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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-02-08

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.27/06 08.02.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The European Commission is proposing the start of Turkey´s accession talks.
  • [02] Turkey´s new EU General Secretary stated that no concessions will be made during the accession process.
  • [03] Letter from Talat to the UN Secretary-General.
  • [04] Mr Talat claims that the Greek Cypriot side is working towards partition.
  • [05] Mr Soyer continues to criticize the Republic of Cyprus for taking precautionary bird flu measures.
  • [06] Soyer alleges that the issue of missing persons is the most difficult to deal with.
  • [07] Statements by the British High Commissioner to KIBRIS newspaper.
  • [08] Statements by Mr Mathew Bryza in Brussels.
  • [09] Results of an opinion poll by the Association for the Development of Morphou.
  • [10] The trial of Turkish Journalists was adjourned.
  • [11] Statements by Lagendijk on the journalists´ trial.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Turkish Cypriot Columnist: Who are left, who do not support the TRNC?.
  • [13] Columnist in Turkey: Cheers for the Commission.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The European Commission is proposing the start of Turkey´s accession talks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.02.06) reported from Brussels that the European Commission (EC) has proposed to open detailed talks with Turkey and Croatia on science and research.

    European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn's spokesperson Christina Nagy told reporters that the Commission submitted its report to the EU Council today. This report has been prepared at the end of meetings held between Turkish and EU executives in which current Turkish legal arrangements regarding science and technology, and possible bilateral and multilateral cooperation opportunities were discussed.

    It is now the 25 EU member states' turn to study the Commission's recommendation. The decision to open detailed talks requires unanimous agreement.

    [02] Turkey´s new EU General Secretary stated that no concessions will be made during the accession process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.02.06) reported from Ankara that Turkey's newly appointed Secretary General for European Union (EU) Affairs (ABGS) Oguz Demiralp said on Tuesday that no concessions were going to be made on some important topics (on which a national consensus has been reached) during Turkey's EU process.

    Speaking in a news conference today, Demiralp listed the tasks of ABGS as: "To assess if the bills sent to Turkish parliament are in harmony with EU laws, prepare concrete projects within the framework of financial cooperation with the EU, follow political reform process, carry out the secretarial functions of the Turkish negotiating delegation and work on public relations."

    Noting that Turkey's negotiation process was on the right track, Demiralp said that the Turkish bureaucracy was working in a very coordinated way for Turkey's EU bid. Demiralp stressed that the Secretariat was also trying to increase Turkish people's support to EU bid, noting that Turkey would not make concessions on issues on which a national consensus has been reached.

    Demiralp said that Turkey would continue to be constructive about the Cyprus issue, but it would not make one-sided concessions. He added that Turkey was not going to accept Armenian claims nor it would accept manipulation of individual and cultural rights politically. Noting that the EU was in a tendency to delay discussing the freedom of movement issue, Demiralp said that Turkey couldn't accept that.

    Upon a question on the approval of the additional protocol (which extends Turkey's customs treaty to new EU members) at the Turkish parliament, Demiralp said that Turkey had the right to issue a declaration within the scope of international law.

    [03] Letter from Talat to the UN Secretary-General

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.02.06) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan emphasizing that the new Action Plan on Cyprus proposed by Turkey was a good opportunity to overcome the current deadlock in the Cyprus Problem.

    According to the Anatolian News Agency, President Talat in his letter to the UN Secretary-General expressed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypruss full support to the Turkish Foreign Ministers package of proposals.

    While emphasizing the new initiative as the ideal opportunity to end the current stalemate on the Cyprus Issue, the letter also reiterates the Turkish Cypriot Side´s willingness for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process under the UN umbrella.

    (Tr. Note: The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops).

    [04] Mr Talat claims that the Greek Cypriot side is working towards partition

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.02.06) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said the Greek Cypriot Administration is doing all it can, both through its words and actions, to maintain the current division of the island.

