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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-02-07

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] Erdogan demands legal action against protesters
  • [02] Eroglu meets with political party leaders after his telephone conversation with Erdogan
  • [03] Davutoglu criticizes the banners and the slogans against Turkey
  • [04] Eroglu's statements on anti-Turkey rally
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot press on Erdogan's statements
  • [06] Protest by trade unions outside the Turkish "embassy"; Many unions are not participating
  • [07] Talat will meet Erdogan in Ankara
  • [08] BKP reiterates the demand for a population census in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [09] Land leased to an Israeli firm in occupied Rizokaprasso

  • [10] "Cold winds blow between Turkey, 'TRNC' after protest"
  • [11] Paying off
  • [12] How columnists view Erdogan's statements about Cyprus
  • [13] KOBIDER chairman criticizes Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions
  • [14] Highlights


    The statements made on Friday and on Sunday by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the rally held in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 28 January is the main issue in the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend. The papers also refer to the reactions of Ahmet Davutoglu, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Dervis Eroglu, Irsen Kucuk, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, Serdar Denktas, Mehmet Cakici, Izzet izcan and trade union leaders to these statements. The meeting of the political party leaders with Eroglu in search for communal consensus, the continuing protests against the economic measures imposed by Ankara, BKP's repeated demand for a population census in the occupied areas of Cyprus under UN observers, and other internal issues are other matters covered by the press over the weekend.

    [01] Erdogan demands legal action against protesters

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.11) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and asked him to bring to "justice" those who carried banners against Turkey during the "Communal Existence Rally" on 28 January.

    Erdogan responded to press questions yesterday at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport before departing for Hatay. Asked to comment on the reaction caused in the occupied areas of Cyprus by his recent statements against the Turkish Cypriots (Tr. Note: See Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review of 04.02.2011), and the protest to be held today on this issue, Erdogan said he discussed the issue with Eroglu. He added that this was the attitude of a group "connected with the south", as he described the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Erdogan recalled that participants in the rally carried the flag of the Republic of Cyprus. He added that he examined carefully all the films of the rally and saw no Turkish flag. He described the demonstrations as "undemocratic" and said the banners included insults and curses" against Turkey. He said the necessary steps should be taken regarding these incidents. He noted that this is not the "way the TRNC people" approach the situation, adding that this is the behaviour of a "certain group which we know", a group "which gives the south the glad eye" and "wants to blow up the peace process".

    Erdogan added: "I think that the TRNC administration will take the necessary stance against this group which wants to dynamite [the peace process]. We will also do what is necessary, our share. We are doing it, because we cannot tolerate such an insult, such behaviour. I have conveyed this to the esteemed president of the republic a while ago. I said: 'You have to show the necessary attitude. Who are these people? We have the film of all of these in our hand. They should be brought to justice. No permission should be given to such insults against Turkey with curses and banners. You have to do what is necessary'. They say 'we know who supports these people'. 'If you know, do whatever is necessary', we said. We, Turkey, cannot forgive such an attitude against Turkey, which until the period prior to 1974, had given its life, blood and everything for the TRNC".


    [02] Eroglu meets with political party leaders after his telephone conversation with Erdogan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with the leaders of the parties represented in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime. The meeting was held after Eroglu's telephone conversation with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, writes the paper adding that no decision was taken regarding bringing to "justice" those who held banners and shouted slogans against Turkey during the rally on 28 January.

    The self-styled prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the chairman of the Democratic party (DP), Serdar Denktas, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici and the chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Turgay Avci participated in the meeting which lasted about three hours. The paper writes that internal and external issues were discussed in the meeting which was held with the participation of the spokesman and the special adviser of Eroglu, Hasan Gungor and Kudret Ozersay respectively.

    In statements after the meeting, Kucuk said Eroglu launched an effort to reach communal consensus among the political parties regarding the recent developments. He noted that they discussed the events deriving from the financial problems and the "sensitivity" shown by the political parties, the trade unions and the civil organizations. He said Eroglu will call another meeting once the parties make their own assessments.

    Soyer said everybody should accept that the rally held by the Turkish Cypriots on 28 January was a "democratic action". He alleged that the "demands of the people" were not discussed because of the slogans against Turkey and added that the relations with Turkey are important for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the economic development of the breakaway regime. He noted that it is wrong to say that the rally was an action against Turkey. He said there will be reaction if Turkey is presented as the "IMF of the TRNC". He argued that it is obvious that the economic package "brought no benefit" and asked for a dialogue on economic measures that should be taken. He said the existence and the identity of the "Turkish Cypriot people" should be protected.

