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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-12-03
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. 231/01 1-2-3.12.01
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mehmet Ali Talat wants initiatives under U.N. umbrella. His party stresses need for Turkish Cypriot views to be taken into considerationIllegal Bayrak Radio (29/11/01) reported that the Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat has declared that the Turkish Cypriot side should undertake initiatives in line with the theses proposed by the Secretariat General under the UN umbrella.
In a written statement issued today, Talat said that the people and circles with wisdom and common sense concerning the Cyprus issue are increasing every passing day in Turkey as well as in the occupied areas. Talat showed the statement of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association [TUSIAD] as the latest example of this. Recalling that Mesut Yilmaz, Turkey's Motherland Party leader and deputy prime minister, also made a statement to the effect that the 1960 agreements constitute the existing legal position for the Cyprus issue, Talat said that the UN Secretariat General envisages a bizonal and bicommunal federal solution on the island. It is wrong to accuse those who exert efforts for a solution on the island of committing treachery, Talat remarked, and criticized the statements issued by Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish state minister in charge of Cyprus affairs.
Illegal Bayrak Radio (30/11/01) also reported that the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] Assembly group has proposed that a general discussion behind closed doors be held at the so-called Republican Assembly in a bid to discuss in detail the recent stage reached in the Cyprus problem. The RTP issued a statement today announcing the reasons for the proposal to hold such a general discussion. The statement noted that the Cyprus problem is speedily advancing toward a critical stage but that the Turkish Cypriot people are being ignored in the process. The statement added that the Greek Cypriot administration is unjustly representing the entire island in the negotiations being held with the EU and views EU membership as a goal that has priority over a solution.
The statement continued: "In Turkey, importance is not attached to the views of the Turkish Cypriot people. Turkish officials are able to state that the importance of Cyprus stems from its strategic position rather than the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people". Explaining the reasons for the proposal for a general debate, the statement recalled Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's remarks that the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]" can be annexed or that it can be viewed as an autonomous region. The statement went on to stress that such approaches that refer to the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people without referring to the will of that people should be discussed at the Assembly of the "TRNC."
 Denktas back from Rome. Bulent Akarcali flew to the occupied areas with DenktasAccording to illegal Bayrak Radio (30/11/01) the Turkish Cypriot Leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, who concluded his contacts in Italy and Turkey, returned to the occupied areas on Friday.
In a statement at illegal Tympou Airport, Denktas said that the contacts he held in Italy were very beneficial. Denktas said that if the EU accepts Cyprus as a member despite the 1960 agreements then it will violate international agreements, alleging that the EU has no such authority. Denktas also said out that if the EU acts in line with the 1960 agreements it should not accept the Greek Cypriots as a member until a legitimate government to be established with the agreement of both sides is formed. He stated that the solution of the Cyprus problem can be facilitated if the EU announces that the Greek Cypriot administration in the south is not legitimate, adding: "Then a solution based on two states is included on the agenda and a balance is established". Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side will not retreat in the face of EU pressure, Denktas continued: "We are not a minority, nor will we become one". Explaining that the Cypriot cause is that of the Turkish nation, Denktas said: "The national cause is being defended together with the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the National Security Council, and the Turkish government."
Noting that the Turkish press is taking initiatives to disrupt the relations between Turkey and the pseudostate, Denktas thanked Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli, and other Turkish officials for the support they have extended to the Turkish Cypriots in recent days.
Bulent Akarcali, ANAP [Motherland Party] deputy leader and Istanbul deputy who arrived in the occupied together with Denktas, also assessed the recent developments on the Cyprus issue. He said that Turkey will always stand by the Turkish Cypriot people, adding that certain discussions are being held on the Cyprus issue at the moment but that a majority of those involved in the discussions are supportive of the Cyprus policies being pursued since the 60/s. Emphasizing that a choice between the Cyprus issue and EU membership is out of the question for Turkey, Akarcali said that Turkey will renounce neither Cyprus nor EU membership and that these two issues should not be linked.
 Turkish Islamic Leader favours confederation for CyprusAnkara TRT 2 Television (29/11/01) broadcast that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Justice and Development Party leader, has declared that the remarks of Tuncay Ozilhan, chairman of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association [TUSIAD], with regard to the Cyprus issue are unfortunate. Replying to reporters' questions in Istanbul today, Erdogan stated that he is in favor of a bizonal confederation in Cyprus.
