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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-02-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.31/07 13.02.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkish oil Company will move to oil and gas exploration in waters around CyprusIstanul NTV television (12.02.07) broadcast the following:
With the tension triggered by the agreements signed by the Greek Cypriot administration of southern Cyprus for oil exploration in East Mediterranean still continuing, the TPAO [Turkish Petroleum Corporation] has decided to explore for oil to the west of Cyprus and in the region lying between Cyprus and Egypt.
The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has decided to move its oil and gas exploration for 2007 to the Mediterranean. It will, therefore, start prospecting in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean extending over a 12-mile area in the Antalya-Iskenderun and Mersin gulfs.
In the second phase, the exploration would move into deep waters; that is, to the west of Cyprus and to the region lying between Cyprus and Egypt, a region that Greek Cypriots themselves want to explore, as well as to the area off Antalya.
Sounding and exploration activities would also be held off Gokceada in the Aegean Sea within the same strategic framework.
International tenders for exploration will be invited within a few months.
The TPAO will start explorations with its foreign partners depending on the result of the tenders.
 Talat briefs the assembly of the breakaway regime on the Cyprus problem; He says that he knew about the appointment of Mr Lynn Paskoe for a long time; The opposition boycotts the briefingTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.02.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Talat briefed yesterday the assembly of the breakaway regime on the Cyprus problem. The closed door session lasted three hours. The MPs of the Democratic Party (DP) and the National Unity Party (NUP) did not participate in the session.
The assembly will meet again on the issue on 19, 20 and 21 of February when the MPs will express their views. In a short statement while entering the session, Mr Talat said that important developments are taking place in the Cyprus problem and added that he would brief the MPs.
Responding to a question, he noted that he informed the leaders of the two parties which boycott the assembly about the importance of the issue and added that he would expect them to appreciate this.
Asked about the appointment of the new U.N. Under-secretary for Political Affairs, Mr Lynn Paskoe in the place of Mr Ibrahim Gambari, he said that he knew about it for a long time and added that Mr Pascoe is aware of the Cyprus problem, the deadlocks and the impasses.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (13.02.07) refers to the session and reports that Omer Kalyoncu, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), criticized the boycott applied by the UBP and DP and described it as lack of respect towards the assembly and the president who have been elected with the will of the people. Kalyoncu alleged that this stance is the same as the stance of President Papadopoulos.
KIBRIS reports also that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that the closed-door session of the assembly with the participation of Mr Talat was a forgery and it was conducted in order to water down the boycott of the UBP.
In statements at a press conference yesterday, Mr Ertugruloglu noted that there is no development that necessitates a closed-door meeting of the assembly.
 Ferdi Sabit Soyer receives a delegation from Turkey, among them Turkeys Secretary General of EU AffairsTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.02.07) reports that prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that they will continue with determination their policies towards the EU and they will not abandon the field of the EU to the understandings of South Cyprus and Greece. Mr Soyer met yesterday with a delegation from Turkey which will participate today in the seminar under the title EU Integration Procedure. Mr Soyer reiterated his view that the Greek Cypriots joined the EU alone because of the understanding of some people in the occupied areas who were not in favour of the accession to the EU and therefore they did not exert efforts towards the direction of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (12.02.07) broadcast the following:
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has stressed that the Turkish Cypriot People will continue its struggle to take its place within the European Union as one of the two politically equal sides on the island.
The Premier received Turkeys Secretary General for EU Affairs Oguz Demiralp today.
Speaking during the visit, Mr Soyer referred to Ankaras EU membership process and said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey should continue their way towards the European Union.
He said that the two countries will strengthen their cooperation further on the basis of common interests to make it possible for the Turkish Cypriot People to take its place within the European Union as one of the two politically equal sides in Cyprus.
On his part, Mr Demiralp said that there was no change in Turkeys negotiations with the European Union in spite of the 17 December decisions.
He also noted that neither Turkey nor the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus took backward steps on the Cyprus issue.
 Students from the United Arab Emirates visited the office of the representation of the TRNC in Abu DhabiTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.02.07) reports that a group of students of private Al Nasr School in Abu Dhabi visited the office of the representation of the TRNC in the United Arab Emirates accompanied by the director of their school, Celal Sakka.
The paper reports that the visit took place within the framework of the social sciences classes and that its aim was to get the students to know closer the TRNC.
