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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-07-11

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] Davutoglu paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [02] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered Davutoglu's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [03] Ozersay evaluated the Geneva meeting
  • [04] Eroglu evaluates the Geneva summit upon his return to occupied Cyprus
  • [05] Self-styled officials on the Geneva summit
  • [06] Party leaders in the occupied area comment on the result of the Geneva meeting
  • [07] The Cyprus problem among the issues of the 61st Turkish Government
  • [08] Trade Unionist comments on Erdogan's forthcoming illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus on July 19-20
  • [09] TDP will join the demonstrations against the so-called government
  • [10] The breakaway regime continues the "distribution" of plots of land
  • [11] GTF World Taekwondo Championship will be held in the occupied area

  • [12] "Former UN envoy de Soto suggests unilateralism to solve Cyprus impasse"
  • [13] "Conflict of luxury"
  • [14] "Hopes high for a Cyprus deal"
  • [15] Gul hopes that the Greek Cypriot side will not display tactical moves in an effort to extend the Cyprus negotiation process over a period of time
  • [16] EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule to visit Turkey
  • [17] Turkish and Iranian Foreign Ministers meet in Tehran
  • [18] Turkey's current account deficit up


    The illegal visit of Turkey's Foreign Minister Davutoglu in the occupied area of Republic of Cyprus is covered extensively in the Turkish Cypriot newspapers over the weekend. Turkish Cypriot press on Saturday also reports on the reaction of the Turkish Cypriot trade unions against the upcoming visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The main issue in today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers is the statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's special adviser Kudret Ozersay to illegal Bayrak television evaluating the outcome of the tripartite meeting in Geneva. The ongoing demonstrations against the ruling National Unity Party (UBP), the World Taekwondo Championship that will be held in the occupied area in 2013 and other domestic issues are also covered today.

    [01] Davutoglu paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.07.11) reports on the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu paid illegally to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. According to illegal BRT, Davutoglu, who arrived in occupied Cyprus on Saturday morning, first visited the tomb of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Dr Fazil Kucuk and then the headquarters of the "Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces". During his visit, Davutoglu held separate meetings with the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk, and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. Davutoglu paid his first official visit to the occupied area of Cyprus after he assumed the position of the Foreign Minister --for the second time-- following the formation of the 61st Government in Turkey.

    At a joint press conference after the meeting, Eroglu expressed his satisfaction over to see Davutoglu and his delegation in the "TRNC" and said the visit gave more power to the "Cyprus Turks" at a time when the negotiation process is being intensified. Eroglu also expressed his hope for concluding the negotiations by the end of the year. Noting that during his meeting with Davutoglu they exchanged views on the course of the negotiations process, Eroglu said Turkey with this visit, has once again proved its support to the "TRNC".

    In addition, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.11), for his part, Davutoglu expressed his hope that the Cyprus problem be solved by the end of 2011, a referendum to take place at the beginning of 2012, and a "reunified Cyprus" to undertake the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU). Calling on the Greek Cypriot side to help end the long-awaited Cyprus solution process, Davutoglu said: "It is high time that we end this long-awaited process." Addressing the Greek Cypriot side, Davutoglu said that it would harm everyone to delay negotiations, thinking that it could undertake the rotating presidency of the EU in 2012 as a representative of the entire island.

    Davutoglu said nobody could doubt about the sincere efforts of Turkey and the "TRNC" for a peaceful and comprehensive settlement. "We hope that our steps are responded and a solution is found to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible," Davutoglu said. He added that "a federation based on two founding states would be established, and winds of peace will blow in Eastern Mediterranean and the region will turn into a basin of peace and prosperity". Reiterating Turkey's support to the breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus, Davutoglu said that if a settlement is reached, peace would be ensured in the East Mediterranean, a genuine integration will be achieved in the EU, and a message of peace would be given to the entire world.

    Davutoglu called on everybody to undertake their responsibilities, and said that the EU should not welcome July 2012 with a "divided Cyprus, a part of which was isolated and a part of which was subject to a treatment it did not deserve". The Minister said it was obvious that the "TRNC" was eager and sincere for peace, and it was unjust to continue the "isolation of the TRNC" although the "country" said "yes" to the reunification of the island in a referendum in 2004. "We call on the international community to end TRNC's isolation, ensure TRNC people to use all their rights, and give the place TRNC people deserve," Davutoglu said.

    Davutoglu expressed hope that an outcome would come out of intensified talks between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot sides until October. "If an outcome does not come out, then we, altogether, will have to think what we will do," he also said.

    Inter alia, AA news agency reports that at the press conference, Eroglu said that the status quo is no more sustainable, and they had the right to question on which ethical grounds isolations were based if peace is not reached and if one of the sides kept waiting. He also added that the "TRNC" had been in continuous dialogue with the AK Party Government and Davutoglu.