    Serdar Denktas said it was observed during the meeting that "there is a greater consensus in not endorsing the practices of Turkey's Aid Delegation" in the occupied part of Cyprus. He reiterated his view that the "government" should resign and a "government of technocrats" should be established in order to bring about reforms "appropriate for the Turkish Cypriots". Referring to the statements made by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Denktas said it is "inadmissible" to compare the Turkish Cypriots to "servants". He noted that Erdogan has also been deceived with the lie that the rally was organized together with the Greek Cypriots. "As Turkish Cypriots we showed that we will say no to enforced measures even if they come from Turkey's representatives here", he concluded.

    Mehmet Cakici expressed the belief that Erdogan was misinformed and added that the Turkish Cypriots were hurt by the fact that they had been compared to "servants" and the accusation that they organized the rally in cooperation with the Greek Cypriots. He said the TDP participated in the rally because it is against the imposed economic package. He noted that the allegation that the rally was held in cooperation with the Greek Cypriots is "figment of imagination", adding that the "government" of the regime believe this as well. He said that together with all the political parties, efforts will continue until the "economic package" is withdrawn and measures appropriate for the Turkish Cypriots are taken. He said they told the "government" that they are ready to try to reach a consensus, otherwise it [the government'] has to resign. Referring to the rally, he noted: "For me, it is indicative that the weight is put on one-two banners and the essential message is lost, but I think that silencing and intimidating the Turkish Cypriots will lead to adventures".

    Turgay Avci recalled that his party did not participate in the rally on 28 January because of the slogans have been used. He said all the political parties should oppose slogans which could harm relations with Turkey. He expressed his party's readiness to help in the improvement of the package of economic measures. Avci said Eroglu wanted to issue a joint statement calling for communal consensus, but this was not possible despite the fact that the ORP approved text.

    Kibris reports that the view regarding taking to "justice" those who chanted slogans and held banners against Turkey in the "Communal Existence Rally" was discussed during the meeting. When reminded of Erdogan's demand, Cakici, Soyer and Denktas said that according to the "laws" of the breakaway regime this action does not constitute a crime. Contrary to what Erdogan expected, no decision was taken on this issue during the meeting, reports Kibris adding, however, that the parties agreed to continue discussions in order to achieve communal consensus.


    [03] Davutoglu criticizes the banners and the slogans against Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.11) reports that Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed his support to the statements made by Prime Minister Erdogan on Cyprus and criticized the banners and the slogans against Turkey during the rally held on 28 January in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In statements to Turkish journalists who participated in the 47th Security Conference in Munich, Davutoglu was asked to comment on statements made by the Prime Minister Erdogan and the main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on the Cyprus problem.

    He argued that Kilicdaroglu is the last person who could talk about Cyprus and reiterated that during Justice and Development Party's (AKP) rule, Turkey's aid to the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased significantly. He said: "Turkey, as motherland, has made and will continue making all kinds of sacrifices for the TRNC. All the Turkish governments have a strong will on this issue. ...However, what we are saying is the following: The Turkish people of northern Cyprus should support this relation. And it is not possible to understand the fact that some vested interests take an attitude which encourages external centres to criticize the state of Turkey, using as pretext the economic reforms or causing such a debate internally. Our esteemed prime minister emphasised that if an economic reform is needed, a restructuring, this should be done by the TRNC and materialized there. Again we will not avoid making sacrifices. However, no one can tolerate statements accusing Turkey on this issue, or impolite behaviour towards our ministers who go there".

    Davutoglu argued that they could not accept such criticism against Turkey cannot be accepted, when Ankara makes so many sacrifices for the Turkish Cypriots. When asked to comment the word "servants" used by Erdogan for the Turkish Cypriots, Davutolglu noted that he did not want to say more on this issue. "Let us not try to cause a debate", he said.


    [04] Eroglu's statements on anti-Turkey rally

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 06.02.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in a press release, evaluated the remarks made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the Trade Union Platform rally held recently. Eroglu said that it was only natural for Turkish officials to have different reaction regarding the meeting.

    Underlining that such protests are against the values they have been defending until now and harm the struggle for existence of the "TRNC" as well as the ties with Turkey, Eroglu said, "Demanding the rights is one thing, but attacking our guarantor and motherland Turkey and displaying unrealistic attitudes is another thing."

    Noting that the Jan. 28 protests, which Premier Erdogan also denounced, went beyond the limits of civilized way of demanding rights and liberties, targeting outrage against Erdogan, Eroglu said: "It is quite normal that Turkish officials have showed the appropriate reaction against such attitude. But, there is also misinformation. Some slogans during the protests made our people on the island, who are struggling for national existence for decades, to feel sorry."

    Explaining that developments over the last few days raise concern because of the dimensions it has taken, Eroglu said "defending the national cause and the future of the state are being put at risk".

