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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-08-20
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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.159/07 18-20.08.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Hijacking incident of Atlas Jet on a flight from occupied Cyprus to IstanbulIllegal Bayrak television (18.08.07) broadcast the following:
An Atlas Jet plane traveling from Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport to Istanbul was hijacked this morning by two men claiming to be members of the Al-Qaida terrorist organization, but the drama came to an end at 1pm this afternoon when the two terrorists gave themselves up.
Atlas Jet flight number KK1011 was hijacked this morning ten minutes after take off. The plane carrying 136 passengers and 6 crew members as forced to divert to Antalya to refuel as the hijackers wanted to go to Syria.
Once the plane landed at Antalya airport, the hijackers decided to set women, children and the elderly free. What they didnt take into consideration was that other passengers on board would make a break for it, including the pilots.
A group of passengers broke the exit gates at the back of the plane and made a jump for it. Several passengers were injured during the chaos none seriously.
After several hours of negotiations the hijackers gave themselves up and surrendered to the police peacefully.
Initially the two men were thought to be of Iranian origin but it was later discovered that one of the hijackers was of Turkish origin and the other was a Syrian.
In a statement he made on the issue, the Minister of Transport said the aim of the hijackers was to protest US policies.
Mr Usar said the investigation into the incident continues and officials are checking the security records at Ercan Airport.
A security desk was formed at the Ercan Airport to follow the developments on the incident which was attended by high level officials including the Minister of Transportation Salih Usar, the Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat and the Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Major General Mehmet Eroz.
 Statements on the hijacking incident in occupied CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (19.08.07) reports the following:
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that it was very important and fortunate that no one was injured or killed during the hijacking incident which took place yesterday.
He said that all security units at Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport had executed their duties successfully, proving once more that Ercan Airport was a secure air terminal up to international standards.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a press conference where he evaluated yesterdays hijacking incident of the Atlas Jet airliner on a flight from Lefkosia to Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Soyer said the incident would not cast a shadow on the TRNC which is regarded as an ideal location for university studies and vacationing.
He said that the TRNC which was on the verge of breaking the international isolation imposed on it had proven once more its capacity and capability of dealing professionally in the event of such provocative and dangerous situations.
Pointing out that an emergency crisis desk had been set up at Ercan Airport from the minute the hijacking was reported; the Prime Minister said the hijacking incident ended peacefully thanks to the outstanding cooperation between the TRNC and Turkish authorities.
Explaining that the two hijackers had hijacked the plane using play dough, Mr. Soyer said that so far they have no reason to believe there were explosives on board but added that police was continuing its investigation into the incident.
Prime Minister Soyer noted that Mehmet Resat Ozlu, one of the two hijackers involved in the hijacking of the Atlas Jet airliner on a flight from Lefkosia to Istanbul had entered the TRNC on March 8th 2007.
He also underlined that Ozlu who had once enrolled in a university in TRNC had no ties with the country.
On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (18.08.07) reports the following:
Meanwhile the Minister of Transport Salih Usar has announced that security at Ercan Airport was sufficient.
He said that a bomb place in a paper bag could not have gotten through Ercan Airport.
Mr Usar said that international experts on airport security had noted in their reports that Ercan Airport was a very secure airport and therefore reasserted that a bomb placed in a paper bag couldnt get through Ercan Airport.In a separate statement the Minister for Internal Affair Ozkan Murat said that the hijackers entry and leave papers were in their possessions but couldnt make any further statements on this issue due to security reasons.Foreign Minister Turgay Avci said that he was in constant contact with his Turkish counterpart on this issue and pointed to the fact that the incident had come to an end with the least possible harm.
Finally the Minister for Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag for his part said that all measures would be taken to prevent the tourism industry from suffering from such events.
 How the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press cover the hijackingThe Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press give wide coverage to the hijacking that took place on Saturday on an airplane of Atlas Jet which departed from the illegal Tymbou airport for Istanbul.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.08.07) reports that the general directorate of the self-styled police issued a statement yesterday on the hijacking and claimed that such incidents could happen anywhere in the world. It alleged that attributing it to the TRNC is tantamount to having concealed intentions.
