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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-10

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] Eroglu alleges that the "citizenship" given by the regime protected by its "constitution"
  • [02] Ozgurgun: the UNSG's report is a blow to the Greek Cypriots
  • [03] Press coverage of the EP resolution on Turkey
  • [04] Eroglu's adviser says geographic borders should exist after the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [05] A person detained regarding the shooting incident against Afrika newspaper
  • [06] The occupation regime bans the right to strike
  • [07] 15.000 German tourists are expected to visit occupied Cyprus this year
  • [08] Turkey's Cukurova University to open campus in occupied Trikomo
  • [09] Onur Air to begin operating in occupied Cyprus

  • [10] Press coverage on the EP resolution on Turkey
  • [11] Turkish MFA's press release on the European Parliament's (EP) 2011 report on Turkey
  • [12] Bagis describes EP report 'balanced', criticizes comments on Cyprus problem
  • [13] Highlights


    The Turkish Cypriot newspapers today give extensive coverage to the resolution on Turkey endorsed yesterday by the European Parliament, as well as to the statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu after his meeting with President Christofias within the framework of the Cyprus talks. In addition, an interview by the so-called foreign minister's Ozgurgun and statements by a member of Eroglu's "Advisory Council" in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are also reported. Moreover, arrests in connection with the shooting against Afrika newspaper, breakaway regime's participation in the ITB Berlin 2011, reports that Cukurova University will open a campus in occupied Trikomo, reports that Onur Air will begin flights to and from occupied Cyprus, and other internal issues are covered by the press today.

    [01] Eroglu alleges that the "citizenship" given by the regime protected by its "constitution"

    Under the title "It will be discussed a lot", Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (10.03.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the "citizenship" given by the breakaway regime is under the protection of its "constitution". In statements yesterday after his meeting with President Christofias within the framework of the Cyprus talks, Eroglu claimed that even though the world does not recognize the "TRNC" and its "government", this "state", its "authorities" and its actions exist.

    Eroglu said the leaders continued the discussion of the "citizenship" issue yesterday. He noted that the Turkish Cypriot side responded both orally and in writing to the views of the Greek Cypriot side on this issue. He added: "It seems that this issue will be discussed a lot. Differences exist on the issue between our views and their views. Of course, the citizenship we have given is under the protection of our constitution. We continue to insist on this issue".

    Eroglu said if there is an agreement, the issue of how the "partnership state" will be granting its citizenship will be a matter of another discussion. He alleged: "The Greek Cypriots have been giving citizenship since 1963 and we have been giving citizenship since 1975. We do not want to discuss this issue. However, it is obvious that the Greek Cypriots will continue making this issue a matter of discussion for a long time".

    Eroglu said the next meeting between the leaders will be held on 18 March at 16.00 hours. He noted that the representatives of the leaders will continue discussing the chapter of "Governance and Power Sharing" and the "citizenship" under this chapter.

    Responding to a question, Eroglu confirmed the information published in the Greek Cypriot press that the UN welcomed the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side on the "property" issue. He said in various occasions the UN Secretary-General and some other foreigners told the Turkish side that they adopt its proposals on the property issue. He noted that the position of the Turkish side is based on the restitution, exchange and compensation of property and provides for the exchange of the Turkish Cypriot properties abandoned in the government-controlled areas of the Republic after the value of these properties is estimated. He said studies have been carried out on how this evaluation will be made.

    Eroglu noted that in the next few days a Greek Cypriot delegation and then a Turkish Cypriot delegation will travel to New York for separate meetings with UN experts.


    [02] Ozgurgun: the UNSG's report is a blow to the Greek Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (10.03.11) publishes an interview of the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun to Sefa Karahasan. Ozgurgun said that the Cyprus talks are not progressing very well, adding that although the Turkish Cypriot side wants to have results, the Greek Cypriot side presents obstacles. He said the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus is a blow to the Greek Cypriots and added that it is not certain whether the report will be approved by the Security Council, noting that Russia and China are members of the Security Council.

    Ozgurgun also said that President Christofias does not want a settlement, because he sees the current condition as a solution. He added that the Greek Cypriots have the "Republic of Cyprus" which is an EU member country and they want to make a deal with the Turkish Cypriots on this established structure and to continue in this way.

