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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-22
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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. 14/09 22.01.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The breakaway regime is distributing more title-deeds for plots of land to young peopleTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.01.09) reports that the so-called minister of interior Ozkan Murat gave yesterday the title deeds of plots of land to young people in the rural area of the occupied villages of Vitsada and Vatili. Mr Murat said that during the past five years they exerted great efforts on the issue of the infrastructure in the villages and added that this distribution of plots of land is carried out within this framework.
Mr Murat noted that they asphalted the roads of 124 villages, they changed the sewage system of 87 villages, they increased the number of organized sheepfold areas from 48 to 148, they carried out the necessary infrastructural works, and they demolished the dangerous buildings in many villages and opened plots of land in the villages. Referring to the distribution of plots of land to young persons, Mr Murat said that they received approximately 3.500 applications from 57 places, they established 1935 holders of right from these applicants and these efforts will continue in many more villages.
Moreover, Yeni Duzen reports that the so-called council of ministers decided to distribute title deeds to those who live in the houses of CMC (Cyprus Mining Cooperation) in the occupied village of Lefka. The distribution of the title deeds by the so-called ministry of finance will take place very soon.
 Statements by Soyer on the Cyprus problemUnder the title 19 April is an important turning point, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (22.01.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that in the elections of 19 April in the occupied areas of the island the people will express its will on whether the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem should continue or stop. In statements to illegal Bayrak televisions Akis program the night before yesterday, Mr Soyer noted that that the elections will be an important turning point. He said that both the economic and the political developments might change after the elections and added that in order to this to be understood the past political picture of the political parties should be taken into consideration. He argued that the dynamism might stop in case the forces which oppose progress are successful in the elections and added that the road to the Cyprus problem might be closed.
Mr Soyer said that the negotiating process is being carried out based on a partnership state with a single international identity and with a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot state with equal status under the roof of that state on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal Cyprus based on the political equality. Mr Soyer wondered how the National Unity Party (UBP) supports a process on this basis and argued that the support expressed by the UBP is not sincere. He expressed the belief that 2009 will be the year of the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Commenting on the inauguration of the US President, Barrack Obama, Mr Soyer said that the election of Mr Obama is a clear proof that important changes will take place in the world.
Referring to the attacks against the Turkish Cypriots in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Soyer asked for this kind of incidents which are caused by irrational and fanatic groups not to destroy the hope of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution. He alleged that such attacks are committed not only against Turkish Cypriots, but in the past against the Israelis and other foreign citizens in Limassol. He noted that they would undertake an initiative on this issue.
Responding to questions of the viewers, Mr Soyer argued that it will not be possible for a single nation to exist in Cyprus. He said that their main vision for the solution is the continuation of the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people on these lands. He noted that the federal state, which will be established in case of a possible solution to the Cyprus problem, will belong both to the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots, who will be equal.
Asked by the journalist whether this will be on the basis of two peoples, Mr Soyer said: Of course there is such a function. The Turkish Cypriot side calls this concept two peoples, the others call it two communities. He said that nobody could impose to the others how they will be talking. Asked whether the new structure would bring about the concept of a single nation, Mr Soyer replied: No. Is this possible? What kind of a concept for a nation will come about?
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.01.09) writes that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, in statements yesterday prior to the meeting of the council of ministers, condemned the recent attacks by Greek Cypriot young people against Turkish Cypriots in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and said that the Greek Cypriot young people acted in a wrong way. However, he added, the biggest mistake lies to the education system and the social-psychological climate created in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
 Statements by Salin Usar, self-styled Minister of Public Works and Transport on the Cyprus ProblemIllegal Bayrak television (21.10.09) broadcast the following:
The Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) prepares to launch direct flights to the Turkish town of Kayseri- which is said to be one of the most developed industrial towns in the central Anatolian region.
The Minister of Public Works and Communications Salih Usar has flown to Kayseri to conduct work on the preparation program.
Upon his arrival at the Kayseri Airport, Mr Usar told reporters that 2009 will be the year of progress for Cyprus Turkish Airlines.
