes to the Annan plan, their economic situation goes much better.

    The columnist also argues that the population in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus are 220 thousands, plus the 26 thousand Turkish students and the nine thousand foreign students. There are also forty thousand Turkish citizens, who work there. So, the population is around 300,000.

    The income from the universities is 800 million dollars and from tourism 310 million dollars. The imports reached the one billion two hundred million dollars, in the year 2006.

    The numbers and the figures were given by Turkeys Foreign Ministry and showed that the occupation regime has started to be self-sufficient in economic-terms. She also quotes an unnamed diplomat as saying, You cannot stop the natural course of a river. It is clear where the river is flowing in Cyprus: two separate states on the island, as the older would have said taksim.



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