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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-09-25

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.184/06 23-25.09.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Hasan Ercakica defends the Turkish Cypriot side´s reply to Moller´s proposals
  • [02] Hasan Ercakica on the Finnish Presidency´s proposals for Cyprus
  • [03] The coalition parties signed the protocol. The cabinet before Talat today
  • [04] Statements by Erdogan in Rize disclose his government´s real policy on Cyprus
  • [05] Statements by Namik Tan on the Gul meeting with Rice and Rehn in New York
  • [06] Matt Bryza comments on the technical committees and Turkeys EU accession course
  • [07] Erdogan replies to Rauf Denktas´criticism
  • [08] Talat regarding the technical committees: We did not agree even on the procedure yet
  • [09] Mr Talat on the political crisis in the occupied areas
  • [10] A delegation from occupied Cyprus is to attend the Global Compact Network Forum in Spain
  • [11] Turkey passed into contra attack
  • [12] The occupation regime received an official invitation from FYROM to participate in international ping pong games
  • [13] Kretschmer criticizes the Turkish military for disrespect of legal order
  • [14] A Turkish settler to be given a ministry in the new cabinet
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] Metin Munir analyses today´s situation is the occupied areas and argues that the real aim of the political crisis is for the settlers from Turkey to get a bigger share of the wealth

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Hasan Ercakica defends the Turkish Cypriot side´s reply to Moller´s proposals

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.09.06) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Palace has repeated that the Turkish Cypriot Sides reply to the ideas of the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser for Cyprus Michael Moller was `positive`.

    A statement from the Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot Sides reply included some suggestions with the aim of preventing the preparations process to last indefinitely.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot Sides response to Mr Mollers proposals was `positive` as earlier announced by President Mehmet Ali Talat, the spokesman expressed the hope that the Greek Cypriot Sides reply will also be possible.

    He added that the Turkish Cypriot Sides response to the ideas included some suggestions with the aim of preventing the preparations process to last indefinitely.

    Complaining that unfounded comments and news are being published in South Cyprus on the Turkish Cypriot Sides reply to the ideas, he pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Side is yet to respond to the proposals and said that all these are far from having `good will` which is necessary to achieve progress in the process.

    [02] Hasan Ercakica on the Finnish Presidency´s proposals for Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.09.06) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has stressed that the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People must be kept separate from Turkeys EU membership process.

    Mr Ercakicas comments came in response to news that the Finnish EU presidency is holding discussions with Turkey, Greece and South Cyprus on a new proposal aimed at removing the obstacles in the way of establishing direct trade with the Turkish People and persuading Turkey to open its ports to South Cyprus.

    He stated that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will not consider the proposal seriously as it has not been informed about it, in spite of the fact that the proposal is concerned with the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    In a written statement today, the Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica said it is out of question for the Turkish Cypriot people to accept the establishment of any links between the lifting of its international isolation and Turkeys EU membership process.

    He went on to say that the lifting of the isolation would mean the implementation of the EU Councils decision dating on the 26th of April 2004 and the return of the Turkish Cypriot Peoples fundamental rights.

    He noted that the TRNC will not consider the proposal seriously as it was not informed about the Finnish EU Presidencys new offer.

    Earlier, the Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja whose country holds the EU term Presidency told the Reuters news agency that discussions are being held with Turkey, Greece and South Cyprus and other concerned-parties on a proposal aimed at removing the obstacles in the way of establishing direct trade with the Turkish People and persuading Turkey to open its ports to South Cyprus.

    But, the Minister made it clear that the term Presidency does not intend to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that the aim is just to prevent a possible crisis in Turkeys EU membership process.

    He stopped short of providing details about the new initiative but said that the postponement of the progress report on Turkey gave him more time to work on the issue.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime the Turkish Republic has established since 1974 when it carried out a barbaric unprovoked invasion against defenceless Cyprus)

    [03] The coalition parties signed the protocol. The cabinet before Talat today

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.9.06) the following:

    The cabinet of the new coalition government formed by the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORT) will be presented to President Mehmet Ali Talat tomorrow morning.

    The protocol of the new alliance was signed by the CTP Leader Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the ORP Leader Turgay Avci yesterday at a ceremony in Lefkosia.

    The protocol included ten Ministries 7 of which will be taken by the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces and 3 of them by the newly formed Freedom and Reform Party.

