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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-28

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: 19/02 26-27-28.1.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rauf Denktas on clearing the minefields and destroying the Czech weapons.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas again speaks of two equal and sovereign states in Cyprus.
  • [03] Bulent Ecevit speaks of two separate states and two separate nations in Cyprus.
  • [04] Ismail Cem speaks of two states and two nations in Cyprus.
  • [05] Is a /new Cyprus state/ in the offing?
  • [06] EU urges Ankara to "think twice" on the amendments.
  • [07] New standoff between government and Sezer.
  • [08] Gurel describes as "dangerous" the accession of Cyprus to the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem.
  • [09] The occupation regime punishes German journalists by not allowing them to take pictures in the occupied areas.
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot businessmen call on the two leaders to hold on a regular basis joint Press conferences.
  • [11] The so-called Minister of Education will attend the meeting of TURKSOY.
  • [12] TUSIAD on the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [13] Ilter Turkmen: The Cyprus problem will bring Turkey and the EU together or separate them completely.
  • [14] AFRIKA columnist Arif Hasan Tahsin comments on Denktas/ advisors in the talks.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rauf Denktas on clearing the minefields and destroying the Czech weapons

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (26.1.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that the Greek Cypriot move to clear up the personnel mines in the buffer zone and to the south and their efforts to eliminate the Czech-made weapons left behind since 1972 have nothing to do with the direct talks he is holding with President Clerides.

    The first week of the direct talks between Denktas and Clerides ended yesterday [25 January]. The meeting yesterday lasted 90 minutes. It was held at the UN conference centre near the Nicosia International Airport. In reply to the reporters' insistent questions, Denktas said that the talks will resume on Monday.

    Asked how he views the first week of talks, Denktas replied: "The first week is behind us as the first week. We will now begin the second week. We hope that we will advance better".

    A reporter asked if the Greek Cypriot move to clear up the personnel mines and to eliminate the Czech-made weapons was a manoeuvre. Denktas replied: "No". Explaining that this was a development linked to an international demand that came from Canada, Denktas said: "This demand was made in the past as well. The United Nations and former US Secretary of State Albright had proposed that we mutually withdraw our troops in narrow areas and remove the live bullets from some of the troops in both sides. We had accepted that demand and had said that we were ready to look at the mine problem in a certain context. The mine issue was shelved because the Greek Cypriots were not able to accept the withdrawal of troops or the elimination of ammunition from the weapons. Now they are trying to do something in their region, that is what we understand".

    Asked if this development would positively influence the direct negotiation process, Denktas affirmed that the two are not linked.

    A reporter asked how the Greek Cypriot side was approaching the views posited by the Turkish Cypriot side during the direct talks. Denktas pointed out that the sides had agreed not to make any statements to the press in connection with the direct negotiation process. Therefore we are not going to reveal what we discuss in our talks, he said.

    [02] Rauf Denktas again speaks of two equal and sovereign states in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (26.1.02) reported that in an address at a military swearing-in ceremony, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that the world must understand that there are two equal and sovereign states in Cyprus, adding that this should be taken into consideration when searching for a solution. Denktas further stressed the importance of knowing the past events leading to the present.

    Recalling that the direct talks are continuing, Denktas said the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey will never give up the rights stemming from the 1960 agreements, Denktas pointed out that some wrong messages were given to the effect that Turkey was bluffing and that the Turkish Cypriots are not thinking about freedom, motherland, and the flag because of the economic crisis.

    Explaining that it should be well known that the Turkish Cypriots will not accept any agreement just because there is an economic crisis in the occupied areas, Denktas alleged that the ploys under way to severe the ties between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have been increasing. Recounting that the people are demoralized by the mistaken messages being given to the effect that that the Turkish Cypriots do not want the Turkish soldier and Turkey's interference in their affairs, Denktas added: "The talks were launched in order to raise the morale of the people, tell the world that these messages are wrong, and protect the Turkish Cypriots' sovereignty, freedom, and rights. The talks were also launched in order to show the world that the Turkish Cypriots are standing upright and to stop those who seek to drag the island into another Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot dispute".

