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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-13

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 129/09 11-13.07.09


  • [01] Talat is holding contacts in Ankara about the latest developments in the Cyprus problem- Tension was created after the decision of Huseyin Ozgurgun not to accompany Talat
  • [02] Ten foreign families are facing the danger of losing the houses they bought at occupied Agios Epiktitos village
  • [03] Turkey not satisfied about Mahmoud Abbas recent statements on Cyprus. The Palestinian envoy briefed Turkish officials on the issue
  • [04] The general assembly of the World Association of Press Councils will reportedly take place in March 2010 in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [05] Irsen Kucuk said the issue of Turkeys guarantees is not open for discussion
  • [06] Cakici said has no hope on the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus
  • [07] More cases of the H1N1 virus were established in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] EU Commissioner interviewed by Turkish Hurriyet on the Nabucco project: The Commission fully supports the opening of energy chapter for Turkey
  • [09] Turkish officials: Turkey expects to receive 450 Million Euro from Nabucco
  • [10] Erdogan described as genocide the incidents in China
  • [11] Turkish Industrial Minister says Turkish government has no intend to boycott Chinese products

  • [12] Columnist in Todays Zaman presents the situation in China to be similar to the situation in Cyprus
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 09 July 2009


    [01] Talat is holding contacts in Ankara about the latest developments in the Cyprus problem- Tension was created after the decision of Huseyin Ozgurgun not to accompany Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.07.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat is going to Ankara today in order to hold talks with Turkish officials. Mr Talat, who traveled with the Turkish private plane known as Ata departed from the occupied areas of Cyprus at 9.00 in the morning. On his arrival in Ankara he would meet with President Gul and then attend a lunch to be given in his honor. Following the lunch, Mr Talat will meet separately with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Egemen Bagis. He will also attend a dinner that will be given in his honor. Mr Talat will be meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday morning and will depart from Ankara at 14.00 hours. The paper reports that Mr Talat will evaluate with the Turkish officials the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Furthermore, Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.07.09) reports on the same issue in its first page under the title Summit for Guarantees in Ankara and writes that the issue of guarantees, which is discussed at the negotiations, is expected to be taken up during the contacts that Mr Talat will have in Ankara.

    Moreover, Turkish Todays Zaman newspaper (11.07.09) reporting on the same issue writes the following: Talat and Turkish leaders will review the situation in the talks and try to set out a common stance, the Anatolia news agency said yesterday.

    Meanwhile, under the title The first tension, Kibris (12.07.09) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun, will not to accompany Mr Talat during his visit to Ankara and notes that this development created a tension between Talat and the self-styled government. The paper, which notes that the contacts of Talat in Ankara are of great importance since the issue of guarantees came on the agenda during the negotiations, writes that Mr Ozgurgun objected to the participation of two MPs of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Ozdil Nami and Mr Tufan Erhuman in Talats delegation.

    In addition, Kibris (13.07.09) further writes that the participation of Talats counselors in the delegation is not the only reason for which Mr Ozgurgun will not participate in the meeting. According to the paper, Mr Talat did not inform the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu about his visit to Ankara, despite the fact that they met on Tuesday.

    Furthermore, Kibris (13.07.09) writes that the fact that Mr Ozgurgun is not participating in Talats delegation to Ankara was covered by the press in Turkey as well. The paper writes that the Turkish Foreign Ministry held discussions on the issue and that various Turkish television channels gave a broad coverage to the issue.

    Kibris (13.07.09) further writes that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ferdi Sabit Soyer described as a political scandal the fact that the self-styled foreign minister will not accompany Mr Talat during his visit at a time when the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem are at the most critical point. Mr Soyer, who described as a tradition the foreign minister to accompany the president during his visit to Turkey, which is the only country that recognizes the occupation regime, also said that this action is not an insult only against the president of the occupation regime but against Turkey as well and added that it can undermine the strength of the Turkish side at the negotiations.

    The Turkish press reports on the same issue today (13.07.09) as follows:

    Hurriyets correspondent in occupied Lefkosia Omer Bilge under the title Talats visit to Ankara caused a crisis in TRNC, reports that the today visit of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat became the reason for a crisis between Talat and the so-called government. According to the paper, a crisis existed between the so-called government of the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the issue of appointing a representative from UBPs government in the ongoing negotiation process. Mr Talat decided to visit Ankara in a period when Turkeys guarantoship is being discussed. The self-styled foreign minister of UBPs government Huseyin Ozgurgun would also participate in the delegation that will fly to Ankara with the Ata private plane of President Gul. However, Mr Ozgurgun refused to attend the delegation by saying: We have already conveyed our views regarding the Cyprus problem during our contacts in Ankara. UBP officials said: We are not part of the negotiation committee. The foreign minister will not be a fashion model on the issue. According to the paper, it is the first time that a so-called foreign minister will not attend a visit to Ankara. Mr Talat and his delegation will meet with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The delegation will not meet with the Chief of General Staff Gen. 0lker Basbug, because the latter will not be in Ankara.

