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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-09-01

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.168/06 01.09.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mediatory duty for Turkey.
  • [02] Statements by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn on the recent Security Council meeting on Cyprus.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot press unions demonstrated against the arrests of Greek Cypriot journalists.
  • [04] Mass at St. Mamas church for the third time since the Turkish invasion and occupation of 1974.
  • [05] Illegal regime authorities arrest Greek Cypriot women at St. Varnavas monastery.
  • [06] World Peace Day call for talks by Turkish Cypriot organizations.
  • [07] Facelift plan for the occupation regime. Environment Ministry suggested.
  • [08] Turkey claims that Talat giving the trophy is in line with the F1 regulations.
  • [09] Annan for two days in Turkey. Sezer in his programme.
  • [10] Air Force Commander confirms the planned purchase of 30 F-16´s and comments on the incident in the Aegean Sea.
  • [11] Dutch ship with toxic material was not accepted in Turkey.
  • [12] TUSIAD accuses the Turkish government of neglecting EU process.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] Columnist in RADIKAL assess the prospect of former Chief of Staff being AKP´s candidate for the Presidency.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mediatory duty for Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish daily AKSAM newspaper (01.09.06) reports that the EU Commissioner in charge of Foreign Relations, Mr Javier Solana, after attending the meeting of Foreign Ministers in Finland, will visit Turkey, Israel, Jordan and the Lebanon.

    The paper writes: During the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs today the EU will ask from Turkey to be a mediator for a solution in the Lebanon crisis. The EU Commissioner in charge of Foreign Relations, Mr Javier Solana is coming to Ankara in order to meet with Turkish officials.

    Noting that measures for decreasing the tension in the region will be discussed in the meeting, the paper adds, inter alia, the following:

    Drawing attention to Turkeys close relations both with the EU and the Middle East, the evaluation of a request might be made to Turkey in order to be given the duty of a bridge between the EU and Israel and Lebanon is made. Diplomats say that the constructive attitude that Turkey has shown from the beginning of the crisis will be examined at the meeting. After the meeting the EU Commissioner in charge of Foreign Relations, Mr Javier Solana is planned to make a tour including Turkey, Israel, Jordan and the Lebanon aiming at decreasing the tension. Turkey will be the first stop of Solanas visit.

    [02] Statements by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn on the recent Security Council meeting on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.08.06) broadcast the following:

    The EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Olli Rehn has said that the Commission fully supports the efforts of the United Nations to further the reunification progress in Cyprus.

    Mr Rehn said progress in the reunification process is in the interest of the wider international community.

    Referring to recent consultations held at the UN Security Council on the Cyprus issue, the EU Commissioner Olli Rehn reminded that the Commission had welcomed the agreement reached on the 8th of July between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos during the UN Undersecretary Ibrahim Gambaris visit to the island.

    Mr Rehn stated that the agreed set of principles and the decision by the two leaders to commence the Technical Committees on day to day issues and the expert bi-communal working groups on substantive issues constitute an important and promising step forward.

    Pointing out that the two sides had exchanged lists of issues to be discussed by the end of July, he said `the list must now be finalized without further delay to allow substantive discussions to begin quickly`.

    Mr Rehn noted that positive results will benefit both sides directly and will help prepare the ground for the resumption of talks on a comprehensive settlement using the good offices of the UN Secretary-General.

    On Tuesday, the United Nations Security Council called for the full implementation of the July 8 agreement reached between the two sides without further delay.

    It said that technical committees have not yet started work as they should have done by the end of last month.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot press unions demonstrated against the arrests of Greek Cypriot journalists

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.08.06) broadcast the following:

    Members of three press workers organizations held an action this morning in Lefkosia to protest, what they called, restrictions and limitations on news coverage and press freedom.

    The protest by the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association, the Union of Press Workers and the Turkish Cypriot Association of Communicators - was held on the footbridge in old Lefkosia in the area known as Arasta.

    Members of the three organizations gathered around the footbridge in Arasta in old Lefkosia today to protest the recent detention of some of their colleagues.

    During the protest, the President of Basin-Sen Kemal Darbaz read out a press statement in which he said that recent detention and trial of members of the media shooting films and photos of military restricted zones - has been turned into a campaign.

