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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-12-27

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. 246/01 22-27.12.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cem: We want to have a date for the start of accession talks at the end of 2002.
  • [02] Bulent Ecevit still talks of two states and two nations in Cyprus.
  • [03] Rauf Denktas does not want third party intervention in the talks on Cyprus.
  • [04] Cyprus among the short-term priorities expected by the EU from Turkey.
  • [05] The Emir of Qatar on the Cyprus problem, the Republic of Cyprus' demand for opening an embassy in his country and other issues.
  • [06] The Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas says that during the talks to begin on 16 January the fate of the face-to-face procedure will be tested.
  • [07] Economy after a possible solution discussed between Denktas and Turkish "ambassador" to occupied Nicosia.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Think tanks in Turkey are working on solution models.
  • [09] Will you do it all alone?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cem: We want to have a date for the start of accession talks at the end of 2002

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (25.12.01) reported that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem stated that Turkey put the clarification of a date for the launching of accession talks as a target for the end of 2002, at the end of the Danish presidency of the European Union (EU).

    Speaking before receiving the chairman of the Economic Development Foundation (IKV) Meral Gezgin Eris, Cem declared the two leading priorities of Turkey for the Spanish and Danish presidencies of the EU.

    Indicating that they expected Spain to declare at the end of the first half of 2002 that Turkey was ready for starting accession talks, Cem commented that in the second half of 2002, which will be under the Danish presidency, they expected Copenhagen to declare a certain time for the start of accession negotiations.

    Cem stated that a meeting will be held with the representatives of the civil society organizations on January 11 for taking a serious step to be prepared for the Convention on the Future of Europe.

    [02] Bulent Ecevit still talks of two states and two nations in Cyprus

    Istanbul TGRT Television (23.12.01) broadcast an interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    Asked to comment on reports that in return for concessions from the EU, Turkey will be ready to make concessions on Cyprus, Ecevit replies: "That is certainly not a thing that we would consider. Apart from a very small minority, the Turkish public would never accept that. Cyprus' security is our own security. Anyone who looks at a map can easily see how important north Cyprus is for Turkey's security. Also, as you know, the Turkish Cypriots lived under the threat of genocide for many years. They were forced to live in ghettos. They were deprived of their constitutional rights, their legal rights, and of their economic means. Finally, our Turkish Cypriot brothers regained their freedom and security with the Turkish Peace Operation in July 1974. We cannot allow them to live under Greek Cypriot oppression once again. There is a reality and unless it is taken into consideration a viable solution cannot be reached. The reality is that there are two separate states and two separate nations in Cyprus. Any arrangement must take this reality into consideration. Say the two sectors are united. What will happen the next day? Thousands of Greek Cypriots will raid Kyrenia to take their old homes back. It is not I who is saying that, many Greek Cypriot officials are saying it. The Greek Cypriots have filed innumerable suits. One of them was accepted by the European Court of Human Rights. Once there is fighting over houses, the threat of genocide will loom."

    [03] Rauf Denktas does not want third party intervention in the talks on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (25.12.01) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, said on Tuesday that there would not be any intervention of third parties in the direct talks process.

    Speaking at a programme broadcast on illegal Bayrak Television, Denktas

    said that they would make serious deliberations during the direct talks process which would begin on January 16, 2002 and that they would work seriously to gain results.

    Stating that there would not be any intervention of third parties in the process, Denktas noted: ``Compromise has been reached by all sides on this issue. No one will present a plan or view at the meetings. They will not intervene. They have told us that we have started the process and we will end it".

    Denktas noted that if any issue other than social issues were opened during the dinner he would have with President Glafcos Clerides, on December 29, he was ready to talk about those issues as well.

    ``This will be a dinner aiming to show our people that both sides have a serious intention to meet. If something is put forth, I will not say that I have come to have a dinner and I will not talk. If Clerides has something to ask or hear, he will ask and I will respond to it,`` Denktas said.

    Denktas stated that when Clerides called him to invite him for the dinner, he asked him whether he wanted something special to eat in the dinner and also asked him if he would prefer meat or fish.

    He told Clerides that he would like to eat fish, Denktas said.

    Asked if there was a target of a new partnership in the end of the direct negotiation process, Denktas said that it was not correct to openly talk about those issues prior to his meeting with Clerides and that he would discuss those issues with Clerides.

    Denktas said that he would not want to be at the position of Clerides and that all the Turkish Cypriots were telling him ``to make an agreement`` while there was no one telling Clerides to ``make an agreement`` except his own party.

    If Greece supported Clerides, Clerides would not face any difficult situation against the extreme Greek Cypriot nationalists, Denktas noted and said that the key in the Cyprus question was Greece.

    Referring to the Christmas message of the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimitris Christofias in which he said that ``nobody should dream about an agreement before the Turkish soldiers left the island and all migrants returned to their homes,`` Denktas said that such circles were making the business of Clerides more difficult.

