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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-14

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:9/02 12-13-14.1.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader believes that President Clerides is sincere on reaching an agreement.
  • [02] All Turkish political parties failed in 2001; hopes postponed to 2002.
  • [03] Death toll reaches 46 in death fast protests, no solution in sight.
  • [04] Talat says the negotiations procedure began due to the international developments and not because of the so-called initiative of Denktas.
  • [05] "AFRIKA" reveals plans of the occupation regime to fire about 30 - 40 more teachers from the illegal universities.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Ilter Turkmen foresees that the legal issues will be the most difficult aspects of the forthcoming talks on Cyprus.
  • [07] The chief editor of AFRIKA supports that the Turkish Cypriots want the accession to the EU more than the solution of the Cyprus problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader believes that President Clerides is sincere on reaching an agreement

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (13.1.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas visited the Brotherhood Hearth yesterday and addressed a conference on the Cyprus issue. Upon being reminded by reporters about Greek Cypriot press reports to the effect that he has agreed to carry out DNA tests but that he has rejected the proposal to open up graves, Denktas said: "No, the issue is being discussed. We have not yet agreed on anything. If the graves will not be opened, then what is the point of conducting DNA tests?"

    Reporters also reminded Denktas of the suggestion made by Republican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat to the effect that he should take to Clerides a proposal on the joint use of the genetic hospital in the buffer zone, Denktas said: "We shall see. We are discussing the issue. All aspects of the issue are being discussed. A decision has yet to be reached".

    Denktas said that he talked with the family of one of the missing persons and that the family requested both a DNA test and the remains. He said that it would be more meaningful and honourable to establish a communal grave in which the names of all the missing persons will appear, adding: "The family of the missing person, however, refuses. The family has requests. If the family requests, then it will be done".

    Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots should be hopeful about reaching a solution, adding: "One, however, should not be extremely hopeful". He alleged that President Clerides' job has become difficult in recent days because his people maintain the view that holding negotiations at a time when accession to the EU is about to be realized is unnecessary. Denktas added that, however, he found that Clerides was sincere about reaching an agreement.

    Alleging that in the event the three freedoms are not preserved and a federation is established then the situation will be similar to that between Russia and Chechnya, Denktas said that if the powerful side arms itself and creates a reason, then it can attack the other side claiming it to be its internal affair and then no one can do anything about it. Stressing that Turkey's guarantor rights cannot be renounced in an agreement to be concluded, Denktas said that if the Greek Cypriot side renounces its claims that it is the government of the Turkish Cypriots, that the Turkish Cypriots are a minority, and that the Turkish Cypriots are its citizens living under occupation and if it accepts certain realities, then solving the Cyprus issue will be easy. Denktas said that it is easy to establish a new partnership in Cyprus because there are two separate units and that the issue is to determine the fields of cooperation between these two units and the conditions under which they will be represented as a single Cyprus to the outside world.

    Interview with TRT television

    TRT 1 Television (13.1.02) carried a 90-minute program on Cyprus on its weekly "Sunday Panorama" program. The program was hosted in occupied Cyprus and it was anchored by TRT's Nermin Tuguslu and journalist Mustafa Balbay. Interviewed during part of the program was the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Tuguslu begins by asking Denktas about the upcoming direct talks slated to be held between Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides on 16 January, and specifically about the role of the two leaders in reaching a solution. Denktas speaks about Clerides' entourage and advisers who believe in enosis, noting: "They are creating problems for Clerides by questioning the reasons for starting the negotiations and the possible concessions Clerides will make. The Cyprus issue has no aspect that has not been discussed, reported on or assessed. We know all the aspects of the Cyprus issue. What we are missing is the intention. The bad intention is the claim on the part of one side to be the government of the whole of Cyprus and the lack of willingness to renounce this. The Cyprus problem was never solved because the other side failed to renounce this intention."

    Denktas alleges that the Greek Cypriots failed to resolve the missing persons issue "for 13-15 years because the intention was to use this subject as a political propaganda tool."