    Calling the detention and trial of press workers as `unacceptable`, Mr Darbaz said todays technology enables every zone to be photographed through the internet, adding that it is a tragicomic situation to claim that press workers are threatening the security and sovereignty with photos and films they shoot in restricted areas.

    He noted that codes and regulations, which he said, were written in 1979 according to the periods situation, have been creating obstacles for daily civilian life and freedom of the press.

    The protest in the capital was supported by some political parties and non-governmental organizations who also called for the removal of all kinds of restrictions in the way of the freedom of the press.

    In addition Turkish Cypriot daily AFR0KA (01.09.06) refers to the protest of the Turkish Cypriot journalists under the banner front-page title Uprising at the bridge for the military zones . The paper writes that the organizations protested against the arrests of Greek Cypriot journalists which intensified recently and almost became a campaign. In the joint statement of the three organizations it was noted that there is almost no place, which is not a forbidden military zone on the land that we live. The statement said: It is not possible for us to accept and digest the forbidden military zone definition and the practices regarding this definition which was the reason for the arrest of Turkish Cypriot press workers in the past and today. Alleging that the pictures and the scenes which the press workers take threaten our security and sovereignty is a tragicomic definition.

    [04] Mass at St. Mamas church for the third time since the Turkish invasion and occupation of 1974

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.08.06) broadcast that the Greek Cypriots are preparing to hold religious ceremonies at the St. Mamas Church in occupied Morfou for the next two days.

    The Greek Cypriots will be holding religious prayers at the church for a third year running since the crossing points opened in April 2003.

    Preparations are already underway for tomorrows religious ceremony with church volunteers and priests clearing the church grounds.

    Meanwhile Police have stepped up security in and around the Saint Mamas Church for the two-day prayers.

    Tomorrows ceremony will start at 6:30 pm in the evening followed by a second ceremony on Saturday morning.

    The first religious ceremony at the church was held in 2004 after a 30-year break.

    [05] Illegal regime authorities arrest Greek Cypriot women at St. Varnavas monastery

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (01.09.06) reports that three Greek Cypriot women who were cleaning the occupied monastery of St. Varnavas have been arrested by the so-called police in the occupied region of Ayios Serghios. The women who have been kept to the occupied Ayios Serghios´ police station between 14:00-17:00 hours, were set free after giving testimonies to the police.

    According to the paper, no accusation has been brought against the women, who have stated to the police that they were taking care of the monastery for the Saint´s grace. It was known that the women were visiting and cleaning St. Varnavas monastery every week for the last two years, as the paper writes.

    The paper publishes the report under the title Testimonies have been taken by the three Greek Cypriot women who were cleaning St. Varnavas monastery.

    (M/L)

    [06] World Peace Day call for talks by Turkish Cypriot organizations

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SES0 newspaper (01.09.06) writes that the platform This Country is Ours , the National Unity Party (UBP), the New Cyprus Party (YKP) and the Baraka Cultural Centre will organize various activities today within the framework of the World Peace Day. The Platform will organize a rally in the occupied part of Nicosia and it will issue an announcement calling on President Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to immediately begin negotiations towards a united federal Cyprus. The UBP will place a black wreath in front of the office of the USA and the British High Commission in the occupied areas, alleging that they prevent the Turkish Cypriots from taking their place in the world and that they do not contribute to peace.

    [07] Facelift plan for the occupation regime. Environment Ministry suggested

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (01.09.06) reports that Mr Erhan Ercin, responsible for the EU Coordination Centre of the breakaway regime, has explained to the paper the study they had submitted to the government two weeks ago regarding the reform in the administration.

    He said that before all else they examined the sectors where difficulties exist in producing policy so that the prosperity is increased and the government serves better the people. Mr Ercin noted that environment is one of the most important issues. He said that with the Annan Plan there was a very serious economic development in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) and that they established that preserving the beauties of the Island of Cyprus is extremely important for this economic development being sustainable. Mr Ercin noted that the establishment of a ministry of environment is provided for in the study.

