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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-03-14

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.51/07 14.03.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements on Cyprus by the German Defence Minister in Ankara
  • [02] Babacan expects negotiations on enterprise and industrial policy chapter to be opened at the end of this month
  • [03] Soyer alleges that the Republic of Cyprus has launched a campaign aimed at creating a positive image abroad
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot side in action over halloumi
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot side on the 8th July process
  • [06] Kafkass wife asks for UN help to find her missing husband who was trading with the free areas of Cyprus
  • [07] A new rapprochement process by the political parties of both sides
  • [08] The leader of UBP met with the Turkish Defence Minister in Ankara
  • [09] Soyer is the only candidate for the leadership of CTP
  • [10] Huseyin Özel was appointed Press Attaché in London
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] Columnists analyse the findings of a research that nationalism is on the rise in Turkey

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements on Cyprus by the German Defence Minister in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.03.07) reports that the German Defence Minister Joseph Jung did not comment on claims regarding the interrogation of Ali Reza Asghari, former deputy minister of defence of Iran (who went missing after checking into an Istanbul hotel), in Germany.

    Jung, who is currently in Turkey, held a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul at the German Embassy in Ankara on Tuesday.

    When recalled that the Republic of Cyprus signed agreements with several countries including France, and asked whether Germany--as EU President-- is sharing uneasiness of Turkey about this issue, Jung said that Germany will act with the consciousness of being an EU President. Recalling that there are important joint projects between Turkey and Germany, Jung said upon another question that Germany will not sign a similar agreement with Cyprus.

    On the other hand, when asked about Turkey's position towards NATO talks on creating a missile defence shield, Turkish Minister Gonul said. "Currently Turkey is not taking part in such a project. Turkey is building its own air defence system based on its national capabilities."

    The defence industry relations are important to show the dimension of relations between Turkey and Germany, said Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul during a joint press conference with the German Defence Minister Joseph Jung.

    Gonul noted that Germany is the biggest trading partner of Turkey, adding that the foreign trade volume of the two countries is 25 billion USD.

    Gonul said that 41 German officers have been trained in Turkey so far within the scope of military training cooperation between the two countries. "We have discussed recent developments in security organizations in which both Turkey and Germany took part. I believe bilateral relations as well as relations within the scope of EU will record progress during Germany's EU Presidency," noted Gonul.

    On the other hand, German Minister Jung said that Turkey and Germany pursue joint studies and projects to restore peace and stability in various regions.

    Noting that Germany has some expectations from Turkey to restore stability in western Balkans, Jung said that they will exert efforts to bring European perspective to the region during his country's EU Presidency.

    [02] Babacan expects negotiations on enterprise and industrial policy chapter to be opened at the end of this month

    Ankara Anatolia in English (12.03.07) reports that Turkish State Minister and Chief negotiator for EU Ali Babacan said the following: We expect negotiations (with the EU) on enterprise and industrial policy chapter to be opened at the end of this month.

    The state-run TRT channel began broadcasting a program named "Vision of Europe" yesterday. The program will be aired between 6.30 and 7.30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

    State Minister Besir Atalay and Babacan were the guests of the first live broadcast.

    In the program, Babacan said that Turkey also expects the EU to launch negotiations on three more chapters till the end of June, and noted that Turkey will continue to walk on its path to the EU despite problems.

    Stating that many EU member states are supporting Turkey's membership bid, Babacan said that Turkey continued to fulfil reforms on eight chapters although the EU had suspended negotiations on these reforms.

    "Whenever Europe solves its internal problems, overcomes economic and social problems, focuses on the future and leaves behind narrow-minded short-term approaches, we are sure that it will find a very different Turkey," Babacan emphasized.

    On the other hand, Atalay underlined the importance of promoting Turkey in the best way in coming days, and said that this program will contribute to this process.

    [03] Soyer alleges that the Republic of Cyprus has launched a campaign aimed at creating a positive image abroad

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (13.03.07) report the following under the title: "Greek Cypriots pursue new image.

    Greek Cypriots work to prevent the passage of European Union-promised direct-trade regulations in the north. Under intense pressure from the international community, Greek Cypriots have launched a campaign aimed at creating a positive image abroad and preventing the passage of European Union-promised direct-trade regulations in the north, said the Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer.

    In an interview with the Turkish Daily News yesterday, Soyer said that the Greek Cypriots, having been backed into a corner due to their non-reconciliatory stance toward the resumption of re-unification talks on the long-divided island, wanted to reverse their overwhelmingly negative image to a positive one.

    In successive moves, the Greek Cypriots first tore down a concrete wall last Friday that symbolizes the decades-old Cyprus dispute and later started working for the opening of a border gate on the western part of the island.