    On the same issue, Milliyet s correspondent in occupied Lefkosia Sefa Karahasan under the title Crisis in TRNC administration , reports that Talat included in his delegation for the visit his adviser and CTP deputy Ozdil Nami and his close colleague Tugan Erhuman. This created discomfort in the UBP. Mr Ozgurgun conveyed his discomfort to Mr Talat. Upon Talats statement I will take my men, Mr Ozgurgun changed his mind and will not visit Ankara with Mr Talat, in spite of the fact that he had stated before that he would accompany him.


    [02] Ten foreign families are facing the danger of losing the houses they bought at occupied Agios Epiktitos village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.07.09) reports that ten families, eight British and two Turkish families, who bought houses from the San Villas complex in the occupied Agios Epiktitos village, are going to lose these houses because the villas are going to be sold in order for the debts of the landowner to be paid. The land that the villas are built is mortgaged and in order for the debt to be paid, the villas are going to be sold together with the land. According to the paper, the landowner, Hasan Tacan Mesutoglu, had failed to pay a 450.000 Pound sterling debt to AK- Yap Ltd, the first developer of the site. According to the families, Mesutoglu has other properties in occupied Keryneia, but cannot be auctioned because they are registered in the name of his wife and daughter.

    Yesterday the families organized a protest gathering at occupied Bellapais where the villas were going to be auctioned and prevented the selling of the villas. They also stated that they will sue the occupation regime in the European Court of Human Rights if they lose the villas.

    Meanwhile, under the title Owners vent fury at auction, Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Times newspaper (11.07.09) reports the following:

    Furious homebuyers are planning to protest tomorrow at an auction of properties they bought but which are now being sold to pay the landowners debts.

    Families from Sun Villas, in Agios Epiktitos, yesterday failed in their bid for an injunction at Girne District Court to prevent the auction, at 10am at Beylerbeyi Caf, from going ahead.

    Girne-based lawyer Cenk Bolayir said homebuyers planned to appeal the decision but in the meantime the HomeBuyers Pressure Group intends a show of strength at 10am at the caf in Bellapais.

    Angry homebuyers outside the court yesterday told Cyprus Today that Hasan Tacan Mesutoglu, the owner of the land, had failed to pay a 450,000 outstanding debt to Ak-Yap Ltd, the first developer of the site.

    They claimed that Mr Mesutoglu had other properties on the Girne coastline but they could not be auctioned because they were under his wifes and daughters names.

    And they are threatening to sue the TRNC in the European Court of Human Rights if they lose their homes. Problems at the development started when Hasan Mesutoglu split with Turkish builders Ak-Yap, whom he had contracted to build 17 villas on his land.

    In 1992 a court ordered that all the properties be handed to Mr Mesutoglu. Twelve years later Mr Mesutoglu was ordered to pay 600,000 to Ak-Yap for work it had done. He handed over 150,000 at the beginning of 2006 but a balance of 450,000 remains.

    The villas were to be auctioned twice previously. But both times the homebuyers won injunctions to stop them.

    Following yesterdays verdict, Mustafa Okumus, who bought one of the villas from the site and has been living there with his wife and daughter for the last five years, said he hated North Cyprus.

    I paid 93,000. Now my house is going to be sold in an auction. When I asked him [Mesutoglu] when our title deeds were to be given and what happened to the money we gave him, he said that it was none of my business.

    We will go to the auction and ask people not to bid for our houses. If anyone attempts to bid, Ill start a fight.

    None of the state departments showed any interest in our problem. If this state cannot help us, I will go and seek help from the Greek Cypriot government.

    Tomris and Behaettin Ataseli, one of the two Turkish Cypriot families living on the site, bought their half-finished villa in 1993, which cost them around 75,000 to complete and furnish.

    Mr Ataseli said: We sold our property in England and invested all our money in this villa. We moved here because my husband has asthma.

    I say that only my dead body will leave this house. I will not leave alive.

    Linda Burton, 52, from Upminster, Essex, said she was very upset the court did not simply order that only the empty houses should be auctioned.

    The empty villas and empty land would generate enough money for the debts to be paid. I dont know why the court didnt give such a verdict, she said.

    Hasan Mesutoglu denied the homebuyers allegations.

    I have no money and no properties elsewhere. I did not transfer any properties into anyone elses name.

    Im in a very bad situation economically and I was prepared to give up the only properties I had to save the homes of these people. My conscience is clear, he said.


