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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-07-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 138/01 21-22-23.7.01
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Rauf Denktash says there is no ground for talks yetAccording to illegal Bayrak radio (22.7.01), the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Rauf Denktash has declared that the necessary ground has not been brought about yet for the resumption of the talks on the Cyprus problem. Denktash alleged that as the side that wants peace on the island, the Turkish Cypriots are conducting the necessary contacts for the solution of the problem with the UN Secretariat General within the framework of the UN goodwill mission. Denktash left the occupied areas last night to hold contacts and deliver a lecture in Malaysia.
In a statement at occupied Tymbou Airport, Denktash said that during his visit he will explain the realities of Cyprus to Malaysia, an important country in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, in order to ensure this country's continued interest in Cyprus. Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriots will continue their struggle together with motherland Turkey, Denktash said: «We are the side that wants peace. One cannot say that the Greek Cypriot side, which still intends to get hold of the whole of Cyprus, favours peace and conciliation».
 HURRIYET reports that Denktash `might´ agree to resume Cyprus talks in AugustHURRIYET (21.7.01) carries a report by Metehan Demir with the title: "Talks on Cyprus to be resumed».
Demir writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Rauf Denktash might decide to resume his talks with the UN officials on the Cyprus problem at the end of August. In a statement to Hurriyet, a high-ranking Foreign Ministry official said that Denktash might unexpectedly agree to the UN call for the resumption of the Cyprus talks at the end of next month.
«Considering Ankara's uneasiness over the possibility of the Greek Cypriot side's accession to the EU at the end of 2003, the observers believe that Denktash's decision to resume the talks will be a strategic initiative. It has been reported that plans have already been made for the resumption of the talks. It has been reported that the Turkish Cypriot side will not agree to indirect negotiations or any other similar approach and that it will hold talks only with the UN officials», writes Metehan Demir.
 The Turkish Prime Minister says that the dialogue on Cyprus problem must continueTRT 2 Television (20/7/01) broadcast statements by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Following are the answers by Mr. Ecevit to questions on Cyprus:
Question: The EU has been making certain recommendations and bringing pressure to bear with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem. What are the conditions for the resumption of the proximity talks? What is your opinion on the current situation?
Answer: Mr. Rauf Denktash will decide on this. Naturally, he will discuss the matter with us, as usual. As far as I know, first, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will ask for a meeting with Mr. Denktash. During this meeting, they can agree on a program together. Of course, the dialogue must continue despite everything. As usual, Mr. Denktash will probably display a constructive attitude in this regard. However, I find it strange that these lengthy talks are being held in another country. Both Mr. Denktash and Mr. Clerides have duties in their countries. It is unfair to expect them to stay away from their countries for weeks. It is necessary to continue the dialogue, but I believe that more realistic ways to achieve this must be found.
Question: Are you concerned that Turkey, which is experiencing an economic crisis, will be squeezed into a corner or pressured with regard to the Cyprus issue in the international arena?
Answer: No, until now, there was not even an attempt at such pressure. I believe that this is because they know that Turkey is very determined in this regard. Even if they do not openly admit it, they also know that we are right. As you know, certain phrases that disturbed us were used during the Helsinki meeting, in which our candidacy was first addressed. We, in turn, declared that we cannot accept them and that under these circumstances we cannot accept EU candidacy. As you will recall, when this happened, EU officials flew to Ankara in the middle of the night, and used expressions that display greater understanding toward our views. As I said, even if they do not admit it, they know that we are very right on the Cyprus issue. Even if they do not officially acknowledge that there are two separate states in Cyprus, they are now admitting that the Greek Cypriot side has no influence over the administration of north Cyprus. In that respect, I am not concerned. Anyway, being determined prevents us from being concerned.
Question: There is another matter regarding the Cyprus issue. Europe wants us to sit at the negotiating table as soon as possible. The accession process of south Cyprus is also under way. How soon must the negotiating process resume? When should it be held?
Answer: As I said, it would not be right for me to say anything on this matter at present, because Mr. Denktash will make certain assessments and evaluations and a timetable will then emerge. There is nothing definite at the moment.
TRT 2 television, also on 20 July, broadcast interviews with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit at the Ankara studio and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, at the occupied Nicosia studio.