He said KTHY will continue its hard work to offer its customers the best available service despite the international isolations imposed on North Cyprus.
Stating that serious work is being carried out to further improve flight services to tourists and foreigners who wish to travel to North Cyprus, the Minister touched upon the ongoing case filed against the British Civil Aviation Authority regarding the establishment of direct flights to and from the Ercan Airport.
He expressed his wish towards reaching a fair verdict on the case.
Mr Usar also answered reporters questions concerning the Cyprus full-fledged negotiations process.
The Minister said the Turkish Cypriot side wants the acceleration of the negotiations process in order to be able to reach a solution within 2009, but noted however that the Greek Cypriot side did not share the same desire.
'Turkish Cypriots are in need of a solution and we are working hard to push Greek Cypriots a bit more for a positive outcome to be reached from the talks,' Usar stressed.
Asked to comment on the US President Barack Obamas perception of the Turkish Armed forces in Cyprus as an `occupying`, force, Usar said it would be a huge injustice to claim that Turkey was an occupier in Cyprus.
'The US President may have made such statements during his election campaign. However, if the US is in favor of reaching a political settlement in Cyprus, then we expect President Obama to look into Cypriot history from a more objective angle and to formulate his policies accordingly' the Minister added.
 Decrease in the number of the vessels registered in the occupied areas of CyprusUnder the title We are disappearing, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.01.09) reports that the maritime transporters in the occupied areas of Cyprus are facing many problems. According to the paper, the shipping firms in the occupied Famagusta and Keryneia ports are calling on the government to help their sector for the last time.
In addition, the paper writes that the number of the registered ships has been decreased from 46 in 2007 to 31 in 2008. According to data acquired from the Annual Report of the Ports Department Directorship, which gave information about the 2006-2008 period, in the year 2006 there were a total of 44 vessels in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The paper reports that 12 of these vessels were dry cargo ships, 9 Ro Ro vessels, 14 passenger ships, and 9 vessels used for special needs (such as touring). In the year 2007 there were 13 dry cargo ships, 9 Ro Ro vessels, 13 passenger ships, and 11 vessels used for special needs, (a total of 46 vessels). In the year 2008 there were totally 31 vessels. 7 were dry cargo ships, 7 Ro Ro vessels, 9 passenger ships, and 8 vessels used for special needs.
 The Turkish Cypriot football clubs are reportedly unhappy because Omer Adal secured the support of the TFF on the FIFA proposalsTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.01.09) reports that the football clubs in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, which are unhappy with the initiatives of the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTFF) on the topic of FIFA and UEFA proposals for the future of the Turkish Cypriot football, are preparing to collect signatures in order to call an extraordinary general assembly of the football clubs of the first division. The football clubs are unhappy because after not being able to have these proposals approved in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Adal visited Turkey and secured the support of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).
 Statements by Egemen Bagis: Erdogans remarks were misinterpreted by European MediaIstanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (21.01.09) reported the following: The opening of the energy chapter in accession negotiations between Turkey and the EU was not a precondition for the Nabucco project, Turkey's chief negotiator for EU talks said on Wednesday.
Turkey would not use its cards as a weapon, Egemen Bagis told at a press conference in Brussels, where Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met top EU officials earlier this week.
Erdogan said Monday that Turkey could review its position on the EU-backed strategic pipeline if the country's negotiations with the 27-member bloc are blocked on the energy chapter.
Greek Cyprus told Hurriyet Daily News Online Edition last month it would not let talks on the energy part of the accession process start until an oil exploration dispute was resolved. Greek Cypriots have accused Turkey of harassing hydrocarbon research vessels four times since Nov. 13.
Bagis said Erdogan's remarks were misinterpreted by the European media. 'Mr. Erdogan expressed his complaint about a tiny EU member (Greek Cypriots), although they were not affected negatively by the recent natural gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine but took a blocking stance --despite no opening criteria-- over the energy chapter which concerns the entire EU with a population of 500 million,' Bagis was quoted by Anatolian Agency as telling reporters.
