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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-11

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. 70/08 11.04.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] References to Cyprus by Barroso and Erdogan from Ankara
  • [02] A delegation of the CTP is holding contacts in Germany
  • [03] General Basbug said that the Turkish army will remain in Cyprus until a lasting solution is reached
  • [04] Bulutoglulari says that the world understands the Turkish Cypriots better now
  • [05] The adoption of the Euro by the Turkish Cypriot community is seen as an option for overcoming economic difficulties due to the crisis in the world and the political instability in Turkey
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot caricaturist wins the first prize in an international festival in Serbia
  • [07] The European Commission proposes changes to the Green Line regulations
  • [08] Turkish court sentences Zana to two years in prison for violating anti-terrorism law
  • [09] Prime Minister Erdogan to visit Qatar 13-15 April
  • [10] Turkey's atomic energy agency and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to sign an agreement of co-operation
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press on 10 April 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] References to Cyprus by Barroso and Erdogan from Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan referring to the Cyprus problem reiterated Turkey's determination in being one step ahead to ensure a comprehensive and fair settlement under the auspices of the United Nations. Mr Erdogan made these statements yesterday during a joint press conference with the EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso who is visiting Turkey.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports that Mr Barroso, addressing the Turkish Grand National Assembly stated that "a historic opportunity" had emerged to find a settlement to the Cyprus problem, adding that the reunification of the island would serve "common interests."

    "I believe that we cannot afford to miss this historic opportunity, one which may not come up again," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told the Turkish parliament.

    Leaders of the island's Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities agreed in March to revive peace talks. "A settlement would also make solid contributions to Turkey's EU accession," Barroso said.

    [02] A delegation of the CTP is holding contacts in Germany

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) reports that a delegation of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) under Omer Kalyoncu, the general secretary of the party, started its contacts in Germany where they arrived on Tuesday, 8 April.

    The delegation met with officials of the German Social Democrat Party (SDP) and it was accompanied by Ozan Ceyhun, former member of the European Parliament. Mr Kalyoncu said that the Turkish Cypriots as the side which said yes in the referendum are ready for a solution and that his party during its meetings with Greek Cypriot parties, including AKEL, underline the fact that the solution should be within the UN parameters.

    Mr Kalyoncu noted that the UN solution plan is within these parameters and added that the process will be prolonged in case the negotiations start from zero. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots are using the fact that they are members of the EU in order to benefit from Turkeys EU accession course and impose on the Turkish Cypriots the solution they wish.

    On his part, the vice president of the parliamentary group of the SDP, Walter Kolbow said that the relations of his party with the CTP are extremely good and pointed out that on the contrary their relations with AKEL are not to a satisfactory level. He said that after the elections in Cyprus they saw that AKEL is a left wing party enjoying the support of the people and added that therefore their aim is to develop their relations with this party.

    Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) reports that Unal Findik, foreign relations secretary of the CTP, argued that the Direct Trade Regulation of the EU should be adopted. He added: It should not be forgotten, because of the fact that there are positive steps in the way for a solution. Otherwise, the Greek Cypriots will not approach positively the solution. Mr Kolbow said that this is true and added that the EU will do its duty.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] General Basbug said that the Turkish army will remain in Cyprus until a lasting solution is reached

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkey's Land Forces commander said on Thursday that Turkish army would continue to stay in Cyprus till a fair and lasting solution was found to Cyprus problem.General Ilker Basbug said the Turkish Armed Forces would also continue protecting rights and interests of Turkish Cypriot people.

    Basbug is actually in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to inspect military troops. The Turkish general visited martyrdom in city of Girne [occupied Keryneia].

    General Basbug said the Turkish army would also continue to secure peace and order in the island.

    On Wednesday, TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and Premier Ferdi Sabit Soyer met General Basbug.

    Talat said his country was working to find a fair and lasting political solution in Cyprus, whereas Soyer said Turkish Cypriots were struggling for equality, and the country should economically, socially and culturally develop.

    [04] Bulutoglulari says that the world understands the Turkish Cypriots better now

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (11.04.08) reports that Cemal Bulutoglulari, self-styled mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, has stated that now the world and Europe understand better the Turkish Cypriots.

    In statements to Turkiyenin Sesi [Voice of Turkey] Radio, he said that due to their intensive efforts they achieved bringing to the occupied areas through the illegal Tymvou airport the mayor of Enfield, Dogan Delman and the mayor of Munich and chairman of the German Municipalities Union, Christian Ude. He noted that they agreed with both mayors to cooperate on issues concerning municipal affairs as well as in the fields of culture and sports.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The adoption of the Euro by the Turkish Cypriot community is seen as an option for overcoming economic difficulties due to the crisis in the world and the political instability in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) refers to the economic crisis affecting the whole world and reports that representatives of Turkish Cypriot organizations in the sector of tourism have said that a serious stagnation is observed this year in the reservations at the hotels in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Under the title The economic crisis will deal a blow to tourism, the paper publishes statements by Turgay Beydagli, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Union, who warned that tourists will not show any interest for the occupied part of Cyprus because of the fact that it will become an expensive place due to the economic crisis.