"For us, the Cyprus issue is not a simple economic matter. It has a political aspect as well as a strategic dimension. We must address the issue as a whole. We advocate the same thesis Turkey has been advocating with regard to Cyprus from the beginning", said Mr Erdogan.
 Support for Denktas from Recai KutanAnkara Anatolia (29/11/01) reported that the Islamic Felicity Party (SP) leader Recai Kutan has said that the Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas defends the Cyprus problem as a national issue.
In his statement to reporters, SP leader Kutan, who went to Tokat to attend some opening ceremonies, recalled the statement issued by TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association].
Stating that they cannot accept the statements to the effect that "Denktas is unwilling to reconcile," Kutan said:
"Since 1974, Mr. Denktas has defended the Cyprus problem as a national issue. If a group unwilling to reconcile is to be sought out, it is Greece and the Greek Cypriots. At the moment, they believe--relying on the European Union--that reconciliation is not to their benefit. Therefore, TUSIAD's statement concerning Denktas to the effect that he is unwilling to reconcile is 100 percent against the reality. According to my criteria, the statement is against our national interests."
 RTP, PUM and NGO/s ask for opening of an EU bureau in the occupied areasIllegal Bayrak Radio (30/11/01) reported that the platform including the Republican Turkish Party [RTP], the Patriotic Union Movement [PUM], and other civil society organizations have sent letters to the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Gunter Verheugen calling for the EU delegation to open a bureau in the occupied areas.
The letter, which was sent to Eroglu and EU Ambassador Donato Chiarini through the so-called Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu, called for not putting any obstacles against the opening of a bureau in the pseudostate by the EU delegation. The letter called for granting this delegation the same status granted to the US Embassy.
The letter sent to Verheugen, in turn, called for the necessary steps to be taken for the bureau to become operative so that the Cyprus delegation can serve the Turkish Cypriots.
 The United States are Said to have Proposed a Formula For Solving the Cyprus ProblemIstanbul "Dunya" daily newspaper (28/11/01) carries the following report by Ozer Hatay under the title: "United States Formula for Cyprus" :
"While the political traffic has started to accelerate on the Cyprus problem, which has become the most important issue on the agenda of Turkey and the EU, the significant signals that have started to come out indicate that important developments will emerge on the Cyprus problem in the coming days.
Rumors have started circulating in political circles on the eve of the meeting that will be held between Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot administration President Glafkos Clerides on 4 December about the existence of a "US formula" regarding the Cyprus problem.
It has been ascertained that the formula, which is expected to be introduced under the name of the "United States of Cyprus," contains alternative ideas that are different from the views expressed by the two sides and that the provisions of this formula would eliminate the reservations of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides before the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Meanwhile, officials have said that the coinciding of US Secretary of State Collin Powell's visit to Ankara on 4 December with the meeting that will be held between Rauf Denktas and Glafkos Clerides is meaningful. It has been claimed that the formula on the "United States of Cyprus" that US experts have been working on for some time now has also been submitted to the UN Secretary -General.
UN Secretary-General's Special Cyprus Representative Alvaro de Soto is expected to place the project on the table with the aim of preparing the ground for talks between the leaders of the two communities on the island.
The US formula has reportedly been drawn up by ignoring a "federation under a strong central government" sought by the Greek Cypriot side and a "federation" sought by the Turkish Cypriot side. According to the US formula, the Turkish Cypriot side will make concessions on a certain area of land, while the Greek Cypriot side will make certain concessions on Constitutional matters and on the structure of the state.
Meanwhile, the US formula envisages restricting after some time the free movement, settlement, and the acquisition of property that the Greek Cypriot side is insisting on. Moreover, the number of individuals who wish to return to the properties they own in the other administration will also be reduced.
Here are the basic points of the US formula:
1. The state that will be established in line with the US formula under the name "the United States of Cyprus" will be brought to life moving into action from the principle of this sovereign partnership state.
2. Each of the two states will be sovereign in its own territory.
3. The number of soldiers stationed in Cyprus will be reduced after reaching an agreement on security and military matters. Some 10,000 soldiers will be withdrawn from Cyprus immediately after reaching the agreement. The procedures on reducing the number of soldiers will be repeated after five months and 2,000 foreign soldiers will be deployed in each of the two sectors."
 Turks believe Cyprus more important than EU membershipTurkish Daily News (3/12/01) publishes an opinion poll on the issues preoccupying the Turkish public in November. The results are as follows:
"ANAR public opinion poll revealed that Turks believe that the Cyprus issue is more important than Turkey's full membership to the European Union (EU).
