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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-02-19

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. 34/14 19.02.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: Turkish settlers will automatically take the "federal citizenship"; Varosha is not on our agenda
  • [02] Ertug is allegedly worried about Mavroyiannis' statements; He refers to a new partnership
  • [03] Ozersay: The substance of the issues should be discussed; the visits to Athens and Ankara will be useful
  • [04] Nami: The main agenda is the joint statement and the Cyprus talks
  • [05] KTOS and KTAMS issued a joint statement; a 10-article proposal includes the opening of more crossing points
  • [06] Cicek urges Muslim countries to support the Turkish Cypriots at the Cyprus talks
  • [07] Natural gas has potential to reshape ties in east Mediterranean
  • [08] MUSIAD's branch in the occupied area of Cyprus to organize an international event
  • [09] Italy eager to help Turkey come closer to EU membership during the next presidency
  • [10] Gul ratifies internet bill
  • [11] EU letters put pressure on Ankara for disputed laws

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu: Turkish settlers will automatically take the "federal citizenship"; Varosha is not on our agenda

    Under the title "Giving Varosha is not on our agenda", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.02.14) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners is not on their agenda. In statements yesterday during a meeting with a delegation from the so-called "Cyprus Turkish Solidarity and Culture Association", Eroglu noted that the Greek Cypriot side has from the very beginning been discussing Varosha as a Confidence Building Measure and tries to "stir the world up" in this direction, but "everything in the negotiations is held with give and take".

    He said: "An issue such as giving Varosha does not exist on our agenda. Let the negotiations start. When we come to the give and take stage we will discuss everything there of course and we will share it with the public".

    Referring to a possible solution and the status of the Turkish settlers, who have been granted the "citizenship" of the regime, Eroglu alleged: "You are now citizens of this country. When an agreement is reached everyone who is in the election register will vote as citizen of the TRNC. And automatically they will become citizens of the new partnership state".

    Eroglu noted that the Greek Cypriots may think differently on this issue, but "we will not leave in the street the people after 40 years". He claimed: "We will not say 'you are not our citizens anymore, gather your belongings and go to Turkey'. There is no power in the world which can impose this to us, because every country is obliged to defend its own people. You are all under the protection of our constitution. The USA cannot say 'deprive those who came from Turkey from the citizenship and send them back'. Neither Russia nor the Greek Cypriot side can demand such a thing".

    He said he was satisfied with the support and trust to him by the above-mentioned association and added that we are still in the beginning of the negotiations and the give and take process did not start yet. He noted that after the visits of the negotiators to Ankara and Athens, the negotiations will be intensified and meetings will be held twice a week. He added: "There is nothing to be worried about at the moment, because there is nothing discussed and put in front of us at the table".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ertug is allegedly worried about Mavroyiannis' statements; He refers to a new partnership

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.02.14) reports that Osman Ertug, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's spokesman, has alleged that the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, in an interview he had given, made some "unilateral comments" regarding the content of the joint declaration, tried to present some elements which do not exist in the declaration as existing in it and distorted the wording and the spirit of the declaration.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Ertug argued that the joint declaration is a means that will carry us to the comprehensive solution and argued that "unilateral comments and statements only harm the process". Describing as "especially worrying" the statements by Mavroyianins on the issue of how the "new bi-communal, bi-zonal federal partnership will be", Ertug expressed the view that such comments and statements should be avoided "in a period when hopes and expectations for a successful result are increased again".

    Ertug alleged that Mavroyiannis' statement that the federal state will be formed with a work described as "constitutional exercise" and "editorial adjustment" is contrary to the UN parameters. He claimed that the effort is to establish a "new partnership state".

    Referring to the statement reportedly made by Mavroyiannis that "the right to return is above the property rights", Ertug argued: "We are not referring to denial of the individual rights and freedoms, but on how to arrange these rights and freedoms in a manner which does not harm bi-communality and bi-zonality that is one of the most fundamental agreed parameters? We see that in Mr Mavroyiannis' statements effort is being exerted to write the recipe of returning to the pre-1974 period, under the name of 'right to return'. However, the process should be established on the basis of a new partnership which will not force us to live the pains of the past?"

    Referring to the "interpretation" of Mavroyiannis on the issue of citizenship, Ertug alleged that this was a "unilateral interpretation, does not comply with the wording and the spirit of the joint declaration and it is unfortunate".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozersay: The substance of the issues should be discussed; The visits to Athens and Ankara will be useful

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.02.14) reports that Kudret Ozersay, the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side in the Cyprus talks, has said that the negotiating teams of the two sides will come together today and added that they should decide the soonest how the negotiations will proceed and start discussing the substance of the issues.

    In an interview with illegal TAK news agency, Ozersay recalled that the visits of the negotiators of the two Cypriot communities to Athens and Ankara will be held on 27 February and added that the visits will be useful from the point of view of both sides establishing a dialogue. Describing the visits as "historical visits", he pointed out that this never happened in the past and added: "I think that this will be useful especially from the point of view of the sides understanding each other, but I want to particularly emphasize an issue: No matter how big effort the Greek Cypriot side is exerting, as a requirement of internal politics, to create the impression that 'we want to negotiate with Turkey', the basic in these visits is the commencement of a dialogue".

    He noted that the negotiations will be held between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and argued that what he described as "new partnership" will be established between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

    Ozersay said that they were expecting the Greek Cypriot side to express its views during the meeting which is expected to be held today. He added: "What we asked the Greek Cypriot side at the first stage is: Are the proposals submitted by the Greek Cypriot leader in the previous period still on the table or are you going to withdraw them? Will you put forward a more flexible position or you will become more demanding? ?"

    Ozersay noted that depending on the replies of the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriot side will probably develop new proposals and enter into the substance of the issues. He said that they will try to achieve convergences in the new process and their basic aim is to increase these convergences as much as they can and pass into the last stage and the last step.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Nami: The main agenda is the joint statement and the Cyprus talks

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 18.02.14), self-styled minister of foreign affairs Ozdil Nami, evaluating his contacts in Brussels to "BRT", said the main agenda of his contacts is the joint statement and the new negotiations process.

    "A positive atmosphere and expectations have been aroused here. They have asked for detailed information from us. We shared our views about the latest statement reached and the future of the process" Nami said.

    Explaining that he will have meetings with permanent EU representatives of various countries in Brussels, he said that he will also address the Socialist Group at the European Parliament this evening. He also added that a question and answer section regarding the Cyprus issue will also take place after the meeting.

    Noting that he will deliver a speech on the Cyprus problem at a leading institution, Nami said he will find the opportunity to explain in detail the Cyprus problem.

    Nami will also meet with representatives of the European Commission where the Green Line Regulation, Financial Aid Regulation and EU harmonization works will be discussed in detail.

    [05] KTOS and KTAMS issued a joint statement; a 10-article proposal includes the opening of more crossing points

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.02.14) reports that Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) and the Turkish Cypriot "civil servants'" trade union (KTAMS), issued yesterday a joint statement, accusing the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu (who has signed the joint declaration statement for the re-launching of the negotiation talks), for moving towards the continuation of the status quo and the blockage of the negotiation process.

    The two trade unions organized yesterday a press conference at Ayios Dometios crossing point and expressed strong criticism to Eroglu's statements that the "joint declaration" text includes "abstract of expressions". The trade unions accused also Eroglu for representing the sides that are in favor of the no-solution.

    The chairman of KTAMS trade union Ahmet Kaptan said that Cyprus is enough for all Cypriots. He added that both trade unions will watch closely the negotiation process and will continue to support all the positive steps that are taken for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    KTAMS and KTOS submitted also a 10-article proposal which includes: the opening of crossing points in Famagusta Gate, in Lekfa-Apliki, in occupied Louroudjina and in Deryneia, the ending of controls at the crossing points, the return of the fenced of city of Varosha (Maras) to its legal owners, the opening of occupied Famagusta port and the illegal Tymvou airport for international traffic, the preparation of a common project related to the education sector and the preparation of an education system that will prevent chauvinism, nationalism and racism, the introduction of learning Greek and Turkish languages in schools, the suspension of military exercises e.t.c.

    In the joint statement, KTAMS and KTOS, commenting on Eroglu's statement that "in five months we can go to a referendum", accused him for being insincere. The two trade unions pointed out that if Eroglu implements his proposals, they will support him.

    (AK)

    [06] Cicek urges Muslim countries to support the Turkish Cypriots at the Cyprus talks

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.14), Turkey's Parliament Speaker, Cemil Cicek, asked for the support of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states in a meeting in Tehran, Iran, for Turkey's bid for UN Security Council non-permanent membership, of which elections will be held in October.

    "We should not let this problem continue. What we need from you - Turkey's friends - is support the Turkish Cypriots' praiseworthy efforts for a solution that is in line with the U.N. Secretary-General's calls for an end to the problem and for good relations with the TRNC", Cicek said.

    Sibel Siber, self-styled parliamentary speaker of TRNC (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) also attended the meeting. The "TRNC" holds observer status in the 57-member OIC.

    On the same issue, Siber attended an opening ceremony for an exhibition of archives and documents on Ottoman-Iranian relations at Iran's Parliament Library, Museum and Archives Center in Tehran. Accompanied by Cicek, Siber expressed her pleasure at being in Iran.

    "Since the past we have shared many things in common with Iran in our culture. We want to develop our cultural ties with Iran and increase visits to each other. This way, Iranians can get to know our country and we can get to know Iran," Siber said.

