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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-12-05

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] Turkey and the breakaway regime signed a new three-year "economic program"
  • [02] Reaction to the three-year "economic program" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime
  • [03] Eroglu: "Cyprus Church an obstacle to a settlement"
  • [04] Baroness Ece called on the EU, instead of the UN to undertake responsibility on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Bahceli calls on AKP to safeguard the recognition of the breakaway regime
  • [06] Turkish Cypriots from Lempa village said that they will start selling their property to Greek Cypriots
  • [07] NATO gives go-ahead to send Patriot missiles to Turkey; Turkey's MFA welcome's NATO decision
  • [08] Ankara confirms request for more Russian gas amid Iran sanctions
  • [09] Escalation of tension between Ankara and Baghdad due to Iraq's denial to approve Yildiz to fly directly to Arbil
  • [10] Columnist assesses the possibility of improvement of Turkish-French ties and speaks over a new era on the ties of the two countries


    [01] Turkey and the breakaway regime signed a new three-year "economic program"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (05.12.12) reports that a "protocol" of economic and fiscal cooperation between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the period 2013-2015, was signed yesterday in Ankara. The "protocol" was signed by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay and Turkish Cypriot self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk.

    In statements after the signing of the "protocol", Atalay said that the breakaway regime worked on this "protocol" for a period of one year and that the final shape of the "protocol" had been given by technical committees. He noted that "protocols" for economic and fiscal "cooperation" between Turkey and the breakaway regime have been signed since 1986 and added that since 2001 "economic programs" are also included in these "protocols". He reiterated that this "protocol" has been prepared for the first time in cooperation with the civilian organizations in the occupied area of Cyprus with the aim to increase the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots and reach a sustainable economy.

    Atalay said that they increased the financial aid to the breakaway regime to three billion Turkish liras (TL from note: 1? = 2,357 TL) from two billion 584 million TL and added that they will promised to give an additional aid of 300 million TL in order for the "public" banks to acquire a healthy structure.

    Atalay argued that Turkey provided support to the process of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem and added that regardless of whether an agreement is reached or not, Turkey will continue being the guarantor of the Turkish Cypriots living in prosperity and tranquility. He said that they will continue to work for creating a powerful "TRNC" in all sectors.

    In statements before the signing of the "protocol", Irsen Kucuk argued that the difference of the new program is that it has been prepared by technical committees and "ministries" of the breakaway regime with the contribution of bureaucrats from Turkey. He said that the "protocol" attaches importance to the development of the existing investments and the creation of new investments. He noted that the contribution (of Turkey) to the "operating budget" (of the regime) has been reduced and emphasis has been given to the real sector and the private sector. He said their target is the decrease of unemployment, the increase of the standard of living and the creation of a safe environment for investments. "With the protocol we provide for an increase of 84% in the real sector", he said adding that they have "introduced a satisfactory protocol".

    The Turkish Cypriot newspapers of today (05.12.12) refer on their front pages to the content of the protocol and many of them publish its full text.

    Daily Halkin Sesi reports that according to the "agreement", the "TRNC" delegations will prepare a follow up report of the "economic program" every month. Moreover, once every three month they will prepare reports regarding the results of the implementation of the program. According to the paper, these reports will be evaluated every month by delegations from Turkey.

    Daily Yeni Duzen reports that some important "articles" of the "protocol" are the following: the working hours in the "public" sector will change, the full day education will be adopted, the new appointments in the "public" sector will not exceed 25% of the persons who retired in the period 2010-2012, the number of the personnel who will be employed until 2015 should be determined by the end of 2013, the over-time payments in the "public" sector will be decreased, the name of the "state" in the field of tourism will be "North Cyprus" and this will be turned into a "brand name", a "border" control system will be established so that the systems of Turkey and the breakaway regime to be integrated, and water and electricity will come from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with pipelines.

    Daily Havadis reports that bureaucratic obstacles such as the "TRNC citizenship" or a decision by the "council of ministers" when establishing a business or purchasing immovable property will be lifted with the new "protocol".


    [02] Reaction to the three-year "economic program" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (05.12.12) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that the signing of the "protocol" of economic and fiscal cooperation between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the period 2013-2015, was the biggest sin committed against the "people".

    In a statement issued yesterday, Yorgancioglu reiterated that the content of the "protocol" was hidden by the "people", the businessmen, the industrialists, the producers, the shopkeepers, the trade unions and the political parties. He argued that the National Unity Party "government" had no right to put the "people" under such a responsibility without taking their approval.