    Mr Beydagli suggested that adopting Euro should be seriously evaluated by the Turkish Cypriots, so that the problem is solved. Meanwhile, the chairman of the travel Agents Union, Ozbek Dedekorkut said that tourists show interest for countries which secure cheap transportation and added: Without solving the problem of transportation in north Cyprus there is no way to save tourism.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) refers to the crisis under the title We have become poorer and notes that the economic crisis in the world and the political tension, which is rising in Turkey deeply, influenced the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    While the rapid depreciation of the Turkish lira caused the increase of the price of many goods and services, those who have loans in foreign exchange started to brood, writes the paper adding that during the past three months the Turkish Cypriots became poorer by 14.83% on the Euro basis. The Turkish money depreciated by 10.8% against pound sterling and 12.08% against the US dollar from 3 January until 8 April this year, notes Star Kibris.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) reports that Salih Usar, self-styled minister of public works and transport, has said that the fleet of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines should be increased and added that in February 2009 another Boeing aircraft will be added to this fleet. In statements yesterday at the assembly, Mr Usar noted that the number of the aircraft of the fleet will increase from 5 to 6.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Turkish Cypriot caricaturist wins the first prize in an international exhibition in Serbia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot caricaturist, Huseyin Cakmak has been awarded the first prize in the 16th International Festival for Humour, Satirizing and Caricature organized in the Serbian city of Krusevac by the Cultural Centre of the city and the Serbian ministry of Culture.

    The paper notes that 226 artist from 35 countries participated in the exhibition.

    The paper writes that because of the fact that Huseyin Cakmak was not able to go to Krusevac and receive his prize, the organizers of the festival delivered the prize to the ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus to Belgrade, Homeros A. Mavrommatis, during a ceremony at the Cypriot embassy.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The European Commission proposes changes to the Green Line regulations

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.04.08) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The European Commission has proposed amendments to the "Green Line Regulation" concerning further trade facilitation between the two sides in Cyprus.

    The proposal provides for a general lifting of duties on agricultural products originating in North Cyprus when being traded across the "Green Line".

    Commenting on the issue, Presidential EU adviser Armagan Candan called the amendments as positive steps towards creating better conditions for trade through the Green Line.

    So far duties had to be paid for a variety of agricultural products causing financial and administrative burden for Turkish Cypriot traders.

    The Commission also proposed to increase the total maximum value of goods contained in the personal luggage of persons crossing the line from 135 Euro to 260 Euro so as to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    The Commission says this is expected to particularly stimulate the business of small Turkish Cypriot shop keepers. This rule would not apply to cigarettes and alcohol. For these products the existing quantities remain unchanged.

    The Commission says the proposed amendments aim at regulating in a transparent way the temporary introduction of goods from the North into the South. This allows, for instance, that Turkish Cypriot service providers can bring their equipment across the line when providing on a temporary basis a service in the South. The Commission says the proposal will encourage the participation of Turkish Cypriot companies in trade fairs in the South. The Commission proposal requires adoption by unanimity in the Council.

    The original "Green Line Regulation" was adopted on the 29th of April 2004.

    [08] Turkish court sentences Zana to two years in prison for violating anti-terrorism law

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports the following from Diyarbakir:

    A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced a former MP from the banned Democracy Party to two years in prison on Thursday.

    A local court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir sentenced Leyla Zana to two years in prison on charges that she had made the propaganda of the terrorist organization during Nevruz celebrations in Diyarbakir.

    Diyarbakir 6th Criminal Court ruled that Zana had violated Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terrorism Law on "making the propaganda of the terrorist organization".

    [09] Prime Minister Erdogan to visit Qatar 13-15 April

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to pay a formal visit to Qatar on April 13-15 as the official guest of Qatari Premier and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani, Erdogan's press office said Thursday.

    Erdogan is set to address a meeting at a forum on democracy, economic development and free trade.

    The Turkish premier is also expected to meet Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, his Qatari counterpart, and minister for energy and industry.

    [10] Turkey's atomic energy agency and European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to sign an agreement of co-operation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.08) reports the following:

    Turkey's Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will sign an agreement of cooperation.

    The agreement will be signed at CERN HQs in Geneva on April 14th.

