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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-01-03

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.2/06 03.01.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cyprus the most important issue on the agenda during Straws visit to Ankara.
  • [02] The Prime Ministry´s office and the Turkish Foreign Ministry deny Israeli press reports that the US asked for base in Turkey to attack Iran.
  • [03] Balkan, Caucasian and Central Asian countries the main recipients of Turkish military equipment and training.
  • [04] Turkey´s subservient regime in occupied Cyprus released the Cypriot Euro MP.
  • [05] Mr Talat is trying to exploit the arrest of Euro MP to lend legality to Ankara´s puppet regime in occupied Cyprus.
  • [06] Mr Talat stressed the important role religion can play in restoring peace in Cyprus.
  • [07] The breakaway regime confiscated the villas constructed by AGA Development.
  • [08] EU Commission official on Turkey´s screening process.
  • [09] Turkish State Minister praises Turkey´s economic performance.
  • [10] The Turkish Health Ministry denies that bird flu has been detected in Eastern Turkey.
  • [11] Investigation launched over the letter sent by Kurdish mayors to Rasmussen.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses President Sezer´s and General Ozkok´s messages in which Cyprus was included.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cyprus the most important issue on the agenda during Straws visit to Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (03.01.06) reports the following:

    The Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Jack Straw, will go to Turkey this month. In Straws agenda there are mainly Cyprus, European Union (EU) and Iran. It was made known that Mr Straw will evaluate the last six months period of EU term presidency.

    It was noted that the Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Jack Straw will go to Turkey this month and in his agenda there are mainly Cyprus, EU and Iran.

    The Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Jack Straw, who transferred the European Union term Presidency to Austria, will evaluate in the visit firstly the six-month British period presidency.

    Foreign Ministry Officials stated that the main issue on the agenda of the British Foreign Secretary will be that Cyprus is the most critical subject in the year 2006 for Turkey.

    In the meting the issues of the nuclear weapon bargaining which continues between Iran and the European Union, as well as the latest situation in Iraq will also be discussed.

    (C/S)

    [02] The Prime Ministry´s office and the Turkish Foreign Ministry deny Israeli press reports that the US asked for base in Turkey to attack Iran

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The officials of the Prime Minister's Office have described as speculation the reports that "the United States asked for a base from Turkey to be able to attack Iran."

    The officials said that the reports that were published by a newspaper in Israel was wrong.

    Later on the same day Ankara Anatolia news agency reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied on Monday the claims saying that the US asked Turkey for military base to attack some neighbour countries.

    A MFA statement noted today that some speculative claims were put forward by the national and international press regarding the visits of some high ranking officials to Turkey recently including that of Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Porter Goss.

    ''These speculations based on the claim that the US asked for military base from Turkey to attack some neighbour countries are not true.(...) Turkey defends the view that problems should be solved through dialogue and negotiation, our region doesn't need new problems and that everybody should fulfill his/her obligations in that regard,'' the Turkish foreign Ministry added.

    [03] Balkan, Caucasian and Central Asian countries the main recipients of Turkish military equipment and training

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF), which is one of the great armies of the world, has been sharing its training experiences and knowledge with the armed forces of friendly and allied countries.

    As works have continued in the recent years to improve cooperation among countries in parallel to the changes occurring in security milieu, TAF actively participates in every kind of activities to secure peace and atmosphere of tranquility.

    Attaching importance to military training and cooperation activities, Turkish Armed Forces signed Military Training Agreement, Technical and Scientific Cooperation Agreement (Framework Agreement) with 47 countries and Military Training Cooperation Agreement with 43 countries.

    The Turkish Armed Forces, which has signed military training cooperation agreement with Pakistan, Kuwait, Gambia, Singapore, Azerbaijan, Albania, Kygyzstan, Israel, Georgia, Poland, China, Mongolia, Moldova, Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Egypt, Tunisia, Bulgaria, Romania, Malaysia, Macedonia, Croatia, Slovakia, Senegal, Latvia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, France, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, Hungary, Lithuania, Korea, Russian Federation and Afghanistan, has been working on preparations to sign framework agreement with 26 countries.

