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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-11

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. 29/08 09-11.02.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat stated that the downturn of tourism in occupied Cyprus could only be reversed by removing the international isolations- A workshop was organized by the Union of Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies
  • [02] Turgut Cavlan, who is being tried at the Larnaka district court for selling Turkish Cypriot property to Greek Cypriots with false proxy, is involved on an economic scandal in occupied Cyprus
  • [03] A century old carob bean cellar is restored and it is planned to be transformed into a soul therapy center
  • [04] 2.000 - 3.000 German tourists to visit the occupied areas in 2008
  • [05] Erdogan urges UN to take action on the Cyprus problem
  • [06] The chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Zeki Sezer, stated that Turkey is determined for the TRNC to live forever
  • [07] Data on the foreign trade in occupied Cyprus
  • [08] Turkey is asked to contribute more in Afghanistan
  • [09] Former Chief of Police argues that Ozal was assassinated by the deep state
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] Rogues, runaways and reporters
  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 10 February 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat stated that the downturn of tourism in occupied Cyprus could only be reversed by removing the international isolations- A workshop was organized by the Union of Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies.

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.02.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the countrys locomotive sector tourism was suffering from stagnation and that the downturn could only be reversed by removing the international isolations. A group of officials from the Union of Turkish Travel Agencies which are in the Republic for a series of contacts were received today by President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Receiving the union officials, President Talat said that the countrys tourism sector, a major locomotive industry for the TRNC, was not growing due to obstacles created by the ongoing international isolations imposed on North Cyprus.

    Stating that Greek Cypriot Administration through its strong connections within the international community has been for years trying to prevent tourism from developing in the TRNC, the President said that although they were able to resist such efforts from time to time, tourism could not be developed at the desired level.

    He said that although there was some growth recorded in the tourism sector in 2003 and 2004 the industry was currently in stagnation.

    We have to somehow overcome this stagnation. As recorded in the latest UN report we do not deserve the international isolations. The President wished for the end of the international isolations and for cooperation between TURSAB and the TRNC.

    For his part, the President of the Union Basaran Ulusoy said that tourism was the future of North Cyprus as they had expressed to the Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer yesterday.

    Stating that North Cyprus should be promoted in the best possible way, Mr. Ulusoy reiterated their readiness to do all they can to make this possible.

    On the same issue illegal Bayrak television (10.02.08) broadcast the following:

    The Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag has announced that 5 million dollars will be allocated for the promotion of the TRNC abroad.

    Mr. Sanlidag was speaking during a press conference following a workshop organized by the Union of Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies.

    The Union of Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies is in the republic as guest of the Ministry of Economy and Tourism.

    It held a workshop in Girne yesterday together with the Union of Cyprus Turkish Travel Agencies. At a press conference following the workshop, its been announced that a road map has been determined towards improving tourism in the TRNC.

    In his speech, the Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag said it is necessary to cooperate with Turkey in the field of tourism as the cooperation between the two countries has reached a standstill.

    Noting that Germany, Britain and Turkey will be the main targets for the next season, Mr. Sanlidag said a total of 5 million dollars will be allocated for the promotion of the TRNC in those countries.

    Reporting on the same issue Kibris (11.02.08) reports that on his part Turkish Cypriot Travel Agencies (KITSAB) chairman, Mr Ozbek Dedekorkut, stated that they are trying together with their Turkish colleagues to bring to occupied Cyprus a part of the 8 million tourists who visit Antalya every year.

    [02] Turgut Cavlan, who is being tried at the Larnaka district court for selling Turkish Cypriot property to Greek Cypriots with false proxy, is involved on an economic scandal in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.02.08) reports in its first page that the secrets of the Venus Beach hotel, which is near occupied Salamis and was made a masterpiece with the favouritism of the Republican Turkish party (CTP) partisanship, started to be disclosed. The 13 trillion YTL (New Turkish Lira) credits which were given to the hotel by the Vakiflar Bank four years ago, were not paid back and now the bank is putting pressure on the CTP for the dept to be paid.