 Rauf Denktas says that those who prepared the Annan Plan knew about the oil in the MediterraneanTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (13.02.07) reports that in statements in Istanbul the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has referred to the oil researches of the Republic of Cyprus in the Mediterranean and said that those who prepared the Annan Plan knew about the oil.
Denktas argued that the Greek Cypriots who joined the EU do not feel the need for establishing a federation with the TRNC and added that the number of those who do not want the unification increased among the youth of the TRNC.
He alleged: 60 % of the youth in our country has come to its senses. Those who thought that they would go to heaven by saying Yes be annem (Tr. Note: The slogan that the Turkish Cypriot supporters of the Annan Plan were shouting and means yes my mother) have realized that they had been deceived and now they are supporting the two states basis.
 The Turkish Minister of Health visits the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (13.02.07) reports that Recep Akdag, the Turkish Minister of Health, will visit today the occupied areas of Cyprus.
According to a statement issued by the self-styled ministry of health, the cooperation between the two ministries and the work for the reform in the field of health will be discussed during their meeting. Mr Akdag will also meet with prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the speaker of the assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
 BDH and the TKP are in the last stage of their unificationTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (13.02.07) reports that the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) and the Communal Liberation Party (TKP) are in the last stage of their unification. The general secretary of BDH, Mehmet Cakici said yesterday that they have agreed on the issue of the name and the emblem of the new party.
He noted: The program and the regulations are almost ready. We are at the stage of the last reading of the program. He added that the general assembly for the unification will be held after two months.
 Israeli Prime Minister to visit Turkey; Israel signed an energy corridor project agreement with TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.07) reports the following from Jerusalem:
"My visit to Turkey is very important for me. PM Erdogan is a leader whose views I respect and who I highly regard," said Isreali PM Ehud Olmert.
Turkey's new Ambassador in Tel Aviv Namik Tan paid a courtesy call to PM Olmert. Olmert's upcoming visit to Turkey, bilateral relations and regional issues were among topics assessed in Tan's visit.
Tan expressed the importance given to Olmert's upcoming visit to Ankara. Olmert said his visit to Ankara was important to him and noted Erdogan was a leader he highly regarded.
Expressing that his visit to Ankara would mostly feature regional issues, Olmert said "we want to promote bilateral relations especially in areas of politics and economy."
Olmert noted they wanted to improve the relations in the area of energy and said he was supporting the "energy corridor project" on which recently a framework agreement was signed.
"I'm happy to be going to Turkey which has always been an important country to us," said Olmert.
 Turkish Prime Minister to pay an official visit to Turkmenistan on 13 FebruaryAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will leave for Turkmenistan on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Erdogan will return to Turkey after his two-day formal visit to Turkmenistan.
 Merrill Lynch Office in Turkey predicts election victory for AKPAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.07) reports the following from Istanbul:
Presidential election in Turkey will be free of problems and concerns (that the election would cause a political crisis) are groundless, said a report made public on Monday by Merrill Lynch, a management and advisory company.
"According to our polls, by a 65 percent chance, Justice and Development Party (AKP) will rule a second term after general elections. Its possibility to sweep the victory or to form a coalition with a minor party, I mean its chance to secure the office is around 90 percent. True Path Party (DYP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are around 10 percent electoral threshold. Even if they pass this threshold and enter the parliament, it is likely to see AKP as one-party government," said Mehmet Simsek, an economist and chief of the research department of Merrill Lynch's Turkey office.
"We predict that AKP votes will remain if Recep Tayyip Erdogan is elected president or not. If Erdogan is elected president, markets expect Gul to become the prime minister. It does not engender a loss of votes," Simsek said.
"Turkey may face a turbulence but can achieve a soft landing if a serious political crisis does not happen," he added.
Commenting on inflation in Turkey, Simsek said inflation target will not be achieved and he predicted inflation in Turkey as 7.2 percent for 2007.
Stating that market expectations were mostly fulfilled during AKP government and fundamental changes were realized like privatization, budget deficit, public borrowing, tax reform, EU process, Simsek said markets would feel relieved if AKP secures office.
Noting that budget performance is very well, stocks and bonds are cheap, interest rates are high because current account deficit is high, Simsek said all these cause uncertainty for inflation expectations.
He predicted current account deficit to shrink to 6.5 percent in coming period, growth to slow down, tourism income to rise 10 percent, privatization to accelerate, foreign capital inflow to increase especially in real estate sector.
