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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-02-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.37/06 22.02.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat met the association of veterans of the Turkish invasion of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (22.02.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, said that the Greek Cypriot side is anxious because of the right policy of the Turkish side as regards the Cyprus problem.
Mr Talat made these statements yesterday during a meeting with the association of veterans of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
Mr Talat said that the climate in the world will change soon as regards the Cyprus problem and called on the members of the association not to be hopeless. Speaking about the issue of arbitration on behalf of the UN Secretary General on the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat said that this is only possible if the two sides agree upon this. The UN have not such a role, he said.
In addition, Mr Talat upon a question of a journalist yesterday, as to how he evaluates President Tassos Papadopoulos visit to Austria prior to the latters meeting with the UN Secretary-General on the 28th of February, he said, inter alia, that the Turkish side is also working towards this direction and informs the Austrian EU Presidency about the developments of the Cyprus problem.
Mr Talat also alleged that the announcement made by President Papadopoulos that the UN has accepted the three pre-conditions set by the President, is not true. He also claimed that President Papadopoulos is making such statements because of the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The Turkish Cypriot leader also said that Mr Ibrahim Gambari, the UN Under-Secretary General Department of Political Affairs, will visit Cyprus after the elections.
 Mr Talat visited UBPTurkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (22.02.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has visited the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) and congratulated its new leader Huseyin Ozgurgun for his election to the post.
There was an exchange of views between the two leaders on the recent domestic and international outstanding issues.
In statements after the meeting Mr Talat said that he had had a useful meeting with the main opposition leader, exchanging views in a cordial atmosphere.
For his part, Mr Ozgurgun said he was pleased to see Mr Talat visit the UBP in his capacity as the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
He said the National Unity Party is aware of its responsibilities as the main opposition party, and made it clear that the party is always ready and willing to discuss anything with the Presidency that would push open the way into a better future.
In reply to a question whether the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Erdogan called to pressure him not to recourse against the property law, Mr Ozgurgun said that Mr Erdogan only called to congratulate him and that work for recourse to the Constitutional Court on The Return, Exchange and Compensation of Immovable Properties Law were going on at technical level.
(Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is Ankara´s subservient regime the Turkish Republic has set up in Cyprus with 40,000 Turkish troops).
 Izzet Izcan was re-elected secretary general of BKPTurkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (22.02.06) reports that Mr Izzet Izcan has been re-elected as the leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP).
Izzet Izcans election as the BKPs Secretary General came at the Party Assembly meeting yesterday evening, following Sundays party congress which approved Izzet Izcans list of delegates.
Six members of the Party Executive, together with the president of the Partys High Disciplinary Council were also appointed.
 The Israeli Ambassador to Turkey visited AKPAnkara Anatolia news agency (21.02.06) reported the following from Ankara:
Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Pinhas Avivi said on Tuesday that preserving relations between Turkey and Israel in future was of great importance for both parties.
Avivi met Saban Disli and Akif Gulle, deputy chairmen of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Following the meeting, Avivi told reporters that they exchanged views over the bilateral relations between the two countries and highlighted the importance of maintaining relations in future.
"Ongoing positive relations between Turkey and Israel were discussed during the visit of Israeli Ambassador in Ankara Pinhas Avivi," Akif Gulle, deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said on his part.
"We have reciprocally stated that Turkish-Israeli relations would not be affected by different interpretations made by several media institutions recently," he indicated.
 Erdogan explains the invitation to HAMAS as Turkey´s determination not to remain in the sidelines of the Greater Middle East and North Africa projectIstanbul NTV television (21.02.06) broadcast that Prime Minister Erdogan has defended both the timing of the HAMAS leader's visit to Ankara and the role Turkey assumed in this regard. He stressed that nothing was done in a covert manner. In reply to internal and external criticism on the visit, the prime minister said: We do not have to get permission from anyone.
Erdogan also said: We did not take any steps that would make Turkey bow its head in shame.
He said: We have never taken any steps that would make Turkey bow its head in shame and we never will. The Palestinian delegation's visit to Ankara last week must be assessed in this light. I believe that we picked the right time and we gave the right messages. These messages included renouncing violence, accepting the road map, of course sitting at the negotiating table with Israel.
The Turkish prime minister was addressing his party's parliamentary faction.
Certain media groups carried headlines that said that the visit and meetings were planned by our advisors. This is very ugly and unethical. Especially the Republican People's Party always claims such things. It probably bases these allegations on its own so-called sources.
Moreover, Istanbul NTV's internet version in Turkish on 21 February adds that Erdogan said in his speech: "Turkey cannot remain in the sidelines regarding the Greater Middle East and North Africa project. We are coming up with ideas and making moves for peace in the Middle East. We are trying to free the Middle East from those who would like to create a bloodbath there and we are trying to turn the region into one of peace. Our moves are necessary not only for the restoration of peace in the region but for Turkey's security as well."
