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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-06-12

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. 107/14 12.06.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] The state of Turkey is "on alert" due to the attack at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul
  • [02] The US and the UN strongly condemn attack on the Turkish Consulate in Iraq
  • [03] Nami: The Greek Cypriots started coming to the negotiating table with proposals that will abolish the past convergences
  • [04] TUSIAD: A "framework agreement" should be established for a solution in Cyprus
  • [05] Eroglu expects from the Greek Cypriot side more realistic proposals
  • [06] Turkish commanders had separate meetings with Eroglu, Yorgancioglu and Sibel
  • [07] The naval phase of the "Gonyeli search and rescue exercise" took place yesterday
  • [08] The "draft law" will be put to a referendum; YKP will run a "no" campaign against it
  • [09] Nami and Akar evaluated the transportation problem in the occupied area of Cyprus; "Touchdown system will solve the problem"
  • [10] Gul congratulates Egypt's President Sisi on his presidential victory

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] The state of Turkey is "on alert" due to the attack at the Turkish Consulate in Mosul

    The main issue in today's Turkish press (12.06.14) is the attack at the Turkish Consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the abduction of the 49 Consulate staff members including the Consul-General and family members.

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.14), Turkey's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that 49 Turkish consulate staff members, including the Consul-General and their family members, have been abducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant militants (ISIL) in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

    The abductions came Wednesday, a day after ISIL took control of Iraq's second-largest city and seized 31 Turkish truck drivers who were transporting fuel to a thermal power plant.

    Speaking as he prepared to leave a UN meeting on counter-terrorism in the United States to return to Ankara, to deal with the incident, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the Iraqi government was responsible for the security of the consulate staff. "No one should dare test Turkey's power," he said, adding that Turkey would not allow any harming of its nationals to go unpunished.

    The Iraqi government was responsible for the security of the consulate staff, underscored Davutoglu and said: "What is important in such circumstances is not to panic and to draw a road map for the security of our citizens."

    The Ministry strongly condemned the abductions and said Turkey would use every means available to save its Consulate staff.

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.06.14) reports that Davutoglu has defended Ankara's decision to keep its consulate in Mosul open despite the approach of ISIL militants.

    "The risk of leaving was higher than the risk of staying in. Clashes were happening street by street. Taking such a sensitive convoy [the consulate staff and their families] out was a risk," Davutoglu told Turkish journalists at New York John F. Kennedy Airport before leaving for Turkey.

    Another reason for the decision to continue the consulate's activity was "to give confidence to the people of Mosul," he added.

    Earlier, Davutoglu had decided to cut his U.S. trip short due to the events in Iraq, and held phone conversations with officials from the U.S. and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for the release of the consulate staff. "The United States has a special responsibility for the security of Iraq. But primarily, the Iraqi state is responsible for the security of our diplomatic mission," he said.

    Stressing that it was "not the first time that Turkey has faced such a crisis," the Turkish Foreign Minister said "nobody should have any doubts" that the hostages would be brought back safely. "We brought our citizens safe and sound in similar crises before. We are informed about their health and safety to a certain extent. The important thing now is bring them home," he said.

    On the same issue, HDN (online, 11.06.14) reported that the state of Turkey was "on alert" late June 11 after 80 Turkish citizens, including Consul General Ozturk Yilmaz, were taken hostage by the ISIL in Mosul, as Turkish authorities talked to their U.S. counterparts on phone and briefed their NATO allies at an emergency meeting.

    "All institutions of Turkey are on alert", Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told the members of the Parliament, stressing that Ankara "took all necessary initiatives in international organizations."

    While the Turkish Foreign Ministry had established a crisis desk to help the relatives of Turkish citizens abducted in Mosul, two key meetings were held in Ankara. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay and National Intelligence Agency (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan convened at the Prime Ministry for an emergency meeting that lasted two hours.

    The second meeting was presided over by President Abdullah Gul. Along with the participants of the first meeting, Chief of Staff Necdet Ozel was also present in the second "evaluation" meeting, which continued for over two hours. A public statement, scheduled to be released after this meeting, was ultimately cancelled.

    In both meetings, Turkish officials agreed to act diplomatically and to try "to persuade" the militants, as the hostages are known to be safe and healthy under the current conditions.

