|Sunday, 24 January 2021|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-10-16
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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 200/12 16.10.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Turkey seeks observer status for the breakaway regime at ECO summit- Tatar met with Davutoglu in the summit's frameworkTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper 916.10.12) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appealed on Monday to member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) to grant observer status to the breakaway regime.
In a speech to ministers from ECO countries in Baku, Davutoglu expressed his pleasure on the endorsement of observer status to the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States by ECO, saying he had no doubt that through this new status, cooperation between the two organizations would be further strengthened. "It is my sincere hope and wish from you, my dear brothers and sisters, that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also be granted the same status," Davutoglu alleged.
The 20th meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of ECO started on Monday in Azerbaijan, which hosted the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the self-styled finance minister of the breakaway regime. They gathered ahead of a summit of the heads of state and government of the member countries.
"As an international organization focusing on economic cooperation and development, ECO provides an ideal platform for the development of economic relations with Turkish Cypriots as envisaged by the UN secretary-general and [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] OIC resolutions," Davutoglu claimed, adding that Turkish Cypriots have been part of ECO's activities since 1992.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Start Kibris (16.10.12) reports that the self-styled finance minister of the breakaway regime, Ersin Tatar, who also participated in ECO summit held a meeting with Davutoglu.
 Turkey's "jobless minister" shows off again during his illegal visit to the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (16.10.12) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU Minster and Chief Negotiator, illegally visited yesterday the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus as guest of "foreign minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun. In the morning Bagis met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, the so-called speaker of the "assembly", Hasan Bozer and "foreign minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun.
In statements during his meeting with Eroglu, Bagis said that during the Cypriot term presidency of the EU, he wanted to visit "the term presidency which is in our hearts" and alleged: "We really consider important that the TRNC has proved its majority and obtained a structure which shows that it is a state from every aspect. God willing, in the forthcoming period, it will continue to be strengthened and grow with this stability and confidence."
Bagis said that this visit was an opportunity to both listen to Eroglu's views regarding the negotiations and consult with him the influence of this process on Turkey's EU accession course.
Expressing his satisfaction with the Bagis' visit, Eroglu argued that the statements made by the Turkish Minister worry the Greek Cypriots and added that the messages given by Bagis always please him. He claimed: "?However, with the statements you make, you have succeeded to slowly ? slowly put into the head of the Europeans that the real reason for the non-solution [in Cyprus] is the Greek Cypriot side?"
During his meeting with Kucuk, Bagis said that just like they support Eroglu in the Cyprus negotiations, they support and feel satisfied with Kucuk's leadership in the management of the "TRNC" economy and the promotion of the "state". Conveying to Kucuk the regards and the love of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bagis noted: "Mr Tayyip attaches great importance to the chemistry he achieved with you and as Turkey we watch with great pride the rate of growth and the stability of the TRNC under your leadership. We boast".
Bagis went on and said that while "south Cyprus", as he described the Republic of Cyprus, is wondering from whom it will take a loan, the breakaway regime achieved 10% economic growth and increased the number of its tourists and students as well as its income. He noted that the growth needs some time to be reflected in the pockets of the "citizens" in the microeconomic level, but they see that this process has started and they attach great importance to the continuation of stability.
In his statements, Kucuk said that they cooperate very closely with Bagis' Ministry and thanked Bagis for the fact that four of their employees are being trained at the moment in that Ministry. He noted that they will need some more employees from Turkey's EU Ministry for their efforts of being harmonized with the EU. Kucuk said that he will soon visit Italy, that the European Union is preparing its multiannual budget and that during recent contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus they had asked a separate item for the aid that will be given to the "TRNC", as he described the European aid to the Turkish Cypriot community, so that the same debates are not held every year. Kucuk asked from Bagis to support them on this issue during their contacts abroad.
After these statements by Kucuk, Haluk Ilicak, undersecretary at the Turkish EU Ministry, said that they have been undertaking some initiatives on the issue raised by Kucuk. He added: "Our Permanent Representation in the EU has undertaken the necessary initiative. It seems that there is not any big problem as regards the commission. We will undertake initiatives towards the member states as well. We are raising the issue in every EU member state we visit, with every ambassador we meet. They also have positive views?"
Meanwhile, during his meeting with Bozer, Bagis referred to statement made by President Christofias, who had reportedly stressed that without the return of Morfou and Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners no solution to the Cyprus problem could be reached. Bagis alleged: "Probably Christofias ate heavily during the night. He could have dreamed of something and when he woke up next morning made statements under the side-effect of this dream?"
