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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-02-10

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] Statements by Eroglu after the meeting with President Christofias
  • [02] Eroglu: "This issue should end now"
  • [03] Ertugruloglu: "the political system in TRNC has failed; we must change to a presidential system"
  • [04] A second "communal existence rally" to take place on March 2
  • [05] Turkish Cypriots react to Cicek's statements
  • [06] Erdogan reportedly directing the "crisis" in the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Bakis newspaper calls on Akca to resign
  • [08] Turkey's DP leader criticises Erdogan-Talat meeting
  • [09] "Ministerial council" decisions

  • [10] New statements by Cicek on the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots
  • [11] "Mr Cemil made the enemy happy"
  • [12] Columnists on the tension between Turkey and Turkish Cypriots
  • [13] Turkey to continue its financial aid to the breakaway regime
  • [14] "Romania values Turkey's partnership, state secretary says"
  • [15] Davutoglu responds to Egyptian Foreign Minister's letter
  • [16] Highlights


    Today's Turkish Cypriot papers focus on further reaction by Turkish Cypriot and Turkish politicians to the statements made by Turkish PM Erdogan on the demonstrations in the occupied areas of Cyprus and a decision by the Trade Unions Platform for a new rally on March 2. In addition, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's statements after his meeting with President Christofias in the framework of the negotiation process, statements by the Turkish Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek on the latest developments in Cyprus, and other internal issues are covered by the press.

    [01] Statements by Eroglu after the meeting with President Christofias

    According to illegal Bayrak website (09.02.11), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu described yesterday's meeting with Cyprus President Christofias meeting as "good" and "important". He also said that they discussed the need to intensify efforts to reach a solution in the Cyprus problem.

    Eroglu said that from now on, the leaders will meet once a week and the special representatives will meet twice a week.

    Touching upon the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's wish to hold another tripartite meeting, Eroglu said that they have yet to receive an invitation for such a meeting. He recalled that the possibility of holding such a meeting had come up at the Geneva meeting.

    [02] Eroglu: "This issue should end now"

    A front-page report in the Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (10.02.11) with the above title refers to statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, who stressed the need to end this issue and leave behind the tension regarding Turkey-"TRNC" relations.

    Speaking upon his return to the "presidential palace" after meeting with President Christofias, Eroglu said: "statements and comments on the TV only cause more harm. Such actions lead the dialogue between the two peoples in the wrong direction. I do not approve continuing this conflict."

    Responding to a question, Eroglu said he did not discuss the situation in the occupied areas with President Christofias. Eroglu said that with the negotiation in process, everybody should look at the present and the future, and not the past.


    [03] Ertugruloglu: "The political system in TRNC has failed; We must change to a presidential system"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.02.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot so-called independent MP Tahsin Ertugruloglu defended Erdogan's statements saying: "Prime Minister Erdogan has not said enough. His statements were not directed to the people, but to those who created this situation."

    Speaking to Ankara Anatolia correspondent, Ertugruloglu said that the tension should diminish and the "TRNC" should look at mistakes of past years and discuss them with Turkey. He also said that the "governments in the TRNC" are not elected to ask Turkey to teach them "how to catch fish". Instead, they ask for bigger fish every year, until an official told them that the economy cannot continue to depend on Turkey, you have to reduce the economic burden of the public sector. Ertugruloglu said "no one stated that Ankara is mistaken and we are right" and added that "governments in the TRNC" for years have been using demonstrations by trade unions as a "weapon" against Turkey, and the latest rally was in the same context.

    Ertugruloglu also argued that the political regime in the occupied areas has gone bankrupt and that they should move form a parliamentary to a presidential system. He said that the "president and prime minister" should resign immediately and called on the Turkish Cypriots to see their mistakes, not to organize events at every opportunity to criticize Turkey, and understand that they will never be cut off the "motherland."

