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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-01-31

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. 22/02 31.1.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish General threatens for acceptance of the demands of the Turkish side at the face-to-face talks for Cyprus.
  • [02] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides on 30.1.02.
  • [03] Nokia and Motorola sue Turkish Firm for $3 bln.
  • [04] The Turkish Military and Prime Minister Ecevit rule out education in Kurdish.
  • [05] Izcan says there is lack of harmony between the words and the actions of the Turkish side.
  • [06] Mehmet Ali Talat criticizes Denktas/ statements on the EU aid to the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Open threat from the Turkish military in the midst of efforts to find a solution in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish General threatens for acceptance of the demands of the Turkish side at the face-to-face talks for Cyprus

    KIBRIS (31.1.02) refers to the illegal visit of the Turkish General Hilmi Ozkok, commander of Turkey's land forces, to the occupied part of Cyprus. Under the title "Turkey's land forces commander general Ozkok made important statements: Denktas started the negotiations in order to prevent a crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean", the paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    "Turkey's land forces commander general Hilmi Ozkok, referring to the recent face-to-face talks, has stressed that Denktas started this initiative aiming at preventing a crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ozkok has said that the chance for a solution, created by this initiative, must be continuously supported without wrong interferences by the sides concerned.

    Turkey's land forces commander general Hilmi Ozkok came yesterday to the `TRNC/ in order to inspect the units of the Turkish Peace Forces (KTBK) in Cyprus and to attend the Peace-2002 Plan Seminar.

    In the statement he made at the Ercan Airport, Ozkok warned seriously the sides concerned with Cyprus.

    At Ercan Hilmi Ozkok, who came to the TRNC at 09:15 am on an aircraft belonging to the Turkish Air Forces, was received by Prime Minister Dervish Eroglu, Turkey's ambassador to Nicosia, Hayati Guven, the commander of the KTBK lieutenant general Ahmet Ozteker, commander of the 28th Division major general Bahtiyar, commander of 39th Division, major general Cahit Sarsilmaz, commander of the Security Forces, brigadier general Galip Mendi, commander of the 14th brigade Yusuf Kuttay Sukan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the permanent under secretary in the presidency, Ergun Olgun and the permanent under secretary in the Prime Minister's office, Mustafa Tokay.

    Ozkok, who is conducting meetings with government and state officials, the most important of which is with President Denktas, will leave the TRNC tomorrow.

    Ozkok: We have the power to succeed in any duty given to us in a crisis

    Ozkok who referring to the recent face-to-face talks said that President Denktas has started this initiative aiming at preventing a crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean noted the following:

    'We think that the chance for a solution, created by this initiative, must be continuously supported without wrong interferences by the sides concerned. Again, evaluating this opportunity for a solution, we consider the creation of two sovereign states, which will form a new partnership, to be the only way to prevent a crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Furthermore, in case that Mr Denktas does not receive a positive answer to his initiative, I would like to note that the Turkish Armed Forces have the power and the determination to achieve any duty to be given to them within a possible crisis. We think that it is necessary that the sides concerned take into consideration that as Turkey we shall strongly oppose a unilateral accession to the EU without establishing a solution based on the equal sovereignty of the two states in the island and contrary to the 1960 international agreements. Such a development will drag the Eastern Mediterranean into a crisis'.

    'Measures taken against the attacks will be evaluated'

    Noting that the Peace 2002, which is one of the annual activities of the Turkish Armed Forces Seminar, is taking place this year in the TRNC with the participation of Land, Sea and Air Forces, Ozkok said that measures, which had and will be taken towards dissuading possible threats and attacks aiming at changing the 28-year long environment of continuous peace and security established by the Turkish Armed Forces will be evaluated at the seminar. ..

    Visit to Denktas

    The commander of the Turkish Land Forces General Hilmi Ozkok at 10: 10 hours visited president Denktas.