    Balbay asks Denktas if his optimism rose in the period between 4 December, when the two leaders met socially over dinner, and 16 January. Denktas says: "The road is known. The direction is a new partnership between two old equal partners who share sovereignty. The foundation has been prepared, and it consists of two separate geographic areas. All these are evident. A population exchange has been conducted. There are pending subjects such as the exchange of property. Settling all these issues is a matter of intention. If the intention is to establish a new partnership, these issues can easily be resolved. If that is not the case, however, and if there are those who still want to march on the old road, with outside support, by claiming that there already exists a Cyprus Republic, a Cyprus government, and this cannot change, then they will refuse to embark on the new road. We will see this."

    In response to Tuguslu's question on the timetable foreseen for the solution of the problem, Denktas notes: "The reports about a solution within six months originated from me. I said this because there is no aspect of the matter left to study. We both know what this problem is all about. Therefore, we will either play games with one another, or we will outline the problem and discuss its solution. I requested a meeting to this end. We must solve this problem. I believe that we can.

    What is more, a solution has become inevitable, because on the basis of encouraging remarks especially from EU officials, the Greek Cypriot side believes the road to the EU is open and it can transport the entire Cyprus to the EU. I, on the other hand, know Turkey, the Turkish Government, the Turkish people, and my own people. The road is not open. In other words, you, as the so-called Cyprus government, cannot drag the north to the EU with the status of minority. Turkey would place its rights deriving from the 1960 agreements like a fortress, like a mountain in front of you at the last minute. Then, a big crisis would erupt. Everyone should be aware of this -- the EU, the United States, and the Greek Cypriot side. These tactics will not work. You cannot force the Turkish Cypriots into the EU as a minority. If you try to do that, you are looking for a crisis. Therefore, let us come to our senses. The children of two nations live in this country, on this land, on this Cyprus. You tried to make it Greek and you shed blood to that end, and we, in turn, tried to prevent this and we shed blood to that end. Consequently, you failed to turn Cyprus into a Greek island, and we are here as the side protecting independence. In a bid to protect Cyprus' independence, we prevented the partnership independence of Cyprus from being transformed into a Greek Cypriot republic and we established our state in order to prevent this.

    You cannot attain anything by overlooking these facts. Therefore, let us come to our senses, let us leave the doors open for further unity in the future, let us find a basis starting with the existing realities, and let us conclude this matter."

    Balbay goes on to refer to the large number of special envoys for Cyprus in the world, noting that these envoys now appear to be determined to solve the problem. Denktas decries the interference of outside forces and adds: "We negotiated with the envoys, who did not allow us to talk to the Greek Cypriots. They listened to the wishes of the Greek Cypriots, calculated how they would sell it to us, and presented us with documents. This is why the whole thing failed. Therefore, we are now telling everyone not to interfere. We said this to the Americans, to the British, and to Alvaro de Soto. We said: "Do not interfere. Let us discuss the matter between the two sides. If we fail to resolve it, you certainly will. They accepted this. However, now we are receiving reports that when he arrives today, de Soto is supposed to be accompanied by another three jurists, to make preparations, and to submit documents. We do not accept this. He has no right to do this. Let them leave us alone to discuss matter as two Cypriots. This is what we want."

    Balbay then asks about the attitude of Britain, given that it has military bases in Cyprus. Denktas answers: "They do not want the Greek Cypriots to harm their bases. They want the Cyprus problem to be resolved without angering the Greek Cypriot side. They are in favour of concessions on the Turkish Cypriot part, without upsetting Turkey. This is the policy of Britain: Let my bases not be harmed. The activity against the bases in the Greek Cypriot side is continuing on the sly. At least knowing this, Britain should be able to remain impartial."

    Balbay's next question is: "Does membership of the EU feature in the solution you envisage? If so, what is the road that leads there?" According to Denktas, the road that leads to EU is "solution first." He adds that "if one wants Cyprus' unification and accede to the EU as a single Cyprus, a solution must be attained first." The Greek Cypriots accorded priority to EU accession, because they were encouraged and "spoiled" by the EU, Denktas remarks. Denktas says that some Greek Cypriots are warning Clerides not to reach an agreement on Cyprus before joining the EU, explaining that "we must get the EU to accept the Turkish Cypriots as a minority, so that any subsequent agreement will be made on our conditions as the legitimate EU-member Cyprus government."

