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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-08

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] Eroglu's briefing on Cyprus negotiations
  • [02] Talat accused President Christofias of "showing the courage of a crazy man" on the explorations for oil; He says Eroglu does not want a solution
  • [03] Bozer briefed the political parties on the oil explorations
  • [04] Self-styled labour minister in Denmark for contacts
  • [05] Ankara established a department for transferring water to Cyprus; KTAMS: Turkey is insincere when referring to a solution in Cyprus by June 2012
  • [06] Tensions between Israel and Turkey continue
  • [07] Cicek: "Palmer Report overshadows the UN"
  • [08] Erdogan to tour Egypt, Tunisia and Libya
  • [09] "Gul to attend Global Policy Forum in Russia"
  • [10] Ankara prosecutor launches investigation on BDP congress
  • [11] Turkish economy lags behind in competitiveness
  • [12] "The future of Turkish-Israeli relations"


    Statements by Eroglu before his briefing to the "council of ministers", reference by Mehmet Ali Talat to the explorations for oil and the Cyprus problem, the visit of self-styled minister of labour to Copenhagen, the establishment of offices of Turkey's Water Affairs' Department in the occupied area of Cyprus, and other internal matters are the most important issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    The increased tension between Israel and Turkey, the four-day tour of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, in which he will be accompanied by a delegation of Ministers, high-level bureaucrats and businessmen, the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Russia to attend the third Global Policy Forum, and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] Eroglu's briefing on Cyprus negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (07.09.11, online) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu chaired yesterday a meeting of the so-called ministers of the breakaway regime. Speaking before entering the meeting, Eroglu, who also announced that he will be briefing the "parliament" as well in the coming days, justified his actions saying that he is conducting the Cyprus negotiations process with the "government" and political parties with seats at the "parliament."

    Eroglu also said that in case of a possible agreement, a referendum will be put before the Turkish Cypriots. "We will make the announcement of the referendum with the parliament and ask for the people's support" he added. Besides the negotiations process, domestic issues were also on the agenda of the meeting.

    [02] Talat accused President Christofias of "showing the courage of a crazy man" on the explorations for oil; He says Eroglu does not want a solution

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris news website (07.09.11) reported that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has accused President Christofias of "showing the courage of a crazy man" on the issue of the explorations for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea.

    In statements to Ada television, Talat argued that a lot of mistakes have been committed on the issue of the oil exploration and added that the actions of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and his team are included in these mistakes. Talat said that if we have agreed on the unification of Cyprus, the exploration should be carried out "with equal rights" and accused the Greek Cypriot side of being insincere.

    Talat alleged that especially those who have a vision about the solution should oppose to the "Greek Cypriot side's unilateral exploration" for oil and natural gas. He said that these are "strategic issues", that many countries enter into war for the sake of these things and that the Greek Cypriot side should be stopped. Talat claimed that President Christofias "proceeded more" than late President Papadopoulos (on this issue) and challenges Turkey. "This is not wise", he argued noting that President Christofias should not think that he will beat Turkey through his "big brothers and grandfathers".

    Referring to the migration of the Turkish Cypriots, Talat argued that this migration increased again after people lost their hope, started not seeing the future with confidence, the Greek Cypriots (as he described the Republic of Cyprus) became a member of the EU and the Turkish Cypriots obtained the right of having passports and identity cards of the Republic of Cyprus and travel freely in Europe. Talat claimed that this is a "saddening" development because the Turkish Cypriots are decreasing.

    Responding to a question on the Cyprus negotiations, Talat alleged that neither the Turkish nor the Greek Cypriot side exerts efforts for a solution. He said that President Christofias and his party wanted a solution in Cyprus since the very establishment of the party, but "they are not as enthusiastic as the Turkish Cypriots for the solution". Talat said it is known that Eroglu does not want a solution and that is why he could not play a leading role. Noting that some say that they have other alternatives in case a solution is not reached, Talat asked these people to openly say which these alternatives are.

    Talat also accused Eroglu and his team of conveying wrong, insufficient and distorted information to Turkey regarding the negotiations. He said that Eroglu and his team do not continue the negotiations from where he has left them.

    Responding to another question, Talat said that this process will lead nowhere and added that Turkey will inevitably freeze its relations with the EU in the period during which the Republic of Cyprus will hold its "secretariat", as he described the term presidency of the EU Council. He argued that if a solution is not reached by June, the solution perspective will suffer a serious blow. Wondering what will happen then, Talat said that the population structure changes in Cyprus and it exceeded the capacity (of the island) to assimilate this population. "This will cause social explosions", he argued adding that this is why the solution is inevitable.

    Referring to the statement made by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that occupied Morfou and Varosha will not be returned to its legal Greek Cypriot owners, Talat noted that if he was in Erdogan's shoes he would not speak like this, because the issue of territory is not discussed now. Recalling that the sides have agreed to discuss the territory and the map in the last stage of the negotiations, Talat argued that for this reason Erdogan's statement was not correct.

