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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-07
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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. 03/09 06 - 07.01.2009
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 President Christofias holds the 14th meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leaderIllegal Bayrak television (05.01.09) broadcast the following:
Cyprus leaders held the first meeting of 2009 yesterday. President Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met yesterday morning to continue full-fledge negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. The leaders held a tête-à-tête meeting in first hour of the three hours long meeting.
Reading a statement following the meeting, UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative Taye Brook Zerihoun said that the leaders have reached a full agreement on the issue of harmonization and cooperation between the federal government and the constituent states or the federal units.
He also said that the leaders are very close to an agreement of full convergence on the issue of hierarchy of norms and they have decided to continue discussions on this in order to overcome the remaining obstacles.
Mr. Zerihoun announced that the two leaders have agree to take up the issue of past pacts during their next meeting which will be held next Monday, the 12th of January.
The UN Chiefs Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer will be present at the talks which will follow on the 12th and 16th of January.
On the meeting, Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.01.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Monday that a remarkable consensus was achieved on two major issues during his recent meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias. Replying to questions following his talks with Christofias at the buffer zone in Cyprus, Talat said that two major issues were discussed during today's meeting.One of them was the hierarchy of norms, in other words, how laws and rules would be balanced between the founder states and the federal state. Besides, we discussed the cooperation of the founder states between themselves and with the federal government. We can say that a remarkable consensus was achieved on both issues today, Talat said.
Talat also said that a joint statement was prepared regarding the recent developments in the Middle East and it would be made public on Monday.
 Two leaders in Cyprus condemn the attacks against GazaIllegal Bayrak television (06.01.09) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias have issued a joint statement on Gaza. The statement was announced simultaneously on both sides of the island.
The two leaders condemned the attack against Gaza and the disproportionate use of force applied by the Israeli forces that have led to huge loss of life of innocent civilians including women and children.They also urged the international community to use its influence to bring the violence to an immediate end.
On the same issue, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (07.01.09) reports the following under the title Joint voice for Gaza from Cyprus:
In a rare sign of unanimity on the divided island, Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza late Monday.
Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Demetris Christofias, called for action from the international community to end the violence in a joint statement issued after their 14th meeting on Monday. The two leaders condemn the attack against Gaza and the disproportionate use of force applied by the Israeli forces that has led to huge loss of life of innocent civilians including women and children, Talat and Christofias said in their statement. Greek Cypriots are generally viewed as sympathetic to the Palestinians. Last week a boat carrying Greek Cypriot aid to Palestinians in Gaza almost sank after it was involved in a collision with Israeli speedboats in international waters and it had to divert to Lebanon.
 Ercakica assesses the 14th meeting of President Christofias with Mehmet Ali Talat. Talat is briefing the political parties on the negotiationsIllegal Bayrak television (06.01.09) broadcast the following:
Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has said that the leaders had made a good start to New Year with the progress achieved at yesterdays meeting.
Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, the Presidential Spokesman said that the leaders had made a positive start to the New Year by reaching agreement on important issues at the negotiations.
He said that in addition to the full agreement reached on the issue of harmonization and cooperation between the federal government and constituent states, the two leaders had also made important progress on the hierarchy of norms.
Asked how the issues will contribute to the process, the Presidential Spokesman said that the agreement reached created a positive atmosphere at the talks, adding that the full agreement reached on one of the 15 topics under the chapter of governance and power sharing was important.
Also touching upon the ongoing debate regarding the appointment of a new ambassador to Ankara, Ercakica said that problem had been solved. He said that the Presidency had reached an agreement with the government to appoint Namik Korhan as the new TRNC Ambassador to Ankara.
Asked to comment about the Greek Cypriot House Speaker Marios Karoyian who returned the Presidents New Year present, the Presidential Spokesman said that Karoyans behavior was a reflection of his understanding.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (07.01.09) under the title Talat will remain impartial during the election procedure, reports that the so-called presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica, during his weekly press conference, said that while the negotiations concerning the Cyprus problem are going on, an election decision has been taken in the TRNC. Mr Ercakica added that the self-styled presidency will pay utmost attention for this decision, which seems to be a requisite of the domestic political developments in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, to have minimal effects on the negotiation process concerning the Cyprus problem. Mr Ercakica said that Mr Talat will remain loyal to the duties and the principle of impartiality vested to him by the so-called TRNC constitution and will fulfill his part in the process in order to have an election process in line with the democratic principles and traditions. Noting that Talat will pay extra attention to be in consultation and dialogue with the political parties during the process, Mr Ercakica said that there will be a meeting today at 10.00 with the political parties to brief them regarding the negotiation process.
