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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-05-14

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.91/07 12-14.05.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Ambassador and Turkish Cypriot businessmen promote the TRNC in Kuwait
  • [02] Talat to address a seminar in the European parliament organized by the High Level Contact Group with Turkish Cypriot Community
  • [03] Statements by Mechtild Rothe
  • [04] Turkish Defence Minister to attend EU meeting in Brussels
  • [05] Soyer is co-ordinating efforts to improve the quality of buildings in the occupied Greek Cypriot properties
  • [06] Avci left for Islamabad to attend the OIC Foreign Ministers meeting
  • [07] The self-styled Press Council was represented at the East Africa Press Council
  • [08] Statements by the Chief Judge of the Turkish Constitutional Court
  • [09] AKP prepares B plan in case of veto
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] Columnist in Milliyet assesses the U.S. approach to developments in Turkey

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Ambassador and Turkish Cypriot businessmen promote the TRNC in Kuwait

    Illegal BAYRAK television (12.05.07) broadcast the following:

    A group of five Turkish Cypriot businessmen, who are in Kuwait with the aim of promoting the TRNC products and searching for ways of strengthening business, trade and investment links between the two countries, continue their contacts.

    A dinner was given in honour of the Turkish Cypriot businessmen by the Turkish Embassy in Kuwait last night.

    Speaking there, the Turkish Ambassador to Kuwait- Sakir Fakili said he was happy to see that the relations between the TRNC and Kuwait were improving.

    During the dinner, Turkish Cypriot businessmen exchanged views with other guests on future projects.

    The group consists of businessmen Turhan Beydagli, Gokhan Sarac, Sadik Gurun, Huseyin Diner and Abdullah Aktolgali, and is accompanied by the Director of Political Affairs and Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Ahmet Erdengiz.

    The Turkish Cypriot delegation will continue its contacts in Kuwait until the 14 of May during which it will have meetings with Kuwaiti businessmen as well as with representatives from the media institutions.

    The visit comes after a decision by Kuwait to allow the TRNC to open a trade and tourism office in the country.

    The office is expected to be opened within this year.

    On the same issue illegal BAYRAK television (13.05.07) broadcast the following:

    Director of Political Affairs and Information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs- Ahmet Erdengiz has said that the opening of a representation office in Kuwait should be an encouraging step for member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to follow suit.

    Mr.Erdengiz was speaking in an interview to the highly circulated Kuwaiti Daily, Al Anbaa.

    The Political Affairs Director is currently accompanying a delegation of Turkish Cypriot businessmen who are holding contacts in Kuwait aimed at promoting the TRNC products and searching for ways to strengthen business, trade and investment links between the two countries.

    In a statement issued by the Foreign Ministrys press information office, Mr. Erdengiz told the Al Anbaa newspaper that the commerce and tourism office to be opened up in Kuwait soon will greatly contribute to improving economic relations between the two countries.

    Mr. Erdengiz who also gave information on the contacts being held in Kuwait by the Turkish Cypriot businessmen said that he wanted to see Turkish Cypriot products and goods being sold on Kuwaiti market.

    Expressing the view that the trade office should be perceived by other OIC member states as an encouraging step, the Political Affair Director of the Foreign Ministry underlined the importance of such steps which will help remove the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people at a time when efforts were underway to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    Answering questions on the Cyprus Problem, Mr. Erdengiz reiterated the Turkish Cypriot Sides support towards finding a just and lasting comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem but added that the Greek Cypriot Administration was continuing to block the way towards a solution, as was recently seen in the Gambari Process.

    [02] Talat to address a seminar in the European parliament organized by the High Level Contact Group with Turkish Cypriot Community

    Illegal BAYRAK television (12.05.07) broadcast the following:

    The Liberal Group within the European Parliament with contributions from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce organizing a seminar at the European Parliament titled the other side of the Coin: Giving Turkish Cypriots a voice.

    The seminar is scheduled to take place on Wednesday and will hear an opening speech by the head of the Liberal Group Graham Watson.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat is also expected to deliver a speech on the day. He will be leaving for Brussels on Wednesday.

    The seminar was organized as a result of an initiative taken by the European MP Karin Resetarits a member of the Parliaments High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community.