    Recalling that he sent a letter to PM Erdogan on Jan. 24 to clarify his opinions and concerns over the event, Eroglu said that they will continue being in touch with the mother land officials.

    Eroglu said: "To maintain strong relations with the mother land Turkey is crucial for a just and lasting agreement in Cyprus. Otherwise, the other side will immediately start to use our internal problems at the negotiation table, to take advantage of them. As a matter of fact, such concrete signs are emerging."

    Eroglu added that "in this critical phase on the island, it is imperative for the Turkish Cypriots to behave wisely, so as not to harm our vital rights. The reason why we have reached this point today is the unity and brotherhood that exists with motherland Turkey". He called on "everyone to be well aware of this fact and bear it in mind'.

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot press on Erdogan's statements

    All the Turkish Cypriot newspapers refer today (07.02.11) to the new statements made by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the rally held on 28 January and his telephone conversation with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu asking him to bring to "justice" those who shouted slogans against Turkey.

    The headlines of the papers are the following:

    Kibris: "We have no punishment for this". Above the title the paper reports that Erdogan asked Eroglu to "do what is necessary" with those who "insulted Turkey".

    Star Kibris: "'This is not an attitude of the entire TRNC people''. The paper writes that Erdogan called Eroglu and softened his stance.

    Yeni Duzen: "Rebuke from Erdogan to Eroglu".

    Halkin Sesi: "Crisis with the 'take them to court'". The paper reports that Erdogan caused a "crisis" first by describing the Turkish Cypriots as "servants" and yesterday by calling on Eroglu to take Turkey's opponents in the rally, to "court".

    Gunes: "Erdogan's target is the opponents of Turkey".

    Bakis: "Joint reaction".

    Afrika: "Put everybody in jail". The paper reports that Erdogan watched carefully the film of the rally and opened a file on those who held banners against Turkey.

    Kibrisli: "Two steps forward, one step backwards".

    Havadis: "Anger by Erdogan regarding the banners".

    Haberdar: "Send away those who are ungrateful, let them go away".

    Ortam: "Disagreement".

    Volkan: "I was talking about the collaborators of the Greek Cypriots". The paper reports that Erdogan clarified what he mecent with his previous statements.

    Vatan: "Now it is ok".

    Moreover, the Turkish Cypriot press on Saturday (05.02.11) covered as follows the first statements made by Erdogan (See Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review 04.02.11):

    Kibris: "He will call him to account in Ankara". The paper reports that Erdogan had strongly criticized the Turkish Cypriots noting that they hold activities against Turkey "without being ashamed".

    Yeni Duzen: "It is enough". The paper reports that the Turkish Prime Minister reprimanded the Turkish Cypriots. It also publishes statements on the issue by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), Irsen Kucuk, "prime minister" of the regime, and the Trade Unions' Platform. Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriots are not "servants", but honourable people. Serdar Denktas noted that the Turkish Cypriots did not deserve such words from Erdogan. Kucuk said Erdogan was right and criticized the rally, writes Yeni Duzen. The platform said "this country is ours and we are going to administrer it".

    Bakis: "We are neither supporters of the Greeks nor servants" says the paper referring to statements made by Serdar Denktas.

    Gunes: "We will walk hand in hand with the motherland". The paper writes that Irsen Kucuk argued that Erdogan's statements are a reaction to the "nasty words" said in the rally against Turkey. He noted that the "government' will do whatever is necessary and continue its course together with Turkey.

    Afrika: "And who are you?" This is what the paper is asking Erdogan who referring to those who shouted slogans against Turkey asked: "Who do you think you are?" The paper writes that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said Erdogan insulted the Turkish Cypriots.

    Kibrisli: "Who do you think you are?"

    Halkin Sesi: "Erdogan saddened the Turkish Cypriots".

    Havadis: "Earthquake".

    Vatan: "It is not ok Mr Tayyip".

    Volkan: "Do not be deceived".

    Ortam: "Inappropriate and shameful".

    Haberdar: "One minute from Tayyip to the TRNC as well".

    Star Kibris: "Ankara, which has been stabbed in the back, is in shock".

    Cyprus Today (Weekend): "Erdogan: Who do you think you are?"


    [06] Protest by trade unions outside the Turkish "embassy"; Many unions are not participating

    Under the title "The Platform has been dissolved", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.11) reports that the trade unions have not been able to agree on the activity to be held today outside the Turkish "embassy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia, while their strikes for an indefinite period of time and other protests against the decisions of the "government" continue and expand.

    The paper writes that the statement that the platform would hold a protest today outside the "embassy" and the "prime minister's office" against the statements by Prime Minister Erdogan caused conflict among the trade union officials. Some of these officials told Kibris that they would participate in the protest, while some others said they had not been informed about such an activity and they would not participate.