According to the ANAR poll surveying Turkish people's point of view on various issues in November, 62 percent of those who were surveyed believed that Turkey should prefer Cyprus, if it has to make a choice between a solution on Cyprus or EU full membership. Only 32 percent of those who participated in the poll believed that EU full membership is more important than Cyprus.
The poll revealed that 38 percent of Turks thought that the EU is right in its criticisms against Turkey while 48 percent believed that it is wrong.
The poll was conducted by the ANAR polling company through the direct interview method with 1,470 people between Nov. 27 and 29 in Istanbul, Ankara, Adana, Diyarbakir, Samsun and Erzurum.
According to the poll, 49 percent of those who were surveyed believed that two different independent states on the island is the most suitable solution in Cyprus while 29 percent thought federation will be the best solution. Eight percent of those who participated in the poll believed that Turkey should annex Cyprus.
The poll revealed that 49 percent of Turkey believed that Turkey's policy regarding the Cyprus issue is right while 31 percent of those who were surveyed thought Turkey is wrong.
Those who view Rauf Denktas, Turkish Cypriot Leader, as successful in his Cyprus policy reached 62 percent. But 21 percent of those who participated in the poll thought he is unsuccessful.
Political disenchantment continued in November ANAR poll revealed that vote capacity of political parties having seats in Parliament did not change during November. According to the poll, Justice and Development Party (AKP) is the first party with 21 percent vote capacity. Main opposition Tansu Ciller led True Path Party (DYP) maintained its second position with 7.5 percent vote capacity in November.
Junior coalition party Motherland Party (ANAP) is having the fourth biggest vote capacity with 5.5 percent and coalition's other partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 5.3 percent vote capacity, the poll revealed.
According to ANAR, Republican People's Party (CHP) having no seats in Parliament as it failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold in the 1999 elections has 6.9 percent vote capacity.
The poll revealed that Turkish people have lost confidence and interest in politics and politicians. Some 37 percent of those who were surveyed stated that they will not vote for any of the existing political parties.
Only 13 percent of those who participated in the poll believed that government's performance during November was successful while 76 percent of those thought government was unsuccessful in November.
42 percent of Turks say snap polls is the solution The majority of Turks who have been torn due to political instability and the one year old economic crisis, believed that snap polls will be the solution.
ANAR poll revealed that 42 percent of Turks thought that snap polls will be the most suitable solution for current problems.
Some 12 percent of those who were surveyed believed that government should go on while 20 percent of those said a brand-new government should be formed from the present Parliament.
The economic crisis maintained its position as the top issue of Turkish people in November.
The war in Afghanistan and decrease of foreign currency were the most important issues of people's agenda in November, the poll revealed.
The Civil Code amendment was also among the issues that Turkish people were highly interested in during the last month."
 Turkish Prime Ministry Expresses Support To European Security and Defense PolicyAnatolia news agency (02/12/01) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Ministry issued a statement after a meeting on Sunday and said ``Turkey, both as a NATO ally, and an EU candidate, supports the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) process.``
Chief of General Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu, deputy prime ministers Devlet Bahceli, Mesut Yilmaz, Husamettin Ozkan, National Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem attended the meeting which lasted about two hours.
The statement said: ``Since 1999 NATO Washington Summit, efforts have been continuing to regulate the relations of non-EU member NATO countries with the ESDP and the modalities regarding NATO`s support to the ESDP.``
The Prime Ministry said that a package which regulates the relations of Turkey and other non-EU NATO member countries with European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) was developed as a result of the meetings held between Turkey, U.S. and Britain-which represents the EU side- since last May.
``The issue has been examined in detail by taking into consideration the issues determined at Washington Summit, the principles, expectations and interests of Turkey in defense and security field with the mentioned countries in harmony. It has been concluded that the issue constitutes a concrete basis to further improve the cooperation between NATO and EU. Turkey both as a NATO ally, and an EU candidate, supports the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) process.``
On the same issue Anatolia news agency (02/12/01) reported that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Sunday that the just expectations of Turkey regarding the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) have been met to a great extent as a result of the meetings held with EU.
Upon a question asking if Turkey in a way gave up its attitude about ESDP, Ecevit said: ``No, definitely not. As you know we have been discussing this issue with the EU since 1999. The just expectations of Turkey regarding the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) have been met to a great extent as a result of the meetings held with EU.`` Ecevit didn't want to comment more on the issue.