    In a letter sent to the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Mrs Resetarits stated that the seminar was organized with the aim of creating an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriot people to explain their views and opinions.

    [03] Statements by Mechtild Rothe

    According to KIBRIS newspaper (14/05/07), the member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament Mrs. Mechtild Rothe has declared that they are working to improve the situation of the Turkish Cypriots. However, she claimed, because of the Greek Cypriot EU membership they were unable to make a desired progress.

    Speaking to the AB news agency Mrs. Rothe answered questions about the latest developments and to criticism personally directed to her. She said that she is involved in the Cyprus problem for the last 23 years and received criticism both from the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. Mrs.Rothe, who is also deputy chairwoman of the EP High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots, said: We are working, as Socialist Group in the EP, in order to improve the situation that the Turkish Cypriots presently are in. For the first time it was our group in the EU that has suggested to give observer status to the Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Cypriot MP Ozdil Nami is taking part as observer in the Socialist Groups meetings. We are thinking of how we could improve the Turkish Cypriots situation. We want to discuss financial and trade issues. As EP Contact Group we worked hard on these issues. Unfortunately, it is not easy to work with the Chairwoman of the Contact Group, Mrs. Francoise Grossetete. When we went to the north Cyprus as the Contact Group it was me who arranged Grossetetes meeting with Talat. This was not an easy task at the beginning she did not want to meet Talat; I told her that if she did not meet Talat then the EP Contact Group will have no meaning. The EP chairmanship gave this task to us in order to establish dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots. It would be wrong if we try to avoid meeting with the democratically elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriots. I have heard that last month Grossetete did not meet Talat in Brussels and she met with Lillikas. These are wrong things. They did not convey to me the Contact groups meeting in Brussels.

    When the Contact Group was established we were very enthusiastic. We want now to make Turkish the official language of the EP. If we do not give something to the Turkish Cypriots then the situation could be worsened further. From the political point of view we are not acting fast. We have to re-establish the Turkish Cypriots trust in us. As the Contact Group we want to do something for the Turkish Cypriots. During the last Group meeting we were unable to settle the issue of the observer status because of the lack of time. We will take up this issue during our next meeting. There is a concern in the EP that if observers status is given to two Turkish Cypriots then this will be the recognition of the TRNC. They say that here is legal dimension to this. I have been involved in the Cyprus problem for the last 23 years. During the Denktash era it was the Turkish Cypriot side that was considered problematic. After the referendum on the Annan plan the Greek Cypriots are problematic. May be Papadopoulos does not a want solution. During the referendum Papadopoulos told the Greek Cypriots that if you accept the plan only Turkish troops will stay in the island. As a social democrat I do not defend Papadopoulos views.

    The Greek Cypriots have security fear. Here both sides should make a decision. We have to overcome this lack of dialogue situation. It is important that one has to put forward new initiatives as regards the solution. There is a small toughening in the Greek Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriots say that the presence of the Turkish troops is contrary to the EU principles and render a solution difficult.

    We have been told that Turkish will be the official language once the Cyprus problem is solved and that there is a protocol signed to this effect between the EU and the Greek Cypriots. However, this is not very clear; we want this protocol to be changed.

    (MHY)

    [04] Turkish Defence Minister to attend EU meeting in Brussels

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (13.05.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul departed Sunday for Brussels to participate at a meeting of the European Union Defense Ministers.

    Gonul will also attend the Troika meeting within the context of the ministerial summit.

    [05] Soyer is co-ordinating efforts to improve the quality of buildings in the occupied Greek Cypriot properties

    Illegal BAYRAK television (13.05.07) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has underlined the need to introduce new measures, within a legal framework, that will ensure quality production and reliability in the North Cyprus construction sector.

    The Prime Minister was speaking during a meeting yesterday which brought together, the Minister of Finance Ahmet Uzun, the Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat and contractors as well as civil engineers to discuss the outstanding problems being faced in the construction sector.

    Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Soyer said that state was urgently in need of a statistics department to record and analyzes economic development in the country.

    He said that efforts to that end were continuing.