    Meanwhile, AA news agency (09.07.11) reports on statements of Davutoglu prior to his meeting with the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk. Before his meeting with Kucuk, Davutoglu said that it was a tradition for Turkish ministers to make their first visit to the "TRNC" after being appointed. "It shows the strength of ties between Turkey and TRNC," Davutoglu said, adding that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was, also, scheduled to visit the occupied area on July 20, the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus.

    For his part, Kucuk highlighted the importance Turkey attached to the occupation regime and thanked Turkey for its support. Kucuk also said that the meeting would examine the recent three-way meeting of the Cypriot leaders with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    [02] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered Davutoglu's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus

    Following are the front-page titles of the papers:

    KIBRIS: "Total support to the solution". The paper refers to the one-day illegal visit of the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu to the occupied area of Cyprus and his contacts there and writes that Davutoglu wished for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem and the Federal Cyprus to take over the EU term presidency.

    YENI DUZEN: "A religious report was submitted". The paper writes that in the framework of his contacts to the "TRNC", Ahmet Davutoglu carried out also a meeting with Talip Atalay, chairman of the "Department of Religious Affairs" of the "TRNC" to whom he submitted a red file. As the paper writes, it was made known that the file includes details on "TRNC" religious issues".

    HAVADIS: "Solution by the end of the year"

    AFRIKA: "Threat". Under this title, the paper writes that Davutoglu who visited the "TRNC" for five hours, sent messages for the solution and a referendum. The paper writes that the message of Davutoglu to the Greek Cypriot side to give up from the unilateral undertaking of the EU presidency was a threat.

    HABERDAR: "Davutoglu's timetable". The paper publishes in its front page a calendar and writes that the calendar of Ahmet Davutoglu writes the following:

    October 2011: Summit in New York, making progress and preparation for the solution.

    December 2011: Reaching to a solution to the Cyprus problem and signing of the solution by the two leaders.

    January 2012: Conduct of a referendum

    July 2012: Undertaking the EU presidency by the Federal Cyprus

    ORTAM: "Davutoglu enlightened"

    STAR KIBRIS: "Message for reunion"

    VOLKAN: "Turkey is by the side of the TRNC".

    VATAN: "Enough, it is time". The paper writes that Davutoglu came for a one-day visit, he gave messages to all the involving sides at the talks and left.

    HALKIN SESI: "The goal is a United Cyprus in 2012".

    KIBRISLI: "United Cyprus for the EU term presidency in 2012"

    [03] Ozersay evaluated the Geneva meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 11.07.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's special adviser Kudret Ozersay, evaluating the Geneva meeting to "Bayrak Haber", said that the Geneva summit has determined and revealed the steps that will be taken until a solution is reached in Cyprus.

    Ozersay said that the condition to exclude maps from discussions on the territory chapter had been set in order to prevent the emergence of speculative reports that could harm economic activity. "If you start talking about giving away an area, then the discussions itself could do serious harm to that area's economic activity" he added.

    Commenting on the meeting in Geneva, Ozersay said that a program for the talks had emerged from the summit, one that could be acknowledged as a timetable.

    Pointing out that the proposal put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side to negotiate the territory chapter had exposed the Greek Cypriot side of its excuse, Ozersay said it was important that any territorial adjustments to be made needed to safeguard the livelihood of the people who would be moved elsewhere.

    Ozersay also said that maps and figures concerning the territory chapter would be discussed at the final stages of the process. He added that it was essential that the founding states maintained their territorial integrity.

    Noting that they opposed the idea of establishing cantons within the territory of the founding states, Ozersay said: "This, in any case, would be a violation of the principle of bi-zonality. There are a few important criteria on territory for the Turkish Cypriot side. The first is that the territorial integrity of the founding state will not be violated, secondly there will be no cantons and thirdly the re-location process should include as few people as possible."

    Noting that an exchange of views took place between the breakaway regime and Turkish officials before the Geneva meeting, Ozersay said that all proposals, including the latest offer to start discussing the territory chapter, had been prepared by the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team. He added that all their proposals belong to them and are prepared in line with the instructions of Eroglu.

    He also said that the Geneva summit had put forward a more detailed description on how the talks will be intensified, something which had not taken place at the previous tripartite meetings.

    Ozersay explained that the UN Secretary - General had also put forward various proposals at the meeting on the methodology of the talks, all of which were accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    [04] Eroglu evaluates the Geneva summit upon his return to occupied Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (09.07.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, was pleased with the outcome of the Geneva summit.

    Evaluating his Ankara contacts and the Geneva summit upon his return to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Eroglu said: "I am so pleased. We are in mutual agreement with motherland Turkey on our policies pursued at the negotiations and our views about the future."

    Eroglu noted that the Greek Cypriot side's plan was disrupted with the Turkish side's proposal that was put forward at the Geneva summit and added: "We said that we can negotiate the territory issue excluding the map and numbers and Mr. Christofias could not go any further." Reiterating the Turkish side's view that the negotiations could not be carried out without any timetable, Eroglu said that although Mr. Christofias is against a timetable, the program of the course of the negotiations has been revealed.

