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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-17

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. 12/02 17.1.02 C o n t e n t s

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements of Rauf Denktas on yesterday's meeting with President Clerides
  • [02] Milliyet and Cumhuriyet on the resumption of talks on Cyprus
  • [03] Bulent Ecevit met George Bush. He spoke of two states and two nations in Cyprus calling the Turkish invasion a peace operation.
  • [04] Olgun says during the first meeting of the face-to-face talks the working methods and the schedule were discussed
  • [05] Turkish delegation to visit the pseudostate; Turkey to grant 375 trillion for the needs of the "budget"
  • [06] Tansu Ciller: Saddam's friend Ecevit is unreliable
  • [07] Al Qaeda Turks in US custody
  • [08] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers covered yesterday's first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the two communities
  • [09] Akinci criticized Denktas of acting in a contradictorily manner
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] Mehmet Ali Birand claims that signals indicating that the Turkish side's expectations on Cyprus will be met were received from Washington.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements of Rauf Denktas on yesterday's meeting with President Clerides

    Ankara Anatolia (17/1/02) reported from the occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas responding to questions of journalists, today said: ``The framework of the meetings were determined. However, we decided not to make detailed statements to the press. ``

    ``On Monday, we will evaluate yesterday's meeting. We held a face-to-face meeting yesterday. On Monday, delegations will attend the meeting. We will discuss functions of two equal sides in the new republic to be founded on the island. ``

    Rauf Denktas also said that documents about the missing persons could not be exchanged yet because the Greek Cypriot side had not submitted the document.

    Rauf Denktas added: ``United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan`s Special Representative Alvaro de Soto who has been attending the meetings as observer, asked Clerides and me about religious holidays in the 'TRNC' and religious festivals in the Greek Cypriot side. De Soto will go to New York during these holidays and festivals to submit his reports to the United Nations. ``

    [02] Milliyet and Cumhuriyet on the resumption of talks on Cyprus

    Turkish Mainland Papers, MILLIYET and CUMHURIYET (17/02/02) report about the resumption of the negotiation process in Cyprus, between President Clerides, and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    MILLIYET/S occupied area correspondent Ozgur Eksi, quotes the brief statement made by UN Secretary - General's special advisor for Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto, that the "sides have agreed to meet regularly three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday."

    MILLIYET gives the report in the "Foreign News" section of the paper, under the title "They started with high speed".

    On the other hand, in a separate report, the paper's Brussels correspondent Guven Ozalp, refers to a Report on Cyprus prepared by Lord William Wallace, for the Robert Schuman Centre. Prof. Wallace is a prof. at the London School of Economics.

    In his report Prof. Wallace proposes the establishment of a peace force made up of NATO member countries to address the security worries on the island. Prof. Wallace also proposed a /United Cyprus/ membership to NATO and a "symbolic" number of Turkish troops to stay in Cyprus after a settlement. In its turn CUMHURIYET, under the title "A new process in Cyprus" says that President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have started a new process in Cyprus yesterday by their face-to-face meeting, "with a view to finding a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem." This report as well quotes de Soto/s statement and the decision to meet regularly three times a week.

    [03] Bulent Ecevit met George Bush. He spoke of two states and two nations in Cyprus calling the Turkish invasion a peace operation.

    In a dispatch from Washington Ankara Anatolia news agency (17/1/02) reported that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit`s meeting with the U.S. President Bush at the White House was sincere.

    Prime Minister Ecevit invited the U.S. President Bush to Turkey at the meeting and Bush responded positively to the request. Bush said Turkey was a magnificent country.

    President Bush's National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of Treasury Paul O`Neill, White House Europe - Eurasia Director Dan Fried, White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe-Eurasia relations Elizabeth Jones, and the U.S. Ambassador to Ankara Robert Pearson attended the meeting.

    The sides discussed Iraq, Afghanistan, Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Middle East, Turkish-Greek Relations, Cyprus, Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, relations with the EU, and Turkish-U.S. economic cooperation.

    While discussing the Afghanistan issue, cooperation of the two countries in the fight against terrorism, and the process which Turkey would cover with the U.S. regarding Afghanistan's rebuilding was evaluated.