 Belgian Ambassador to Turkey: No guarantee given by Verhofstadt in AnkaraSaadet Oruc, reporting in Turkish Daily News (3/12/01) writes the following: "The new European force, which is planned to be operational by the year 2003 has been the leading topic of foreign policy in Ankara throughout the last week, as neither Turkish nor the foreign diplomats spoke about the details of the discussions.
Being cautious of the content of the discussions, senior diplomats corrected some misperceptions on the long discussions held in Ankara on the issue.
There has been no debate on any guarantee between Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and his Belgian colleague Guy Verhofstadt concerning the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) during the unexpected visit paid on Tuesday in Ankara, a senior diplomat said.
Briefing the Turkish Daily News on the recent developments and the preparation of the Laeken summit, the Belgian Ambassador in Ankara Jan Matthysen stated that the visit of his prime minister was surprising for him, as well.
"The prime minister was looking for an opportunity to visit Turkey. Several subjects to be discussed in the Laeken summit were discussed, as well as the ESDP," ambassador Matthysen said, denying the press reports that there has not been any discussion on any guarantee to be given by the Belgian side.
Soon after the visit of Verhofstadt to Ankara, both Belgian and Turkish press talked about a guarantee given by the EU term presidency that ESDP will not be functional for Cyprus and Aegean disputes.
"Surely, we want a breakthrough in this ESDP burden, but we are sticking to the British efforts. The whole political context was raised during the talks in Ankara and we asked the Turkish side to accept the results achieved in the talks with the British and American diplomats," he said.
Reminding that the first visit paid by the Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, after Belgium had the term-presidency of the European Union (EU), was the one to Ankara on July 3, 2001, Belgian ambassador stated the importance paid by his country to be assured that all participants will be present at the Laeken summit, which is being held at the end of the presidency of his country.
The Belgium deputy undersecretary will be in Ankara on Tuesday to be received by deputy prime minister Mesut Yilmaz and leading officials the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
Denktas & Clerides meeting
Despite all odds, the Belgian Ambassador was seen to be optimistic concerning the talks to be held between the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and the Greek Cypriot leader on December 4, in Cyprus.
Defining the decision of Denktas to meet with Clerides as an encouraging step, Matthysen stated that he was optimistic for the future of the talks."
 Greek Cypriot party leaders were prevented form attending the 6th Congress of PUM"Avrupa" (3.11.01) reports that the occupation regime prevented yesterday the delegations of the Greek Cypriot political parties from passing to the occupied areas in order to attend the 6th regular Congress of the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM). Rasih Keskiner, member of PUM's Executive Committee, criticized the attitude of the occupation regime and added that this kind of mentality would not terrorize PUM.
Talking at the Congress, PUM General Secretary, Izzet Izcan said that Cyprus would enter the European Union even without having the Cyprus problem solved and noted that Turkey has become an EU candidate member state by accepting this. Mr izcan stressed also that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas does not accept the federal solution, which has been a position of the Turkish side and the 1979 - 79 High Level Agreements, which he has signed.
The Congress discussed several issues and reached the following conclusions: "The Cyprus problem must be solved as soon as possible", "The European Union is an influential factor" (for the solution), "Equal human rights must be given to the Greek Cypriots and the Maronites who live in our territory", "Democracy and the human rights must dominate" (in Cyprus), "The patriots must collaborate", "Solution of the economic problems (of the Turkish Cypriots) is possible in a federal Cyprus member of the EU", "We say no to any kind of terror and war", "Elections cannot be a solution" and "the northern part of Cyprus cannot be annexed to Turkey".
 Turkey Starts Enlightment Campaign For CyprusAccording to Cumhuriyet (30/11/2001), Turkey has decided to start an enlightenment campaign regarding the Cyprus problem.
The paper says that the prime minister's office has approved the enlightenment project drawn in line with the decision taken at the National Security Council.
The paper says that they will try to establish contact with around 20 thousand people who are active in decision-making process in USA, Russia and European countries.
According to the project 1.7 Million USD will be spent for this purpose for the coming three years.
The main objective of this enlightenment and information project is:
To put an end to Cyprus' isolation:
To establish close ties with policy makers:
To establish a web site for Cyprus.
