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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-11-17

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. 212/98 -- 17.11.98


  • [01] Turkish exercises seen as retaliation to Nikiforos.
  • [02] FP not to insist on forming election government.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriots insist on recognition.
  • [04] Turkey to abolish death penalty for Ocalan´s extradition.

  • [05] Columnist argues opposition to EU comes from secular politicians.


    [01] Turkish exercises seen as retaliation to Nikiforos

    According to a report in SABAH (16.11.98) the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) will respond to the Greek Cypriot-Greek exercise scenarios with their Sea Determination 98-2 exercise between 16-23 November and with the Toros 98-2 exercise between 18-20 November.

    Diplomatic sources declared that ``the exercise will show the entire world that Turkey is the guarantor of the TRNC´s security. The Toros exercise will impart a sense of security in the Turkish Cypriot people''.

    During the Nikiforos exercise, six Greek planes landed at Paphos military base, two of which stayed overnight. Thus, during the Toros 98-2 exercise, the Turkish F-16 warplanes will countervail by landing at occupied Lefkoniko and spending the night there.

    Military sources alleged that ``the Greek warplanes cannot reach Cyprus in case of a war. They think they are boosting the morale of the Greek Cypriots over there by sending planes to Paphos. But any type of aircraft bound for Cyprus is within our reach''.

    These military sources added that ``the exercise will show once again that Turkey is on the side of the TRNC people''.

    During last year´s Toros 97-2 exercise, simulations of S-300 missiles were destroyed by special forces. This year too, a model of the S-300 missile system will be destroyed as part of the military exercise, and F-16s, F-4s, and attack and general-purpose helicopters will be used in the exercise to be held with live ammunition.

    [02] FP not to insist on forming election government

    According to TRT Television network (18:00 hours, 16.11.98), Virtue Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan has said that his party will not insist on taking part in forming an election government.

    Kutan, who is in the occupied area to participate in the 15th so-called anniversary celebrations, called on ``assembly speaker'' Hakki Atun, ``prime minister'' Dervis Eroglu; and Serdar Denktash, ``state minister and deputy prime minister''. During his meetings, Kutan said that when a new government is to be formed in the wake of the interpellation motion, President Demirel should designate the FP, which has the largest number of members in parliament, to form the government in line with political customs, adding that the FP will not be resolute on the issue.

    ``We are ready to discuss the solutions the president will present after the discussions he will hold solutions which, we believe, will be reasonable. In other words, we shall not insist that the duty of forming the government be given to us as is the custom'', he said.

    [03] Turkish Cypriots insist on recognition

    According to Anatolia Agency (13:19 hours, 16.11.98) Hasan Korkmazcan, the so-called deputy parliament speaker of the pseudostate, said on Monday that the world has to see ``the TRNC reality''.

    Noting that the European Parliament and government circles within the European Union (EU) which started full membership negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side should closely watch the developments in ``TRNC'', Korkmazcan said that ``if they attribute importance to human rights and democracy, they should see the realities on Cyprus''.

    Alleging that if there is a situation which necessitates the use of force in the world, this force should be used ``against those who abolished the Cyprus Republic'', Korkmazcan claimed that the main task of UN, EU and other international institutions, which attribute importance to world peace ``should be to consider Turkish Cypriot people among world states''.

    [04] Turkey to abolish death penalty for Ocalan´s extradition

    According to a report in HURRIYET (16.11.98) the death penalty is being abolished to facilitate the extradition of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who has been detained in Italy, and to undercut those in Italy who might put forward the argument that ``there is a death penalty in Turkey, so we cannot extradite Apo''.

    Turkish Justice Minister Hasan Denizkurdu announced that the three-or five- point draft bill abolishing the death penalty will be finalized, speedily pushed through the Council of Ministers, and submitted to parliament.

    Speaking on behalf of the CHP´s (Republican People´s Party), deputy leader Bulent Tanla said that they would do everything possible to secure the extradition of Ocalan and will take an initiative in parliament for the lifting of the death penalty.