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 King of Shrewdness: Arif MustafaHasan Hasturer in his column in the Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.02.06) under the above title comments about the Turkish Cypriot Arif Mustafa. He explains how in a shrewd manner he acquired through legal means in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus his immovable property. Hasturer writes:
Arif Mustafa too like others crossed into the north in 1974 and settled in Zodhia near Morfou .
He acquired a house, an orchard and a half completed structure which he completed as a super market and bakery. While doing business he got loan from Zodhia Cooperative. The economic crisis of 2001also hit Arif Mustafa as well and he was in difficulty. When he borrowed money he had mortgaged the house, orchard and his market and the bakery which belonged to a Greek Cypriot. When he faced payment difficulties he agreed with the Cooperative bank and The Cooperative Affairs Department to auction his market and the bakery on September 2001.
His market and the bakery were sold, and the mortgage on his other two immovables were removed. Arif Mustafa in a way transferred these two immovables to his sister -in law and escaped to the south to the Greek Cypriot side. Upon this development some of his co-villagers started to complain: He has sold everything he had acquired here from the Greek Cypriots. And now he speaks about property, rights, justice and integrity .
Hasturer then strongly criticizes Arif Mustafa for his action and addressing Arif Mustafa he asks him: How have you sold as your own property an immovable that belonged to a Greek Cypriot?
Had Arif Mustafa left his immovables which were under his possession intact in the north and gave a legal battle in the south, I would have respected him. But, now I have no respect for him, Hasturer concludes.
 Gul analysis why Turkey invited HAMAS and stresses that Turkey still has a say in the Middle East because of the Ottoman EmpireAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.02.06) reported the following from Cubuk: Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has emphasized that the issues discussed and the messages given during the visit paid by Khaled Mish'al, head of the political bureau of HAMAS, which has won the elections in Palestine, and the accompanying delegation were important, adding that the talks were held and the messages were given in the most proper manner.
He asked: "Has Turkey made efforts for years to ensure that more blood and tears were shed or to stop them?" He noted that they would persevere in their efforts to achieve that goal.
Gul attended a convention held by Cubuk branch of the Justice and Development Party [AKP]. In an address to the gathering Gul expounded on the government's achievements and Mish'al's visit to Turkey during the week.
Complaining that Turkey's influence and importance were underestimated, Gul said: "Turkey's influence and importance can be perceived better from another country such as the United States, Japan, and the Arab world. It is really worrying to that we are not aware of our own influence and importance."
Noting that the visit was highlighted by the Turkish press and some circles in a distorted manner over the past couple of days, Gul went on saying: "Those commentaries indicate that there are some people, who are not aware of or cannot realize Turkey's importance and influence. My aides have been preparing news digests about reports appearing in foreign newspapers for two days. The Israeli papers highlighted Turkey's initiative and constructive efforts, the issues taken up during the talks, and analyzed whether or not it could provide an opportunity for peace in a positive manner. They described it as an opportunity. I also asked my advisers to take a look at US dailies, which focused on the issues we discussed with the visiting delegation and commented on whether it could contribute to efforts aimed at making progress. Unfortunately, our newspapers were mainly interested in the sensational aspects of the visit. None of them pays attention to the issues discussed and the outcome of the talks. What makes the situation even worse is that some people, who should take a very serious approach, are also interested in those details."
"We still hold their title deeds"
Reminding that the area where Palestine, Israel, and Jerusalem are now located were ruled by the Turks and people living in that region during the Turkish rule lived in peace for centuries, Gul said: "If we are not to be concerned about Palestine, who else should?"
Gul went on saying: "We still keep the title deeds of real property in that area comprising Palestine, Israel, and Jerusalem in our archives. The Foreign Ministry handed over documents related to registration of those real property to Palestine last year. If a dispute arises in the Middle East whether among Arab countries or between Israel and Palestine, they would settle that dispute in Istanbul because we have archives, title deeds, and maps. We have documents showing facts. They imply that we must remain indifferent but other people coming from distant European countries or other parts of the world should be concerned about this problem? This approach indicates that they are not aware of our importance and influence. What really matters is the issues you discuss and the messages you give. These were done in the most appropriate manner."