    [03] Press coverage of the EP resolution on Turkey

    The Turkish Cypriot press (10.03.11) gives extensive coverage to the resolution on Turkey endorsed yesterday by the European Parliament (EP). The press focuses on the part of the decision regarding Cyprus.

    Under the title "'Withdraw your army'", Kibris writes that the decision includes "harsh expressions" on the Cyprus problem. The paper describes the decision as "anti-Turkey decision" and notes that it urges Turkey to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus and facilitate the creation of an appropriate climate for the negotiations.

    Under the title "Withdraw your army from Cyprus!" Kibrisli points out that the decision was endorsed with great majority and it asked Turkey to facilitate the work of the committee on the missing persons in Cyprus. The paper notes also that Turkey and the "TRNC" are urged to avoid transferring more population to the island.

    Gunes refers to the issue under the title "The EP decision is unacceptable".

    Under the title "'Start immediately to withdraw your army'", Star Kibris describes the decision as "ultimatum on Cyprus" to Turkey from the EP.

    Yeni Volkan covers the issue under the title "Withdraw immediately your army from Cyprus" and notes that the decision includes the Greek demands.


    [04] Eroglu's adviser says geographic borders should exist after the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (10.03.11) reports that Ismail Bozkurt, member of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's "Advisory Council" in the negotiations, said a new system is necessary for the Turkish Cypriots to solve their internal problems. In statements to Ada TV, Bozkurt noted yesterday that the Cyprus issue is not the only problem of the Turkish Cypriots.

    "We have to solve our internal problems first and then sit and think about the period after the solution [of the Cyprus problem]", he added.

    Bozkurt said there is no reference in the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus regarding the structure of the state, adding that some experts think that the state in this constitution is a federation. Noting that some other experts believe that this state is a confederation, Bozkurt added that he agrees with those who argue that this is a confederation. He expressed the view that the power of the President to veto certain decisions and the separate majorities in the parliament, for example, are features of a confederation.

    Bozkurt said geographic separation did not exist in the system which had been established in the past [Tr. Note: That is, in the Republic of Cyprus] and added that the new system which will be established [taking into account] the present conditions, should include geographic borders.


    [05] A person detained regarding the shooting incident against Afrika newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (10.03.11) reports that two weeks after the shooting incident against Afrika newspaper a person named Feza Bilir was taken to "court" yesterday which decided that this person should remain in custody for two days. According to the paper, Bilir comes from Elazig, Turkey, and he is married to a Turkish Cypriot woman. He is accused of being an accomplice in the shooting incident against Afrika.

    In a written statement yesterday, the "police" confirmed that the gun found in the parking place of illegal Tumvou airport after the shooting against Afrika had been used in the incident. The "police" suspect a 20-year old person from Turkey with the initials E.S for being the perpetrator of the attack against Afrika. The same person had carried an empty envelope to the paper one day before the incident. E.S entered the occupied areas of Cyprus on 22 February and left on 26 February. The shooting incident occurred on the 25th of the same month.

    The paper writes that if the above-mentioned person did not enter into the occupied areas carrying a gun, the question who gave him the gun remains unanswered. The "police" said they briefed the Turkish police and asked for information on some issues.


    [06] The occupation regime bans the right to strike

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (10.03.11), the so-called council of ministers decided yesterday to waive the right to strike in the "Courts" and the "Registration Office". The so-called government spokesman Huseyin Ozgurgun said that the decision was taken because the strikes in the "courts" have caused delays and problems.

    Mehmet Ozkardas, chairman of the "Civil" Servants' Trade Union (Kamu-Sen), in a statement on behalf of the Platform, said that these prohibitions will not intimidate them, adding that the Platform will continue its struggle against the economic package and will protect the identity of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Ahmet Kaptan chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS) described the 60-days-ban on strikes as anti-democratic. He underlined that they have not surrendered and will not surrender to the fascist and dictatoral administration of the National Unity Party (UBP).

    [07] 15.000 German tourists are expected to visit occupied Cyprus this year

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.03.11) reports on statement by Sahap Asikoglu, an "official" of the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture, during annual ITB Berlin 2011 tourism fair known as the world's leading travel trade show, which kicked off yesterday in the German capital and will last until March 13. The breakaway regime participates in the fair with a stand of 169 square metres, having as its theme the occupied Bellapais Monastery.