To organize international conferences on Cyprus.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 The Meaning Behind the Words of DenktasTurkish Daily News (2/12/01) publishes the following report by its managing editor, Mr Yusuf Kanli:
"Turkish Cypriot President Rauf Denktas is either not talking at all on his "confederal settlement" proposal or making attributions to it with rounded words nowadays, instead he is focusing on two terminologies: A new partnership state and political equality of the two peoples of the island.
What does he really mean with these expressions? Is this approach a product of his "intransigent" attitude and "deliberate drive" to block a progress towards a settlement or is he trying to open a new avenue that may lead the two peoples of the island to a lasting and just settlement?
Denktas, who will be meeting on Tuesday with his Greek Cypriot counterpart for a "heart-to-heart" summit meeting, the first since 1997, has spelled out the parameters and objectives of a settlement that he has in mind and will expect Clerides clarify what he has in mind as well at the summit.
What does Denktas say?
The Turkish Cypriot leader is saying that any settlement must be built on the reality that there are "two co-owner peoples" on Cyprus and these two peoples should enjoy the "co-founding status" of the "new partnership state."
With that statement the Turkish Cypriot leader has been underlining that the relationship between the two peoples of the island was not one of majority and minority but one in between two equal co-owners of the island and co-founding partners of the state. This was an understanding spelled out by the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well.
Another point Denktas has been stressing is that a settlement on the island should be one "freely negotiated and mutually acceptable." He, furthermore, has been stressing the principle of the "integrated whole" approach to the process.
Any settlement that Washington or the EU may impose, or make Ankara and Athens impose, on the two parties on the island cannot stand the test of time. Any settlement must be reached through "free" talks between the two sides on the island and the solution must satisfy both parties so that it could be a lasting one. The "integrated whole" principle, on the other hand, has been the cornerstone of all Cyprus settlement exercises for the past two decades and aims to provide the two parties an area of maneuver and the opportunity to raise any issue they would like. Until a settlement is reached, none of the issues would be implemented and if an overall settlement could not be reached, all issues discussed would be null and void. This has been the understanding behind this principle. This principle is a security valve against one side withdrawing from the process after certain expectations of it were met.
The "Two equal and sovereign Partner States representing two distinct peoples respectively" idea that Denktas has been raising lately, on the other hand, underlines that the new partnership state will be created by the "two states" of the "two peoples" of the island.
Equal participation and rotation in all institutions of the new structure; decision-making on the basis of consensus principles, on the other hand, underline the "political equality and partnership in sovereignty: of the two peoples.
The bi-zonality and bi-communality principles that were agreed upon between the two sides at the high level meeting of Denktas and late Archbishop Makarios in 1977, and which has actually been brought by the 1975 Voluntary Population Exchange Agreement under the auspices of the United Nations, should be preserved in a settlement. This approach foresees a continuation of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot zones (districts, areas, states or on whatever terminology the two sides may agree on) after a settlement.
Partnership of the two founding states of the new partnership state in the sovereignty of the island. This might be indeed the most crucial point that Denktas has been raising. This principle aims to protect Turkish Cypriots from being rendered stateless if Greek Cypriots act once again against the partnership state and demolish it.
The principle that national, cultural, religious, linguistic, political, economic and social identity as well as integrity and security of each Partner State will be safeguarded with the settlement is indeed an attempt to consolidate the multi-cultural characteristic of the new partnership state and thus make it a lasting settlement.
The "Each party represents its own side and no-one else," principle, naturally, requires no further elaboration. This sentence was borrowed from the Sept 12, 1999 statement of Annan on the Cyprus proximity talks.
The principle that "One party cannot claim jurisdiction and sovereignty over the other party," aims to clarify the relationship between the two founding states of the new partnership state and the two peoples of the island. Similarly, the principle that "Each Partner State has its sovereignty and jurisdiction over its own people and territory within its constitutional order" underlines the bounds of sovereignty and future status of the founding states in the new partnership. Again, the principle that the new partnership structure shall be competent in matters which are explicitly assigned to it by the partner states underline the Turkish Cypriot position that the central government will have limited powers.
The, "The new partnership will have one international personality as per the competencies assigned by the Partner States to the partnership. The external representation of the new structure will reflect the bi-national nature of the new partnership," sentence of Denktas, on the other hand, aims to soothe the worries of the Greek Cypriot side that after a settlement the island would have only one international personality and the founding partner states would not have international identity.
