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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-02-04

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. 24/02 2-3-4.2.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting President Clerides on Friday
  • [02] Statements by Denktas during a meeting with a delegation of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce
  • [03] Committee set up to help Denktas in economic issues during talks
  • [04] Permanent Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [05] 250 thousand donums of land are uncultivated due to fertilizers price increase
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Ilter Turkmen: The Nationalist Action Party and Ecevitīs party have an allergy to a solution in Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting President Clerides on Friday

    Anatolia news agency (1/2/02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has said that he will continue to discuss the issue of security with President Clerides on Monday, February 4.

    Denktas today held with Clerides his eighth meeting which lasted an hour and a half. In reply to a question on his return to the occupied area as to "what the issue of security entailed," Denktas said that "it entailed everything."

    Noting that the whole issue was for both sides to try and find a middle way taking into consideration the requests of the other side, Denktas stressed that to do this the fundamental rights of the Turkish Cypriot side have to be accepted.

    In reply to a reporter who reminded Denktas of Greek Cypriot press reports to the effect that he "has not changed his stand," Denktas said: "Since my stand was always good, naturally it did not get worse." Noting that it is too early to say that "the talks are not leading anywhere," Denktas continued: "Because if an agreement is not reached on all issues, then it will be considered as though no agreement was reached on any of the issues. Therefore, it is not right to say that it either ' succeeded' or 'not' before continuing to the very end. "

    Denktas said:

    "There are difficulties and hope is a good thing. Being over optimistic, however, and ceasing the work is not good. Let everyone be aware that his rights are being protected."

    Upon being reminded about Greek Cypriot press reports to the effect that the security issues will be followed by the territorial, ownership and refugees issues, Denktas said:

    "We are ready to discuss whatever issue is brought. There are issues that we shall raise. When one talks about refugees one should not think of the Greek Cypriots alone. Half of the Turkish Cypriots arrived in the north from Pafos as a result of an agreement. Everyone is well aware that whatever issue is discussed, that issue is of vital importance to both sides. The whole issue is for both sides to try and find a middle way taking into consideration the requests of the other side. For this to be achieved our fundamental rights have to be accepted. Will it, however, be accepted? We will see that later."

    Denktas was asked: "Can the Aegean continental shelf issue referred to court in the Hague?" In reply, he said: "I do not know. I am not an expert on the issue. The same reporter told Denktas: "It is being portrayed as an issue that is parallel to Cyprus." Denktas' reply was: "It is not on my agenda."

    [02] Statements by Denktas during a meeting with a delegation of the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce

    Illegal Bayrak Radio 1 (2/2/02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce delegation led by Mehmet Yildirim, which is currently visiting the occupied areas.

    In a statement at the meeting, Denktas expressed his regret over statements to the effect that Cyprus is obstructing Turkey's EU accession. Denktas said: Statements are being made to the effect that Cyprus is no longer an important place, and Turkey can renounce Cyprus in order to join the EU. What is more, official EU authorities are openly telling the Gr eek Cypriots that they should not be afraid because Turkey is bluffing.

    Referring to the economic crisis in the occupied areas, Denktas recounted that the Turkish Cypriots are experiencing a big economic crisis. He recalled that in Turkey the government has the power and the formula to compensate the bank depositors legally, and the matter was resolved without anyone suffering a loss. Denktas added: We do not have the same means. We are trying to alleviate the suffering of these people one by one through Turkey's assistance.

    Denktas said that a very small minority is taking advantage of this crisis and presenting the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots for their rights and for the elimination of the crisis to the world media as though the Turkish Cypriots are ready for any kind of agreement and they want Turkey to leave the island. Denktas declared that Turkey will never renounce the agreements it obtained in 1960. According to the 1960 agreements, Denktas alleged, Cyprus cannot join an organization in which Turkey is not a member. He said: If despite this the EU says that it is admitting Cyprus because it is blackmailed by Greece, Turkey knows where things will lead. This will lead to a struggle for Turkey's eviction from occupied EU territory.

