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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-05-15
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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.92/07 15.05.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 More on the contacts of the self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci in Islamabad in the framework of the OIC meetingIllegal BAYRAK television (14.05.07) broadcast the following:
Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci who is currently in Pakistan for the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers - has embarked on his contacts in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
Mr Avci met with the Pakistani Minister for Education, Javed Ashraf Qazi and the Turkish Ambassador to Islamabad, Engin Soysal.
During the meeting between the two ministers, Avci and Qazi exchanged views on the latest development in the two ´countries´.
The two Ministers also expressed their desire to strengthen friendly relations between the two countries in all fields.
Later, Mr Avci together with the Pakistani Minister for Culture inaugurated an exhibition at the Lok Virsa Heritage Museum where ´TRNC´ handicrafts are being displayed.
In an address to the opening ceremony, Mr Javed Ashraf Qazi said that the exhibition would be contributing to efforts aimed at strengthening cultural ties between the two ´countries´.
For his part, Foreign Minister Turgay Avci expressed his happiness to see that bilateral relations between the two ´countries´ have been improving in all fields.
Pointing to the great support being given by Islamabad to the ´TRNC´, he expressed the belief that friendly relations between the two ´countries´ would continue to strengthen.
Meanwhile, Mr Avci strongly reacted to news published in the Greek Cypriot press that the Greek Cypriot ´Administration´ has launched an initiative to prevent attempts by the ´TRNC´ to strengthen ties with OIC countries.
He expressed the belief that the Greek Cypriot side would intensify its attempts to block the way of the ´TRNC´, but stressed that all these would surely fail.
Mr Avci said that the Greek Cypriot side has been using the European Union as a tool to try to prevent the opening of ´TRNC´ trade offices in the Gulf States while, continuing to claim that there wasnt an international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot ´People´.
He stated that this latest attempt by the Greek Cypriot ´Administration´ was another example of its two-faced policies.
Tomorrow, Mr Avci will attend the 34th session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad and brief the OIC Foreign Minister about the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.
Mr Avci will also draw attention to the Turkish Cypriot ´Peoples´ expectation from the Islamic world to take steps towards helping to remove the international ´isolation´ of it.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been attending the OIC meetings since 2004, under the title of the Turkish Cypriot State.
 Turkish State Minister Aydin left for Pakistan to participate in the OIC meetingANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (14.05.07) reports that the Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin left for Pakistan on Monday to attend a conference of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Aydin will attend the 34th session of OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad to be held between May 15th and 17th.
Regional and international issues concerning the OIC will be discussed during the conference.
 Two new hotels are built in occupied CyprusIllegal BAYRAK television (14.05.07) broadcast the following:
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Turkish Cypriot ´People´ wanted to cry out its will to unite with the rest of the world and to improve its living standards despite of difficulties and restrictions it has been facing.
Mr Soyers words came during the inauguration ceremony of the newly built Mosquito Beach hotel in Girne (occupied Keryneia).
In an address to the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer pointed to the importance of investments being made in the ´Republic´ and said that these investments were the guarantee of the Turkish Cypriot ´peoples´ future.
Also, speaking at the ceremony the Minister of Economy and Tourism, Enver Ozturk said that nearly a 26% rise has been recorded in the number of tourists who visited the ´Republic´ in the first 4 months of 2007, compared to the same period last year, adding that the ´TRNC´ was continuing to take important steps for the 2008 tourist season.
Mr Ozturk pointed out that various holiday premises which would contribute to the tourism sector greatly, were inaugurated last month and said that the opening of two new five-star hotels in Catalkoy (occupied Agios Epiktitos) and Bafra (occupied Vokolida) region will increase further the bed capacity in the ´country´.
The opening ceremony continued with a firework display which was followed by performances by the Spanish band Rafael and a Brazilian dance group.
The Mosquito Beach Hotel in the Alsancak (occupied Karavas) area of Keryneia, is the first of its kind in the ´TRNC´ and provides a natural environment. It has a 150-bed capacity.