    TAEK's President Okay Cakiroglu told A.A on Thursday that this was an agreement Turkish scientist longed for. He said with it, Turkey would partake in international physics research projects and Turkish scientists would receive training. With this agreement, Turkey has approached one more step to CERN membership. The projects that will be carried out under this will be useful for us 30 or 50 years later, said Cakiroglu.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press on 10 April 2008

    Following are the summaries, of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 10 April:

    a) Closure Case Against AKP: According to a report in Milliyet, a survey conducted by the A&G company shows that the number of Justice and Development Party, AKP, members who support Turkey's accession to the EU has increased in the aftermath of the closure case filed against the party.

    According to a report in Milliyet, the number of AKP Central Executive Council members in favour of discarding the constitutional amendment package has increased. It is believed that the AKP administration is currently discussing suspending the amendments.

    Referring to reports that nine months ago Abdullatif Sener warned Prime Minister Erdogan regarding preparations for a suit against the AKP, Milliyet's Fikret Bila, in an article, relates an interview he conducted with Sener on the issue and on the reasons why he did not submit his candidacy during the last elections.

    Maintaining that the AKP might give in to the EU demands to open Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot vessels in a bid to secure the EU's support in the closure case, Hurriyet's Oktay Eksi hopes that the government will not reach the stage of conceding to hold a dialogue with the PKK. Pointing out that it is no longer a secret that "an unofficial dialogue" is being held with Barzani, Eksi then focuses on the amendment made to Article 301 and the need for a presidential permission to file a case, arguing that for the president to exercise such a right he has to violate Article 6 of the Constitution which says: "The right to exercise sovereignty shall not be delegated to any individual, group or class. No person or agency shall exercise any state authority which does not emanate from the Constitution."

    In an article in The New Anatolian, Ilnur Cevik writes that Turkey is moving on a dangerous path which may well end in total collapse. Those who think they will survive this collapse are highly mistaken, he adds, since we are all on the same boat.

    In an article entitled "The west has played a role in the ongoing crisis, too", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay argues that the current "crisis" in Turkey has as much to do with the West's withdrawal of its support for the ruling AKP as with the AKP's efforts to seek compromises with the Establishment and its failure to maintain its determination to complete the democratization process. In elaborating on this point, Alpay explains how the EU started to propose second class membership to Turkey in 2005 and admitted Cyprus to membership while continuing to isolate the Turkish Cypriots with the result that public support for the EU in Turkey has declined from 70 to 40 percent today. He also claims that Washington refrained from conducting any serious cooperation with Ankara against the PKK until November 2007, in this way fuelling the "Sevres syndrome" in Turkey.

    In an article entitled "From my vantage point", Today's Zaman columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes two Newsweek writers who responded to the lawsuit against the AKP by urging the United States to immediately intervene in Turkey to prevent it "going astray" for not realizing "how mature Turkey's democracy has become when it comes to handling and solving its own political problems without any direct outside help."

    In an article entitled "Turbulent times ahead", Today's Zaman columnist Ibrahim Kalin asserts that shutting down the AKP is likely to have "disastrous consequences for Turkish democracy, the economy, Turkey's EU vision and finally for the Kurdish issue."

    In an article entitled "Once again? Stop It for goodness sake", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal criticizes the West for its "hypocritical" response to the closure case against the AKP, as shown by the manner in which the representatives of some Jewish organizations in the United States who "secretly rejoiced" at the closure of the Welfare Party, RP, are calling on the US administration from their commentaries in Newsweek to prevent the AKP from being shut down and some EU officials are using "threatening" terms in objecting to the lawsuit against the AKP.

    In an article entitled "Fickle democrats", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan accuses the Erdogan government of acting out of expediency in taking steps to amend Article 301 of the TCK and speeding up the EU accession process in the wake of the launch of closure proceedings against the AKP. In claiming that the Government is not acting in good faith, Ozkan asks why the AKP "suddenly" changed its mind about Article 301 after refraining for "so long" from responding to calls for an amendment to this article and why it decided to intensify efforts to qualify the country for EU membership after ignoring the issue for months.

    b) Rehn-Barroso visit: According to a report by Barkin Sik in Milliyet, Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and Olli Rehn, European commissioner responsible for enlargement, will convey the message to accelerate the reforms during their "critical contacts" in Ankara today. The report adds that this visit, which coincides with EU criticisms that the reform process has slowed down, is seen as most significant.

    A report in Milliyet states that Republican People's Party, CHP, parliamentary faction deputy leaders have warned Barroso against referring to the AKP closure case during the speech he is expected to deliver at the Turkish Grand National Assembly today. Addressing a news conference in parliament on 9 April, deputy leaders Kemal Anadol, Hakki Suha Okay, and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, recalling the constitutional article pertaining to the independence of the judiciary, have stated that the discussion of a case in progress is a violation of the constitution. Furthermore, CHP leader Deniz Baykal, during his meeting with Barroso, is expected to convey to the commissioner the message that "constitutional institutions in Turkey do not require the permission of the EU to perform their duties."

