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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-20

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.182/07 20.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers Guls address at the assembly
  • [02] The Turkish side decided to launch initiative internationally in favour of the proposals submitted by Talat during his 5 September meeting with President Papadopoulos
  • [03] Statements by the chairwoman of the Property Compensation Commission
  • [04] Decisions by the council of ministers
  • [05] The hearing regarding the conveying of electricity to occupied Rizokarpasso area was postponed for the fifth time
  • [06] Two skeletons were found in occupied Dikomo village
  • [07] Babacan will hold contacts in the US focusing on Turkeys candidacy for membership in the Security Council
  • [08] U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Burns held meetings with President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan
  • [09] The Turkish Prime Minister hosted the EU Ambassadors to Ramadan dinner. He accused the Republic of Cyprus of putting obstacles before Turkeys EU course
  • [10] Strong messages from Gül indicate revision in Turkeys Cyprus policy
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] Did Turkey change its Cyprus policy?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers Guls address at the assembly

    The Turkish Cypriot press of 20.09.07 covers the illegal visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to the occupied areas of Cyprus, as follows:

    Under the title The solution is possible on the basis of equality, Kibris newspaper reports that the new Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who rounded up yesterday his illegal two-day visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, pointed out that the place for the solution of the Cyprus problem is the United Nations.

    The paper notes that during his address at the assembly, Mr Gul said that the basic parameters of the Cyprus issue are the political equality and equilibrium. Mr Gul reiterated his allegation regarding the existence of two peoples, two democracies and two states on the island adding that the solution is possible by taking into consideration these realities and by the establishment of the sensitive equilibrium based on the political equality between the Greek and the Turkish sides.

    Halkin Sesi newspaper refers to Guls address at the assembly under the title Abdullah Gul: The TRNC is a gain in the area. The paper reports that Mr Gul met yesterday with the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and adds that the news agencies reported the meeting under the title Gul hand in hand with Denktas.

    Afrika newspaper refers to Mr Guls statements under the title The last decision of Gul: Two peoples, two states. The paper reports that according to Mr Gul the political struggle between the government and the opposition parties is a sign that the regime is healthy.

    Yeni Duzen newspaper, under the title Delicate message reports that during his address Gul referred to the conflicts in the internal politics in the occupied areas of the island and pointed out that the political discussions should not turn into a situation of shaking the legitimacy of the state and the institutions.

    Sozcu newspaper reports that the Democratic Party did not participate in the session of the assembly where Mr Gul delivered a speech and continued its boycott.

    Gunes newspaper refers to Mr Guls address under the title Red lines by Gul.

    Bakis newspaper refers to the issue under the title Gul: The TRNC is an important gain for peace and stability in the area.

    Volkan newspaper also uses the same statement in its banner front-page title.

    Noting that Mr Gul gave a soft warning to the Greek Cypriots, Vatan newspaper covers the address at the assembly under the title Hoping that the Turkish Cypriots will accept to live as a minority is a dream in vain!

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The Turkish side decided to launch initiative internationally in favour of the proposals submitted by Talat during his 5 September meeting with President Papadopoulos

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.09.07) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said they agreed with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to work in the international field on the issue of the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat during his meeting with President Papadopoulos on 5 September in the direction of making active and productive the 8 July process.

    Before entering into the meeting of the council of ministers yesterday, Mr Soyer evaluated the illegal visit of Mr Gul to the occupied areas. Noting that he held very useful and productive talks with Mr Gul, Mr Soyer said:

    The two sides agreed especially on the issue of working in the international field in the direction of our proposals brought onto the agenda by our president Talat during the 5 September meeting on making the 8 July process active, productive and disciplined.

    Noting that the interests of Turkey and the TRNC are the same, Mr Soyer argued that these initiatives are needed so that a solution mutually acceptable, lasting and based on the equality of the two sides on the island is achieved. Mr Soyer said that Mr Gul stated that he is ready to do everything in his share for the promotion of the proposals which Mr Talat submitted on 5 September.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Statements by the chairwoman of the Property Compensation Commission

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.09.07) reports that a Greek Cypriot, who had filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming his property in the occupied areas of the island, withdrew his application after reaching an agreement with the self-styled Property Compensation Commission to take compensation and exchange his property with a Turkish Cypriot property in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In a short statement to the paper, the chairwoman of the Commission, Sumer Erkmen said that the important element in this situation is for the local remedy issue in the occupied areas to be solved. Explaining that the application at the ECHR will be withdrawn because an agreement was reached, Mrs Erkmen said:

    A plaintiff at the ECHR has reached an agreement with us and he is withdrawing his lawsuit there. This will influence positively the ECHR as well. This issue bears great importance from this point of view, because it is an indication that the issue can be solved within the local remedy means in the north without being taken to the ECHR.