    Denktas noted that they did not want any more battle in Cyprus and that a battle or a row would only bring disaster to the island.

    ``A new row will bring forth the continuation of the problem. It is enough. I am 78 years old and I together with my people are dealing with and living together with Cyprus question for 38 years. It is enough. Haven't the Greek Cypriots understood this yet? Turkish Cypriots will not yield, not be a minority, not give up bi-zonal structure, their equality and Turkey's guarantee", Denktas added.

    [04] Cyprus among the short-term priorities expected by the EU from Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (25.12.01) carries the following report: "The short-term priorities expected by the EU include topics related with Cyprus, freedom of expression, development of civil society, prevention of torture, TV and radio broadcasting in mother-tongue.

    Speaking cautiously, EU diplomats, meanwhile, comment that Turkey succeeded to fulfill the requirements related with Cyprus, in reference to the ongoing process between the two leaders, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktas. Previously the chairmanship of the Association Committee was handled by a member state, but from now on the European Commission will be heading the Association Committee meetings permanently.

    The structure of the EU troika has changed, as well. The EU troika will consist of the current and upcoming presidencies as well as the EU Commission, while the former formation of the EU troika comprised the former, current and upcoming presidencies of the EU.

    Denmark, Spain and the EU Commission, at political directors level, will be present at the meeting, for which Turkey is being represented by Akin Alptuna, deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

    On February 12, the EU and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) will meet in Istanbul, where the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Pique is expected to attend.

    On March 1, the political directors of the member and candidate states of the 15 member-bloc will come together in Budapest for an unofficial meeting.

    The Spanish Presidency will also convene the "Spring European Council" to meet in Barcelona, which will focus on socio-economic and sustainable development issues, known as the Lisbon strategy.

    Both Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem will attend the Spring European Council to be held on March 15-16 in Barcelona.

    On March 19, the EU and EURO-MED partnership meeting will be held in Toledo, Spain with the participation of the trade ministers of EUROMED-EU states.

    Another EURO-MED meeting will be held in Malaga, Spain between April 9-10.

    The Turkish-EU Association Council, which was not held during the Belgian presidency, is being organized in Luxembourg on April 16.

    One week later, Foreign Ministerial meeting of the EURO-MED will be held in Valenzia, Spain between April 22-23.

    May 14 will be the date for the meeting of ministers of defense of EU members, candidates and non-EU NATO members, which is known as the "EU + 15+ 6" meeting in Brussels.

    On May 17, at political directors level, the 15 member states will meet with Turkish officials in Madrid for a luncheon.

    Following a NATO foreign ministerial meeting to be held in Reykjavik, the Spanish Presidency will be over with the EU Council to be held in Seville between May 21-22.

    The Spanish Presidency will, exceptionally, put emphasis on the EURO-MED process.

    The mutual visits paid by Ecevit and Jose-Maria Aznar in May and September laid the ground for an intensive process of dialogue between Turkey and Spain.

    Spanish diplomat to visit Ankara

    Spanish Deputy Foreign Minister Miguel Angel-Cortes will be in Ankara on December 26, for setting up a framework with Turkey to provide technical assistance to help Turkey upgrade its administration to be able to ensure the implementation of the EU acquis communitaire.

    Main fields for the technical cooperation are as follows:

    . Agriculture - fisheries

    . Regional policies, which includes EU funds expected by Turkey,

    . Justice and Home affairs

    . Economic and trade issues

    . Environmental cooperation.

    As a result of the discussion to be enhanced over these five topics, a protocol is expected to be signed, diplomatic sources said.

    ESDP: All roads lead to Washington

    Concerning the solution of the deadlock over the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), which was also left to the term of the Spanish presidency, all eyes turned on the scheduled meetings between US President George W. Bush together with the Greek and Turkish Prime

    Ministers. EU diplomats look forward to see the results of the meetings at the White House".

    [05] The Emir of Qatar on the Cyprus problem, the Republic of Cyprus' demand for opening an embassy in his country and other issues

    According to KIBRIS (27.12.01), the Emir of Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani said yesterday in Ankara that his country preferred to give permission for the establishment of an embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Qatar after the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Talking at a joint Press conference with the Turkish President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Sheik Al Thani, answered as follows when asked about the demand of the Republic of Cyprus to open an embassy in Qatar:

    "Qatar is closely interested in this issue (the Cyprus problem) and wishes the two sides to find a suitable solution under a single umbrella. We support all initiatives in this direction and expect the sides to reach a common solution through dialogue. Besides the Greek Cypriots our Turkish brothers also live in Qatar. It is impossible to permit one of the sides to open an embassy and not to allow the other. What we expect is to give a permit to a single embassy in the future and this can only be possible after a solution".