    [08] Turkey claims that Talat giving the trophy is in line with the F1 regulations

    Under the title Talat giving the cup is in line with the F1 regulations , HURR0YET newspaper (01,09.06) writes that the promoting organization (MSO) which was responsible for the Turkish Grand Prix, in a written statement, stressed that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, as a name the status of which is known in the international scene, has been invited to the Grand Prix and that according to the F1 regulations he was an appropriate man to hand over the trophy.

    (M/L)

    [09] Annan for two days in Turkey. Sezer in his programme

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.08.06) reported from Ankara that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will pay a visit to Ankara on September 5th and 6th within the scope of his tour to the Middle East.

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer would receive Annan on September 6th.

    Annan is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

    He is expected to depart from Turkey the same day.

    [10] Air Force Commander confirms the planned purchase of 30 F-16´s and comments on the incident in the Aegean Sea

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.08.06) reports the following from Ankara:

    "Turkey will purchase 30 F-16 fighter jets before 2011" said Turkish Air Forces Commander Gen. Faruk Comert.

    Upon questions of journalists, Gen. Comert said: We are planning to purchase 30 F-16 war planes till 2011. We are trying to find the money, but I don't think that it would be problem."

    When asked whether Turkey would file a lawsuit after the collision of Turkish and Greek warplanes over the Aegean Sea on May 23rd, Gen. Comert said: "We have prepared a file and sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, we asked the opinion of jurists who told us that such a case would provide Turkey with a political superiority rather than a legal one."

    A Turkish F-16 jetfighter and a Greek F-16 collided in the international air space over the Aegean Sea on May 23rd. The Turkish pilot survived the collision with minor injuries while the Greek pilot lost his life.

    [11] Dutch ship with toxic material was not accepted in Turkey

    NTV television (31.08.06) broadcast that the Dutch Asbestos-ridden ship, originally planned to be scrapped at Aliaga port, is to be returned to the Netherlands.

    The Otopan had been at the centre of a spat between Holland and Turkey, with the Turkish Environment Minister Osman Pepe also coming under fire at home for initially giving permission for the vessel to be scrapped in Turkey.

    The ship is to be returned to Holland after Dutch authorities accepted they had provided misleading information on the amount of toxic material in the vessel.

    The Otopan was due to be broken up at the port of Aliaga near Izmir but was refused entry into Turkish waters after it was disclosed that it has some 54 tons of carcinogenic asbestos on board, mainly used as insulation.

    On Thursday, Dutch Environment Minister Pieter Van Geel announced that permission had been given for the Otopan to return to the Netherlands, though he said it would not be broken up there due to the high cost.

    Van Geel, who was in Ankara last week trying to broker an agreement to have the vessel scrapped in Turkey, said the misunderstanding as to the quantity of toxic material on the Otopan was due to incorrect information being provided by the ships Mexican owner.

    [12] TUSIAD accuses the Turkish government of neglecting EU process

    Under the above title The New Anatolian newspaper (31.08.06) reported the following:

    Turkey's most powerful business association accused the government yesterday of not showing enough interest in Turkey's European Union process and lagging behind in accession talks.

    Aldo Kaslowski, international chairman for the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), said in an interview with the Anatolia news agency that it is very important for Ankara to have a presence in Brussels and European capitals during this time, where there is rising skepticism on Turkey's membership, but said so far almost nothing has been done.

    Kaslowski described Turkey's chief EU negotiator and State Minister Ali Babacan as a very talented young politician, but added the current situation where he is responsible both for the economy and the EU process is a very heavy workload.

    The TUSIAD official suggested creating a ministry dedicated to the EU process and assigning a ministry devoted to that purpose and nothing but. Kaslowski underlined that next year's parliamentary elections may cause populism among politicians, but the EU process, which is in Turkey's national interest, should be kept out of populist debates.

    Kaslowski also said that he shares the ideas reflected in a recent Financial Times story, where observers were quoted as saying that the responsibility for the draining of momentum from the EU accession process mainly lies with Ankara. While other candidate countries have politically well-connected diplomatic and negotiating teams in Brussels, Turkey's chief EU negotiator -- Babacan, a talented but relatively junior government minister -- has hardly visited the European Commission since he was appointed over a year ago, the article said.

