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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-01-02
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.1/06 31.12.05 01-02.01.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 General Ozkok: Defending our interests in Cyprus constitutes the cornerstone of our security in Eastern MediterraneanFollowing are excerpts from General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok's New Year Message", as published in the website of the Turkish General Staff: (http://www.tsk.mil.tr/):
Our country, with its modern, powerful, and dynamic structure whose foundations were established with the declaration of the Republic, has always been an element of stability in its region. In addition, thanks to this stable structure and its behavior, which has been guided by its institutionalized state traditions that derive from its honorable past, our country has been making important contributions to the security of the world.
Moreover, in addition to this stable structure, our country has also been attracting positive attention due to its steadily increasing geo-political value. In particular, the giant energy transport projects that have been completed and put into operation in recent years will yet further enhance the importance of our country in the 21st century.
Nonetheless, the developments that we have been experiencing in the recent period within the geographical region that we occupy have been following a trend that could give rise to significant security problems in the future. In particular, it is highly important, from the standpoint of the survival and the interests of our country, that these developments be assessed today with a deep strategic foresight, and that likely decision points be determined at an early stage. In light of these developments, we see that our country's security strategy has four basic foundations. These are:
- Maintaining a deterrent force to defend the current balances and our national interests against symmetrical threats in our region,
- Preventing new international risks and asymmetrical threats, and particularly activities of international terrorism within our country, from harming our interests abroad,
- Taking the necessary measures against threats to the country's territorial integrity, its national unity, and the survival of the regime, and
- Defending our rights and interests on Cyprus, which constitutes the cornerstone of our security in the Eastern Mediterranean.
As can be seen, all four of these basic elements closely involve the Turkish Armed Forces. It is possible for the Turkish Armed Forces to be able to respond to these requirements by having the capability to be able to conduct a conventional war and a war of asymmetrical character at the same time. In particular, I consider it a basic condition for success that all three forces possess the structure and the understanding of being able to conduct joint operations. On the other hand, in light of the important experience that the Turkish Armed Forces have gained in the past, I want to underscore that having the ability to conduct internal security operations as well with the same effectiveness is of great importance from the standpoint of the country's territorial integrity. In this context, and in a geographical region that is far from having the stability that we ourselves enjoy, the Turkish Armed Forces consider the points made in the preamble to our Constitution, as well as the provisions contained in articles 1, 2, and 3, to be guarantees for the future and the continued existence of our beautiful country.
In light of the vision that I have set forth earlier, we continue our efforts to form forces that have high survivability, are superior in terms of technology, information, and training, have adopted a culture of commonality, are able to move rapidly, are modular and elastic, and are able to operative continuously in every sort of environment. It is our greatest wish that, with this process of change, we will be able to make the Turkish Armed Forces the best trained and best equipped force in the region.
The most important element garnering respect for the Turkish Armed Forces and making them pioneers in development and change is the traditions and the institutional culture that they possess. The development of this culture through history has not been easy. The basis of this culture is comprised of the sublime values and deeply rooted traditions possessed by the Turkish nation and of rational and heartfelt loyalty to the Principles and Reforms of Ataturk. Indeed, it is just this culture that determines the way in which the Turkish Armed Forces look upon events and act toward them. This culture will continue to guide us in the future as well.
In addition, yet another point to which the Turkish Armed Forces ascribe importance is the relationship between the military and the nation. The Turkish Armed Forces, which carried out the War for Independence and played the most active role in the founding of the Republic of Turkey, established even back in those days an unprecedented emotional bond with their nation. The Turkish Armed Forces will, in the new year as well, make efforts to yet further strengthen this sublime and sincere relationship with their nation. In this context, support to Social Development Support Activities will continue at an even higher level.
 Mr Talat rules out returning Varosha to its legal owners and withdrawal of Turkish troops from CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (30.12.05) reported from occupied Lefkosia that responding to questions of illegal Bayrak Television channel the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said: "Maras (occupied Famagusta) can't be handed over to Greek Cypriots in return of money or opening of ports. Issues of Maras, property, withdrawal of soldiers can only be discussed as parts of a comprehensive settlement of the problem like the Annan Plan."
Asked if he considers occupied Famagusta as a trump card, Mr Talat said: "I can regard it so within a comprehensive settlement during a negotiation process."
On the so-called Property Compensation Committee Mr Talat said it would be formed within three months.