    The paper reports that Ankara expressed its appreciation for Qatar's stance regarding the Cyprus problem and the issue of the opening a Cyprus embassy in the above- mentioned country.

    Meanwhile, President Sezer said that Turkey and Qatar had signed six agreements, which "are to give a new acceleration" to the bilateral relations. Mr Sezer noted also that during Sheik Al Thani's visit to Turkey the two countries expressed their common concern regarding the dangerous results of the continuation of the violence in the Middle East.

    Furthermore, semi-official Anatolia News Agency reports that during the visit it was established that Turkey and Qatar have the same views regarding the issue of a possible military operation against Iraq, as the Qatari administration opposes such a development.

    [06] The Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas says that during the talks to begin on 16 January the fate of the face-to-face procedure will be tested.

    KIBRIS (27.12.01) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that during his talks with President Clerides the fate of the face-to-face procedure to start on 16 January will be tested.

    Talking yesterday at a meeting for the 38th anniversary of the illegal Bayrak Radio and Television, Mr Denktas claimed that the reason for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem is that proposals are being put on the table without taking into consideration the source of the problem. This benefits the Greek Cypriots, he added.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader alleged also that the Cyprus problem will be solved within 5 or 6 months in case it is approached as a legal problem and the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he called the government of the Republic of Cyprus, is not encouraged any more by the international community.

    Mr Denktas expressed also the opinion that the whole issue is to put the Cyprus problem as a precondition in front of Turkey on the matter of her accession course to the European Union. He claimed that the Greek Cypriots aim at the unification with Greece by entering the EU and added: "Before all these we remain calm and we want to test whether there is a chance. We are going to do this with good will. If there is a chance we shall not lose it, but we must examine all the sides of the issue".

    Furthermore, the Turkish Cypriot leader repeated the threat that a crisis is to come up in case the Republic of Cyprus enters the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem. "There will be a crisis. Let them not take the risk. Let them not think that Turkey is bluffing. They will be committing a big mistake", he said.

    [07] Economy after a possible solution discussed between Denktas and Turkish "ambassador" to occupied Nicosia

    According to KIBRIS (26.12.01), a meeting has been held in the occupied areas regarding the economy of the pseudostate in a possible agreement. After the meeting a working group of 10 people was formed in order to prepare a report on the issue.

    The paper writes that the so-called "ambassador" of Turkey to occupied Nicosia, Hayati Guven, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, so-called "ministers", representatives of the five illegal universities which are functioning in the pseudostate and representatives of sectors of the economy such as industry, commerce, the banking system, tourism, agriculture and small scale tradesmen took part in the meeting.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Think tanks in Turkey are working on solution models

    Istanbul HURRIYET (22.12.01) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: "Words and Deeds":

    "There were positive developments in Turkey's international relations recently. A compromise was reached on the European Security and Defense Policy [ESDP]. There was a summit that revives the negotiation process in Cyprus. These two developments, combined with some other factors, gave some impetus to Turkey's EU membership process.

    However, there are still attitudes that impair the effectiveness of Turkey's foreign policy. There is still very little transparency in Turkey's foreign policy. The public is not well informed. For example, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has declared that we got everything we wanted on ESDP. That is not the truth. Turkey retreated from its initial position because otherwise there could not have been a compromise. Another attribute of Turkey's foreign policy style is the announcement of new initiatives which have good media effect but which never go anywhere. For example Afghan leaders were supposed to meet in Turkey to form a coalition government. Instead they met in Bonn. Representatives of the EU and the Islamic Conference Organization were supposed to get together in Istanbul. It never happened. We tried to bring together Arafat and Sharon in Turkey, but that was never possible anyway. We continue to hear an endless stream of claims far beyond our means in our Afghanistan and Middle East policies. There are considerable contradictions in our policy on Iraq.

    There is also conspicuous disparity between words and deeds in our foreign policy. This disparity is particularly evident over Cyprus. The Prime Minister continues to reiterate that "the Cyprus problem has already been resolved." It is as if Denktas and Clerides did not decide to meet on December 4 to resume the negotiation process. Meanwhile Denktas meets Clerides in an atmosphere of reconciliation, starts a climate of optimism across the world, receives the support of the international community, and then goes to Turkey and paints a pessimistic picture by saying: "I am afraid Cyprus will be lost like Crete." We must not forget that Cyprus was lost in 1878, earlier than Crete. In later years the Ottoman state lost territories more important than Crete, such as Macedonia. Turkey was able to transform radically the balance of forces in Cyprus by intervening in 1974 precisely because that era has ended. Now the reference point in the Cyprus problem is the de facto situation created by that intervention. What is at issue is a compromise based on that departure point. Everyone knows that the negotiations will be tough and trusts Denktas's extensive experience and unequalled negotiating skills in that process.

