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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-02-28

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.41/06 28.02.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The EU General Affairs Council on the regulation for financial support for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [02] Soyer on the EU Regulations for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the approval of the Financial Aid Regulation by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU
  • [04] Talat in good condition. Soyer to visit him
  • [05] The self-styled Education Minister concluded her contacts in Pakistan
  • [06] The British High Commissioner to address the Annual General Meeting of the British Residents in the occupied areas
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Zaman columnist on relations between Turkey and the United States

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The EU General Affairs Council on the regulation for financial support for the Turkish Cypriots

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27/02/06) reported that commenting on the approval of a regulation establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots, the General Affairs and External Relations Council of the EU argued that this represents a significant step towards meeting the Council conclusions on Cyprus adopted on 26 April 2004.

    Releasing a statement, the Council indicated that a total of 139 million euros will now be made available to the Turkish Cypriot community in 2006, with a view to promoting the economic integration of the island and improving contact between the two communities and the EU.

    ''Today's agreement on the instrument of financial support follows intense efforts by the Austrian Presidency to find a way forward on all issues relevant to the follow-up of the April 2004 Council conclusions,'' said the Council.

    The Council defended that ''the measures are intended, in particular, to prepare and facilitate, as appropriate, the full application of the acquis communautaire in the areas in which the Greek Cypriot administration does not exercise effective control, once a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem has been achieved''.

    [02] Soyer on the EU Regulations for the Turkish Cypriots

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27/02/06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia: Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said: ''It is negative that the EU separated financial assistance and direct trade regulations from each other, and approved only the financial assistance.'' ''However, it is positive that the EU referred to direct trade regulation as well as lifting isolations while approving the financial assistance,'' he added.

    Holding a news conference on Monday, Soyer recalled: ''The European Commission prepared financial assistance and direct trade regulations on April 26th, 2004 (just after the referendum).''

    ''We pursue our policies about the importance of direct trade regulation and lifting of isolations in a determined manner. Developments about the issue show how much we are right in our policies,'' he noted. ''Following intensive initiatives of the Greek Cypriot administration, the two regulations are separated from each other. However, the declaration which was prepared last year and included negative conditions for the Turkish side was not approved,'' said Soyer.

    He noted: ''There are uncertain expressions, which may cause some difficulties, in the decision on approval of financial assistance regulation worth of 139 million Euro. When considered in general, the Greek Cypriot administration could not reach a result as well. The EU kept the direct trade regulation on the agenda and made reference to lifting of isolations while approving the financial assistance regulation and this shows our justness.''

    ''EU referred to 10th protocol (while approving the regulation), and this situation stresses that the solution process is on the UN basis and also attributes some obligations on the Greek Cypriot administration. These are positive developments,'' he added.

    ''On the other hand, the EU transferred the process about the direct trade regulation to the Council which necessitates unanimity instead of the Commission which works with majority of votes. This is a negative development,'' he noted.

    When asked whether ´TRNC´ would accept financial assistance, Soyer said: ''The reason of our flexible stance is not the amount of money. We are exerting efforts for not breaking off TRNC's relations with the EU. Turkey already gives much more money.''

    Stressing that survival of ´TRNC´ is not dependent on EU's financial assistance, Soyer said: ''TRNC has the ability to pursue its existence with its own resources and Turkey's support which has been continuing for years. The real aim is to develop relations with the EU.''

    ''Making interpretations as 'Turkish Cypriots are left alone' by associating decisions about regulations with Turkey's EU process are very wrong and misleading. We support Turkey's EU negotiation process,'' said Soyer.

    ''The European Council and the European Commission released two statements about the issue today. The two statements are different from each other,'' said Soyer, and he thanked European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn who called on starting talks on the UN basis for solution.

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

    [03] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the approval of the Financial Aid Regulation by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU

    One of the main issues of the Turkish Cypriot press today (28.02.06) is the approval of the decision of COREPER regarding the decoupling of the Financial Aid and the Direct Trade Regulations by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU. The press covers the approval of the Financial Aid Regulation for the Turkish Cypriots as follows:

    KIBRIS, under the title Different climate in Europe, reports that the European Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed the opinion that the decision was an important step in the direction of fulfilling the promises given to the Turkish Cypriot community. On its front page the paper publishes also the statements by Mr Olli Rehn, Commissioner for the Enlargement of the EU, who said that with the approval of the Financial Aid Regulation the first step towards the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots has been made and added that this facilitates the reunification of the island. The paper publishes also the statements made by Mrs Ursula Plassnik, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Austrian term presidency of the EU, who said that the conditions of living of the Turkish Cypriots will be improved with these 139 million euros and added that the EU fulfilled its obligations with the approval of the regulation.

