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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-02-15

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.33/02 15.2.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides.
  • [02] Turkish diplomatic sources quote Mr Verheugen as saying that the EU will adjust its aquis in parallel with the solution in Cyprus.
  • [03] Kamran Inan asked Verheugen to suspend the membership of Cyprus to the EU.
  • [04] Gurel says that in March the investment incentives programme is to be announced.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot teachers describe the situation in the pseudostate as "Hitler Democracy".
  • [06] The latest economic package in the occupied areas.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Ferdi Sabit Soyer points out that without a solution to the Cyprus problem the Turkish Cypriots will be represented only as an "Islamic Community" at the international fora
  • [08] Anti-EU circles launch a counter attack.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (14.2.02) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met for the 12th time today, within the framework of the face-to-face negotiation process. The meeting was held at the Nicosia Conference Center under UN control.

    Denktas replied to reporters' questions in the occupied areas before leaving for the meeting. He pointed out that the territorial issue will be discussed at the meeting today. There is no document or an official paper, he said, just a non- paper where whatever is discussed is noted down.

    Denktas stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side will not posit a map, but if anyone wants he it can do so.

    A reporter asked: When the negotiations began the people were over optimistic that an agreement would be reached. This optimism is ebbing away now. How do you view that?

    Denktas replied by recalling that when the talks began he asked the people to be cautiously optimistic. The problem has existed for 38 years, he said, and the two sides have their own difficulties and their own policies which cannot be changed in one day. We said this from the beginning, he stressed, but when we expressed the hope for peace certain circles believed that there would be peace and they created this atmosphere.It is not our fault. We took a step for peace by starting these negotiations and we are trying to reach an agreement, he added.

    Denktas stated that he will not agree to a solution that can reduce the Turkish Cypriots to the status of second class citizens or a minority, or a solution that will enable a return to the pre-1974 situation. He pointed out that if the two sides reach a certain point, the people will be asked their opinion, a referendum will be held. However, he added, it is wrong to insist that an agreement will be reached tomorrow, the next day, this month or next month.

    Denktas asserted that the cause concerns the Turkish Cypriots' freedom, rights, sovereignty, and future, and that it should not be taken lightly by rushing into an agreement. He said that he wants the people to know that he approaches this matter seriously.

    Denktas announced that the first stage of the negotiations will end before the Feast of Sacrifice and that he will not be visiting Ankara during the Bayram holiday.

    In a statement on his return to the occupied areas following the one-hour meeting, Denktas said that the last meeting before the Feast of Sacrifice would be held on 19 February, and that Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to Cyprus who is attending the negotiations as an observer, will be flying to New York on 20 February to submit a report.

    Denktas announced that the second round of talks will begin on 1 March, that the meetings will last longer and be held twice weekly, at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10:00 a.m. on Fridays.

    Denktas affirmed that the two leaders "decided to work more intensively." He added: "We will discuss what kind of bridges can be built between the two sides, if bridges can be built at all. On 19 February, we will give each other a last chance to draw pictures and to look at the functions once again. After that we will meet on 1 March."

    A reporter asked Denktas to comment on a survey which indicated that 68 percent of the Greek Cypriots are pessimistic about the results of the negotiations. He replied: "That is their assessment. Anyway, if our people read the Greek Cypriot press, they will see that for themselves. We cannot give everything we are asked to give, just as they will not give everything they are asked to give. If a pessimistic picture emerges, it is their own assessment."

    Meanwhile, Ankara TRT 2 Television (14.2.02) broadcast that in a telephone interview on the face-to-face talks Rauf Denktas said:

    "We are determining the situation. The most correct thing to say is this: the sides have not made any breakthrough, they have been positing their own stands. Whether any breakthrough is possible will become clear during the detailed negotiations that will resume on 1 March. We should all realize that during the talks held so far we simply determined the situation. We have not been able to start any efforts to build bridges yet".

    [02] Turkish diplomatic sources quote Mr Verheugen as saying that the EU will adjust its aquis in parallel with the solution in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (14.2.02) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for enlargement, held a joint press conference in Ankara.

    Foreign Minister Cem said that they wanted Denmark, which would hand over the term presidency in the second half of this year, to advise the successor term president to set the date for starting of Turkey's full membership negotiations and noted that Turkey would do its best to achieve this.

