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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-03-17

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. 51/14 15-17.03.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Ozersay due to New York; we had come close to starting a process of give-and-take on the Cyprus talks
  • [02] Nami says that they had very useful contacts with US
  • [03] Siber in Geneva for the Inter-Parliamentary Union
  • [04] Atalay addressed a UN peace panel
  • [05] Nuffel: Cypriots must look forward
  • [06] Sener Levent calls on the Turkish Cypriots to vote for the European Parliament elections
  • [07] Reactions over the decisions of the "Turkish Cypriot Educational Council" to close the theology school and to remove obligatory oath
  • [08] An "Islamic University" to be established in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [09] A new political party is on the way: Social Democrat Party
  • [10] Atlasjet to carry out flights from illegal Tymbou airport directly to London Luton Airport
  • [11] Detay newspaper is published for the first time
  • [12] Turkey to act in line with NATO, not to recognize the Crimea vote
  • [13] Columnist: Turkey's energy needs limit diplomatic efforts for Crimea
  • [14] Cavusoglu: Turkey prefers for the Cyprus talks to take place at the Foreign Ministry level rather than with undersecretaries
  • [15] MEPs request EU election observers to Turkey

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Ozersay due to New York; we had come close to starting a process of give-and-take on the Cyprus talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.03.14) reported that Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay will be tomorrow in New York to carry out contacts with UN officials for the ongoing Cyprus talks.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (17.03.14) reports that Ozersay, speaking to the paper at Ataturk Airport before his flight to New York, said that they are endowed authority not only negotiate in the buffer zone, but also everywhere else in the world with all actors.

    "This is a United Nations process and we are going to share our opinions with UN officials regarding what should be done for a successful result", said Ozersay.

    Ozersay also stressed the need for multidimensional diplomacy and said that contacts and meetings will increasingly continue in a manner in which Turkish Cypriot interests will be protected.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.03.14) broadcast that the two negotiators Kudret Ozersay and Andreas Mavroyannis met on Friday as part of negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Problem.

    They held substantive discussions on issues related to the chapters on Governance and Power Sharing as well as Property at the meeting which lasted nearly 2.5 hours. The two negotiators are set to meet again on Monday, the 25th of March.

    Speaking to reporters after yesterday's meeting, Ozersay said they had come close to starting a process of give-and-take.

    Pointing out that they had agreed to resume the process through shuttle diplomacy to be conducted by the UN, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator said that the focus on the next meeting on March 25th will be to conclude issues where divergences exist.

    "We shall also be starting preparations at our next meeting for the leaders meeting scheduled to take place on the 31st of March. We as the negotiators and our teams plan to hold several official and non-official preparatory meetings in the week leading to the leaders' meeting" he added.

    He also said that the property issue had been taken up in debt at Friday's meeting.

    Explaining that both sides had sensitivities on the issue, Ozersay said that both sides had to come to terms with some of the UN parameters and principles.

    "If we can come to terms with and accept some of the basis established UN Parameters then it will be easier to progress".

    Underlining the importance of protecting the principle of bizonality, Ozersay claimed: "We held a detailed brainstorming exercise on these issues. Have we reached an agreement on these issues? We do have a basic understanding on reaching a quick agreement on some basic fundamental points. In any case if an agreement and common understanding existed on these issues, the Cyprus issue would have long been solved by now".

    [02] Nami says that they had very useful contacts with US

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.14) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that they had had "very useful" contacts with US officials and that interest at a very high level exists in the USA for the Cyprus problem. In statements at the illegal Tymbou airport after his one week-long visit to the USA, Nami noted that in parallel to the natural resources which trigger the solution process, there are also some other "dynamics".

    Nami said that in his meetings they discussed the developments which are expected in the Cyprus problem, the problems in the area and the possible influences of these problems on the issue of Cyprus. "In Washington we saw that there is an interest at a very high level for the Cyprus problem", he noted adding that what they actually wanted was to draw the international attention to the Cyprus problem at the highest level and conclude the process in an effective manner by taking the contribution of the international community.

    Nami argued that the press was also very interested in his contacts and he had given many interviews, many of which were published on the front page, something which "is an indication for the interest shown to the Cyprus problem".