In addition, illegal BAYRAK (14.05.07) also broadcast the following:
The foundation stone for the five-star Merit Lefkosa Hotel was laid at a ceremony in the capital today.
The foundation stone for the 250-bed capacity hotel was laid by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia, Turkekul Kurttekin and the Minister of Economy and Tourism, Enver Ozturk.
The foundation of the five-star Merit Lefkosa Hotel was laid in the Bedrettin Demirel Avenue today.
The 250-bed capacity hotel is scheduled to be completed in 2008.
In an address at the foundation stone laying ceremony, Prime Minister Soyer said that the Merit Lefkosa Hotel would greatly contribute to the Turkish Cypriot ´Peoples´ economic development; which would itself, contribute to political achievements of the Turkish Cypriot people.
Pointing out that the latest political developments on the Cyprus issue increased foreign investments in the ´country´, he said that new arrangements were being made to attract more investors to the ´Republic´.
The Premier also noted that the new hotel would also contribute to social and cultural life of the capital.
In his speech at the ceremony, the Turkish Ambassador to occupied Lefkosia Turkekul Kurttekin stressed that the aim of tourism investments was to strengthen further the ´Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´.
The Minister of Economy and Tourism Enver Ozturk, for his part, said that the new hotel was the latest of several tourism investments in the ´country´.
He noted that the bed-capacity in the country would be increased to 16-thousand-five-hundred by June this year.
 The exports of the occupation regime have recorded a 35% increase in the first three months of 2007Illegal BAYRAK television (15.05.07) broadcast the following:
The ´TRNCs´ exports have recorded a 35% rise in the first three months of the year while there has been a 3% drop in the imports in the same period.
According to the figures released by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce, 29.3 million dollars worth of exports was made during the January-March period while 291.2 million dollars worth of imports was made during the same period.
According to the latest figures, a 13% drop has been recorded in imports in March with 102.8 million dollars worth of imports realized, while a 22% rise has been recorded in exports in the month with 14.2 million dollars worth of exports.
A 3% drop was recorded in imports in the first three months of 2007 compared to the same period last year, according to the figures which show a 10% drop in imports from Turkey in the month, compared to last year, and a 21% drop was recorded in imports from third countries.
Exports in March reached to 14.2 million dollars which reflects a 22% rise compared to March 2006, and a 35% rise was recorded in exports in the first three months of the year and 29.3 million dollars worth of exports was made during the period.
The rise in the figures was said to have been caused by the export of citrus and citrus products in March.
Vehicles have the largest share of the imports for the first three months of the year, which is being followed by fuel, steel, electrical materials and furniture.
The largest share of the exports in the same period was that of citrus, which is followed by clothing manufacturing, milk products, scrap and raki.
 Salih Boyaci to be released from prisonTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (15.05.07) reports that Salih Boyaci who was sentenced for six years in prison because of the Kredi Bank scandal in occupied Cyprus, is about to complete his sentence. Mr Boyaci, who is the father-in-law of Serdar Denktas, is expected to be released next Monday.
 US Congressman who visited occupied Cyprus through the occupied Tymbou airport to visit Turkey heading a delegationANKARA ANATOLIA (A.A) news agency (14.05.07) reports the following:
Ed Whitfield, Co-chairman of the Turkey Caucus will arrive in Turkey, sources told A.A on Monday.
Whitfield and an accompanying delegation will hold talks in Ankara and Istanbul in the last week of May on behalf of the "Congressional Study Group on Turkey".
"Congressional Study Group on Turkey" aims to develop close relations between the U.S. Congress members and the Turkish parliamentarians, as well as to promote Turkey at the U.S. Congress more actively.
Whitfield supports Turkey in rejection of draft on ´so-called´ Armenian genocide at the U.S. Congress, lifting ´isolations´ over ´Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)´ and effective fight against the PKK organization.
Whitfield led the first U.S. delegation which visited TRNC by using Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport.