    In the meantime, writes the paper, Turgut Cavlan, who is being tried at the Larnaka district court for selling Turkish Cypriot property to Greek Cypriots with false proxy, is involved in this issue. Mr Cavlan is one of the three partners of the hotel. The other two are the son of one of the former ministers, Huseyin Celal, and the other is Hasan Hascelik. Four years ago, when the construction of the hotel was started, the three partners were given the 13 trillion YTL credit, with the influence of someone. The paper, which notes that this large amount of money was given very easily to the three partners, writes that four years later not a penny was paid back for the loan. AFRIKA goes on and writes that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Soyer, played a big role on the granting of the loan to the three partners by the Vakiflar bank.

    Afrika (11.02.08) also reports on the same issue and wonders what happened to the 13 trillion YTL given for the hotel.

    (CS)

    [03] A century old carob bean cellar is restored and it is planned to be transformed into a soul therapy centre

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.02.08) reports that a century old carob bean cellar, which is on the road of occupied Akanthou and faces the sea, is restored and it is planned to be transformed into a soul therapy centre. Various centres of this kind exit in many European countries. The cost of the project will be two million pounds sterling. The persons to visit the centre will combine the therapy with vacations in occupied Cyprus.

    (CS)

    [04] 2.000 - 3.000 German tourists to visit the occupied areas in 2008

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.02.08) under the banner front-page title We are entering the German market in the tourism sector, reports that the German tourist agency Oger Tur and the so-called Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY) agreed on the transport of tourists from Germany to the occupied areas of Cyprus with transit stop from Istanbul or Izmir. The flights are expected to start on April 28, 2008. The tourist package for one week, which includes the ticket and half-board accommodation, costs from 459 to 689 Euros.

    The director of the Roots Holiday, which cooperates with the German Oger Tur in the occupied areas, Mr Ismail Cetin, stated that until now 100.000 brochures have been given to tourist agencies in Germany and that German tourist agents and journalists have been invited to the occupied areas in order to meet the country. Mr Cetin stated that the only problem is that the German tourists will have to travel to the occupied Cyprus through a stop-over since there are no direct flights to the TRNC. Moreover, Mr Cetin said that they expect around 2.000 to 3.000 German tourists to visit the occupied areas in 2008 and that these numbers can be doubled every passing year.

    (EA)

    [05] Erdogan urges UN to take action on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.08) reports the following from Munich:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday urged the United Nations Security Council to take action on the Cyprus problem.

    In his speech at the 44th Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany, Erdogan recalled that a referendum was held in Cyprus in 2004 to vote the Annan Plan.

    Mr. Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary-General) prepared his report on the referendum in 2004. But since that day, the UN Security Council has not yet put the report on its agenda and made a decision, Erdogan complained. He said a report by the Secretary-General has been pending for four years, although such reports pend at most for one year at the Council.

    Why is it still pending? It is called refrigerating, he said. Cyprus question is still being temporized. I would like to urge UN Security Council to take action about this matter.

    Erdogan also reaffirmed that Turkey wants to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and asked UN countries to vote for Turkey.

    [06] The chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Zeki Sezer, stated that Turkey is determined for the TRNC to live forever

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.08) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP), Zeki Sezer, stated that Turkey is determined for the TRNC to live forever. Mr Zeki made these statements speaking at a conference organized by his party in Istanbul under the title Turkey-EU and Cyprus. Mr Sezer also stated that the TRNC faces many problems but these are not included in Turkeys political agenda. Mr Zeki, who also referred to the Cyprus problem in his speech, stated that the lifting of the isolation is still expected to take place in north Cyprus.

    Halkin Sesi reports that Rauf Denktas participated in the panel.

    (CS)

    [07] Data on the foreign trade in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.02.08) reports that during 2007 the trade volume in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus has reached 1 billion 384 million US dollars.

    Compared to 2006, the imports in 2007 have increased by 6% reaching at a volume of $1 billion 463 million, while the exports increased by 23% reaching the volume of $79.4 million.

    During 2007, 68% of the goods imported in the occupied areas were from Turkey, 16.9% from the European Union, 7.6% from Far Eastern countries and 3.1% from Middle East countries.