    [03] Turkey not satisfied about Mahmoud Abbas recent statements on Cyprus. The Palestinian envoy briefed Turkish officials on the issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.07.09) broadcast the following:

    Turkey has strongly reacted to the statements by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias in which they express support to each other.

    Palestine's ambassador to Ankara was invited to the Turkish Foreign Ministry headquarters in order to brief Turkish officials on the Palestinian president's recent remarks on Cyprus issue.

    According to a statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Palestinian Ambassador Nabil Maarouf said that Cyprus issue was not on the agenda of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' recent talks with Greek Cypriot officials.

    President Abbas told Maarouf that Cyprus issue was not discussed during the talks and only the situation in Palestine, the Middle East peace process and bilateral relations were discussed, the statement said. Palestine's embassy in Ankara released a statement on the issue earlier on Friday as well.

    In the statement, ambassador Maarouf said that Abbas did not deliver any remarks regarding the domestic matters of Cyprus during his recent visit to the Greek Cypriot side of the island.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the Greek Cypriot administration on the 8th of July and had a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias.

    The Greek Cypriot media wrote that Christofias thanked Abbas for Palestine's support to the "struggle" of the Greek Cypriots and for bringing up the Greek Cypriot thesis during the meetings of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

    [04] The general assembly of the World Association of Press Councils will reportedly take place in March 2010 in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (13.07.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Press Council participated in the Central Administration World Committee of the World Association of Press Councils (WAPC) which took place in Istanbul, between 8-10 of July. Organizations of the following countries participated in the meeting: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Hawaii, Malawi, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Kenya, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

    In a statement issued regarding the meeting, it was stated, inter alia, that the embargo of the TRNC, which in at any case deals a blow to the media as well, must be lifted totally.

    During the meeting it was decided that the last meeting of 2009 will take place in October in Nepal and the general assembly to take place in March in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.


    [05] Irsen Kucuk said the issue of Turkeys guarantees is not open for discussion

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.07.09) broadcast the following:

    The ruling National Unity Party Secretary General Irsen Kucuk has said that the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Demetris Christofias has once again proven that he does not support a solution to the Cyprus problem, with statements that he has been making.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, the Secretary General of the National Unity Party Irsen Kucuk said other leading officials from the Greek Cypriot Administration share the same stance as Dimitris Christofias.

    The Secretary General complained that the Greek Cypriot side had different intentions regarding the Cyprus Problem whilst the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat was constructively maintaining the negotiations process with good will.

    Demetris Christofias who recently sent a letter to the UN Secretary General demanding the return of the closed city of Maras to the Greek Cypriots, has demonstrated that the Greek Cypriot side intends to settle the Cyprus problem not through negotiations but through gaining the unilateral support of international community, said Kucuk.

    The real intention of the Greek Cypriot side becomes more clear when we bare in mind that they have asked for the significant amount of the Guzelyurt area to be returned and a canton area to be given in the Karpaz peninsular, he added.

    The UBP Secretary General also called on the international community, particularly the United Nations, to act in line with this reality and to put an end to the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Reminding that the issue of Security and Guarantees were currently being discussed by the two leaders at the negotiations table, Mr. Kucuk reiterated the Turkish Cypriot sides desire for a solution.

    We have no intention of surrendering our rights, and we have proven this intention with the elections results, he added.

    He continued by saying that Motherland Turkeys effective and active guarantee is not open to discussion.

    Kucuk said bizonality, equality and the prevention of the pre - 1974 period are fundamental for the TRNC people.

    [06] Cakici said has no hope on the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.07.09) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has said that he has no hope regarding the ongoing negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Cakici evaluated the Cyprus negotiations at a program of presented by Ada television the night before yesterday. He said that he participated in a meeting upon an invitation by the Swedish ambassador to Lefkosia and talked with President Christofias there. He noted that as he understood from what President Christofias told him, the agreement to be reached will be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus which will be turned into a bi-zonal federation.

    Mr Cakici alleged that the statements of the Swedish ambassador to Lefkosia contradict with the statements of the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs. He noted that the ambassador stated that Turkey should fulfill its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus, which an EU-member state, open its sea and airports to the Cypriot vessels and airplanes and withdraw its troops from the island. He argued that when he reminded to the ambassador the statements made by the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs who said that his country supports Turkeys accession to the EU, the ambassador refrained from answering.

    Mr Cakici estimated that Turkey will open its ports to Cyprus by the end of this year and argued that this will not mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.


    [07] More cases of the H1N1 virus were established in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title Panic in Gonyeli, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.07.09) reports that panic was experienced last Friday night at the closing ceremony of the first part of the International Folkloric Dances Festival, which has been organized by the so-called municipality of Gonyeli, when two girl dancers from Israel were taken to the hospital in the occupied part of Lefkosia as suspicious cases of the H1N1 grip virus.