    So what are the parameters of an acceptable solution in Cyprus? Intensive consultations are probably under way between Ankara and Nicosia to identify these. Think tanks in Turkey are also working on various solution models. A document that was released last week by the Foreign Policy Group of the Foundation for Middle Eastern and Balkan Studies deserves attention. The members of this group include three former ministers, three retired generals one of whom served as a force commander, one retired admiral, and five retired ambassadors two of whom served in Cyprus. It is impossible to discuss all the details of their work in this column. However I would like to note two of the points they underscore. The first is the right of self-determination of the Turkish Cypriots. That right mandates that any settlement reached be submitted to a referendum among Turkish Cypriots and that the Turkish Cypriots be given the option to leave a common state in ten years if conditions so warrant. The second point is that if the negotiations produce positive results Cyprus should join the EU at the same time as full membership talks start between Turkey and the EU.

    Yes we have no time to lose on talk in Cyprus. The Foreign Minister reportedly said with reference to Ecevit's planned visit to the United States: "We will end the tautology of the United States." An interesting approach to a friendly visit. An impressive assertion. I still think that it would not be so bad if we ended our own tautology".

    [09] Will you do it all alone?

    Turkish Daily News (21.12.01) carries a commentary by retired Ambassador Gunduz Aktan, under the title "Will you do it all alone?" in which he analyses Turkey's EU perspective. He says:

    "It is a great event for a country to enter into the European Union (EU). It is seen that the public opinion in candidate countries split in terms of opposition and support. Those who support the membership and those who object to it unconditionally form little groups at both ends. The majority takes the side of membership as a result of the contradicting feelings and thoughts.

    Our situation carries out certain significant differences when compared to current EU members and other candidate states. Let's put aside our big geography mostly located on Asia and ever increasing population. Our economy is not developed fully. Our democracy has historical and structural shortcomings. That's why we cannot meet completely the common values of the EU, which is an integration of the countries that could combine democracy and human rights with their developed market economies.

    Moreover, we do not belong to the Greco-Judaeo-Christian culture, which forms the distinct feature of the European identity of the EU. It doesn't matter if we fulfil the Copenhagen criteria, we have the potential of creating an identity problem within the EU in this respect.

    Moreover, we have very important sovereignty disputes with an EU member. With these characteristics, the number of those in EU member states, who oppose our membership, is so high that has never been seen for any candidate before. Historical prejudices against us and racism against the Turks living in Europe contribute to this opposition.

    It is of no use to deny or ignore the obstacles ahead of our membership to the EU. It is a fact that Turkey's EU membership is a hard-to-realize policy. This policy should be built intelligently. If it is designed with the participation of all concerned, then it stands a chance to succeed.

    Certain EU-supporter Turkish pundits, who know these challenges very well but do not accept them frankly, urge Turkey to fulfil the Copenhagen criteria, without much imprudence on the country's territorial integrity, and ask the government to solve the Cyprus problem in a way that Greece desires under the umbrella of the EU. In this perspective, they claim that Turkey-EU negotiations should not be conducted as if they were between the two opposing sides, since the Union wants the best for Turkey.

    However, they have forgotten that both Cyprus and Southeastern Anatolia problems have been and may be used by the ones who object to the membership of Turkey and that it is hard to satisfy Europe's prejudices and Greek nationalism, i.e. Hellenism. They interpret the state's more comprehensive stance on these issues, as a secret enmity against EU membership. By luring the majority of the public, they think they can achieve Turkey's accession to the EU despite the state.

    Can this happen? Is it realistic?

    First of all, what do they mean by the "state"? The state consists of the government composed of political parties, Foreign Ministry responsible for foreign policy and the General Staff or security and defence. If these institutions would oppose the EU membership would they be able to make Turkey an EU member by overcoming all the other obstacles?

    When you ask the reason for the "state's" objection to the EU membership, they respond with a primitive Marxist analysis, because the state would not wish to lose its authority. When they were young leftists, the previous leftist generation opposed the European Community (EC) and demanded the execution of the late Ambassador Tevfik Saracoglu, as he was working for the accession to EC. It was the same Foreign Ministry, which signed the Additional Protocol of the Ankara treaty, which convinced the politicians to make application for full membership, and carried Turkey into the Customs Union.

    These pundits assumed socialist revolution as the flow of history. They were mistaken. They asked for a political solution to PKK terrorism. They were mistaken. They said secularism was contrary to democracy. They were mistaken. How many more mistakes should they commit so that they understand that they are making another mistake now?

    They should study these issues, get rid of their passions and, if possible, be realistic in order to influence the public. Otherwise, the Foreign Ministry will do what's required with its political boss. These pundits cannot make the Foreign Ministry do anything else.

    The only way out is to carry out this policy together with the state and the people. They may take part in this process, too. It depends on them. Let' s hope they should not miss this opportunity".

    KV/SK


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