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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-04

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.170/07 04.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] A parliamentary delegation visiting London met with Joan Ryan, the British Prime Minister´s Special Representative to Cyprus
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot parties evaluate the invitation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Mehmet Ali Talat
  • [03] The Speaker of the Turkish Assembly will visit occupied Cyprus on September 10th
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot Cyprus EU Association has sent a letter to the current EU presidency on the direct trade with the occupied areas
  • [05] The Trikomo Folk Dances Group participated in the 33rd International Dance Festival, in Fribourg, Switzerland using the TRNC flag
  • [06] Turkish opposition parties debate on the 60th governmental program in the Turkish Assembly
  • [07] France, Ankara move to mend fences after US convinced Sarkozy to help
  • [08] Turkey rules out any formula other than full membership
  • [09] New constitution from the new government aimed at expanding human rights
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] From the Turkish press on the new Turkish government and its program

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] A parliamentary delegation visiting London met with Joan Ryan, the British Prime Minister´s Special Representative to Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.09.07) reports that the parliamentary delegation, consisting of three deputies of the Republican Turkish Party (CHP), Kadri Fellahoglu, Ahmet Barcin and Teberruken Ulucay, who are visiting London, held a meeting with Joan Ryan, the British Prime Minister´s Special Representative to Cyprus.

    Ahmet Barcin, replying to questions of the illegal news agency TAK correspondent regarding the meeting, said that he found the meeting intimate and that Mrs Ryan stated that she feels happy for meeting with the MPs as the elected representatives of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    She also stated that she hopes the 5th September meeting between President Tassos Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat open the way for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot parties evaluate the invitation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Mehmet Ali Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.09.07) publishes in its inside pages the views of the Turkish Cypriot parties on the invitation of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Mehmet Ali Talat and on the 5th September meeting between President Papadopoulos and Talat and writes that the parties in general consider as positive these developments.

    The general secretary of the National Unity Party, Nazim Cavasoglu, stated that Ban Ki-Moons invitation to Mehmet Ali is positive but he added that the Turkish Cypriot parties must come to an understanding regarding what Talat will ask during the meeting.

    On his part, the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party Omer Kalyoncu stated that the UN Secretary-General addressed the invitation to Mr Talat in order to keep the balances, because he met previously with President Papadopoulos.

    The general secretary of the Democratic Party Ertugrul Hasipoglu stated that the invitation is very important because it will take place after Talats meeting with President Papadopoulos.

    The deputy general secretary of the Freedom and Reform Party Mustafa Gokmen stated that the meeting between Ban Ki-Moon and Mehmet Ali will be positive and said that they support the solution process.

    (CS)

    [03] The Speaker of the Turkish Assembly will visit occupied Cyprus on September 10th

    Under the title Toptans first foreign tour to the TRNC, Hurriyet newspaper (04.09.07) reports that the new Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Koksal Toptan, will carry out his first foreign visit as the Speaker of the Turkish Assembly to occupied Cyprus on September 10th. As the paper notes, Koksal Toptan who met yesterday with the TRNC ambassador in Turkey Tamer Gazioglu, noted during their meeting the historic bonds of unity of Turkey with Cyprus and added: Turkey will once more do its best for the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots. As the Cypriots, we too will not bow to international pressures which are artificial and not based on the law.

    (ML)

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot Cyprus EU Association has sent a letter to the current EU presidency on the direct trade with the occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (03.09.07) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus EU Association has sent a letter to the EU Portuguese Presidency calling for the establishment of free trade with the Turkish Cypriot people, a move, which it said, will facilitate the political solution of the Cyprus problem.

    `We wish to bring to your attention that an agreement to accommodate free movement of goods and services between the two areas of Cyprus is urgently needed to start the economic interdependence between the two communities, facilitating a political breakthrough`, the Association said.

    Expressing the view that the Cyprus problem has been Europeanized with the accession of `Cyprus` into the EU, it called for increased efforts from the European dynamic for the settlement of the conflict in Cyprus.

    Stressing that establishment of free trade with the North will be beneficial for all the parties involved, it said such a move will start easing down some of the trade related economic isolations of the Turkish Cypriot People, bringing it closer to the European Union.

    Expressing the belief that the benefits to the Turkish Cypriot economy of the European Commissions `direct trade proposal` could only be minimal, the Cyprus EU Association said free trade will be more beneficial to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    It added that such a move will also trigger the harmonization process of the North with the EU.

    `Our free trade proposal envisions a united single economy on the island, which would lead to economic interdependence and start the economic integration process` it said, adding that such a move will improve relations between the two communities and with the EU.

