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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-07-10

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 129/01 10/7/01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Sukru Sina Gurel threatens the EU, Greece and Cyprus
  • [02] Turkey's Secretary General for EU Volkan Vural said Turkey should be Included in EU Expansion Process
  • [03] Protest march against the price increases, the terrorism and the general situation in the pseudostate
  • [04] Delegation of the pseudo government goes to Ankara for money
  • [05] Hunger strike in the prisons of the pseudostate
  • [06] Talat criticizes Eroglu on economic issues
  • [07] Eneco Landaburu calls on Denktash to come to the negotiating table
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Turkey confronted with a strange dilemma.
  • [09] Cumhuriyet columnist: Denktash views do not express the views of the Turkish Cypriots

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Sukru Sina Gurel threatens the EU, Greece and Cyprus

    TRT 2 Television (9/7/01) broadest an interview with Turkish State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Mr. Sukru Sina Gurel by Hasan Erel. The full text of the interview is the following:

    Question: It appears as though Cyprus will occupy a very critical position in Turkey's foreign and domestic policy in the near future, especially given the possible accession of south Cyprus to the EU.

    Answer: They placed themselves in a very difficult situation, because in 2003 -- especially during Greece's rotational presidency -- the EU will either admit the Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus into the EU as though it represents the entire Cyprus and as though the Cyprus Republic established in 1960 is still continuing under the administration of the Greek Cypriots. In that case, an extremely tense and dangerous situation will arise in the eastern Mediterranean, and the relations between Turkey and the EU will be endangered. Through such a step, the EU will also put its own seal on Cyprus' division, thus confirming the fact that there are two separate states in Cyprus. Maybe, in this way the EU will put a final stop to the Cyprus issue.

    Naturally, the EU could also pursue an alternative path. It could halt the Greek Cypriot application process and put it on hold until a solution that satisfies the interests of both sides is found on this subject. In such a case, however, the EU would face Greece's threat. Greece is threatening the EU with blocking and vetoing the entire enlargement process. Consequently, the EU is in a difficult position on this matter.

    The proximity talks launched under the auspices of the UN Secretary General were aimed at bringing about the conditions for substantive and direct negotiations. Last fall, the UN secretary general made a very wrong move, and behaved as though these talks could include all subjects pertaining to the essence of the issue.

    Question: Do you see a light, an indication, that these conditions will be met to a certain extent?

    Answer: To tell the truth, I do not see any indication yet. However, if there is a side that must make a new move, it is the Greek Cypriot side. Moreover, if a new framework must be established -- and it must - -- this must be undertaken by the UN Secretary General.

    Question: You said that the tension in the eastern Mediterranean would escalate if the Greek Cypriot sector becomes an EU member. Can you expand further on this?

    Answer: We would not want the tension to rise in any way. However, Cyprus incorporates an extension of the balance that has been established between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean. It is this balance that would be upset. If the balance in Cyprus is upset and the Greek Cypriot side begins to regard itself as more powerful than it really is and as capable of doing anything, this would also reflect on the balance between

    Turkey and Greece. The good atmosphere, which the sides have recently been trying to establish between Turkey and Greece, would also be adversely affected.

    [02] Turkey's Secretary General for EU Volkan Vural said Turkey should be Included in EU Expansion Process

    According to Anatolia Agency (9/7/01) Turkey's Secretary General for EU Volkan Vural said on Monday that Turkey has to be included in the Europe's enlargement process.

    Speaking in the conference held by Antalya Trade and Industry Chamber (ATIC) about Turkey-EU relations, Vural said that the most important problem of Turkey is EU process.

    ``EU is re-construction of European continent. Turkey has always been in the building of Europe. Turkey's candidacy to the EU has been accepted in Helsinki summit. Turkey has to take its place in the EU by implementing its national programme and by fulfilling the necessary conditions. We must fulfil political and economic criteria. If this is the case, we can start full membership talks, `` Vural said.

    He stated that Turkey must have a democratic, legal state which respects human rights and which has free market economy.

    ``These criteria are not only valid for Turkey, but also for other candidate countries. Short term goals should not be longer than one year, medium term ones should not be longer than two years, `` he said.

    Stressing that the national programme for adoption of acquis (NPAA) has the character of reform, Vural said that there are great similarities between NPAA and the economic programme. ``Turkey undertakes constitutional amendments, studies are underway for further improvement of freedom of individuals, freedom of expression and amending the Turkish Penal Code. These amendments will come to the agenda of the parliament as of September this year, `` he said adding that these legal amendments can lead to commencement of full membership negotiations earlier.

