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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-30

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: 21/02 30.1.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Rauf Denktas before meeting the French Ambassador in occupied Nicosia.
  • [02] The Turkish National Security Council held a six-hour meeting.
  • [03] The occupation army is to be re-organized
  • [04] 8.000 members of PKK in the occupied areas.
  • [05] Another journalist of AFRIKA to be "tried".
  • [06] Metin Yalcin is the new chairman of ISAD.
  • [07] The winter vacations for over 34 thousand students to begin on 1 February.
  • [08] The number of associations and other organizations in the pseudostate.
  • [09] Large quantities of smuggled cigarettes found in Mersin were loaded in occupied Famagusta port.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] What Turkey should change is her mentality.
  • [11] Editorial in Turkish Daily News criticizes Turkey for the slow pace of democratization.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Rauf Denktas before meeting the French Ambassador in occupied Nicosia

    Illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (29.1.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met with Mr Jacques Depaigne, French Ambassador, in occupied Nicosia yesterday. Hakki Muftuzade, Denktas/ special adviser on political affairs, was also present. The content of the discussions was not revealed but Rauf Denktas replied to reporters' questions before the meeting.

    Asked to comment on the reports that the EU will allot part of its aid slated for Cyprus to the occupied areas Denktas said that he heard about this from the press. He said: "Our demand from the EU is to receive direct aid. Aid to come to us through the Greek Cypriot government will not be accepted. Anyway, the amount that will be given to us in five years is less than what Turkey gives us in aid in one year. Even if money rains from the sky, if we do not balance our expenses, the aid will go down the drain. It is necessary to distribute the aid properly, to channel it to production, to lift the embargoes, and to boost exports".

    Denktas said that he heard that the lemons from occupied Morphou cannot be sold. This is because of political reasons, he charged, adding that it is the farmers who pay for partisan policies. He added: "You cannot divide the state by saying this belongs to you and this belongs to me. The government partners must sit down and solve these problems as soon as possible. This lemon business must be resolved quickly".

    Denktas also commented on the temporary appointments recently made. He stressed that there must be justice and fairness in appointments. It is wrong to hire citizens based on their party affiliations, he stated, and this is not the way to bring prosperity to this country. Asked if he received an official invitation to attend the EU-OIC summit to be held in Istanbul, Denktas said that the "TRNC" did not receive an invitation from the EU. He added: " We heard that an administration called Cyprus was invited. The issue is being assessed by our `Ministry of Foreign Affairs/".

    [02] The Turkish National Security Council held a six-hour meeting

    TRT 2 Television (29.1.02) broadcast that the National Security Council [NSC] held a meeting held under President Sezer yesterday. The meeting which was held at the Cankaya Mansion lasted six hours. The following written statement was issued at the end of the meeting:

    1. The NSC convened on 29 January 2002 for its monthly routine meeting under the honourable president. The meeting was attended by the prime minister, the chief of the general staff, the deputy prime ministers, the ministers who are members of the Council, the force commanders, the Gendarmerie commander, and the NSC secretary general. State Ministers Professor Tunca Toskay and Professor Sukru Sina Gurel attended part of the meeting in view of their connection to certain issues on the agenda.

    2. a. The NSC reviewed, in light of the intelligence and security reports for the past month, especially the separatist activities guided by the terrorist organization for an education other than in the official language, and other internal and external harmful activities aimed against the country's security, as well as the measures taken and to be taken against these activities.

    b. Within the framework of foreign political developments, the NSC reviewed the honourable prime minister's visit to the United States and the Turkish-US relations, and assessed the developments and latest political situation regarding the Cyprus issue.

    c. The Foreign Ministry briefed the NSC on the main principles of the security strategy to be followed for the development of economic relations with foreign countries. The Foreign Trade Undersecretariat assessed Turkey's foreign trade for 2001 and discussed the aims and expectations for 2002. The participants noted the contributions the development of foreign trade can have on the national economy, and consequently, on national security.

    [03] The occupation army is to be re-organized

    In a report under the title: "The Turkish Cypriot Security Forces Command Echelon Will Be Re-organized", KIBRIS (29.1.02) writes the following:

    "It has been ascertained that thanks to a regulation that will be introduced to the command echelon of the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces [TCSF], the TCSF cadre will be promoted to the rank of major-general. On the other hand, the newly established Deputy TCSF cadre will be ranked as brigadier-general. A Turkish Cypriot officer who will be promoted to the rank of brigadier-general will occupy the position of the Deputy TCSF Commander.

    It has been learned that TCSF has decided to introduce changes to the command echelon with the aim of devising more effective strategies in the future under the developing and changing conditions in the world.

    The regulation will be implemented in line with strategic personnel planning. Thanks to this regulation, the TCSF cadre will be promoted to the rank of major general and a new cadre will be established under the name of Deputy Turkish Cypriot Security Forces Commander. An officer serving within TCSF will be appointed to this office in the rank of brigadier general. This appointment will be realized after promoting a colonel currently serving within TCSF to the rank of brigadier-general.

