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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-09-18

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.179/06 16-18.09.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] A new political party in the TRNC
  • [02] The leader of CTP met with officials from the newly formed ORP
  • [03] Serdar Denktas accuses AKP of being involved in the government crisis
  • [04] Letters exchanged between Soyer and Denktas are revealed
  • [05] Statements by Rauf Denktas on the government crisis
  • [06] AKPs deputy chairman says Soyer and Kalyoncu asked the removal of Denktas from the government
  • [07] Foreign journalists visit the occupied areas upon an invitation by KTTO; Talat says he does not even want to think about Turkey opening its ports to Cyprus
  • [08] Talats interview with ZAMAN newspaper
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot newspaper reports that a German ambulance airplane flew directly to the illegal Tymbou airport
  • [10] The flag of the breakaway regime has entered into the telephone cards of a telecommunication company in Canada
  • [11] The EU Support Program Office in occupied Cyprus was opened
  • [12] The self- styled Minister of Finance and Tourism Dervish Kemal Deniz: Jews own 2 % of the TRNC territory
  • [13] Cemal Bulutoglulari met with the TRNC Representative in Pakistan
  • [14] TRNC real estate sector buoyed by Orams decision
  • [15] Polls indicate four parties could make it to Parliament

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] A new political party in the TRNC

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.09.06) broadcast the following:

    A new political party has been formed in the Republic by a group which includes three members of the Parliament, Turgay Avci, Erdogan Sanlidag and Mustafa Gokmen who earlier resigned from the National Unity Party and Democrat Party.

    They named their group the `Freedom and Reform Party` (Özgürlük ve Reform Partisi- ORP)

    Meanwhile, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces Prime Minister Soyer will meet with officials of the Freedom and Reform Party tomorrow.

    The founding leader of the new party Turgay Avci together with fifteen other founding members went to the Ministry of Interior at noon to present the necessary documents for the formation of their party.

    Speaking to reporters after presenting the documents, Mr Avci said that the party was formed to open the way for the people and in line with calls to this extent.

    Mr Avci who referred to his party as `Free Party `in short, said that the ORP will be reformist, democratic and transparent, and will be working collectively to serve the interests of the people.

    Asked why the Girne (occupied Kyrenia) deputy Ergun Serdaroglu, who also resigned together with them, was not in the list of founding members, he said that Mr Serdaroglu saw it early to form a new grouping but added that the Girne (occupied Kyrenia) MP will support the formation of a new coalition government of the CTP and ORP.

    Asked if this meant that the party is ready to form a new alliance with the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Avci said `that will be the case if it is set up`.

    Meanwhile, the Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer who was asked to form a new government by the President will meet with officials of the Freedom and Reform Party tomorrow.

    The Partys General Secretary Omer Kalyoncu told the BRT this afternoon that his party is planning to meet with the newly formed Party tomorrow but, added that the timing of the meeting is yet to be set.

    Yesterday, Mr Soyer met with leaders and representatives of the Democrat Party and National Unity Party. But, the Peace and Democracy Movement rejected to meet with the CTP Leader.

    Currently, the Republican Turkish Party has 25 seats, the National Unity Party 13, the Democrat Party 6, newly formed Freedom and Reform Party 3, the Peace and Democracy Movement 1. And, there are two independent deputies in the 50-seat TRNC Parliament.

    (Tr. Note: The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the northern occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus)

    [02] The leader of CTP met with officials from the newly formed ORP

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.09.06) broadcast the following:

    The Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has met with officials from the newly formed Freedom and Reform Party (ORP).

    Talks between the two parties lasted nearly two hours and officials from the two sides said at the end of the meeting that they will meet again on Tuesday to continue their discussions.

    The Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces Ferdi Sabit Soyer who was tasked to form a new government is continuing his contacts with political parties with seats in parliament.

    Mr Soyer together with a delegation from his party - visited the Freedom and Reform Party today which was formed yesterday by three deputies who earlier resigned from the National Unity Party and Democrat Party.

    The first to speak after the meeting was the Leader of the Freedom and Reform Party Turgay Avci who said that officials from the two parties exchanged views on political developments in and out of the country as well as on the current government crisis.

    Mr Avci added that officials from his party will pay a return visit to the Republican Turkish Party on Tuesday.

    He also announced that his party will hold a press conference on Monday to inform the press on the vision of his newly formed party.