    Nami said that the interest during his contacts at think tanks was focused on the natural gas adding that it is obvious that the natural gas will conduce to Cyprus coming onto the top of the agenda in America.

    Nami said that they saw that the USA is ready to actively contribute in the Cyprus problem. Responding to a question, he noted that the current process is different than the one in 2004. He added: "Every process has its own dynamics. In 2004 the actual dynamics was the decision for the EU enlargement. Ten years passed since then and now there are some other dynamics which trigger the process. For example, it is not correct to say that the reason for this is only the natural gas. There are other reasons too?"

    On the same issue, illegal BRT television (15.03.14) broadcast that Nami, who went to New York on Friday after completing his contacts in Washington D.C, met with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman.

    Views on the Cyprus issue were exchanged at the meeting which lasted for nearly an hour.

    Nami conveyed to Feltman the Turkish Cypriot side's strong determination and desire to see the current negotiations move forward in a results oriented manner. Nami also drew attention to the benefits a solution will bring to both Cyprus and the neighbouring region.

    Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side was working hard for a comprehensive and lasting settlement on the island, Nami said that the international community must step up its support to the process in parallel with the Turkish Cypriots' efforts.

    Feltman for his part conveyed the UN Secretary General's happiness expressed over the two sides' efforts being exerted at the negotiating table. He said that the UN Secretary General fully supported the current process and that the United Nations' high level of interest and support towards a solution in Cyprus will continue.

    Meanwhile during his meeting with the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Christopher Murphy, Nami relayed why a solution was necessary for the Cyprus issue.

    Referring to the need for the continuation of US contributions to the Cyprus solution process, Nami also drew attention to the importance of international actors encouraging the two sides towards a solution.

    Senator Murphy for his part said that the Cyprus issue was on their agenda and added that they gave great important to Cyprus and a solution being found to the Cyprus problem. 'A solution also holds great importance for the region' said Murphy.

    Nami also visited the Hudson Institute and the Washington Institute where he briefed them on the latest phase reached on the Cyprus issue.

    [03] Siber in Geneva for the Inter-Parliamentary Union

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.03.14), the self-styled speaker of the assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Sibel Siber, flew to Geneva, Switzerland on Saturday to attend the "Round table meeting of Mediators in Cyprus" organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) within the framework of the 130thGeneral Session of the IPU.

    Siber is accompanied by the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) "deputy" Erkut Sahali, the Democrat-Party-United Forces (DP-UG) "deputy" Mentes Gunduz, the main opposition National Unity (UBP) "deputy" Ersan Saner, the Social Democratic Party (TDP) "deputy" Zeki Celer and the "parliamentary speaker's private secretary" Ahmet Muratoglu. The delegation will return to the occupied area of Cyprus on the 19th of March.

    [04] Atalay addressed a UN peace panel

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.03.14), the "head of the department of religious affairs" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, Talip Atalay, is holding a series of contacts in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Within the framework of his contacts, Atalay attended a panel on peace organized by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

    As part of his contacts Atalay also met with the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of Religious or Belief Heiner Bielefeldt.

    Evaluating his Geneva contacts to "BRT", Atalay said that the speech he delivered during the peace panel had been very constructive and successful. "For those who support a solution this peace panel will contribute to their efforts in overcoming psychological obstacles", said Atalay and added that other countries also evaluated the panel as being very successful and significant. He concluded saying that the messages received from the panel were very encouraging.

    [05] Nuffel: Cypriots must look forward

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.03.14) reports that Pieter Van Nuffel, special representative of the President of the EU Commission Jose Manuel Barosso for Cyprus, has argued that both sides in Cyprus have lost some opportunities for living a better life and added that the Cypriots must look forward in order for being able to leave a better country to the future generations.

    In an interview with Havadis, Van Nuffel noted that in case of the reunification of Cyprus under the roof of a federation, derogations could be implemented, but these derogations must be based on objective conditions which will be justifying their implementation and must not stay in force a longer period than necessary. He noted that Protocol 10 of the Cyprus' Accession Treaty puts forward the procedure that will be followed in case of a possible solution on the island and added that any decision or procedure based on Protocol 10 constitutes EU's Primary Law.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Sener Levent calls on the Turkish Cypriots to vote for the European Parliament elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Realist newspaper (17.03.14) publishes an interview of Afrika newspaper's journalist Sener Levent who will be a candidate for the European Parliament elections.