    Underlining that Turkey will not renounce this just course, Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots will not be able to join the EU because Turkey will exercise its legal rights. Denktas alleged that according to international agreements the Greek Cypriots cannot accede to the EU without resolving the Cyprus issue or receiving Turkey's consent. Denktas said that if this matter can be settled, they will do so; and if it cannot be settled, both Turkey and Greece will see the reasons. He added: The negotiations are continuing, and they are tough.

    Denktas expressed the hope that his sincere initiative will contribute to the creation of a new partnership in Cyprus. The crisis which we see is approaching can thus be averted, Denktas remarked, and call ed on the diplomats of important countries: The ball is not on our court; nor is it on Cleridesī court. The ball is on your court, because you made the Greek Cypriot side intransigent by assuring it that it is the legitimate government and encouraging it to violate the rules of justice and law.

    Denktas added that if the Cyprus Government is told that it is not the government of the Turkish Cypriots, that it cannot be their government, that it will not be their government, and that it should act accordingly, then the Greek Cypriot administration will negotiate with the Turkish Cypriots more seriously.

    Noting that a policy on Cyprus was formulated within the framework of the decisions adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the TRNC Republican Assembly and government, Denktas said that nothing can be achieved by attacking him. Denktas noted that he is responsible for defending the national cause, the people's cause for rights and freedom. The right thing is to establish a new partnership, he declared.

    Denktas referred to European bureaucrats' statements: Negotiations are possible if you can reach an agreement and we will adjust ourselves to you. Denktas added: This is what we are discussing. It is not possible to resolve a 38-year-old problem in a few weeks. However, it is essential that the Greeks, the Greek Cypriots, and the world realize that the Turkish nation and government are determined with regard to the Cyprus issue.

    [03] Committee set up to help Denktas in economic issues during talks

    Anatolia news agency (3/2/02) reported that a committee was set up aiming to assist the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, in economic issues during the direct talks which started for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The committee, which was comprised of bureaucrats, academicians, business circles, and representatives of non-governmental organizations, will give consultancy service to Denktas with regular reports in the negotiation process.

    The committee, led by so-called Prime Ministry Undersecretary Hasan Gungor, was set up upon the demand of Denktas following the initiation of new consultancy process.

    The Committee Chairman Gungor said the committee, which was set up aiming to assist Denktas in economic issues, convened regularly, and that the reports prepared by the committee were regularly presented to Denktas.

    Gungor said the economies of the occupied areas and the free areas of Cyprus were discussed by comparison, and noted that, ``primary target is to reach a structure that can compete with southern Cyprus before integration. The transition will be made in stages.``

    [04] Permanent Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    KIBRIS (4.2.02) reports that ambassador Baki Ilkin, Permanent Undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will come today to the occupied areas of Cyprus for an official visit. Mr Ilkin will be accompanied by ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, general director of the Bilateral Civil and Maritime Aviation Affairs and ambassador Necip Eguz, assistant director of the Northeastern Mediterranean region.

    During its two-day visit the Turkish delegation will meet twice the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas. It will also have contacts with Vehbi Zeki Serter, so-called speaker of the assembly, Dervis Eroglu, Salih Cosar and Tahsin Ertugruloglu, so-called Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and responsible for the economy and Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister, respectively.

    The Turkish delegation will also meet with lieutenant general Ahmet Ozteker, commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus and brigadier general Galip Mendi, commander of the so-called security forces.

    [05] 250 thousand donums of land are uncultivated due to fertilizers price increase

    KIBRIS (4.2.02) reports that 250 thousand donums (one donum equals to one thousand square metres) of land have remained uncultivated this year in the occupied areas, because of the increase in the price of the fertilizers. The paper notes that this constitutes one third of the total agricultural land, which is 750 thousand donums.

