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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 75/08 18.04.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Soyer calls for unity; Ertugruloglu wants transparency regarding the committeesTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer has called on the Turkish Cypriot political parties for unity during the critical process for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
In statements the night before yesterday in the occupied part of Nicosia, Mr Soyer, addressing the political parties, said: Let us join hands for the solution. Our differences are not an obstacle for joining hands. Mr Soyer warned that with the launching of the work of the technical committees efforts will be exerted to create a political crisis and chaos and deal a blow to the government.
He noted that the opening of the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) barricade is a good development and added that some circles are behaving as if they feel sorrow about this. Meanwhile the paper publishes statements by representatives of the National Unity Party (UBP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Social Democrat Party (TDP) who, replying to Mr Soyer, said that they want to be informed about the process. Let us be briefed first and then the issue of the support will come to the agenda, said the representatives of the parties represented in the assembly.
Meanwhile, under the title Why are you hiding the names?, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the Turkish side has not announced the 75 names of the persons who will be participating in the technical committees and the working groups.
The paper publishes some of the names of the Greek Cypriot members of the technical committees, whom it describes as experts.
Volkan reports also that the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu reacted to the fact that the names of the Turkish Cypriot members of the committees are kept secret and called on the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat to be transparent.
 President Christofias to meet Mr Mehmet Ali Talat at Ledra Palace on May 7thAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.04.08) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders will meet again in May. President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will have a meeting at the Ledra Palace Hotel in Lefkosa, Cyprus on May 7th, Turkish Cypriot authorities said on Thursday.
The meeting will be a social organization, and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties are also expected to attend the reception to begin at 7 p.m.
In their regular meeting on Wednesday, representatives of political parties from both sides of the island decided to organize this reception. Anna Turnicova, the Slovakian ambassador in the Greek Cypriot administration, supported the initiative. Talat and Christofias met for the first time at the residence of Michael Moeller, the special representative of United Nation Secretary General to Cyprus, in the buffer zone on March 21st.
 Andres argues that the annulment of his meetings in the free areas was not an attitude in harmony with the efforts for peaceTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the meetings which the delegation from the German Social Democrat Party (SPD) headed by Gerd Andres, MP and chairman of the Coordination Group of Turkey Cyprus Policies, would hold in the free areas of the Republic, were annulled.
Mr Andres argued that the annulment of the meetings was not an attitude in harmony with the efforts for peace. He alleged:
If the whole of Cyprus is an EU territory and my coming from Ercan [illegal Tymvou airport] creates problems, then those who say this are indirectly saying that they recognize the system of two separate states. I find this kind of behaviour to be problematic.
He noted that they were planning to depart through Larnaka Airport, but after this development they will depart from illegal Tymbou airport. Mr Andres said that they will be using the illegal Tymvou airport in the future as well.
 Joan Ryan states that that there is a positive climate among the people on the islandTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) reports that Joan Ryan, special representative of the British Prime Minister for Cyprus, stated yesterday after concluding her contacts in Cyprus that there is a positive climate among the people on the island and that a real opportunity has been created for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
She noted that the solution must come from the Cypriots for the Cypriots and added that the commencement of the work of the technical committees and the working groups will be a major step. She said that it is not possible to say the exact date regarding the starting of negotiations between the sides, but if there are positive developments in the technical committees and the working groups, the negotiating process could begin by the end of June or the beginning of July.
 A delegation from the Slovenian Liberal Democracy party (LDS) is visiting the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) reports that a delegation from the Slovenian Liberal Democracy Party (LDS) headed by the chairperson of the party, Katarina Kresal has arrived in the occupied areas of Cyprus at the invitation of the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci.
In a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs, it is noted that the Slovenian delegation, in which other MPs of LDS and members of the European Parliament are also participating, will hold meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, the self-styled prime minister Soyer and other ministers.
The Slovenian politicians will also participate in a conference at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) under the title The Enlargement of the EU and the Project which has not ended. They will also participate in a dinner where the so-called Turkish ambassador will be present.
 The 10th International Children and Peace Festival began yesterdayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the 10th International Children and peace Festival began yesterday with a press conference given by the self-styled minister of education and culture, Canan Oztoprak in occupied Keryneia. The festival is organized within the framework of the activities for the 23 April, national day of Turkey.
According to the paper, 321 guests from 10 countries will participate in the festival this year. Hatice Duzgun, director of the primary education department, said that delegations from the following countries will participate in the festival: Azerbaijan, Turkey, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, FYROM and Romania. A delegation from Kosovo and the Turkish Language and Culture Schools of London will also attend the celebrations.