    Speaking at a press conference after the signing of the new protocol, Mr Soyer provided detailed information about the objectives and basic principles of the new alliance.

    The CTP-BG Leader said that the new alliance will be committed to work towards bringing about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem within the framework of the 8th of July Set of Principles and decisions agreed upon by the leaders of the two sides.

    He also noted that efforts to take the Turkish Cypriot people out of the international isolation will continue in order to open the way for the people to unite with the rest of the world.

    The list of the new cabinet was not made public by the two parties but the ORP Leader Avci was presented as the new deputy-Prime Minister Foreign Minister after the signing of the new protocol.

    It introduces new changes in the existing cabinet structure; the Ministry of Youth and Sports will be abolished and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources will be established.

    The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will also be divided into two, and the Forestry will be turned into a department within the newly established Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

    [04] Statements by Erdogan in Rize disclose his government´s real policy on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.09.06) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has gained more diplomatic credit within the international world.

    Speaking in the city of Rize on Turkeys Black Sea coast, the Turkish Premier pointed out to the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat has been paying officials visits to foreign countries as the President of the Republic and added that the TRNC is being represented at the meetings of the Organization of the Islamic Conference under the name of the Cyprus Turkish State with an observer status.

    He also added that many foreign investors both from the Islamic world and Europe have been investing in the country.

    Referring to the political situation in the TRNC, Mr Erdogan said that the latest political developments are an internal problem for the country itself.

    [05] Statements by Namik Tan on the Gul meeting with Rice and Rehn in New York

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.09.06) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has met with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn in line with his contacts in New York.

    The Cyprus Issue was among the topics discussed during his meetings with the two dignitaries.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan told a press conference that Mr. Gul had explained to his American counterpart how the Greek Cypriot Administration had become reluctant to work towards a solution to the Cyprus Problem once becoming an EU member.

    Mr Gul complained that the Greek Cypriot Side has been avoiding taking any concrete steps towards a solution.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister is also said to have discussed Ankaras action plan on Cyprus, which foresees the simultaneous lifting of all restrictions on both sides of the island.

    Mr Tan noted that the two Foreign Ministers agreed on the need for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process within the good offices mission of the United Nations Secretary General to bring about a comprehensive solution to the problem.

    As part of his contacts in New York, Mr. Gul also came together with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.

    At the end of the meeting, Mr. Rehn told reporters that the European Union expected the Turkish Parliament to approve the 9th reform package.

    [06] Matt Bryza comments on the technical committees and Turkeys EU accession course

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.09.06) reports that the senior State Department official at the Europe and Eurasia Desk Mr. Matt Bryza, has said that the technical committees in Cyprus are yet to convene and this creates problems. These committees should be established and start work and also the two leaders of the two communities should come together as soon as possible.

    Referring to Turkeys EU accession course Mr. Bryza said that it is necessary that Turkeys membership process should continue. The US official said that the problem created regarding the implementation of the additional Protocol regarding the Customs Union Agreement, Bryza said that this could be overcome through constructive approach by the sides involved and this constructive approach exists on both sides. Saying that during his contacts in the region he sensed the positive atmosphere existing in Turkey, in Cyprus and in the capitals of the EU member countries, the State Department official declared: I do believe that a reconciliation will be reached between the EU and Turkey on this issue. No one wants Turkeys accession negotiations to be derailed.

    Mr Bryza added that the US government supports the opening of the Turkish ports and airports and Turkeys fulfilling of its obligations towards the EU.

    (MHY)

    [07] Erdogan replies to Rauf Denktas´criticism

    Istanbul NTV television (23.09.06) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Erdogan has responded to the remarks made against him by Rauf Denktas, first president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [KKTC], in connection with the current government crisis in the KKTC. Erdogan said: I do not find his allegations about the Turkish Republic Government´s prime minister and team appropriate.

    He said: I am not going to say anything about Mr. Rauf Denktas. I respect his age. Nevertheless, I do not find his allegations about the Turkish Republic Government´s prime minister and team appropriate. He has done this repeatedly. He has repeatedly issued statements that could have led to problems in domestic politics. He says that he is going to continue to say such things. He speaks both knowingly and unknowingly. At the moment, the recent developments in the Turkish Cypriot government constitute their internal problem. Had the Republican Turkish Party gotten along with its coalition partner, it would not have separated from it. Had it been working in harmony, the coalition would not have split. That is a common occurrence in all democracies. Furthermore, why should Turkey want to have problems in an area where there are no problems? Cyprus is a most sensitive issue for us.

