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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-01-10

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] EP's annual resolution report on Turkey calls on Ankara to withdraw its forces from Cyprus
  • [02] Eroglu explains the road map of the Turkish side in the Cyprus talks
  • [03] Yorgancioglu: "No positive progress at the Cyprus problem"
  • [04] Afrika: 20.000 Turkish Cypriots reportedly living in the government-controlled area of Cyprus are establishing an organization
  • [05] TIP-IS trade union signed a "protocol agreement" with the so-called ministry of health
  • [06] The occupation regime participates in the "Vakantiebeurs 2013 Tourism Fair" in the Netherlands
  • [07] Turkey seeks additional 6 billion cubic meters of LNG liquefied natural gas from Qatar aiming to reduce dependence on Iran and Russia
  • [08] Details emerge about roadmap of Turkey-PKK peace talks ?Erdogan said PKK militants should leave Turkey
  • [09] Three PKK members killed in Paris attack
  • [10] Turkey censors Steinbeck and Hemingway
  • [11] "From a vision to pipe-dream: Turkey's EU connection"


    [01] EP's annual resolution report on Turkey calls on Ankara to withdraw its forces from Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.01.13) reports that Dutch Christian Democrat rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten on Wednesday explained the "European Parliament resolution on the 2012 progress report on Turkey" in a press conference and called on Turkey to begin withdrawing its forces from Cyprus.

    Oomen-Ruijten said that the report expresses once again its strong support to the reunification of Cyprus, based on a fair and viable settlement for both communities; underlines the urgency of an agreement between the two communities on how to proceed with the substantive settlement negotiations, so that the negotiating process, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General , can soon regain momentum. It also calls on Turkey to begin withdrawing its forces from Cyprus.

    Oomen-Ruijten has said the problems of 20 million Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin should be solved and added that the new constitution presented an important opportunity in the scope of solving these issues.

    In EP's annual resolution report on Turkey lays stress on the principles of the separation of powers and an adequate system of checks and balances; relations between the state, society and religion; an inclusive system of governance securing the basic rights of all citizens and inclusive concept of citizenship.

    The report reiterates its condemnation, in the strongest terms, of the continuing violence by the PKK, and expresses its full solidarity to Turkey and to the families of the many victims, calling on the Member States, in close coordination with the EU counter terrorism coordinator and Europol, to intensify cooperation with Turkey "in the fight against terrorism and organized crime as a source of financing of terrorism".

    The report supports Turkey's commitment to democratic forces in Syria and the provision of humanitarian assistance to Syrians who fled the country; asks the Commission, the Member States and the international community to support Turkey's efforts to cope with the growing humanitarian dimension of the Syrian crisis; underlines the importance of a common understanding between the EU and Turkey on how to deliver the available humanitarian assistance to the displaced Syrians currently on Turkish territory or waiting at its borders.

    Oomen-Ruijten said that she would hold talks in the Turkish capital of Ankara and southern province of Hatay on January 10 and 12.

    [02] Eroglu explains the road map of the Turkish side in the Cyprus talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (10.01.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that a new method and a road map is absolutely necessary for the resumption of the negotiating process aiming at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements to illegal TAK news agency, Eroglu argued that this road map should be a time limit in the negotiations, a "give and take exercise" and a multilateral meeting with the participation of the guarantor powers, which will take place in the end of this [give and take].

    Eroglu said he was not optimistic because of the statements made by the candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus and claimed that there was not a remarkable change of policy in the Greek Cypriot community in spite of the fact that there has been a change in its leadership six times. Eroglu alleged that the policy which will be followed on the Cyprus problem is more important than who will be elected in the leadership of the Greek Cypriot community.

    Eroglu alleged that the substantial negotiations on the Cyprus problems stopped last January because of what he described as "the rejectionist stance and approach" of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Eroglu said that an activity could begin in the Cyprus problem after the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus and argued that some conditions should be fulfilled in order for this activity to be effective. He added: "A timetable, a give and take exercise and the realization of a multilateral meeting which will take place after this and in which the guarantor powers will participate are included among these [conditions]. This is our road map for the future. Depending on the policies to be followed by the Greek Cypriot leader, who will be newly elected, we hope and expect that progress will be achieved on these issues".

    Asked to comment on information published in the Greek Cypriot press that Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, will bring new views or proposals which will change the negotiating process, Eroglu claimed that the news especially in the Greek Cypriot press about Downer are speculative, but holding some "exercises of ideas" that are preparatory for possible negotiations should be considered as normal.

    Responding to a question regarding the 2013 Foreign Policy Targets announced recently by the Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Eroglu said he agrees with Davutoglu and that "if the process is to resume, the sides should secure an agreement on this issue".

