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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-03-05

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.44/07 03-05.03.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs denies the information on the Greek Cypriot press about a missing person
  • [02] Egypt will review the agreement signed with the Republic of Cyprus on the oil exploration issue
  • [03] Turkey warns companies not to go ahead with Cyprus oil search
  • [04] Talat comments on the Cyprus problem, the oil issue and the defence agreement signed between the Republic of Cyprus and France
  • [05] Soyer meets with journalists from Turkey
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot businessmen visit South Korea
  • [07] Nami and Tacoy in Brussels again
  • [08] Ozturk meets Turkish journalists
  • [09] The Arab world is reportedly preparing for recognizing the breakaway regime in Cyprus
  • [10] The Municipality of Sydney donates 15.160 books to the library of the illegal Near East University
  • [11] Babacan says that "Cyprus was an excuse," on Turkeys accession process interrupted last December
  • [12] Investigation opened against former Turkish President Evren for controversial remarks

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs denies the information on the Greek Cypriot press about a missing person

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (05.03.07) reports, under the banner headlines in its front page Is he in Turkey who is missing for 33 years?, on the issue of a five-year old Greek Cypriot boy named Christakis who is missing since an operation had been carried out by the Turkish occupation Forces in Palaikythro village during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The paper quotes the article by POLITIS newspaper, and reproduces the photographs published by POLITIS.

    SABAH in its inside pages reproduces a photograph of Christakis´s mother Mirofora´s picture with her grandson and next to it with a subtitle: Foreign Ministry Denied. It says: The Foreign Ministry informed that similar unfounded reports are published in the Greek Cypriot press time to time.

    (MHY)

    [02] Egypt will review the agreement signed with the Republic of Cyprus on the oil exploration issue

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (05.03.07) reports that, Egypt, which signed an oil exploration agreement with the Greek Cypriot administration, has indicated that it will review this agreement and it will not put it in force. Egypt, will put the agreement on the negotiation table together with Turkey and it will renew it taking into consideration Ankara´s views.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul had met with the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Mr Abdul Gheit and the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth Mr Sameh Fahmi, who had signed the agreement with the Greek Cypriots, and warned that from Ankara´s point of view this agreement is not a joking issue.

    During the meeting, HURRIYET reports, Gul and Gheit agreed that there will be reciprocal visits by delegations from both countries regarding the issue.

    An experts delegation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry will go to Egypt and then an Egyptian delegation headed by Egypt´s Minister of Petroleum Mr Fahmi will visit Ankara.

    HURRIYET reports, that the Egyptian side had informed the Turkish side that it will review the agreement it had signed with the Greek Cypriots in such a way that it will not harm Turkey.

    A senior Turkish source has interpreted this as follows:

    Egypt, because of its position in the Arab world, from the diplomatic point of view, cannot say we have shelved the agreement. It will review the agreement and it will inform the Greek Cypriots that the oil explorations will not definitely, include the area between Turkey and the TRNC. In fact, once the reviewing process starts, diplomatically this means that the implementation of it will be postponed 10-15 years.

    HURRIYET further reports that there is preparation that if the Cyprus government continues to sign similar agreements with the neighbouring countries then Turkey will sign a similar agreement with the self-styled regime in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    A senior Turkish source said:

    We are not starting an initiative towards this aim, in order not to affect the peace process in Cyprus negatively. However, if the Greek Cypriots provocative stance continue, then we will do what is deemed necessary.

    We do hope that this issue does not come to that stage and a lasting solution can be secured in the island as soon as possible.

    In addition Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (05.03.07) reports that the Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, during his visit to Cairo. The meeting with Zebari, a Kurd, came amid a heated debate between the government and military in Turkey over whether there should be talks with the Iraqi Kurds.

    (MHY)

    [03] Turkey warns companies not to go ahead with Cyprus oil search

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News newspaper (03.03.07) publishes the following by Barcin Yinanc:

    International companies interested in the possibility of exploring oil and gas deposits off Cyprus' coast have been warned by Turkey not to go ahead with their plans on participating in a tender launched by Greek Cyprus last month, diplomatic sources told the Turkish Daily News.

    Five international companies have contacted Greek Cyprus over the tender, Greek Cypriot Commerce Minister Antonis Michaelides was quoted as saying by international news agencies on Feb. 15.