    Expressing his satisfaction for Ozkok's visit to the TRNC president Denktas said: 'This visit is a source of peace of mind for us.' Branding general Ozkok 'as an old friend', Denktas said that the general had worked very hard for Cyprus.

    Denktas said that he would brief Ozkok regarding the new negotiation process in Cyprus. Denktas went on and said: 'We hope that the Greek Cypriot side has realised that the 38 years course in the Cyprus problem will not Unite Cyprus, but it will strengthen the division. I have seen the crisis and for this reason the negotiations started, having understood that in this island there is room for both peoples. We can reach a speedy result within the framework of finding a formula, which will show to the world a single Cyprus and good neighbourliness and cooperation. This will secure Cyprus' becoming a peace bridge between the two motherlands. If with good will formulae for cooperation and peace is looked for it is possible to find it. I will continue my endeavours for this'.

    Support for the talks

    The commander of the Turkish Land Forces General Hilmi Ozkok, addressing Denktas, in his turn said: 'Taking the initiative and starting the negotiation process with a view to precluding a possible crisis in the East Mediterranean is indicative of your great statesmanship'' and he expressed support for the new negotiation process'.

    Stressing that the interested parties should not preclude the opportunity created by president Denktas, otherwise he said this would lead to a continuous crisis in the East Mediterranean, which will not be beneficial to any one including the EU.

    He said that Turkey would never approve of any solution, which is not based on the equal sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people, as well as one-sided EU membership before a settlement General Ozkok said that the Turkish armed forces follow Denktas' struggle, his diplomatic endeavours and his leadership in the struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people with admiration.".

    [02] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides on 30.1.02

    Illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (30.1.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, and President Glafcos Clerides today met again within the framework of the direct talks.

    In reply to reporters' questions before the meeting Denktas noted Greek Cypriot press reports to the effect that the issue of rotational presidency is being discussed at the talks, adding: "This issue has not yet been included on the agenda".

    In reply to a question on today's agenda, Denktas said: "We are continuing to discuss issues on the agenda". In reply to another question on the functions, Denktas said that the functions are those of humanity, equality, and sovereignty. Everything is included in the functions.

    In a statement he made after the meeting,which lasted about an hour and a half, Denktas said that one should be cautious and optimistic.

    Noting that the difficulties are known by all, Denktas continued: "One should proceed with these meetings with very good will and with a lot of determination in a bid to overcome these difficulties. Everyone has his own stand. Naturally, none of the sides will want to suddenly relinquish this stand. This is a natural right. Both sides, however, should think about what can be done in the future."

    Noting that he will meet again with President Clerides at 1600 today [31 January] and that they cannot discuss the content of the talks, Denktas said that today/s meeting is not about the missing persons and that delegations will also join the talks.

    In reply to a question on "why a decision was made to hold extra talks," Denktas said that "they put aside the structure while discussing the functions, that discussing the functions without a structure left things up in the air, and that, therefore, they are trying to bring together the two issues."

    Describing as speculative Greek Cypriot press reports on the talks, Denktas, in reply to a question, said that they did not discuss any document. He added that they do have a document but that this was based on the principle of a non-paper.

    [03] Nokia and Motorla sue Turkish Firm for $3 bln

    Turkish Daily News (30.1.02) reports that a suit was filed against a Turkish Firm by Motorola and Nokia for debts amounting to 3 billion dollars.

    The report by Matt Moore is as follows:

    "The suit filed at the federal district in New York City includes 13 charges of wrongdoing, including extortion and conspiracy to defraud Motorola and Nokia as well as criminal racketeering. It invokes the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO, alleging that the Uzans intended to defraud the companies by not paying back the loans and illegally diverted funds and assets to other family enterprises.

    The complaint seeks compensation for vendor-financed loans for mobile phone equipment to Telsim of about $2 bln for Motorola and more than $700m for Nokia. Furthermore, under RICO, it asks that damages be trebled for racketeering. The companies also want their collateral - in the form of share stakes in Telsim - restored in value. Motorola says the suit was filed in New York because the Uzans have assets in the US and have been listed as residents of the city.

