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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 99-05-20

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 PRESS AND OTHE MEDIA

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] TURKEY AND THE EU: NO TIME FOR SUSPENDED DIALOGUE
  • [02] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY: NO TO RENEGOTIATION OF CUSTOMS UNION
  • [03] FURTHER ON THE ISSUE OF SELLING ``TRNC CITIZENSHIP''
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [04] ON RECENT JAPANESE INTEREST IN THE CYPRUS PROBLEM

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] TURKEY AND THE EU: NO TIME FOR SUSPENDED DIALOGUE

    A report in Turkish Daily News (19.5.99) says that it has now been 16 months that the partially suspended dialogue between Turkey and its main economic partner, the European Union, has continued. That is to say, Turkey, ever since the bitter disappointment of the Luxembourg summit in December 1997, has refused to discuss with the EU the issues of human rights, ties with Greece and the Cyprus question.

    This, however, has not prevented the Union´s legislation body, the European Parliament from passing one resolution after the other on human rights and the Kurdish problem, nor has it prevented the EU´s Foreign Ministry from making a declaration that urged Ankara to take measures to deal with the Kurdish problem.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry, despite its decision to partially suspended dialogue, responded to the declaration with a sardonic note saying that the ties between Turkey and the EU could but profit if the Union could adopt a determined policy in fighting terrorism. In other words, the partially suspended dialogue applies to direct talks but not mutual blame-throwing and verbal slashing.

    Speaking publicly, various Turkish diplomats say that the Turkish policy of partial suspension has been ``a good and consistent policy'' that has yielded results and will continue. But looking at the state of the game, it remains difficult to see what good has come out of it.

    The European Union is not exactly pounding on Ankara´s door to unblock the situation. Instead, the exasperation of EU officials grows each day and provides ammunition for those who, for one reason or other, oppose Turekey´s integration into the EU, the paper says. With Theodoros Pangalos replaced by the silver -tongued George Papandreou who exudes sincerity and credibility, Turkey´s refusal to explain its cases vis-a-vis Greece hardly goes down well.

    In a recent interview with the Turkish Daily News,Hans van den Broek, the caretaker commissioner of external affairs, said that ``full dialogue'' between Turkey and the EU was imperative. While Brussels circles were brimming with hope that full political dialogue would be restored after the Turkish elections, the chances of such an opening now seem slim.

    Ironically, this is the moment that the need for full dialogue between the EU and Turkey appears more urgent than ever. With the Amsterdam Treaty finally ratified by all its members, the EU is about to intensify its efforts for a common foreign security and defense policy and critically for Turks, its defense and security identity. This is the moment that it is focusing on the situation in the Balkans through plans for a Stability Pact. Ankara´s ``partial suspension of dialogue'' does not extend to those issues - as seen with the EU invitation to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem during a special meeting of EU foreign ministers on the Kosovo question. But even this invitation was a last - minute one that occurred through the nudging of the Turkish Representation to the EU in Brussels. Calls to invite Turkey to some other EU councils proposed by the commission to the German presidency have so far fallen on deaf ears.

    [02] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY: NO TO RENEGOTIATION OF CUSTOMS UNION

    Turkish Daily News (19/5/99) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry cautioned Turkey´s two leading political parties to stop advocating renegotiation of a 1995 customs union deal with the European Union, saying such a move would be ``suicidal''.

    The customs union deal between Turkey and the EU was not an accord but an implementation of an agreement that dates back to 1963 when Turkey signed the Association Agreement with the European bloc, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ulun Ozulker told a seminar at the State Institute of Statistics (DIE). He said by entering a customs union deal with the EU Turkey had reciprocated 22 years later to a 1973 move by the EU to open its markets to Turkish products.

    Ozulker argued that the customs union has protected Turkey from the current international financial crisis. ``If we have survived the crisis with such minimal impact, it és because over 50 percent of our trade is with European countries and that´s a result of the customs union'' Ozulker said. Ozlker further underlined that at a time when Turkey´s global trade is in decline, the country has managed to maintain and even increase its commercial exchange with EU countries.

