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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-11

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:8/02 11.1.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ismail Cem met with the EU ambassadors in Turkey.
  • [02] Turkey hopes to receive a $10 billion fresh stand-by credit from IMF.
  • [03] Former Turkish President visits occupied Cyprus illegally. Speaks of two-state reality on the island.
  • [04] Disagreement within the Turkish government over the Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Academicians express support for Nilgun Orhon and Umit Inatci.
  • [06] Yilmaz believes in a positive result in talks on Cyprus with the contribution of the EU and the USA.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01. Ismail Cem met with the EU ambassadors in Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (11.1.02) carries the following report by Saadet Oruc: "Meeting with the ambassadors of the European Union (EU) member states, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem gave important messages vis-a-vis the fulfilment of the short and medium term criteria expected to be done by Turkey, which will pave the way for the full membership of the country to the 15-member bloc.

    EU officials, briefing the Turkish Daily News on the meeting expressed their pleasure over the messages given by Foreign Minister Cem on the Turkish efforts to fulfil the criteria.

    In a traditional lunch given by Foreign Minister Cem on the occasion of the Spanish presidency of the EU, the recent developments between Turkey and the EU were discussed.

    Cem was also asked by the EU diplomats over the Turkish policy on Iraq and particularly on the visit to be paid by the Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to Washington.

    During the lunch, which was defined to be "extremely interesting" by the EU officials taking part, the post-Laeken perspective of the union was broadly debated.

    Cem's remark over the steps taken by Turkey was evaluated to be "very encouraging".

    Concerning the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), it was stated by the EU side that after very long negotiations, an agreement was reached with Turkey.

    "Turkey has nothing to do more since everything has been put forward," said the EU diplomats, commenting on the discussion on the ESDP during the lunch. Vis-a-vis the Cyprus issue, Cem reiterated full support to the new process going on between the two leaders of Cyprus.

    Cem: 'We are ready to speak with the Greek side on the territorial disputes' Regarding the territorial disputes between Turkey and Greece over the Aegean Sea, Cem was quoted as saying by the sources taking part at the lunch that Turkey was ready to negotiate with the other party as soon as the other party is ready.

    List to be reviewed in March

    The terror list declared by the EU, which excluded anti-Turkish groups, was also raised by Cem during the lunch. He asked the logic of excluding these groups from the list. And the Spanish side stated that in March the review of the list will be starting for modifying the file.

    Expressing the importance of the summit planned to be held in Istanbul between the EU and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Cem demanded high-level participation from the EU."

    [02] Turkey hopes to receive a $10 billion fresh stand-by credit from IMF

    Turkish Daily News (11/1/02) carries the following report on the state of the Turkish economy and relations between Kemal Dervis and the government coalition partners:

    "Economy Minister Kemal Dervis yesterday said he would stay in office as long as he enjoyed confidence from all the coalition parties, following allegations that he had threatened to resign unless a controversial bank recapitalization bill was approved by the Parliament in the form he had proposed.

    Dervis, who was hauled over from a World Bank post in March last year to extricate Turkey's economy from crisis, said he was not an elected official but had taken office at the invitation of the coalition parties.

    "For instance, we arrive at a turn. The car would overturn if fifteen different people debate whether to step on the gas or brakes. My point is, I will drive the car as long as confidence remains. Not only the Prime Minister, but also coalition partners should have confidence," Dervis told a ruling Democratic Left Party's (DSP) parliamentary group meeting yesterday.

    He was speaking after lengthy debates on Wednesday and Thursday between coalition parties over the bill that provides for the restructuring of corporate debts with the financial sector and the transfer of public funds to banks with inadequate capital. The Motherland Party (ANAP) and particularly the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) have opposed the plan and MHP State Minister Faruk Bal urged revisions on the bill with concerns that it could allow favouritism in the implementation process. Dervis reportedly threatened to resign at Wednesday's meeting, advising the coalition leaders to find someone else for the post.

    The plan has drawn reaction also from industry and labour circles, which demanded that the means and extent by which the government and banks would support the corporate sector be clarified in the bill. Controversies over the bill sent Turkish stocks tumbling 6 percent on Wednesday, as investors feared the disagreement could put the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal at risk.

    On Thursday, however, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced that a consensus on the bill had been reached between the coalition partners. Hours before the bill was put up for debate at the Parliament floor, Dervis briefed the DSP deputies on the plan and cautioned that the economy could face another crisis should an unforeseen global development impact on a big Turkish bank.

    He said the government had to act quickly amid a fragile environment, and pushed 19-20 bills through Parliament in a very short time. "It shouldn't normally be this quick, they should be debated at length, but the existing debt load requires us to be very swift," Dervis said.

    Turkey hopes to receive a $10 billion fresh stand-by credit from the IMF to plug its financing deficits in 2002, for which it must pass structural reforms, including the controversial bank financing bill. Turkey's Parliament has already passed key tobacco and public procurement laws in the first week of January, ahead of Ecevit's Washington visit later this month where he will ask for continued U.S. support for the Turkish economic program and for international lending.

    But Dervis continued to face criticisms from the junior coalition partners. ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz said Dervis's main responsibility was to conciliate IMF demands with legislation that would win parliamentary support.

    "He could perform his task more easily if he avoids behaviours that could complicate his task. Political statements would certainly create problems. Mr. Dervis has successfully fulfilled his mission so far. I hope problems don't arise in the future," Yilmaz said in an interview to private NTV and CNBC-E television networks yesterday.

    Explaining the bill to the DSP group, Dervis said that Turkey would continue seizing banks that have lost their equities entirely. "The Banking Supervision and Regulation Agency (BDDK) will seize a bank in that condition and put it under the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) administration. I hope there are not many banks in that condition. I believe many or maybe all of these banks have so far been eliminated," he said.

    Dervis said that other private banks with weak capital bases were not in a shape to finance the economy. "We have to make them stronger. We have to protect them against risks," he added."

    [03] Former Turkish President visits occupied Cyprus illegally. Speaks of two-state reality on the island

    Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel visited occupied Cyprus illegally yesterday in order to deliver a speech at the so-called Near East University.

    The Turkish Cypriot newspapers (11.1.02) give extensive coverage to the visit with emphasis on Demirel/s statements that conditions are ripe for peace in Cyprus and that time has come for a settlement.

    In his speech under the title "The World, Turkey and Cyprus" which was broadcast live on illegal BRT television, Mr. Demirel referred to the various conquerors of Cyprus, the Venetians, the Ottomans and how Ottomans were forced to hand over Cyprus to the British in 1878 when the Ottoman Empire was facing economic problems. He alleged that Greece never ruled Cyprus and that Greec/e Enosis idea was the cause of failure in finding a political solution so far and that the problem cannot be solved if Greece does not give up Enosis.

    Mr. Demirel stressed that his visit is a demonstration of support for the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash alleging that "there are two sovereign states on the island and a partnership could be formed between them only through their own free will, not through outside influences".

    Reporting on Demirel/s visit AFRIKA newspaper (11.1.02) quotes his statement that "There is no difference between Cyprus and the Turkish regions of Artvin and Andrianoupolis. When one touches Cyprus he touches the Turkish Republic" and notes that once more Demirel did not fail to extend support to Denktas.

    The former Turkish President also said that Turkey would provide water and electricity to the occupied areas in the coming years.

    Referring to the presence of the Turkish occupation army in northern Cyprus, Demirel said that the Turkish troops were stationed in Cyprus not because they had nothing to do in Turkey but to maintain peace and "therefore Greek Cypriots should also want to have them in Cyprus".

    Speaking to reporters later Demirel alleged that there were two nations in Cyprus and trying to forge one nation out of two would be a futile effort. He said the new Cyprus settlement ought to be built on the "two-state reality on the island".

