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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-08
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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. 28/08 08.02.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Peace Platform criticizes the self-styled governmentTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (08.02.08) reports that the Cyprus Peace Platform held a protest march yesterday in front of the so-called presidents office. The members of the platform criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats statements as regards the Cyprus problem. It is unacceptable to conduct non-solution policies by appearing to support a settlement, the platform members declared. They said that statements like Unification is not Gods word by Mr. Talat overlaps the statements made by Mr. Rauf Denktas who advocated and adopted the non-solution is the solution policy. Members of the platform also criticized the so-called presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica for his statements which, they said, were very far away from the federal solution.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.02.07) reports that the so-called presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica, commenting on the criticism launched by the Cyprus Peace Platform has declared ready to be tested for the peace and settlement search. He went on and stated that the Turkish Cypriot side is working on a united Cyprus model and the whole world was informed on this. He accused the Platform of not seeing this formula. He expressed surprise that the Platform people are having difficulty in understanding the message conveyed to them.
 47 illegal immigrants were arrested in the occupied areas of CyprusAccording to the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.02.07), 47 illegal immigrants coming from Syria were arrested by the occupation regime off the Famagusta coast and brought before the so-called court which sentenced them to two days imprisonment. The captain of the boat Aftimous Dib (65) was sentenced to 15 days. The boats captain in his testimony told the so-called court that he had received 400 USD for each illegal immigrant from a person in Syria to bring them to Cyprus. He admitted his guilt. One of the illegal immigrants in his voluntary statement to the so-called court said that they are poor people and they were forced to come here for making money. He said that in order to come here they each paid 2 thousand USD to a person in Syria.
 Ozkan Murat: During the last four years only 60 persons have received citizenshipTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.02.07) reports that the self-styled Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat, commenting on criticisms launched against him that citizenships were being given to a lot of people, said that during the last four years only 60 persons have received citizenship by the Council of Ministers decision. He said that reports about giving new citizenships is a big lie.
 More on the tourism development in occupied CyprusUnder the title The TRNC got enthusiastic on tourism, Nevin Donat reports in Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (08.02.08) from occupied Cyprus that the so-called ministry of economy and tourism has paved the way for an investment of approximately $500 million in the occupied territories, following the tourism permissions given in ten different areas during the last two months. On the issue, Hasan Kilic, permanent undersecretary of the so-called ministry of economy and tourism, has stated that there is a strong interest by Israel, Britain and Turkey. He also stated that after the construction of the Kaya Artemis, Limak, Akfen and Korenium Golf Club and Mercury hotel last year, 2008 will be an active year for them.
On the issue, the paper further writes that Besim Tibuk, Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Net Holding, a firm which at the moment owns two hotels in occupied Cyprus, has announced that a new luxury hotel is going to be constructed in the occupied Karavas area in a plot which was leased in 2007 for a 49 year-period.
Mr. Tibuk noted that the hotel will offer only suites and that in the construction there will be also a SPA, a health centre, a market centre and a casino. The project will be completed in five years and the investment will reach $150 million. The project will be financed with money coming from the project which is in the Bodrum Milas and that from the profit made from the new hotel an investment will be made in Mare Monte in occupied Keryneia, Tibuk added.
He further noted that a tourism investment will also take place in a plot in occupied Famagusta, a project which will be a joint venture with Israelis.
As the paper reports, Mr. Tibuk stated that lately the foreign interest in the TRNC has increased. David Lewis who is among the worlds rich men will make an investment of $250 million in the TRNC. At this moment, he is working for taking the permissions. There are also other investors. Particularly Israelis are coming here for making investments, he concluded.
The paper further publishes the following data on 2008 projects, which are expected to start in the occupied areas:
Ten new projects which will start during 2008:
Simsekler $70 million
Eksen Project $65 million
Goctur Kibris Investment $63 million
Kaya Tourist $60 million
Kocoglu $60 million
Ada Kibris $50 million
Akfen Ins. At the stage of project planning
Sunny Valley At the stage of project planning
Yayoz Tourism At the stage of project planning
Bilgili Tourism At the stage of project planning
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (08.02.08) continues its reference to the unknown Euroka Enterprises Ltd company, to which the Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir has reportedly transferred 450 donums (a land measure of 1000 square meters) of land in occupied Karpass peninsula in order to invest in the tourism sector, and notes that the above-mentioned company is registered in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean and that its owners are Israelis. According to a research carried out by the paper, Euroka Enterprises Ltd transferred a part of its shares to a company named Karpaz Bay Resorts which is registered in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Euroka Enterprises Ltd is appearing as the director of the company.