    Mehmet Ozkardas, Kamu-Sen's chairman said the platform has not taken such a decision and no one had the right to make such a statement on behalf of the platform.

    Sener Elcil, KTOS' general secretary, said that Guc-Sen, KTAMS, KTOEOS, Cag-Sen. Bel-Sen and KTOS will be participating in the protest.

    Ahmet Kaptan, KTAMS' chairman, said the protest would be symbolic and not all 32 members of the Trade Unions' Platform would be participating.

    Adnan Eraslan, chairman of KTOEOS, said this was a protest which the platform decided in its latest meeting. He noted that KTOEOS would be represented.

    Mehmet Seyis, chairman of Dev-is, said they were not informed about the protest outside the Turkish "embassy".

    Memduh Ceto, Guc-Sen's chairman, said they were not informed about the protest, but they would participate.

    Arslan Bicakli, chairman of Turk-Sen, said the platform has not taken such a decision and added this protest could be organized only by some trade unions.


    [07] Talat will meet Erdogan in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (07.02.11) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat will meet with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan today in Ankara. According to information broadcast by NTV television, the latest developments will be discussed in the meeting. No official statement was made on the issue.


    [08] BKP reiterates the demand for a population census in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.02.11) reports that Abdullah Korkmazhan, organizational secretary of the United Cyprus party (BKP) reiterated the demand of the party for a population census in the occupied areas of Cyprus in the presence of international observers.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Korkmazhan noted that in Geneva the Turkish Cypriot leader rejected the proposal to hold a population census in the occupied part of Cyprus under the UN. Korkmazhan said it is absolutely necessary to know the population figures.

    He added: "No one knows the population figures in the northern part of Cyprus is. Mr Eroglu himself does not know this. Not knowing the population in the northern part of Cyprus prevents progress to be achieved in the negotiating process, and especially on the chapters of property and territory".


    [09] Land leased to an Israeli firm in occupied Rizokaprasso

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (07.02.11) reports that an Israeli firm leased in a low price a plot of land of 270 donums [Tr. Note: land measure of about 1000 square meters] in occupied Rizokparpasso area after acquiring permit to build a hotel and marina. The paper writes that the firm is planning to build the marina and the hotel, only on the 70 donums. In the remaining 200 donums, the firm will build houses which will be sold, reports the paper.

    The firm is exerting pressure on the "government" to extend the "lease agreement" to 99 years, instead of 49 as agreed at the beginning. "The project was approved in line with a special law prepared during the period of CTP-ORP government", notes the paper adding that this paved the way for leasing the areas for a period of 99 years.

    Star Kibris argues that the land belongs to Evkaf religious foundation and wonders whether this property will be given to the use of private persons for 99 years. It further wonders whether the "officials" of the regime are aware that the firm is planning to sell the remaining 200 donums of land.



    The highlight of the Turkish press over the weekend include a ground-breaking ceremony for the joint construction of the Friendship Dam between Turkey and Syria and statements by Erdogan that a new border crossing would be opened between the two countries in the coming months, FM Ahmet Davutoglu's meeting with US Secretary of State on the sidelines of the 47th Munich Security Conference, Turkey's PM Erdogan statements describing the Turkish Cypriots as ungrateful and subsequent reaction, the New York Times comment that many experts in the region said that Egypt might look to Turkey for valuable lessons, and Kilicdaroglu's comments that even Mubarak does not have Erdogan's powers. Moreover, the papers also cover the closing of the 25th Winter Universiade Games, blasts in the industrial zone OSTIM in Ankara killing 20 people and a meeting between Turkey's PM and the "Saturday mothers", a women's organization trying to locate missing family members.

    [09] "Cold winds blow between Turkey, 'TRNC' after protest"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 07.02.11) with the above title reports that a protest against austerity measures in the occupied part of Cyprus has strained ties between Ankara and the breakaway regime as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at anti-Turkey slogans, bluntly pointing out that Turkish soldiers died to protect Turkish Cypriots and that it is the Turkish financial assistance that helps the "TRNC authorities pay the salaries of civil servants".

    On Sunday, Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, who is in charge of Cyprus affairs, appeared to put the blame on Turkish Cypriot groups that they said have links with the "Greek Cypriot administration".

    Cicek, speaking to Today's Zaman, said protesters worked in cooperation with "elements supported by the Progressive Party of Working People [AKEL]," the former party of Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias.