    YENI DUZEN refers to the developments using as title the statement by Mr Rehn that We made the first step.

    HALKIN SESI covers the issue under the title Soyer approached in a self-possessed manner the EU decision and publishes statements by the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer who said that the separation of the regulations was negative, but added that the fact that the Direct Trade Regulation is kept on the agenda and within this framework a reference was made to the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is a positive development. According to the paper Mr Soyer said: There is nothing completely black or white. There are some indefinite expressions which could cause problems. However, when you see it as a whole, it seems that the Greek Cypriots as well were not able to reach the result they wanted. The paper says that Mr Soyer did not speak clearly on the issue of whether or not the Turkish Cypriots will take the 139 million euros.

    VATAN covers the issue publishing the statements of Mr Soyer on its front page under the title The separation of the regulations is negative and we oppose to it. The paper writes that Mr Soyer argued that the issues of the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners and the opening of the ports could be discussed only within the framework of an overall solution to the Cyprus problem.

    GUNES, under the title Crushing defeat, publishes statements by Mr Huseyin Ozgurgun, leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), who expressed the opinion that the developments in the EU are tantamount to the total collapse of the policies followed by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled coalition government.

    KIBRISLI, under the title EU trick, argues that the EU has closed the issue of the lifting of the isolations.

    VOLKAN covers the issue under the title The policies of AKP, Talat and the CTP-DP government have collapsed.

    ORTAM refers to the issue under the banner front-page title We are being deceived.

    CUMHURIYET publishes on its front page statements by Mr Serdar Denktas, self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, who said that the decision harms the sympathy of the Turkish Cypriots towards the EU and added that the Turkish Cypriots will loose or gain nothing by the approval of the Financial Aid Regulation. He alleged that there is a promise which has not been fulfilled. Mr Denktas said also that no government in Ankara will abandon either the rights of Turkey on the Island or the Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talat in good condition. Soyer to visit him

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27/02/06) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat is reported to be in good condition after heart bypass surgery, doctors said on Monday.

    After the surgery, Prof. Dr. Cihat Bakay and Associate Professor Dr. Belhan Akpinar told a press conference that one of Talat's main arteries was replaced with a vein taken from his chest.

    Doctors added that Talat was taken under intensive care after the surgery. Later the same day Ankara Anatolia reported from occupied Lefkosia that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer will visit Istanbul to call on Mehmet Ali Talat and hold talks with various officials tomorrow. A written statement by the Prime Ministry Directorate of Press and Public Relations said that Soyer will call on Talat at his hospital and hold talks with various officials. Mr Soyer will return to the occupied areas in the evening on 1st of March.

    [05] The self-styled Education Minister concluded her contacts in Pakistan

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (28/02/06) reports that the self-styled Minister of National Education and Culture Canan Oztoprak returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus from Pakistan at the end of a series of contacts there.

    A delegation led by Mrs Ozteprak attended the Scientific and Technological Cooperation conference organized by the Organization of Islamic Conference. Speaking at a press conference in occupied Lefkosia this morning, Mrs Oztoprak said her contacts in Pakistan have been fruitful, and that theyd been instrumental in establishing cooperation in many new fields between the two countries.

    She said views were exchanged between the two sides on prospects of cooperation particularly in the fields of education, universities and water purification systems.

    As for the Scientific and Technological Cooperation conference, she pointed to the importance of such international events in trying to establish enhanced cooperation with other nations.

    [06] The British High Commissioner to address the Annual General Meeting of the British Residents in the occupied areas

    English language weekly Cyprus Today (25/02-03/03/06) publishes an advertisement of the British Residents Society announcing its 32nd Annual General Meeting to be held on Wednesday March 22 at 5.30 pm at the Legend Restaurant at Camelot, at occupied Karavas. The Speaker at the meeting will be the British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Mr Peter Millet.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Zaman columnist on relations between Turkey and the United States

    Istanbul Zaman newspaper (27/02/06) publishes the following column by Ali H. Aslan in Washington under the title The weather has once again deteriorated:

    The positive interest that the government has shown toward the film "Valley of the Wolves - Iraq", and the most recent controversial initiative involving HAMAS [Islamic Resistance Movement], have caused people in Washington to question once again just to what degree the United States and Turkey are allies.

    Just as relations were improving, the two sides were regaining their trust, there was stepped up consultation, they were showing respect towards one another, and a "second spring" was thus beginning, the atmosphere suddenly changed. Now cold winds are blowing between the two capital cities...