    It noted that free trade would also facilitate the political solution of the Cyprus problem.

    [05] The Trikomo Folk Dances Group participated in the 33rd International Dance Festival, in Fribourg, Switzerland using the TRNC flag

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (04.09.07) reports in its first page that the Trikomo Folk Dances Group participated in the 33rd International Dance Festival, RECONTRES DE FOLKLORE INTERNATIONALES FRIBOURG-SUISSE, which took place in Fribourg, Switzerland between 21-27 of August.

    Dancing groups from Azerbaijan, Canada, Spain, Paraguay, Romania, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Senegal participated in the Festival.

    The paper writes that the group participated in the festival representing the TRNC, under the TRNC flag. The paper writes that despite the intensive efforts of the Greek Cypriots, the TRNC flag was used during the opening ceremony of the festival and during the festival, with the support of the Turkish Ambassador to Switzerland Alev Kilic and the support of the Festival Committee.

    According to VATAN the Trikomo Folk Dances Group participated until now in 55 International Folk dance Festivals and won various prices.

    (CS)

    [06] Turkish opposition parties debate on the 60th governmental program in the Turkish Assembly

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.09.07) reports the following on the Assembly debate on the program of the 60th government:

    Ahmet Turk, Democratic Society Party assembly group leader, on behalf of his party said: "We are seeking for a solution without debating Turkey's unity, unitary form of state, solidarity and brotherhood. We act by realizing that what we are going through is our common pain." Claiming that the "AKP will maintain the status quo in Turkey without going further and taking Turkey to higher levels of achievements as argued in its government program," Turk said: "Everyone has a role to play under this noble roof of parliament. Our role is to contribute to a Turkey that has resolved its Kurdish problem, provided universal human rights, developed its democracy, established a strong economy and has become an example of peace and freedoms in the region." Turk also "defended that the AK Party government has not realized the importance of votes it received from citizens in eastern and southeastern Turkey."

    Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Action Party, on behalf of his party said: "The sovereignty in our parliamentary democracy rests with the Turkish nation. What everyone believing in democracy must do is not to question the national will power and evaluate what it means for the whole society." "Turkey went through attrition, degeneration and destruction in the last Justice and Development Party [AKP] term. The Turkish nation has not authorized the AK Party to develop policies which would have a negative impact on the national identity, national unity, main values of the republic and principles on which the Turkish government has been established.

    "The greatest challenge Turkey faces today is bloody terror and ethnic separatism." "Efforts to define ethnic identities as national minorities and providing safeguards in the Constitution by giving political and legal status to such ethnic characters are attempts to destroy Turkish national unity and establish a new nation other than the Turkish nation." "Turkey has become a country of corruptions, ill-gotten gains, looting and lawlessness. As a result, confidence in the government and justice has eroded. Every one must see that the division of Turks into religious and belief camps will have devastating effects. Religious beliefs should not be used against the republic and state of Turkey. State organs must be careful not to give the image that they are acting against certain religious norms or practices."

    Stressing that "the parliament must lift political immunities on its members," Bahceli "indicated that the Program of the 60th Government does not express will and determination against 'local and foreign terrorist threats'." Bahceli also said that "the Program of the 60th Government will lead to the opening of ports for Greek Cypriot vessels and eventually the recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration. We can not open a new, bright page, as Prime Minister Erdogan stated, without judging the past term of the AK Party rule in our conscience and punishing corruption that took place during this term in our courts."

    Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Republican People's Party, CHP, acting group leader, said that "the 60th Government Program was more of an election statement than a program and emphasized that the program forgot about future goals while it over-praised the past practices." Voicing the views of CHP, Kilicdaroglu said "they would relentlessly criticize the government when they deemed it necessary" and "criticized PM Erdogan for not respecting freedom of press and recalled that the EU harmonization report pointed out that journalists experienced hardships regarding enlisting in labor unions and collective agreements." Noting "that for free press media owners should not be allowed to participate in public tenders and journalists working on a national level should be obliged to enlist in Turkish Journalists' Labor Union (TGS)," Kilicadoroglu asked: "Will Mr. Erdogan give his word for these?" Kilicdaroglu further "referred to the EU Harmonization Report regarding judiciary freedom and quoted that obstacles impeding courts to act independently, neutrally and effectively seized to exist," adding: "Our hearts long for the PM to say: 'No bureaucrat or politician will enter the Higher Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). HSYK will have its own budget and secretariat. Ministry of Justice inspectors will work under HYSK,' the judges will have gained their freedom. If the PM says these things we will thank him."