    Turkey was hopeful about opening full membership negotiations with the steps it would take in 2002, Cem pointed out.

    Cem said: ``This is an optimistic alternative but I believe that this can happen.`` They evaluated the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus during their meeting, Cem noted.

    Cem said: ``We have expressed our pleasure about the negotiations. We hope this process will advance. `` Despite some difficulties and problems in Turkish-EU relations, they acquired a positive trend, Cem stated. Cem said: ``That very important step at the Laeken Summit did not only contribute to bilateral relations but also it was an encouraging development for Turkey to take more steps in the possible shortest time. I believe that we can accelerate the process within the scope of national programme and accession partnership accord during Spain`s term presidency.``

    On his part Guenter Verhuegen, the European Union (EU) Commissioner for enlargement, said on Thursday that the subsequent step they expected from Turkey was the launching of constitutional amendments regarding capital punishment and the right to education.

    EU Commissioner Verheugen said that the constitutional amendments made by Turkey so far were a progress but that they had some expectations about capital punishment and the right to education.

    Verheugen noted that they wanted to see Turkey as an EU member and that their stance was very clear, but the negotiation process would begin after the fulfilment of political criteria.

    Verheugen said that there was progress in Turkey in that respect and that they were encouraging Turkey to continue those developments.

    When asked in which fields there were problems, Verheugen said that they expected Turkey to deal with the issues which had not been touched in the first amendment package, including the capital punishment and education right.

    Verheugen said that 2002 was an important year in Turkey-EU relations and pointed out that the way the constitutional amendments would be implemented was also important.

    When they considered the issue from Turkey's viewpoint some developments had been marked, but from the European point of view, there were still some question marks, Verheugen noted.

    Verheugen stated that he understood that this was a process.

    They also supported the negotiation process in Cyprus, Verheugen said and added that however, there was not any change in the timing of the membership process of Cyprus.

    Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit also met with Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, who is in Turkey to hold contacts.

    No statement was issued to the press after the meeting.

    The Cyprus issue was not taken up in the meeting.

    Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Devlet Bahceli also met Verheugen the same day. No statement was issued after the meeting.

    Mr Verheugen later met with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem at a working lunch.

    Sources said that after explaining the enlargement schedule during the lunch, Verheugen drew the financial portrait and gave information about the difficult issues that the EU had to solve, like agriculture.

    The sources noted that Cem explained Ankara`s Cyprus vision and how the partnership should be established between ``two equal`` sides in the island.

    Cem brought into the agenda the letter he wrote to EU member countries about the solution of the Cyprus question and stressed on how Turkey-EU relations should be, the sources stated.

    The sources said that Verheugen brought into the agenda the amendments to articles 159 and 312 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK) in line with the constitutional amendments and underlined the importance of the implementation as well as the significance of the amendments.

    Verheugen requested that the capital punishment and education right should also be taken into agenda, the sources noted.

    The sources pointed out that Verheugen obviously put forth the position of the Commission that there would not be any delay in the beginning of full membership negotiations with Turkey stemming from the Union if the necessary legal changes were made.

    Diplomatic sources said that Verheugen used a careful language about the Cyprus question and referred to the possible contributions that could be made on the process.

    The diplomatic sources noted that Verheugen did not assume a criticizing stance towards Denktas.

    The same sources quoted Verheugen as saying that if a solution was found to the Cyprus question, this solution would not cause any problems to the EU acquis. On the contrary, he said, the EU would adjust its acquis in parallel with the solution.

    [03] Kamran Inan asked Verheugen to suspend the membership of Cyprus to the EU Ankara Anatolia (14.2.02) reported that EU Commissioner for Enlargement

    Guenter Verheugen met with the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission Chairman Kamran Inan and its members.

    The issue of ``full membership negotiation calendar`` and ``human rights`` were taken up in the meeting.

    Inan told Verheugen that ``the Turkish people expect a date from you on which the negotiations will start. The delay in that process negatively affects the wish of the society to become EU member.`` Verheugen said in his part that ``I can`t give a date for the negotiations, this depends on Turkey. Turkey started to be accepted as other candidate countries for the first time. Whenever Turkey fulfils the criteria, we will propose the starting of the negotiations. EU does not regard Turkey different from other candidate countries. It has the same status with the candidate countries.``

    The Cyprus issue was also taken up in the meeting. Noting that the admission of Cyprus to the EU as a member would be wrong, Inan alleged that this would not solve the problem in Cyprus.