A lifting of the embargoes and building mutual confidence on the island, naturally, would be of great importance if a settlement was wanted. Thus "Creating an environment of mutual confidence, cooperation and partnership through confidence-building measures and removal of the embargoes. Removal of the embargoes will contribute to the process," remark of Denktas point at that reality.
Naturally, while the two sides negotiate a settlement, they ought to "Refrain from any action which could impair the negotiation process."
The two sides have already agreed that a comprehensive settlement would be submitted to a separate referendum on both sides. This principle underlines the need that a settlement must be mutually acceptable if it wants to be a lasting one.
To soothe Turkish Cypriot security concerns, the 1960 treaties of Guarantee and of Alliance ought to remain in force.
The, "Global exchange of property and/or compensation through a Joint Property Claims Commission" offer of Denktas, on the other hand, underlines his effort to prevent a possible post-settlement flare up of tensions and his determination to make any settlement a lasting one.
The remark that the two Partner States would respect each other's special relationship with their motherlands and that most-favoured-nation treatment to be accorded to Turkey and Greece, and that neither Greece nor Turkey will have a more favorable position in Cyprus than the other, stresses the acknowledgement of the special status of the two countries vis-a-vis Cyprus and the preservation of the balance between the two if a settlement on Cyprus wanted to survive the test of time.
And, EU membership? EU accession of the new partnership state may be part of the settlement deal which would be voted in separate referenda by the two peoples of the island."
 Ilter Turkmen : "The Legal Conflict in Cyprus"Under the above title Ilter Turkmen, former Turkish Foreign Minister, writes the following commentary in Istanbul Hurriyet daily newspaper on (01/12/01) :
"My friend Mehmet Ali Kislali frequently mentions my name in his column in the Radikal newspaper. He praises me occasionally, but he criticizes me most of the time.
From time to time, however, Kislali's criticism is exaggerated. Furthermore, he accuses those who do not share his views. I have never answered his criticism so far. Winston Churchill once said the following about criticism that appears on the press: "Never complain and never explain." I have always heeded this advice. In his commentary entitled "The Cyprus Discussion," which was published on 23 November, Kislali claimed that I have made certain remarks. I have never uttered the words that he claims I have uttered, however. This is why I decided to leave aside my principles and to answer him immediately.
Let me summarize the relevant paragraph in Kislali's commentary: "Article one of the Guarantee Agreement says: '[It] undertakes not to fully or partially join a political or economic union with any country.' Greece claims that the fact that the south is joining the EU alone does not violate this article and that the EU is not a state. Turkey has rejected this thesis. Turkmen however, was able to say: 'The Greeks are right. The said article in the Guarantee Agreement does relate to a 'state.' The EU, in turn, is not a state.'" Kislali's allegations are baseless. I have never uttered these words. Nor have I ever participated in a discussion on this issue.
Article one of the Guarantee Agreement constitutes one of the theses used in order to prove that it is legally impossible for south Cyprus to join the EU. There is an additional thesis. The 1960 Constitution contains an exception to the veto right of the Cyprus president and vice president with regard to foreign policy issues. According to this, the president and the vice president cannot exercise their veto rights when joining international institutions and alliance pacts in which both Turkey and Greece are members. This means that if Turkey or Greece is a member, the veto right can be exercised. For example, the veto right cannot be exercised when joining NATO is concerned, but it can be exercised when joining the EU is concerned. I remember reporting that a diplomat from an EU country referred to this article in the 1960 Constitution and said: "The EU is not an international institution; it is a unique structure." I only reported this, however. I did not say: "I share his views." It seems that Kislali confused these two theses -- one relates to the Guarantee Agreement and the other relates to the Constitution -- and wrote this article as a result of his enthusiasm.
As Kislali has noted, in a booklet he published in October, British lawyer Maurice H. Mendelson supported the view that Cyprus cannot become an EU member before Turkey becomes a member. Furthermore, Mendelson tried to refute the theses of three law professors who defended the opposite view. This means that there are two views with regard to this issue.
If there are opposing legal views, the only way that those who adopt one of these views can benefit from this view is to apply to a legal authority for the approval of their view. The International Justice Tribunal [IJT] resolves international conflicts. A bond of arbitration is needed between the sides in order to apply to the IJT. The sides to the Cyprus issue do not acknowledge each other, however. Therefore, this method cannot be used. It is also possible to go through the United Nations and to demand a counseling vote from the IJT. This method, however, can create more problems than benefits.
