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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-01-26

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] Downer: "Instead of talking about time limits, I think we must work for the success of the process"
  • [02] Erolgu ? Fule telephone conversation
  • [03] Talat is worried because the climate created in 2004 in favour of the Turkish Cypriots started changing against them
  • [04] YKP, BKP and KSP on the Geneva meeting
  • [05] Taner Etkin: "The sovereign existence of the state must be protected at any cost"
  • [06] Bagis to the EU: "Stop putting pressure to us"
  • [07] Elcil says "government officials are Turkey's puppet"
  • [08] "Ankara will also finish you off"
  • [09] Trade Unions Platform: "This government does not represent us"

  • [10] Turkish Premier's contacts in Ukraine
  • [11] Turkey and Saudi Arabia sign Joint Economic Commission protocol
  • [12] Turkish and US investment agencies sign good-will agreement
  • [13] Highlights


    The tripartite meeting taking place today in Geneva, Talat's statement and comments by political parties regarding the negotiations, Downer's statements to Kibris, the continuing strikes against the "government's" measures and reaction by trade unions, political parties and other NGOs, statements by Turkey's chief negotiator Egemen Bagis and other internal issues are the main stories in today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Downer: "Instead of talking about time limits, I think we must work for the success of the process"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.01.11) reports that Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cyprus, met yesterday in Geneva with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu. In exclusive statements to Kibris after the meeting, Downer said the meeting with Eroglu was useful and that they exchanged views regarding the process to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Asked to comment on the information published yesterday by Kibris that the Turkish Cypriot side will submit proposals for a solution in the meeting today, Downer said "this is what is expected" from the sides. Downer noted that he is not pessimistic about the process.

    When asked whether the UN Secretary-General could determine a time limit for the negotiations and declare this time limit as the Turkish Cypriot side wishes, Downer replied: "Instead of talking about time limits, I think that we must work for the success of the process."

    Responding to another question, Downer said the UN wishes for the sides to achieve progress in the talks, but this will be decided by the sides.


    [02] Eroglu ? Fule telephone conversation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.01.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu had a telephone conversation yesterday with the European Commissioner responsible for Enlargement, Stefan Fule.

    Citing reliable sources, Kibris writes that Eroglu conveyed to Fule the views of the Turkish Cypriot side and told him that they are exerting efforts so that a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached in the first quarter of this year. Eroglu noted the dissatisfaction of the Turkish Cypriot side over the statements made by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her recent visit to Cyprus. According to Kibris, Eroglu "pointed out to the biased stance of the EU".

    The paper writes that Fule thanked the Turkish Cypriot side for its efforts towards finding a solution. He pointed out to the importance of the solution for the EU and conveyed detailed information on some issues.

    Moreover, under the title "The job of the UN Secretary-General is difficult", Resat Akar, editor-in-chief of Kibris, reports that Eroglu is not staying at the same hotel in Geneva as President Christofias. The paper says that Eroglu cancelled the original reservation at Kempinski Hotel because the hotel management hoisted the flag of the Republic of Cyprus. Eroglu is now staying at the Intercontinental hotel, writes Akar who recalls that the flag of the Republic of Cyprus was designed by a Turkish Cypriot in the 1960's.


    [03] Talat is worried because the climate created in 2004 in favour of the Turkish Cypriots started changing against them

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (26.01.11) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, former Turkish Cypriot leader, said the image, which existed in the world that the Turkish Cypriots live in an occupied area and that they are a profiteering community, changed in 2004. "We have not the luxury of letting this turn to the opposite direction", noted Talat in a lecture on the Cyprus problem at a meeting organized last night by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in the occupied part of Lefkosia. The lecture was divided in two parts. The first part was open and the second close to the press.

    During the open part of his speech, Talat said prior to the Geneva meeting he wanted to warn that the Turkish Cypriots should work towards finding a solution, because they need it.

    Talat referred to a statement made by Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Cyprus, after a meeting he held recently with the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu. Commenting on Downer's statement that "it is not correct to bring old ideas onto the agenda again, this will have no benefit for anyone", Talat pointed out that this statement worries him and that Downer could not have said this out of the blue.