    [04] A second "communal existence rally" to take place on March 2

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (10.02.11) reports that the Trade Unions' Platform, following consultations with the political parties, the NGOs and trade bodies, has decided to organise a second "communal existence rally" in the occupied areas of Cyprus on March 2. According to the press release, the rally is expected to begin at 11 am at "Inonu Square" in occupied Lefkosia.

    Speaking to the paper, the Trade Unions Platform spokesperson and TURK-Sen chairman, Arslan Bicakli, stated that they took this decision because as it was deduced from the statements of the representatives of the so-called government of the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Turkish government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), that the message of the January 28 "communal existence rally" was not comprehended. He added, inter alia, that until their demands are met, they will continue the actions.

    Commenting on the decision, Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas stated that they will continue to support the efforts of the unions, provided that the mistakes during the January 28 rally will not be repeated.

    However, for his part, the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) leader, Turgay Avci, said that they will not support the rally. He added, inter alia, that his party does not have a place in such events in which unionists organise attacks against "motherland [Turkey]".

    In addition, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, stated that it is too early to speak on the issue, adding that a decision will be taken once the party evaluates the situation.

    For his part, Communal Democracy Party (TDP) leader, Mehmet Cakici, stated that the "existence" struggle has not finished, adding that despite repeated warnings the "government" does not perceive the right messages and it is trying to overcome the situation by disorientating.

    [05] Turkish Cypriots react to Cicek's statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (10.02.11) reports that the statements made yesterday to NTV by Cemil Cicek, Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus and Deputy Prime Minister, caused tension for the second time in the relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime, following the rally of 28 January 2011.

    Mehmet Cakici, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that the Turkish officials did not understand the message sent by the Turkish Cypriots. He added: "If they send the money in this manner, we do not want their money. The administrators in Turkey lack democratic tolerance. The interlocutor of our people is neither Erdogan nor Cicek".

    Ahmet Kaptan, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot "Public" Servants' Trade Union (KTAMS) said what is shameful is not the rally, but the statements made by Cicek. Kaptan described Cicek's statements as "careless", noting that "seeds of enmity are sown" between Turkey and the people in the occupied areas of Cyprus. "Erdogan and Cicek will be responsible for incidents in the future", he said. Kaptan argued: "The AKP is prepared to sacrifice Cyprus now and wants to open the ports... The AKP government is following the policy 'give Cyprus away and get rid of it'. They say let us get rid of the TRNC at any rate. They do not care how the agreement will be".

    Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), said Cicek's statements "are not appropriate" for a statesman. "These are words of an illiterate man in the streets", he noted and added: "He continues to insult us. We do not want money from them by force. If they do not want to give us, let them not give us. In any case, the money they give is not given to the Turkish Cypriots. The money they give is given to their own supporters, to gambling, to prostitution". He said a new rally will be organized at the end of February and the banner, which caused the reaction of Erdogan, will be carried again to the rally upon demand by the people.


    [06] Erdogan reportedly directing the "crisis" in the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots

    Under the title "Erdogan is directing the crisis", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (10.02.11) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has established an alliance with the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in order to manage the crisis between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots of which the Turkish premier has also contributed with his statements.

    According to the paper, Erdogan's first step is to divide and neutralize "the democratic uprising of the people" by directing the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the trade unions which are under and the influence of the CTP, through Talat.

    Kibrisli writes that Erdogan's second step will be to force the National Unity Party (UBP) "government" to resign, and establish a new system of administration. It is alleged that Erdogan wants the establishment of a "presidential system", which he wishes to establish in Turkey as well. According to the paper, Talat will be leading this system and a "government" of technocrats will be formed. "The button has been pushed to implement this plan in the forthcoming months", writes the paper arguing that these developments are strengthening the view that Erdogan himself caused this crisis using "the provocation of a marginal group" and now he started to lead it to the direction he wants.

    The paper writes that the new "government" will implement all necessary changes and noted that Erdogan considers necessary these "radical changes" from the point of view of the policy followed for the solution of the Cyprus problem.