    He went on and argued: "This requires a new method and the development of a road map, like Mr Davutoglu said. Mr Secretary-General is also saying that the negotiations cannot continue being open-ended like they had been until today. And the UN Security Council agrees with this assessment. This coincides with our approach that a time table is necessary".

    Commenting on the report regarding the extension of the term of duty of the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus, Eroglu said they expected the report to be "based on realities, neutral and with more technical content". He said that they have just received the draft of the report and that they will make their evaluations after examining the report and they will announce these evaluations to the UN Secretary-General.

    Replying to another question on the progress in the technical committees during the past six months, Eroglu argued that some developments have been noted in these discussions, even though these developments are few.


    [03] Yorgancioglu: "No positive progress at the Cyprus problem"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (10.01.13) under the title: "No positive progress" reports on statements by Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the opposition Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) in the occupied area of Cyprus, who stated during a visit he paid in occupied Morfou the day before yesterday, that no positive progress has been reached towards the solution of the Cyprus problem during the period of the "UBP government" and with Eroglu in the "presidency".

    Speaking during his visit to occupied Morfou, Yorgancioglu criticized the "UBP government" for its action and said that the UBP has vanished the Turkish Cypriot community.


    [04] Afrika: 20.000 Turkish Cypriots reportedly living in the government-controlled area of Cyprus are establishing an organization

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.01.13) reports that according to reliable sources, the number of the Turkish Cypriots living in the government-controlled area of Cyprus is around 20 thousands and that a big increase is seen in this number during the past few years.

    Writing in his daily column, Sener Levent, Afrika's editor-in-chief, notes that these Turkish Cypriots have made the first step in the direction of being organized according to the laws of the Republic of Cyprus under the name of "Cyprus Turkish Republicans Movement".

    Levent writes that the statute of this organization is signed by 21 persons and has been submitted to the Ministry of Interior with an application for registering the Movement, which has as its basic target to "defend the partnership in the Republic of Cyprus", which is considered as "the only guarantee for the existence of the Turkish Cypriots as community".


    [05] TIP-IS trade union signed a "protocol agreement" with the so-called ministry of health

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.01.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Physicians' Trade Union (TIP-IS) has reached to an agreement yesterday with the so-called ministry of health as regards the method for the health services the "doctors" provide to the "state hospitals" in the occupied area of Cyprus to those who visit the "hospitals" in order to have "physical examinations", so that to be able to take the "TRNC's citizenship".

    According to a statement made by the so-called ministry of health, a protocol agreement was signed yesterday by so-called minister of health, Ertugrul Hasipoglu and the chairman of TIP-Is trade union Dr. Erol Seherlioglu. The agreement foresees the determination of the method of health services and the examination of those who visit the "hospitals" for the "TRNC's citizenship".

    The "protocol" and the agreement been reached, foresees also that the necessary regulation is to be made by the "administration board" of the "Dr. Nalbantoglu State Hospital" in occupied Cyprus so that the patients to be able to make "physical examinations" in other private clinics as well.


    [06] The occupation regime participates in the "Vakantiebeurs 2013 Tourism Fair" in the Netherlands

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.01.13) reports that the occupation regime's tourism has been promoted at the ""Vakantiebeurs 2013 Tourism Fair" which is taking place in the Netherlands and is one of the biggest tourism fairs of the Benelux countries.

    The fair has opened on January 8 and will close on January 13.

    According to the paper, the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture participates together with other representatives of the "tourism sector" to the promotion activities of the fair, with its own stand.

    According to a statement made by the "ministry", the occupation regime was represented to the fair by the "undersecretary" of the "ministry, Sahap Asikoglu and representatives of the "Turkish Cypriot Hotelier's Union".

    The statements said also that the number of tourism visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus from the Netherlands increases every year; for 2010, a total of 19.000 tourists visited the occupation regime with charter flights, a number which has increased to 86% compared to last year, writes the paper. Also, according to the statement, the number of Dutch tourists is expected to be increased more, during 2013.

    A total of 1275 companies, tourist operators, media and hotels participate to the fair which attracted around 126.000 visitors last years and is expected to attract even more this years, the paper notes.


    [07] Turkey seeks additional 6 billion cubic meters of LNG liquefied natural gas from Qatar aiming to reduce dependence on Iran and Russia

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (10.01.13) reports that Turkey is seeking to buy an additional 6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), including some from Qatar, under long-term contracts to meet its growing energy needs, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz has said.