    The self-styled mayor of Gonyeli, Ahmet Benli stated that they brought approximately 100 persons from abroad in order to participate in the festival, that they knew that there was a risk regarding those people having the virus of the grip and that they are sensitive on the issue. Mr Benli said that high fever had been established in two girl dancers from Israel and that these girls were taken to the hospital. He noted that it was established that these girls have the H1N1 virus. He said that the Israeli Embassy to Lefkosia was informed on this issue.

    Meanwhile, under the title Like a nightmare, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.07.09) reports that a 13-year old child, passenger in the flight of the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines from Stansted to the illegal Tymvou airport through the Turkish city of Gaziantep, was sick with the swine flu, did not take his medicines with him in the flight and started to vomit in the airplane.

    The paper notes that the virus was established in another five passengers from Iraq who were on the same flight and landed in Gaziantep.

    Havadis points out that the passengers who traveled with the sick persons were allowed to enter into the occupied areas of Cyprus without any control and it is not known whether some of them have the H1N1 virus.

    Officials from the self-styled ministry of health said that they found out about the incident from the mainland Turkish newspapers. The paper points out that the self-styled ministry was not informed on the issue by the Turkish Ministry of Health.


    [08] EU Commissioner interviewed by Turkish Hurriyet on the Nabucco project: The Commission fully supports the opening of energy chapter for Turkey

    Istanbul Hurriyet Daily (11.07.09) publishes the following from Istanbul:

    The Nabucco pipeline, which will carry Caspian and Middle Eastern gas to Europe via Turkey, will be designed to operate in the opposite direction in order to provide for the energy needs of Turkey in times of crisis. Turkey was right to be concerned about its own energy security, says EU Commissioner Piebalgs, adding Ankara got what it wanted.

    The intergovernmental agreement on the Nabucco pipeline project, which will bring Caspian and Middle Eastern natural gas to Europe, puts into place the physical infrastructure to alleviate Turkey's concerns for its own energy needs, a senior European commissioner has said.

    Turkey got what it wanted and probably more than it wanted, Andris Piebalgs, European commissioner on energy issues told Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review. Piebalgs answered questions from the Daily News in a written interview ahead of the signing ceremony for the agreement that will take place on Monday in Ankara. Piebalgs will come to Turkey to attend the ceremony for the agreement, which took years to negotiate.

    One of the reasons for the delay was Turkey's request for part of the gas allocated for its own needs.

    Turkey quite rightly wanted to make sure that its security needs were satisfied. I have always thought this was a normal and fair position, he said. It would not be acceptable to any country to see gas pass through its territory, destined for another market, when the domestic market is starved of gas. Turkey wanted a mechanism to avoid that, said Piebalgs, explaining the formula that allowed the consensus.The agreement puts in place the physical infrastructure for that to be ensured and then says that Turkey and the EU member states involved will respect commercial agreements that will supply gas to Turkey in the event of a crisis, he said. The physical infrastructure consists of pumps that work in both directions. Turkey traditionally has received gas from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran; in the future it could get its gas, if and when needed, from any source connected to the European Union grid, Piebalgs added.

    Subtitle: Complicated

    It took five years to bring Nabucco to this point, as this project is more complicated than other projects. Unlike previous pipelines, it would not simply connect at the border with a supplier; it had to cover at least five jurisdictions, inside and outside the European Union, and it has potentially five supplier countries.Although the European Commission was not directly involved in the choices to be made, it provided assistance to all sides at the negotiating table. Piebalgs compared the agreement to a train ticket. A train ticket sets the price to use a train from one place to another. The agreement sets the price for taking gas from one place to another, he said.

    Piebalgs dismissed criticisms that there is no gas to fill the pipeline. We will not be short of gas. There are many options, he said.

    I think Azerbaijan and its Shah Deniz and ACG fields are the top priority. Iraq is certainly important and a country that we have many hopes for. We are in regular contact with the Iraqi authorities.

    The commission started to explore possibilities for a buyer's consortium to achieve a critical mass for new production development in Turkmenistan, said Piebalgs. This is an area where we work closely together with Turkey, which shows a great interest in this project. Some other countries in Central Asia might also fill in the Nabucco pipeline in the future.

    Piebalgs was less optimistic on Iran as an option. Iran has major gas reserves and will surely export them one day, but today it imports gas. On top of that, there are the political and legal issues, he said. Until the outstanding questions are solved, Iran will remain a difficult option, he added.

    The commission will continue to closely follow the Nabucco project. We will be especially interested in the upcoming open season for capacity allocation, said Piebalgs, adding t hat there will be two objectives in this regard: that Turkey gets a sufficient amount of gas to ensure the security of its supply and that capacity is sold for the long term over the greatest length of the pipeline.