Bagis claimed that we are experiencing an "interesting period" and that the world has started to understand the importance of the "TRNC" and to see how the Republic of Cyprus allegedly harm the interests of the world and the West.
Referring to the project of carrying water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with pipelines, Bagis argued that one day the Greek Cypriots will be thankful to Turkey for this. He claimed that the Greek Cypriots will also have benefits from this water.
Responding to a question, Bagis alleged that the sun rises over two separate "states" in Cyprus and two separate "democracies", which live peacefully side by side and have two "elected presidents", "speakers of the assembly", "governments" and systems.
Bagis alleged that if President Christofias was sincere, he would have agreed with the "TRNC officials", who negotiated with him "having the support of Turkey", and these problems would have been solved. He claimed that President Christofias did not use this chance and alleged that by "taking his hat and leaving", by stating that he will not be candidate in the elections, President Christofias allegedly endangers the negotiating process. He argued that it was not wise to upset the situation just before leaving.
In his statements, Bozer said that they could not accept the philosophy of "let everybody in Cyprus gather under the roof of the Republic of Cyprus" and alleged that what is important here, is the existence of "two states" and an agreement on the continuation of the continuation of "motherland" Turkey's "indisputable guarantees", under the roof of a new bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
Moreover, Bagis referred to Morfou and Varosha during his meeting with Ozgurgun as well and reiterated the allegation that President Christofias "ate heavily" during the night and as soon as he woke up in the morning started referring to Morfou and Varosha. He added: "Probably he dreamed about it, but only a short period has left, let him grit his teeth and bear it. Soon he is taking his hat and leaving. Instead of replying to persons who avoid their responsibility, let us look after our job. Let us look after growing, developing the TRNC, and let us protect our stability in a period when the world started to accept it with a higher respect".
Finally, under the title "Egemen Bagis", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.10.12) refers to Bagis' statements in its column "The hero of the day" and says:
"EU Minister Egemen Bagis, who is not taken very seriously into consideration in Turkey and in the world and what he says passes around like Nasreddin Hodja's jokes now, gets the attention he gets nowhere else in the world, when he comes to the TRNC. In Turkey, Bagis is described as 'the jobless minister'. Because Turkey's EU adventure has ended, it is said that Bagis has absolutely no job to do anymore. Egemen Bagis, who showed off a lot yesterday by holding various visits in our country, attempted to threaten and advise the Greek Cypriot side again. However, the Greek Cypriots too do not take him seriously into consideration anymore!"
 Bagis: AKP did not withdraw even one soldier, did not return even a one stone in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (16.10.12) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU Minster and Chief Negotiator, gave a lecture yesterday at the illegal European University of Lefka (LAU) under the title "Fatin Rustu Zorlu, EU and Cyprus" [Translator's note: Zorlu is the Turkish Foreign Minister, who was executed in 1961 together with the then Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes]. He said that Zorlu, who had been Minister of Foreign Affairs between the years 1957 and 1960, offered great services to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots on the "Cyprus cause". He recalled that during Zorlu's period, Turkey has become guarantor power in Cyprus, that he used every opportunity to support the Turkish Cypriots and launched Turkey's EU accession process.
Bagis added: "The Cyprus cause is entrusted to us by Fatin Rustu Zorlu. We will not abandon Cyprus for the EU, or the EU for Cyprus. We have legal, ethical and moral rights. During this 10-year period, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] did not withdraw even one soldier from Cyprus. It did not give even one stone".
After the lecture, asked to comment on his statement regarding the annexation of the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey, Bagis claimed that his statement has not been exactly this and argued that what he wanted to show were the options that Turkey has. He said that while he was expecting reaction from the Greek Cypriots against this statement, the reaction came first from some "provocative elements", as he described the Turkish Cypriots who had reacted then against his statement.
Bagis said that the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus asked many time to talk with him, but his reply was that he recognizes only the "TRNC foreign minister" and that they could meet only if the "TRNC minister" is present.
 Turkish columnists support that AKP's strengthened position in Turkish politics changed its attitude towards EU membershipUnder the title "Why the AK Party Does Not Need the EU", Ihsan Dagi writes in Today's Zaman that EU lost its ability to influence democratic changes in Turkey and notes:
"[?] The recent EU report on Turkey includes serious criticism that over the last year there have been setbacks on the issues of democracy, freedom of expression and the rule of law.
