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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-04-21

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. 64/99 -- 21.4.99

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] On election results in Turkey
  • [02] European Union ‘not optimistic’ on Turkish election results
  • [03] Ancient tomb
  • [04] Senior Turkish Foreign Ministry officials in the occupied area.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] ON ELECTION RESULTS IN TURKEY

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.4.99), Sunday’s elections in Turkey produced a political earthquake as provisional results showed the right- wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) emerged as the second-leading party while the Democratic Left Party (DSP) was the winner.

    With experts last week predicting the MHP would just pass the 10 percent national threshold to win seats in Parliament, the nationalists stunned political observers by dominating the polls in many Central Anatolian districts as well as in some major cities. The MHP had failed to enter Parliament in the 1995 elections because it could not even pass the 10 percent threshold.

    The losers in the election were the pro-Islamic Virtue Party (FP), which shed nearly six percent of the votes compared to the 1995 elections, as well as the two center-right parties, which each lost about five percent of their votes...

    The grand loser was the left-wing Republican People’s Party (CHP), which could not pass the threshold and thus cannot enter Parliament...

    The MHP supporters were celebrating their victory in the streets of Ankara and Istanbul while the DSP crowds were much more subdued.

    After counting results all night, officials in many ballot stations decided on Monday afternoon to delay the counting for a day until their staff had some rest. Observers said this would delay the announcement of the final results until Tuesday.

    However, the general trend is clear. With nearly 80 per-cent of the votes counted, the DSP is the leading party after winning about 21 to 22 percent of the votes, and it is expected to win around 135 to 138 seats.

    The MHP has won about 18.1 percent of the votes and will win about 127 seats. The Islamist FP has won about 15 to 16 percent of the votes and will win about 110 seats. The center-right Motherland Party (ANAP) has won 13.4 percent of the votes and will have 84 seats while the True Path Party (DYP) has won 12.3 percent of the votes and 89 seats because of an advantage of having won in rural areas.

    The pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (HADEP) only won about 4 percent of the votes and thus cannot take seats in Parliament. The CHP (of Deniz Baykal) is stuck at around 8.37 percent and is thus also left our of Parliament.

    Neither ANAP nor the DYP reacted to their elections defeats. The FP on the other hand said it was a new party formed after the closure of the pro- Islamic Welfare Party and thus its performance should not be compared with the results of the Welfare in 1995.

    However, observers said the MHP had drawn votes from the DYP and the Islamists while the DSP had eaten into the ANAP votes.

    MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli thanked his party workers, the candidates and the people who voted for his party. He said the MHP will work for the political stability of the country and is receptive to all offers from other parties, and, he stressed, “We have no prejudices”.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, the leader of the DSP, presented his resignation to President Suleyman Demirel to open the way for the formation of a new government after the elections. The president accepted the resignation and asked the prime minister to stay on as a caretaker until the new Parliament is formed and a government is named.

    The president is expected to name Ecevit to form the new government as the head of the leading party in Parliament once the elections results are made official.

    There were also two victories for independents. Former Interior Minister Mehmet Agar, an arch rival of DYP leader Tansu Ciller, won as an independent in Elazig while Ahmet Ozal, the son of late President Turgut Ozal was victorious in Malatya.

    Meanwhile, in the local elections the Islamists held on to their strongholds in Istanbul, Konya and Kayseri as well as several other cities. The Ankara mayoral race was a close call between FP’s Melih Gokcek and the CHP’s Murat Karayalcin. Gokcek was expected to win with a razor-thin majority.

    The DSP won the greater Izmir mayoral seat while the Motherland won in Adana. In Diyarbakir HADEP was expected to win the mayoral seat.

    [02] EUROPEAN UNION ‘NOT OPTIMISTIC’ ON TURKISH ELECTION RESULTS

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.4.99) European Union circles declared a “wait-and-see” attitude on the initial results of Turkish elections Monday morning, but admitted that the increasing vote of the nationalists caused them concern.

    Although the hopes for a speedy improvement in Turco-EU ties after the elections were considered slim even before the actual ballot, European Parliament deputies and EU officials told the newspaper that the emerging picture was not one that created optimism.

    Circles in Brussels pointed out three trends in the election results that might prove important for the future of Turco-EU ties:

    · The parliamentary percentages, which appear initially to necessitate a tri-partite coalition, might cause difficulties in terms of stability and bold reform

    · The increasing vote of the National Movement Party (MHP), which has never been pro-European Union and has tended to adopt a hard line on the Cyprus question.

    · The fact that HADEP did not overcome the national threshold of 10 percent, thus, according to the Europeans, missing the chance for having democratically-elected representatives of the Kurdish people in Parliament.

    “I am not particularly optimistic upon seeing the results”, Hannes Swoboda, the European Parliament’s Turkey “expert”, told the Turkish Daily News.

    Swoboda, the international affairs spokesman of the European Socialists, the largest grouping in the European Parliament, maintained that the increase in the nationalist vote was not at all surprising. “After all that has been said in Turkey on Europe, from all political parties, this was to be expected”, he said.

    Swoboda also expressed his concern that two parties, HADEP and the Republican People’s Party (CHP), were not able to overcome the national 10 percent election threshold to take seats in Parliament.

    “The priority for the Turks is not ties with Europe but the need for reform in the country itself - a political solution to the Kurdish problem, democratization, etc.”, Swoboda said. “We will see if this parliamentary make-up can carry it out. I am not particularly optimistic”.

    While European Commission officials said it was too early to comment on-the- record, they too appeared to share Swoboda’s pessimism.

    Reluctant to speak about the “partial results”, one European commission official said that what the EU expected from any government in power would be to “de-block” the partially suspended political dialogue between Ankara and the European Union.

    While the EU’s Turkey-watchers think Ecevit is no EU-enthusiast, they also leave a door open, saying that there are many examples of hard-liners making unexpected decisions before.

    Turkey-watchers in Brussels seem to favor a coalition between Bulent Ecevit’s Democratic Left and the two center-right parties, the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP), they fear that even this combination would result in a fragile government sandwiched between the two coalition partners that would keep them from taking bold steps on democratization and the Kurdish question.

    Another concern would be an “unholy alliance” between the Virtue Party (FP) and the MHP that would translate to a hard-line attitude on the Cyprus question, particularly as accession talks between the European Union and the Cyprus Government continue.

    [03] ANCIENT TOMB

    KIBRIS (21.4.99) reports that during excavation work carried out for road construction between the occupied villages of Yipsou and Lefkonico, workers have unearthed a tomb dating back to 8th century BC. Implements belonging to the Archaic period were also unearthed.

    Experts believe that the ancient implements carry Egyptian influence. (MY)

    [04] SENIOR TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS IN THE OCCUPIED AREA

    According to YENIDUZEN (21.4.99) Turkish Foreign Ministry deputy under secretary Aydan Karahan and the Director General of the Political Planning of the Turkish Foreign Ministry arrived in the occupied area yesterday.

    The two senior officials at the Turkish Foreign Ministry declared that they have briefed Denktash on the developments in the Cyprus problems.

    YENIDUZEN further reports that Karahan and Denktash tried to develop a common stance against possible American pressure regarding the Cyprus problem.

    YENIDUZEN also reports that Turkish President Demirel who left for USA to attend the NATO summit in Washington, will be meeting there with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    (MY)


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


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