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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-01-23

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.16/08 23.01.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriots comment on the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to Turkey
  • [02] Ercakica comments on various issues
  • [03] Durduran says that Turkey should open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus because this would benefit all Cypriots
  • [04] Alain Bothorel: Difficulties exist for the Turkish Cypriots to launch social, sports and cultural relations
  • [05] The remains of another fourteen missing persons will soon be handed over to their relatives
  • [06] Ozkan Murat argues that the information that the citizenship of the TRNC will be given to another 50.000 persons is a lie
  • [07] More results of the 2006 Population and Residence Census were revealed
  • [08] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce organized seminar for potato producers in line with the Green Line Regulation
  • [09] Bird flu detected at poultry farm in northern Turkey
  • [10] Mysterious death of fish in western Turkey
  • [11] TUSIAD delegation is holding contacts in Germany
  • [12] Professor Karakas was elected by PACE as Turkeys judge at the ECHR
  • [13] German firm to be partner in Nabucco
  • [14] Turkish Supreme Court verdict gives the right to Turks to file a case against Pamuk for insulting the nation
  • [15] Foreign tourists visiting Turkey increased by 17.8% in 2007
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] From Turkish Press of 22 January 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriots comment on the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.01.08), under the title The Cyprus condition for the EU membership, reports that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Kostas Karamanlis, who is visiting Turkey today told the Anatolia news agency that one basic criterion for Turkeys accession to the EU is putting in order Ankaras relations with Cyprus and recognizing the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr Karamanlis said that the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation should be reached in the Cyprus problem and that it should be fully guaranteed that this solution will be lasting. The paper points out that this is the first official visit by a Greek Prime Minister to Turkey after 48 years.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) refers to the issue and publishes the views of representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties on Mr Karamanlis visit to Ankara. The general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Omer Kalyoncu said that a solution to the Cyprus problem suits Greeces interests as well. He said that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, discussed the views of the Turkish Cypriots in Turkey and Ankara knows these positions. He noted that 2008 may be the year of the solution in Cyprus. This meeting is important from this point of view, he added.

    Furthermore, Mustafa Gokmen, vice-president of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) said that their expectation from the meeting is a policy that will be protecting the interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the final solution.

    The general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), Nazim Cavusoglu said that the visit is a development from the point of view of the dialogue between the countries. In spite of the expectations for a dialogue, we shall see to what extend the Greek Cypriot mentality will be influenced from this. Moreover, this is a belated mentality, he alleged.

    The chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici said that their expectation from the meeting is the contribution of Turkey and Greece, as guarantor countries, to the solution and the securing of peace in Cyprus as well as making steps to speed up the process.

    Finally, the general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), Ertugrul Hasipoglu argued that nothing will come out of the meeting because the Cyprus problem is not only a problem of the Turkish Cypriot people, the Greek Cypriots, Greece and Turkey; international actors have also interests in it.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ercakica comments on various issues

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) reports that Mr Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has alleged that the Greek Cypriot side keeps a stance that prevents all the initiatives by the EU and the UN and it has not exhibited a clear stance on the issue of the new initiative regarding the Cyprus problem. In statements yesterday during his weekly briefing, Mr Ercakica described the letter sent by President Papadopoulos to the UN SecretaryGeneral before President Guls visit to the USA as another preventive initiative.

    Mr Ercakica said that Mr Gul told Mr Ban Ki-moon that the Turkish side wants a new international initiative. The Turkish side has fulfilled one of the preconditions of a new initiative as a whole. It could easily be said that Papadopoulos is trying to prevent this, he argued. Pointing out to the fact that there is an election period in the Republic of Cyprus, he claimed: However, while this election process is not an obstacle for preventive initiatives, the fact that it does not cause any encouraging statements or stance on the issue of the new procedure is meaningful.

    Mr Ercakica referred also to the draft report prepared by the European Parliaments Petition Committee on the occupied closed city of Varosha and to the reactions of the Greek Cypriot side. Mr Ercakica alleged: If the EU and the other elements of the international community begin to act a little bit impartially, this could be the beginning of the breaking of the Greek Cypriot intransigence. This is the most important lesson that should be taken from the debates caused by this report. The steps that will be made in this direction will increase the chance for the success of the initiative which is expected to be launched after February.

