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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-02-14

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.31/06 14.02.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat met with TUSIAD Chairman.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot got his house in the free areas after a court ordered the refugee living in it to abandon it.
  • [03] EPs Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots will meet with Mr Talat.
  • [04] Statements by the member of the EP, Mr Philippe Morillon on Cyprus.
  • [05] American officials´ meeting with Diyarbakir mayor causes unease in Ankara in the midst of joy for Talat´s meeting with Straw.
  • [06] The Turkish Foreign Ministry instructed its diplomats not to meet with Hamas officials. [07.]A great number of contracts are awarded to Turkish firms in Iraq. Turkish TIR trucks attacked.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Letters from British living in occupied Vasilia and Ayios Epiktitos to Cyprus Today.
  • [09] Turkish Columnist: Mr Straw meant Taiwan model.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat met with TUSIAD Chairman

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.02.06) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat met with a delegation of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen TUSIAD which is in the occupied areas for contacts.

    Referring to Turkeys new Action plan, MrTalat said that Ankara and occupied Lefkosia were working on the new initiative which aimed at breaking the current deadlock on the Cyprus Problem.

    Mr Talat also stated that by putting forward such proposals, Turkey and the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ had once more demonstrated their support to finding a lasting and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    It is now up to the international community to act, he added.

    The head of the delegation, Omer Sabanci for his part said that TUSIAD supported Turkeys new action plan on Cyprus.

    Explaining that todays meeting with Mr Talat was an excellent opportunity to evaluate the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem, Mr Sabanci said that TUSIAD was constantly discussing the Cyprus issue during its contacts with EU member countries.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a breakaway regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus in the framework of Turkey´s expansionist-ethnic cleansing policy applied in Cyprus using its military superiority).

    [02] Turkish Cypriot got his house in the free areas after a court ordered the refugee living in it to abandon it

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (14.02.06) reports that the Greek Cypriot Administration has returned to Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa his house in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The papers correspondent Omer Bilge reports that Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa has received his houses keys. Mr. Bilge claims that the Greek Cypriot courts decision to return the property to its owner, will further complicate the property issue in Cyprus. He reports that with this decision, if the Turkish Cypriots who left their property in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus start recourse individually to Cyprus courts and start returning to their homes, then the bizonality on the island will be in danger.

    The same issue is covered widely by the Turkish Cypriot press (14.02.06) as follows:

    KIBRIS: Arif Mustafa got the keys.

    AFRIKA: The property of the Turk in the south belongs to the Turk. The paper writes that this development is important for the property issue in Cyprus.

    HALKIN SESI: The Greek Cypriots returned to a Turk his house.

    YENI DUZEN: Arif Mustafa took back his house

    ORTAM: Everyone to his own house! The paper notes that now is the turn of the Greek Cypriot refugees Mrs Titina Loizidou and Mrs Myra Xenides - Aresti to return to their houses.

    CUMHURIYET: Victory of Arif Mustafa.

    GUNES: Will everybody take his property? The paper writes that according to experts, this development might have results against the Turkish side. The experts, adds GUNES, note that if the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decisions are taken into consideration, bizonality in Cyprus might be done away with.

    VOLKAN: He took back their house after 32 years. The paper argues that the Greek Cypriot administration made a step backwards in the Arif Mustafa case and describes the development as important. According to VOLKAN, the way for the Turkish Cypriots to take back their properties which have not been expropriated in the south, is opened.

    KIBRISLI: Arif Mustafa took back their house!

    [03] EPs Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots will meet with Mr Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.02.06) reports that the members of the European Parliaments Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots will visit Cyprus between 5 and 8 March 2006.

    During a meeting in Strasbourg, the Group decided that its members will come to Cyprus through Larnaca airport and meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat at his office.

    The Group decided that no symbol of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) should exist in the room during their meeting with Mr Talat. It also decided to keep the meeting away from the Press. The Group announced that the fact that its members will meet with Mr Talat at his office does not mean that they recognize the self-styled TRNC.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Statements by the member of the EP, Mr Philippe Morillon on Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (14.02.06) reports that the French Christian Democrat Member of the European Parliament (EP), Mr Philippe Morillon, former reporter for Turkey at the EP, has said that in the reports he had prepared on Turkey in 2000 he had noted that the EU could not accept Cyprus with the situation existing then on the island.

    In statements to ABHaber, Mr Morillon said, inter alia, the following: The EU could not take as its full member a country which has walls dividing people from each other. In spite of all these, Cyprus became an EU member. One of the most important conditions of the EU then was the demilitarization of the Island. The EU tolerating this was out of the question. The EU membership of a Cyprus divided by Berlin walls cannot continue like this. A solution must be found to the problem. Both the EU and the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, we all must understand this. There is a situation which is difficult to continue now in Cyprus. .

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] American officials´ meeting with Diyarbakir mayor causes unease in Ankara in the midst of joy for Talat´s meeting with Straw

    According to the Turkish Daily News (Internet Version 13.02.06), the mayor of the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Osman Baydemir, whose visit to the United States sparked reaction from Ankara, said an official from the U.S. State Department met with him at the hotel where he was staying.

    Ankara was critical of an invitation extended by the American-Turkish Council (ATC) in Washington to Baydemir, who has already elicited reactions from governmental figures over his controversial remarks on the Kurdish issue.

    Following a warning from the Turkish Foreign Ministry, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said there was no planned meeting with Baydemir, who traveled to Washington earlier this month.

    However, Baydemir, in the United States for more than a week, said a U.S. official whom he did not name visited him at the hotel in Washington.

    "It was a courtesy visit," Baydemir was quoted as saying by the Dogan News Agency.

    In an earlier reaction to the mayor's visit to Washington, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the government did not approve of political shows.

    "Everybody should do their own job. The people in Diyarbakir, first of all, need municipal services," Gul said.

    In comments on how the United States can contribute to the solution of the Kurdish problem, Baydemir said he believed Turkey should solve the problem through its own dynamics.

    "The outside world can only play an encouraging role," he said.

    Baydemir stated that the Kurdish problem was a matter that can only be solved by Turkey and said: "As I always say, social stability, peace, economic and social development in Turkey can only be maintained by embracing all of the citizens and integrating them into the democratic process."

    The Diyarbakir mayor said the Kurdish problem would be resolved together with the difficulties surrounding differing ethnic identities in Turkey. "There's no doubt that the outside world's experiences should be utilized. This is actually what alliance means," he added.

    Baydemir and a delegation of accompanying businessmen were expected to meet on Sunday with officials from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York.

    Moreover, Yasemin Çongar, Turkish daily MILLIYET newspapers Washington correspondent reports that Washington did not take into account Ankaras warnings as regards Baydemirs contacts in the USA and as a result Ankara has decided not to take part at the USA-Islam World Forum to be organized in Doha, Qatars capital with a high level participation.

    In her article in MILLIYET newspaper (12.02.06) Çongar reports that Ankara is uneasy about Mr. Baydemirs contacts in Washington, and in order to demonstrate this unease Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was one of the keynote speakers at he opening of the forum on 18th February, 2006, has decided not to attend the forum. The other keynote speakers at the forum are Foreign Minister of Malaysia Seyid Hamid Albar and President Bushs former advisor Karen Huhges. Mrs Çongar adds that Mr. Babacan, Turkeys chief EU negotiator, who was going to address the forum on the second day, cancelled his trip to Doha, as well.

    Mrs Çongar, quoting diplomatic circles in Ankara and Washington reports that the reason Mr. Erdogan and Mr.Babacan cancelled their trip to Doha is because of the interest shown to Mr Osman Baydemir in Washington.