    Denizkurdu told HURRIYET: ``We will finalize this bill tomorrow (Monday). Actually, we will simply be legalizing the existing situation.''

    Denizkurdu added that with an amendment to the Turkish Penal Code (TPC), the concept of the ``felonious criminal'' would be supplanted by the ideal of ``criminal under intensified security'', as is the practice in European countries, and Ocalan´s case handled in this context. The Military Penal Code´s provision for executions ``during a state of war'' would be kept out of the bill.

    Denizkurdu added: ``The draft bill on the TPC had a provision for a strict- regime imprisonment for life. We will lift it. Instead, we will introduce special life imprisonment under intensified security, as is the case in France. This way a person sentenced to life imprisonment will be held under intensified security measures. He will not be taken out of his cell''.

    The Italians will be told that ``whatever rules you apply for Agca (who made an attempt on the Pope´s life) we will apply for Ocalan.''.


    [05] Columnist argues opposition to EU comes from secular politicians

    Sahin Alpay, writing in MILLIYET (Internet version, 14.11.98) refers to Turkey´s inclusion in recent reports about the EU´s enlargement but argues that the question of whether ``Turkey wants to be a member of the EU'' is as important as whether ``the EU wants to accept Turkey as a member''.

    And he continues: ``We know the answer the people of Turkey have given to the question: `Does Turkey want to be a member of the EU?´ The results of a public opinion poll conducted by TUSES (Turkish Social, Economic, and Political Research Foundation) last May, only five months after the deeply disappointing Luxembourg decisions, confirmed the conclusions of earlier surveys. An overwhelming minority of the people (62 percent) want Turkey to be a member of the EU. This figure includes nearly half of the voters who support the Virtue Party or the former Welfare Party. No more than 17 percent of the respondents are opposed to membership of the EU, and only a quarter of those are supporters of Virtue-Welfare.

    These results can be interpreted as follows: Ordinary citizens can see that membership of the EU would contribute to the realization of their yearning to live in a more prosperous and just country. But what do Turkey´s less ordinary citizens, that is, the country´s elite and decisionmakers, think? The situation there is no longer what it was prior to 28 February 1997 or the December 1995 elections. The Islamist movement is no longer the principal vehicle of opposition to Turkish membership of the EU. Today no secular politician can advance the argument: ``Take us into the EU. Otherwise the Islamists will take over''.

    It is interesting that, today, opposition to the EU comes primarily from the `secular´ flank. Today it is the `secular´ politicians who are blurring Turkey´s will to become a member of the EU. In this sector, minds are confused to say the least. The `secular´ government gave a very different interpretation of the latest EU report. Although the government´s Motherland Party wing welcomed the report, its Democratic Left Party (DSP) wing turned up its nose at it. At the World Economic Forum meeting in Istanbul, Deputy Prime Minister and DSP General Chairman Bulent Ecevit called for a `review of the Customs Union with the EU´ in front of numerous EU businessmen.

    It is evident that, despite all the attention paid to this issue, the biggest confusion exists in the DSP. Sukru Gurel, a DSP member and Minister of State Responsible for Relations with the EU and Greece and Cyprus (that is, the real foreign minister), declared that the latest report is `nothing more than words´. In contrast, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, also a DSP member, said that the same report `clears the path of Turkish-EU relations´.

    It is evident that `secular´ and `dissimulating democrats´ have become the standard bearers of opposition to the EU. According to their mentor, the report of the EU Commission is a `fishing line´. Do you know why? `To progress on some issues, especially Cyprus´. `To achieve a political solution in the Southeast problem´, and `to weaken the behind-the-scenes guardianship of the secular republic by the armed forces by insisting on the principle of the supremacy of democratic civilian authority´. In other words, the objective of the latest EU report is, it is said: `To hand over Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots, to divide and break up Turkey, and to turn over Turkey to pro-Sharia groups´. What can one say? May God help them recover quickly.''

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

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