    Meanwhile, Turkey called for an emergency meeting of NATO and Turkish Ambassador Fatih Ceylan briefed member states of the alliance about the situation in Mosul.

    Turkey did not invoke Article 4 of the NATO charter, which allows any ally to call for consultations if the security of any member country is threatened. The June 11 meeting was merely for information purposes, a Turkish diplomat told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was "no question" of British troops being sent back to Iraq to help battle Islamic militants who have seized control of key cities.

    Hague said that while the situation was of great concern, the government was "not countenancing at this stage any British military involvement." He said he believed Iraq had sufficient forces to counter the threat.

    Moreover, HDN (online, 12.06.14) reports that the Turkish government is not working on any new mandate to authorize a cross-border military operation into Iraq, where militants are holding 80 Turkish nationals hostage, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on June 12.

    "The issue of whether the existing mandate is sufficient [for a military operation] or a new mandate is required is among the issues being discussed. But right now there is no work being conducted for a new mandate," Bozdag told reporters in Ankara.

    A parliamentary mandate allowing Turkey to conduct cross-border military operations in Iraq expires in October.

    The text of the current mandate refers to the PKK, but it also uses a more general term in another clause, defining the target of possible operations as "terrorist attacks and threats against Turkey" from "northern Iraq and its neighbouring areas."

    The Turkish Parliament authorized the government on Oct. 10, 2013, giving it a 12-month mandate for foreign mission. However, the government has yet to transfer this authorization to the army.

    Meanwhile, HDN (online, 12.06.14) reports that the Istanbul Stock Exchange plummeted by around 3.3% following reports of seizure of hostages the previous afternoon.

    The Turkish Lira has weakened against the U.S. dollar and stocks opened the day with losses due to heightened concerns over the turmoil in neighbouring Iraq. The lira/dollar ratio climbed over 2.12 in the morning as investors fear the geopolitical risks in Iraq may have knock-on effects in Turkey.

    [02] The US and the UN strongly condemn attack on the Turkish Consulate in Iraq

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.06.14), the United States is prepared to support Turkey's efforts to bring about the safe return of its citizens, said US Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday, calling Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In a statement released by the White House it was stated that Biden spoke with Erdogan regarding the self pro-claimed Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) stormed the Turkish consulate in the Iraqi city of Mosul, kidnapping 49 Consulate staff members including the Consul-General and family members.

    The statement underscored the United States condemned the actions taken by the terrorist group of ISIL, adding that the U.S. would call for the safe and immediate return of the Turkish personnel and family members.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest also condemned the kidnapping in Mosul ? Iraq's second-largest city -- and termed it as "despicable" in the daily briefing.

    Sabah (online, 11.06.14) reported that speaking to journalists at a daily briefing Wednesday, State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke by phone.

    "They discussed their mutual concern about the deteriorating security situation in Mosul and the ISIL's despicable attack on the Turkish consulate, which we condemn in the strongest terms," said Psaki.

    "We join Turkey and the international community in calling for the immediate release of Turkey's kidnapped diplomatic personnel," she said.

    "Secretary Kerry reiterated the United States' commitment to working with the Iraqi government and leaders across Iraq to support a unified approach against the ISIL's continued aggression. We are in touch with the governments of Turkey and Iraq and stand ready to provide any appropriate assistance," added Psaki.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.06.14) reports that a top U.S. diplomat, who is currently on an official visit in Ankara, has joined calls demanding the "immediate release" of 49 Turkish citizens kidnapped from a consulate in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.

    "The United States strongly condemns recent attacks by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) in the city of Mosul, Iraq, which have broad security implications for the country. In particular, we condemn the kidnappings of Iraqi citizens and Turkish Consulate personnel, their family members and other Turkish citizens residing in Mosul, and join the Governments of Turkey and Iraq, as well as the international community, in calling for their immediate release," Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said in a written statement released on June 12.

    The statement was released ahead of her talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which were scheduled to take place later on June 12 in Ankara.

    Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate release of Turkish diplomats kidnapped by al-Qaeda linked militants in Iraq.

    "I was shocked to hear that the terrorists have kidnapped the Consul General of Turkey and many diplomatic officers, who were working in Mosul," Ban told a meeting on counterterrorism in New York on Wednesday. "No such attack on diplomatic officers and civilians can be justified under any circumstances or under any reason," he said.