    Meanwhile, Yeni Duzen reports that in a statement to illegal Bayrak television, Mrs Erkmen confirmed the procedure set up and said that the decision which the ECHR will take will be very positive. Noting that in this situation the Greek Cypriots who filed lawsuits against Turkey will have to withdraw them, Erkmen said that this situation will constitute a precedent for possible other lawsuits.

    [04] Decisions by the council of ministers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.09.07) reports that the invitation to tenders regarding the installation of a desalination unit in the occupied area of Famagusta and the announcement of opening international tenders for the purchase of a helicopter to be used in the extinguishing of fires, in search and rescue operations as well as in emergency situations, were among the decisions taken yesterday by the self-styled council of ministers of the breakaway regime.

    The spokesman of the council of ministers, Salih Usar said that they approved also the draft-law for the Karpass National Park Area and sent it to the assembly. The draft-law regulates the development and the protection of the nature in the area, notes Kibris.

    Mr Usar said also that they decided to bring two 17.5 megawatt-power generators from Finland for the Teknecik electricity power plant. They plan to put the new generators into operation next August, he noted and added that they also decided to invite tenders for the construction of another power-plant of 105 megawatts with the Built-Operate-Transfer model.

    Meanwhile, the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that they continue with determination the steps for solving the electricity problem and added that within this framework an investment of 61 trillion Turkish liras will be made for the replacement of the transformers and the electricity transmitting lines. We are forming this 61 trillion-Turkish lira-source in the direction of the arrangements we made through the aid Turkey provided to the TRNC, he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The hearing regarding the conveying of electricity to occupied Rizokarpasso area was postponed for the fifth time

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.09.07) reports that the hearing of the case regarding the conveying of electricity to occupied Rizokarpasso area was postponed yesterday for the fifth time so that the so-called electricity authority is included in the procedure. The lawyer of the plaintiff, Boysan Boyra said that the self-styled council of ministers, the ministry of finance and the electricity authority have taken no decision to convey electricity to Karpass. A tragic comic situation exists, noted Mr Boyra.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Two skeletons were found in occupied Dikomo village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (20.09.07) reports that a person named Ilhan Yildiz, who was digging a pit for his toilet in occupied Dikomo village, found two human skeletons in two-meter depth. It is estimated that the skeletons remained there since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Babacan will hold contacts in the US focusing on Turkeys candidacy for membership in the Security Council

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Ali Babacan, has a busy schedule during his visit to Chicago and New York between September 19th and October 3rd, it was reported on Wednesday.

    According to a MFA statement, during his visit to Chicago between September 19th and 21st, Babacan will meet academicians and students and deliver speeches at North western and Chicago Universities.

    Babacan will also take the floor at a think-tank -- Chicago Global Relations Council -- and meet the representatives of Turkish Associations and Jewish institutions.

    FM Babacan's New York schedule will start on September 21st.

    Subtitle: Bilateral talks and meetings:

    193 member countries will attend this year's UN General Assembly meetings to be held in New York. More than 110 heads of state and government are expected to represent their respective countries and around 80 FMs will attend the meeting.

    Babacan is expected to hold several bilateral talks and attend meetings while in New York.

    Babacan will meet foreign ministers of around 30 countries as well as NATO SG Jaap de Scheffer, Javier Solana, High Representative for the Common Foreign & Security Policy and SG of the Council of EU, OIC SG Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and Arab League SG Amr Moussa.

    Babacan will also accompany PM Erdogan who will also attend the UNGA meetings.

    On September 22nd, Babacan will assist a "Conference of Countries Neighbouring Iraq", and on September 23rd, he will attend the high-level meeting of the countries contributing to ISAF. UN SG and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will co-chair the meeting.