    U.S. President Bush stressed that Turkey was an important model being a secular, democratic, and Moslem country.

    Bush, while speaking about the Iraqi issue, said they knew Turkey's sensitivities about Iraq, stressing that this issue was brought onto the agenda often recently. Bush also expressed the uneasiness felt over weapons of mass destruction.

    Bush also reiterated the views of the U.S. administration regarding the changing of the Iraqi regime.

    Bush said they would consult with Turkey in view of the close relations between the U.S. and Turkey.

    Speaking about the Cyprus issue, Ecevit alleged that the fact that there are two states and two nations on the island should be accepted, and referred to the situation in Cyprus before 1974, the Turkish invasion and the situation after the invasion which be called peace operation.

    Ecevit said the face-to-face talks, which started between Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides, should be supported. Bush said he also shared the views that the face-to-face talks should be supported.

    Prime Minister Ecevit thanked U.S. President George Bush for the U.S. support expended for the European Union (EU), stressing that this support should continue.

    Speaking about the European Security and Defence Policy, Ecevit expressed thanks for the U.S. support.

    Bush said they attributed great importance to the Turkish-Greek relations, noting that the U.S. administration supported the efforts of the two countries.

    President Bush said they knew about Turkey's expectations regarding the economy issues and pointed out that Turkey entered a reform process.

    It was reported that the issue of ``Qualified Industrial Zone``, which Prime Minister brought onto the agenda during the meeting, was also discussed.

    Improving trade, which is the weakest link within the framework of their strategic partnership, was brought onto the agenda.

    It was reported that U.S. President Bush gave the message of strong support to Turkey in economic issues. Bush said Turkey was going through a serious process.

    Prime Minister Ecevit thanked him for the support, which the U.S. expended to Turkey following the economic crisis.

    Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was brought onto the agenda, and the U.S. support in this respect was stressed.

    Addressing journalists after wrapping up his second day contacts in the United States, Prime Minister Ecevit said: "In the past, when Turkish and U.S. officials came together, they would discuss issues concerning the two countries. However, during my visit to the United States, all international problems were taken up. We held multi-dimensional meetings. This shows thhe real dimension of relation between Turkey and the United States.

    It was understood in a statement released by the U.S. State Department that Turkey and the United States would act together on economic issues. It is not possible to solve economic problems at once,`` he said.

    Prime Minister Ecevit also told reporters: ``President Bush excluded Turkey from the list of risky countries for U.S. tourists. This is an important issue. This will make commercial contributions to Turkey.``

    Prime Minister Ecevit said that the United States-Turkey Economic Partnership Commission was formed.

    Responding to a question about Iraq, Prime Minister Ecevit said: ``During our meeting, U.S. President George W. Bush assured me that the United States would closely consult with Turkey before any decision on launching a military operation against Iraq. It is a well-known fact that the United States does not want Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The United States has been assessing a possible military operation against Iraq. The United States does not plan to launch a military operation against Iraq in the short term. Turkey's strategic importance is vital. Turkey has a significant position in the region``.

    When asked whether or not the issue of meeting expenditures of Turkish soldiers sent to Afghanistan was taken up at the meeting, Prime Minister Ecevit said: ``Details were not discussed. Work on the issue has been continuing``.

    [04] Olgun says during the first meeting of the face-to-face talks the working methods and the schedule were discussed

    KIBRIS (17.1.02) reports that Ergun Olgun, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas' advisor who was present at the beginning of the talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, said yesterday that during the first meeting between President Clerides and Mr Denktas they discussed the working methods and the schedule of the talks.

    Talking on KIBRIS FM radio and asked what the first issue discussed, was Mr Olgun reminded the embargo on the statements put by the UN Secretary - General and added: "However, it is possible to realize what issues were put onto the table, by looking at the results of the meeting. You could think that the working methods and the schedule were discussed at the first meeting".

    Replying to a question on the moves of Mr Denktas if the two sides were not able to reach an agreement on a certain issue and on the possibility of Mr Denktas abandoning the confederation position, Mr Olgun noted:

    "The aim is the creation of a new partnership. After this partnership is established, the political scientists could name it any way they want. The goal right now is the two states in Cyprus to create a new partnership. New authorities will be given to this partnership. When the day comes, the accession to the EU will be realized within the framework of the partnership agreement. Therefore, we shall move in the direction of this goal. .There are various methods. All of them will be tried. There are various techniques for dealing with a matter on which reaching an agreement was not possible and for the way by which we shall pass to another matter. The aim is to keep going without stopping and to ensure the continuity. .".