    (ML)

    [08] Turkey is asked to contribute more in Afghanistan

    According to a report by Zeynep Gurcanli in Hurriyet (08.02.08), the United States has submitted its first demand following its 2-month "intelligence sharing" in north Iraq. The report notes that a letter sent by US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates to National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul through the US Embassy in Ankara asks Turkey "to play a larger role in the struggle against terrorists in Afghanistan and to deploy "operational units" in the southern and eastern parts of that country against Taliban and al-Qaeda forces.

    The fact that this letter by Gates coincides with the mention of Hikmet Cetin's name as a candidate for the United Nation's Afghan representative has caused a commotion in the Ankara backstage, the report adds. Diplomats assess that the Washington administration will extend its support to Cetin's appointment in exchange for Turkey lifting its restriction on operational involvement in Afghanistan. The report concludes by noting that Erdogan is expected to discuss the issue with Gates during the Munich Security Conference to be attended by both.

    [09] Former Chief of Police argues that Ozal was assassinated by the deep state

    Under the headline, "Turgut Ozal was Killed by Counter Guerrilla," Yeni Safak (09.02.08) publishes a front-page report which quotes Bulent Orakoglu, former Chief of Police Intelligence, as saying that the late President Turgut Ozal was killed because he became privy to a dossier disclosing the links between the terrorist PKK and the "deep state". Mr Orakoglu supports that the assassination was engineered by a high-level state official.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] Rogues, runaways and reporters

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Today (09-15/02/08) publishes the following commentary in the column Views by Tom Roche:

    Have you got a picture of Sean Lupton stuck on your fridge? I certainly have, and there are copies in the office and on the dashboard of the car also. With a reward of £2 million on offer, who wouldn´t want to be the first to spot the man with the lazy eye, wanted in connection with Britain´s biggest robbery?

    Perhaps it is the lure of the cash which has prompted several locals to claim sightings of the 46-year-old builder and martial arts expert from Whitstable, Kent.

    I suspect few of these witnesses would stand up to cross-examination, but that hasn´t stopped the British media from gleefully reporting their claims. Once again, North Cyprus is headlined as a fugitives´ paradise, allegedly awash with stolen money.

    Awash certainly with journalists on the trail for the man supposed to have taken part in the armed robbery on a Securitas depot at Tonbridge in Kent, from which £32 million has yet to be recovered.

    I came across two of them from the Sunday Mirror last Friday evening, enjoying a good dinner at Efendi in Girne [occupied Keryneia] old town. Only the best will do when you are on expenses.

    As a former Fleet Street reporter myself, I must have proved disappointing company. No, I hadn´t seen Sean Lupton, nor could I point them to a likely hideout.

    In a previous life, I was sent on plenty of wild goose chases of my own, so they had my professional sympathy. I wasn´t at all surprised to see in the paper two days later: He´s alive and he´s here Exclusive from Kate Mansey in Catalkoy [occupied Ayios Epiktitos], Northern Cyprus. This nine-paragraph story was thinner than the paper it was printed on, but I know Miss Mansey and her photographer colleague would have been under pressure to justify their winter break at The Colony.

    Two Turkish Cypriot suspects, named in court as Hussein and Mustafa Basar, are also thought to have left Britain for the island, reported the Daily Telegraph. Thought by whom it does not say. Surely even the dimmest Turkish Cypriot crook would think twice before running to, er, Turkish Cyprus?

    The Telegraph reporter, Colin Freeman, had no more luck than the others in finding any real trace of Mr Lupton, but must have been delighted when he turned up runaway-cum-property developer Gary Robb.

    For those who missed it, here is a flavour: With his boxer´s build, dark glasses and heavy North-East accent, Gary Robb looks every inch the bouncer and nightclub owner from Teesside that he once was. But ask him about the 1,000 villas he now has for sale here in Northern Cyprus and he turns into a smooth-talking estate agent.

    Now Mr Robb has been here a long time, and, as he is keen to remind us all, he has done nothing wrong in the country. His supporters invariably describe him as a loveable rogue. Only last week he was telling Cyprus Today readers of his desire to return to the UK and clear his name of the drugs charges that still bedevil him back in his native Teesside.

