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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-11-28

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. 229/00 -- 28.11.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash repeats intransigent views.
  • [02] Cem meets Albright at OSCE meet in Vienna, conveys uneasiness over EU.
  • [03] Turkish Defense Minister on 2001 Defense Budget.
  • [04] ANAP deputy leader criticizes Turkish government.
  • [05] AVRUPA against Denktash/s decision to abandon talks.
  • [06] Decisions of Cyprus summit in Ankara detailed.
  • [07] Ecevit explains decision to withdraw from Cyprus talks.
  • [08] Molotof against AVRUPA/s printing office.
  • [09] Talat opposes Denktash/s decision to withdraw from talks.
  • [B] COMMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] Columnist fears Cyprus decision may lead to Turkey/s isolation.
  • [12] AVRUPA: ``Northern Cyprus is an illegal province of Turkey.''
  • [14] Turkish columnist criticizes Ankara and Denktash.
  • [16] Columnist on importance of Cyprus to Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktash repeats intransigent views Anatolia (14:29 hours, 27.11.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf

    Denktash has stated that he has to discuss with the parties concerned the principles which the Turkish Cypriots are ready to accept in order to return to the negotiating table. He added: "There is no point in our sitting at the negotiating table with our eyes closed."

    Denktash said that on Friday [1 December] he will brief the so-called assembly on the decisions adopted at the Cankaya summit and that the issue will then be discussed at the ``assembly''.

    Pointing out that the decisions adopted at the Cankaya summit are harmonious with the decisions adopted at earlier summits, Denktash continued: "We will conduct talks between two states. We will discuss the solution of a confederation. The Greek Cypriots have no right to oppress the Turkish Cypriots. The guarantee system will continue as is. The Turkish-Greek balance over the island will not be disrupted. A global property exchange will be implemented and, if necessary, compensation will be paid. These were some of the principles we defended during the five rounds of the proximity talks."

    Denktash noted that there were attempts toward the end of the proximity talks, which were initiated with the aim of preparing the ground for direct talks, to pull them toward the direction of comprehensive talks and that the UN secretary general submitted a model in line with his own views without preparing the ground or securing the equality of the two sides and stated that the issue can be discussed only within the framework of this model. Noting that they were faced with a situation that took the Greek Cypriot approach into consideration and that they were advancing in a direction that had nothing to do with what they expected or defended, Denktash added:

    "Therefore, we saw that the ground was not being prepared for the comprehensive talks. It is definite that continuing on this line will be detrimental for us. Especially, the fact that the blows the EU dealt to Turkey and the documents the Office of the UN Secretariat General presented to us coincided is food for thought."

    Alleging that they did not run away from the negotiating table, that they saw that the conditions for sitting at the table were not and would not be fulfilled, and that they made this fact clear, Denktash said that they are ready to hold talks between ``two states'', stressing that they cannot act as though there is no ``state''.

    Stressing that they cannot accept an approach that ignores Turkey's guarantee rights and the Turkish-Greek balance, Denktash said: "Signing an agreement that grants all the Greek Cypriot refugees the right to return to their homes means that half of our population will be endangered and left homeless. Therefore, we have not yet embarked on the path that will lead us to a comprehensive solution."

    Noting that they realized that no results will be achieved at these talks which were being conducted in a very unbalanced manner by giving the Greek Cypriots the impression that they are the legitimate government of Cyprus, Denktash said: "We want the Cyprus issue to be diagnosed realistically, we want a realistic approach to the problem."

    Denktash expressed the belief that "they showed those who have a clumsy approach to the issue based on the weakened TRNC economy and Turkey's desire to join the EU that nothing can be achieved through pressure and that a new Crete incident cannot be created in Cyprus through pressure."

    Denktash stated: "We have to discuss with those concerned the principles which we are ready to accept in order to return to the negotiating table. There is no point in our sitting at the negotiating table with our eyes closed."