    Recounting "that the government taxed the poor while those who made billions of dollars through interest from bonds were not entitled to pay any tax," Kilicdaroglu "asked if these were capitulations or not" and said that "foreign banks and funds made high profits due to high interest rates of bonds." Kilicdaroglu also "claimed the government failed to take under the control the black economy."

    [07] France, Ankara move to mend fences after US convinced Sarkozy to help

    Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (03.09.07) under the above title reports the following:

    Ankara and Paris are expected today to set a course to mend fences in their chilly relations after France vocally opposed Turkey's accession into the European Union as a full member and the French Parliament moved to accept Armenian claims that Turks committed an act of genocide against them at the turn of the last century.

    Diplomatic sources told The New Anatolian the United States had a role in the fence mending process. President George W. Bush hosted his French counterpart Nicholas Sarkozy in the United States and urged him to ease his opposition to Turkish membership in the EU. Sources said Sarkozy agreed to make an effort and kept his promise.

    The fence mending starts with the arrival of French Foreign Undersecretary Philipee Faure today upon an invitation of Turkish Foreign Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan.

    Faure will hold talks as part of annual "political consultations" with Turkish Foreign Ministry executives.

    The visit comes at a time when French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a staunch opponent of Turkish membership, softened his stance last Monday, saying France would not block Turkey's accession talks with the EU.

    Turkey began accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, but Brussels froze the talks last year in eight of the 35 policy areas candidates must complete. The move was a response to Ankara's refusal to grant trade privileges to EU-member Cyprus, which it does not recognize.

    However, in June France blocked talks in one chapter on monetary issues saying this would amount to allowing more Turkish integration into the EU economic system giving Ankara hope that the negotiations would lead to full membership.Faure's meetings in Ankara will focus on relations between Turkey and France, Turkey's membership negotiations with the EU and regional matters. According to diplomatic sources, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will also pay a formal visit to Turkey soon.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit France and meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the upcoming months, diplomatic sources told The New Anatolian.

    Meanwhile, the President of the EU Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said: "the EU must fulfill its responsibilities vis-a-vis Turkey. We welcome Sarkozy's new stance on Turkey".

    However, not all was bright band beautiful. Last week France also spelled out five areas of Turkeys accession talks with the EU that it wants to hold up because they assume the large, poor, mainly Muslim nation will eventually join the 27-nation bloc.

    They include agricultural subsidies and regional aid the EUs two biggest spending programs as well as the euro and Turkeys place in institutions such as the European Parliament, and European citizenship rights for Turks.Evidently, there is a certain number of subjects where negotiations would objectively lead to membership, Sarkozys spokesman David Martinon told a weekly news conference last week.

    Among those, if you think about it, there must of course be the chapter or the package or the subject of monetary and economic union, there are the provisions relating to European citizenship ... there is institutions, there is the Common Agricultural Policy and there is regional policy and structural funds, he said.

    The EU agreed unanimously in 2004 to open negotiations with Turkey with the aim of membership, and the executive European Commission rejects the distinction made by France between chapters that imply membership and others that do not.

    However, the Commission welcomed Sarkozys willingness to allow talks with Ankara to go forward, and officials said there was a tacit understanding that the EU executive would not recommend opening talks on chapters it knew Paris opposed.

    In June, France blocked the opening of talks between Ankara and Brussels on economic and monetary policy the groundwork for Turkey to eventually adopt the euro underlining Sarkozys oft-repeated opposition to Turkey joining the EU.

    Government spokesman Laurent Wauquiez said the five problem areas should be discussed after the 30 other chapters.

    Asked when that was, Martinon said: When we will have settled the 30 others.Sarkozy made clear last Monday that he would allow talks go ahead on other policy areas provided a group of wise people is set up to discuss the longer-term future of Europe, including how far its borders should stretch.He said the panel should report back before European Parliament elections in 2009.

    [08] Turkey rules out any formula other than full membership

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (04.09.07) reports the following:

    Following the latest statement by Paris on allowing the continuation of Turkey's accession talks but holding up five problematic areas, French Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Philippe Faure met Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and undersecretary of the ministry, Erturul Apakan, here yesterday.

    No statement was made after the talks. Prior to the visit, a Turkish diplomat said Faure will probably clarify the meaning of their latest move.

    Last week, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said France would allow talks with Ankara to continue as long as one possible outcome was the offer of a close association with the EU rather than full membership. We will make clear that our position is the same and will be the same concerning our full membership in the EU, said a Turkish diplomat.