Referring to the new so-called property law, Talat said that the law was adopted both to satisfy the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and to take under guarantee the bi-zonality in Cyprus. "An independent committee will be set up in this context," Talat said.
"We try to form an internal remedy regarding the applications of Greek Cypriots over property, we don't claim to settle the property issue because it can only be settled within a comprehensive solution," Talat said.
 New Year messages by Talat, Soyer and Turkish Cypriot political partiesIllegal Bayrak television (31.12.05) broadcast that in his New Year Message to the people the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said that finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem and creating an island of peace and prosperity will continue to be the first and foremost goal in the New Year.
Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots will work to establish a modern state based on the political equality of the two sides, one that will set an example to the rest of the world.
Pointing out that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots shared a common destiny and future on the island, Mr Talat underlined the importance of the two sides working together for a mutually acceptable solution based on peace, friendship and political equality of the two sides.
Stressing that it is in everyones interest to reunify the island, he said that only through a peaceful solution could the island prosper economically and socially.
He also said that they will continue to work to strengthen and improve the domestic infrastructure of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) in the New Year.
Expressing his firm belief that the removal of the unjust international isolation of North Cyprus will contribute towards finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem, Mr Talat said that the European Union should keep its promises to the Turkish Cypriot people in the New Year.
He also said that among many other things, the Turkish Cypriots were waiting for the international community to heed to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans call to remove the international isolation imposed on North Cyprus in the New Year.
Mr Talat expressed his belief that the Turkish Cypriots are entering the New Year with the hope of creating a state that will be integrated with the international community and that could be handed down to future generations.
The self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer also issued a New Year message, in which, he said that Cyprus is big enough for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to establish a new partnership based on a bi-zonal order and political equality of the two peoples.
Noting that the year 2005 has not brought a solution to the Cyprus problem because of the Greek Cypriots NO vote in the Referenda in the previous year, he voiced the hope that the year 2006 will bring a settlement to the problem based on the Turkish Cypriots´ political will as expressed in the same referenda.
Mr Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriot Side maintains its determination to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan Plan, as it is well aware of the fact that no gain could replace peace on the island.
He also added that the Turkish Cypriot Side will continue its struggle on all platforms with the aim of achieving a settlement to the Cyprus problem.
Meanwhile, New Year messages have also been issued by Turkish Cypriot political parties
In its message, the main opposition National Unity Party said that the party will continue to work to help the Turkish Cypriots to take the place it deserves in the world.
Complaining that the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference failed to honor the promises they made to the Turkish Cypriots the party said that the Greek Cypriot Administration proved the fact that it was actually wanting to patch up the Turkish Cypriots to its own administration while saying that it wants to bring about a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.
In his New Year message, the Leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement Mustafa Akinci wished happiness and peace to the Turkish Cypriots, all Cypriots and the whole world.
Expressing regret that the year 2005 has failed to bring a solution to the Cyprus problem and that no progress was achieved in the way of improving the Turkish Cypriots relations with the rest of the world, Mr Akinci said he doesnt expect a settlement to be reached to the Cyprus problem in the near future.
The Leader of the United Cyprus Party, Mr Izzet Izcan, said in his message that the Turkish Cypriots are entering the New Year in uncertainty.
He said that although Turkey achieved progress in its path to EU membership, no concrete step was achieved towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Mr Izcan also called on the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to join their forces to bring about a solution to the problem and to reunite the island.
In his message, the leader of the Communal Liberation Party Huseyin Angolemli expressed the view that a settlement could be achieved to the Cyprus problem and that peace could be brought to the island if opportunities are used properly in the new year.
Mr Angolemli joined other political party leaders to wish peace and prosperity to the peoples of the island and the world.
 Abdullah Gul: There is an EU member we do not recognizeIstanbul ZAMAN newspaper (01.01.06) newspaper publishes an interview with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
Following are excerpts of the interview:
The second man of the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government, Gul, thinks many discussions in Turkey are directly related to the Presidential elections in 2006. As for the new year's resolutions of the government, Gul firstly refers to the early election arguments and blocks expectations.
"No one holds us back by intimidations, sensational news, and artificial problems," the minister asserts, relaying messages on behalf of the Turkish government whose democratic and economic transformations are to continue.
Gul summarizes his thoughts on the presidential elections as: "The rules are obvious and the date is set. We don't even contemplate about it." According to Gul, what is important is to make diagnosis in politics. "We talked and discussed about them among us. We see the tactics of the opposition in parliament and outside the parliament." The foreign minister notes the government's response to these tactics is "To go ahead our way, to concentrate on our job and to take every day to a higher step until the very last day of our post."
