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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-09

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] Eroglu's spokesman describes as "balanced" the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus
  • [02] Ozgurgun: "Turkish Cypriot side determined to continue working towards a just and lasting solution"
  • [03] Bagis accuses the EU of hypocrisy
  • [04] Occupation regime attends ITB Berlin 2011
  • [05] Over 50% of registered "social insurances" contributors in the occupied areas are foreigners

  • [06] Davutoglu's contacts in Athens
  • [07] Erdogan comments on journalists' arrests
  • [08] German Green Party criticizes Turkey on journalists' arrests
  • [09] 2011 General Elections in Turkey
  • [10] Gul says relations with Asia Pacific important for Turkey
  • [11] Turkish delegation visits Ethiopia
  • [12] Columnist views relations between Turkey and Germany, Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership
  • [13] Highlights


    The main issue in today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers are the various events in the occupied areas to mark International Women's Day. In addition, evaluation by so-called presidential spokesman Ertug of the UN Secretary-General's latest report on Cyprus, the so-called foreign minister's Ozgurgun address at the Lefke European University, statements by the Turkish EU Negotiator Bagis on the "double-face of EU", the breakaway regime's participation in the ITB Berlin 2011, and other internal issues are covered by the press today.

    [01] Eroglu's spokesman describes as "balanced" the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (09.03.11) reports that Osman Ertug, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has described as "balanced" the general outlines of the report prepared by the UN Secretary ? General on Cyprus within the framework of his good offices mission.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Ertug said one of the most important messages given by the report was that we could not have open-ended negotiations or negotiations for the sake of negotiating. He argued that this is a matter stressed by the Turkish side from the very beginning of the talks and alleged that this expression openly shows the "tiredness of the international community in Cyprus".

    Ertug noted that the UN Secretary-General gave the message that he could take some concrete steps on the presence of the UN in Cyprus.

    Ertug said Ban Ki-moon dedicates important part of his report to the developments in the Cyprus talks, explains the convergences and the points of disagreement and puts forward some views on what should be done to achieve progress. Ertug reiterated the allegation that during the Geneva meeting on 26 January 2011, the Turkish side submitted a practical plan on how to achieve progress and added that the UN Secretary-General refers to this plan in his report. He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side submitted a three-stage plan, weeks after the meeting in Geneva. He claimed that in this plan the Greek Cypriot side did not take into consideration the views of the other side.

    Ertug noted that despite the fact that no concrete timetable is mentioned in the UN Secretary-General's report, a natural timetable comes up from the description of the developments. He said the elections referred to in the report and the developments which will follow, show that the period until the end of March "should be used very well".

    Ertug noted that the UN Secretary-General refers to a multilateral meeting even though he does not mention a date for it and states that he will decide whether such a meeting will be held in consultation with the sides. "This constitutes a good reply to the allegation put forward by the Greek Cypriot side in Geneva that the Secretary-General is not authorized to convene such a meeting", argued Ertug and added:

    "Moreover, the report notes that the sides have agreed on the issue of discussing the map and the numbers under the chapter of territory in the last stage of the process. Contrary to what the Greek Cypriot side alleges, the relevant paragraphs of the report affirm that the issue of territory is related not only to the issues of property and refugees, but to the security and guarantees as well. The Turkish Cypriot side has been arguing from the very beginning that the territory is related to the issues of security and guarantees and that in fact all issues are, in the end, related to each other.

    The findings of the UN Secretary-General included in his report on these issues coincide with the views of the Turkish Cypriot side and are of critical importance for the continuation of the process.

    We expect that the stance of the Security Council on the report will support the views of the Secretary-General on this issue".


    [02] Ozgurgun: "Turkish Cypriot side determined to continue working towards a just and lasting solution"

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (08.03.11, online) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, so-called foreign minister of the breakaway regime, has said that the Turkish Cypriot side is determined to continue working towards a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem in good will despite "all the problems caused by the Greek Cypriot side's stance".