    [08] Talat regarding the technical committees: We did not agree even on the procedure yet

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (25.09.06) publishes an exclusive interview given by Mehmet Ali Talat to the papers correspondent Odul Asik Ulker. In the long interview Mr Talat refers to current domestic issues such as the toppling of the so-called government and establishing of a new political party, Turkeys role in this issue as well as issues related to the Cyprus problem.

    Regarding the establishment of the technical committees Talat said that they have yet to agree on the procedure let alone the functioning of the committees.

    When asked to comment about the negotiations regarding the technical committees and the stage they reached, Talat said: As you know the technical committees did not start to function yet. As a matter of fact, according to the 8 July agreement, they should have started to function when we had exchanged the lists on 31 of July. However, we have yet to agree on the procedure let alone the functioning of the committees. The proposal made by Mr. Moller was related to the procedure. We have written our notes and delivered them to Mr. Moller. Naturally, our approach was not complete acceptance of the proposals. We have read from the Greek Cypriot press claims that our approach was negative. We did not say yes to all the proposals made by Moller, but we have put forward amended proposals close to his proposals that were not totally out of his proposals. We took into consideration the Greek Cypriot concerns as well. Therefore our approach is positive. When we have made this proposal our aim was not to let the process to go on forever but, to pave the way for a meaningful and result-oriented process that will end with reaching to a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    When asked if there was a B plan in case of a failure Mr. Talat replied that there was no need for a B plan. He said: We are not conducting a military operation. Our objective is a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    As for the Finnish initiative he said that he did not receive any proposal from the Finnish term presidency yet. He admitted that during the preparation period the Finnish presidency had preliminary contacts with them through the Finnish ambassador in Cyprus. He said that for the direct trade they are not ready to give something in return since on 26 April 2004 the EU in its decision decided that the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots will be removed. For this reason we want the direct trade without any condition attached to it. It is very clear and open.

    When asked about Turkeys firmness in resisting opening of its ports and airports to the Cyprus registered ships and planes, Talat said that he is sure Turkey will not open its ports if the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots are not removed. He expressed support for the Action Plan put forward by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

    [09] Mr Talat on the political crisis in the occupied areas

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (24.09.06) publishes an interview with Mehmet Ali Talat by Sefa Karahasan, under the title: "Talat: Consultation is not Interference".

    Following are the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat's remarks on the political crisis in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the EU process, the role of the Religious Affairs director in politics, the 10-percent bribe the DP is alleged to have taken, and several other issues.

    Subtitle: Allegations of few writers

    Enemies of AKP: (Commenting on allegations to the effect that the AKP brought down the government in the KKTC). I do not want to be rude but these are not rational charges. Why would the AKP need something like this? How will the new government make the AKP's work easier? How will [the new government] give its consent to the opening of the [Turkish] ports when I keep saying that "opening the ports would hurt the Turkish Cypriots"? These are all attempts at slander. The president and the government of the KKTC are determined to defend the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people to the very end. There is no talk of "the AKP opening ports" in Cyprus. These are allegations fabricated by a few writers and various circles who are hostile to the AKP.

    Do not know about AKP intervention: If the AKP intervened in some way, then it did. If it did not, it did not. I am not in a position to prove anything on this issue. As far as I know, there was nothing that came directly from Turkey. If some people from here had consultations with Turkey, that is not interference. Of course, I cannot know how this might have happened.

    Subtitle: KKTC Secular State

    If there was any bribery, it will be investigated: I have no knowledge of the DP receiving money from investors. If there are such allegations, they will be investigated. No one can slander anyone. If Mr Soyer has received such information, he will have it investigated and will give the answer. Mutual incriminations must stop.

    Yonluer issue: I do not approve of the politicization of Religious Affairs Director Ahmet Yonluer's name. In other words, I think that it is not right for anyone to use Yonluer as political material or for Yonluer to take any postures. This is one aspect of the issue. Charges that [Yonluer] is involved in foreign policy is also a complete comedy. If Yonluer has become involved in politics, he has been involved as himself, not as religion. In south Cyprus, the Church ranks second in state protocol. No such thing can happen in north Cyprus. The KKTC is a genuinely secular state.

