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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-07-25

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. 140/00 -- 25.7.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Demonstrators march into "assembly".
  • [02] Akinci defends parliamentarian system.
  • [03] EU official denies deadline recognized to Turkey on Cyprus solution.
  • [04] Turkish Foreign Ministry comments on G-8 resolution on Cyprus.
  • [05] Opposition parties support depositors/ action, hold "government".
  • [06] Local press on bank depositors/ demonstration.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Turkish columnist views popular discontent in occupied area.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Demonstrators march into "assembly"

    According to NTV (a private Turkish TV monitored in Cyprus, 24.7.00 14:00 hours) bank depositors who were effected by the banking crisis in the occupied area organized a rally yesterday and forcefully entered into the so-called TRNC assembly and called on the "deputies" to resign.

    When they refused to come out of the "Assembly Hall" "Special Police Force" were called in and during the browal seven people were arrested. During the eviction operation demonstrators threw stones and bottles at the so-called "police".

    They turned a "police" car upside down and caused damages to the cars of the "deputies".

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (15:30 hours, 24.7.00) reported that the so-called National Unity Party parliamentary group assessed the situation while the bank victims were demonstrating in front of the "assembly". In a statement after the meeting, "prime minister" Dervis Eroglu issued a statement saying that the incidents at the "assembly" were regrettable. He stressed that it is wrong to cause damage while seeking rights. He said: "It is one thing to seek your rights, an another to occupy the assembly and to call on it to resign. When people who seek their rights make justified demands, their rights are given to them when conditions permit".

    He stressed that the "government" will seek new funds and continue to make the agreed monthly payments to bank depositors and that the necessary measures will be taken.

    He said: "I think that it is extremely wrong to consider it a right to damage property and to occupy the assembly - the country/s loftiest institution - while seeking rights. It is obvious that there were provocateurs among the bank depositors who were seeking their rights. Persons who did not have accounts in the banks in question were spotted among the demonstrators. We also saw labour union representatives among them. We saw how a justified demonstration was turned into something undesirable".

    Asked if Mehmet Bayram, "minister of economy and finance", will resign, Eroglu said: That is a question you should ask Mr. Bayram.

    Asked if there will be a "cabinet reshuffle", Eroglu said that this is not the right moment.

    [02] Akinci defends parliamentarian system

    A report by Anatolia Agency (17:25 hours, 24.7.00) says Mustafa Akinci, "state minister and deputy prime minister" of the pseudostate, has said that "his party would immediately leave the coalition if the current government had a credible alternative". He noted that since there is no alternative "government model", he does not want to resign and lead the pseudostate to political instability.

    Akinci pointed out that certain circles try to place a change of regime onto the pseudostate/s agenda. He added: "If the people are not happy with the system, they can change it within a democratic process".

    Akinci explained that the "government" has a heavy burden to tackle, that seven banks are in difficulty but that the bank crisis did not happen in one day.

    Calling on bank depositors, who had stormed into the "assembly" demanding the resignation of the so-called deputies, to stay calm, Akinci said: "We must exhibit an approach that will not lead to political chaos in the country. If we see a credible alternative to this government tomorrow morning, my party and I will not hesitate to resign. However, there is no such alternative. If we resign today, we will lead to country to greater chaos. It is obvious that certain circles exist in this country that want to create a regime crisis. They are saying loud and clear that the democratic parliamentarian system is not working and that the TRNC should adopt the presidential system. If our people want change, they will do it within a democratic process. The way to do that is not through acts like today/s".

    [03] EU official denies deadline recognized to Turkey on Cyprus solution

    Rumours to the effect that "the EU has recognized Turkey two years to solve the Cyprus problem and that otherwise, it would unilaterally accept the Greek Cypriot sector as an EU member" have surprised EU officials. A report in Turkish daily RADIKAL (22.7.00) adds that allegations that Gunter Verheugen, EU Commissioner in charge of EU expansion, has signalled a deadline during his contacts in Ankara have been denied. Meanwhile, in reply to questions regarding the matter, Jean Christophe Filori, Verheugen/s spokesman, has said: "Where did all these rumours come from? No deadline has been recognized to anyone regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem. I have heard this for the first time from you".

    Stressing that the criteria set during the Helsinki summit in December 1999 constitute the only valid position of the EU regarding the Cyprus problem, Filori has said: "We have neither set a deadline before the Helsinki summit nor afterwards. The EU/s position regarding the Cyprus problem is clear. The EU seeks to contribute toward the solution of the Cyprus problem".

    According to a decision that has reportedly been made during the Helsinki summit last year, the EU leaders will make an unconditional decision regarding the entry of Cyprus into the EU in the event of the failure to find a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the EU accession negotiations. However, it has been stressed that all the prevailing factors will be taken into consideration in this decision. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for its part, denied these claims.

