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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-11-12

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 <>


No. 210/97 -- 12.11.97


  • [01] Human Rights Foundation president: Torture in Turkey hasn't slowed down.
  • [02] Denktash allegedly submitted set of proposals to Holbrooke.
  • [03] Yilmaz: `Turkey cannot be an EU partner in its present state'.


    [01] Human Rights Foundation president: Torture in Turkey hasn't slowed down

    According to Turkish Daily News (10.11.97) Yavuz Onen, president of the Human Rights Foundation, claimed there are indications that Turkey is entering a new period in which society is being silenced. Assessing the situation from the angle of democracy and human rights, Onen said efforts to silence all kinds of opposition have intensified in recent months. "Today we see that not only the Human Rights Association (IHD) or the Foundation but many civic organizations as well are being kept under pressure, writers are being put in jail, leaders of democratic organizations being punished... These are being done as a challenge against democracy", he said.

    In an interview he gave to the paper, Onen gave figures related to torture incidents and said there hasn't been a slowing down in the process despite certain steps taken towards improvements in human rights.

    In reply to a relevant question, inter alia, he said: "I defend the laws, and we oppose actions against laws. Nobody can dispute the right of state to respond with the same methods to any armed separatist threat. But the subject here is different, it concerns those who don't take sides in the armed conflict - the civilian people who have been suffering although they aren't armed against the state. We have to make the picture clear because there are efforts to create confusion in concepts.

    Do you know what Turkey's officials are saying - due to their weakness? Under the pretext of the indivisibility of the state, they are saying that the state is free to torture and that people can even die under torture, that many political crimes can take place. This is the basic concept which prevents authorities from going against the Susurluk incident. This is a militarist concept based on violence. Civil authorities cannot distance themselves from this official policy either, and accept that they are powerless by making such statements."

    To a question on the issue of gangs within the state and if the state is harmed when there is discussion about human rights issues, Onen inter alia said:

    "Our complaints about certain practices which violate human rights aren't against our country. We aren't doing this to hurt Turkey's national pride at all. On the contrary, we wish to stop those who are damaging our country's credibility by pushing the state to act against human rights, against the laws and against democracy. Even statements by officials prove there are those gangs functioning illegally in the state. We are against these forces who don't respect the laws. If governments are uneasy vis-a- vis these gangs, then they should try to eliminate them. The state should have a program to eliminate those illegal forces which are the elements to actually harm the state's credibility".

    Asked if there has been a decrease in torture cases in Turkey, Onen said: "It is very interesting, but there hasn't been any decrease at all. It is exactly the same, there hasn't been any slowing down. I said we had had three thousand applicants in the past seven years, and I can say an average of between six to seven hundred people have come for treatment to us in the past three years. In 1997, there have been 450 people who have applied to the foundation up until the end of October".

    To a question on the issue of terrorism, he said:

    "The fight against terrorism is a subject which is on the agenda of many states in the world. This shouldn't be at the cost of the state of law. Because the state, with its armed forces, police, and courts has the power to fight against terrorism. It shouldn't be like this. Actually, our disagreement with those who are running the state today is on this point. The debate concerns creating a terrorist state against terrorists, and we don't agree with this. We want this fight to be within the framework of the rules of the state of law, with respect to human rights. We believe this approach should be valid for Turkey as well."

    He added that in the state of Emergency Region in the southeast of Turkey the clashes have increased in the past few months and in connection with that, the evacuation of villages, the burning of villages and forced migration still continues.

    "The region is very hot again, and the violation of rights is spreading again. We should know this. And we have to emphasize that the state has full control over any information coming from the region. For over two years, we have had little means of obtaining viable information from the region", he said.

    [02] Denktash allegedly submitted set of proposals to Holbrooke

    According to Turkish Daily News (Internet version, 12.11.97) the Turkish side reportedly present US presidential envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke late on Monday with a set of proposals for a federal solution. The main theme of the blueprint is reportedly mutual recognition of the "two states" on the island. The reports could not be verified from Denktash's office.

    According to reports, the blueprint, which was alleged to have been concluded on Sunday during a one-day trip by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's and State Minister responsible for Cyprus, Sukru Sina Gurel, entails both the Turkish and the Greek community recognizing the respective "states" they have established.

    The second proposal reportedly foresees that "northern Cyprus" be accepted in the international arena.

    The Turkish side is also for the establishment of a joint temporary government, which will stay in office until the Greek and Turkish communities set up a state with equal status.

    The most significant item, according to reports, says that the joint temporary government should lodge a formal application to the European Union for Cyprus' full membership to the body.

    Turkey and the pseudostate also maintain that Turkey's guarantorship under the 1960 agreement for the security and independence of Cyprus should be preserved.

    [03] Yilmaz: `Turkey cannot be an EU partner in its present state'

    According to Turkish Daily News (Internet version, 12.11.97), stressing that it is essential that administrative reform is carried out, that annual inflation is reduced to 3 percent, and the minimum retirement age raised to 60, Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said that in its present state Turkey was not capable of being a European Union (EU) partner.

    Speaking at the weekly meeting of the ANAP group in Parliament, Yilmaz said the fight against inflation was their most important task. He said: "Inflation has climbed to over 90 percent. It is not possible to continue with an inflation rate which has remained over 70 percent for years. It is not possible to preserve social peace in a place where there is high inflation."

    Noting that the average annual inflation in EU countries was 2 percent, the prime minister said: "Our monthly inflation rate is three times the annual EU average." He stressed that inflation would hurt the impoverished most. Wage earners would be crushed under inflation while the rich would be able to protect themselves against inflation. Pledging to reduce inflation, he said that they had prepared a three-year program for this purpose and they were determined to reduce the annual inflation rate to 50 percent in 1998, to somewhere in the 20 percent to 30 percent range in 1999 and to 3 percent in 2000.

    Yilmaz said that by introducing tax reform Turkey would cease being a tax haven. And with an administrative reform they would transfer to provincial administrations some of the powers of the central government. Only after that full membership in the EU might be possible, he said.

    The prime minister said, "One week after we took office the EU Commission included 11 countries in its expansion plans.

    Turkey was not among them. As a result of our contacts, it has become definite that Turkey will be invited to the expansion conference in December as the 12th country. If such a conference will be held Turkey will absolutely participate in it."

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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