 The Turkish National Defense Minister participated in the 6th Defense Minister´s Troika meeting in BrusselsANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (14.05.07) reports from Brussels that the Turkish National Defense Minister, Vecdi Gonul participated in the EU Defense Ministers' Troika meeting in Belgian capital of Brussels on Monday.
Participants decided to create a common defense industry to meet the military needs of the Union, and to cooperate in the area of search and development during the meeting, chaired by the Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung of the EU President Germany.
 Turkey´s YSK decided the thirty plus domination to remain in place on Turkish next general electionsTurkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (15.05.07) reports that Turkey's Higher Election Board (YSK), the body that regulates and organizes general elections, has given its final word on the ongoing debate about whether people older than 25 can run in this year's general elections, scheduled for July 22.
Earlier all parties in the Parliament had agreed to lower Turkey's age limit for parliamentary candidacy to 25 from 30. However the package was not passed in time to allow the change to be effective in the upcoming elections. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier expressed hope that the YSK might still consider accepting applications from individuals younger than 30, but older than 25.
The YSK President Muammer Ayd1n on Monday said the recent constitutional change to lower the minimum age for running in parliamentary elections, under Turkey's election law, can-not apply to this year's elections. Speaking at a press conference yesterday Ayd1n said that the current legislation clearly stated that the constitutional change on age limits in general elections, referred to as the 25 year change, cannot apply to this year s elections, which take place within a year of the change being made.
Ayd1n also commented on a recent decision by the Parliament to list the names of independents running in the elections on a single ballot, as opposed to separate ballots for each independent candidate in the past. Critics have complained that the lists would become too lengthy to fit on a single piece of paper if too many independent candidates ran in the elections. It is really not that complicated, Ayd1n said. We can print some large envelopes and bigger ballots. Ayd1n also said that currently 21 political parties would be listed on an 82-centimeter-long ballot which will also bear the names of independent candidates.
 A new party under the name New Democrat Party was founded in TurkeyANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (14.05.07) reports that Turkey's 56th political party "New Democrat Party" (Yeni Demokrat Parti, YDP) was founded on Monday.
A petition regarding the foundation of New Democrat Party's was submitted to Turkish Ministry of Interior. The founding members number 30.
Earlier, True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) announced that they would unite under the name "Democrat Party (DP)", but it was revealed that DP has already been founded by Cemal Sen.
In the meantime ANAVATAN started legal proceedings affirming that royalty of DP (as party name) belongs to ANAVATAN. If no results are obtained from this initiative, DYP and ANAVATAN will unite under the brand of "New Democrat Party".
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 How the Turkish press assessed the Izmir rally in favour of secularismThe Turkish Press on 14 May 2007 gave wide coverage to the rally held in Izmir on Sunday 13 May by secularists. Following are excerpts from the Turkish press both on the rally and other issues of the Turkish political agenda:
Under the headline "Izmir made history," MILLIYET newspaper publishes a report on the Republic Rally held in Izmir yesterday. According to the report, this was "one of the most crowded rallies in Turkey's political history," with the Gundogdu Square turning into a "poppy field" with the hundreds of thousands of Turkish flags that filled the area. Even the sea was full of passenger boats and other ships adorned with the national flag saluting the rally, the report says. Some of the slogans chanted during the rally were as follows: "Turkey is secular, it will remain secular," "This country, this nation, is not for sale," "We do not want a shari'a state," "Neither the United States, nor the EU, fully independent Turkey," and "Tayyip look at us, count our numbers." The report, which is accompanied by many photos depicting scenes from the rally, states that the Izmir rally was closely followed by international news agencies as well.
Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper reports that 1.5 million participated in the rally to convey a message of "loyalty to the republic." Not just the rally square, but almost the entire city was adorned with Turkish flags and Ataturk posters, the report remarks. It adds that the crowds called on the leftist parties to merge, but contrary to expectations, Republican People's Party (CHP), Chairman Deniz Baykal and Democratic Left Party Chairman Zeki Sezer failed to appear hand-in-hand in the rally. In reaction to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's previous characterization of Izmir as the "infidel" city, many placards contained references to this, accompanied by slogans such as: "We are the infidel citizens of Izmir. We are the tough guys of the Aegean and the stronghold of secularism."