    The real intention of the Greek Cypriots is to prevent any adoption of the EU-backed regulations for direct trade with northern Cyprus, Soyer told the TDN. He said the Greek Cypriots decided to take action after realizing that the EU was sincere in its efforts to open up trade with northern Cyprus by June.

    Greek Cyprus speaks out against direct trade, suggesting instead that all trade between the north and the rest of the EU go through Greek Cypriot ports in southern Cyprus under EU supervision.

    No counter-attack unless Lokmaci opened: The demolition of the wall by the Greek Cypriots was welcomed by both the United Nations and the EU.

    But this is not something positive because the demolition of the wall of embarrassment does not mean the opening of the crossing point [in Nicosia], Soyer said. The Greek Cypriots pulled the wall down but did not open the crossing, arguing that it could open only after the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island.

    But Soyer made clear that the Turkish side would not bow to any precondition laid down by the Greek Cypriot administration. We do not accept preconditions. The withdrawal of the troops is an issue to be resolved as part of a comprehensive solution to the overall Cyprus problem, he said.

    In a second step that followed the demolition of the wall, Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday launched work for the opening of the Yesilirmak (Limnitis) border on the western part of the island, according to news reports. Papadopoulos said that was a unilateral step aimed at pressing the Turkish side to launch similar initiatives.

    Soyer declined to elaborate on the latest move and emphasized that first the Lokmaci [crossing] will be opened and then we will start talks on other issues.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot side in action over halloumi

    Illegal BAYRAK television (13.03.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, Milk and Milk Products Producers Union and Coop Dairy held a Hellim Festival in front of the Ledra Palace crossing point in Lefkosia this morning.

    During the festival, they expressed their opposition to the Greek Cypriot Administrations attempts to register `hellim`, also known as Cyprus cheese, with the European Union under the name of `halloumi`.

    The Minister of Agriculture Onder Sennaroglu, deputies, the Head of the Prime Ministrys Coordination Centre for the EU Erhan Ercin, the President of the Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar and Mark Liby an official from the American Embassy - as well as milk producers attended the festival.

    In a joint statement, the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, Milk and Milk Products Producers Union and Coop Diary expressed their opposition to Greek Cypriot Cheese Producers Unions attempts to register `hellim` under the name of `halloumi` with the European Union.

    Pointing out that `hellim` is part of the culture of the whole island, they underlined the need for the `Cyprus cheese` to be registered under both names with the EU.

    Stressing that it is unacceptable for any organ in the south to have the sole authority to give permission for the production and exportation of hellim, they underlined the need for the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry to have this authority.

    They also expressed the hope that the EU will take the necessary measures to make it possible for Turkish Cypriot milk producers to export their products until a solution is brought to the problem.

    For his part, Mr Sennaroglu reminded that an offer by Turkish Cypriot producers for the exportation of the Cyprus cheese under the names of Hellim and Halloumi was warmly welcomed by the European Union.

    He also stressed that it is unacceptable for the Greek Cypriot Agriculture Ministry to be the only authority to have a say on the production and exportation of Hellim and said that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry can be authorized to issue permits for the export of Hellim within the framework of the Green Line Regulation.

    During the festival, calls were also issued for the United Nations and the European Union for the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Hellim has a considerable share in the TRNC's total exports.

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot side on the 8th July process

    Illegal BAYRAK television (13.03.07) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The TRNC Presidency has reiterated its opposition to all kinds of attempts aimed at presenting the 8-July process as an alternative to comprehensive negotiations on the Cyprus Problem.

    The Presidential Office said the Turkish Cypriot Side will not allow the Greek Cypriot Administration to delay the start of comprehensive negotiations.

    Speaking during his weekly press briefing, the Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercak1ca described as unjustified and unfounded the security concerns cited by the Greek Cypriot Administration for its opposition for the opening of a crossing point at Lokmac1 .

    Drawing attention to statements issued earlier by the Greek Cypriot Administration that the demolition of the Ledra Wall did not mean that a crossing point will be opened in the area, Mr Ercakica said the removal of the wall will only have a meaning provided it leads to the opening of a new crossing point.

    He reminded that Greek Cypriots have been moving freely and safely across the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus since the opening of the crossing points under the security provided by the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces, Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus and the TRNC Police.

    [06] Kafkass wife asks for UN help to find her missing husband who was trading with the free areas of Cyprus

    Illegal BAYRAK television (13.03.07) reports the following:

    Feriha Kafkas, the wife of Mesut Kafkas who mysteriously went missing last month - has appealed to the UN Secretary Generals Special Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller to help determine the whereabouts of her husband.

