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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-01-30

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.20/06 28-29-30.01.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan analyses the mentality with which Turkey approaches its obligations towards the EU.
  • [02] Erdogan: Cyprus is our national cause and we will not make concessions over it.
  • [03] Mr Straw reminded the Turkish Foreign Minister that Turkish troops must be withdrawn from Cyprus.
  • [04] Alpogan concluded his contacts in Washington.
  • [05] The H5N1 virus has been detected in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [06] Electricity supply to the occupied areas is extended while new villa projects on usurped Greek Cypriot properties are added to the system.
  • [07] The Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Cyprus.
  • [08] The Communal Liberation Party on the Action Plan.
  • [09] The Turkish Cypriot who bought Star TV made money out of usurped Greek Cypriot properties.
  • [10] Kyrgyz official denies that the football team in the occupied areas is the countrys national team.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Excerpts from commentaries in the Turkish press on the Action Plan.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan analyses the mentality with which Turkey approaches its obligations towards the EU

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.01.06) reported from Ankara that in an interview with the private TGRT TV Channel on Thursday night Prime Minister Erdogan said: "Recent developments about Cyprus and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's visit to `TRNC´ (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) and his meeting with `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat have changed the equilibrium."

    Referring to Turkey's action plan, Erdogan said: "We are in favor of taking some new steps. The UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan prepared a report following the referenda in Cyprus on April 24th, 2004. Unfortunately, the United Nations Security Council has not assessed the report yet."

    On Turkey´s obligations towards the EU, Mr Erdogan said:

    "The most important issues are ports and airports. Earlier, Turkey has clearly and frankly accepted to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels in accordance with the EC-Turkey Customs Union. Turkey has also agreed to allow Greek Cypriot air carriers to use Turkish air space. Meanwhile, we agreed to open ports in the `TRNC´ including Famagusta, Kyrenia and Karavostassi to international traffic (of goods, persons and services) and open the Tymbou airport for direct flights under Turkish Cypriot management. On the other hand, special arrangements should be put into force for the practical inclusion of the `TRNC, as an economic entity, into the EU's Customs Union.

    Unhindered direct trade should be assured between both parts of the Island as well as with the outside world. The Turkish Cypriot side should participate in international sports, cultural and other social activities."

    Stressing that a road map should be prepared within a reasonable time frame, Erdogan said: "Also, a quadruple meeting must be held with the participation of Turkey, Greece, the `TRNC´ and the `Greek Cypriot administration´ under the auspices of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in May or June the latest. British Prime Minister Tony Blair can also attend the meeting."

    "Our new action plan will not harm legal and political positions of other parties. The EU, Britain, Spain and Italy welcomed the plan. We also get the support of Islamic countries," he said.

    Prime Minister Erdogan emphasized: "As long as isolation of Turkish Cypriot people is not lifted and the other parties fail to fulfil their commitments, we (Turkey) will not bring the additional protocol onto the parliamentary agenda. Now, it is the other parties' turn to fulfil their responsibilities. Then, we will complete ours."

    [02] Erdogan: Cyprus is our national cause and we will not make concessions over it

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.01.06) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, stated that Cyprus is Turkey´s national cause and that they will not make concessions over it.

    The Turkish Prime Minister made these statements last Saturday at the 2nd Extraordinary District Congress of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) that took place in Gaziosmanpasa, where he referred, among other issues, to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Erdogan, who stated that some marginal groups are trying to put forth that Turkey has been offered as a gift, during the EU procedure, said that these groups are saying that we sell, that we give north Cyprus.

    However, Cyprus is staying in its place. Everything is going on, to the advantage of the guarantor country Turkey and for Cyprus. Cyprus is our national cause, stated Mr Erdogan and noted that no one can ever make them make any concessions over Cyprus.

    Mr Erdogan also stated that they took the step they had to take as regards the Annan Plan and added that they made an opening with the new plan. We are waiting from our friends in the EU to take the necessary steps. On this issue Annan, Britain, Spain and Italy and the EU Enlargement Commissioner made positive statements, he alleged.

    (C/S)

    [03] Mr Straw reminded the Turkish Foreign Minister that Turkish troops must be withdrawn from Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (30.01.06), reports that British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, during his recent visit to Turkey, has conveyed an important message from the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    GUNES, quoting journalist Deger Akal in his Internet Site Abhaber.com, reports that during the Straw Erdogan meeting, the British Foreign Secretary has conveyed to Erdogan the British expectations Regarding Turkey´s fulfillment of the EU obligations.

