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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-11-26

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 <>



  • [01] Turkish Cypriot political parties comment on UNSG's report on Cyprus
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot newspapers and the UNSG's report
  • [03] Eroglu meets Bildt
  • [04] Tokel notes the need for a new "population census"
  • [05] Cerkez urges encouragement of investments by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople before solution
  • [06] Greek Cypriot illegally arrested in the occupied areas of Cyprus

  • [07] Press coverage of UN Secretary General's Report on Cyprus
  • [08] Merkel urges Ankara to act on Cyprus ports dispute
  • [09] Gul discussed the Cyprus problem with Swiss President
  • [10] Turkey risks increasing tension with EU ahead of elections
  • [11] Turkey becomes 15th biggest economy in the world
  • [12] Columnist views political implications of military suspensions
  • [13] Highlights


    Reaction by Turkish Cypriot politicians on of the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot leader's meeting with the Swedish FM, the call by the so-called labour minister for of a new "population census" in occupied Cyprus, and other internal issues are covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Turkish Cypriot political parties comment on UNSG's report on Cyprus

    According the illegal Bayrak website (25.11.10), the first evaluations of the Turkish Cypriot party-leaders regarding the UNSG's report on Cyprus is that it is balanced.

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that assessment of the report is continuing and that he will present his comprehensive views at a later stage. Explaining that the report is generally balanced in a way not to jeopardize the Geneva Summit at the end of January, Soyer said that the main duty of the Secretary General is to safeguard that the atmosphere for solution will not deteriorate. He also said what is important is the atmosphere after the January summit, adding "we are heading towards difficult situations". Finally, Soyer said that everyone has become weary.

    The leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici said that the report is detailed with serious statements. He added that it is unbiased and sets out the present realities. Cakici said that the two months until the January summit are very important and historic in planning how to overcome the differences.

    Pointing out that the Secretary-General gave an exact date for Geneva, the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) Turgay Avci said: "This means that Ban Ki-moon will not permit this work to continue for another 30 years without a time frame, this is very clear". Avci also said that this view in the report is an extension of the New York summit.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.11.10) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk described the report comprehensive and important and will also influence the future of the negotiation process. The UN Security Council stance after the report is also very important, Kucuk noted. He concluded that developments will be followed very carefully and that further statements will be made after the issue is discussed with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    [02] Turkish Cypriot newspapers and the UNSG's report

    Today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers (26.11.10) cover the UNSG's report on Cyprus highlighting mostly the statement by UN Secretary-General that there are fatal risks for the process. Newspaper headline:

    Gunes: "Ban Ki-moon: there are fatal risks"

    Volkan: "Ban: On the property issue the Turkish Cypriot side introduced new initiatives"

    Halkin Sesi: "Clear messages from Ban"

    Kibris: "A warning of dangers". Ban asked for a Cyprus settlement prior to the elections in Turkey.

    Havadis: "A fatal danger". Ban in his 9-page report uses pessimistic expressions.

    Haberdar: "The negotiations are at risk"

    Vatan: "....And the report is released!" "Ban: the end of the process in Cyprus may be fatal"

    Ortam: "Statements by the UN that make you sick and weary"

    Star Kibris: "A fatal failure"

    Afrika: "The negotiations may be suspended"

    Yeni Duzen: "The negotiations may be suspended"

    Kibrisli: "Warning of a fatal risk"

    Bakis: "Is it the end of the negotiations?"

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Observer: "It is their choice to make"

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Yeni Cag: "The UN entered a farewell atmosphere"

    [03] Eroglu meets Bildt

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.11.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu held yesterday "extremely important contacts in Sweden which is closely interested in the Cyprus problem for years and is known for its support to the Turkish Cypriot side in internationally". According to the paper, Eroglu's most important contact of Eroglu was his meeting with the Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Bildt.

    In statements before the meeting, Bildt said that the ongoing negotiating process is an opportunity for the reunification of the island. He noted that the Cyprus problem has an international dimension and pointed out that the issue is important for the EU as well. "We will discuss all these issues during our meeting", he said.

    Eroglu said that it was his first visit to Sweden, thanked Bildt for meeting with him and noted that he would convey to the Swedish Minister information on the recent meeting in New York with the UN Secretary-General and the views of the Turkish side regarding the ongoing negotiating process.

    Asked whether the meeting in January will be a "final date" for the negotiations, Eroglu said he would discuss this with Bildt. Asked what would happen in the future if there is no result in the process, Eroglu noted that he was not the one who would take this decision. "We will start an intensive process in order to reach an agreement and we will meet again in Geneva upon the invitation of the UN Secretary-General. The solution of the problem is on my agenda", he added.