    Talat noted that he conveyed his worries to Eroglu, who will make the decisions with his negotiating team.

    Talat said he does not expect any "great development" in the meeting in Geneva and added that the duty of the Turkish Cypriot side should not be not to be accused for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, but to end the negotiations successfully with a solution.

    Referring to the reports published by the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus during his own term of office and the reports during Eroglu's term, Talat argued that during his time the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side to find a solution were praised by the UN Secretary-General. He added that he was startled by the recent report of the UN Secretary-General, which "equates the two sides and criticizes both sides for the loss of the momentum in the negotiations".

    "That is, the climate started to change", he noted adding that things started heading towards a situation where the Turkish Cypriot side will be criticized.

    He said he worries that the Turkish Cypriots will return to the past and "be faced with the accusation" that they are a community which lives in an occupied area.

    Talat also referred to the situation in the Turkish Cypriot community and said that "serious problems, chaos and conflict exist in the country", where groups belonging to the same social class are fighting against each other. As example for this, Talat cited the businessmen. He said that people deal with their personal problems and distance themselves from the Cyprus problem.


    [04] YKP, BKP and KSP on the Geneva meeting

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.01.11) reports that representatives of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) said they expected nothing from the meeting in Geneva.

    Alpay Durduran, member of the executive committee of the YKP, said his party was not satisfied with the course of the negotiations. Turkey has not decided to solve the Cyprus problem, noted Durduran adding that "we are victims of delaying tactics". "We do not expect a result from the meeting in Geneva. If the Turkish Cypriot community does not consider its own problem and if it does not revolt, there will be no solution," he concluded.

    Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the BKP, said they expect the UN is expected to increase its pressure on the two sides so that they contribute positively to the process. He said it is expected that the two community leaders, Turkey and Greece will be told that the current status quo cannot continue, the violation of international law is unacceptable and that we can get nowhere by submitting separatist proposals. He noted that the framework of the solution is known and that a united federal Cyprus within the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions is discussed at the negotiating table.

    Yusuf Alkim, general secretary of the KSP, said nothing is expected from Geneva and that there has been no change in the negotiations. He argued that the negotiations continue for the protection of the interests of the sovereign powers and not the people. "Therefore, we have no expectations," he said.


    [05] Taner Etkin: "The sovereign existence of the state must be protected at any cost"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (26.01.11) reports that the general coordinator of the "National People's Movement (UHH)" Taner Etkin, said in a press conference yesterday, that "the sovereign existence of the state should be protected at any cost".

    Etkin held the press conference in view of the meeting in Geneva. Etkin noted that "an agreement for a potential solution should bear in mind of that the Turkish Cypriots are one of the two separate sovereign peoples that live in Cyprus in their sovereign existing state, and no concessions should made on their sovereignty". He added that the opportunity to bargain the population and the "TRNC citizenship" should not be given.

    [06] Bagis to the EU: "Stop putting pressure to us"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (26.01.11) reports on statements by Egemen Bagis, Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU under the title "Turkish State Minister Bagis asked the EU to stop hiding behind the Cyprus problem and made a call: Stop putting pressure to us".

    Speaking to reporters in Bratislava, Egemen Bagis complained that, while Turkey fulfilled its obligations to the EU, the EU has not.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem, Bagis called on the EU to stop hiding behind the Cyprus problem and added that if one considers Cyprus' national interest, then Turkey's EU negotiation process is the cheapest and the most appropriate insurance policy. He asserted that the Greek Cypriot side has been rejecting all the proposals since 2003 and added that pressure on Turkey cannot continue.

    Bagis criticized the EU in relation to the Cyprus problem and, citing the EU decision of April 26, 2004, he said that if the EU Council implements its own decisions, Turkey is ready to open all its ports. He said Turkey will open its ports, provided the isolation imposed to Turkish Cypriots ends, flights to illegal Ercan (Tymvou) are launched and direct trade with the "TRNC" is allowed. He also sent the message to the EU that if it does not implement its own decisions, it is futile to expect new initiatives from them.