    Noting that the Greek Cypriots view the Turkish Cypriot withdrawal from the talks as a development against themselves, Denktash continued: "Because, they are concerned that the countries interested in the Cyprus issue will investigate the reasons for this withdrawal and when they find out those reasons they will realize that we are right. The Greek Cypriots are not sincere in their statements, nor is Greece sincere in inviting us to the negotiating table or the EU. They are trying to serve their own interests. Our duty is to safeguard our rights and to prevent our people from embarking on new adventures."

    Referring to the Greek Cypriot wish to join the EU security system, Denktash claimed that if they succeed in their goal they will cause the eternal division of the island into two. Denktash concluded: "Whereas, if they agree to build a bridge between the two states, they will have opened the path to union''.

    [02] Cem Meets Albright at OSCE Meet in Vienna, Conveys Uneasiness Over EU Anatolia Agency (10:34 hours, 27.11.00) reports that the Organization for

    Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministers Council meeting started in Vienna on Monday, and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem started his bilateral contacts with Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Secretary of State.

    During the meeting, Foreign Minister Cem conveyed the uneasiness that Turkey felt over the attitude of the EU on Cyprus issue to Albright.

    Cem also thanked the U.S. administration which prevented the resolution of genocide on Armenians from passing from the House of Representatives. He also stressed that efforts of the U.S. administration to this end constituted an important gesture for the development of bilateral relations.

    Cem is expected to meet with foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Britain, Austria, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Algeria before departing from Vienna.

    Furthermore, according to MILLIYET (28.11.00), during her meeting with Cem, Albright referred to the Cyprus problem and expressed her concern regarding the Turkish side/s decision not to attend the proximity talks. She said:

    ``It was a surprize for us. It would have been better to consult with us before taking this decision. You are aware of the importance the USA attaches to these proximity talks The moment we were expecting a successful conclusion of the talks, how come you have taken such a decision''?

    MILLIYET reports that in his answer Cem reiterated statements made previously by Denktash and Ecevit and said: ``We could not accept the statement made by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan which was closer to the Greek and Greek Cypriot position. It was obvious that the negotiations would come to this point. You knew that''.

    [03] Turkish Defense Minister on 2001 Defense Budget A report in YENIBINYIL (25.11.00) says that after submitting his Ministry/s

    2001 budget to the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission, Turkish Minister of National Defense Sabahattin Cakmakoglu has said that the 2001 budget, which has been drawn up in line with the economic stability program, has been set at 5.12 quadrillion [Turkish] lira.

    Noting that the 2001 budget has been raised by 23 percent compared to the 2000 budget, Cakmakoglu has said: "My Ministry's 2000 budget was raised by 65 percent compared to the 1999 budget. However, it is for the first time that this budget has been raised by merely 23.9 percent. My Ministry's 2001 budget has been drawn up under strict economical principles within the framework of the present economic and social policies by taking the essential requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces into consideration."

    Meanwhile, Cakmakoglu has said that 31 percent of his Ministry's 2001 budget consists of personnel expenses while 68 percent consists of other current expenses. Indicating that Turkey comes in the sixth place in the list of the 18 NATO countries in terms of the largest amount of defense expenditures, Cakmakoglu has said: "Turkey spends $53 per person a year on its defense. Thus, Turkey occupies the 50th place in the list of countries throughout the world spending the largest amount of money per person on defense matters. The Greek Cypriot sector in south Cyprus ranks 13th with its expenditures of $680 per person a year. Our neighbours Bulgaria and Georgia are ranked below us in terms of defense expenditures."

    Noting that the Turkish defense industries are standing on their own feet, Cakmakoglu has said that the expenditures are made for purchasing weapons such as warplanes, tanks, ammunition, gunboats, and helicopters out of the Defense Industries Support Fund.

    Meanwhile, Cakmakoglu has said that a committee made up of the Prime Minister, the Chief of the General Staff, and the Minister of National Defense makes the necessary decisions regarding the acquisition of weapons. Explaining that work has begun on reorganizing the Machinery-Chemical Industry Enterprises [MKE] after the latter was linked to the Ministry of National Defense, Cakmakoglu has said that firms carrying out activities in the defense industry field have reached the stage where they can stand on their own feet.