    Addressing a conference at the illegal Lefke European University, Ozgurgun underlined the importance of knowing the history of the Cyprus problem in order to understand its current and future dynamics and accused the international community of failing to keep its promises to end the isolation of the "Cyprus Turkish people" seven years ago.

    Commenting on the ongoing negotiations, Ozgurgun said that while certain convergences has been achieved on the chapters of governance and power sharing, EU matters and economy there has been little progress on the chapters of property, territory and security. He complained that while the Turkish Cypriot side is constantly bringing constructive proposals to the table on all the outstanding issues, the Greek Cypriot side is trying to link the chapter on property with the chapter on territory. Moreover, he claimed that the Greek Cypriot side has failed to come up with a practical plan to overcome differences at the Geneva summit, as requested by the UN Secretary-General.

    [03] Bagis accuses the EU of hypocrisy

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.03.11) reports that Turkey's State Minister and Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, speaking at the meeting of the Heads of the Supreme Audit Institutions of the Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries to the EU and the ECA in Istanbul, referred among other issues to the Cyprus problem.

    Noting that the Cyprus issue should not be placed as a condition to Turkey's membership, Bagis said that if the Cyprus problem was so important for Europe, then it should have produced a formula before Cyprus became a member.

    Recalling that the Turkish Cypriots voted "yes" and the Greek Cypriots voted "no" at the Annan plan, Bagis added that two days after this [the referendum] a decision has been taken regarding the isolation of north Cyprus.

    Bagis also said that "many EU member countries have official cooperation with Taiwan, however, they do not want the same cooperation to be implemented with Cyprus. While a Greek Cypriot citizen may cross freely to the north Cyprus and may freely trade, other member countries cannot trade with Cyprus. This is hypocrisy, these two notions do not coincide. We should prevent this. Direct trade should be implemented. Just as the EU member countries want to use Ercan airport [occupied airport of Tymbou] at the TRNC, in the same way the Cyprus [tr.note: Turkish Cypriot] vessels may also use EU ports."

    [04] Occupation regime attends ITB Berlin 2011

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.03.11) reports that the occupation regime will be represented at the annual ITB Berlin 2011 tourism fair, known as the world's leading travel trade show, which kicks off today in the German capital. According to the paper, the breakaway regime will attend the fair with its own stand of 169 square metres. In the fair, representatives from around 180 countries are expected to participate. The Turkish Cypriot participation includes representatives from the "Hoteliers' union", the "Travel Agents' union", the "Restaurant Owners' union", the "Tourist Guides' union", the "Karpass Eco Tourism union" and the Pegasus Airlines, headed by the "permanent undersecretary" of the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture, Sahap Asikoglu.

    [05] Over 50% of registered "social insurances" contributors in the occupied areas are foreigners

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.03.11) reports that Turkay Tokel, self-styled minister of labour and social insurances of the breakaway regime, said that the "Social Insurance Department" could not pay the pensions and every month it is forced to take a loan of 10 million Turkish liras (TL).

    In statements to Kibris TV yesterday, Tokel said that a reform is necessary in social insurances. He noted that he will visit the trade unions within the forthcoming days to discuss the existing difficulties and the measures which should be taken.

    Tokel said 60 thousand persons registered in the "social insurances" pay their monthly contributions while six thousand persons do not. Tokel noted that of those paying monthly contributions, 31 thousand are employed in the occupied areas having obtained a "work permit". He stressed that the retirement age should be raised.



    Today's Turkish press reports on statements by Erdogan on detention of journalists. Statements by Davutoglu during his visit to Athens, the debate in the European Parliament regarding Turkey's report, resignations of government officials who want to run for the general elections in June, the purchase order for 13 Airbus aircrafts by Turkish Airlines, and other internal issues are also covered.

    [06] Davutoglu's contacts in Athens

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (08.03.11) reports from Athens that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Greece yesterday.