    Talks with Qatar on the purchase have begun, but the world's biggest LNG producer may not provide all of the additional fuel, Yildiz told reporters late on Tuesday. Turkey could also buy from the United States if it is willing to sell.

    Turkey wants to procure the LNG by 2015, he said. The country of 75 million people is heavily dependent on imported energy and is seeking to diversify supplies as demand grows. It is set to overtake Britain as Europe's third-biggest electricity consumer within a decade.

    Turkey buys natural gas from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan and LNG from Nigeria and Algeria under long-term contracts. It currently has no long-term contracts with Qatar, which mainly sells to Asian markets. Natural gas imports, mainly from Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan, meet around 45 percent of Turkey's demand for heat and power, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    As part of efforts to reduce dependence on Iranian and Russian, Ankara last week signed a $12 billion deal with Abu Dhabi's TAQA to mine lignite coal and build new power plants capable of producing up to 8,000 megawatts (MW) by 2020. Turkey currently generates approximately 47 percent of its annual electricity from power plants using natural gas.

    Turkey has asked Qatar to help build an LNG import plant on the Gulf of Saros, an inlet in European Turkey, which would have an annual capacity of 5-6 billion bcm. US Republican Sen. Richard Lugar said last month that Congress should give NATO allies access to burgeoning US natural gas supplies to help reduce their dependence on natural gas from Russia and help wean Turkey off Iranian purchases.

    [08] Details emerge about roadmap of Turkey-PKK peace talks ?Erdogan said PKK militants should leave Turkey

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.01.13) publishes a report regarding the possible steps to be taken as part of ongoing talks between Turkish officials and the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) aimed at disarming the PKK and says that the talks are gaining clarity, with possible plans in the works to issue a general amnesty for the PKK's higher commanders.

    "It has also become clear at this point that Kurds do not want a homeland independent from Turkey nor do they want autonomy, according to the latest developments in the ongoing talks between state officials and PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan", according to Today's Zaman.

    Reporting on the issue, the paper notes that Turkey has tried to conduct negotiations with the PKK twice before.

    "Each time, the talks were abandoned due to violent attacks staged by groups inside the PKK who were not interested in peace. Last week, talks that had begun earlier were resumed and National Intelligence Organization (M0T) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan has been meeting with Ocalan on 0mrali Island, where the PKK leader has been jailed since his capture in 1999", argues the paper.

    Abdulkadir Selvi, a Yeni Safak columnist with good knowledge of the content of the talks, wrote yesterday that one of the first questions during the talks -- aimed at initially disarming the PKK according to government officials -- from M0T's Fidan was whether the PKK insists on having a separate homeland.

    Selvi argues that Ocalan was very clear on this, stating that there are no demands for independence.

    According to Selvi's sources, a comprehensive project is in the works for the withdrawal of PKK militants from Turkey. The talks, which are a continuation of a 2010 negotiation that began in Oslo but was interrupted in 2011 following a deadly PKK attack, resumed when Ocalan intervened in a collective hunger strike held by Kurdish inmates in November and asked the protesters to stop, which they obeyed.

    In addition, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.01.13) also reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan outlined his term for a peace with the PKK that will necessitate the departure of the senior leaders and militants from Turkey. Speaking during a press conference with Nigerien Prime Minister Mahamadou Issoufou in reference to the talks between Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned leader of the PKK, and the government, Erdogan said:

    "Our sincerity can be seen in the steps that we have taken in the last few days. Our aim is to have the separatist terrorist organization's cadres leave Turkey. [We want to make them] lay down their arms and leave," Erdogan

    Erdogan also accused the PKK of committing "provocations" by attacking a military station in the eastern province of Hakkari on Jan. 8.

    [09] Three PKK members killed in Paris attack

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news newspaper (10.01.13) reports that an office of the Kurdish Institute of Paris was attacked by unknown people in the French capital Paris late yesterday, resulting in the deaths of three women, including one of the founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    Sakine Cans1z, one of the PKK founders in 1978, Kurdistan National Congress' (KNK) Paris representative Fidan Dogan, and Leyla Soylemez were found dead in the office, located near Gare du Nord station.

    The women were alone in the office at noon yesterday, the Kurdish association representative Leod Edart said, daily Le Parisien has reported. Their bodies were discovered at around 01:30-02:00 a.m. this morning.

    French police have launched an investigation into the incident.

    The three women were all found shot in the head, but the investigation will unveil further details, according to a police source. The French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, is reportedly on the way to the crime scene.

    [10] Turkey censors Steinbeck and Hemingway

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.01.13) reports that Steinbeck's famous novel "Of Mice and Men" and "My Sweet Orange Tree" by Brazilian writer Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos, which are on a governmental list of books every child should read, are now part of a censorship debate in Turkey.