    [04] ANAP deputy leader criticizes Turkish government According to Turkiye (28.11.00), the Deputy Chairman of the Motherland Party

    (ANAP), Bulent Akarcali,, has said that the foreign policy followed by the Turkish government is wrong. He said: ``We have to explain Turkey/s just cause''.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Akarcali claimed that since the beginning of the Cyprus problem Turkey has been right. However, Turkey was unable to explain ``its just cause'' and keep it continuously on the agenda. ``The Cyprus problem, through the Accession Partnership Document, is placed in front of us again. Despite the promises given to us, Cyprus is again included in the Accession Document. We are unable to explain that we are right.''

    Saying that as regards foreign policy issues, following a tough line will not be beneficial but will eventually prove harmful, Akarcanli expressed the view that the prime minister should have visited the USA, Germany Britain and France to explain Turkey/s foreign policy.

    [05] AVRUPA against Denktash/s decision to abandon talks AVRUPA/s front page article under the title ``Denial'' says ``Let all of us

    raise our voice against a wrong decision by Ankara''. It notes that the decision not to participate in the proximity talks has shocked the Turkish Cypriots ``who are thirsty for a solution''.

    [06] Decisions of Cyprus Summit in Ankara Detailed A report in CUMHURIYET (Internet Version 26.11.00) says that at the Cyprus

    summit held at the Cankaya Mansion with the participation of leaders from Turkey and the pseudostate it was noted that a state of Cyprus compatible with the demands of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan would lead to adverse developments for the security of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. It was determined that the proposed state of Cyprus would threaten [Turkey's] position in the Eastern Mediterranean and would even have a negative impact on the Port of Iskenderun which would be the terminus of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline; and that future prospective developments could put Turkey in a difficult position in the Eastern Mediterranean. At the Cyprus summit Annan's objective was appraised as "the reduction of Turkey's influence in Cyprus and the conclusion of the peace process with EU membership consistent with the EU parameters."

    It has been learned that the summit's decision "to withdraw from talks" was motivated by concerns about the security of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. Recent developments about Cyprus were reviewed during the summit which was dominated by the view that "Cyprus's security is also Turkey's security." The developments reviewed were: 1. The EU Commission made the resolution of the Cyprus problem by the end of 2001 a precondition in its Accession Partnership Document which was released on November 8. 2. UN Secretary General Annan outlined the principal elements of a solution package in a paper he submitted to the two sides on the day the Accession Partnership Document was released. Not only do these elements disregard the sensitivity of Turkey and the ``TRNC'' to the issues of political equality and sovereignty, but the contents of the proposal roll back even the concept of federation. Turkey and the ``TRNC'' determined that the concurrence of the two events was not accidental. The Cyprus summit was organized in response to these developments. Turkish and ``TRNC'' officials reportedly made the following assessments at the summit:

    Cyprus is of key importance: Cyprus has a key geographical position in terms of the security of Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. The warning time for a possible air attack from Cyprus on Anatolia is only two minutes. In other words Turkey would have only two minutes to take necessary countermeasures against a warplane that takes off from Cyprus. The establishment of a common state that is heavily weighted in favour of the Greek Cypriots and that bars Turkish Cypriots from having their own political entity in an island of such importance is unacceptable.

    Port of Iskenderun may be affected: The state to formed within the framework of Annan's proposals would be weighted in favour of the Greek Cypriots. If this state issues NOTAMs [Notices to Airmen] in its territorial waters in the Eastern Mediterranean Turkey would find it difficult to use even the Port of Iskenderun. This port is of strategic importance because of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline which Turkey envisages as its 21st-century project. The emergence of a state along Annan's proposals may lead to developments that may have an adverse impact on the security of both Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    Guarantorship rights to be diluted: Annan's proposals envisage to dilute Turkey guarantorship rights on the island by deploying a UN peace force in Cyprus. The withdrawal of Turkish troops would jeopardize the Turkish Cypriots' security of life.