    Do not use it as material for domestic politics: My message to Turkey is this: First, the Cyprus problem and what is happening in Cyprus must not be used as material for Turkey's domestic politics. We are severely hurt in the international arena whenever Cyprus is used as material for Turkey's domestic politics. This creates grounds for the Greek Cypriot side to say that "Turkey runs north Cyprus."

    Subtitle: Cannot wait forever for solution

    A solution requires that the Greek Cypriot side give its approval to full-fledged negotiations. Papadopoulos said that it would be meaningless to start negotiations without very good preparatory work at the UN. Consequently, I do not expect a solution this year. A solution with Papadopoulos depends on circumstances. If the international community finds that a solution requires an end to the isolation of north Cyprus--and I do not see any other alternative--and acts to lift the isolation measures, then major developments may occur, and Papadopoulos may sit at the negotiating table. I am not going to reach the point of saying "I no longer want a solution," but the Turkish Cypriot people cannot wait forever. Ultimately, our policy will be evaluated in the conditions of that time. However, at this point, we have to make every effort to find a solution.

    [10] A delegation from occupied Cyprus is to attend the Global Compact Network Forum in Spain

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.09.06) reports that the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Musa Sonmezler and the member of the Executive Committee of the Chamber of Trade Ahmet Gurtuna, are to attend the 4th Annual meeting of the Global Compact Network Forum to be held in Barcelona , Spain between 26-27 September.

    (MHY)

    [11] Turkey passed into contra attack

    Under the above-title, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (24.09.06) reports that Turkey has changed its strategy against the Greek Cypriots who appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for their immovable property in the occupied part of Cyprus. Noting that Turkey will give legal aid to the Turkish citizens who will file lawsuits for their property, the paper writes that the General Directorate of the EVKAF (Tr. Note: Religious foundation) has began studying the title deed registries in the Balkans and the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and establishing the properties which belong to EVKAF and to persons.

    The paper reports that lawsuits one after another will be filed at the ECHR and that by the EVKAF Law the authority of filing lawsuits is given to the above-mentioned General Directorate. During the discussion on the Law at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the idea of filing lawsuits has been put forward by the EU General Secretariat.

    The deputy chairman of the General Directorate of the EVKAF, Aydin Seckin confirmed the change of Turkeys strategy regarding the Turkish properties which are outside the country and added that with the new arrangement they will establish a foreign relations office and they will conduct a record and title deed study regarding the properties of the EVKAF abroad. He noted that with the information they will acquire they will provide with legal support all Turks who want to file lawsuits in order to get back their properties.

    The paper writes also that the EU General Secretariat called on the Turks to file lawsuits aiming at defending better the rights of Turkey and reduce the pressure coming from Europe. The deputy chairman of the Political Affairs Office of the general Secretariat, Ahmet Dogan said that the lawsuits which will be filed by Turks will relieve Turkey.

    VATAN reports that the change of strategy came up after the objections of the MPs during the discussion of the EVKAF Draft-Law at the TGNA, which provides for the return of property to the minorities in Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] The occupation regime received an official invitation from FYROM to participate in international ping pong games

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (23.09.06) reports that the self-styled ping pong federation in occupied Cyprus received an official invitation from FYROM to participate in the International Summer Ping-Pong games which will take place next year in FYROM.

    Speaking to the paper, Yusuf Karayusufoglu, the chairman of the self-styled federation stated that the federation has been more active recently on the issue of foreign contacts compared to the previous years.

    In addition as Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (24.09.06) reports, athletes under 20 years of age, from various countries, will participate in the Dr Fazil Kucuk Sport games which will take place in occupied Cyprus between 29-30 of September. The athletes to participate come from the following countries: Turkey, Serbia, Kosovo, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.

    (C/S)

    [13] Kretschmer criticizes the Turkish military for disrespect of legal order

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (23.09.06) publishes the following report under the title "Kretschmer blasts military for disrespect of legal order":

    The top representative of the European Union in Turkey, only weeks before the end of his mission in the Turkish capital, yesterday focused on the controversial role of the Turkish military in politics, with harsh remarks criticizing security organs for having "played their own games outside the control of the civilian authorities, disrespecting the legal and institutional order."