    Levent calls on the 80 thousand Turkish Cypriots who have an identity card of the Republic of Cyprus to vote for the EU elections. According to Levent, if the Turkish Cypriots participate in the elections they can easily be represented to the EU Parliament with three seats.

    He went on and stated that the Turkish Cypriots show very little interests for the elections and added that if they could realize how important the EU Parliament elections are for the Turkish Cypriots, things could be different.

    He also said that according to a survey conducted by Greek Cypriot Politis newspaper which asked its readers if they would vote for Sener Levent, 11% stated that they would vote for him.

    [07] Reactions over the decisions of the "Turkish Cypriot Educational Council" to close the theology school and to remove obligatory oath

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.03.14) reported that the "Turkish Cypriot Educational Council" who conveyed on Saturday agreed to push for the lifting of Religious Studies classes from schools in the breakaway regime as well as the closure of the Islamic Theology College in occupied Mia Milia village. The council also decided in favor of removing the obligatory "oath of allegiance" in schools.

    The joint decisions of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Union (KTOS), Turkish Cypriot Secondary Education Teachers' Union (KTOEOS) and the "Eastern Mediterranean University Academic Staff Union" was protested by the self-styled minister of education Mustafa Arabacioglu, who stormed out of the meeting, writes the paper.

    The Council now has 15 days to notify the "council of ministers" for its decision and have their decisions published in the "official gazette".

    The paper also wrote that among the decisions taken, which were not announced in public was the teaching of Greek language to become an obligatory lesson for elementary students.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (16.03.14) published an interview of Arapacioglu who expressed his disagreement over the decisions taken by the "Turkish Cypriot Educational Council". Arabacioglu said that the teaching of Greek can be taken into consideration. However, the removing of the "oath of allegiance" and the closure of the Theological School is out of question.

    Diyalog (17.03.14) writes that former chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ferdi Sabit Soyer and current general secretary of the party Kytlay Erk, criticized Arabacioglu. Soyer said that even in Turkey the oath was removed. Erk on his part stated that the oath is racist.

    [08] An "Islamic University" to be established in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Under the front-page title: "Islamic University is coming", Turkish Cypriot daily Realist newspaper (16.03.14) report that the "Cyprus Education of Ethics and Social Assistance Foundation" which has opened the Hala Sultan Theological College in occupied Mia Milia, has now taken steps for the opening of an Islamic University in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    As the paper writes, the "Cyprus Education of Ethics and Social Assistance Foundation" has made an official application to the the so-called Higher Education Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council ("YODAK"), for the opening of the "Islamic University" which was approved.

    In statements on the issue, "YODAK's general secretary" Metin Beyoglu confirmed the application and said that the new "Islamic University" to be established will provide education in the fields of social sciences. He added that the "rector" of the "university" will be the "general director" of Vakif Foundation, Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Benter who said that the "university" will open in occupied Keryneia.

    (AK)

    [09] A new political party is on the way: Social Democrat Party

    According to Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 15.03.14), a new political party is getting ready to join the political arena in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. The party will be called "Social Democrat Party" (SDP), said Tozun Tunal?, former "undersecretary of ministry of health".

    Speaking during a TV show on "BRT" TV, Tunal? referred to the new party and how it came about. He noted that there is no party with an ideology in this country, adding: "The failure of governments is evident? The young generation is migrating and new people come instead? Look at the private sector, most of the employees are from Turkey, or under control of Turkish employers..."

    He went on: "The public sector should no longer be the door of hope. What will happen in case of a solution? No one knows what we will do! If FIFA, UEFA says 'let's have friendship cups' where will we have them, in which stadiums? We are unprepared for everything... The best is to have early elections".

    [10] Atlasjet to carry out flights from illegal Tymbou airport directly to London Luton Airport

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.03.14) Osman Malyali, director of Atlasjet Airlines in the occupied area of Cyprus, has stated to the paper, that Atlasjet will launch as of May 2, flights from illegal Tymbou airport to London Luton Airport without making a stop first to Istanbul.

