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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-10-18

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.201/07 18.10.07 C O N T E N T S

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] How the meeting between Mehmet Ali Talat and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was assessed in occupied Cyprus
  • [02] The ferry services between occupied Famagusta and Latakia is starting today
  • [03] Ahmet Yonluer is having contacts in Ankara. Volkan on U.S. Embassy official´s visit to his party
  • [04] The illegal Near East University has 17 thousand students from 45 countries
  • [05] Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers sign memorandum of understanding
  • [06] ATC Chairman meets Erdogan in Ankara. Turkish-US relations and renewal of MoU on the agenda
  • [07] The motion for invasion in Northern Iraq was approved; The DTP voted against; Reference to previous motions for attacks against Cyprus
  • [08] A possible invasion of Northern Iraq is assessed. Reference to Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] How the meeting between Mehmet Ali Talat and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was assessed in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.10.07) reports in its first page that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, evaluating the meetings he had with President Tassos Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the two leaders must show commitment towards the solution, otherwise he cannot take any initiative regarding the Cyprus problem.

    On the same issue Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.10.07) reports that the UN Secretary-General called on Talat to take all the necessary measures for the increase of trust between the two communities and to co-operate for the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point.

    The paper writes that despite the fact that the proposals of President Papadopoulos to the UN Secretary-General were announced, the proposals of Mehmet Ali Talat were not made known. The paper quotes the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Soyer who said that Talats proposals will be announced upon Talats return to the island.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.10.07) reports on Talats meeting with the UN Secretary-General in New York under the title Ban Ki-moon spoke without hope.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (18.10.07) reports that the chairman of the Communal Democratic Party, Mehmet Cakici, criticised Mr Talat for not having contacts prior to his departure to New York and his meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    Kibris also writes that commenting on the issue the chairman of the National Unity Party Tahsin Ertugruloglu stated that Mehmet Ali Talat is acting against the real interests of the Turkish nation. As he said, the meeting between Talat and Ban Ki-moon did not go beyond a simple meeting and added that there was no particular benefit for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (18.10.07) writes that on his part, the general secretary of the Democratic Party Ertugrul Hasipoglu, stated that Mr Talat was not able to find any hope in New York. As he said, nothing could come out from a half-hour meeting and added that according to him the Cyprus problem is not in a turning point now.

    Kibris reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Turgay Avci, and leader of the Freedom and Reform Party, commenting on the meeting said that his party believes that it is very important that Mehmet Ali Talat conveyed to Ban Ki-moon the various problems faced by the Turkish Cypriots and their will for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Illegal Bayrak television (17/10/07) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Turkish Cypriot Side has been supporting the immediate start of the comprehensive negotiations process in Cyprus while the Greek Cypriot Administration has been propagandizing the Cyprus issue. Referring to yesterdays Talat-Ban meeting, the Premier said that President Talat has had very useful contacts in New York. Calling President Talats contacts in New York as very useful, the Prime Minister pointed out that the President brought proposals to the table to improve relations between the two people on the island and to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Soyer also noted that President Talat will make a statement about the new proposals on his return from New York.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot Administration of propagandizing the Cyprus issue, he said the Turkish Cypriot Side is in support of the immediate resumption of the fully-fledged negotiations.

    (CS)

    [02] The ferry services between occupied Famagusta and Latakia is starting today

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.10.07) writes that the ferry services between occupied Famagusta and Latakia will start today, despite all the obstacles put by the Greek Cypriot side.

    The ferry services will take place every Thursday and Sunday. According to statements of the Akgunler Maritime Firm, to illegal TAK news agency, the first trip takes place at 9.00 this morning and the ferry will depart at 16.00 from Syrian in order to return to Cyprus. The trip will be conducted by catamaran boats with a capacity of 297 passengers. The cost of the ticket will be 100 US dollars for ordinary passengers, 50 dollars for children under 4 years old and 75 dollars for students. The passengers can enter Syria using the TRNC passport and getting a visa, but those who take the organised trips by the Akgunler Firm, can enter the country without visa.

    The Firm stated that the Greek Cypriot side is making attempts to cancel the ferry services and for this reason it applied to Georgia under the flag of which the ships travel to Syria. Upon Georgias warning that we will take the flag from you if you use it in TRNC ports in a way which is not according to the international laws, the Firm replied that there is no international law that prevents the use of the TRNC ports.