    The Turkish Armed Forces has so far given training to 20,307 military personnel from 94 countries in Turkey and it trained 93,792 personnel from 16 countries in their homeland.

    They are: "Azerbaijan: 3862, Bosnia-Herzegovina: 3296, Albania: 1635, Turkmenistan: 1299, TRNC (Tr. Note: Occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus where the TAF maintain 40,000 Turkish troops in violation of the rules of international law). 1040, Georgia: 911, Pakistan: 816, Egypt: 67, Gambia: 137, Singapore: 2, Kygyzstan: 401, Israel 644, Poland: 36, Latvia: 35, Burkina Faso: 1, Afghanistan: 287, U.S.: 90, Belgium: 23, Denmark: 6, Ethiopia: 1, South Korea: 43, Iraq: 2, Spain: 18, Switzerland: 10, Qatar: 12, Luxembourg: 1, Portugal: 4, Bangladesh: 572, Germany: 106, Tunisia: 125, Bulgaria: 199, Romania: 299, Malaysia: 622, Macedonia: 279, Croatia: 107, Slovakia: 76, Lithuania: 38, Mongolia: 89, Russian Federation: 63, Tajikistan: 3, Austria: 23, Algeria: 6, Estonia: 21, Morocco: 3, India: 1, Britain: 44, Ireland: 5, Italy: 51, Norway: 13, Slovenia: 22, Jordan: 223, United Arab Emirates: 609, France: 31, Uzbekistan: 426, Kazakhstan: 383, Ukraine: 275, Hungary: 68, China: 57, Moldova: 96, Syria: 19, Greece: 10, Belarus: 9, Czech Republic: 3, Armenia: 1, Finland: 12, the Netherlands: 32, Iran: 148, Switzerland: 34, Canada: 23, Libya 400 and Sri Lanka: 2."

    The Turkish Armed Forces sends military equipment aid to friendly and allied countries in the Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia, mainly the countries which acquired independence in 1990's.

    [04] Turkey´s subservient regime in occupied Cyprus released the Cypriot Euro MP

    Istanbul NTV television (02.01.06) broadcast that Mr Marios Matsakis, a Greek Cypriot member of the European Parliament, has been released from custody in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus. He was arrested for violating a high-security military area and stealing a Turkish flag some time ago from a sentry post the Turkish occupation army is erecting in the UN controlled buffer zone.

    Marios Matsakis was placed under custody when he tried to cross into the occupied areas two days ago. He was brought before a military court today. The presiding judge decided to suspend the case against him until his term as a member of the European Parliament ended. The judge then ordered his release. While Matsakis left the court room, a group of demonstrators chanted the slogan: The hands that try to grab the Turkish flag will be broken.

    Wide-ranging security measures were taken until Matsakis was taken out of the courthouse.

    [05] Mr Talat is trying to exploit the arrest of Euro MP to lend legality to Ankara´s puppet regime in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.01.06) broadcast the following:

    Commenting on Mr Matsakiss arrest, President Mehmet Ali Talât has said that the TRNC (Tr. Note: Territories of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops since 1974) being a country respecting the Rule of Law - the problem will be resolved by means of Law.

    Speaking in Lefkoa this morning, the President of the Republic underlined the fact that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a country based on the principle of the Rule of Law and that the Matsakis issue is now a matter for the Law to resolve.

    Responding to questions on the issue, Mehmet Ali Talât said, however, that any possible unwanted political repercussions to be created by the outcome of Mr Matsakis trial will have to be met and contained by the government.

    Reminding that Mr Matsakis had committed similar offenses in the past that included theft of flag and others; the President of the Republic said Mr Matsakis action appears to be an abnormal act of provocation.

    He came here fully aware of the standing arrest warrant against him he said, stressing that the matter is now an issue for the Law to resolve.