    Outgoing Ambassador Hansjoerg Kretschmer, head of the European Commission Delegation to Turkey, delivered his remarks yesterday in Ankara during the launching of "Almanac Turkey, 2005-- Security Sector and Democratic Oversight," the first of its kind in Turkey, by a leading Istanbul-based think tank, the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).

    "The debate about early elections and all the debate about the modalities [of] how to elect the next president of the republic reflected, in my view ... a lack of respect for the grand national assembly and the government," Kretschmer said, in an apparent reference to debates on whether Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan -- whose willingness to move to Çankaya Palace is already known -- would be an appropriate president for the secular establishment since his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has its roots in political Islam.

    "In a democracy the ultimate decision rests with ... the people, which must have power to define this service. It is they who decide which kind of state they want to have, which role the state should play and how much money they wish to pay for security. In other words, the state is at the service of the people. It is not an end in itself," Kretschmer said.

    "They [the military] consider themselves the guardian of the fundamental tenants of the Turkish Republic and express their views on almost every aspect of public life which they consider relevant from the perspective of a very wide concept of national security. Education, religious instructions, cultural rights, university issues, just to mention a few... These expressions of [their] views have of course more weight than the legitimate expression of the views of individual citizens."

    In line with the theme of yesterday's meeting, the ambassador, whose mission in Ankara will finish at the end of next month, emphasized that civilian control of the armed forces is a key issue for Turkey's future as well as a key issue for Turkey-EU relations.

    "It is an important element in the section of political criteria in Turkey's accession process," he said.

    Subtitle: Semdinli: 'tip of an iceberg'

    Opening his remarks about the Semdinli case, Kretschmer described the incident -- in which two noncommissioned officers and a former member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) were involved in the bombing of a bookstore that left four people dead -- as the "tip of an iceberg, as indicated by the subsequent confession of a retired general." He was referring to Lt. Gen. Altay Tokat's statements in which he indicated that he had ordered the bombing of state property while on active duty in the Southeast in the '90s.

    "Security organs [are] somehow playing their own games, outside the control of the civilian authorities, disrespecting the legal and institutional order. The Copenhagen political criteria require democracy, rule of law, human rights, respect for and protection of minorities, but they also require stable institutions which are guarantees of all these elements," Kretschmer continued.

    The EU has already voiced its expectation that the ongoing judicial process concerning the Semdinli case would continue in line with the principles of the supremacy of law and independence of the judiciary.

    The initial prosecutor of the case was sacked after he suggested in his indictment that Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit -- now chief of general staff -- was involved in an organized effort to derail Turkey's EU process.

    "In my view, the big challenge for Turkey during the accession process is to create such stable institutions, able to deliver their services -- including security -- to the citizens of the country in a way respectful of democratic principals. Then it can be hoped that the security organs, the security sector, will be put in to its appropriate provision as a service provider, fully controlled by the institutions and indirectly by the people of Turkey," Kretschmer said.

    Turkey, which began membership talks with the EU last year, has over the past few years carried out a slate of far-reaching reforms to bring itself in line with the bloc's standards of democracy, many of them aimed at limiting the military's powers and its role in politics.

    Kretschmer argued that the reforms were "only a beginning" and asked the government to "show courage" in exerting civilian control over the armed forces and "exercise its legitimate authority without the threat of being controlled."

    The Turkish army has swayed politics for decades. It carried out three coups -- in 1960, 1971 and 1980 -- and in 1997 forced the resignation of the country's first Islamist-led government under Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan.

    The military, which sees itself as the self-appointed guardians of the country's strictly secular system, also remains wary of the ruling AKP, an offshoot of Erbakan's Welfare Party (RP), which was banned after being ousted from government.

    Subtitle: 'EU insistent on Article 301'

    Kretschmer also expressed pleasure over novelist Elif Safak's acquittal on Thursday of charges that fictional characters in her novel "The Bastard of Istanbul" had insulted Turkey's identity by referring to killings of Armenians during Ottoman rule in 1915.

    "To me it's not yet clear whether Article 301 will even be modified, because there have also been different voices from within the government," he noted, voicing the bloc's insistency over need for abolishment or at least rearrangement of the controversial article which makes it a vague crime to insult "Turkishness."