    Bagis said that Turkey will be ready for EU membership by the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014 and demanded from the EU a fair negotiation process.


    [07] Elcil says "government officials are Turkey's puppet"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (26.01.11), in its front-page reports with the above title, says that the head of Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) Sener Elcil, in a written statement sent to international institutions, embassies and unions, asked for their support for the general strike and the demonstrations. He also accused Turkey of driving the Turkish Cypriot community to annihilation.

    In his written statement, Elcil said that "the political pressure on the TRNC is increasing day after day", adding that "the officials in Northern Cyprus are Turkey's puppets." Elcil said that on the one hand, Turkey distributes citizenships to the population it pumps in the island. On the other hand, workers are forced to pay the price of the global financial crisis with 40% cuts on their salaries.

    Elcil adds: "Although Turkey is a guarantor it has begun to take over posts in the public administration in the north, with the population brought in." He added that with the population transfer the political will of the Turkish Cypriots is eradicated.

    Elcil concluded saying that "it was decided to fight against the communal annihilation with strikes at the ports, public departments and schools."

    [08] "Ankara will also finish you off"

    In a front-page report with the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (26.01.11) refers to the press release by the Chairman of "Solidarity Association of people from Alexandretta" Musa Erden, which calls on "the community to fight against Ankara government". He calls on everyone to participate and support the rally of "Communal Existence" on 28 January 2011.

    Erden compares Ankara's package with a straitjacket and says that "Turkey is squashing and humiliating the Turkish Cypriots, is driving them to emigration and annihilation and is preparing their end through [economic] packages".

    Erden also said that "if they do not want to be unemployed, hungry or emigrate, then they have to oppose the packages imposed by Ankara government". Calling on the "government to resign", Erden said that "the government should stop being the employee of the Justice and Development Party (AKP)".

    [09] Trade Unions Platform: "This government does not represent us"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (26.01.11) reports that the Trade Unions Platform issued a statement criticizing Irsen Kucuk's announcement regarding the 13th salary. The Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS), Ahmet Kaptan, who issued the statement on behalf of the platform, supported that a "government," which sells their political will for money, does not represent them but only serves policies intended to annihilate the identity and existence of Turkish Cypriots.

    Kaptan also accused the "government" for collaboration with AKP government in Turkey and that it only tries to reduce society's reactions and said: "For as long as the enforced measures exist and governments which try to flatter Ankara exist, the Turkish Cypriots will continue to lose." Meanwhile, strikes are continuing for the 12th day and planned to climax on Friday.

    The Turkish Cypriot Youth Platform also announced that it will hold a demonstration tomorrow to protest against the "government's" lack of interest. The Platform announced that it will actively participate in the march and the rally planned for Friday.

    Moreover, the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) in a written statement announced that it supports the rally and calls on everyone to participate and prove they are not spineless.


    Statements by Egemen Bagis in Bratislava on the Cyprus problem and Turkey's EU bid, Abdullah Gul's address of the plenary session of PACE, Erdogan's contacts in Ukraine and agreement to lift visa requirements, Babacan and Simsek to participate in the Global Economic Forum in Davos, the tripartite meeting today in Geneva, and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish press.

    [10] Turkish Premier's contacts in Ukraine

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 25.01.11), in the context of his official visit to Ukraine, the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a meeting with the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The meeting was followed by talks with the participation of delegations from both sides. Erdogan and Yanukovych attended the signing ceremony of an agreement on the establishment of a joint high-level strategic council.

    Speaking at a joint press conference, Erdogan said that Turkey and Ukraine, in an effort to improve their economic and commercial ties, desired to implement free trade and visa exemption agreements as soon as possible. Instructions have been given to intensify the negotiations to that end, Erdogan said.

    Describing the meeting with Yanukovych fruitful, Erdogan said it was agreed to turn the existing friendship and cooperation ties between the two countries into a strategic partnership, and the agreement signed for a high-level strategic joint council serves this goal.

