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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-08-14

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.156/07 14.08.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Avcis reaction to Cypriot Foreign Ministers statements
  • [02] Ekenoglu evaluated her visit to Germany
  • [03] The deadly Red Bug was transferred to the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [04] AKP names Abdullah Gul as presidential candidate
  • [05] CHP, MHP, DTP comment on AKP´s naming of Gul as Presidential Candidate
  • [06] Erdogan will submit the new cabinet to President Sezer on Thursday
  • [07] Turkish Navy will develop Torpedo Defense System with British help
  • [08] Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway construction will begin with ceremony in Tbilisi in September
  • [09] Turkey's domestic production meets 8.7 of crude oil consumption, 2.6 percent gas
  • [10] Zaman: EU sides with Greek Cypriots in oil spat
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] Sami Kohen sees a crisis over the oil explorations soon
  • [12] Energy-hungry Turkey drilling for more oil

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Avcis reaction to Cypriot Foreign Ministers statements

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    " ´The Greek Cypriot administration aims to poison Turkey-EU relations with its current policy. We hope that EU officials will not be deceived by such tricks of Greek Cypriots´, said Turgay Avci, Deputy PM and FM of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), on Monday.

    Releasing a written statement upon Greek Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis' recent remarks on Turkey's EU adhesion process, Avci said Marcoullis' threatening attitude proved once again that Greek Cypriots' unilateral and illegal membership to EU was a mistake and contrary to international community's expectations, it would have a preventive role in the agreement process, rather than acting like a catalyst for a consensus. ´With the threatening remarks she delivered using Turkey's EU negotiation process, Mrs. Marcoullis dreams of hearing unilateral concessions from Turkey. The Greek Cypriot administration intends to poison the relations between Turkey and EU with such policies´, said Avci.

    Avci also stressed that allowing the Greek Cypriots to use Turkey's EU membership process against the Turkish party in a hostile way, does not only make it hard to reach an agreement, but also deepens the distrust between the two societies in an irreversible way.

    Greek Cypriot FM Marcoullis declared last week that Turkey's stance regarding the oil exploration process in the East Mediterranean "may affect the country's EU membership process negatively".

    [02] Ekenoglu evaluated her visit to Germany

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Parliament Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu said regarding her visit to Germany that she was invited to another country as the parliament speaker for the first time.

    At a news conference, Ekenoglu told reporters that she and a delegation paid a visit to state of Bavaria, Germany upon invitation from the mayor of Waldkirchen. ´Our talks were very fruitful. German media showed great interest in our visit´, Ekenoglu stressed.

    She noted that the mayor of Waldkirchen showed great hospitality to TRNC delegation. Ekenoglu said that she underlined the importance of peaceful efforts of Turkish Cypriots during her speech in Germany, adding that she also expressed pleasure over the decision by the German parliament to work on lifting of isolations imposed on TRNC.

    [03] The deadly Red Bug was transferred to the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.08.07) reports that the Foundation for the Preservation of the Natural Wealth, Forestation and Fighting Against Erosion (KEMA) has accused the self-styled ministry of agriculture for being responsible for the introduction of the deadly Red Bug to the occupied area that caused destruction of the palm and date trees. The KEMA said that uncontrolled imports from Egypt of palm and date seedlings were the means with which the bug arrived in Cyprus

    The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the KEMA, Dr. Orhan Aydeniz warned that if the necessary controls by the so-called ministry are not conducted and permission is given to import grapes from the countries where there is Philoksera vineyard disease soon the vineyards in the occupied area will be face to face with destruction.

    (MHY)

    [04] AKP names Abdullah Gul as presidential candidate

    Istanbul NTV television (13.08.07) broadcast the following:

    Abdullah Gul will meet opposition party leaders tomorrow in connection with the presidential election. Here is Nilgun Balkac with details over the phone:

    Balkac: Yes, we can now say that Abdullah Gul is the candidate. Abdullah Gul is now the candidate. He will meet opposition party leaders tomorrow. We are expecting a statement from Abdullah Gul tomorrow evening. We will continue reporting the developments from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) central executive council.

    Yes, dear viewers, following the conclusion of the central executive council meeting, Nilgun Balkac just reported from Ankara that Abdullah Gul is AKP's candidate.