Foreign Minister Gul noted that the Palestinian elections were held in a very transparent manner and said: "Observers from Turkey, the United States, and Europe went there to monitor the election process and described it as the 'most proper election ever held in an Arab country.' The election was held on territories under Israeli occupation. What is the most important issue here? Is it shedding more blood or tears? Blood and tears shed whether by a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Palestinian or an Israeli should stop. If we are making efforts for that purpose and make our own contributions to the process, why should we get anxious? We sincerely explained our views and discussed some issues with great self-confidence at a time when the whole world was hoping that somebody would come up and give certain messages and explain certain facts. They clearly said that they were extremely pleased to hear our views and messages, adding that they would take them into consideration and could revise their policies accordingly. Why are they bothered rather than being pleased with that? What have we actually done? Has Turkey made efforts for years to ensure that more blood and tears were shed or to stop them? We will persevere in our efforts to achieve that goal in order to contribute to regional and global peace. People, who have no knowledge and notion of history, therefore get anxious whenever Turkey comes out of its shell and attempts to play a role about a regional or international issue.
Emphasizing that Turkey's importance was perceived perfectly not only in the region but also in the rest of the world, Gul recalled that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had asked Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take a step aimed at forming an alliance of civilizations.
Pointing out that Annan had entrusted the task to Turkey in order to ensure better understanding and harmony between people from different cultures, Gul went on saying: "I cannot understand why our own intellectuals, writers, and politicians are unable to comprehend it although foreigners believe that Turkey should assume such roles. It is really astonishing. Nevertheless, we will continue to take steps that we believe are right. We will contribute to global and regional peace and to resolution to problems."
 Columnist in the New Anatolian cites the role of the Turkish government´s advisersAnkara The New Anatolian newspaper (21.02.06) publishes the following article by Zeynep Gurcanli under the title: "'Back channels' crisis between Government, Foreign Ministry":
The "alternative diplomacy" efforts of some "advisors" of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have led to a big crisis between the ruling party and the state bureaucracy.
The visit of Khaled Mashaal, a prominent Hamas leader, last week was an example of this tendency of bypassing the Foreign Ministry and the other state institutions to determine and conduct the foreign policy of Turkey. According to Turkish diplomats and military officials, while the issue was discussed during the Cabinet meeting on Monday last week, neither the General Staff, nor the Foreign Ministry got any clue about Mashaal and his delegation's Ankara visit until late Wednesday.
"We got information about the visit on Wednesday night, when the Turkish Embassy in Damascus sent a message about the request from the Hamas delegation to visit Turkey," said a high-ranking diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity. "But we learned that Justice and Development (AK) Party officials informed the intelligence service and the security officials earlier than the message of our Damascus ambassador to Foreign Ministry, to begin preparations for security arrangements for the Hamas delegation."
According to AKP sources, the mastermind behind the surprise Hamas visit to Ankara was Professor Ahmed Davutoglu, an advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Although Davutoglu officially has the title of "advisor to the prime minister," he is known as being closer to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Gul was the person who has appointed Davutoglu to his current post when he was prime minister during the early moths of the AKP government.
Davutoglu, an academic having very good relations with his counterparts in Muslim countries like Malaysia and Egypt, is known as being the "most conservative" advisor of the prime minister. His main interest areas seem to be the former territories of the Ottoman Empire, like the Balkans and Middle East. But having the "ambassador" title during the prime ministry of Gul, he also has some influence in other subjects of Turkish foreign policy. At Gul's behest, he was part of the "wise men group" established by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to prepare suggestions to reform the organization.
Other 'back channels'
While Davutoglu seems to play a very influential role in determining the policies to conduct relations with the Muslim world, there are other "back channels" that have annoyed career diplomats. Cuneyd Zapsu, another advisor to Erdogan, worked more closely with the prime minister in the determination of relations with the "western hemisphere." Despite the closeness of Davutoglu to Gul, Zapsu has very deep relations with Erdogan. As a successful businessman, Zapsu is known as one of the "financiers" of Erdogan's political career. He has not hesitated to use his good relations with businessmen from all around the world to promote Erdogan even when he was mayor of Istanbul. All the trips of Erdogan to the United States and Germany were arranged by Zapsu. His main intervention in Turkish foreign policy came just after the July 2003 crisis between Turkey and U.S. caused by the arrest of Turkish special forces in northern Iraq by American troops. He immediately went to Washington to contact U.S. officials to ease the tension, but without informing Turkish diplomats about his meetings.
Zapsu bypassed Turkish Foreign Ministry professionals to arrange the bilateral meetings of the prime minister alongside the Davos Economic Forum that Erdogan participates in every year. He also played a very important role in the establishment of a special friendship between Erdogan and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, thanks to his good contacts in German business and bureaucratic circles.
The "third" back channel that contacts foreign officials on behalf of the prime minister without informing the Foreign Ministry is another "advisor," Egemen Bagis. Due to his long stay in the United States, Bagis has been influential in the relations of Erdogan with American officials. While seeming to be excluded now from the "inner circle" of Erdogan, he still has the opportunity to reach prime minister whenever he wants, according to AKP sources.