    Referring to the issue of Kosovo, Mr Ercakica said that the procedure of the independence of Kosovo has brought onto the agenda a different point of view for the Cyprus problem and brought the Cyprus problem, which had been in stagnation, on the agenda. However, he claimed, the Turkish side wants to focus its attention on reaching a comprehensive solution.

    Asked to comment on the views expressed by the leader of the UBP, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the chairman of the newly established Peoples Party (HP), Mr Rasit Pertev, regarding the two states, Mr Ercakica said that their policy is reaching a solution which is accepted by the two sides in Cyprus, based on the political equality.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Durduran says that Turkey should open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus because this would benefit all Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) reports that Albay Durduran, foreign relations secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), has said that Turkey should open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus, as a requirement of the Customs Union which it had signed with the EU. In a written statement issued by the YKP, Mr Durduran notes that the opening of Turkeys ports will be for the benefit of all Cypriots and pointed out that the allegations that this will benefit only the Greek Cypriots and harm the Turkish Cypriots are not correct.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Alain Bothorel: Difficulties exist for the Turkish Cypriots to launch social, sports and cultural relations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) reports that the General Directorate for the Enlargement of the EU held last night a briefing regarding the Direct contacts and youth program at Saray Hotel in the occupied part of Nicosia. Addressing the seminar, Alain Bothorel, responsible of the EU Support Office, said this seminars aim was to brief the Turkish Cypriots on the Direct Contacts and Youth Exchange Program which will be carried out within the framework of the 259 million euro aid of the EU to the Turkish Cypriot community.

    He noted that 1.5 millions will be spent for this program and argued that on the issue of their direct relations, the Turkish Cypriots are in a much worse position than the other EU citizens. He said that difficulties exist for the Turkish Cypriots to launch social, sporting and cultural relations.

    Mr Bothorel noted that the EU Commission launched this program aiming to secure direct contacts for the Turkish Cypriots and added that the program is mostly directed towards the young people and the civilian organizations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The remains of another fourteen missing persons will soon be handed over to their relatives

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) reports that in statements to illegal TAK news agency, Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on the Missing Persons, has said that the remains of six Turkish and eight Greek Cypriot missing persons will be handed over to their families during the coming days. Thus, the number of the persons the remains of whom will be handed over will reach 71. Twenty five of them are Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Ozkan Murat argues that the information that the citizenship of the TRNC will be given to another 50.000 persons is a lie

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.01.08) reports that in statements to Kanal T television, the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Mr Ozkan Murat, argued that a transformation is being carried out at the immigration department and added that 46.000 persons have been registered.

    He said that there were some speculative news in the press and added that the information that the citizenship of the TRNC will be given to another 50.000 persons is a lie. We are behaving as the law requires on the issue of the citizenship. We are not making citizens in an arbitrary manner, he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] More results of the 2006 Population and Residence Census were revealed

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.01.08) reports that the 2006 Population and Residence Census, which was carried out by the self-styled state planning organization in 2006, revealed the proprietorship of 72.624 residences in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the results of the census, 61 % of the people living in the occupied areas are house owners and 23.6 % are tenants.

    The results showed that 9.6 % do not pay rent in spite of the fact that they are not house owners. This is because they have been appropriated a house or they are living in a relatives house. Furthermore, 4.3 % live in public housing.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce organized seminar for potato producers in line with the Green Line Regulation

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.01.08) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce organized a Phytosanitary Registration seminar today for potato producers who would like to sell their product to south Cyprus in line with the Green Line Regulation proposed by the European Union.

    The seminar which took place at the Chamber building in the afternoon enlightened producers about the technical and administrative procedures they have to go through in order ensure their products are in line with EU health standards.

    The Head of the Turkish Cypriot Community Task Force, Mr Andrew Rasbash, who is currently in Cyprus and the President of the Chamber, Mr Hasan Ince, also delivered speeches at the seminar.

    [09] Bird flu detected at poultry farm in northern Turkey

    Istanbul NTV television (22.01.08) broadcast the following from Zonguldak:

    Turkish authorities are trying to contain an outbreak of avian influenza reported in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak Monday.

    Agriculture Ministry officials issued a statement late Monday saying that bird flu had been discovered in poultry on a farm in the village of Saz, after samples had been taken from birds on Saturday.

    It has yet to be determined if the bird flu is the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus or a less dangerous strain of avian influenza.