    The paper also reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Gul and his British counterpart, Straw, have engaged in a brain storming session, in case the Cyprus government rejects Gul´s recent Action Plan regarding Cyprus problem.

    The paper notes that in case the Greek Cypriots reject the proposals Straw noted that Britain will do what is necessary.

    According to the report, Mr Straw, has said: I brought esteem Prime Minister Blair´s greetings and conveyed the following critical message:

    We welcome the start of the negotiations. However, we do expect that you will fulfill your obligations. These carry vital importance as regards the continuation of the process. We appreciate your Cyprus stance.

    In his turn Gul said that if they do not get a response and the other side continue insisting on not taking a step forward, then we act accordingly and put aside and forget everything.

    In his response Straw said: We were supportive, and continue to do so. We extend this support because we believe that it is for the strategic interest of the EU. We will continue to work towards this direction. If the Greek Cypriots reject the plan we will then do what is necessary.

    According to Deger Akal´s report, a British source listed the obligations that Mr Straw conveyed to Mr Erdogan included in Mr Blair´s message as follows:

    a) The Turkish government should secure the approval of the Ankara Agreement Additional Protocol by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA).

    b) Opening up of Turkish sea and airports to the Greek Cypriots.

    c) Continuation of the steps that will affect the international public opinion. And within this framework withdrawal of a number of Turkish troops from Cyprus will be useful.

    d) Opening of the Theological School in Halki.

    e) Amendment of the Article 301 of the Turkish Panel Code (TCK) without delay.

    f) To secure the economic development of the Southeast.

    GUNES warns that one should be very careful when dealing with Britain, which is only after her own interests.

    [04] Alpogan concluded his contacts in Washington

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.01.06) reported from Washington D.C. that the Turkish National Security Council (MGK) Secretary General Yigit Alpogan departed from Washington D.C. on Sunday after concluding his meetings.

    Alpogan had visited Washington D.C. upon the invitation of U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

    MGK Secretary General Alpogan met U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nick Burns, and Eric Edelman, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.

    Alpogan also met representatives of the American-Turkish Council and Jewish society and some members of the American Senate. He delivered speeches in think-tank organizations like Washington Institute and Nixon Center.

    Ankara Anatolia (28.01.06) reported statements made by Mr Alpogan to Turkish journalists in Washington D.C.

    Alpogan noted that the United States has an ''image problem'' in Turkey. ''U.S. President George W. Bush says that the U.S. is against all forms of terrorism. Yet the U.S. continues to watch the presence of PKK terrorists in north of Iraq. As long as the U.S. continues to watch the PKK presence in north of Iraq, no Turk will believe the U.S. about its stance against terrorists. A step taken against the PKK will change Turkish public opinion on the U.S.,'' stressed Alpogan.

    On Cyprus Mr Alpogan reiterated that he informed American officials about Turkey's recent action plan on Cyprus. ''We are pleased with the support the U.S. extended to Turkey on the action plan,'' remarked Alpogan.

    Finally, Mr Alpogan said that he warned American officials about the dire consequences of resolutions on the so-called Armenian genocide now waiting at the U.S. Congress. ''The adoption of any resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide would have a devastating impact on Turkish-U.S. relations,'' added Alpogan.

    [05] The H5N1 virus has been detected in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title Bird flu: It is positive, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.01.06) reports that the European Commission announced yesterday that the H5N1 virus was found in winged animal samples sent from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus to a laboratory in Britain.

    The paper notes that in statements yesterday after a meeting at his office the self-styled Prime Minister of the TRNC (occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus), Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer, affirmed that the results of the examinations from the samples taken from the dead birds at the occupied village of Makrasyka had been positive.

    KIBRIS notes that the security zone at the above-mentioned village was extended from three to ten kilometers and that two experts from the EU will be visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to conduct examinations there.

    According to the paper, a meeting was held at the so-called municipality of the occupied Lyssi village with the participation of the self-styled Ministers of Health and Social Aid, Esref Vaiz and Agriculture and Forests, Huseyin Oztoprak and the district officer of Famagusta, Ismail Gundost.

    After the meeting they announced measures, which will be taken in an area ten kilometers around Makrasyka and in the villages of Achna, Kalopsida, Pergamos, Kondea, Kouklia and Lyssi.

    Mr Soyer said that observation and disinfection will be conducted in the above-mentioned villages, that all birds in the area must be kept in closed places and that the sale of bird meat is prohibited in this area. Mr Soyer noted that no other bird flu incident was found in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, under the title Alarm bells, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (30.01.06) reports that Mr Soyer alleged that the source of the bird flu incident at Makrasyka village is the small lake at Achna village in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and called on the authorities of the Republic to cooperate with his self-styled government.