    Commenting on the issue the self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci stated, inter alia, that the ferry services will continue despite all the obstacles. Stating that no one has the right to stop the ferry services, Mr Avci called on the persons living in the TRNC and the Syrians to use the ferry services and to visit each other. Describing the ferry services as an important opening, Mr Avci said that a bridge was established, not only with Syria, but with the Middle East. He said that the Greek Cypriot side has been trying to cancel these services because it knows that it will be the beginning of other roads, but because it had no success with Syria, it applied to Georgia in order for the ferries which make the service Famagusta - Latakia not to use the Georgian flag. With the support of our motherland, we will overcome all these forces. Our ships will continue their services, he stated.

    Under the title Remarkable statements by prime minister Soyer: We are getting results, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.10.07) reports in its first page that the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer stated that the decision taken by the European Commission of the EU regarding the application made by the Greek Cypriot side for the cancellation of the ferry services between Famagusta and Latakia, shows that the Turkish Cypriot people do not receive only moral support from the world because of the policy they follow, but they have important results as well.

    Mr Soyer said that with this decision of the EU Commission, it is confirmed that the ports of Famagusta, Keryneia and Morfou are bound by the international law and are open ports. He noted that according to international law, these ports are not illegal since ships enter and depart from them.

    (CS)

    [03] Ahmet Yonluer is having contacts in Ankara. Volkan on U.S. Embassy official´s visit to his party

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.10.07) writes that Ahmet Yonluer went to Ankara in order to have various contacts with Turkish politicians and to inform them about his political movement. Mr Yonluer will meet with the chairman of the Republican Peoples Party Deniz Baykal, the MP of the Justice and Development Movement (AKP) and former Speaker of the Turkish Assembly Bulent Arinc and the chairman of the Nationalist Action Party Devlet Bahceli. Mr Yonluer has already held contacts with various ministers of the AKR government.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (18.10.07) reports in its first page that it was learned that the Responsible for Political Affairs of the US Embassy, Chris Pancio, visited the Culture and Solidarity Association of the Persons of Hatay (Allexandretta) on the 3rd and 4th of October. During the first visit Mr Pancio was accompanied by the chairman of the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) Ahmet Yonluer and on the second visit by two other members of the HIS. On Pancios first visit with Yonluer to the Association, a meeting was arranged with the members of the executive committee of the association.

    At the meeting Mr Yonluer gave information about HIS and Pancio is quoted to have said the following to the members of the executive committee who attended the meeting: I want you to support the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) and to work towards this direction. If you support the HIS Movement, we, as US Embassy, we will support projects that will develop your association and we will give every kind of help from the material point of view.

    Referring to the issue, from the column VOLKANDAN MEKTUP (Letter from Volkan) columnist Aydin Akkurt, writes, inter alia, that it is not yet known whether the US Embassy helped towards the establishment of HIS movement; however, HIS chairman Ahmet Yonluer is getting ready to transform the Movement into a party and he is not alone in this effort. The columnist goes on and writes the following: What is the connection between Yonluer and HIS movement with the Responsible for Political Affairs of the US Embassy, Chris Pancio?

    What are the expectations of the USA from the HIS Movement?

    Why does USA support this movement?

    (CS)

    [04] The illegal Near East University has 17 thousand students from 45 countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.10.07) writes that the new Faculty of Dentistry, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, of the illegal Near East University (YDU), started operating from the 1st of September.

    Reporting on the same issue VATAN writes that information about the new Faculty were given at a press conference organised yesterday. Speaking at the press conference YDU rector Dr Huseyin Gokcekus, stated, inter alia, that the YDU, which is a full member of the European Universities Union, the International Universities Union and the Islam Universities Union and has 17 thousand students from 45 countries, is an international university.

    (CS)

    [05] Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers sign memorandum of understanding

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and his Syrian counterpart Walid Mualem signed a memorandum of understanding between the two countries for cooperation in political, security, economic, energy and water issues in Ankara on Wednesday.

    Accordingly, the two countries will cooperate and consult in regional issues, and also further increase the cooperation in fight against terrorism. In economy area, countries will boost commerce within the scope of their free trade agreement which was put into effect in January.

    Turkish and Syrian companies will be fostered to make more investments mutually. Also the two countries will continue to launch initiatives to increase the number of border gates as well as modernize the existing ones. Under energy and water areas, the cooperation between Turkish Petroleum Corp. (TPAO) and Syrian Petroleum Company (SPC) will be increased as well as negotiations between Turkish and Syrian officials will be intensified to develop a cooperation in sustainable development of water in Firat-Dicle basin.

    [06] ATC Chairman meets Erdogan in Ankara. Turkish-US relations and renewal of MoU on the agenda

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of the American-Turkish Council (ATC), expressed sorrow over approval of draft on Armenian allegations at U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    Scowcroft and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in Ankara on Wednesday and discussed Turkish-U.S. relations.