    According to another Turkish diplomat, Ankara is still evaluating Sarkozy's stance. We witness that his rhetoric toward Turkey has softened. He is a sort of politician who leads his team and applies his own deeds in politics. Therefore we think we can communicate with him on these issues, he said.

    Sarkozy began his efforts to provide further integration within France from the very first day of his election, he said, and added, He should be aware of the political consequences of excluding Turkey from the European family.

    Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will arrive in Ankara today as Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's first official guest. President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan will also receive Miliband. The two ministers will discuss a wide range of issues including EU-Turkey negotiations, Iraq and other bilateral ties.

    [09] New constitution from the new government aimed at expanding human rights

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (04.09.07) reports the following:

    Ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) said Monday it plans to present by the end of 2007 the text of a new constitution aimed at expanding human rights.

    This new fundamental law which is democratic and respects liberties will be civilian and prepared by the people, AK Party Vice-President Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat said.

    Some of the changes that will be made to a new civilian constitution being drafted by the AK Party are now becoming clearer. Consensus has been reached on granting president immunity - which he currently does not enjoy -- changing the definition of citizenship and limiting parliamentary immunity. The commission working on the draft constitution is of the opinion that an amendment that will resolve the headscarf issue for good should be included in the Constitution. The new amendment will thus grant the president immunity, thereby putting an end to disputes over whether President Abdullah Gul will really stand trial in relation to the missing trillion case. The new wording will also limit the parliamentary immunity granted deputies by the Constitution. According to the change, deputies who are accused of having committed crimes such as bribery or embezzlement will be tried. Deputies will be able to go on trial without being detained or arrested. The new constitution will also make it possible to revoke the immunity of such deputies.

    With the new document the requirement to secure permission from directors in trials of public servants will be done away with. Prosecutors will be able launch an investigation into public servants who stand accused of involvement in a crime. The government will add a clear adjudication to the constitutional wording over this issue.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] From the Turkish press on the new Turkish government and its programme

    The Turkish Press on 3 September 2007 deals mainly with the new Turkish government and its programme, the Cyprus problem and the Armenian genocide.

    Cyprus Problem: In an article entitled "What will Talat and Papadopoulos discuss?" Referans columnist Mensur Akgun predicts that the upcoming meeting between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on 5 September will not yield any tangible result. He argues that Papadopoulos will use the meeting for alleviating pressure put by the EU on the Cyprus Government in order to reach a settlement and to ensure that conditions put forward by the United Nations for achieving peace are withdrawn and replaced by those in a new plan to be drawn up."

    In an article entitled ""All quiet (and boring) on the Cyprus Front," Turkish Daily News columnist Sylvia Tiryaki says that President Papadopoulos has decided to meet with Talat in order to win more votes in the upcoming presidential election in Cyprus. Pointing out that Mr Papadopoulos may find himself in a difficult position if the international community finally decides to lift the so-called embargoes on the illegally occupied by Turkish troops areas of Cyprus, she says: " Thus, a small showoff can help shut down the unhappy voices at no cost."

    Government Program: In an article entitled "The sincerity of promises in the Government's program," Hurriyet columnist Erdal Saglam writes that the new Cabinet's program generally includes reasonable political and economic conclusions although there are some points neglected. Noting that the program reflects an approach that would normally be shared by those who are in favor of market economy and enhancement of freedoms, he says: "This approach outlined in the program can be regarded as a message given to intellectuals and other countries, especially the EU in addition to certain groups at home." Saglam points out that the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP), has failed to keep its promises especially in recent past such as its promise about the presidential election and concludes by saying that some time will be needed for the AKP to restore public confidence.

    In an article entitled "Why will Simsek hold the key in the new period?," Sabah columnist Abdurrahman Simsek points out that minimum $2.7 million should flow from international money markets into the Turkish economy every month in order to fund growing current account deficit. Noting that State Minister Mehmet Simsek in charge of the Treasury will play a crucial role in maintaining the delicate balance in the Turkish economy, he notes: "The government's new economic program indicates that it is aware of the fact that inflow of foreign capital which nurtures a high growth rate is among key factors which helped it to come to power. The success of the current economic system hinges on continued inflow of foreign capital. The new period will, therefore, be a serious test for the government."

    A report entitled "Shadow Foreign Minister" in Hurriyet says that Egemen Bagis, an MP from the AKP and foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was elected as Deputy Chairman responsible for external relations. The report notes that Bagis's appointment led to speculation that he was named as the "shadow Foreign Minister."