    Cicek blamed "bad management" of the economy for the current austerity measures in the occupied areas of Cyprus, adding: "One of the main problems of the TRNC economy is mismanagement of the funds coming from Turkey. When the global economic crisis came on top of this, the Turkish Cypriot government had to take some measures. But trade unions and opposition parties blame Turkey for this." Cicek also accused Turkish Cypriot leaders of remaining silent in face of protests against Turkey until Erdogan spoke out.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 06.02.11), under the title "Turkish PM demands action against Turkish Cypriot protesters , reports that the leader of the main opposition Republican People s Party (CHP) Kemal K1l1cdaroglu told reporters at the Munich Security Conference that  The prime minister s statements on [northern Cyprus] are really unfortunate .

    K1l1cdaroglu also said:  Turkey is a country that defends its rights and interests. We know it is a very important country for Turkey. We are their advocates in the international arena. Saying,  Do not talk, do not protest in return for our aid,' is not a statement that a Turkish prime minister can make."

    CHP leader also said Erdogan's earlier statements on other issues, such as the revolts in Egypt, were corrected later by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, adding that he was sure Davutoglu would correct this one as well.

    [11] Paying off

    Hurriyet Daily News Economic Review (06.02.11) publishes the following article entitled 'paying off'. Kanli begins by recounting a story titled "Diyet" (Pay off) by Omer Seyfettin, an outstanding story writer of the late Ottoman, new republican period.

    "That story is about an ironsmith who was accused of theft. Kadi decides that one arm of the ironsmith should be severed as punishment. A butcher comes forward and pays ransom for the arm of the ironsmith on condition he works his lifetime at his butcher's shop. The butcher, an arrogant man, keeps on reminding the ironsmith what great good he did for him, he should be respectful for what he did for him and must know that had he not paid the ransom for his hand, he would be a disabled man thus should work very hard. Fed up with this constant abasement one day the ironsmith cuts his arm and throws to the butcher, saying, 'I am paying off your ransom.'

    Turkish Cypriot people, constantly abased by their 'saviours' are quickly approaching the pay-off stage as well. Since 1974, quite frequently, they were encountering shoppers from Anatolia demanding freak discounts in prices of souvenirs but up until very recently the Turkish state has always been like an embracing mother trying to defend its small baby from all probable ills. Now, apparently, the Turkish government has started the 'abase the Turkish Cypriot' campaign.

    One reason, might be, the fact that the Justice and development Party (AKP) government in Ankara has realized that as they are under such an inhumane international isolation and since Greek Cypriots are unwilling to agree to any settlement other than what they want to impose on Turkish Cypriots there will never ever be a Cyprus resolution, time must have come to bring to line those 'spoiled' Turkish Cypriots who not only complain about the growing number of mainland Turks in northern Cyprus but also believe they deserve a better democracy and a better living standard than their mainland Turkish brethren.

    As if since the 1974 intervention in the northern third of the island it was not the systematic policy of the consecutive Ankara governments not to let Turkish Cypriot people become economically independent and thus Ankara maintain the stick ? financial contribution ? in its hands all the time, as early as the mid-1980s, anyhow, Turkish governments have started 'explaining' to Turkish Cypriot governments that 'whoever pays for the fife, blows the whistle.'

    The Turkish assistance, or 'budgetary contributions' as it was often worded, has always been instrumental, for example, in domesticating the troublemaker Rauf Denktas. Yet, neither past Turkish governments publicly ridiculed top Turkish Cypriot executives and politicians, nor Turkish Cypriot politicians came up with public statements complaining about Turkey's 'wrong approaches.' Yet, Denktas was touring, for example, Anatolian towns, gathering support and Turkish governments were feeling compelled to bow to 'requests' from the 'Cypriot headache.' Yet, all through the past decades, never has a Turkish premier publicly declared that Turkey is in Cyprus because of its strategic interests, not for the defence of Turkish Cypriots. That was the saddest sentence in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's latest insult to Turkish Cypriots.

    Despite the strong 'persuasive' capacity of Ankara, Denktas could not be convinced, for example, to support the so-called Annan plan and the AKP government in Ankara found a 'supporter,' Mehmet Ali Talat, and continued that process with him. Yet, despite almost triple the Turkish assistance, in five years Talat and his socialist government landed in a total administrative mess, had to call early elections and transferred first the government and later the presidency back to the center-right National Unity Party (UBP) which was founded by Denktas. There has been no disparity on almost any issue between the Ankara and northern Cypriot governments ever since the change of government and the presidency there. In the Cyprus talks process, President Dervis Eroglu is not undertaking any surprise moves that might hurt the process. On the contrary, despite Greek Cypriot unwillingness to continue the process, it was because of his dedication we still have the talks up and running.

