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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-24

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 rejects the Greek Cypriot proposals for joint census
  • [02] Kucuk says "DPO" launch preparations for census
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot politicians react on the proposal for a common census
  • [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the rejection by Eroglu of President Christofias' proposal for a simultaneous population census
  • [05] Havadis alleges that President Christofias abandoned the position that the property owner should have the first say
  • [06] Izcan calls for a "population census" under the supervision of international observers
  • [07] More on the trade union's protest in Brussels
  • [08] The German-Turkish Law Council to be officially established today in Germany
  • [09] New Chairman of "North Cyprus Airlines" says flights will not start at the end of March
  • [10] "Gigantic trade deficit"

  • [11] Minister Criticizes EU Stance on Construction of Nuclear Plant in Turkey
  • [12] Egemen Bagis blasts the European Parliament's report on Turkey
  • [13] Civil disobedience call for Kurdish issue
  • [14] Turkey ? Libya


    A statement by Eroglu that he rejected President Christofias' proposal regarding holding a simultaneous population census on both sides of the island, a statement by Kucuk that the regime will hold its own population census within 2011, reactions to Eroglu's statement, the contacts of Izzet Izcan and representatives of ten trade unions in Brussels, and other internal issues are the main topics in the Turkish Cypriot press today. The developments in Libya, the establishment of a Turkish-German Council with the aim of contributing to Turkey's EU accession course, developments on the establishment of the new Turkish Cypriot airlines and figures on the exports and imports of the regime in 2010 are other issues covered by the papers.

    [01] Eroglu rejects the Greek Cypriot proposals for joint census

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.03.11), speaking after the meeting with the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said that the Greek Cypriot side's proposals to hold a simultaneous census on both sides of the island was unacceptable. He also said: "We are a separate state. We can't accept this. I discussed the issue with the Prime Minister yesterday and we have agreed to hold a separate census here in the TRNC in cooperation with the United Nations. We however have no intention of holding a simultaneous census with the south".

    Eroglu also pointed out that divergences remained on the issue of citizenship between the two sides.

    Responding to questions, Erolgu said that the "government" had already launched work to conduct such a census. As to when the census would be carried out, Eroglu said that he had called for a meeting with the "State Planning Organization" (DPO) tomorrow.

    "What is important is that the census be carried out according to international standards and criteria", he concluded.

    [02] Kucuk says "DPO" launch preparations for census

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.03.11), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, speaking to reporters before entering a "council of ministers" meeting, said that he has instructed the "State Planning Organization" (DPO) to begin preparations to hold a "nation-wide" census. He said that preparations were expected to be completed by the end of this year.

    Kucuk also said that work was already underway to conduct an agricultural census in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, adding, "We shall employee different methods when conducting the next population census, without having to confine people to their homes. We are planning to conduct a census based on addresses. The population count will be carried out by the municipalities and district offices."

    [03] Turkish Cypriot politicians react on the proposal for a common census

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (24.03.11) reports on statements of various politicians who commented President Christofias' proposal for a simultaneous census. Mehmet Cakici chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) wondered if, since they [Turkish Cypriots] also want a census, they are afraid of it and therefore they object. He supported that the census can take place simultaneously under UN observers and they just have to decide on a common date.

    Kutlay Erk the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) stated that a census is necessary; however, they will take the decision, as Turkish Cypriots, and justified Eroglu's reaction. "If it fits, and a census can take place on the same time with the south, it would be good...but it is not correct to insist on a simultaneous census," said Erk.

    Turgay Avci general chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) described the proposal as unacceptable and said that they have their own "state", which is able to conduct a census of the population living in its territory. Referring to President Christofias he said that Christofias can conduct a census on his own country but it is unacceptable to produce ideas for a census in the "TRNC".

    [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the rejection by Eroglu of President Christofias' proposal for a simultaneous population census

    The Turkish Cypriot press (24.03.11) gives extensive coverage to the rejection of President Christofias' proposal by the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu for a simultaneous population census in both the occupied and the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Under the title, "Fear for the population", daily Afrika reports that the Turkish side is reluctant on the issue of holding a population census. Noting that Eroglu rejected President Christofias' proposal for holding a simultaneous population census in both sides of the island, the paper writes that the Turkish side was not convinced on the necessity of the UN Population Fund's aid in holding the census. "It accepts the cooperation with the UN, but refrains from strict control," writes the paper referring to the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Under the title, "A population census will be held", daily Gunes reports that Eroglu rejected "Christofias trap-proposal on the issue of the population census" and informed the Greek Cypriot leader that the "TRNC" will hold its own population census.