One of the topics the foreign minister most complains about is the increasing trends in recent days defined as "Ulusalci" (nationalist), a movement comprised of new neo-Nationalist group interestingly constituted by marginal leftists and marginal rightists. Nationalism in Turkey, Gul recalls, traditionally attributes importance to spiritual values and believes in holy values. The current trends follow a different course. What concerns the minister most is not these trends trying to prevent efforts on the way to the European Union but for their bringing ethnic problems for Turkey in the future. "The empire collapsed because of "ulusalci" mentality," he says, this is not the Turkish style of nationalism but the nationalism of the English, Gul underlines.
"We define nationalism with a few words together such as conservative and patriotic. If you use "nationalism" as in English, it will not be reflected into Turkish correctly. In recent years, however, its meaning in English is becoming widespread under the name of "ulusalci". I do not mean the word's English version when I say, 'I am a nationalist.' The word is not used in Turkey the way it is used in English. Therefore, in Turkey, the pioneers for innovation became rightist parties that are nationalist-and-believers-of holy-values. Democrat Party in Turkey, the Justice Party, Turgut Ozal period and our party at recent times are the pioneers of innovation. I see a danger however: A nationalism concept is evolving in Europe. This makes Turkey introvert and completely isolated. And in the end, such an understanding forms a danger for the integrity of the country. The latest example is former Yugoslavia. See yourself, how they changed. So, a nationalism concept like in Europe is a dangerous kind of nationalism. That makes harder for people to live together. They say 'ulusalcilik,' but we should make the distinction with nationalism-conservatism-patriotism combination kind of nationalism.
"What is 'ulusalcilik?' Is it to be indebted with higher interest rate or with lower interest rate? Is it to sell an asset in a country for a lesser price or for a higher price? Not just the properties of the state or the nation, but if you can sell the assets of the private sector above its price then that is called real nationalism. Is it to make everyone outside Turkey a foe of Turkey, to fabricate anti-Turkey news abroad, or to make people outside Turkey sympathizers of Turkey or to make them write praises for Turkey? This should be seen very well. What we do should be regarded within this concept. And an introvert Turkey and introvert nationalism is nothing but heroism.
There is an assumption that we lost concentration during the EU process. There was the same assumption before the October 3rd and the same things were mentioned after December 17. However, the case is not so. Certainly, you will consume all your energy while running in the last 100 meters of a marathon. You will pant with the effect of doping; however, later on the case will return to its usual course. We continued to work as we used to do, later on.
There will be obstacles, and ups and downs in the course of time. This is the nature of development. Each Member country underwent the same process. Turkey is doing a good job and is covering distance rapidly. The preliminary screening has finished and the screening of six chapters has also finished. There are many important chapters in them. The screening of others is going on successfully as well. There is nothing that has been suspended or slowed down. All the institutions are carrying out this process in great excitement. Even the institutions, which are not much tolerant of each other about other issues, are effectively involved. The rectors of seven big universities in Turkey went to Brussels and made presentations there.
Subtitle: The ports issue
There is an EU member that we do not recognize. So, we will see, how much they will or will abuse this issue. The important thing here is the extension of the scope of the Customs Union agreement to include all the EU members. It is the free movement of goods. This has been left free. We will consider other issues. Whether the supplementary protocol will come to the Turkish parliament or not, we will discuss then. The necessary planning has been made about this issue.
 Cypriot Euro MP was abducted in the buffer zone by the Turkish occupation army while hosting a Polish Euro MP. To be tried by a military courtAnkara Anatolia news agency (01.01.06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia: Marios Matsakis, Greek Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP) who violated the buffer zone and removed a Turkish flag from a Turkish sentry post last November, was arrested on Saturday.
Matsakis was arrested when he tried to enter the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) from Ledra Palace `Border´ Gate. Matsakis claimed that he came to TRNC to bring a cake for TRNC `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat.
Matsakis (51) who violated the military zone, climbed up the Turkish Cypriot sentry post in Akincilar and pulled down the Turkish flag on 1 November 2005, was arrested as there was an arrest warrant for him for ''removing the Turkish flag, insulting the flag, violating the military zone and entering TRNC territory without legal permission.''