    [05] CHP, MHP, DTP comment on AKP´s naming of Gul as Presidential Candidate

    Istanbul NTV television (13.08.07) broadcast the following:

    The commercial and independent-in-content television Istanbul NTV in Turkish reports on the initial reaction to AKP's [Justice and Development Party] decision to nominate Abdullah Gul as presidential candidate. NTV anchorwoman asks CHP [Republican People's Party] deputy leader Onur Oymen to comment on the decision of the AKP. Speaking over phone, Oymen seconds CHP leader Deniz Baykal's earlier statement that the CHP has "serious doubts about his [Gul's] loyalty to the republican values," warning that "this attitude and action of the AKP would not serve the forging of a climate of peace and cooperation in the country, rather it will lead to new disputes and tensions." And asked about Gul's request for an appointment with Baykal tomorrow, Oymen says the CHP will meet tomorrow, assess the developments, and issue the necessary statements.

    After reporting that the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] has already given a positive response to Gul's request for an appointment and that Gul and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli will meet at 1130 tomorrow at the MHP headquarters, NTV anchorwoman asks MHP Secretary General Cihan Pacaci to comment on the new development. Pacaci says Gul's nomination was an "expected development," noting that as already announced the MHP will attend the session on the presidential elections. Asked if a chaos might ensue, Pacaci says "The AKP has enough seats. That is, even if the other parties do not vote, they have the majority to elect their own candidate on the third round. From that perspective, I foresee no chaos."

    Noting that Gul's meeting with DTP [Democratic Society Party] deputies might take place on Wednesday or Thursday as most DTP deputies are away from Ankara, NTV anchorwoman asks DTP Mus Deputy Sirri Sakik to comment on the developments. Sakik says Gul is not a surprise name for them and wishes Gul's candidacy "to be auspicious" for Turkey. Sakik says the DTP wants a president that "would embrace all the 72 million people of Turkey," hoping that Gul would put forward a project for freedom, democracy, and human rights. Sakik adds that they will be in the parliament on 20 August voting on the president, but their support for Gul would depend on the extent of his commitment to "democratization and liberalization."

    [06] Erdogan will submit the new cabinet to President Sezer on Thursday

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    ´It is my expectation that Mr. Prime Minister will submit the new list of Council of Ministers to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Thursday´, said State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, on Monday. Sahin talked to reporters after Monday's Council of Ministers meeting in Ankara. Reminded about his statements that PM Erdogan informed the Council of Ministers on the new (60th) government today, Sahin indicated that Erdogan did not speculate on who will be in the next government. ´Erdogan will meet President Sezer at the Cankaya Palace on Thursday. We will all see whether or not Erdogan will bring a list of new Council of Ministers. It is up to Erdogan to take a name list with him to Sezer´, noted Sahin.

    Asked by a reporter if a Council of Ministers meeting will take place next week, Sahin reiterated that ´of course, there will be a Council of Ministers meeting next week´.

    In reference to a question on whether Erdogan will wait for the new Turkish president before submitting a list of new Council of Ministers, Sahin stressed that ´Erdogan has no such thought. It is my personal observation that Mr. Erdogan will submit a list of Council of Ministers to President Sezer on Thursday. The final decision rests with Mr. Prime Minister´.

    [07] Turkish Navy will develop Torpedo Defense System with British help

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    Turkish Naval Forces Command is developing a defence system within the framework of a contract it has signed regarding a sort of SEA SENTOR Surface Ship Torpedo Defence system --- that protects ships from torpedo attacks.

    Today is a historic day for Turkish and British defence industries, stressed British Ambassador to Turkey Nicholas Baird during the signature ceremony at the British Embassy in Ankara.

    Baird qualified the contract as a perfect example for strategic partnership between the two countries.

    Underlining importance of MILGEM ship program, purchased under the contract, Baird said that this ship is designed and manufactured in Turkey. Baird noted that the contract was signed for the first of 12 MILGEM ships to be manufactured, and added that this means that Turkish Naval Forces will have the most advanced torpedo defence system --- currently used in the world. The system to be provided by the Ultra Electronics is worth 3 million Euro. Turkish suppliers of the project are Havelsan and Aselsan.

