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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-06-20

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 CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 110/97 -- 20.6.97

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Akbel denies US Concern over vessels' visit.
  • [02] Results of EU Amsterdam summit please Ankara- eventual accession talks with Cyprus cause "concern".
  • [03] Denktash outlines pseudostate's importance for Turkey in the Mediterranean.
  • [04] Amnesty International: Human rights scene still bleak in Turkey.
  • [05] Denktash's regime once again proves it is against rapprochement.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Akbel denies US Concern over vessels' visit

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 18.6.97) Ambassador Omer Akbel, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, has said that no concern has been conveyed to Turkey with regard to the visit of its vessels to the pseudostate.

    Asked to comment during his weekly news conference on the fact that the United States expressed concern over Turkey carrying out naval exercises near Cyprus and that it may contact Ankara along these lines, Akbel said: "According to the information I have, no concerns were expressed with regard to the maneuvers."

    Stating that it is "normal procedure" for warships to visit so-called "TRNC" ports, Ambassador Akbel recalled that the ships paid similar visits to Egyptian and Israeli ports. Moreover, Ambassador Akbel said Turkey has not made any promises that its warships would not visit the "TRNC".

    [02] Results of EU Amsterdam summit please Ankara-eventual accession talks with Cyprus cause "concern"

    According to Turkish Daily News (19.6.97) officials in Ankara appeared pleased with the apparent results of the EU Amsterdam summit, especially where these related to the question of the Union's enlargement.

    The fact that the Amsterdam summit ended without any "name-calling" in terms of which countries are the likeliest to join the Union in the first spate of enlargement is being considered in Ankara as a "positive development".

    The fact that Turkey, an applicant for EU membership, was not put in a separate category together with Russia or Ukraine and thus classified as "unsuitable for membership", is also one of the welcome results of the Amsterdam summit, the paper says.

    Turkish officials indicate that these two results indicate the EU leaders were reluctant to alienate Ankara and willing to build on the favourable conclusions regarding Turkey of the Union foreign ministers' meeting in March.

    A report on Turkey being prepared by the European Commission and expected to be submitted to the European Council is said to refer in two places to the fact that Turkey, despite all its problems, has the best economy at the present time among applicant states.

    The report, in touching on the political problems, is said to also refer to the present political turmoil in Turkey in addition to listing the "traditional litany" of problems stretching from Cyprus to the situation in southeastern Anatolia.

    This, officials fear, may be used as the "counterbalance" to the good news on the economic side.

    "Using this as the absolute criterion against Turkey however would be deeply unfair on their part. Especially when it is recalled that Spain, Portugal and Greece were admitted as members in order to help them overcome their domestic instability and solidify their democracy and human rights" one official told the Turkish Daily News.

    An aspect of concern for Turkish officials, on the other hand, surrounds the question of whether the EU will start accession talks with the Cyprus Government acting on behalf of the whole of Cyprus in 1998.

    The signals emanating from Amsterdam on this score appear to be "mixed".

    The fact that Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, during his press conference following the Amsterdam Summit, referred to the fact that only two to five new applicants would be admitted in the first spate of enlargement appears to preclude the prospect of accession talks with Cyprus.

    The fact that Jacques Santer, the president of the European Commission referred to accession talks beginning with 10 countries, on the other hand, appears to suggest that Cyprus is included.

    [03] Denktash outlines pseudostate's importance for Turkey in the Mediterranean

    KIBRIS (20.6.97) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who is currently in Istanbul for a private visit, has inaugurated the annex buildings of a private hospital in Istanbul belonging to a Turkish Cypriot couple, both of them doctors.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony Denktash referred to the Cyprus problem and said that "the TRNC", with the support of the Turkish Army corps, is the guard of the Turkic cause in the Mediterranean. He added that the "TRNC is the cause of Turkey's right to having access to the open sea, not to be encircled by islands (Greek: trans. note) and keeping open (Turkish) Mediterranean ports for traffic.

    Denktash praised the progress scored in Turkey in the health sector.

    (MY)

    [04] Amnesty International: Human rights scene still bleak in Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (19.6.97) London-based Amnesty International's (AI) annual report, which was released on Wednesday, portrayed Turkey as one of the major countries in the European region where human rights violations continue with vigor. The report said that torture was still widespread in police stations and gendarmeries in Turkey.