    Furthermore, the great majority of the cultivated land started to turn yellow, due to the lack of fertilizers and nitrogen, says KIBRIS adding that the Turkish Cypriot farmers used this year 12.655 tons of fertilizers in their fields, whereas last year they had used 24.477 tons.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Ilter Turkmen: The Nationalist Action Party and Ecevitīs party have an allergy to a solution in Cyprus

    Istanbul Hurriyet nespaper (2/2/02) publishes a commentary by former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen under the title An Ambassadorīs Report. The full text of the column is as follows: "You asked me to summarize Turkey's economic and political situation urgently in one page.

    It is not so easy to do this for a country like Turkey, which has multidimensional and complex problems that are extremely difficult to analyze. Still I will try.

    First let me point out that Turkey has a unique psychological climate. Pessimism and optimism follow each other at mind-boggling speed. The best example of this is the economy. Until a few weeks ago all observations and commentaries about the economic situation were as depressing as they could be. In contrast now the economists agree unanimously that Turkey is on the verge of turning the corner. Was there any fundamental change? No. The Turkish economy contracted by nearly 8 percent in 2001. This is a tremendous decline for a country with a rapidly rising population. Hundreds of thousands of people were left jobless. Several banks collapsed, not much is stirring in industry and poverty is spreading. However, when the Turkish currency began to appreciate against the dollar because of this contraction and when the IMF consented to extend a new loan, smiles appeared on faces and a psychosis of optimism began to take hold. In the meantime Turkey's public debt burden rose to the equivalent of its annual GNP.

    There are serious problems in the administration of the economy.

    Today Minister of State Kemal Dervis is Turkey's business card in the world. Without his credibility, the programs he drafted, and the reforms he has led Turkey would not have had any international support and would have been dragged into a much worse crisis. Even September 11 would not save Turkey. However Dervis is working in extremely difficult conditions.

    The MHP [Nationalist Action Party], one of the coalition partners, has been constantly bickering with him. When the leader of this party was recently asked what he thinks about Dervis, he responded generously by saying that [Dervis] is 'diligent.' Apparently he thinks that Dervis still needs to prove himself. It is like black humour, is it not? They fail to realize that the Turkish economy would be seriously hurt if Dervis resigned.

    As for the political situation, the coalition partners have a full consensus on preventing any elections before 2004 at any cost. For this reason they are condemned to agree only on least common denominators. Each of the partners is willing to make concessions from its party philosophy for the sake preserving the coalition. The MHP, which is the strongest opponent of democratisation reforms, is particularly taking advantage of this delicate balance. This party had no trouble to hollow out theNational Program submitted to the EU. It tried to change some of the draft bills in the democratisation package so as to make limits on freedoms even more restrictive than they are now. At the beginning of last year the Foreign Minister repeatedly said that Turkey must start accession talks with the EU in 2001. Now the goal is to start them in 2002. I think that this is impossible with the present composition of the coalition. The parties that are opposed to the EU have their own logic. They realize that they would become politically irrelevant in a Turkey that is an EU member. The coalition party that is the strongest supporter of EU membership is the Motherland Par ty. All of its statements and instincts are on the mark but it appears to be unable to take a resolute stance. Moreover it has no credibility.

    In the foreign policy domain, echoes of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Washington have taken up the public agenda for the last two weeks. The Washington talks proceeded as expected. There were no immediate concrete economic results, but this was not possible anyway. Various proposals aimed at increasing Turkey's exports to the United States were hyped up too much. The truth is that even if all of Ankara's demands were accepted, Turkey's exports to the United States would grow by only $1 billion a year. For some reason the Turks keep forgetting that Europe is their biggest trade partner. All their eyes are now turned to the United States. A myth has been created to the effect that the Prime Minister scored big economic wins in Washington.

    I wanted to write about Iraq and Cyprus but I am at the end of the page. Briefly, the Turkish government departed from Washington quite pleased about Iraq because it realized that the scenarios it was imagining were too outlandish. As for Cyprus it is too early to make a prediction about the outcome of the talks that have started there. However I am not very optimistic because not just the MHP but Ecevit's own party has a strong allergy to a solution.

    I hope no one thinks that this report was written by one of the foreign ambassadors in Ankara. It is entirely my own creation.

    EG/


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