    Calling on everybody to realize that the Turkish Cypriots are peace-loving people, Denktas added: "The fact that we are peace-loving people urged us to do the necessary in order to unite two equal and separate units -- two equal, separate, and sovereign units. It was our duty to Cyprus, our people, and to build a bridge of peace between Turkey and Greece. We are moving in this direction. We have no intention to secure any agreement by giving up our equality and sovereignty and ask for alms from the EU".

    Explaining that the EU constitutes a goal and could be favourable for Cyprus, Denktas said: "We are working toward a sound, lasting, and strong agreement, which will have recognized that Cyprus is an entity emerging from the joining of two equal and sovereign sides which jointly determine the conditions for EU membership and which assure that all the Greek Cypriots will not be able to come to the north."

    Calling on the world to assist in resolving the Cyprus issue, Denktas said that the world can help in settling this issue on the condition that it is not biased and gives up the stand, which allows the Greek Cypriot side to do as it pleases because it is considered the only legitimate government. Alleging that there are two equal and sovereign ethnic entities in Cyprus, Denktas said that the exercise is to get them together and unite Cyprus.

    Noting that another agreement similar to the 1960 agreements, which remained on paper only, will not be signed, Denktas said: "We want peace. A peace, whose grounds are laid on equality, can be secured only through respect for mutual rights and realization of past mistakes. Peace cannot be secured with those who claim that only they exist".

    Further alleging that the Turkish Cypriots are those who are really suffering, Denktas added that the Turkish Cypriots, for this reason, are sincere in their wish for conciliation. Denktas continued: "The Turkish Cypriots seek a bi-zonal agreement, which will enable the continuation of Turkey's guarantee. All these grounds exist." Noting that the path to peace and conciliation will be paved speedily on the condition that these grounds are accepted, Denktas alleged that those who exert efforts to have the Turkish Cypriots accept the Greek Cypriot administration have taken a mistaken road.

    Addressing the soldiers during his speech, Denktas said that the soldiers' training prepared them for the duty of protecting peace, safeguarding the motherland, hoisting the flag high, and improving the country, which was established in complete cooperation with motherland Turkey. Denktas further expressed belief that the soldiers will fulfil their duties.

    [03] Bulent Ecevit speaks of two separate states and two separate nations in Cyprus

    CNN TURK Television (25.1.02) broadcast an interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Taha Akyol.

    Akyol starts by asking the prime minister to assess his recent visit to the United States. Ecevit replies: "I went with positive and hopeful expectations, and the situation I saw there was beyond my expectations. I saw, in concrete form, that US President Bush, his colleagues, and members of the US Administration attach great importance to Turkey and value it greatly. I knew that before, of course, they had declared that on every occasion prior to that."

    After listing the high-level officials with whom he met, Ecevit notes that Vice President Cheney who "usually does not hold face-to-face meetings with guests made an exception and we held a meeting during which he made a very nice speech."

    Taha Akyol points out that comparing the visits paid by Ecevit and Greek Prime Minister Simitis to the United States, the media declared that Ecevit's was more successful and more effective. Ecevit declines to make a comparison, but adds: "Turkey has a special position. After 11 September, it became much more apparent than before how Turkey is important in terms of preventing a confrontation between religions." He goes on to say that Turkey is also important in terms of regional security and that its "relations with the world are much more extensive than Greece's." He states: "Greece's relations are mostly in the maritime, shipping, and commercial fields, while Turkey has a special strategic place in terms of security, especially in the eyes of the United States. The oil pipelines increase its importance of course."