    [05] Self-styled officials on the Geneva summit

    According to illegal Bayrak television (08.07.11), self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that the Geneva summit's results did not yield any surprises and that the meeting did not turned out as exactly as he had expected, that is a clearer timetable to emerge from the tripartite meeting.

    Evaluating the Geneva summit to illegal Bayrak news, Ozgurgun expressed concern that the meeting's failure to impose a stricter deadline on the talks will allow the Greek Cypriot side to continue dragging its feet in the negotiations process. Describing the Turkish Cypriot side's proposal to start discussing the territory chapter as one of the positive aspects of the meeting, Ozgurgun pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side's preparations would now focus on the 4th tripartite summit to be held in the autumn in New York following a period of intensive talks.

    Ozgurgun also pointed out that the agreement reached for a more enhanced UN involvement in the talks and the fact that the next tripartite meeting will be held at the UN Headquarters in New York were positive developments for the Turkish Cypriot side. Stating that the negotiations process will be re-evaluated at the next tripartite meeting, Ozgurgun said that there was a possibility that the last summit meeting for January 2012 could be scheduled during the October meeting in New York. "Our goal is to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem before south Cyprus takes on the EU term presidency," he added.

    He also said that another important outcome from yesterday's meeting was the reference made to an international conference.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.07.11) reports on a written statement released by the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime Irsen Kucuk, on the issue. Commenting on Thursday's tripartite summit, Kucuk said that he hoped the Cyprus peace negotiations would be completed positively until the end of the year.

    Expressing his appreciation over the positive outcome of the summit, Kucuk said he hoped the Greek Cypriot party would respond positively to the Turkish Cypriot side's constructive stance on the Cyprus problem. Reiterating the importance of bi-zonality for the occupation regime, Kucuk said that such an indispensable condition being discussed during the Geneva summit was a significant development.

    Calling on the Greek Cypriot party to take steps that would facilitate a "settlement" in the island, Kucuk said: "We hope the UN and the international community will also fulfill their responsibilities and take the necessary measures to prevent the talks from turning into an open-ended process."

    [06] Party leaders in the occupied area comment on the result of the Geneva meeting

    Under the title: "The leaders must be determined", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (11.07.11) reports on statements by several party leaders in the occupied area on the result of the Geneva summit and writes that they all agree with the position that the result of the summit was positive for the Turkish Cypriot side; however, it cannot be said that an important step has been taken.

    The representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties agreed that it was positive the development as regards the fact that the basis of the solution was clarified, the fact that the negotiation will be intensified, and the fact that a new meeting is to take place in New York in October.

    Speaking on the Geneva summit, Ozkan Yorkancioglu, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) characterized as positive the result which came up from the Geneva summit and said that a door has opened for the acceleration of the deadlock talks. He also said that it was positive the fact that the basis of solution was clarified and added that the talks are now entering into a new process. He also said that CTP will continue exerting all kind of efforts for the peace.

    Commenting on the Geneva summit, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) said that the result which came up from the summit was not of a great importance since no important steps were taken. Cakici said that the leaders did not proceed to the meeting with serious proposals and added that no important steps were taken in order to bring the process out of the deadlock. Cakici stated further that the process continues very slowly and urged for the necessary steps to be taken.

    On the same issue, Bengu Sonya, Secretary General of the Democratic Party (DP) evaluated as positive the result of the Geneva summit for the Turkish Cypriot side; however he expressed concern over the fact that an international meeting is to take place in October saying that this was understood differently by Christofias.

    Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus party (BKP) stated that during the Geneva meeting the road map for important issues was set up. Stating that it was important the decision taken during the summit, Izcan called on the leaders to be determined and not to step back.

    Commenting on the issue, Murat Kanatli, secretary of the executive committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) evaluating the result derived from the summit he said: "For us its 'flog a dead horse'"-[ Trans. Note: they have done something that gets one nowhere]. Saying that no serious issues came up from the summit, Kanatli said that the Turkish Cypriot side has submitted an "awful proposal" with no concept. He then stressed that the Turkish Cypriots have entered into a period of disappearing, and warned that the process is to speed up in case that no solution is found.


    [07] The Cyprus problem among the issues of the 61st Turkish Government

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.07.11) reported on the 61st Government program of the Turkish Republic that has been read by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Among other issues, the program includes the Cyprus problem as well.

    As it was reported, while reading out the program, Erdogan referred to Cyprus and said that "efforts will continue towards reaching an agreement, which will be based on bi-communality, bi-zonality and the political equality of the two sides".

    Announcing Turkey's full membership to the European Union as a strategic target, the Turkish Premier said that steps were taken with determination for this aim despite of the unjust opposition and artificial preventions by some countries.

    [08] Trade Unionist comments on Erdogan's forthcoming illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus on July 19-20

    Under the title: "He shall not come with new sanctions, he shall come as a 'guest'", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (09.07.11) reports that representatives of the trade unions evaluated the forthcoming illegal visit by the Turkish Prime Minister to the occupied area of Cyprus for the anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus on July 19-20 and writes that they sent the message that Erdogan should not come with new sanctions but he should come as a "visitor".