    Politics can, in no way, intervene in judicial processes in the countries which respect the Rule of Law he said.

    [06] Mr Talat stressed the important role religion can play in restoring peace in Cyprus

    Under the title Let Talats religious message sing in Recep Tayyip Erdogans ears!, Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (03/01/06) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat visited yesterday the Religious Centre in occupied Lefkosia and met with its Director Mr Ahmet Yonluer.

    During the meeting, Mr Talat said religion can play an important role in bringing about a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that permanent peace in Cyprus can only be achieved through inter-cultural dialogue and cooperation between Christianity and Islam, even if a settlement is found to the Cyprus problem. He also added that religion should be a source of peace and brotherhood.

    Moreover, Mr Talat complained that Greek Cypriot religious leaders have not been responding to peace calls coming from the Turkish Cypriot side - an attitude, he said, similar to that of Greek Cypriot political leaders.

    The cornerstone of all religions is peace and brotherhood, and religion also has a responsibility in Cyprus in securing a permanent peace on the island, he said.

    Criticizing the Greek Cypriot Churchs negative stance in the past, Mr Talat said peace can be achieved in an instant in Cyprus if Greek Cypriot religious leaders played a positive role.

    [07] The breakaway regime confiscated the villas constructed by AGA Development

    Under the title Robb has been deprived of the citizenship, his buildings were confiscated, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (03.01.06) reports that the self-styled council of ministers has decided to confiscate and turn to the so-called social residence unit the villas constructed by AGA Development, owned by British citizen Garry Robb.

    The self-styled council of ministers has taken away the citizenship of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) from Garry Robb, who owned the 99 % of the company. Robb had run away to Thailand and Taiwan after transferring to his own bank accounts the sum of approximately 10 million sterling pounds he got from nearly 600 clients of AGA Development. The majority of the clients were foreigners.

    VOLKAN writes that the council of ministers will appoint a state official to the administration of AGA Development and the constructions will be completed in case the clients continue paying their installments.

    The formula for the continuation of the constructions was found as a result of meetings between Akin Sait, so-called attorney general, Ahmet Uzun, self-styled minister of finance, Ozkan Murat, self-styled minister of internal affairs and housing and the two directors of AGA Development, Tahir Soycan and Kutsal Tokatlioglu, who owned 1% of the shares of the company. AGA Development will be administrated by three persons and a new account will be opened for the company.

    I/Ts.

    [08] EU Commission official on Turkey´s screening process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.06) reported the following from Brussels/Ankara:

    "Turkey started the screening process well and continues well," said Pierre Mirel, the head of the Candidate Countries Directorate of the European Commission, on Monday.

    In an exclusive interview with the A.A correspondent, Mirel underscored that "screening process shows that Turkey prepared well for her homework."

    Mirel indicated that actual negotiations would also take place successfully.

    Underlining that there was not only one ideal negotiation structure when past experiences were taken into consideration, Mirel said the countries continued accession talks with different structures in the negotiation process. "There are three different structures pertaining to the negotiations. The best one will become definite after six-month test process," he noted.

    Stating that there were many factors that will influence Turkey's accession talks with the EU, and that their effects would be different, Mirel said solidarity, consultation and exchange of information with the professional organizations were the main factors that will determine the success of the negotiation process.

    Mirel said another factor that will influence the negotiations was a broad political compromise representing all the sections. He said 90 percent of the negotiations took place in the candidate country, "to this end preparations of Turkey are very important."

    Pointing to the importance of implementation, Mirel said implementation of the reforms is also very important as the reforms should abide by the rules of the EU.

    Mirel said communication and accurate information are the elements that will contribute to the success of the negotiations.

    The screening process is expected to be concluded in all chapters in autumn 2006.

    [09] Turkish State Minister praises Turkey´s economic performance

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said on Monday that Turkey was the world's 22nd biggest exporter and 14th biggest importer and it had recorded one of the highest export growth rates in the world.

