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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-02-17

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] Kucuk goes to Ankara
  • [02] Sinirlioglu to have contacts in the breakaway regime
  • [03] Karamollaoglu says Erdogan's statements upset the Turkish Cypriots
  • [04] "Our year, Tunisia's vacations"

  • [05] Turkish columnist accuses Erdogan of approaching the line that "non-solution is the solution in Cyprus"
  • [06] Carl Bildt on the Cyprus problem
  • [07] US envoy's comments on freedom of speech draw tough response
  • [08] Dutch court rules no tourist visas required for Turks
  • [09] Highlights


    Main stories in today's Turkish Cypriot press are Kucuk's sudden visit to Ankara, accompanied by several "ministers and officials" and his contacts there. Moreover, the papers cover the meeting between Eroglu and the Turkish Cypriot Association of Food Importers, the continuing strikes, a demonstration planned for today by livestock producers and a written statement by the chairman of the Karpasia Eco Tourism Association on using the presence of wild donkeys in Karpasia to attract tourism.

    [01] Kucuk goes to Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.02.11) under the title "A critical summit", reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, accompanied by self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of finance Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun and self-styled minister of public works and transportation Ersan Saner, is travelling to Ankara today.

    Ozgurgun, speaking to reporters at the end of the "council of ministers" meeting yesterday, said that Kucuk's visit to Ankara was determined after a telephone conversation he had with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan.

    This afternoon, Kucuk will meet with Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs Cemil Cicek at 17.00 and with Erdogan at 18.30.

    Commenting on the context of the meeting, Ozgurgun said that it will be easier to overcome the tension in a face-to-face meeting

    Kucuk and his delegation will return to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Friday.

    [02] Sinirlioglu to have contacts in the breakaway regime

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.02.11), the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu is due in the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" today for contacts focusing on the Cyprus negotiations process.

    The Foreign Ministry Undersecretary is expected to hold an evaluation of the negotiations process with "TRNC officials" ahead of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon's report on the talks expected to be presented to the UN Security Council later this month.

    The latest developments in the "TRNC" as well as the economic cooperation protocol signed between Turkey and the "TRNC" are also expected to dominate the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary's contacts.

    [03] Karamollaoglu says Erdogan's statements upset the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (17.02.11) reports that the deputy leader of the Felicity Party (SP) Temel Karamollaoglu, in a press conference at party's headquarters, criticized Erdogan's statements regarding the rally in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. He said that "these statements upset those who live in the TRNC". He added that the statements are nasty and derogatory.

    Karamollaoglu also said that this phenomenon in Cyprus is actually the product of the ruling party's policy being implemented for 9 years now. He added that "the AKP made the Turkish Cypriots believe in and support the Annan plan, so they [the Turkish Cypriots] would become part of the EU via south Cyprus".

    [04] "Our year, Tunisia's vacations"

    Under the above front page title, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (17.02.10) reports that the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) announced that 2011 is the "Year of Tunisia" and the "Going to Tunisia Year" in Turkey. This caused shock to agents in the occupied areas since last December Turkey declared 2011 as the "Year of TRNC." Kemal Durust, so-called minister of Tourism, when asked about this issue said that he was not informed about it and that they investigate it.

    The paper reports that TURSAB announced on its website that the chairman of TURSAB Basaran Ulusoy and other representatives visited Tunisia following an invitation by Tunisia's tourism ministry. The purpose of the visit was to express support to the Tunisian people. Ulusoy, who met with the Tunisian Tourism minister, stated after the meeting that it is not correct to take advantage of the situation after the latest events in Tunisia, and that it would be possible to channel Turkish tourists to the country. Moreover, Ulusoy invited Tunisian travel agents to participate in the Travel Turkey Izmir Fair.


    The sudden trip of the so-called prime minister Kucuk to Ankara after an invitation by the Turkish Premier Erdogan to discuss recent developments in the occupied areas of Cyprus is covered by the Turkish press today. Moreover, reactions to remarks made by US Ambassador in Ankara Ricciardone on the freedom of speech in Turkey, reports on visa exemption between Turkey and the Netherlands, the "Prix de la Fondation" (award) presented to Emine Erdogan by the Crans Montana Forum in Brussels, and other internal issues are also reported by the press.

    [05] Turkish columnist accuses Erdogan of approaching the line that "non-solution is the solution in Cyprus"

    Turkish Daily Milliyet (16.02.11) carries a commentary by Hasan Cemal, in which he, inter alia, censures the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his recent statements regarding developments in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Cemal describes Erdogan's stance, targeting the Turkish Cypriots, as a mistake and writes: "Of course, no one would have supported a banner saying 'f*** off' during a demonstration against Turkey in the TRNC. It is normal to react to this. In addition, the economic reasons lying behind the government's reaction and the criticisms in general, are also appropriate. Because, for some time now, the economic situation in the TRNC has begun to fall apart."