Both Mr. Ecevit and Mr. Denktash repeated their known views regarding the Turkish invasion of 1974 on the pretext of restoring the constitutional order in Cyprus and referred to the latest developments.
Asked whether he finds the UN approach to the Cyprus issue unbiased, Ecevit said: "If they do not intervene at all, it would be much better. If the United Nations and all the foreign countries stop dwelling on the Cyprus issue, then there will be no problem in Cyprus." Asked whether the same thing is true for the EU, Ecevit responded in the affirmative.
In reply to a question on whether Turkey was unable to explain to the world that south Cyprus can not apply for EU membership on behalf of the entire island, Ecevit said: "We did explain. They are well aware of it. A step has already been taken toward Cyprus' EU membership. They are telling us behind closed doors that this membership has many drawbacks. They are aware of it. They are also saying that they have taken this step and there is no turning back. This step, however, will remain pending Cyprus, as an entire island, cannot join the EU so long as the existence of the «TRNC» is not accepted. This is impossible. That is why they did not insist on this issue so far. It is a known fact that we are very sensitive toward this issue and that we are justified in being sensitive. This is gradually being understood. We have not been very effective in shaping public opinion on the issue, but political circles are gradually understanding that we are right."
Asked what is needed to resume the Cyprus negotiation process, Ecevit said that he is not in a position to say anything on the issue, adding: "I believe that the UN Secretary-General and Mr. Denktash will meet. They will make a joint assessment. Naturally, the Secretary-General is a goodwilled diplomat. Maybe he might put forth a realistic proposal for a solution before his term in office ends. This is what I am hoping for."
In reply to a question on whether Turkey will introduce a new action plan regarding the recognition of the pseudostate, Ecevit responded: "I believe that this is necessary. This issue will be brought on the agenda when we are sure that it will be fruitful. If we place it on the agenda and a concrete result is not achieved, then this will cause disappointment. The important thing is that the TRNC exists as an independent entity even if it is not recognized."
 EU representative in Turkey calls on Rauf Denktash to come to the negotiating tableMILLIYET (23.7.01) publishes an interview with Ambassador Karen Fogg, EU Representative in Turkey, given to the paper´s correspondent Derya Sazak
When asked to comment on Cyprus, Ambassador Fogg said: «It is very important that Denktash should sit around the negotiation table. On paper Cyprus is not a condition. However, resumption of the UN negotiations will be considered a very serious proof that Turkey is advancing along the EU path. It will change the atmosphere.
What is a desired settlement in Cyprus is the win-win (as mentioned by Fogg) case for both sides. This can be done. It is possible to address the worries of the Turkish Cypriots.»
Fogg: Security and within the framework of equality. It is possible to reach an agreement on the basis of the proposals to be prepared by the UN Secretary-General.
Question: The EU still continues to debate the enlargement, among themselves. Is Turkey within the enlargement process? What is her situation compared with other candidates?
Fogg: Yes, (Turkey) is part of the enlargement. Turkey is the latest to join the list of candidates. When Turkey was included in the list of candidates, the other candidates already covered certain distance. There is no such thing as a stereotype membership. It will be wrong to bring Malta and Poland side by side. It is not only the issue of being small or big. For example in Malta there is a party that opposes EU membership. The difference between Turkey and the other candidate countries is that the negotiations have started with these countries that have fulfilled the political criteria. In theory if you meet the conditions then you could even overtake and lead the other candidate countries. When recently Verheugen declared that EU will be composed of 27 members, he said Turkey could be among these 27 countries.
Question: What would be your reaction to the following scenario, as an ambassador appointed in Ankara? South Cyprus has become EU member and Turkey yet to start negotiations
Fogg: This is a disaster scenario. I will not comment on it».
 RTP protests against Rauf Denktash, while NPM accuses it of treasonAccording to Yeniduzen (23.07.01), the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) will organize today a protest against the policy of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash which, as reported in a written statement issued by RTP, aims at dividing the Turkish Cypriot community.
The statement of RTP notes that trying to divide the Turkish Cypriot community, especially today when economic and political crisis exist, is unacceptable.
Underlining the need for democratic consensus, RTP adds that «there is an effort to divide the community into traitors and nationalists».
RTP stresses that it regards Rauf Denktash responsible for this situation and concludes that party officials will meet today at RTP`s Central Offices and march expressing their reaction to Mr. Denktash`s policy by placing black wreath in front of his office.
Meanwhile, National People`s Movement (NPM) has criticized RTP for this action and accused it of treason and of collaborating with Greek Cypriot political parties.
 Apostolos Andreas monastery collapses. To be restored by UNOPSAccording to KIBRIS (23.07.01), the Apostolos Andreas Monastery in occupied Karpasia peninsula is collapsing, because of the lack of care. The paper reports that the monastery is to be restored according to a project prepared by Italian specialists.
KIBRIS notes that the outside wall of the monastery, which will be restored by the United Nations Office of Project Service (UNOPS), has already collapsed. Furthermore, the collapse is obvious in the monasterys roof, surroundings and in part of the church.
 The pseudostate`s «authorities» remain silent about occupied Thermia village church, while a research has been made for English soldiers buried in the church yardAccording to Avrupa (23.07.01), the administration of Vakif (religious foundation) have not yet given an answer to the information published by the above mentioned paper regarding the church in occupied Thermia village. Meanwhile, as Avrupa reports, two days ago bulldozers started working in the churchyard. It is not yet known to whom or for what purpose the church is assigned, writes the paper, noting, however, that according to reliable sources the church will be turned into a night club or an amusement centre.
Furthermore, after Avrupa published the information about the intentions of the occupation regime regarding the church in Thermia, the British High Commission got into action and conducted a research in the cemetery which is in the churchyard.
«As it is known, in this cemetery there are two British soldiers», says Avrupa adding, «the two Englishmen who went to Thermia last week took the pictures of the graves which are scattered and had a look at the grave stones. However», concludes Avrupa, «they were not able to find the graves of the English soldiers».
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Sami Kohen urges Turkey to deal urgently with the Cyprus problemIn a commentary in MILLIYET (20.7.01), with the title: "There Is a Crisis Within the Country, What About the Foreign Field?», Sami Kohen writes:
«The ongoing economic crisis in Turkey has now begun to demonstrate its "side effects" in the field of foreign politics.
Problems in the field of foreign politics are not considered of priority importance any more on the agenda of Turkey, which has now withdrawn within itself. Apart from retaining its known views with regard to several foreign policy issues ranging from those concerning the Cyprus problem to ESDI, Ankara is unwilling to make any new initiatives. The government, which has focused its attention fully on the ongoing economic crisis, does not have the time to think about foreign issues any more. The public, for its part, does not want to even think about foreign issues...
Serious crises such as the ones that Turkey recently encountered hamper the political activities of a country and restrict the influence of that country in the international arena. A country with a weak economy can never maintain strong foreign policies. This is exactly where Turkey--which is now dependent on foreign financial aid and which is now facing an economic and political crisis--is encountering difficulties.
Meanwhile, Turkey is now facing problems that must be tackled on an "urgent basis." These problems require that Ankara make fresh assessments and take a number of useful initiatives. One of these problems is the Cyprus problem. The reason why the Cyprus problem now requires urgent attention is because of the prospects of south Cyprus gaining EU membership.
EU officials are now openly saying that the EU is ready to accept the Greek Cypriot sector as an EU member in the event that progress is not made with regard to the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. The timetable with regard to the EU accession of the Greek Cypriot sector is working with full speed. The EU accession negotiations will begin at the end of this year and the EU accession will be realized within 2-3 years (even under the present conditions).
It is clearly evident now that the objections and warnings raised by Turkey in this respect are not effective any more. The Turkish diplomacy must maintain a new stand and must make new initiatives. However, Ankara does not seek to do so right now...
Another issue that needs to be tackled urgently is the project regarding the EU army, known as ESDI. This issue also has a timetable similar to the timetable regarding the EU membership of the Greek Cypriot sector. The EU is determined to bring this project into life by the end of 2001 even if Turkey insists on the conditions that it has set in this regard. The EU Commission and EU member countries are continuously conveying messages to Ankara in this regard.
Meanwhile, Turkey will encounter a difficult situation whereby it will be obliged to use its veto within NATO against the EU, which includes a number of countries that are Turkey's allies.
There is one last issue that must be tackled urgently: The EU will publish its Progress Report regarding Turkey in October this year. EU officials are indicating that a number of important steps have not been taken yet with regard to issues mentioned in the National Program. However, the Turkish government presently does not have the time to deal with these issues. The parliament, for its part, will most probably have other priorities when it convenes in September.
Moreover, the EU is concerned that Turkey will fail to achieve EU standards in view of the present situation of the Turkish economy. On the other hand, Turkey's failure to achieve EU standards may hamper the timetable of Turkey's EU accession...
An article published in the famous The Financial Times a few days ago says the following: "It is not the time for Ankara, whose economy is dependent on the financial support of the IMF, to engage in arguments with the EU or the United States. Turkey must perceive the fact that its present stand may weaken its influence in the Western clubs that it seeks to join."
There is no doubt that these lines reflect a certain view that is continuously spreading in the West. I wish that Ankara had the time and the ability to reassess the situation...»
 The situation in occupied Cyprus today as seen by a Turkish columnistDaily STAR newspaper (21.7.01) carries a Column by Semiz Idiz with the title: "Twenty Seventh Anniversary of Peace Operation". The full text of the commentary is the following:
«The twenty seventh anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation was celebrated yesterday. I can recall how people rejoiced over Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's decision to launch the operation. Ecevit had demonstrated that Turkey was not a country to be pushed around. The operation had been launched in order to bring about peace not only for the Turkish Cypriots, but also for the Greek Cypriots. Furthermore, Turkey was fighting a just cause as a guarantor country.
Any attempt to cooperate with Greece, one of the two other guarantors, would make no sense as colonels in Athens were behind the coup which supporters of Enosis had staged against Makarios. However, the stance to be adopted by the United Kingdom, the other guarantor maintaining a military power in the island as it still does today, would be a critical factor.
Therefore, Ecevit travelled to the United Kingdom and urged them to establish a united front consisting of guarantor states against the junta. Yet, the United Kingdom, which followed a policy implying that it wanted to have a Greek Cypriot administration in the island, turned a deaf ear to this proposal. It only issued clear threats, warning that Turkey could run into serious troubles if it intervened.
In fact, the British have rarely played a positive role in similar events witnessed in the history. They have assumed such a constructive role neither in India nor in Palestine. Instead of appeasing conflicting parties they have always provoked tension. The ironic side of the story is that the Greek Cypriots today accuse the United Kingdom of not stopping "Turkish invasion" although it was one of the guarantors.
In other words, the Greek Cypriots would be as pleased as Turks to see an intervention against the junta had London listened to Ecevit and agreed to cooperate with Turkey. In that case, Makarios, who was reinstated in his office after the junta's defeat, would be obliged to take Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot's rights more seriously, because he would have been returned to power with the assistance of Turkey, one of the guarantors.
In fact, the 1974 military operation brought Makarios back to power. Yet, the island would not have been divided and Makarios would be obliged to restore usurped rights of the Turkish Cypriots, one of the constituent parties of the Republic of Cyprus, if the United Kingdom was also involved.
As I have just mentioned the British have rarely been useful in such situations. In fact, I have considered the Northern Ireland question as a punishment imposed on them by the God for conflicts they have stirred up in other parts of the world and they could not find a solution to this problem so far.
Twenty seven years have passed since the operation. With the exception of some incidents provoked by "border hooligans" there was no bloodshed in general and stability prevailed during this period. However, the present situation in North Cyprus indicates that the happy end, which the Turkish Cypriots were yearning for 27 years, could not have been achieved. The North looks like a place suffering from backwardness, political strife and a general internal unrest. Turkish Cypriots, who have necessary means, flee from the island.
Meanwhile, disagreements have arisen between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks who have migrated from Turkey. The Turkish Cypriots are under the influence of the island's culture whereas the second group consist of people preserving their traditional Anatolian values. They have very different opinions. My last article focused on this paradox in Cyprus. I also criticized Sener Levent, publisher of daily Avrupa, and I received a large number of e-mails in connection with this article.
Only one of them said I was right while the rest sided with Levent. They listed examples of mischief which have been transferred from Turkey to North Cyprus. They made disrespectful remarks about our army which had saved them from Nikos Sampson 27 years ago.
I was extremely worried. We had started off with justifiable objectives. Yet, we have clearly pushed ourselves to the wall because of incompetent governments, weaknesses in formulating creative policies and an outmoded policy vowing to fight to the death. We could not even persuade the Azeris, whom we consider our brothers, to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, let alone other Muslim countries.
In other words, North Cyprus, which should have become a heaven, has rather been transformed into a dull and steadily impoverishing place which is not able to attract even Turkish tourists. The Turkish Cypriots, who envy Greek Cypriots who will soon join the EU, are in a confused state of mind.
Thus, the "harsh and determined statement" made by State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel yesterday will hardly have any effect on Turkish Cypriots, who are trying to figure out what could happen in the future. Yet, they cannot find an answer. Even worse, the Turkish government is unable to predict developments that could take place in the future. We marked the twenty seventh anniversary of Cyprus Peace Operation under these circumstances».
 Ilter Turkmen: Turkey would not resort to use of force simply because of South Cyprus´ admission to the EUIn a commentary in HURRIYET (21.7.01) with the title:
"European Security and Defense Policy and Turkey" former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen writes:
«Conditions attached to Turkey's participation in potential operations of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF), established under the EU's Security and Defense Policy (ESDI), has been the theme of lengthy debates. The main points of comments made by the General Staff in response to Hasan Cemal's articles on this matter were highlighted in one of his articles, which appeared in daily Milliyet on 11 July. I will now try to make an assessment in the light of these comments.
The RDF is anticipated to conduct two types of operations: those to be carried out by using NATO's capabilities and missions to be undertaken only by using the EU's facilities. Turkey has objected to the assumption that the EU could use the NATO's planning facilities before launching any operation in the first category. In fact, the rule that decisions must be made unanimously would automatically apply if the NATO's capabilities and facilities are used with a view to launch an operation, rather than for planning purposes. In other words, Turkey could block the NATO's support in that case. If it declines to do so, it will automatically be entitled to take part in such operations.
Operations, which the EU could carry out exclusively by using its own capabilities, are seen as a more complex issue. Turkey bases its stance vis-a-vis this matter upon decisions made in the NATO summit held in April 1999. The General Staff believes that these decisions mean that the status Turkey had previously acquired under the West European Union [WEU] should be copied by the new European security architecture. Based on this assumption, it criticizes the EU's Nice Summit held in December 2000 for disregarding the NATO's decisions. Yet, the situation is not so clear as far as I can judge. The Strategic Concept, endorsed by the NATO's summit in April 1999, and the joint communique issued after the meeting include vague assessments, whereas the EU summit has underscored the EU's autonomy in making its decisions. According to the final communique released after the meeting, participation of other NATO countries in operations, which the EU may conduct by using its own capabilities, would depend on decisions made by the EU's competent organs. Any state, which accepts such an invitation, would enjoy equal rights in daily management of these operations, but the responsibility for making strategic decisions will rest with the EU.
There are some serious anxieties underlying Turkey's objections to decisions made in the Nice summit. First of all, Turkey does not want to be excluded from operations to be carried out in its own region. This anxiety is exaggerated, albeit it is based on justifiable reasons. For, it is impossible for the EU to act alone in such regions as the Middle East and the Caucasus. It cannot get involved in any region which has rich oil reserves unless it is accompanied by the United States or the NATO. Turkey would automatically be entitled to take part in the process if the NATO is involved. As for the Balkans, NATO forces have already been deployed in most critical areas. The FYROM is the only place that the EU could intervene in.
The possibility of military exercises to be conducted by the EU in the Aegean is another source of concern for Turkey. If I am not mistaken, progress has been made in this regard and the EU decided not to carry out such manoeuvres.
Finally, the possibility of deployment of the RDF in Cyprus is the main source of concern for Turkey. Under what circumstances could that happen? There is only one scenario that one could imagine: If South Cyprus joins the EU alone and there is an impending danger of an attack which may be launched by the Turkish forces in the TRNC on the southern part of the island in response, then the EU may consider deploying the RDF in South Cyprus in order to deter Turkey from carrying out its plans. This is a very remote possibility as Turkey would not resort to use of force simply because of South Cyprus' admission to the EU.
Negotiations with the EU are under way. Turkey would naturally make efforts in order to reach a solution consistent with its own demands. However, every negotiation has an optimum point and in the present negotiations this point should not be missed to avoid a further deterioration in Turkey's delicate balance, which has become even more fragile as a result of extremely adverse political and economic developments that have taken place recently».