    [02] All Turkish political parties failed in 2001; hopes postponed to 2002

    Turkish Daily News (12.1.02) carries the following feature story on the current situation in that political parties in Turkey:

    "2001 was an unsuccessful year, not only for the governing parties but also for the opposition parties. In parallel to the economic crisis, governing parties lost a great deal of votes, while opposition parties could not become a hope for the public.

    As the Democratic Left Party (DSP)-Nationalist Action Party (MHP)-Motherland Party (ANAP) coalition partners were challenged to overcome the economic problems, they lost the support of the public to a great extent. While public polls showed that coalition parties were below the 10 percent national threshold, they preserved their majority in Parliament since they refused to go for early elections despite the pressure of the opposition. Governing parties have 336 deputies in the 550-seat Parliament. DSP has become the party that most lost its votes, followed by MHP and ANAP.

    However, the votes lost by the coalition parties did not go to opposition parties. Due to diminishing confidence in the politicians, none of the parties could catch the chance of coming to power alone in 2001, and an opposition crisis stamped 2001 as well as the government crisis.

    In addition to the opposition parties, employer and labour unions pressed the government for early elections in 2001 but the government turned a deaf ear to these calls as well as the resignation calls. Governing parties are now hoping to restore the credibility, which they lost last year, by solving the economic problems partially. The government plans to go for elections at the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003 if things work out smoothly. Indexed to the government's failure, opposition parties will struggle to go for elections in 2002. The hopes of both the opposition and the public were postponed to 2002.

    DEMOCRATIC LEFT PARTY (DSP)

    DSP experienced the worst year of if its history in 2001. The coalition's major partner lost its votes most among its partners due to the DSP-led coalition's failure in economy and the speculations over Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's health. Since the DSP is perceived as identical with Ecevit, the developments related directly to Ecevit were also determinant for the DSP, too.

    The speculations over the health of the 77-year old DSP leader even affected the stock market in the worst days of the economic crisis. The uncertainty about who will replace Ecevit in DSP caused the party to lose votes to a great extent.

    Although he selected President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Ecevit was not on good terms with him. Ecevit was blamed for the most severe economic crisis of Turkish history with the explanation he made after a National Security Council (MGK) meeting. Ecevit, who has the widest political experience among other politicians, withstood the resignation calls and turned also a deaf ear to the Cabinet reshuffle demands.

    Despite all these hardships in the government, Ecevit proved that he would not allow any circles to shake his dominance within DSP. Standing as a candidate for chairmanship of DSP in front of Ecevit at the party congress on April 29, DSP members did not even let Aydin Deputy Sema Piskinsut make a speech. Despite all the obstacles, she managed to get 86 votes. DSP deputies Mehmet Ozcan and Nazire Karakus resigned from DSP in an attempt to protest this move. Having realized that she can not have a political future within DSP, Piskinsut resigned from the party on Sept. 26 and started to make studies to set up a new party.

    Istanbul Deputy Ridvan Budak, former chairman of the Revolutionary Workers' Unions Confederation (DISK), was the first deputy that drew reactions of Ecevit. Budak was conducting one-man opposition within the party when Ecevit asked his dismissal on Dec. 25 as he increased the dose of his criticism. Budak has recently been expelled from the party by the DSP Disciplinary Board, which is no surprise.

    Other opposition deputies in DSP prefer to criticize the party behind closed doors. DSP management, on the other hand, is very reluctant to dismiss deputies. DSP is worried about the start of prime ministry debates with its coalition partner MHP, since the difference of the number of deputies between MHP and DSP is three.

    DSP entered 2002 in ambiguity. It seems hard for DSP to preserve even its most loyal voters in an environment where debates on the successor of Ecevit go on. However, if the economy goes on a track, DSP may increase its votes but the uncertainty regarding the political future of Ecevit will continue to be the major disadvantage of DSP.

    NATIONALIST ACTION PARTY (MHP)

    2001 was also a year of fluctuations for the coalition's second biggest partner, the MHP. Two ministers from MHP resigned last year upon the request of MHP leader Devlet Bahceli, while one minister was discharged from office by Bahceli.

    Coming to power for the first time since 1983, MHP suffered from its failure to fulfill its promises. Left in the lurch of government facts and its pledges, Bahceli preferred government facts. However, this preference drew the criticism of the MHP floor, but the strict party discipline curbed this criticism.