    Speaking during a reception this morning, Mr Talat said that there was no progress on the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point to people on both sides of the divide.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot Side had done its share of the work in order to open a crossing point in the center of Lefkosia, Mr Talat said that it was the Greek Cypriot Sides turn to bring down the wall of shame.

    Underlining the importance of developing the North Cyprus economy, the President pointed out that only through a strong economy, could modern institutions that will serve the people better, be created and established.

    Mr Talat also reminded that the Turkish Cypriot people had demonstrated its strong political will for reunification during the 2004 referendum but added that the Greek Cypriot Administration is continuing with its ill intentions aimed at dividing the island permanently.

    Explaining that that the Greek Cypriot Administration did not favor a strong North Cyprus economy because it feared that a wealthy Turkish Cypriot State would reject efforts aimed at finding a solution, the President said that the Greek Cypriot Side was doing all in its capacity to hinder and prevent efforts aimed at improving the quality of living of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    He added that such a mentality and approach was only reinforcing division and separation on the island.

    [05] Mr Soyer continues to criticize the Republic of Cyprus for taking precautionary bird flu measures

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.02.06) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has called on the Greek Cypriot Administration to put an end to the absurd precautionary measures employed at the crossing points against the threat of avian influenza.

    Pointing out that a report prepared by two EU officials who were in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to assess the situation revealed that all precautionary measures taken in the Republic were more than adequate to deal with any threat of the deadly bird flu virus.

    Addressing an audience today, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the results of the report prepared by two German EU experts on the precautionary measures adopted were quite positive.

    Explaining that the measures adopted by the Greek Cypriot Administration at crossing points were absurd and meaningless, the Prime Minister said that it was impossible to prevent the flight of birds across the divide.

    You cant build a fence in the sky he added, stating that this was not a local but regional problem that affected everyone.

    Expressing his satisfaction with the reports conclusions, Mr. Soyer said that the report described the 10 km square quarantine zone around the village of Incirli (occupied Makrasyka) where cases of avian flu were discovered in two birds, as a well taken precautionary measure.

    [06] Soyer alleges that the issue of missing persons is the most difficult to deal with

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.02.06) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the issue of missing persons was one of the most difficult issues to deal with on the Cyprus Problem.

    He added that the Turkish Cypriot people and the families of the missing persons should be informed of the true fate of those who went missing between the period of 1963-1974.

    The Prime Minister was speaking during a visit paid to him by Rustem Tatar, the Turkish Cypriot representative to the autonomous committee of missing persons in Cyprus who recently retired from his post.

    Speaking at the meeting, Prime Minister Soyer said it was necessary for the two sides on the island to make an extra effort to solve the issue of missing persons in Cyprus as soon as possible without exposing it to political exploitation.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot Side was ready to commence work on exhumations and DNA identification of the remains found, Mr. Soyer said that much had been accomplished thanks to the efforts and contributions made by Mr Tatar.

    This, he added, was not enough and that more work had to be done to expose the true fate of the missing.

    He complained that the Greek Cypriot side was displaying a backward attitude on the issue and was wasting precious time by holding meaningless yet lengthy meetings on titles and other irrelevant issues.

    Mr Soyer called on the Greek Cypriot Administration to stop creating unnecessary diversions and to seriously work, without displaying any discrimination or prejudice, towards exposing the true fate of the missing persons

    For his part Mr. Rustem Tatar said that he has spent the last 22 years of his carrier working on ways to solve the missing persons issue in Cyprus.

    Mr Rustem Tatar explained that the committee to this day has failed to produce any concrete results on the fate of the missing persons but added that the Turkish Cypriot Side did not play a part in this outcome.

    Explaining that investigations on the fate of the missing has now been diverted to exhuming and identifying the remains of the missing, Mr. Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriot Side had never opted to abandoning investigations on the fate of those when missing.

    Reminding that the Greek Cypriot Administration has deliberately lied to the families on the truth, Mr. Tatar said that it is the duty of the committee to inform families on whether or not the reported missing person was killed or not.

    The retired committee member also pointed out that it will not be possible to find all the bodies and remains of the missing and that DNA identification was not an easy and quick process.