'The only obstacle before Nabucco is not the energy chapter. There are supply problems, security problems and cost problems,' he said, adding that Turkey attached great importance to the project and held talks on it with the EU at every level.
Bagis also said the EU is 'a dietician for Turkey'. 'The EU prescription is tested and it is working,' the agency quoted him as saying. 'Turkey should apply that prescription in order not to become (the sick man of Europe),' he added.
The proposed 3,300 kilometer (2,050 mile) Nabucco pipeline is planned to carry 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Caspian or Middle Eastern gas annually to an Austrian hub via Turkey, and is seen as one of Europe's best hopes for limiting its dependence on Russian gas.
Diversifying the supply of gas away from Russia has become a priority for the EU in the wake of the recent spat between Russia and Ukraine which left millions of Europeans without heating in the middle of a wintry cold snap.
 The Cankaya meeting concluded with great satisfactionTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (22.01.09) reports under banner headline, Short, essential, meaningful, about the Cankaya Summit, which was attended by the heads of legislative, executive and judicial organs of the Republic of Turkey after an invitation by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, yesterday in Ankara.
The meeting gave the message that everybody should abide by the rules and fundamental principles of law, and take maximum care of procedure laws at practice. In a statement released after the meeting, it was underlined that abiding by the principles would make Turkey stronger, overcoming more easily the obstacles and cementing the atmosphere of confidence in the society. As the paper reports, the attendants found the meeting very useful and decided to repeat this meeting every year under the title new years meal summit.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper reports under banner headline, Abide by the laws message and writes that during the luncheon at the Presidential Palace, the participants discussed the tensed atmosphere caused by the Ergenekon case. According to the papers, the Summit lasted for 1.5 hours.
 Article 301 is threatening the campaign I Apologize to ArmeniansHurriyet Daily News.com (22.01.09) reports the following from Ankara:
Article 301 is in play again. This time it is threatening the online Armenian apology petition launched by some intellectuals to express remorse for the events of 1915.
The article is the part of the Turkish penal code that criminalizes insulting Turkishness. It was watered down after intense pressure from the European Union last year and now requires approval before a case can be pursued.
Ankaras prosecutor Nadi Turkaslan, assigned to monitoring the media, is examining whether there is a need to start an investigation against the people who signed the 'I Apologize to Armenians' petition after six citizens filed a joint criminal complaint. Petitioners apologize, for their part, to Armenians for the 'Great Catastrophe that Ottoman Armenians were subject to in 1915.' The act of apologizing is an insult to Turkishness, according to the complainants.
Professor of Criminal Law at Istanbul University, Ersan Sen, said the question to be asked when deciding whether there is a violation of Article 301 is whether or not the petition aims to insult the idea of the Turkish nation or not.
'A prosecutor may well seek out permission to investigate from the justice minister,' Sen told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review yesterday. In its renewed form, an Article 301 case requires permission from the Justice Minister, currently Mehmet Ali Sahin, for prosecutors to begin an investigation.
'A go-ahead is needed or the prosecutor cannot even start collecting evidence,' ^en said. 'The minister s decision on the request will be final if he rejects it.' A prosecutor may decide not to request a trial even if permission is given.
Sen said: 'It is pointless to bring obstacles before prosecutors who have the best knowledge of the law. Note that the Turkish nation in the article is not described in terms of race, but in terms of citizenship. There are similar articles in penal codes in some European countries like France and Germany, too.'
The apology campaign started last December when Professor Ahmet Insel, Professor Bask1n Oran, Dr. Cengiz Aktar and Ali Bayramoglu published a short apology text on a Web page and allowed people to add their signatures. 'My conscience does not accept the insensitivity shown and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them,' reads the full text of the declaration, signed by a few thousand people.
The campaign has met with reactions from state officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan said he did not commit any crime against anybody and that the campaign was pointless .