The paper reports that the interrogation of the two hijackers, Mehmet Resat Ozlu (citizen of Turkey) and Mommen Abdul Aziz Talikh (Palestinian) continues.
The hijackers will be lead before the public prosecutor on 22 August, after the completion of the interrogation. It is reported that Mommen Abdul Aziz Talikh has been trained in a camp of terrorist Al Qaida organization and that he was imprisoned for this reason. In their depositions, the hijackers told the police that they regret about their action and that their aim was to take a refuge in Iran or Syria and start a new life.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (20.08.07) refers to the hijacking on the airplane of Atlas Jet under the banner front-page title ICO relation in the hijacking. The paper notes that the International Advisory Board Meeting of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum which is hosted for the first time by the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus was held under the shadow of the hijacking.
A high ranking official told the paper that the fact that the hijacking coincided with the meeting of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) is a blow by the Greek Cypriots to the ICO and a blow against the Turkish Cypriots during a period when the TRNC is gaining respect in the world. The meeting ended yesterday.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (20.08.07) refers to a report published yesterday in Turkish Hurriyet newspaper by Omer Bilge, correspondent of the paper in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Under the title CIA and MIT have warned from before, the paper notes that it was understood that the Turkish and the US intelligence services warned in May that Palestinian terrorists would come to the occupied areas of Cyprus. After this warning the TRNC authorities began to search for an Al Qaida bomber. The hijackers, who lived together in a house in occupied Keryneia, have been followed by the police from the very first day they came to the island, reports the paper.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (20.08.07), under the title Weakness in security, publishes statements by Zekavet Tayanc, a passenger in the flight of Atlas Jet, who said that the hijackers were standing in front of him in the line before passing from the X-ray control at the illegal Tymbou airport. Mr Tayanc noted that confusion was created after a weapon was seen during the X-ray control in the suitcase of another passenger. Because of the confusion, everybody afterwards, including the hijackers, passed without being searched, he said.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.08.07) refers to the hijacking noting that yesterday the situation was calm in the illegal Tymbou airport and the flights continued as if nothing had happened. Atlas Jet officials told the paper that their clients were not panicked because of the hijacking and that the number of the people who preferred to travel with their company increased yesterday.
Meanwhile, in an article in Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (19.08.07), columnist Fikret Bila criticizes the pilots of the Atlas Jet airliner for abandoning the hijacked plane upon landing at Antalya Airport. Mr Bila says that he was not aware of a "rule that pilots are the first to abandon the plane." Terming the pilots' act a "scandal," Mr Bila states that the attempted explanation that the pilots left the plane in order to avoid further contact with the hijackers is not credible. If, on the other hand, the pilots were merely trying to save their lives, this would not have been honorable, but at least it would have been honest, Bila adds.
In addition, writing in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (19.08.07), Guntay Simsek also finds it wrong that the pilots abandoned the plane immediately after its landing. This contravenes all civil aviation conventions, Mr Simsek argues, adding that the pilots' action prevented communication with the plane which is conducted via the cockpit. Furthermore, Mr Simsek says that the argument that the pilots' departure prevented another take-off is not valid because there are other ways of stopping the plane.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (20.08.07) reports that it is alleged that Mehmet Resat Ozlu from Sanliurfa, one of the two hijackers of the aircraft of the Atlas Jet which departed from the illegal Tymbou airport for Istanbul last Saturday, worked in the casino o Yasar Oz, a person who had been convicted for the well-known Susurluk incident. It is claimed that he is an Arab nationalist, because his family is of Arab origin.
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (20.08.07) refers to the same issue and under the banner front-page title We received the order to run away, publishes statements by the pilots of the airplane. They said that they were ordered to abandon the airplane. The order to abandon the airplane was given to us. If we remained, the airplane would become a bomb with 20 tons of fuel, they noted replying to the accusations against them. Faruk Cagimni, one of the pilots, said that the hijackers presented themselves as being members of the Al-Qaida and that they seemed to be serious.
 OIC´s youth forum holds meeting in occupied KeryneiaAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.08.07) reports the following:
The first meeting of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYFDC) hosted by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) began on Saturday in Girne (occupied Keryneia).
The meeting held under the theme ´youth for the alliance of civilizations´ began with the opening speeches by TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Turgay Avci and IAB ICYFDC President Ali Sarikaya.