    [07] Statements by the British High Commissioner to KIBRIS newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.02.06) publishes statements by the British High Commissioner to Nicosia, Mr Peter Millet, who visited the offices of KIBRIS Media Group. In his interview, Mr Millet expressed the opinion that the fulfillment of all obligations of Turkey towards the EU, and therefore the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, does not mean automatically solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Millet said that a procedure parallel to Turkeys EU accession course is needed for the solution of the Cyprus problem and pointed out the following: The problem will not be solved automatically through osmosis with negotiations during Turkey-EU accession process. What we need is the two communities coming together and follow the road under the auspices of the UN which will try to create the solution.

    He stressed that the international community supporting again a procedure which will lead to the solution of the Cyprus problem within the next few years is very important. Mr Millet underlined the word support and stressed that the problem could not be solved with pressures from outside. Negotiating the solution depends on the two communities on the island, he said, adding that the role of the UN, the EU and the other international actors is to facilitate and support this procedure.

    He argued that a new process is needed which will have as a result a second referendum with the participation of the two communities in order to reach the solution. He, however, expressed the opinion that this will not be easy.

    Mr Millet noted that as far as he understands from what the UN are saying, the international organization believes that the climate needed for launching a new initiative does not exist and that the gap between the communities is wide.

    Besides the role of the UN and the guarantor powers in the procedure, Mr Millet said that the new factor here is the more important role that the EU will play.

    Asked about Turkeys Action Plan for Cyprus, Mr Millet reminded Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Jack Straws statements and said:

    I think the fact that Turkey has obligation towards the EU which it has to fulfill is an important message for Turkey. We must not refrain from openly saying that on the issue of opening its ports Turkey has signed a protocol, which the EU expects to be fulfilled. At the same time, we, as the EU, have promises that we must fulfill together. For example political promises such as the lifting of the isolation on the Turkish Cypriots which the EU hopes to fulfill within the next few months. As the United Kingdom we want to further promote the issue of the lifting of the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots within the EU.

    Asked on the issue of direct flights towards the illegal Tymbou airport, Mr Millet said that they have taken legal advise according to which they will be facing legal problems if they do this. I do not think that we will be able to realize this soon, he said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Statements by Mr Mathew Bryza in Brussels

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.02.06) broadcast the following:

    The Deputy Undersecretary of the US State Department Matthew Bryza has said that economic disparities between the two sides in Cyprus should be overcome if a solution is to be found to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Bryza said that he is planning a tour of Turkey, Greece and Cyprus in the coming weeks to contribute to efforts aimed at bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at a press conference at the European Union Office of the United States, the Deputy Undersecretary of the US State Department Matthew Bryza stressed that the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people should be removed and direct trade should commence in order to overcome the economic disparities between the two sides in Cyprus.

    Reminding that Germany had experienced many economic difficulties during its process of re-unification following the end of the Cold War, Mr Byrza said that the Turkish Cypriot sides economy should be strengthened as to prevent facing similar problems if and when a solution is found to the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the new Action plan on Cyprus proposed by Turkey, Mr Bryza said that Washington welcomed the new initiative as a constructive and positive step forward.

    Explaining that there were new ideas and proposed changes on the plan, he said, however, the resumption of the negotiations process depends on the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Pointing out that the Cyprus problem was a complicated and long-standing issue, the US Deputy Undersecretary pointed to the importance of the European Unions contribution to efforts aimed at finding a solution.

    Comparing the Cyprus process to a building made up of bricks, Mr Bryza said that the structure would collapse if one of the foundation stones were removed.

    It is for this reason, he added that, the United States is in close contact with all parties concerned with the Cyprus Problem including Russia and the European Union.

    Mr Bryza also expressed the belief that Greece could achieve a better perspective on the Cyprus problem by using its dialogue with the Greek Cypriot side.

    [09] Results of an opinion poll by the Association for the Development of Morphou

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (31.01.06) reported that the Association for Development of occupied Morphou (GUKAD) has conducted an opinion poll by interviewing 2,304 respondents in a total of 849 households representative of all households in Morphou occupied Zodhia.