    Under the title, "How many persons are we?", daily Ortam reports that no one knows the exact number of the population in the occupied area of Cyprus, even though some say that this number is 300 thousands, some argue that it is one million, former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat referred to 500 thousands and self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk said "we are crowded". The paper notes that the population is "the main source of the problems" in occupied Cyprus and adds that this issue "topped the agenda again".

    Under the title "The cunning of the census", daily Haberdar reports that President Christofias submitted his proposal on holding a simultaneous population census in both sides knowing that the Turkish Cypriot side would reject it. The paper argues that this proposal is in harmony with President Christofias' "single country, single people" policy. Sources close to the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team told Haberdar that in case this proposal was accepted by the Turkish side, the "TRNC", which "held separate referendum on its own free will and with its own laws in 2004", would return to the pre-2004 period and "would be considered incompetent by the international community".

    Other newspapers cover the issue under the following titles:

    Halkin Sesi: "Population census crisis".

    Yeni Duzen : ?Eroglu rejected the proposal for a simultaneous population census?.

    Vatan: "Preparations started for a population census".


    [05] Havadis alleges that President Christofias abandoned the position that the property owner should have the first say

    Under the title "Christofias stepped back", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (24.03.11) alleges that President Christofias "stepped back" from his position that the property owners should have the first say in choosing what to do with their property. Citing "reliable sources", the paper argues that the most important reason for this development were the meetings held months ago between Turkish Cypriot and United Nations experts in the USA. The paper writes that the proposals prepared by the Turkish Cypriot experts in cooperation with the experts from the UN, were included in the UN's report in November 2010 as "new and constructive proposals".

    According to Havadis, the Greek Cypriot delegation, which visited the USA two weeks ago, was disappointed by the results of this visit. The same "reliable sources" told Havadis that the UN experts clearly told the Greek Cypriot delegation that the Greek Cypriot side will be the one which will lose in this process, if the right of the owner to have the first say on his property is not abandoned and a property regime on the basis of certain criteria is not discussed. Another view conveyed to the Greek Cypriot delegation, alleges the paper, is that the Turkish properties in the free areas of the Republic should be developed and their value should be increased before an exchange of properties is made, "as both sides want".

    The paper alleges that President Christofias told American officials that the majority of the Greek Cypriots would not want to return to their properties under Turkish administration and that he would not insist further on the right of the owners to have the first say on their property. The paper claims that President Christofias avoids revealing this to his people because of the elections. The same sources believe that President Christofias will reveal this after the parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey in May and June respectively and that in this manner the process will be accelerated.


    [06] Izcan calls for a "population census" under the supervision of international observers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.03.11) reports on statements of Izzet Izcan, secretary general of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), addressing a meeting organized by the right-wing group of the European Parliament (EP), entitled "Cypriots create their common future". In his speech, Izcan referred to the rallies held in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus saying that the Turkish Cypriots put forth their will for peace and solution and he called on the EP parliamentarians to support this will.

    Izcan, inter alia, said that due to the population transferred to Cyprus by Ankara, contrary to the Geneva Convention, the demographic structure of "northern Cyprus" changed entirely, adding that the "Turkish Cypriots are left with the risk of losing their identity and existence". In his address, Izcan asked for a "population census" under the supervision of international observers.

    [07] More on the trade union's protest in Brussels

    Under the front-page title, "Greek Cypriot's servants get out of control", Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (24.03.11) reports in its subtitle that Sener Elcil, a trade union "aga" as the paper calls him "and its collaborators speaking together with the Greek Cypriot mouthpiece, they continued accusing motherland Turkey and calling the imperialist powers to intervene".

    The paper reports on yesterday's protest organized by 15 trade union representatives in front of the European Parliament's building in Brussels and writes that after Brussels, the trade union chairmen again with the support of their Greek Cypriot partners will go to New York in order to organize a new protest against Turkey in front of the UN's building.

    The paper continues and alleges that it is the General Secretary of AKEL who arranged the meetings of the representatives of the trade unions with European MP's in Brussels.

    In his statements yesterday to SIM TV, Sener Elcil, stated, inter alia: "We represent the people's desire, we will continue accusing Turkey since it tries to eradicate the Turkish Cypriots and our next protest will be in front of the UN's building in New York".