    Talking to the FT, Kirsty Hughes, an associate fellow of the London School of Economics who follows the Turkey-EU relationship closely, said: "Where is Ali Babacan? Surely he should be coordinating the political line on all this? The fact that he is in Ankara and not banging on doors in Brussels suggests that Turkey is not taking the political challenge [of EU entry] very seriously."

    In related news, a poll done for Turkish daily Vatan showed that the trust of Turkish people in the EU has fallen sharply to just 25 percent. This constitutes a 10 percent decline from last year.

    The poll carried out by Estima in August also showed that around 33 percent of Turkish people view "religious and cultural differences," as one of the main problems in Turkish-EU relations. Thirty percent of those questioned said that they think EU is imposing "double standards" on Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] Columnist in RADIKAL assess the prospect of former Chief of Staff being AKP´s candidate for the Presidency

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (30.08.06) publishes the following commentary by

    Mehmet Ali Kislali under the title : "Ozkok would save the AKP":

    Things are getting steadily tougher for the AKP (Justice and Development Party).

    It has created serious concerns at home and abroad, especially in the West. There is increasing concern that it will not be able to preserve the Republic, which is one of its primary duties as stated in the preamble of the Constitution. This in turn is the cause for huge worries at home in particular. The presidential elections scheduled for next May look like playing a crucial role here.

    It is not hard to imagine what it would do to the country if the wife of the person to be made President were to wear the Islamic headscarf. One senior commander commented to a colleague of mine, "We would not look at his wife's headwear but at his approach to the preamble of the Constitution." He can say that until he is blue in the face.

    It is very easy to check the pulse in the armed forces as a whole. Ask any friend or relative who is a commissioned officer. You can reliably find out about the general mood. The country's high courts, the majority of the universities and the media plus anybody who can evaluate with a cool head what the AKP is doing are all of the same opinion. If the new President's wife wears Islamic headdress, this will cause chaos in the country. So, how can the AKP, which has the necessary majority in Parliament to elect the new President, escape this impasse?

    Firstly, it has to select a candidate whom its grass roots will accept. This candidate must also be acceptable to those bodies who have adopted the existing constitutional regime. If the current government has enough of a majority to continue in office after the next elections then it must not leave itself open to opposition from the Presidency when implementing its program.

    Taking an overall view: this candidate, who needs to be a "miracle worker," can really only be the former Chief of Staff Gen (ret) Hilmi Ozkok.

    During his four years as Chief of Staff Ozkok worked especially hard to stay in tune with the AKP government. While doing this he acted in accordance with the TSK's [Turkish Armed Forces] well-known mission, but in his own way. He prevented the AKP from creating big problems nationwide by stepping in sometimes openly and sometimes behind closed doors. He also allowed his other four-star friends to issue stern warnings from time to time. Ozkok was criticized by some circles for this approach to his duty.

    However, a far broader political spectrum found this fresh approach to be more democratic and they never said that the AKP was exploiting this new approach in order to implement its fundamentalist policies. Not even the European Union, which has its own unique traditions of military-civilian relations and which has never gone out of its way to understand Turkey in this respect, went much further.

    All of this makes us think that the most appropriate presidential candidate to help Turkey avoid this likely chaos and to work on developing its democracy would be Hilmi Ozkok.

    I wonder if the AKP leadership can believe that making a rational choice especially in the case of the presidential candidate is of vital importance both for the country and for democracy.

    Is this mindset capable of thinking that once it has shown common sense and decided on Ozkok that it will be able to convince both its grass roots and more importantly its majority in Parliament?

    Looking at it with a clear head, Ozkok with his four years of experience is a candidate that the AKP would never find odd. When you look at all the other likely AKP candidates do any of them come close to playing a positive role in the protection of the constitutional regime and the preservation of order in the country?

    Now, careful and serious attention must be given to having retired Chief of Staff Gen Hilmi Ozkok as the AKP's candidate for President. If we really are saying that Parliament, where the AKP has a majority, is going to hold the elections in accordance with the law, and that the candidate needs to be someone whom the majority of the country can accept, then let us start this debate.

    /SK


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