    Responding to a question, Talat alleged that it would be much better if the Cyprus problem had been solved with an agreement in 1974 before late President Archbishop Makarios returned to the island. He claimed that after the return of Makarios, the "image that the Republic of Cyprus is restored came about with the creation of a picture which is not true". He alleged that the Republic of Cyprus did not exist before 1974 even though it was recognized internationally. He added that this was what Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan wanted to say by stating that "the Republic of Cyprus does not exist".

    Responding to another question, Talat said that the "citizenship" of the breakaway regime is distributed "for the sake of votes". He argued that they worked seriously on this issue only when the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was in "power" and noted that when this party was in the "opposition" the "citizenship" was secretly distributed.

    Reiterating his views on the issue of the population census, Talat argued that there is no need for such a census in the occupied area of Cyprus. "It will be said to some circles who want a census that 'we have counted [the population]'. The whole issue is this", he concluded.


    [03] Bozer briefed the political parties on the oil explorations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (08.09.11) reports that the so-called speaker of the "TRNC assembly" Hasan Bozer had a meeting yesterday to brief the political parties represented in the "assembly" on the oil and gas explorations that the Greek Cypriot side will conduct in the Mediterranean.

    Bozer said that he called them in order to take decisions on the "Greek Cypriot side's unilateral exploration" for oil and natural gas that will take serious and important dimensions both for their breakaway regime and the world.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot side will unilaterally make explorations for oil and natural gas, Bozer stressed that the natural wealth of the island is a joint property both for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    Bozer also said that they will not accept to exclude the Turkish Cypriot side from the unilateral exploration of the Greek Cypriot side, adding that this is not compatible with humanity, justice, international law and under any agreement.

    Bozer said that this is a very important issue and will harm seriously the ongoing Cyprus talks. He added that if the works for oil and natural gas explorations start while the negotiations continue, then the negotiations will be sabotaged.

    Bozer also said that the oil explorations are related not only with Cyprus but also with the Middle East, adding that "it is unjust to the other countries that south Cyprus will be the unilateral side to drill in the Eastern Mediterranean and obtain the natural sources". He also claimed that this oil exploration may be escalated into a serious clash.

    [04] Self-styled labour minister in Denmark for contacts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.09.11) reports that the self-styled minister of labour and social security Serife Unverdi is in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Unverdi pays a working visit to Denmark in the framework of the Veltam Project, which is supported by the EU. During her visit, Unverdi will meet with the Employers' Confederation and the Confederation of Labourers Unions, where she will be informed about the Danish working conditions. After concluding her contacts, Unverdi will return to the occupied area on September 11.

    [05] Ankara established a department for transferring water to Cyprus; KTAMS: Turkey is insincere when referring to a solution in Cyprus by June 2012

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (08.09.11) reports that Turkey's Water Affairs' Department (DSI) will establish a "project director's office" and eight "chief engineer's offices" incorporated in it in the occupied area of Cyprus for a period of ten years. This change in the structure of the "organization" was published yesterday in Turkey's Official Gazette by the Ministry of Forests and Water Affairs. The duty of this "office" will be to carry out all projects, drills, tenders, controls and other procedures for the "north Cyprus water supply project" and its entire adjacent area. The paper covers the issue under the title: "The historical project is proceeding speedily" and reports that the tenders for transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus will be invited in October.

    Meanwhile, Vatan writes also that the Turkish Cypriot "Civil" Servants' Trade Union (KTAMS) has protested against the above decision describing it as "black stain" in the administration of the occupied area of Cyprus. In a statement issued yesterday by KTAMS' chairman Ahmet Kaptan, the trade union argued that this decision shows the "dimensions of the policies of Turkey to annihilate and assimilate the Turkish Cypriots". "With this practice, those who say that the Cyprus problem should be solved until June 2012 show to us that they are not sincere when they say this and they pursue a policy for the sake of passing over the day", said the statement.


    [06] Tensions between Israel and Turkey continue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.09.11) reported that the Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan announced that Turkey recalled its chief Commercial Counsellor from Israel.

    Caglayan said at a meeting with a delegation from the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), that "we are going to carry out our commercial relations with Israel in the level of Counsellor. But there is not an interruption in our commercial relations."

    "Israeli investors and the Israeli people are concerned about these developments on behalf of their Government. Turkey does not have any problems with the Israeli people. The problem is the Israeli Government itself and its wrongful attitude. Many countries including USA condemned the raid. Killing of nine innocent people cannot be justified," he said.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (07.09.11, online) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of failing to meet its obligations in defence deals, saying Israel had not returned drones that Turkey had bought and sent back for maintenance.

