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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-03-13
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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.50/07 13.03.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talats statements on the opening of the crossing-point at LimnitisIllegal Bayrak television (12.03.07) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus decision to start work for the opening of the crossing-point at Pyrgos in Limnitis a unilateral move.
Mr Talat has pointed out that the decision of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to start work for the opening of the crossing point at Pyrgos in Limnits is a unilateral move.
We havent got such a thing on our agenda and I dont know how they will achieve this with a unilateral decision, he said, and added that the opening of a new crossing-point needs the approval of the two sides.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side has been continuing its efforts for the opening of a new crossing-point in old Lefkosia at the point, known as the Lokmaci Barricade (Ledra Street), Mr Talat complained that the Greek Cypriot side has been raising many preconditions for the opening of Lokmaci.
Calling on the Greek Cypriot side to stop raising preconditions on the issue, Mr Talat said: Lets first open this gate and then we may consider the others.
Responding to a question on the meeting envisaged about to take place between him and President Tassos Papadopoulos by the end of March within the framework of the Gambari process, Mr Talat said he hasnt yet received any invitation about such a meeting.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SES0 newspaper (13.03.07), under the title Papadopoulos game, after Ledra Street, Limnitis-Pyrgos , reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, after President Papadopoulos announcement that they will open unilaterally the check-point at Limnitis, said: If a gate is opened in a place, both sides must have a plan and we have not such a decision. Commenting on the same issue, the Chairman of the Tylliria Association, Mr Erdogan Ozbalikci, said that they have a demand for months now to open a crossing-point at Tylliria area and added that the North Cyprus should have taken a step so that it would be the first and not South Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily SÍZC▄ newspaper (13.03.07), under the title We did not say We will open, we did not also say we will not open, reports that Talat described the decision which was taken by the Greek Cypriot Administration to start work for opening the border-gate of Pyrgos-Limnitis, as a unilateral move. Talat said: We do not have such a thing in our agenda right now. I do not know how the gate will be opened unilaterally. If they want, they are welcome, let them open unilaterally the gate, we did not say that we will open, we did not say also that we will not open.
 Statements by Soyer evaluated after returning from LondonIllegal Bayrak Television (13.03.07) reported that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer returned to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Sunday night at the end of his contacts in London.
During his stay in the British capital, Mr Soyer met with the British Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon and inaugurated the North Cyprus Festival.
Speaking at the occupied airport of Tymbou (Ercan) upon his arrival, Mr Soyer described his contacts as very useful and said that the visit gave him the opportunity to explain the Turkish Cypriot sides views concerning the solution of the Cyprus problem in detail.
Referring to his meeting with the British Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon, Mr Soyer said he had explained to Mr Hoon the Turkish Cypriot sides approach to the Cyprus problem and difficulties being faced in the Gambari process especially in the setting up of technical committees.
Mr Soyer added that he had also provided detailed information about the steps being taken by the Turkish Cypriot side which is the side in Cyprus sincerely willing to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.
He also noted that he explained the difficulties being faced by the Turkish Cypriots, successes achieved and the latest developments on the Cyprus issue during interviews with media organizations.
Noting that he had also found an opportunity to watch some events organized within the framework of the North Cyprus Festival in London, Mr Soyer said he also listened to the views and problems of Turkish Cypriots living in the city.
He said that such visits will continue in the coming days with the aim of making the Turkish Cypriots voice heard by the international community.
Mr Soyer finally said that his government will continue to work on ways of achieving progress towards a solution to the Cyprus problem and on other issues, such as the opening of the crossing-point at Ledra Street (Lokmaci).
The leading page of Turkish Cypriot daily YEN0D▄ZEN newspaper (13.03.07), under the title First come to the negotiation table , publishes an interview of the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer to the paper s reporter Huseyin Ekmekci. Commenting on the announcement of the opening of Limnitis check-point, Mr Soyer said that the games for the show-off will not gain anything to the communities and called on Mr Papadopoulos to come first to the table.