    Eroglu reiterated that the solution of the problem does not depend on him only and that the two leaders will try to solve it.

    Eroglu expressed his satisfaction that "Sweden maintains its impartiality". Asked whether Sweden could undertake the role of mediator in Cyprus, Eroglu argued that President Christofias does not accept mediation. Responding to the same question, Carl Bildt said: "The negotiations are held for a long time. The sides know the issues which are being negotiated. The important question here is how the political will increase. We have good communication with both sides. However, the process and the political will belong to them. I have recently met with esteemed Downer. I was informed on the New York summit. The progress now depends on the political will of the sides".

    Both Bildt and Eroglu replied to "allegations" that some political parties in the occupied part of the island want the partition of Cyprus. Bildt said that the reunification of the island would create a great economic power. Eroglu alleged that they want a viable agreement and not division.

    The meeting between Bildt and Eroglu lasted one hour. The Turkish Cypriot leader met earlier with Goran Lenmarker, chairman of the Administrative Council of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Gustav Blix, MP with the Moderate Party and member of the parliamentary commission on the EU, Raoul Wallenberg, assistant of the UN Secretary-General responsible for legal Affairs between the years 1994-2004 and Hans Korell, president of the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. No statements were made before or after these meetings.


    [04] Tokel notes the need for a new "population census"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (26.11.10) reports on statements of the so-called minister of labour and social security, Turkay Tokel, who noted that the number of the unemployment figures in the occupied areas of Cyprus is around 15,000. Speaking during the meeting of the economy, finance, budget and planning committee of the so-called parliament, Tokel, said inter alia, that unemployment is an important issue and that unemployment figures people rise daily, noting that preventive measures should be taken.

    Emphasizing that a new "population census" is needed in the occupied areas, Tokel said that there are people who in 2006 were not counted for various reasons. He added that the census is very important in employment planning.

    [05] Cerkez urges encouragement of investments by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople before solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan (26.11.10) reports that the 48th Regular General Assembly of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) was held the day before yesterday. Addressing the assembly Gunay Cerkez, chairman of the Chamber, said that during the meetings KTTO holds with the "embassy" of Turkey in the occupied part of Lefkosia, members of the Turkish government, Turkish NGO's and mainly with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) of Turkey, it asks for the encouragement of business and investment partnerships on the island between Turkish and Turkish Cypriot businesspeople, before a possible solution to the Cyprus problem. He noted that if this is not done, the economy of "northern Cyprus", which is already weak, will further deteriorate when a solution is reached.

    Cerkez reiterated the Turkish view that the EU should keep its promises to the Turkish Cypriots in 2004. He said that everybody accepts that the "Direct Trade Regulation" prepared by the EU before 1 May 2004, "was not at the desirable level financially" and added that the primary target of the Chamber now is to secure export of the goods included in the Customs Union through the Green Line.

    Cerkez expressed the view that if Turkey opens its ports to the vessels under Cypriot flag, the ports in the occupied areas of Cyprus, including the illegal Tymvou airport, should be opened simultaneously.

    Referring to the financial situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Cerkez said that everybody should assume responsibility in order to overcome the existing problems.


    [06] Greek Cypriot illegally arrested in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.11.10) reports that a Greek Cypriot named Michalakis Savva (56) has been arrested by the breakaway regime's "police" for buying blackbirds, rabbits and wild pigeons in the occupied areas of the island and attempting to cross over to the government-controlled areas of the Republic. He stated that he had bought them for 210 Euros from a Turkish Cypriot named Mustafa Mani (70). They both appeared in "court" in occupied Famagusta yesterday. Savva was released on bail of five thousand Turkish liras. Mani's bail was two thousand Turkish liras.



    Reports concerning the release of the UN Secretary General report on the Cyprus problem, statements by the German Chancellor on the Cyprus problem, Erdogan's contacts and statements in Lebanon, Gul's contacts in Switzerland and statements on the Cyprus problem, Davutoglu's forthcoming visit to Washington and other internal issues are some of the main stories featured in today's Turkish press.

    [07] Press coverage of UN Secretary-General's Report on Cyprus

    Under the headline "Negotiations in Cyprus might come to an end", Turkish daily Sabah (21.11.10-online version) reports that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that in case solution on the Cyprus problem is not found by the end of the forthcoming summer, the negotiation process "might end fatally". The paper reports further on statements by self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk who said, inter alia, that the report is comprehensive and that it contains some very important elements that might affect the future of the negotiation process.