    He sings a different song to Mr Freeman: Cleveland Police have a warrant out, but there is no way they can get me back. The authorities here say I have done nothing wrong, and I´ve got no interest in going back. All my family is here now, and this is my home.

    He goes on to boast about meeting Brinks Mat bullion robber Kenneth Noyer, who stopped here while on the run after the road-rage murder for which he is now serving life. Mr Robb describes him as a nice guy who saw the island´s potential for investment.

    All this is gold dust for the footloose correspondent trying to stand-up, as we say, an impossible foreign story. If you can´t find the man you´re after, Mr Robb makes a quotable substitute, without whom the Telegraph story would not have had any legs.

    Mr Robb has shown me some witness statements, which, on the surface at least, would indicate that he may have a defence to the UK charges of conspiracy to supply Ecstasy and amphetamines. Unless he returns to face the music, we will never know, but his continued presence merely enhances the TRNC´s reputation for skulduggery.

    The government is on a loser here no matter what it does. For once my sympathies are with Prime Minister Soyer, whose protestations over the Lupton case barely rated a mention.

    The authorities could have settled these issues easily enough. An early morning knock on the door, accompanied by the click of a few Turkish army rifles and a swift passage to Ercan [occupied Tymvou airport] would do the trick. But that is now out of the question for a little state struggling for some form of legitimacy. Its enemies would launch a storm of protest about the rule of law, police states and military occupied areas etc.

    Meanwhile, here´s a little tip. If you are looking for lovable rogues, you can spot them by their notebooks and press cards. Keep´em peeled.

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 10 February 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 10 February:

    a) Headscarf Issue: In Milliyet (10.02.08) Melih Asik criticizes the AKP (Justice and Development Party) and MHP (Nationalist Action Party) for lifting the ban on the use of the Islamic headdress. In his column, he argues: They supposedly lifted obstacles against freedom of conscience and faith and complied with the requirements of pluralism. In fact, they hid behind these innocent concepts to lay the foundations of a serious division in the community. They removed some more of the obstacles against the struggle they wage against secularism. Asik claims that a very serious step has been taken and that the controversy will deepen to undermine the republic.

    According to Derya Sazak in Istanbul Milliyet (10.02.08), the AKP has made a historic mistake by limiting its approach on the introduction of a constitution that will support freedoms to the use of the Islamic headdress. In a column, he argues that the people fear the possibility of a counter revolution and asserts: Acting with Islamic incentives, you can recognize the right to women to cover themselves and you can keep the people at poverty level like those in Iran, Algeria, and Morocco. But Turkey cannot be forced to remain within the confines of those countries. Sazak argues that the AKP has wrongly interpreted the support that was given to it by the electorate in the last elections and warns: The people in the country have stood up. The universities, judicial establishments, and civilian organizations are worried that an effort is made to establish an authoritarian structure through the imposition of the Islamic headdress, a structure that will change the country's secular and democratic nature.

    The academicians of the Selcuk University in Konya topped the list of the supporters of the Islamic headdress in the universities, according to a report by Sibel Kahraman in Istanbul Milliyet (10.02.08). The report says that the academicians of the Ege University in Izmir and those of the Istanbul and Ankara Universities opposed the use of the headdress in the universities. It notes, however, that universities that are affiliated with foundations did not attach importance to the problem.

    In Hurriyet (10.02.08) Rahmi Turan criticizes the administration for attaching priority to the use of the Islamic headdress and pushing aside all the other problems of Turkey. He laments that terror and the situation of the troops in south-eastern Turkey have been forgotten and stresses that he is not sure whether or not Prime Minister Erdogan and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli sincerely want to solve the headdress problem and accuses them of further complicating the issue. Turan warns that the Islamic headdress will become a serious problem in Turkey in the near future, regardless of the claims that the ban only applies to the universities.