    The Surface Ship Torpedo Defence is an anti-torpedo system. SSTD protects surface ships from underwater torpedo attacks by deploying highly sensitive acoustic sensors and providing the best solution to ship's commander ranging from manoeuvring the ship putting her away from danger to deploying torpedo countermeasures/decoys that would divert the incoming threat. The acoustic sensors are towed some distance behind the ship and can identity and locate with pin-point accuracy an incoming torpedo.

    [08] Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railway construction will begin with ceremony in Tbilisi in September

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    Known as the "Iron Silk Road", the Kars-Tbilisi-Baku railroad construction will begin with a ceremony in Georgian capital Tbilisi on September 20th, Azerbaijani Transportation Ministry said on Monday.

    The ministry's statement said that the project will connect Turkey to Azerbaijan and Central Asia and that Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan have signed necessary agreements for the project.

    The ceremony for the start of construction works will be attended by presidents of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to participate in the ceremony.

    Azerbaijan will provide a total of 220 million USD of loan to Georgia for construction works in this country. The ministry said railroad construction will be completed in late 2008. Azerbaijani experts predict that the freight capacity of the railroad will be 3 million tons per year at the beginning but it will reach 15 million tons by the year 2015.

    [09] Turkey's domestic production meets 8.7 of crude oil consumption, 2.6 percent gas

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.08.07) reports the following:

    Only 8.7 percent of crude oil and 2.6 percent of natural gas consumption were met by domestic production in Turkey in the first 6 months of 2007.

    Turkey consumed 12.2 million tons of crude oil and 18.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the first half of 2007.

    Turkey currently extracts crude oil at 862 wells and natural gas from 163 wells. Crude oil production in first 6 months of 2007 was 1,055 million tons while 463.9 million cubic meters of natural gas was produced in the same period.

    [10] Zaman: EU sides with Greek Cypriots in oil spat

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.08.07) reports the following:

    The European Union has once again supported the Greek Cypriot administration in an oil spat between Nicosia and Ankara that stemmed from a tender for oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

    As the results of the bidding are expected to be announced on Thursday, the EU Commission said the Greek Cypriots have every right to conclude international agreements.

    Commission spokesperson Pietro Petrucci told Todays Zaman that the Republic of Cyprus was fully sovereign for the international agreements it concludes and that its right to sign these agreements could not be questioned. Stressing that Brussels was following the unfolding events very closely, Petrucci said they have been calling on both sides for moderation and restraint. The only thing the commission could say about the agreement is that it should be in line with EU legislation.

    EU diplomats say Greek Cyprus is now an EU member and that Brussels cannot do anything but support its member country in the standoff. We can only show solidarity with Cyprus said one diplomat.

    The Greek Cypriot press seems to be split on the issue. While some newspapers argue that the oil spat is just another investment for the upcoming elections and that there has not been much interest in the bidding, others say the biggest oil companies have been closely following the process. The Greek Cypriot administration has already warned Turkey that its stance would affect its EU bid. The EU suspended eight out of 35 chapters last December when Turkey refused to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels, stating that the EU has not kept its own promise to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots who overwhelmingly approved the Annan plan while the Greek Cypriots rejected it. Greek Cypriots will go to the polls in February to elect their next president.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] Sami Kohen sees a crisis over the oil explorations soon

    Under the title As the waters become warm in Cyprus, Milliyet newspaper (14.08.07) publishes a commentary by Sami Kohen on the oil exploration by the Republic of Cyprus.

    Kohen inter alia writes:

    As of the end of this week, expect signs of a crisis! No, we do not mean a crisis on the presidency in Ankara. (We hope the election of the 11th President will proceed without a ´crisis´)

    The crisis we want to talk about concerns Cyprus.

    Next Thursday, the Greek Cypriot Administration, is going to give permission to foreign companies for oil and natural gas exploration around the islands waters. Thus, the Greek Cypriot Administration will be starting the process of ´exploration and use´ of the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean in a concrete manner.

    Had the Cyprus problem been settled, based on the principles of the political equality of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots such as envisaged in the Annan plan then both sides would have been conducting hand in hand the exploration of the energy resources on the sea bed and they would have been benefiting the ´blessing´ together.

    However, the non-solution and the division caused by the Greek Cypriots´ greed, to be the only owners of the island, is precluding the just and fair sharing of the ´blessings´ of the sea bed.