    [07] Bakis newspaper calls on Akca to resign

    Under the front-page title "Resign!", Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (10.02.11) calls on Halil Ibrahim Akca, head of the "TRNC Technical Committee" which coordinates Turkey's aid to the occupied areas, to resign since, the paper adds, he is the architect of the tension in the occupied areas and the rift in the ties of Turkey with the "TRNC".

    The paper accuses Halil Ibrahim Akca for providing incomplete and inaccurate information to the Turkish Premier Erdogan about the current situation in the occupation area. He further points out that Erdogan's statements about Turkish Cypriots and the incidents that occurred are founded on this misleading information. Those who are responsible for the rift in the relations between Turkey and the occupation regime should pay the cost, the paper concludes.


    [08] Turkey's DP leader criticises Erdogan-Talat meeting

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (10.02.11) reports on statements by Namik Kemal Zeybek, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) of Turkey, who criticised Erdogan's statements on the recent rally in occupied Cyprus. Zeybek also evaluated Erdogan's meeting with the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in Ankara.

    Zeybek criticised the Turkish PM for meeting with Talat when there is a "president legitimately elected by the people, a prime minister and a council of ministers". Zeybek noted that Erdogan should have met with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk. He went on and alleged that it is clear that Erdogan is cooperating with Talat, adding: "It is obvious for some time now what he [Erdogan] wants to do. We know his past."

    Moreover, Zeybek noted that Erdogan is doing everything possible to have Talat "re-elected". As he said, Erdogan spent lots of money to this end, but he [Talat]could not be "elected". "However, now there [in occupied Cyprus] is a president and an administration made up of patriots, devoted to Turkishness and committed to Turkey," Zeybek said.

    Censuring Erdogan's statements, Zeybek wondered how a Prime Minister can make such statements and then think that he can be a prime minister. "And how does the country continue to tolerate this person" he wondered, adding, inter alia, that with his statements Erdogan damages Turkey.

    [09] "Ministerial council" decisions

    Under the banner headline "Soothing decisions from the government", Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (10.02.11) reports that in his statements after the "council of ministers meeting", Huseyin Ozgurgun, "spokesman" of the "council" stated that the "council" made several decisions aiming to eliminate the rising tension and bring back unity in the country.

    Huseyin Ozgurgun said it was decided that from now on "ministers" will not make statements on the issue. Ozgurgun said that, only the "prime minister" Irsen Kucuk will make statements. He further said the "government" has decided to focus on dialogue and cooperation in order to promote peace and furthermore, not to take economic decisions that will irritate or cause inconvenience to the people.

    Star Kibris newspaper reports on the issue under the front page title: "The package has been shelved". The paper writes that after the rising tension, the economic package of the "government" has been shelved.

    Also, Halkin Sesi, covers the issue in its front page under the title "Irritating steps will stop". The paper writes that the "government" is drawing attention to the "dialogue" in the country following the tension created after Erdogan's statements, and announced that it will not take any irritating economic measures.

    Moreover, the paper publishes in its front page a photo with the caption that Kaya Turkmen, "ambassador" of Turkey in the "TRNC" had a meeting yesterday with so-called prime minister, Irsen Kucuk. The paper does not provide any further information on the meeting.


    A statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry that it will continue to support financially "north Cyprus", Davutoglu's response to a letter of the Egyptian Foreign Minister, statements by AKP that they target 58% in the upcoming general elections, a decision to extend Turkey's Navy mandate in the Gulf of Aden, a bill adopted by the Turkish parliament to ease the burden of high judicial organs, a draft law prepared by AKP calling for an increase in penalties for sexual crimes, and other internal issues are the main stories in today's Turkish press.

    [10] New statements by Cicek on the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus and Deputy Prime Minister, Cemil Cicek responded yesterday to questions of NTV (09.02.10, online) on the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, especially after the rally held recently in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 28 January 2011.

