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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-03-06
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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. 47/08 06.03.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat says that the Cyprus problem will be solved until 2009, either as United Cyprus or as independent TRNCUnder the title Talat: Cyprus [problem] will be solved until 2009, the Turkish daily newspaper Sabah (06.03.08) writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, in statements to the Yeni Aktuel magazine, argued that his policy is supported by the world and it is a policy aimed at unifying Cyprus. He added: But this period is the last chance. This job will end at this period, the Cyprus problem will be solved until 2009, either as United Cyprus or as independent TRNC, this way or another. Because the Cyprus problem came to its very end.
He went on and stated that the TRNCs policy for the time being is a policy for the solution of the Cyprus problem and added: We accept Kosovos action as legitimate and just but it is not possible for the TRNC and Kosovo to be considered exactly the same, he stated. Asked about the red lines of the Turkish side, Mr. Talat stated that these are the political equality of the two people, the equal status of the two founding states, the state that will be established to be a new partnership state and not the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus and the guarantees of Turkey to continue.
 Talat is holding meetings in Ankara todayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08) reports in its front page under banner headlines Cyprus Summit In Ankara that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat at the head of a delegation will leave the occupied area today for Ankara to hold meetings with the Turkish President Mr. Abdullah Gul and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The paper further reports that the meeting between Mr. Gul and Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Talat will take place today at 11:00 oclock. The paper reports that during the meeting the possible negotiation process in the Cyprus problem will be discussed. Mr. Talat and the delegation will return to the occupied area later today.
 Talat met with the representatives of political partiesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08) reports that in the face of the todays meeting in Ankara, Mr. Talat had a meeting with the leaders or representatives of the parties represented in the self-styled Assembly. Present at the meeting were: the Republican Turkish Party, (CTP), the National Unity Party (UBP), the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), and the Social Democrat Party (TDP).
The Democrat Party (DP) did not take part in the meeting. The DP in a written statement explained the reason why the party did not participate in the meeting. It said that the participation of the ORP was unacceptable for the DP. The DP had submitted its views in writing.
 Kalyoncu started contacts with NGOsAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has started contacts with the non-governmental organizations (NGO) in the light of the resumption of the negotiations aimed at the solution of the Cyprus problem. To this effect a delegation from the party headed by the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Omer Kalyoncu, started contacts with the NGOs.
 LEKAD demands the opening of the Apliki crossingTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08) reports that the Chairman of the Lefka and Surrounding Villages Solidarity and Development Association (LEKAD) Hakan Oran, has said that they have sent letters to President Christofias, Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Talat and the UN for the opening of the Apliki crossing for the civilian use. Mr. Okan said that the Apliki crossing point is being used for the last 33 years by the UN and demanded that it should be opened to the civilian crossings as well. Mr. Okan went on and said that with the opening of the Apliki crossing point to the civilian use the region will economically benefit greatly because of the one million tourists visiting the Troodos area. He said: By then the Troodos Mountains will be 15 minutes away.
Mr. Okan in his statement said that they are against the notion that the opening of the crossing point be used for political expediencies. He said that while there were other crossing points ready to open, they consider the focusing on opening of the Ledra street crossing as imposing of isolation on other regions. He also criticized the so-called Soyer government and said: Why are we accusing the other side? Did we express our political will as regards the opening of this crossing point? We are of the view that it is the greatest injustice meted out to the people in the region and to the country in general not to take steps towards this direction. He went on and said that the opening of the crossing will contribute to the solution of the problem. He urged to exert efforts to remove the isolation, as he put it, imposed on the region.
 New UNFICYP spokesman talk on the illegal BRTIllegal Bayrak television (05.03.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The new spokesperson for the United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus Jose Luis Diaz has said the latest developments on the Cyprus issue give people a reason to be optimistic for a solution in Cyprus.
Mr. Diaz gave a reception for the press at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the UN-controlled buffer zone today.
Speaking to the BRT newsroom during the reception, Mr. Diaz reiterated that the UNs mission in Cyprus is aimed at providing a just and lasting settlement.
The newly appointed UNFICYP Spokesperson Jose Luis Diaz said it is a very exciting time to be in Cyprus with such a duty at a time when some significant developments are being seen on the Cyprus issue.
Stating that the latest developments give people a reason to be optimistic for a solution, Mr. Diaz said the renewal of talks between the two leaders of the island will allow the hosting of a new negotiations process for a lasting settlement, adding that he was very much looking forward to the work for a solution.
Jose Luis Diaz who is from the Dominican Republic - had recently served as the spokesperson for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in Geneva.
 The self -styled minister of natural resources and environment Asim Vehbi has resignedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08) reports that the self-styled minister of natural resources and environment Asim Vehbi, from the Freedom and Reform party (ORP) has tendered his resignation. The deputy chairman of the ORP Mustafa Gokmen, confirmed the resignation and said that this is an intra party change of duty. He said that the party chairman Mr. Turgay Avci will decide who will succeed Mr. Vehbi. He said that Mr. Vehbi did not explain the reasons behind his resignation.