    Speaking to the correspondents of illegal TAK news agency and BRT television, Asikolgu said that in previous years the "TRNC" took part in 7-8 fairs, while this year, it is expected to participate in 13-14 fairs by the end of the season. Noting that last year 6 thousand German tourists visited occupied Cyprus, Asikoglu said that this year, 15 thousand German tourists are expected to visit the area, only by charter flights. Eight thousand have already done so.

    Asikoglu, inter alia, pointed out that cooperation has begun with three new German tour operators, and that efforts have also begun for winter tourism. Noting that a 150% increase from the German market is expected this year, he added that they want to make agreements with at least two more tour operators.

    Evaluating the general prospects for tourism, Asikoglu said that at the moment, these are good, noting that there will be a rise in the number of tourists by 30-40%.

    Moreover, Dervis Gezer, "director" of the so-called tourism-marketing department, recalled that the previous two years the "TRNC" stand was named the best stand of the fair and expressed the hope this will be the case this year as well. Gezer said that despite the negative propaganda included in the brochures distributed to the visitors at the Cyprus Republic stand, curiosity is stimulated and visitors to the fair find and visit the "TRNC" stand. "Consequently, this has a positive effect on us," he added.

    [08] Turkey's Cukurova University to open campus in occupied Trikomo

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (10.03.11) reports that the so-called parliament of the breakaway regime has approved a request by Turkey's Cukurova University to open a campus in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. In a written statement, Cukurova University rector, Prof. Dr Alper Akinoglu, noted that the university will be constructed in occupied Trikomo area and will initially comprise medical school and school of dentistry. Construction work will begin using funds made available by the "TRNC".

    [09] Onur Air to begin operating in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.03.11) reports that Onur Air, one of the leading private airline companies in Turkey with a fleet of 30 aircrafts, is to begin flights to and from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Scheduled flights between illegal Ercan (occupied Tymvou) Airport and Istanbul Ataturk Airport will begin on Thursday, March 31 and flights will take place twice a day. In addition, according to Onur Air general director, Sahabettin Bolukcu, the airlines, will begin flying between Turkey's Trabzon and occupied Lefkosia twice a week, as of May 19.


    Today's Turkish press reports on the resolution adopted by the European Parliament regarding Turkey's progress report and the reaction by Bagis, Davutoglu and Turkey's MFA, Davutoglu's visit to Greece, the ongoing reaction to the detention of journalists and other internal issues.

    [10] Press coverage on the EP resolution on Turkey

    Today's Turkish press (10.03.11) reports on the EP resolution on Turkey, though not extensively and mostly in inside pages.

    The news is covered under the following headlines:

    Sabah: "Sener and Sik are included in the report". The paper reports that the parliament decided to set up a committee to follow the trial of journalists Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik who were arrested under the Ergenekon investigation.

    Cumhuriyet: "harsh warning from Europe", front-page report.

    Hurriyet: "Bagis: the EP report is conflicting".

    Milliyet: "There is problem of progress!" The paper reports that the problem of credibility and Turkey's lack of progress is also stressed in the report.

    Radikal: "The European Parliament threw the ball to Turkey"

    Zaman: "Bagis: the approved report should not be taken very seriously"

    Yeni Safak: "MFA's reaction: the report is one-sided"

    [11] Turkish MFA's press release on the European Parliament's (EP) 2011 report on Turkey

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued (09.03.11, online) the following press release: "The European Parliament (EP) 2011 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch Christian Democrat Ms. Ria Oomen-Ruijten, has been voted and adopted today (9 March) at the Plenary Session in Strasbourg.

    Assessments of the EU institutions regarding candidate countries should be conducive to furthering the accession process and encouraging the candidate country, while also drawing attention to the requirements to be met during the accession process. However, the report on Turkey, adopted at the EP Plenary Session today, while partially referring to the positive steps taken in the field of reforms in our country, essentially takes a one-sided stance and includes elements that do not correspond to the realities and hence are not acceptable to us.

    As a negotiating candidate country, Turkey expects the EP, being the representative of the peoples of Europe and the voice of the EU public opinions, to be fair and objective and to demonstrate a serious attitude in line with its mandate.