    Cicek said a "group" in the occupied areas of Cyprus has been exhibiting "hostile stance" towards Turkey for a long time. He noted that these persons urge Turkey to withdraw its army from the island, and consider it as occupier. He reiterated AKP government's annoyance with the fact that the flag of the Republic of Cyprus was carried during the rally and alleged that the aim of the people who did this was to harm the relations between Turkey and the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus. He claimed that these people have connections with the government-controlled areas of Cyprus. He noted that the statements by Prime Minister Erdogan were directed to these people and not to the 260 thousand people living in the occupied part of the island.

    Noting that many people in the occupied areas of Cyprus are annoyed with the behaviour of this group and the "insults" against Turkey, Cicek said if an instant response had been given to these "insults" by the "officials" in the occupied part of Cyprus, Turkey might not have felt the need to make a statement. Cicek accused the "administration" of the breakaway regime of delaying 5-6 days in responding to these "insults". He said they expected such statements not only from the "government" and recalled that when somebody in the world makes statements regarding the breakaway regime, Turkey replies instantly without taking into consideration the risks. He gave as example the reply of the Turkish Prime Minister to the statements made by the German Chancellor Merkel during her visit to Cyprus.

    Claiming that the rally was transmitted live on illegal Bayrak television, Cicek said: "Everybody saw the insults there. A reply should have been given that day. The esteemed Prime Minister gave a reply, but this was not proportional to this insult. It was a timid statement... The other statements were made after six days..."

    Alleging that some "pro-Greek Cypriot elements" tried to manipulate the situation and damage relations between Turkey and the "TRNC", Cicek said: "The negotiations on the island continue. The Greek Cypriots want to prolong the negotiations. They do not support the solution and exert great efforts to make Turkey and the TRNC pay the price for the non-solution. In fact, when we put these side by side with Merkel's statements [we see that] there is a plot. The leaders of this are those who organized that rally".

    Responding to a question, Cicek said there is a global economic crisis today and measures to counter this crisis are taken everywhere. He noted that the crisis affected the breakaway regime, which has "very serious structural problems independent of the crisis". He said there is no balance in the revenue and the expenditure of the breakaway regime, despite Turkey's aid. He said the budget of the breakaway regime is 2.5 quadrillion former Turkish liras and on January 1, 2011 this budget had a deficit of 550 trillion liras. Cicek noted that Turkey's aid will continue and that it is given with three-year protocols. He said Dervis Eroglu, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Irsen Kucuk signed these protocols. He added that Turkey pays 350 trillion liras for the total budget deficit of the breakaway regime. He said: "In 2011 we will give 880 trillion liras. We sent the 145 trillion in the first month. The 350 trillion of this money will be spent for their budget deficit and the rest for investments."

    Cicek accused the breakaway regime of being a "rigid state" and of misusing this money. He added: "We do not demand decrease in salaries. There is the issue of the 13th salary. In Turkey, we receive 12 salaries. A section of the public sector there was receiving a 14th salary. The salary is very high in comparison to Turkey."

    Cicek said: "Our sorrow derives from the fact that the people swear at us in the square. 'Take your money and go away', they say. And those who say this, run to receive their salary. The 13th salary and the monthly salaries were paid with the 145 trillion liras. On the one hand, they swear at us and say take your money and go away and on the other, they see no harm in taking money sent by Turkey. If you love your country that much, [we are saying this to the politicians there, to those who are in the lead, to those who provoke, a significant number of which receives salary from the state], if you are annoyed with Turkey, why did you go to take your salary the next day? Give the salary you took to a humanitarian organization, let it be spent for another need of Cyprus. Such a distorted relation exists...

    There is a plot there. The plots will continue. Everybody should be careful, because the Greek Cypriot sector has fallen into a difficult situation. Greek Cypriots use these elements that support them to provoke so that the cost of the negative outcome of the negotiations is paid by Turkey and the TRNC. They are trying to harm the brotherly relations between Turkey and the TRNC. We are offended by people in whom we had hopes. Who are these people, for example: The esteemed president of the republic, the esteemed former president of the republic...

    They should not have permitted this injustice and they should have wakened the people up. The chairmen of the parties and the president of the republic held a meeting after six days had passed..."