    Erdogan pledged on Thursday to consider amending Article 301 but said the issue was a sensitive one.

    A rise in nationalism ahead of next year's general elections has split the ruling AKP over whether to make the change, at a time when support for EU membership is waning.

    [14] A Turkish settler to be given a ministry in the new cabinet

    Under the title Veto from Talat to Enver Ozturk, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (24.09.06) reports that in spite of the fact that the government protocol between the Republican Turkish Party and the Free Party was signed on Saturday the names of the ministers were not announced yesterday. The paper notes that according to information acquired from reliable sources the reason of this delay is the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat vetoed the appointment of Enver Ozturk to the ministry of economy and tourism.

    Mr Ozturk is a Turkish settler and under the responsibility of his ministry will be institutions of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriot community such as the Trade Department, the Industry Department, the ports, Turkish Cypriot Petrol and the Development Bank, notes AFRIKA.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] Metin Munir analyses today´s situation is the occupied areas and argues that the real aim of the political crisis is for the settlers from Turkey to get a bigger share of the wealth

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (22.09.06) publishes the following commentary by Metin Munir under the title The population, profiteering, politics, and those who live downstairs:

    The KKTC has the highest number of brothels and casinos per person in the world. According to the findings of Muharrrem Faiz, the KKTC's famous sociologist, there are 52 nightclubs (brothels would be a more realistic term) and 24 casinos in the KKTC. Roughly, there is one casino per 11,000 persons, one nightclub per 5,000 persons, and one B-girl per 4,000 persons.

    The profits stemming from gambling and prostitution have a very important place in the political "puss in the corner" game that is currently being played in Cyprus.

    The profiteering does not merely stem from prostitution or gambling. There are also funds that are worth millions of dollars such as the Development Bank, the Tourism Fund, and the Games of Chance Fund that belong to the coalition partners.

    The dispute between the major coalition partner the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the minor partner, the Democratic Party (DP) has not merely stemmed from the reforms or from the management of the Cyprus problem. Behind the scenes there were major disagreements regarding the use of these funds and the allocation of the lands that will be used for tourism.

    Subtitle: Arbitrary action rather than transparency

    Many people had been noting for a long time that personal and political preferences have played a role in this and that rationality and transparency have been replaced with arbitrary actions and corruption. These funds and the ministries that control them will be redistributed among the new coalition partners. Despite the fact that it appears to be hopeless, let us hope that the funds will be included in the general budget and that they will be eliminated -- just like in the IMF-supervised Turkey. When Turkish troops had landed in Cyprus in 1974 there had been 100,000 Turks living in various regions on the island. Population exchange had been carried out. Currently the Turks have gathered in the north which is the KKTC and the Greek Cypriots have gathered in the south of the island. Given that the number of the Turkish Cypriots who came to the north were fewer than the Greek Cypriots who had left the north many villages and districts had remained empty. Turkey had begun to send settlers from Anatolia to these places.

    Subtitle: With time the Turkish Cypriots had become a minority.

    According to Faiz the KKTC's population is 269,000. Approximately 60% of the people who reside in the KKTC are settlers who have come from the Turkish Republic. Some 75,000 of these settlers are citizens of the KKTC. In addition to them there are "temporary" Cypriot citizens, the majority of whom are workers and students.

    Despite the fact that Turkish Republic citizens who live in Cyprus constitute 60% of the KKTC's population, it is the Turkish Cypriots who have political influence and who hold almost all the wealth.

    Subtitle: Those who have come from the Turkish Republic

    In a way, the Free Party that has been established in the leadership of Turgay Avci and that will establish a coalition government with the CTP, is part of the efforts to increase the share that the settlers who have come from the Turkish Republic receive from the distribution of power, the profits, and the wealth.

    This may be positive. Those who have come from the Turkish Republic are part of lower social levels and therefore to give a larger share from the cake to these settlers is a valid political tool. However this can also be dangerous. There are many differences between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish settlers in terms of their cultural level, education level, religion, income level, and views of the world. Despite the fact that 35 years have passed these differences still exist. Rather than eliminating these differences, the new political formation may further crystallize them.

    As in the past, those who live "upstairs" will continue to share the profits and those who live "downstairs" will learn to live with what they have.

    EG/


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