    For his part, the CTP-BG Leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer called the meeting between the two parties as a `good` one, during which the Cyprus problem, Turkeys EU membership process, and domestic political developments were taken up.

    Stressing that his partys first priority is to secure economic development and democratization of institutions, Mr Soyer said that the two parties will meet again on Tuesday to find solutions to the problems being faced.

    Mr Soyer also criticized the main opposition National Unity Party and Democrat Party for their attitudes.

    Yesterday, the two parties announced that they will boycott Mondays session of the Republic Assembly.

    The two parties which likened the democracy in the Republic to a `derailed train` - said they decided to stage a joint action to take the democracy back to its tracks.

    The National Unity Party also announced that the UBP deputy Hasan Tacoy will not attend this weeks works of the European Parliament and will send e-mails to Euro-MPs to explain the reasons behind his decision.

    [03] Serdar Denktas accuses AKP of being involved in the government crisis

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (18.09.06) reports that Serdar Denktas the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) spoke to the paper about the government crisis in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) and said that a religious-political coalition is being established in Cyprus. Serdar Denktas stated that Saban Disli, the deputy General Secretary of AKP played an important role as regards the developments.

    Denktas stated that while the government in occupied Cyprus was continuing, contacts were being made with the deputies of other parties and the government has finally resigned. Those deputies will form a new party and a new coalition will be established. Mr Serdar Denktas stated that a dirty game took place at the Gunes Motel in Turkey and the Salamis Bey hotel in occupied Cyprus. He stated that Mehmet Ali Talat was extremely uncomfortable and said that if it was in his hands he would not have accepted the resignation of the government. Mr Denktas stated that all the opposition parties took a boycott decision after these developments.

    He also said that Saban Disli, the deputy General Secretary of AKP is involved in the developments in occupied Cyprus. He stated that Disli met with the deputies who have resigned in Turkey and when the deputies returned to Cyprus they stated that they were persuaded by Ankara. It is believed in occupied Cyprus that Saban Disli, who is very close to Tayyip Erdogan, cannot even breathe without asking the Turkish Prime Minister, Serdar Denktas noted and added that everything took place with Erdogans knowledge and approval. Otherwise such a work would not have taken place.

    Serdar Denktas also stated that a party, similar to AKP, will be formed in Cyprus. He stated that religion and politics, which have never come together until today in occupied Cyprus, now are meeting. A religious-political coalition is formed with the initiative of Ahmet Yonluer, head of religious affairs in occupied Cyprus. He became a de-facto mediator saying that a new party which will combine the religious and national sensation will be established. This person is swearing that This is what Erdogan and AKP want. By using Erdogans name they safeguard their financial possibilities with businessmen, Serdar Denktas stated. Mr Serdar Denktas also called on Turkey not to interfere with the TRNC politics.

    (C/S)

    [04] Letters exchanged between Soyer and Denktas are revealed

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.09.06) publishes the letters which have been exchanged between Mr Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer, leader of the Republican Turkish Party United Forces (CTP-BG) within the framework of the efforts to save the CTP-DP coalition government.

    In his letter on 28 August 2006 Mr Denktas expressed the disagreement of his party with the draft of the so-called public sector reform package prepared by the CTP. Mr Soyer replied to Mr Denktas on 31 August arguing that the CTP-DP coalition government began its work on the basis of restructure and insisted on the proposals of his party.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Statements by Rauf Denktas on the government crisis

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFR0KA newspaper (18.09.06) reports that in statements during a conference at Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul, the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has strongly criticized the resignations of UBP and DP MPs and the new party. Denktas said: An operation has been carried out in Cyprus. We call it the Muftis Operation. The mufti has carried out an operation by using the name of Prime Minister Erdogan and the religious activities and pushed the DP out of the coalition.

    Mr Denktas demanded from Mr Erdogan to issue a statement saying that the mufti is not my spokesman and I am not involved in this operation.

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (18.09.06) refers to Mr Rauf Denktas statements under the banner front-page title Concessions at the door. The paper writes that Mr Denktas expressed the opinion that concessions will be made by the new government in the occupied areas and that the only way to prevent this is a statement by Mr Erdogan that he has nothing to do with the developments.

    Turkish Cypriot daily ÖZGÜR DÜ^ÜNCE newspaper (18.09.06) refers to Mr Rauf Denktas statements under the banner front-page title He has remained alone . The paper writes that the conference, where Mr Denktas delivered a speech, had been organized by Turkey s Labour Party (IP).