    Yet, Erdogan wants to build a gigantic mosque in the heart of Nicosia, shape Turkish Cypriot political landmarks according to his wishes and privatize the Turkish Cypriot state and nourish a 'silent Islamic democracy' in northern Cyprus. But in democracies, people can stage rallies and become fed up with constant 'You owe your presence to us' talk; they can declare that 'we do not want you' even though they know without you they will suffer a lot. This is like saying, 'If you paid for the arm, take the arm and leave me alone'."

    [12] How columnists view Erdogan's statements about Cyprus

    In an editorial called "Island" in Turkish daily Taraf (06.02.11), Ahmet Altan censures Prime Minister Erdogan for his humiliating remarks against the Turkish Cypriots following an anti-Turkey demonstration on the island. Altan argues that the prime minister's remarks and those of former Foreign Minister Mumtaz Soysal who said that "Cyprus belongs to Turkey" confirm what the world has been saying about Turkey's role in Cyprus and the status of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus." Altan calls on the Turkish Government to withdraw its troops from Cyprus, now that even the Turkish Cypriots themselves do not want a Turkish military presence there. He stresses: "If we insist on staying there, the Turkish Cypriots will succeed in doing what the world has not been able to do, remove Turkey from the island. Unless Turkey realizes that the region has entered a period of popular uprisings, it will be made to realize it through very bitter experiences and much shame, like certain others."

    Also writing in Taraf, Pelin Cengiz in her column asks whether Erdogan's statement "We are there for strategic reasons" cannot be considered as occupation and goes further on asking "When did Cyprus become a colony of Turkey?" He uses the example of the USA who are also in Iraq for strategic reasons, but the whole world considers it an occupation. She concludes that since Erdogan wishes to have troops in Cyprus for strategic reasons and continues not to pay attention and listen to Turkish Cypriots, then such a North Cyprus in international political language is either a colony or land under occupation.

    Hurriyet's Ferai Tinc (06.02.11), criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for his remarks on Cyprus. In her article entitled "The Reason for the interest in Cyprus is now clear," the columnist points out that Erdogan openly said that Cyprus is of "strategic importance" for Turkey, clearly contradicting Turkey's long-standing official stand on Cyprus. Since the government has been "feeding" north Cyprus with the Turkish taxpayers' money, she says, Turkish citizens have a right to know more about the "strategic reason" for this.

    Also Hurriyet's Mehmet Y. Yilmaz (07.02.11) writes that demoting Turkey's interest for Cyprus to the level of strategic interest is with no doubt a very serious political mistake. He argues that Turkey thought that its army is there to protect [the Turkish Cypriot] people which was threatened with extinction, and that as a guarantor this was a right stemming from international agreements. He says that the recent events show that the situation has changed and wonders how Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry will explain this changing situation to the world. Moreover, he comments that apparently Prime Minister Erdogan cannot put up with opposition nor inside nor outside Turkey.

    Moreover, Engin Ardic in his article entitled "The time to withdraw from Cyprus is coming?" in Turkish daily Sabah (06.02.11) argues that they did not go to Cyprus because they loved their Cypriot kinsmen, but they loved the fact that, as descendants of the Ottomans, for the first time in 300 years they conquered land. He goes on to explain that they never thought that they saved Cyprus but instead they "took it." He writes that for the past 37 years Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have been blaming each other and each one acts as an obstacle to EU accession. He concludes that since Turkish Cypriots tell them to get out, Turkey should leave, since Cyprus is not a part of the country. "Those who do not want Turkey to leave is the bureaucracy and the gamblers?apart from them, nobody cares anymore for Cyprus, they have their own troubles" writes Ardic who proposes Turkey's withdrawal and says that they should not fear that another EOKA will be formed or another General Grivas will appear, since those are realities of the past century.

    On the other hand, Cumhuriyet's Cuneyt Arcayurek (06.02.11) faults the Turkish Cypriot demonstrators and not Turkey in the latest incident. The columnist dismisses the latest demonstrations in north Cyprus, labelling as ingrates those who call for Turkey's departure from Cyprus. It is thanks to Turkey, he argues, that the Turkish Cypriots are no longer second class citizens in a "Greek Cypriot republic", and it is thanks to Turkey that their economy has advanced.

    Also Yeni Akit (06.02.11) columnist Yavuz Bahadiroglu expresses similar views in an article entitled "The Prime Minister is right on the Cyprus issue," accusing the Turkish Cypriots, who maintain such a high standard of living with the aid of Turkey, of disloyalty. Wondering for how much longer Turkey will be making sacrifices to keep the Turkish Cypriots in luxury, Bahadiroglu says that the time has come to openly discuss the Cyprus issue. Noting that history is repeating itself, the writer recalls the Inebahti naval war in which the Ottomans incurred heavy losses, adding that "Cyprus was the reason for this bloody war."