The Turkish government expressed its 'disappointment' about the report. The minister responsible for the EU, Egemen Bagis, declared that the 'EU's broken mirror is far away from reflecting the truth'. He added that he had once likened the EU to a dietician whose health was getting worse by the day, but now he said, 'The EU also is experiencing mental problems.'
These are harsh words indicating that the government is no longer taking the report, or for that matter the EU, seriously. [?] It is important because it reveals that the EU has already lost its leverage on Turkey to influence democratic change. [?] Despite the continuation of negotiations for membership between Turkey and the EU, everyone now believes that it is on paper and lips only. The resistance of Germany and France and the persistence of the Cyprus question have slowed down and virtually stopped the process.
But the other side of the coin is that the Turkish government has lost its interest in the EU. In the latest Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Congress that outlined the party's '2023 Vision,' the EU was hardly mentioned. This change of mind had a lot to do with the prevailing feeling among the ruling party leaders that they no longer need the EU.
In the past the EU was needed to balance and keep away the anti-AK Party block so powerful in the military, judiciary and bureaucracy that treated the ruling party as an anomaly, an outsider, a threat to be eliminated. The AK Party knows very well that it has overcome them, certainly with the help of the EU and a broad coalition of social forces.
This is to say that the AK Party, in the past, did regard the EU as 'instrumental'. [?] Many liberals, including myself, looked at the EU from a utilitarian perspective too in the sense that the EU would be a leverage to push democratization in Turkey and break the resistance of the pro-status quo forces. [?] The process itself was important because it had the transformative capacity.
When the AK Party came to power in 2002 there were strong forces in the military, judiciary and bureaucracy that were not happy with the new path of the EU membership energized by the 1999 candidate status. Their concern was that the EU process would necessitate a comprehensive transformation in politics, the economy and society that would erode their power. Yet the AK Party knew that in order to govern the country with real power it had to eliminate the regime of tutelage of these forces that denied the AK Party the legitimacy to rule the country. All the cases of coup attempts, the secularism debate and the AK Party closure case and so on are related to this clash for power.
In this struggle the AK Party needed the EU. The EU membership gave the AK Party legitimacy and enabled it to form a broad coalition both at home and abroad behind the idea of EU membership for a democratic Turkey. Meanwhile, it served to delegitimize the tutelage system and tutelary actors. Thus it became possible to initiate reforms, reforms that not only introduced EU standards but also empowered and protected the AK Party vis-a-vis its opponents within the establishment.
The result is that the AK Party has broken the resistance of the Kemalist state institutions as well as their social extension and taken over the control of the state, including the military, judiciary and bureaucracy, with the help of the EU.
The EU was a leveraging tool for the AK Party to overcome its opponents within the system. As I said above, this is a legitimate "instrumentalization" of the EU membership process provided that the process should have reached a stage of irreversibility. The European myopia has deprived us of a stage of 'point of no return' in the accession process. Thus the AK Party government today feels free of the constraints of European democratic standards. Its latest reaction to the progress report is indicative of this rather dangerous attitude."
In addition, under the title "Turkey-EU relations need new perspective", Seyfettin Gursel writes in Today's Zaman (16.10.12) that Cyprus EU term presidency not the main factor for Turkey's pitiful state of negotiations:
"Turkey-EU negotiations for membership are out of order since they started seven years ago. [?] Only 13 chapters have been opened out of a total of 33, while 10 are waiting for both sides to come to an agreement to them and 10 have been blocked by Cyprus. Negotiations, or rather the adoption of EU legislation, have only been concluded on the science and research chapter.
Who is responsible for this pitiful state of negotiations? For sure, there is more than one actor and the Cyprus presidency cannot be ranked first. That presidency will come to an end in two-and-a-half-months and even then the situation will not improve for the simple reason that negotiations were already at an impasse before Cyprus took over the EU presidency. First of all, it must be noted that the negotiations started on flawed ground. The negotiations for full membership began following the council meeting of December 2004 during which Turkey was declared "a candidate member"; however, at the same time Turkey was told that membership was not guaranteed even if the two sides managed to come to an agreement on all of the chapters.