    Commenting on Erdogan's visit, Aslan Bicakli, chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Union Federation (Turk-Sen) underlined that the Turkish Cypriots will continue protecting their assets and to be against the privatization of their organizations. Bicakli said that the bilateral ties between Turkey and the "TRNC" should be interstate like the ties that exist between two states in the world.

    Ahmet Kaptan, chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS) said that "if Erdogan is coming to the country as a guest, he may come". Kaptan went on saying that KTAMS will continue to be not only today, but also yesterday and tomorrow against any kind of impositions that twill damage the economic and social structure of the Turkish Cypriot community and against of any kind of new sanctions and authoritarian rulings.

    Also speaking, Tahir Gokcebel said that if Erdogan is coming as a guest then he is welcomed and added: "If he comes to see the casinos that his country has denned, then he is welcome. If he comes to see the Koran courses in the country, the mosques, the theological faculties and the imams, he is welcome to come. If he comes to see the hospitals of this country, the schools and all the Turkish Cypriots who are manipulated by someone's who serve the public sphere, he is welcome to come. And if he comes to express his respect to the people's will and to the people who are trying to be self-administrated, then he is welcome. If he comes to say that he respects the Turkish Cypriot's will for the solution and if he comes to say that we do not want a solution in Cyprus that will respect Turkey's strategic interests, then it is our duty to say to him welcome".

    Moreover, Sener Elcil, Secretary General of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), characterized as a provocation the visit by Erdogan to the occupied area. Elcil pointed out that AKP, as a power party in Turkey is not sincere about the solution of the Cyprus problem. Elcil further said that Erdogan is mistaken if he considers that the Turkish Cypriots will forgive him for the statement he made in the past that Turkey is feeding the Turkish Cypriots.

    On the same issue, Yakup Latifoglu, chairman of HUR-Is Trade Union called on the Turkish Premier to hear the voice of the people and also the voices which arise in north Cyprus.

    Also, Mehmet Seyis, chairman of the Revolutionary Trade Union Federation (DEV-IS), recalled all the assaulting statement made by Erdogan against the Turkish Cypriots in the past and expressed the hope that Erdogan is realizing that he is visiting a foreign country.

    Also, Afrika's columnist, Dolgun Dalgicoglu publishes a commentary on Erdogan' visit to the occupied area under the title: "The Prime Minister who is feeding us is coming"?.

    Yeni Duzen (09.07.11) reports also on statements by self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk who, inter alia, said that Erdogan is a guest of honour at the celebrations for the 20th of July and added that they will offer the best hospitality to him. Referring to a statement made by a trade union which compared Erdogan with Hitler, Kucuk said that this is nothing else than a nonsense.


    [09] TDP will join the demonstrations against the so-called government

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (11.07.11) reports that the general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) Esat Varoglu said that TDP will support and participate in the demonstrations that will be held today by the Revolutionary Trade Unions' Federation (DEV-IS) and on Wednesday by the Turkish Cypriot building contractors' association. The demonstrations will be held against the policies and the decisions of the so-called government of the National Unity Party (UBP) against the Turkish Cypriots.

    Reiterating that the policies of the UBP "government" betray the Turkish Cypriots and drag the community to extinction, Varoglu said that the "government" should be overthrown.

    [10] The breakaway regime continues the "distribution" of plots of land

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.07.11, online) reports that in a special ceremony which took place in the occupied Kapouti village with the participation of the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk and self-styled minister of interior and local administration Nazim Cavusoglu, the "administration" of the breakaway regime has "allocated" plots in rural areas to 56 young people.

    In his statements to illegal BRT, Cavusoglu stated, inter alia, that they will continue the "distribution" of plots of land to youngsters without making discriminations.

    Also speaking, Kucuk said that the "state" will continue to work in order to "allocate" plots of land to youngsters without making any discrimination and regardless of their political orientation. He added that it is with the support and cooperation of "motherland Turkey" that they continue providing solutions and help people, and stressed that together with "motherland Turkey" they will continue working for the development of the Turkish Cypriots.


    [11] GTF World Taekwondo Championship will be held in the occupied area

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (11.07.11), the 9th World Championship of the Global Taekwondo Federation (GTF) will be held in 2013 in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The paper also reports that the decision was made in the General Assembly of GTF in London, where 20 representatives out of 21 voted for. Greece chose not to vote.


    Davutoglu's contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus, Fule and Clinton's visits to Turkey, more on the efforts exerted in Turkey to overpass the oath-taking crisis occurred in the Turkish Parliament, the tour of Davutoglu to Middle East, the arrest of Aziz Yildirim, chairman of Fenerbahce for the match fixing probe, a calling by Gul from Bulgaria to CHP and BDP Deputies to take the oath tomorrow at the Turkish National Assembly and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by the press in Turkey today and over the week-end.

