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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-11-29

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. 230/00 -- 29.11.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cem referring to Turkey/s occupation of Cyprus: "How can a nation occupy its own territories?".
  • [02] Cem: EP should not mistake Turkey for `Small East European Country/.
  • [03] Talat says Denktash decision to withdraw from talks `Historic Mistake/.
  • [04] Turkey/s MGK to meet Wednesday, to discuss Cyprus.
  • [05] Turkey/s Bahceli supports decision to withdraw from talks.
  • [06] Eroglu: Turkey will buy Turkish Cypriot exports in 2001.
  • [07] German Ambassador Comments on Claudia Roth Remarks, ties with EU, Cyprus.
  • [08] Ankara summit/s decisions to be assessed.
  • [09] Dentkash meets British High Commissioner.
  • [10] Pakistani senator in the occupied area.
  • [11] Talat/s interview to MILLIYET.
  • [12] Akinci meets Swiss Ambassador; says talks must continue within framework of Annan/s 12th September statement.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [13] Turkey/s withdrawal from Cyprus talks criticized.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cem referring to Turkey/s occupation of Cyprus: "How can a nation occupy its own territories?"

    Anatolia Agency (14:18 hours, 28.11.00) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem delivered a speech at the European Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Commission on Tuesday morning, and called on European parliaments "to give up their racist approach."

    Referring to mainlines and historical characteristics of relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU), Cem stressed that the sides should expend more efforts to understand each other.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said ``the European Union (EU) has pledged us to take up the Cyprus issue not as a political criterion, but within framework of political dialogue. This was stressed during discussions at the European Parliament. If they take a step back from their statements, a lack of confidence will emerge.`` Cem responded to questions after delivering a speech at the European Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Commission.

    Stressing that the Customs Union`s trade volume increased up to 10 billion U.S. dollars, Cem said, ``Turkey`s economic program has achieved great success. We are expending efforts to overcome structural problems in developing dynamic economy like inflation.`` ``Turkish political circles` and public opinion`s reaction to inclusion of Cyprus issue in the Accession Partnership Accord prepared by the EU Commission, is normal. Such an attitude contradicts with legal grounds and ethical agreements. The EU has pledged us to take up the Cyprus issue not as a political criterion, but within framework of political dialogue. This was stressed during discussions at the European Parliament. If they take a step back from their statements, a lack of confidence will emerge,`` he said.

    Recalling that the Greeks had been proposed to take up the Aegean dispute within framework of the international law and agreements, Cem stressed that any mistake in the Cyprus issue could yield extremely bad results. Cem noted, ``the EU considers the Cyprus issue theoretically. It ignored that a fascist coup took place on the island and more Greek Cypriots than Turkish Cypriots were killed in those days. The Cyprus issue is an extremely sensitive subject. The EU should give up having a fixation on the Cyprus issue.``

    Cem stressed, ``having regard to the Turkish Armed Forces` position and role, Turkey`s strategic facts and terrorism problem should not be ignored. The EU has confused the issue of minorities. There is not a concept of minorities in France. In Germany, Turkish people were not granted minority status.``

    Responding to a question about Turkish occupation on Cyprus, Cem claimed, ``how can a nation occupy its own territories? Cyprus is a matter of national security for Turkey.`` Noting that Turkey had attributed great importance to dialogue with the European Parliament, Cem stressed that the points which were not agreed on could be solved through dialogue.

    [02] Cem: EP Should Not Mistake Turkey for 'Small East European Country' Anatolia Agency (15:32 hours, 28.11.00) reports that Turkish Foreign

    Minister Ismail Cem had a meeting with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen on Tuesday afternoon. After the meeting, Verheugen stated that no statements will be made to the press.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Tuesday that he had given necessary messages during his speech at the European Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Commission. (See today/s Bulletin Item 1).

    Staging a press conference, Cem claimed, ``they do not make efforts to get to know Turkey. The European Parliament which has a mentality of `we direct them, and they will do what we say`, should not mistake Turkey having a population of 65 million for a small East European country.`` ``I explained Turkey`s uneasiness about expression of `occupation` on Cyprus. I told them that people could not occupy their own territories. There are plenty of sources for those who want to understand Turkey. The EP does not go to these sources and behaves in a prejudiced way. I accept that we too are to blame; we have not been very good at promoting ourselves,`` he claimed.

    Cem told reporters, ``the Europeans act with a fixation, without carrying out adequate research. Our interlocutors in the European Union (EU) have been expending efforts for correction of the Accession Partnership Accord. The Accession Partnership Accord should be corrected. I held talks with my Greek counterpart George Papandreou on the issue. I underlined the importance of the approval of the Accession Partnership Accord in a timely manner and without delay. Any delay can damage our relations.`` ``If possible negative developments occur on the issue of Accession Partnership Accord, they will be revealed during the EU Council on December 4 or at Nice Summit the same week. We will take action in accordance with developments and under the light of statements of the Prime Minister,`` he stressed.

    [03] Talat Says Denktash Decision To Withdraw From Talks 'Historic Mistake' According to illegal Nicosia Bayrak Radio 1 (16:30 hours, 28.11.00) Mehmet

    Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party [CTP], has described Rauf Denktash' s decision to withdraw from the proximity talks as a historic mistake. In a written statement, Talat charged that Rauf Denktash fled the negotiating table, adding: "Disregarding even the simplest form of consistency, he does not refrain from pushing the Turkish Cypriot side to further isolation in the international platform."

    Talat stressed that Denktash is ignoring the UN resolutions and positing preconditions. The CTP leader charged that the statement made in Ankara does not reflect the will of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Talat asserted that the Turkish Cypriots are now facing the greatest danger in their history. He said that the reasons Denktash is giving for his decision are unjustified. This attitude will only benefit the Greek Cypriots, Talat said.

    The CTP leader then stated that the decision to withdraw from the talks is a big injustice inflicted on the Turkish Cypriots. He called on all concerned sides to act with common sense.

    Furthermore, according to YENIDUZEN (29.11.00) the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has announced that they will protest against the decision of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to withdraw from the indirects talks.

    The General Secretary of CTP Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that they will stage a protest meeting on Tuesday (5.12.00) in front of so-called assembly building, before the meeting of the pseudo-assembly during which Rauf Denktash will brief the so-called deputies on the latest developments.

    [04] Turkey/s MGK to Meet Wednesday, to discuss Cyprus YENIBINYIL (28.11.00) reports that Turkey/s National Security Council (MGK)

    will focus on the Cyprus problem, Turkey's relations with the EU, and the declaration of an amnesty during its regular meeting today (29.11.00). The MGK will discuss the measures that might be taken in connection with the developments related to the withdrawal of the Turkish Cypriot side from the proximity talks.

    The MGK will focus on the strategy Ankara should adopt against the provisions in the Accession Partnership Document, which have created a difficult situation for Turkey. The Council will also discuss the adoption of resolutions by the parliaments of the EU countries supporting the Armenian claims that they were subjected to an act of genocide in the past.

    [05] Turkey's Bahceli supports decision to withdraw from talks.

    Anatolia Agency (11:47 hours, 28.11.00) reports that Nationalist Movement

    Party (MHP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli has claimed that the EU administration kept creating obstacles for Turkey and some people in Turkey were making things easier for foreign lobbies.

    ``It should be known that, no target is more important to Turkey than protecting Turkey's unity and its future,`` Bahceli asserted when he spoke at the MHP group meeting on Tuesday. Bahceli mainly focused on Turkey-EU relations and the Cyprus problem during his speech.

    ``When you examine the Accession Partnership Document [APD] carefully, you see the traces of some bad intentions in this document,`` Bahceli said. Stating that they scrutinized the document, he said his party warned their European counterparts as well as the Turkish public opinion.

    Bahceli said the Cyprus problem is mixed with Armenian genocide allegations, democratization and the issue of ethnic identity and all these are ``built like a wall`` in front of Turkey. This situation increases suspicions against the EU even further, he added.

    Dwelling on the proximity talks on Cyprus, Bahceli said there has been no significant progress although the talks had been continuing for a long time. Any initiative that does not recognize the existence and equality of the Turkish nation would not contribute to the problem's solution, Bahceli said.

    ``The Cyprus problem was made one of the key points of Turkey's relations with the EU. Trying to make the Greek Cypriot administration a member to the EU constitutes another part of this plot,`` he said. Bahceli said his party supported the pseudostate/s decision to withdraw from the talks and stressed that Turkey would continue standing behind the "TRNC".

    [06] Eroglu: Turkey Will Buy Turkish Cypriot Exports in 2001 Anatolia Agency (13:01 hours, 28.11.00) reports that so-called prime

    minister Dervis Eroglu said on Tuesday that the marketing problem of the goods produced in the "TRNC" would be solved with the support of Turkey.

    Eroglu hosted a luncheon in honor of industrialists.

    Speaking at the luncheon, Eroglu said that the relevant "protocol" signed with Turkey would enter into effect in 2001 and the Turkish market would be opened to goods produced in the "TRNC".

    Claiming that the "TRNC" was facing the market problem as it was a small "country", Eroglu said that other markets should be sought to sell the goods produced in the "TRNC", and a "protocol" had been signed with Turkey to overcome this problem.

    Eroglu said, ``this protocol will enter into effect in 2001 and the market problem will be removed. Because, the 65-million Turkish market will be opened to our products.`` Stressing that finding new markets couldn`t solve everything, Dervis Eroglu said that industrialists should gain the competitive power by producing goods in high quality.

    [07] German Ambassador Comments on Claudia Roth Remarks, Ties With EU , Cyprus Anatolia Agency (16:05 hours, 28.11.00) reports that German

    Ambassador to Turkey Rudolf Schmidt defended German Federal Parliament`s Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Commission Chairperson Claudia Roth who drew reactions due to her statements in Turkey, after her tour of south- eastern Turkey (Diyarbakir).

    When asked what he thought about ``Roth`s statements and issue of broadcast in Kurdish`` during a meeting at the Ankara University, Schmidt said, ``this issue has been referred in the Accession Partnership document by taking into consideration Turkey`s sensitivities. I can`t go beyond this document regarding this issue. Mrs. Roth is a very honest person who speaks openly and spontaneously, but I won`t speak like her.``

    Stating that Germany supported European Union`s (EU) enlargement, Schmidt said he defined the EU enlargement as an historical event.

    Regarding the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), Schmidt said that the EU wanted to undertake responsibility of military operations in which the NATO won`t participate.

    Schmidt said that the EU wanted to undertake a ``complementary role`` and that NATO Secretary General George Robertson supported this attitude.

    Stressing that they appreciated Turkey`s statement which said it would make every contribution to the ESDI, Schmidt said that the issue of Turkey`s participation in decision-making mechanism would be solved with its EU full- membership.

    Noting that there were rumors which said that Turkey`s membership wouldn`t be accepted even if it would fulfil the Copenhagen criteria, Schmidt said he did not hear such a statement from any German politician, and that it was now Turkey`s turn after the Accession Partnership document.

    Stating that there were different opinions in the EU about the Cyprus and Aegean issues, Schmidt added that he believed that these would be solved within the framework of Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen`s letter on December 4.

    [08] Ankara summit/s decisions to be assessed.

    According to KIBRIS (29.11.00), Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had his

    weekly routine meeting yesterday with so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu and "state minister and deputy prime minister", Mustafa Akinci.

    In a statement after the meeting, Denktash said that "the Cankaya Mansion (Turkish presidential palace) meeting was not a surprise. We made an assessment of the 5th round of indirect talks and the Accession Document. We discussed in which way we can make progress and we will continue to discuss.

    We do not see any benefit in continuing the proximity talks under the present conditions". Denktash also said that on Friday (1.12.00) there is going to be a meeting with all the political party leaders and the so- called former foreign ministers. On Tuesday, the so-called TRNC Assembly will be convened. In both meetings, Denktash will brief about the Cankaya meeting and there will be an evaluation of the meeting/s decisions.

    [09] Denktash meets British High Commissioner HALKIN SESI (29.11.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had

    a meeting yesterday with British High Commissioner to Cyprus, Edward Clay. The undersecretary of the British High Commission Philip Barton and Denktash/s advisors Necati Munir Ertekun and Mustafa Evran were also present at the meeting.

    No statement was made before or after the meeting.

    [10] Pakistani senator in the occupied area KIBRIS (29.11.00) reports that Pakistani Senator and senior lawyer of the

    Pakistani Supreme Court, Syed Igbal Haidel, arrived in the occupied areas last Monday for contacts with "officials". He will also attend and speak at the conference "Nationalisms in rivalry" which is being organized in the occupied area.

    [11] Talat/s interview to MILLIYET Repubilcan Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in an interview to

    MILLIYET/S (29.11.00) correspondent Sahin Alpay accused Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash of not favouring a settlement. Following is the text of the interview:

    "Question: Do you think President Denktash/s decision to withdraw from the proximity talks is correct and why?

    Answer: It is accepted by everybody that the Cyprus problem will be settled through negotiations. This is said by Esteemed Denktash as well. Withdrawing from the negotiations is against this understanding. The UN Secretary General has put forward certain views. If one does not like them, one can put forward counter proposals and argue.

    Question: The decision taken in Ankara is a stance geared to secure the non- inclusion of the Cyprus problem in Turkey/s EU Accession Partnership Document (APD). Do you consider this reasonable?.

    Answer: No, I do not consider this reasonable. The solution of the Cyprus problem has been indexed to Turkey/s EU candidacy. The EU-Cyprus accession talks are in process and it is estimated they will be concluded by 2002, and since it has been stated in the Helsinki decisions that non-solution of the Cyprus problem will not be an obstacle to (EU) membership, Cyprus will be a European Union member at the end of 2002. So, the EU/s decision that the Cyprus problem should be included in the short term priorities is very natural, in fact it is a must. Turkey/s reaction to this has no meaning. What should be done is to exert a maximum effort to secure the settlement of the Cyprus problem or put it on the settlement path before 2002.

    Question: How do you interpret the statement by Ecevit that `Cyprus and Aegean issues have no relation with the Turkey-EU ties/?

    Answer: It is a wrong approach. The Cyprus problem is closely related to the EU. Turkey also knows that the Cyprus problem must be solved by the time Turkey becomes an EU member. Maybe for Turkey there is no urgency in settling the Cyprus problem. For Turkey the settlement of the Cyprus problem could be considered when Ankara covers a long distance in the EU process. However, this could be too late for the Turkish Cypriots. My major objection is on this point. The Turkish Cypriots are being used as a trump card so that Turkey secures a better position in its relations with the EU. This approach is dangerous. If Cyprus becomes an EU member before the Cyprus problem is settled, this will be realised through Clerides signature. In that case, the TRNC will join the EU in a way similar to East Germany/s annexation to West Germany.

    Question: Well, are you sure that Cyprus will be admitted to the EU prior to a settlement on the island?

    Answer: In the following way I am sure; EU Commission Chairman Prodi said:

    `If Cyprus becomes a member before a settlement is reached then there will be major difficulties/. The statement made by Denktash and Turkey to effect that `I will withdraw from the negotiations/ has rendered unnecessary the Greek Cypriot reaction to Prodi`s statement.

    Question: In your party/s statement it is said that the `withdrawal/ decision taken in Ankara is contrary to the will of the TRNC people. Do you think that Esteemed Denktash does not represent the people of the TRNC?

    Answer: Denktash considers defending the short term interests of Turkey as his duty rather than being a representative of the TRNC people. The Turkish Cypriots want the settlement of the Cyprus problem and to be a European Union member. However, Denktash and Ankara, by saying `If the Cyprus problem is settled on the basis of federation this will be the end of the Turkish Cypriots/, induce fear in the Turkish Cypriots. Of course a settlement will definitely give priority to the security issue. Nobody is objecting to this. Our difference lies in that, `We want settlement, Denktash does not. He has vowed to partition Cyprus, and annex the north to Turkey. He does not take into account Turkey/s EU candidacy, and can even take steps that will return Cyprus to the situation existing prior to 1974./

    Question: Don/t you think that `political equality insisted upon by Denktash/ is important?

    Answer: Of course it is important. For us too it is a must. The same with Turkey/s guarantorship.

    Question: Don/t you think that Turkey/s security is also important?

    Answer: Absolutely. However, a settlement that will safeguard the Turkish Cypriots/ security is also important for safeguarding Turkey/s security. Once Turkey becomes EU member together with Greece and Cyprus, then the idea of war will be erased from the minds and Cyprus will become a bridge of peace. Even if Turkey/s EU membership is not realized, the settlement of the Cyprus problem, from the security point of view, will be in favour of Turkey.

    Question: The European Parliament is drafting a resolution, in which it will propose the removal of the embargo imposed on the TRNC against the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island. How do you comment?

    Answer: It would be a castle in the air. The embargo should be removed. It is wrong to relate this to the Turkish troops withdrawal. Turkish troops withdrawal will be realized with the settlement of the Cyprus problem. Turkish troops gradual withdrawal, the Cyprus problem/s settlement and the agreed number of Turkish troops that will remain in Cyprus have been mentioned in the UN Documents. The Turkish Cypriots cannot accept the Turkish troops withdrawal prior to reaching a settlement.

    Question: They say that the EU is working to encourage Turkish Cypriots to support Cyprus/ Eu membership against Turkey/s will, thus securing their distancing from Turkey. What do you say to this?

    Answer: They could harbour such intentions. I don/t know that. But I defend the view that the talks aimed at settling the Cyprus problem should continue, on the basis of political equality and Turkey/s guarantorship. Also, the Turkish Cypriots should not leave the Greek Cypriots to carry out membership negotiations alone. They should take part in these negotiations. This way we will secure the chance of Cyprus/s membership together with the settlement. Cyprus should become an EU member with the settlement. Turkey should not have any worries on this issue.

    The important point is this: The tension between Turkey and the EU will relax at some point. This situation could prevail for 1-2 years. Turkey holds strategically a very important position and her economic resources are so enormous that the EU does not want to leave Turkey out of the integration. I am sure of it. Whatever Turkey does, the EU will not leave Turkey. But it is the Turkish Cypriots that are effected. Let us suppose that 2002 has passed by and half of Cyprus becomes EU member and after five years Turkey has settled her problems and after 10 years she has reached the membership treshhold. What would happen to North Cyprus then? According to the agreement signed by Clerides, EU legislation will be implemented all over Cyprus as a whole. Thus Cyprus will be driven back into the situation existing prior to 1974. Refugees will return to their homes and villages.

    Mr. Ecevit, who made Clinton to say that return to the pre-1974 situation is not possible, with this withdrawal decision taken with Denktash, is now taking the risk of driving us back into the pre 1974 situation. We are worried about this".

    [12] Akinci meets Swiss Ambassador; says talks must continue within framework of Annan/s 12th September statement

    ORTAM (29.11.00) reports that so-called state minister and deputy prime minister Mustafa Akinci had a meeting yesterday with the Swiss Ambassador to Beirut who is also accredited to Cyprus, Jurg Streuli.

    In a statement, the Swiss Ambassador said that the aim of his fourth visit to Cyprus is to exchange views and be informed on the process or the Cyprus solution and on the views of both sides.

    Akinci said that they exchanged views on EU, the Cyprus problem, Turkish- Greek, Turkish-EU and Cyprus EU relations. He also pointed out that the proximity talks must continue within the framework of Annan/s 12th September statement.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [13] Turkey's Withdrawal From Cyprus Talks criticized Ertugrul Ozkok, writing in daily HURRIYET (27.11. 00) under the title "Have

    You Prepared an Answer for Your Grandchildren?, inter alia says:

    "I had so much wanted to be at the state summit held at the Presidential Mansion last Wednesday. President Amhet Necdet Sezer, President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] Rauf Denktash, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Chief of the General Staff Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Deputy Prime Ministers Devlet Bahceli, Mesut Yilmaz Husamettin Ozkan and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem were all there. Denktash' s decision to withdraw from the proximity talks was under review at the summit.

    It was just then that I had wanted to change the subject and ask, `Have you worked out what you are going to tell your grandchildren?/

    A little bird told me yesterday of the mood at the meeting.

    Denktash gave an impassioned speech. I know very well how he can influence people. This speech had a `trigger effect/.

    The others spoke in the same vein.

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem remained silent.

    Mesut Yilmaz said things to the effect of, `We should calculate the consequences of this./ But his voice was quiet.

    The upshot of the largest state summit held to date was a unanimous decision to `withdraw".

    Could this decision be an important step on Turkey's road to isolation?

    If the impassioned atmosphere of last Thursday's summit does not cool and disperse then, `yes.

    For this reason I ask again the top brass of the state: `Have you worked out what you are going to tell your grandchildren?/

    One more question...

    Was There no Alternative?

    Could not a different path be found, a less radical way of demonstrating Turkey's reaction, a less risky way?

    Was it not felt necessary to present before more than one scenario prepared by the Foreign Ministry?

    The Prime Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair said in Zagreb last Saturday:

    `The threat that lies before us is narrow minded nationalism and the return of misdirected patriotism./ We cannot expect an English socialist to love his country any less than a social democrat Turk. Therefore, we should not cast these words of Blair's aside".


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


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