Later on the same day Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.01.06) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the self-styled Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas has described the attempt Marios Matsakis, a Greek Cypriot member of the European Parliament, made to cross into occupied Cyprus through the Ledra Palace checkpoint yesterday as a new act of provocation.
Describing Matsakis' attempt yesterday as a new act of provocation, Serdar Denktas said that the judicial officials will hear the case against him and that the decision of the courts must be respected. He said: "The judicial organs in the TRNC will concentrate on the case and make the necessary decisions, regardless of his (Matsakis) negative approach. The decisions made by the courts have to be respected and will be respected."
Meanwhile, self-styled Presidential Private Secretary Asim Akansoy denied the reports that Matsakis planned to give a Christmas cake to `President´ Mehmet
Ali Talat. He said that they were not informed on his intention and noted that accepting an appeal by him for that purpose was out of the question.
Matsakis is expected to appear before a military court today.
On the same issue Ankara Anatolia (01.01.06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia: The military court in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus decided on Sunday to keep under arrest Marios Matsakis, the Greek Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for one day.
`Judge´ Ahmet Kalkan decided to keep under arrest Matsakis until 14.00 hours Monday saying that Matsakis-- who violated the buffer zone and removed a Turkish flag from a Turkish sentry post last November-- had parliamentary immunity as a member of the EP.
The `judge´ said that the suspect would be released if no indictment was issued about him until that time.
 The ruling AKP keeps silent at the meetings of the National Security CouncilAnkara The New Anatolian newspaper (01.01.06) publishes the following:
The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is reported to have been following a "code of silence" at National Security Council (MGK) meetings since 2003, attentively listening to everything that's said but not saying a word.
The MGK held the last meeting of the year on Thursday. The issue that dominated the meeting was the debate over primary and sub-identity. The military wing brought a detailed report to the meeting on the debate, which was started by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a short while ago. The report stated, "Turkish people are defined as a nation in a unitary state structure. Opening up the unitary state structure to debate is unacceptable." The report also said, "The debates on primary and sub-identity would erode the national identity, and micro-nationalism would endanger Turkey's unitary structure and would harm integrity and unity."
Defining the Turkish nation as Turkish people who live on Turkish territory and are bound to each other through ties of common aims in the unitary state structure, the report underlined, "The Turkish Republic is a unitary state. A unitary state is defined as a state which has a single centralized authority, with a single state, country, nation and sovereignty and is centralized through legislative, executive and judicial powers. Therefore our Constitution can't be changed on this, and bringing the unitary structure of the state up for debate, which is stipulated in unalterable Article 3 of the Constitution, is unacceptable."
These remarks by the military were also reflected in the MGK's statement released after the meeting. This stance could be read between the lines in the statement, which referred to the Constitution on the identity issue. The statement read, "A comprehensive assessment of the measures needed to eliminate the separatist and terrorist threat to our national aims, and protecting the unitary structure of the state, as well as its characteristics stipulated in the Constitution, has been made."
As the government didn't object to the military's stance, the MGK statement underlined unitary structure. According to sources, the government has for years been refraining from commenting on or making their views known on issues that are subject to debate at MGK meetings. Listening to all the speeches and arguments attentively, the government is still reported to be remaining silent. A source close to the MGK stated, "All speeches at MGK meetings are recorded. They're probably refraining from speaking up to avoid finding their way into the records and leaving traces behind them for future generations."
 The breakaway regime supports the constructions sector in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, while real estate companies are reportedly facing financial problemsUnder the title NCP is in trouble, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (31.12.05) reports that the North Cyprus Properties (NCP) real estate company is the second company in the constructions sector in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus which became a victim of the great shock after the so-called law regarding the occupied Greek Cypriot properties came onto the agenda.
The paper writes that after the bankruptcy of the AGA Development Ltd which belonged to Garry Robb, who had a project of 600 villas, North Cyprus Properties, which is carrying out another project of 600 villas, is not able to carry out its constructions.
VOLKAN notes that the sum of one million sterling pounds which had been given to NCP by the Central Cooperative Bank as a result of political pressures was not enough to save the company. The bank refused to give another credit of 1.5 million dollars, in spite of the consistent initiatives by the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, Serdar Denktas.
Furthermore, under the title Check ban obstacle for the 1.5 million sterling pounds, VOLKAN (02.01.06) reports that on Saturday, 31 December 2005 a meeting was held on the issue at the self-styled Prime Minsters office with the participation of Mr Soyer, Mr Serdar Denktas and the administrative council of the Central Cooperative Bank.