    Mrs Çongar, further reports that despite Ankaras diplomatic intervention with the US State Department, Mr Baydemir had a meeting with a Senior State Department official and also addressed a conference organized by the Brookings Institute, on Kurdish issue and the displaced persons which Ankara wanted to be cancelled. The Brookings Institute has asked the State Department and the Pentagons views and when they did not object to the conference Baydemir was allowed to deliver the speech.

    Mrs Çongar concludes by reporting that another reason Mr Erdogan cancelled his trip to Doha is that among the organizers of the Doha Forum is the Saban Center which is affiliated to the Brookings Institute.

    [06] The Turkish Foreign Ministry instructed its diplomats not to meet with Hamas officials

    Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper (13.02.06) reported the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry has instructed its diplomats in the Mideast region not to carry out face-to-face talks with representatives of Hamas, the party that emerged the winner in last month's Palestinian elections, as that would signal premature official acceptance of the controversial group, The New Anatolian has learned.

    The ministry's directive apparently contradicts Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal last month for mediation between Hamas and Israel. Erdogan was also reported last Thursday as saying that he may invite Hamas in his capacity as Turkey's ruling party leader once Hamas takes over the Palestinian Authority government. Erdogan said that Hamas officials would be invited as representatives of the Palestinian people.

    But Turkish diplomats on Sunday told The New Anatolian that, though Hamas' elections victory had changed Turkey's approach to the group, for Ankara "face-to-face" or official talks with the group are still out of the question. "But it's true that we have some indirect contacts with the group, and we convey our messages to them," one Turkish diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    "We tell them to break with their past, and seek their aims on political ground," said the diplomat. "They have broadened their legitimacy with their clear election victory, but any big mistake now will ruin everything. We also tell the U.S., Israel and our European partners that Hamas should be given a chance, that this would be a chance for peace."

    According to Turkish diplomats, these views of Turkey were reiterated during the prime minister's telephone conversation with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last week.

    Western diplomats said that, following the proposal of Prime Minister Erdogan for mediation between Hamas and Israel, the U.S., Israel and several European countries asked the Turkish Foreign Ministry for clarification over its policy towards Hamas. According to diplomats, the ministry responded that these remarks should not be misinterpreted as a policy shift of Ankara, but instead should be viewed within the framework of "indirect contacts" with Hamas to urge them towards moderate policies.

    Hamas is branded a terrorist group by the U.S. and Europe, and it refuses to recognize the state of Israel, a Turkish ally, but it expects to form a new Palestinian Cabinet within weeks. The new Palestinian Parliament is to be sworn in on Thursday.

    Turkish diplomats on Sunday declined to comment on a recent Russian imitative to meet with Hamas representatives, but only said that Ankara has its own methodology, and will continue indirect contacts with the group.

    [07] A great number of contracts are awarded to Turkish firms in Iraq. Turkish TIR trucks attacked

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (13.02.06) reported from Gaziantep that Turkish contracting firms took in charge 109 projects (worth of 1.5 billion USD) in Iraq in 2005.

    Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) prepared a report and assessed bilateral economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Iraq.

    The report says Turkey's export to Iraq increased from 829 million USD to 1.8 billion USD in 2004, and import from Iraq reached 467.5 million USD.

    In 2005, Turkey's exports reached 2.7 billion USD, a 48 percent increase, and the imports dropped 2 points, to 458.7 million USD.

    The report indicates that cross border trade volume has reached 3-5 billion USD in 2005.

    According to official figures for post-war period (in construction and infrastructure area), 23 Turkish companies undertook projects worth of 240 million USD in 2003, 71 companies completed 93 projects (of a total value of 543 million USD) in 2004, and 86 companies took in charge 109 projects of 1.5 billion USD in 2005.

    The most important projects which Turkish companies undertook after the war in Iraq ended are construction of U.S. Embassy (350 million USD), Sulaymaniah University (259 million USD), Diwaniya-Nasiriya-Samawa-Iraq express road (161 million USD), Irbil International Airport (160 million USD) and U.S. Army Corps North Sector Military Camp (75 million USD).

