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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-12-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 244/11 23.12.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESSToday's Turkish Cypriot press gives extensive coverage to the bill that passed from the French Parliament regarding the Armenian genocide and Turkey's reactions. Also covered are the Regular General Assembly of the "Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Union," Eroglu's statements during the meeting, Ustel's remarks regarding tourism initiatives of the breakaway regime, Tatar's visit to Ankara where he met with Besir Atalay and discussed credit for investments, CTP's Yektaoglu expressing his opinion on natural gas transportation, a "court" decision regarding the unionists, who protested outside the parliament approximately two years ago, and other domestic issues.
The approval of the Armenian resolution by the French Parliament yesterday and the reactions in Turkey are the main issue in today's Turkish dailies. The papers report that Prime Minister Erdogan described the decision as "a great misfortune" and announced a set of sanctions against France, including Turkey's decision to recall its ambassador to Paris. Reactions on the issue were also expressed by opposition parties CHP and MHP, which both condemned France's decision. Other issues highlighted in the press are reports that Turkey agreed with Ukraine to lift visa procedures, and the meeting between the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias with the general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Izzet Izcan.
 Eroglu says they hold contacts with the EU for the lifting of the so-called embargoes without a solution to the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.12.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has argued that the most important problem of the breakaway regime's tourism is the so-called embargoes which derive from the non-recognition.
Addressing yesterday the 21st Regular General Assembly of the "Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Union", Eroglu said that if an agreement is reached on the Cyprus problem and the "embargoes" are lifted, everything will be better. He noted, however, that they continue their contacts with the European Union (EU) for the lifting of the so-called embargoes, even if an agreement is not reached.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.12.11) reports that Eroglu said that their target is to reach 40 thousand beds in the field of tourism and 60 thousand students in their illegal universities. He noted that they saw the benefit of good marketing in tourism last year.
Eroglu said that they are carrying out preparations for opening "representation offices" to Scandinavian countries and noted that additionally they are considering of appointing tourism attaches in embassies of Turkey in some countries.
Meanwhile, in his address, the chairman of KITOB, Mehmet Dolmaci said that 2011 was a very satisfactory and productive year from the point of view of tourism and added that if the private sector, the "ministry" and Turkey's "Aid Delegation" act together, they could increase the occupancy of the hotels and secure more benefit for the "people" from the income from tourism, in spite of the "embargoes".
Moreover, in his address, the so-called minister of tourism, culture and environment Unal Ustel argued that they were taken off the website booking.com due to political reasons, despite their aim to offer quality in their hospitality services. However, he pointed out that they have been targeting the Scandinavian countries and added that despite "obstacles put forward by Greek Cypriots" they will organize exhibitions and promotional activities. He further said that they have started initiatives for the Russian market and supported that 2012 will be better in terms of tourism than 2011.
 Turkish Minister announces credit for investments in the field of tourism in the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.12.11) reports that the self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime, Ersin Tatar held contacts yesterday in Turkey, mostly on economic issues. Tatar met with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus, Besir Atalay and the Minister of Finance, Mehmet Simsek.
In statements during his meeting with Tatar, Atalay announced that the Development Bank of Turkey will grant credits for investment in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to investors and operators in the field of tourism.
Referring to the Cyprus negotiations, Atalay said that Turkey will always be by the side of the "TRNC" [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] regardless of the result of the negotiations.
Atalay said: "The Incentives' Decree will be published next week after it is signed by Prime Minister Erdogan. The incentive credit, which will be granted by the Development Bank of Turkey, will bring serious possibilities and advantages to the investors regarding the interest rates and the guarantees".
Atalay argued that they attach great importance to strengthening the economic life in the occupied area of Cyprus and increasing the standard of living there and noted that they work seriously in this direction. He added: "We are very satisfied with the economic developments in the TRNC. We follow the growth and the development of the private sector. We have positive indicators. The TRNC's economic strengthening and becoming able to stand on its own feet will always make this place advantageous. Regardless of the result of the negotiations with the Greek Cypriot sector, the Republic of Turkey will always be by the side of the TRNC".