In a commentary in MILLIYET, Can Dundar underlines the large number of women who attended the rally despite the bombing that occurred in the city a day before, and says that the rally conveyed messages to three sectors. One message was for the Justice and Development Party (AKP): The republic is not without an owner; we are here. Another message was for the leftist parties: It is time to unite; tomorrow will be too late. The third message was for the media which ignored the rally in Tandogan, Ankara: Listen to this voice and give it justice. Dundar argues that all three messages reached their destination.
Under the headline, "Rally Pie," YENI SAFAK newspaper publishes a front-page report which asserts that the rally in Gundogdu Square in Izmir yesterday held by groups such as the Kemalist Thought Association and Patriotic Forces Association became the scene of efforts by many leftist and rightist parties to canvass for votes.
In an article entitled "So this country does not need peace", YENI SAFAK columnist Koray Duzgoren accuses the ruling AKP of jeopardizing internal peace in cooperation with a group of militarist parties that have established alliances to disqualify it from political life in supporting the passage of a bill making it difficult for the Democratic Society Party (DTP), to send independent representatives to Parliament. He also claims that the "illegal memorandum" issued by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), on the night of 27 April started a process whereby domestic tension is escalating dangerously so as to pave the way for a "war," adding that the Erdogan government has failed to take any action against the military statement other than issuing a "token" statement that did not entail any measures against the top brass of the army.
Under the headline, "Who did that phone call come from?" VAKIT newspaper runs a front-page report highlighting allegations that Motherland Party (ANAP), leader Erkan Mumcu changed his mind about taking part in the parliamentary voting for the presidential election after receiving a phone call from unknown quarters during the ANAP's central executive council meeting on 25 April, 2007.
Under the headline, "Jurists voice support for Tugcu: Presidential election should be facilitated," ZAMAN publishes a front-page report which asserts that jurists like Professor Zafer Uskul, Professor Yavuz Atar and Professor Ergun Ozbudun have expressed support for constitutional Court President Tulay Tugcu's remarks endorsing the proposed constitutional amendment setting 187 as the required quorum for all parliamentary convocations as one aimed at facilitating the election of presidents.
In an article entitled "Think-Tanks and Ideological Thought", ZAMAN´s Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan accuses Turkey experts at US think-tanks like the Washington Institute of causing decision-makers in Washington to arrive at wrong conclusions about the Erdogan government by compiling reports holding the ruling AKP responsible for everything that has gone wrong in Turkish foreign policy in the past five years.
In an article entitled "The toll of the presidential crisis", Professor Ergun Ozbudun of Bilkent University argues that the "crisis" over the presidential election has led to a "lose-lose" picture where all domestic political players have come to harm one way or another. Ozbudun claims that Turkey should concentrate on "damage control" from now on.
Finally in an article entitled "Don't destroy the parliamentary system", TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Sahin Alpay warns that the constitutional amendment package aimed at enabling presidents to be elected by popular ballot entails an "extremely ill-advised change of governmental system" that could make future governments "vulnerable to military intervention."
Under the banner headline, "They have nothing to say to the people," MILLI GAZETE runs a front-page report which quotes Felicity Party, (SP), leader Recai Kutan as saying that the current row between the AKP and the CHP amounts to a sham fight designed to divert public attention away from the stalling and deception tactics of a government that has promoted the interests of the elite rather than the masses throughout its 4,5 years in power.
Finally, in an article entitled "Worries", MILLI GAZETE columnist Kamil Esfak Berki warns that the ongoing "Republican" rallies might take the form of uncontrolled mass disturbances and calls on those in responsible positions to be watchful against possible efforts to fuel secular-Muslim polarization in Turkey and to help ensure that the country enters a natural election mood.