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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-04-03

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 <>



Statements by Talat on his way to Sweden
  • [02] Talat evaluates his meeting with the Swedish FM Carl Bildt
  • [03] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers cover the meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader and the Swedish FM
  • [04] Reactions created in the occupied areas of Cyprus after FM Kyprianous statements
  • [05] The cost of living in the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased by 11.6%
  • [06] France gives green light to Turkeys participation in EGF
  • [07] A mini summit took place in London with the participation of Erdogan and Obama. Prime Minister Erdogans meetings in Britain


  • [08] From the Turkish Press of 02 April 2009


    Statements by Talat on his way to Sweden

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.04.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat is on his way to Sweden, where he will meet with the Foreign Minister, Mr Carl Bildt. The meeting between President Talat and Mr Bildt will take place this afternoon.

    President Talat told reporters during his stopover in Istanbul that he attaches great importance to his discussions with Mr Bildt, as Sweden will take the European Unions Term Presidency from the current President, the Czech Republic.

    Mr Talat said he will call on the EU member countries to encourage the Greek Cypriot Administration towards a solution, which lost motivation on the Cyprus issue after its unilateral EU membership.

    The President noted that he would ask for the two seats allocated for Turkish Cypriots at the European Parliament to be kept empty until a solution, if EP elections were brought to the agenda. He also stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriots to be represented at the EP with an observer status.

    The President noted that he would raise the issue during his meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Paris tomorrow. He added that the meeting would also give him an opportunity to discuss the negotiation process face-to-face. Asked whether he would ask the UN Chief to appoint an arbitrator to participate in talks between the two sides in Cyprus, President Talat said: It is too early for such a thing. Lets not ask for such a thing not to anger the Greek Cypriots.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that European Union (EU) should persuade its own member to put an end to Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to reporters aboard the plane while travelling to Sweden upon an invitation from the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Mr Talat said that the Greek Cypriot side was a member of the European Union but lacked motivation regarding solution to Cyprus question.

    Talat will inform Mr Bildt about the latest stage reached in Cyprus talks aiming at finding a permanent solution and will ask the EU to motivate Greek Cypriot party for a solution. Talat said: Bildt is very important as the foreign minister of a country that is closely interested in Cyprus question and which will assume the rotating presidency of EU in the second half of the year.

    Talat said Turkeys EU accession would be reviewed at the end of this year, noting that Greek Cypriot side cannot prevent Turkeys way on its own. Swedens mission is very important as some other countries prefer to use Cyprus trump card.

    TRNC President Talat will proceed from Sweden to France on Friday, and meet United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the French capital. Talat is expected to return to TRNC on Saturday.

    Also, Talat's meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias scheduled for Thursday was delayed due to Talat's visit to Sweden and France. Talat was to meet Christofias at the buffer zone in Cyprus for the 25th time within the scope of comprehensive talks aiming to find a solution to Cyprus problem. Talat's envoy Ozdil Nami said that the Cypriot leaders were expected to meet on April 10.

    [02] Talat evaluates his meeting with the Swedish FM Carl Bildt

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.04.09) reported the following from Stockholm:

    President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), who held talks with Swedens Foreign Minister, asked the European Union (EU) to warn the Greek Cypriot administration.

    Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat spoke to reporters following his meeting with the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, in Stockholm. Pointing to the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus, Talat said that the EU matters were also being discussed within the framework of the full-fledged talks in the island and the parties managed to establish a close contact while assessing such matters.

    Talat said that the EU not lifting the isolations on the TRNC caused uneasiness among the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, this situation affected the negotiation process in Cyprus negatively. Therefore, EU member states should warn and motivate the Greek Cypriot party which is a member of the union as well, he said. Talat also said that his meeting with Mr Bildt was an important step towards the continuous contact and dialogue TRNC needed to establish with EU.

    Turkish Cypriot president added that he would hold talks with the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) in the French capital of Paris on Friday and he would ask the UN head to play a more active role in the Cyprus process during their meeting.

    [03] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers cover the meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader and the Swedish FM

    The todays Turkish Cypriot newspapers (03.04.09) cover the meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt under the following titles:

    YENI DUZEN: President Talat met with the Swedish Foreign Minister Bildt; Request from Talat for motivation.