    On September 26th, Babacan will meet co-Chairmen of Alliance of Civilizations and Friendship Group at working breakfast and attend Jammu-Kashmir Contact Group Meeting of OIC. On Oct. 2nd, Babacan will participate in OIC Foreign Ministers Annual Coordination Meeting.

    On October 1st Turkish FM will give reception to the delegations attending UN General Assembly and on October 2nd Babacan will host the dinner of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Foreign Ministers.

    Babacan will have the opportunity to explain to his counterparts Turkey's views on issues such as Iraq, Middle East, Kosovo, Afghanistan, EU and Cyprus, sources said.

    This year's UN General Assembly is also important for Turkey as Turkey's candidacy for the UN Security Council in 2009-2010 will be voted. Turkey has not been represented in the Security Council for half a century.

    Foreign Minister Babacan will return from New York on October 3rd.

    [08] U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Burns held meetings with President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul has received the U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns at Cankaya Palace on Wednesday.

    Burns conveyed U.S. President George Bush's congratulatory message to Gul and expressed the U.S. desire to deepen ties with Turkey in all fields.

    Burns met Turkish Presidency Secretary General Mustafa Isen and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan in Ankara on Wednesday.

    Meetings were closed to press. Undersecretary Apakan will host a dinner in honour of Burns today. Burns is expected to depart from Ankara on Thursday morning.

    In addition Ankara Anatolia (19.09.07) also reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has received the U.S. Department of State Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns at the Prime Ministry HQ on Wednesday. Erdogan Burns meeting lasted an hour.

    Speaking to reporters after meeting Erdogan, Burns indicated that his meeting with Erdogan was very fruitful. I have brought a message of friendship and respect from the U.S. President George Bush, said Burns.

    The United States will continue to support Turkey's EU process. The U.S. administration is against any resolution in the U.S. Congress in relation with the 1915 incidents, noted Burns.

    The U.S. has good relations with Turkey. We look at Turkey as a friend and an ally and want to further develop ties, indicated Burns.

    Nicholas Burns stressed that the U.S. will strongly support Turkey in its fight against terrorist organization PKK.

    We share the same notion that attacks perpetrated by PKK must end. We condemn the recent slaying of innocent Turkish citizens, underlined Burns. We are on Turkey's side in its struggle against terror. We are against PKK and have not provided arms to this terrorist organization. PKK is a ruthless terrorist organization and cannot receive support from the U.S. administration.

    Burns underscored that the U.S. will work with Turkey to stop nuclear activities of Iran. In order to render diplomacy successful in relations with Iran, we need the support of all countries in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, said Burns.

    Burns added that the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will attend the meeting of Countries Neighbouring Iraq to take place in Istanbul at the end of October.

    [09] The Turkish Prime Minister hosted the EU Ambassadors to Ramadan dinner. He accused the Republic of Cyprus of putting obstacles before Turkeys EU course

    The Turkish CNN TURK television (20.09.07) broadcast the statements made by Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister, who accused the Republic of Cyprus of putting obstacles before Turkeys EU course.

    Mr Erdogan made these statements during the iftar meal, a meal taken at the sundown during the fast of Ramadan, which he offered to the ambassadors of the EU countries to Ankara.

    Mr Erdogan stated, inter alia, that it cannot be easily understood how south Cyprus, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, became member of the European Union (EU). Mr Erdogan, who stated that Turkey is continuing its target of becoming EU member, said the following: If efforts are exerted in order to put political obstacle in front of us regarding any chapter at the negotiations between Turkey and the EU, this will sadden us.

    Mr Erdogan, who reacted to the fact that south Cyprus, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, became member of the EU also stated: You cannot compare south Cyprus with Turkey. It is not clear according to which criteria it was accepted (to the EU), he said and added: If south Cyprus comes in front of us all the time as an obstacle, Turkey will not make concessions from its position, he said.

    In addition TRT television (19.09.07) broadcast that Mr Erdogan, speaking to the EU Ambassadors during the Ramadan dinner he hosted for them, said the following:

    Thus if you try to compare south Cyprus with Turkey, regarding either with the Copenhagen Criteria or the Maastricht Criteria, you cannot compare the point that Turkey is with south Cyprus. If you look from the geographical dimension as well, you cannot compare them. It is not clear how and according to which criteria it (Cyprus) was accepted (to the EU). As regards the name, you are using the name Cyprus. How do you use the name Cyprus? Is there any close or distance relation between the people living in north Cyprus with the administration in south Cyprus?

    (CS)

    [10] Strong messages from Gül indicate revision in Turkeys Cyprus policy

    Under the above title and subtitle In a sign of his toughened new approach on Cyprus, the Turkish president says the fundamental parameter of a Cyprus resolution is the political equality and balance between the two peoples of the island and underlines that a settlement must be based on the reality of the existence of two states Turkish daily Turkish Daily News newspaper (20.09.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    During his two-day visit to northern Cyprus his first since being elected president of Turkey on August 28 President Abdullah Gül demonstrated not only that he will be actively involved in shaping the country's foreign policy, but also hinted at a new and toughened stand by Ankara on the Cyprus issue.

    The Turkish president stressed that the Turkish side has done more than enough and that it was now time for Greek Cypriots to take steps. Gül's statements came at the same time that Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat publicly revealed that he suggested at a September 5 meeting with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Tassos Papadopoulos a stepped up effort to accelerate the stalled so-called Gambari process.

    The Gambari process was an initiative the two sides agreed to undertake with a view of reaching a comprehensive Cyprus settlement by the end of 2008.

    Progress cannot be achieved with one side taking steps only, Gül said. For progress, the other side must take some steps as well. He reminded the international community that the isolation of northern Cyprus must end in line with the pledges made to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Subtitle: Stress on political equality' and two states:

    As has been part of the official jargon in Turkish statements on Cyprus, Gül also stressed that a Cyprus settlement must be based on political equality and balance between the two sides in Cyprus.

    He emphasized that Turkish Cypriot people should no longer be expected to give up their own administration or equal status as co-founding partners of the 1960 Cyprus republic.

    While stressing the continued pro-settlement resolve of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side in Cyprus peacemaking, Gül underlined that any settlement on the island must be based on the reality that there are two different peoples, two different democracies, two different states and indeed two different religions on the island.

    Gül's remark, which on the one hand recalled the pro-AKP Cyprus approach in Ankara and which the AKP blamed as one of the reasons for the failure to reach a Cyprus accord over the past four decades, also fuelled paranoia in southern Cyprus that internationally unrecognized division on the island could become an internationally recognized partition if a settlement to the problem could not be achieved soon.

    In a recent remark, indeed, Greek Cypriot presidential contender, parliament speaker and communist AKEL Party secretary general, Dimitris Christofias, said that if Papadopoulos did not change his policies and if the Greek Cypriot side eagerly pursued a pro-federation approach with a sincere demand for settlement, the end result of the Cyprus problem might be a two-state resolution: A pure ethnic-Turkish state in the north and a Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot mixed republic in the south.

    Subtitle: EU trump card:

    Reacting to Gül's visit to northern Cyprus and his remarks here, the Greek Cypriot state warned that in order to proceed further in its EU membership bid, Turkey needed Greek Cyprus' approval and that it may veto opening of new chapters in the Turkish accession negotiations.

    Gül, however, underlined in a historic speech to Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians that the European nations should not use the Cyprus issue to slow down the Turkish membership bid.

    It is not right to link the Cyprus problem with Turkey's EU membership. This is a wrong assessment The Cyprus issue should not be used to slow down or prevent Turkey's EU membership process, Gül said.

    Greek Cypriot attempts to use Gül's visit and his remarks here as a pretext of using its veto to block Turkish accession talks may not find much support in the European club of democracies.

    Still, Turkey's failure despite all its pledges to the EU to open its sea and airports to Greek Cyprus as mandated by its 1963 customs union deal with the EU has become one of the most serious handicaps for the Turkish EU bid.

    Gül stressed in his Cyprus contacts that Ankara will not implement a 2005 additional protocol to the 1963 accord to open Turkish sea and airports to Greek Cypriots until the EU lives up to its commitment and lifts the trade embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community.

    The international community should understand that the discrimination and restrictions imposed on Turkish Cypriot people must now end, he said, stressing that by overwhelmingly approving in 2004 the Annan Plan, Turkish Cypriots have demonstrated their resolve for settlement while Greek Cypriots voted against the document and killed it.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] Did Turkey change its Cyprus policy?