 Self-styled foreign minister Avci stated that it is ridiculous for the Republic of Cyprus to propose the opening of eight more crossing points along the ceasefire lineIllegal BAYRAK television (12.03.07) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The deputy-Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has said it is ridiculous for the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤ (Republic of Cyprus) which has been trying to prevent the opening of a gate at Lokmaci to propose the opening of eight more crossings between the two sides.
Calling on the Greek Cypriot Leadership to stop raising ridiculous claims, Mr Avci underlined the need for the Greek Cypriot side to fulfil its responsibilities and complete the necessary work for the opening of the Lokmaci Barricade.
In a written statement, Mr Avci criticized the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas for his comments published in the Spanish El Pais newspaper about the Lokmaci Barricade.
He complained that Mr Lillikas has been calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops at the Lokmaci Barricade and pointed out that the troops at the point are those from the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces and that there is not a single Turkish troop at the point.
Mr Avci added that the Turkish Cypriot side will not let the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤ to distort the truth to get rid of its responsibilities over the issue.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side has knocked down the `Wall of Shame` on its side as a result of the Turkish Cypriot sides insistence and initiatives by the international community, he said `they are denying this reality too`.
Referring to the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministers words that the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤ had proposed the opening of eight more crossings between the two sides, Mr Avci said it is ridiculous for the Greek Cypriot Administration which has been trying to prevent the opening of a gate at Lokmaci to propose the opening of eight more gates.
`What we expect from the Greek Cypriot side is to stop raising baseless claims and to make the necessary preparations for the opening of the Lokmaci Barricade`, he said, and complained that the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤, instead of doing this, has been raising conditions to delay the realization of this objective.
Referring to Mr Lillikas words that the only way for a solution passes through the resumption of the negotiation process but that this is being delayed because of the elections in Turkey, he stressed that the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministers words are not convincing as it is the ┤Greek Cypriot Administrations┤ negative attitude which prevents the achievement of any progress in the Gambari process, and not elections in Turkey.
Mr Avci said the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤ should return to the negotiations table and fulfil its responsibility towards the 8-July process if it wants to bring about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
 The joint committee between Ankara and its subordinate regime for cooperation on economy and trade convened in AnkaraIllegal BAYRAK television (12.03.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The fifth term of meetings of the Joint Committee which was established within the framework of the cooperation between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey on economy and trade started in Ankara today.
During the meetings of the Committee, trade relations between the two ┤countries┤ will be reviewed in all aspects. An agreement will be signed between the two countries at the end of two days discussions of the Committee.
 International womens organization delegations are holding contacts in occupied CyprusIllegal BAYRAK television (12.03.07) reports from occupied Lefkosia that officials from the International Federation of University Women, the University Women of Europe, the Turkish Association of University Women who are in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) as guest of the Turkish Cypriot Association of University Women - are holding contacts in occupied Cyprus.
A 50-member delegation from the International Federation of University Women, the University Women of Europe and the Turkish Association of University Women came together with the self-styled minister of national education and culture Canan Oztoprak and the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari at lunch.
The Mayor of Lefkosia Eleni Mavrou also attended the lunch at the Boghjalian Restaurant in Lefkosia.
In a welcoming speech, the Coordinator of International Relations of the Turkish Cypriot Association of University Women, Ferdiye Ersoy, underlined the need to empower women and to make it possible for them to take part in decision making bodies.
She also stressed that governments should work on ways of stopping women trafficking and violence against women and girls which are the two great problems being faced around the globe.
Mrs Oztoprak, for her part, said that the Turkish Cypriot women were forced to live sealed off from the rest of the world for years.
Women were able to unite with the rest of the world at the end of a long struggle and stressed that Turkish Cypriot women will continue their struggle to take its rightful place in the world, she said. Mrs Oztoprak also added that work will also continue to enable the women to be represented more in decision-making bodies.
 Turkish Cypriot Businessmen are being briefed on tendering for EU contractsIllegal BAYRAK television (12.03.07) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot businessmen are being briefed on tendering for EU contracts at a two-day seminar which started yesterday at the headquarters of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce in Lefkosia.