Atalay said that during the meeting they examined the preparations made regarding the economic program to be implemented at the occupied area of Cyprus.
In his statements, Ersin Tatar said that his so-called government will carry out many projects during the forthcoming period together with Turkey. He argued that the economic program is successfully implemented in the occupied area of Cyprus and added that they exert efforts for having a sustainable economic structure by fixing the public finances with correct policies and by decreasing budget deficits. He noted that they submitted to the "assembly" a "draft-law" on interest rates, which will bring relief and secure new entries into the banking sector. Tatar noted that with the contribution of Bilal San, newly appointed director of the breakaway regime's "Central Bank", there might be new arrangements on the issue of the interest rates. He noted that the economy of the breakaway regime will gain many things through the increase of its exports by finding a new market in Turkey for the goods produced in the occupied area of Cyprus through further facilities at Mersin's customs gate.
 Yektaoglu argues that the most appropriate way to carry the Republic of Cyprus's natural gas to Europe is through TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (23.12.12) reports that Mustafa Yektaoglu, "MP" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has claimed that the most appropriate way to carry the Republic of Cyprus's natural gas to Europe is via Turkey.
Yektaoglu, who was evaluating the issue of carrying and selling natural gas, argued that carrying the gas to Greece via Limassol will be extremely expensive and added that the most appropriate way is to carry the gas via Turkey.
He pointed out that their greatest expectation is for peace and stability to be secured with these natural resources and added that the Greek Cypriots should not ignore the Turkish Cypriots on this issue because this will be the cause of tension.
 "E-mail bombardment against FIFA and UEFA to start"Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (23.12.11) reports that the "Cyprus Turkish Football Federation" has rolled up its sleeves in order for bringing to the attention of FIFA and UEFA the football, which is played in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Speaking to Havadis, Hasan Sertoglu, chairman of the "federation", said that they had made preparations in order to start as of next week sending large amounts of e-mails to FIFA and UEFA's website and officials.
Sertoglu stated, inter alia: "The purpose of doing this is to once more draw attention to the embargoes imposed on the Turks of Cyprus and show that football is played in the north of Cyprus. We will do this without getting bored or tired. The e-mails that we will send will include pictures and articles from matches played in our country [Translator's note: as he referred to the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus]."
 Erdogan announced sanctions against FranceAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.11), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey cancelled bilateral military and economic cooperation and suspended all bilateral political consultation with France in protest of a resolution penalizing denial of Armenian genocide which is approved by French parliament yesterday. Erdogan also described the French vote as doing politics via racism and xenophobia ahead of presidential elections.
Turkish private NTV television (22.12.11) broadcast the following:
"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the law that was recently enacted in France envisaging penalties for anyone refuting claims of an Armenian genocide.
In remarks about the sanctions to be applied to [France], Erdogan said in brief:
'This decision is particularly unfortunate from our perspective. It is even more unfortunate for France. It is entirely at odds with human rights. The bill was unfortunately approved despite our warnings and suggestions. It will open serious wounds that will be hard to remedy.
It is significant that the bill was approved with a quorum that did not exceed one-tenth the membership of the [French] parliament. It is hard to understand how such diluted voting can occur. This is an unfair and inappropriate step. We condemn this decision strongly on behalf of Turkey. Our relations go back more than a hundred years.
This is a step whereby Sarkozy has sacrificed [relations with Turkey] for the sake of getting re-elected. This vote is more unfair to the people of France than to Turkey. Is there freedom of thought and expression in France? There is not. [This decision] has removed the environment of free discourse.
Anti-Turkish hostility for personal ambitions is worrisome. This is a highly malicious decision with ulterior motives. We will not remain silent.
Our efforts to ensure that the French people see the truths will continue. We will explain this racist and discriminatory behaviour. There is no such thing in our history. We do not accept it. Those who do not know history talk about a genocide in my country. I advise them to read history better.