    Hurriyet daily (25.11.10, online), covers the issue under the headline "An 'election' warning from Ban for the negotiations in Cyprus". The paper writes that in the report includes a warning that an agreement must be found on the island before the general elections in Turkey and Cyprus next year.

    Turkish daily Zaman (26.11.10) reports on the issue under the title "The negotiation will die in case a compromise is not found on the island before the elections".


    [08] Merkel urges Ankara to act on Cyprus ports dispute

    According to Today's Zaman German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Turkey to open its ports and airports to traffic from Cyprus, emphasizing that a dispute between the EU and candidate Turkey blocks Ankara's path for membership.

    Speaking to a group of Turkish reporters in Berlin on Thursday, Merkel said Turkey must implement the Ankara protocol, which the EU says makes it a legal obligation for Turkey to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels. "We have to achieve progress in this area," Merkel said, adding that she will visit Cyprus early next year to do her share to speed up efforts for a solution.

    Stressing that Germany and Turkey are two "friendly nations," the German chancellor said that the recent visit of German President Christian Wulff to Turkey also made an important contribution in this sphere.

    Merkel praised ties with Turkey, saying that it is a friend of Germany, and that the two countries could learn many things from each other. The German leader also said Turkey, a dynamic country with a young population, was a significant political and economic partner and an important ally within the G-20, NATO and in the Middle East.

    [09] Gul discussed the Cyprus problem with Swiss President

    Turkish daily Hurriyet (26.11.10, online version) reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul met yesterday with Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation.

    Speaking during a joint press conference in Bern, Doris Leuthard stated that Turkey's investments increased by 50% since 2002 and that this indicates how strong the Turkish economy is.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Leuthard said that the Cyprus problem was discussed during the meeting and that they agreed on the necessity for a solution to be found the soonest.

    In his statements, Gul said, inter alia, that Turkey and Switzerland have good cooperation in political issues and that the two countries should boost economic cooperation.


    [10] Turkey risks increasing tension with EU ahead of elections

    Under the above title Hurriyet Daily News (25.11.10) reports: "Turkey's government risks ratcheting up tensions with the European Union to score points with voters back home in the lead-up to general elections next June, according to analysts and EU diplomats.

    'Turkey can no longer make any gestures especially about the Cyprus issue as the elections are coming. The language employed by Turkish politicians could harden in the coming period, Nilg?n Ar1san, an EU expert from Ankara-based think tank TEPAV, told the H?rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. A lack of an opening from the EU side could give the government the chance to challenge Brussels, she said.

    The initial signs of policy tension on the part of the government emerged earlier this week when Turkey's top EU negotiator, Egemen Ba1, told a conference that,  If tension is expected from us, we are ready for that, too. His remarks irked EU circles in the Turkish capital.  We are concerned about any escalation in rhetoric during the election process, one EU ambassador told the Daily News on condition of anonymity.

    Another EU diplomat also said it was a sensitive time, adding that there were many opportunities as well as risks. 'It would be a real shame if such an important issue for the future of over 70 million Turkish people was subordinated to short-term politics.'

    Another Luxembourg crisis?

    'I don't believe the ties will reach a point of complete rupture. I don't expect another Luxembourg crisis,' said Can Baydarol, an expert on Turkish-EU relations from Istanbul's Bilgi University. 'That would benefit neither Turkey nor the EU,' he said, adding that it is unlikely that relations would proceed in such a fashion. 'It is necessary to turn a new, white page and the two sides should take symbolic steps.'

    'The two sides' positions on Cyprus are quite clear. If some progress had been made on the EU Commission-proposed direct trade regulation, Turkey could have taken some steps forward, but under the current circumstances it is hard to expect bold steps from the government with only seven months left until the elections, said TEPAV s Ar1san.

    Cost of rupture in Turk-EU ties

    Any breakdown in Turkish-EU relations would be heavy for both parties, politically and economically, according to analysts and diplomats.  Turkey and the EU both gain from the accession process and eventual Turkish membership,' the EU diplomat said. 'That requires patience from both sides ? the prize is great enough. Turkey's economy is improving but any breach with the EU would only damage the recovery,' added the diplomat.

    TEPAV s Ar1san said two-thirds of foreign investment in Turkey was from EU countries.  Turkey cannot risk a breakdown in ties. 

    [11] Turkey becomes 15th biggest economy in the world

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.11.10) reports that according to the data provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Turkey is the 15th place, above Indonesia and below Canada, in the new ranking of the world's biggest economies in terms of size of national income.