 A program of a Turkish Cypriot journalist on KANAL T has been closed down after a reported interference of army officialsTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the program of the journalist Resat Akar on private Kanal T television has been closed down and Mr Akar stopped working in the channel after he had invited to the program Sener Elcil and Halil Pasa, representatives of the Cyprus Peace Platform.
Under the title No remark for the army, the paper wonders who gave the order for Mr Akar to be fired. According to Resat Akar himself, the owner of the channel, Mr Ersin Tatar, said that he did this after a demand from the army.
However, Akar added, after a research he made he found out that the army has nothing to do with the issue. Mr Tatar issued a statement yesterday, which was published in the newspapers, in order to give explanations on the issue. Afrika argues that with this statement it is as if Mr Tatar tries to make the army forgive him. In the statement Tatar says that the principles and the policy of Kanal T are the immunity of the Turkish Armed Forces, the security forces and Turkey, which are the saviour of the Turkish Cypriot people and the guarantee of the existence and the security of the TRNC.
Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.08) publishes a statement made by Mr Akar who notes that during the program which was the reason for the end of his cooperation with Kanal T, the meeting of the Peace Platform with President Christofias was discussed.
Mr Akar argues that some circles who are used to only one voice to be heart exerted efforts to stop the program by putting pressure on Ersin Tatar, owner of the channel and deputy general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP). Mr Akar said that Mr Tatar told him that many people who call themselves nationalists, including a high ranking military officer, called him and swore at him asking why they gave the opportunity to the representatives of the Peace Platform to talk on television. Mr Akar notes that he contacted the military officer and found out that Mr Tatar was lying.
 PACE to invite the two Leaders in Cyprus to Strasbourg in JuneIllegal Bayrak television (17.04.08) broadcast the following:
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is preparing to invite the two leaders in Cyprus, President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot Leader Demestris Christofias to its June meetings, reports the Anatolian News Agency.
According to the Agency, the two leaders will deliver speeches at the plenary session of the PACE in Strasbourg and will meet Council of Europe members.
On Monday, the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Lluis Maria de Puig said that the opening of the Lokmaci Gate [Ledra street crossing-point] raise the hopes for the reunification of the island.
 Turkish Cypriot petrol stations to employ mainland TurksUnder the title, The petrol station workers of Cyprus are from Turkey, Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Petrol company (K-Pet), subsidiary company of the Turkish company Petrol Office (PO), provided staff to work in the petrol stations in the TRNC from Turkey. For this reason the Turkish Cypriots do not want to work at the petrol stations because of the low salaries. As a result, 340 out of the 350 persons to work in the 84 stations of the company will come from Turkey and will take the minimum wage of 580 NTL. The paper continues under the subtitle, Seven million Dollars investments and reports that in 2007 K-Pet had total earnings of 208 million dollars, according to the President of K-Pet, Mr Ertan Cakir. Mr Cakir added that the company, which possesses the 64% of the market share, invested seven million dollars for the renovation of all the petrol stations. Mr Cakir stated: Because we want to become a regional power we consider Cyprus important. In June a petrol station will be opened in Georgia. We aim to reach 30 stations in 2.5 years.
Moreover, under the title in its economic news pages, PO opens franchise in Georgia and carries V/Max to the TRNC, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (18.04.08) reports that the Petrol Office (PO), which presented the new performance product V/Max to the TRNC, stated that it bought its first station in Georgia last week. Mr Ertan Cakir, President of the Administrative Council of the Turkish Cypriot Oils, stated that the vision as PO is to become a regional player and that is why they began their activities in Georgia and last week they bought their first petrol station. Cakir also stated that they aim in 2.5 years to create 30 petrol stations in Georgia. Mr Cakir, at a meeting at the Mercure hotel in occupied Keryneia, said that they want to create an organisation that will serve all the TIRs which will go to Azerbaijan and Russia through the border gate of Sarp between Turkey and Georgia. Mr Cakir added: Even if the profit margins are low, they attached great importance to Cyprus as PO. K-pet, which is active in the TRNC under the umbrella of the PO, has 84 petrol stations and the companys share in the market is 70%, the paper writes.
 Turkey to purchase helicopters and air defense systems from the USAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.04.08) reported the following from New York:
A senior Turkish official said Wednesday Turkey had completed a tender regarding the purchase of 84 general purpose helicopters from the United States that cost approximately 2.5 billion USD.
Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul who had been partaking in meetings under the annual conference of the 27th American Turkish Council attended a reception hosted by the American Turkish Society in New York on the occasion of the partnership agreement between General Electric and Dogus Group of Turkey.