    Speaking in a news conference to assess Turkey's exports, Tuzmen said that exports from Turkey rose by more than 100 percent in the last three years and reached 73.4 billion USD as of the end of 2005. Tuzmen stressed that exports in December broke a monthly record with 7.3 billion USD.

    Noting that exports per capita was no longer around 1,000 USD, Tuzmen said that this figure would reach 2,000 and 3,000 USD in the coming years.

    Imports by Turkey as of Jan-Nov 2005 grew 9.1 percent and amounted to 104.5 billion USD, Tuzmen said, stressing that imports are expected to reach 115 billion USD as of the end of the year.

    Tuzmen also said that the imports of goods and services rose faster than exports which led to current account deficit in Turkey.

    Also giving information about the export policy of Turkey, Tuzmen said that Turkey carried out Turquality Project, Strategy of Developing Trade with Neighboring Countries, African Countries and Asia-Pacific countries.

    Tuzmen said that exports were expected to reach 79 billion USD in the year 2006. Noting that all cities of Turkey exported goods, Tuzmen said he also wished towns of Turkey to take part in exportation.

    ''In 2006 Turkey will take part in 250 trade fairs,'' Tuzmen said adding that Turkey would keep alive its bilateral trade with countries and attend 42 Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meetings.

    Turkey targeted to undertake construction projects abroad worth of 12 billion USD in 2006 and 15 billion USD in 2007, said Tuzmen.

    Lastly Tuzmen said that double taxation would be prevented in free trade zones of Turkey to promote exports.

    [10] The Turkish Health Ministry denies that bird flu has been detected in Eastern Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish Health Ministry said on Sunday that no case of bird flu has been detected in Turkey.

    Releasing a statement, the Health Ministry said a series of measures had been taken in addition to the measures taken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs following the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Ministry's statement on December 27th, 2005 that "Avian Influenza" was seen in poultry in Aralik town in the eastern city of Igdir.

    The statement said nine people who contacted the poultry in Aralik town were medicated as precaution.

    "Meanwhile, a team of Health Ministry experts learned that four children from the same family were taken to Yuzuncu Yil University Hospital on December 31st, 2005 with the symptoms of viral pneumonia.

    Upon the information that those children got sick after eating a diseased chicken which was slaughtered, the team took blood samples and sent them to Ankara for laboratory tests," noted the Health Ministry.

    [11] Investigation launched over the letter sent by Kurdish mayors to Rasmussen

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (02.01.06) broadcast the following:

    The Office of the Diyarbakir Chief State Prosecutor has launched an inquiry into the letter that 56 mayors belonging to the DTP [Democratic Society Party] wrote to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen regarding Roj TV.

    The 56 mayors, members of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) had sent a letter to Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on 30 December 2005 asking that Roj TV not be closed down.

    In the letter that the mayors had written, they had stated that the people they represent do not want Roj TV to be silenced, and had claimed that, if this should occur, an important vehicle struggling on behalf of democracy and human rights in Turkey would be eliminated.

    The Office of the Chief State Prosecutor, which went into action on the matter today, initiated an inquiry regarding the letter sent to Rasmussen. The Prosecutor's Office will determine following this inquiry whether or not a criminal investigation will be opened regarding the mayors.

    Some of those who signed the letter were: - Diyarbakir Metropolitan Mayor Osman Baydemir, Batman Mayor Huseyin Kalkan, Tunceli Mayor Songul Erol Abdil, Sirnak Mayor Ahmet Ertak and Hakkari Mayor Metin Tekce.

    Diyarbakir Metropolitan Mayor Osman Baydemir, who sent the letter to Denmark on behalf of the mayors, had said "Our hope is for laws to be passed in the future and for Roj TV, like the other television channels, to broadcast under the monitoring of the RTUK [Radio and Television High Council]."

