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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-11-07

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.213/01 7.11.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas says he wants to meet President Clerides.
  • [02] Turkey's appointed Ambassador to Greece is having contacts in the occupied areas.
  • [03] Rauf Denktas: Cyprus on the verge of a new crisis.
  • [04] MILLIYET newspaper on Alvaro de Soto/s visit to Ankara.
  • [05] Bulent Ecevit called on the members of the International Crisis Group to follow closely the Cyprus problem.
  • [06] Turkish general claims that the EU is dragging Eastern Mediterranean to a crisis.
  • [07] Sanberg accuses the EU of applying the policy of the Greek Cypriots; Irtemcelik asks for a closed session on Cyprus at the TGNA.
  • [08] Reactions to the latest statements by Mr Cem on the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [09] Columnist in "STAR" newspaper criticizes Turkey's policy on Cyprus.
  • [10] A junction reached in Cyprus.
  • [11] Cem/s statement on Cyprus linked to domestic political considerations.
  • [12] Turkish Cypriot columnists support that Turkey tries not to apply the Helsinki decisions and chooses the way of threats and terror in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas says he wants to meet President Clerides

    Istanbul NTV (7.11.01) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has declared that he wants to meet with President Glafcos Clerides in order to solve the problem in Cyprus.

    Participating by telephone in the "Starting the Day" program this morning, Denktas stated that Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus, said that he came with a new proposal package but he failed to reveal the content of the package. Denktas said: "Alvaro de Soto wants us to sit at the negotiating table, but he does not reveal the conditions under which we must sit at the negotiating table".

    Pointing out that a scheme is being plotted regarding the Cyprus issue, Denktas said that he wants to discuss the island's future with Clerides. Also harshly criticizing the EU, Denktas said: "The EU is ignoring our rights stemming from the 1960 agreements".

    [02] Turkey's appointed Ambassador to Greece is having contacts in the occupied areas

    Ankara Anatolia (6.11.01) reports that Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Yigit Alpogan met separately with Rauf Denktas and so-called Parliament Speaker Vehbi Zeki Serter.

    Denktas said in the meeting that Alpogan, who has been recently appointed as the Turkish Ambassador to Greece, will work in a very important country for Turkey. Greece is both the closest friend of Turkey and also a country which has many conflicts with Turkey, Denktas noted. The most important one among these conflicts is the Cyprus issue, he said.

    There would be no conflict today if Greece fulfilled its obligations stemming from the 1960 treaties, alleged Denktas and added: ``We accepted the 1960 treaties by trusting the guarantee, equality, rights in sovereignty given by this agreement and the fact that Greece supported that. The incidents which took place since then brought pain for both sides. We would like Greece to know the fact that `TRNC/ believes in Turkish-Greek friendship in which Ataturk believed. It is the Greek Cypriots, not us, who disturbed this friendship here. We want to set up this friendship again as two neighbours and friends.`` Denktas wished success for Alpogan`s new assignment in Athens, hoping his mission would help in peace and reconciliation.

    Serter said on his part that the Turkish Cypriots are resolved to make the pseudostate live, adding that the Cyprus question goes through difficult days and Greek Cypriots try all the methods with Greece to reach their goal and EU membership is one of them. Serter said that the recent statements of Turkish officials about Cyprus gave power and confidence to the Turkish Cypriots.

    On his part Alpogan said that he came to Cyprus to pay a farewell visit, add ing: ``There is not a lot that can be said about the Cyprus cause. Our attitude is certain, `TRNC/ and Turkey defend this cause together. An action plan has been put forward for the things that will happen from now on. I hope our efforts for peace will get the necessary response and the Cyprus question can hopefully be solved. I will try to do my best in Athens as the Turkish Ambassador in Greece.``.

    [03] Rauf Denktas : Cyprus on the verge of a new crisis

    According to KIBRIS (7.11.01) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, in an article published in Slovakia/s highest circulation paper the SME claimed that Cyprus was on the verge of a new crisis.

    Repeating his known views about the Cyprus problem and Cyprus/s accession process, Denktas spilt the beans and said: "The EU, instead of putting salt on the Islamic World/s wound, it should help north Cyprus to fulfil its economic criteria and admit the whole of Cyprus together with Turkey into the EU.

    This kind of delayed membership (Turkish membership) will be much more better than creating a chaos not only in the Island, but in the whole Eastern Mediterranean".

    [04] MILLIYET newspaper on Alvaro de Soto/s visit to Ankara

    MILLIYET (6.11.01) referring to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan/s Special Advisor to Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto/s contacts in Ankara, reports that Turkey warned the UN not to make mistakes in Cyprus.

    MILLIYET further reports that the UN envoy refused to make any comments on Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem/s threats regarding Cyprus. However, when asked to comment on Cyprus/s accession to EU de Soto said: "This is a hypothesis".

    [05] Bulent Ecevit called on the members of the International Crisis Group to follow closely the Cyprus problem

    According to BIRLIK (7.11.01) the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, had a meeting yesterday with the visiting members of the International Crisis Group, during which he referred to the Cyprus issue and said: "Unless the two state reality is recognized in Cyprus it is difficult to achieve peace".

    Ecevit called on the group to show more interest and closely follow the Cyprus problem and the developments in the region. The group is headed by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.

    [06] Turkish general claims that the EU is dragging Eastern Mediterranean to a crisis

    KIBRIS (7.11.01) reports that general Hursit Tolon, Aegean Army Commander, has claimed that the European Union (EU) is dragging the sides involved in the Cyprus problem and the Eastern Mediterranean region into a crisis, the outcome of which is unknown.

    Speaking yesterday after his arrival in the occupied areas in order to watch the "Toros 2001" manoeuvers of the occupation army, general Tolon argued that the insistence of the EU to accept the Greek Cypriots (as he called the Republic of Cyprus) as its full member is wrong.

    Mr Tolon alleged also that this approach of the EU prevents the solution of the Cyprus problem and added that the Turkish Armed Forces are closely watching the developments and have the power to protect Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and prevent every kind of danger.

    Meanwhile, during a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, Mr Tolon repeated that Turkey and Turkish Armed Forces would continue to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots regardless of the price they have to pay.

    [07] Sanberg accuses the EU of applying the policy of the Greek Cypriots; Irtemcelik asks for a closed session on Cyprus at the TGNA

    KIBRIS (7.11.01) reports that retired ambassador Ozdem Sanberg, former permanent undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry, has claimed that the policy applied by the European Union on the Cyprus problem is the same with the policy of the Greek Cypriots.

    Speaking on "Turkey and the global storm" at a conference of the Washington based Center of Strategic Studies (CSIS), Mr Sanberg, who is the president of the Turkish Foundation for Economic and Social Studies (TESEV), said that the right thing for the Turkish side to do regarding the Cyprus problem is to return to the negotiating table.

    Meanwhile, Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, independent MP in Istanbul, has asked for a closed session on the Cyprus problem at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA).

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Irtemcelik noted that the recent statements of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Cyprus have caused confusion in the public opinion both in Turkey and the world.

    Mr Irtemcelik argued also that no government has the right to make compromises that the nation will not accept on the Cyprus issue.

    [08] Reactions to the latest statements by Mr Cem on the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (7/11/01) reports that reactions to the latest statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on the Cyprus problem continued yesterday as well.

    The representatives of the National People's Movement (NPM) abroad, as well as the branches of NPM in the occupied areas, namely the National Teachers' Movement, National Women's Movement, National Youth Movement, National Tradesmen's Movement and the National Council of Local Administrations, in statements yesterday, gave their full support to the Foreign Minister and added that the stance of EU relating to Cyprus will lead the island to new adventures, crises and tensions. They also said that Mr Ecevit and Mr Cem's statements gave them strength and security.

    The Turkish Cypriot Secondary Education Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS) and the Municipality Worker's Union (BES) reacted to Mr Cem's statement. The chairman of KTOEOS, Ahmet Barcin, said that once again Turkey's officials made statements on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots as if the Turkish Cypriot is not the authorised to decide on the Cyprus problem. He criticised them by saying that they should have chosen the peace road and not the deadlock.

    Barcin continued: "Esteemed Cem mentioned that if we have to we will pay the price. In the end the Turkish Cypriots will pay this heaviest price. Nobody has the right to drag the Turkish Cypriots into an adventure. This policy means that the Turkish Cypriots will be eradicated."

    The Chairman of BES, Gulev Sidal, said that the decisions made on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots must be determined by the Turkish Cypriots.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Columnist in "STAR" newspaper criticizes Turkey/s policy on Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (4.11.01) publishes the following commentary by Erdal Guven under the title: "Ankara Falls Into Pit of Own Making":

    "What Ismail Cem said in Parliament on Friday was crystal clear: "The Cyprus issue is not progressing well, unfortunately. It is a matter crucial to Turkey's security and the status of the Eastern Mediterranean. As for the issue of EU membership being granted to the Southern Cyprus Greek Administration, Turkey's interests are being disregarded. With such a membership coming about, Turkey has got to take a decision. It can either say, "Alright, so what?" which nobody wants, or it will be forced to say, "We do not recognize this decision." Under such circumstances, Turkey may be obliged to take a definite decision. We should know that this final decision is going to come at a cost, but be have to take such a decision."

    Looks like he could not find more diplomatic terms to announce the demise of the 30-year old Cyprus policy...

    Not long now until claims of legitimacy valid only to themselves, the victim psychosis, the culture of hostility, chauvinist rhetoric, irrational tactical manoeuvring and horizonless strategies are going to throw Turkey to the EU wolves over Cyprus. This is where Cem's anguish comes from.

    Forget the past; what has Ankara done since the historical EU Council decision of December 1999 from which the condition of unifying the island in order for the Republic of Cyprus's accession to the EU was officially removed? Apart from having friendly chats with Denktas...

    Yet, Ankara did not simply condone the change in policy above in response to the Helsinki declaration by accepting the decision. By the same decision, it had accepted a "political solution" and even made pledges that it would work hard to that end. This solution deciphered as Cyprus reuniting as a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation. But most recently, Cem's words show that Turkey is using its mind and energies not for a solution but for a stalemate. Denktas and his devotees in Ankara have grabbed the opportunity to leave the table. Thanks to them, the cost of the protracted lack of movement both prior to December 1999 and from then until now has been taken out on Turkey both at the EU and UN levels, and deservedly so.

    What is worse, it is clear that what is behind moves to fossilize the stalemate is Ankara. In yesterday's Radikal, Deniz Zeyrek wrote that the "final decision" Cem had talked about envisaged firstly severing relations with the EU and then annexing northern Cyprus. And the rest! I mean, bye bye Europe!

    Ankara just cannot change its attitude. It still sees Cyprus as a wall that separates it from the West. It always looks at the problem within a "contrasting paradigm". It cannot focus on a solution. It cannot strike a balance between flexibility and concession making. This is why Cyprus is one of Turkey's foreign policy leg-irons. It holds relations with Greece hostage. It obstructs rapprochement with the EU. And in fact because of the ready-made "potential threat" characteristic, it puts "Turkey's security and status in the Eastern Mediterranean" at risk. Cyprus is the second most militarized real estate on the planet after Korea.

    Thanks to its geopolitical strength, Ankara could well increase its plus points with the United States, but if it expects any preferential treatment from the EU, it is waiting in vain. With its half-baked democracy that fails to do its homework, with the Cyprus problem and the Aegean disputes, it will never overcome the Copenhagen Criteria.

    If it has given up on its homework, string pulling and what have you, and risked failing the exam then what can we say. What happens does so to quote Cem "to our people on Cyprus and to Turkey."

    [10] A junction reached in Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News (6.11.01) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand, who was in Cyprus over the weekend: "Nicosia, Southern Cyprus The speech Foreign Minister Ismail Cem made in Parliament last Friday made it clear that the "final junction" has been reached in the Cyprus issue.

    Cem gave the clearest indication that if the European Union admits the Greek Cypriot side into its ranks in a way that fails to satisfy the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, this will trigger from Turkey a series of strong reactions ranging from suspending its relations with the EU to abandoning its bid to become a full member of the EU.

    By saying that Turkey too would have to pay a price for that kind of reaction, Cem underlined the gravity of the situation. A solution has to be found to the Cyprus problem by the autumn of 2002. Otherwise the EU will announce Cyprus's full membership. The timetable ends in September 2002. Whatever is to be done, what kind of solution is to be found, must be done and found by September 2002.

    Immediately after Cem's speech I went first to the Greek Cypriot section. I had a talk with President Clerides. I held a meeting with young people at a university. I took part in a conference where politicians were present. I talked with people living in small towns. The Greek Cypriots are quite pleased that the EU full membership is drawing near. That has bolstered their self-confidence.

    They are not afraid of the Turkish troops in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as they used to be. They do not feel uneasy.

    On the other hand, they do realize that full membership has brought Cyprus to a crossroads.

    Either the island's divided state will be finalized and it will be split up irreversibly or a solution will be found.

    There is no big hurry for a solution

    We can say that the Greek Cypriots are divided on the "solution" issue.

    Members of the young generation have never seen a Turkish Cypriot in their lives. They do not know what kind of place the North is. For them, finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a high priority issue. The education they were given has made them wary of the Turks anyway. Being with the Turkish Cypriot community has never been part of their lives. And, if they never have any such experience in the future as well, that will not upset them. On the other hand, the young university students are more "open" than the older generation. They are more tolerant because they do not live in the past. Clerides, especially, does not hide his unease at all. He made that all too obvious during our meeting.

    The 83-years-old Clerides, who will not be running in the elections anymore, wants to end his political career by reuniting Cyprus. He does not want to leave behind a Cyprus with a confirmed split into two.

    Since former President Vassiliou is known as the architect of Cyprus's EU full membership, Clerides too wants to go down in history as "the person that reunified Cyprus." And, for that, he said that he was prepared to accept any solution other than a confederation.

    It will be called a federation but the measures it will contain will bear all the hallmarks of a confederation. The principle of two domestic administration and sole representation abroad, will be adhered to. He stressed that the sole representation through rotation issue is negotiable.

    Clerides gave the impression that he is prepared to make even further sacrifices. This may be the wrong impression. However, the Greek Cypriots too are aware of the fact that this is the end of the road.

    Being a full member of the EU is all very well. However, it is debatable whether that would be worth seeing half of the country "go away" irreversibly.

    The Greek Cypriots too are confused.

    They have obviously started seeing that they are faced with a crossroads. More interestingly, they are saying -- for the first time clearly -- that they will not be able to feel at ease as long as Turkey becomes a full member of the EU. 2002 will be the year of Cyprus.

    The time has come for all of us -- including Ankara and the TRNC -- to make a new and serious assessment".

    [11] Cem/s statement on Cyprus linked to domestic political considerations

    Turkish Daily News (6.11.01) publishes the following analysis by Lale Sariibrahimoglu:

    "Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's strong statement on Cyprus has dropped like a bomb in the middle of Turkey's capital Ankara on Friday, November 2, with some papers declaring it as a historic remark.

    In particular diplomats from the European Union (EU) to which Turkey is a candidate member country as well as diplomats from the U.S. embassy have sought appointments from their Turkish colleagues to understand the reason for the timing of Cem/s statement though there has not been anything new at least on public record apart from what has been known on Turkey's Cyprus policies.

    Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus affairs Prof. Sukru Sina Gurel, who has been at odds with Cem over the Cyprus issue, told the press in November, that there has been nothing new in Cem's statement: "What Cem said was the known and the publicly declared policy of the Turkish government. We have been saying openly and with great determination that if the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU, the division of the island will be deepened," Gurel recalled.

    The EU plans to admit the Greek Cypriot administration as a full member by the year 2003 even if there is no solution on the island divided between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. The Turkish Cypriot section is recognized as a state only by Ankara.

    Answering TDN's questions Gurel, however, kept his optimism and said it would be very hard for the EU to admit Greek Cypriots to the Union before a settlement on Cyprus.

    Gurel and Rauf Denktas, President of the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/ (TRNC) are regarded as the Hawks while Cem has rather been described as a Dove.

    Addressing Parliament's Plan and Budget Commission on Friday November 2, debating the foreign ministry budget, Cem said Turkey may soon be compelled to take a "costly decision" on Cyprus.

    Even if Turkey should pay a cost it has to make a definite decision on Cyprus if the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU, said Cem.

    "If the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU we will retaliate by launching the economic and political integration with the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/", Cem warned during the same speech.

    Cem's surprisingly strong statement on Cyprus came amid intensified traffic by both U.S. Special Representative on Cyprus Tom Weston as well as Alvaro de Soto, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, being conducted both to the island as well as to Ankara, and Athens.

    The main theme of those visits are to convince and to find a common ground to bring back Denktas to the negotiating table with his Greek counterpart Glafcos Clerides. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has been under mounting pressure from the U.S and the EU concerning the Cyprus situation.

    The United Nations-sponsored peace talks, in an attempt to find a solution to the decades long problem of Cyprus which have taken place five times between the two communities, stopped last November when the TRNC was denied equal status with the Greek Cypriots as a result of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan stepping back from his earlier decision in this respect.

    Cem's timing

    Some analysts suggest that the intensification of diplomatic tours being launched by the U.S. and U.N. special envoys to four capitals might have prompted Cem to make his strong statement on Cyprus in an attempt to recall Turkey's determination on this critical issue.

    But State Minister Gurel says he has got the impression that the U.S. has neither been exerting pressure on Ankara nor attempting to turn the Cyprus issue into a political one.

    One EU diplomat, speaking to TDN, meanwhile, said that Cem's statement most possibly could be linked to the domestic political considerations at a time when there has been increasing pressure on Ecevit to resign due to health problems and be replaced by another deputy from his Democratic Left party (DLP).

    Both Gurel and Cem are deputies from the DLP and their divergence of opinion has become more explicit this summer over Cyprus. Both ministers are also circulated among the names as a possible successor to Ecevit together with Husamettin Ozkan, Deputy Prime Minister and another DLP deputy.

    Both the U.S. and U.N. envoys on Cyprus have resumed talks with the concerned parties in an attempt to bring back the leaders of the Cyprus communities back to the negotiating table. The U.S. in particular is concerned that the admission of the Greek Cypriot section of the island as scheduled would lead to grave consequences in the Eastern Mediterranean with Turkey possibly breaking its already fragile ties with the EU and the possible annexation of the Turkish section of the island.

    Hawks and Doves

    Turkey's internal dispute over Cyprus peaked this summer when Denktas wrote his second critical letter in less than three months to Ankara for Turkey's ongoing secret talks being conducted in Brussels with U.S. officials. Denktas has described Turkish attempts forcing him to go to New York for talks with Annan as making a deal at the expense of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Despite statements made by Ankara that Cyprus proximity talks under the auspices of the U.N. is dead due to the U.N.'s refusal to acknowledge the Turkish Cypriots as equal partners with Greek Cypriots, there has been ongoing talks that have been conducted in Brussels between the Turkish foreign ministry officials as well as with U.S. officials in an attempt to come close to a solution on Cyprus.

    But in reality Turkey's Cyprus policies have been differing from official statements, highlighting a serious and deepening internal row over this tiny but strategically important island in the Mediterranean.

    The Brussel's talks have angered not only Denktas but also his supporters on the mainland like Gurel.

    [12] Turkish Cypriot columnists support that Turkey tries not to apply the Helsinki decisions and chooses the way of threats and terror in Cyprus

    In its main editorial under the title "Cem, Gurel and the EU", "Yeniduzen" (7.11.01) notes that the Turkish side is still insisting on the policy of the non-solution in Cyprus and tries not to apply the Helsinki decisions, which Turkey accepted. Meanwhile, Tema Irgat of "Yeniduzen" (7.11.01) wonders what Turkey will gain in Cyprus by choosing the way of using threats, which have the rank smell of terrorism and by violating all the international agreements she has signed.

    In its editorial the paper writes, among other things, the following:

    "An interesting situation is coming to the surface when we evaluate with cool-headedness the reactions in the recent statements of Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister, Cem and Prime Minister Ecevit. One of the goals they wanted to achieve with this behavior is to deter the EU and the Greek Cypriots form the road, which they have entered.

    Pay attention to the fact that an EU official, whose name was not disclosed, announced the opinion of the Commission. This official said the following: 'We regret to see that the behavior on the Cyprus problem hardens. We accept the political solution before the accession and we are working for this. This is still the alternative we prefer. We shall continue our efforts on the basis of the Helsinki Summit conclusions, which call on the sides for a political solution (of the Cyprus problem), but without putting a precondition (for the accession)".

    The words of this official are very clear. If we see these statements together with the recent statements of the Commissioner responsible for the enlargement, Verheugen, it seems that these hard statements of the Turkish officials have not influenced the EU, which is one of the receivers of these messages, to the extent Turkey thought that they would. That is the EU is determined on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem and is not enthusiastic about stopping the one-sided accession of the South for the solution. Secondly, it continues approaching the Cyprus problem in the direction of the Helsinki decisions, which Turkey too has accepted. That is, it says to Turkey 'you must not behave contrary to your agreements with the EU by running away from a solution'.

    What is the problem here? The Turkish diplomacy locked itself into the non-solution policy. .The Turkish policy is in an impasse, because despite the fact that it accepted Helsinki, it has abandoned the UN-led procedure, which is the basis of the procedure of finding a solution to the problem. .After that, as long as Turkey insists on this wrong attitude, she will be harming both herself and the Turkish Cypriot people. Furthermore, State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, as if he wanted to confirm the words of the spokesman of the EU Commission, said 'Cem's statements are neither something new nor is necessary to cause any reactions'. That is, he wants to say that we are still insisting on the non-solution and that although we have accepted the Helsinki, we try not to apply it. .".

    Meanwhile, under the title "As if he will pay the price!!!", Tema Irgat writes, among other things the following:

    ".Who has gained from the policy applied on the Cyprus issue? How much has he gained? Is the presence of Turkey on the island the only benefit since the summer of 1974, when the elimination of the Turkish Cypriots started? .

    By saying 'we will not be abandoning our rights on Cyprus', the Turkish politicians are following a very wrong policy in order to obtain a right they never had. .While it is understood that the goal is annexation, what could Turkey gain in Cyprus by choosing the way of using threats, which have the rank smell of terrorism and by violating all the international agreements she has signed? When will Turkey understand that she is the one who really loses by continuing to insist especially on the wrong policy of Mr Denktas and pretending that she does not see the reality that there are no more reasons for her to be considered rightful in Cyprus?.".

    KV/SK


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