    Commenting on information published in the Press, according to which the UN will pay about 1.5 million US dollars for eight rounds of talks in Cyprus, one in New York and another in Geneva, Mr Olgun expressed the opinion that there is no need for so many expenses and added: "There is no agreement for talks outside Cyprus. This issue has not been discussed. These are only plans in the head of some people. The good-will mission is a procedure depending on the sides".

    Asked about the so-called advisors' crisis, which was a result of Mr Denktas not wanting the talks to be conducted under the auspices of the United Nations, Mr Olgun answered: "Such problems will continuously be coming to the surface during such procedures. If there is understanding when these problems appear, then they will remain in the past. This problem has been solved. There is no need for further discussion on it".

    [05] Turkish delegation to visit the pseudostate; Turkey to grant 375 trillion for the needs of the "budget"

    KIBRIS (17.1.02) reports that a delegation headed by Salih Zeki Karaca, Advisor for Cyprus Affairs at the Turkish Prime Ministry, is to visit the occupied areas next weekend in order to discuss with Turkish Cypriot "officials" the details of Turkey granting the pseudostate the sum of 375 trillion Turkish liras, which are to be used for the needs of its "budget".

    According to the so-called spokesman of the "Ministerial Council", Salih Miroglu, the Turkish Cypriot delegation will be headed by the so-called Finance and Economy "Ministers", Mehmet Bayram and Salih Cosar.

    [06] Tansu Ciller: Saddam's friend Ecevit is unreliable

    Turkish Daily News (17/1/02) carries the following report by its parliamentary bureau:

    "Main opposition True Path Party (DYP) leader Tansu Ciller said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is known as the "friend of Saddam" all over the world and claimed that he is unreliable.

    "During his talks in the United States, he will either lose at the negotiation table due to his close stand to Saddam or leave important decisions related to the future of Iraq for minor financial pledges," Ciller said during her DYP's group meeting in Parliament.

    Criticizing the government's economic implementations, Ciller said that the real inflation showed itself on basic nutrition and consumer goods that saw more than a 100 percent rise.

    Ciller called on the government not to apply Value Added Tax (VAT) on bread, milk, oil, rise, natural gas, electricity and pills for at least three months.

    DYP leader blamed Health Minister Osman Durmus for causing pharmacies to pull down shutters to protest the government when he asked them to decrease their prices by 10 percent after allowing a 100 percent rise in pill prices in one year.

    Criticizing the government's manner to blame opposition parties for the current economic crisis, Ciller said: "If Turkish people are not taking to the streets like in Argentina, it is because the opposition parties are acting in a responsible manner."

    Ciller noted that the ratio of Turkey's external debt to national income rose rapidly in the last four years.

    "It is clear that Foreign Military Sales (FMS) loans won't be cancelled. Maybe the interest of this loan can be cancelled. The prime minister should ask the U.S. to sign a free trade agreement instead of asking the cancellation of this debt," Ciller said.

    Ciller stated that Turkey should sign a Quality Industrial Zone agreement with the United States.

    Ciller noted that Turkey has become a country following all the demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due to its loans.

    New conditions and loan opportunities emerged in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks against targets in the U.S., and the government had no role in these new chances, Ciller added."

    [07. Al Qaeda Turks in US custody

    Turkish Daily News (17/1/02) carries the following report by Ilnur Cevik:

    "An unspecified number of Turks, suspected of being members of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist organization, have been caught in Afghanistan and are being interrogated by U.S. experts in special centres in Kuwait and Pakistan, Turkish government sources reported.

    The sources that asked not to be named said that the Turks were caught during security operations on al Qaeda hideouts and during clashes in various parts of Afghanistan.