    He also urged the government of Iraq and the international community to be united in bringing the perpetrators to justice and to do everything possible to have the diplomatic officers released.

    [03] Nami: The Greek Cypriots started coming to the negotiating table with proposals that will abolish the past convergences

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.14) reports that the self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Ozdil Nami has alleged that the Greek Cypriot side not only shows no respect to the convergences achieved in the past in the Cyprus talks, but it started coming to the negotiating table with proposals which will abolish these convergences.

    Addressing a panel organized yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Association (ISAD) under the title "How the world and Europe are changing? What is there on Cyprus' horizon?" Nami said that agreement had been achieved on some issues in the Joint Declaration and gave as example the matter of the sovereignty. He noted that for the first time, the Joint Declaration includes provisions such as that the powers which will not be given to the federal government will be left to the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot founding states and that an internal citizenship will exist in parallel to the federal citizenship. Arguing that the declaration provides for concentrating on issues on which agreement had not been achieved, Nami claimed, inter alia, the following: "The meaning of the manner by which this text was written was to point to the setup that there are issues on which agreement has been reached, that these will not be reopened and that the negotiations will be concentrated on issues which had not been agreed. This, however, was unfortunately not realized during the past four months".

    Nami alleged that the expectations were for new convergences to speedily be established on this positive ground, but the Greek Cypriots not only showed no respect to the past convergences, but they started coming to the negotiating table with proposals which will abolish these convergences. Nami argued that the tempo should be intensified in order for the targets set for the negotiations to be achieved the soonest, but even until recently the Greek Cypriot side had not been accepting for meeting of the two leaders twice a month.

    The Representative and Responsible for Foreign Relations of Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) to Brussels, Dr Bahadir Kaleagasi and the president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), Fikri Toros also addressed the panel. Kaleagasi said that the Cyprus problem is discussed in all the chapters of Turkey's relations with the EU and noted that the EU wants the solution of the Cyprus problem. Replying to a question, he expressed the view that the natural resources could become catalyser for other processes as well and added that with the discovering of natural gas, the number of the stakeholders in the Cyprus problem has increased. Toros argued that they are ready to do whatever they can for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] TUSIAD: A "framework agreement" should be established for a solution in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.14) reports that Dr Bahadir Kaleagasi, International Coordinator of Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) and Chairman of Paris Bosporus Institution, has argued that a "framework agreement" should be established on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem. In statements to the press yesterday during his visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Kaleagasi said: "Let us put the fundamental pillars of the state, let us unite at the very top on the roof. We will build its door, roof and internal arrangement later".

    Kaleagasi expressed the view that it might be more difficult if there was again a detailed plan such as the Annan Plan and might cause waste of time. He argued: "There is no need for these. This is the point to which things will come in the end. If we do this, the solution of the other problems will be facilitated in the environment of trust which will emerge. In the environment which will be created the solution or non-solution of a part of the problems will lose its importance. Life can go on with some unsolved problems".

    Kaleagasi said that a totally opposite formula is discussed with business people, politicians and academicians instead of the step by step solution and added: "The general tendency in Brussels, Washington, Berlin and Paris is 'let this issue be taken off the agenda no matter how it is taken off'. What is decisive here is Mr Eroglu and Mr Anastasiades, no one else".

    Kaleagasi said that reference is made to the "last tango" in Cyprus and expressed the view that the "dance" in Cyprus is not a tango, because more than two sides are involved. "This requires a dance in which the international community will be participating", he noted.

    Describing the Cyprus problem as a serious one, he noted that it influences Turkey's future. Pointing out that the rejection of the Annan Plan had many costs for Turkey, he added: "The biggest cost is the harm to the democratic evolution of Turkey. This spoiled the dynamics of the EU process, the rules of the game".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.06.14) reports that Kaleagasi said that in case a solution is reached in Cyprus, the island could become Mediterranean Sea's Singapore or Hong Kong. Addressing the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots he argued that "many opportunities exist in front of you, the world is changing, you must catch the new waves this time".

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Eroglu expects from the Greek Cypriot side more realistic proposals

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 11.06.14), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met with a delegation from the Brussels representative of the Turkish Industry and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Bahad?r Kaleagas? and his accompanying delegation at his office.