Avci pointed out in his speech that TRNC with its geographic location was a corridor between the East and the West and emphasized that Turkish Cypriot youth needed the support of the IAB ICYFDC to integrate with the world youth.
Avci stressed that TRNC, despite its small size, was a country that could potentially play an important role under the OIC and its sub-organisations and indicated it would continue to make contributions to OIC activities.
Minister Avci asked all EU member states to embrace the idea; ´All different, all equal´ put forth by the European Council and pledged the EU to immediately remove all embargoes over the Turkish Cypriot people and youth.
On the other hand, the President of the International Advisory Board of the ICYFDC, Ali Sarikaya stressed that Turkish Cypriots were forced to live under unjust embargoes and hardships though they accepted UN's plan for a solution. Sarikaya said OIC exerted efforts to alleviate these hardships and indicated it would continue to do so.
Sarikaya noted that the road map for the youth forum to be held in Baku --capital of Azerbaijan-- on November would be determined at the meeting that started today. Sarikaya stated that the problems faced by the youth amidst the clash of the civilisations would be discussed academically and sociologically at the meeting to be held under the "Intergenerational Conference" title and would then be compiled into a report to be later presented to the UN.
Representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Arab League also attended the meeting that will continue tomorrow.
The participants of the meeting will visit historical and cultural sites tomorrow and will be received by TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and Prime Minister Sabri Soyer.
The participants will leave the Island on August 22nd.
 Avci on the Republic of Cyprus oil exploration tendersIllegal Bayrak television (18.08.07) broadcast the following:
Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has called on the companies applying to the Greek Cypriot Administrations bid for oil exploration in the Mediterranean not to become tools of the Greek Cypriot ideology of dominating the island unilaterally.
In a statement, Mr Avci said the petrol issue is a very serious one.
Foreign Minister Turgay Avci stressed that Turkish Cypriots have equal rights with Greek Cypriots in sharing the natural resources surrounding Cyprus and this has been approved by international treaties.
Mr Avci warned the companies who intend to join the oil bid of the Greek Cypriot Administration not to become tools of the South in its bid towards unilateral domination over the island.
We will closely watch the Greek Cypriot attitude on the issue and will take the necessary steps he added.
Adding that the Cyprus issue has always been a national cause for Turkey, the Minister stressed that the major goal is to allow the Turkish Cypriot people to open itself out to the world and gain its rights.
 Talat attended the change of command of the 39th Mechanized Infantry Division of the occupation armyIllegal Bayrak television (19.08.07) broadcast the following:
The handover ceremony of the 39th Mechanized Infantry Division was held last night.
During the ceremony, the outgoing commander of the 39th Mechanized Infantry Division, Major General Hasan Akdeniz handed over the command of division to the new commander Major General Mehmet Tas.
President Mehmet Ali Talat presented a shield to the Major General Hasan Akdeniz in recognition of his outstanding service duty as commander of the 39th Mechanized Infantry Division thanking him for his self-sacrificing services and wishing him success in the future.
 A German company will carry out studies for the rehabilitation of the CMC areaTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (20.08.07) reports that 28 companies participated in a tender by the EU for the rehabilitation of the installations of Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) in occupied Lefka area, which have been causing harm to the health of the people for years.
The tender was completed on 21 July and the name of the German company that won the competition is being kept secret, notes the paper. The company will carry out studies in the area for 1.5 years. After the technical reports of the German company are prepared, the manner by which the area will be cleaned will be revealed. It was noted that the German company, which won the 900 thousand-euro tender, will open an office in Lefka in September and start its works immediately.
 The results of the Consumers Profile public opinion poll were announcedTurkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (20.08.07) reports that the results of the Consumers Profile public opinion poll, which has been carried out by Prologue Consulting Ltd with the participation of 600 persons, were announced yesterday.
The two thirds of the participants in the poll live in their own house. 14.17 % got hold of a house during the past five years. Mine Yucel, director of Prologue said that this shows that the recent boom in the constructions in the occupied areas is mostly due to foreign investors.