Speaking to reporters on Turkeys defense projects during the event, Gonul said Turkey would also purchase air defense systems from the U.S. which would cost around 4.5 billion USD.
Gonul said they were lowering the budget while purchasing the most advanced technology.
 Turkish-US Economic Partnership Committee convenes in WashingtonAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.04.08) reported the following from Washington:
A Turkish-U.S. partnership committee gathered in the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. on Thursday. The Turkish-U.S. Economic Partnership Committee convened at the U.S. Department of State under the chairmanship of diplomats from both countries.
Ertugrul Apakan, the undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Dan Sullivan, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for economic, energy & business affairs, are chairing the meeting.
Turkish Ambassador to the United States Nabi Sensoy and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson are also participating in the meeting. The committee held its previous meeting in Istanbul and Ankara in February 2007. The Turkish-U.S. Economic Partnership Committee is a part of the common vision paper signed by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who was the foreign minister of Turkey in those days. The committee aims to boost economic relations between the two countries.
 Turkey and Iran sign MoU on Security CooperationAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.04.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish and Iranian officials have signed a memorandum of understanding, expressing their willingness to develop cooperation in security issues, the Turkish Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
High level Turkish and Iranian officials held a series of meetings earlier this week to boost cooperation against terrorist activities and intelligence sharing.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Columnist in Sabah argues that Turkey will be more restrictive on the use of Incirlik by the USTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.4.08) publishes the following commentary by Umur Talu under the title Unreliable Country!:
In the future Turkey is going to be an ally that is harder to predict and less trustworthy.
Even though the United States wants to have better relations, the Kurdish problem, Iran's nuclear activities and the problems created by the Lebanon crisis are going to become more and more a determinant factor.
Tensions between Turkeys Western identity and its Middle East leanings are going to increase. The differences between Turkey's interests and US interests have become clear over the last 10 years and will continue to grow.
Turkey is going to be more and more loathe to letting the United States use Incirlik Air Base for operations in the Middle East.
Ozal's allowing the United States to use the base was an exception not the rule. Since then Turkey has been preventing more and more the use of the base for combat missions.
For operations in the Gulf and Middle East regions the United States is not going to be able to rely on Turkey's bases, especially Incirlik Air Base.
As a consequence of the importance of the Kurdish problem Turkey will continue to have good relations with Syria and Iran because they too do not want to see an independent Kurdish state. As a result Turkey will be reluctant to take part in US operations to contain Iran and Syria or to topple their regimes. It will always call on the United States to engage with these countries in dialogue. This is the most crucial point of tension between Turkey and the United States. And this is despite the fact that Turkey does not want to see a nuclear Iran. While it seems highly unlikely that Turkey will develop its own nuclear force, it is still a possibility.
The Tayyip Erdogan government is totally opposed to a strike on Iran. Therefore, in any attack on Iran the United States will not be able to rely on bases in Turkey. If such a thing happens, the crisis between the United States and Turkey will only grow bigger. Moreover, the energy ties between Turkey and Iran are powerful in spite of the United States.
Turkey does not want the United States to pull out of Iraq right away. It cites domestic conflict and outside intervention by regional states. But neither does Turkey want more US forces to be stationed in northern Iraq.
In the past whenever Turkish-EU relations were on the rocks Turkey would immediately cuddle up to the United States for more support. This is no longer possible. For the first time in decades Turkey's relations with both the EU and the United States have soured at the same time. This in turn has led to an increase in nationalism in Turkey. Turkey feels with increasing certainty that it can no longer rely on the support of its allies.
The United States should factor in to its plans now a Turkey that is more independent and whose interests in the Middle East do not always overlap with the United States. The Kurdish problem in particular can multiply the differences. If the United States makes a mistake in the PKK business relations will only worsen and the already serious anti-Americanism will escalate.
The United States should be more careful when presenting Turkey as a model for the Middle East, as some officials have been doing. This is annoying to many Turks, in particular the elite and the army, who have concerns about weakening ties with the West and an increase in Islam's dominance in politics. Moreover, this model is not smart for those Arab states that still see Turkey as a former colonizing power.
Subtitle: Turkey's modernization also poses threat to United States
The democratization in Turkey over the past decades has given new groups, some of whom are Islamist, the chance to take to the political stage. This in turn has undermined the Kemalist elite's ability to manage and canalize Turkey's foreign policy. Political debate in Turkey today is more open and more diverse than it was 20 or 30 years ago. At the same time the tensions between secular groups and the Islamists are growing.