 Turkish Cypriot political leaders comment on the decision for holding early elections in occupied CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (06.01.09) broadcast the following:
Political parties are continuing to evaluate the governing Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) decision to hold early elections on the 19th April this year.
The governments junior coalition partner, the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) has announced that it is in agreement with CTP on the date of early elections.
In a statement to the BRT, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and the ORP leader Turgay Avci, said that his part had discussed all aspects of holding early elections before the decision was announced. We as the ORP are ready for the elections, Avci said.
Mr Avci, expressed confidence that his party will take place in any new coalition government that will be formed after the elections. A coalition without the ORP is unavoidable he added.
On the other hand, the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Dervis Eroglu, said the elections scheduled for the 19th of April were not early but obligatory.
At a press conference today, Mr Eroglu reminded that the UBP has been calling for elections since September 2006 and that the government had finally felt compelled to hold early elections. Eroglu expects the UBP to make a come back as the ruling party.
He said that, once that happens, the UBP will not run away from the negotiations table as expected, but will sign any political agreement with the Greek Cypriot side that foresees the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a sovereign and equal founding states, as well as Turkeys active guarantees.
Stating that the UBP will start electing its candidates by February, Eroglu noted that his party will work in harmony with President Mehmet Ali Talat in case they form the new government.
The leader of the Republican Turkish Party Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer announced his partys decision to hold early general elections on the 19th of April 2009 yesterday.
Mr Soyer said the motion concerning the date of the early election would soon be presented to parliament.
On the issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.01.09) reports under the title The Elections created a hope that after the political parties the financial institutions gave their support for early elections. The Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, Sua Saracoglu, said: We wish that early elections will open the road for the formation of a government which will sign the constitutional amendments. The Chairman of the Chamber of Industry, Mr Salih Tunar, wished that the early elections will be beneficial for the economy in the occupied areas.
Kibris newspaper further writes that a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot political party Republican Turkish Party - United Forces (CTP-BG) will go today to Ankara in order to exchange views with Turkeys political parties on the Cyprus problem.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.01.09) under the title Ankaras query for early elections reports that the announcement that a delegation headed by the General Secretary of CTP Omer Kalyoncy will go today to Ankara in order to have contacts on the Cyprus problem was not convincing. The paper reports that the main issue of their contacts is believed to be the early elections. Political observers note that this visit to Ankara is related to the early elections and other domestic issues.
 Avci stresses that priority for occupation regime is to establish flights and open representation offices to other countriesIllegal Bayrak television (06.01.09) broadcast the following:
Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has pointed to the significance of increasing the number of flight points in foreign countries in order to serve better to the Turkish Cypriot goal of opening itself out to the international community.
Speaking during a visit he paid to the Cyprus Turkish Airlines Headquarters yesterday, Mr Avci highlighted the need for establishing flight points in Arab countries, OIC member states, as well as the European countries, at least with connecting flights if direct flights are not possible.
Foreign Minister noted that opening up new destinations especially in countries which have established bilateral relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and allowed the opening of representation offices has a leading importance.
 Turkish Cypriot travel agencies sent letter to the UN Secretary-General criticizing the Republic of Cyprus for imposing isolationIllegal Bayrak television (06.01.09) broadcast the following:
The Union of Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies (KITSAB) has handed over a letter to the UN officials to be delivered to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The letter comes in response to Mr Bans recent Cyprus report- dated as the 28th November 2008.
KITSAB says Bans Cyprus report includes some missing data, particularly on the international isolation imposed over Turkish Cypriots.
In the letter, KITSAB states that the international isolation of Turkish Cypriots was wrongly described as a feeling in the 56th article of the report.
However, the international isolation is not a feeling, but a fact of life faced by Turkish Cypriots in economic, cultural, social and sports fields, the letter stresses.
Defining tourism as a passport serving to international peace, KITSAB also notes some restrictions faced in the Turkish Cypriot tourism sector due to international isolation.