    Despite having completed 2006, the Prime Minister said that the government had not yet obtained official figures on economic activity relating to that year, something he added which once more highlighted the urgent need to set up a state statistics department.

    Prime Minister Soyer said that current economic figures showed the construction sector played a major role in economic development in North Cyprus, adding that the sectors average contribution to the Gross National Product within a period of three years was as high as 127 million dollars.

    Explaining that a large number of the political difficulties, if not all, associated with the construction sector had been overcome, the Prime Minister said that the Greek Cypriot Administration was continuing its aggressive campaign against the purchase of property and homes in North Cyprus.

    Also speaking during the meeting, the President of the North Cyprus Civil Engineers Union Cafer Gurcafer expressed the view that exchanging views and problems will contribute to solving problems being faced in the construction sector.

    Pointing out that a major construction boom had been experienced during the Annan Plan period, Mr. Gurcafer said that due to recent political developments, an atmosphere of uncertainty and lack of confidence has prevailed, thus yielding negative consequences for the construction sector.

    [06] Avci left for Islamabad to attend the OIC Foreign Ministers meeting

    Illegal BAYRAK television (13.05.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci is on his way to Pakistan to attend the 34th Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, (OIC) which is to take place between the 15th and 17th of May.

    Foreign Minister Avci will be delivering a speech at the meeting which will be held in the capital Islamabad.

    According to the statement issued by Deputy Prime Ministry and Foreign Ministry, Mr Avci, in his speech, will brief the OIC Foreign Ministers on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue and is expected to draw attention to the Turkish Cypriot Peoples expectations from the Islamic world on the removal of its unjust international isolation.

    The Foreign Minister Turgay Avci will also be holding bi-lateral contacts aimed at improving the relations between the TRNC and the OIC member countries.

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been represented at the OIC meetings since 2004, under the title of the Turkish Cypriot State.

    [07] The self-styled Press Council was represented at the East Africa Press Council

    According to KIBRIS newspaper (14/05/07) the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Press Council was represented at the East Africa Press Council meeting. Turkish Cypriot journalists Akay Cemal and Sule Aker attended the conference. The paper does not mention the venue of the conference.

    (MHY)

    [08] Statements by the Chief Judge of the Turkish Constitutional Court

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (12.05.07) reported the following from Baku:

    "I don't think that this means a change of regime in Turkey," Tulay Tugcu, the chief judge of Turkish Constitutional Court, said on Saturday while commenting on an article of the constitutional amendment package (approved by the parliament) allowing election of president by a popular vote.

    Tugcu, who paid a formal visit to Azerbaijan, held a news conference in Turkish Embassy in Baku.

    Tugcu said there was not any change in assignments of the president, indicating that, "the amendment will only facilitate election of the president. This does not mean change of regime. Essential principles of the constitution did not change."

    Responding to a question about the Constitutional Court's decision to annul the first round of the presidential election, Tugcu said, "some speculative comments are underway. It is not possible to prevent different views.

    Asked about the ratification of the constitutional amendment by the president, Tugcu said, "taking the constitutional amendment to a referendum is out of question because it has been approved above a specific number of votes. He will examine and issue it."

    Replying to a question on the possibility that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer could decide to veto the amendment, Tugcu said, "he can veto it only once and send it back to the parliament. Not two times. He should ratify the amendment if the parliament approves it again with more than 367 votes."

    Tugcu said Sezer could postpone the decision about the amendment for 15 days.

    Asked, "will it be a problem if the wife of the person (who will be elected) wears headscarf," Tugcu said, "preference of the people will decide for it. Constitutional Court does not interfere in it. The court attaches importance to the functioning of the democratic rules."

    Speaking about the cooperation works made with the Azerbaijani Constitutional Court, Tugcu said Turkey and Azerbaijan launched initiatives on the matter.

    Within the scope of her tour to Baku, Tugcu also visited Ataturk Research Center.

    Tugcu and Deputy Chief Judge Hasim Kilic accompanying her are expected to return to Turkey on Sunday morning.

    [09] AKP prepares B plan in case of veto

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS (12.05.07) newspaper reported the following:

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is taking precautions to ensure that the constitutional reform package that includes the direct election of the president will come into effect. The government intends to keep Parliament open until the end of the month in case President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoes the package that was passed late on Thursday.