    Although Michaelides declined to name the companies, the Turkish government drew a short list of those companies believed to have shown interest in Greek Cyprus' drive to explore oil and gas. Some of them have wide business links with Turkey. The Greek government has said U.S., Russian and Chinese oil firms have shown interest.

    Prior to the launching of the tender, Greek Cyprus signed agreements with Lebanon for the delineation of an undersea border in January to facilitate future oil and gas exploration, which had prompted reaction from the Turkish government. A similar agreement was signed between Egypt and Cyprus last year. Turkey warned Lebanon and Egypt not to press ahead with the deals saying Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots also had rights in the region.

    Any crisis between Turkey and European Union member Greek Cyprus could further complicate Turkey's relations with the EU, which has decided to slow down accession negotiations with Ankara over its refusal to open ports and airports to Greek Cypriot vessels and planes.

    The Turkish government launched a diplomatic campaign towards the EU, as well as the interested countries such as the U.S., Russia and China, over the Greek Cypriot government's latest initiative, believed by Ankara to stir instability in the region.

    Some oil companies believed to have shown interest were contacted by Ankara, Turkish Foreign Ministry sources told the TDN. Some were contacted directly, in the case of Dutch Shell and some indirectly in the case of French Total.

    According to Turkish officials, the companies were told the bilateral deals Greek Cyprus had signed with Lebanon and Egypt are not recognized by Turkey. They were briefed on the peculiar situation of the eastern Mediterranean and told that 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. They were also told Turkey will not allow attempts to erode its and Turkish Cypriots' rights.

    The countries from which those companies originate were also contacted by Ankara. They were told to discourage these companies from going ahead with their plans on Cyprus. Some of the countries and companies confirmed to Turkey that they do not want to be a part of deals over controversial areas, whereas it was not possible to get any feedback on the issue like in the case of France.

    [04] Talat comments on the Cyprus problem, the oil issue and the defence agreement signed between the Republic of Cyprus and France

    Turkish Cypriot daily SOZCU newspaper (05.03.07) under the titles Talat is pessimistic and Talat: If the Greek Cypriots continue their stance, division will be inevitable, reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat met yesterday at his office with some journalists and answered their questions regarding the recent developments in Cyprus. He said that there is no progress on the Cyprus problem, that there have been some problems between himself and the army and that there are some worries. Mr Talat said that they are searching for a solution and that there is not a complete impasse, but there is no progress. Mr Talat alleged that the Greek Cypriots rejected the changes that the UN wanted and that the UN solution plan has been demonized. Mr Talat said that their relations with the Organization of Islamic Conference member countries are at a good point and that they have established relations in the fields of trade and economy with some countries. He also noted that representations have been opened in some countries and alleged that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution and in case this stance continues the issue will be led to division.

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (05.03.07) refers to Talats statements under the title Its time to see the realities.

    In addition Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.03.07) reports from occupied Keryneia that Mr Talat stated that the Greek Cypriots did not bring up the oil issue in order to benefit from the petroleum richness.

    "Firstly, they want to say that 'they are sovereign in Cyprus'. Secondly, there will be elections in the Greek Cypriot part next year. Trying to attract votes by making promises on the petroleum issue is a part of this endeavour," Talat said.

    Meeting journalists from Istanbul in occupied Keryneia, Mr Talat noted that he discussed the Direct Trade Regulation with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, during his recent visit to Brussels. Stressing that the regulation would be a remarkable step, Talat said, "Enforcement of the Direct Trade Regulation will transfigure TRNC's economy".

    Talat emphasized that direct flights constituted a critical step concerning the removal of isolations and added that this was not an easy phase to get over and they would continue to carry out activities to achieve this goal. Talat also stressed that they would not settle for the removal of isolations; however, it would be a remarkable step towards a comprehensive solution in the island.

    Replying to a question on the famous "halloumi" cheese of Cyprus as well, Talat said the Greek Cypriots were trying to register halloumi as a regional product within EU. Talat said that halloumi was a product produced jointly by Turkish and Greek Cypriots for centuries. "If the Greek Cypriots register the product this way, as they will not include TRNC in the process, even Turkey will have difficulties with purchasing this product from us due to Customs Union. This is a great danger for us," Talat said.

    Upon another question, Talat declared that the term of the "Turkish Community" used by EU, did not satisfy them. "We are a nation, the nation of Turkish Cypriots. I do not expect to be called as the 'TRNC President' at this phase; however, I would prefer to be called 'the leader of Turkish Cypriots' rather than 'leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community'," Talat underscored.