    The commission has a clear preference that gas from Azerbaijan be accommodated first.

    Subtitle: Turkey - EU relations

    The European commissioner for energy also commented on the significance of the Nabucco pipeline on Turkey-EU relations.

    Nabucco is a good omen. It is positive that Turkey and the EU not only discuss controversial issues but also manage to agree on a strategic project that is important for both sides, said Piebalgs.

    It strengthens ties between Turkey and Europe. Nabucco not only makes the political climate better, but it also creates a physical link between us. In the long term, as the project develops, Turkey will increase its political presence and importance through the project, he added.

    There is also one important psychological effect in the European Union: For the first time, millions of European citizens those who have suffered from gas shortages during the last winters will see Turkey as a 'major helper' in their quest for energy security. The same is also true in Turkey: For the first time in a domain as vital as energy security, Turkish citizens, businessmen and politicians will see that Turkey and the EU are dealing hand-in-hand with a common challenge.Piebalgs said the commission fully supports the opening of the energy chapter. It has been impossible to start talks on the energy chapter because of the Greek Cypriot veto. The delay is regrettable for the commission, he said.

    [09] Turkish officials: Turkey expects to receive 450 Million Euro from Nabucco

    Hurriyet Daily (11.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Some 2,000 kilometers of the 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline will run through Turkish territory. That is why Ankara expects to receive about 400 million to 450 million euros annually under an intergovernmental agreement to be signed Monday.

    The proposed 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline, hailed by Ankara as the project of the 21st century, will not only tighten the bond between Turkey and the European Union but will also bring financial gains.

    Because 2,000 kilometers of the pipeline will run through Turkish territory, Turkey expects to receive 60 percent of tax revenues or about 400 million to 450 million euros annually under an intergovernmental agreement to be signed Monday, said Foreign Ministry officials.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host the Nabucco summit in Ankara, to be attended by the prime ministers of the transit countries that the pipeline will cross -Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria - as well as EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and potential supply countries' ministers.

    Ankara sent an invitation to Russia for the multinational summit but has received no response so far, said officials.

    Aimed at breaking Russia's monopoly over natural gas supplies, Nabucco will transport 31 billion cubic meters of Caspian or Middle Eastern gas to the West via Turkey, which officials say is an indicator of the strong bond between Turkey and the EU. Its construction is expected to start in 2010 and be operational in 2014.The intergovernmental agreement will not include the natural gas shared among participant states because Nabucco is a private sector project and governments own neither the pipeline nor the gas to be pumped, said ministry officials. But in parallel with the pipeline construction, a Caspian Development Cooperation will be set up, a mechanism whose modalities are still being discussed. It is expected to provide gas for member states with more reasonable prices. Officials said it is not clear yet by whom Turkey will be represented at the platform.

    In the six-month period after the intergovernmental agreement is signed, the Nabucco consortium will pen a project support agreement with each participant government covering environment protection, insurance, property rights and currency transfer, said ministry officials.

    The intergovernmental agreement will serve to boost the credibility of the project. Potential supply countries will more seriously think about it, said an official.The European Investment Bank is expected to finance one-fourth of the project. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has also expressed willingness to provide financing once it sees gas supply contracts, completion agreements and technical parameters.

    The Nabucco project is expected to cost 8 billion euros, while South Stream is said to cost 20 billion euros. This is enough to prove that Nabucco is more realistic, according to an official.

    In Istanbul, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said, From now on, the EU will place cooperation and solidarity with Turkey at the forefront regarding energy. His remarks came after a meeting with Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR Chairman Rovnag Abdullayev. Turkey cannot open the energy chapter in its negotiations with the EU due to objection from EU member Greek Cyprus.

    [10] Erdogan described as genocide the incidents in China

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday the recent incidents that have taken place in China were genocide.

    Erdogan returned to Turkish capital of Ankara from Italy where he held formal talks and attended the G-8 Summit.

    Referring to the recent events in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Erdogan said, the incidents in China are a genocide. There's no point in interpreting this otherwise.

    Replying to questions of reporters at the airport in Ankara, Erdogan said, there is clearly savagery being committed there. Hundreds of people were killed. Nearly one thousand people were injured. We're having trouble understanding how the Chinese government would remain a bystander to this.

    [11] Turkish Industrial Minister says Turkish government has no intend to boycott Chinese products

    Hurriyet Daily (11.07.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Industry Minister Nihat Ergun, who called for a boycott of Chinese products over deadly riots and a crackdown in Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region, now says the government has no such official position. Erguns remarks are his personal opinion and do not reflect the governments stance on the matter, Industry Ministry spokesperson says.

    Just one day after calling for a boycott of Chinese products in response to recent unrest in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Industry Minister Nihat Ergun has had to backtrack on his statement. Ergun now says the government has no such official position, and that it is up to consumers themselves to decide whether or not to buy goods from China.