    The Izmir Education Directorate's Books Commission, which was set up to review curricula and school course books, is seeking to ban certain parts of "Of Mice and Men," citing "vulgar content" as justification for its proposed censorship. The commission decided the book was "unsuitable for educational use."

    In a similar case, Istanbul's Bahcelievler Provincial Education Directorate launched an investigation into a Turkish-language arts teacher who made her students read "My Sweet Orange Tree" after a parental complaint.

    Speaking on the issue, Education Minister of Turkey Omer Dincer objects to efforts to censor world-renown poets and writers, such as Yunus Emre and Ernest Hemingway, saying 'present for being read, but not for being investigated'.

    Back in December, it was revealed that certain lines from poems by the 13th century Turkish poet and Sufi mystic, Yunus Emre were omitted by a publishing house with the ministry's Board of Education and Discipline (TTK) approving the book so it could be added to schools' reading lists as a censored text rather than its original version. The omitted lines were about houris, the heavenly maidens in Islam's heaven.

    "Maybe the point which should be criticized here is the fact that the publishing house that published the book, didn't show the required sensitivity for protecting the integrity of the poem. Relying on this, claiming that the TTK has been working as a censorship institution is openly unfair," Dincer said.

    [11] "From a vision to pipe-dream: Turkey's EU connection"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.01.13) published an article by Mustafa Aydin who writes about Turkey's EU road in the framework of Ireland's EU presidency and the lack of progress for Turkish EU negotiations due to Ankara's stance on the Cyprus problem:

    "The EU entered 2013 with several convoluted economic and social problems, exacerbated by the 2008 financial crisis. The long-discussed multi-speed Europe is now being fully realized. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron triggered the latest discussions in earnest with his proposal to renegotiate Britain's position within the EU and to put his country's membership of the EU to a referendum. While the financial crisis is forcing Europe, with German pressure behind it, toward tighter integration and further empowerment of the Euro in order to avoid national shortcomings in future financial crises, the U.K. - always skeptical of deeper integration - even moved to retract judicial and policing powers that it had earlier allotted to the EU. However, the real threat for the EU, as George Friedman highlighted, is the still rising unemployment rate and its social effects across the European continent.

    With this background in mind, looking at Turkey's current position in its accession negotiations with the EU necessitates a painful assessment. Although the passing of the rotating EU Presidency to Ireland on Jan. 1 somewhat raised hopes for negotiations, the reality is in fact not so bright. While the "Positive Agenda" that intended to avoid a car crash during the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus was agreed on in May 2012, Turkey put its political relations with the EU on hold when Cyprus took the presidency in July 1, 2012. In reality, there was actually nothing to put on hold by then. The real suspension actually goes back to June 30, 2010, when the last chapter on "Food Safety, Veterinary and Phytosanitary Policy" was opened. For good measure, Turkey has so far been allowed to provisionally close only one of the 13 opened chapters. Though the Irish presidency is trumpeted to bring back some of the lost momentum to relations, these hopes will be in vain without real change in preventive factors.

    The Cyprus problem is still the main obstacle. Eight chapters are suspended due to Turkey's refusal to implement the Additional Protocol. The EU shares this burden as it did not keep its promise regarding direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots. However, the real obstacle is the use of the Cyprus issue by some members - particularly Germany and France - to block Turkey's membership. This is the soft, or hard, underbelly.

    Beyond the Additional Protocol, France and the Republic of Cyprus are blocking the opening of another 11 chapters due to political reasons - although there are no related technical benchmarks - leaving only three chapters for negotiation. Anyway, Germany and France have already called for a "privileged partnership," rather than full membership, for Turkey. Despite the fact that Fran?ois Hollande's election to the French Presidency in May 2012 had raised hopes for a change in France's stance, nothing substantial has happened so far. We are now waiting for his possible visit to Turkey in February or March to see a move.

    There are also changes emanating from Turkey. The reform process has undoubtedly slowed down, if not halted altogether, since 2007, and the complicated international agenda has moved Turkey's attention away from the EU. While the EU has been struggling with its financial problems, Turkey has started to engage Middle Eastern countries - to the detriment of its European connection. The European connection has been damaged so much that Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bagis released Turkey's own self-penned progress report last week, after criticizing the latest Commission report on Turkey as "subjective, biased, unwarranted and bigoted."

    Is there hope after all for Turkey's EU connection? Although one needs to hope, I very much doubt it. Given Turkey's current predisposition in its international relations and the EU's ongoing troubles, there is at present no EU vision for Turkey. The EU connection will for now remain a dream for another day." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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