    Speaking to reporters aboard the plane, Davutoglu said that he was paying a visit in preparation for Turkey-Greece High-level Cooperation Council meeting. He noted that Turkey wants zero problems and maximum cooperation with its neighbours, expressing determination that the Aegean will be a friendship and prosperity zone.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey did not perceive a threat from Greece, and Greece should not perceive a threat from Turkey and that Turkey wants the status quo to be changed in a positive way. "We want the two countries to establish a new cooperation framework," Davutoglu said. He argued that executives are trying to set up a new model between the two countries, adding that there are some complex problems, like the Aegean dispute, due to prejudices.

    Regarding the Cyprus issue Davutoglu said that the positions of Turkey and Greece are known and the two countries are aware of their differences of opinion."It is obvious that it will be difficult to make progress".

    Davutoglu, who met with the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and the Greek Foreign Minister Dimitrios Droutsas yesterday, continues his three day visit to Greece. Today he is visiting the cities of Komotini, Xanthi, Kavala, and Thessaloniki and he will also hold meetings with intellectuals and journalists.

    [07] Erdogan comments on journalists' arrests

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (09.03.11, online) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan devoted his speech during yesterday's parliamentary meeting to the latest wave of Ergenekon arrests, denying his party and government's links to the arrests.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is also the leader of the governing AK Party, said: "The debate over the arrest of some journalists has turned into an unjust campaign against the government. ? The latest arrests have come as part of the judiciary's own practices. It is a big mistake to link the arrests with our government or party," he stated. Seven individuals -- six of whom are journalists -- were arrested recently as part of the Ergenekon probe.

    Erdogan said 27 journalists are currently behind bars in Turkey, but none of them were arrested on journalism-related charges. Critics of the government and the Ergenekon investigation, claim the journalists were arrested because they wrote anti-AK Party or anti-government articles or books in the past.

    "I am calling on those who have initiated an anti-government campaign over the latest arrests. Which of the journalists has been arrested for criticizing the government? Which one of them has been arrested for journalism-related accusations?" Erdogan stressed.

    However, Erdogan noted the accusation of being a member of a terrorist organization that was established to destroy the constitutional order and democracy is serious and should not be overshadowed by debates over freedom of the press.

    [08] German Green Party criticizes Turkey on journalists' arrests

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (online, 08.03.11) reports that the Co-presidents of Germany's Green Party Claudia Roth and Cem Ozdemir, called for an end to the harassment and pressure of journalists in Turkey. In a press release, they also said that if Turkey wants to serve as a model to the countries of North Africa and to the Arab countries, then it should continue to develop itself in the political field, justice and civil society.

    [09] 2011 General Elections in Turkey

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (08.03.11) reports from Ankara that Turkey's Supreme Board of Election (YSK) has announced the timetable for the general elections, following a unanimous approval by the Turkish Parliament last Thursday to set June 12 as the date for general elections in Turkey.

    YSK said yesterday that the election process will officially begin on March 14. The final lists of deputy candidates of political parties and independent candidates will be announced on April 29. Election process at customs gates will start on May 10, for Turkish citizens living abroad.

    As envisaged by the Turkish constitution, interior, justice and transportation ministers have been replaced by independent individuals appointed by the Prime Minister. In line with such regulation, Ahmet Karaman was appointed as the justice minister, Osman Gunes was named the interior minister and Mehmet Habib Soluk became the transportation minister until the general elections. Prior to the appointment, all three acted as undersecretaries at the said ministries.

    The last parliamentary election was held on July 22, 2007. AK Party won the 2007 elections, gaining 46.5 percent of the national votes and obtained 341 seats in the 550-member parliament. Republican People's Party (CHP) came second, winning 20.8 percent of the votes and 112 seats in parliament. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) collected 14.3 percent of votes and 71 seats.

    [10] Gul says relations with Asia Pacific important for Turkey

    Turkish News Agency Cihan (08.03.11) reports form Istanbul that Turkish President Abdullah Gul delivered a speech yesterday at the 25th Conference of the Confederation of Asia Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI) held at Istanbul.