    If there is no respect for human rights, we need to take a stance toward this countrys products. We do not have to buy low-quality goods just because they are cheap, Ergun said Thursday, speaking in the central Anatolian province of Yozgat. We should check whether the country that produces the goods we consume respects human rights or not.

    Soon afterward, Industry Ministry spokesman Devlet Arik told Reuters that what Ergun had said was his personal opinion and did not reflect the governments stance on the matter. Deputy Prime Minister HYPERLINK "" \t "blank" Cemil Cicek, when asked to respond to Erguns statement, said, If the industry minister said something like that, he must have said so after assessing its pros and cons.

    Subtitle: Trade agreements

    Speaking Friday after the dismissal of his comments by his ministerial spokesman made it to daily Hurriyets front page, Ergun amended his stance, noting that he had not openly advocated a boycott of Chinese goods. The minister said the states had bilateral trade agreements that could not be broken, but that there were times when consumers can react on their own.

    Our consumers are intelligent. They can decide how to behave, he said during a visit to the neighboring province of Kayseri, and added that politicians could not tell the public what to do or what not to do. We cant tell the public not to react. Its up to them how to express their feelings. When asked about the contradictory stance taken by his spokesman, Ergun said: My spokesman expressed my opinions, not his. It was unjust of reporters to take his words out of context."


    [12] Columnist in Todays Zaman presents the situation in China to be similar to the situation in Cyprus

    Todays Zaman newspaper (01.07.09) publishes the following commentary by Beril Dedeoglu under the title: Xinjiang: double standards of global powers:

    When the USSR came to an end, academics specializing in international relations thought that a new and wide area of research had appeared before them and they had to modify the classical parameters used in their analyses.

    During the Cold War, it was relatively easy to look at everything through the perspective of bipolar balance based on socialism and capitalism. But when the Eastern Bloc disappeared, academics and researchers faced many difficulties. At that time, I was one of those who were saying: If China disintegrates, too, I'm going to resign. Young researchers will have to deal with this on their own.

    What's actually going on in China reminds us of the possibility that one day China may face the USSR's destiny. For a very long time, the Uighurs of Xinjiang have not wanted to be under China's authority. The Chinese government has always labeled this movement as separatist, and it has also added the qualification Islamist in the wake of the Sept.11 attacks. For China, the Xinjiang region is full of terrorists, supported by foreign powers, who contest the country's territorial integrity and legitimate authority in order to get political and cultural privileges. Chinese authorities have always seen the Uighurs as lower class compared to the Han Chinese population. From their perspective, Xinjiang is no different from the Basque region, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Iraqi Kurdistan and perhaps the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

    However, from the Uighur perspective, this is all about the right of self-determination. They want to get rid of an authoritarian government, use their natural resources for their own good and to govern themselves. They also probably think that in a time when tiny Kosovo's independence was accepted as legitimate, maybe their demands will be received in the same manner.

    But while Kosovo's independence is recognized, the KKTC is not considered an independent state; when the USSR fell, the Baltic republics were not seen as separatist; the world easily accepted the division of the Indian colony to create Pakistan; Israel was founded while Palestinians are still asking for their own state. The world is not fair because it's often third parties who decide which region, people or ethnic group will live under whose sovereignty. The global balance of power is still the main determinant, and when a group has bad timing or when it's not clear on whose side it will be once separated, the issue becomes complicated.

    When a central authority ignores or tries to suppress its own citizens' demands for more rights, it reinforces the separatist rhetoric. However, it's natural that many states face a dilemma about China because actors such as the US, the UK and Russia very frequently use double standards when they decide which population's demands are legitimate or not. As an example, if Russia supports the Uighurs, it could face numerous complications about its own Muslim-Turkish populations. If the US supports the Uighurs, it will have to clarify its position on Iraqi Kurds and Shiites, too. These two actors pursue their fight against terrorism rhetoric, so they choose to close their eyes to China's policy of violence. This is also a very complicated issue for Turkey. One can expect that this country, which has recognized the KKTC and Kosovo, will unmistakably support the Uighurs. However, that would be contradictory if you think about Turkey's Kurdish policy.

    The Xinjiang unrest is another example that in international relations, uncontrollable crises are inevitable when there are too many double standards. There is certainly a need to revise the present parameters.

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 10, 11 and 12 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 10, 11 and 12 July 2009:

    a) Controversial law on Trial of Military Officers: A report entitled "It is neither a victory nor a defeat" in Hurriyet (10.07.09) quotes Turkish Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin as saying that possible amendments to a law intended to bring military officers who have committed crimes to trial should be jointly agreed upon by his ministry and the Ministry of Justice in line with President Abdullah Gul's advice. Emphasizing that the ratification of the law by the President should not be regarded as a victory or a defeat, Ergin says: "Our efforts are not and should not be related to domestic issues. We must make endeavors in order to avoid lagging behind the rest of the world and to increase our country's share of democratic progress and global economy. We believe that we can achieve those goals by fulfilling our commitments during the process of accession to the EU and becoming a full member of the Union."