    They said the Turks were not sent to Cuba, as they were not regarded as key Al Qaeda people. The Turkish Daily News was told that the Americans had been moving the most important and "dangerous" al Qaeda terrorists to the U.S. Guantanamo Navy Base as a safety precaution. However, Turkish sources also said that the Americans had not ruled out some Turkish terrorists being sent to Cuba as the interrogation process was continuing.

    Sources said the al Qaeda captives were regarded as "unlawful combatants" as the U.S. refuses to designate them "prisoners of war" (POWs).

    Sources said the relatively less important al Qaeda terrorist suspects like the Turks were being held at special interrogation centres in Pakistan and Kuwait. The sources said how many Turks were under custody was not known but added that their numbers could increase with new prisoners coming from Afghanistan.

    American experts were interrogating the Turks along with all other Al Qaeda suspects and their fate would eventually be discussed with Turkey. Sources said the Turks could face American military tribunals.

    Initial information from the Turks reportedly showed that they were not key personnel in al Qaeda and that they were generally foot soldiers who were not privy to sensitive information. Besides this the interrogations showed that the al Qaeda people operated on a cell system and many of the foot soldiers were not given sensitive information.

    However, Turkish sources said they were told the prisoners taken to Cuba had furnished the Americans with vital information about al Qaeda's terrorist operations and its plans.

    [08] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers covered yesterday's first face-to-face meeting between the leaders of the two communities

    The local Turkish Cypriot newspapers (17/1/02) report about yesterday's first face-to-face meeting between President Glavcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. In their front page the papers publish the UN Secretary-General's Special adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto's statement after the meeting. The titles of the report on Cyprus are as follows:

    KIBRIS: "A Good Start".

    VATAN: "Continuation of the talks"

    ORTAM: "The framework is ready"

    VOLKAN: "No Answer". The paper asks why they are putting the 'TRNC'in a difficult situation while the talks are continuing?" It refers to the refusal of the Greek Cypriot businessmen to fill the pseudostate's application forms the other day.

    YENIDUZEN: "A Positive Start"

    YENI DEMOKRAT: "Encouraging meeting"

    HALKIN SESI: "A historic procedure started"

    AFRIKA does not refer to yesterday's meeting, but publishes the former leader of the Communal Liberation Party Mustafa Akinci's statement he made yesterday saying that Denktas is raising the axe of war.

    KIBRISLI: "Umbrella". The paper analyses the fact that UNFICYP Spokesperson Brian Kelly was holding an umbrella with the logo of the UN, although it was not raining, as giving the message that the talks are under U.N auspices.

    [09] Akinci criticized Denktas of acting in a contradictory manner

    ORTAM (17/1/02) reports that the former leader of Communal Liberation Party (CLP) Mustafa Akinci delivered a lecture on the Cyprus problem the day before yesterday at the International Relations School of "Near East University". Pointing out that Denktas' behaviour is contradictory, Akinci said that on the one hand it seems that Denktas is extending a hand of peace to Clerides and on the other he waves his war axe to the peaceful bi-communal activities.

    Referring on the issue of the dismissal of teacher Nilgun Orhon and professor Umit Inatci, Akinci said: "Nobody could interfere even if it was about academic inefficiency. However, there are views that some do not like. Should people be punished for their views?"


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] Mehmet Ali Birand claims that signals indicating that the Turkish side's expectations on Cyprus will be met were received from Washington.

    In his regular column "Opinion" of Turkish Daily News (17/1/02) Mehmet Ali Birand writes the following from Washington on Mr Ecevit/s visit the United States:

    "The Prime Minister has been shown even more interest than he had expected. The messages given by President Bush and the meeting he had with Vice President Cheney last Tuesday came together to create an extremely favourable political atmosphere. When the meeting with Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld was added to that, Ecevit's political expectations were met fully, with the developments actually going beyond his expectations.

    The U.S. Administration has indicated that it is happy with the performance of the coalition government. During the meeting only praise was heard. In other words, stimulated by this trip, the coalition's life span has been lengthened -- that is, unless a "road accident" occurs.

    Ecevit had ample opportunity to explain his concern over the Iraq issue. However, the Americans are yet to understand fully how sensitised Turkey has become on this issue. They kept saying, "Why are you so sensitive? We have not taken any decision. Besides, when we reach the decision-making stage we will definitely consult you." They tried to allay Ankara's worries by saying that no one wanted establishment of an independent Kurdish state, and that that possibility should not be exaggerated.

