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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-12-21

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.245/01 21.12.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Bulent Ecevit: The existence of two separate states and two separate peoples in Cyprus has to be accepted.
  • [02] Turkish Daily News: Belgium and Spain declared that time is coming closer for launching accession talks with Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [03] Columnist in RADIKAL criticizes Denktas for trying to undermine the peace process.
  • [04] MILLIYET newspaper on the Bush - Ecevit Summit.
  • [05] A Turkish newspaper says that a "shameful oppression regime" exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Bulent Ecevit: The existence of two separate states and two separate peoples in Cyprus has to be accepted

    Istanbul SABAH (20.12.01) publishes an interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Bilal Cetin.

    The interview is as follows:

    Question: Have you established the agenda of your talks in Washington?

    Answer: Our relations with the United States are wide-ranging. A single agenda is not enough for all the matters that are related to them. As disclosed by the US officials, we will discuss many issues. We will discuss many problems that concern Turkey and the region. Meanwhile, we will focus particularly on Iraq.

    Question: Iraq will probably be the most critical issue...

    Answer: Well, I hope that it will not be the most critical issue. Unfortunately, however, Iraq is frequently discussed. Nevertheless, it will not be the only problem we will take up. Our talks will cover many issues, including the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Cyprus. Naturally, we will take up our trade and economic relations, particularly the textile quotas.

    Question: Will you make a proposal or carry a file on Iraq?

    Answer: Discussing that at this time would be wrong. Turkey has close relations with Iraq. We have made various suggestions. However, I clearly want to say that I do not want to create the impression that we are bringing up the problem of Iraq. We will not bring up the matter. The United States will bring it up if it wants to do so. Naturally, we are prepared for that. We are preparing for even the most negative possibility. We are taking the necessary measures. We are very sensitive on the matter. Naturally, we will see various signs from the United States until I hold talks in that country. We will study them. We are now trying to establish the way we can contribute toward the solution of the problem. What do we expect? Of course, we will explain that.

    Question: The Palestinian problem has not been solved. Clashes are taking place...

    Answer: Yes, a very dangerous situation exists. We will definitely discuss the problem in Washington. In fact, considering the negative situation, we have urged the United States to intervene. We are convinced that as far as the Middle East problem is concerned, the United States is the most influential country. Meanwhile, Turkey has warm relations with Israel and the Palestinian Administration. Neither Israel nor the Palestinians trust each other. But, they trust Turkey. We have advised the two sides to end the clashes many times.

    Question: Do you believe that a solution will be found to the Cyprus problem?

    Answer: Cyprus can be a problem for Greece and the Greek Cypriots. The problem does not bother anyone else. Peace has been established on the island. Democracy exists on the two sides. The Greek Cypriot side enjoys prosperity. The situation in the Turkish Cypriot side is better than what it used to be in the past, regardless of the embargo imposed on it. What else is there to expect? Calls have been made for a solution. What is the solution that should be found? It must not have drawbacks. That is important. However, we cannot agree to take risks just for the sake of avoiding problems. How will a new threat of massacre be obstructed? How can we believe that the Greek Cypriots will not take action again to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots? The reality of the existence of two separate states and two separate peoples in Cyprus has to be accepted if a solution is to be found. That cannot be ignored. We maintain the right approach on Cyprus. However, we have been unable to explain that to the world. We have to do so. I fear that we will be confronted with a dangerous situation similar to the one that existed in the past if the two sides are forced to live together again.

    Question: Greek Prime Minister Simitis will visit the United States at about the time you will be there. Can a tripartite meeting be held?

    Answer: No, I do not think so. Prime Minister Simitis will visit the United States before I do. Dates have not been established yet. However, that is the program. We will visit Washington during the second half of January.

    Question: One of the important items on the agenda will probably be related to economic relations and textile quotas...

    Answer: President Bush and I will probably take up the matter in detail. We will probably solve the problems.

    [02] Turkish Daily News: Belgium and Spain declared that time is coming closer for launching accession talks with Turkey

    Under the title "EU troika to meet on Turkey January 8", Turkish Daily News (20.12.01) carries the following report.

    "The European Union (EU) troika, the former, current and the upcoming presidencies of the 15-member bloc, will have its first meeting on Turkey on January 8,2002, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.

    Foreign Ministry Deputy undersecretary Akin Alptuna will take part in the meeting which would be held under the Spanish presidency, starting January 2002 for the first semester.

    The meeting is to be held in Madrid with the participation of officials from Belgium, Spain and Denmark, as well as the EU Commission.

    The Laeken summit held at the end of the Belgian Presidency ended with a positive atmosphere, concerning Turkey-EU relations.

    Spain, which is to take the term presidency in January 2002, gave a greenlight for Turkey.

    Former and upcoming term presidencies of the EU, Belgium and Spain declared that time is coming closer for launching accession talks with Turkey".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [03] Columnist in RADIKAL criticizes Denktas for trying to undermine the peace process

    Istanbul RADIKAL (17.12.01) carries the following commentary by Ismet Berkan under the title: "Does Ease Disturb him?"

    "Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit spent the day before the Ramadan holiday in Belgium where he attended the EU summit. There he spent the most comfortable hours, which a Turkish prime minister could have spent in any EU summit.

    Why was he comfortable?

    The reason was that Turkey and Greece had changed roles probably for the first time since a long time ago. This time Turkey played the side which was ready for reaching a compromise whereas Greece was seen by Europe as the spoilsport which blocked attempts aimed at establishing a middle ground.

    This time Europe tried to persuade Greece rather than Turkey.