    A.A. also reported from Antalya that Turkish TIR [Trans International Route] trucks carrying cargo for the US military forces were attacked with rockets and that a Turkish driver was wounded and four US troops were killed in the incident.

    An A.A. correspondent has ascertained that a convoy of six TIR trucks carrying dried foot for the US Armed Forces from Germany to Baghdad was attacked with rockets and machine guns in the vicinity of Taci, which is at a distance of 30km from Baghdad. The officials of the transport company said that driver Huseyin was wounded and four US troops were killed in the attack. The surname of the driver is still unknown. The officials also said that the trucks were extensively damaged.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Letters from British living in occupied Vasilia and Ayios Epiktitos to Cyprus Today

    Under the title Tourism slump, Environment and Who is to blame?, Turkish Cypriot English language weekly Cyprus Today (11-17.02.06) publishes three letters by British who bought properties in the isolated embargoed by 40,000 Turkish troops territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Under the title Tourism slump Exports and tourists tired of being meal tickets, the paper publishes David Brown´s letter who lives in occupied Vasilia.

    David Brown, inter alia, writes:

    We first came here five years ago as tourists and, like many, decided to come here and live. We have noticed that tourist type restaurants and bars have increased prices significantly. How can a restaurant justify 24 YTL (new Turkish Lira) for a bottle of red wine that I can buy locally in the supermarket for 6.50YTL? Why do retailers not display prices on goods in the shops so that visitors don´t feel that prices are made up for tourists?

    Hotels and airfares only represent about 50 per cent of a family´s holiday budget. Compared with Spain and other Mediterranean countries, North Cyprus is no longer value for money.

    And Mr David Brown concludes: Subsidise UK flights and introduce something we had in the UK years ago Retail Price Maintenance - so that prices are standardized. And yes, echoing the comments made by many: stop building houses that spoil the landscape and that people will not buy until the island´s future is sorted out.

    Anna Graham´s letter, who lives in occupied Ayios Epiktitos, is published under the title Environment and subtitle Good on you, Mr Millett, Now let´s do something!.

    Mrs Anna Graham, inter alia, writes:

    Where, oh where were all you folk out there when his Excellency Peter Joseph Millett, the British High Commissioner, came to the GAU Millennium Complex to deliver an excellent presentation on the environment: Safeguarding your future.

    Those of us who daily are disgusted and frustrated by the mounting piles of litter, refuge and builders´ rubble despoiling the countryside often wonder what can be done to stop this tide of waste destroying the natural habitat.

    Here at last was someone of considerable influence willing to discuss and put forward ideas on how to implement change. Who was there to listen to him and contribute? Mere 30-plus individuals, among whom were a handful of British residents ourselves included?

    And Mrs Graham adds:

    If you are concerned that your beautiful new home in the sun looks as if it is situated near a rubbish tip, if you are upset every time you see virgin ground despoiled where a cement lorry has washed out its tanks, or a builder dumped tons of his rubble prior to pocketing a handsome profit on his latest development, then is it not time we all go off our backsides to try and start to make a difference?

    Finally, Larinia Neville-Smith, now in occupied Ayios Epiktiitos, writes inter alia, in her letter published under the title Who is to blame?:

    It cannot have escaped the recent first-time visitor that the all too evident building work has destroyed the northern coastline and the foothills of the mountains. Where once grew rare and irreplaceable wild flowers, olive groves and citrus orchards, there are now estates of horrid little houses (and even more horrid high-rise hotels). A rising tide of reinforced concrete dwellings, all built unimaginatively to the same pattern, cheek by jowl, with no privacy and, more importantly, no utilities and probably no title deeds, has replaced the serenity and unspoilt beauty that was once the main attraction for visitors to the `TRNC´ (Areas of Cyprus occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops).