    Also, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (24.03.11) in his statements on the same issue after the "council of ministers meeting" yesterday, self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk referred to the protest organized yesterday in Brussels and said that it is not possible to assert and accept these kind of initiatives which are against motherland Turkey and the "country".


    [08] The German-Turkish Law Council to be officially established today in Germany

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (24.03.11) reports that the "German-Turkish Law Council" is to be officially established today in Germany.

    According to the paper, the establishment of the Council is a result of an initiative being undertaken by both Dr Kandemir Ozdemir, the self-styled honorary counsellor of the breakaway regime in Germany and Dr Hakkan Akbulut, counsellor of the Turkish Republic in Essen.

    The aim of the Council is to support the legal progress of Turkey's EU negotiation process, to contribute to the better understanding of the Turkish positions in the international arena and to provide judicial assistance to the Turkish citizens who live in Germany.

    Among the members of the Council are, apart from Dr Ozdemir, the chairman of the Supreme Court of Arnsberg, Dr Christian Muller the chairman of the Supreme Court of Essen Dusselforf Mrs Monika Anders and others.

    According to the paper, Kudret Ozerday, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is to participate in a conference which is to be organized by the Council in June. Ozersay will deliver a speech regarding the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus, writes the paper.


    [09] New Chairman of "North Cyprus Airlines" says flights will not start at the end of March

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (24.03.11) reports that Hamdi Topcu the chairman of the Turkish Airlines administration board gave an interview in Ada TV station. Answering to questions, Topcu said that he is currently in Cyprus in order to assist in the establishment of "North Cyprus Airlines". He said that all preparations and procedures are ready, but they are waiting for an official approval in order to start flights. He reminded that they create a new company from scratch; that it takes at least one year for a private company to be established and said that after they receive an official approval by the competition council they will establish the new airline.

    Topcu, who will be acting for one year as the chairman of the administration board in "North Cyprus Airlines" said that he wishes to create a model structure for the new company. A structure that, given the privatizations that are to follow [in order to implement "TRNC's" economic reform], will be a model for the cooperation of private and public sector in Cyprus [Tr. note: the occupied part of northern Cyprus]. He also said that approximately 220 former Cyprus Turkish Airlines employees will be employed in the new airline.

    [10] "Gigantic trade deficit"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (24.03.11) publishes statistical data regarding "TRNC's" trade balance. According to the paper, in 2010 total exports amounted to 91 million US dollars, whereas for the same period the imported goods reached a total value of 1.5 billion dollars. Turkey was the primary market of exported goods, receiving 50% of the exports, whereas countries in the Far East had received only 0.5% of the exported goods.

    Exports according to countries in 2010 (in millions)Turkey$ 44,741,216EU countries $ 6,270,972Far East countries $ 328,366Other European countries $ 3,618,823Middle East countries $ 31,104,188Other countries $ 4,810,662TOTAL $ 90,874,227


    Main issues in today's Turkish newspapers are the recent developments concerning the military operation in Libya, a call made by the Turkish President Gul to the Libyan leader Gaddafi to step down to prevent more bloodshed in the country, as well as reports that Turkey has send four frigates, a submarine and an auxiliary warship to a NATO mission that will enforce the arms embargo off the coast of Libya. Moreover, the meeting of President Christofias with the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu in the framework of the Cyprus negotiation process, the meetings of the Turkish Premier Erdogan with the Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Al Khalifa and the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Al Nahyan, Gul's tour visit to Ghana and Gabon, reports that annual inflation in Turkey dropped to 4.16% and reached the lowest level in 41 years, and other internal issues are also covered by the press.

    [11] Minister Criticizes EU Stance on Construction of Nuclear Plant in Turkey

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.11), the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said that the stance of the European Union (EU) in putting forth criteria regarding nuclear power plants was not meaningful in political sense as it did not open chapter heading on energy with non-technical reasons.

    Asked to comment on an EU letter requesting implementation of EU criteria on nuclear power plants, Yildiz said he would talk to the European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger on the matter. Yildiz said Turkey would fulfill all criteria of International Atomic Energy Agency in construction of nuclear power plant.

    [12] Egemen Bagis blasts the European Parliament's report on Turkey

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.03.11) publishes an article by Egemen Bagis, Turkey's Chief EU negotiator, where he blasts the recently published European Parliament's report on Turkey.

