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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-12-21

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. 246/00 -- 21.12.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ecevit on Cyprus.
  • [02] Denktash warns EU norms to eliminate Turkish Cypriots `Cause/.
  • [03] Talat meets Bandler over tension in Pyla.
  • [04] Ertugruloglu on EU membership process.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Prospects of new US Foreign Policy on Turkey viewed.
  • [07] Cem warns Turkey has to start EU talks by 2002.
  • [09] AVRUPA columnist raps Turkey/s so-called peace operation in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ecevit on Cyprus Anatolia Agency (19:45 hours, 20.12.00) reports that Turkish Prime Minister

    Bulent Ecevit delivered a 14-page speech on behalf of the government during the debate at parliament on the 2001 year budget. Ecevit also referred to Cyprus developments and said:

    ``Some circles criticized Turkey`s support to decision of President Rauf Denktas of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) not to attend new round of proximity talks. There is a simple necessity to provide a compromise between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides. As we said in numerous occasions that this necessity is recognition of existence of two independent states on the island. The TRNC has protected its independence and freedom despite all preventions. Turkey has always supported the TRNC, and will continue to do so in the future. TRNC`s security is a necessity for Turkey, and Turkey`s security is a necessity for the TRNC.``

    He added, ``I believe that dialogue atmosphere between Turkey and Greece should be further developed to solve important problems.``

    [02] Denktas Warns EU Norms To Eliminate Turkish Cypriots 'Cause' Illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (16:30 hours 19.12.00) reports that Turkish Cypriot

    leader Rauf Denktas claimed that efforts are underway to eliminate the pseudostate but Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will never allow this.

    He said that the Turkish Cypriots are being presented with the EU norms, but these are not good things and those who view the EU as a saviour should realize the meaning of this. Denktas explained: ``EU norms are tantamount to all Greek Cypriots returning to their old places and settling there, and even those coming from Greece settling wherever they want. This, in turn, is tantamount to the bankruptcy and elimination of our cause, our becoming refugees once again, and the reenactment of the Crete story''.

    Denktas declared that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will not agree to this. Pointing out that for Turkey, the Cyprus issue not merely a matter of honor, it is also a matter of existence in geopolitical terms, Denktas reiterated that Turkey will never cede Cyprus to Greece and to the Greek Cypriots.

    [03] Talat meets Bandler over tension in Pyla According to YENIDUZEN (21.12.00) Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader

    Mehmet Ali Talat had a meeting yesterday with the US Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler.

    Present at the meeting were the RTP/s foreign relations responsible, Kutlay Erk, and the US Embassy/s Turkish Affairs Secretary, Helen Lovejoy.

    Speaking prior to the meeting, Talat said that as RTP they are trying to create the best possible conditions in Pyla. Talat described Pyla as ``a place of rivalry for both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.''

    ``This should be avoided, the villagers there should be left alone. And for this reason, in order for the present situation not to become worse, the Pyla issue should be handled carefully. This is the conclusion I reached during my visit there yesterday'' he said.

    Referring to the Turkish Cypriot side/s decision to withdraw from the proximity talks, Talat said:

    ``The Turkish side/s withdrawal from the proximity talks is the most harmful action taken in the name of the Turkish Cypriots''.

    In his turn US Ambassador Badler said that Pyla village was a mixed village where people from both sides live, and as such it has a special character. Ambassador Badler noted that tension must come to an end in Pyla.

    [04] Ertugruloglu on EU membership process According to KIBRIS (21.12.00) the so-called foreign and defence minister of

    the pseudostate Turkish Ertugruloglu has declared that Republican Turkish Party RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat/s proposal to mediate between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot people is aimed at misleading.

    In a written statement Ertugruloglu repeated the occupation regime/s known views regarding the EU membership process and rejected Talat/s proposal. He concluded by saying: ``Let us repeat, we are not in this process of annihilation. And this being the case, in a process where we are not taking part we do not need a mediator''.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Prospects of New U.S. Foreign Policy on Turkey Viewed Columnist Zeynep Gurcanli, writing in Star (Internet Version, 18.12.00),

    says:

    ``The bickering in the United States is over now that George W. Bush's presidency is official. Now the world has begun discussing what type of president Bush will be.

    It was widely believed that Al Gore, had he been elected, would essentially be a continuation of the Clinton administration of the last eight years. However things changed when the White House passed from the Democrats to the Republicans.

    Turkey will be highly affected by this change.

    How?

    Mainly in Cyprus. TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] President Rauf Denktas appears to be the biggest beneficiary of Bush's election.

    Clinton had virtually turned the resolution of the Cyprus problem into a `personal/ goal. Gore appeared to be equally intent on finding a solution. That meant very strong pressure on the TRNC.

    In contrast Bush signalled during his election campaign that he would not take a close interest in issues such as Cyprus that are "geographically remote" for the United States.

    Denktas must have understood this message better than anyone else because he withdrew from the UN-mediated proximity talks. Now the TRNC administration is trying to impose new restrictions on the UN peacekeeping forces on the island. The Clinton team that is still in office has reacted sharply to these moves. However their reaction is futile because they are now leaving office.

    What happens if Bush takes his hands off from Cyprus? Given that Ecevit, `the conqueror of Cyprus,/ is Prime Minister in Turkey and Denktas remains the President of the TRNC, the answer seems to be "no solution."

    It is not hard to predict that the reins in Cyprus will pass from the United States to the EU. Given that a EU that contains Greece does not agree with any of Turkey's positions, one can see on the horizon EU membership for the Greek Cypriots and merger with Turkey for the TRNC.

    Human rights can be expected to be another issue on which the Bush administration brings `relief/ to Turkey. The Republicans have never been as insistent as Democrats on human rights.

    The EU, which has pressured Turkey on human rights, appears to have withdrawn to the sidelines following the approval of the Accession Partnership Document. The prevalent atmosphere in Europe is: `The ball is in your court./

    The Turkish government, on the other hand, is offended that the EU did not include Turkey in its ten-year `enlargement project./ In the latest summit of the coalition leaders the prevailing atmosphere was: `Why do we need to rush if the EU has not included us in its program for the next ten years?/

    In these circumstances 2001 and even later years do not offer much hope about human rights and democratization in Turkey.

    In the near future the Bush administration is expected to give Turkey the strongest support over the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline and arms purchases. Before being elected President, Bush was the governor of Texas which is one of the centers of the U.S. arms industry. Bush was elected to this office with the strong support of arms manufacturers. It is not hard to imagine that these arms vendors will lobby for Turkey which is one of their biggest customers.

    Meanwhile the oil lobby supported Dick Cheney, Bush's Vice President. Cheney has very close ties with the Azeri government. It is clear that he will work hard to move Azeri oil and gas to Europe as soon as possible. Because a rapprochement between Iran and the United States is not seen very probable in the near future, the best route to accomplish that goal is Turkey. In other words the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline has become more definite with Bush's election.

    There are also anticipated Bush policies that may put Turkey in a difficult position. One expectation is that the United States will withdraw from European affairs. Bush signalled such a policy in his election campaign and would naturally reduce American support for Turkey's membership in the EU.

    In recent years the Clinton administration supported Turkey's membership in the EU with a vigour that even Ankara did not expect. Pressure by Washington on EU capitals `not to exclude Ankara/ played a very important role in the overcoming of the recent tension with the EU over the Accession Partnership Document. Now Turkey will be deprived of this `invisible weapon/ against the EU.

    The issue on which Bush policies will put the most pressure on Turkey will probably be Iraq. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has surreptitiously promised representatives of Saddam Husayn that Turkey will raise its diplomatic relations with Iraq to the ambassadorial level. That would most probably upset George W. Bush who seems to be determined to finish off the task his father could not complete, namely `remove Saddam from power./ I hope that we do not miss Clinton despite everything.''

    [104] Cem Warns Turkey Has To Start EU Talks by 2002 A commentary by Ferai Tinc in HURRIYET (Internet Version 18.12.00) says that

    upon his return recently from the NATO meeting in Brussels, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met in Istanbul with the foreign policy correspondents. During this meeting, a kind of year-end evaluation gathering, the foreign policy topics that would make the coming year's agenda were also broached.

    Tinc says that to him the most important aspect of this meeting was Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's warning.

    ``Cem has up to now refrained from issuing any ultimatums or adopting pointed political postures, such as issuing warnings. Yet this time round he was saying, `I am warning, if by the end of 2001 or early 2002 we can manage to start full membership negotiations with the EU we will. The years 2003 and 2004 will be the most difficult years to commence negotiations./

    The years 2003 and 2004 are election years for leading EU countries like France and Germany. The atmosphere in Europe would unavoidably become more conservative as result of the power struggle between the Christian Democrats and Socialists.

    And during this period Europe could create unexpected obstacles before Turkey's full membership negotiations.

    Should we then postpone full membership negotiations to later time? And the only reply to this question is: `This would not be a postponement but abandonment of the road to the EU./

    2001 Critical Year [subhead]

    This warning by the Foreign Minister, which is partly based on his European backstage impressions, is indicative of the fact that 2001 will be very important and critical for Turkey.

    Because at the end of next year an evaluation will be held into whether or not Turkey has realised the short-term goals of the Accession Partnership Document [APD] and a report will be prepared. The steps taken by Turkey on the medium-term goals will also be reviewed.

    In other words, they will knock on the door and ask, `What have you done/?

    So prior to doing anything the first thing is to prepare Turkey's own National Programme based on the APD articles.

    Before it was being said, `we do not have to abide by all the APD articles./ But Cem also shed light on this issue, `We must have a reply for every article included in the APD. But let us not blow them up to frightening dimensions./ The National Programme will come up in front of the coalition partners in January. I hope that the programme will be prepared with seriousness without taking refuge in the ease of deception and consensus of views will be reached over it.

    Thus by realising its short-term goals within a year, Turkey can gain the opportunity to sit at the table for the commencement of full membership negotiations with strong trump cards. Of course, let us also not forget that Cyprus too is included in this one year's equation. Even if no progress is achieved, steps have to be taken to demonstrate, and to convince others, that the Turkish side is not the side that avoids the solution.

    Political Leadership Needed [subhead]

    So at this juncture the onus falls on Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who is responsible for the European affairs. They will either have to show political leadership needed to catapult Turkey into the EU by bracing themselves up against every conceivable difficulty, or get the blame for holding the membership in suspension.

    Choice is theirs, we can only give our backing to them,'' Tinc says.

    [175] AVRUPA columnist raps Turkey/s so-called peace operation in Cyprus Ali Osman writing in AVRUPA (20.12.00) under the title ``Peace and

    Compassion'' says:

    ``The demands of the resisting inmates in the Turkish prisons are not that many. They want humane treatment. Punishment of the torturers. An end to oppressions. Doing away with the solitary confinement cell.

    On this road they have even risked their lives.

    And with these operations Tantan (Sadettin Tantan, Turkish Interior Minister) erased all the positive steps he had taken until now.

    He sent gendarmes, police and special forces members into the prisons. He sent in this force with a view to making these inmates give up their hunger strike and death fast.

    And they named it `Compassion Operation/.

    The state, which is under militarist hegemony, wanted to give the impression that it loves its citizens and the people in prison very much.

    Gas bombs were thrown in the prison wards. people who took part in the operation were poisoned and wounded as well.

    One does not even want to consider being in those people/s place, in the cells and in the wards.

    As the case is, can/t one wonder what kind of compassion this is?.

    But the Turkish state always does this.

    Didn/t it do the same thing in Cyprus?

    In the name of saving the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish state came here with ten thousand of its troops.

    It came here with its jets and warships, destroying everything in its way. And it (the Turkish State) named this military operation a `Peace Operation/.

    26 years have passed since. It came here in the name of saving the Turkish Cypriots, but with its local quislings, it has forced those people who considered Cyprus as their fatherland leave the island.

    They left in order to get rid of it.

    At last Sukru Sinan Gurel (Turkish State Minister Responsible for Cyprus) made a statement justifying what we are saying. He said `if we give one to Cyprus, in return we get two/.

    You see the importance of Cyprus for Turkey.

    It is a question of interests.

    The inmates resist against the bombs and batons. and the majority of them are patriots and revolutionaries.

    The rapid deployment forces members, who held a protest march last week, shouted slogans such as, `police is here, where are the revolutionaries/.

    And the police force, with this mentality, will give away `compassion/ in the prisons it has raided.

    It is not possible to believe this.

    After the Peace Operation, now comes the Compassion Operation.

    They cannot make anybody believe in them''.


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


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