    Respondents in the 18-24 age bracket made up 6.6 percent of the total number of people interviewed. Others were in the 25-34 (21.7 percent), 35-44 (21.2 percent), 45-54 (20.6 percent), 55-64 (17.2 percent) age brackets while the rest consisted of people older than 65 years. Male and female respondents represented 52.8 percent and 47.2 percent of the total, respectively.

    The respondents were asked to compare the current income of their households with their income five years ago and 51.9 percent replied that it was "at the same level." Twenty-nine point three percent of the people interviewed said that their financial condition had "improved" as compared with 17.5 percent, who responded that their financial condition had "deteriorated." One point three percent declined to comment.

    One of the most interesting results of the survey was that confidence in the EU is eroding among the residents of Morphou, where the majority of the voters had said yes to the Annan plan in the referendum.

    The percentage of the respondents, who said that they did not trust the EU was 48.9 percent in the 18-24 age bracket. Twenty-two percent replied that they trusted the EU while 28.9 percent said that they were neither trusted nor distrusted the Union.

    In the 25-34 age bracket, 60.5 percent of the respondents said that they did not trust the EU as compared with 19 percent, who find the EU trustworthy. Fifteen point six percent replied that they were neither trusted nor distrusted it.

    Fifty-six point three percent of the respondents in the age group 35-44 said that they had no confidence in the EU while 16.7 percent disagreed and 16.7 percent found the Union neither trustworthy nor untrustworthy.

    In the 45-54 age bracket, 53.9 percent of the respondents said that they did not trust the EU as compared with 19.9 percent, who find the EU trustworthy. Fourteen point nine percent replied that they were neither trusted nor distrusted it. Distrust towards the EU reached highest level in the age group 55-64 with 64.4 percent while the percentage of the respondents, who said that they trusted the EU, was 10.2, the lowest among all the groups. Sixteen point nine percent of the respondents in this category were undecided about whether or not they should trust the EU. Fifty-five point two percent of the respondents over 65 years replied negatively when they were asked whether or not they trusted the EU as compared with 10.3 percent, who gave a positive answer.

    Seventy-nine percent of the respondents responded negatively to a question as to whether they were planning to buy a house as compared with 18.2 percent, who said that they would. Two point seven percent of the respondents said they were undecided.

    The percentage of those who said that they had no intention of building a new home was 92.1 percent, which was quite high, as compared with 4.6 percent, who said they could build a new home. Three point three percent responded that they had not made a decision yet. Those who replied that they would not buy a store represented 93.2 percent of the respondents and three percent said that they could. Three point six percent said that they were undecided.

    Opinions about the future were another interesting aspect of the outcome of the survey. Occupied Morphou residents believe that their future is uncertain. The respondents were asked to choose "it will remain unchanged" or "it will change for the better" in response to a question as to how their life quality would change if the current conditions prevailed in the next five years. Forty-two percent replied that "it will remain unchanged" as compared with 28 percent, who believe that "it will change for the better." Sixteen percent of the respondents think that their life quality would deteriorate if the current conditions remain unchanged while 14 percent declined to comment.

    Another question posed to the respondents was about their plans to continue living in the city.

    Fifty-three percent of the people interviewed said that they wanted to remain in Morphou and see how things would develop in the future while 13 percent said that they were undecided. Eleven percent of the respondents said that they want to leave the city as soon as possible and 17 percent replied that they lack financial means to move to another city. In short, 53 percent of the residents are inclined to stay while 47 percent plan to migrate or have not made a decision yet.

    The idea of opening up a plot of land in the eastern part of Morphou for construction of buildings met with considerable support. Forty-seven percent of the respondents expressed support for the idea while 31 percent said they were undecided. Nineteen percent of the people interviewed were opposed to the plan and three percent declined to comment.

    According to Morphou residents, necessary infrastructure should be built (73.1 percent), the legal status of the plots should be guaranteed (72.1 percent), soft loans should be provided (64.4 percent), and all those steps should be taken without causing harm to environment (66.7 percent) after the government opens up a new area for development.