    Moreover, the paper writes that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), described the economic package as "illegal" because its content had been hidden from the political parties, the trade unions, the civilian organizations and the "people". "It is one of the strongest blows dealt to the Turkish Cypriots", he argued in a written statement issued yesterday.

    Furthermore, Havadis reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) described the "protocol", as "imposition" by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and accused self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk of betraying the Turkish Cypriot community. In a statement issued yesterday by BKP's general secretary, Izzet Izcan said that the "protocol" is a "package" and noted that BKP rejects it.

    Finally, the "policy of secrecy" followed by the UBP "government" on the issue of the "protocol" was criticized yesterday by the Economic Organizations' Platform, which issued a written statement expressing sorrow and disappointment, because, in spite of all their demands and the insistence, the "protocol" had not been shared with the civilian organizations and the "people" before to be signed. The members of the platform are the following: the Businessmen Association (ISAD), the Building Contractors' Union (KTIMB), the Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (KTEZO), the Hoteliers' Union (KTOB), the Young Businessmen Association (GIAD) and the Employers' Union.


    [03] Eroglu: "Cyprus Church an obstacle to a settlement"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.12.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu accused the Cyprus Church of being an obstacle to the settlement of the Cyprus problem because it negatively influences the Greek Cypriot political parties

    Eroglu made these allegations during a visit paid to him by students of the "Gazimausa Nam1k Kemal High School" in occupied Cyprus and "Edirne Yildirim Beyazit High School" which is a school visiting the breakaway regime.

    Eroglu informed the students on the negotiations for the Cyprus problem and alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side was taking part in the negotiations in order to reach a settlement that will bring the two "peoples" on the island together. "However, the Greek Cypriots continued to perceive the Cyprus Turks as a minority on the island", he claimed. He also alleged that they have so far failed to reach an agreement despite the fact that he alone has attended more than 150 meetings since his election as "President" and added that the talks could continue following the Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus next year.

    [04] Baroness Ece called on the EU, instead of the UN to undertake responsibility on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.12.12) reported from London that Baroness Meral Huseyin Ece, the first Turkish Cypriot member of House of Lords at UK Parliament, said that the EU, instead of UN, should take action and undertake responsibility on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to AA on Tuesday, Ece expressed hope that Turkey's EU membership process would be speeded up during EU presidency term of Ireland which would take this mission over from the "Greek Cypriot administration", as she called the Republic of Cyprus, next month.

    Noting that Turkey should pursue the reforms within the scope of the membership process, Ece said that Europe needed Turkey which had a young population.

    Ece said that Turkey was a bridge between eastern and western world, adding that if Turkey became a member of the EU, it would bring benefits for both western and eastern world.

    Ece noted that Cyprus issue should not be put as an obstacle before Turkey's EU membership.

    Noting that the UN failed to solve the Cyprus problem many times, Ece said that the method of UN did not work so it was time for the EU to take responsibility. "The EU, although a solution was not reached, accepted the accession of Greek Cypriot administration in the Union", said Ece.

    Ece said there was no need for such a high number of troops in a small island, but she thought it was not possible for Turkey to withdraw its troops from the island as long as a peace agreement was not signed.

    57-year-old Baroness Ece has been in the House of Lords since May 2010.

    [05] Bahceli calls on AKP to safeguard the recognition of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (05.12.12) reports that the leader of the Turkish opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli stated that the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP) must safeguard the recognition of the breakaway regime.

    Bahceli who was speaking during a meeting of the parliamentary committee of MHP stated that he expects AKP to bring the problems regarding the breakaway regime at the international agenda so that together with Palestine the justice and the demands of the "TRNC" to be meet and its recognition to be safeguard through the international system.

    [06] Turkish Cypriots from Lempa village said that they will start selling their property to Greek Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (05.12.12) reports that the news about the Turkish Cypriot Cafer Mustafa who is a permanent residence of Australia and who sold his 96-donum property in Lempa village in Pafos to a Greek Cypriot for the amount of 11.8 million Euro, created great reaction in the breakaway regime.

    Volkan writes that a group of persons from Lempa village visited the paper's headquarters and stated that if the breakaway regime does not take as soon as possible measures regarding the property issue, they will start selling their properties in the free area of the Republic of Cyprus to Greek Cypriots.

    [07] NATO gives go-ahead to send Patriot missiles to Turkey; Turkey's MFA welcome's NATO decision

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (04.12.12) reported that a NATO official said that NATO gave the go-ahead today (yesterday) for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles to Turkey to protect it from any spill over of the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

    "NATO has agreed to augment Turkey's air-defence capabilities by deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey," a NATO official said.