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] AKP s deputy chairman says Soyer and Kalyoncu asked the removal of Denktas from the government

    Under the title Soyer asked for it, Erdogan did it , Turkish Cypriot daily AFR0KA newspaper (18.09.06), invokes information published by Murat Yetkin in Turkish RADIKAL newspaper and reports that the Justice and Development partys (AKP) deputy chairman, Saban Disli has made important statements on the issue of the developments in the occupied part of Cyprus, arguing that he had no relation with the resignations from the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP).

    Mr Disli said that this demand came directly from Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) chairman and General Secretary Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Omer Kalyoncu respectively and that the issue was discussed directly with Prime Minister Erdogan.

    According to Disli, the issue was raised for the first time by Mr Kalyoncu to Mr Erdogan, who visited occupied Cyprus during the 20 July celebrations on the occasion of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    Mr Kalyoncu told the Turkish Prime Minster that they cannot work with Serdar Denktas and that if necessary they would continue their work with a minority government. Mr Disli said that Mr Soyer discussed the issue with Mr Erdogan in August during the opening ceremony of the Baku - Ceyhan - Tiflis pipeline.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Foreign journalists visit the occupied areas upon an invitation by KTTO; Talat says he does not even want to think about Turkey opening its ports to Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.09.06) reports that in statements during a meeting with four journalists from Brussels who are visiting the occupied areas upon an invitation by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has argued that the so-called isolation and the embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots will increase and their economy will collapse in case Turkey opens its ports to ships which are under the flag of Cyprus unless all ports are simultaneously opened.

    Under the title I do not even want to think that Turkey will open its ports to the Greek Cypriots, the paper notes that Mr Talat said: In any event Turkey will not apply this scenario. In statements made the day before yesterday the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul stressed once more that Turkey will not open its ports unilaterally.

    The paper writes that according to a statement issued by the KTTO, the participants in the delegation are four correspondents of foreign newspapers in Brussels: Fidelios Schmid, correspondent of the British Financial Times, Frans Boogard, correspondent of DGBLAD newspaper which is published in Holland, Johana Grohova, correspondent of DNES newspaper published in the Check Republic and Berivan Orucoglu, correspondent of Yeni Safak newspaper published in Turkey.

    The paper reports that the delegation arrived in the occupied areas of Cyprus the day before yesterday and met with Mr Talat, the administrative council of the KTTO and the self-styled Prime Minister, Mr Soyer. They were also briefed on the Cyprus problem at the EU Coordination Center of the Prime Ministry.

    Turkish Cypriot daily ÖZGÜR DÜ^ÜNCE newspaper (18.09.06) reports that addressing the foreign journalists who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Erdil Nami has argued that Turkey s so-called action plan will be the key for the solution in Cyprus.

    He alleged that the Green Line Regulation does not contribute to the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots and added that the economy in northern Cyprus will grow in case the sea and airports open simultaneously. If not, he argued, the Turkish Cypriot will be turned from a community which is productive into a community which consumes and the solution will not be even seen in the horizon.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Talats interview with ZAMAN newspaper

    Istanbul Zaman newspaper (17.09.06) publishes an interview with Mehmet Ali Talat by Yasar Durukan under the title: "Ankara had no role in the break-up of the coalition".

    Replying to Zaman's questions, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that the crisis began with the local elections. He added: "I have not identified a direct intervention from Turkey with the purpose of bringing down the government."

    Commenting on charges that the deputies who resigned from the National Unity Party and the DP had talks with Ankara to form a new political entity on the right, Talat said: "Parties of the right in the TRNC generally find it essential to consult with Turkey in such circumstances. They may have done something like that as part of that process. If a group has decided to defect and wants to enter the government and it has received the consent of the government party for that action, there might have been consultations in the sense of 'Are we doing the right thing?' or "Would Turkey be annoyed or very upset?'"

    Commenting on the possibility of early elections, Talat said that he does not see that outcome as very likely. He continued: "I do not think early elections are likely given that one party has 25 seats in the Assembly. Before this crisis a party that has only one seat in the Assembly had offered to help the government if the CTP requests it. A government with a parliamentary majority can be formed with only that party. Would an Assembly with this distribution of seats call for early elections? I do not think it is likely at all."

