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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-07-05

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 <>



  • [01] Ismail Cem: Cyprus could become a serious obstacle in Turkeys EU accession process.
  • [02] Turkish political party leader against Cyprus EU accession while Turkish Cypriot columnist critical of that view.
  • [03] The chairman of KTAMS criticizes the pseudostate and Turkey for their policies on bi-communal activities and EU accession course.
  • [04] Eroglu admits the pseudostate's inability to pay its employees.
  • [05] Assasinated Turkish Cypriot journalist who struggled for rapprochement to be remembered.

  • [06] Columnist in HURRIYET alleges that Oman has become Turkeys closest supporter regarding the pseudostate.
  • [07] The chief Editor of AVRUPA newspaper says that the Republic of Cyprus still cares for its Turkish Cypriot citizens.


    [01] Ismail Cem: Cyprus could become a serious obstacle in Turkey's EU accession process

    Turkish mainland HURRIYET newspaper (2.7.01) publishes an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Derya Sazak. The full text of the interview is the following:

    Question: Military officials have reportedly asked the government not to make it difficult to ban political parties in the last meeting of the NSC [National Security Council]. From your standpoint, what is the military's posture on democracy? You have made some comments on the NSC's role in Brussels.

    Answer: It is up to the General Staff to confirm what it has said or not said. I do not believe that the military has slowed down or will slow down the process of democratization. Our public has a strong inclination to generate speculative reports. The stance adopted by the military, which is a part of this society, on democracy is no different than that of the media, the politicians and the rest of the public. In the last EU meeting held in Brussels, I said in response to a question about the NSC's influence that I did not see the NSC's present structure and function defined in the Constitution as a flaw in or an obstacle to the democratization process.

    The NSC is an institution which conveys its suggestions and opinions to the government. Do the military and civilian officials constitute two separate teams within the NSC? The answer is no. During the NSC's debates my opinions may be supported by two generals while two of my colleagues in the cabinet oppose it or vice versa. The NSC does not have a concept based on division of military and civilian officials as two separate teams. Secondly, similar security institutions are not only intrinsic to Turkey. They exist in many countries including Greece and the United States. These institutions play a more influential and critical role during periods when a country faces a serious security threat. This is very natural, because any institution, which is responsible for preserving security of a country, would come to the fore de facto, with a growing importance and role if people are killed everyday in that country as a result of terrorist acts.

    Question: Its influence on the government should decline in parallel with the normalization process.

    Answer: If grave security issues can be dealt with effectively to bring the situation to a normal level, as we have witnessed in Turkey in the past three years, the institution responsible for security would assume a function commensurate with the needs observed during a normal period. This is a relative phenomenon. The NSC is certainly playing a critical role regarding security issues in today's Turkey, which is undergoing a normalization process. These are issues of normal importance.

    Question: How would the possibility of South Cyprus' accession to the EU would affect Turkey in 2002? Would not it be discussed by the NSC?

    Answer: I have raised this matter in a couple of NSC meetings, because it has a very crucial security aspect. In addition, some members of the NSC, whether from the military or not, make contributions to our efforts to formulate policies as they have experience in this field. They could draw attention to an anxiety or other aspect, which I might have not noticed, and suggest a solution. In Turkey we always adopt a mutually obstinate stance on domestic or foreign policy issues, which almost takes the form of an obsession. We must overcome this and take advantage of our experiences and learn from each other. We must do this without having any complex about it.

    Question: Where does Turkey stand on its way to joining the EU?

    Answer: Accession to the EU is one of the two major goals of Turkey. The other target is becoming a pivotal country in Eurasia. We are delayed in achieving certain parts of Turkey's democratization process. I am not saying this as an excuse, but this delay has resulted from certain reasons such as a separatist terror campaign which has targeted Turkey for 12 years. In addition, Turkey has served as the West's outpost for a period of 40 years between 1950 and 1990. During this period we have played a role which bore no resemblance to those assumed by other NATO countries. We protected our borders with the Soviet Union for the sake of Europe's security. This role has restricted developments in politics, law, institutionalization and ideas. In a sense, we are paying the cost of safeguarding the security of countries, which are now criticizing us, against Soviet Union.

    Question: You said we are the victims of the Cold War.

    Answer: We were at a very critical point during the Cold War era and obligations arising from our role hindered the democratization process. For example, criticizing the NATO in 50s, 60s and even 70s was seen as a proof of being a communist, eventually leading to an arrest and imprisonment. Political parties, thoughts, books and newspapers were banned. That atmosphere reinforced Turkey's features not compatible with democracy, causing delays which we are complaining about today.

    Question: Are we returning to the same point again and again? Joining the EU is a target from Turkey's perspective and the EU is gearing up for an enlargement in 2002. "You must complete your preparations. Opening the negotiations is your problem more than it is a matter of concern for us. In other words, we are not saying you that you should not come. You can come, but..." This is what they keep telling Ankara.

    Answer: That is true.

    Question: In other words, they tell us to come after making progress in democratization and adopting a new Constitution. Each side is throwing the ball to the other side's court.

    Answer: The ball is in our court now.

    Question: Then, we should step up our efforts. Since the ball is in our court, could we miss the train for good should we delay further?

    Answer: Probably, we will not miss it, but we would have to wait for its return after a very long period. This is the reason why I warned almost one year ago, from an objective perspective, that if the accession talks do not start in 2002 we could be left behind substantially.

    Question: Could it be delayed for ten years or indefinitely?

    Answer: It would not be put off indefinitely, but each year we lose would delay our accession process by 4 to 5 years. A one year delay in completing our preparations would mean a 4 to 5 year postponement of our accession.

    Question: What is the current situation in the Cyprus question?

    Answer: Cyprus could become a serious handicap in the accession process. It is also a very big problem for the EU and it is a complex one. Should they admit South Cyprus alone it would be a Pyrrhic victory. It would draw a very serious reaction from Turkey. It would be an inevitable response.

    Question: What could be the consequences? Could it lead to Turkey's integration with the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]?

    Answer: I do not want to limit possibilities. I am not speaking about that. I think our warnings produced some effects. Now the EU finds it necessary to focus on the Cyprus question in a much more serious fashion. Of course, they are pushed to the wall. Indeed, they have got themselves in that situation. They are preparing for admitting a divided Cyprus with a government which can only represent a part of the island. This process could get nowhere with a government which we have not recognized. I can frankly say that everybody would suffer a great deal if that eventually happens. Turkey will also suffer. However, Turkey would not have the luxury of being able to make choices in the face of such an outcome.

    Question: Do you mean we could drop our plans to join the EU for the sake of Cyprus?

    Answer: I would not put the question that way. The real question is whether the EU would dispense with Turkey for Cyprus. This is the EU's own problem it has created itself. I would also like to say that we are making efforts to find a solution acceptable to both sides in Cyprus and we will continue make endeavours for this purpose.

    Question: You and Greek Foreign Minister Georgios Papandreou have launched an offensive in Samos island for achieving peace in the Aegean. Folk dances have made a contribution to the ongoing progress in friendship between the two countries.

    Answer: A columnist has criticized me because I did not perform a folk dance. Each person has his or her own style. I am not a politician who builds up his political career by performing dances. I do not share opinions that we have circumvented major problems. Turkey and Greece have taken substantial steps regarding security. We have reduced the possibility of a conflict or war in the Aegean. We are even removing mines in the Thrace.

    Question: The clock is ticking for solving the problems in the Aegean. Will the disputes be referred to the Hague (International Court of Justice) in 2004 if no solution is found?

    Answer: We have no plans to apply to the Hague in 2004 regarding the problems in the Aegean. An assessment will be made in 2004. Turkey has been saying right from the very beginning that both sides should take actions in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. We are ready for that. If Greece also declares its readiness a search for a reconciliation could be launched, using not only La Hague, but all the methods defined in Article 33 of the UN Charter as provided for in international law.

    Question: Is not the Hague a condition?

    Answer: No, it is not. Negotiations, mediation, arbitration and other options are among methods defined in and, indeed, strongly recommended by international law.

    Question: What is your opinion about Milosevic? Answer: In fact, we are glad to see that he is standing trial. He is responsible for deaths of many people. We have not forgotten events witnessed Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. I pointed out in Brussels that we would not permit occurrence of similar events in Cyprus. Turkey would neither take nor let its people to take such a risk. They should be perfectly aware of this fact.

    Question: We are still banning parties in the twenty first century. A Turkish judge working for the ECHR, who has criticized the Constitutional Court's ruling to ban the Virtue Party [FP], has said they are unable to keep up with Turkey's pace. As you know, the FP was closed down as the ECHR was still examining the RP's [Welfare Party] case. Is there any other European country banning parties? Should closure of parties be made difficult?

    Answer: Closure of political parties in Turkey should be placed in a more reasonable and serious context. This is the stance adopted by the government and the DLP [Democratic Left Party]. Thus, parties having seats in the parliament have drawn up a bill designed to amend the Constitution for this purpose. I should also emphasize that closure of parties and restricting some acts and rights of politicians is a part of European law and legislation of numerous countries include provisions in that regard. In order to avoid a misunderstanding I want to point out that I am not comparing the FP with some fascist parties and politicians in Europe. Yet, I am making an objective judgement about the place of this issue in European law. It is based on an article of the European Convention on Human Rights related to restriction of freedoms. Some political parties have been banned in Germany and a couple of other countries pursuant to law. In addition, a leader of a French party has been banned from active politics. Another interesting event, which demonstrated Europeans' approach, was a political boycott imposed by the EU on an Austrian party, which had won the last elections causing anxieties within the EU, for quite a long period. It even obstructed formation of a government by the leader of that political party. Question: Could the Constitution be amended in the fall? It seems that there are obstacles hindering some radical steps about cultural rights, freedom of broadcasting in Kurdish and abolishment of the death penalty.

    Answer: I hope that it will materialize. Articles of the National Program, which Turkey has delivered to the EU, should be considered not individually, but as a whole. The EU will perceive this program as an integrated document and process. Steps that Turkey should take to further its relations with the EU should not be seen as insurmountable obstacles. These are not black and white issues. We should take steps forward with good faith. Should Turkey do that, the matter would be resolved.

    As to the death penalty Turkey does not execute convicts sentenced to death. We said in the National Program that the death penalty would be abolished over the medium term. I do not think that the EU will raise any objections to that.

    Question: Do you mean that the Constitution must absolutely be amended?

    Answer: It would be a very promising development.

    Question: Do you think that the bill will be endorsed by the parliament in September?

    Answer: I am very cautious about making promises. Therefore, I am not able to give a specific date. I guess that the package upon which we have reached an agreement will be ratified when the new parliamentary session starts".

    [02] Turkish political party leader against Cyprus' EU accession while Turkish Cypriot columnist critical of that view

    KIBRIS (5/7/01) reports that the leader of the Labour Party (LP) of Turkey, Mr. Dogu Perinek, during a press conference held yesterday in Bandirma, stated: A Turkey that will hand over Cyprus to EU, cannot remain as Turkey. It will be dissolved.

    Perinek also said that the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) decided the areas of intervention on paper first and among these areas are Cyprus, Aegean and Northern Iraq. Stressing that this situation demonstrates the territories that EU is interested, Perinek pointed out that their aim (EU) is to have the armed forces' control of these areas.

    Finally, Perinek said: In the 21st century there can be no Turkey without Cyprus. A Turkey that will hand over Cyprus to EU, will be dissolved. Cyprus, Aegean and Northern Iraq are the front line of dispute between USA and EU. Turkey must see this reality and make an international effort for the integration of Cyprus with Turkey and Northern Iraq with Iraq.

    The columnist Hasan Hastrer writing in KIBRIS criticized Perinek's statements by saying the followings: Let us accept Dogu Perinek's views. But let us put aside whether they are wrong or correct and see that he did not take into consideration the most important side, the Turkish Cypriots. For Turkey is also important the solution regarding Cyprus as well as the port that she will reach. On the other hand do the existence and the interests of the Turkish Cypriots not have any value to the owner? All the political parties in Turkey must show respect to the existence, thoughts and wishes of the Turkish Cypriots when they produce ideas about the Cyprus problem. If there is no respect from our North, how can we expect any respect from our South and from other countries?

    [03] The chairman of KTAMS criticizes the pseudostate and Turkey for their policies on bi-communal activities and EU accession course.

    Yeniduzen (5/7/01) under banner headline They cannot prevent Cyprus' accession into EU writes that the chairman of KTAMS (Turkish Cypriot State Employees) Mr. Ali Seylan in a written statement yesterday reacted to those who prohibited the bi-communal activities.

    Seylan, inter alia, said: The people of our country and the workers of Turkey will pay a heavy price because of the hard and intransigent policy that the triangle Ankara-Denktash-Eroglu follow.

    We live together all the negative effects of the economic and social life due to the zigzag policy that Turkey follows on the EU road. While the world is being globalised, the Greco-Turkish dialogue is being developed, it is not possible to understand their desires and implementations that will isolate more and will alienate the Turkish Cypriots from the world.

    Those who put these prohibitions must know the advantages of the invitation that while the world is being globalised they cannot block or prevent neither Cyprus' peace or accession into EU nor Turkey's road to EU.

    [04] Eroglu admits the pseudostate`s inability to pay its employees

    KIBRIS (05.07.01) reports that the so-called Prime Minister, Dervish Eroglu admitted yesterday the pseudostate`s inability to pay its employees. Asked before a meeting of the so-called "Council of Ministers" whether the salaries of the "civil servants" will be raised, Mr. Eroglu said that "this is a matter of means", adding that the economy of the pseudostate "is not in a good shape".

    "Our revenues have been reduced", noted Mr. Eroglu adding that revenues from imports and customs have gone down, the volume of trade in the market has shrunk, there is a stagnation in all the fields of the economy and under these conditions it is difficult to even pay the civil servants' salaries.

    Meanwhile, the pseudogovernment increased the prices of many goods during the last days. The prices of petrol, diesel oil and milk, have been increased by 9%, 22 %, 30 % respectively. Yesterday increases on the telephone calls and the post office services were also announced.

    At the same time, the so-called "State Planning Organization" announced that the rate of inflation last month was 3,5 %.

    The pseudogovernment's attitude has caused the strong reaction of a part of the Turkish Cypriot Press, some parties and other organizations.

    According to Yeniduzen (05.07.01), Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, said that the pseudogovernment is acting "like an illegal organization", as the decision for the increases of the prices has been taken secretly.

    In a written statement, the Trade Union Cag - Sen notes that the establishment of the pseudogovernment is aimed at continuing the rule of the Denktash regime and not for the "people's" prosperity. Furthermore, the so-called "public servants" union KAMU - IS argued that the increases of the prices of the post office services are tantamount to restricting the human right of communicating.

    On the other hand, Yeniduzen under the title "What's next?..." wonders which increases are to come, while KIBRISLI calls on the "people" and the National People's Movement (NPM) to get into action, against the pseudogovernment which "can do nothing than putting increases". Furthermore, AVRUPA ironically expresses its gratitude to Turkey for the situation in the occupied areas.

    [05] Assasinated Turkish Cypriot journalist who struggled for rapprochement to be remembered

    A ceremony will be organized tomorrow at the cemetery in occupied Nicosia in memory of the assassinated Turkish Cypriot journalist, Kutlu Adali, according to Yeniduzen (05.06.01).

    The paper notes that Adali was killed on 6 July 1996 for his ideas and the thoughts he used to express in his articles. His assassination still remains an unsolved crime for the so-called "police" of the pseudostate.

    Tomorrow's ceremony is organized by the "Kutlu Adali Foundation", writes Yeniduzen, adding that tomorrow night a panel under the title "Kutlu Adali, the freedom of the press and democracy" will take place at the "Youth Centre" in occupied Nicosia. After the panel there will be a march to Kutlu Adali`s home, where he was killed. The participants in the march will demand once again that his assassins are brought to light.


    [06] Columnist in HURRIYET alleges that Oman has become Turkey's closest supporter regarding the pseudostate.

    In a commentary in HURRIYET (2.7.01) with the title "Europe Message From the Gulf", Ferai Tinc writes:

    "Ministers from MHP [Nationalist Action Party] are repeatedly uttering the following remarks these days: "Presently we are unwillingly maintaining a tolerant attitude toward a number of issues within the government. We will not do the same in the future."

    This argument stems from the deepening of the contradiction between Turkey's need for reforms, on the one hand, and MHP's traditional line, on the other. The realities of the government are forcing MHP to deviate from its populist policies and ideological line.

    The prospect of MHP overcoming this mental ambiguity is very important for Turkey in view of the fact that MHP is one of the partners of the coalition government. MHP would waste its time as well as Turkey's time if it fails to overcome this mental ambiguity.

    The messages that MHP--which is finding it difficult to resist the new economic program in view of the fact that Turkey will receive financial resources if it implements the program--has signalled to its voters indicate that this party will resist the introduction of amendments to the Constitution in autumn when the government begins raising these amendments on its agenda.

    However, MHP would make a big mistake if it harbours such intentions. The EU harmonization efforts, in particular, constitute an urgent matter at a time when the EU is signalling that it would accept Cyprus into the union before a solution is found to the Cyprus problem. We need to share the same table and speak the same language in order to bargain with the EU.

    MHP and certain circles are making a big mistake if they believe that they would gain advantages by placing obstacles before the EU target, because this target has now become a social project approved by the people. Moreover, the EU target has also become a civilization project not only for Turkey, but also for all the allies that are geographically close to our country.

    Let me explain this to you with an example. The Foreign Minister of Oman, which is an important country in the Gulf, is in Turkey today. The importance of Oman, which is strategically located opposite the Strait of Hormuz, stems from the fact that this country can monitor the oil routes in the Gulf.

    Oman, which is half of Turkey in size, has a population of just 2.5 million. Oman is rich in oil and has an average annual per capita income of $9,000. This country has been one of Turkey's closest allies in the Islamic Conference and the Arab League in the past two years.

    Meanwhile, Oman is a friendly country that is aware of the problems encountering the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and which can defend TRNC rights in the international platforms. Thanks to the efforts exerted by Turkey and Oman for developing the mutual relations between the two countries in the past two years, Oman has become Turkey's closest supporter with regard to TRNC.

    Oman, which plays a key role also with regard to relations between Tehran and Washington, has made useful contributions during eras with high tension. Oman has the closest relations with Iran in the Gulf region.

    Meanwhile, Oman's Sultan Qaboos believes that the development of relations between Turkey and the EU is very important for his country. Qaboos has reportedly said the following regarding the matter: "For us, Turkey is a shield that protects us. Turkey is a filter for us. Our country cannot shoulder the EU influences yet. However, an Islamic society that is a member of the EU can act as an intermediary for conveying these influences to us in a healthier manner."

    The messages that Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Bin-Alawi Bin-Abdallah--who has arrived in Ankara on his return from Washington, where he has met with Secretary of State Colin Powell--are expected to coincide with Qaboos' remarks about Turkey.

    Oman, which does not feel any unease at the developing relations between Turkey and Israel and which believes that on the contrary, these relations would contribute toward the solution of the Palestinian problem, believes that Turkey would become more beneficial to the Islamic and Arab countries after gaining EU membership.

    Well, this is the essence of the responsibility that globalization places on Turkey's shoulders. The voices coming from the Gulf carry the same message. Thus, Turkey is becoming more attractive as it is drawing closer to Europe".

    [07] The Chief Editor of AVRUPA newspaper says that the Republic of Cyprus still cares for its Turkish Cypriot citizens

    Sener Levent writing in his column-"Angle" in "AVRUPA" (5.7.01) under the title "South's Money" says: "The ship hit the bottom It is an inferno Turkey is not sending money. If this is the case how can we then stand on our two feet? With which magic?

    Do you know what the contribution of the Republic of Cyprus, which we call the Greek Cypriot Republic, to our economy is?

    Monthly, 560 thousand Cyprus pounds. That is more than 6 million Cyprus Pounds annually. That is 12 trillion TL.

    From where does this money come? From the government that we call `Greek Cypriot Government'. Most probably the majority of the people do not know this.

    The Greek Cypriot Social Security is making payments to our retired people for years. To those people who retired at the time of the Republic.

    The payment cheques are posted from the Greek Cypriot side to those who have the right to social security payments here.

    Without any delay.

    If something happens, this is solved through the Turkish Cypriot trade unions Dev-Is and Turk-Sen.

    The cheques that come from the Greek Cypriot side are being cashed in our banks here There is only one condition regarding the cashing of the cheque

    To present the Identity Card of the Republic of Cyprus.

    If one cannot present this identity card he cannot cash the cheque. Those who declared war against the Republic of Cyprus passports what will they do regarding the Identity Cards?

    No! How many people we have in our community being paid from the Social Security Fund of the Republic of Cyprus?

    Approximately four thousand people. Four thousand people means 15 thousand dependants

    The amount of the cheques from the South depends on the social status of the retired person The minimum amount is 133 Cyprus Pounds - pensions paid to the widows. Married couples receive 177 Cyprus pounds. The highest amount paid is 350-400 Cyprus Pounds. Is this amount of money posted each month from the south to four thousand people in the North negligible?

    This is not the only money that flows from the other side to this side. We have also those people who everyday cross into the other side and to the British Bases to work. Their number amounts to 1-2 thousand. And with the money they receive the amount comes to 15 trillion TL.

    Is it a small amount?

    With the most conservative calculations this means 20 thousand people That is, 20 thousand Turkish Cypriots live with the money coming from the South to this ship which is rocked in the bottom.

    There are no Turks from Turkey included in the figure, only Cypriots are included.

    These are the people who stand on their two feet with the money coming, not from Turkey but from the Republic of Cyprus

    The minimum pension paid by the Greek Cypriot Social Security Fund, which is around 133 Cyprus pounds, is higher than the minimum wage paid here.

    If 20 thousand people stand on their two feet with the money coming from South Cyprus, then in our country of 180 thousand people there remain 160 thousand people.

    Well, how many cheques are issued each month in North Cyprus, to civil servants, and pensioners?

    Forty three thousand! These forty three thousand means 160 thousand people.

    Well then, did I explain to you how we are standing on our two feet without producing?

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