    Covering human rights abuses in 151 countries and territories during 1996, the report underlined that at least 11 people had died in custody in Turkey during last year.

    The report said that challenging government policies in the Southeast was a reason for prosecuting writers, journalists and political activists in Turkey, adding that Articles 168, 169 and 312 of the Turkish Penal Code were used to prosecute such people.

    Among incidents included as examples of human rights violations was the trial of 184 members of Turkey's literary and cultural elite for publishing a book, "Freedom of Thought". "The book's text contained no advocacy of violence, but formed the basis of indictments against the authors who have been convicted by the state security court", reads the section on Turkey in the Al report.

    The report said that Syfettin Kizilkan, president of the Diyarbakir Medical Association, had been arrested and charged with membership of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) but it later became apparent that his detention was the result of a statement he had made on human rights to a visiting foreign delegation.

    The arrest and trial of Sanar Yurdatapan, spokesperson for "Together for Peace" was also an example of "trial for thoughts". The Al report claimed the sole reason for Yurdatapan's imprisonment was his work to further peace and freedom of expression. "He was a prisoner of conscience. He was released in November even though his trial continued", it added.

    Referring to allegations of torture, the report emphasized that victims of torture included those detained for common criminal offences under the Anti- Terror Law. "Children and juveniles were among the victims," the report said citing the example of 16 high school detainees who were allegedly tortured while held at Manisa Police Headquarters.

    "The police officers reportedly raped the male detainees with truncheons and squeezed their testicles, while female detainees were compelled to undergo forced gynecological tests and were threatened with rape", the report said about the allegations of torture by the 16 detainees.

    Metin Goktepe's death was given wide coverage in the report, which said he had died in January after being detained by police while attempting to photograph the funeral of prisoners beaten to death in an Istanbul prison.

    The report also mentioned the second public statement of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, saying it had described torture as "widespread and a common occurrence in Turkey".

    The European Court of Human Rights decision, which found Turkish security forces responsible for the torture of Zeki Aksoy in November 1992, also gained a mention in the report. "The ECHR found Turkish security forces guilty of burning houses in a village in southeastern Turkey, causing the Kurdish villagers to flee", the report said.

    According to the human rights organization 10 prisoners were beaten to death by gendarmes at Diyarbakir Prison. "The circumstances, as outlined in a report prepared by the Diyarbakir Bar Association, strongly suggest that the killings were the consequence of a premeditated assault by security forces", the report outlined.

    The report said the Guclukonak incident, where 11 villagers were machine- gunned and the minibus in which they were travelling was set on fire in January 1996, was portrayed by the military and government as a PKK killing. "However, a broad based delegation organized by Sanar Yurdatapan found evidence that the villagers had been killed by the security forces, apparently in an attempt to discredit a unilateral cease-fire declared by the PKK in December 1995," the report stated.

    The report also said that Al had appealed to the Turkish authorities to release prisoners of conscience and had urged the government to initiate an impartial investigation into allegations of torture and extrajudicial executions and "disappearances".

    "Scores of people were killed in the mainly Kurdish southeastern provinces in circumstances suggesting they had been extrajudicially executed", the report stated in reference to Turkey. According to the human rights organization, armed opposition groups were responsible for more than 40 deliberate and arbitrary killings.

    [05] Denktash's regime once again proves it is against rapprochement

    YENIDUZEN (20.6.97) reports under banner headlines that the so-called director of illegal Bayrak Radio Television (BRT) Ismet Kotak, in a circular, prohibits people working at "BRT" to cross into the free areas and establish contacts with the Greek Cypriots.

    Kotak warned that those who want to attend bi-communal activities should secure permission from him. Kotak says that at the Ledra Palace check-point the occupation authorities will ask for "permission documents".

    Kotak, in his circular, also says that "he had received the following warning from the TRNC's authoritative organs", that as it is noted "civil servants" without obtaining permission from their section directors have contacts with Greek Cypriots or attend meetings, and henceforth he adds, permission documents will be demanded at the Ledra Palace check-point and that "BRT" staff is also subject to these conditions.

    YENIDUZEN strongly criticizes this arbitrary action of Kotak and asks him to disclose who these "TRNC authoritative organs" are.

    The paper also accuses Kotak of forcing the "BRT" to make programs against rapprochement between the two communities.

    (MY)

    RK/SK


    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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