    A report entitled "AKP's [Justice and Development Party] Dual Formula Against Concerns" in Milliyet (10.07.09) says that AKP leadership is devising a strategy about possible amendments to the law which, it says, will be intended to clarify the concept of "military crimes" and to provide legal assurances for high-ranking military officers, including the Chief of General Staff about their official responsibilities. According to the report, anticipated amendments will be decided in consultation with the General Staff.

    In an article entitled "AKP has to listen to the President," Hurriyet Daily News (10.07.09) columnist Mehmet Ali Birand lauds Turkish President Abdullah Gul for doing the right thing by signing the controversial bill into law while advising the government to revise it in order to dispel the military's concerns. Pointing out that the final decision about possible amendments to the act will be made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Birand says: "The prime minister needs to prevent commanders from being pushed around, and the military needs to accept the increasing civil supervision. There has been enough tension and the message has been delivered."

    In an article entitled "Gul did not commit suicide and the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] should not too", Taraf (10.07.09) columnist Yasemin Congar praises Gul for signing the bill into law and not standing in the way of what she describes as a "civil revolution." Describing the Republican People's Party, CHP, which, she says, is expected to apply to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the law, as an outdated state apparatus which is not aware of the public's expectations, Congar also expresses her hope that the MHP will take a stance in favor of civilianization and not follow in the CHP's footsteps.

    Deniz Baykal, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, had vowed to take the bill to the Constitutional Court if President Gul approved it, recalls Radikal's Murat Yetkin in a commentary (11.07.09). Whether high court approves the bill or not, Yetkin argues, the ruling will have political repercussions both for the CHP and for the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. According to the columnist, whenever there is a debate on fundamentalism or the military, the AKP gains more votes, so even if the Constitutional Court annuls the law, politically the AKP will gain and the CHP will lose. That is why, Yetkin says, the extraordinary meeting of the CHP parliamentary faction on 13 July is so important. CHP leader Baykal has to make a very difficult decision, he concludes.

    b) Reactions to the incidents in China:

    A report entitled "Controversy Surrounding Minister's Call for Boycotting Chinese Goods" in Hurriyet (10.07.09) quotes Devlet Arik, press adviser to Minister of Industry and Trade Nihat Ergun as saying that the Minister's statement that Chinese goods should be boycotted reflects his personal opinion and the government has not made such a decision. Arik noted: "But, there is a certain degree of public outrage. Thus, these are issues which must be decided by non-governmental organizations, consumers' organizations, and consumers. The Chinese government should not ignore those reactions."

    In an article entitled "Minister of Industry's call for boycotting Chinese goods is wrong," Milliyet (10.07.09) columnist Gungor Uras points out that imports from the PRC plays a vital role in Turkish industry because Turkey imports machinery and equipment which it badly needs for its industrial development. He comments: "Today, our people do not boycott the goods of any country even due to religious reasons, let alone political motives. Similar calls (for boycotting Israeli, Italian, and French goods) were made in the past and they did not yield and result. Boycotting Chinese goods in response to the Minister of Industry's appeal would only be a dream."

    In an article entitled "Dangerous proposals," Sabah columnist Erdal Safak (10.07.09) says that Turkey demonstrated reasonable and "proportionate anger" in response to incidents witnessed in Xinjiang and draws attention to signs that things may get out of hand. Criticizing Ergun for proposing to boycott Chinese goods without taking into account that it may be regarded as a violation by the World Trade Organization and calculating its negative consequences for Turkey, Safak also advises the Turkish Foreign Ministry to refrain from taking the issue to the UN Security Council because it may cause Turkey to lose the PRC's support for various international issues.

    Under the headline, "The Chinese version of genocide," Milli Gazete (10.07.09) runs a front-page report which accuses "Red Chinese imperialism" of conducting a campaign of "ethnic genocide" in Eastern Turkistan by killing "thousands of Uyghur Muslims" and arresting "tens of thousands of others." According to the report, "the Han Chinese are lynching Uyghurs in the streets with sticks made on the same lathe, while the Chinese police and the entire world are watching from the sidelines."