The `Seminar on Tendering for EU Contacts; How Business-Private Sector can Bid for EU Contracts` was organized in cooperation with the European Commission.
 The President of the International Council of Organizations and Festivals of Folklore is having contacts in occupied CyprusIllegal BAYRAL television (12.03.07) broadcast the following:
Officials from the International Council of Organizations and Festivals of Folklore and Traditional Arts are having contacts in the ┤Republic┤ with the aim of solving the problems being faced with the ┤Greek Cypriot Administration┤ after the acceptance of Folk Dancing Groups from the Iskele (occupied Trikomo) and Gonyeli Municipalities as `candidate members` to the Council.
The CIOFF President Kari Bergholm said the Council acts in line with the UN decisions and added that the Council will be trying to find a solution acceptable for both sides.
As part of his contacts in Cyprus, the President of the International Council of Organizations and Festivals of Folklore and Traditional Arts Kari Bergholm met with the Iskele District Officer Ahmet Cenk Musaogullari and the Mayor of Iskele Halil Orun today.
Speaking during the visit, Mr Musaogullari pointed out that music and dance play important roles in bringing different cultures closer together.
He also noted that the Turkish Cypriot People which is still suffering from an international ┤isolation┤ has been facing many difficulties in taking part in international cultural activities.
He said that Iskele and Gonyeli Municipalities had achieved important progress towards finding way of participating in international organizations.
The Mayor of Iskele Halil Orun, for his part, expressed his pleasure for the acceptance of folk dancing groups from the Iskele and Gonyeli Municipalities as `candidate members` to the International Council of Organizations and Festivals of Folklore and Traditional Arts which has more than 100 members.
For his part, Mr Bergholm explained that the aim of the Council is to improve cultural cooperation among countries but said that the Council must take the political boundaries into consideration while establishing such ties. He noted that the Council is not dependent on a country but said that it should act in line with the UN decisions.
Mr Bergholm said that the Council does not want to prevent any of the two sides in Cyprus from taking part in this cultural cooperation and added that ways will be searched to find a solution acceptable for both sides.
 Recep Tayyip Erdogan: The EU is pressuring the Greek Cypriots to direct tradeTurkish daily SABAH newspaper (11.03.07) publishes the following interview with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a column by Erdal Safak under the title "Could There Be a 'Surprise'?". The interview was taken on a flight from Baku to Ankara:
Three weeks after a trip to Turkmenistan, we accompanied Prime Minister Erdogan on a tour of another Turkic republic, this time Azerbaijan. The reason for this visit was the First Joint Forum of the Azeri and Turkish Diaspora Organizations in the World in Baku.
On our flight back, six journalists who had covered the trip got together with Erdogan in the private compartment of the ANA plane at a late hour of the night to hear his views on domestic and foreign developments.
First, let us convey our questions and the prime minister's answers on political matters, which we had to squeeze into the final minutes of our conversation.
Question: Next week will mark the end of your fourth year as prime minister.
Answer: Yes, it will be four years on 15 March.
Question: Is there anything you wanted to accomplish but could not in those four years? Is there anything that remains unresolved inside you?
Answer: We have had a successful, stable, goal-oriented term. However, despite our positive drive, we have not been able to make as much progress as we wanted on unemployment. We reduced it by a point but that is not enough. It is true that there is a transition from agriculture to the service and industry sectors. That reduces unregistered [economic activity] and puts it on record. Our second problem is the current account deficit.
Question: We are more severely affected by global financial fluctuations because of the current account deficit.
Answer: That may be true, but our current account deficit is not as large as that of the United States or Japan. Of course, our economy is smaller. (In this context, Erdogan said that he is not concerned about the rise in the value of the Turkish currency. He even said that the state is earning money "without doing anything" thanks to this rise.)
Then we turned to the subject of the presidential elections to be held in five weeks. We were fully aware that we would not get an unambiguous answer but we tried our luck.
Question: You have been commissioning public opinion polls. Do you see any differences in the vote the AKP [Justice and Development Party] would win in [general] elections depending on whether you or someone else leads the party?