    The article reads as follows:

    "The fifth report of the European Parliament (EP) on Turkey was adopted on March 9, 2011 by the Plenary Assembly of the EP. Public debate on this report had already started after its approval in the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

    Whereas significant changes were made to the report at the Plenary Assembly, the final text does not appear to have been written with an objective and balanced approach. Once again, it seems that the EP report was the result of 'horse trading'. Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the EP Rapporteur who prepared this document, wrote an article in Zaman on March 16 in response to our reactions to the report.

    Oomen-Ruijten's wish to make a statement to the Turkish public through this article should be viewed positively. I consider this attitude to be very important in terms of maintaining an open dialogue and furthering contact between the members of the EP and the Turkish public. I would also like to underline the significance of the efforts of the EP Rapporteur to employ a balanced approach in her article, which we were not able to discern in the report. A balanced approach may be discerned through the content and nature of the criticism and praises, not the number of times these have been expressed in the document. To line up critical remarks with positive ones and conclude on the basis of this that the report is balanced would be an incomplete and faulty approach.

    Similar to the report, there are some matters in Oomen-Ruijten's article that are based on prejudice and need to be revised.

    As we have known each other for a long time and have worked closely for the last two years, I feel obliged to increase the awareness of the public in Europe and Turkey regarding issues on which Oomen-Ruijten is mistaken.

    As we stated following the publication of this report, criticizing Turkey for a lack of progress in the Ergenekon case and the planned coup d'?tat, while referring to detentions related to this case as restrictions of freedom of the press is a serious contradiction. To treat freedom of the press as the freedom to commit crimes or devious acts is not an approach that is conducive to the EU's historical mission.

    The Rapporteur states that members of the EP have access to the relevant documents on all of the developments in Turkey. The significant role of the press, apart from official sources, in providing information may be discerned from the report. Whereas the Secretariat General for EU Affairs (ABGS) regularly informs relevant EU institutions on Turkey's progress in the negotiation process, the sources cited in the report seemed only to be information obtained from the media.

    Would it be possible to access such a variety of information from a country in which freedom of the press was restricted?

    The members of the EP have not taken note of the return of Kurdish intellectuals who had left Turkey due to anti-democratic practices in the past, and that is not comprehensible. Contrary to what Oomen-Ruijten has stated, either the members of the EP are not following the developments in Turkey as much as they should, or some issues are being intentionally disregarded.

    We feel that it would be useful to pose the following question: If the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press were still restricted or had not progressed in Turkey, would Kurdish journalists, intellectuals and artists who left the country two or three decades ago make plans to return today? Would Kurdish intellectuals living in Sweden and Germany, countries with the highest democratic standards in Europe, plan to leave these countries to return to Turkey if they did not believe that they would be able to express themselves at least as freely as in those countries?

    In this report, we observed with regret that the EP has been misinformed on the right to the freedom of expression or has based its opinions on biased information. On the other hand, Oomen-Ruijten wishes that the report would not be used in the election campaigns in Turkey.

    We must point out that Oomen-Ruijten should expect the same from the EP and EU member states. The Rapporteur is criticizing herself with her own words.

    In all of its election campaigns, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government underlined its determination to progress in the EU accession process and used each election as an opportunity to increase the public's motivation for EU membership. The commitment of the AK Party to change and transform in the framework of the EU accession process has had a significant role in its success in the 2002 and 2007 general elections.

    However, the situation has been completely different in EU member states. Including elections to the EP, politicians lacking vision have believed that opposition to Turkey would increase their success in elections. In addition, the EU has not always kept its promises to Turkey.

    If the EP and EU member states had not made Turkey an issue in their elections, then the EU would neither be facing the danger of losing Turkey nor would the adverse scenarios on the future of the EU be viable today. If there is increasing mistrust in Turkey regarding the EU and if there are concerns about the EU accession process, which had support until recently, it is not Turkey but the EU that needs to reflect on this.

    Finally, we believe Oomen-Ruijten's recommendation on the cooperation of the government and the opposition referred to in her article to be very important. As the government, we also call for this cooperation at every opportunity. We hope the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main opposition party, which welcomed the report, will also welcome this recommendation of Oomen-Ruijten with the same enthusiasm.

    We hope the CHP leader, who had earlier accused Oomen-Ruijten of praising the AK Party in exchange for gifts, will redress this remark by supporting this sincere and constructive recommendation."