The paper writes that Euroka Enterprises Ltd acquired the 450 donums of land in Karpass from Loyal and Royal Company, which had been established by Asil Nadir and Sidika Atalay. Loyal and Royal Company transferred the land to LTG International Ltd Company, which is owned by David Lewis, who according to the paper is a close friend of Asil Nadir. Afterwards Mr Lewis applied to the government for taking the permission to sell the land to Euroka Enterprises Ltd. All the shares of the company, excluding one which belongs to Lisa Singer, Lewiss secretary, have been sold to Euroka Enterprises Ltd. Israel is shown as the address where the secretary of Mr Lewis lives.
According to Volkan, the first stage of the investment in Karpass should be completed in 2008, the second stage in 2010 and the third stage in 2013.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Cyprus Times newspaper (08.02.08), under the title Thanks God, refers to the investments in the construction sector in the occupied areas and the issue of the British businessman Gary Robb, who is building the Amaranta Valley project in occupied Klepini area. In an interview with Cyprus Times Mr Robb said, inter alia, the following: I have taken control of the construction back from the government. I have full authority to control the construction. Now we have a work schedule month by month for 12 months, which we have agreed with the English buyers of the Amaranta Buyers Committee (ABC). We work all together now with the five-member committee and myself.
The paper publishes also statements by civil engineer Kutasal Tokatlioglu, director of AGA Development Company, which is constructing the project in occupied Klepini. He said, inter alia, the following: We will complete the construction from top to bottom in 12 months, as confirmed in the protocol. We started in January 2008 and we will complete by December 31, 2008 at the Amaranta Valley with the valuable collaboration of the Aga buyers Committee (ABC).
 The mayor of Agios Epiktitos says that the findings show that Sean Lupton is in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (08.02.08) reports that it is alleged that members of the British Intelligence Service (MI6) have visited the occupied areas of the island and searched for Sean Lupton, a suspect for the biggest robbery of the century in Britain, and the 17 million pounds sterling, which he has allegedly brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
The paper reminds that last week the self-styled prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Turgay Avci respectively, stated that no one person having the name Sean Lupton entered the island and that they are ready to cooperate with the British police.
Kibrisli notes that the possibility of the above-mentioned person having entered the occupied areas with another name could not be ruled out.
The paper publishes a statement by the mayor of occupied Agios Epiktitos village, Necdet Numan who noted: The Minister of Foreign Affairs said that he [Lupton] is not in the country, but the findings show that he is here. The British police came here and carried out investigations. Many foreigners are living within the boundaries of our district. They met with them. The wanted person may be in Catalkoy [Agios Epiktitos]. The case of the lost millions appeared in front of us like an unexpected incident during these days when the TRNC is struggling with difficulties. Who knows, maybe this money is here and perhaps it may appear in front of us as an investment.
 Cyprus high on the agenda of Babacans visit to RussiaTurkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (internet version) (04.02.08) reports the following from Ankara:
It has been ascertained that Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will visit Russia on 16 and 17 February. It has been reported that he will return the visit of his counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and that he will discuss the question of the Fener Patriarchate with Russia, where the largest Orthodox community in the world lives. The agenda of Babacan's talks will also include matters related to Cyprus, PKK, and Kosovo.
According to the diplomatic sources, Babacan will return Sergei Lavrov's visit to Ankara in 2006. The importance of the visit increased because of its timing and agenda. The Fener Greek Patriarchate's argument that it has an ecumenical status will be discussed during the talks. The largest Orthodox community in the world lives in Russia at the present time. However, the Church in Moscow does not recognize the Fener Patriarchate. Contrary to the leaders of the other Orthodox countries, President Vladimir Putin did not visit Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos when he was in Turkey.
In addition to Patriarch Bartholomeos' ecumenical status, the Cyprus problem will be high on the agenda.
Babacan will also discuss the PKK with his counterpart and urge Russia to quickly declare it a terrorist organization. Russia does not regard the PKK as a terrorist group because a lawsuit has not been filed against the organization in that country thus far. That makes the extradition of PKK members who might be caught in Russia difficult.
Ankara plans to take a file on Kosovo's status to Moscow. Russia is opposed to Kosovo's independence. It has disclosed that it will never agree to a decision on Kosovo's independence. Ankara has not yet clearly decided the approach it will adopt if Kosovo declares independence.