    STAR KIBRIS: Convince the Greek Cypriots. The paper publishes the information about Mr Talats meeting with the UN Secretary-General in Paris today under the title, Uncertainty, and reports that Mr Talat will ask from Mr Ban Ki-moon to interfere on the issue of the course of the second round of the negotiations. According to the Turkish side, it is not certain whether a second round of talks will take place and if it does, how this will be held.

    HAVADIS: President Memet Ali Talat met with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. At the meeting Talat called on the EU to keep its word

    KIBRIS: Today is the meeting between Talat-Ban Ki-moon

    HALKIN SESI: The Greek Cypriots must be motivated

    VATAN: President Talat in Sweden

    ORTAM: Talat met with Swedish Foreign Minister

    VOLKAN: President Talat in Sweden: The EU must encourage and warn the Greek Cypriot side

    KIBRISLI: A call from Talat to the EU


    [04] Reactions created in the occupied areas of Cyprus after FM Kyprianous statements

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.04.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has accused the Greek Cypriot Administration of pursuing unethical and unprincipled policies in a bid to pressure Turkey on the Cyprus Problem.

    In a statement issued today, Foreign Minister Avci states that the recent statements made by the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister, Mr Marcos Kyprianou, showed that the Christofias Administration was not shy of admitting it was playing cheap games and tricks through its EU membership to seize concessions from Turkey for its own interests.

    He said the Greek Cypriot Administrations spokesman, Mr Stefanos Stefanou, had tried to put the blame of the current non-solution on the island on Turkey during a recent speech he delivered at the London Metropolitan University.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of being insincere at the negotiating table, Foreign Minister Turgay Avci said that the Greek Cypriot Administration was mistaken by believing that it can gain political advantages by exploiting its EU membership.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (03.04.09), in its front page under the title We shall receive a blow, reports that business organizations in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus reacted to the statement made by the Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou that Turkey should open its ports to the Cyprus vessels.

    The Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, Mr Ali Cirali, said that if Turkey opens its port to the Cyprus vessels before the solution of the Cyprus problem, the economy in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus will be affected negatively and added: This will be a heavy blow to the economy.

    The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Sua Saracoglu, said that if Turkey opens its ports to the Cyprus vessels before the solution and before the Turkish Cypriot economy is included in the Customs Union, this will be a great blow to the economy of the Turkish Cypriots and to the possibility for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Businessmen Association (ISAD), Mr Metin Yalcin, expressed the view that at this stage Turkey will definitely not open its ports and airspace and it will not recognize the South Cyprus. Mr Yalcin also added: However, if Ankara is forced and opens its ports, the economy of TRNC will be affected negatively.


    [05] The cost of living in the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased by 11.6%

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.04.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The cost of living in the TRNC has gone up by 1 percent over the last month according to figures released by the State Planning Organization.

    The overall increase in the cost of living for this year has been 11.6%. According to the figures, the highest rise was recorded in transportation. There was a drop in the price of communication as well as some other services.

    [06] France gives green light to Turkeys participation in EGF

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (03.04.09) reports the following:

    France, which had thus far resisted Turkeys participation in the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF), an initiative comprising six European Union member states -- France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Spain -- has finally given up its objection, with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner recently sending a letter to his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, about the issue.

    France is ready to support EU candidate Turkeys application to become an observer member of the EGF during the next inter-ministerial committee of the EGF, Kouchner said in the letter, Todays Zaman learned from diplomatic sources.

    France's move on the EGF issue comes only days ahead of an April 3-4 NATO summit co-hosted by France and Germany, at which US President Barack Obama will try to line up more allied manpower and money to fight the Taliban insurgency.

    Babacan and Kouchner are expected to hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the summit, diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman. In addition to the EGF issue, France's planned return to the NATO alliance is likely to be on agenda of the meeting. If no objection is raised, NATO members could agree to France's return to the alliance as early as the upcoming NATO summit in April, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the Western military pact.

    Kouchner's letter actually came after France proposed last month to send EU gendarmes to train paramilitary police in Afghanistan to step up training of Afghan security forces. Kouchner suggested at an EU summit that officers be sent from the EGF, which was set up under an agreement reached in 2004 to specialize in crisis management. Turkey could also be involved along with EGF members France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Romania, he said. The countries of this group, the European countries, have accepted, Kouchner told reporters after outlining the proposal to other EU foreign ministers in Brussels. We are going to try to make a joint proposition.