    Replying to a question on his assessments regarding the period needed to reach a solution on the Cyprus issue, Talat said, "It is not possible for me to foresee a period. Like Europeans say, 'It takes two to tango'; however, Greek Cypriots do not want to play".

    In addition Illegal BAYRAK Television broadcast the following:

    Mehmet Ali Talat has stated that the launching of direct flights to Ercan Airport will be the starting point for easing of the international isolation on the TRNC.

    Success will come as we pass over this critical threshold Mr Talat said. His remarks came during a gathering in Merit Crystal Cove Hotel yesterday morning.

    Speaking to journalists from the Turkish media, Mehmet Ali Talat stated that there are many difficulties in the way of starting direct flights but added that TRNC was ready to launch a legal battle against the challenges it faced.

    Underlining that the adoption of the Taiwan model is unacceptable, Mr. Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots demanded the reinstatement of it rights stemming back from the 1960 Republic of Cyprus. Even if the international isolations are lifted, we will not abandon our political will for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem he added.

    Commenting on the military pact signed recently between the Greek Cypriot Administration and France, Mr Talat said that the agreement does not exist for the Turkish Cypriot Side nor is it valid.

    Earlier speaking on a television program, the President of the Republic criticized the agreement that was signed between France and the Greek Cypriot administration and said that we had in the past warned France not to sign such agreements with the south.

    Noting that he had met with the French Ambassador to Cyprus and had written a letter to the French President regarding the issue, Talat said the Turkish Cypriots will not tolerate such agreements.

    [05] Soyer meets with journalists from Turkey

    Turkish Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.03.07, in English) broadcast the following from occupied Keryneia on statements made by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime:

    Expressing that Turkish politicians failed to fully identify on time the new models of relations arousing from the EU enlargement process, PM of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Sabri Soyer said: ´Unfortunately, Greek Cypriot administration unilaterally became an EU member. The biggest problem faced by TRNC and Turkey is this. We have to overcome this obstacle, and we will.´

    Soyer got together with journalists from Turkey that are in Cyprus upon an invitation from the TRNC President Talat at the Merit Hotel.

    ´Turkish side failed to understand the new dimensions brought about by the EU enlargement process on the Cyprus issue and insisted on maintaining its stance´, said Soyer.

    Commenting on the Helsinki and Luxembourg summits Soyer said, with the 1999 Helsinki decision to give candidate state status to Turkey, Turkey has accepted a decision that falls outside its long pursued ´Cyprus can't become an EU member before Turkey does policy and added that inability to interpret the process accurately created cramps in relations. Greek Cypriot administration became a member, but this republic that became a member is against international law, EU principles and UN resolution´, said Soyer.

    Soyer expressed the need for acceleration in the UN process for the solution of the Cyprus issue.

    Stressing the importance of economic development and growth, Soyer pointed out that the GNP of TRNC rose from 985 million Euro in 2002 to 2 billion Euros in 2006.

    Drawing parallels between EU member Malta with a GNP of 4 billion Euros (with a population close to TRNC's population and with less natural resources) and TRNC, Soyer said, ´if we managed to raise our GNP from 985 million Euro to 2 billion Euro under these circumstances of isolation, but with the financial and morale support of Turkey and the creative force and motivation of our people, then to say that our next aim is to reach the GNP of Malta is not an empty claim.´

    Subtitle: HELLIM

    Commenting on the recently discussed "hellim" cheese issue as well, Soyer expressed that TRNC exported hellim worth 30 million USD last year and said they implemented a 15 million-USD subsidy while doing this.

    Stressing that Greek Cypriots were trying to block their "hellim" exports, Soyer noted, now there is a big fight going on in Brussels. Greek Cypriots are trying to obtain a regional product patent for halloumi. However, it is the product of a collective geography.

    Subtitle: INVITATION AS "TRNC PREMIER"

    Moreover, being reminded the invitation he received from a German state as the "Prime Minister of TRNC", Soyer said both TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and himself acted carefully while establishing such international contacts and relations.

    Soyer said that Greek Cypriots created tension upon this invitation and added, ´Because, this means the appearance of Turkish presence in Cyprus´.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot businessmen visit South Korea

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.07) reports that a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC) under its chairman Erdil Nami and a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KIBSO) departed yesterday for South Korea through Istanbul upon invitation by the South Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to a statement issued by the TCCC, the aim of the visit is to strengthening the relations with the third countries, explaining the realities of Cyprus and developing the economic relations.