    According to a high-ranking official from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Verheugen has exerted pressure on the Cyprus Government by signalling the message that there can be no EU membership before a solution is found to the Cyprus problem.

    The RADIKAL report claims that Verheugen has reportedly said the following to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit: "We are explaining to the Greek Cypriot administration during the EU accession talks that its EU membership will encounter difficulties in the event of the failure to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. We are applying pressure on the Greek Cypriot administration in this regard".

    Verheugen, who h as used the expression the Republic of Cyprus just like he has done in the two-page notes he has prepared on his meeting, has stressed that the Republic of Cyprus must not be prevented from entering the EU. Verheugen has thus implied that Turkey, for its part, must contribute toward finding a solution to the Cyprus problem by applying pressure on the Turkish Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, it has been learned that Gunter Verheugen will give a briefing during the EU Council summit on 26 July on his visit to Turkey. There is the probability that Verheugen will submit a draft Association Partnership Document during the summit.

    [04] Turkish Foreign Ministry comments on G-8 resolution on Cyprus

    Anatolia Agency (14:53 hours, 24.7.00) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that the views adopted at the G-8 summit in connection with Cyprus are not based on the approval of the two sides, therefore have no chances of being accepted.

    A Foreign Ministry statement says that the joint declaration issued at the end of the G-8 summit held from 21 to 23 July refers to the Cyprus problem, as it did last year. The Foreign Ministry claims that Turkey is displaying a constructive attitude in the Cyprus proximity talks, and adds:

    "Turkey will continue to support and encourage the Turkish Cypriot side during the negotiations in order to help reach a comprehensive solution to this problem that has been going on for 37 years."

    The Foreign Ministry alleges that the G-8 declaration is not based on the approval of the sides in Cyprus, adding: "The duty of the third parties that sincerely want to contribute to the Cyprus problem should be not to lose sight of the realities in Cyprus and to remember always that a lasting solution in Cyprus can only be reached through an agreement between the two sovereign states on the island".

    The G-8 declaration says that the 26-year division of the island should be ended on the basis of a single Cyprus that takes into full consideration all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

    [05] Opposition parties support depositors/ action, hold "government"

    As reported by illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (15:30 hours, 24.7.00) the Democratic Party (DP) has expressed the view that the bank depositors were justified in their action, adding that, however, the DP does not approve of the occupation of the "assembly" and the damage of property no matter what the reason.

    The DP Headquarters issued a statement noting that the incidents that occurred, at a time when all the sectors are expressing their protest, indicated that the National Unity Party (UBP) - Communal Liberation Party (TKP) "coalition government" has nothing to offer to the Turkish Cypriots. The statement further called on the "government" to take the necessary decision in a bid to open the path to the wishes of the people.

    Meanwhile, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat described yesterday/s incidents as Black Monday. Speaking at a news conference at the CTP headquarters, Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots have, for a long time now, not been threatened in this manner. Talat continued: "The important issue is about how we arrived at this stage and how this situation was created". Noting that the "government" has been making serious mistakes from the very beginning of the banking crisis, Talat said that it committed its first big mistake by deciding to dissolve the banks instead of launching an operation to float the banks that were in financial trouble and that could not pay the depositors.

    Pointing out that the CTP exerted great efforts to ensure that no one/s pride was hurt during the action, Talat charged that the rapid forces, which exercised unnecessary violence, were the ones that provoked yesterday/s incidents. Noting that the violence used against the journalists who were covering the incidents were unacceptable, Talat continued: "The police forces exercised extreme violence during the action. Extreme force was also exercised against the journalists who were only covering the incidents. We strongly condemn this use of violence. It is out of the question for us to endorse such a behaviour".

    National Revival Party (UDP) also issued a statement saying that it supports the depositors and condemns the provocateurs and their instigation. UDP Secretary General Guner Goktug, in the statement he issued, said that the UBP-TKP "coalition government" is solely responsible for the financial crisis of the banks and the wretched situation experienced by thousands of "citizens". Goktug said that "the provocateurs who have, for months, been instigating the people against Turkey, the military, and the state, infiltrated among the depositors and exploited the justified anger and problems of the people". He further called on the "government" to decide to hold early "elections" and to resign.

    [06] Local press on bank depositors/ demonstration

    Alll the local papers of today (25.7.00) report under banner headlines about the violent demonstration held by bank depositors who were effected by the banking crisis in the occupied area.

    KIBRIS under the banner headlines "Black Day" says that in the end the bank depositors revolted and occupied the "assembly" building and destroyed everything in the "assembly" hall.

    "Special Force Police" intervened and used tear-gas and truncheons to evict the demonstrators from the hall.

    Fist fighting broke out between the police and demonstrators. When the fighting escalated, the "firebrigade" was called in and water cannons were used to disperse the demonstrators.