    France's reversal is apparently a consequence of its awareness of a potential contradiction in state policies if it were to continue its strong opposition toward Turkey's participation in the EGF while also planning to seek Turkish involvement in Afghanistan alongside EGF members. Back in the summer of 2007, France's objection, despite the strong support of the EGF's four other members -- Romania became a member in December 2008 -- led to postponement of a decision on both Turkey and Romania's applications for participation in the organization with "observer" status.

    Later, during a meeting of directors-general for political affairs at foreign ministries of the five member countries held in the Dutch city of Noordwijk, where they discussed the applications, all members except France supported Turkey's observer status within the force, but France didn't object to Romania's application.

    Efforts by Italy, a staunch supporter of Turkey's EU bid, to let Turkey into the force were then defeated by France's continuous objections, which eventually also led to postponement of the decision concerning Romania.

    France's block was then regarded as a blow to the improvement of security cooperation between the EU and Turkey, an EU candidate country and NATO member. The EGF's express purpose is to rapidly conduct a complete spectrum of civil-security actions, either on its own or in parallel with military assistance, as an effective multinational tool. The block was assumed to reflect the determination of French President Nicolas Sarkozy vis-ŕ-vis his staunch opposition to Turkey's EU membership bid. Sarkozy has repeatedly claimed that Turkey has no place in Europe and should be offered something other than membership.

    Improvement of cooperation between NATO and the EU is another problematic area for Ankara, as it urges the two international organizations to stick to existing cooperation mechanisms while, in fact, the two intend to design a new one.

    [07] A mini summit took place in London with the participation of Erdogan and Obama. Prime Minister Erdogans meetings in Britain

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (03.04.09) in its inside pages and under the title, Erdogan and Obama held a mini summit, reports that one of the most interesting moments of the G-20 Summit, which took place in London, was the fact that the US President, Mr Barack Obama, and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a mini summit afoot during the G-20 Summit. The paper reports that the Chancellor of Germany, Mrs Angela Merkel, the Spanish Prime Minister Rodrique Zabatero and the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkanende participated also in the ´mini summit´ during which Prime Minister Erdogan submitted the Turkish views on issues related to the functions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the increase of its budget and the structure of G-20. Afterwards, Obama and Erdogan discussed the details of President Obamas upcoming visit to Turkey.

    Moreover, the paper reports that views on the issue of the global financial crisis and NATO were exchanged at the mini summit.

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (03.04.09) reports on the same issue and writes that before the meeting, Erdogan held bilateral talks with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz and the Brazilian Premier Da Silva who invited Erdogan to visit Brazil. Moreover, Prime Minister Erdogan met also with the President of China, Hu Jin Tao. During the meeting, Mr Tao addressed an invitation to Mr. Erdogan and President Gul to visit China. According to the paper, the President of China stressed the need for more efforts to be exerted for the development of the relations between the two countries and said that the economic relations between the two countries are good. Mr Erdogan thanked the Chinese President for his invitation and said that they wish to exert efforts for the development of bilateral relations. As it was announced, Mr. Erdogan expressed also his will for visiting China this year and invited the Chinese President to visit Turkey as well.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.04.08) reports the following from Oxford:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his stance during the World Economic Forum in Davos was humanitarian. He added, we did not advocate any organizations.

    Prime Minister Erdogan, who is currently in Britain to attend the G-20 Summit, took part at a conference at the University of Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and delivered a speech on Turkey, Europe and the Islamic World. Referring to Turkey's EU membership process, Prime Minister Erdogan said: It took 11 years for Britain to become a member of the EU. Accordingly, it seems that we need to wait a bit longer. It is difficult to set a time frame. Some circles say that Turkey will become a member of the Union in 2015 or in 2016. We are determined to maintain our reform works in political, military, economic and commercial areas anyway.