    Malyali said that Atlajset's aim is to provide both low cost flights and good quality services to its passengers. He added that with this kind of flights, the "Ercan-London" flight will be more pleasant and more costly.

    (AK)

    [11] Detay newspaper is published for the first time

    Turkish Cypriot daily Detay newspaper is published today (17.03.14) for the first time. The paper's general publishing director, Oshan Sabirli notes that this is the sixteenth daily newspaper issued in the occupied area of Cyprus and points out that they are aware of the fact that issuing such a paper in conditions of economic crisis is tantamount to "insanity". In his commentary under the title "Hello", Sabirli says that they are proud of issuing the paper with their own resources. He notes that they support peace, freedom and human rights and that they are not and will not be under the "guidance" of any political party or businessman.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Turkey to act in line with NATO, not to recognize the Crimea vote

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 17.03.14) reports that Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will release an official statement later today, March 17, to declare that Ankara will not recognize a March 16 referendum in Crimea in which 97% of voters reportedly opted to join Russia.

    After an election campaign rally in Izmir last night, Erdogan held a surprise meeting with Mustafa Cemil Kirimlioglu, a Ukrainian Member of Parliament and former speaker of the Crimean Tatar National Assembly. Stressing that Turkey would not unilaterally intervene in the crisis in Ukraine, Erdogan told Kirimlioglu that he spoke about the matter with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying Ankara would stand by and do everything to protect the Crimean Tatars.

    "With the Western world, Turkey wants the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be preserved. If NATO makes a decision on this matter, Turkey will certainly abide by it," Erdogan said.

    Kirimlioglu, meanwhile, confirmed that most Crimean Tatars had boycotted the vote in accordance with the decision of the Crimean Tatar Assembly, stating that Ankara's support had boosted the ethnic minority's morale.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.14) reported that ensuring the safety and well-being of the Crimean Tatars is Turkey's priority in Ukraine, the country's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday.

    In an interview with Turkish news channel NTV in southeastern Sanliurfa province, Ahmet Davutoglu said: "Turkey is clear about this. Otherwise, everybody knows that we will take the necessary steps".

    [13] Columnist: Turkey's energy needs limit diplomatic efforts for Crimea

    Columnist Irem Karakaya, in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 16.03.14) wrote that Turkey's heavy dependence on Russian energy resources stands as one of the main factors that reduce room for diplomatic manoeuvring over the crisis in Crimea, which is home to Muslim Turkic Tatars. The article further notes:

    "Turkey has chosen to act cautiously over the Crimean crisis, which erupted when Russia dispatched troops to the peninsula during turmoil in Ukraine, and deepened with the decision to hold a referendum on the future of the peninsula. Although Ankara has reiterated the importance of preserving Ukraine's territorial integrity, political unity and sovereignty, the fact that it has made statements regarding the Crimean crisis without mentioning Russia's name has showed that Ankara is refraining from confronting Moscow, one of Turkey's key energy suppliers.

    Gurkan Kumbaroglu, oil analyst and head of the Turkish Association for Energy Economics (TRAEE), believes that energy and economics are two keywords behind Ankara's reaction over Russia's intervention in Crimea. "Both space heating and electricity production are based to a large extent on natural gas imports from Russia. There is neither enough storage capacity for natural gas nor reserve capacity for electricity generation so as to overcome a serious dispute with Russia," Kumbaroglu told Sunday's Zaman, adding, "The risk of an energy shortage is such a major threat for Turkey that it could easily overshadow diplomatic manoeuvres."

    Turkey, whose energy import dependence has been on the rise, depends heavily on Russia, from which it buys around 58% of its natural gas. Turkey also imports around 12% of its oil from Russia. Natural gas dependence, significant trade relations and planned projects with Russia temper Turkish frustration with Crimea policy.

    Ian Lesser, a senior director for Foreign and Security Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, points out the fact that Turkey is among the countries most exposed to an energy-related crisis with Russia. "It is not likely that Moscow will use this energy 'weapon,' but Ankara will inevitably be concerned, and energy security is now part of the calculus in relation to Russia and Crimea," Lesser told Sunday's Zaman, adding, "For Turkey and its European partners, this means that finding ways to offset dependence on Russian gas will be essential, at least for the medium and longer term."