    For this reason the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey are strongly opposing to the one-sided petrol and gas exploration attempts of the Papadopoulos´ administration. Turkey is warning that the Greek Cypriots´ insistence towards this end will pave the way for dangerous frictions.

    In its turn the Greek Cypriot administration challenges these ´threats´ and says that it will continue its course.

    As the case is, it seems that there will be a good deal of tension during the coming days and the weeks.

    Subtitle: Silently step by step

    Turkish and world public opinion learned about the Greek Cypriot side´s oil and petrol exploration activities during the beginning of this year, when, the news spread that the Papadopoulos Administration had reached to agreements with Lebanon and Egypt about the exclusive economic zones and had contacts with foreign firms. Whereas, the Greek Cypriots were silently conducting this work for years.

    The Greek Cypriot administration had concluded an agreement with a Norwegian firm (PGS) last year and started demarcating, after securing first geophysical findings, the main exploration areas.

    According to the experts, the oil and gas reserves lying beneath the sea bed in the region (400 meters to 3 kilometres) is worth around 400 billion USD.

    With a view to making these resources exploitable, the Greek Cypriot administration had launched an intense political and economic campaign. It had asked the foreign companies which are able to do this task, to submit their tenders until 16 August, and declared that it will issue the necessary permits. According to the Greek Cypriot press, there are six to seven companies from different countries among them American and Chinese ones that aspire to start exploration.

    Subtitle: ´Half´ state

    The Greek Cypriot side uses very well its legal arguments: The gist of this thesis is: Cyprus is using its sovereign rights. Also, it is acting in line with the UN Maritime Law Convention and other agreements and regulations

    At first sight this view, according to universal values, seems reasonable and legal and as a result, the international circles show interest and considerable amount of acceptance.

    However, the weak point of this argument is this: it is the Greek Cypriot government that concluded this agreement which does not represent the whole of the island. Therefore, the legitimacy of the one-sided decisions, taken without consulting the Turkish side is debatable. Indeed, this is the total point of the legal argument of the Turkish side.

    Will the Greek Cypriots continue their course encouraged from their international position? What kind of instruments the Turkish side has in its disposal to preclude this? Can this crisis lead upto a conflict? The answers will be given tomorrow

    (MHY)

    [12] Energy-hungry Turkey drilling for more oil

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.08.07) publishes the following analysis:

    You may think that you cannot do without your car and therefore without the automotive industry, or that you can't live without your computer and consequently the information technology industry.

    However, in reality there is just one industry which is more important than any other: the traditional energy industry. Without fuel from crude oil and natural gas, modern society and all its accoutrements would grind to a halt as cars would run out of oil and laptop batteries would never be recharged. Turkey is, sadly, energy poor; that is to say it lacks large fossil fuel reserves and has had to spend millions of YTL to generate power from its limited natural resources by building hydroelectric dams across most major rivers, solar panels on many houses and wind farms on the Aegean coast.

    Other alternative supplies like a nuclear power plant at Akkuyu remain unrealized even after a decade of planning. Geothermal energy sources, while significant, have yet to be comprehensively exploited. Alternatives to fossil fuels currently only provide around 15 percent of Turkeys needs, and global warming has begun to have serious adverse effects on hydroelectric power output.

    Fossil fuels supply over two-thirds of Turkeys energy needs while over 75 percent of its oil for consumption is imported. Unfortunately, much of this is supplied from countries such as Iran and Syria, which have a history of hostility towards Turkey. It has been forced to foster better relations with suppliers like Libya -- where there is less bad blood -- and become involved in exploration projects in partnership with the Israelis in the Mediterranean.

    However, recent surges in the price of international crude oil -- which have increased to as high as $78 per barrel -- have simultaneously alarmed Turkish politicians and opened new doors of opportunity for the national oil industry. The record prices for world crude on the Mediterranean spot market have encouraged Turkey to undertake larger exploration projects and make the possible extraction of crude from local oil shale much more feasible.