    Cautioning that demanding review of the customs union with the EU would result i a halt to 25 percent of Turkish exports Ozulker underlined that seven out of every 10 countries making direct investment in Turkey because of the stable atmosphere provided by the customs union were EU countries. ``Under these conditions it would be like suicide for Turkey to open discussions on the customs union'',Deputy Undersecretary Ozulker said. Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader and Prime Minister designate Bulent Ecevit has in the past advocated reviewing the agreement, saying it works to Turkey´s disadvantage.

    The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Turkey´s second largest party in Parliament, has frequently advocated the deal´s revision. The new Turkish coalition is expected to include either both the DSP and the MHP or headed by either of these two parties.

    Ozulker said if Turkey abandons its EU accession bid, he doubts the country could maintain the customs union deal with the EU.

    The 15 member union which excluded Turkey from the first round of enlargement talks in 1997, has still to clear $180 million of aid aimed at helping Turkey be more competitive and offset losses from the customs deal that eliminated some trade barriers with the EU. This aid was blocked because of objections posed by Greece.

    Ozulker said if Turkey fulfills some of its ``homework'' he was confident that the country could still have a ``high bargaining margin'' with the EU. He further stated that even today if the Greece factor could be eliminated, Turkey could be listed by the EU as one of the official candidates for EU accession.

    He stated that the EU was no longer the economic group that Turkey applied to for membership in 1959 and signed an Association Agreement in 1963. He said the EU besides its economic aspect, has attained social, political and cultural dimensions over the past decades and has now started to head for integration.

    He said developments indicate that Turkey is missing the EU train, but that would not be the end of the world. He said with EU membership or not Turkey would remain a European country.

    [03] FURTHER ON THE ISSUE OF SELLING ``TRNC CITIZENSHIP''

    KIBRIS (20.5.99) reports under banner headlines that Chinese Tong Zhengrong (53) has required ``TRNC citizenship'' after paying 50 thousand US Dollars.

    KIBRIS says that Zhengrong has said: ``With a view to turning Chinese citizens into TRNC citizens, your government has tasked a man called David Yi Zhong Qi. This man is usurping money from the TRNC government''. KIBRIS adds that despite the denial by Denktash´s regime that ``no body was sold citizenship'' it has discovered a Chinese who is running a small Chinese restaurant in occupied Kyrenia and who has transerred ``50 thousand US Dollars through the Security Bank'' to the occupied area. Zhengrong said that in five years time he will get his money back.

    Zhengrong received his ``naturalization''papers in July 1998. He showed his ``TRNC identify card'' to the KIBRIS correspondent. The card´s number is 219321. KIBRIS says that Zhengrong is a physisist, he has written a book and is now demanding ``TRNC'' assistance to publish his book. He said that since he is a ``TRNC citizen'' he is entitled to this assistance.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [04] ON RECENT JAPANESE INTEREST IN THE CYPRUS PROBLEM

    Bazaran Duzgun writing in KIBRIS (20.5.99) in his column ``Kulis'' (bach- stage) says: ``Japan´s Consul General to Athens H. Keisuke and the First Secretary of Japan´s Embassy in Ankara K. Yamanaka were our guests at the newspaper. Until now scores of ambassadors and diplomats have visited the paper but this was the first time we were together with Japanese (diplomats).

    Japan does not operate an Embassy in Cyprus.

    The Japanese government tries to follow up the Cyprus problem from Ankara and Athens.

    First Secretary K. Yamanaka with his correct Turkish bombarded us with questions.

    When the need arose he acted as an interpreter.

    We discussed in length the historical perspective and the impasses experienced at present in the Cyprus problem.

    I asked the Japanese, ´Why are you interested in the Cyprus problem?´ At first they were puzzled. They tried to erade with a general answer by saying: ´The whole world is interested in the Cyprus problem.´ However, I think that the reason that brought the Japanese to Nicosia is the latest statement and the evaluation made by the G-8, the club of the world´s richest countries.

    The G-8 group, which is made up of the eight richest countries in the world, decided to pay close attention and became a side to the Cyprus problem. This is an important development. The UN and the EU are already party to the problem and they are exerting intensive diplomatic effort. Now the world´s richest countries are getting ready to be involved in the problem. Just as the Americans and the Europeans, the Japanese are asking: Will the negotiations start, will Denktash and Clerides come together?''.


    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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