    ``The measures that are taken are for the prosperity of the Turkish nation, not to satisfy Europe, `` Vural stated.

    EU Commission's Representative to Turkey Karen Fogg said in her part that Turkey advances on the way to EU membership, adding that private sector and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should help in this accession process.

    ``It is the mission of the EU Commission to ease the work of Turkey in this process, Fogg said, adding that the reforms Turkey will take are for modernization and development of Turkey, `` she said.

    Responding to questions in the conference, Fogg said that Turkey has a young and dynamic population and this will contribute to the EU, adding that ``EU does not bring new conditions to Turkey. Turkey is asked to contribute to the solution of Cyprus issue. Cyprus` full membership negotiations started and it is better than other candidate countries. The Cyprus problem has to be solved by the participation of the concerned sides. ``

    Referring to the same issue, Vural said that Turkey is against the starting of EU`s full membership negotiations with Greek Cypriot side.

    ``No political solution has been found on the island. Turkey's objection continues. EU will take a decision about the Cyprus issue. If membership negotiations start with the Greek Cypriot side, this will bring the problem into a deadlock, `` Vural said.

    Stressing that Turkey can't benefit from the EU financial aid due to the veto of Greece, Vural said that ``there is a remaining financial aid promised to Turkey due to the customs deal which could not still be given to Turkey. We are in a new period; Turkey has a serious sensitivity on the Cyprus issue. Turkey should not be the single country which is not supported by the EU. ``

    [03] Protest march against the price increases, the terrorism and the general situation in the pseudostate

    According to KIBRIS (10.07.01), a march was organized yesterday by the platform 'This Country is Ours' aiming at protesting against the economic problems, the increases of the prices and generally the situation in the pseudostate.

    The paper reports that the protesters were holding placards with the slogans 'We say no to the economic destruction, to the increases and to the state terrorism. We say yes to peace and democracy'. The march ended peacefully in front of the office of the so-called Prime Minister, Dervish Eroglu.

    Talking at the meeting, Ahmet Barcin, president of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers` Union (KTOEOS), accused the pseudogovernment and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash of remaining insensitive towards the demand for the adjustment of the salaries and the pensions. Mr. Barcin said that after the devaluation of the Turkish Lira life became unbearable in the occupied areas, as the economy of the pseudostate was wounded in the heart.

    [04] Delegation of the pseudogovernment goes to Ankara for money

    According to KIBRIS (10.07.01), the so-called Prime Minister, Dervish Eroglu said yesterday that the pseudogovernment continues to search for financial aid, aiming at overcoming the economic problems of the pseudostate. Within this framework, he added, a delegation of the pseudogovernment went to Ankara for contacts regarding the issue of the incentives for investments.

    The paper reports that Mr. Eroglu was talking after a meeting he had with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash and the so-called 'Minister' responsible for the Economy, Salih Cosar. At that meeting they discussed the economy of the pseudostate and the Cyprus problem.

    Asked whether he was hopeful that Turkey would fulfil their demand and give them money, Mr. Eroglu said: '...There is a major crisis now in Turkey. It seems that the negotiations with the IMF have entered into an impasse. Therefore, at this moment it is not possible for us to say that this or that amount of money will come. ...We believe that it would be useful to meet and talk once again. Our contacts are in this direction. However, there is no specific date on this matter...'.

    [05] Hunger strike in the prisons of the pseudostate

    According to KIBRIS (10.07.01), eight prisoners in the 'Central Prisons' of the pseudostate started yesterday a hunger strike demanding from the so-called 'authorities' to fulfil their promise to free them under conditions and grant them amnesty.

    The paper reports that the prisoners stated that they are determined to continue their strike until they die.

    On the other hand, the so-called director of the 'Central Prisons', Hasan Alibaba, said that there are no such issue as setting the prisoners free under conditions on the agenda of the pseudogovernment.

    [06] Talat criticizes Eroglu on economic issues

    Kibris (10/7/01) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat assessing the speech of the so-called Prime Minister Dervish Eroglu on TV channel TRT 2 recently said that Eroglu cannot make a diagnosis of the problems in the occupied areas.

    Talat pointed out that they "beg" for money from Turkey in order to overcome the blind alley of the economy. He also evaluated as "a big shame" Eroglu's statement that if the money is not given then those who consider the EU as a solution will gain strength using the economic difficulties.

    [07] Eneco Landaburu calls on Denktash to come to the negotiating table

    CUMHURIYET (10.07.01) correspondent Nilgun Cerrahoglu, got an exclusive interview with Spanish Socialist Eneco Landaburu who is the General Director of the EU for enlargement.

    Following are excerpts of the interview on Cyprus:

    Cerrahoglu: Verheugen/s speech at the EU Parliament created a reaction in the Greek Cypriot side. Venheugen said /we prefer a Cyprus settlement prior to EU accession/. What is your assessment?

    Landaburu: We aim at finishing the negotiations with Cyprus at the end of 2002. Helsinki says that Cyprus can join the EU if the political problem between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish minority is not solved. This is very clear. My choice is that a negotiated settlement should be reached under the auspices of the UN which will be acceptable to both sides, and then the island unified can join the EU. This is the ideal settlement we want to encourage. For this reason we tell you /time is running short/. We need one year to bring in the Turkish side for taking part in the negotiations. This is necessary for guaranteeing the basic interests of the Turkish side within the EU. In order to use these possibilities, everybody, especially Denktash, should immediately return to the negotiation table.

    Cerrahoglu: Do you think that opening accession talks with Cyprus without waiting for the settlement facilitated a settlement? Don't you think that it would have been more reasonable to start accession negotiations after a UN settlement?

    Landaburu: I am the Director General responsible for enlargement with the candidate countries and Chief Negotiator. I am not a historian or philosopher. This or that..... Which would have been good? It was much better if the war would have not taken place. I am not here to express such views. My duty is to contribute to bringing concrete answers to questions. I express my view to a situation that exists. I don't like it but this the situation. My responsibility is to make contribution that will facilitate the negotiations that both sides will agree. There is no other better solution than first settling the Cyprus problem within the UN framework, and then bringing in the Turkish Cypriot Community to join the negotiations. This is necessary to guarantee the just demands of the Turkish Cypriot community, that will be united within the EU'.


    [B] Comments and Editorials

    [08] Turkey confronted with a strange dilemma.

    In a commentary in Milliyet (8.7.01) with the above title, columnist Hasan Cemal examines Turkey's options in view of Cyprus/ EU accession and the European Army and writes:

    'On the one hand, Turkey has to consider the Cyprus problem and, on the other, it has to closely follow the developments related to the European Security and Defense Identity [ESDI]. Both are extremely important for our country's security and interests. However, a solution has not been found for the two problems thus far.

    The peace talks on Cyprus have been deadlocked. The UN organization and the EU are not inclined to agree that the Cyprus problem can be solved only between two sovereign and equal parties. In view of that, the Turkish Cypriot side decided to remain inactive. In fact, it has been acting more like a spoilsport. Naturally, that suits the Greek-Greek Cypriot side because the EU will allow south Cyprus to join the organization even if the Cyprus problem is not solved. As soon as the southern part of the island joins the EU, the Greek Cypriot Administration will inform the organization that the Greek Cypriots cannot travel to their lands in north Cyprus and ask it to intervene. That will create a confrontation between Turkey and the EU.

    Regarding the European Army, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said that the matter is an intricate problem. Turkey does not want to be excluded from Europe's new defense structure. Its objective is to be a part of it but on its own terms. That is Ankara's approach. The Turkish officials do not seem inclined to retreat from their position. Nor is the EU inclined to agree to Turkey's terms. The EU officials said that Turkey's demands can be considered only after it joins the organization. The EU moved closer to Turkey from time to time in the past. However, Greece threatened to use its veto every time it did so. Reacting to that state of affairs, Turkey warned that it will use its veto right in NATO to obstruct the establishment of a European Army. So, what we have now is a strange deadlock. Turkey wants to join the EU and participate in the European Army. It believes that remaining out of the new structure will be against its national interests, including security.

    Turkey is right. But, is it not true that it will have to take certain steps and adopt a flexible approach if it wants to achieve its objectives? Turkey's basic approach on the Cyprus problem and the ESDI is right. But, will that be enough for it to achieve its objectives? In other words, will that pave the way for a solution in Cyprus or contribute toward our country's accession to the EU? That is debatable.

    Being right in foreign policy is not enough. The balances and real politics have to be carefully considered. The Turkish officials have to carefully consider the future and the current requirements. They have to have a vision. Otherwise, Turkey stands to lose in its foreign policy. Yesterday, a Foreign Ministry official complained as follows: We cannot get what we want just because we are right. Reconciliation is essential at a certain point. Unfortunately, reconciliation is viewed as weakness.

    What would happen if Turkey relentlessly clashes with the EU on the establishment of a European Army? Well, it might also clash with the United States, which makes an effort to influence the EU through NATO. Or, the EU might decide not to use NATO's resources after it establishes its army. Naturally, such a decision will eventually undermine NATO. That would harm Turkey's security. In other words, Turkey might lose its just cause at a certain point. There are several examples of that in history.

    A few days ago, a Foreign Ministry official said: Turkey's approach on the ESDI is right. But, if Ankara remains inactive and insists on its position, measures might be taken to by-pass it early in 2002. Turkey maintains a just cause on Cyprus. However, steps have already been taken to by-pass it. So, it cannot stand like a wall. The Cold War ended a long time ago. It will be recalled that Turkey was informed in the past: "Do whatever you want to do but stay in our camp." That was in the past. The situation has changed now.

    So, what can we do on Cyprus and the EU? What can we do to participate in the European Army? These are matters that concern Turkey's future. They are linked with democracy and the requirements of a lawful state. Terrorism has ended in southeastern Turkey. New plans have to be drawn up for the region. Meanwhile, structural changes have to be made in our economy. Furthermore, we have to decide whether or not Turkey's security and stability can be more effectively maintained within the EU.

    What is Ankara doing? What is the Government doing? I visited the capital for a few days. Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am optimistic. That is because I believe that Turkey is on knife's edge'.

    [09] Cumhuriyet columnist: Denktash views do not express the views of the Turkish Cypriots

    ORAL CALISLAR writing in CUMHURIYET (10.07.01) under the title 'What do the Turkish Cypriots want" gives the impressions he had received during his recent visit to the occupied area and his contacts there. He says that in Cyprus, Turkey, which is the country that will decide how the Cyprus problem will be solved, is yet to clarify her position regarding the solution. 'For example, until yesterday, federation was Turkey/s, as well as Denktash/s basic thesis. However recently Turkey started stressing 'The Independent State' expression.

    "How come TRNC be an in independent state where no one in the world recognizes it? A TRNC which is security wise and politically totally dependent on Turkey. Until now this model was tried and no one was made to recognize this independent state. On the international arena Turkey has paid a very heavy price for this meaningless insistence and still continues to pay.

    Is the Cyprus problem so complex an issue that one cannot find a way out? What are Turkey/s policies on this issue? What do the Cypriots think about it? For the last few days I am talking with various people of all walks of life in Cyprus openly.

    I am trying to understand the Cypriots.

    Until now Cypriots were represented by Denktash. When one asked what do the Turkish Cypriots say, people considered Denktash/s views as the basis.

    However the Turkish Cypriots are not Denktash. In fact there are Turkish Cypriots who claim that until now Denktash never won an election that he entered. Denktash/s power base was Turkey and the non - - solution situation.

    In order to know what the solution is it was necessary to go not to Denktash but to those who think differently than Denktash. So during our Cyprus visit we talked to people who thought differently than Denktash. We have listened to their solution proposals and their criticisms.

    The scene was very interesting. Each time that we visit Cyprus, we notice an increasing coolness towards Turkey. The prolongation of the issue made the Turkish Cypriots to fear. This is the fear of complete integration with Turkey.

    The Turkish Cypriots want to live with the Greek Cypriots under a secure federal roof, and to preserve their identity. Non-solution is bringing with it, more attachment to Turkey. And this is something not favoured by the Turkish Cypriots. One of the most pungent opponents of this is Sener Levent who in yesterday's AVRUPA wrote that the main source of the problem was in Ankara. We noticed that this view is quite widespread in Cyprus.

    The Republican Turkish Party Leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who for years was deputy prime minister, said the following regarding the current state of mind of a Cypriot: /An obstacle is being erected to every step of the Turkish Cypriots that want to come out of this semi-open prison conditions. This has reached such dimension that obstacles were put up for those sick people who were being treated in the genetic and Neurology hospital in the Greek Cypriot side not to cross into South Cyprus.

    Recently, the coalition between the National Unity Party (NUP) and the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) was broken in the north Cyprus.

    The common consensus in Cyprus is that Turkey forced this coalition to be broken. Another common belief is that coalition partner, CLP leader and the deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Akinci, was brought down because he advocated dialogue for the settlement of the Cyprus Problem.

    I will discuss this issue with the leaders of the Cyprus's Left, Mehmet Ali Tatat of RTP and Mustafa Akinci of the CLP. I will try to convey their solution proposals and criticisms tomorrow. I will try to reflect the state of mind of the Cypriots which is difficult to understand when looking from outside."


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