    In an article entitled "Not 'Turks of Uyghur' But Uyghur Turks", Milli Gazete (10.07.09) columnist Afet Ilgaz criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for what she describes as his unawareness of the facts about the Turkic world indicated by his use of the term "the Turks of Uyghur" in reference to the Uyghur Turks. She claims that the "catastrophe" in Urumqi is not of the sort that the AKP could deal with successfully by issuing "evasive statements obviously prepared by the Foreign Ministry like the one released by Erdogan" recently, adding that the Government has been as ineffective diplomatically in responding to the events in Urumqi as it has been in dealing with the woes of Iraqi Turkomans, the Turks of Western Thrace, the Turks of Azerbaijan, and the Turkish Cypriots.

    In a first part section of his daily column in Hurriyet (11.07.09), Mehmet Ali Birand ridicules Industry Minister Nihat Ergun for calling for a boycott of Chinese goods in response to the harsh crackdown on Uyghur dissidents. "I did not want to believe," Birand says that our new industry minister called for a boycott of Chinese goods which, at $13 million, make up 15 percent of Turkey's total imports." Birand adds: "The fact that the minister fell into this trap is grave, even if the Ministry issued a very strange statement 30 minutes after the minister's remarks, saying the call was not binding on the Ministry, and that the remarks reflected the minister's own personal views."

    Fikret Bila pens an article in Milliyet (12.07.09), condemning the world for not taking any action against the ongoing "savagery" against Uyghurs in Urumqi. Bila maintains that ideas such as "human rights, democracy, or supremacy of the law" seem to be applicable only for certain countries and situations, adding that national interests and power shape international relations. Bila points out that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, government exerted efforts to change the direction of Turkey's foreign policy toward Arab countries. Alluding to Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas's statement supporting the Greek side's views in the Cyprus issue, Bila argues that the AKP efforts did not yield the desired results. "Ankara, which disregards the Turkic republics in Central Asia and runs to the Arab world, continues to be let down by the Arabs," writes Bila and concludes that "Turkey should improve its cooperation and solidarity with the Turkic republics in Central Asia."

    In an article entitled "Watching the Chinese in action," Sunday's Zaman (12.07.09) columnist Ihsan Yilmaz says that PRC authorities are implementing a plan designed to encourage Han Chinese to migrate to Xinjiang so that they can outnumber Uyghurs. Criticizing the United States and other Western countries for remaining indifferent to incidents in the region, Yilmaz comments: "Americans think they need the Chinese money, cheap products and cheap labor and so on. They will never be able to challenge China. But, they must know that a number of decades later, the Chinese will be on their doorsteps, asking for more."

    c) Turkey's Relations With Iraqi Kurds:

    Commenting on the latest report of the International Crisis Group entitled "Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble Along the Trigger Line" in an article entitled "Do Iraqi Kurds wink at Turkey?" Radikal (10.07.09) columnist Cengiz Candar says that Iraqi Kurds, especially those loyal to Mas'ud Barzani regard Turkey as a country with which they may form an alliance after the withdrawal of US troops. But, he notes, integration of northern Iraq with Turkey is not regarded as a strong possibility with the exception of closer economic ties. Candar also draws attention to unconfirmed reports that Turkish President Gul called US President Obama on 5 July in order to share Turkey's concerns about a law passed by the Kurdish Parliament in Arbil which describes all parts of Mosul as a part of Kurdish territory.

    In an article entitled "An unlikely dream," Vatan (10.07.09) columnist Gungor Mengi says that the Kurdish government in northern Iraq is in search of security guarantees after the withdrawal of US troops. Pointing out that Iraqi Kurds regard Turkey as the only realistic option according to the International Crisis group's report, Mengi says that Turkey takes a cautious approach to the idea of integrating northern Iraq with Turkey because it does not trust Iraqi Kurdish leaders in addition to concerns that such a move could fuel separatist tendencies in Turkey. Mengi concludes by saying that the proposal may deter Shiites and Sunnis from attacking Kurds.

    In an article in Milliyet (11.07.09), Guneri Civaoglu views "Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble along the Trigger Line," a report drawn up by the US think tank "International Crisis Group." According to the report, "North Iraq may be attached to Turkey, enabling the latter to have access to oil and natural gas in the Mosul-Kirkuk area." Civaoglu argues that "these are not mere words, but a possibility that should not be underestimated." Even if Turkey is not interested in that, he says, conditions may force it to accept such a situation. "The spirit of the times is pushing Turkey, even if it is unwilling, to be the leader of the region, and to expand its area of influence, even its geography," he stresses.

    Derya Sazak, too, writes on the same subject in an article in Milliyet (11.07.09). After viewing the report, he says: "Kirkuk remains a problem among the Kurds, the Arabs and the Turkomans. A referendum will be held soon. In this context, Turkey's 'Mosul issue' remains on the agenda. The normalization of the relations with north Iraq, the solution of the Kurdish problem in Turkey, and PKK's disarmament may offer a historic opportunity. That is why the statement Ocalan will issue in August is important. This is the right time for a new road map."


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