    In a letter sent to Mr Moller, Mrs. Kafkas pointed out that none of the separate investigations carried by the British Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) Police, the TRNC Police or the Greek Cypriot police have yielded any results and added that no breakthrough has been achieved in the case.

    Explaining that the family has been in great pain since the disappearance of her husband, Mrs Kafkas expressed the view that a thorough investigation and search was not carried out to determine her husbands fate.

    She appealed to Mr Moller to help establish contact among the two sides and the SBA police for a detailed search for Mesut Kafkas.

    [07] A new rapprochement process by the political parties of both sides

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.03.07), in its front page under the title New steps for rapprochement, reports that some Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties will organize joint bi-communal activities that will contribute to the Cyprus settlement and will give an end to this tension.

    According to the paper, the Slovak Ambassador Jan Varso held a press conference at Ledra Palace yesterday to announce the beginning of a series of activities as part of the current rapprochement process at Ledra Palace, which he said, started in Prague in 1989. He also announced that Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political party leaders, who have been participating in the meetings at Ledra Palace, have agreed to hold a series of rapprochement activities with a view to promoting contacts between the two communities.

    The joint bi-communal events which will be held in the coming months will be organized under the auspices of the political parties themselves.

    Calling yesterdays press conference as the first rapprochement activity by the political leaders, Mr Varso said that two social events will be held in the coming days, one at Famagusta Gate on the 27th of March and the other at Buyuk Han on the 21st of May. A football match between mixed teams of the leaders will take place at Cetinkayas football grounds on the 14th of April. As part of the activities Turkish Cypriot students will visit the offices of the Greek Cypriot political party AKEL in April and Greek Cypriot students the offices of the Turkish Cypriot political party CTP. In May, visits will be made to Hala Sultan Tekke Mosque in the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus and to St Barnabas Church in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus by political party leaders. And on the 9th of June 2007 a youth event will be held at Ledra Palace where music bands of young people from both communities will be invited to participate. As part of the rapprochement bi-communal activities, visits will also be paid to private hospitals and schools in both sides in September and October.

    During the press conference, the Slovak Ambassador reminded that in the first communiqué issued after the meeting of political leaders, they expressed their wish to stress that it is their unanimous view that their meetings are in no way an alternative nor should be viewed as such to the international talks carried out at present under the auspices of the United Nations.

    It is also their common view that such meetings create a better understanding not only between political party leaders but also amongst the people the political parties represent in their respective communities. They stressed the conviction of the political parties that despite the difficulties an early solution of the Cyprus problem is needed and their eagerness to contribute to the efforts being made to achieve a mutually agreed federal solution, the Slovak Ambassador concluded.

    (DPs)

    [08] The leader of UBP met with the Turkish Defence Minister in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.03.07) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu heading a party delegation, which is Ankara to hold contacts with Turkish government officials and political party leaders, met yesterday afternoon with the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. No statement was issued after the meeting. The party delegation met also yesterday with the Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gönül. Mr Ertugruloglu, in a statement regarding the meeting, said: We informed them for our evaluations regarding the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and we also exchanged views. We mentioned every problem we have, including the democracy problem in the TRNC.

    (DPs)

    [09] Soyer is the only candidate for the leadership of CTP

    Turkish Cypriot daily SÖZCÜ newspaper (14.03.07), under the title Soyer is the only candidate, reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) makes the preparations for the 21st regular general assembly of the party on 18th of March. The self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer will be the only candidate for the leadership of the party.

    [10] Huseyin Özel was appointed Press Attaché in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (14.03.07) reports that the self-styled Director of the Information Office of the Presidency, Huseyin Özel has been appointed as a press attaché in London. His duties started on 6th of March.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] Columnists analyse the findings of a research that nationalism is on the rise in Turkey

    Following are commentaries from HURRIYET and MILLIYET newspapers of 13 March 2007 on a survey carried out for Milliyet which revealed a rising nationalism in Turkey with the ruling Islamic AKP rank and file responding best to nationalism.

    Istanbul Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever analyzes the Milliyet survey, and finds noteworthy the fact that people perceive an increase in nationalism in others more than in themselves, and the AKP is the party that best responds to nationalist feelings.

    Writes Ulsever: Milliyet daily published a public opinion poll about "nationalism". (March 12, 2007). Here are a few excerpts that I came up with: "According to a research conducted by A&G, 50.1 percent of the population thinks nationalism in Turkey is on the rise lately. The ratio of those who don't agree with that point of view is 30.4 percent... The ratio of those who believe that 'nationalism in on the rise' escalates as the age gets younger and education level goes up. The point reached in full membership talks with the European Union, developments in Northern Iraq and the social experiences after the Hrank Dink murder have all added to the nationalistic reflexes."