    Muharrem Sarikaya in Istanbul Sabah (10.02.08) believes that the changes that were made to lift the ban on the Islamic headdress will lead to a controversy on the constitution. In a column, he argues that confusion will be created in the universities when they open early next week if President Gul ratifies the constitutional changes. The university rectors will oppose the new arrangements if they comply with the Constitutional Court's decision in 1991 and refuse to allow female students who cover their heads with the Islamic headdress to attend the universities. If they allow them to attend the lectures, then they will create a situation in which they will not be able to control the way the students dress up because an article to that effect does not exist in the relevant laws.

    In an article entitled "Why do we cover our bodies?", in Yeni Safak (10.02.08) columnist Hayrettin Karaman cites passages from some verses of the Koran in order to refute the allegation that the Koran orders women to cover their heads only because their hair is enticing and provokes men into sexual harassment which, he notes, is described by some columnists as a humiliating approach to men. Pointing out that the verses actually say that both sexes should cover their bodies in order to avoid adultery and also clearly indicate that there is no cause for men to reach to the conclusion that Koran's order to cover the body is only intended to protect women against sexual harassment, Karaman concludes by saying: "People who practise their faith in a different manner should try to understand others who are different and prefer empathy to antipathy rather than trying to force others to behave like them."

    Under the banner headline "411 for Freedoms and 103 for the ban," Vakit newspaper (10.02.08) carries a front-page report which highlights Parliament's ratification of the bill amending the Constitution which, it says, is expected to take effect this week after it is signed by President Abdullah Gul.

    In an article entitled "Fear, division, and confusion" in Sunday's Zaman (10.02.08) columnist Yavuz Baydar summarizes differing views about the constitutional amendment expressed by some columnists. After summarizing critical comments about the bill, Baydar says: "Those who insist that the AKP's actions raise many doubts about its 'faith' in the EU reforms are absolutely right. Is the AKP-MHP cooperation only limited to one issue or will it continue? This is another great concern that is bound to grow."

    In an article entitled "Fear of social strife," in Bugun (10.02.08) columnist Gulay Gokturk says that heated debates over the bill aimed at lifting the ban on wearing headscarf in universities should not give rise to concerns that it could set the stage for chaos and social strife. She cautions: "What I actually fear is that some groups, by arguing that the process could lead to dangerous consequences, will attempt to put pressure on the Constitutional Court as they did before it had rendered its decision about the quorum required for electing the President and thus cause the Court to regard itself as the final authority which could revert this dangerous trend. Such pressure could prompt the court which should render its decisions only according to legal factors to conclude that it has a political and social responsibility and thus to politicize its ruling. Such an outcome would lead to serious chaos."

    b) Kurdish Issue: In Sabah (10.12.08) Soli Ozel argues that the security elements and the government have made progress toward an agreement on how to handle the Kurdish problem. In his column, he draws attention to the initiatives the government has made to improve its relations with Iraq and the Iraqi Kurds and notes that it has created the impression that it will distance itself from the policy it maintained on the matter thus far. Describing the support the United States gives to Turkey against the PKK as the first step of a comprehensive agreement on Iraq and the Kurdish problem, he asserts that many obstacles against Turkey will be lifted if the government is able to realize its plans.

    According to a report by Namik Durukan and Belma Akcura in Istanbul Milliyet (10.02.08) Democratic Society Party, (DTP) deputy Aysel Tugluk criticized Prime Minister Erdogan's approach on the Kurdish problem when she addressed a conference by the Turkish Peace Council entitled Democratization and the Kurdish Problem in the New Constitutional Process. The report quotes her recalling Erdogan's statements on brotherhood and affection and saying: We do not want such a brotherhood. The Kurds can debate the establishment of a federation or separation if necessary. Tugluk warns that the Kurds will ask very serious questions if the new constitution denies their rights. The report also sums up the views of other speakers in the convocation.

    A report in Zaman (10.02.08) under the title "German intelligence report vindicates Erdogan" quotes officials from the German Ministry of Interior as saying that the PKK asks Kurdish businessmen and its supporters living in Germany to donate one month's income during a fund-raising campaign conducted twice a year. The report also highlights the findings of a report issued by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution about the activities of the PKK and KONGRA-GEL in Germany.

    EG/


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