We are reviewing our relations with France. We will activate our measures in stages depending on the posture of France.
We are recalling our ambassador in France to Ankara for consultations.
We are cancelling political, military, and economic visits.
We will not cooperate with France in EU adaptation projects.
We are halting all types of political consultations with France.
We are cancelling bilateral military activities and joint exercises with immediate effect.
We are turning down all requests for permission for [French] naval vessels to visit [Turkish] ports as of today.
We will not hold the planned January 2012 meeting of Turkish-French Economic and Trade Partnership Committee, which would be co-chaired by the economy ministers of the two countries.
We are cancelling the annual blanket permit for over flight and landing and take-off rights for military planes; we are adopting an arrangement whereby a separate permission will be required for each flight.
This is the first phase or stage. Additional measures will be discussed depending on how the law proceeds in France and we will implement these resolutely in a way that does not leave any room for doubt.
Everyone, friend or foe, should know that we are proud of our history. We face up to every development that has occurred in our history. History cannot be written through parliamentary votes. At best, such votes distort history. Neither history nor peoples will forgive those who distort history.'"
 Turkey's MFA issued a press release regarding the law proposal adopted by the French ParliamentTurkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (online, 22.12.11) published in its official website the following press release "Statement No: 305 dated 22 December 2011. Press Release Regarding the Law Proposal Adopted by the French National Assembly":
"Turkey strongly condemns the law proposal adopted by the French National Assembly, which deeply offends the Turkish people, defames our history on the basis of one-sided interpretations and aims to deprive us from our right to defend ourselves against this injustice. This initiative is unjust, inappropriate and contradicts relevant rules of international law.
It is extremely unfortunate that such a serious issue is abused for electoral purposes in spite of all the demarches, friendly and constructive warnings conveyed to the Government of France, as well as promises previously received.
The introduction, this time, of criminal sanctions to the law which was adopted in 2001 also with a wrong approach, paves the way for even more negative consequences. Such parliamentary acts are problematic not only politically but also legally and morally.
This law proposal constitutes a grave example of politicization of history on account of narrow political calculations and stifling of freedom of expression by a democratic institution. France has thus preferred to ignore the universal values which it had a share in developing.
This initiative of the French Parliament, which restricts the freedom of expression of all academicians and researchers looking at historical events from different perspectives, cannot prevent the expression of the views developed on scientific basis. Nor can we accept the unilateral imposition of memory.
The proposal contradicts the international law, European norms, the reports of the French Parliament itself and the earlier official declarations of the Government of France on this issue.
The Turkish Government, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Turkish people and the Turkish communities living in different parts of the world, including France, find this move in the French Parliament extremely unjust.
It is a historical mistake to deal a blow with a prejudiced approach and careless moves, to the Turkish French relations that have been developing for centuries on the basis of friendship.
Following this development, we have recalled our Ambassador to France for consultations in Ankara. Today, our Prime Minister announced several measures that will be implemented at the first stage. We naturally envisage taking additional measures in line with the course of developments.
In the forthcoming period, which constitutes a test for France, we expect that necessary actions will be taken before the damage caused by this initiative on our bilateral relations reaches more severe dimensions, and we hope that ultimately common sense and reason will prevail."
 Reactions by Turkish politicians to the adoption in France of the bill on the Armenian genocideTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.11), under the title "Turkey cuts contacts with France over bill", reports, inter alia, the following regarding the reactions of Turkish politicians against the adoption by the French Parliament of the bill on the Armenian genocide:
"(?) The adoption of the bill sparked condemnations across the political spectrum.
EU Minister Egemen Bagis denounced the bill as a breach of EU acquis. 'Freedom of expression is one of the most important goals of the EU. The EU and EU member states, which say they care about freedom of expression, are assuming a very wrong attitude by trying to limit freedom of expression,' he said. Turkey would not let this resolution affect its EU membership process, he said.