    Asked whether the Cyprus problem is being resolved, Ecevit replies: "It is difficult to say from now that the Cyprus problem is being resolved. What is important is that a dialogue process has begun." He says it is thanks to Rauf Denktas that the process began, adding: "What is important is to accept the Cyprus reality, and that is that there are two separate states and two separate nations in Cyprus. Unless this is accepted, there can be no agreement. If the Greek Cypriot side accepts that, I believe that an agreement that will satisfy both sides can easily be reached in the form of various formulas. However, if this reality is not accepted nothing can be achieved. The greatest responsibility in this regard lies with the EU." Ecevit asserts that the EU must not interfere in the Cyprus problem, and charges that by promising to admit the Greek Cypriot side as the representative of the whole of Cyprus, the EU is encouraging the Greek Cypriots to be more resistant.

    [04] Ismail Cem speaks of two states and two nations in Cyprus

    CNN TURK Television (27.1.02) broadcast an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on various issues such as the EU-Turkish relations and Cyprus.

    In reply to a question on whether the tension in the coalition with regard to constitutional amendments can have a negative impact on the Turkish-EU relations, Cem says that he does not think so because these things happen in every country. Cem continues by explaining that it is understandable that the debate under way within the government on amendment to Articles 312 and 159 may have an impact on EU talks, and adds: "However, it is blowing out of proportion to say that the Turkish-EU relations will be deadlocked." Cem then recounts that the present coalition has the special characteristic of deliberation and changing stands if necessary. Stressing the importance of Turkey's membership in the EU, Cem explains, however, that Turkey will not go backward and lose its democracy if it does not become an EU member.

    Asked to list the difficult items on the Cyprus issue, Cem starts by noting that the Cyprus issue does not stand in the way of the EU and that efforts were exerted to explain the Cyprus issue to the world. Recounting that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots tried to explain to the world that it was always the Greek Cypriot side, the Cyprus Greek [Kibris Yunan] nation, which was intransigent, Cem continues by noting that the Turkish Cypriot side has adopted a mature approach to have both nations "meet at a common solution." Cem continues: "In my opinion, the Greek Cypriot side was presented a real partnership if it really wants. Mr. Denktas made this proposition. For this reason, it is up to the Greek Cypriot side's decision now. This is the first part of the issue." Cem continues by saying that it is the duty of Turkey to explain to the United States, the EU countries, the UN Security Council, and the Islamic Countries the realities behind the Cyprus issue and call on them to tell the Greek Cypriot side that their approach will not achieve anything.

    Upon a remark on whether there is a deadlock in the Cyprus talks, Cem says that there is no deadlock and adds: "I want this issue to be resolved and finalized in 2002. I believe that there will not be any hope after the end of 2002. It is for this reason that I want the Cyprus Greek side to be encouraged."

    Asked to expand on his deadline of 2002 for a Cyprus solution, Cem says that the Cyprus Greek side may reach a no-return point with the EU, adding: "Our priority wish is to secure a solution. In my opinion, this is possible. Certain parts of the Greek Cypriot side, however, still maintain their attitude of not sharing with the Turkish Cypriots." Cem concludes by saying that the Greek Cypriots will have to decide whether they are willing to share. Nobody should expect anything from us if they do not want share. The issue is so simple. The United States, the EU, and everybody else should help the Greek nation in Cyprus to make the right decision. We are reminding them of this responsibility. In my opinion, this is not a deadlock. I have never found the expression of Greek Cypriot [Kibris Rum] correct even though I am not really an expert on this issue." Cem than explains that the roots of "Rum" is actually in Anatolia and adds that he does not like the usage of "parties" and "communities" because the issue is about two states, not about two communities and parties. "For this reason," Cem notes, "the word nation should be given priority because both of them are nations. One of them is the Greek nation and the other the Turkish nation. "

    In reply to a question on whether he will discuss the Aegean issue with Papandreou in Davos, Cem adds: "We talk about everything with Papandreou, however, we have never seriously discussed the Cyprus issue." On the issue of the Aegean, Cem says: "We are comfortable on the Aegean issue; however, we are taking into consideration the Greek sensitivity. I have never done anything that could make Papandreou look bad in front of the public. For this reason, I think that the timing is up to the Greek side." Cem then explains that Turkey respects the legal documents of Agenda 2000 and UN Resolution 33 with regard to the Aegean issue, adding that the Greek side has emitted some possible signals as well. Noting that the sides should concentrate on those issues on which they have no disagreement first, Cem says that Turkey is open to discuss all concerning issues.