    Currently a general with the rank of lieutenant general from the Greek Armed Forces also serves as the commander of the Greek Cypriot National Guard. A Greek lieutenant general serves as the first deputy commander, while a Greek Cypriot general who has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in 2001 serves as the second deputy commander of the Greek Cypriot National Guard.

    The project, on which the TCSF Command has been working for a long time now, is expected to generate constructive competition and motivation among the high-ranking officers within the TCSF Command. This is one of the projects that have a positive impact on the efficiency and combat power of TCSF. It has been learned that this project has been rendered official thanks to the latest regulation introduced in this regard and that the timetable of the project has already been put into effect.

    According to information received regarding the matter, the appointment of new personnel has been made within the TCSF Command due to the need to carry out the intensive activities and implement the strategic plans of TCSF in the future.

    It has been stressed that the TCSF Command is open to every kind of renewal and change for meeting every kind of security need felt by the `TRNC/ and for adapting to the changing conditions of the age. It has also been stressed that the TCSF Command plans to carry out a modern and contemporary restructuring in every sphere".

    [04] 8.000 members of PKK in the occupied areas

    According to "Afrika" (30.1.02) eight thousand Kurds members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) coming form Southeastern Turkey are active in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Referring to the issue of the two Kurdish families, which were sent out of the pseudostate on 24 November 2001, the paper publishes an extract of a letter sent by Erdem Demirbag, General Director of the so-called police to Turkey's General Directorate of Security. Mr Demirbag noted, inter alia, the following:

    "According to the decision no E - 1812 - 2001 taken on 19 November 2001 by the Ministerial Council within the framework of the efforts for dissuading the activities of our citizens of Southeastern Anatolian origin, who are about eight thousand and act on behalf of the PKK terrorist organization in the TRNC and within the framework of trying to prevent the partitionist activities of PKK, the TRNC citizenship has been taken away from Halil Babahan and Ibrahim Gunes, their wives and children younger than 18 years old, because they were playing active role in the activities of PKK and they were participating in its committee established in the region".

    [05] Another journalist of "Afrika" to be "tried"

    "Afrika" (30.1.02) reports that Gappellari Fuat Dayi is the first of its journalists to be "tried". According to the paper, Fuat Veziroglu, lawyer of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, has filed charges against Gappellari Fuat because of what he had written on 15 January 2002, under the title "Take Denktas. Take, confiscate and take, take, take, take". Mr Veziroglu demands compensation of between 10 billion and 25 billion Turkish liras.

    [06] Metin Yalcin is the new chairman of ISAD

    According to KIBRIS (30.1.02), Metin Yalcin was elected yesterday as new chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Association (ISAD) during the General Assembly of the Association.

    Mr Yalcin has taken the place of Salih Celiker, who opened the meeting by reading the report for the activities of the Association during the period of his presidency, from 22 February 2000 until 29 January 2002.

    [07] The winter vacations for over 34 thousand students to begin on 1 February

    KIBRIS (30.1.02) reports that winter vacations for 17.849 primary school children and 16.616 secondary school students are to begin on Friday, 1 February 2002. The schools will remain closed until Monday 18 February 2002.

    [08] The number of associations and other organizations in the pseudostate

    "Halkin Sesi" (30.1.02) reports that the number of associations, unions and other organizations in all the fields of life in the occupied areas of Cyprus is 1.086. According to the paper there is an association for every 200 people. The 50 per cent of the associations are based in occupied Nicosia.

    The paper writes that the associations are registered as follows: Nicosia 538, Kerynia 191, Famagusta 189, Morphou 95 and Trikomo 73.

    [09] Large quantities of smuggled cigarettes found in Mersin were loaded in occupied Famagusta port

    KIBRIS (30.1.02) reports that smuggled cigarettes worth 1.2 trillion Turkish Lira were discovered in a boat in Mersin, Turkey. The boat, under the name Guzelyurt (Morphou), was loaded at occupied Famagusta port.

    The boat was searched by the Mersin Customs Authorities upon suspicions of being involved in drug smuggling. Specially trained dogs were used for the search.

    Although it was declared that the boat was carrying two containers of baby nappies the search proved that the cargo was 60 thousand cigarette boxes.