    Replying to a question about what happened with President Shimon Peres of Israel in Davos, Prime Minister Erdogan said: I did my humanitarian task in Davos. A similar thing happened in Georgia and we did our task there too. We could not remain silent to such brutal acts against children, women, the elderly and defenceless people. We did not advocate any organizations. I recall the images of children killed in beaches. One cannot be unsentimental after seeing killing of those children. It is not humanitarian. For the time being, the Turkish Red Crescent sends aid to Gaza. After border crossings are opened, Turkey will extend support to Gazans to rebuild their infrastructure system, he said.

    Asked about the issue of terrorism, Prime Minister Erdogan said: All EU-member countries labelled PKK as a terrorist organization but why do they fail to act in line with that label? For instance, they know the whereabouts of its leaders. They arrest them. When we want extradition of the terrorists, they refuse it and send them to mountains in Irbil. I explained our concerns once again during the G-20 Summit.



    [08] From the Turkish Press of 02 April 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 02 April:

    a) Election Results

    Assessing the election results in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol argues that it has become evident that the CHP is not an alternative to the AKP. The party that inspires solutions to the global crisis will be victorious, maintains Akyol, adding that the CHP, having failed to inspire such a hope, did not increase its votes by much compared to 2007. Viewing the current state of the CHP, Akyol states that "it leaves the left leg of our democracy lame." Accusing the CHP of concentrating on symbols instead of concrete problems, Akyol predicts that if the CHP continues on this path it should not be so hopeful of the next elections either.

    Viewing the election results in an article in Milliyet, Dogan Heper expresses the belief that the most important message that has emerged from these elections is that the government has been implementing erroneous policies in the southeast. The election results indicate that politics in the southeast is locked on "ethnic identity," writes Heper, adding that "efforts such as the TRT 6 and similar ones have been beneficial not for the AKP, but for an ethnic identity, to be more precise for the DTP that has been pursuing a policy of Kurdishness." Wondering whether the erroneous policies pursued by the AKP will disrupt the unitary structure of the country, Heper argues that the use of the word "Kurdistan" by President Gul has also contributed to the decrease of the AKP votes. Some in the southeast and the DTP are oblivious to the political, cultural, and economic overtures, claims Heper, adding: "What they expect is the end of the unitary state. To this end, the DTP should be supported in the cities, and the PKK on the mountains."

    The general belief is that the AKP has registered a serious loss of votes in the recent elections, writes Mehmet Yilmaz in an article in Hurriyet. If the CHP and the MHP face their voters with new faces and programs that will appeal to the public in the next elections, then the AKP loss will be even greater, predicts Yilmaz, advising the AKP bureaucrats to abandon their old habits. Blaming CHP leader Baykal for disrupting the political balance in the country by bending the left toward his own "bureaucratic-statist" line, Yilmaz argues that "if we want to be hopeful about the future, the political balance in the country has to be restored."

    Assessing the election results in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand believes that the most important message conveyed was that of the Kurds in the southeast who stressed the importance of their Kurdish identity and who pointed to the DTP as their addressee. If we evaluate the election results with a clear mind, writes Birand, the first step to be taken is to include the DTP in the system and to embrace it "as the addressee for steps to be taken in the Kurdish issue."

    Making an analysis of the voters based on the election results in his column in Vatan, Mehmet Tezkan says that the voters in Turkey are divided into four groups, namely the Kurdish electorate that cannot be detached from the DTP, the secular voters who prefer the CHP, the nationalist-conservative voters who view the MHP as their party, and the religious-conservative voters who support the AKP or the Felicity Party (SP). This is the voters structure that has emerged from the recent elections, declares Tezkan, adding: "Turkey has been divided into four regions. From now on, it will be very difficult for the CHP, which was strong in Edirne, to receive votes in Erzurum or for the AKP, which was victorious in Konya, to succeed in Mugla. The MHP cannot enter Sirnak, nor can the DTP have a foothold in Usak. This is the picture of the new Turkey."

    In an article entitled "AKP and the others", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Dogan argues that the local elections have had the favourable result of consolidating the three-party structure of Parliament, adding that a powerful ruling party and a dual opposition model will have a normalizing and relieving effect on the system. He proceeds to call attention to an "unhealthy" state of affairs signalled by the outcome of the election, asserting that the results mean that political parties that emphasize identity politics and ideology have strengthened their positions vis-ŕ-vis the AKP, which defines itself as a party committed to public service.