    Transport Minister Enis Oksuz was the first MHP minister who had to leave his seat over a dispute with state minister responsible for economy Kemal Dervis on the state telecom concern. MHP did not welcome Dervis from the very beginning and the disputes of MHP ministers with Dervis cost the economy a lot. Public Works and Housing Minister Koray Aydin, another MHP minister, had to leave his seat because of the "Operation Swindle" carried out with the aim of investigating corruption allegations regarding the state tenders held by his ministry. Aydin resigned from both Cabinet and Parliament but Bahceli did not accept his resignation as a deputy and elected him deputy chairman to the MHP group in Parliament.

    Another MHP minister was subject to the strict discipline of the party. Abdulhaluk Cay, who arranged a Turkic World congress with the support of former president Suleyman Demirel despite Bahceli's objection, was discharged from the Cabinet.

    Entering 2002 under the leadership of Bahceli, MHP has now far below the 17.98 percent support it received in the 1999 elections. As the displeasure of the MHP floor increases in line with the government's failure in the economy, Turkey's harmonization process on the European Union path seems to annoy MHP further. Nationalist MHP will have to make compromises in 2002, which is a critical year in terms of the relations with the EU.

    MOTHERLAND PARTY (ANAP)

    ANAP entered 2001 in a bad way. The operation on corruption involving former Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer shook ANAP. Upon the claims that Turkish soldiers started this operation, ANAP leader Mesut Yilmaz started a debate with the Turkish military. Following a long indictment, Ersumer had to resign on April 27.

    Meanwhile, State Minister Responsible for Privatization Yuksel Yalova had to resign from the Cabinet upon the demand of Yilmaz because he was accused of turning the economic balances upside down by opposing the Tobacco Law. Another significant development that shook the image of ANAP was the resignation of Interior Minister Saadettin Tantan. Working as if he was an independent minister although he was selected deputy from ANAP, Tantan cooperated more with Ecevit within the Cabinet. Yilmaz's patience ended and appointed Tantan as state minister. However, Tantan did not accept this post and resigned from both the Cabinet and his party. As ANAP led to the resignation of a minister, who became a symbol of the anti-corruption struggle, this development played a significant role in ANAP's loss of credibility.

    The turmoil in ANAP continued with resignations after the ANAP congress, in which Yilmaz was re-elected party chairman. Eight deputies, who had lost faith in ANAP, resigned from the party, six of whom joined True Path Party (DYP) and one entered the Justice and Development Party (AKP). One deputy is still independent. Drawing the criticism of the public due to the government's failure in the economy and giving the picture of dispersion with the resignations, ANAP undertook the opposition role within the government. ANAP deputy chairman Erkan Mumcu criticized the coalition partners harsher than any opposition party. The aim was to signal that ANAP wants to rid the country of the crisis but its partners do not allow it to do so. ANAP's efforts were fruitful to some extent but it seems hard for the party to regain the votes it lost during the years it was in power. Aware of this fact, Yilmaz suggests that the national threshold should be lowered to 7 percent from the current 10 percent for the coming elections or alliances among parties should be allowed. Yilmaz is right according to public polls since his party is now below the 10 percent threshold.

    TRUE PATH PARTY (DYP)

    In fact, 2001 was a great opportunity for the True Path Party (DYP). Its biggest rival ANAP was in government and that government was unsuccessful. MHP was also worn out for the same reason. DYP leader Tansu Ciller criticized the government harshly and steadily called on the government to resign. However, Ciller criticized MHP most and preferred to shake ANAP by transferring its deputies to her party. Despite all her efforts, she could not supply a leap in her party's votes.

    While everybody assumed that the new address of the right wing voters would be DYP, the closure of pro-Islamist Virtue Party (FP) by the Constitutional Court destroyed all accounts. FP was divided into two and some former FP deputies set up the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headed by former Istanbul Mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ciller took Erdogan as a serious rival and criticized him at every chance. She even said that Erdogan was more "radical" than the politically banned leader of former pro-Islamist Welfare Party (RP), Necmettin Erbakan.

    Ciller is still carrying the burden of her past coalition with RP and many investigations were opened against herself. It is noted that DYP can not win votes since the "negative image" of the party could not be eliminated. It seems that she will deal with the same problems in 2002, too. It is reported that in case of elections, DYP may set up a coalition with the Republican People's Party (CHP), as it did after the 1991 elections.

    JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT PARTY (AKP)

    Following the closure of FP in June, AKP was established in August and caused fluctuations in Turkish politics by transferring deputies from MHP, ANAP and DYP. However, former DYP deputy Meral Aksener preferred to leave AKP just a couple of days after joining. She finally joined MHP. The reason why AKP created frenzy was Erdogan's leadership, since he had been imprisoned for violating Article 312 of the Constitution and banned from politics. Erdogan served a four-month jail sentence after a 1999 conviction for reciting a poem that was seen as challenging Turkey's strictly secular system.

    Although AKP has been giving the image of a party addressing the center-right, the disputes on the political line of Erdogan never ended.

    The recent public polls unveil that AKP's votes stand at 20 percent, however, the major handicap of AKP is the uncertainty lingering over the political future of Erdogan. The Constitutional Court on Jan. 9 upheld a prosecutor's charge that Erdogan could not be one of the AKP's founding members because of a prior conviction for inciting religious hatred. Although the court rejected a petition demanding Erdogan's removal from the party leadership, there was confusion over the implications of the verdict. Erdogan will quit as founding member, his leadership will end but then he will probably come as a normal member and stand for leadership, again. However, this decision hindered him to be elected deputy and thus prime minister.

    Whether Erdogan will maintain his leadership carries great importance for AKP. If he steps down as a leader, there will be a leadership struggle within the party. On the other hand, Erdogan has the right to appeal to court for the return of his political rights within three years time. However, lawyers comment differently when this period will start. Some say that the period will start as of the declaration of his sentence, while others note that it will take start as of the completion of his imprisonment. In case Erdogan appeals to court and regains his political rights before the elections, he will also have the right to be elected deputy and prime minister.

    HAPPINESS OR CONTENTMENT PARTY (SAADET)

    Saadet (happiness or contentment) Party (SP) was established after the closure of FP and maintained the same line with FP. Despite the frenzy created by AKP, SP showed an indistinct image. SP's votes are far below the 10 percent threshold. The motions filed by SP deputies with Parliament to put an end to Erbakan's political ban were not supported. Erbakan is seen as the "spiritual leader" of SP. SP will strive to preserve FP voters but is seems hard since AKP is favoured by many FP voters. As Erbakan's political ban will also continue in 2002, SP's hands are tied on this issue.

    REPUBLICAN PEOPLE/S PARTY (CHP)

    Republican People's Party (CHP), which failed to enter Parliament in the 1999 elections, by staying below the 10 percent threshold, dealt with the inner party disputes last year. Many members opposing the leadership of Deniz Baykal resigned from the party. Thousands of members in the regional organizations left the party last year. Erdal Inonu, who is one of the leaders of the social democrats, also resigned from CHP in March 2001.

    As many opposition members were dismissed, Deniz Baykal was elected leader in the congress held in June. However, Inonu's name was mentioned during the preparations for the foundation of a new left-wing party and this distressed the CHP management. But Inonu announced that he would not be involved in the foundation of the new party, which somewhat relieved the CHP management. Although CHP has been trying to fulfilling an opposition duty against the government in the recent months, it can be hardly said that CHP succeeded with a leap in its votes. It is still unclear how much social democrats will support Baykal, but CHP members believe that the party will enter Parliament this time.

    GREAT UNITY PARTY (BBP)

    The Great Unity Party (BBP) could not enter Parliament in the 1999 elections since it did not make an alliance with any other party. Founded by MHP deserters, BBP aims to attract the former supporters of MHP.

    As BBP leader Muhsin Yazicioglu visited the leaders of other right-wing parties during the days when early elections were discussed fiercely, it was commented that BBP would enter elections together with another party."

    [03] Death toll reaches 46 in death fast protests, no solution in sight

    Turkish Daily News (13.1.02) carries the following report: Despite efforts from domestic and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to end more than a year-old death fast protest, the death toll is escalating. Last week saw the death of two protesters who were on death fasts to protest the maximum security F-type prisons, raising the death toll to 46.

    Last week, Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya Bar Chairmen asked for their proposal to be put into effect to solve the problem of the death fasts in prisons.