    Motorola Credit Corp. and Nokia Corp. have accused the family that runs Turkey's second-biggest wireless company of racketeering by borrowing money to build a next-generation wireless network without paying them back. The suit, filed Monday in Manhattan's U.S. District Court, claims that members of the Uzan family, which holds a controlling stake in Istanbul-based Telekomunikasyon Hizmetleri AS, or Telsim Mobil, made loan arrangements with Motorola and Nokia with the intent of defrauding them.

    The lawsuit claims 13 separate counts of wrongdoing, including four counts of criminal activity in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Motorola is seeking more than $ 2 billion in damages and Nokia wants more than $ 700 million in damages. Both companies also want punitive damages, as well as triple damages under the four RICO counts.

    Last year, the U.S. government tried to help Motorola collect $ 2 billion from Telsim after it failed to meet a $ 728 million payment on the $ 2 billion loan due in April.

    The suit was filed against Kemal Uzan, Telsim chairman Hakan Uzan and board member Cem Uzan, three Uzan-controlled firms and an individual close to the family.

    Motorola said the suit was filed in New York because the Uzans have assets in the US and have been listed as residents of the city.

    The Associated Press was unable to reach the Uzan family and a call to Telsim's Istanbul offices was not returned.

    "We are taking the unusual step of jointly filing this action because it is clear to both companies that the Uzans had no intention of dealing in good faith with us in an effort to resolve this situation," said Peter Lawson, Motorola's general counsel. "This action is in recognition that this is not a normal commercial dispute between private parties - it is, rather, a premeditated and unlawful attempt by the Uzans to rob both Motorola and Nokia of our assets."

    According to the lawsuit, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia and Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said that the Uzan family induced them to make more than $ 3 billion in loans to Telsim to buy equipment for a proposed wireless network in Turkey.

    They also accused the Uzans of extortion and intimidation, including issuing threats and filing criminal charges against company executives in Turkey, as well as hacking into Motorola's computer system.

    Both companies also claimed that the family shifted money and assets from Istanbul-based Telsim to other companies that neither Motorola or Nokia had any stakes in.

    Both company's loans were secured by pledges of Telsim shares, including a 66 percent stake by Motorola and 7.5 percent for Nokia. Because of the Uzan family's actions, they said the values of their shares fell to 22 percent and 2.5 percent respectively.

    The complaint also says that the "Uzans' true intentions were exposed when they stole the collateral for Motorola's and Nokia's loans by intentionally and illegally diluting the value of stock pledged as collateral for the loans."

    And that the company held a shareholders meeting where they "eliminated the control rights of the shares pledged as collateral for the loans and took actions that would permit the transfer of Telsim's illegally obtained assets to a Turkish foundation, seemingly beyond the reach of Motorola, Nokia and the other creditors of Telsim."

    [04] The Turkish Military and Prime Minister Ecevit rule out education in Kurdish

    Turkish Daily News (31/1/02) reports the following:

    "Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Wednesday said that Turkey would not give in to demands for Kurdish language education.

    Hundreds of people have been detained in recent weeks for submitting petitions supporting optional language courses in Kurdish in schools and universities.

    "No concessions are possible on (Kurdish) education," said Ecevit in response to a question about his opinion on demands for Kurdish education. "We've made this clear at every opportunity."

    On Tuesday, the military-dominated National Security Council characterized the language campaign as "separatist activities directed by a terrorist organization."

    "(The NSC) examined the separatist activities organised by a terrorist organisation (on) the issue of education in a language other than the official language," the council said in a statement after its regular monthly meeting.

    On the language issue, it said the NSC had examined "the damaging activities from domestic and foreign sources that threaten the country's security and the preventive measures taken and to be taken against these activities".