    Arguing that it was obvious that these incidents would have occurred, Cicek said this meeting should have taken place earlier and a statement should have been made warning the public of "the provocations".

    Cicek cited the bankruptcy of the "Turkish Cypriot airlines" as example of bad administration in the breakaway regime, noting that those who were in the administration of the regime in 2005 asked for the separation of the "Turkish Cypriot airlines" from the Turkish Airlines (THY). He added: "When Turkey transferred the company, it had a profit of five trillion liras. Five trillion liras are not much for Turkey, but it is an important sum for a country where 260 thousand people live. In 2010, the company had a deficit of 200 trillion liras. How it came to this situation? This should be considered."

    Referring to former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat's visit to Ankara, Cicek said: "Esteemed Talat came to Ankara. We are sorry. He did not make a statement either there or here. Are we the ones who are not right? Are we the ones who are mistaken? I know that he too does not accept an important part of what is happening. He told us that these are not right. Tell it to the public. At least, new provocations to come would have been prevented. There is a group of people on which he is relying there."


    [11] "Mr Cemil made the enemy happy"

    Under the above title, Fikret Bila, columnist in Turkish daily Milliyet (online, 10.02.11), reports on the reaction of the current and the former Turkish Cypriot leaders, Dervis Eroglu and Mehmet Ali Talat, to the statements made yesterday to NTV by Cemil Cicek, State Minister responsible for Cyprus and Deputy Prime Minister. According to Bila, Eroglu and Talat reacted to Cicek's statements that "on Friday they swear at us and on Monday they received the 13th salary from the money we had sent". Eroglu said that these statements "strengthen the Greek Cypriots", while Talat argued that "these words made the enemy happy".

    According to Bila, Eroglu said, inter alia, the following on Cicek's statements:

    "I wish these debates did not take place. I was very saddened. During my political life, I worked for strengthening relations between Turkey and the TRNC. Mr Cemil Cicek is my friend. We worked together. He is like my brother. He criticizes the fact that I made a statement after six days had passed. As president of the republic, I waited first for the government of the TRNC to make a statement. After the TRNC prime minister spoke, I also made a statement... I waited for the situation to cool down, for the tension to diminish. Afterwards I invited the party leaders for a meeting. The statements from each side increase tension. I am just returning from the negotiating table. These statements strengthened the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot side uses them. They weaken me and strengthen the Greek Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot side rejoices because the Turkish Cypriots are in a mess and split up. Those who carried these banners were a very small group. Unfortunately, very offensive banners were carried. It is wrong to look at these groups and accuse the entire TRNC people...

    The money issue was very offending. There is no need to worry to the employees. There is the excuse that the 13th salary, which is paid at the end of each year, revives the economy and revitalizes the market. The salary is of course an issue which concerns the government. However, as far as I know, abolishing the 13th salary is not on the government's agenda..."

    According to Bila, Mehmet Ali Talat said, inter alia, the following:

    "What should I say? I was very saddened. The Turkish Cypriot side is fuming. The statements regarding the salary, the money were very offensive. He says they swear at us and then they went and took the salary... Is this becoming the Turkish Cypriots? Those who swore during that meeting are provocateurs, the number of which does not exceed the fingers of the two hands, and are not people who receive salary. Looking at these and using such words about all the Turkish Cypriots was very wrong, harsh and insulting. The aim of the provocateurs, who used these banners at the rally, was to offend Turkey. Unfortunately, the statements made by Ankara amplified the incident and offended our citizens in the Turkish side. These words saddened our friends and made our enemies happy. Journalists from the Greek Cypriot side call me, but I do not talk, because I know what they are looking for... By using these banners and chanting slogans, these provocateurs turned against Turkey a rally which was not against Turkey..."

    Referring to Cicek's reference to the 13th salary paid in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Talat wondered whether there are people in Turkey who want to reduce the standard of living of the Turkish Cypriots and to continue this crisis.