    On the Cyprus issue as well the Turkish side had a chance to express its views at the highest level. Ecevit repeatedly stressed that "The status quo on the island should be reflected by the solution formula."

    The American Administration does not think differently. There is no disagreement between Ankara and Washington in this respect. What the Bush Administration expects from Denktas is that he should not be a spoilsport. Certain signals have been received, signals indicating that the Turkish side's expectations will be met.

    On the Afghanistan issue too Ecevit received the message he had wanted to hear. Washington has flashed the green light for the transfer to Turkey of the command position of the 5,000-strong international force that will ensure Kabul's security. However, one still has to be careful since the decision is to be taken, along with the Afghan Administration, the countries who will make up the 5,000-strong army, Britain especially. Though Washington carries great weight in this respect, more efforts will have to be made to eliminate the objections being raised by the others. Starting with President Bush, members of the American Administration have given the following basic message: Turkey is America's most important strategic partner in the region. We give Turkey full support and this will continue.

    No one doubts that when this message reaches the international public this will definitely boost Turkey's "rating."

    Full support for the coalition and Ecevit

    Last Tuesday's meetings also gave important messages that would get reflected on domestic politics. The one that tops the list is what Vice President Cheney told Ecevit:

    "This coalition has undersigned extremely important reforms. We know that your personal leadership has played a major role in this respect, and we give our support."

    An almost identical statement came from Koehler, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) official for Europe.

    Koehler too showered praise on the coalition government. Indicating that being reformist was the most prominent feature of the coalition, he reiterated his full support. He made remarks in the following lines: "...You are going very well. Just do not become idle. You will soon see the favourable results. Do not forget about the tax reform. Also, complete the restructuring of the state banks. Remove the bureaucratic obstacles that stand in the path of the locals and the foreigners. You have our full support and soon you will see the substantial results..." You can imagine the reverberations these words will have on domestic politics.

    I think that these words are the clearest sign indicating that Washington and the IMF want this coalition to remain in power until 2004. To sum up, from the political angle the Turkish delegation is extremely satisfied.

    Well, what about the money matters?

    Turkey came here with exaggerated expectations from the standpoint of economic relations. The general climate was one of, "We have provided support and now let us get in return what we must." The realities were a little different.

    PM Ecevit displayed the same attitude throughout the talks:

    "If Turkey is a major strategic partner of the United States, Washington must not see this partnership as something limited to the military and political spheres. It must ensure that this partnership gets reflected in economic and commercial relations as well."

    This is a justified approach. However, the expectations are so great that it is simply not possible to attain all these immediately, in a few days. And this is exactly what happened.

    Some of Turkey's expectations have been fulfilled. And the need to have the rest tackled by the Mixed Economic Committee -- which has failed to meet over the past two years -- and to have discussions on this issue, was stressed.

    Part of the media and businessmen may have been slightly disappointed because they had expected all the expectations to be translated into money thanks to this trip. The Bush Administration officials, meanwhile, reminded the Turkish side of the things that have been done to date, promised that more would be in the offing, and that that required a patient attitude. A high-level figure in the Administration told me, "The agreement with the IMF and the additional loan have been achieved thanks to America. And, in the period ahead, it will be seen that this support will continue."

    Here, a different Turkey was present

    Comparing this trip to the previous such visits, I observed an interesting scene.

    In the pre-Ozal period, only military assistance and military cooperation used to be discussed during such visits. Ozal brought about an important change, adding to these relations the economic and commercial cooperation dimension. For the first time he told the Americans, "Discuss with us not the military relationship but the investments including joint investments." Bringing with him Turkish businessmen, he introduced them to these markets. The Turkey carried here afterwards by Ciller, Yilmaz and now Ecevit, is quite different. It is quite obvious that the economic crisis especially has made the Turkish businessmen much more go getting and rights seeking and much more open to cooperation with America. Turkey is now an ally that opens up its doors to competition and definitely seeks its share in the American market.

    And the favourable development of the political relations is clearing the Turkish businessmen's path. Now all remains to be done are to be more insistent and get one's share of this giant market."


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