    She also added that many Iranian students have studied in the "TRNC" and that she hopes for more to come in the future.

    [07] Natural gas has potential to reshape ties in east Mediterranean

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 18.02.14) reported that Turkey, being the best economic option for transporting Israeli and Greek Cypriot natural gas to Europe, has the potential to turn problematic relationships in the eastern Mediterranean region in a positive direction. (?)

    Peace talks concerning the island of Cyprus started on Feb. 11 after a push by the US government, in a sign of the changing political environment in the region. Experts say that one of the most important incentives to restart the Cyprus negotiations is the natural gas resources in the area and the billions of dollars that a gas deal would bring to those involved in possible pipeline projects.

    Diplomatic sources, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Today's Zaman that the US administration backs an energy partnership between Israel, Greek Cyprus and Turkey, so that the mutual energy dependency will help to restore and maintain peace in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Representatives from the US-based Noble Energy and Israel's Delek consortium are in Istanbul this week to discuss a possible pipeline deal which would transport Israeli natural gas to Europe through Cyprus and Turkey. The Noble-Delek partnership will negotiate with Turkish companies Zorlu, Enka, Turcas and Calik. According to the daily Hurriyet, transporting Israeli gas via a different route would be eight times more expensive.

    According to experts, a pipeline from Cyprus to Turkey, transporting Israeli and Greek Cypriot natural gas, will be cost efficient with a price tag of 2 to 3 billion dollars. The alternative figure, involving the building of an LNG facility, liquefying the natural gas and shipping it to Europe, would cost 10 to 15 billion dollars.

    The recent start of the negotiations over the long-divided island of Cyprus has created a positive political environment for building a pipeline through Cyprus and Turkey. However, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Sunday that Israel needed to fulfil certain conditions set by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before any energy deal can be sealed.

    Yildiz said that certain projects may be economically, but not politically, feasible. On Monday, Yildiz also said that Israel or indeed any companies interested in a pipeline going through Turkey have not yet requested a meeting with Turkish energy officials.

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday, agreed that a deal would allow Turkey to be supplied with newly found Greek Cypriot and Israeli natural gas and further contribute to improving relations between Turkey and Israel.

    Moreover, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.14), natural gas reserves discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean could provide a new catalyst for Cyprus peace talks, analysts say.

    Analysts indicate that a pipeline to Turkey from the Aphrodite field is currently the most economical way for the gas to enter international markets.

    Energy experts maintain that a Cyprus settlement, together with normalized ties between Turkey and Israel, will turn the Eastern Mediterranean into a new source of energy for the international markets.

    "The newly-found natural gas in the East Mediterranean has provided a new catalyst for peace and cooperation in the region," researcher in International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), Hasan Selim Ozertem said.

    The distribution of the gas found in Aphrodite is among the most important topics in the regional countries. Fields licensed by Greek Cypriots for the search of natural gas, coincide with the fields licensed by "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).

    This issue is considered to be a major obstacle that needs to be overcome during the Cyprus peace talks. "Turkey strongly believes in a structure which will distribute the income from energy resources to both sides in Cyprus rightfully," Yildiz recently stated.

    "Turkey is currently holding talks in order to increase its pipeline capacities as well as renewing the complete substructure," Ozertem said, adding: "Considering these, Turkey is also a very strong candidate to become a transit route for natural gas to reach European markets."

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (online, 17.02.14) reported that Israel is looking to work with Turkey to deliver its natural gas to Europe via Turkey's undersea pipelines.

    Israel is reluctant to move forward with the negotiations, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing criticism from the opposition for his apology. It is expected that the talks for the project will begin after the Mavi Marmara compensation issue is solved.

    Israel declared it wanted to cooperate with Turkey's four energy companies to deliver the natural gas discovered in the recent years. The total natural gas to be delivered via Turkey is reportedly between 10 and 17 cubic meters. Officials from Turkey's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources officials said Turkey may cooperate with Israel if the reconciliation in Cyprus between the Turkish and Greek sides is successful, as Greek Cyprus (editor's note: as they refer to the Republic of Cyprus) will also benefit from the prospective project.

    "Six pipes must be placed in the Mediterranean Sea, which will cost around $1.5 billion," said a Turkish official. "It is worth it to put the project into practice." Turkish officials stressed Turkey will be one of the partners of the project and not just build pipelines.

    The officials also said that the gas delivery project would help provide stability to the region. "If the gas project does not become real, Turkey's loss will not be huge," said the officials. "Turkish companies may be reluctant to be involved in the project unless Turkey is declared as a partner by Israel. Turkey does not aim to be only a transition point in the Mediterranean. The project would play a significant role in the peace negotiations in Cyprus, as the gas reserves cannot be used if the conflict in the region continues."