    They proposed the doors of three, three-person cells in the F-Type prisons be opened into a hall in order to abolish isolation.

    Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk said on Monday that they may allow inmates of high maximum security F-type prisons to get together, a move that would eliminate the isolation of inmates.

    Turk responded as Article 16 of the Anti-terror Law bans such a practice.

    "Inmates participating in social activities may form 10-people groups and they can get together for five hours a week," Turk said.

    Controversial F-type prisons opened more than a year ago, have one or three inmates to a room. Inmates/ families and human rights associations are saying that these prisons aim to isolate inmates and these prisons are notorious for human rights abuses.

    The Solidarity with Political Inmates Committee sent a letter to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights asking it to urge Turkey to end death fast protests, the Anatolia news agency reported on Thursday.

    The Committee also asked the United Nations (U.N.) to send a delegation to Turkey to watch the more than one year old death fast protests.

    There are currently more than 100 inmates who are either on death fast or hunger strike to protest the F-type prisons.

    [04] Talat says the negotiations procedure began due to the international developments and not because of the so-called initiative of Denktas

    KIBRIS (13.01.02) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader, has said that the negotiating process towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem began as a result of the international developments and suggested that accession talks to the European Union be conducted in parallel with the negotiation procedure for solving the Cyprus problem.

    Talking at a Press conference on Saturday Mr Talat argued that the Turkish Cypriot side should join the EU accession talks having equal status and repeated his support to the existence of "communal domestic peace" as long as the negotiation procedure towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem continues.

    Mr Talat expressed also the opinion that all the organizations and institutions in the pseudostate should begin preparing for the EU membership and form a platform on the issue adding that the political parties too should form an EU committee in the pseudoassembly.

    Furthermore, Mr Talat noted that RTP's support to the negotiating process towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue and this has nothing to do with the persons. "As long as steps are made our support will continue", he said.

    Referring to the missing persons issue, the RTP leader noted: "Half of the Genetics Hospital belongs to us. We must send our team and prepare the genetic map of the relatives of the missing persons".

    [05] "Afrika" reveals plans of the occupation regime to fire about 30 - 40 more teachers from the illegal universities

    "Afrika" (14.01.02) writes that Turkey's Committee for Higher Education (YOK) has prepared a list of about 30 to 40 teachers who are to be fired from the illegal universities of the pseudostate, because they "spread harmful ideas" among the students.

    According to "Afrika" the decision was taken at the so-called Turkish embassy in occupied Nicosia during the recent visit of a YOK's delegation to the pseudostate. The paper notes also that the rectors of all the "universities" took part in the meeting as well and adds that the teachers are to be fired by the end of February.

    The dismissal of Unit Inatci from the illegal "Near East University" is described as the beginning of the above - mentioned operation.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Ilter Turkmen foresees that the legal issues will be the most difficult aspects of the forthcoming talks on Cyprus

    HURRIYET newspaper (12.1.02) publishes a commentary by former Turkish Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen under the title: "Before 16 January".

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "The date 16 January is an important date for both Turkey and the TRNC. On that day, Rauf Denktas will have his first substantial meeting with President Glafcos Clerides within the context of the negotiation process that he launched through his own clear-sighted and creative initiative.

    On the same day, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit will be in Washington. There can be nothing more natural than for Cyprus to figure heavily in the meetings that he will have with President Bush and the administration. We can predict, to a fair degree, what President Bush will say to Ecevit on this topic. It is more difficult to predict what Ecevit's approach will be, however, since the things that the members of the coalition government say often contradict each other.

    The Prime Minister has to date not departed from his stance that there is no connection between the Cyprus issue and the EU accession process. However, just a few days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, who is responsible for EU affairs, said that "Developments regarding the ESDP [European Security and Defense Policy] and on Cyprus have removed a very important obstacle in our relations with the EU." On the other hand, it has been frequently stressed recently that negotiations [on EU accession] must be taken up during the year 2002. As long as the Cyprus problem is not resolved, or at least as long as the responsibility for a lack of a solution is not declared openly to be on the Greek side, to expect to be able to start accession negotiations is not very consistent with the realities of the situation.