    The paper concludes that the boat docked at Mersin on its way to the Beirut port of Lebanon.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] What Turkey should change is her mentality

    In a commentary in Turkish Daily News (29.1.02), Cuneyt Ulsever stresses that Turkey should change her mentality if she is to bridge the gap separating her from the West. The commentary is as follows:

    What Turkey should change is her mentality Turkey is really doing her best to change. She cannot resist change for two major reasons:

    1) The pressure in favour of change from the outside world is at the maximum. The Western European countries and the United States are well aware that Turkey is a definitely needed ally with her economic capacity, geographical location, the unique culture which favours Islam with democracy even if the latter is not fully enjoyed. Turkey may really play the role of a bridge between Islamic and Western cultures. Her potential meaning for the world has definitely increased after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    2) The demand for change, after three-and-a-half coups in her recent history, has also reached a maximum level among her citizens as well. The dominant centralist system that puts the state in the centre of all concerns have "beaten" at least once all different cultural, ideological and ethnical elements in the country in the last 40 years.

    Communists, Kurds, Alevites, villagers, political Islam, religious people etc. all now know that "state beats if need be."

    Thus, all sorts of political forces in the country, including the very conservative and the statists, well know that they cannot fully resist change. The economic problems of the country that urge us to ask for aid from the West, and her will to become a member of the European Union, are the realities of the country no one can deny now.

    Every politician now knows that he/she better walk in line with these realities.

    Among this irresistible storm of change, the country has also her own traditional and ideological patterns that she carries over even from the Ottoman era. According to this main line; the state is benevolent and is the sole creator of her citizens, or rather we should say her flock. We all owe our reason for existence to the state. Without her we cannot even plan our lives.

    She feeds us, protects us, takes care of us and obviously beats us when necessary.

    The army best represents and protects this holy organization. All of these ideological beliefs are imposed on people, but more or less, people also accept these traits in their hearts.

    State is our father and the army is either "the army of Ataturk" or "the house of Mohammed," the prophet, according to choice.

    Based on this fundamental ideological structure, the laws in Turkey are worded with an underlying philosophy that the State should be protected from the possible "wrongdoing" of her people.

    It is not the State, as the very powerful organization, that may do wrong to her citizens. It is vice versa.

    Even if we announce how powerful the State is on every occasion, we also suspect each citizen to be "a potential enemy of the state." It is not up to the state to prove that the given citizen is an enemy of the state, it is up to the individual to prove that he/she loves her country.

    Turkey proclaims amnesties nearly every 10 years. But it is always the criminals who have "done wrong" to the other citizens who are pardoned by the State.

    Those who have done wrong against the State are never pardoned.

    Thus, the famous articles of "criminal law" that define the crimes and possible crimes against the State, i.e. code 159 and 312, are very important for those conservatives who honestly follow the line of statism.

    According to them, these articles are at the heart of the system. Those who want to change them, or even "loosen" them, are also potential enemies of the State.

    Believe me, they also have followers among people who believe that the West, by "loosening" some of our laws, are opening ways to divide this country.

    It is not only a matter of the wording of some laws that makes the difference between Turkey and the West, it is a matter of mentality as well.

    In my mind, "difference in mentality" is a more important gap between Turkey and the West, and "changing mentality" takes much, much longer than changing laws.

    [11] Editorial in Turkish Daily News criticizes Turkey for the slow pace of democratisation

    In an editorial under the title: "Forcing EU to react", Ilnur Cevik criticizes circles in Turkey which brand Europe's expectations for democratisation an ultimatum. The editorial is as follows:

    "Last week the EU officials in Ankara including the EU Commission representative, the Spanish ambassador who is the term president and the Danish ambassador who is the next term president, met with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and conveyed their concern about the negative developments in the mini-democracy package which turned into a major anti-democracy package. The package was reportedly taken up by the National Security Council (NSC). Our educated guess is that those who tried to hide behind the military saying that the soldiers opposed more freedom of expression on concerns that this would fan separatism and religious fundamentalism were proven wrong.

    The issue was taken up at the summit of the coalition leaders in Ankara on Monday. The Nationalist Action Party (NAP) opposed any improvements in the draft legislation and wanted the articles further restricting freedom of expression preserved. So the issue was shelved. It seems Ecevit, who realized he could not convince the NAP to mellow decided to use the NSC meeting to put pressure on NAP to budge. Apparently NAP was claiming that it was the military, which wanted the tough restrictions on freedom of expression to be further toughened. So the prime minister would enlist the help of the military to overcome the NAP obstacle...

    Some people feel the EU is interfering in the internal affairs of Turkey when the EU officials met with Ecevit and conveyed their concerns which some people even called it an ultimatum...

    The same people do not realize that all these debates are being closely watched in the EU countries with growing concern. People in Europe realize that there is a very weird conservative mentality in Turkey which simply does not fit the EU norms specified in the Copenhagen criteria.

    That is why Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and several people like him are screaming out loud that this mentality has to change very urgently. They feel what is being done in Turkey is not only delaying our entry into the EU but in actual fact it is permanently finishing off all our European aspirations.

    If you start preaching repression and authoritarian principles when you are expected to enhance freedoms and introduce democratic reforms people will simply warn you. That is exactly what the EU representatives have done. The real shame is that we forced them to do this..."

    KV/SK


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