    The Cyprus Turkish Businessmen's Association (ISAD) headed by Metin Sadi also accompanied the delegation during the visit.

    During the meeting, Kaleagasi said that the Cyprus issue dominated the international arena especially the business field and therefore he wanted to visit Eroglu in order to receive more information on the issue.

    Noting that the Cyprus issue was being discussed by politicians within the European Union and the United States and businessmen were discussing the solution and what may happen after a solution, Kaleagasi said that the West was in need of a positive message to come from Cyprus regarding its future and expressed the belief that this will have positive repercussions. He said that they will be closely following the developments of the Cyprus issue in the international arena.

    Eroglu, for his part, claimed that the Cyprus issue had been continuing for years but that "as a country they had uncomplicated relations" and added: "The only thing missing here is a solution, the roof to be established".

    Claiming that for years the Turkish Cypriot side had attended the Cyprus negotiations process with good will, Eroglu alleged that however the Greek Cypriot side has never given any positive feedback to their positive manner.

    Eroglu said that he is face to face with a new leader at the negotiations table and expressed the hope that this leader will return to the table with more realistic proposals.

    Explaining that the leaders meeting had been reduced to once a fortnight therefore more meetings will be held, Erogluu said that they will find the opportunity to discuss the proposals more but claimed that they expected the Greek Cypriot side to desire a solution just like the Turkish Cypriot side does.

    "If there is no will towards a solution it is impossible to get anywhere" said Eroglu claiming that "the time had come for the Greek Cypriot leader to see the realities on the island and inform his people". Referring to the importance of the world being informed about the realities of the "TRNC", Eroglu thanked the delegation for their efforts towards this end.

    [06] Turkish commanders had separate meetings with Eroglu, Yorgancioglu and Sibel

    According to illegal Bayrak television (11.06.14), the Commander of the Turkish Coast Guard Vice Admiral Hasan Usaklioglu, who is illegally in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and taking part in the "Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli 2014 Search and Rescue exercises", and an accompanying delegation had separate meetings on Wednesday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, the self-styled prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu and the self-styled assembly speaker Siber Sibel.

    Speaking during the meeting with Eroglu, Usaklioglu said that he has been closely following the developments of the Cyprus cause for many years and that under the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu the Turkish Cypriot "people" will obtain the rights they deserve. He also said that he would be honoured to host Eroglu on his vessel during the sea phase of the exercises.

    Eroglu, for his part, said he was pleased to see the Vice Admiral and his delegation in the "TRNC" and added that for years the "search and rescue exercises" have always been realised successfully.

    Touching upon the Cyprus issue, Eroglu expressed the hope that the Cyprus issue that has been continuing for years will also have a successful outcome. "We have a joint cause and we are trying to continue with this cause. The Turkish Armed Forces, Land, Sea and Air Forces joining us always gives us morale", said Eroglu and noted that from time to time the "people" are discouraged due to the negotiations going on for so long. He said that at such times these exercises are needed to raise the morale of the people, adding: "Today we are at that point and hopefully we will be successful at the talks".

    Speaking during the meeting with Yorgancioglu, Hasan Usaklioglu invited Yorgancioglu to take part in the sea phase of the search and rescue exercises that will be realized this afternoon. He also expressed his belief that the exercises will be very successful.

    Yorgancioglu, for his part, said that the search and rescue exercises were held every year between the "Cyprus Turkish Security Forces" (editor's note: the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus) and the Turkish Armed Forces and gave them the opportunity to develop cooperation between the two armies. "What's more important is that friendship also develops", he added.

    During the meeting with Sibel, Usaklioglu said their main aim is to show the possibility of working together and coordinating with the "TRNC".

    For her part, Siber touched upon the importance of the exercises and said that conducting the exercise without any incidents is reassuring.

    [07] The naval phase of the "Gonyeli search and rescue exercise" took place yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.06.14) reports that the naval phase of the "2014 Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue Exercise", took place yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    The paper writes that the exercise was conducted in the "open waters" of occupied Famagusta with the participation of "Turkish and TRNC military and civil elements" and it continued south of occupied Rizokarpaso in the "TRNC territorial waters".

    The paper also writes that the exercise was followed by generals, navy admirals and navy captains from Pakistan, Gambia, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.