    [12] "Former UN envoy de Soto suggests unilateralism to solve Cyprus impasse"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (8.07.11) carries an interview of the UN Secretary-General's former Special Advisor on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, to the paper's journalist Yonca Poyraz Dogan. The paper, inter alia, publishes the following:

    "Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary-General's former Special Advisor on Cyprus, has said unilateral actions by either Turkey, Greek Cyprus or the European states would be extremely helpful to solve the deadlock over the problem of divided Cyprus.

    (...) Answering our questions, de Soto noted that the Cyprus problem is like a padlock requiring four keys to open; and the four keys have to be ready at the same time, but one of them always fails --Turkey, Greece, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. He told us more about the issue and where the process is heading.

    Q: Five UN Secretaries-General have dispatched good offices missions to help negotiate the reunification of Cyprus over nearly five decades, but none has yet succeeded. Everyone wonders if there is a way out of deadlock. What is your opinion on this?

    A: What is clear is that until now they have not been able to agree. Basically, there are three options. One is reunification within a federal system --bi-zonal and bi-communal. The second is continuation of things as they are. The third is some sort of partition. Reunification is obviously a preferred way out. I continue to think that what we produced in 2004 was a formula that could have worked well, but the timing was probably not good. When it comes to partition, it would be extremely difficult not only for the Greek Cypriots but also for the international community to accept; the Security Council has come out very clearly against it, and the continuation of things as they are has been many times declared as unacceptable by the Security Council. Nevertheless, it is accepted. It's a major puzzle, very difficult to solve.

    Q: If 2004 was not a good time to solve it, why?

    A: In 2004, on the Greek Cypriot side, it could have gone the other way because one of the political parties that carry a lot of weight hesitated. If it was in favour, it might have been approved. Ultimately, the arguments that were put forward by the Greek Cypriot leader [Tassos Papadopoulos] at the time proved very persuasive, "Why should we accept a compromise that we don't particularly like when in a few weeks we will be in a position to get a better deal?" So it went in the other direction. Even though it could have gone the other way, the support for a compromise solution on the Greek Cypriot side was never strong, it was soft. There was very little enthusiasm, whereas those who were against were very energetic and campaigned very ably against the plan. Making the case for the plan was much more difficult especially at that moment --which means that the time that was wasted during the efforts that began at the end of 1999 and ended in spring of 2004 was extremely costly. The time was wasted essentially because the Turkish Cypriot leader did not like the whole approach; he was able to delay efforts for a very long time. Precious time was lost because the Greek Cypriot leader [Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides] at the time very much wanted a solution. He did his level best. Turkish Cypriots and Turkey lost a very good interlocutor.

    Then in April 2005, came pro-EU and pro-unification Talat who was elected president of the Turkish Cypriots replacing 81-year-old Rauf Denktas. In addition, Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias had political affinity. They had numerous talks but without a solution to major problems.

    That was an opportunity lost. The Turkish side had a good interlocutor. Clerides was a good interlocutor and a pragmatic one beyond the ideological conundrum. In the same way, Talat was a very good interlocutor for the Greek Cypriots. He was very pragmatic. That's always the problem and that's why at the UN we compared the Cyprus problem to a padlock requiring four keys to open; and the four keys have to be ready at the same time, but one of them always failed --Turkey, Greece, the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. There is no problem with Greece now.

    Q: Are there any carrots left for the Greek Cypriots after their admission to the EU in 2004?

    A: The Greek Cypriots seem to have the pen by the handle because they are in the European Union and they have a Government recognized by the entire world. The carrot for the Greek Cypriots is not an immediate, a close one. It is that for the Greeks not only the north of the island, but also Turkey, are such obvious markets. The Greek Cypriots have demonstrated that they are very good entrepreneurs and very clever. Apart from that, who would benefit most from reunification? It is the Greek Cypriots for obvious reasons. Since you asked about carrots, there is one point that reveals a lot, and it is that the Greek Cypriots who had left property behind in the north and who had something to obtain from reunification voted the same as everybody else. It made no difference to them that they were going to lose the opportunity to recover their property which shows that there is still somewhere a deep, lingering fear of Turkey among the Greek Cypriots, rational or not. I think that Turkey could go a long way to alleviate those fears by making gestures that would be non-costly.

    Q: Such as?

    A: That would be up to Turkey of course to decide. But a carrot for the Greek Cypriots would be for Turkey to make absolutely clear in a tangible way that they do not need to be afraid. How to do that? I do not know. Turkey still has an important military presence there. Even if Turkey confines its military presence to what is allowed under the treaty arrangements of 1960, it would not be really making a significant sacrifice in strategic terms. It is very difficult, I know, to contemplate doing things unilaterally, but my sense is that the Turkish Government has shown the ability, particularly starting in January of 2004, to be bold. I was very impressed when the Prime Minister declared and repeated subsequently, 'We'll always be one step ahead." On the other hand, I can understand the reluctance to do anything unilaterally given the remaining suspicion --the fact that whatever you do, there will be negotiations afterward, and they [Turkish officials] are not prepared to reward Europe, which they believe has not kept its word. Among the Turkish Cypriots, people who are older have a very vivid recollection of the way they were treated by the Greek Cypriots in the early 1960s, and Clerides admitted it. They were very badly treated by the Greek Cypriots, and there are a lot of Greek Cypriots who were badly treated by the invading Turks in 1974. Once you have a memory like that it is not difficult to stimulate it.