    [05] Is a 'new Cyprus state' in the offing?

    Under the above title and sub-title: "Denktas, Clerides agree to build a 'new Cyprus state' on pre-1960 foundations, while a new document suggesting the creation of a 'United States of Cyprus' creates fresh controversy". Yusuf Kanli, writing in Turkish Daily News (27.1.02) reports the following: "The leaders of the two peoples of Cyprus have engaged themselves in an invigorated process aimed at finally bringing an end to the almost 40-year-old problem on the eastern Mediterranean island, while news of a document prepared by an American-sponsored bi-communal working group suggesting the creation of a "United States of Cyprus" created fresh controversy in the Greek Cypriot side. Turkish Cypriots, not in full agreement with the contents of the document leaked to the press almost three months ago which somehow made headlines only last week, so far have preferred to remain silent on the new document, while anger is growing in the Greek Cypriot side, mostly in disagreement with the document's contents, and accusations of "treason," are rampant against those Greek Cypriots who participated in the formation and writing of the suggested settlement.

    The "United States of Cyprus" document prepared by the "Cyprus Study Group," that brought together intellectuals, academicians and former diplomats from the two sides of Cyprus, as well as Britain and the United States, calls for the establishment of a new partnership state on the island. The group is funded through the United Nations Operations Service of the U.S. State Department.

    The document, that looks like an extended version of the "confederation" proposal of Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas, calls for a rotating presidency to the new Cyprus state.

    According to the document, the proposed state would have rotating presidency; the presidency would change hands either every two years or, as in the case of the European Union, every six months; when a Greek Cypriot serves as president, a Turkish Cypriot will serve as prime minister and vice versa; 5 to 9 percent of the land will be handed over to the Greek Cypriots; Turkey and Greece will each withdraw 5,000 troops from the island once every six months until eventually Turkey and Greece will each have 2,000 troops on the island and English, Turkish and Greek will be the official languages of the new state.

    From a global perspective, the document was just a product of months long discussions of a nongovernmental study group, and it should not have led to a heated controversy. However, the composition of the group and the fact that it was established with the guidance of the former Clinton Administration of the United States and the document was presented to the U.S. State department in December 2001, made the issue very explosive, particularly in the Greek Cypriot sector.

    Who were the participants of the "Cyprus Study Group?"

    Chairman:

    Robert Rotberg, Foundation for Global Peace chairman and Harvard University professor

    Turkish team:

    Mustafa Akinci, former `deputy prime minister/, former leader of the Communal Liberation Party (TKP), widely believed in the international community to be a possible successor to Denktas as next Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Kenan Atakol, former `foreign minister/, a leading figure of the ruling National Unity Party, has extremely close relations with `President/ Denktas Sefika Durduran Kutlay Erk Erdil Nami Taner Selcuk Cetin Kursat

    The Greek Cypriot delegation:

    Michalis Papapetrou, a protege of President Glafcos Clerides, spokesman of the Greek Cypriot administration

    Katie Clerides, daughter of President Clerides, a deputy, very active in intercommunal social activities.

    Andreas Mavromatis Harry Anastasiou Marios Eliades

    The Turkish Daily News received the copy of the document back in early 2001, but acting with "responsible journalism" considerations, and fearing that a very promising development could be spoiled if the document was leaked, did not publish it until it was published in the Greek Cypriot press last week.

    When the document was leaked to the Greek Cypriot media, it exploded and all criticisms were directed at Papapetrou. Greek Cypriot ruling and opposition politicians started questioning how it happened that a right-hand man of Clerides and a government spokesman was participating in an "anti-government" meeting and contributing to the creation of a document that "aimed at destroying the state" he was serving as spokesman.