    [08] MUSIAD's branch in the occupied area of Cyprus to organize an international event

    Turkish Cypriot daily Dialog newspaper (19.02.14) reports that the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) will organize in the occupied area of Cyprus an international event with the participation of Turkish Cypriot and foreign businessmen.

    As the paper writes, the international event will take place at Acapulco Hotel in occupied Keryneia between February 28-March 1st.

    In statements on the issue, the chairman of MUSIAD branch in the occupied area of Cyprus, Okyay Sadikoglu said that a lot of manufacturers, developer companies, universities and people who are related to the health and other business sectors are expected to attend the event.

    (AK)

    [09] Italy eager to help Turkey come closer to EU membership during the next presidency

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.14), Italy, which will hold the rotating EU presidency for the last six months of this year, is keen to open more chapters to facilitate Turkey's accession to the European Union, said Italian Ambassador to Turkey Gianpaolo Scarante.

    Scarante told AA in an exclusive interview that the EU negotiation process is "entering a very dynamic phase" and Italy will work very hard in order to establish more positive cooperation between Turkey and EU.

    "Italy is a traditional supporter of Turkey's accession to the Union since the beginning. In order to bring Turkey much closer to the European standards, we have to open more chapters. Otherwise, we can have no mean to help Turkey come much closer to Europe [...] Sometimes bureaucracy and rules of EU are very narrow but we will work in this direction to open more chapters and improve the dialogue between Turkey and EU," the Ambassador said.

    Scarante stressed they were fully convinced that a Europe with Turkey as an EU member would be better as well as Turkey with EU.

    Scarante stated as of July, they would work in the direction to eliminate if possible different and contradictory opinions in southern Europe, adding that this is a difficult task not only for Italy, but for each member country.

    He added that Turkey is ready to open chapters also in energy, education and those concerning freedom of expression and the freedom of people and civil society. "We are confident that the atmosphere is better than in the past," the Ambassador said, adding that they were confident that some important results for Turkey and for Europe were to be gained during the Italian chairmanship.

    [10] Gul ratifies internet bill

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.14), Turkey's President Abdullah Gul signed a controversial Internet bill into law on Tuesday, despite having asked for amendments to two key points.

    On his Twitter account, Gul said he was pleased with the government's decision to modify the bill. He announced the ratification of the bill immediately after arriving in Turkey from Hungary.

    Immediately after the bill's ratification, ruling AK Party submitted an amendment package to the parliament to revise the points in question. Communications Minister Lutfu Elvan met with delegations from the three main opposition parties in the Turkish parliament.

    The TIB will be able to deny access to web pages due to privacy violations, but it must receive a court order within 24 hours, he said.

    Elvan said a decision to store Internet users' browsing histories would only be given by a court order.

    On the same issue, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the new internet law does not stipulate any censorship, and it is a measure against blackmailing, immorality, and the threat against people's reputation. "A scalpel saves lives in the hands of a surgeon, and kills in the hands of a murderer," said Erdogan.

    [11] EU letters put pressure on Ankara for disputed laws

    Journalist Serkan Demirtas, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 19.02.14), reports that the European Union has sent its fifth letter to Turkey since the emergence of a major graft probe to urge the Turkish government to proceed with caution over contentious bills on the Internet and the judiciary.

    At the same time, the bloc has also expressed its concerns that widespread corruption and graft claims are not being efficiently investigated because of a massive purge of police officers and prosecutors that followed the launch of the Dec. 17, 2013, case, according to sources.

    The most recent letter, signed by Stefan Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, to EU Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Ankara last week after Parliament approved the controversial Internet Law. The EU Commission confirmed the recent correspondence from Brussels to Ankara, but declined to comment or give details as it does not want to convey its messages via the media.

    Upon a question from the Daily News, the EU Commission's spokesperson, Peter Stano, summarized Brussels' line with regard to the Internet Law. "The law to be adopted imposes important restrictions on the freedom of expression," he said.

    With regard to the HSYK Law, Stano said it was crucially important for the rule of law in Turkey. "We have underlined, on a number of occasions, our serious concerns regarding the potential impact earlier versions of this law would have had on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and the separation of powers in Turkey."

    He said the Commission would now assess the adopted law "to monitor and report on developments in the country in light of the accession criteria."

    The Daily News has also learned that diplomats from the EU delegation in Ankara last week visited the Presidency and expressed Brussels' concerns over the Internet Law.

    Under such conditions, the continuation of accession negotiation talks will be harder, as there is little hope for the opening of a new chapter soon. Chapters 23 and 24 are on the agenda of both sides, but given the circumstances, they are unlikely to be opened, given that Cyprus' will be difficult to overcome. The only chapter that could be opened is Chapter 19, social policy and employment, but the EU is not expected to accept the Turkish government's proposal to alter the required benchmarks. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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