 Cooperation between so-called LAU and the University of Ljubljana in the field of educationTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.03.08) reports that the so-called Lefka European University (LAU) and the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia have agreed to cooperate in the field of Education. This was agreed when Prof. Bojko Bucar of University of Ljubljana visited the occupied area and had a meeting with the so-called Dean of the LAU Prof. Ali Riza Buyukulu.
 Turkish Navy to organize 'Blue Whale 2008' exercises in East MediterraneanAnkara Anatolia news agency (05.03.08) reported the following from Ankara: Turkish Naval Forces will organize "Blue Whale 2008" exercise in the East Mediterranean from March 7th to 17th.
Naval units from Turkey, Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) and Pakistan will join the exercise.
They will put to test coordinated maneuvers against submarines and submarine defense war, and improve cooperation.
Participants will visit Aksaz port from March 7th to 9th.
The exercise will end at Antalya port on March 17th.
 The Greek Foreign Minister Mrs. Bakoyianni to visit Ankara on March 7thAnkara Anatolia news agency (05.03.08) reported the following from Ankara:
Greek FM Theodora Bakoyianni will arrive in Ankara on Friday evening to attend an international meeting organized by Justice & Development (AK) Party Women Chapter.
Bakoyianni will deliver a speech on March 8th, World Women's Day, at a convention to be held at AK Party HQs under the heading of "4th Women's Convention in Local Administrations".
While in Ankara, Bakoyianni will be received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Bakoyianni will also have a meeting with Turkish FM and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan. She will leave Ankara on Saturday night.
 Erdogans advisor quits from AKP administration boardTurkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (06.03.08) reports the following:
A prominent advisor to the prime minister, Cuneyd Zapsu, has left his position on the ruling Justice and Development Partys (AK Party) Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK) citing a lack of time for his personal life.
Zapsus resignation from his MKYK position surprised political circles, and MKYK member Ahmet Yasar, a former AK Party Aksaray deputy, will reportedly succeed him. Zapsu was a founding member of the AK Party and will retain his party membership.
Zapsu has been a controversial figure since the AK Partys foundation. His dealings with both Turkish and non-Turkish players have made him the target of several accusations, such as conducting unofficial meetings with ambassadors and acting as a shadow prime minister. Despite the frequent criticism targeting Zapsu, he has always been defended and favored by Erdogan.
When the AK Party was founded early in the 2000s, Erdogan invited Zapsu to join the party. Zapsu had contact with many international organizations and made maximum use of these relationships throughout his term as an Erdogan advisor and MKYK member.
Known as Erdogans right-hand man, Zapsu is commonly considered to be one factor of Erdogans success as a prime minister, introducing him to a wide array of business and political circles including Turkish industrialists, Islamic organizations and international businessmen. The way he made such accomplishments attracted wide criticism, but Erdogan has shown openly shown his support for him by publicly praising him.
In 2006, Zapsu drew harsh criticism from political circles -- particularly the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) -- over statements he made in reference to Erdogan during a meeting with American Enterprise Institute (AEI) officials. Zapsu had said in a speech that the US should use Erdogan. This statement sparked fierce debate in Turkey, with the CHP harshly criticizing the government and Erdogan. However, the prime minister backed Zapsu once more, saying he was satisfied with Zapsus explanation of the matter.
Zapsu also lobbied against the Armenian genocide bill pending in the US Congress during talks with Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat speaker of the US House of Representatives, in 2007.
Also, the German Embassy in Ankara awarded Zapsu the order of merit of the Federal Republic of Germany -- an honor that may be awarded in all fields of endeavor and is the highest tribute Germany can pay to individuals for their services to the nation -- for his excellent efforts in improving bilateral relations between Germany and Turkey.
Zapsu was born in 1956 and holds a degree from both a Turkish and a German university. His father is of Kurdish origin while his mother has roots in the Balkans. His grandfather Abdurrahim Zapsu is also a leading Kurdish personality.
 UN report: Turkey main corridor for drug trafficking to EuropeUnder the above title, Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (06.03.08) reports the following from Istanbul:
Located between Asia and Europe, Turkey remains the main transit country for heroin smuggling from Afghanistan to Western Europe, an international report released on Wednesday said.
Turkey is the main corridor for heroin consignments destined for Western Europe and the start of the Balkan route, the UN-affiliated International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), said in its annual report for 2007, released on Tuesday. It noted that practically all of the heroin in European illicit drug markets comes from Afghanistan. The southern branch of the Balkan route, which passes through Istanbul, Sofia, Belgrade and Zagreb, is increasingly being used to smuggle Afghan opiates into the Russian Federation and other countries in the region, said the report.
Another main destination for heroin smuggling is the silk route through Central Asia into the Russian Federation, and heroin smuggled via this route is used for local consumption or further transport to European Union member states, according to the report. Europe also gets its heroin consignments through a trafficking route from Afghanistan and Pakistan, from where they are shipped to Europe by sea or air.