    Some may say things like "Where are you getting all this? Just look at the official announcements of the United States. There is no such atmosphere. Who knows under the influence of what propaganda you may be this time?" But my business is foreign political meteorology. You are perfectly free to like my observations or not. If I say that rain is on the way, no one is obliged to carry an umbrella. But you should be aware that the political weather report that I am going to give you in a moment is based on measurements that I have been carrying out at different levels of the atmosphere in Washington over the past two weeks...

    Let there be no misunderstanding: I am not saying that Turkish-American relations are stormy. During the course of the Iraq War, this was the way they were to a great degree. But over the past year, the sky has cleared a bit. I am only saying that, over the past few weeks, cold winds have been blowing once again, and that if things continue in this way, days with dark clouds could come back.

    To tell the truth, these days I would not want to be in the shoes either of Turkey's Washington Ambassador, Nabi Sensoy, or of the United States' Ankara Ambassador, Ross Wilson. No matter how difficult things might be, diplomats try not to show this to outsiders. They convey to their counterparts with respect and courtesy even those topics on which their governments are the most exercised. And particularly in messages conveyed to the public, they are very careful, and try never to get at odds with the governments and the peoples of the countries in which they are guests. Particularly if their instructions are along these lines. And if they are doing their jobs well...

    Put yourself, for instance, in the place of Ambassador Ross Wilson just now. The wisdom of the decision can be debated, and indeed is being debated in Washington, but your government has decided to subject HAMAS [Islamic Resistance Movement], which won the elections in Palestine, to political and financial isolation until it abandons its radicalism. Your Secretary of State is herself occupying herself with the matter. Last week she set out on a tour of the Middle East to try to persuade others on this policy. And your Head of State keeps talking about this issue. In other words, it is a number-one priority item in foreign policy for you.

    Just at that same time, one of your NATO allies goes and invites HAMAS, which you officially see as a terrorist organization, to its capital. And even hosts a delegation headed by someone like Khalid Mish'al, an unelected leader from the organization's military wing. Perhaps they are not admitted into the Foreign Ministry. But the number-two man in the host government, top-level bureaucrats, and leading notables in the ruling party meet with them. You have made the request of your ally that "If possible, such invitations should be avoided, but if they absolutely have to occur, let the wrong people not come, let the correct messages be conveyed, and let them not be received at a very high level." Moreover, you have been told that "There was no invitation." But still the visit has taken place. Telephone calls and messages come in from Washington. Everyone is asking "How can an ally act in this way?" In this situation, what do you do?

    If you are a good diplomat, you convey your government's reproach to Turkish officials as politely as you can, and to the press, you try to save the situation by saying "The important thing was for the proper messages to be conveyed." Because you know that it is usually more harmful than helpful to debate official disappointment before the public. As was seen in the recent past...

    Now assume for a moment that you are Ambassador Nabi Sensoy. You have just recently begun your assignment in Washington. In the final days of your predecessor, with superhuman efforts in both capital cities, relations were pulled out of the gutter. You want to improve things even further. If what the things written in the poisonous letter that House of Representatives International Affairs Committee Co-Chairman Tom Lantos wrote to Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan are true, you are assuring the Americans with whom you speak that your government will be on the same side as the United States in "all major foreign policy decisions".

    And then suddenly, in Ankara, an action perceived by the Americans as a "fait accompli" and "not well timed" takes place. And just in a period during which a chauvinistic film on the theme of "taking revenge on cruel Americans and despicable Jews" is breaking attendance records in your country. You are trying to explain that there is no anti-Americanism in Turkey, but even some of the officials of your state say that they like this film, and even that it reflects "the historical realities".

    Meanwhile, you are in the position of gearing up for a fierce battle in the American Congress against those who allege an Armenian Genocide. And your government, with no matter what good intentions, is rolling up its sleeves in order to intermediate on behalf of a mentality that has vowed to destroy the Jews and Israel, virtually your only allies there. And people are furious. What do you do in this situation?

    Well, America as well can put its signature to policies that Turkey does not like. It is indeed not proper for some of our friends in the Jewish community, every time they get angry, to take the stance that "We will withdraw our support in Congress." But please, let us realize that our behavior as well over the past few weeks does not appear very friendly or ally-like when seen from Washington, and let us act accordingly. Those who, in both capitals, look at the big strategic picture and see the glass as being half-full, are still in the majority. But these developments have, unfortunately, strengthened the hand of those radicals who do not want a Turkish-American friendship...

    EG/


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