    "Israel is not being loyal to bilateral agreements in the defence industry," he told reporters. "There could be difficulties, problems with another country, such things may happen, but there is an international code of ethics that needs to be upheld in business agreements," he said.

    Yesterday, Erdogan said Turkey would not care if the sanctions prove costly for Turkey because it is the national pride that is at stake. "The cost could be $15 million or $150 million. We as Turkey would not be bothered by this. What is important for us is that we don't let anyone trample our pride," he said.

    [07] Cicek: "Palmer Report overshadows the UN"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.09.11) reported from Ankara that Turkey's Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek said yesterday that reports, like the Palmer report, overshadowed the credibility of organizations preparing them. Cicek told reporters in Ankara that Turkey knew how such international reports were prepared, and added: "The United Nations (UN) has already been overshadowed by several issues, and this was just an addition."

    Cicek said that the Israeli attack on Mavi Marmara was a violation of international law, and Israel should send an apology and pay compensation to families who lost their relatives in the deadly attack. He supported the Turkish Government's decisions regarding Israel and argued that the Turkish-Israeli relations should be important for Israel since Turkey was one of the countries whose friendship would contribute to other countries and it was the first country that recognized Israel and that both Turkey and Israel are ruled by democracy.

    [08] Erdogan to tour Egypt, Tunisia and Libya

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.09.11) reported that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will take a four-day tour of Egypt, Tunisia and Libya from September 12 to 15. Erdogan will be accompanied by a delegation of Ministers, high-level bureaucrats and businessmen. The visit aims at extending Turkey's support to the friendly countries which have recently undertaken a transitional process.

    On September 12, Erdogan will leave for Egypt to meet Prime Minister Essam Abdel Aziz Sharaf and Minister of Defence Mohamed Hussein Tantawi. Erdogan and his Egyptian counterpart are set to sign a Joint Political Statement about establishing a High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. They will also sign a series of cooperation deals in economy, trade, education, culture, sports, press and public administration.

    Erdogan will also hold talks with the Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Araby after delivering a speech at the Arab League Foreign Ministers' Council Meeting. Additionally he will meet leaders of leading political parties, representatives of non-governmental organizations and Turkish businessmen investing in Egypt before proceeding to Tunisia on September 14.

    In Tunisia, Erdogan will hold talks with the Acting President Fouad M'Bazaa, Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi and leaders of the political parties.

    On September 15, the Turkish Prime Minister will proceed to Libya to meet the Chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil. Their talks will focus on Turkey's future contributions to Libya's political transition, rebuilding process and economic development.

    [09] "Gul to attend Global Policy Forum in Russia"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Today's Zaman (07.09.11, online) reported that Turkish President Abdullah Gul is scheduled to arrive in the central Russian city of Yaroslavl to participate in the third Global Policy Forum, which opened on Wednesday.

    Gul has been invited to the Forum -- held under the auspices of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev -- as guest of honour. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was also invited to the Forum, announced that she would not attend because of a political crisis in Germany.

    While in Yaroslavl, President Gul will meet with his Russian counterpart. Regional and international developments as well as economic and political bilateral relations will be discussed during the meeting.

    This year's Forum, titled: "The Modern State in the Age of Social Diversity," focuses on issues democracies face in the present-day social diversity such as correlation of economic efficiency and social equality, the balance between innovation and tradition, maintaining global security and personal freedoms.

    Vyacheslav Nikonov, Dean of the State University of Management in Moscow and president of the Moscow-based Politika Foundation, told Russian media that the Forum will focus not only on social issues faced by Russia but will bring together political scientists and Government officials from all over the world to discuss social diversity on a global scale.

    In 2009 the Forum was attended by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, while in 2010 South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi attended the Forum.

    [10] Ankara prosecutor launches investigation on BDP congress

    Ankara Anatolia news agency reported from Ankara (07.09.11) that the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation regarding the second regular congress meeting of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP).

    The Office will investigate the slogans as well as the banners of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned former leader of PKK which were unfurled during the BDP's congress meeting on September 4. The investigation will be carried out within the scope of "making propaganda of a terrorist organization."

    BDP held its second regular congress meeting in Ankara on September 4, and Selahattin Demirtas was re-elected the chairman of the party with 627 of the 629 votes, while Gultan Kisanak was elected the co-chair of the party. According to Turkish news portal World Bulletin (07.09.11, online) participants at the congress chanted slogans in favour of Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence in an island in the Sea of Marmara.

    [11] Turkish economy lags behind in competitiveness

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.09.11, online) published the findings of a report released yesterday by the World Economic Forum. Turkey's lack of a competitive edge mostly stems from its inefficiency in the labour market, according to it.

    Releasing its "Global Competitiveness Report" on Wednesday, the World Economic Forum, or WEF, announced that Switzerland topped the list of 142 countries for a second year in a row. Singapore rose one spot to become the second most competitive economy, followed by Sweden and Finland. Emerging economies continued to rise, while the decline of the United States became more pronounced. Turkey, which ranks among the world's top 20 economies, again displayed a disappointing performance.