    Gul said Turkey's economy is vibrant with a young and educated population, and urged Asia Pacific countries to make investments in Turkey. "An office you would open in Turkey or a business area you would engage in, would present a lucrative market not only in Turkey but in the European Union and beyond," Gul said and added that developing and strengthening ties with Asia Pacific countries is one of the main priorities of the Turkish foreign policy.

    He also said Turkey opened new representations in Asia Pacific region; a region described as the "rising star of global economy" and increased the number of direct flights by the Turkish Airlines "I believe this economic miracle that takes place in the Asia-Pacific region should be analyzed well. Political stability and attractive business opportunities for foreign investors are the main motives behind such miracle," Gul also noted.

    [11] Turkish delegation visits Ethiopia

    Under the above title Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (08.03.11) reports form Ankara that the Turkish State Minister for foreign trade Zafer Caglayan left for Ethiopia yesterday. Following his meetings in Ethiopia -including Turkey-Ethiopia Business Forum- between March 8 and 10, Caglayan will proceed to Tanzania on March 11 to hold talks.

    Caglayan is accompanied by a delegation of 100 businessmen. Caglayan's programme was organized by the Assembly of Turkish Exporters (TIM) and Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON).

    [12] Columnist views relations between Turkey and Germany, Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman hosts a commentary by Beril Dedeoglu under the above title. The columnist views relations between the two countries and argues: "Nevertheless, the Turkey-EU relationship is as important as the problems of the Turkish immigrant community in Germany.

    It's known that Germany's current government does not support Turkey's EU bid but proposes another kind of relationship between Europe and Turkey, such as a privileged or strategic partnership. However, Turkey insists that it does not want any kind of special status in place of full EU integration. For Germany, the main obstacle before Turkey's accession is Cyprus, as Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot vessels is seen as a violation of existing agreements. The Turkish prime minister has said that Turkey may extend the customs union to the Greek part of the island and has asked if EU acquis will be applied in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).

    Turkey had another proposal in order to remove the Cyprus question from the centre of EU-Turkey relations. It is known that even the United Nations is about to throw in the towel; concerned at the slow pace of reunification talks, the UN secretary-general is about to present a report in which he stipulates that we are far from a resolution and that the negotiations cannot drag on indefinitely. It seems that the Kosovo model is appearing on the horizon. Who knows, maybe the KKTC will be accepted into the UN simultaneously with Palestine in September 2011?

    This eventuality is, of course, not mentioned on the diplomatic level. Nevertheless, everything else has been said in order to encourage the EU to take responsibility on the Cyprus issue. Prime Minister Erdogan has suggested putting in place a new formation comprising all guarantor countries -- among them the UK -- along with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the UN and the EU. This is a supplementary step proving Turkey's willingness to find a solution. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promptly announced that this was a "nice offer." We doubt if she will still think that way once this formation is established because the Cyprus issue is a diplomatic hot potato. This highly strategic island may even trigger old rivalries between EU members. Furthermore, if one keeps in mind that the US and Russia are never totally absent from the Cyprus issue, we may better understand the stakes. [?]"

    The writer concludes that Germany and Turkey are incapable, as of now, of developing common solutions to the problems concerning Cyprus, Turkey's EU process and Turks living in Germany and supports that a win-win balance can still be found if both agree that long-term gains should not be sacrificed to short-term political disputes.

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 08 March 2011:

    Detention of journalists

    In an article in Milliyet entitled "Are these the Ankara criteria?", Sami Kohen writes about the issue of the detention and arrest of journalists in Turkey in the light of the discussion at the European Parliament, within the framework of the Turkey Progress Report. Kohen recalls that this report is full of violations concerning the freedom of press and expression in Turkey, and predicts that a resolution criticizing Turkey and calling on the country to abide by the Copenhagen criteria regarding the freedom of press and expression will be adopted. Kohen, concludes: "The reactions to the recent arrests indicate that Turkey has not shown the expected progress in the democratization process and in adapting to the Copenhagen criteria. The prime minister had earlier said that Turkey would advance on this road despite the EU and that if necessary the Ankara criteria would be applied instead of the Copenhagen ones. Are these the 'Ankara criteria?'"