    Shale oil constitutes Turkeys second largest solid fossil fuel reserve after lignite, and total reserves are estimated to be about 5 billion tons. A recent report from the International Conference on Oil Shale held Nov. 7-9, 2006 in Amman makes an interesting read. According to estimates in 1993, a manufacturing cost of $31-$43 per barrel was quoted for a plant processing 50,000 barrels per day. Although the figures need to be updated, the studies were done when the price of crude oil was around $30 per barrel; with current prices averaging over $60 this year and the prediction that they will remain high, oil shale investment and development look increasingly attractive.

    Most of Turkeys oil fields are located in south-eastern Anatolia near its borders with Iran, Iraq, and Syria. Last week it was reported that an area formerly littered with land mines near Mardin on the Syrian border had been cleared and that 21 of 25 wells sunk by the state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) were now producing 2,400 barrels of crude oil per day. In another area along the same border, the recreation yards of six gendarmerie stations were explored; they are now producing 50 barrels per day. The gendarmerie in the region has even offered, in a show of patriotic enthusiasm, to move out of their barracks to allow more wells to be drilled.

    Syria, on the other hand, has been quick to remind Turkey that they are not the friendliest of neighbours, placing rigs directly opposite the Turkish ones on the other side of the border, and they are now also tapping into the same reservoir. The rigs stand just 10 meters apart on either side of the barbed wire of the border. The TPAO remains undeterred and has announced that they will be drilling 10 more wells as soon as they clear more minefields.

    Turkeys proven and estimated petroleum stocks are thought to be good for approximately three years worth of domestic consumption (as compared to the Saudis estimated 100-year reserve). Proven reserves are estimated at about 16 million tons, and enhanced oil recovery techniques may allow for the extraction of another 30 million tons (again compared with Saudi Arabias 1.2 trillion tons). In 1985, exploration proved that Turkey has oil deposits at very deep levels but it was not known how large those deposits might be.

    Shell Oil determined that oil at Paleozoic levels would be recoverable and other investigations proved significant deposits in central Anatolia under the salt flats on the plains north of Konya. In 1991, British Petroleum began exploring for oil in offshore areas of the Black Sea, and the TPAO has since carried out extensive exploration and extraction work there. It is also suspected that the Aegean shelf contains considerable petroleum deposits, but as long as maritime borders with Greece remain unsettled, conflicting claims to the Aegean seabed will limit prospects for exploration. Prospects for new domestic finds in south-eastern Turkey are often impeded by the conflict Kurdish militants and in the past small sites have been attacked.

    More recently, there have been new efforts focusing on the Mediterranean Sea, especially after the Greek Cypriots upped the ante in the region last month by putting drilling rights up for auction in its coastal waters. Turkey had already announced its intention to carry out seismic surveys in the shallow waters around Antalya, Iskenderun and Mersin in spring of this year, and tenders for a 4,000-kilometer-square stretch of coastal waters were opened on Aug. 7. The TPAO is hopeful that the exploration work with foreign partners will begin in early autumn. Greek Cyprus has negotiated and delineated underwater boundaries with the Egyptians and the Lebanese, but Turkish officials insist that continental shelves in semi-closed seas must be decided by a consensus of all coastal and neighbouring countries. The Turkish government believes the Egyptian and Lebanese agreements are unacceptable under international law and is pressuring them to back out of the treaties.

    Initial studies show that there may be between 6 and 8 billion barrels of crude oil in the eastern Mediterranean, but disputes between the Greek Cypriots and Turkey may adversely affect the political thaw between Turkey and Greece. The gas pipeline between the two countries, which is due to be completed and operational by the end of this year, was heralded as a great success for foreign policy and an indicator of a new warmth between the two countries; however, a turf battle in the Mediterranean could cause these old rivals to take a step back from their warming relationship.

    Turkey appears to be willing to push at the boundaries of this friendship in order to achieve greater oil production. In the past it has been slow to exploit its resources. While 20,000 new wells are drilled worldwide every year, Turkey has only sunk 3,600 since the establishment of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s. The wells that Turkey does have tend to be on small reservoirs with vertical structures that are easily exhausted or adversely affected by rising water content. In almost all the ageing fields production is falling despite better extraction methods. Although the new wells on the Syrian border are producing good quality crude oil, they simply are not bringing up enough volume to enable long-term energy planning, and new lines of production are vital to Turkeys continued economic success and stability. Extraction may well prove more important than good intention.

    EG/


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