    [04] KOBIDER chairman criticizes Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions

    Turkish daily Zaman (05.02.11) reports that the chairman of the Turkish SME Association (KOBIDER) Nurettin Ozgenc said in a written statement that some trade unions in Cyprus, under the pretext of "Communal Existence" use slogans against Turkey, which only cultivate hate.

    Moreover, he accused the Turkish Cypriots that without shame they use Cypriot flags, something which can also be described as ingratitude and described them as children who spend their father's money and then they rebel against him. Moreover, Ozgenc argued "Turkey should not always carry the TRNC on its back, should not feed it, but should teach TRNC to catch its own fish," and said that the reward for their support should not be the slogan "get out."

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 5-7 February 2011:

    Turkish Cypriot protests

    A report in Yeni Akit (06.02.11) by Aslan Degirmenci entitled "Traitors in cooperation with the Greek Cypriots", states that "organizations that chant slogans against Turkey and declare the Turkish soldiers to be occupation forces have no limits in treason." Detailing the committee established by the Greek Cypriot ecologists and environmentalists in cooperation with the United Cyprus Party (BKP) the report notes that the first decision the committee made was to convey to Turkey the message that it should withdraw from Cyprus.

    In an article in Yeni Akit (06.02.11) entitled "The protests in the KKTC... those who have sold their souls can also sell Cyprus!", Hasan Karakaya describes Mubarak, Suleyman Demirel, Rauf Denktas and Arafat as the puppets of the United States and Europe, predicting that Mubarak will also be forced to go just as the others have done. Foreseeing that the United States will try to direct the process in Egypt because of Israel, Karakaya argues that the sudden emergence of El Baradei is nothing other than a "US project," adding, however, that the Egyptian people who are trying to get rid of one puppet will not tolerate another one. Referring to the anti-Turkey demonstrations in Cyprus, Karakaya criticizes the Turkish Cypriots, who live a prosperous life as a result of Turkish aid, for portraying Turkey as an "enemy" and the presence of Turkish soldiers on the island as an "occupation force." Commenting on the "high civil servant salaries in the Turkish Cypriot administration" that exceed even those of the ministers in Turkey, Karakaya is amazed at the Turkish Cypriots who can afford such salaries at the expense of Turkey but who have the audacity to stage anti-Turkey protests. The writer concludes: "There is no need to search for 'persons who have sold their souls' in a KKTC where even the 'grandson of Denktas' has a 'Greek Cypriot passport!'"

    Aksam (05.02.11) interviews Turkish Cypriot "Prime Minister" Irsen Kucuk on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's harsh criticism of Turkish Cypriot administration for its insensitivity over the 28 January rally against the new economic measures during which one Cyprus flag and several posters were unfurled calling on Turkey to leave Cyprus. Kucuk says despite the fact that the new economic measures were taken by his own "government" there is the perception among people that Ankara is actually behind the measures and that is why they directed their anger at Turkey. Kucuk says the opposition parties politicized the rally, adding that his "government" cannot legally prevent such protests but it did react to the posters. Kucuk says Erdogan was justified in condemning the critics of Turkey. Kucuk denies the claim that "Turkish Cypriot civil servants are getting much higher salaries than their counterparts in Turkey, pointing out that the list of Turkish Cypriot salaries are also kept in Ankara and Erdogan could access them anytime he wants. Kucuk also says he asked for no appointment with Erdogan, as he was in Ankara just four weeks ago.

    Milliyet (05.02.11), quotes CTP [Republican Turkish Party] leader and former Turkish Cypriot "Prime Minister" Ferdi Sabit Soyer as saying that they do not want to be fed by Turkey, adding that while Turkey, Greece, and Britain might be concerned about their strategic interests in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots, who are the real owners of the land, want to secure their existence and future. DP [Democratic Party] leader Serdar Denktas says Erdogan's statements are unacceptable, as the deed of 50 people cannot be ascribed to the whole community. TDP [Communal Democracy Party] leader Mehmet Cakici says the Turkish Cypriots are not Erdogan's "puppets" warning that such statements only fuel the clash between Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas says the majority of Turkish Cypriots have already reacted far more harshly then Erdogan to the posters unfurled by people who cannot get even 1 percent of votes at elections. The paper says former "President" Mehmet Ali Talat and current "President" Dervis Eroglu declined to comment on Erdogan's statements.

    Developments in Egypt

    Yeni Safak (06.02.11) columnist Rasim Ozdenoren views claims that the United States has adopted an ambiguous stand regarding the developments in Egypt and argues that such a view attests to ignorance regarding US policies. Drawing attention to the US principle of being indifferent to the domestic regimes of countries it has established relations with, Ozdenoren argues that for US pragmatism it is sufficient that these countries maintain political stands that are harmonious with those of the United States. Assessing Turkey's stand toward the Egyptian developments, the writer explains that since 2002 the government has tried to change Turkey's previous passive, hesitant, and timorous approach to foreign policy, praising the approach adopted by Foreign Minister Davutoglu in the face of the Egyptian developments.