    Q: Does time work against or for reunification?

    A: Clerides was hoping very much that the nostalgia for a house, an orchard, a beach, etc. in the north would be a strong factor. What you have to worry about is the younger people who have no such memories, no such emotional chords, no such recollections; there are more and more of them, and there are less and less of the older ones. So you don't have that resource on which to work. Time is not helping. Younger generations might be more prepared to look at more concrete opportunities, like business, but you can't count on their emotions and their attachments to something in the north; they don't remember it. The exit polls after the referendum showed that younger people in significant portions were more opposed to the [Annan] plan than their elders.

    Q: You do not seem to be hopeful about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    A: A golden opportunity was missed. Before the European Union enlargement, you could have a certain leverage over the Greek Cypriots.

    Q: It's a problem for the European Union, isn't it?

    A: It is a problem for the European Union. There is a deadlock. Turkey is under obligation to extend the customs union to the Republic of Cyprus; it has not done it. Turkey says that it is because the European Union did not keep its promise to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. There has always been a debate that it is better to concentrate on confidence building measures instead of trying to negotiate the substance that goes around in circles, and there has been little progress made. Maybe the mistake is having a reference to them as confidence building measures. Why not call them context changing measures?

    Q: What can be done in that regard, would you give us some examples?

    A: A very clever thing to do for the Greek Cypriots would be to lift their block over Turkey's accession. This would remove all the blame on the Greek Cyprus for standing in the way of Turkey-EU negotiations. Or other Europeans who are also not in favour of negotiations with Turkey could lift their objections. Or Turkey could allow the admission of the Greek Cypriots to Turkish ports and airports. Or the Greek Cyprus could remove itself from being an obstacle to the European Union, which needs to keep its promise to the Turkish Cypriots. If any one of those things can be done unilaterally, it could help things a lot.

    Q: UN Secretary-General stated last week that he expects Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to reach an agreement over the future of the divided island of Cyprus by October. Do you think an agreement is likely to be reached by this fall?

    A: I know only too well how difficult it is to discuss in public what transpires in negotiations that must necessarily remain confidential if progress is to be made. Mining the Secretary-General's statement following his meeting with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders yesterday, I can identify two positive elements: The leaders have agreed to intensify their efforts, and they have accepted his offer for "enhanced UN involvement" --whatever that means. These elements are, of course, remedies for failings in the talks under way-- they are intensifying them because they have moved too slowly to date, and they have accepted an enhancement of UN involvement because when left to their own devices the leaders find it difficult to make progress. Indeed, the Secretary-General reveals yet again that important areas --including, reportedly, both territory and property-- remain untouched. Also, by calling upon them to "prepare their communities for the compromises required" he is pointing to the absence of such preparation --one of the reasons for the rejection by the Greek Cypriots of the 2004 plan. In this light it is hard to see the basis for the Secretary-General's assertion that he has 'every expectation that by October the leaders will be able to report that they have reached convergence on all core issues' when he meets them again. (...)"

    [13] "Conflict of luxury"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.07.11) publishes the following commentary by Yavuz Baydar:

    "'We hope to find a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year, and hold a referendum in the early months of next year so that Cyprus can take on the presidency of the EU as a new state that represents the whole island'. These words came from Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who visited the leader Dervis Eroglu, on Friday.

    Another routine statement? Not really. The visit followed talks between Eroglu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Christofias, in Geneva on Thursday. When one pays attention to what Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, said after that meeting, there is some slight progress and new moves that may eventually turn 2012 into a year of solution.

    Davutoglu's remarks must be seen as a further sign that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continues to be a pro-solution force on the chronic conflict. There are even those who argue that the AKP would remain pro-solution even if there would not be any EU membership perspective for Ankara. North Cyprus is an economic burden; its full dependency on Turkey creates frustrations here as well as among Turkish Cypriots, whose sentiments turn more and more against the Turkish power holders in general.

    But, this does not mean that a careless approach is underway. Had the Greek Cypriot administrations shown a constructive approach to a solution --their maximalism remains more or less the same-- we today would be elsewhere. So, what seems to be taking shape now is a new road map, on which both sides, all three guarantor powers and the international community would set a new journey.

    The plan is the following. Eroglu and Christofias will intensify their talks until October. They agreed to do that. Eroglu, meanwhile, proposed in a new move that his side is ready to discuss territorial issues. This is a critical change because Christofias has been demanding that in order to negotiate property issues. We also learn that he has agreed to accept that political 'majority control' on both sides of the island will apply even if the property shares contradict that (up to 70% of the properties in the north belong to Greek Cypriots according to data before 1974).