Answer: Believe me, we do not ask such questions in the polls. At this point, it makes no sense to ask that question. [The party] will look at the picture that will emerge after May. The party organization knows best the issue of winning or losing votes.
Question: However, if the party organization is asked, no one would tell their leader "not to go to Cankaya."
Answer: No, that is not true. There are people who say that. Some have even written personal letters. There have been people who have said: "You deserve to be there, but you should stay on as prime minister for another five years."
Question: So, could there be a surprise?
Answer: Our life is full of surprises. It is possible.
You may interpret this as "leaving the door ajar" or as "covering up one's intentions." Our impression was that Erdogan has not yet made his final decision and that, even if he has, he is still weighing the pluses and minuses.
As for Erdogan's comments on overseas developments, he described the decision of the Greek Cypriot administration (government of the Republic of Cyprus) to tear down its side of the Ledra Street barricade as: "We were once again proven right both at home and abroad." The prime minister also had some strong words for the opposition: "The AKP said that this would be a correct step. Why should we be afraid if we are right? What did north Cyprus lose by tearing down its side of the wall? On the contrary, the EU started pressuring the Greek Cypriots. Now they are pressuring them for direct trade. (EU Commissioner for Enlargement) Olli Rehn's statement was very strong. Yet, our main opposition has been trying to pit us against the General Staff. What have we accepted that was not in the interests of our brethren in Cyprus? They should come out and disclose one thing we have given away. Let me be frank: If anything would be given away, it would be given away with the Annan Plan. That plan contained provisions that were hard to accept. However, in return, you were gaining politically. You were becoming a state. Being a state comes at a price. However, those who do not know the pleasure of being a state, those who have become accustomed to tribal life, cannot understand this."
Question: Are your charges aimed at the Greek Cypriots who voted against the Annan Plan or the opposition at home?
Answer: I mean the ones at home, the ones at home.
It would be "unbecoming," at a minimum, not to discuss the reason for our trip, that is Azerbaijan and relations with Turkic republics.
Question: In your last trip to Baku (in June 2005), you were able to win Azeri President Ilham Aliyev's approval for enlarging the lot that was assigned to Turkey's new embassy compound. Did this visit produce any similar results?
Answer: This time I discussed with [Aliyev] a topic on which we reached a decision (at the 10th Turkic Congress) in Antalya (last September). I told him that we want to open a Turkish Yunus Emre Center [in Baku]. We will use the old embassy building we vacated for this project. Just as the Germans have Goethe Institutes in different places in the world, we want to open Turkish cultural centers that we will call "Yunus Emre Centers" in the Turkic republics and other major capitals. Also, the [Turkish] Ministry of National Education operates three schools in a single building in Baku: a primary school, a middle school, and an Anatolia high school. The building is nice. The Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency just recently restored it. However, it remains inadequate. We will buy two additional buildings and move two of the schools to those. In addition, there is a project to start a university in Baku. That is also very important.
Question: Is Turkey opening up to the Turkic republics again?
Answer: We are compensating for the neglect of the past years. Efforts were made during the tenure of [former President] Ozal. There was also some effort during the tenure of [former President] Demirel. We have to prepare a common Turkish language textbook with Azerbaijan. That is because we can easily communicate with the Azeris. We can do that to some extent with the Uzbeks also, but it is hard to communicate with the people of the other Turkic republics. They use the Russian Cyrillic script in those countries. The Latin script will be used in the common textbook. That way it will be easier to communicate verbally as well as in writing in five years.
Between the lines of Erdogan's statements we could read clues of Turkey's new strategy:
1. Build a Turkic bloc (in a political and economic sense) that extends all the way to the Wall of China without renouncing the goal of joining the EU. Perhaps even raise relations with China and Russia to a strategic level by holding on to one end of the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization," in which some Turkic republics are members and some are observers.
2. Direct the oil and natural gas resources of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan to Turkey through pipelines that will criss-cross this entire region, and thus make Turkey the EU's second most important--from a standpoint of reliability the most preferred or indispensable--energy supplier.