The Turkish Cypriots prefer to buy houses mostly in Keryneia (25 %) and Nicosia (17.6 %). 65 % of the participants said that they have their own car and 42 % said that they posses computer. According to the research, 77 % of the inhabitants in the occupied areas use a mobile phone.
 A Master Plan is prepared for the coastline of the area between occupied Limnitis village and the closed city of VaroshaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.08.07) reports that a Master Plan is prepared for Planning and Administrating the coastlines aiming at preventing the haphazard building of constructions and protecting nature at the coastlines. The master plan will include the area between occupied Limnitis village and the closed city of Varosha.
Thanks to the master plan nobody will do whatever he likes, the self-styled minister of transport and public works, Salih Usar said in statements to illegal TAK news agency. The first stage of the plan is expected to be prepared until December 2007 and the second in the mid 2009.
Mr Usar noted that the project will be carried out under the leadership of Ilkay Salihoglu, professor at the maritime business faculty of the illegal Near East University (YDU) and a committee of academicians from the University of Istanbul and the Middle East Technical University.
 No positive result from the efforts for finding out what happened with the Greek Cypriot Christakis Georgiou, who is missing since 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus when he was only five years oldTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.08.07) reports that Hakan from Adana is not the Greek Cypriot Christakis Georgiou, who is missing since 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus when he was only five years old. A DNA test was carried out in London and the results were negative, notes the paper adding that Hakan and the mother of missing Christakis who met for the first time in London were embraced as if they were mother and son.
This touched everybody, reports Afrika, which criticizes the manner by which Turkish Hurriyet newspaper referred yesterday to the issue. Hurriyet in its banner front-page title alleged: The DNA test spoiled the Christakis game. They would make Hakan from Adana Greek. Hurriyet alleged also that the Greek Cypriots were planning to abduct Hakan.
 The 5th International Folkloric Dances Festival will begin tonight in the occupied part of NicosiaTurkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (20.08.07) reports that the 5th International Folkloric Dances Festival will begin tonight in the occupied part of Nicosia with the participation of dancing groups from Turkey, Serbia, Spain, FYROM, Monte Negro, Bulgaria and North Ossetia.
 Athletes from 25 countries will participate in the 9th Dr. Fazil Kucuk GamesTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.08.07) reports that the 9th Dr. Fazil Kucuk Games will take place between 24 and 30 September in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
Last year eight federations and 275 athletes from 13 different countries participated in the games. This year 13 federations and 550 athletes from more than 25 countries will participate.
 The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs replies to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of the Chief of the Turkish General StaffUnder the title Press Release Regarding the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Greek Cypriot Administration Mrs Markulli´s Declarations, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs publishes the following statement in its website ( HYPERLINK "http://www.mfa.gov.tr" http://www.mfa.gov.tr, No:117- 17 August 2007):
It has been observed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Greek Cypriot Administration Mrs Markulli has recently made incongruous remarks and declarations regarding Turkey, the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish Chief of General Staff. Mrs Markulli cannot be considered as a counterpart who can express views and make judgments on Turkeys domestic issues. Besides, it is beyond and above Mrs Markulli to cast aspersions about the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish Chief of General Staff.
On the other hand, the presence of the Turkish forces on the Island which stems from Turkeys guarantor rights based on the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee has brought peace and stability to the Island since 1974. Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces are the safeguards of peace in Cyprus.
Turkeys policy on Cyprus is a national policy that will be pursued with determination. The statements on Cyprus by the Turkish Chief of General Staff reflect this policy.
The international community should not disregard the provocative and irresponsible attitude of the Greek Cypriot Administration, which continues to be a source of instability in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.
 Zeki Sezer elected as DSP leaderTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (20.08.07) reports that the opposition Democratic Left Party (DSP) re-elected Zeki Sezer as its leader after an unexpected contender challenged him at a regular congress of the party yesterday.
 Muhsin Yazicioglu elected Chairman of BBPAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.08.07) reports the following from Ankara:
Muhsin Yazicioglu, deputy of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), was elected chairman of the political party at Sunday's third extraordinary congress.Yazicioglu, who was the only candidate, received 626 votes and became chairman of the BBP.
He resigned from the BBP prior to the parliamentary elections on July 22nd in order to run in the elections an independent candidate.