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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-02-23

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.38/07 23.02.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talats interview in KIBRIS on the direct flights, the Direct Trade regulation and other issues
  • [02] Afrika: The army has not paid for 30 years the water
  • [03] The National Security Council to meet today. Northern Iraq, internal visas for Istanbul and Cyprus on the agenda
  • [04] Again after fifty years: A campaign from Turk to Turk
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [05] Turkey, Egypt try to avert tension over Cyprus oil

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talats interview in KIBRIS on the direct flights, the Direct Trade regulation and other issues

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.02.07), in its front page under the title Rejection from Britain for the direct flights, publishes an interview of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to the paper. Mr Talat evaluated the visit of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mr Rene van der Linden in Cyprus, the contacts that he will have in Brussels on the 27th of February, and the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat stated that the British Transport Authority rejected their application for launching direct flights to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The British announced to the Cyprus Turkish Airways that it is not legally possible to launch direct flights. The occupation authorities, following legal consultations by Turkey and the TRNC that the common point in these consultations is that there is no legal obstacle before these flights, have started a new offensive by launching a legal process with the mediation of a legal office which is specialized in such issues in Britain.

    He then referred to the Direct trade issue and said that on 27 February he will have contacts in Brussels and the main item on his contacts´ agenda will be the direct trade issue.

    He went on and added that the final program of his visit to Brussels is yet to be fixed. Saying that Brussels is also a centre for lobbying, he will attend certain activities of the think-tanks there.

    Referring to relations with the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Talat said that warm relations have been established with the OIC member countries and work is going on to open representation offices in 4 or 5 OIC member countries.

    As for the oil exploration issue, Talat explained that the oil exploration crisis will escalate the tension; he accused the Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis of extending support to the Republic of Cyprus. Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots who expressed their desire for the unification of Cyprus have the right on the natural resources of the whole of Cyprus.

    Talat also alleged that the Greek Cypriot side did not take any step towards the implementation of the 8th July agreement.

    He said that there is no possibility of realization of his meeting with President Papadopoulos envisaged in the 8 July process. He accused President Papadopoulos of refusing to meet him.

    (MHY)

    [02] Afrika: The army has not paid for 30 years the water

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.02.07) in its front page under the title The army has not paid for 30 years the water, reports that the self-styled municipalities submitted to the self-styled Finance Minister Ahmet Uzun the dept documents of the occupation authorities which are in their municipalities. It appears that the military have not paid their water bills for 30 years now. Mr Uzun said: The debt of the military areas is composed of water bills of 30 years; it is not possible to bear these debts.

    He clarified that from the current year the bills for the water consumed by the occupation army is included in the occupation regimes budget.

    (DPs)

    [03] The National Security Council to meet today. Northern Iraq, internal visas for Istanbul and Cyprus on the agenda

    The NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (22.02.07) publishes the following report by Evren Deger under the title: "Iraq, internal migration to top MGK talks":

    In its first meeting of the year, the National Security Council (MGK) will discuss two important issues: the possibility of the country having dialogue with Kurdish leaders from northern Iraq, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's suggestion of visas for people seeking to move to Istanbul.

    The MGK will hold its first ordinary meeting this year at the Cankaya Palace. Held under the leadership of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the meeting will be the penultimate one under his helm. Set to complete his seventh year in office this April, Sezer will attend his last MGK meeting that month as well.

    The council will seek solutions to two important issues in the meeting. The first is the latest situation in Iraq, which is the special topic of the meeting. Activities of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, developments in Kirkuk, whether Turkey will establish contact with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, will be discussed in detail in the meeting. Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit stated last week during his U.S. visit that as a soldier he will never have contact with Kurdish leaders who support the terrorist PKK. Following the general's statements, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, underlining that the duty of the army is different, stated that sometimes it's necessary to say things to the Kurdish leaders face to face. As the subject turned into a debate between the military and civil authority, it came to a deadlock and was added to the topics for MGK discussion.

    Visas for Istanbul proposal

    Another important subject of the meeting is Premier Erdogan's "visas for Istanbul" proposal that he put forward while complaining about internal migration to Istanbul. The Interior Ministry is said to have prepared a report focusing on migration to big cities and the problems it leads to. The report is said to deal with the escalation of crime and violence created by migration. The report will be presented to council members tomorrow as well as an action plan to prevent internal migration, also prepared by the ministry. The council will also discuss developments on the Cyprus problem, following the oil exploration crisis, and Turkish-European Union relations. Buyukanit and Gul will also give detailed information to council members about their recent contacts in the U.S.

    Ambassador Alpogan London-bound

    Following his appointment to Turkey's Embassy in London, MGK General Secretary Yigit Alpogan is counting the days to taking up his new post. It has been said that present Ambassador to London Akin Alptuna is to retire and as soon as current projects are completed he will return to Turkey. The process is expected to be completed by April and after that Alpogan will take up the job.