    Turkey buys natural gas from Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia and liquefied natural gas from Algeria and Nigeria. However, Turkey's heavy dependence on Russian gas makes Russian resources vital for Turkey, at least until Ankara develops an alternative plan.

    Crimea is not the first example of how the politics of energy shapes Turkey's foreign policy. Cyprus peace talks have kicked off to reunify the divided island after two years of intense diplomatic efforts, particularly by the United Nations, the US and Turkey.

    Exploring for natural gas off the coast of Cyprus had started before the peace talks resumed. It is believed that the region holds reserves sufficient to fill Europe's energy needs for decades and thus break Russia's monopoly on the energy sector. However, according to Kumbaroglu, the driving force behind Turkey's participation in the Cyprus peace talks was the transfer and route of the found gas; he said, "Turkey's geopolitical location makes it a unique candidate to become an energy distribution hub for oil and gas to be transported to the European consumers."

    [14] Cavusoglu: Turkey prefers for the Cyprus talks to take place at the Foreign Ministry level rather than with undersecretaries

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 16.03.14) reported that Turkey's EU Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, evaluating the present state of relations with the EU in an interview to the paper, said: "The opening of chapter 22 of negotiations during 2013 has created a more positive atmosphere in Turkey's relations with the EU. In September of the past year, our Prime Minister announced a comprehensive democratization package. The signing of the readmission agreement as well as visa free travel agreements has contributed to the positive relations. We are aiming for this to continue and have repeatedly said that 2014 will be the year of the EU. During our visits to Brussels, Berlin and Rome this year, as well as the state visits of the Presidents of France, Spain and Romania to Ankara, we made clear that Turkey wants the EU negotiation process to be accelerated and the message was received warmly by other leaders.

    For 2014 to be the year of the EU, the reform process will continue at full speed. Parliament passing the fifth judicial reform package the day before the recess for local elections and the Cabinet approving the action plan on the prevention of human rights abuses shows our determination to continue the reform process. We will continue this reform process."

    Referring to the chapters 23 and 24, Cavusoglu said: "While we do expect new chapters to open in 2014 we are not entirely certain as to whether this will happen under the presidency of Greece because we have not yet seen a positive step taken by Greece. As a result, both sides are keen for chapters to open. There are still chapters that are being blocked by Southern Cyprus [editor's note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus]. We expect the EU to take concrete steps and set the tone on this matter."

    Asked to evaluate the new negotiation process in Cyprus, Cavusoglu said: "The new peace process in Cyprus is a promising development. We, as Turkey, would prefer for these negotiations to take place at the Foreign Ministry level rather than with undersecretaries.

    However, the Greek side did not view this favourably. During this period both sides need to take steps to build confidence and everyone ought to lend political support. Turkey is approaching this period with sincerity, support and hope. The stance of the Greek side, being one of 'first give us the Maras region [editor's note: the fenced off town of occupied Varosha] then the blockade on chapters will be lifted' is not a constructive approach towards peace. Even if the Greek side has good intentions, not every negotiation issue is a relevant prerequisite for peace. Our wish is for a comprehensive package, including military withdrawal from the island, to be put forth for negotiation. Once an agreement has been reached, it can then be taken to a referendum. We have an opportunity now for peace and stability for both sides, which ought not to be misused."

    [15] MEPs request EU election observers to Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.03.14) reported that 18 members of the European Parliament, led by liberal Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake, have sent a letter to EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule to request them set up an EU election observation mission for the monitoring of municipal elections in Turkey, scheduled for March 30.

    "Given the current crisis, this step is not just important, it is necessary. The government has introduced a number of laws recently that further constrict freedom of expression and every form of criticism is being hard-headedly suppressed. The EU needs to aim for free and fair elections as a precondition for Turkish democracy," Schaake said.

    The letter stressed out "structural problems in Turkey" which resurfaced in recent months regarding the rule of law, the separation of powers and respect for basic human rights.

    Meanwhile, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that a European Union observer mission to Turkey is possible. "If they want, they can come. There is no obstacle," Erdogan said, according to an NTVMSNBC report. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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