    Mr Nami will sign a cooperation protocol with the Korean chamber. Nami said that for the first time a cooperation protocol will be signed with a third country except Turkey. Mr Nami noted that tomorrow they will organize a seminar at the Korean chambers headquarters on the Business environment in the TRNC and explain the realities in Cyprus. They will also give information on the fields of the economy, tourism, education, constructions, industry and investments in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Nami said that they will call on the Korean businessmen to make joint investments and cooperate with their Turkish Cypriot colleagues.

    (I/Ts)

    [07] Nami and Tacoy in Brussels again

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.07) reports that Ozdil Nami and Hasan Tacoy, MPs from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the National Unity Party (UBP) respectively, are visiting Brussels today in order to hold contacts on the issue of the report of the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots, which will be discussed on 15 March. Asked whether or not they will participate in the meeting of the Group on 15 March, Nami said that this depends on the results of their meetings today, but it might not be needed for them to participate in this meeting.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Ozturk meets Turkish journalists

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (05.03.07) reports that Enver Ozturk, self-styled minister of tourism and economy, has said that one of the main problems which their tourism sector faces is the fact that no direct flights to their illegal airports can be conducted. In statements during a meeting with 23 representatives of Turkish media, Mr Ozturk said that they will take the necessary measures for overcoming this problem.

    He noted that the off-shore banks have obtained a new structure as international business enterprises and added that their aim is to promote these companies to the world. He said that their aim is to increase the beds in the fields of tourism from 13.600 to 40.000 in 2012.

    (I/Ts)

    [09] The Arab world is reportedly preparing for recognizing the breakaway regime in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (04.03.07) reports that a Russian website named Regnum, known for its proximity to the Armenian positions, has argued that the Arab world is preparing to recognize the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Invoking a source who is expert on the Middle East politics, the above-mentioned site argued that the Arab countries will recognize the breakaway regime in March. It is also alleged that the American Foreign Secretariat is evaluating the recognition of the TRNC within the second half of this year.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The Municipality of Sydney donates 15.160 books to the library of the illegal Near East University

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (04.03.07) reports that upon initiative of the Municipality of Sydney 15.160 books have been donated to the library of the illegal Near East University (YDU) from Sydney. According to information acquired by the university, this is the biggest donation of books ever made to the library since its establishment.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Babacan says that "Cyprus was an excuse," on Turkeys accession process interrupted last December

    Ankara Anatolia (02.03.07) reports the following from Brussels:

    Turkey has prepared a 'road map' of the necessary reforms for a future accession to the EU which it will submit soon, perhaps before the end of March, to the European Commission. The announcement was made today by Turkey's Economy Minister and chief EU negotiator Ali Babacan, during a meeting in Brussels organised by the European Policy Centre. The plan prepared by the Ankara government contains a list of all institutional reforms and the deadlines Turkey has set for itself to reach each stage.

    "Our priorities are in the 'road map' - Babacan said - because we want to show Europe we have serious intentions and we are working with precision on each of the chapters rejected by the Commission", in December. The minister reminded that Brussels itself, together with the German EU Presidency, said it was ready to re-open the talks on four chapters by June. "Our relations with the EU have not been interrupted, we hold regular meetings both in Ankara and in Brussels," Babacan explained, pointing out that Turkey has much to do together with Europe, especially as regards foreign relations. "We want to discuss with the EU our strategies for Iraq, Iran, the Palestine and Lebanon which we could not face so far because the talks were interrupted before reaching the chapter on the relations with the other countries," the chief negotiator said, emphasizing that Ankara has a strategic position from the geopolitical point of view, being on the border between Europe and the Arab world.

    As regards the accession process interrupted last December, "which caused a widespread feeling of frustration among the Turks", the minister explained that the Cyprus problem was only the facade behind the real motivation. "Cyprus was an excuse," Babacan said, but confirmed the support to the Turkish Cypriot community "until it is not freed from the isolation in which it finds itself currently." "And a real solution to the issue of the island divided between the Turkish and Greek communities, he concluded, can be found only within the UN to which the government in Ankara continues to appeal."

    [12] Investigation opened against former Turkish President Evren for controversial remarks

    Istanbul Cihan News Agency (02.03.07) reports that an investigation has been opened against the former president retired General Kenan Evren, who is better known as the leader of a military coup in 1980, over his controversial remarks on decentralization of power in Turkey.

    EG/


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