    "Police" arrested 60 people, among them trade union members. 19 people were injured. The demonstrators were shouting slogans and carrying banners which reflected their anger and frustration. Some of their slogans were as follows:

    - Denktash resign-Government resign - Finance Minister resign.

    - Police is here where the thieves are.

    - Unity struggle - Solidarity.

    - Let them speak with us in a civilized manner.

    - Thieves to go to prison.

    - Denktash: We want our money.

    - Let Denktash hear our voice.

    - We are the people - Be afraid of us.

    - Denktash who cheated us should resign.

    - In support against fascism.

    Following are the slogans on the banners the demonstrators were carrying:

    - We will pursue our rights to the very end.

    - Neither the blood nor the rights will remain unaccounted for.

    - We will not let this issue pass by.

    - This is our country.

    - Either give us our money or leave.

    - Give me my child/s school fees.

    - Is the Attorney General sleeping?

    - We want to live as human beings.

    - You have destroyed our hopes and our future.

    - I am unable to cash in on my 100 million TL.

    - I too have the right for a holiday.

    - We have lost our money, we are on the verge of losing our family as

    well.

    - Are you calling us in from Britain to usurp our money?...

    Shame on you.

    - Denktash is forcing us to emigrate.

    - No work - Markets are dead.

    - Police is here where the thieves are.

    - Death or freedom.

    - This issue will be settled today.

    - On whose side is the Attorney General?

    - Your life or the money.

    Commenting on the incidents from Geneva, Denktash said: "I call for taking urgent measures. I am of the view that Turkey as well wants some changes and sacrifices. It is necessary to have a change of regime in the TRNC".

    Meanwhile, the other local papers report on the incident with the following headlines:

    BIRLIK: "Savage Occupation of Democracy". The paper accuses the provocators of being responsible for the violent actions.

    VATAN: "Shocking action".

    YENI DEMOCRAT: "It is a great pity".

    AVRUPA: "Annihilation" HALKIN SESI: "In the end depositors revolted".

    YENIDUZEN: "Black Monday. It is the Special Forces that provoked".

    "Denktash/s regime is plotting a coup".

    ORTAM: "Provocation" HURRIYET KIBRIS: "Is this place the TRNC?"


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Turkish columnist views popular discontent in occupied area

    Columnist Ferai Tinc, writing in HURRIYET (Internet version, 23.7.00) under the title "When People are Offended Land Also Takes Offence", says: "Following that critical protest meeting where thousands of people voiced anger against Turkey, there are now efforts underway to change the system in northern Cyprus.

    Instead of concentrating on the reason for this explosion of anger from the people, calculations are being made as to how `can we shut them up/.

    The idea being that parliamentarian system has not worked, let us take a shot at the presidential system. And the aim is to suppress the opposition.

    Yes, I am afraid something must be done, because last week/s protest meeting was the first of its kind in north Cyprus.

    For the first time ever thousands of people came out onto the streets with slogans of `this country is ours/.

    The desire to get rid of the saviour is on the increase. Things are getting disturbing in the TRNC.

    The problems started following Eroglu government/s desire to attach the police force to the civil administration. The debate became inflamed when the Security Forces Commander from Turkey Brig. Gen. Ali Nihat Ozeyranli opposed the idea. And when Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Akinci took a stand against Ozeyranli/s interference all hell broke loose.

    Replying to Akinci, Brig. Gen. Ozeyranli said, `if democracy is consumed in combination with junk food it generates gas/. And following this he asked the Prime Minister to dismiss some people from their jobs and to institute parliamentary inquiry about others.

    The dispute went as far as the arrest of opposition journalists on `spying/ charges.

    In the meantime, following the revelation that the Security Forces are tapping phones, the court decided that the accused should be tried without being detained.

    For now the incidents have subsided.

    But, tomorrow (24 July) there is yet another large protest meeting.

    This time the people who have lost money in the scandal over the banks are preparing to march onto the streets. After taking over the four banks with nothing in their coffers and promising the depositors that they would get their money back in `18 equal instalments/, government has called it a day after the fourth instalment. And was unable to pay out any money at the beginning of this month.

    And the crunch came when in the past few days three more banks have also closed their doors.

    There is nothing more left in the TRNC, not even a chicken to pluck or a goose to steal.

    The non-existent economy is cracking up.

    Not paying heed to the intense polarisation developing just prior to the Geneva talks will damage the interests of the TRNC and Turkey. At one pole is Denktash, his followers, and Ankara and at the other the government and the opposition parties.

    Instead of finding a common ground to reconcile the differences, certain circles are looking upon the opposition `as the puss that must be squeezed out of the community/.

    And as a solution, they are advocating a change in the political system even if it means sacrificing TRNC/s independence and freedom. They say, `Turkey/s strategic interests are more important than the interests of 150, 000 people/.

    What is more, this ruffianly mentality is convinced that it is doing the best thing for the sake of others, completely oblivious to the fact that when the people are offended the land of those people also takes offence".


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


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