    Commenting on the issue of the occupied ports, which are of critical importance in Turkey's relations with the EU, Talat said that he knows about the plan that envisages to hand over the administration of ports in occupied Cyprus to the UN. The government of the Republic of Cyprus has insisted that it is "not aware" of any such plan. Talat said that no proposal has been received from the UN directly but that some diplomats have been taking soundings on whether [the ports] can be turned over to the UN. He added: "We have told them that this is out of the question." Stating that this plan would be a sufficient concession for Turkey to lift its restrictions on Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft, Talat said: "Do we not have the capability to operate and to provide security for our ports to turn them over to the UN? The UN assumes such responsibilities in times of war and in regions where there is fighting. I do not think that we need to cooperate with the UN on the issue of operating ports. Nothing can be more comical than turning over the ports of a legitimate and functional state to the UN."

    Charging that the Greek Cypriots have never wanted peace, Talat said that his predecessor, Rauf Denktas, was too slow in demonstrating this to the world. Stating that "we proved this," Talat said: "We demonstrated to the world there is a people here and that it wants peace. In the past the Turkish Cypriot side argued that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution even as they rejected the solution proposals offered to them."

    Commenting on his trip to Pakistan, Talat said that the visit was realized at the request of the TRNC and Turkey, that it was planned in January, but that it was scheduled for September to avoid any hot weather. Talat said that there may be visits to other countries also but that he cannot name them for now.

    [09] Turkish Cypriot newspaper reports that a German ambulance airplane flew directly to the illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily YEN0 DÜZEN newspaper (18.09.06) reports that an ambulance airplane came yesterday directly from Germany to the illegal Tymbou airport in order to take to Germany a sick German citizen of Turkish origin.

    According to the paper, the airplane named Yellow Angel came to the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to take Zeliha Devrim, who had an accident in Kerynia on 14 September. Halil Devrim, Mrs Zeliha Devrims husband, told the paper that the total expenses will be around 78 thousand euros and that they will be met by the social insurance project in Germany.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The flag of the breakaway regime has entered into the telephone cards of a telecommunication company in Canada

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (18.09.06) reports that the flag of the breakaway regime has entered into the 10 dollar telephone cards of the Canadian Bell telecommunications company.

    The chairman of the Health Administrators Association, Onur Yasar, who has established this fact during a visit to Canada, said that he does not think that a message is sent in this manner, but this means that the existence of this flag is known even if it is not officially recognized.

    The flags of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey cannot be found on the above-mentioned cards, notes the paper.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] The EU Support Program Office in occupied Cyprus was opened

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (16.09.06) reports that the EU Support Program Office responsible for the financial assistance towards the Turkish Cypriots has been opened in occupied Cyprus the day before yesterday.

    The office which is associated with the European Commissions Enlargement Directorate, aims to provide a better communication between the Turkish Cypriots authority and the European Union, as this was affirmed in a statement issued by the EU Office.

    The EU Support Program Office will determine which projects the EU financial assistance will be spent on, while according to the paper, the Office will be staffed with ten Turkish Cypriot and twenty European experts, as well as twelve technical advisors from the European Commission.

    The office in occupied Lefkosia has been rented on behalf of a private German company.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.09.06) reports that the amount of 40 million Euros, the first instalment within the framework of the Financial Aid Regulation, is expected to be given on the 29th of September, following the meeting of the EU member states with the Commission.

    According to the paper, the second instalment will be discussed in Brussels on the 20th of October.

    (M/L)

    [12] The self- styled Minister of Finance and Tourism Dervish Kemal Deniz: Jews own 2 % of the TRNC territory

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (18.09.06) reports that the self-styled Minister of Finance and Tourism Dervish Kemal Deniz, has said that the Jews and the British Jews who arrive in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus for gambling, buy land and today these Jews own 2 % of the TRNC territory. He went on and claimed that he is suspicious that the Greek Cypriots are behind this development and that he conveyed the danger to the Assembly. However he added: The senior partner of the coalition government the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) did not take it seriously. He said that at present the Jews own more land in the occupied area than the British.

    He went on and said that following the yes vote in the referendum there was an economic boom in the occupied areas and as a result of this boom today the per capita income in the occupied area rose from 4400 USD to 10 000 USD. He admitted that to this situation the opening of the crossing points helped greatly because the wages in the free areas are double than the wages in the occupied areas. This also helped increasing of the bank deposits from 1.5 billion USD to the 3.0 billion USD. He said that the occupied areas budget was 1.5 billion USD of which 15 % was coming from the free areas of the Republic and 600 million USD from the Universities.