    [10] The trial of Turkish Journalists was adjourned

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.02.06) reported from Istanbul that the Basic Criminal Court in Istanbul adjourned the trial of five journalists accused of attempting to affect the independent jurisdiction and insulting the state's judicial organs, till April 11th.

    Journalists Hasan Kaya Cemal, Mehmet Ismet Berkan, Mehmet Murat Kadri Belge, Haluk Sahin and Erol Katircioglu are being tried due to their comments on the court decision which delayed a conference titled "The Armenians during the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire".

    [11] Statements by Lagendijk on the journalists´ trial

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.02.06) reported from Istanbul that the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk on Tuesday, after attending the hearing of five Turkish journalists accused of attempting to affect independent jurisdiction and insulting the state's judicial organs, said: "I am here because the EU attaches importance to such cases regarding freedom of thought and expression. Unfortunately, Turkey's image is deteriorated by such cases."

    Expressing belief that the case would be dropped in April, Lagendijk said: "Thus, Turkey's image will be boosted."

    Lagendijk noted that he would also monitor the trial of professors who had prepared a minority report, next week.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Turkish Cypriot Columnist: Who are left, who do not support the TRNC?

    Columnist Ali Osman, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (08.02.06) under the above title, criticizes Turkish Cypriot politicians who indirectly promote two states, hence division in the island.

    He criticizes, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for his Chameleon - like stance in order not to lose the power that he holds now.

    Ali Osman then refers to the events that recently happened within the United Cyprus Party (BKP) of Izzet Izcon. He writes: One of the most important events that happened recently within the BKP is the issue of coup d´ etat!

    Let us put aside whether this or the other side is justified. I would like to refer to the statement made by Izzet Izcan: Is it a crime to defend the TRNC? While defending himself against those who criticize him.

    At this moment the BKP has the best relations with the AKEL The statement made by Izcan demonstrates that he defends partition. If defending the existence of an illegal state, is not defending the division of the island, that is the status quo, what is it then?

    Asking whether it is a crime or not it is tantamount to absurdity or fooling around.

    Some, among them Izzet Izcan, secretly defend the separate state, and when cornered, spill the bean.

    Others like Nazim Beratli, who openly supports separate states, try to hold Turkey responsible for the party´s failure.

    And people like Talat, in order not to lose the power in their hands, act like `chameleon´ and continuously change colour.

    Apart from us how many people still exist who do not support the TRNC?, concludes Ali Osman.

    (MHY)

    [13] Columnist in Turkey: Cheers for the Commission

    Erdal Safak in his main editorial in Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (08.02.06) under the above title, praises the EU Commission report to the EU member states that accession talks with Turkey could start with one of the chapters that screening is finished.

    Mr Safak goes on and says that as of today our eyes and ears should be focused on three capitals in Europe Vienna, Paris and Nicosia. He writes that Austria as term presidency will live up to its responsibilities and will not cause major problems to Turkey: We see a noticeable softening in Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel´s approach to Turkey, Safak notes.

    Safak also thinks that Paris also will not cause any problem to Turkey as long as Jacques Chirac is in the Elysee Palace.

    He then refers to Nicosia and gives two reasons that at this stage the Cyprus government cannot exercise its veto power.

    One is the Value Added Tax (VAT) issue within the EU where Cyprus last week threatened to use veto and when France and other major countries pressed on, Nicosia agreed to introduce the VAT for consumer goods.

    And Mr Safak concludes:

    The second is Turkey´s recent Cyprus initiative, which was generally considered positive within the EU, and the Greek Cypriot administration is cornered. Circles in the EU say that the Greek Cypriot administration which rejected the Turkish initiative and which precludes aid to Turkish Cypriots, is heading for isolation within the EU.

    So, I do not think that there will be any obstacle from Cyprus to starting accession talks with Turkey, unless Mr Papadopoulos decides his political suicide.

    (MHY)

    /SK


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