    Turkey's position has been revised following to a correction made by the Council of Ministers in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures in the country's 2011 Programme. With the correction, Turkey's Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) based on national income size, previously 947.83 billion USD for 2010, is now 1.1 trillion USD.

    Turkey's PPP-based per capita income has also changed with the latest correction. Turkey, which was listed as the 63rd country in the world with its 13,038 USD per capita income for 2010, is now ranked 54th with a per capita income of 15,392 USD.

    [12] Columnist views political implications of military suspensions

    Today's Zaman columnist Emre Uslu argues in his article that the recent removal of the generals was rightful. However he argues that there are political implications which he summarizes as follows:

    Kemalists and Ulusalc1s (neo-nationalists) will perceive this decision as a threat to their identity and the very institution representing the Kemalist core in the country. Therefore, the Republican People s Party (CHP) will want to portray the decision as a step toward civilian authoritarianism. The Kemalist distrust toward the government will deepen, while AKP supporters and liberal circles approve of the decision and see it as evidence of the normalization the country. The decision will be an issue in the upcoming election in Anatolian towns.

    Though it will provoke the military officers, they have very limited abilities to develop counter-policies. In the long term, however, those who consider themselves untouchable will think twice before getting involved in unlawful activities.

    In view of the upcoming elections the military will try to surface AKP's wrong doings, such as corruption.

    It will be a test case for the CHP leaders to show whether or not they are sincere in their statements in support of more rights and advanced democracy in the country."

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 25 November 2010:

    a) Reaction to the suspension of two Generals and an Admiral

    Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila says that the government aims to pave the way for the retirement of Major General Gurbuz Kaya, Major General Halil Helvacioglu, and Rear Admiral Abdullah Gevramoglu who were suspended on the grounds that they are among a group of officers accused of planning to stage a military coup. He adds: "The General Staff is of the opinion that they should be promoted if the Military Supreme Administrative Court renders a judgment in their favour. It is not clear whether [President Abdullah] Gul, [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, and [Minister of Defence Vecdi] Gonul would sign a decree for their promotion which seems to be a remote possibility unless the government changes its stance."

    Milliyet columnist Mehmet Tezkan says that the two generals and the admiral were suspended because they had filed a lawsuit in the Military Supreme Administrative Court in order to be promoted and the court ruled in their favour. He notes: "If anybody who has refused to obey every decision made by the ruling party and applied to a court to protect his or her rights is eventually punished and pays a price, we could not speak about democracy and law. It could only be described as an authoritarian regime."

    Hurriyet Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli says that if the aim was not to force the full Supreme Military Council to discharge those three generals, since the indictment was accepted by the court back in July, the suspension decisions were late, too late."

    Star columnist Mehmet Altan he says: "I hope that this very positive move made by the political government which proved its power, will pave the way for more systematic, meaningful and democratic steps while ensuring a lasting transformation."

    Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan says that the government made a historic decision but points out that it "should understand that it cannot manage things by delaying its decisions and that making its moves at the right time is of crucial importance."

    Yeni Safak report on the suspension of two major generals and one brigadier general describes the development as "a first in the ongoing process of normalization".

    Yeni Akit in a front-page report lauds the Government for its "brave" decision to suspend three high-ranking members of the Turkish Armed Forces. The report describes the AKP's move as a first since Former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes' removal of some 16 generals from office in 1950.

    Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone claims that while the ministers used an authority defined by law in removing the said officials from their posts, the mere exercise of this authority means that the Government has become de facto capable of implementing the executive powers vested in it by the democratic system.

    Today's Zaman columnist Kerim Balci describes the Government's removal of "three generals" from their posts as "a salvo by the [Erdogan] administration to claim absolute control in its zone of authority."

    Today's Zaman columnist Emre Uslu asserts that "Kemalists and neo-nationalists" are likely to perceive the Government's removal of three TSK officials from office as "a threat to their identity and the very institution representing the Kemalist core in the country." He also predicts that the CHP will "spin" the AKP's move as "a step toward civilian authoritarianism."

    b) NATO summit; missile shield

    Hurriyet Daily News columnist Cuneyt Ulsever and says: makes a general assessment of the recent NATO summit "It has been clearly explained to Turkey that it cannot run totally independent policies in the Middle East without breaking up with the West first. In other words, Turkey is told that it should make a choice."

    Cumhuriyet columnist Oktay Akbal criticizes Turkish dailies supportive of the ruling Justice and Development Party for hailing the outcome of the Lisbon summit as a great achievement. Pointing out that there were widespread protests against the scheme in other NATO member countries, he says: "The US President convinced our leaders to accept his demands by patting them on the back while keeping the button of the missile shield in his hand. What is expected of us is merely to share the huge cost of the installation of the missile shield."

    Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin says that Erdogan tacitly referred to Israel and its attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, during his visit to Lebanon. He says: "Being aware of the fact that protecting Israel against a possible Iranian attack is the key objective of the Missile Shield as far as the United States (in addition to France) is concerned, Erdogan launched a diplomatic offensive in Lebanon." Yetkin adds that Erdogan has made it clear that NATO information and systems should not be shared with Israel without first getting his consent which, he notes, will be conditional upon Israel's agreement to pay compensation and to offer an apology.

    Yeni Safak columnist Akif Emre asserts that Turkey's decision to become part of NATO's missile defence project will put it in the position of a western or US "outpost" as it used to be during the Cold War. He also criticizes "conservative" groups including "those who are trying to redefine Turkey's axis" [i.e. the ruling AKP] for "sharing a sense of victory" over the results of the Lisbon summit with "those who see their own future as being linked to the US axis" [i.e. pro-US circles in the news media].

    Zaman columnist Fikret Ertan argues that the missile defence project represents a scientific and technological challenge and endeavour for the United States. He also finds it "obvious that being part of this project will promote Turkey's interests scientifically and otherwise."

    Writing in Zaman, Bekir Cinar asserts that in the wake of the Lisbon summit, NATO is no longer a defence organization only but also one that will carry out preemptive security missions, a situation which means, for example, that it might want to maintain the security of oil and natural gas pipelines in Turkey against terrorist threats. He also claims that the Strategic Concept adopted at the summit will have to entail revisions to the "bulky" structure of the TSK in line with new threat perceptions and new defence concepts.

    Milli Gazete columnist Ali Haydar Aksal slams President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Erdogan, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for agreeing to have NATO install missile defence systems on Turkish soil "in the name of realpolitik." He also underlines the "hypocritical" quality of the Government's policy on the missile defence project which he asserts belies Erdogan's walkout from his debate with Israeli President Peres at Davos.

    c) US-Turkish relations

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News entitled "Everything Changed When Israeli Lobby Turned Away," columnist Mehmet Ali Birand points out that there is mounting criticism of Turkish foreign policy among US congressmen mainly due to the strong influence of the pro-Israel lobby, which, he argues, has closed the doors of the Congress to Turkey. Birand adds that conservatives within the US Government blame Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for changing Turkey's direction and "injecting Islamic ideology in foreign affairs."

    d) Kurdish question

    Cumhuriyet says that Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir who was strongly criticized by PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan for saying that armed struggle has become outdated, will not make public statements for a while in order to alleviate tension. According to the report, Baydemir proposed to tender his resignation but the BDP leadership convinced him not to resign. The report also notes that the KCK or the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan tacitly advised Baydemir to admit that he has made a mistake.

    Star columnist Sedat Laciner says that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan uses the PKK as a tool for forcing the Turkish government to improve his conditions in prison and to release him eventually. He comments: "Ocalan has no means other than PKK or terrorism to bargain. Disbanding the PKK would mean Ocalan's demise. What we are witnessing here is a good terrorist and bad terrorist game. On the one hand, Ocalan tells the government to negotiate with him by creating the impression that he controls the organization, but on the other, he cautions that the government could never resolve the problem if it declines to work out a deal with him."

    e) Reaction to cancellation of Nobel Laureate's visit to Turkey

    Milliyet columnist Asli Aydintasbas attacks Zaman columnist Hilmi Yavuz for leading a campaign against Nobel laureate and author V.S. Naipaul on the grounds that he is opposed to Islam and advocates colonialism, despite of the fact that Naipaul has not actually said anything denigrating Islam and Muslims. She warns that the campaign may eventually target some other well-known writers who strongly criticized Islam or praised fascism and militarism.

    Milliyet columnist Mehves Evin describes criticism levelled at Naipaul that he is "a servant of imperialism" as an example of double standard because Turkey is a member of NATO and ascribes great importance to her alliance with the United States. She wonders how this attitude is compatible with tolerance, democratic culture or freedom of expression?"

    f) Opinion poll on headscarf

    A report in Star says that an opinion poll conducted by a group of academics for the Turkish Businesswomen's Association has shown that an overwhelming majority of people share the opinion that women who wear headscarf do so because of their faith and that women should be free to make their decisions about their clothes. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said that they were against the ban preventing female civil servants from covering their heads while 26.5% of people interviewed expressed support for the ban. The opinion poll was conducted in 26 Turkish provinces. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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