    Moreover, the Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (18.09.06) reports that the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus with a view to reviving its economy has adopted the so-called International Finance Companies Law which will provide tax advantages to foreign companies that conduct their foreign business through an office operating in the occupied areas.

    The self-styled Minister of Finance and Tourism Dervish Kemal Deniz, explaining the new so-called law said that this could be a Tax haven to the Turkish companies in their business dealings outside of Turkey since they will be only paying 2.5 % tax. He went on and said that they expect from Turkey to make arrangements to avoid double taxation.

    Claiming that this law has been in force in the Republic of Cyprus, in the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Lichtenstein, Mr Deniz said that it would be an important economic overture regarding the occupied area. Mr Deniz pointed out that the Turkish companies having headquarters in Turkey were conducting their business outside of Turkey through companies they have established in countries where they are offered tax incentives.

    When asked whether the occupied areas status is an obstacle to such arrangement Mr. Deniz said: We have met with the EU officials. The Green Line Regulations consider goods produced in the TRNC as the goods produced in the Republic of Cyprus that existed in 1960. We have demanded that this should be valid regarding the capital movements. They have accepted it. This means that the operations of a company established in the TRNC will face no problems within the EU member countries. The other important issue is that the Turkish Grand National Assembly should pass a law to the effect that once 2.5 % tax is cut in the TRNC there will be no more tax cut in Turkey.

    Mr. Deniz went on and said that with this arrangement it is possible to attract some companies operating in the free areas of Cyprus thus transferring their operations into the occupied areas, since in the free areas, he added, the income tax is 10 % and in the occupied areas this figure is only 2.5%.

    Mr Deniz then referred to the investments in the construction sector in the occupied areas and said that at this moment the hotel bed capacity is fourteen thousand of which five thousand is five-star rating. In 2014 this figure will reach to forty five thousand he claimed. He also named Turkish and foreign companies which applied for investing in the occupied area in the construction sector. They are: Rixos, Gloria Ozaltin, IC Hotel Antbel, Club Alibey, Akfen, Gocay Kibris, (Pine Bay),Kutahya Porselen, Tez tour, Kolin Insaat, First Choice & Oztes Insaat (Pegasos Hotel), Yazici Demir Celik San., (Cornelia De Lux Resort).

    (MHY)

    [13] Cemal Bulutoglulari met with the TRNC Representative in Pakistan

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper HALKIN SESI (16.09.06) reports that the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari, met on Friday (15.09.06) with the TRNC Representative in Islamabad, Mrs Hasibe Sahoglu.

    During the meeting, Mr Bulutoglulari and Mrs Sahoglu exchanged views regarding the establishment of relations between the municipality of the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad, and occupied Lefkosia.

    On his part, Mr Bulutoglulari pointed out that he wishes for the relations developed between the two countries after Mehmet Ali Talats visit to Pakistan to be continued in the municipality field too, and expressed his trust to Mrs Sahoglu experience. He also said that there is no reason for not establishing high level contacts between the two municipalities and he stressed the city diplomacy importance which, as he stated, offers a serious contribution to the cities in the world getting closer.

    (M/L)

    [14] TRNC real estate sector buoyed by Orams decision

    Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (17.09.06), under the above title, reports the following:

    A British court's ruling on the Orams case is now expected to attract thousands of potential British buyers to invest in the TRNC, a move that will fuel a building boom on the northern part of the island, suffering from ongoing trade embargoes

    The Turkish Cypriot Contractors' Union will participate in a fair in Britain at the end of this month, an invitation that came after a British court's ruling in favour of a British couple whose holiday home in northern Cyprus was threatened by an international property dispute.

    This is a significant development because contracting companies in the TRNC individually attended such international fairs in the past, Can Erçak1ca, publisher of Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Observer, told the Turkish Daily News.

    In a landmark verdict that will set a precedent for a considerable number of cases with regard to British property ownership in the TRNC, a British judge ruled earlier this month in favour of David Orams and his wife Linda, fighting a court order calling for them to demolish their retirement home in northern Cyprus.

    In November 2004, a Greek Cypriot court ordered the Orams to demolish their property and pay compensation to the original land owner from Greek Cypriot, Meletios Apostolides, who fled the TRNC after the 1974 Turkish military intervention on the island and then settled in the south.

    Nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots are believed to have left their property in the north after the 1974 intervention.

    Apostolides later took the case to London in an attempt to enforce the ruling under European Union law in the hope that the court could seize the Orams' home in East Sussex if they refused to comply.