    Authorities are working to limit the spread of the virus by setting up a quarantine zone around the Saz region.

    Turkey's last major outbreak of avian influenza was in 2006, when at least four people dying after contracting the virus and dozens more being hospitalized. Turkish authorities were forced to cull more than one million domestic fowl.

    [10] Mysterious death of fish in western Turkey

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.01.08) publishes the following report under the title: Mass fish deaths in Mugla, officials puzzled:

    Officials and fishermen have been perplexed by ongoing mass fish deaths in western Mugla province, where hundreds of kilograms of sea bass have perished in the last three days.

    The mass sea bass deaths in Milas have caused panic among several local institutions and organizations. Approximately 600 kilograms of sea bass perished at fish farms located on Kazan Bay and Ziraat Island. Fish farmers noted that fish die-offs occurred while fish farms were being moved off the coast near the Kazikli and Alagun bays.

    One fish farmer, Levent Usta, said the reason behind the deaths is not disease or the presence of harmful micro algae. "Several fish farmers have been moving their farms off the coast one by one, believing that mass gilt-head bream deaths, which featured on the national agenda some two weeks ago, might have been caused by the declining salt and oxygen levels in the sea. Almost 600 kilograms of sea bass died as fish farmers attempted to move their farms off the coast using improper methods," he noted.

    More than 2 million gilt-head bream have died in the Milas district since early January, prompting researchers to investigate the possible causes. The investigators had concluded that fish deaths might have been caused by declining salt and oxygen levels in the sea, and subsequently fish farmers started to move their farms off the coast.

    [11] TUSIAD delegation is holding contacts in Germany

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.01.08) reported the following from Berlin:

    Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, Chief of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), and an accompanying delegation met the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and German State Minister on Migration & Integration Maria Bohmer, in Berlin on Tuesday.

    TUSIAD delegation and Steinmeier discussed mainly Turkey's accession process to the European Union (EU).

    "The reform process, advances in democracy and Turkey's determination as regards to become a full member of the EU will help to the materialization of Turkey's EU aspirations," Yalcindag noted.

    "Negative statements of EU leaders on Turkey cause furor in the country. Opposing Turkey's full membership would be against the laws and the very existence of the EU," Yalcindag stressed.

    "German FM Steinmeier's support for Turkey's adhesion to the Community is important," Yalcindag emphasized.

    Meanwhile, TUSIAD delegation's meeting with Bohmer focused on the integration of Turkish migrants living in Germany.

    "The changes in German immigration laws and the use of Turkish migrants as a tool in domestic politics negatively affect their integration into the German society," Yalcindag underlined.

    "TUSIAD is actually developing projects to ease integration of Turks into the German society," she added.

    [12] Professor Karakas was elected by PACE as Turkeys judge at the ECHR

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.01.08) reports from Strasbourg that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) elected Prof. Isil Karakas as the judge who will represent Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    Prof. Karakas gained 136 votes, while other Turkish candidates Prof. Rusen Ergec had 27 and Prof. Ali Ulusoy 15 votes in the election.

    Prof. Karakas --who replaced Riza Turmen-- will work for six years in Strasbourg. In accordance with the article 22nd of ECHR, 20 countries which signed the convention submits a list including three candidates, and the assembly elects one of these candidates.

    [13] German firm to be partner in Nabucco

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.01.08) reports the following under the title: PM Erdogan approves RWE as Nabucco partner:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has approved German energy firm RWE as the sixth partner in the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline project, an official at the prime minister's office said on Tuesday.

    A decision on RWE's partnership was also due this week from the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), a stakeholder in the Nabucco project. The official said they were going to discuss getting a seventh partner for the financing or gas supply elements of the Nabucco project, adding that Gaz de France was among the candidates. The Nabucco project is one of Europe's most important projects for strengthening its natural gas supply security, as it will contribute substantially to diversifying existing supply routes. The pipeline connects large gas reserves in the Caspian region, the Middle East and Egypt with Europe. The investment costs will amount to approximately 5 billion euros. When completed, the pipeline's annual capacity will be 31 billion cubic meters. The current shareholders are the Austrian OMV, Hungarian Oil & Gas Company Plc (MOL), Transgaz, Bulgargaz Holding and BOTAS.