Bagis also said France owed Turkey 'a historic apology' for having failed to protect Turkish diplomats and other citizens who were killed on its soil by the Armenian 'terrorist' group ASALA.
Some of the harshest reactions came from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose leader Devlet Bahceli said the adoption of the bill would go down in history as 'a great scandal and a black stain'.
Bahceli said the government's 'submissive policies' emboldened 'the enmity camp erected against our country'. He said protocols aimed at normalizing ties with Armenia must be scrapped for good and the government must apologize for having launched the initiative.
Main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu from the Republican People's Party (CHP) said the bill flouted France's deep-rooted liberal traditions. France is betraying its own history. France, the symbol of freedoms, is handcuffing freedom of expression with the decisions of politicians. It is impossible to understand.'
CHP deputy R1za Turmen, a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), said Turkey has the option to sue France at the Strasbourg-based court over the bill, but the move would bear a heavy political cost.
The outcome of an ECHR case involving Labour Party leader Dogu Perincek, now in jail over alleged anti-government plots regarding his 'denial' conviction in Switzerland where there is a similar law, would be crucial, Turmen said.
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) joined the criticism even though it withheld support for a joint parliamentary declaration this week. 'Parliamentary decisions cannot determine historical and sociological events,' the BDP's Hasip Kaplan said. However, he urged Turkey to face up to its history, pointing at Germany's example."
 How the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot press cover the approval of the Armenian resolution by the French ParliamentThe Turkish Cypriot press covers on its front pages today (23.12.11) the approval of the resolution regarding the Armenian genocide at the French Parliament. The issue is covered under the following titles:
KIBRIS: "Historic blow to the ties"
STAR KIBRIS: "All ties have been suspended"
GUNES: "France's insolence"
VATAN: "France and Turkey are at knife-edge. France approved the 'genocide decision'"
BAKIS: "The Armenian resolution passed"
KIBRISLI: "'Armenian' dynamite from France"
VOLKAN: "Shame on you France". The paper argues in its subtitle that France, which has implemented genocides in a lot of African countries such as Algeria and Ruanda, approved the allegations on the Armenian genocide and waged war to Turkey.
ORTAM: "Ties have been tensed"
HAVADIS: "Ties severed"
HABERDAR: "Hard response from Erdogan"
The two Turkish dailies received by our office today (23.12.110 cover the issue under the following titles:
HURRIYET: "Furious minority". Under the title the paper notes that "All political contacts with France have stopped"
SABAH: "Retaliation step by step"
 Turkey and Ukraine agreed to abolish visa requirementsAccording to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 22.12.11), Turkey and Ukraine agreed to reciprocally abolish visa requirements between the two countries as part of their drive to boost trade volume and tourism.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday that the two countries annulled visa requirements for nations of both countries and that the nations are determined to advance their economic transactions.
Ukraine's President visited Turkey on Thursday to discuss the possibilities of improving bilateral cooperation between the two countries at a strategic level.
Speaking after the two leaders had bilateral talks and attended Turkey-Ukraine High Level Strategic Cooperation meeting on Thursday, Erdogan said that Turkey and Ukraine agreed on enhancing cooperation in transportation, energy and defence and that ties between the two countries will be further advanced thanks to intense and sustained political dialogue between the two countries.
The Turkish Prime Minister also underlined that Turkey and Ukraine agreed on free trade deal, which he said, is a "very very important step." Erdogan said Turkey and Ukraine plan to reach $20 billion in trade volume by 2015 and $40 billion by 2020.
 Israel cancels defence deal with TurkeyTurkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.12.11) reports that Israel has cancelled a $141 million defence deal with Turkey, a reflection of the steep deterioration in relations between the former allies.
Israeli officials said on Thursday that they are concerned that Turkey could deliver the state-of-the-art airborne intelligence units to third parties hostile to Israel.
They said the deal was signed in 2008.
Officials in Israel's Defence Ministry and Elbit Systems, the manufacturer of the system, confirmed the deal was called off. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter. There was no immediate comment from Ankara. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio