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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-28

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.188/07 28.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Ferdi S. Soyer
  • [02] Reference to Cyprus during the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan with his US counterpart
  • [03] New Cyprus Party: Two yes needed for the solution, the recognition of two states is serious provocation and threat
  • [04] The press on the developments on football matches in occupied Cyprus
  • [05] US to withdraw surplus weapons via Turkey to the US bases to Europe
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News advises the Turkish government to include Cyprus among its expectations in return for the US troops leaving Iraq through Turkey
  • [07] From the Turkish Press of 27 September 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Ferdi S. Soyer

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has stressed that the Greek Cypriot side will never be able to hinder the Turkish Cypriot struggle for political equality and solution.

    The Premiers words are in reaction to Greek Cypriot Sides attempts to maintain the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People.

    Answering reporters questions on the diplomatic notes given to Syria and Italy by the Greek Cypriot Administration, he complained that the Greek Cypriot side has always been against all the campaigns launched aimed at establishing ties between the TRNC government and foreign countries and explaining the realities on the Cyprus issue.

    Greek Cypriot reactions are not only against Italy and Syria, but also against the European Court of Human Rights and all kinds of international activities, the Premier said.

    But, he stressed that the Turkish Cypriot people will continue its active campaigns towards providing a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of political equality and lifting the international isolation on it.

    The Greek Cypriot Administration can give diplomatic notes but these will not be enough to change the Turkish Cypriot peoples demands for political equality and vision for solution, he noted.

    [02] Reference to Cyprus during the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan with his US counterpart

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (28.09.07) reports on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan with his US counterpart, Condoleezza Rice, in New York. Among the issues included in the agenda were the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Iraq, Cyprus and the Armenian genocide.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Ali Babacan said:

    The Greek Cypriot side is dragging its feet in the island. The Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos gave no positive answer to any of the proposals that the TRNC President, Mehmet Ali Talat included in the agenda during their last meeting.

    According to the paper, Mrs. Rice replied:

    Cyprus is a very difficult issue. I followed Annan Plans process extremely well and not long ago I received information in person by Talat. We are always ready to provide support to the solution of this problem.

    On the Armenian issue, Mrs. Rice said that the US administration is against the passage of the resolution on the Armenian genocide and that the administration will in the future state its opposition to the passage of the resolution more strongly.

    (ML)

    [03] New Cyprus Party: Two yes needed for the solution, the recognition of two states is serious provocation and threat

    Under the title Two yes needed for the solution, the recognition of two states is serious provocation and threat, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.09.07) reports the following:

    The New Cyprus Party (YKP) stressed that there is the need for two yes for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the recognition of two states is a serious provocation and threat for the Greek Cypriots.

    Murat Kanatli, YKPs secretary of the executive committee, evaluating the latest developments of the Cyprus problem in a written statement, supported that the issue of the recognition of two states, which is repeated by some circles contains provocation and threads, that despite the fact that it is known that the process of the recognition of the TRNC or these efforts, cannot be constructive for the solution, this type of thread provokes the Greek Cypriots at the same time distract the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Kanatli who said that According to the need to take the approval of the two sides for the solution, we must restore relations with the Greek Cypriots and these kinds of threads only deepen the separation, claimed that the property of the Greek Cypriots, who were forced in hundreds of thousands to abandon their houses in 1974, was looted without return after the referendum and noted that because of this behaviour the communal trust is lost. We must restore the relations with the Greek Cypriots.

    Kanatli, who supported that the Turkish army in the island does not help at all towards the solution, asked for the realization of demilitarization, without forgetting that two yes are needed for the solution.

    Murat Kanatli clarified that it is not possible to support both the army and the solution at the same time and added that no one must be fooled on this issue.

    He also noted that Famagusta must be given to its real owners.

    Using the statements of reactionary Greek Cypriot politicians and attacking the Greek Cypriots and punishing them is the job of those who are as reactionaries as them, said Kanatli who accused CTP of being Turkeys agent.

    The YKP Secretary Murat Kanatli, who called for boycotting the elections, for sincere negotiations and for civil disobedience for constructive protest in north Cyprus, said that in order to unite Cyprus and the Cypriots, we called on all to struggle for power not from Ankara but from the streets.

    (CS)

    [04] The press on the developments on football matches in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title From now on the Turkish Cypriots shall be included in football, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (28.09.07) in its sport pages reports on the decisions taken on football by UEFA during its two-day summit held in Istanbul and writes that the President of the UEFA Executive Committee, Michel Platini, stated that efforts are being made in order for the Turkish Cypriots to be included in football. The statements of Platini were made after a question raised on the issue that international competitions are not being held in the TRNC.

    President Platini, who said that UEFA shares the same views with FIFA regarding the TRNC football, has stated: We say that the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot federations must come together. We too, need to create possibilities for the Turkish Cypriots to play football. Normally, the Turkish Cypriots are not in the FIFA regulations. For this reason, it is good to hold meetings.

    Under the title The Greek Cypriots gave in! Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (28.09.07) publishes a report by Sefa Karahasan, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus, according to which the President of the Cyprus Football Association (KOP), Costakis Koutsokoumnis, has addressed a letter to the TRNC Football Federation (KTFF) according to which the Greek Cypriot Federation wants to meet with the KTFF in the first week of October. Referring to the letter of Mr. Koutsokoumnis, the Chairman of KTFF, Niyazi Okutan said that the letter was a request from KOP for discussing with you in the North, the difficulties that you are experiencing in sports.

    According to the paper, a Greek Cypriot official has stated: KOP was put under a strain during the meeting in Zurich. The Turkish side has sent to FIFA documents regarding sending an invitation to KOP to visit the North. This too led KOP to take a step back. They were afraid that the KTFF will be recognised.

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (27.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Michel Platini, the President of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), has said that the Turkish Cypriot people must be included in international football events.

    The UEFA President who is in Turkey to chair a two-day UEFA executive committee meeting said that efforts were being made to include Turkish Cypriots in international competitions.

    Speaking at a press conference at Istanbul's Ciragan Palace this afternoon, Platini said that Turkish and Greek football federations should come together for talks on this issue.

    Also we need to do something to help Turkish Cypriots play football. Normally they are not included within FIFA regulations, so holding talks for this reason is a good situation, he said.

    (ML)

    [05] US to withdraw surplus weapons via Turkey to the US bases to Europe

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (27.09.07) reports the following:

    The United States is going to remove weapons in Iraq that are surplus to requirements via Turkey. The equipment will pass through the Habur Border Crossing and be sent from the Port of Mersin to the United States and Europe.

    The US is moving to withdraw weapons in Iraq that are surplus to requirements. The weapons, munitions and equipment will be taken through the Habur Border Crossing aboard trucks then on to the Port of Mersin. These weapons will be sent to depots in US bases both in Europe and in the United States. The 30-truck convoy carrying the American weapons is planned to pass through the Habur Border Crossing over 26-27 September. The details of this important transfer were passed on to the General Staff, the Foreign Ministry, MIT (National Intelligence Organization) and the police yesterday.

    The Turkish authorities will ensure land and sea security for the transfer. Very tight precautions are going to be taken to ensure that the US weapons do not fall into the hands of any group while passing through Turkey. Turkey will reportedly not open up the 30 trucks to check on the US weapons. Some officials have voiced concerns that the dirty weapons used by the United States in Iraq may be moved this way. The possibility that the United States may use Turkey when pulling out of Iraq was raised earlier.

    Officials are stating that this removal of surplus weapons, which is the first sign of a major disengagement from Iraq, is significant for Turkey and the region. They can pass through the Habur Border Crossing at any time, they said. If the transfer of the equipment cannot be completed within the allowed time a new extension will be given and the withdrawal process will take place by the end of November.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News advises the Turkish government to include Cyprus among its expectations in return for the US troops leaving Iraq through Turkey

    Under the title Turkish-American Relations Time for Reckoning Turkish Daily News newspaper (27.09.07) publishes the following commentary by former Ambassador Faruk Logoglu:

    Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, delineated the US administration's perspective on Turkish-American relations in a recent policy speech at the Atlantic Council. Shortly afterwards, he paid an official visit to Ankara and spoke along the same lines he had earlier drawn in Washington. Ambassador Burns expresses praise for Turkish democracy and respect for the leadership of President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, along with the anticipation of working closely with them in the period ahead. He refers to the need of restoring a sense of strategic partnership to the broad range of US-Turkish relations and of rejuvenating the relationship.

    He then lists American expectations of Turkey. The areas where the Turkish side is expected to act include Afghanistan, Kosovo, the Black Sea, the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, NATO, NATO-EU relations, Cyprus and Turkish-Armenian relations. There is a call for the reopening of the Heybeliada (Halki Greek Orthodox) religious school and the repeal of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. There is special emphasis on cooperative efforts in the field of energy, highlighting the special importance energy issues hold for the American side. Although it does not contain any new elements, the US approach as stated by Ambassador Burns is positive in tone and constructive in spirit. There is an effort to address Turkey's concerns over the critical issues of PKK terrorist activity in Iraq and the pro-Armenian resolutions in the US Congress. Burns promises action on the PKK problem and reiterates the Bush administration's opposition to the Armenian resolutions. However, this may now not be enough to revitalize the Turkish-American relationship.

    The time for reckoning has arrived. Deeds must match words. To affect Turkish public opinion favourably and to restore a functional level of mutual confidence to the relationship, the American side must act against the PKK in Iraq now. Such action would not only serve to meet Turkey's expectations, but it would also be consistent with Iraq's national interests and the interests of the Kurdish population in Northern Iraq. Further procrastination will mean more bad news for Turkish-American relationship. The passage of Armenian resolutions in the Congress would add insult to injury and have a tumultuous impact on the Turkish public. An American request to transit through Turkey its troops scheduled to be withdrawn from Iraq might meet with a Turkish refusal, leading to deepening estrangement. The American side has been straightforward with its demands. The Turkish side must respond in similar fashion and state its own its expectations of the U.S. side in equally clear terms. Aside from the PKK and the Armenian issues, the Turkish list must also include Cyprus, Turkish-Greek relations, Turkish-EU relations, the Nagorno Karabagh problem, Iraq, Iran, the Middle East Peace Process, the Caucasus, bilateral trade, parliamentary exchanges and increased civil society contacts. The task should then be to match the two lists, develop a mutually agreed list of objectives and set timelines for the realization of each common goal whenever possible and as appropriate.

    There must also be an explicit and business-like understanding over those items that do not make it into the joint list. The Turkish-American relationship is a vital component in the current equation of international relations. Making this relationship work ought to produce immense benefits in the Middle East, the Black Sea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Balkans, within the Euro-Atlantic community, in secure energy supplies, in the promotion of democracy, human rights and the rule of law as well as in fostering harmonious relations between different cultures and religions. The prospects for peace, stability and prosperity in Turkey's vicinity should improve perceptibly if Turkey and the US could join their resources toward the realization of shared objectives.

    [07] From the Turkish Press of 27 September 2007

    Following are summaries of reports and articles from the Turkish Press of 27 September 2007 as follows:

    Withdrawal of US weapons from Iraq-Turkish-US relations: A report entitled "US to withdraw surplus weapons via Turkey" in Hurriyet says that a part of US weapons deployed in Iraq will be transported to Turkey by tractor-trailers and then sent to various US military facilities an bases from Mersin port by the end of November.

    In an article entitled "A Gesture of good will expected of the United States," Hurriyet columnist Sukru Kucuksahin focuses on a speech delivered by Chief of the Ground Forces General Ilker Basbug in a recent ceremony held at the Ground Forces College. Kucuksahin says that Basbug issued a very serious message to the United States by saying that "It is time for action rather than words" and that "Turkey could increase the cost in Iraq." He notes: "It is known that the military is deeply disappointed because it could not receive support that it was expecting from the United States. If, however, the United States gives that support, it could increase the percentage of people who are sympathetic to the United States which is currently around seven percent. The United States has a great opportunity to make such a gesture of good will. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has been fighting against the PKK in the Southeast for 13 days. There is serious anxiety within the organization which has suffered heavy casualties. If the United States hands over several high-ranking figures in the terrorist organization, this anxious mood will lead to destruction of morale within the organization. It will not be totally disbanded but the Turkish Armed Forces will gain great advantage. As regards the cost, the United States and the international community should have no doubt that Turkey will not hesitate to take necessary action if a state is established in northern Iraq."

    In an article entitled "What does the TSK expect of the United States?" Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila also analyzes General Basbug's speech which, he notes, contained the most strongly-worded criticism targeting the United States. Pointing out that the Turkish military expects the United States to be as concerned about Iraq's territorial integrity as Turkey and to understand that the foundation of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq would be regarded by Turkey as a threat to its existence, Bila says that the United States could change anti-American sentiments in Turkey and thwart the PKK's hopes that it will receive support from the United States if it captures and hands PKK leaders over to Turkey.

    In an article entitled "A warning issued by General Basbug," Ortadogu columnist Seyfi Sahin cites passages from the speech made by General Basbug which, he says, also included a strong warning to the United States while emphasizing that Turkey would not permit a Kurdish state to be established in northern Iraq. He comments: "Turkey may not be able to take action in Iraq for the time being. But, it would never permit the establishment of an administration in Iraq which could pose a threat to Turkey. Such a development would entail a high price for Iraq and the United States. Turkomans are not defenceless. Basbug's warnings have redrawn Turkey's red lines."

    A report entitled "22 US Senators have come to seal contracts" in Sabah says that the majority leaders or deputy majority leaders of senates in 22 states in the United States accompanied by the representatives of various US companies arrived in Turkey on 24 September in order to hold meetings with leading Turkish businessmen and academics to discuss political and economic issues. According to the report, the visiting US senators were informed that growing anti-American sentiments in Turkey mainly stems from the United States' reluctance to take action against the PKK.

    In an article entitled "Is remonstrance enough, General Ilker? Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven criticizes Land Forces Commander Ilker Basbug for merely "remonstrating" with the United States over its "support for [PKK] terrorism" in his recent Military Academy speech. Arseven asks Basbug "whether we should not punish the United States" for "supporting" the terrorist PKK or at least "indicate our annoyance" by stopping sending military officers for training to the United States, refraining from sending officers to the meetings of US think-tanks, and using certain sanctions against US weapons providers.

    ES/


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