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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 01-04-09

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 <>


No. 67/01 -- 7-8-9.4.01


  • [01] Ismail Cem may succeed Ecevit in the leadership of the Democratic Left Party.
  • [02] Ismail Cem: The Cyprus problem cannot be solved through small steps.
  • [03] Talat says that social explosions are about to happen in the occupied areas.
  • [04] The economic crisis is becoming deeper in the pseudostate.
  • [05] Fears for more foreign workers in the occupied areas.

  • [06] Ilter Turkmen: Turkey/s relations with Greece and the Cyprus problem will have a steadily growing weight in its ties with the EU.
  • [09] Mehmet Ali Birand: Greece gained the initiative in diplomacy.


    [01] Ismail Cem may succeed Ecevit in the leadership of the Democratic Left Party

    In tandem with the growing anger against the government, speculations started as well that Ecevit was considering to announce his intention to quit both the leadership of his Democratic Left Party (DLP) and the premiership - as early as within the next two weeks-citing poor health conditions and leaving party leadership to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem at the scheduled May convention of the DLP, writes Yusuf Kanli in Turkish Daily News (8.4.01).

    In the front page leader of ``Turkish Probe'', a weekly edition of Turkish Daily News, with the title ``Public Anger Flows to Streets'', Yusuf Kanli is giving extensive coverage to the public unrest in Turkey over the economic crisis and writes:

    With monthly inflation recuperating to two-digit figures again, increases in prices hailing on already battered incomes, the Turkish lira losing almost 75 percent of its value against all major currencies and seeing that although six weeks have passed since the start of an economic-financial- political crisis the government is still pondering on an ``emergency measures'' package, thousands of traders took to the streets calling on Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to resign.

    And the article goes on:

    But, could Ecevit quit politics? Even if the Prime Minister would like to leave politics either for poor health or any other reasons, no one expects him to take such a step before the Turkish economy is placed back on a recovery track.

    Yusuf Kanli stresses that the economic crisis has hit all levels of public life with the urban population losing their jobs, tradesmen in major cities losing their customers and now there is a chain reaction that allows the crisis to deepen further, and concludes:

    But, the trigger was pulled and tradesmen started to demonstrate against the government in all major cities.

    The possibility of extreme leftist or fundamentalist terrorist groups infiltrating into demonstrating tradesmen crowds, agitating them for destructive actions has been one of the most prominent concerns of the police.

    [02] Ismail Cem: The Cyprus problem cannot be solved through small steps

    The Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr. Ismail Cem, took part in the ``Criteria'' programme of CNN Turk television on 7 April 2001.

    Replying to questions the Turkish Foreign Minister declared that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved through small steps. There can either be a radical solution or nothing will happen, he said.

    Cem also said that he finds strange the views that Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou is not sincere and wants to take advantage of the economic crisis and squeeze Turkey into a corner.

    ``Of course, there is no such thing. Moreover, I find such thoughts strange'', Cem said.

    Replying to a question on Turkey/s defense spending Cem said: On the subject of defense expenditure, the decision adopted by Greece is important in terms of decreasing suspicions. Should Turkey immediately respond with similar decisions because Greece made such a decision? If our only concern had been Greece - this is naturally not my decision alone - the government and the National Defense Ministry would also have decided to reduce expenditure, not to order more planes''.

    With regard to Cyprus, Cem said: ``While we were conversing or travelling in the car Mr. Papandreou referred to troop reduction, etc. In turn, I responded: Let us not waste any more time, and let us not waste the world/s time. This Cyprus issue is not merely a matter of reducing troops or increasing troops. On the Cyprus issue, there will either be a radical and serious will aimed at reaching a solution and we would assist in bringing this about or there will be nothing''.

    [03] Talat says that social explosions are about to happen in the occupied areas

    According to ``Yeniduzen'' (07.04.01), the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat has expressed the opinion that social explosions are about to take place in the occupied areas, because of the bad economic situation which prevails in the pseudostate.

    ``Our people suffer and call on the government to help them and solve their problems'', says Mr. Talat in a written statement. ``The Turkish Cypriots have not lived such a bad period in their history'', notes Mr. Talat stressing that during the last one and a half months, tens of thousands have emigrated from the occupied areas, whereas the young people are forced to stop their education.

    ``Our people cannot find jobs to earn their living'', says Mr. Talat adding that even those who have a job can hardly live for ten days with their monthly salary.

    The Turkish Cypriot politician refers also to the low pensions which do not permit the old people to live quietly the last period of their lives. He says that the farmers, the traders and the others who work in the production cannot pay their debts, because of the stagnation in the market.

    Mr. Talat supports that the pseudogovernment makes fun of the ``people'' when, with its statements it presents everything to be in order. Mr. Talat called on the ``government officials'' and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, ``whose responsibility for the Turkish Cypriots` coming to this situation is at least the same'' as the pseudogovernment`s, to open their eyes and ears and listen to the people. Then Talat says the following:

    ``The government, and especially the President, has to apologise to our people. The destruction to which their `integration` and `gratitute` policies led our people, have proved that these approaches were wrong. All the supporters of the integration policy, and mainly Mr. Denktash and Eroglu, must apologise to our people for the wretchedness they have caused. ... We warn once more: there is a serious social crisis in our country. The psychological health of our people is incredibly damaged. The NUP - CLP government must immediately take measures. Tomorrow perhaps it will be late.''

    [04] The economic crisis is becoming deeper in the pseudostate

    According to ``Ortam'' (09.04.01), the economic crisis in the pseudostate is becoming deeper. The paper reports that the people had become much poorer in a very short period of time and that they cannot pay their debts, rent and school expenses which must be paid in foreign exchange.

    [05] Fears for more foreign workers in the occupied areas

    According to ``Ortam'' (08.04.01), the pseudogovernment is going to fire the workers of the ``Trodos'' Water company and sell its plants. The paper reports that there are fears that foreign workers are going to be brought in the place of the local workers.

    The ``Trodos'' company belonged to the businessman Elmas Guzelyurtlu, owner of the Everestbank, which has gone bankrupt. Elmasyurtlu`s property was confiscated and put under the pseudostate`s control.


    [06] Ilter Turkmen: Turkey/s relations with Greece and the Cyprus problem will have a steadily growing weight in its ties with the EU

    In a commentary in HURRIYET (7.4.01) with the title ``Economic Crisis and Foreign Policy'' former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen, analyses the foreign policy of Turkey in conjunction with the current economic crisis and stresses that it must formulate a policy based on its vision of joining the EU.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    The economy of a nation is certainly affected by its international relations and foreign policy tendencies in addition to many other factors. A miscalculated foreign policy may lead to a decline in a country's economic strength, or prevent it from realizing its full potential. There is an interaction between the economy and foreign policy. A serious crisis, like the one we are experiencing today, would eventually have an adverse effect on the efficiency and credibility of the foreign policy.

    When the events are analyzed from a foreign policy perspective, an observation needs to be made inevitably. The consequences of the crisis in Turkey have, at least at this stage, been less severe than those of the crises which broke out in Russia and south-east Asia in 1998. It has become apparent that our economy, which our politicians persistently used to describe as the sixteenth largest economy in the world, has somewhat modest international dimensions. This is mainly explained by the fact that the Turkish economy has not been fully integrated with the globalization process, and failed to attract direct foreign investments. Yet, anxieties caused by the contraction in the Turkish market have not been as deep as expected. Since the amount of cumulative foreign capital was low, countries, which have the capabilities to extend aid, were not concerned about their own interests unlike the case of the Latin American countries. Anxieties connected to Turkey, which is in a critical position in terms of regional stability, mainly resulted from the negative effects of the economic crisis on its domestic political stability. Geopolitics overshadows the economy in any analysis on Turkey. This is where foreign policy appears on the scene.

    The recent economic crisis occurred at a time when Turkey was more comfortable, constructive and active than it was a couple of years ago. The policy pursued towards Syria has dealt a major blow to the separatist terrorist organization, and somewhat alleviated the burden on the Turkish economy. With Milosevic's removal from power in Serbia, Turkey's risks in the Balkans diminished and relations between Turkey and Serbia were mended. The visit paid by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem to Iran triggered a cooperation in the field of trade and energy, which Turkey cannot ignore. Although the recent completion of the pipeline, which will convey Kazakh oil to Novorossisk, has increased problems caused by tankers crossing through the Straits, international support for Baku-Ceyhan pipeline augmented concurrently.

    From the standpoint of economic crisis, what really matters for Turkey is the United States and its relations with this country. People, who are occupying key positions in the Bush administration, gained a close insight into Turkey's realities during late President Turgut Ozal, and they are attaching a great importance to Turkey's regional role. They have already adopted a tolerant attitude towards our policy on Iraq, albeit they dislike it in principle. There is no doubt that they will make great efforts to drum up international support for Turkey to the extent that it achieves progress in completing necessary reforms. The fact that Turkey is in the process of joining the EU is an extremely positive factor at these difficult times. It should be taken into account that leading countries within the EU, together with the United States, have a strong influence on the IMF and the World Bank.

    The Turkish foreign policy must continue with its energetic moves taking advantage of this fertile ground. We should not be tempted into believing that pursuing a reconciliatory policy at times of crisis would mean making yielding ground. Relations with Greece and the Cyprus issue will certainly have a steadily growing weight in our ties with the EU in the future. Although, the recent Greek initiatives should be treated with caution, signs of excessive anxieties and inflexibility in some of its official arguments are surprising. We should not be afraid of new ideas designed to resolve problems between Turkey and Greece and the Cyprus question. We should develop our own ideas. When we fail to do this, others come up with suggestions. In addition, a higher degree of prudence is needed in connection with such issues as the European security policy, which could lead to frictions with the EU. It is imperative to strike a balance between short-term and long-term interests. We must formulate a policy with fundamental parameters based on Turkey's vision of joining the EU.

    [86] Mehmet Ali Birand: Greece gained the initiative in diplomacy

    In his regular column OPINION of Turkish Daily News (6.4.01) Mehmet Ali Birand writes that since 1994 Athens has made an ever-growing break-through in foreign policy and now it is more confident and has gained control in the field of diplomacy, and goes on:

    Prior to the 1990s, Turkish policies and diplomatic staff used to be praised in a similar manner. At that time Turkish and Greek diplomatic staff would be compared to one another and the effectiveness of Turkish diplomatic officials and the continuity of their policy, used to be praised.

    Especially during the 1960-1990 period, the Greeks suffered from a series of periods of instability. Political instability was reflected in their policies and in their diplomatic staff. They made one mistake after another.

    Referring to today/s situation Mr. Birand writes:

    However, these days those who are directing Greece seem to be in control of the situation.

    To understand this significant change better let us take a brief look at the developments that caused me to make such an assessment:

    ``Greece managed to attain the biggest change in 1995 during the time Turkey was negotiating a planned customs union with the European Union. It made the Cyprus issue part of the bargaining process. Before it agreed to the EU-Turkey customs union arrangement it secured from the EU a pledge that Cyprus would be admitted into the EU as a full member. It ``hooked up'' Cyprus and turned that problem into an EU issue.

    Similarly, during the Kardak (Imia rocks) crisis in 1997, Greece ensured that Kardak was no longer a bilateral problem between Turkey and Greece. The EU became the ``address'' for that important problem in the Aegean.

    Despite the fact that Abdullah Ocalan of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers/ Party (PKK) was ``captured'' at the Greek Embassy in Kenya in 1999, Greece managed to adopt a new stance in a very short time. It created the impression at least ostensibly - that it severed its relations with the PKK. Though it was ``caught in the act'' in such a clear manner it managed to earn the forgiveness of the Turkish and international public in a very short time.

    After that incident, at the EU/s Helsinki summit, it changed its policy of obstructing Turkish entry into the EU at all costs. And, instead of a bilateral struggle it opted for drawing Turkey into the EU and having the Aegean and Cypriot problems solved via Brussels.

    Before it could know what had hit it, Turkey found itself in a situation where it was sitting down for talks on the Aegean and Cyprus issues not with Greece anymore but with the EU.

    Thus Ankara lost the ease it had enjoyed in dealing with Greece in the 1980s, that is, during the Papandreou era. In the past, Turkey had the initiative. But now Athens has gained the initiative.

    The Greek foreign and defense ministers have made various proposals in a row. They have made reasonable moves. Meanwhile Turkey is watching on.

    We must see these facts and act accordingly. It is high time we tidied up our diplomatic cadres.

    Otherwise we will miss the boat.

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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