    For the most part these houses will lie empty and forlorn as the years pass, a testament to greed and the legacy of cowboy builders who in the process of working their destruction have either gone bankrupt, died, or fled the country to escape the wrath of gullible purchasers who have parted with their money far too soon. There are innumerable court cases pending in which duped buyers hope to gain restitution on properties that they have bought but now find they do not, in fact, have any right to call their own. For many others there will probably never be a recompense.

    Ten years ago, when I first came to Cyprus, I was among the few European expats who chose to come to the `TRNC´ - a pariah state according to the rest of the world because I believed that the Turkish Cypriots had been unfairly treated and I wanted to show they had my support in what I considered was a just cause.

    And Mrs Larinia Neville-Smith goes on: We supported the local tradesmen, whether plumbers, painters, builders or odd-job men. We encouraged not just visitors but also friends who wanted to retire somewhere in the sun to come and share in our fortune, with good local food and an all-round happy atmosphere. Our friends came in droves for holidays and in turn inspired their friends to do likewise and they have done that several times a year until the last couple of years when they started saying that they did not like the destruction that was taking place and would not come again.

    And Mrs Neville-Smith concludes:

    Since the opening of the border that separates the `TRNC´ from South Cyprus, (areas not under the Turkish army) I have made regular crossings to visit the museums, bookshops and historical sites. I have enjoyed my glimpses of the other side but have always been happy to come back. South of the border I have rarely received anything but courteous treatment, and although I expected some resentment on my crossing since the bird flu scare, I again had nothing but impeccable politeness. That is until I crossed back into the `TRNC!´ I was greeted at the passport control office by two women who could not have been more sullen; they were thoroughly rude, muttered between themselves examined my passport minutely, stamped my visa slip and then illegibly changed the permitted three-month visit time to a number of days. I have since managed to work out how many and it is dependant on my entry via Ercan (occupied Tymbou).

    The border crossing passport control staff are now saying that the only legal entry points to the `TRNC´ are via the airports or harbours of the North and they will not consider entry via Larnaca, Paphos or the southern ports as acceptable access points for visitors to the `TRNC´. This action on their part will do the North Cyprus holiday trade immeasurable harm and cannot be constitutionally legal. European Union passport-holders who wish to come to the `TRNC´ via the border crossings are entering from a European Union member state into a country that is not recognized internationally. The only thing about North Cyprus that is internationally recognized is the border that divides it from the South. The bullying tactics by border control personnel are not acceptable and the government of the `TRNC´ should issue a statement, long overdue and repeatedly requested regarding the border´s status.

    [09] Turkish Columnist: Mr Straw meant Taiwan model

    Former Turkish Foreign Minister and retired ambassador Ilter Turkmen in his column in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (14.02.06) comments on the British Foreign Secretary Mr. Jack Straws recent statement at the House of Commons on 7th February 2006, regarding Cyprus. Mr. Turkmen writes: Mr Straw not only had extended support to the Turkish initiative, but he also tried to create an immense pressure on the South Cyprus Administration. He notes that the British do not look into the Cyprus issue from the narrow angle and for geopolitical considerations. Britain looks into Turkeys EU membership differently than the other member states. As a result of this Britain is trying so that the Cyprus problem does not preclude Turkeys accession. Mr. Turkmen notes that this stance conforms with the USA position as well.

    Mr. Turkmen refers to Straws part of the speech where he implied recognition to the self-styled regime in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus, and says that this was rather exaggerated by the Turkish press, because he said: Mr. Straw was very careful in his speech .He said: Britain does not recognize the so-called Turkish Cypriot Republic . What he wanted to mean by recognition was the Taiwan model.

    Mr Turkmen further reports that the statement made by Mr Straw, a senior USA State Department officials and Swedish Foreign Ministers forthcoming Cyprus visits and their planned meeting with Talat and the partial signs of change of stance by Russia, prove that Mr. Papadopoulos intransigent stance has given way to serious reaction .

    /SK


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