    [13] Civil disobedience call for Kurdish issue

    According to Turkish Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review (23.03.11), civil disobedience actions, starting with a 20,000-person sit-in strike in Batman on Wednesday, are being held to demand a solution to the longstanding Kurdish issue, key figures from the country's largest pro-Kurdish political party and civil-society group have announced.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has missed many chances to solve the issue during its eight years in power, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, said in a joint press conference. "The government will not solve this problem," Demirtas said, adding that the BDP and other pro-Kurdish groups will no longer accept the AKP's course of action because they intend to prevent deaths from occurring in future clashes.

    "We want the process to be intervened in through civil politics, the democratic power of the people and civil-disobedience actions," the BDP co-chair said. He said the Batman actions would be followed by a sit-down strike in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir at noon Thursday and would continue "until solid steps are taken" on the groups' four main demands. "These demands are education in mother tongue, the release of political prisoners, an end to military and political operations [against Kurds] and the elimination of the 10 percent [election] threshold," Demirtas said.

    [14] Turkey ? Libya

    a) Davutoglu: Only NATO should conduct Libya operation, not coalition forces

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.11), Turkey's foreign affairs minister said on Wednesday that the military operation on Libya should be fully controlled and commanded by NATO.

    Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of United Arab Emirates in capital Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said efforts continued to achieve cease-fire in Libya within the framework of a recent UN Security Council resolution as soon as possible. Pointing to his talk with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the issue, Davutoglu said he would shortly hold talks with his French, British and U.S. counterparts as well.

    "We believe the control and command mechanism of such an operation should be fully conducted by NATO and it should only be executed by NATO officials in a coordinated way. It is also important and necessary to conduct such operation within the framework of principles of the UN Security Council and in a way that will lead to a cease-fire and prevent civilian casualties," Davutoglu said.

    The foreign minister noted that Turkey did not approve a separate operation conducted by coalition forces parallel to NATO's actions.

    "Above all, it is impossible for us to take responsibility for an operation which is introduced by several officials using improper descriptions like the 'Crusade'," Davutoglu said.

    b) Gul urges Gaddafi to step down to prevent bloodshed

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.11), Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday made a call to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down to prevent more bloodshed in the country.

    "It is important for Turkey that the situation in Libya ends without further bloodshed. Those who run Libya must step down immediately to ward off plunder of their country by others," Gul told reporters before his departure for Ghana from Ankara.

    "Remember Saddam's behaviour and what has been unfolded in Iraq... That might somehow occur again in Libya," he said.

    Responding to a question over a possible handover of the military action in Libya under NATO command, Gul said the Alliance had been discussing the issue for days now.

    "It is obvious that some countries which have stood very close to those dictators are now taking some extreme steps, raising suspicions that they might have some secret agenda. This is what has been debated at both NATO's civilian and armed wings," Gul said.

    Gul said Turkey's policy toward Libya was "principled and it pursued the main goal of securing freedom for peoples away from oppression. Turkey can face criticism for now but Turkey's rightfulness will be acknowledged. Turkey will continue pursuing this principled policy."

    c) Turkey to send naval forces to help NATO enforce Libya arms embargo

    Today's Zaman (24.03.11) reports that Turkey to send frigates, submarine to help NATO enforce Libya arms embargo Turkey has offered four frigates, a submarine and a support ship to help enforce a NATO mission to enforce a UN arms embargo on Libya, the Western military alliance said.

    A government motion seeking the Turkish Parliament's approval for the mission was presented to Parliament on Wednesday and is expected to be discussed. NATO military officer Brig. Gen. Pierre St. Amand said naval operation Unified Protector "is now under way" with six vessels involved on the first day of patrols. Turkey is an integral part of the naval blockade, he said at a news briefing in Brussels. St. Amand said the NATO mission was authorized to use armed force to enforce the embargo. Turkey, which has vowed never to send combat forces to fight Libyans, said it was ready to send frigates to help enforce the arms embargo and help distribute humanitarian aid to Libyans. Outlining contributions from member states, St. Amand said the alliance had offers of 16 ships to implement the decision to launch a mission undertaken by NATO on Tuesday. He said the ships included a command-and-control ship from Italy; 10 frigates, including four from Turkey and one each from Britain, Spain, Greece, Italy, Canada and the United States; submarines from Spain, Italy and Turkey; and auxiliary ships from Italy and Turkey. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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