    We see that some issues are included in the Report by domestic political considerations of a limited number of MEPs representing certain Member States at the risk of disregarding the EU's interests. It is not possible to set this approach on a wise and rational context given the historical background of Turkey-EU relations, the values, interests and goals that Turkey and the EU share as well as the level that our relations have reached today.

    The documents and reports that are published by the EP will only have a meaning for Turkey if a serious, constructive and unbiased attitude is adopted.

    No one should doubt that we will continue to claim our acquired rights and advance with resolve towards our goal of accession to the EU."

    [12] Bagis describes EP report 'balanced', criticizes comments on Cyprus problem

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (09.03.11) reports from Ankara that Turkey's chief EU negotiator said yesterday that there were contradictory remarks in the European Parliament latest resolution on Turkey's progress in its EU membership process.

    Commenting on the approval of a resolution on Turkey's 2010 progress report in EP general assembly, Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU Talks Egemen Bagis said, "It is a great contradiction to criticize Turkey for not making progress in Ergenekon case and regarding coup allegations, and on the other hand, to claim that detentions conducted within such framework are harmful to freedom of press".

    Noting that Turkey both approved and objected to several parts of the report, Bagis said, nonetheless, it was the first time that the European Parliament had adopted such a balanced report.

    "There are still some presuppositions and prejudices regarding the Cyprus issue and freedom of press. It is impossible for us to accept these," he said. Bagis said that the report was not a binding document, adding that the actual situation in Cyprus was obvious and efforts to put the blame on Turkey would not yield to any results. The negotiator said European Parliament preferred to ignore the reality in the island.

    Bagis also noted that the report had disappointed the circles that had been expecting a disaster scenario. "Even the European Parliament, which is a platform where opposition to Turkey is expressed in the harshest way, has started to see the reality and to understand that time is on Turkey's side? Circles that are trying to hinder Turkey's EU process continue to lose ground each passing day," he said.

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 09 March 2011:

    Ergenekon probe

    In his article entitled in Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review "Ergenekon reloaded - or a leap of McCarthyism" Mustafa Akyol criticizes the course of the Ergenekon probe, expresses concern about the opening of the "'Ergenekon's media branch,' as the prosecutors and their defenders in the media defined it." He also questions the prosecutor's effort "to find new suspects for the investigation".

    Writing in the same newspaper, Burak Bekdil asserts that the detention of the journalists in the Ergenekon probe was not an unexpected development. The columnist sees the detention of journalists as part of the ruling Justice and Development Party's [AKP] "religious war" and claims: "With a powerful hatred of the 'other' and enjoying a popular support based on 'head-count democracy,' neo/post-modern/whatever Islamists are fighting to create a unified form of observance -- theirs. They are offering the enemy two choices: Convert to our observance of Islam, or you'll be crushed!"

    Also writing in the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Soner Cagaptay warns that "Ergenekon has devolved into a witch hunt, reminiscent of the McCarthy trials in the United States. In his article entitled "Ending Turkey's nightmare," Cagaptay asserts that the state of intimidation has turned into a nightmare, but things could still end well if the independent media can stand against the "crimes" committed in the name of the Ergenekon probe. "Never before has media independence been so crucial to the Turkish democracy," he concludes.

    In his article in Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin analyses of the files including the depositions given by journalist Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, detained on charges of being members of the "Ergenekon terror organization." Noting that the two journalists were detained in accordance with the evidence obtained through the wiretapping of their telephone conversations and the word documents seized at OdaTV, a news portal owned by another detained journalist Soner Yalcin, Ergin says that the prosecutor claims that there is an "organizational link" between Yalcin, Sener, and Sik. Those word documents will constitute "the most critical" dimension of the probe, he says, but also notes that he is unable to make an assessment regarding the evidence that is kept "secret" by the prosecutor.

    Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu argues that the recent arrest of a number of journalists as part of the Ergenekon investigation has undermined the legitimacy of the Ergenekon case by consolidating the public impression that the authorities conducting the investigation are abusing it as a means of settling personal scores. He claims that while the Ergenekon trial continues to be the most critical case in an ongoing process of democratization and demilitarization in the country, the arrest of journalists like Hanefi Avci, Ahmet Sik, and Nedim Sener, "who appear to have committed the crime of harming the Ergenekon investigation, with which they are charged, only by publishing books or carrying out journalistic activities," has created doubts about the ultimate purpose of the investigation. He also claims that prosecutor Zekeriya Oz's statement asserting that the exact charges against these journalists cannot be revealed on grounds of secrecy is far from satisfactory.