    ``There are other ways to be followed in this issue: you should either admit Turkey before the Greek Cypriot side or suspend the membership of Southern Cyprus. If this is not the case, there will be also the veto right of the Southern Cyprus in addition to that of Greece. The solution will become more difficult,`` he said.

    Verheugen said that EU`s stance on the membership of Cyprus is clear, adding that this would not change.

    [04] Gurel says that in March the investment incentives programme is to be announced

    KIBRIS (15.2.02) reports that Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, has said that between 3 and 6 march 2002 a Turkish delegation would visit the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to announce a so-called programme to encourage investments in the pseudostate.

    Talking yesterday in Ankara during a meeting with a delegation of the so-called "Finance, Planning and Budget Committee" of the illegal "Assembly" of the pseudostate, Mr Gurel noted that with their Turkish Cypriot guests they would discuss the programme and the fields in which investments will be made.

    Meanwhile, when asked by the reporters to comment on the status of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriot reactions regarding the recent ICO - EU meeting, which took place in Istanbul, Mr Gurel refused to say something on the substance of the issue, noting that others should be asked these questions.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot teachers describe the situation in the pseudostate as "Hitler Democracy".

    "Afrika" (15.2.02) reports that the trade unions of the Turkish Cypriot Primary and secondary school teachers, KTOS and KTOEOS respectively, described the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus as "Hitler Democracy".

    In a joint statement issued yesterday the two trade unions criticized the oppression, which has been increasing recently in the pseudostate, noting that those who do not have the support of the people rule by the force of the police and the army.

    Referring to the so -called "Draft - Law" on the Meetings and Marches" which has been approved by the pseudogovernment and sent to the pseudo assembly, the two trade unions stressed the following:

    ".Their last piece of work is, under the name of the marches law, to eliminate all the democratic struggles in the country. This shows that neither Mr Denktas nor the government have the support of the people. Because they do not have the support of the people they are trying to govern the country by the force of the police and the army. It would not be wrong if we described this as fascism. .".

    Meanwhile, under the front-page banner title "Step by step towards the police state" and the subtitle "Guillotine to the democratic rights!" "Yeniduzen" (15.2.02) reports that the anti-democratic "draft law" is not /limited only to forbidding the marches, but at the same time it provides for taking permission from the regime a certain period of time prior to the planned march or meeting.

    "In the case that permission is not given the march will not take place", writes the paper pointing out that this situation will bring to the life of the Turkish Cypriots the images seen in Turkey, that is, the police and the civilians coming constantly face to face.

    "It is said that under the cover of 'reform', with the above-mentioned law it appeared that the NUP - DP government intents to put the Constitutional Rights onto the guillotine in order to take money from Turkey", writes the paper.

    6. The latest economic package in the occupied areas

    KIBRIS (15/2/02) reports under banner headlines that it acquired the revised economic package, which will be put into practice in the occupied areas.

    The new package, the paper claims, was revised at a joint meeting held in the occupied area on 8/2/02 between Turkish and pseudostate technocrats.

    The paper reports that the most "important decisions" are on the following topics: - Public servants/ salaries and their benefits - Social Security benefits - Fuel prices - Electricity prices - Debts to the Development Bank - Banks-affected depositors, their status and payment timetable - PEYAK's depositors


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Ferdi Sabit Soyer points out that without a solution to the Cyprus problem the Turkish Cypriots will be represented only as an "Islamic Community" at the international fora.