    In an article entitled "Politics on a normalized basis", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru objects to the outcome of the local elections being represented as a major defeat for the AKP on the basis of a "mistaken" comparison between the results of Sunday's elections and the results of the 22 July elections in 2007. He claims that the AKP polled 47 percent of the vote in the 2007 elections thanks to a number of extraordinary developments that served to increase popular support for this party, such as military and judicial intervention in the presidential elections, the General Staff's issuance of a sharp memorandum against the AKP, which provoked "an even sharper" statement from the Government, etc.

    In an article entitled "Elections, economy, and the AKP's road map", Zaman columnist Ibrahim Ozturk warns the AKP about the way "AKP-ruled municipalities in the provinces have started to be associated with corruption." He calls on the AKP not to make the "mistake" of interpreting the election results as meaning that voters will continue to support the AKP regardless of increasing allegations of corruption against local AKP officials. He also advises the AKP leadership to set up a "corruption watch centre" at the AKP headquarters consisting of independent auditors.

    In an article entitled "A Poisonous Flower", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay analyzes the factors behind the Democratic Society Party's election "victory" against the AKP in the southeast, a situation which he claims means that the AKP's "public service policies" have been defeated by the DTP's "identity politics." He links the increase in the DTP's popularity to a change of rhetoric on the part of Prime Minister Erdogan in 2008 whereby he started to get across the message that demands for the recognition of the Kurdish identity come predominantly from intellectuals, that "ordinary Kurdish citizens" expect only to be provided with better public services, and that the problem in the southeast is an essentially economic one.

    Under the headline, "Election message to SP: Prepare to be voted into power," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which highlights a statement by SP leader Numan Kurtulmus evaluating the meaning of the increase in the SP's votes from 820,000 to 2,61 million. The report quotes Kurtulmus as saying that the SP will from now be factored into national political calculations.

    In an article entitled "Lessons to be drawn from the election results", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan reads the following messages into the results of the local elections: 1. A yellow card to the ruling AKP. 2. Politics resumes its normal course. 3. The argument that there are no alternatives to the AKP has collapsed. 4. Whoever works wins. 5. Voters start to support their own parties. 6. Election campaigns have been unsuccessful.

    b) US President Obama's Forthcoming Visit/Turkish-US Relations

    Viewing the oil reserves in Iraq and President Obama's possible requests from Turkey in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever writes: "Let no one expect Obama to disregard US interests." Turkey will be asked to contribute to Iraq's integrity and to protect north Iraq against a "Shiite-Sunni attack," maintains Ulsever, adding that he has no objection to this bargaining so long as Turkey "acts as a prudent merchant." Ulsever, however, is concerned that an AKP government that has been sidelined by its own Kurds will be incapable of being accepted by the Kurds of Iraq. In conclusion, Ulsever asks: "Won't President Obama, while discussing the issue of the Iraqi Kurds with the AKP government in Ankara, remember that this government does not have the support of its own Kurds?".

    Viewing the reasons why President Obama has decided to include Turkey among the first countries it intends to visit in an article in Radikal, Murat Yetkin assesses Obama's foreign policy team members as individuals who are well acquainted with Turkey and who appreciate its importance. Turkey's inclusion in Obama's visit is in line with the US view "not to lose Turkey, to try to gain it," writes Yetkin, adding that Prime Minister Erdogan's Davos outburst is also one of the factors that have contributed to this decision.

    c) Freedom of Press

    According to a report by Guven Ozalp in Milliyet, the EU, which has so far been silent about the freedom of the press in Turkey, is now giving signs that it is beginning to look at the issue from a different perspective. The report notes that the EU has begun to question the logic behind the tax imposed on the Dogan Media Group, adding that the emphasis placed on the issue by EU Commission Chairman Barroso and by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn are indications that the EU Progress Report to be prepared this year will focus on the freedom of the press and the fact that it does not meet European standards.

    A front-page report in Vakit, entitled "Israeli state owns 25 percent of Dogan Media Group," claims that it has turned out that Axel Springer, the late owner of Axel Springer Verlag AG and a partner of the Dogan Holding Company, donated all his assets including 25 percent of the Dogan Media Group to the Israeli state before he died in 1985.


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