It says: Direct flights to the TRNC are being prevented and this hampers the development of the tourism sector; the Greek Cypriot Administration sabotages the Turkish Cypriot tourism relations with European tour operators via the use of threat; KITSABs membership to the United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) is being hindered; and, the Greek Cypriot Administration uses its internationally recognized governmental authority to prevent KITSAB members from establishing commercial cooperation with foreign airlines and tour operators.
Bearing all these in mind, KITSABs letter to Mr Ban stresses that the international isolation on Turkish Cypriots is a violation of human rights.
Making reference to the EUs 2004 decision to lift the international isolation, the letter reminds that the EU offer to make direct trade from the Turkish Cypriot air and sea ports was prevented with the Greek Cypriot sides intervention.
The letter calls for a re-evaluation of international isolation of Turkish Cypriots in Bans report. It finally refers to the human tragedy in Gaza, calling for its end.
 On the sale of gas to the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.01.09), under the title The gas enigma in the hospitals and the subtitle The Greek Cypriot spokesman said: We are selling gas to the Turkish Cypriot side, but the Turkish Cypriot side said: we are not buying, reports that while the Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said openly that gas was sold after accepting a request of the Turkish Cypriots due to shortage of gas used by hospitals in the occupied areas, the Turkish Cypriot side announced that no demand for gas was made. Mr Stephanou also said they responded positively to a request which had a humanitarian aspect. But the head physician of the Lefkosa Dr Burhan Nabantoglu state hospital Dr Rifat Siber, in a statement to Cyprus New Agency, said that they have not faced any needs of gas, adding that the private hospitals in the occupied areas may have requested gas. Dr Siber explained that last year they experienced difficulties with the supply of gas and Turkey supplied it to them.
 Turkey praises Britains cooperation on Cyprus and agrees to exchange information over the fight against terrorismAnkara Anatolia news agency (06.01.09) reported from Ankara that Turkeys Interior Minister Besir Atalay has said that the cooperation between Turkey and Britain in the fight against terrorism further developed after the suicide attack on the British Consulate in Istanbul on November 20, 2003, in which 27 people including British Consul General Roger Short were killed and many others were injured. Atalay met with British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who is currently paying a three-day official visit to Turkey.
Turkish Interior Minister said prior to the meeting, "Mrs. Smith's visit will make a valuable contribution to efforts to further improve historic and friendly relations between Turkey and Britain which have also been cooperating in Cyprus, the Middle East, Caucasus, Iraq, Iran and the Balkans under their Strategic Partnership agreement."
"Britain is one of the countries extending most support to Turkey's EU membership process. It is also our second biggest commercial partner in exports among the EU-member states behind Germany," he said.
"Our countries also cooperate with each other in the fight against terrorism, organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and illegal migration. The cooperation between Turkey and Britain in the fight against terrorism further developed after the bitter attack in Istanbul in 2003. Turkish and British prime ministers signed Turkey-Britain Counter-Terrorism Memorandum of Understanding in 2004," he said. Atalay added, "during today's meeting, Mrs. Smith and I will review the cooperation between our countries in the fight against terrorism. We will also exchange information about terrorist organizations of PKK, al-Qaeda, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C)."
 Turkish government denies an arms deal with Israel before Gaza attacksTurkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (06.01.09) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkey's defense minister denied on Tuesday reports that an arms deal was signed with Israel ahead of the Gaza operation.
The arms deal has nothing to do with the attacks. No military agreement was signed (with Israel) during our governments. The agreement in question was signed many (years) ago. Its contents are not related with the recent political developments, Vecdi Gonul told the Dogan News Agency in Izmir.
The Turkish government came under fire after some media reports suggested a $167 million arms deal was signed with Israel ahead of the Gaza operations. Turkey has maintained one of the harshest rhetoric against Israel over its incursion in Gaza.
Turkey and Israel have a strong partnership in military equipment and arms. The trade volume between Turkey and Israel was $2.6 billion in 2007 and some suggest $1.8 billion is attributed to military equipment trade.
 Erdogans chief adviser attends French and Syrian Presidents' meeting on GazaAnkara Anatolia news agency (06.01.09) reported from Damascus that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's foreign policy chief adviser Ahmet Davutoglu has attended on Tuesday the meeting between Syrian President Bashar Assad and French President Nicolas Sarkozy who started a Mideast tour to encourage cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas.