    A report entitled "EU expects a 'Take-off'" in Milliyet says that the EU hopes that the Turkish Government will take several steps by 7 November when the progress report will be issued in order to demonstrate its determination to revive the reform process which was postponed due to reasons ascribed to political developments in Turkey. The report says that the EU wants the Turkish Government to broaden the scope of freedom of expression, to amend Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, to ensure that relations between the government and the military are aligned with EU standards.

    In an article entitled "A take off or an abyss?" Ortadogu columnist Orhan Karatas analyzes the program unveiled by the new Cabinet led by Erdogan which, he asserts, is designed to undermine the education system and the judiciary. He says: "Justice and education are the main areas which the AKP regards as a problem and intends to undermine in order to achieve its ultimate goal." Pointing out that a very painful and critical period has just started, Karatas comments: "Turkey is about to take off just as Mr. Erdogan has pointed out. But, it will be a flight down the abyss."

    Under the headline, "Business world sets its sights on goal of $10,000 per capita," Zaman carries a front-page report which highlights remarks by representatives of Turkish business circles stating that the Erdogan government's goal of increasing per capita income to $10,000 in five years is not unrealistic but that radical steps will have to be taken to achieve this target.

    Under the banner headline, "Where is justice?" Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which accuses the Government of placing the tax burden on the shoulders of the working population rather than those who live on interest earnings.

    Also front-paged is a report entitled "Markets like an armed bomb," which asserts that the ruling AKP faces major economic risks posed by a "record" volume of "hot money," a high current deficit, a two-fold increase in the domestic and foreign debt stock, and an even larger "army of the unemployed."

    In an article entitled "An Erdogan-Gul Government", Milli Gazete columnist Birol Ertan argues that the replacement of Abdulkadir Aksu as interior minister with Besir Atalay in the new cabinet is a very important development signaling changes in a number of state institutions. Ertan claims that aside from being known for his closeness to President Gul, Atalay is the "secret proprietor" of one of the three survey companies that offer counseling to Government. Ertan also asserts that Ali Babacan's appointment as foreign minister could be intended to strengthen Gul's role in foreign policy during his presidency.

    Armenian genocide: In an article entitled "The path opened by Germans and Czechs," Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz says that Germany and the Czech Republic issued a joint declaration in 1997 unveiling their decision to set up a joint committee consisting of historians from both countries in order to learn from history. Idiz emphasizes that a similar committee which could be set up by Turkey and Armenia would enable people in both countries to look at a tragedy witnessed in 1995 from a wider perspective. He says: "If the common cultural past of Turks and Armenians is brought to light, it would contribute to efforts aimed at eliminating negative feelings that both sides harbor against each other."

    In an article entitled "Is there life after the Armenian resolution?", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar asserts that there will soon be need for "damage control and crisis management" in Turkish-US relations because the US Congress is "very likely" to recognize the Armenian claims of genocide this year.

    Gul´s election: In an article entitled "A shameful article on Gul by Eygi", Yeni Safak columnist Fikri Akyuz slams Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi for a recent article in which he claimed in reference to President Abdullah Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul that it is not right for the wife of a Muslim statesman to accompany her husband to receptions and that Muslim women should remain in the shadow of their husbands. Akyuz accuses Eygi of aligning himself with secularist critics of the Government and President Gul who maintain that women wearing Islamic headscarves should be excluded from official functions. He also asks Eygi whether he is aware that he is "rubbing salt into the wounds of these women" in saying that they should not take part in official events.

    In an article entitled "Turkey's Reputation, Brazen Officials, and Gul's Remarks", Yeni Safak columnist Koray Duzgoren asserts that the office of the president in Turkey has "a serious image problem" owing to the way in which it "supports" or "condones" the illegal activities of the "deep state" and bureaucracy. He asserts that President Gul is under an obligation to raise the standing of his office to the level that it deserves and that he should set out to do so by taking action against the "shameless" decision by the office of the governor in Trabzon exonerating the police in Trabzon from the charges of negligence they face in the case of the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink.

    Yeni Safak publishes an interview under the title: "The Military does not have a right to treat Gul with disrespect" with "famous Kemalist" Professor Toktamis Ates. Ates takes issue with references to Gul's nomination to the presidency as an event signifying a "counter revolution" and ushering in a "second republican period" in Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Does the news media have a duty to start rows?", Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli asserts that part of the news media are trying to provoke a crisis between the Turkish Armed Forces and President Gul by "virtually" forcinga Chief of Staff General Buyukanit to issue sharp statements expressing displeasure at Gul's election as president despite the fact that Buyukanit is giving "very sensitive and measured responses" to questions about Gul.

    EG/


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