    Under the title The announcement that there is bird flu in the TRNC came from the EU, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (30.01.06) reports that the European Commission announced that no permission will be given for the import of animals or animal products from the northern part of Cyprus to the EU member countries.

    Furthermore, YENIDUZEN newspaper (30.01.06) writes that The virus exists, but there is no panic!

    Meanwhile, under the title The possibility of the disease being kept secret in the south is hundred percent, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (30.01.06) reports that Mr Soyer alleged that he was sure that there is bird flue in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and that this is being kept secret from the people. The paper uses also the subtitle The source of danger is in the South to cover Soyers statements.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (30.01.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Association of Young Businessmen issued a statement arguing that the measures taken by the Republic of Cyprus at the barricades between the free and the occupied areas of the Republic offend the Turkish Cypriots and create lack of confidence. The association accused the Republic of Cyprus of wanting to harm the tourism in the occupied areas by taking these measures.

    I/Ts.

    [06] Electricity supply to the occupied areas is extended while new villa projects on usurped Greek Cypriot properties are added to the system

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.01.06) broadcast the following:

    Electricity supplies were resumed last night after the completion of repairs at one of the two power turbines at the Teknecik (near occupied Klepini) Electricity Power Station which led to hours long power cuts in many parts of the `Republic´.

    Meanwhile, the `Minister of Agriculture and Forestry´ Huseyin Oztoprak said today that the contract signed with the `Greek Cypriot authorities´ on the buying of electricity supplies will be extended.

    Hours long power cuts throughout the `Republic´ were ended late last night with the completion of repairs at one of the two power turbines at the Teknecik Electricity Power Station.

    According to the information obtained from the `Electricity Board´, intensive repair efforts are still continuing at the other 60-megawatt unit.

    The `Minister of Agriculture and Forestry´ Huseyin Oztoprak announced this afternoon that the contract signed with the Greek Cypriot authorities will be extended to get more electricity power from the South.

    Announcing the amount to be paid to the `Greek Cypriot authorities´ for the electricity supply received in the last ten days as 763-thousand-200 Cyprus Pounds, the `Minister´ said that the amount will be paid once the bill is received.

    [07] The Spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.01.06) broadcast the following:

    The Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Hamid Riza Asefi has expressed the hope that the Cyprus problem can be solved through negotiations. He also expressed the belief that the decisions taken by the United Nations will help in finding a solution in Cyprus.

    Speaking during a press conference, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman evaluated the Cyprus `action plan´ the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had announced last week.

    Explaining that Iran has friendly relations with both Turkey and Cyprus, Mr Asefi reiterated that Iran hoped that a solution would be found to the Cyprus problem through negotiations and within the framework of the United Nations.

    [08] The Communal Liberation Party on the Action Plan

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.01.06) broadcast the following:

    The Communal Liberation Party has said that Turkeys new Action Plan is not enough on its own to prepare the ground for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process, and called for more active efforts to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the political equality of the two sides.

    A written statement from the Party claimed that Turkeys action plan did not put forward new proposals, but was an initiative aimed solely at breaking the current stalemate on the Cyprus problem.

    It also said that the package does not aim to find a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Cyprus Problem but to improve relations between the two sides on the island.

    [09] The Turkish Cypriot who bought Star TV made money out of usurped Greek Cypriot properties

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (27.01.06) publishes a column by Hasan Hasturer on Ali Ozmen Safa, who bought Turkey's Star newspaper some days ago. Hasturer says he is a Turkish Cypriot businessman based in London and has large scale investments in the construction sector in occupied Cyprus. He is the owner of the Property International Company and has built some 400 houses in occupied Cyprus in 2005. Hasturer quotes Safa as saying that his father was a Republic of Cyprus diplomat in London before the 1963, when the Turkish army and Rauf Denktas started their terrorist acts to destroy the Republic of Cyprus.

    [10] Kyrgyz official denies that the football team in the occupied areas is the country´s national team

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (28.01.06) reports that the TRNC national team has beaten the Kyrgyz national football team by 3 goals to 2. At the end of the game, Mr Serdar Denktas presented a trophy to the guest team and Kyrgyz Minister of Sports Asanov in turn gave a trophy to the TRNC team.