    Erdogan and Scowcroft exchanged views on what can be done to further develop bilateral relations.

    Scowcroft told Erdogan that they exerted great efforts to prevent approval of the draft, adding that their efforts will continue.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister Mehmet Mehdi Eker said on Wednesday that Turkish companies would import stud from USA.

    Receiving American-Turkish Council (ATC) Chairperson Brent Scowcroft at his office in Ankara, Eker briefed reporters on the agricultural issues between Turkey and USA.

    Recalling that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed by the agriculture ministries of the two countries in 1995, Eker noted they carried out studies to renew that MoU.

    Eker said that during his recent talks with several ATC members in Washington D.C., they assessed the opportunities to make joint investments in Turkey, particularly in South East Anatolia.

    "Some Turkish companies carry out activities on the import of stud from USA. Representatives of the Turkish private sector are currently in that country to select animals," he noted.

    Eker also said they appreciated ATC's efforts to improve relations between Turkey and USA and criticized the recent adoption of a resolution regarding the Armenian allegations on the incidents of 1915 by the U.S. House of Representatives. Meanwhile, Scowcroft said they tried hard to prevent the adoption of such resolution and they would carry on with their efforts.

    Noting that trade of agricultural products between Turkey and USA rose remarkably, Scowcroft said the two countries planned to sign a MoU on agricultural cooperation next April.

    [07] The motion for invasion in Northern Iraq was approved; The DTP voted against; Reference to previous motions for attacks against Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (18.10.07) under the banner title, Shoulder to shoulder, reports on the approval of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) of the motion for a cross-border operation. The decision was held by 507 votes of the 526 members of the parliament present, more votes than the votes in favour of dispatching troops to Cyprus in 1974, reports the paper. In its inside pages, the paper reports the issue under the huge title, The highest vote decision after Cyprus, emphasizing that the approval was with more votes even from the decisions of 1964, 1967 and 1974 to dispatch military troops to Cyprus.

    The paper, comparing yesterdays voting to those of 1964, 1967 and 1974, regarding Cyprus, reports under the subtitle A rare decision: On 16th March 1964 the TGNA under the government of Inonu, voted with 485 votes in favour and 6 against to intervene in Cyprus. On 17th November 1967 it was decided to grant the authority to use the armed forces to Cyprus, if it is needed, with 432 positive votes and 1 negative. And on 1974 they voted to send troops to Cyprus with 487 positive votes from the 491 participating in the session. During that period there were 450 members at the TGNA, 150 senators and they were deciding together on dispatch of troops.

    On 1st March 2003, the motion to dispatch troops to Iraq was approved by 264 votes in favour and 250 against and the motion was rejected. Again for the same issue, on 20 March 2003 the historic motion was voted with 332 votes and on 7 October 2003 the historic motion was approved by 358 votes. On 5th September 2006 the Lebanon motion was voted with 340 votes.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.10.07) reports the approval of the cross-border operation motion under the banner title, Approved with 507 votes: all the parties except DTP voted on the motion of sending troops to Northern Iraq. The paper also reports on the international reactions to the decision under the side-titles, Bush: Do not send troops; NATO appealed for restraint; Iraq panicked: We warned the PKK.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (18.10.07) reports on the issue under the first page title, TGNA: Yes, BUSH: NO; Great agreement at the Parliament on the cross-border operation motion. According to the paper Bush stated: We do not want Turkey to send more troops. This would not be in favour of Turkey. The answer of the Prime Minister was: What is important is not what everyone says, but the decision of the TGNA.

    (EA)

    [08] A possible invasion of Northern Iraq is assessed. Reference to Cyprus

    Today´s Zaman newspaper (18.10.07) reports the following under the title:

    Public diplomacy needed more than ever on brink of incursion: Turkeys preparations for a possible operation into northern Iraq accelerated yesterday as lawmakers voted in favor of a government motion authorizing an incursion to hit outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) bases in northern Iraq.

    However, if these moves are not accompanied by effective public diplomacy Turkey may pay a heavy price for the operation, experts warn.

    Hours before Parliament approved the motion, Foreign Ministry diplomats briefed foreign ambassadors at a closed-door meeting on the objectives of the move. But more effort may be needed to address the rising concerns in the world. Global concerns over a Turkish cross-border operation in Iraq coupled with worries over the coming winter sent oil prices to record highs -- above $88 a barrel overnight. And the feeling of unease worldwide is not limited to the economic sphere; the governing bodies of the United States, Russia and the European Union have expressed strong concern over Turkish preparations for an operation in northern Iraq, something that could destabilize the most stable part of the wartorn country.