    Milliyet goes on to add: "To the question, 'Did your feelings for Turkish nationalism increase for some reason?' 21.2 percent of the participants answered, "Yes, my feeling got stronger lately,' 15.7 percent said, 'It increases from time to time,' 42.1 percent responded, 'I don't feel any change.'

    To the question, 'Regardless of which party you voted for, which party and political leader, do you think, responded best to these new increasing nationalistic feelings?' the 21.6 percent answered as, 'AKP'. It was followed by a 17.3 percent for MHP, 7.6 percent for CHP and a 6 percent for the BBP."

    Subtitle: Nationalism redefined

    This poll reveals two interesting findings relating to the concept of nationalism:

    1) People think that the nationalistic feelings of others have risen more than their own. (Note that 21.2 percent believe their own nationalist feelings got stronger, while the ratio of those who think that nationalism has risen in society is 50.1 percent.)

    2) The party responding best to nationalist feelings is the AKP!

    All right, what kind of nationalism are we speaking about here?

    In April 2006, another public opinion poll by Tempo Magazine revealed that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was seen as the "most nationalist party." On April 11, 2006, I penned down the following regarding Tempo's poll:

    "A poll titled 'Nationalism Research' conducted by Bilgi University and Infakto Research Workshop for Tempo magazine points a finger to a crucial development, in my opinion."

    I added:1) The conservative "National View" that AKP has been inspired by gets more and more dominant in the definition of Turkish nationalism.

    2) In other words, the conservative "National View's" contribution to the definition about who the Turks are and how they perceive the world increases.

    3) The "National View" has accomplished to propose its understanding of Islamic communal identity to the national domain.

    Subtitle: Islamic nationalism

    When I reached this conclusion a year ago, I had referred to some findings of the poll:

    "....After they acknowledge that a non-Muslim could be a Turk and even a non-Turkish speaking person could be a Turk, participants enumerate 'being an atheist' at the top of the elements that 'contradict with Turkishness.' They place 'being a Jew or a Christian' to the second place!

    To the question, 'To which elements a Turkish nationalist pay most attention?' the answer, 'Turkey's territorial integrity' sits at the top with 59.9 percent; however, to the same question, the answer, 'being Muslim' (13.6 percent) is voted way above the answer, such as 'Turkish language' (2 percent)."

    And according to the data Infakto Research Workshop has collected, the politician who is regarded as the "most nationalist" is Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Recently, the opposition parties, primarily the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), are trying to strike at AKP with nationalist rhetoric. But apparently the popular nationalism is not ethnic or patriotic nationalism, but a o ne with a high dose of religious sensitivity, i.e., Islamic nationalism!

    On his part columnist Taha Akyol of Milliyet concurs with the results of the survey that nationalism is on the rise in Turkey, but he states that this is not a "single-type, block rise in nationalism," like Nazism, fascism, or a totalitarian movement. In his column, Akyol explains that this is not a block political movement, given that leaders like Tayyip Erdogan, Devlet Bahceli, and Deniz Baykal received varying shares from the "rising nationalism."

    He states that in the past, Turkish nationalism has always acknowledged democracy. "What is rising today is national feelings, rather than nationalism in the sense of a political doctrine," Akyol asserts, adding that "it emerges as a feeling of 'solidarity' against the attitudes of the EU and the United States." Akyol also underlines the differences between Turkey's eastern and western regions in their perception of nationalism, and calls for the development of common patriotic values.

    Finally, MILLIYET newspaper publishes a commentary under the title: "Why Is Nationalism on the Rise?" by Can Dundar who points out that according to the chairman of the company that conducted the survey on behalf of Milliyet, "this is not ethnic nationalism; national reflexes are increasing in connection with certain developments that we are experiencing." Based on his views of Tanil Bora, an expert on the subject of nationalism, Dundar suggests that "there is a preconceived ideological mentality mould, a river bed. During times of political tension, the reactions flow toward this river bed."

    He describes the said mentality as the belief that the Turks have only themselves as a friend, and a fear of being fragmented that dates back to the times of the empire and is fed by various forms of paranoia. Nationalism provides a non-slippery foundation as well as an identity to be proud of, Dundar says. He adds that "nationalism is rising as the political elite fans these fears, heartens the reflex, and rides on the rising wave." Pointing out that the AKP and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, appear to be benefiting from this nationalist rise, Dundar states that this should serve as a lesson to those who engage in a nationalist race rather than generate alternative policies, especially the Republican People's Party, CHP.

    EG/


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