    The columnist continues that, unfortunately, Erdogan has once again passed the limit with his statements. Cemal adds: "He withdrew our Ambassador to Lefkosia and in his place, he appointed the chairman of the Turkish Republic Aid Delegation, who paved the way to these eventful demonstrations in the TRNC, as a colony governor.

    First: The Turkish Cypriots, definitely, do not deserve such reaction.

    Second: This line followed by Ankara will backfire in north Cyprus and will make the problem worse and more complicated in time.

    Third: Erdogan has passed the limits once again and has shown a reaction that is not appropriate for a state man."

    Cemal says that Premier Erdogan has deviated from the 'one-step-ahead' policy of 2003 and 2004 in the Cyprus problem, and is approaching the position of supporters of Denktas' that "non-solution is the solution in Cyprus!"

    "What a pity!", he concludes.

    [06] Carl Bildt on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Today Zaman (17.02.11) reports that during a speech on Wednesday in the Swedish parliament on foreign policy, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt stated, inter alia, that when Turkey joins the EU upon fulfilling all the necessary criteria, it will bring more power to the EU.

    Bildt emphasized the importance of finding a solution to the Cyprus issue saying that a settlement will strengthen stability in the eastern Mediterranean and remove obstacles for more effective EU-NATO cooperation. He added that the status quo in Cyprus is a profoundly unattractive option and that everyone loses.

    [07] US envoy's comments on freedom of speech draw tough response

    Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.11) reported that the recently appointed US ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone criticized Turkey for detaining journalists.

    Speaking to media representatives during a reception at his residence on Tuesday, US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone was asked to comment on the recent raid on news web portal Oda TV. Pointing out that he was not aware of the details ambassador Ricciardone said inter alia: "Turkey wants a free press. Turkish people want a critical press even if it is a dissident one. The opposition parties and the government say they support freedom of the press. We are following the process closely. Journalists are being detained on the one hand, while addresses about freedom of the speech are given on the other. We do not understand this. The Turkish people's opinion is important. But freedom of the press and freedom of speech are vital for Turkey, the United States and the people of this region".

    The paper adds that Huseyin Celik, AKP's deputy leader and spokesman told reporters on Wednesday that ambassadors cannot interfere in domestic issues. "Whether this is the US or the Russian ambassador, they have to adhere to the limits", Celik added.

    Speaking on the issue, Bulent Ar1nc, Deputy Prime Minister told reporters Wednesday that the US envoy had praised Turkey s democratization process during a meeting with him on Tuesday, adding that he may have been influenced by the media [coverage].

    Also, Osman Koruturk, deputy leader of the Republican Peoples Party (CHP), expressed to Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday approval of Ricciardone's statement on press freedom. He said that the mission of the envoys is to closely follow developments in the countries they are appointed to and inform their governments. If need be, the ambassadors also express openly their opinions. Is it possible for him not to make any observations when these things are happening?" Saying the U.S. envoy's observation is shared by ambassadors from other countries as well, Koruturk added: "We are a candidate country to the European Union. It is very normal for the ambassadors of EU countries and other countries to speak about deficiencies in terms of democracy and human rights."

    [08] Dutch court rules no tourist visas required for Turks

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (17.02.11) reports that a Dutch court ruled on Monday that Turkish nationals are exempt from visa requirements during travel to the EU member nation for purposes of tourism just three days after a German court issued a similar ruling.

    The Haarlem court ruled that Turkish nationals are exempt from visa requirements during travel for tourism purposes of up to three months, upholding an earlier European Court of Justice's ruling on the highly controversial issue. The court said the visa requirement was in violation of Article 41 of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement between Turkey and the European Economic Community (EEC).

    [09] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 16 February 2011:

    Turkey-Turkish Cypriots

    In his article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand compares Turkey to a bull in a china shop in its recent dealings with the Turkish Cypriots and argues that more understanding could have been shown in bringing about the much needed economic changes in north Cyprus. This crisis must have pleased the Greek Cypriots very much, writes Birand, concluding that they will not be making any concessions for a solution now that they are faced with a Turkish Cypriot community beaten by Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Ugly face of patriarchalism", Zaman columnist Etyen Mahcupyan accuses Prime Minister Erdogan of maintaining the Turkish establishment's "patriarchal" stance on Cyprus in criticizing the anti-Turkish protests in the northern part of the island as an incident that "played into the hands of the Greek Cypriots." Mahcupyan also censures Ankara for treating the "Cypriots" in the north as "foreign policy fodder" and "not realizing" that they are "people who have their own will and rights and do not deserve to be subjected to national homogenization."