    Papapetrou was quick in denying both the existence of such a study group and such a document, but when he realized that perhaps it was only Clerides who had not heard about the document, started defending that a study group could not have the task of offering a settlement. He claimed that the document was just an intellectual exercise.

    It was an intellectual exercise but, starting from the December 4 history-making encounter between Denktas and Clerides, the ideas enshrined in the document have become the cornerstones of the new Cyprus initiative.

    According to information provided to the TDN by well-placed sources with insight of what's happening at the Denktas-Clerides meetings, the two leaders have agreed to try to build "a new Cyprus state," starting from the pre-1960 status of the two peoples of the island.

    Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots were the two "founding equal partners" of the 1960 Cyprus Republic that lived only three years and collapsed in December 1963.

    Although the Greek Cypriot-administered Cyprus government is recognized by the U.N. and the international community as the "sole legitimate government" of the eastern Mediterranean island, Turkish Cypriots and Turkey do not consider it as a continuation of the 1960 partnership republic.

    According to the sources, particularly at the December 29 dinner at the residence of Clerides, and at the first meeting of the new process on January 16, the two leaders have reached an understanding to put aside their titles, flags, states and move on to build a new state structure on the basis of the pre-1960 status of the two peoples and the founding treaties of the Cyprus Republic. "

    [06] EU urges Ankara to "think twice" on the amendments

    Writing in Turkish Daily News (28.1.02) Saadet Oruc reports the following:

    The so-called "mini reform package" has not only puzzled the European Union (EU) side, but also gave the signals of a new coalition crisis.

    In a meeting with EU officials on Friday, Bulent Ecevit stated that he would try for reconciliation between the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) and the Motherland Party (MP), during the leaders summit to be held on Monday.

    "Ecevit said at the meeting that he would do his best to review the package. However, he did not rule out a possible failure, since his government was a coalition," a senior Turkish official, who was present at the meeting said.

    The unexpected meeting between top EU officials in Ankara and Ecevit, which took place on Friday, has been the ground for a strongly voiced reaction of the EU side against the new package of constitutional amendments.

    The EU troika told the prime minister that the existing package stayed far from meeting the expectations of Brussels for fulfilling the political criteria.

    Foreign Ministry sources stated that EU diplomats also voiced concerns over some recent steps taken, in reference to the harsh attitude of the security forces against the students giving petitions for education in the mother tongue and the refusal against the opening of an Amnesty International office.

    The attendees of the meeting at the prime ministry were Secretary General of the EU Volkan Vural, Foreign Ministry undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, EU Commission representative Ambassador Karen Fogg, Spanish Ambassador Manuel De La Camara, Danish Ambassador and the EU troika.

    Speaking on CNN Turk's "Cafe Politics" programme on Sunday, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said that the debate on the harmonization laws will not cause troubles in Turkish-EU relations, contrary to the remarks made by De La Camara on the "Kriter" programme that the exiting package will cause a strong barrier, negatively affecting the momentum reached at the Laeken summit of the EU.

    Coalition crack

    "A serious coalition crack can be seen in the aftermath of the discussion over the new amendments," officials, who are involved in the discussions say.

    As a result of the ongoing debate over the harmonization laws, NAP is expected to be marginalized, according to comments in political circles in Ankara.

    The National Security Council (NSC) meeting planned to be held on Tuesday is also commented to be critical regarding the harmonization law package.

    NAP argues that the territorial integrity of Turkey can be at risk with some changes, which are demanded by the EU.

    Motherland Party, on the other hand, is seen to be more willing for more steps to fulfil the political criteria for EU membership.

    Amendments related to Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code and Article 159, as well as the changes for the improvement of freedom of thought and expression are under the spotlight of the EU side.

    MP/s Erkan Mumcu had reacted against the package during a meeting of the Justice Commission last week, creating a pause in the commission studies

    . "Such a package can lead to anti-democratic administration," he said.