    Meanwhile a Kyrgyz official, answering questions put to him by illegal BRT on (27.01.06) just before the match said that the team playing football in the occupied area is not their national team. He explained that the country´s national team was taking part in a tournament in Moscow.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Excerpts from commentaries in the Turkish press on the Action Plan

    Following are excerpts of commentaries by columnists of the major Turkish dailies on the Action Plan:

    Istanbul YENI SAFAK on (25.01.06) inter alia writes in a commentary by Fehmi Koru under the title: A new step on Cyprus:

    Diplomacy is not a field where results can be achieved in an instant. It requires both patience and expert maneuverability. The Greek Cypriots want to take the Cyprus issue out of UN hands and make it an EU problem because their interests require this. Turkey, however, wants to ensure that UN involvement remains, because that is what is in the best interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. The Action Plan envisages the UN Secretary-General holding an international meeting attended by the four sides in May 2006. Turkey is mobilizing its friendship and prestige in the international arena in order to reach a fair settlement and put an end to the isolation of the KKTC [occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus] by then.

    One significant upshot of this effort was yesterday's visit to the KKTC by the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who met with Mehmet Ali Talat in his offices. Going to Cyprus and meeting with Talat, who carries the title of President of the KKTC, in his offices is more than just a meaningful gesture. This is why the Greek Cypriots were more enraged than we have been accustomed to. If the other EU member countries follow suit in the wake of this move by the United Kingdom it could create the pressure needed to make the Greek Cypriots look for a settlement.

    In a commentary by Hasan Cemal under the title: Wise way in Cyprus, MILLIYET (26.01.06), inter alia argues:

    Ankara has made a diplomatic leap that says: "Let all the restrictions be removed and let us open a new page!" The Greek Cypriots may ignore this leap. Can the United Nations ignore it? Or can the EU ignore it?

    Can the EU continue to impose pressure on Turkey to open its ports to the Greek Cypriots in spite of this?

    This possibility exists theoretically. Nonetheless it is not so easy to ignore this "action plan" that Turkey has announced especially after forming diplomatic grounds with the United Nations, the United States, and Britain.

    Yasin Dogan in YENI SAFAK (27.01.06) in a column under the title: An appropriate move, inter alia writes:

    The government is trying to seize the initiative without being blocked this time. It is pursuing a policy that takes the issue of opening its ports and airports away from being an EU condition and instead makes it an element of UN talks. That is an appropriate move.

    First of all this deduction needs to be made: the conditions for a comprehensive settlement are not seen appropriate for today.

    Firstly, the parties to a settlement, in other words the political actors, could change in the short term. Un Secretary-General Annan's time in office is almost up, and there are elections in southern Cyprus.

    Having failed in his many efforts to achieve a result Annan has not the time or the motivation to deal with such an initiative. Annan is fed up with the Greek Cypriot attitude of stalling, failing to keep promises and not favoring a settlement.

    In which case, all that remains is to soften the issue using settlement packages.

    Straw's and Annan's meeting both took place this week, and this makes for an important opportunity to make a fresh-from-the-oven evaluation of the initiative.

    The United Kingdom could play an important role in this process. British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's insistence on seeing Talat in his offices despite all the pressure not to, was a good reply to Greek Cypriot smugness. On his return from Russia Papadopoulos voiced his displeasure saying: "Despite the fact that we voiced weeks ago our concern that this visit undermines the feeling and sentiments of Cypriot Hellenism our proposals were ignored, and he announced that this visit was finalized while talks for a common settlement were continuing."

    Russia is gradually freeing itself of the Greek Cypriot administration's meaningless posturing and is beginning to see that Turkey is far more important for it, all of which means that the strict blockage facing the KKTC is beginning to break down.

    At this point the most important actor is the United States, but in terms of not holding up the process the second most important actor is Russia. The government's good dialogue with Russia is a good opportunity for it to change its classic position in the Cyprus issue.

    In RADIKAL (27.01.06) Murat Yetkin writes the following under the title: Friends say the harshest things:

    This much is true: Gul's Action Plan was a maneuver made at the right place and the right time. It gave Turkey room to breathe and bags of time. Obviously, it has to make best use of this time and space. While saying he believed that the plan rejected by the Greek Cypriots could still achieve a result it is significant that the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary cited the Middle East Road Map as an example saying that nobody had taken that seriously at first. It is also significant that the United States called on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to take the action plan seriously ahead of his meeting with Erdogan at Davos. Gul's plan is observed to have split the EU countries and the officials in the Commission.

    Attaching strategic and long-term significance to this plan, which can be considered a successful tactical maneuver, will lead us down the wrong path. Yes, by announcing this plan Turkey made it abundantly clear that it was still in favor of a settlement on Cyprus through unification. It received favorable feedback on this. Yet, none of this does away with problems such as the Customs Union and opening our ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot flag.

    /SK


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