    [04] Again after fifty years: A campaign from Turk to Turk

    Under the title Again after fifty years: A campaign from Turk to Turk, Yalcin Okut writes in his column Kalem (Pencil) in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.02.07) about the new rules in the TRNC according to which it is forbidden to buy meat and dairy products from the Republic of Cyprus.

    As Yalcin Okut writes, Denktas and his followers have decided fifty years ago, taking orders from above, to start a campaign according to which the Turks would only buy products from Turks. Boundaries where drown as from where the Turks would have been allowed to do their shopping, inside Lefkosia, and anyone who would have bought anything from Ledra or Ermou Street, such as a pair of shoes or a bunch of parsley, would be beaten or threatened. The author stresses that the poor non-conscious and unorganised people were not able to react against the organised and armed militants. Yalcin Okut goes on and writes that this policy, along with the divine and rule games of the British and the TMT policy, led to the creation of the Turkish market. He also notes that this policy helped towards the division.

    Yalcin Okut also writes that this shame did not stop at that point and that this division logic is reviving since now it is forbidden to buy meat and dairy products from the south. He notes that the Turkish Cypriots cannot buy from their Greek Cypriot brothers meat and dairy products, which are cheaper and healthier. Instead they are forced to buy more expensive and less healthy products. You cannot go anywhere with prohibitions and strong-arm methods, writes the author who adds that these prohibitions sabotage peace which is the burning need of the Turkish Cypriots and notes that this policy feeds the division policy of the Denktas supporters which has been pursued for 50 years now.

    (CS)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [05] Turkey, Egypt try to avert tension over Cyprus oil

    Under the above title: THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (23.02.07) publishes the following by Emre Caliskan:

    Even as tension continues in the Mediterranean Sea due to the dispute between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots over oil and gas exploration, Ankara and Cairo are trying to avoid tension between their two countries.

    Against Turkey's strong objections, Greek Cyprus signed accords with Egypt in 2005 and Lebanon this year, delineating the undersea border to facilitate future oil and gas exploration between the Mediterranean country and the island.

    Oil reserves in the sea around the island of Cyprus have been estimated to be worth around $400 billion.

    Turkey had warned Greek Cyprus not to search for oil and gas in the area, where it says it also has legal rights and interests.

    Ankara also warned Lebanon and Egypt not to press ahead with oil and gas exploration deals signed with the Greek Cypriots, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots also have rights in the region.

    "The delineation of the continental shelf or of exclusive economic rights in the eastern Mediterranean is only possible through arrangements that would take into account the rights and interests of all parties," Turkish officials underlined earlier.

    Ankara sees the oil dispute with the Greek Cypriot administration as a Greek Cypriot move to seek legitimization with the oil trump card.

    Ankara is opposing the agreements by defining the Mediterranean as a semi-open sea, which requires the acceptance of all neighbouring countries and hopes that companies will not be eager to invest in the project.

    According to Ankara, there should be a consensus in the sharing of oil and gas exploration resources, but Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration have no direct diplomatic contact.

    Because of this Ankara states that first the Cyprus deadlock has to be solved, then oil exploration will be defined in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Turkey has already reached an agreement in the Black Sea regarding the sharing of resources. However, the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone are controversial issues in the Mediterranean.

    On the other hand Cairo wants to delineate its border to search for oil and gas in the region. Cairo states that the region has very rich oil and gas sources and that Egypt wants to use them. According to Cairo, gas and oil resources are one the most important economic topics in Egypt's export budget.

    Both countries characterize the relationship as excellent. Cairo believes that there are disagreements among family members, but this shouldn't lead to problems or tension among countries.

    Turkish-Egyptian trade now stands at $900 million, both countries aim to boost the volume of bilateral trade to $5-6 billion.

    Turkey is expecting an increase in trade with Egypt after the realization of the Arab gas project and hopes to challenge the Greek Cypriot-Egyptian economic cooperation.

    Ankara explains Turkey's position in the oil dispute, stating there is an ongoing deadlock on the island of Cyprus but that seeking sovereignty and signing an agreement is neither legal nor acceptable, said sources familiar with the issue.

    The Arab gas pipeline project, with a total cost of $1.2 billion, will extend from Egypt, across Jordan, Syria and Lebanon and finally reach Turkey and some European countries. Egypt has already called on Romania to import Egyptian gas in light of the delay in implementing the Nabucco pipeline project. The Nabucco pipeline is a proposed natural gas pipeline that is planned to transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary.

    From al-Aresh, Egypt to the Turkish border the Arab gas pipeline project will be 1,200 kilometers in length. It is considered one of the most important and pivotal economic projects implemented in the framework of the Arab economic cooperation. Each country is responsible for constructing the pipeline in its own boarder. Amman has already finished the construction in Jordan. The Arab pipeline gas project is expected to be completed through Turkey in 2009.

    Both countries are planning to avoid rash action due to economic, political and cultural interests, with diplomacy expected to resolve the disagreements between Egypt and Turkey.

    EG/


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