"If a reformist and strong country emerges after the elections, Turkey's future is quite bright," he added.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Columnist agrues that Turkey must take into consideration the interests of others if it wants to be a regional powerTurkish TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (13.02.07) publishes the following commentary under the title Being a regional power:
The difficulty national governments have in protecting their institutional existence against globalization is frequently repeated. This is a reality.
Globalization may not be completely collapsing national governments, but it is certainly gradually limiting its functions. Countries that have adapted to the new situation are managing to stay alive; in fact, they have benefited from it to some degree. Those who insist on habits and attitudes from two centuries ago will slowly have to loosen their tight grip.
To guard against globalizations destructive effect, the state should expand on old political formations, not close up on them. They should make reforms and turn them into more durable formations. The EU is an important model for this. The EU is more than just a civilization project. It is actually a project that foresees the regional integration of each European country as a response to the strong globalization wave. It is neither a new civilization nor an initiative to form a synthesis by contacting different civilizations. It is difficult to tell whether it will succeed or not, but it has reached an important level so far. The EU is an opportunity for national governments to overcome the weaknesses they have encountered.
In this regard, Turkey has four options: 1) try to survive globalization without entering a process of implementing wide-range reforms, which would be impossible; 2) view globalization as a temporary process and surrender to it, which would mean destruction; 3) keep its EU membership bid as priority and try to handle its current weakness, which would yield no result and ultimately bring Turkey to the level of a Third World country; or 4) focus on integrating with countries in the region close to itself and implement reforms needed for the EU membership process.
The one option in this combination that would be impossible for Turkey to do is to try to become a regional power by itself. The global powers that will observe the changes in the 22 Arab and four non-Arab Muslim countries would never allow this. It is unimaginable for Turkey to stand against these super powers alone.
If Turkey still wants to become a regional power, it will have to keep in mind the interests of Iran and Egypt, which also want to become regional powers. This, however, will lead to problems between the three countries.
The only option for Turkey is to collaborate with neighboring countries on new initiatives without attracting the animosity of global powers, and this would be possible by increasing awareness in the region that the politics and attitude of the global powers do not satisfy or benefit anyone. Here, the Yavuz Sultan Selim model could be a good starting point. The only exemption in this model is that while Yavuz had made war his fundamental principle against Iran and the Safavids, today Turkey will have to cooperate with regional countries, including Iran, to show to others -- as well as itself -- that it can exist in the region.
Everyone must know that no country, national government, ethnic group or sect can undergo this process referred to as an ultimately productive situation, or creative chaos, without considering the interests of others, especially since it can damage its own interests.
 Columnist argues that Turkish public opinion points AKP as the presidential elections winnerTurkish THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (12.02.07) under the title: "No Surprise: AK Party Remains the Favorite", publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:
A public opinion poll by the Seljuk University has shown that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) remains the favorite to win the next elections later this year.
The poll conducted scientifically with more than 7,000 samples has shown that the ruling party is still the most popular political force in the country receiving 31.6 percent of the backing of those surveyed.
Is this a surprise? Of course not.
The ruling party has brought stability to the domestic scene thanks to its majority rule. With no coalition partner to stall it, the party could take bold decisions to introduce social and economic reforms.
The AK Party government also took some courageous decisions on the foreign front especially on Cyprus but unfortunately was let down by the European Union countries. This led to serious criticisms of the ruling party and led to the rise of nationalist movements in Turkey which is reflected in the public opinion polls. The Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) votes have increased to 14.2 percent in the polls... The EU countries that reneged on their promises on Cyprus must now be very proud...
The only other party that seems to be clearing the ten percent elections threshold is the Republican People's Party (CHP) with 15.5 percent...
All the others will probably go down the drain.
The True Party Party (DYP) of Mehmet Agar seems to have lost votes and is down to seven percent...
All these show that the people of Turkey are not satisfied with the opposition parties. It seems many people will be voting for the AK Party simply because the opposition does not have a better alternative to offer. It is clear that despite bringing relative political stability the masses are unhappy with their ruling party because it did not keep its promises to bring them economic and social relief. They see that while the rich became richer they remained poor. But despite this, people are not switching to the opposition parties...
This is a sad picture for our political parties.
The AK Party will win the next elections and may still hold on to a respectable majority in Parliament thanks to this opposition.