    In political circles, it is being believed that Mumcu is speaking on behalf of his party leader.

    [07] New standoff between government and Sezer

    Turkish Daily News (28.1.02) reports that the leaders of Turkey's three-way coalition government will come together today to explore a way out from a crisis created by a presidential veto of three articles of a bank recapitilization law seen as crucial to winning up to $12 billion in new loans when the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meets on February 4.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has not commented publicly on the presidential veto, but sources in his Democratic Left Party (DLP) and senior government sources said the prime minister was upset with the presidential move. President Sezer objected Friday to three articles of the controversial law he said would interfere with a government auditing body, would undermine Parliament's constitutional right to review and inspect and would change the status of state-bank personnel to private sector employees before the banks are privatised.

    This was the third time the president has used his veto power ever since last year's constitutional amendments allowing the president to exercise his veto power on articles of law. In the past presidents were approving or vetoing the entire text of a law. Still, while the president now has the power to approve some parts and veto other parts of a legislation, existing regulations in the country do not allow approved articles of a law partly vetoed by the president to enter into force.

    According to the Constitution, the president has no veto power on a legislation that he vetoed once if Parliament re-enacts it without making any changes in its text. The president, however, has the right to appeal to the Constitutional Court and ask for its annulment.

    According to the sources, the prime minister wanted the legislation published in the Official Gazette and entered into force before a keyboard meeting of the IMF on February 4, a goal that appears difficult to meet now. The prime minister, sources said, would most likely ask his two partners to send the controversial law back to Parliament and ask the legislature to re-enact it without making any change in it.

    Still, sources said, there were two other options that the three leaders could discuss at the summit today.

    The sources said the three leaders, seeing that even if Parliament re-enacts the law without making any changes in its text, because that the president would have 15 days before approving and sending it to be published in the Official Gazette, the Feb. 4 deadline would be missed, the three leaders may decide to take into consideration the presidential veto and to redraft the law accordingly.

    A third option, sources said, the three leaders may decide at the summit to drop from the text of the law the articles vetoed by the president and after making those deletions, resubmit the law for presidential approval. Since the president has already approved the other articles of the controversial law, and as the remaining articles did not change the "designed aim" of the law, Turkey could still meet the target of putting the legislation into force before the IMF meeting.

    According to analysts the vetoed articles did not compromise the essence of the law and could actually improve transparency as Turkey works to clean up an image of widespread graft.

    NAP understands the president, but...

    Meeting over the weekend on the issue, the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) flank of the government decided to propose its two partners re-enactment of the controversial law without making any changes in its text, although the party "agreed in principle" with the president's views.

    Sources close to the nationalist party said Bahceli was very sensitive as well to the issues raised by the president and had clearly conveyed his assessments to his coalition partners, but now there was an urgency, the finance and real sectors of society badly needed that legislation and he believed it would be more appropriate if Parliament enacted the law without making any changes in its text.

    Motherland Party supports the law

    The junior partner of the three-way coalition government, the Motherland Party (MP), was fully supportive of the re-enactment of the controversial law without making any change in its text, but was holding on its final decision on the issue until after party leader Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz returned from a visit to Federal Germany.

    Dervis cites problems ahead

    The presidential veto of parts of the key banking legislation particularly alarmed the economic star of Turkey, State Minister Kemal Dervis who very much wanted the law entered into force before the February 4 meeting of the IMF board which is expected to give go ahead to some $12 billion fresh funding for Ankara, making the country the fund's largest-ever borrower.

    "The presidential veto of course will create problems," Dervis acknowledged adding that after assessing what could be done, he would make a statement today at the Treasury Undersecretariat.

    The president has vetoed other IMF-backed reforms, creating tension with Ecevit's delicate left-right coalition and sparking panic in markets fearing political instability.

    Turkish financial markets drifted this week as investors nervously watched for Sezer's ratification of the bill. Analysts said the government must reassure jittery investors over the weekend to avoid a market slump on Monday.