    In an article in Star, Ibrahim Kiras draws attention to the serious problems created by the recent arrest of journalists, pointing out that public support for the Ergenekon case is being jeopardized, Turkey's image in the world is being eroded, and consequently its effectiveness in the Middle East as a 'model country" is weakened.

    Hurriyet's Ismet Berkan argues that the special authority granted to prosecutors and judges to hide the evidence of their arrest from suspects is against the Constitution as well as against human rights.

    In his article in Cumhuriyet, Orhan Bursali describes the statement by the Ergenekon prosecutor regarding "secret evidences" as a "life buoy" thrown at the pro-government media. He underlines that the pro-government media has not hesitated to grab this life buoy and to argue that the concerned journalists were not arrested because of their articles or views but because of undisclosed evidence, ignoring the fact that arresting individuals based on undisclosed evidence is a violation of their fundamental rights. Likening this practice to the practices of the Hitler regime, Bursali argues that the prosecutor's statement is legally faulty and constitutes in itself a crime.

    In an article in Vatan, Can Atakli argues that the arrests of Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik have, removed the masks of the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), and the pro-government media. Referring to the "concern" expresses by President Gul regarding the arrests, Atakli asserts that: "The president's statement is a direct intervention in the judiciary." Assuming that the statement issued by Ergenekon prosecutor Zekeriya Oz was also directed at the president, Atakli wonders whether this is the beginning of a show of force between the president and part of the judiciary.

    Kurdish issue/end of PKK cease-fire

    Taha Akyol argues in his article in Milliyet that the public no longer reacts to news about talks between the government and Abdullah Ocalan because of the non-action declarations made from time to time by the PKK leader suspending the acts of terror. The writer adds: "This means that if Ocalan pursues a convincing line in stopping the bloodshed and opening the path to a solution by softening the problem, then the path leading to a solution will in reality become easier." Referring to Ocalan's 5 March remark urging the Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP), to form an election alliance with the Republican People's Party, (CHP), in a bid to cross the 10 percent election threshold, Akyol describes such an alliance as a "theoretical speculation," adding that it is not based on "reality." The writer continues: "The 'reality' of the times is that Ocalan is in need of a political alliance. Can Ocalan expect the public to be temperate toward him by showing the stick of terror and by threatening with death 'moderate' Kurdish intellectuals? Certainly not." The writer concludes that if Ocalan wants to play a "positive" role in the solution of the Kurdish problem he should extend the non-action period, stop threatening Kurdish intellectuals, and be convincing about embracing democratic methods.

    Cuneyt Ozdemir of Radikal views the threats against Kurdish intellectuals and argues that, within the Kurdish movement today, it is impossible for anyone but the PKK to express a view and it is impossible for any formation other than the BDP to exist. Noting that the voices of a few Kurdish intellectuals who have different views are being silenced, Ozdemir argues that if the BDP cannot protect Kurdish intellectuals with whose views it does not agree and does not take a stand against threats directed at them, then that party has no credibility or legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

    International women's day

    In her article in Vatan, Ruhat Mengi says that she has rejected to participate in any meetings or panel discussion to mark the International Women's Day. She explains the futility of celebrating women's day in a country where incidents of violence against women is one of the highest, where honour killings are not prevented, where judges refrain from giving harsh sentences for crimes committed against women, and women are intentionally discriminated against in political life and in the business world.

    Transfer of military monitoring base to MIT

    In an article in Radikal entitled "The military monitoring base is being transferred to MIT", Murat Yetkin views the activities regarding the transfer the General Staff Electronic Systems Command, (GES), to civilian control and to affiliate it with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). Describing GES as Turkey's highest capacity electronic intelligence and monitoring base, Yetkin notes that these activities aimed at transferring GES to MIT can be interpreted as a turning point from the viewpoint of political-military relations. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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