    Although it was left alone, Athens put up a strong opposition to the European Security and Defense Policy and delayed establishment of the European army for at least six months.

    With an almost perfect timing, Turkey had made very serious overtures regarding Cyprus and the ESDP, two issues that had caused a rift between Europe and Ankara. In fact, it had made no concession after much hard bargaining about the ESDP and almost all of its demands had been accepted. Meanwhile, even the resumption of the negotiating process was a significant event in itself.

    However, this unusual ease in the diplomatic field was too much for some people and has even disturbed them.

    Especially, [Turkish Cypriot Leader] Rauf Denktas seems to be concerned about the recent developments.

    In fact, he voices his anxieties without even bothering to conceal them. Although the two leaders had decided not to speak with the press about this matter after the summit they held in early December, Denktas brought up the matter during talks he held in Ankara last week. His intention was to provoke Turkish nationalists into making harsh statements that would encourage him to walk away from the negotiating table. "Cyprus may become another Crete," Denktas said, without giving a reasonable explanation why he drew an analogy between the two issues.

    Rauf Denktash did not only give messages to the Turkish public at the dinner given in his honour Thursday night. His main message targeted the Greek Cypriot media. "There are already two states on the island. What we are looking for is a superstructure that we could build on these two states," he said.

    In other words, he was setting a precondition in a sense. He thus clearly renewed his thesis for establishment of a confederation, conveying his opinions, which he was intending to voice during the negotiations to be held two weeks later, to the Greek Cypriot side through the media.

    In short, it seemed that Denktas was disturbed by the ease created by the latest promising developments. He would feel comfortable should he provoke [Cypriot President Glafcos] Clerides into walking away from the negotiating table or ensure that Clerides gave him an adequate reason to withdraw from the talks. It appeared that Denktas had already forgotten that he once urged Clerides to resolve the problem before they got too old.

    I wonder what else we are going to witness in Cyprus".

    [04] MILLIYET newspaper on the Bush - Ecevit Summit

    Fikret Bila writing in MILLIYET (20/12/01) under the title '' Bush -Ecevit Summit'' says that Ankara is getting ready for the summit, which will take, place in the second half of January. He goes on and reports that the Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the Foreign Minister Ismail Cem have already started to study files that will be put on the negotiation table in Washington.

    Bila reports that Ecevit and Cem held a meeting yesterday during which Cem briefed the prime minister about his contacts in Afghanistan and they made a preliminary evaluation of the Washington visit.

    ''We can say that at the Bush -Ecevit summit four major Files will be put on the negotiation table:

    1-AFGHANISTAN

    2-IRAQ

    3-CYPRUS-EU

    4-ECONOMY

    What will Ecevit's and Cem's approach in Washington as regards the above-mentioned issues be?

    The Foreign Minister gave a very challenging answer to this question during our meeting yesterday. He said:' Of course we are going to open the Cyprus Issue in a detailed manner. We are going to make them change this refrain that they learned to recite in a parrot fashion. For example the EU has started to change this refrain that they have learned in a parrot fashion.

    I cannot say that their basic approach has changed, but they are not looking into the issue as they were before .Now we will try to get the same result. We will try to do away with this refrain. We will ask them at the end of the dialogue what kind of results they expect, what kind of Cyprus they want to see? We will try to explain the realities, our realities. I am of the conviction that we will be successful.

    'To do away with this refrain' this is the key word that Cem said. This means to do away with the number of taboos starting with the Cyprus issue'', Fikret Bila notes.

    [05] A Turkish newspaper says that a "shameful oppression regime" exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    "Yeniduzen" (21.12.01) reports that Koray Duzgoren of Turkish mainland "Yeni Safak" has expressed the opinion that "a shameful oppression regime exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus and wonders whether the northern part of Cyprus could enter the European Union. Mr Duzgoren writes, among other things, the following:

    "All the attention regarding the Cyprus problem is focused on the Denktas - Clerides meetings. I wonder, will these two shrewd leaders be able to make steps towards an agreement being pressured by the USA? Even if steps are made, how will the new partnership be? Let's say that the partnership question is solved, how will the Northern Cyprus enter the EU under the conditions, which exist there today. Everybody is discussing about the negotiations, but the matter is not so simple from the Turkish Cypriots' point of view, because the geography they live in, that is the Northern Cyprus, has been totally turned into a nightmare, especially in the last few days. In the northern part of Cyprus there is a shameful oppression regime, whereas in southern Cyprus there is complete democracy. .

    I have been to Southern Cyprus and I had personal experience of the climate of democracy. In order not to be deceived from the situation of the most diverging groups, I have studied the work of the Office of the Amnesty International Organization in Nicosia. (Meanwhile let me remind that the Ecevit government has rejected the application of Amnesty International to open an office in Turkey). Of course, we cannot say that there are no problems there as well. Violations of the human rights take place there also. .In the north there is a totally oppressive regime. The military existence of Turkey in the island, as it happens in Turkey itself as well, is very characteristic and it makes itself be perceived as an oppressive power.

    While Turkey is ruling the northern part of Cyprus from a distance and according to her own logic, it does not see with sympathy the Turkish Cypriots who are against this oppression. Just like it happens in Turkey, the oppression against those who are in the opposition and the crimes the perpetrators of which remain unknown are not absent. Recently, the acts of the harsh state towards intimidating those who support democracy and an agreement with the Greek Cypriots are increasing. If you see what happened to Avrupa newspaper you will understand what kind of a place the north has been turned into. .I am very curious about one thing: How will the European Union consider an island in the northern part of which there is no democracy able to become a full member of the EU?".

    KV/SK


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