    Turkish Cypriot priorities disregarded: On the issue of private property Annan calls for compliance with international laws and respect for individual rights. This is a move that rolls back an earlier agreement between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides to "postpone the discussion of property rights." Annan's expressions reiterate EU views. Similarly a framework that completely disregards the priorities of the Turkish Cypriots is drawn with statements such as: "The maximum possible number of Greek Cypriot refugees must be settled in territories to be returned to the Greek Cypriot side."

    UN acting as EU's agent: The UN's objective is to reduce Turkey's influence in Cyprus and to conclude the peace process with EU parameters. With such a posture the UN oversteps the bounds of its good will mission and becomes an agent for the EU. Given that the Greek Cypriot administration is conducting full membership talks with the EU, the UN has concluded that the island will become a EU member in a few years. As a result it wants to index the solution of the Cyprus problem to the island's membership in the EU. Turkey has repeatedly told the UN that any settlement in Cyprus must be reached by the two communities that are the true owners of the island and that the EU's interference may drive the solution process into an impasse. However these views were disregarded.

    Sensitivities disregarded: The UN disregarded the sensitivity of the Turkish Cypriots on the issue of "equality and sovereignty" during the mediated talks. When the issue of equality was brought up during talks in Turkey and the TRNC, Annan's Special Representative on Cyprus Alvaro De Soto said: "We can discuss this issue together with other problems when the time comes."

    Views to be conveyed to UN: Turkey and the ``TRNC'' will convey the decisions taken at the Cyprus summit to Special Representative De Soto when he visits Ankara on December 1 and Nicosia on December 4. During those talks De Soto will be warned that if the UN does not adjust its solution parameters in a way that heeds the sensitivity of the Turkish side to the issue of "equality and sovereignty" the process will collapse completely. Depending on the message to come from the UN after De Soto's meeting a decision will be made on whether the Turkish Cypriot side will participate in the sixth round of mediated talks which are scheduled to be held in Geneva at the end of January.

    [07] Ecevit Explains Decision to Withdraw from Cyprus Talks HURRIYET (Internet Version, 26.11.00) reports on an interview with Turkish

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Sedat Ergin in Ankara on November 24.

    Ecevit primarily blames the EU for the situation that has been created. He said: "Indeed the problem in Cyprus remains unresolved today because of EU interference."

    According to the Prime Minister one principal reason for this decision [to withdraw from the talks] was that "it is now evident that the mediated talks cannot accomplish anything." He said:

    "The mediated talks have been going on for nearly a year. Two presidents have spent months outside their homelands. This may not be a problem for Clerides but Mr. Rauf Denktash probably does not want to spend this much time away from his homeland. They have effectively imprisoned him."

    Ecevit said that the decision [to withdraw from the talks] is aimed at "breaking" an objectionable process. He continued:

    "It is known that nothing can be accomplished as long as the existence of the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is ignored. A process that was objectionable for everyone--that is for the West, for us, and the Turkish Cypriots--was becoming established in a meaningless way. Naturally it was necessary to break it at some point."

    The Prime Minister then disclosed an important consideration that played a role in breaking this process:

    "The security of Turkey and that of the TRNC can no longer be separated. The importance of and the threats posed by the Eastern Mediterranean will be even greater for us when the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline is completed."

    Ecevit thus put on the record that the geostrategic importance of the ``TRNC'' for Turkey's long-term interests in the Eastern Mediterranean played an in important role in the reprisal action taken against the EU.

    At this point assessments to the effect that the EU is pursuing a policy of bolstering Turkish Cypriot support for "full membership for Cyprus despite Turkey" and thus weakening ties between Ankara and the ``TRNC'' enter into the equation.

    Indeed Ecevit explicitly articulated Ankara's concerns on this issue:

    "Then, I suppose, they will undertake arrangements to break the TRNC away from Turkey and to admit it into the EU. Perhaps they will mass military forces there."

    After enumerating these factors the Prime Minister concluded his remarks by saying:

    "In other words if we did not say 'stop' to this process at some point we would face some very problematic and troubling situations."

    These assessments by Ecevit suggest that Ankara's decision to take a harder line goes beyond a "tactical" reprisal against the EU and also incorporates a "strategic" vision, Ergin says.

    [08] Molotof against AVRUPA/s printing office The front page of AVRUPA (28.11.00) under the headlines ``They burned us

    down'' refers to last night/s molotof attack against AVRUPA/s printing office.

    The subtitle says ``innumerable court cases, heavy fines, threats, pressure, seizures, spy conspiracy and finally they burned us down''.

    According to the illegal police/s statement, AVRUPA/s printing office was set on fire at 02:00 last night with a molotof cocktail. As a result of the fire, the press printing machine and a large amount of paper were burned.

    [09] Talat opposes Dentkash/s decision to withdraw from talks The front page of YENIDUZEN (27.11.00) under the banner headlines ``They made

    the biggest mistake in history'' and the subtitle ``The leader of CTP (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat stressed that they are dragging the Turkish Cypriots into adventures'' says CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat/s, in a written statement, said: ``There is no one who does not know that esteemed Denktash is intransigent and does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem. For this reason the fact that the Cyprus problem might be solved makes him nervous.''

    He also said, ``it is not a clever move to withdraw from the indirect talks''.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] Columnist Fears Cyprus Decision May lead to Turkey/s isolation A commentary by Haluk Sahin in daily RADIKAL (25.11.00) says:

    ``Like an indigestible meal, Cyprus constantly upsets Turkey. In an age when even the most intractable international disputes are resolved and when the basic patterns in the world have undergone change, the fossilised existence of the Cyprus problem strikes the eye. Some ask: Is Cyprus the world's most difficult problem that no solution could ever be found for it? Looking at video pictures of US President Clinton's Vietnam visit one thinks this question is legitimate. Millions of people died in Vietnam, innumerable pain was suffered, and yet after 25 years Clinton is moving among the Vietnamese people amid applause.

    Why is something similar not taking place in Cyprus? Looking at Clinton's example one gets impatient.

    But then your mind turns to the travails of the Israeli Prime Minister Baraq, who even dared negotiate Jerusalem with the Palestinians. The peace process in Israel was always being cited as an example to emulate in Cyprus. But does the bloodshed of recent days not show that certain things cannot simply be speeded up? Will the entire peace project not go up in smoke if steps were taken before the sides prepared themselves for peace?

    When you recall the Israeli-Palestinian example you say the best thing in Cyprus is to move cautiously.

    Agreed, it should be put on hold, but for how many years more?

    Confusion of minds does not rest here. There are also differences on who could best solve the Cyprus problem.

    According to one view this problem cannot be solved as long as Ecevit and Denktash are in power, for their entire existence is based on the creation and preservation of the current status quo. The concessions they would give for a solution in Cyprus would be construed as `backtracking/ and hence as a deduction from their historic legacy. That is why they prefer to drag on the problem. This policy is the source of immobility in Cyprus. This is what is being claimed.

    The opposite view is that only Ecevit and Denktash are capable of solving this problem. Those in this camp say that only they could give concessions that if given by others would be regarded as high treason, for no one could accuse them of not having done all they could for Cyprus.

    But the fact is these two men lack creativity needed to generate a solution in Cyprus. They are always evasive and on the defensive.

    And this ubiquitous defence strategy is incurring losses for Turkey not only in Cyprus but also in its relations with the European Union and the United States.

    The decision that emerged from yesterday's summit in Ankara would, regardless of the intention behind it, corroborate the view that `these two cannot be expected to find a solution./ TRNC/s withdrawal from the proximity talks would reinforce the already widely held view that Turkey and Denktash are the intransigent ones.

    Ecevit declared that no result could be obtained from the talks as long as the existence of two states in Cyprus is not recognised. He is right to a point. To find a just solution the talks should be held between really equal sides. But how realistic is the demand for the recognition of the TRNC as a separate state and hence the refusal to talk in the absence of that recognition?

    Why have the countries that Turkey considers as friends not recognised the TRNC so far? Why do they lack the courage to recognise it?

    Seeing that Turkey has thrown down the gauntlet, will it now manage to initiate an international movement for the recognition of the TRNC?

    If it cannot, will then the isolation of Turkey and the TRNC not increase further?''

    [82] AVRUPA: ``Northern Cyprus is an illegal province of Turkey'' Turkish Cypriot daily AVRUPA (13.11.00) in an article/editorial says that

    through the newspaper ``we, as Turkish Cypriots, once again declare to the world that the thing called a state in Northern Cyprus was established in order to offer camouflage for Turkey/s sovereignty here, with the aim to neutralize the world/s accusations about occupation. So that nobody accuses Ankara of occupation, they put us on the chess board. In fact, they are not thinking about us. The only thing they are thinking about is their safety. Northern Cyprus is Turkey/s illegal province''.

    The paper, addressing Premier Ecevit asks: ``What is it to you a handful of Turkish Cypriots who remained here?''

    [96] Turkish columnist criticizes Ankara and Denktash Oral Calislar writing in CUMHURIYET (28.11.00) about Turkey/s reaction to

    the Accession Partnership Document refers to the Cyprus problem and says:

    ``Turkey is losing her sleep when Europe wants to accept as member the state in South Cyprus that we call the South Cyprus Greek republic and that the whole world considers as a legal state, and Ecevit reacts to this and says `we cannot sacrifice Cyprus for the EU/. In fact, no one dares to argue about the Cyprus problem in Turkey since it is still considered a `National Issue/ .

    Since the 1974 intervention, Cyprus is acting like two separate states. The Turkish side, despite its efforts, has not managed yet to make legal the state it has established. Worse than that, this republic has become the symbol of economic and social failure. While the per capita income in the Greek Cypriot sector of Cyprus has reached 15 thousand USD, the Turkish side of Cyprus has been turned into a centre of plundering and profiteering. The Turkish side can stand on its own two feet only through the aid sent from Turkey, and this dependence has its disadvantages as well and the Turkish side suffers from this dependence.

    Turkey/s Cyprus policy and the Turkish administration in Cyprus lead by Denktash is a symbol of failure. One can not take a single step forward if this reality is not admitted. When I heard Ecevit/s statement: `We cannot sacrifice Cyprus for EU membership', I wanted to ask him - 'What is it that you don/t want to sacrifice?' In fact, Cyprus (policy) is a failure. Don/t you think that the time has come to change this policy? We have insisted for 20 years on the same line and the result is obvious.

    I want to say, let us put aside what Europe says and does and let us start to debate, without any emotion, what we have done for the last 20 years in Cyprus, and look into the reality''.

    [130] Columnist on importance of Cyprus to Turkey Columnist Ilnur Cevik, writing in Turkish Daily News (27.11.00) under the

    title ``Cyprus is not just a home to Turks'' says: ``It is about time our friends in the West realized that the island of Cyprus is not simply a place where Turkish Cypriots live and for that reason it is important to us. Cyprus is of vital strategical importance to Turkey and to the world in general.

    In the past it was the island from which you could control the Eastern Mediterranean area. Now the strategic importance of Cyprus will be further enhanced with the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline which will eventually lead to the transportation of all Caspian and Central Asian oil and natural gas to the West.

    Beyond that, through technical innovations the island has become a piece of land from which you can threaten the Turkish mainland with fighter planes and missiles.

    Our friends in the West are fully aware of all these facts and thus should understand our sensitivities regarding Cyprus.

    So when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots face a series of fait accomplis in the European Union through the Accession Partnership Document or at the United Nations through the proximity talks it is only natural for President Rauf Denktash to refuse to continue attending any fresh rounds of talks and for Ankara to fully support him.''

    The EU unfortunately caused a bloodbath in former Yugoslavia through its erroneous policies. It should not do the same on Cyprus.


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


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