    The IMF, whose board is to meet on February 4, has said Ankara must see through several tough reforms to win up to $12 billion in fresh cash, that would make it the fund's largest-ever borrower.

    The IMF has already pledged to loan Turkey $19 billion, most of which is earmarked for the country's massive debt burden. Last year's domestic debt stock was about $92 billion.

    Turkey's wobbly banks are at the centre of a financial crisis that saw an economic contraction of 8.5 percent in 2001. The controversial law had called for Treasury capital injection of up to $4 billion to crisis-hit banks to improve their capital adequacy ratios and stimulate lending to manufacturers.

    [08] Gurel describes as "dangerous" the accession of Cyprus to the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (28.1.02) reports that Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, Sukru Sina Gurel, has described as "dangerous" the accession of Cyprus to the European Union before the solution of the Cyprus problem, claiming that in this case the division of the island would be final.

    Talking to KIBRIS Mr Gurel alleged that the accession of Cyprus to the EU prior to the solution and to Turkey's accession to the Union would change the equilibrium between Turkey and Greece in the area of the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Mr Gurel also said that he is optimistic about finding a solution and added that the content of the solution is more important than its name.

    [09] The occupation regime punishes German journalists by not allowing them to take pictures in the occupied areas

    Under the banner front - page title "Iron Curtain" "Afrika" (28.1.02) reports that the occupation regime has forbidden three journalists from German State Television ZDF, which has visited the pseudostate for the first time, to take any kind of pictures in the occupied areas in an attempt to punished it because it had visited the occupied city of Famagusta without taking permission first.

    Noting that the foreign correspondents can go nowhere in the occupied areas without taking the permission of the regime, the paper writes that the situation in northern Cyprus is similar to the one existed some time ago in Albania.

    According to "Afrika" the German journalists talked with Turkish Cypriot refugees in Famagusta and made several reportages. In Nicosia they visited the printing house of "Afrika" and talked with its publisher and editor-in-chief, Sener Levent.

    [10] Turkish Cypriot businessmen call on the two leaders to hold on a regular basis joint Press conferences

    According to KIBRIS (28.1.02) the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen's Association (ISAD) called on President Clerides and Rauf Denktas to hold on regular basis joint Press conferences, in order to inform people about the development of the face-to-face negotiation procedure towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a written statement issued yesterday ISAD notes, among other things, the following: ".Our Association, bearing in mind that the danger of the talks being harmed by declarations which incite the fears of the two sides, calls on the leaders to hold joint Press conferences once every two weeks and inform their peoples".

    [11] The so-called Minister of Education will attend a meeting of TURKSOY

    KIBRIS (28/1/02) reports that the so-called Minister of Education and Culture Ilkay Kamil flew yesterday morning to Kazakhstan in order to participate in the meeting of the Permanent Council of TURKSOY, which is considered as the UNESCO of the Turkish speaking world. The meeting will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, between 29-30 January.

    The aim of TURKSOY, which was founded in 1993, is to establish a friendship and cooperation among the Turkish states and communities.

    [12] TUSIAD on the Cyprus problem

    YENIDUZEN (26.1.02) reports that on 25.1.02, the Chairman of the Board of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, Tuncay Ozilhan delivered a speech at the 32nd Council meeting of the TUSIAD, where inter alia, he referred to the Cyprus problem. He said: "The view of TUSIAD on the Cyprus problem turned out to be right and contributed to the beginning of this momentum."

    He also added: "I believe that TUSIAD must express its views on the solution of the Cyprus problems and on other issues."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [13] Ilter Turkmen: The Cyprus problem will bring Turkey and the EU together or separate them completely

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (26.1.02) publishes a commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: "Europe's new architecture and Turkey".

    The commentary is as follows:

    "Since the signing of Turkey's Partnership Treaty with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1963, the process of European integration and expansion has reached a level that no one could have even imagined at that time.