    Erdogan said both countries had the power and potential to increase their 5 billion USD trade volume to 20 billion USD in the next 5 years and to 40 billion USD in the next 10 years. "We are two important countries of Europe and the Black Sea region," he said.

    Yanukovych said that the high-level joint strategic council is an important coordination mechanism and noted that Turkey and Ukraine mainly desire to cooperate on issues related to energy, transport, defence industry and visa exemption.

    In addition, addressing the joint meeting in Kiev of Turkey-Ukraine Business Council and Business Forum, the Turkish Premier noted that Turkey-Ukraine trade volume was 1.3 billion USD in 2002, 8 billion USD in 2008, and dropped to 4 billion USD in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, adding that trade volume in 2010 would reach 5 billion USD. Erdogan said that Turkish companies have so far undertaken 128 projects worth 3 billion USD in Ukraine.

    Noting that Turkey and Ukraine are two key countries in the transport sector, Erdogan said an agreement has been signed on railways, while the establishment of a ferry route between the two countries is being examined. Erdogan said that Turkey hosted 750,000 Ukrainian tourists in 2010, adding that the total number of tourists who visited Turkey last year was 28.5 million.

    Ukrainian President Yanukovych said Turkey is one of the 20 biggest Turkey's economies of the world and expressed his satisfaction that Ukraine is one of most important trade partners of Turkey.

    Noting that Ukraine and Turkey are located at a crossroads, Yanukovych said that transport was one of the most important cooperation areas for the two countries. He added that cooperation in energy such as construction of energy facilities and transfer of electricity energy is also important.

    During his visit, Erdogan was awarded an honorary doctorate by Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev on Tuesday. He also had a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.

    [11] Turkey and Saudi Arabia sign Joint Economic Commission protocol

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.11) reported that Turkey and Saudi Arabia signed a Joint Economic Commission (JEC) protocol in Riyadh on Tuesday. Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Saudi Arabian Transportation Minister Jubarah bin Eid al-Suraysiri signed the protocol.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, Simsek said that under the JEC protocol, Turkey's Privatization Administration, Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Administration and Investment Support and Promotion Agency would introduce investment opportunities to Saudi Arabian businessmen in Turkey as well as organize a programme to draw more Saudi capital in Turkey. Noting that big projects in construction and contracting sectors had been initiated in Saudi Arabia in recent years, Simsek said that the value of projects, to be completed by 2020, is expected to reach 700 billion USD.

    "We conveyed to Saudi party that Turks are ready to give technical consultation for the investment projects in that country," added Simsek. He said that also an important step was taken about food sector thanks to the protocol, adding that Saudi Arabia would allow white meat import from Turkey. "The two countries would cooperate in energy area too," said Simsek, adding that Turkish and Saudi officials would hold technical meetings, and discuss energy cooperation opportunities.

    Simsek announced that he will attend Economic Forum in Jeddah on March 12 and 13. The Turkish Premier will also participate.

    [12] Turkish and US investment agencies sign good-will agreement

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.01.11) reported that Turkish and US investment agencies signed a good-will agreement on Tuesday in Ankara.

    The agreement between the "Invest in America" operating under US Secretary of Commerce-International Trade Authority and the Investment Support and Promotion Agency (ISPAT) operating under Turkish Prime Ministry, was signed by the US Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael Camunez and the Chairman of ISPAT Ilker Avci.

    Under the agreement, the parties will serve as a "contact point" for actual and potential investors from the two countries who are in search of investment opportunities and leads. Parties will also facilitate meetings between investors in their countries and their counterparts and sector representatives in the target country.

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 25 January 2011:

    a) Turkish-Israeli relations/Turkish foreign policy

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News entitled "Prospects for Turkish-Israeli normalization worsen", Semih Idiz assesses Turkish-Israeli relations in view of the flotilla incident and the findings of the Turkish and Israeli investigating teams, adding that what is important is the UN-established Palmer Panel which was set up to find the "middle road" between Turkey and Israel. Idiz argues: "The situation therefore does not portend well as far as the Palmer Panel's desire to bring about a political rapprochement between Turkey and Israel is concerned."