    To the dislike of Greek Cypriots, the British judge ruled that the Greek Cypriot court's order against the Orams was not enforceable in the TRNC, which is not internationally recognized and which has been kept outside the EU.

    The judge also ordered that the Greek Cypriot plaintiff pay 75 percent of the Orams' legal costs of 863,000 pounds (1.3 million euros), with an interim payment of 150,000 pounds, half of which was stayed pending any appeal.

    The British court's ruling over the Orams' case, the latest of several real estate disputes in Cyprus, is significant to thousands of foreigners who have purchased property in the TRNC at bargain prices but who faced the prospect of losing them because of Greek Cyprus' status as an EU member.

    Some 100,000 foreigners are estimated to be living in northern Cyprus, many of whom are from Great Britain.

    The court verdict is now expected to attract thousands of potential British buyers to invest in the TRNC, a move that will fuel a building boom on the northern part of the island suffering from ongoing trade embargoes.

    Currently there is a positive atmosphere in the TRNC, Erçak1ca said. The real estate sector is happy with the court ruling, which has triggered boost in house prices.

    Construction and the real estate sector, one of the few vigorous sectors in the TRNC, have been stagnant because the property sale in the north has so far been under the shadow of the courts. The sector is now gradually reviving with the key ruling.

    However, the case has not yet been finalized. The Greek Cypriots, shocked by the court order, will take it to the European Court of Justice. The Greek Cypriots, however, say the ruling in no way legitimizes the sale or occupation of Greek Cypriot property in the north.

    Land claims are among the most contentious issues on the island. In earlier reactions to the ruling, TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat said property disputes cannot easily be settled through legal means unless the decades-old Cyprus dispute is settled. It is not logical to expend efforts to implement the EU acquis in the TRNC, which remains outside the EU acquis, and it has backfired. This is the case here, he said.

    In May 2004 the Greek Cypriots unilaterally joined the EU, though the majority of them turned down a U.N.-proposed peace plan during twin referenda on the two parts of the island. The Turkish Cypriots overwhelmingly voted for the plan but remained outside the bloc.

    [15] Polls indicate four parties could make it to Parliament

    Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (17.09.06) reports that the results of recent polls conducted by various research companies indicate that four political parties -- namely the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP), True Path Party (DYP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) -- will get enough votes to pass the 10 percent election barrier and make it to Parliament.

    The results of an election-forecast poll conducted by SONAR this month conducted among 1,851 people in 14 cities including Istanbul, 0zmir and Ankara were as follows: AKP 25.51 percent, CHP 20.08 percent, DYP 13.09 percent, MHP 12.21 percent, Democratic Left (DSP) 7.19 percent, Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) 6.31 percent, Young Party (GP) 5.02 percent, Democratic Society's Party (DTP) 4.41 percent, Social Democratic People's Party (SHP) 2.99 percent, other 3.19 percent.

    Another poll conducted by Türkbilgi Consultancy in 40 cities across 11,380 people also shows four parties in Parliament. The percentages indicated by this poll are: AKP 29.40, CHP 17.04, DYP 13.16, MHP 12.12, DTP 6.15, ANAVATAN 5.79, the Contentment Party (SP) 5.43, and DSP 5.46.

    AKP members oppose the above results. For example, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek claims the AKP's percentage is around 50 percent in Ankara, while polls conducted by the AKP elsewhere indicate percentages above 35 percent. In the November 2, 2002 elections the AKP got 34.3 percent of the vote, followed by the CHP at 19.4, while the DYP and the MHP were left out of Parliament with 9.55 and 8.4 percent respectively.

    Would a real ballot reflect the results from these polls? There is still one year before the elections. However, very important tests lie ahead for the political parties. In May next year, the presidential elections will be held, which will significantly influence all political parties, particularly the AKP. In addition, it is unclear as yet what the government will do in the year ahead. Important issues such as economic policy, the EU accession process or terrorism could change the AKP's share of the vote. The strategy to be followed by opposition parties, most importantly the CHP, is equally important. A year is a long time in Turkish politics.

    Although the surveys' results could have a motivational influence on electorate and political parties alike, one should always keep in mind that a lot of water will have gone under the bridge come election time. Experience shows that Turkish voters can be surprising, for example the electoral behaviour which brought Bülent Ecevit's DSP to power with 20 percent in 1999 only to put it out with 1 percent three years later.


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