    Responding to the criticism by Cicek to the fact that he had not reacted to the incidents and made no statement, Talat said that he asked for an appointment with Prime Minister Erdogan as soon as this incident occurred. He said in that meeting he explained why he made no statement. Adding that Cicek was also present at that meeting and knows why he made no statements. "I did not want to throw wood into the fire. I find strange the fact that Mr Cicek, despite the fact he knew my reasons, referred to my name and said 'why they have not spoken'," he concluded.


    [12] Columnists on the tension between Turkey and Turkish Cypriots

    In an article entitled "Relations with TRNC badly hurt," Hurriyet (09.02.11) columnist Tufan Turenc criticizes Erdogan for making offensive remarks about Turkish Cypriots and cautions that serious problems will unavoidably emerge if the government does not take any step in response to complaints about Halil Ibrahim Akca who coordinates Turkey's financial assistance to north Cyprus.

    In an article entitled "We should lend an ear to Turkish Cypriots," Milliyet (09.02.11) columnist Semih Idiz argues that Erdogan must try to understand why Turkish Cypriots needed to stage protests, rather than rebuke them. Emphasizing that Turkish Cypriots are annoyed by the belt-tightening measures dictated by the Turkish Government, Idiz says that calls for the withdrawal of Turkish troops are not realistic because whether or not Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots can live together in peace is a highly contentious issue, in addition to the fact that Turkey's military presence is also intended to safeguard its vital strategic interests in eastern Mediterranean.

    Okkan Muderrisoglu in his article in Sabah (10.02.11) entitled "Crisis producing daughter land", he analyzes the economic decisions taken in the past four years in the "TRNC", because the problems that have been swept under the carpet with years of negligence now became unbearable. He argues that Turkish Cypriots transferred the political cost of the necessary economic decisions to the "motherland" and concludes saying that cuts in the 13th salary, public banks, the electricity authority and other public companies will be unavoidable.

    Also, Meliha Okur under the title "Cypriots are coming to make amends" writes in Sabah (10.02.11) that last year Turkey started a three year plan to teach Turkish Cypriots the meaning of a balanced budget. She argues that one of the reasons for the economic problems is a general fear for the economy which deters consumers from spending and investors do not invest, thus leading to an accumulation of deposits in the banks. Therefore, Turkish Cypriot businessmen formed a platform and requested a meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan, their argument being that problems in the "TRNC" should not be matters of internal politics in Turkey.

    In his article in Zaman (10.02.11), Levent Koker analyzes the recent events, explains the Cyprus policy of AKP party, the various changes it underwent and the difficulties it faced. He proposes to replace the need to endure with the need to listen and understand, and wonders whether it would be possible to understand the problem without hearing honestly and directly the true actors, the Cypriots.

    Milliyet's Guneri Civaoglu in his article (10.02.11) tries to explain how Turkish Cypriots who were embracing and thanking Turkish soldiers during the 1974 invasion, came to the mentality of "No to Turkey." In order to explain this, he gives the results of a research which investigated Turkish Cypriots reaction towards the motherland and approaches towards the Greek Cypriot side. Based on these, he proposes that neither politicians nor the media in Turkey should use degrading descriptions for Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, they should implement projects like transfer of electricity and water, which will create a future for Turkish Cypriots.

    Kadri Gursel, in his article in Milliyet (10.02.11), justifies the placards used in the rally as an expression of the fact that Turkish Cypriots face difficulties in sustaining material burden of the isolation and the moral load of the tie with Turkey. Therefore, Turkey's Prime Minister should be more understanding instead of lashing out to Turkish Cypriot people, argues the columnist, who asks him to annex Cyprus if he has the power to do so, and then to address the president of the "TRNC" as the governor of the 82nd region. But since they cannot do so, and they cannot accept a fair solution which leaves behind the Annan plan, then they should respect the legal precedent that their state [Turkey] has created by recognising "TRNC" as an independent state. Gursel calls on the government, even if they believe that "TRNC's independence" is a lie, to behave like it is not. He concludes saying that there is another reason for Erdogan's degrading statements, because despite AKP's efforts North Cyprus stayed away from the political culture of AKP, thus reminding him of the "no" vote that the coastal areas of Turkey casted in the latest constitutional referendum in Turkey. And some of the vengeance in Erdogan's statements is due to the fact that he did not manage to make north Cyprus his own child.