    Russia, Syria and Iran have criticized Turkey's request to the alliance to send the Patriots which can be used to intercept missiles.

    Meanwhile, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.12.12), the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that NATO's decision to deploy Patriot air-defines missiles in Turkey had affirmed the solidarity and the unity of Alliance.

    Earlier today, NATO foreign ministers approved the deployment of Patriot missile batteries along Turkey's border against possible attacks from Syria.

    "Within the framework of the Council decision, all Allies have voiced their grave concern regarding the situation along NATO's south-eastern border, and declared their determination to deter threats towards, and to defend, our country. They have also reiterated their commitment to the security of NATO, and their full solidarity and resolve to protect the Allied populations and territories," the ministry said in a press release.

    The ministry said also the following: "the measures to be taken are in no way offensive. These measures are defensive and aim to augment our national air defence [...] These defensive measures have nothing to do with the establishment of a no-fly-zone."


    "Turkey welcomes this decision by NATO Foreign Ministers, which was taken as a consequence of the consultation process initiated by the North Atlantic Council meetings on 26 June and 3 October upon our request within the framework of Article IV of the North Atlantic Treaty. This decision is important, as it demonstrates and re-confirms Allied solidarity and unity in practical terms".

    "The locations in which these assets will be deployed are determined in light of the necessary military-technical analysis".

    "Turkey will continue the initiatives she has been undertaking with a view to solve the Syrian crisis through peaceful ways, with the same resolve as before," the ministry said.

    [08] Ankara confirms request for more Russian gas amid Iran sanctions

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (04.12.12) reported that Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z confirmed on Tuesday, that Ankara is in talks with Moscow to increase its gas supply to Turkey as US-led sanctions on Iran over its suspected nuclear program which have forced Turkey to cut imports of Iranian gas.

    Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Y1ld1z said he had talked with Russian officials about possible additional natural gas for Turkey and mentioned that the "Russian side is very positive about this." Noting that his Ministry has set up a working group to determine the possible demand for an increase in Russian gas, Y1ld1z said it could be as much as 3 billion cubic meters. That is half of the amount of gas that Turkey is getting via one of its major supply lines from Russia, the Western Pipeline. "I have discussed a possible increase in Turkish demand for Russian gas with Energy Minister Alexander Novak. & We may not be able to renew contracts early enough, but both sides are willing to increase the gas supply without signing a new purchase contract", Yildiz said.

    As part of an agreement with Moscow, Turkey could receive a limited amount of Russian gas per year, but steep growth in demand during a harsh winter, may push Ankara to ask for an increase.

    (& )

    Y1ld1z recalled that in past winters when there was increased demand, Turkey received larger quantities of gas from Russia than stipulated in contracts.

    (& )

    Russian Energy Minister Novak said earlier that Russia is willing to increase gas supplies to Turkey this winter if Ankara requests it. Turkey, which ranks as Gazprom's second-largest natural gas consumer after Germany, is forecast to see daily demand rise to near 220 million cubic meters this winter from a current level of 125 million, according to Ministry of Energy officials. Turkey's limited underground storage capacity means it faces difficulties meeting the high demand from its 75 million people as winter temperatures plunge.

    Gazprom clinched a long-term deal to export natural gas to private companies in Turkey last week, securing a growing market for the Russian gas export monopoly as it faces declines from its core consumers in the European Union. The move followed a one-year impasse in gas trade between Gazprom and Turkish firms after state pipeline company Botas did not renew an expiring 25-year contract at the end of 2011 due to a pricing dispute. Business has continued in the meantime only on a short-term basis.

    In a move that would force Turkey to reduce its gas imports from Iran, US senators and aides told Reuters last week, that the US Senate may soon consider widening trade sanctions against Iran, including the Turkish-Iranian "gold for gas" trade.

    Turkey, which receives more than 90 percent of Iran's gas exports, currently, circumvents existing in US and European banking sanctions by paying its neighbour, Iran, in Turkish lira, which Iran then uses to buy gold in Turkey. The US government has so far exempted Turkey from Iranian sanctions in return for significant cuts in the level of its gas purchases from Tehran.

    [09] Escalation of tension between Ankara and Baghdad due to Iraq's denial to approve Yildiz to fly directly to Arbil

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (05.12.12), Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z was unable to fly to the northern Iraqi city of Arbil yesterday when the central government issued a last-minute decree seemingly intended to block his visit.