    Turkey was ranked down at number 59, having climbed two steps since last year. However, it was overtaken by dozens of other economies such as Oman, Puerto Rico, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Slovenia. Turkey has been hovering around the 60th position over the past few years, a ranking in line with the performance of the so-called BRICS economies ? with the exception of China, which stands at number 26.

    Mixed performance from economies of BRICS

    "We have seen some progress as Turkey was 63rd in 2008 and now it is 59th," said WEF economist Margareta Drzeniek in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News. "At the same time, the performance of the BRICS ? Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - was more mixed over this time period. Russia, for example moved from 51st to 66th, Brazil from 64th to 53rd, India from 50th to 56th, and South Africa from 45th to 50th."

    On average, emerging markets have been catching up with advanced economies over the past five years in terms of competitiveness, according to Drzeniek. "As competitiveness is a key determinant of future growth, this means that the shift in economic activity is likely to continue going forward," she said.

    Turkey performed best in the "market size" subcategory, ranking as the 17th most competitive economy in this area. Its worst performance was in "the effectiveness of the labour force" category, in which the nation ranked a dismal 133rd. According to WEF, the most pressing issues for businesses in Turkey are high taxes, red tape, the tax code and the qualification of the labour force.

    The report's competitiveness ranking is based on the "Global Competitiveness Index." The index comprises 12 categories that aim to provide a comprehensive picture of a country's competitiveness. They are listed as institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication and innovation. The rankings are calculated from publicly available data and the "Executive Opinion Survey," which polled over 14,000 business leaders worldwide this year.

    [12] "The future of Turkish-Israeli relations"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (07.09.11, online) hosted the following article by Kerim Balci:

    "Turkish-Israeli relations cannot be isolated from the general framework of Turkish foreign policy and Turkey's self-perception (used here as the English translation of Husserl's concept of "Selbstverstandnis") as the mediator par excellence of the Middle East.

    Within this framework, Israel is not only an "other" but also a "third side." That means as long as Turkey has diplomatic relations with any other actor in the Middle East, it will have to have some kind of relationship with Israel also. The cessation of relations with Israel altogether would not only affect Turkey and Israel but would also bring about a multidimensional change in Turkey's foreign policy paradigm. Turkey is either a soft power adhering to its 'zero problems with neighbour's' policy, and thereby remains in communication with Tel Aviv, or it becomes a hard power with a greater naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, ends its relations with Israel and retains its problems with its neighbours.

    This is not a critique of Turkey's recent strategy of sanctions against the State of Israel. This is a wakeup call about the changing dynamics of Turkish foreign policy. This should worry the Turks and the Israelis as well as the Syrians, the Greek Cypriots, the Iranians, the Armenians and other neighbours of Turkey. With its rejectionist policies, Israel managed to push Turkey to the limits of its patience and cause it to abandon its well-considered and orchestrated new foreign policy.

    I assume Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is most disturbed by Israel's imposition on Turkey of a self-perception as a hard power. I am sure he is lamenting the loss of the hopes of tranquillity and peace in Turkey's relations with its neighbours. From now on, every new decision made in Ankara on foreign policy will carry a whiff of this new reality: Ankara's increasingly harsh criticism of the Syrian regime is not unrelated to what has happened between Turkey and Israel. We won't find the Turkish Foreign Ministry willing to run to the rescue of Iran in an international crisis, and we won't find Turkish diplomats willing to engage in productive conversation with their Armenian counterparts within the framework of this new self-perception. We will find the Turkish Air Forces more willing to bomb the Kandil Mountains in cases of terrorist attacks perpetrated within Turkey, and we will certainly find Turkey more threatening towards Greek Cypriot ambitions of establishing oil drilling facilities within the international waters around Cyprus. But Turkey is not the one to blame here. The Israeli Government caused Ankara to become this way.

    This is not to say that the transition from soft power to hard power is a one-way metamorphosis. Turkey can, and hopefully will, turn back to its early Davutoglu-era foreign policy principles. This would, of course, be contingent upon Israel's decision to accede to Turkey's demands related to the Gaza aid flotilla incident. Put in frank and straight terms: By not apologizing and not paying compensation to the families of the victims, and by manipulating the reports of international bodies via its lobbying machine, Israel is not losing only one ally, it is causing the entire Middle East to lose a good mechanism for mediation.

    That early Davutoglu-era Turkish foreign policy paradigm is necessary for the newly emerging participatory democracies of the Arab Middle East. If 10 years from now we still find Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen stuck in a quagmire of self-renewing dictatorships, this will, to a certain extent, be due to Israel's unwillingness to keep Turkey on track as an emerging soft power." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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