    Guneyt Ulsever of Hurriyet Daily News views Turkey's idealist foreign policy which he describes as "new Ottomanism." Arguing that Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu want to establish "a commonwealth led by Turkey in the Middle East, the Balkans and in the Central Asia, similar to what Britain had with its former colonies," Ulsever believes that "such an ideal will not go anywhere, and that it will even harm the country."

    Mehmet Ali Birand of Hurriyet Daily News views Foreign Minister Davutoglu's cautious foreign policy approach to the Palestinian, the Lebanese, as well as the Iranian nuclear issues and the Missile Defence Project, and writes: "All these are signs that people have started to understand the reality in the region, and more importantly, the limits of Turkey's influence on developments and that they need not push these limits. I hope this sensitive attitude continues."

    In an article in Radikal, Erdal Guven views the Turkel report on the flotilla incident and concludes that the hope that Turkey-Israel bilateral relations could be normalized in the short or medium term has been lost.

    b) Iran's nuclear programme

    In an article in Taraf, Temel Iskit notes that the failure of the talks between Iran and the P5+1 group on Iran's nuclear programme did not come as a surprise. The writer predicts Iran will continue on its path to attain its goal. Noting that Ankara does not have many alternatives on the issue, the writer concludes: "The logical path for Turkey to follow is to suspend its role as the establisher of order and to try and continue its peaceful and balanced policy based on cooperation without seeming to be the guarantor of Iran and without antagonizing the West."

    c) AKP's election policies

    Writing in Taraf, Ahmet Altan criticizes the AKP for pursing issues such as the Kars monument, the TV series on Suleyman the Magnificent, and alcoholic beverages that have no election value. Altan warns that a significant section of the 58% that had supported the AKP in the referendum are moving away from the party and toward the CHP. Altan continues: "The main opposition party will receive votes in the elections not because of the hope it has created through its policies but because of the fear created by the AKP. What is the CHP doing while the AKP has done such a favour to the CHP? It is beginning to issues statements supportive of Ergenekon, Sledgehammer, and the coups." Accusing both parties of creating fear instead of hope, Altan argues that Turkey is full of fearful voters.

    d) CHP candidature for Balbay and Ozkan

    Milliyet columnist Guneri Civaoglu refers to the debate about Ergenekon suspects Mustafa Balbay and Tuncay Ozkan being nominated as CHP candidates in the general elections and writes that there is no legal obstacle to this plan. Civaoglu recalls similar cases in the past such as the case of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputy Sabahat Tuncel and columnist Cetin Altan, and writes ? "in my capacity as an Istanbul Bar lawyer and jurist, I believe that their election from the CHP list will be in favour of democracy. It would suit the CHP to open a 'legal tunnel' to get them out of prison instead of hesitating because of a linkage to Ergenekon."

    Hikmet Genc writes in Star that CHP's Suheyl Batum has given the green light to the candidacy of Ergenekon suspects, adding: "During the Baykal period, they were acting as the lawyers of Ergenekon. However, the 'new CHP' does not want to tackle the courts. It is planning a rescue operation with the shield of immunity. It is calculating how many deputies it can get elected from Silivri." The writer mockingly advises the CHP to propose candidacies to the Sledgehammer suspects as well, since they have organized so many seminars for the wellbeing of the country.

    Ahmet Insel argues in Radikal that for the military wing of the CHP the proposal regarding the candidacies of Balbay and Ozkan which is supported by CHP deputy leader Suheyl Batum --is not a tactical solution to end their long and unjust incarceration but aims at establishing an Ergenekon fighters group within the parliament. Noting that a CHP represented by Suheyl Batum is the most precious gift to be given to the AKP, Insel begins to suspect that a CHP with Batum, Balbay, and Ozkan might be a trap set by those who wish to consolidate the AKP rule. Questioning whether there are politically savvy politicians within the CHP who can foil this trap, Insel wonders whether they will allow the party to go beyond its mission to expose the judicial violations in the Ergenekon trial and to become the Ergenekon party. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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