The Cyprus issue is very complicated from the legal standpoint. Since the 1974 intervention in Cyprus, there has been a legal "gray region" in addition to the cease-fire. South Cyprus' membership in the EU has taken the issue out of its legal framework. It has turned into an urgent political issue. It is impossible to achieve anything with literature based on hostility. There is no choice other than to determine a creative policy without any delay and to make efforts to find realistic and balanced solutions to the problem. This would be the greatest service to Turkey and to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In its 27 November communiqué, the National Security Council chose the wise path by stressing that Turkey "will continue to make efforts in a spirit of goodwill to find a solution that will be accepted by both sides."
 Columnist in "Ortadogu" stresses the strategic importance of Cyprus for the West in the 21st centuryIstanbul "Ortadogu" newspaper (29/11/01) publishes a commentary by Irfan Ulku who focuses on the strategic importance of Cyprus for the EU and the West in general:
"I do not like the phrase, "I wrote it first" but I was the first to write about the future security for the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline being ensured not just along the Iskenderun-Mersin coastline, but also by Turkey's presence on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC]. While this concept later became the subject of study for several strategic studies centers, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit also noted in one speech that the relation between the security of Baku-Ceyhan and the security of TRNC was of interest to Turkey.
This fact comes to light when the strategic importance history has blessed Cyprus with is reevaluated in the light of 21st century conditions. The island was donated to the British by Sultan Abdulhamid under the term "lease" and has played the role of a strategic node in the East and Southeast of Turkey's region for around 400 years. The Crusaders were forced to occupy the island in order to seize Islamic and Turkish lands. In ancient times, the Hittites occupied the island in order to keep an eye on the Egyptians and the Egyptians used the island to ensure their own security. They were expelled but then took it back. History is replete with such examples. Cyprus' geopolitical importance is at least as great as that as the Straits. The intention behind EU imperialism planting its eyes on Cyprus and increased efforts to make the Greek part an EU member is the same as when the Crusaders took the island 900 years ago, is it not? The aim then was to control Seljuk Anatolia and the Silk Road that ended at the Middle Eastern ports. Certain former Charge d'Affaires and "accredited" writers of ours write that it is not so important. They think mutual displays of good will are going to be enough to resolve the plots of EU imperialism that are the inheritance of the Crusaders.
Yet, in the struggle between the great powers of the 21st century, the existence of TRNC cannot be accepted strategically because Europe needs to ensure the safety of the new East crusade. When the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline through which Caspian and Central Asian oil and gas will flow comes on line, the West will want to wrest the stopcock from Turkey's hands. Knowing that it cannot, it wants to officially abolish the existence of TRNC and if it cannot do this, then it wants to add the Greek Cypriot region to its territory and seize control of the pipeline that way.
It is impossible to ensure the safety of the flow of oil from the Mersin-Iskenderun coastline alone. For example, the Greek Cypriots might want protection with EU support. The Greek Cypriots might resume attacks on the Turks on the island and resort to Bosnia-style operations. Another possibility is that while construction of the pipeline is still underway, the instability on Cyprus could be used in a formula similar to the one used by the Baku consortium companies two years ago: "Turkey is not safe because of PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] attacks."
In the light of all these facts, Turkey should step forwards by turning the energy pipelines card in the search for a solution on Cyprus into the core issue of what is called "the Cyprus question". Contrary to Foreign Minister Cem's cosmopolitan logic, the price to be paid on Cyprus is not ours.
If a cost must be sought, then we already paid it with 70,000 martyrs now resting in peace on the island's soil by the blue waters of the Mediterranean when we conquered the island in 1571. We paid it when our children were gunned down in their baths during the 1963-74 Greek Cypriot horror and with those Turkish soldiers martyred saving Turks from the final genocide, and with the sailors who drowned when their ships were sunk in the second landings.
We are still talking about the paying of whatever cost while the Greek Cypriots, who train many terrorist organizations like the PKK and ASALA and who look after the money of Bin Ladin and the drug mafia in their banks, are being taken into Europe, which is the sponsor of these terrorists.
We are becoming so ill mannered as to be able to say, "If we give up Cyprus, they will accept us into the EU," and say without blushing, "Give and join."
Those saying "Give and join" are replacing those who say "Give and be shot of it."
Yet, at the point where we assume we are going to withdraw, we actually have more than enough theoretical and practical knowledge to advance.
This being the case, then "Hey, Government. A little strategy and history."