The meeting was attended also by the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Davutoglu also had a separate meeting with Assad to discuss Turkey's efforts for the solution of Gaza problem.
Davutoglu is expected to meet Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal later in the day.
 Kosovo asks Turkeys contribution for recognition and sends personnel at the Turkish Assembly for trainingAnkara Anatolia news agency (06.01.09) reported from Ankara that Turkish President Abdullah Gul received on Tuesday Kosovar Parliament Speaker Jakup Krasniqi and an accompanying Kosovar delegation. The meeting at Cankaya Presidential Residence was held closed to the press.
Mr. Krasniqi was also received by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Turkish parliament.
Mr. Krasniqi and his Turkish counterpart Koksal Toptan signed a protocol for the training of Kosovar parliamentary personnel at Turkish parliament.
On Jakup Krasniqi meetings, Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.01.09) further reports that Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan had a meeting on Tuesday with Jakup Krasniqi, the parliament speaker of Kosovo, who is visiting the capital Ankara.
Toptan said in the meeting that Turkey had sound cultural and historical ties with Kosovo. Kosovo's stability and development had a great importance for peace and security in Balkans, he said.
"We will do all we can for preservation of stability in this country and for boosting relations between Kosovo and its neighbors," Toptan said.
In his part, Krasniqi said he would like to thank Turkey and Turkish people for their support to his country.
Krasniqi said a total of 53 countries have recognized his country so far and he expected Turkey to exert efforts in regard to recognition of Kosovo also by Islamic countries.
 Turkeys Foreign Minister holds talks over Gaza attacks in New York with other counterparts of his, while he will also meet with the UN Secretary-GeneralAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.01.09) reports the following from New York:
The Turkish foreign minister discussed recent developments in Gaza with his counterparts in New York, the United States on Tuesday.
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met his counterparts in New York on the sidelines of a United Nations (UN) Security Council meeting in which developments in Gaza are being discussed.
Babacan held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Foreign Minister Sheik Abdallah bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan of the United Arab Emirates, Minister of State Ahmad bin Abdallah al-Mahmud of Qatar for Foreign Affairs.
The Turkish foreign minister also met members of the Arab League delegation before the Security Council meeting, and also held talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit and Austria's Minister for European and International Affairs Michael Spindelegger, and Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi-Fihri.
During his bilateral talks, Babacan gave the message that an urgent cease-fire was vital in Gaza. According to diplomatic sources, Babacan told his counterparts that people, children and women were dying in Gaza each passing hour.
Babacan also said that the blockade against the Palestinians should be lifted, and the disagreement between the Palestinians themselves should be solved. The Turkish foreign minister said that every one should contribute to reconstruction of Palestine in the long term. Babacan also said that Hamas had to give up its missile attacks, and underlined the necessity of meeting the urgent needs of people of Gaza and stopping the human tragedy in the region.
Diplomatic sources said that Turkey had a special position as not only a NATO member but also a regional people, and it was in contact with Israel, Hamas, Europe and the United States.
The foreign ministers said that they appreciated Turkey's role in the region.
Babacan is expected to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, and Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store on Wednesday.
 Twenty-one political parties to compete in the local elections in TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.01.09) reports that a total of twenty-one political parties are set to participate at Turkey's local elections in March, the Supreme Board of Election said on Wednesday.
The board included two more parties, People's Ascent Party and Peace and Democracy Party, on the list for March 29 elections after they objected to an earlier list which was announced on December 31.
An updated list of political parties which are set to take part in the local elections is as follows:
- Justice and Development (AK) Party
- Motherland Party
- Independent Turkey Party (BTP)
- Great Union Party (BBP)
- Republican People's Party (CHP)
- Democratic Party (DP)
- Democratic Left Party (DSP)
- Democratic Society Party (DTP)
- Labor Party (EP)
- Young Party (GP)
- Rights and Freedoms Party
- Worker's Party (IP)
- Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
- Nation Party
- Nationalist Movement Party (MHP)
- Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP)
- Felicity Party (SP)
- Social Democratic People's Party
- Turkey Communist Party (TKP)
- Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)
- People's Ascent Party (HYP)
 Yalcin Kucuk has been arrested in connection with the Ergenekon caseAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.01.09) reports that Pr. Dr. Yalcin Kucuk has been arrested by the Turkish police after investigations carried out in his house for his connections with the Ergenekon organization.