According to the paper, during the meeting, the administrative council of the Central Cooperative Bank expressed the opinion that granting such a big credit to a company that entered into a check ban was not possible from many aspects and that it will be very difficult for the company to return the money.
Mr Soyer said that in case the money is not given, NCP will not be saved. He added that if NCP cannot fulfill its commitments towards its clients, the whole constructions sector in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus will receive a big blow.
At the meeting they agreed on filing an application to the Supreme Court asking for the annulment of the decision regarding the check ban for the NCP. After they achieve this, they will, at the first stage, give a credit of 500 thousand sterling pounds for the payment of the checks which were returned. Another million sterling pounds will be given for the completion of the constructions which stopped.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (02.01.06), the administrative council of the Central Cooperative Bank does not look positively towards granting of a credit and the self-styled government is exerting pressures on the bank so that it supplies the credit and delay the crisis.
 The trial regarding Turkish Cypriot property in Tylliria will be continued on 10 January, 2006In its front page leader, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (31.12.05), under the title Turkish Cypriot property in Tylliria on its way to the ECHR, reported that the court of the Republic of Cyprus cannot decide to return Turkish Cypriot property to its owners, because it was sold to a Greek company White Knight in good faith. In case the property is not returned to the Turkish Cypriot family, they will make an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Meanwhile, the paper also reported that the decision is directly related to the Orams case, because Cherie Blair, Orams lawyer, in her first speech before the court, defended her clients by saying that the British couple bought the Greek Cypriot property in good faith.
The case of the Turkish Cypriot property in Tylliria will be continued on 10 January, 2006. The owners of the Turkish Cypriot property said: If we are treated unjustly, then we will appeal to the ECHR. We have already begun preparations. We would not let them take our rights.
 Letter by Kurdish Mayors to Rasmussen on Roj TV. Criticizm by GulIstanbul NTV television (30.12.05) broadcast that a total of 56 mayors belonging to the Democratic Society Party wrote a letter to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, asking that Roj TV not be closed down.
In their letter to Rasmussen, the mayors, including Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, noted the concern they feel over the antidemocratic approach of the Turkish Government with regard to the Roj TV issue.
Pointing out that on behalf of the people they represent they are asking that Roj TV not be closed down, the mayors claimed that otherwise an important vehicle struggling for democracy and human rights in Turkey will have been eliminated.
The mayor also stated that Roj TV is broadcasting from Europe because of the restrictions imposed on Kurdish broadcasts in Turkey.
The letter said: "We hope that, rather than ban Roj TV, Turkey will embrace and legalize this television station. We hope that one day Roj TV will become one of the many Kurdish televisions that begin broadcasting with the support of the Turkish Government, and that it can broadcast from Istanbul, Ankara, or Diyarbakir."
Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (01.01.06) reported that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, firmly reacting to the letter sent by 56 mayors to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said the following:
"This is really very wrong. Such actions do not serve the solution of the problems, either. Evidently they are not aware of their responsibility. This is because this is related to acting irresponsibly. When I look at their actions, I understand that they are not aware of their responsibility. This shows that at a time when they should act responsibly, they are still acting very irresponsibly."
 Turkey´s foreign debt decreased in 2005Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.12.05) reported from Ankara that Turkey's total foreign debt stock decreased to 165.3 billion USD as of the end of September, 2005, it was reported on Friday.
The Treasury Office announced Foreign Debt figures as of September 30, 2005 today. The share of short term debts in total foreign debt stock has been 22.4 percent and the share of medium-long term debts has been 77.6 percent in this period.
The Treasury also announced that the foreign debt stock of Turkey between December 2004 and September 2005 decreased by 8.1 billion USD due to changes in foreign exchange rates--as USD gained value against Euro and SDR.
It was also reported on Friday that Turkey repaid 16.2 billion US dollars in foreign debt in the year 2005.
Turkey repaid 745.4 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt in January; 2.39 billion U.S. dollars in February; 593.7 million U.S. dollars in March; 1.51 billion U.S. dollars in April; 2.25 billion U.S. dollars in May; 629.2 million U.S. dollars in June; 726.2 million U.S. dollars in July; 2.45 billion USD in August; 738.6 million USD in September, 1.62 billion USD in October; 2.70 billion USD in November and 834.9 million USD in December.
Next week the Treasury will repay 475.9 million USD.