    Moreover, in an article in Milliyet (10.02.11), Nuray Mert argues that they have seen once again through the reaction [by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan] about a demonstration in Cyprus, what the new status quo or the 'new tutelage order' is like. The governing party [in Turkey], which once criticized Turkey's official policy that dragged "northern Cyprus" into isolation from the world, has now all of a sudden said 'you have a strategic importance for me and I am giving you money, so shut up' as a reaction to the demonstration.

    Also Cuneyt Arcayurek comments in Cumhuriyet (10.02.11) on statements that a solution to Cyprus problem could solve all the problems of the "TRNC." He says that there are many chapters to be discussed and proposes the "easy" solution, to accept the Greek Cypriot proposals. And then Talat and others who think like him will go for a federation based on equal states and turn the "TRNC" into a society with minority rights. He goes on to say that now they have the answer: [Go...Turkey] to the 50's slogan which still echoes in their ears "Cyprus is our soul, let our blood be sacrificed"

    [13] Turkey to continue its financial aid to the breakaway regime

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.11), Turkey will continue to extend financial assistance to the "TRNC", Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said on Wednesday. His remarks came after anti-Turkey protests in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's harsh reaction to those protests.

    Unal also said that Turkey supports UN-sponsored reunification talks between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in the island, and backs Turkish Cypriot stance in the negotiations. "At the same time, our assistance to Cyprus is underway as announced earlier. We will continue our assistance in the future," Unal added.

    [14] "Romania values Turkey's partnership, state secretary says"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.02.11) with the above title cites statements by Romania's State Secretary for Strategic Affairs Bogdan Aurescu that Turkey is a trustworthy, sincere and honest partner willing to promote cooperation in the region, especially considering its current foreign policy of "zero problems with neighbours" . Speaking to private channel Skyturk, Aurescu described relations between the two countries of strategic character.

    Turkey's EU membership will further increase security for the European Union, will further enhancement economic benefits for EU members, including Romania, and the EU border will expand to the Black Sea. The Romanian and Turkish Foreign Ministries signed last fall a memorandum of understanding regarding Romania's participation in Operation Black Sea Harmony, a military exercise to ensure security of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits.

    [15] Davutoglu responds to Egyptian Foreign Minister's letter

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.11), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu responded to the letter by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ali Aboul Gheit, saying that he believed that Egypt would overcome this process successfully by meeting legitimate demands of the people.

    Davutoglu's letter to Gheit was conveyed to Egyptian Ambassador in Ankara Abdurrahman yesterday (09.02.11). Davutoglu said in his letter that Egypt is one of the important countries in the region and there were sound ties between Turkish and Egyptian peoples. He expresses his conviction that Egypt would conclude this process favourably, adding: "Turkey will always be in solidarity with Egyptian people".

    The spokesperson for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Selcuk Unal said that the letter conveyed to Davutoglu, did not carry any statement of protest.

    [16] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 9 February 2011:

    a) Political turmoil in Egypt

    Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review columnist Mustafa Akyol says that Turkey can set an example to Egypt because the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has shown that Islamism can evolve into post-Islamism, by accepting the rules of secular democracy and the market economy. He also argues that the Muslim Brotherhood must be given the chance to freely participate in politics, come to power, face the issues of the real world, and find its own way to pragmatism.

    Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin objects to western analysts proposing Turkey as a viable "model" for the Arab world as a country that has demonstrated the possibility of a "powerful union of Islam, democracy, and a strong economy." Bumin asks why the West is not proposing a "democracy model" for the Middle East instead and wonders why it keeps talking about a "Turkey model" when Turkey itself is trying to bring its democracy into line with EU standards. He notes the absence of a "single reference" to Islam in the Turkish constitution, adding that the Turkish Republic is an entirely secular political entity. He also argues that the West must be confusing two different things if its perception of Turkey as a "model" for Islamic countries has to do with the fact that a political party with Islamic sensibilities happens to be in power in this country.

    b) Batum's remarks against the military

    Yeni Akit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya accuses Republican People's Party (CHP) Secretary-General Suheyl Batum of trying to provoke the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) into staging a coup against the Erdogan government with his statement in which he referred to the Turkish military as a "paper tiger." He claims that Batum's "insults" against the TSK reflect the CHP's sense of "helplessness" in the face of the failure of its anti-government undertakings such as its plans to press for the release of some of the suspects in the Ergenekon investigation by gathering a group of 50,000 protesters before the court in Silivri or its efforts to persuade the people to wage "resistance" against the Government over its bid to pass a judicial bill.

    Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamis argues that CHP Secretary-General Suheyl Batum's "call for a military coup" reflects Establishment concerns over the ongoing democratization process similar to foreign worries caused by riots in the Arab world that signal the end of the current government structures in North Africa and the Middle East.

    Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce criticizes Suheyl Batum as a "burden" too heavy for the CHP to carry in the run up to the general election in June. He also lauds a sentence in the General Staff statement in response to Batum's remarks - "the TSK [is] trying only to fulfil its duties as a provider of national security" - as a manifestation of how the army has started to respond to the popular demands for democracy, adding that under the circumstances a well-known political recipe in Turkey, "military + CHP = power," should be replaced with a new formula, namely "military - CHP = democratization."

    Zaman columnist Ekrem Dumanli describes Suheyl Batum's "scandalous" remarks against the TSK as an expression of the CHP's "frustration" in the face of the fact that the military "refrains from any political involvement," causing the CHP, a political party that is "indebted to military coups" for any "political achievements," to "fade from the political scene."

    Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that the political scene ahead of the general election in June is similar to the political situation before the ruling AKP's election victory in 2007. "On the one side a strongly-backed post-Islamist, reformist, globalist party with an articulated civilian agenda, and on the other two main rivals, the CHP and [...] MHP, without a challenging vision and [unable] to understand the concrete messages for change [...]" He also asserts that the CHP's "top echelons" are "in magnificent disarray," with the "old guard" "doing everything to sabotage the work of the new leader [...]"

    Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan argues that a possible decision by the CHP administration to expel Suheyl Batum from party membership over his remarks against the TSK could not be realistically seen as a development marking a radical change in the CHP's current political stance including its perception of democracy and its understanding of secularism.

    Bugun columnist Gulay Gokturk describes Suheyl Batum's "preposterous" remarks against the military as an indication of "panic and disappointment" in the main opposition party at the realization that Turkey's "armed bureaucracy" is no longer willing to help the CHP come to power. She also calls attention to a "problematic" situation that Batum's remarks have caused for CHP leader Kilicdaroglu, noting that the CHP's "second in command" is "remonstrating" with the TSK over its "submission to the civilian authority" at a time when Kilicdaroglu is trying to create a new public image for the CHP by issuing "liberal" messages.

    c) Discord within main opposition party

    An article in Milliyet says that Suheyl Batum and Hursit Gunes, both deputy chairpersons of the Republican People's Party (CHP) may tender their resignations or be removed by CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu today because they have put the CHP in a difficult position as a result of their recent remarks which triggered heated debates.

    Cumhuriyet columnist Orhan Birgit argues that Kilicdaroglu and his aides should advise Batum to tender his resignation because of his critical remarks about the military and also issue a statement saying that there must be a high wall between the CHP and the military in order to refute Erdogan's accusation that the CHP is still in favour of a military coup.

    Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin draws attention to rumours that Batum plans to announce his candidacy for party leadership if the CHP cannot achieve a satisfactory result in the general election. He says that Batum may be intending to severe the party's ties with leftists, liberals, Kurds, and Alevis and to formulate a nationalist strategy if he is elected as the CHP's new leader. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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