    Under the above title and subtitle If becoming president has not changed Gül and what he says indeed reflects Turkey's new state view, then it can be said that Ankara has at least fine-tuned its Cyprus policy, Turkish daily Turkish Daily News newspaper (20.09.07) publishes the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli:

    It was not abnormal to hear from President Süleyman Demirel or from his successor President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, but when I heard it from the mouth of Turkey's new President Abdullah Gül during his visit to the island, I must say I could not believe my ears. Something was definitely happening.

    It was not something that was ever said. It was one of the key sentences, for example, used by former Foreign Minister ^ükrü Sina Gürel in his remarks related to the Cyprus issue. Indeed, for some time we were hearing the same sentence uttered in private discussions and background briefings. Many leading writers have begun writing lately about a two-state settlement on Cyprus becoming a probability.

    A settlement on Cyprus must be based on the realities of the island, Gül said, and described the realities of Cyprus using the key sentence: The existence of two separate peoples, two separate democracies, two separate states and also two separate religions.

    I asked Gül, you were saying you would be one step ahead (of Greek Cypriots and Greece) in Cyprus peace-making. Now, you are saying we have done more than enough on Cyprus; it is now time for Greek Cypriots to take steps and the international community to deliver on their pledges to Turkish Cypriots.' You are not talking about steps to be taken, but stressing that a settlement must be based on the realities of Cyprus and qualifying that by stressing the existence of two states. Has Turkey changed the one step ahead' approach on Cyprus?

    It would be apolitical to tell Gül that I would not be surprised to hear that sentence from his successors, but that hearing a reflection of a former political approach which was condemned by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) for failing to bring about a resolution for Cyprus in four decades from a new president coming from the AKP's number two position was rather stunning.

    Until the Aug. 28 election of Gül to the presidency, while the AKP government was constantly expressing its pro-settlement commitment, the Çankaya presidential office was stressing at every opportunity that any Cyprus accord must be based on the realities of Cyprus. Former President Sezer was so upset with the pro-settlement attitude of the ruling AKP and the out of tune remarks in Nicosia by the post-Rauf Denkta government and the president that it took several months of backstage diplomacy by the AKP government and the Cyprus Department of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to convince Sezer to receive the new Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat at Çankaya.

    Now, Gül has begun publicly using the language that his predecessors Sezer and Demirel were using in regard to Cyprus. He is no longer stressing that Turkey will be a step ahead in peace-making efforts. On the contrary, he is stressing that, We have done more than enough you need two to tango. Now, Greek Cypriots must do something.

    If becoming president has not changed Gül which we do not think it has and what he says indeed reflects Turkey's new state view also shared by the government, then we may say that Ankara has at least fine-tuned its Cyprus policy and after five years the Çankaya presidential palace and the government are in accord on how to proceed forward on Cyprus.

    Subtitle: Was it really so?:

    Gül explained that he spent his past five years as prime minister, as foreign minister and now as president on Cyprus peace-making efforts and that he had always stressed the need for basing a resolution on the realities of Cyprus. There has been no change in Turkey's pro-settlement resolution, but progress requires not only Turkish Cypriots to take steps, but Greek Cypriots must do so as well, he said.

    This was not the answer that could satisfactorily explain the emphasis on the two states not only in his verbal remarks, but also in pre-prepared written texts, particularly in light of the phobia spreading in southern Cyprus that continuation of the status quo could eventually make partition de juro and the two-state solution accepted by the international community.

    As Gürel or Denkta were not recruited to the Turkish presidency as scriptwriters, and as Gül after years of experience in foreign policy would not say something written by his staff without understanding the true meaning behind it, something must be happening to merit such a change. Is it a precautionary move against a new push by Washington which is said to be preparing a new Cyprus initiative that would have at least three alternate versions? Or, is this part of the September 5 offer by Talat to his Greek counterpart Tassos Papadopoulos to accelerate the stalled Gambari process a scheme that was outlined during a July 2006 visit to the island by then U.N. Undersecretary Ibrahim Gambari with a view of reaching a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem by the end of 2008?

    It appears that I was mistaken in describing Gül's Cyprus trip as a "protocol visit" and indeed there is something else in the pipeline.

    EA/


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