    Baydemir, stating that he himself had sent the letter, drawn up jointly by the mayors, on 27 December, had said "Until Kurdish broadcasts are made on private broadcast channels on the national level, we do not want Roj TV to be closed down."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses President Sezer´s and General Ozkok´s messages in which Cyprus was included

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (01.01.06) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Sezer conducted the opening of the New Year":

    The president has issued a statement that contradicts the government's stand with regard to several basic issues. The year 2006 will be a difficult year for Erdogan...

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's message for 2006 was not firmer than the expectations in Ankara's political backstage. After visiting the Cankaya Presidential Mansion and complaining about the government's approach to judicial issues, CHP [Republican People's Party] Chairman Deniz Baykal had noted that he is anxiously waiting for the president's new year message. The fact that during the controversial TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association] meeting on 20 December the President had talked about his concerns about decreasing the election threshold and the independence of the judiciary had constituted yet another sign in this regard. The truth is that the President had already focused on both issues in the speech he gave during the opening of the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] Legislative Year on 1 October. Sezer had gradually begun to use clearer terms in order to express the concerns that he had been referring to during the past several months. Everyone therefore expected the President's new year message to refer to these issues.

    What was not expected was the length of the message. Furthermore, no one expected Sezer to detail the issues with the meticulousness of a lawyer and to allow his tone to openly contradict the government's implementations.

    The fact that Sezer referred, without mentioning any names, to the supra-identity-subidentity discussion initiated by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the fact that he focused on this issue at length constitutes an example to this. It is noteworthy that when speaking in favor of the "Turkish nation" concept, Sezer stressed that "it is necessary to prevent citizens from various ethnic backgrounds to become a minority within the majority."

    When looking at Sezer's message it is possible to see that he openly contradicts the Erdogan government's approach with regard to the immunity of the power of legislation. As it was emphasized in the EU's most recent progress report, Sezer believes that this step is necessary for the prevention of corruption. Erdogan, on the other hand, has openly stated that he does not intend to give priority to this issue.

    The independence and the functionality of the judiciary was one of the issues that have been stressed by Sezer. The President had previously stated that the justice minister and his under secretary should not take place in the Judges' and Prosecutors' High Council. The prime minister and the justice minister, however, assert that the justice minister and his under secretary have always been members of this council and they do not envisage any changes. Sezer also criticizes the fact that the judge and prosecutor candidates take their entrance exam at the ministry.

    It will not be wrong to say that Sezer's warning to the effect that "it is necessary to avoid actions that will result in the degeneration of the secular education system" is related to the government's initiative regarding the Imam Hatip (religious) schools. With the criticism he leveled against the election threshold, Sezer contradicts both the AKP [Justice and Development Party] and the CHP. Sezer insists that the 10% election threshold should be decreased in a way that will not harm the stability of the administration, but that will allow just representation.

    The year 2006 will be a difficult year in terms of international politics for Prime Minister Erdogan. His agenda will be full of items related to Cyprus, the EU, Iraq, PKK, and most probably Iran and Syria. Sezer's message on the other hand, paves the path -- if the term is right -- for the discussions on the key domestic political issues of 2006. A difficult year awaits Erdogan at home as well.

    Subtitle: Ozkok: The region is moving toward a crisis

    The most important point of Chief of Staff General Hilmi Ozkok's 2006 message is hidden in the following sentence: "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."

    Ozkok wants "these developments to be assessed today with a deep strategic foresight" and "likely decision points to be determined." according to Ozkok, these points are as follows:

    1. The army should continue to become a deterrent force in the face of possible external threats,

    2. The necessary measures should be taken for preventing terrorism and similar threats from harming the country's interests at home and abroad,

    3. The necessary measures should be taken against threats to national unity and the survival of the regime, and

    4. Our rights and interests on Cyprus should be safeguarded.

    Ozkok stresses that he sees the first three articles of the Constitution as the assurance of these measures. In a way, the chief of staff implies that "what is important is safeguarding the secular democratic republic at home, because as long as the secular and democratic republic exists, we will not have any problems in safeguarding this country."

    The messages released by Ozkok and Sezer complement each other.

    /SK


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