    [14] Turkish Supreme Court verdict gives the right to Turks to file a case against Pamuk for insulting the nation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.01.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    The 4th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals, overruled a local court's verdict rejecting an amends lawsuit filed against Nobel laureate novelist Orhan Pamuk --for his statements published in a Swiss magazine. The 4th Chamber of the Supreme Court of appeals overruled the first instance court's decision upon the appeal filed by the plaintiffs, on Tuesday. The Supreme court said in its verdict that "personal rights" also covered feelings of ethnicity, citizenship and identity and reasoned that as well as honour and dignity of individuals, feelings of belonging to a nation as defined by the constitution were under legal protection.

    The verdict stressed that if the remarks attributed to Pamuk targeted the Turkish nation -- which the plaintiffs are citizens of -- the plaintiffs had the right to actively file a lawsuit against the novelist and concluded that the first instance court should have examined the lawsuit based on its merits. In June 2006 a local court had rejected an amends case filed against Pamuk by Turgut Koboza and five other individuals --who are relatives of martrys--. The petition for the lawsuit had recalled that ''in an exclusive interview with the magazine Pamuk had said, 'we have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians, and nobody but me dares to talk about it in Turkey'.''

    The petition had also said Pamuk incriminated the Turkish nation as a whole with his words.

    Six plaintiffs were seeking 36,000 YTL from Pamuk (one dollar equals 1.22 YTL). The local court had rejected the case reasoning that Pamuk's remarks could not be considered a violation of personal rights of the plaintiffs, only based on their ties of citizenship with the Turkish nation.

    [15] Foreign tourists visiting Turkey increased by 17.8% in 2007

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.01.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    A total of 23,341,073 foreign tourists visited Turkey in 2007, Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) declared on Tuesday.

    According to TUIK, number of foreigners arriving in Turkey rose by 17.8 percent in 2007, compared to 2006.

    Tourists coming from countries of the "Commonwealth of Independent States" rose by 27.9 percent, while visitors from OECD-member European states increased by 12.3 percent in 2007, TUIK said.

    Meanwhile, number of tourists coming from other OECD-member states was up 22.6 percent and visitors coming from other European countries rose by 16.6 percent, according to TUIK.

    TUIK also said number of Asians visiting Turkey increased by 25.8 percent in 2007.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [16] From Turkish Press of 22 January 2008

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish Press of 2008 on the visit of the Greek Prime Minsiter, the Kurdish and other issues:

    a) Greek Prime Minister's visit:

    A report entitled "Official visit to Anitkabir [Ataturk's mausoleum] and a private visit to Patriarch" in Hurriyet says that Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will lay a wreath at Ataturk's mausoleum during his official visit to Turkey which is scheduled to start tomorrow despite strong criticism voiced by far-right LAOS party in Greece. According to the report, Karamanlis will meet with President Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In an article entitled "49 Years Later," Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen says that Karamanlis has demonstrated his desire and determination to further Turkish-Greek relations by deciding to visit Turkey which will be the first official visit to be paid by a Greek Prime Minister since 1959. Pointing out that neither Greece nor Turkey expects the visit to produce concrete results despite its symbolic significance, Kohen says: "This visit which will take place after a break which lasted almost half a century, should be regarded as a historic opportunity to reach a new understanding that would reduce friction and tension."

    In an editorial entitled "Waiting for Karamanlis," Turkish Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli says: "Despite a possible sour note over Cyprus, however, Turkish officials underline that as the first visit by a Greek prime minister in 49 years and only the third one in the Republic's history, the visit will be of great importance and everything will be done to make it a success."

    b) Buyukanit´s visit to London:

    A report entitled "Warning about Kirkuk" in Milliyet says that Turkish Chief of the General Staff Gen. Buyukanit told his British counterpart in a meeting held in London yesterday that an armed conflict in Kirkuk could eventually spread to all parts of the Middle East. According to the report, Turkey's ongoing military campaign against the PKK was also discussed in the meeting.

    Yeni Ozgur Politika carries a report by Halil Gam on the protest demonstrations against the Turkish Chief of the General Staff Gen Yasar Buyukanit in London. Noting that Gen Buyukanit is expected to discuss "the Kurds and the PKK" with the British officials, the report says that the Kurds are concerned over his talks in London as Britain is one of the major actors of the Middle East.

    c) Kurdish Question:

    An article entitled "Ecevit's Secret Archive", by Milliyet columnist Can Dundar, highlights proposals presented in a report drawn up by the Turkish General Staff and submitted to then Minister of Labor Bulent Ecevit in 1961. The report suggested that Kurds living in the southeastern part of the country should be encouraged to migrate to other regions and people from Black Sea area should be settled in the southeast in a bid to change the demographic structure of the region and to assimilate the Kurds.