To get a sense of the scale of this new strategy, it is enough to take a look at the new Turkish embassy building in Baku. It is situated between the US and Russian embassies and it is at least as big and impressive as theirs. Turkey is saying: I am also in this region.
 Tayyip Erdogan diagnosed with 'Hernia'Istanbul Cihan News Agency (12.03.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday was diagnosed with hernia, which recurred one and a half year after and his schedule was cancelled until Tuesday.
PM Erdogan was late for two and a half hours to participate in yesterdays cabinet meeting as doctors had to treat him for symptoms of hernia. The doctors made a house call, examined Erdogan and prescribed a day's rest due to recurring of symptoms of hernia.
Following the cabinet meeting, which lasted four hours, Erdogan attended the ceremony at the parliament held to mark the anniversary of the approval of the Turkish national anthem. Then, Erdogan was back home to have a rest.
Erdogan's meeting with Danish Parliament Speaker Christian Mejdahl was cancelled and he did not attend the central executive board meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party, either.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.03.07) reports that the Mr Erdogan delayed his visit to Albania, scheduled for Tuesday due to health problems, Akif Beki, the spokesman of the Prime Ministry said yesterday.
Beki told reporters that Erdogan will rest at home for one day and therefore cancelled all his scheduled program.
Erdogan also postponed his scheduled visit to Albania to a later date, he added.
 Turkish Government Spokesman Cicek: Ocalan does not suffer from poisoningAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.03.07) reports that the Turkish Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek denied that Ocalan suffers from poisoning.
"Certain circles try to play games as in allegations on terrorist head Ocalan's poisoning," said Cemil Cicek, Turkish Justice Minister and Government Spokesman, on Monday. Cicek held a press briefing following the weekly Council of Ministers meeting in Ankara.
"No one should pay attention to false allegations. No one should believe lies," noted Cicek. Cicek's comments came after certain circles alleged that Abdullah Ocalan was poisoned. Earlier today, the Istanbul Forensic Department announced that no poison was found in hair, blood and urine samples of Ocalan.
"Turkey is a country that respects the rule of law. Trials and verdicts are implemented according to existing laws," said Cicek.
He added that Turkish citizens should be careful about provocateurs during the upcoming Nevrouz celebrations. Nevrouz is a spring celebration that generally falls around March 21st, corresponding to the vernal equinox, when the day and night are of equal length. It is a celebration shared by the Turkic world.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 How the Turkish press covers the disappearance in Turkey of an Iranian Defence Ministry officialOn 12 March 2007 the Turkish press gives wide coverage to the disappearance in Turkey of Iranian Deputy Defence Minister, Ali Reza Asgari, as follows:
HURRIYET newspaper publishes an article by Fatih Cekirge with regard to the disappearance of Iranian defence official Ali Reza Asgari and the Turkish connection. In the article, Cekirge asks whether Asgari was filmed upon entry into Turkey and speculates on the various options of how he exited Turkey. Cekirge raises the possibility of Asgari's being privy to secrets pertaining to certain assassinations in Turkey. He also lists the possible reasons for Iran's disenchantment with Ankara.
In an article entitled "The game over Iran is big but Iran is playing big, too" Vakit columnist Selahaddin Cakirgil takes issue with press reports referring to former Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Ali Riza Askari's alleged kidnapping in Istanbul as the greatest "intelligence blow" that the United States and Israel have dealt to Iran in 28 years. Cakirgil cites examples from political conspiracies against Iran in the past 28 years and argues that given Tehran's experience in dealing with foreign plots, it is wrong to conclude that the incident involving Askari is a major setback to "Islamic Iran."
In an article entitled "Let us see what the missing Iranian affair will lead to" Milli Gazete columnist Huseyin Altinalan claims that "we must treat with suspicion press reports about the Iranian official alleged to be missing because if the person in question had really defected to the West and were revealing crucial information about Iran's nuclear program to US intelligence units, there would be no point in disclosing this to the public. Altinalan asserts that "the West might be preparing to implement a foul plan against Iran and Hizballah" and to use Askari as part of this plan.