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 21 January 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 21 January 2009:
According to a report in Milliyet, the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, attended full force the funeral of retired Colonel Abdulkerim Kirca who committed suicide following media reports that he was the former commander of gendarme intelligence service JITEM [alleged gendarmerie intelligence organization] in Diyarbakir, and that he may have carried out murders as a member of the Ergenekon gang. The report adds that the presence of the chief of the General Staff and the force commanders at the funeral conveys the message that the army is protecting its own.
According to a report in Milliyet, Fulya Ersoz, the daughter of retired Brigadier General Levent Ersoz, who was arrested within the framework of the Ergenekon investigation and who was taken to hospital after suffering a heart attack, has attempted to commit suicide.
Accusing Prime Minister Erdogan of sowing seeds of enmity between HAMAS and Palestinian leader Abbas in the first section of his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik argues that Erdogan made a blunder in Brussels when he reported that he was told by an Israeli official that Abbas would be upset if Israel released HAMAS deputies. Accusing Erdogan of having thrown a hand grenade between HAMAS and Abbas with this doubtful piece of gossip, Asik argues that Erdogan missed his chance of leading the mediation between Israel and the Palestinians by opting to become the spokesman of HAMAS. Asik writes: "In the future, this unbalanced policy might cause the Jewish lobby in the United States to take a negative stand when the genocide bill is discussed in Congress. This might be the only thing we have gained from this clumsy attempt at mediation. We congratulate you!"
Also referring to Erdogan's disclosure that Abbas is against the release of HAMAS deputies in the first section of his column in Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan accuses Erdogan of violating the principle of secrecy in international diplomacy. Viewing this as a betrayal of the Israeli official, as a declaration that he sides with HAMAS against Abbas, and as an act that will deepen the chasm between HAMAS and Abbas, Dogan concludes that from now on it will be difficult for anyone to trust Erdogan in international relations.
Describing the role Erdogan should be playing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in an article in Ortadogu, Necdet Sivasli stresses that Erdogan should ensure the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and the opening of the borders to guarantee that the needs of the Palestinians are met. Calling on the prime minister to stop adjusting his policies to suit those of the United States, Sivasli argues that Israel should be made to answer for the blood it has shed in Gaza. In conclusion, the writer also criticizes the Arab countries for their indifference to the massacre in Gaza, maintaining that this lack of concern to the developments has rendered Israel more arrogant in its attacks.
In an article entitled "What Does 'Turkey is the Only Country That Supports Hamas' Mean?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul takes issue with some commentators over their criticisms and accusations against the Erdogan government regarding its handling of the Gaza crisis. He disagrees particularly with the assertion that Turkey is the only country that defends Hamas, that Ankara has responded to the crisis ineffectually with words rather than action, and that Israel refused to talk with Erdogan's chief advisor Professor Ahmet Davutoglu.
Under the headline, "Top Brass Gather To Show Solidarity at JITEM Commander's Funeral," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report highlighting the latest General Staff statement, which "warned the media against publishing accusatory stories revolving around the suicide of a former colonel known to be a commander in JITEM [which] is ... thought to be an instrumental arm of the terrorist Ergenekon organization."
In an article entitled "'So-Called JITEM' Colonel's Suicide", Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bulent Kenes accuses the General Staff of trying to gag the press and obstruct the Ergenekon investigation in cautioning the news media about their coverage of the allegations against Retired Colonel Abdulkerim Kirca.
In an article entitled "Obama's Challenges as He Steps in", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil cites the following as the challenges that Barack Obama will be facing shortly: 1. "The widening global economic crisis." 2. "The upcoming 60th anniversary of ... NATO, [an] event [that] will probably set the tone of the NATO alliance with a disturbed Russia ..." 3. "The crisis in Afghanistan and the dubious role of Pakistan in the fight being waged against the Taliban."
In an article entitled "Pondering What Happens After the Elections", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan asserts that it is highly likely that the local elections in March will reveal a drop in the AKP's popularity by 10 to 15 points largely owing to the economic crisis, leading to pressures by the Opposition for an early general election to which the AKP will be forced to submit. Ozkan also criticizes what he describes as the media's lack of interest in the local elections.