    Turkey has accused the terrorists belonging to the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, of orchestrating the campaign. PKK terrorists killed more than 100 teachers in the early 1990s to prevent Kurdish children from learning Turkish in the southeast.

    The European Union has called on Turkey to grant greater cultural rights to Kurds, including the right to education in their own language.

    The government also says allowing Kurdish education would amount to giving in to the demands of Kurdish terrorist who fought a 15-year war for autonomy in southeastern Turkey. Some 37,000 people lost their lives in the fighting."

    [05] Izcan says there is lack of harmony between the words and the actions of the Turkish side

    KIBRIS (31.1.02) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM), expressed the opinion that there is lack of harmony between the words and the actions of the Turkish side regarding the Cyprus problem.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Mr Izcan noted that while positive messages are coming from Europe, the occupation authorities insist on not allowing the EU ambassador to Nicosia to pass into the pseudostate. The Turkish Cypriot politician described this behaviour as "an example of carelessness".

    [06] Mehmet Ali Talat criticizes Denktas' statements on the EU aid to the Turkish Cypriots

    YENIDUZEN (31/1/02) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat, in a written statement, yesterday criticized Denktas ' statements regarding reports that the EU will allot part of its aid slated for Cyprus to the occupied areas.

    Mr Talat said:"The Cyprus problem is going through a very important period. One of the most important factors that allowed the beginning of this era is Cyprus- EU relations. In case Cyprus becomes a member of the EU before the solution it will lead the Turkish community, Turkey, Cyprus and Greece to dangerous paths.

    These developments have created a new era for a solution to the Cyprus problem, mutually acceptable to both sides. This new atmosphere must be accepted by everybody since it is a serious opportunity which cannot be missed."

    Talat also said that Denktas evaluated the EU aid within a wrong context. He should have said that our people must have the opportunity to export and a right state structure based on production and not on aid. He should also have said that the Turkish Cypriots should have relations not only with Turkey but also with the EU. And finally Denktas never mentioned even once the bad relations they continue to have with Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Open threat from the Turkish military in the midst of efforts to find a solution in Cyprus

    While the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus are in the process of a dialogue for a solution to the problems created after Turkey's unprovoked illegal invasion and occupation of part of the Republic of Cyprus, the Turkish army is levelling threats and demanding acceptance of the faits accomplis of the invasion.

    Under the title: "Military message on Cyprus" Ilnur Cevik writes the following in his editorial in Turkish Daily News (31/1/02):

    "Land Forces Commander General Hilmi Ozkok, the future chief of staff of the Armed Forces, visited the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' and served notice that the military wants a solution on the island based on a partnership state where there are two sovereign states. The message was loud and clear:

    Take it or leave it.

    The military also says that if things come to the worst, the armed forces is prepared to shoulder any task in the event of a conflict in the eastern Mediterranean. It warns there should be no outside intervention as the Cypriot sides sit down in their marathon sessions to find a solution on the island. The military is stating in clear terms that Ankara would not accept a "unilateral" Greek Cypriot EU accession.

    So the military has set the parameters and we feel they are rather fair. Some people in Europe may say that the military should not have intervened like this. But to those, we would simply point out that the EU commissioner is frequently making statements repeating over and over again that if the Cypriot sides do not reach an agreement, the Greek Cypriots will become a full member of the Union... Is this constructive?

    The Turkish military looks at the island not only from a nationalistic view of protecting the Turkish Cypriots, but also from a strategical perspective that this island is the soft belly of Turkey, where fighter jets flying out of Cyprus could hit important targets in Turkey with ease. So Turkey needs real peace and stability on the island.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides have done an excellent job of putting aside their differences and long lasting prejudices to start direct talks. They have now increased the pace and are show enthusiasm for the reaching of a solution acceptable to all sides.

    In this crucial moment, the military had served notice of what is clearly acceptable and what not. This may well help the two leaders in their massive task to iron out a lasting settlement where the two communities can coexist in a partnership state and join the EU together."

    KV/SK


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