    Assessing the stand adopted by the EU in his article in Milliyet, Guneri Civaoglu believes that the EU officials have failed to maintain the fine line between the EU's accession principles, which call for both an independent judiciary and non-interference in a judicial process. The writer further maintains that the judiciary is in a tight spot because whatever the decision, it is going to be blamed. If the court decides not to close the AKP, it will be accused of giving in to "EU pressure," and if it decides in favour of a closure, then the decision will be described as a "judicial coup."

    Assessing the upcoming visit of EU officials to Ankara in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz accuses the government of not relating to the essence of the Community and focusing on the domestic political aspect. Expecting the EU to be indifferent to an attempt to close down a ruling party that has received the majority of the votes would have been contrary to the raison d'etre and the democratic ideals of the EU, Idiz notes. Criticizing the AKP for not having a concrete EU policy but adopting this "mission" of accession out of domestic political necessity in the aftermath of the 2002 elections, Idiz maintains that AKP's current pro-EU stand is questionable. Expressing his agreement with the views of the EU officials on the closure case, the writer, however, asserts that he would have expected these officials to be as openly critical of the government on the issue of secularism.

    In an article in Hurriyet, Yilmaz Ozdil ridicules the threats being voiced by Barroso and Rehn of not accepting Turkey as a member in the event the AKP is closed by citing all the years the EU rejected that membership since Turkey's initial application in 1959.

    Pointing out that Barroso will use his visit to Ankara to exert his influence of the AKP closure case, Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi, in an article, criticizes Barroso's remarks that secularism should not be turned into a religion by questioning whether the EU official is aware of the realities in the country. Arguing that Barroso's statements reflect the AKP reality, Mengi accuses the opposition in the country of not explaining the situation to the EU officials.

    Maintaining that our capacity as a nation to differentiate between our friends and our enemies is quite weak in an article in Vatan, Okay Gonensin argues that the criticisms currently being levelled by Europe against Turkey are justified. Describing Article 301 as the shame of Turkish democracy, the writer asserts that those who feel threatened by the EU criticisms do not actually want Turkey to attain EU standards or to acquire membership. He writes: "The EU is not threatening Turkey. It is trying to explain to Turkey that it is deficient in its democratic standards."

    Relating his impressions on his talks with European Commission officials in Brussels in a column in the Turkish Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand believes that there is a confusion of concepts. Pointing out that for EU officials secularism and democracy are inseparable, Birand writes that Europeans do not have the notion of "safeguarding the secular system" since they believe that democracy will safeguard the system. In the course of their visit, Birand adds, "EU officials will fine tune their statements and emphasize more democracy and the importance of secularism."

    c) Amendment to Article 301: A report in Ortadogu details the criticism levelled by the opposition to the AKP amendment on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, TCK. Oktay Vural the deputy leader of the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, parliamentary faction, is reported to have said that it might have been better to grant the authority to file a suit to the EU officials instead of the president. Atilla Kart, Republican People's Party, CHP, Konya deputy and member of the Constitutional Committee in parliament, has claimed that granting such an authority to the present is both illegal and unconstitutional.

    Assessing the criticisms levelled against the amended version of Article 301 in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol says that he does not agree with Naci Unver, the former president of the 8th Chamber of Supreme Court of Appeals. According to Unver, the amendment that requires the permission of the president in filing a case violates the principle of the separation of forces. The writer, who does not agree with the jurist, brings similar examples from various European countries where permission is required from the Justice Ministry or another authority. Responding to the criticism that the need for permission is tantamount to a lack of confidence in the judiciary, Akyol says that in certain cases filing a suit can cause great political damage to the principles that the law wants to uphold such as in the suits filed against Orhan Pamuk and Hrant Dink.

    Recalling the criticisms the AKP levelled against the authorities granted to the president during former President Sezer's term in office in his article in Radikal, Turker Alkan wonders how instead of curtailing the presidential authorities, the government is now considering of adding an additional one the list through the amendment of Article 301. Arguing that those who believed that the president's authorities needed to be curtailed, are considering of expanding them now that Abdullah Gul is president, Alkan accuses the ruling party of taking a 180 degree turn and of legislation to suit individuals.

    In Todays Zaman a front-page report entitled "TCK full of anti-freedom minefields apart from 301" asserts that there are "scores of articles" in the TCK aside from Article 301 that "can easily be manipulated by overzealous judges to restrict freedoms ..."

    ES/


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