    Yeni Akit (06.02.11) columnist Ihsan Karahasanoglu criticizes statements by Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, condemning the riots in Arab countries. He says the Grand Mufti ignores the fact that Mubarak has been ruling the country through a state of emergency for the last 30 years. Drawing a parallel between the Mufti and the secular officials in Turkey, Karahasanoglu writes: "They extend blind support to the extreme examples of despotism, but they demand more and more freedom from the others!" The writer continues: "The tactics of those who extend their support to the despots in Saudi Arabia and to the oligarchy in Turkey are the same, that of distracting the people and diverting their attention from the outrageous events by bringing the details to the foreground."

    In an article in Bugun (06.02-11) entitled "Turkey's fantastic advantage" Erhan Basyurt views the various speculations on the reasons why the United States took a stand against Mubarak. Erhan Basyurt believes that the United States was supportive of a change in Egypt from the very beginning, that it encouraged the opposition to that end, and that it has sincerely opened the door to democratization in the Middle East. In conclusion, Basyurt underlines that the Obama administration's change of strategy might have certain risks in the short run but it will be in the interests of the international community and the peoples of the Middle East in the long run, adding that this change will be advantageous for Turkey as well.

    Mustafa Akyol pens an article entitled "Let freedom reign -- in Cairo and Ankara" in Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review (06.02.11), in which he lauds Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan for his stand on Egypt, but advises him to call for respect for human rights in other Middle Eastern countries, and in Turkey as well.

    Sabah (05.02.11) columnist Tulu Gumustekin likens the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings to the 1789 French revolution. Pointing out that Turkey was the first democratic country to express support for the Egyptian people, the columnist says the mere existence of Turkey is a "road map" for democracy in the region and that the improvement of democracy at home is, therefore, of vital importance for both Turkey and the region.

    Milliyet's (05.02.11) Semih Idiz declares in an article entitled "Western and Mideast eyes turned to AKP" that the outburst for democracy and human rights in the Middle East have increased interest in Turkey both in the West and East Noting that Turkey has become the "reference point" for those desiring democracy in the Middle East, Idiz says this puts new responsibilities on Turkey, like improving democracy and human rights at home and guiding the Egyptian and Tunisian Islamic movements towards a democracy that respects the rights of the opposition and enables change of government through elections. The AKP should also assume the responsibility of explaining to the West that the Muslim Brotherhood is not dangerous.

    In an article in Milliyet (05.02.11) entitled "Events are enhancing Turkey's value," columnist Sami Kohen says the Egyptian developments will force the United States into giving more importance to its relations with Turkey and Israel will exert greater effort to mend its ties with Turkey. Another factor that adds to Turkey's value, is that both the Arab liberals and Islamists are looking to Turkey as a role model for themselves.

    In an article in Taraf (05.02.11) entitled "Erdogan's proposal and Kurds," Ahmet Altan redicules Kemalists for hoping for an Egyptian-style popular movement against the Turkish government without realizing that the people in Egypt are unseating Arabs' own Kemalists. If there is going to be any popular movement in Turkey it will be among Kurds and it will eventually take place if the Turkish leaders fail to draft a new constitution that meets Kurdish demands. He says Erdogan's and Kurds' problems will be solved if the proposed presidential system also provides for provinces where governors and public servants are elected with popular votes as is done in the United States. Altan believes Erdogan will have to wage his toughest struggle for a presidential system inside his own party, noting that with Vecdi Gonul and Cemil Cicek as party members it will be hard for Erdogan to convince his party on the merits of presidential system. Altan says the first "chapter" on the republic is closing and parties unprepared for the second "chapter" will have no chance of winning elections.

    Labour protest in Ankara

    Hurriyet (04.02.11) columnist Tufan Turenc criticizes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for instructing Ankara Governor to prevent workers affiliated with various trade unions from converging on Parliament to protest against an omnibus bill allegedly aimed at curtailing workers' rights although he had urged Mubarak to lend an ear to demands voiced by Egyptian people.

    Star (04.02.11) columnist Samil Tayyar accuses radical left-wing groups trying to undermine social peace of trying to prepare the ground for a military coup by staging protests in Ankara. He also says that the Republican People's Party (CHP) is trying to take advantage of protests because it has lost its hope that it will win the upcoming general election.

    Radikal (04.02.11) columnist Cengiz Candar says that Erdogan's statement urging Mubarak to lend an ear to people's demands conflicted with the police assault on protestors in Ankara. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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