    Under the title "Kasoulides in Istanbul, ICO - EU" Ferdi Sabit Soyer, General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), comments on the recent meeting between the members of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) and the European Union (EU) member -countries as well as the candidate countries for membership to the Union. Expressing the view that this meeting "was a total failure" for the Cyprus issue, Mr Soyer notes, inter alia, the following:

    ".How come and a people participating in the face-to-face talks demanding political equality, go to such a meeting not even as a minority but as an 'Islamic Community'? This is the biggest mistake. This event demonstrated again the following: We can obtain the international legitimacy with a 'partnership agreement' based on the equal rights in Cyprus and the accession to the EU, which will follow this. After an agreement a Turkish Cypriot politician will be taking place in the synthesis of the 'partnership ' representing Cyprus in such meetings, and what's more representing the whole of Cyprus. The glory, the future is here. This situation shows what will happen to us in case there is no solution and Cyprus is taken unilaterally into the EU. Then, Turkey will be forced to welcome the Foreign Minister of Cyprus or its Head of State, and it will be doing that by 'laying red carpet'. .In the face of Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the Turkish Cypriot people felt deeply the future without a solution and that they will be nothing more than an 'Islamic Community'."

    [08] Anti-EU circles launch a counterattack

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (15.2.02) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand on the e-mail tapping: "Those circles who do not want Turkey to open up to the world, develop its relations with the West and become a real power in the region, have stepped up their attacks on the European Union.

    The Ankara representation office of the EU is a diplomatic mission. It has diplomatic immunity. The e-mail messages of that mission were recently "stolen" by hackers whose identity is not known. This is no different from telephone tapping or the placing of bugs. This is a crime everywhere in the world.

    These persons have given their findings to a small group who think that politics is blackmailing people. And that group has been trying to create a sensation by releasing a few of these e-mail messages every day. Without any such incident no one would have talked about them. Since they know that, they are now trying to kick up a storm.

    The e-mail in question involves, among other things, the communications between the EU mission and a number of journalists, including me.

    The funny thing is, these strictly business communications are being described in an "EU gang" context, and EU representative Karen Fogg is being named as the ringleader.

    This issue became more serious when daily MILLIYET editor-in-chief Mehmet Yilmaz pointed out that the shadow state is behind this incident.

    The Foreign Ministry had acted timidly until Wednesday. They contented themselves with saying: "Well, what can we do? We have informed the prosecutors. They will take due steps." They even whispered about their anger at Karen Fogg. They may have no sympathy for Karen Fogg as a person, but they could not possibly be so narrow-minded as to fail to take seriously the "robbing" of a diplomatic mission in this manner. This may be done to a Turkish ambassador as well one day.

    Indeed, becoming aware of the gravity of the situation, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem finally roared. He announced that this was an "ugly" case of "theft."

    On the same day, the prosecutor's office moved.

    What kind of attitude will the state take, thinking about the possibility that this may happen to it as well some day in some other country? Will it follow it up to the end? Will it punish those responsible?

    Two points seem to be forgotten.

    The first one involves the real function of the ambassadors.

    If you are the representative of Turkey or any other country, you would be assigned the duty of contacting the members of the press in the host country, obtain their views, and relay to them your own views. The Turkish ambassadors too fulfil this function.

    Similarly, they contact the nongovernmental organizations. They provide some of these with support. You may remember that when Clinton visited Turkey as the U.S. President he contacted certain nongovernmental organizations, which the state views as an enemy. We were surprised to see that. It was at that time that we came face to face with the realities.

    Interpreting Karen Fogg's activities as a "gang activity," and describing those who have had contact with her as "gang members" is simply ridiculous, a sensation-mongering effort aimed at disrupting Turkey's relations with the EU.

    Those who are afraid of Turkey's moving closer to the EU and those who fear enlightenment, are the same persons. They want this country to remain inward-looking, insecure, fearful and stunted.

    However, regardless of whatever they do, they will not accomplish that. They will not be able to keep Turkey in the dark.

    Brussels relieved on the last day

    Brussels and the 15 capital cities were greatly upset by the way the Foreign Ministry remained indifferent to the theft from the EU mission, taking a timid stance. Even the talks EU commissioner Verheugen starts in Ankara today were expected to come under the shadow of this crisis. However, Brussels was relieved yesterday when Foreign Minister Ismail Cem finally roared and the prosecutors took action.

    Last Monday a demarche was made with the Turkish permanent delegate. On Wednesday morning a protest letter was sent to Ankara amid news reports indicating that the 15 member countries were being stirred into action. Yet, on Wednesday afternoon, that is, immediately before Verheugen left for Ankara, the situation changed. On the other hand, the letter theft has caused undue tensions anyway".

    KV/SK


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