    Sezer has 15 days to assess the bill before approving or vetoing it. If he vetoes the package, the government can pass it without any change once again, against which Sezer can either approve it or take it to referendum. If the bill goes to a referendum, the government intends to place two ballot boxes in front of the electorate, one for Parliament and the other for the referendum.

    The package was submitted to the president for his approval on Thursday. It includes the direct election of the president in addition to president serving a five-year term that can be extended by another term instead of a single seven-year term as well as national elections being held every four years instead of the current five.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan intends to keep Parliament open until Sezer vetoes the bill, ordering AKP deputies not to leave Ankara for the next two weeks.The AKP also intends to shorten the 120-day referendum waiting period in order to hold the national elections and the referendum simultaneously. However, most believe the government will fail in this regard, with the referendum being held sometime in September or October.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] Columnist in Milliyet assesses the U.S. approach to developments in Turkey

    ISTANBULMILLIYET (13.05.07) publishes the following column by Serpil Yilmaz under the title: Critical visit from the United States

    While trying to find answers to the questions "How does America look upon the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government?" and "How does it interpret the General Staff declaration?", an incident came about that was more concrete than the comments I was getting.

    US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced that the government, although run by an AKP leadership with "Islamic roots," has dedicated itself to taking Turkey towards Europe.

    In the same speech, Rice also added her belief that the elections in Turkey would take place just as in other democratic countries.

    A friend of mine who is close to American sources made the comment that "they accept that the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] has the responsibility to protect secularism, and for this reason, they do not look at this declaration as a call for a coup."

    As for the relations with the AKP, this same friend of mine adduced the example that, when the [military authorization] motion did not pass in the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] at the time of the United States' Iraq operation, Turkey was at the last moment not included in the conference of countries bordering on the Black Sea (which took place in Istanbul.)

    This friend also pointed out that contacts and rapprochements took place following the 1 March 2003 motion affair.

    US sources draw particular attention to the "black money" issue, and call upon Turkey to provide more support to cutting off the financial resources that support Islamic terrorist organizations.

    In recent months, a step was taken for stepped-up cooperation with the United States in this regard; and raids were carried out against al-Qa'ida cells in Izmir and Konya. Individuals known to be the PKK's cashiers were taken into custody in France and Belgium. Later, they were released one by one.

    Subtitle : Combating the Drug Trade

    Likewise, an interesting example was given of the United States' recent operations in Iraq.

    They note that, based on information that those who carry out suicide bombing attacks in Iraq conduct these actions after having taken drugs, the United States has been conducting anti-narcotics operations in Syria and Iraq.

    And the United States' Special Representative for Counter-Terrorism, Joseph Ralston, said that they are trying to identify the PKK's financial sources within the EU.

    Despite the existence of different scenarios, the statements issuing out of the United States make it plain that they do not look warmly on the TSK's approach that "we have to go into Iraq, and the National Assembly has to show the resolve for this." In addition, the role that the United States will assign to Turkey in its project to withdraw from Iraq has still not taken shape.

    While Iraq maintains its place at the top of Turkey's agenda with America, my learning that the visit of US Congressman Ed Whitfield, a Republican (that is, from Bush's party) and Chairman of the Turkish Friendship Group in the House of Representatives, which had earlier been postponed, will take place in the coming week, only increases my curiosity.

    Subtitle: Whitfield's Agenda

    Do the developments following the [military's] declaration not emerge as a situation contrary to those who link America's hawks and Turkey's hawks in a rapprochement?

    What does the arrival of a "friend" in America in a Turkey that is caught up in an election atmosphere portend?

    What could there be in the briefcase of Whitfield, who supports Turkey in terms of lifting the isolation of the KKTC ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"], thwarting the passage of the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress, and waging an active struggle against the PKK in Iraq?

    Is the United States, which by handing over Apo [PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan] opened the path of the government composed of the DSP [Democratic Left Party], the MHP [Nationalist Action Party], and ANAP [Motherland Party], bringing some new "gift"?

    These are all just questions. But continuing to seek the answers will not take a long time.

    EG/


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