Speaking to reporters at the report launching at UNs Turkey mission in Ankara on Tuesday, Professor Sevil Atalay, a rapporteur at INCB, said the report also identifies as a problem the abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS). The report says the abuse is becoming a widespread problem in Turkey and Iran as well as several countries on the Arabian Peninsula.
Turkey is also used as a transit route for the smuggling of Afghan opiates. They are smuggled in trucks and automobiles, in maritime shipments (on the Caspian Sea) and in air cargo through Azerbaijan and Turkey, the report said.
On psychotropic substances, it noted that the quantity of seized synthetic drugs, predominantly MDMA and Captagon (mainly amphetamine), increased in 2006 to the highest level ever (an increase of 71.6 percent compared to 2005). The quantity of MDMA seized in Turkey continued to increase rapidly, from 94,027 units in 2002 to 1,457,698 units in 2006. In 2006, the amount of Captagon seized also reached the highest level: 19,971,625 units. According to the government, Turkey is used as a transit country for illicit consignments of Captagon, while MDMA is smuggled into the country largely to be sold on its growing illicit market, the report noted.
According to the INCB, the amount of acetic anhydride seized in Turkey has increased in recent years, but it remains at a low level compared with the large amount of seizures in the past. A total of 5.2 million liters of acetic anhydride were seized in 2006, compared with over 18.0 million liters in 2002. The UN-affiliated body called on Turkey to continue its control measures in order to ensure that no illicit manufacture of heroin takes place in its territory, despite the fact that the number of illicit heroin laboratories dismantled in the country is decreasing and there are indications that Afghan morphine base is largely being transformed into heroin before it reaches Turkey.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Cyprus plane is taking off againUnder the above title, columnist Yusuf Kanli reports the following in Turkish Daily News (05.03.08):
Late friend and colleague Kenneth McHenzie, who was covering Turkish news for a variety of British newspapers in the 1970s and 1980s before settling in Cyprus, was often joking that Cyprus was like a plane which keeps on taking off once in a while but never lands.
Take-offs, Ken was saying, have always been majestic, with grandiose expectations, which somehow always preceded some sort of tension on the island, while the end of the process has always been a disaster, with either of the two sides finding a pretext of burying in the annals of history of failed Cyprus bids whatever achieved through lengthy discussions.
Cyprus diplomacy, indeed, is very much like a ping-pong game. In turn the two sides have kept on rejecting each and every peace proposal either offered by the other side or prepared by an army of international mediators.
Now, depending on the mood of the reader, we are either about to see the Cyprus plane taking off once again or about to watch a new set of ping-pong game.
If we are to be frank, we have to concede that a settlement to the Cyprus problem is long overdue. In the Cyprus mess we have today, neither the British, nor the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots nor Turks and the Turkish Cypriots can claim they do not have a share in the gangrene on the island.
There has not been any single detail of the Cyprus issue which has not been discussed by the representatives of the two peoples on the island since the kick off of the inter-communal talks process in mid 1960s in Lebanon. If after almost 40 years of talks we still do not have a settlement, it is obvious that there is lack of political will to compromise and without making some bitter compromise, it is impossible to reach a settlement on the island.
Subtitle: The key: Power sharing
The key to a settlement on Cyprus, irrespective of how difficult it might be to swallow for the Greek Cypriot side, is their recognition of the reality that there are two equal people on the island and they have to share power with the Turkish Cypriots. And, for the Turkish Cypriots, though it will be rather painful to concede, they must understand that there is a direct relationship between the amount of land they will have and the administrative power they will share in a future settlement. Secondly, both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey must realize that withdrawal of the Turkish troops and at least a sizeable amount of the mainland Turks who have settled in northern Cyprus is in the cards if we want a settlement. Number of Greek Cypriots to be resettled in north, giving back pre-1974 properties, compensation and such other issues will not pose a serious difficulty if an agreement can be reached on power sharing, troops and settlers issues. Obviously, the end result will be a compromise deal, and neither side will be fully satisfied with it.
Since his election, particularly in his statement last Thursday as he was swearing in as president, Demetris Christofias put forward some hard-line conditions for peace. Similarly, in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General just two days before the run-off presidential elections in southern Cyprus Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat insisted that some demands of the Greek Cypriot side, through the media, condemned as not helping a settlement on the island.
While such developments made Cyprus observers rather pessimistic, indeed it is nothing abnormal for the two sides of the island to withdraw to their harshest rhetoric before indulging in any sort of a give-and-take process. That is why before the Cyprus talks plane take off each time we have identical flare ups on the island. The two sides are just preparing to negotiate...
Christofias is now in Athens, soon will travel to Brussels and early next week he will be on the island to finish of his last preparations for a meeting with Talat expected to be held in the Ledra Palace hotel the U.N. headquarters in Nicosia buffer zone before the end of this month.
Talat, on the other hand, will be traveling to Turkey today. After attending an event in Istanbul where he will receive the statesman of the year award by the Marmara University and then proceed to Ankara Thursday for a series of fine-tuning talks with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
All these indicate that there is a serious effort on both sides for the resumption of the Cyprus talks process. Indeed, this might be the last chance for a federal Cyprus.