    While Turkey, due to internal squabbles, lack of political perspicacity, and passivity, has been unable to attain to the full membership that it had voted for some 40 years ago, the 5-member EEC has in the meantime turned into the 15-member EU [European Union]. Within the next 2 or 3 years, this number will rise to 25, and will include Cyprus in one form or another. We experienced one of the most important stages of economic integration just as we entered into the year 2002. Today, twelve member states and 300 million Europeans are using the same currency, the Euro. And to the economic dimension of the EU have also been added dimensions of foreign policy, internal affairs, justice, and defence and security.

    Ever since the establishment of the EU, one of its prominent characteristics has been its continuously renewing itself and developing its own architecture. With every new step forward and with every effort at reform, problems have arisen, objections have been raised, and some members have not wanted to join the caravan, but in the end, the evolution has continued. Right now, the EU is involved in a restructuring effort. The summit meeting held in December 2001 at Laeken [Belgium] adopted a declaration on the theme of the EU's future. Just look first of all at how the declaration defines Europe in a globalizing world. "Europe as the continent of humane values, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the French Revolution, and the fall of the Berlin Wall; the continent of liberty, solidarity and above all diversity, meaning respect for others' languages, cultures and traditions."

    The Laeken summit decided, in addition to statements of principles, to hold a convention, which will develop ideas concerning the future of the EU. The purpose of the convention will be, by the time of the intergovernmental conference that is to be convened in the year 2004, to put forth views on methods and reforms that will ensure adaptation to the new conditions of the Union.

    Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who has played a major role in the evolution of the EU, was chosen to head the convention, which will be a consultative body. Together with member states, candidate countries, including Turkey, will take part in the convention with three representatives each, of which two will be parliamentarians. In this way, Turkey will get the opportunity to participate in shaping the future architecture of Europe, as well as the chance to stress its European identity. But there is one important point that must not be forgotten. The personalities of individuals play a very important role in conferences of this type. It would be most appropriate for our representatives to be chosen from among parliamentarians who are completely conversant in EU issues, familiar with the techniques and methods of international conferences, respected at home, imbued with liberal culture, and having foreign language skills of a high order. When one considers all these characteristics, one name comes immediately to mind: Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik. And the fact that he is currently an independent is a factor that should in any event make it easier for a consensus to form in his regard.

    Turkey will occupy a major place on the EU's agenda during the year 2002. To begin membership negotiations within the year must be a strategic goal for us. We cannot disregard the fact that the Cyprus question will play a key role within this strategy. The Cyprus problem will either bring Turkey together with the EU or else completely separates them from one another. A number of well-known intellectual centers in Europe are now working on model solutions for the Cyprus issue which would facilitate its being resolved within an EU perspective. In parallel with this, there are also serious efforts underway for the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to `President/ [of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" Rauf] Denktas and [Greek Cypriot President Glavcos Clerides] in the event that a solution can be reached. There is no doubt but that the symbolism of Denktas being awarded the Nobel Prize would also give a great impetus to Turkey's own accession process. That is, if we are able, in the area of democracy and freedoms, to surmount our mental blocks on the topic of the Copenhagen Criteria and get rid of the dogmatic political culture, fed by both the left and the right, that just cannot comprehend liberalism, looks for dangers and enemies on every corner, and because it is closed to the world, turned in on itself, and cannot overcome its fixations, seeks refuge in a repressive, isolationist, and reactionary nationalism".

    [14] AFRIKA columnist Arif Hasan Tahsin comments on Denktas/ advisors in the talks

    Arif Hasan Tahsin writing in AFRIKA (19-22-23.1.02) makes an evaluation of the advisors President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas are taking with them during their direct negotiations.

    He praises President Clerides for including in his advisors team persons like Cyprus Government Spokesman Papapetrou, who is a person who wants peace and reconciliation. Tahsin then criticizes Denktas for including Soysal in his team since he is known for his negative stance.

    Tahsin then asks whether it was not possible for Denktas to find someone of Papapetrou calibre such as Alpay Durduran or Turgut Afsaroglou.


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