    If both sides note progress on all the core issues -- economy, governance, security, territory, etc., Ban plans to launch a large international Cyprus conference before the end of the year, at the latest in early 2012. This will be under the auspices of the UN, involving the guarantor powers --Greece, Turkey and Britain-- and the EU. If the conference is successful, and a final settlement is reached, a plebiscite for both sides will take place before July 2012 when the presidency of the EU will be shouldered by the Cypriot administration. The hope is that the presidency will be symbolized by a "United Cyprus," leaving an infected, tiresome past behind, fully engaged in healing the scars in a new process.

    Can this work? Optimists are few, and sceptics are a majority. The latter argue (convincingly) that contrary to how Ban sees it, the conflict has been taken hostage by France and Russia in the Security Council and, to the frustration of far-sighted members of the EU, Greek Cyprus Governments have managed to instrumentalize it to the extent that the EU serves its own interests. Even the Obama Administration is considerably influenced by the Greek lobby.

    Odds are against a final agreement, but there are still two elements that may lead developments into the right (pro-solution) course. They are Greece and Turkey. Paradoxically, under enormous economic strain, Athens has been continuing its rapprochement with Ankara. With the recent draft law to allow muftis in Greece's predominantly Muslim Western Thrace province to be elected, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is paving the way for Ankara to reopen the Halki Seminary to educate Greek Orthodox clergy and eventually recognize the patriarch as 'ecumenical'. Any concrete move in that direction (in both countries) will be very helpful in softening the Greek lobby in the US.

    Turkey can also surprise, if the perspectives for an international conference and 'double plebiscite' are strengthened. It may unilaterally open one or two seaports to Greek Cypriot vessels and even its airports. It may pull back a small part of the Turkish troops from the island as a symbolic gesture of goodwill. This will certainly have to result in a lot of change within the EU.

    But the dark horse remains Greek Cyprus. In this sense: Christofias is weak, the Church is fiercely opposed to a solution, and society is to a large extent against unity. The public communications are lacking or, at the best, conducted in an old, venomous rhetoric. There is no doubt this troubled actor is encouraged to be engaged, one way or another, to play the game of reconciliation. Given the picture in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is the 'conflict of luxury', so it needs to end."

    [14] "Hopes high for a Cyprus deal"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.07.11) carries the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli:

    "Settlement this year, or at the latest by the first quarter of 2012, the European Union term presidency of a united Cyprus with Turkish Cypriots have taken up their rightful share in governance and sovereignty of the new partnership state. That was the high target declared by Turkey's not so high but gifted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during his short visit Saturday to northern Cyprus. The trip indeed was a symbolic one as it has become a tradition for foreign ministers to make their first foreign trip to northern Cyprus. Though Davutoglu retained his portfolio, a new government has just come to power in Turkey. Yet, the outpour of positivism from the mouth of the Turkish Foreign Minister was a product of the just-completed United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon-chaired Cyprus summit in Geneva.

    At the Geneva talks last week, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Christofias were presented by the Secretary-General, though not a full-fledged road map, with a new modality for the Cyprus talks process that called for completion of the talks by end of October.

    It might be summarized that the trilateral Geneva summit has defined where the process would lead, and what steps would be taken to achieve the targeted result. In the new period, the U.N. Secretary-General and his envoys will not be just 'facilitators' of the process but would undertake a much more active role. While that 'much active role by the U.N.' will not unfortunately include arbitration, which would indeed contribute to progress towards a bitter compromise deal, the U.N. Secretariat will facilitate the talks with "bridging proposals" or "alternate ideas." As the Turkish side, in a revolutionary shift from earlier position proposed opening discussions on the territorial aspects --provided territorial adjustments are finalized on maps at the very last stage of the talks. The Greek Cypriot side has agreed that in the new federation the principle of bi-zonality and bi-communality should be reflected in the demography and land ownership of the two constituent states. Indeed, it might be said the Geneva summit has produced a revolutionary breakthrough, which indeed produced an unprecedented optimism that there might finally be a Cyprus deal.

    In Cyprus talks, the differences in the interpretation of the 'federal settlement' term and the "bi-zonality and bi-communality" principles were the biggest impediments in marring a deal. In the first trilateral summit last year in New York, the Secretary-General has managed to reconcile the two sides on the meaning of 'federal settlement'. Now, this latest trilateral summit has produced --even though not reflected to the statement of the Secretary-General-- an accord between the two sides in the presence of the Secretary General that bi-zonality and bi-communality required the two constituent states to have not only clear demographic majority in their respective zones, but the principle must be reflected as well as regards to land ownership. This understanding, of course, will have revolutionary impact on discussions on the property issue and has become possible with a revolutionary move by Turkish Cypriots to accept discussions on the territorial aspects.

    The Secretary-General stood firm. He instructed leaders to go through all chapters, cultivate their convergences and come to New York in October with an almost done deal to be taken to an international conference where the security guarantees aspects would be discussed together with Turkey, Greece and Britain, with the EU and the Security Council's Permanent Five as observers.