One can ask, of course, why Turkey accepted to negotiate under this condition. [?]The answer to the question has never been given officially, but I can suggest two possible answers: First, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government that won the November 2002 elections with only 34 percent of the vote needed to absolutely consolidate its power, and the start of EU negotiations was considered an important tool in both preventing a very probable military intervention and for pushing economic growth. My second answer is that the AK Party, considering sincerely the EU membership as a strategic target for Turkey, thought that EU members opposed to Turkey's membership would change their minds, admitting that with time Turkey would become indispensable for Europe.
It is likely that within these two possible answers lies the truth, but what does matter is that negotiations started and they contributed largely to the consolidation of the democratic regime as well as to its economic success, at least in the first phase. [?] Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on many occasions that Turkey will never enter the EU since "it is not a European country." [?] As for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she was perhaps less hurtful than Sarkozy, but not less opposed to Turkey's membership. [?]
While these negative attitudes were cooling the appetite of Turks for EU membership, the AK Party government was becoming more and more self confident as the economy was booming; exports were successfully being diversified towards the East and the risk of military coups was over. Has the AK Party started to think that EU membership is no more a strategically important target for Turkey? I am not sure, but it should be noted that signs indicating the government is leaning in this direction are increasing. Nevertheless, I have to remind you that the EU continues to be the main market for Turkish exports despite the recent decline due to the European recession. Turkey will crucially need the EU when the recession is over in order to continue its export-led growth. Also, Turkey continues to crucially need European investments, which constitute three-quarters of overall foreign direct investments (FDI). Moreover, I believe that EU membership continues to be a unique political anchor for Turkish democracy in its quest for stability and consolidation of power. [?]
 Andrew Duff's contacts in occupied CyprusAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.10.12) the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday at the so-called "presidential palace" with the European MP Andrew Duff and his accompanied delegation.
Eroglu's "undersecretary", Hasan Gungor and his special representative, Osman Ertug were present at the meeting.
No statements were made before or after the meeting.
Also, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (16.10.12), the European MP, Andrew Duff, accompanied by a delegation, carried out contacts with Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP).
Speaking during the meeting, Cakici referred to the Cyprus problem and said that is not only a problem of the Cypriots but also a problem of the EU. He further stressed the need for the re-launching of the negotiations and stated that they will continue exerting efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Cakici added that the support of Turkey, Greece and the EU is also necessary for the solution.
In his turn, Duff said that they are expecting steps to be taken towards the solution in Cyprus by making a good evaluation of the Cyprus' EU term presidency.
Expressing his worries towards the fact that Turkey's EU accession process is in stagnancy, Duff expressed his disappointment over the fact that during his two-half hour speech at the AKP congress, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan referred five times at Turkey's growth and not even once on Turkey's EU negotiation process. Duff continued and accused the Turkish government of not being unitive but invidious and expressed hopes that Turkey would be more eager towards its EU negotiation process.
Stating that he had the chance to meet with Eroglu and exchanged views on several issues, Duff said that there are no expectations for any progress to be achieved on the Cyprus problem until the spring due to the elections in "south Cyprus".
 Eroglu met with the Manisa Industrial and Businessmen's AssociationIllegal Bayrak television (15.10.12) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu held a meeting with the Turkish Manisa Industrial and Businessmen's Association.
The Association is holding contacts in the breakaway regime upon receiving an invitation from the "Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Council".
Speaking during the visit, Eroglu said that he was pleased the Turkish businessmen were interested in the breakaway regime: "Dialogue prospering between the business sector in motherland Turkey and the TRNC is a very good development for the country and Cyprus as a whole", he alleged and added: "These visits remind us that we are not alone and that motherland Turkey always supports the Turkish Cypriots", he claimed.
The head of the Manisa Industrialists and Businessmen's Association Muhittin Calimci for his part said that they were carrying out a visit to the breakaway regime in order to strengthen relationships between the two "countries" and to develop imports between Turkey and the breakaway regime.
 So-called minister Cavusoglu called on Greek Cypriots to benefit from the water to be transfer from TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.10.12) reports that the so-called minister of interior and local administration Nazim Cavusoglu expressed hopes that the water to be transfer to the occupied area of Cyprus from Turkey via pipelines, would be the "water of peace".
Delivering a speech at the 5th general congress of Engineering, Architecture and Urban Development of the Turkic World, Cavusoglu expressed hopes that the water to be transfer from Turkey would become the water of peace and that their "Greek Cypriot neighbours" who has said "We will not use water from Turkey for agriculture and animal breeding", will be wiliness to use this water.