    In an article entitled "The Military picks up a fight", Today's Zaman columnist Andrew Finkel argues that the latest General Staff statement accusing "unspecific 'circles' [that question official versions of what happened during the PKK raid in Daglica] of 'flaunting their opposition to the military for political and economic advantage' ... gives ground for great concern" because it creates "the impression that all press criticism of the armed forces is malicious."

    d) Headscarf issue:

    A report entitled "Negotiations over article 10" in Hurriyet says that Sadullah Ergin, deputy whip of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, held a secret meeting with officials from the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, in an attempt to convince them that the MHP's proposal to amend Article 10 of the Constitution in order to lift the ban on wearing headscarf in universities would not provide a solution to the problem. The report says that MHP leadership still insist on their proposal.

    In an article entitled "Reasons behind Erdogan's initiative about headscarf," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila says that Erdogan decided to lift the ban on wearing headscarf in universities because of the local elections to be held in 2009. He says: "Erdogan might have reached the conclusion that his party may gain a higher percentage of the vote if he takes a step to lift the ban on wearing headscarf ahead of the local elections. There is no excuse that he could offer to the party's grass roots in the face of pressure and demands about headscarf given that the new President and the President of the Higher Education Council are not opposed to the idea of lifting the ban."

    A report entitled "Proposed constitutional amendment will not provide a social solution" in Milliyet quotes former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener as saying that the AKP's plan to amend the Constitution in order to lift the ban on headscarf would further deepen tension and divide within society although it could resolve the problem from the legal perspective.

    In an article entitled "What was in the background of Erdogan's statement about headscarf?" Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin ascribes Erdogan's strongly-worded statement criticizing the proponents of the ban on headscarf to his self-confidence arising from polling around 47% in the last general election, his conviction that President Gul will not refuse to approve a law aimed at lifting the ban on headscarf, and the ambitious goal set for the upcoming local elections.

    Under the headline, "Two sentences for headscarf," Yeni Safak carries an "exclusive" front-page report which asserts that the ruling AKP has taken steps to present a proposal to the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, to implement single-sentence amendments to Articles 10 and 42 of the Constitution in order to lift the headscarf ban at universities.

    Under the headline, "Election trap," Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which quotes Felicity Party, SP, leader Recai Kutan as saying that the coincidence of the latest debate over the headscarf issue with preparations to bring forward the local elections suggests a government ploy to manipulate public opinion.

    In an article entitled "Nudity, dress, and headscarf", Milli Gazete columnist Suleyman Arif Emre asserts that there are no provisions in Turkey's current laws imposing restrictions on the wearing of Muslim headscarves, adding that according to Article 28 of the Constitution, nothing less than a law is required to institute bans on any practice.

    In an article entitled "The Military and the headscarf issue", Bugun columnist Ahmet Tasgetiren takes issue with the assumption that the Turkish military is "categorically" opposed to Muslim headscarves. He provides examples of the Turkish Armed Forces' "flexible" stance on Islamic headgear and claims that if the military clearly disavows support for the headscarf ban, the existing restrictions on headdresses can no longer be maintained.

    e) New Political Movement:

    A report entitled "Turkes's 'Secret Army' strategists move into action" in Milliyet says that Ali Gungor and Selahattin Baysal, who had close ties with late MHP leader Alparslan Turkes, have taken an initiative aimed at establishing a new political movement entitled "The New Path Movement." The report quotes Baysal as saying in a recent article that their primary goal will be fighting against imperialism and the AKP, which he describes as its collaborator.

    f) New World Order:

    In an article entitled "Secret Yalta: Crisis to spread, a new world to be established", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on current global economic and political developments in light of a 2006 report entitled "Europe 2020 Alarm, Global Systemic Rupture: Iran, USA, Release of Global World Crisis." The report predicts that the United States and Britain's military interventions in the Middle East will plunge these countries into a major economic crisis along with some Asian players and that economic globalization might come to an abrupt halt. Karagul also discusses claims that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's "secret meetings" with world leaders as part of efforts to restructure the UN are aimed at establishing a "new world order."

    EG/


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