    Replying to Demirel, Denktas said separation of the two peoples saved Turkish Cypriots and that his current effort was to provide a joint administrative roof for the states of the two distinct peoples of the island.

    Demirel left the occupied areas later on the same day.

    [04] Disagreement within the Turkish government over the Cyprus problem

    Under the front-page banner title "Different opinions", "Yeniduzen" (11.1.02) reports that there is a disagreement within the Turkish government over the Cyprus problem. In order to defend its stance, the Turkish Cypriot newspaper compares statements made by Sukru Sina Gurel, State Minister responsible for Cyprus and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    According to "Yeniduzen" Mr Gurel supported that setting time limits for finding a solution in Cyprus would be wrong, whereas Mr Cem argued that the problem must be solved by the end of 2002 or by that time the possibility of reaching or not a solution must be made clear.

    Talking on NTV television Mr Cem said the following when asked about the Cyprus problem: "I think that this issue must be done with by the end of 2002 or to be made clear whether it will end or not. Neither we nor the TRNC must wait in vain".

    On the other hand, when reminded of the statements that a solution could be found in Cyprus by the end of June, Mr Gurel said: "It would be wrong if we put a time limit, because there are a lot of different pressures. One of them is the pressure of time.".

    [05] Academicians express support for Nilgun Orhon and Umit Inatci

    "Afrika" newspaper (11.1.02) publishes a press release by the Trade Union of the so-called "Eastern Mediterranean University" Academic Personnel, in which they strongly condemn the oppression against the Lyceum teacher Nilgun Orhon and Professor Umit Inatci, who were sacked by the occupation regime because they expressed their thoughts freely.

    Under the title "The thought cannot be assassinated", "Afrika" writes: "While the political parties, the trade unions, and the democratic organizations keep silent the trade union of the academicians of EMU is reacting".

    In their press release, the academicians of EMU note that they never accepted an academic environment, which does not tolerate the academicians who express freely and loudly their opinion not only on scientific matters but on the future of the community as well.

    "One of the main duties of the universities is to produce thought, not to assassinate it", they point out adding that, just like Nilgun Orhon had done, Umit Inatci in parallel with his academic work fulfilled his duty towards the community as well, by expressing freely his thoughts, with which someone could agree or disagree.

    "We strongly condemn the fact that this behaviour was punished by the Near East University and demand that this kind of antidemocratic actions, which are contrary to the basic human rights and freedoms, are not repeated and Umit Inatci to return immediately to his work", note the EMU academicians.

    Noting that during this period the eyes of the whole world are focused on Cyprus, because of the efforts towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and that those who took the decisions against Umit Inatci and Nilgun Orhon are harming the Turkish Cypriot community, the statement concludes as follows:

    "What our community needs now, more than ever, is respect for the human rights and freedoms. Oppression, threats and intimidations have not been for the benefit of our community, on the contrary they have harmed it. We stress that we do not approve this kind of policies, whatever their source and call on everybody to act with common sense to avoid this kind of practices taking place again".

    [06] Yilmaz believes in a positive result in talks on Cyprus with the contribution of the EU and the U.S.A.

    KIBRISLI (11/1/02) reports that the Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, in a statement he made yesterday to the Turkish private TV channel NTV, alleged that Turkey is open for a dialogue and ready for a reconciliation on Cyprus.

    Yilmaz said: "Turkey has shown that it will not accept the Greek Cypriots' position and that the Cyprus problem is as from today in very difficult conditions. But this does not mean that Turkey is not open for reconciliation and that it is not ready for an agreement that will safeguard both sides' interests."

    Yilmaz also said that the Greek Cypriots see Cyprus' accession into the EU as a tramp card but Cyprus will be near to a solution when they stop pressing Turkey for a solution according to their interests. He also added that he believed that the negotiations between President Clerides and Rauf Denktas will reach a positive result with the contribution of the EU and the USA.

    KV/SK


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