    "The central government did not approve, and we landed in Kayseri," Y1ld1z told the Hurriyet Daily News after the plane landed in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. Y1ld1z had been scheduled to fly to Arbil early yesterday to attend the ministerial closing session of a Kurdistan oil and gas conference that is being held for the second time in Arbil. He attended the first conference last year as well.

    However, the Iraqi central government issued a decree yesterday morning, just three hours before the Minister's plane was scheduled to take off, requiring all private planes destined for Arbil first to land in Baghdad. After learning of the new decree, the Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, Yunus Demirer, was barely able to reach the Foreign Ministry official on the plane, which was about to take off, in time to halt the departure.

    Turkish officials realized at the last minute that despite the diplomatic clearance they had obtained from Baghdad earlier, they did not have permission to fly into Iraqi airspace and go directly to Arbil. After consulting with the Foreign Ministry, the Minister decided to land in Kayseri. "We will make an overall assessment with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Necirvan Barzani," Y1ld1z said, insisting that Turkey's oil interests in Iraq would not be harmed by this incident and there was no change to the roadmap.

    Ankara and Baghdad have been at odds over several issues, including Turkey's refusal to extradite fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi ? who was sentenced to death by a Baghdad court ? the Turkish military presence in Iraq to pursue outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party militants and the oil dispute. Baghdad says Arbil's oil exports to Turkey without Baghdad's permission are illegal. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Kirkuk without informing Baghdad in August, also incensed Iraqi authorities and brought already cold ties between Baghdad and Ankara to a new low.


    [10] Columnist assesses the possibility of improvement of Turkish-French ties and speaks over a new era on the ties of the two countries

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (04.12.12) published a commentary by Beril Dedeoglu entitled: "Turkey-France: A new period?". Following is the commentary:

    "Galatasaray University hosted an important meeting last Monday. The reunion, called the 'French-Turkish meetings' which was co-organized by the university's European Research and Documentation Center (CREDE) and the French think tank Institute of International and Strategic Studies (IRIS), has brought together many Turkish and French academics, columnists and politicians.

    The first of these meetings took place last year, and to tell the truth, under a very negative atmosphere: Nicolas Sarkozy was still in charge then.

    During last year's meeting, both sides were too busy blaming each other for the degradation of the two countries' relations. In fact, both sides ploughed the sands as everyone knew that under Sarkozy's presidency, no real progress was possible.

    This year's meeting was much more efficient, convivial and constructive. The organizers had wanted to call people from all political sensitivities and that's why not only the representatives of France's governing Socialist Party but also of the main opposition Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) were present. Unfortunately, Turkey's main opposition party decided not to participate and that's why they couldn't use this opportunity to express their views to their French counterparts.

    The main goal of this French-Turkish meeting was of course to find ways to develop bilateral relations. To put it differently, the participants have tried to correct the consequences of Sarkozy's harmful policies. Let's first say that everyone agreed on something: There aren't any direct problems between France and Turkey. The existing problems are all related to third-party issues, such as Turkish-EU relations, the Cyprus issue and the island's relations with NATO and the Armenian genocide issue. In fact, the main problem is that the two countries have made different and sometimes contradictory strategic choices about these subjects.

    Both sides agree that these problems exist, but they propose different ways to overcome them. What is encouraging is that everyone seemed impatient about putting these problems behind and moving forward.

    The slogan of this new approach is 'common success'. Naturally, in order to reach a common success, one needs to find a common subject to work on. In order to find this common subject, one needs a positive atmosphere. This positive atmosphere must be established quickly as a number of crucial elections are approaching: the EU Parliament's elections, and presidential elections in Cyprus and Turkey, for example.

    The participants have developed some ideas as to how to find ways to break the ice. For example, French President Francois Hollande may come for an official visit to Turkey and use this opportunity to announce that France will no longer veto the opening of several EU negotiation chapters. In this context, it would be a good idea to re-establish the French-Turkish Friendship Group in the Turkish Parliament. These efforts will not be sufficient to create a common success, but they will at least contribute to the positive atmosphere.

    On which strategic domains can the two countries work together? Probably about Syria, along with energy and security issues in the east Mediterranean. There is no doubt that Turkey would like to cooperate with another power while dealing with these problems, rather than acting alone. A French-Turkish rapprochement would be very helpful for the entire region's stability. The key question is: Why should Turkey choose France as its major partner, and vice-versa?

    Maybe a lasting solution would be to have France usher Turkey into the EU, while Turkey ushers France into the Middle East. However, one first has to convince the public about this strategic cooperation. As columnists and academics, we are the ones everyone looks at when it comes to persuading". TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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