Pointing out in his statements to the importance of the project for transferring water from Turkey, Cavusoglu expressed gratitude to Turkey for its help.
 Saner to support Kucuk at the forthcoming UBP congressAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (16.10.12), the so-called minister of tourism Ersan Saner who is currently in Turkey for several contacts, in statements last night to several TV channels said that he will support the so-called prime minister Kucuk at the UBP's general congress.
He said that he took this decision because it would be of the benefit of the "country" and added that with Kucuk, they could continue with prosperity in the future.
 "Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey hits 100,000 thresholds"Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (15.10.12) reports that the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey has now exceeded 100,000, a level that Turkey said could trigger actions such as the creation of a buffer zone because it would struggle to accommodate more than 100,000 refugees.
In a statement on Monday, the Turkish Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) announced that there were now 100,363 Syrians at 13 camps built in seven Turkish provinces along the border with Syria.
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in August that Turkey would not accept more than 100,000 refugees and that the creation of a buffer zone could be necessary to contain the refugee flow onto its soil.
Turkish officials describe the number as a "psychological threshold," which does not automatically trigger measures for the creation of a buffer zone, emphasizing also the importance of international support for such a move.
Speaking to Today's Zaman, an official said the issue was not on Turkey's immediate agenda just because the number of refugees has hit 100,000, but added that this remains an option. More than 10,000 Syrians are already waiting on the other side of the border and there are fears that an army offensive in Aleppo, where clashes between the army forces and the opposition have been raging, could spark a new wave of refugees headed towards the Turkish border.
Turkey has called already for the United Nations to build refugee camps in a safe zone within Syria's borders. But these calls are met with caution in the West, which is wary of engaging in confrontation with the Syrian army without a UN decision authorizing military action in the civil war-battered country. Critics say creating safe zones or a buffer zone within Syria on humanitarian concerns would still require a significant military commitment because it would inevitably mean military confrontation with the Syrian army.
More than 143,000 Syrians have entered Turkey since the conflict began in March 2011, while 42,777 Syrians have subsequently returned, according to AFAD data.
Along with the humanitarian concerns stemming from the Syrian civil war, military tensions on the Turkish-Syria border are also escalating. Turkey has reinforced its military units along the border after shelling Syrian targets in retaliation for a mortar bomb fired from the Syrian territory that killed five civilians on a border town in Turkey early this month.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Davutoglu said Turkey will retaliate without hesitation if its border with Syria is violated again and if it believes that its national security is in danger. "When it comes to security, Turkey's border is equal to the Norwegian border as far as NATO is concerned. The security of these borders is the security of NATO. So we believe that this solidarity will continue," Davutoglu said.
Earlier, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet ?zel also vowed to respond "with greater force if the Syrian shells continued to land on Turkish soil".
 Armenian plane en route to Aleppo searched in TurkeyTurkish daily Today's Zaman (16.10.12) reports that Turkey grounded an Armenian plane flying to the Syrian city of Aleppo and searched its cargo on Monday.
The plane was allowed to continue on its way after the search in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum confirmed it was carrying humanitarian aid as stated by Armenian officials, a Turkish deputy prime minister said.
Last Wednesday Turkey forced a Syrian airliner that had come from Moscow to land and officials reported finding Russian munitions on board destined for Syria's armed forces.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said the plane was given the all clear and allowed to continue on its journey.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Turkey has the sovereign right under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation to require planes crossing its airspace to make a "technical landing" but did not say whether this right would be exercised again in the future.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said later in the day that according to preliminary inspections, the plane was not carrying any cargo except humanitarian aid supplies.
Davutoglu, who is attending the 20th Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Azerbaijan, told journalists that on Oct. 10, Armenia requested the use of Turkish airspace to take humanitarian aid to Aleppo. He said Turkey had granted permission only on the condition that the plane would make a "technical landing" in Erzurum, a request in keeping with international aviation law.
Armenia confirmed it had known the plane would be searched. "The landing of the airplane in Turkey was planned and it was carried out according to a previously reached agreement. The airplane is delivering humanitarian aid to Syria," Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan said.
 Demirtas re-elected BDP chairmanAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.10.12) reports that Selahattin Demirtas has been re-elected the chairman of Turkey's opposition Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) with 650 votes.
He has been re-elected at the party's second ordinary congress held on Sunday. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION