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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-11-09

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 215/01 9.11.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rauf Denktas sends a letter to President Clerides asking for face-to-face talks
  • [02] After a long interval, top EU man Romano Prodi may come to Turkey
  • [03] EU adamant on ESDP without Turkey as Laaken Summit approaches
  • [04] Industrial output posts another large drop in September
  • [05] Zorlu Tore criticizes Turkish Cypriot politicians for meeting with Greek Cypriot politicians
  • [06] The pseudostate will participate in the World Travel Market
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that everybody in Greece is preoccupied with a solution in Cyprus
  • [08] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses Ismail Cem/s statement of November 2, 2001

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rauf Denktas sends a letter to President Clerides asking for face-to-face talks

    KIBRIS (9.11.01) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that he sent a letter to President Clerides asking for face-to-face talks. Addressing yesterday the "Dialogue and Cooperation meeting" of the Turkish Metal Industrialists Union and the Turkish Metal Workers Union in occupied Kyrenia, Mr Denktas noted that this letter was signed as simply "Denktas", without any title.

    Furthermore, referring to the European course of the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot leader claimed that "the train of Cyprus will strike against the granite Turkish wall".

    Commending on the recent statements of Prime Minister Ecevit, Foreign Affairs Minister Cem and other officials in Turkey, Mr Denktas alleged that these statements "serve peace" and constitute a "do not enter a dangerous and wrong path" message to the world.

    If this European train (of Cyprus) continues to move forward, then hitting against the wall will be inevitable, added Mr Denktas arguing that the Turkish officials are not bluffing.

    [02] After a long interval, top EU man Romano Prodi may come to Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (9/11/01) carries the following report by Lale Sariibrahimoglu :

    "EU top man Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, has plans to visit Turkey in December before the Laeken summit of the Union, during which crucial decisions on enlargement as well as Turkey's future towards Europe will be decided. At least since 1997 when Turkey froze its ties with the European Union in reaction to its denial of a candidate country status at a Luxembourg summit, Prodi will be the first EU commission president visiting Ankara, senior Turkish and EU sources say.

    The Luxembourg summit witnessed the peaceful reunification of Western Europe with Eastern Europe, while putting Turkey into deep disappointment. The EU attempted to correct its mistake by declaring Turkey two years later in 1999 at Helsinki as a candidate country along with the remaining 12 candidates. But despite Turkey's opposition, the Helsinki summit at the same time set a deadline for Turkey to resolve its deep-rooted disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea by 2004 while attempting to corner Turkey on Cyprus by planning to admit the Greek Cypriot section of the divided island as a full EU member in 2003.

    Though neither Turkey nor Greece have managed to come to a point of resolving their sovereignty issues in the Aegean Sea, however the ongoing dialogue between the two countries culminating in the signing of several agreements in the economic field reduced tension in the Aegean. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and his Greek counterpart meeting in Athens on November 7, under the shadow of Turkish remarks on Cyprus, and the two moved towards taking some steps on military confidence building measures.

    But Cyprus continues to shadow the exercise to improve relations between Ankara and Athens.

    On the eve of his visit to Athens Ismail Cem made a strong statement on Cyprus on November 2. Cem said Turkey may soon be compelled to make a "costly decision" on Cyprus.

    Even if Turkey should pay a cost it has to make a definite decision on Cyprus in case the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU, Cem said. "If the Greek Cypriots are admitted to the EU we will retaliate by launching economic and political integration with the /Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/, Cem warned during the same speech.

    The EU will admit the Greek Cypriots as a full member most likely in 2003, even if a solution on the divided island is not found.

    Prodi's visit to take place at a crucial time

    Prodi in fact reiterated that the Greek Cypriot administration will be among the first wave of countries to be admitted to the EU regardless of a solution to be found on the island, criticising also the Turkish Cypriots for refusing to resume peace talks with the Greek Cypriots. Prodi made those remarks during his visit to the Greek Cypriot section of the island on October 25.

    Prodi confirmed his visit to Ankara through the Turkish Embassy in Brussels. Although the date has not yet been fixed, if he does come it will naturally take place before the EU's Laeken summit on December 14, said a senior Turkish diplomat.

    The Laeken summit will take up issues that will affect Turkey negatively or positively. Before the summit, on November 13 the EU will release its yearly Progress Report on Turkey. Some EU diplomats say that the report will have some positive views on Turkey, noting the 37 amendments being made in the military-dictated 1982 Constitution. Those changes are part of efforts to meet the eleven short-term political criteria set forth by the EU's accession partnership document released last November, which was followed by Turkey's National Program released in March this year.

    Turkey has to meet the political and the economic criteria set forth in the Copenhagen document to start membership talks with the EU. EU diplomats, on the other hand, do not give much chance to start the screening process with Turkey due to an extremely detailed technical analysis of what Turkey should be doing and the fact that it has been moving slowly in that respect.

    The EU said that despite certain shortcomings in the amendments being made on certain articles, such as party closures as well as on freedom of speech, which the EU says fall short of meeting their criteria, overall the Turkish constitutional reforms meet the European Human Rights Convention. But the EU wants to see those changes implemented. In the economic field there has been some positive steps taken as well to meet the EU's Copenhagen criteria. But Cyprus has been inserted in the accession partnership document among the short-term problems that Turkey should solve.

    The year 2002 will be crucial for Turkey concerning its future relations with Europe. Turkey has to meet its 11 short-term criteria set forth in the National Program by March 2002 while the accession of the Greek Cypriots will get closer.

    Since Turkey cannot stay as a candidate member country forever in the absence of no deadline given by the EU to start membership talks with Ankara, the destiny of Turkish-EU relations may become clearer next year. Meeting at Laeken, the EU's 15 heads of state and prime ministers will make crucial decisions, such as the installation of some of the mechanisms of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), of which Turkey and the EU have been attempting to find a solution to as the proposed force has asked for assured access to the assets and capabilities of NATO, of which Turkey is a member.

    The Laeken summit will also be the grounds for decisions on how to accommodate the candidate member countries at a planned intergovernmental conference to take place in 2003. The EU has not yet decided whether to invite Turkey to the conference, at which full participation requires full membership to the EU. Some EU diplomats believe that Turkey will be invited to the conference, which will bring together the 15 member countries and candidate nations.

    It will be decided at Laeken how the candidate countries will be associated at the intergovernmental conference. Prodi will attempt to take firsthand information from the Turkish side if his visit to Ankara takes place before the Laeken summit.

    [03] EU adamant on ESDP without Turkey as Laaken Summit approaches

    Turkish Daily News (9/11/01) publishes the following report by Selcuk Gultasli from Brussels:

    "We will go ahead to declare European Security and Defence Policy(ESDP) at the Laaken Summit with or without Turkey's consent" said a high-level European Union diplomat responsible for European security just after the EU Defence Ministers meeting last month in Brussels.

    EU diplomats do not hide their frustration by Turkey's stance claiming that Ankara had been asking for the impossible. EU`s argument is simple to follow: because Turkey is not a member of EU then it cannot be involved in the decision-making mechanisms of ESDP.

    Turkey's argument is equally plausible: the vast majority of post-Cold War conflicts have been in the near vicinity of Turkey, to name a few, the Gulf and the Bosnian wars, the Chechen and the Nagorno-Karabagh conflicts, NATO`s Kosovo operation etc. Stressing that Ankara have closely dealt with most of them, by contributing militarily to some of them, Turkish diplomats say Ankara should not be excluded from the decision-making and had on numerous occasions declared that it would not be satisfied with broad and in-depth consultations for the decision-shaping.

    Because EU wants to use Turkey's NATO assets without taking it into its decision-making mechanisms, there is a risk that a duplication of command centre along with that of NATO`s may come to the agenda which Washington vehemently opposes.

    Despite the wrangling and the risk of duplication, both sides, EU and Turkey seem to keep their positions vis-a-vis ESDP. In last month's meeting of EU Defence Ministers in Brussels on October 12, the Belgian Defence Minister Andre Flahaut announced that there would be initiatives by EU members to overcome the impasse with Turkey. The initiative he mentioned was that of Britains that was held on Wednesday in London. The meeting was held between Turkish, British and American diplomats and yet, little is known about the outcome.

    Turkey's demands

    Diplomatic sources say Turkey's demands could be summarized in 5 points:

    1- In a military operation in which Turkey's national interests and near abroad are at stake, Ankara should be included in the decison-making mechanisms of ESDP

    2- ESDP should not intervene into conflicts between NATO members and Turkey should be provided with necessary guarantees

    3- Non-EU NATO members should have the right to join the ESDP military manoeuvres, war games

    4-Non-NATO EU members have some rights at NATO, the same should be provided to Non-EU NATO members at ESDP

    5- The role of Contributors` Committee should be increased in a bid to activate it immediately in times of crisis and consultations should start on the eve of a possible military operation.

    Lots of articles have been published in the Western media since the September 11 attacks in favour of Turkey on ESDP. One columnist at the The European Voice went even further the conventional lines to claim that the key for ESDP was "in the hands of Ankara". Whether it is true or not will be known at the upcoming EU Summit at Laaken next month as EU had already declared it will operationalize ESDP with or without Turkey

    [04] Industrial output posts another large drop in September

    In a report on the Turkish economy Turkish Daily News (9/11/01) published the following:

    Turkey's industrial output continued to plunge and dropped 9.2 percent on-the-year in September, the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) announced yesterday.

    Although September figures were slightly better than August, when industrial output plummeted by 10.3 percent, recovery remains slim, analysts said. They said, besides financial shortages, the September 11 attacks deterred a rebound in industrial output!

    Manufacturing industry output fell by 9.6 percent, utilities by 2.1 percent, and mining output by 16.7 percent on-the-year in September. It was the eighth straight decline since February, when Turkey was forced to abandon an International Monetary Fund-backed disinflation program and floated the lira amid a financial crisis.

    Industrial production data confirms that there is no immediate turnaround in the economy, Morgan Stanley economist Serhan Cevik suggested in a research note.

    In September last year, industrial production increased 6.5 percent, with manufacturing activity rising by 7.2 percent, utilities by 9.6 percent while mining declined 6.8 percent.

    In the first three quarters of this year, industrial output fell by 7.5 percent, with manufacturing output sliding 8.3 percent, mining by 4.6 percent, and output of utilities fell 2.1 percent as compared to the same period of last year.

    "There has been a consistent increase in value added tax (VAT) collection since mid-summer, implying a pick-up in consumption demand, but this has not brought about a similar recovery in industrial output. The first reason for this is the uncertainty created by the terrorist activities on September 11," JP Morgan economist Yarkin Cebeci said in a note.

    As a second factor preventing a recovery Cebeci pointed at financial difficulties, which shouldn't ease until confidence is restored and real interest rates go down.

    "As this can not happen overnight we expect the recovery in industrial output to remain weak in the coming months," Cebeci added. In Jan.-Sept. 2000, industrial output increased 4.8 percent, including a rise in manufacturing activity of 5.1 percent, utilities of 8.7 percent and a decline in mining of 5.9 percent.

    [05] Zorlu Tore criticizes Turkish Cypriot politicians for meeting with Greek Cypriot politicians

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (8/11/01) reported that the leader of the Nationalist Justice Party, Mr Zorlu Tore, condemned the officials of the Republican Turkish Party, the Communal Liberation Party, and the Patriotic Unity Movement, who failed to observe the "Toros 2001" military exercises but participated in the meeting with Greek Cypriot political parties at the Ledra Palace. The military exercises were carried out in the occupied areas by the Turkish occupation troops.

    In a written statement today, Tore criticized these parties for their attitude. Pointing out that these meetings held on the day of the exercises constitute an insult and disrespect to the motherland, the Turkish army, and the security forces, the statement condemned the provocative policies of those who disregard the assistance and services rendered by Turkey in Cyprus and go to meet with the Greek Cypriots. Tore also stressed that his party will always continue to march for the national cause with the motherland and the Turkish army.

    [06] The pseudostate will participate in the World Travel Market

    KIBRIS (9/11/01) reports that the pseudostate will be represented at the World Travel Market, one of the biggest world tourism fairs. The so-called Tourism and Environment Minister, Sertar Denktas, the so-called Undersecretary of the Ministry, Yalcin Vehit and the so-called Director of Tourism Promotion and Marketing Department, Mehmet Basel flew yesterday morning to London to participate in the fair, which will be open from 12 to 15 November in the Earl Fairs Centre.

    The occupation regime is participating in this Fair since 1986.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that everybody in Greece is preoccupied with a solution in Cyprus

    In his regular column "Opinion" of Turkish Daily News (9/11/01) Mehmet Ali Birad wrote the following commentary from Athens:

    "After spending the weekend in Southern Cyprus I proceeded to Athens where the view changed all of a sudden. Since rain, which had continued for three days, was pounding the streets with a vengeance, people could hardly venture out. Yet, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's visit and the Turkish-Greek businessmen's meeting managed to get enough public attention though somewhat less than on similar occasions in the past.

    The first issue I was curious about was the way the Greek public viewed the bombardment of Afghanistan. Do not be surprised when I tell you that the Greek public has a stronger reaction to that than does the Turkish public, and that they criticize the American bombing.

    The Greek people have always been more anti-American than us. Though they do not openly say so it is obvious that their reaction is one of, "The Americans have meddled in everything to such an extent, acted in such an erroneous manner in Kosovo and Bosnia, toppled Milosevic in an unjust manner, that it is as if they have invited that incident."

    They see Turkey's participating in the war by contributing troops as "Ankara's way of putting its strategic card to further use." In a way, they are happy that they themselves are away from the region and have not become involved in the Afghanistan issue. Their biggest worry is that these incidents will expand and affect the world economy. This is because they are faced with economic difficulties themselves.

    Everybody preoccupied with a Cyprus solution

    The main issue that the Greeks are preoccupied with is whether it will be possible to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Almost everybody says that this is the end of the road, that the last bend in the road is now being taken, and that we have only 11 months left -- barring a change in the European Union's expansion process. After talking about a potential solution all these years everybody is upset now that the final bargaining draws near. The smug attitude of many has been disrupted. The Greeks feel they owe something to the Greek Cypriots. They admit that they triggered Turkey's intervention in Cyprus by seeking Enosis via Grivas in the 1960s and by staging a coup against Makarios in 1974. What is affecting them even more seriously is the memory of their having done nothing during the two military operations staged on the island in 1974. At that time they merely watched the Turkish army proceed. Now they want to atone for their mistakes by ensuring that Southern Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU.

    However, if only the southern part of the island joins the EU and the /Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/ remains outside the EU, that will be a bittersweet full membership for Southern Cyprus. The Greeks are also worrying about Turkey's potential reaction. No one wants a return to the past. The climate of peace in the Aegean and the things being gained from that climate has benefited Greece as much as it has benefited Turkey. They have made significant cuts in their defence spending and shifted these budgetary funds into the economy. That way they have enabled Greece to join the Euro system.

    No one would now benefit from a return to the tense atmosphere of the past, especially from having turmoil in the Aegean prior to the 2004 Olympic games.

    That is all very well, but it is not certain who exactly will "tie up" the "Cyprus package."

    The parties concerned keep their cards close to their chests. They content themselves by citing the things they would not accept. It is not known what they would accept.

    And this climate of uncertainty intensified the tension. Ismail Cem's latest speech at the Turkish Parliament and the statements later made by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has created here the conviction that Turkey has toughened up its stance after agreeing to send troops to Afghanistan.

    We should know that this game will continue in the coming months as well. Another point we should be aware of is that a continued lack of solution would cause major problems for everybody including the Turkish side. We must make our plans accordingly."

    [08] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses Ismail Cem/s statement of November 2, 2001

    Murat Yetkin writing in RADIKAL (8.11.01) under the title, "At the EU Turning Point the Cyprus Challenge", says: "While the tough statement made by the Foreign Minister Ismail Cem gained ground in the domestic politics, why is there no response from the real interlocutor, the EU? Before trying to find an answer to this question, it could be useful if one looks into the tough statement made by Cem at the House Planning and Budget Committee on 2nd November and the developments afterwards.

    The statement made by Cem: "If the EU admits South Cyprus, despite Turkey's objections, as the sole representative of the island, then Turkey might be forced to take a decision, and she pays a price for this decision", created a surprise reaction. At first a lot of people said /what is going on/? While the public opinion was trying to digest, Cem/s statement supporting statements came from the Prime Minister Ecevit, the Nationalist Action Party, (NAP) Chairman, Bahceli, the State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs Sina Gurel and from the /TRNC/ President Denktash.

    Stating that "We are ready to pay any price for Cyprus" the NAP Chairman Bahceli extended a very clear and open support, a support which most probably, even Cem was not expecting.

    Yesterday Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik and House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Kamran Inan, together with 126 MP/s have submitted a petition to the Turkish Grand National Assembly TGNA, asking for a /general debate/ on Cyprus. The Chairman of the Motherland Party (ANAP), Mesut Yilmaz in his turn, demanded to open a general discussion, which will include all the foreign policy issues.

    Our impression from the Foreign Ministry is that the debate will take place after Cem/s return from the UN General Assembly deliberations in New York. The only voice, which tried to destroy the "unity" established by Cem, in the parliament, over Cyprus, was the True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller. She accused Cem of trying to gain popularity within his party, the Democratic Left Party (DLP).

    The Cyprus enthusiasm created at the Parliament is a very good thing, however, nobody is asking what will be the price to be paid? In the diplomatic back-stage discussions, people speak about imposing a more comprehensive embargo than the one imposed on Turkey in 1974. (this time the embargo will be imposed not only by the USA, but with the EU and their aliens as well).

    They are also speaking about "very bad scenarios" that go up to total breaking of relations with the EU. The imposition of embargo is excluded because of Ankara's role in the Afghanistan campaign. Considering the present situation imposing an embargo is a distant possibility.

    What remains behind is the breaking of relations with the EU. In fact Cyprus is the most important problem in the Turkish-EU relations. Neither economy nor human rights but the Cyprus problem is Europe's most important problem with Turkey.

    If you ask Cem he will say: "Those two are not in conflict with each other, it is possible both to find a solution in Cyprus without making any concession and become an EU member."

    As a matter of fact, Greek Cypriots' patron Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou who met with Cem in Athens yesterday, did not give an appropriate answer to Cem/s statement. Papandreou said something like this: "It is up to the Turks, it is their business, we will not be involved if they give up EU membership because of Cyprus".

    As for Brussels it did not bother even to make a statement. Most probably the reason for this is the Helsinki agreement signed on 10th December 1999, where Turkey was given candidacy status against Cyprus's accession in 2004. However, indications are that this will not take that much longer. The overwhelming view is that in the face of Greece's term presidency in 2003, the EU will make an attempt on Cyprus in 2002.

    What Ankara does is to take a defensive position before the said attempt by the EU is realized.

    No one is able to question when Cyprus is the issue, since Cyprus policy is a Turkish state policy.

    Those who today declare ready to pay any price for Cyprus, let us hope that they will not make our children pay this price."


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