    [08] The "draft law" will be put to a referendum; YKP will run a "no" campaign against it

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 11.06.14), the so-called law relating to the "constitutional amendments", which was unanimously approved by the self-styled parliament last week and was sent to the "presidency" for approval has been ratified by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    The "law" will be put to a referendum on June 29.

    On the same issue, the paper (12.06.14) reports that the "draft law" regarding the referendum for "constitutional amendments" has been approved today unanimously by the so-called general assembly of the "parliament".

    The so-called assembly convened under the self-styled assembly speaker Siber's auspices today, where the "draft law" was discussed and approved at the beginning of the meeting. The "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman briefed the "assembly" regarding the draft law's report.

    Meanwhile, the Kibris Postasi (online, 11.06.14) reported that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) announced that they will run a "no" campaign objecting the "constitutional amendments" which will be put to public vote on June 29.

    The YKP party assembly decided to say no to the constitutional amendments due to the exclusion of several important "laws" regarding the minority rights, the children's rights and the conscientious objection. YKP's decision also has to do with the fact that "Article" 10 is not lifted.

    YKP also criticized the process in which the "amendments" were prepared and presented. In their statement YKP said that the process was anti-democratic and the opinion of the opposition groups was not taken into consideration.

    Speaking at the beginning of the press conference Murat Kanatl? said: "We have submitted our amendment proposals to the parliament. The ad-hoc committee pretended that they asked our opinion. It was just a show."

    [09] Nami and Akar evaluated the transportation problem in the occupied area of Cyprus; "Touchdown system will solve the problem"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (12.06.14) reports on statements by Reha Akar, chairman of the "executive board" of the Merit Tourism Group in the occupied area of Cyprus, who in statements to the Main News Bulletin of Blooberg Channel, spoke on several issues related to the tourism investments in the occupied area of Cyprus, the transportation problem e.t.c.

    Referring to the transportation problem that exists in the occupied area of Cyprus, Akar expressed the view that this could be solved with the "touchdown system" with flights of the Turkish Airlines. He then called on the chairman of the "executive board" of the Turkish Airlines to undertake steps in order for this system to be implemented in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, speaking at the same program live through telephone, the so-called foreign minister Ozdil Nami, asked to comment on the issue of the "touchdown system", said, inter alia that the "ministry of foreign affairs" has exerted a lot of efforts towards this issue. He said that they held high level contacts with their Turkish interlocutors on the issue, and added: "Of course, the Turkish Airlines is a trade organization and thus it makes its own gain and loss accounts. Looking the issue form a long-run perspective, definitely we will manage to see this happening. Currently in our country we have near 60.000 foreign students. A great part of these are coming from Turkey. And both, students from Africa and the Turkish Republic are increasing. We also see the increasing demand of tourists from Russia. So, it is necessary for these flights to be carried out for tourist development".

    (AK)

    [10] Gul congratulates Egypt's President Sisi on his presidential victory

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 11.06.14), Turkey's President Abdullah Gul congratulated Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday on his victory in the presidential election held last month.

    Gul sent a congratulatory message through the Egyptian Embassy in Ankara. The diplomatic gesture is of crucial importance given the year-long tense relations between the two countries, after the Egyptian army led by Defence Minister and Chief of General Staff Gen. Sisi moved in to depose Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), the first civilian who was democratically elected in the history of the North African country.

    Media outlets, citing sources in the presidency, said Gul found it appropriate to send the message in line with "international custom". The sources also note that Gul aims to maintain relations with Egypt.

    Turkey's Charge d'Affaires in Cairo attended a ceremony on Sunday marking Sisi's swearing-in as president of Egypt, indicating formal recognition by Ankara of the ex-army chief as Egypt's new leader. Turkey and Egypt have both withdrawn their Ambassadors amid tensions in relations due to Ankara's criticism of the coup that toppled Morsi.

    Ankara has emerged as an outspoken critic of the military coup and staunchly refused to build diplomatic ties with the new military-backed regime. In recent months, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toned down his criticism against the Egyptian administration, which Erdogan regards as an illegitimate political body that deserves international isolation.

    Gul's message is mostly likely meant to open a new page, putting aside differences in order to build a common front to face regional challenges, observers say. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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