    This much is clear: The lack of a solution on Cyprus impacts extremely negatively upon not only our relations with the EU, but upon our ties with all other international bodies as well, and in particular upon those with the Council of Europe. In particular, the decisions reached by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), in the event that a preliminary solution does not materialize, will lead to a number of complex problems for Turkey, the full scope of which cannot be fully determined today. As far back as 1995, the Court ruled on an individual application from a Mrs Loizidou that her property rights had been violated, and condemned Turkey, which was found responsible, to pay her compensation amounting to more than 500,000 dollars. Thereafter, hundreds of such suits were filed against Turkey. No matter how much the Turkish government, and even some judges of the ECHR when speaking privately, charge that the decision in question is devoid of any legal basis, the decision is still valid from the standpoint of the other members of the Council of Europe. The Council's Committee of Ministers is calling upon Turkey to adhere to the decision. And Turkey is already, for other reasons, being kept under observation by the Parliamentary Assembly, along with Russia, Ukraine, and Albania.

    And that is not all. On 10 May 2001, the ECHR made an even more far-ranging decision based on an application by the Southern Cypriot Government [i.e., the Republic of Cyprus]. In this, it made Turkey responsible for all the actions of the TRNC and ruled that preventing Greek Cypriots who had left Northern Cyprus in 1974 from returning to their homes constituted a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. After this, there will presumably be no end to such individual applications. It must not be forgotten that, ever since the Maastricht Treaty, both the European Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are a part of the accepted body of EU laws and regulations.

    The only way to escape from the impasse we are in vis-a-vis the Council of Europe and the EU is to reach a solution of the Cyprus issue which encompasses all its aspects, including that of real estate. The solution has to dispose of all the legal consequences of all the individual and official applications that have been made to date to the ECHR, as well as all the decisions that have been handed down in these cases. And for any agreement reached not to conflict with the EU's accumulated body of laws and regulations will only be possible through the inclusion of its substance in Cyprus's EU Accession Agreement.

    It can thus be seen that one of the most difficult aspects of the Denktas-Clerides talks will be that of the legal issues. Denktas needs Turkey's technical assistance, particularly in this area. But special care must be taken to ensure that the advisors sent to him are not chosen from among those who would seek to thwart Turkey's EU membership by manipulating the Cyprus issue. Let us not, while trying to be helpful, make matters even worse".

    [07] The chief editor of "Afrika" supports that the Turkish Cypriots want the accession to the EU more than the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Sener Levent, editor in chief of "Afrika" (14.01.02) in his regular column "Opinion" writes that the Turkish Cypriots want to enter the European Union more that they want the solution of the Cyprus problem. Answering to some rumours, which are spread recently, about alleged efforts to keep the northern occupied part of Cyprus outside the EU accession process, Mr Levent notes, among other things, the following:

    ".Another reality appeared in the new negotiating process. The Turkish Cypriots definitely want a solution, but what they want more than the solution is the accession to the EU. If the solution does not serve the accession to the EU, then it's worthless.

    Why am I writing all these? According to rumours spread during the last days, efforts are exerted to keep Northern Cyprus outside the EU process even if a solution is found on the island. Why? In order to enter simultaneously with Turkey. Turkey does not want to abandon the Cyprus tramp card until it enters the EU. It is obvious that a difficult procedure is to take place on that issue during the negotiations.

    Is it possible to accept the whole of Cyprus and to keep the Northern Cyprus wait for Turkey for, let's say, another ten years? If the USA and England want it, it is possible.

    Is our community, which wants the accession to the EU more than the solution, ready to live for another ten years, as it is living now, under the control of Turkey? No it is not. In fact, this is why we keep writing that people are in favour of the accession to the EU with or without a solution. If there is no accession after the solution, this will be a total disaster. What we really want is to get rid of the extra weight on our back, from the Ankara - Denktas regime.

    If, as it is said, there will be three zones and the powers of the central government will be limited, whereas the powers of the two separate states will be more and if Denktas and his people rule again the Turkish state and behind them is Ankara again, then what is the use of the solution? Who wants to live like this any more? People are dreaming of a life without Denktas and Ankara after the solution. This is the reason they want the solution and the EU. Why? Because they do not believe any more that there will be justice and peace, as long as they (translator's note: Denktas and Ankara) are here"

    KV/SK


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