    Under the headline "Israel's Back Room," Yeni Akit carries a front-page report which asserts that Oda TV, (a news website whose offices were recently searched by the police as part of the Ergenekon probe), is said to be a mouthpiece for Israel because of its tendency to publish reports and articles "aimed at clearing Israel." The report quotes journalist Ahmet Sik, who was recently jailed on Ergenekon-related charges, as saying that Soner Yalcin, the proprietor of OdaTV, was arrested not because of his journalistic activities but because of his links with Israeli intelligence units.

    Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal objects to what he describes as recent commentaries that question the legitimacy of the entire Ergenekon trial based on the arrest of "a few journalists." He claims that the Ergenekon organization is too complex to be judged on the basis of any single police operation or the arrest of any one suspect. He asserts that while the detention of some of "our colleagues" is "not nice" and "hard to explain [...] we have no choice but to wait for the judicial process to unfold." He also claims that the Turkish news media have failed to pass "the test of democracy" many times and have allowed themselves on numerous occasions in the past to be used as a means of carrying out military "action plans" against elected governments and "psychological warfare tactics" intended to promote militarist agendas.

    Today's Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce criticizes part of the news media including "even those who have fought tooth and nail from the beginning to expose the illegal structure within the state [called Ergenekon]" for what he claims to be their efforts to "distort the [Ergenekon] case on the pretext of showing solidarity" with the journalists recently arrested in the investigation.

    Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar criticizes the recent arrest of a number of journalists as part of the Ergenekon probe as a "misstep" that has strengthened the perception that authorities are tightening their "grip" on "the fourth estate." He also comments on the "bigger picture" that "insiders like me [...] see [...] when discussing the state of press freedoms in Turkey. It is, in other words, impossible to approach the issue without [taking account of] the nature of journalism some of our colleagues are involved in and the role of media owners in the professional misery of the sector."

    Milli Gazete columnist Nedim Odabas accuses part of the news media of trying to prevent the Ergenekon investigation from continuing properly in "raising a ruckus" over the arrest of a number of journalists. He also claims that most critics of the arrests did not express any concern about the restrictions imposed on human rights and freedoms during the 28 February process.

    PKK threatens Kurdish intellectuals

    Milliyet columnist Hasan Cemal criticizes the PKK for threatening the Kurdish intellectuals Umit Firat, Orhan Miroglu, Muhsin Kizilkaya, Mehmet Metiner, and Sivan Perwer who refuse to support the policies imposed by the organization and Ocalan. He quotes Umit Firat as saying: "We are confronted with a political structure that always talks about peace and democracy and defines itself as a 'Movement for Kurdish Freedom,' but, at the same time, takes its leader's implied dislike of a person as an execution order..." Noting that the Kurdish intellectuals refuse to remain silent in the face of the PKK threats, Cemal slams those who force the intellectuals to make a choice between the state and the PKK. He says: "An intellectual cannot be silenced by threats, including the death threat. This should be understood very well... The true path can be found only by means of criticism and a critical mindset. Therefore, both Imrali and Qandil must immediately engage in self-criticism."

    In his column in Radikal, Cengiz Candar also focuses on the death threats against the Kurdish intellectuals. He says that the PKK threats against certain intellectuals "mainly harm the Kurdish political movement." Recalling that the Democratic Society Congress, DTK, was established in an effort to create a "common platform" for the Kurds having different views, he asks whether anyone will dare to participate in the DTK after the "pressure and threats" against the prominent figures who have voiced Kurdish demands throughout their lives. Candar concludes by urging DTK co-leaders Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk to side with the Kurdish intellectuals and also calls on Karayilan to deny the death threats.

    In his column in Taraf, Ahmet Altan slams the PKK for threatening Sivan Perwer for his relations with some AKP officials. Recalling that Ocalan has also been negotiating with the state officials for some time, he criticizes the PKK for trying to restrict the Kurdish artist's relations with the Turkish officials. He also questions the organization's understanding of "independence," saying that independence can be achieved by having the courage to protect the Kurds' values. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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