    Is a deal in the making? No one can have doubt of the existence of the will in northern Cyprus. If the Greek Cypriots manage to preserve the will Christofias demonstrated in Geneva, yes indeed, finally."

    [15] Gul hopes that the Greek Cypriot side will not display tactical moves in an effort to extend the Cyprus negotiation process over a period of time

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.07.11) reports on statements by Turkish President Abdullah Gul during a visit in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. During a gathering with reporters Gul commented on the latest developments on Turkey's agenda.

    Regarding the oath-taking crisis at the Turkish Parliament, Gul said the crisis over detained Deputies could be resolved by means of law. Pointing to Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) Deputies' boycotting the Parliament, Gul said: "If their intention was to attract attention, they have managed it. Talks have been held on the issue and good intentions have been expressed. Before it is late, Deputies should take the oath tomorrow (today), fulfill their political responsibilities and begin working actively at the Parliament." "If things get delayed, the situation will become more complicated and such attitude will take the political parties captive," he also said.

    Commenting on the new Constitution, Gul noted that the Kurdish issue should be assessed in a realistic way while preparing Turkey's new Constitution. The President said the process should be concluded by the help of a common understanding seeing every citizen as a child of this country, as well as democratic, legal and universal values.

    Regarding Turkey's relations with its neighbours, Gul said: "If you don't have good relations with your neighbours, then it will be like living on a one-way street." Pointing to the 1.5 million Turkish-origin people living in Bulgaria, Gul said relations between Turkey and Bulgaria were beyond neighbourhood. He said Turkey attached great importance to its cooperation with Bulgaria in the field of energy, noting that the Nabucco project concerned both countries.

    Upon a question on the latest developments in Syria, Gul said Turkey desired to help Syria with its transformation process. Describing Turkey's approach to Syria as an "engagement policy", Gul said Turkey desired to share its experience with Syria without intervening in the country's domestic affairs.

    Commenting on the latest tripartite summit held in Geneva on the Cyprus problem, the Turkish President said that he hoped the Geneva summit would be a turning point in the Cyprus peace talks. Gul also said that he hoped the Greek Cypriot party would act with a positive and constructive manner and would not display tactical moves in an effort to extend the process over a period of time.

    [16] EU Enlargement Commissioner Fule to visit Turkey

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.07.11), the first important guest of European Union Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis will be EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, who will officially visit Turkey on July 11-13 in order to have talks with the new Government. Fule, who wants to revive the stalled negotiations between the two parties, will focus on the chapters and additional protocol.

    According to top EU officials, the EU's negotiation process with Turkey and the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, which urges Turkey to open its air and seaports to the Greek Cypriots, will be the two main items on Fule's agenda.

    One top EU official said that there is an expectation in EU circles for Turkey to make some gesture regarding the implementation of the Additional Protocol. "If Turkey makes a gesture by opening its ports to the Greek Cypriots, then this will send shockwaves across Europe and the chapters which are being blocked would easily be opened for negotiations," the top official said.

    As the paper reports, during Fule's official talks in Ankara the re-acceptance protocol regarding illegal immigration and Turkey's request of visa exemption are also expected to be among the items to be reviewed. Recent developments in countries such as Libya, Syria and Egypt will also be discussed.

    [17] Turkish and Iranian Foreign Ministers meet in Tehran

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.07.11), the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran on Sunday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference, Davutoglu said that they discussed regional issues, adding: "Our region is experiencing a very important historical transformation process." Noting that all countries in the region should exert efforts to restore a more prosperous, peaceful and stable structure in this transformation process, Davutoglu said that peoples in many countries in the region had just and legitimate demands.

    These demands should be turned into a reform process through peaceful methods, he added. Davutoglu also said that Turkey was against every type of external intervention in the region.

    On the other hand, the Iranian Minister said that Turkey and Iran had rooted relations, adding that the trade volume between the two countries was expected to reach 14 billion USD this year. He expressed hope that the annual trade volume would reach 30 billion USD within the next few years. Noting that they discussed recent developments in Syria during their meeting, Salehi said that Turkey, Iran and Syria were members of a family, and if a problem appeared in one of them, they all should launch initiatives to solve it. Salehi said that it was important to meet the demands of the people, adding that developments in the region affected the whole world.

    [18] Turkey's current account deficit up

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.07.11) reports that Turkey's current account deficit rose 121.3% to 37.2 billion USD in the first five months of 2011 when compared to the same period of 2010.

    Central Bank announced the figures of balance of payments in May on Monday. The current account balance posted a deficit of 37.2 billion USD in January-May period of 2011, indicating an increase of 20.4 billion USD over the same period of 2010. The deficit was 16.8 billion USD in the first five months of 2010. The current account balance posted a deficit of 2.9 billion USD in May, 2010, and 7.7 billion USD in May, 2011. The rise in foreign trade deficit caused the current account deficit to increase. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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