Babacan will first visit India before he flies to Russia. The visit will take place on Friday. He will be in that country for three or four days. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Levent Bilman was recently accredited Turkey's ambassador to India. He has been waiting for accreditation. In addition to his talks with the state officials in India, Babacan will meet with Indian businessmen.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 7 February 2008Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 7 February on issues of the current Ankara political agenda:
a) Headscarf issue: Radikal newspaper reports on a survey that was conducted in 2004, according to which young women fail to go to university for the following reasons: 29 percent because they fail the entrance exams, 14 percent because they get married, 10 percent because they have to work, and 1 percent because they wear the Islamic headdress. According to this report, "if the aim is to make sure that young women go to university, then the headdress is really a detail."
In an article entitled "Beginning of the transformation," in Radikal by Murat Yetkin stresses that the parliamentary vote held on 5 February to change the Constitution in order to lift the headscarf ban is the start of Turkey's transformation. "The Turkish society will move closer to the Middle East and not to Europe," Yetkin argues. Prime Minister Erdogan conducted this operation with no problem at all, the columnist states, asking why the prime minister does not display the same determination to lift the parliamentary immunities which are at the root of Turkey's corruption problem.
Cuneyt Ulsever, in his article in Hurriyet explains that the headdress will prevail because "its supporters are very diligent while its opponents are very lazy!" The columnist argues that the very well-organized grass-roots 'National View' which guides the AKP engine, stopped supporting the Felicity Party and is backing the AKP. "I am absolutely opposed to the Nationalist View ideology and do not find its world view to be compatible with my own liberal-democratic views," Ulsever says, "but I greatly respect its organizational views and diligence. It prevails in the provincial neighbourhoods in the big cities, in the districts, small towns, and villages. In fact, it is the only one that exists in those areas... The Marxists, social democrats, liberals, secularists etc have never been in the provinces, in the shantytowns, in the working-class neighbourhoods, or in the villages."
In a commentary in Cumhuriyet, Mustafa Balbay warns that the developments of the past two days do not concern the expansion of the freedom of education in universities, but constitute a rehearsal of the radical changes the AKP plans to undertake in the near future. The parliamentary debate on the headscarf is the breaking of another link in the chain of secularism, Balbay argues, and once a link is broken, how can the other links remain intact?, he asks.
In Milliyet Dogan Heper argues that "Erdogan is responsible for the latest but greatest and most dangerous division in our history, and for the damage the headdress has inflicted on the country." Heper also faults Bahceli for this division, but not the MHP. In his article, the columnist criticizes Gul for being the most ineffective of all presidents Turkey has known. "A 72-million strong nation is being openly divided," the columnist says, "and there is nobody to stop it. How sad!"
Under the headline, "It is stupid to ban the headscarf," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which highlights remarks by Professor Ali Nesin, son of the late Turkish novelist Aziz Nesin, responding to the "insults" and criticisms he has received from people belonging to his own "neighbourhood" for signing the "declaration of freedom" in support of the Government's efforts to lift the headscarf ban at universities.
Under the banner headline, "With a crushing majority," Vakit carries a front-page report which says that the constitutional amendment proposal prepared by the AKP and the MHP to lift the headscarf ban was passed in the first round of voting in Parliament yesterday with the votes of some 397 MPs.
In an article entitled "A deep showdown", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak reiterates his warning that a coup attempt would result in a civil war. He comments on allegations that certain quarters are planning to assassinate Prime Minister Erdogan. He also notes the "ravings of secularist protestors" against the proposal to remove the headscarf ban and dismisses those holding street demonstrations against the headscarf bill as an "ignorant crowd" unacquainted with democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.
b) Kurdish issue: Turkish Daily News carries a front-page story, reporting on the 5,000 Democratic Society Party members who spent the night on the Iraqi border and then left peacefully, after calling on the Turkish army to stop the cross-border operations, and the PKK to stop its armed activities.
In an article entitled "Operations: Getting better, but what's next?", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that while the ongoing Turkish cross-border operations against the PKK are reducing the PKK's ability to stage attacks, the Erdogan government should not fail to introduce a "comprehensive package" aimed at addressing the "Kurdish issue" if PKK terrorism is to end completely.
c) Minority rights: In an article entitled "A liquidation bill", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal warns that if the Foundations Bill is enacted, the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul will turn into an establishment built on estate larger than the Vatican, possessed of an international identity, and commanding over $100 billion. Unal also finds it very "instructive" that "all this is being done by a government that describes itself as Islamist."