    Developments in Egypt, Tunisia

    Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz in an article entitled "If Turkey is to be a model it should embrace the EU tighter" relates an interview he conducted with Marc Pierini, head of the EU delegation to Turkey, who argues that the "Turkish model" is actually something that Turkey itself is in the process of trying to achieve. Pierini goes on to express his views regarding the recent developments in Tunisia and Egypt, explaining that all the demands of the demonstrators in these countries were included in the 1995 Barcelona Declaration signed, among others, by Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia.

    Raid on news portal ODA TV

    In his artricle in Milliyet, columnist Guneri Civaoglu refers to the raid on Monday of news portal ODA TV headquarters in Istanbul. Guneri Civaoglu says that the website was about to launch its tv broadcasts and adds that now it will be difficult for this news portal to make its transition to television prior to the elections. The news portal is critical of the government.

    Soner Yalcin, a journalist who runs the site, is currently held in custody with three other journalists.

    Writing in Star, Ahmet Kekec dismisses all positive adjectives recently being used in the media to describe Yalcin's intellect, professionalism, and journalism in an article entitled "Is Soner Yalcin an Ergenekon member?" and writes: "Soner Yalcin and his colleagues might defend certain 'pro-coup' views. They might be close to the Ergenekon organization, they might even think that 'a coup is necessary and essential.' All in all, this is a problem of mentality. One cannot prosecute mentalities. One cannot convict people because of their intentions." The writer concludes by stating that he will keep his distance from the "media link" of the Ergenekon investigation so long as concrete proof is not shown regarding Yalcin's "organic ties" with this organization.

    Cuneyt Arcayurek argues in Cumhuriyet that Soner Yalcin is guilty of exposing the activities of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) aimed at intimidating the judiciary, the army, and the media. Underlining that Turkey is not an advanced democracy but a "civilian dictatorship," Arcayurek agrees with the analysis made on Turkey in the British daily The Guardian to the effect that it is not Turkey which is a model for Egypt but vice versa.

    Hikmet Cetinkaya questions whether opposition voices will be silenced one after the other and whether the freedom of the media will be crushed in Turkey. One should ponder over the remarks made by Istanbul Bar President Umit Kocasakal to the effect that "we are faced with advanced fascism," writes Cetinkaya, concluding that the raid on ODA TV is a blow on the law and the freedom of the press.

    Vatan columnist Mustafa Mutlu writes that the laws of a country determine the degree of its democracy. Noting that the Turkish Penal Code, which has been amended by the government to fit EU standards, includes many articles that render many freedoms into offences, Mutlu underlines that according to these articles opposing the government, thinking, speaking, and conducting a campaign are all offences, adding that those who take a risk and express their criticism are sent to jail. Noting that there are some 100 journalists currently in prison for expressing their opinions, Mutlu continues: "In short, if the Ergenekon prosecutors are accusing Soner and his colleagues of violating Article 216, then they have to detain at least 20 million people living in this country!"

    Today's Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce responds to Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilidaroglu's criticisms against the Erdogan government over the detention of journalist Soner Yalcin on charges of having links with the Ergenekon network. He also asserts that it is time for members of the news media supportive of the Ergenekon network to start being taken into custody, adding that the identities of "Istanbulite journalists" who "took part in the coup meetings held in Ankara's Golbasi district in 2003 and 2004" are yet to be disclosed.

    Sledgehammer case

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli views the recent arrests within the framework of the Sledgehammer Operation and writes: "If one in every 10 of Turkey's top commanders are facing charges of involvement in a secret gang aimed at overthrowing the constitutional government, perhaps it is high time to seriously consider probable deficiencies in the education programmes of the War Academies." Noting that now the Silivri Prison is hosting sufficient active and retired top generals, officers, and non-commissioned officers to become an army garrison, Kanli asks the following question: "Why did the Oda TV ambush within the framework of the Ergenekon thriller and the detention of Soner Yalcin and three other journalists coincide with the decision of the Sledgehammer fairy tale court to order the arrest of almost 200 generals and officers?"

    Kurdish issue

    In an article in Taraf, Lale Kemal cites to information that the PKK is expected to end its ceasefire in March and launch certain actions in various provinces in the Southeast region upon the orders of Murat Karayilan. If the PKK decides to resume its activities, it is not difficult to predict that the AKP will be adversely affected in the upcoming elections, notes Kemal, stating that Ocalan might want to use the general elections as a bargaining chip for his interests, namely for his transfer to house arrest knowing well that the government cannot possibly take such a step at this stage. Wondering whether Ocalan will be acting rationally in its decision to continue or terminate the ceasefire, Lale also views the possibility that the AKP might emerge victorious from the elections despite a PKK decision to end the ceasefire, concluding that in that case the PKK and Ocalan will be in a very difficult position. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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