    Experts say a cross-border operation could be the latest example of Turkish diplomacy failing to justify its actions and thus condemning Ankara to international political isolation once more. Turkey is only slowly recovering from isolation on the Cyprus issue after a shift in state policy to support reunification of the island -- something which in turn revealed to the worlds surprise that the Greek Cypriots were not after unification at all -- it has also largely failed to counter efforts by the Armenian diaspora to win international recognition for an alleged genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I.

    Former and current diplomats from the Turkish Foreign Ministry as well as experts and foreign media pinpoint the problems of Turkey in defending its policies and creating supportive world opinion as stemming from lack of organizational structures, limitations to freedom of expression and lack of an established think tank tradition. History shows that Turkey is left alone and alienated on issues like its military intervention on Cyprus, resolutions related to Armenian genocide claims and the cross-border operation in northern Iraq.

    Ambassador Ozdem Sanberk, former undersecretary for the Foreign Ministry, explains: If there is a cross-border operation, the headlines in the foreign media will read Turkey attacks Iraq because they dont know that the outlawed PKK is getting logistical support from northern Iraq and killing people here. We need organizations that can make foreign media understand and see the personal stories of those people who have been killed, Sanberk says.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry officials agree with Sanberks statement. We dont have a campaign before the foreign media to say what is going on in relation to the terrorist attacks in Turkey. But we continue our efforts before American and Iraqi authorities, says a senior Turkish diplomat.

    But the foreign media is holding Turkey responsible for increasing oil prices. News stories regarding the subject suggest that Turkish intentions for a cross-border operation have led to the increase in oil prices. The comments about the cross-border operation also claim that the target of Turkey in such an operation is the Kurdistan regional administration. However Turkish government spokesman State Minister Cemil Cicek underlined that the move targets only the PKK.

    Sanberk says that to have only one government spokesman is insufficient. He stressed that all the ministries should have spokesmen that are reachable by foreign media at anytime. The stories are developing very fast. If Turkish opinion is not given right on time, it is not included in the stories, he says, adding that Turkey does not have the chance to present its position in an orderly way to the world public.

    Neither today nor yesterday

    Sanberk thinks, like many others, that Turkey is unable to express its concerns either today or yesterday. He points out that despite many problems Turkey faces in the international arena, public diplomacy was not mentioned in the latest government program and there are only a few efforts on the subject.

    Sanberk points out that one of the main reasons for weak public diplomacy is lack of freedom of expression. Soli Ozel from Bilgi University and also a partner in a public relations company and Sedat Laciner from the International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/ USAK) both agree with Sanberk.

    A country that has restrictions on freedom of expression is poised to have to take a defensive position all the time and lose in public diplomacy, Sanberk says. According to him, one of the main tools of public diplomacy is think tanks. In fact foreign policy arguments emerge in think tanks and over time become government policy, according to Sanberk. Think tanks are also important to explain the position of a country. But in a country where there are restrictions on freedom of expression it is difficult to form think tank organizations.

    Soli Ozel underlines that a country that wants to express its ideas should first of all order its internal matters. If a country is saying that Armenian genocide claims are false accusations but if in the same week its courts are convicting a Turkish-Armenian journalist, obviously there is a problem here, Ozel says. He mentions that think tanks are an important part of public diplomacy, but only if they are perceived by the state as at least supporting actors, not mere figureheads.

    Laciner says that the countries which are successful in public diplomacy are the ones which have better human rights records. He agrees that Turkey lacks the infrastructure which would pave the way to diversify its actors in diplomacy.

    Sanberk says that the tradition of Turkish diplomacy is very strong, classical and successful, but it is used to elaborate on issues behind closed doors. In the past the actors of diplomacy were only diplomats and government members. But that has changed now; the media and world public opinion became more effective actors in diplomacy. Public diplomacy also includes the cultural dimension like literature and art, he says. The structure of Turkish diplomacy does not encourage diplomats to make contact with the foreign media, Sanberk adds.

    According to Ozel, the people responsible for expressing Turkeys ideas do not have enough connections. Yusuf Al Sharif, the representative of Al Jazeera in Turkey, shares a similar view and says that Turkish politicians are not aware of the importance of the world media either. According to Sharif, Turks do not have a culture of trying to express themselves -- even in the Turkish diaspora.

    Sanberk and Laciner have the same view. They both complain that despite the huge potential of the Turkish diaspora, there is no active Turkish lobbying structure abroad. To realize the importance of public diplomacy and to establish the necessary mechanisms to form effective organizations will take at least two decades, says Sanberk. But if we dont start now we will lose many more years.

    EG/


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