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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-04-08

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.66/02 6-7-8.4.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas: June deadline unacceptable pressure.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader assessed the statement of the President of the UN Security Council on Cyprus.
  • [03] Ismail Cem admits that recognition of the pseudostate is contrary to UN decisions.
  • [04] HURRIYET reports that the Turkish side is preparing for a new offensive with new ideas.
  • [05] 53% of the Turkish public want an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [06] Alvaro de Soto will "offer ideas" for the negotiations to the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders.
  • [07] Talat criticizes the fact that Denktas reacts against the target of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem until June.
  • [08] Gurel comments on the research of the Bogazici University.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EITORIALS

  • [09] Columnist in STAR newspaper foresees a harder stance on behalf of Turkey on the European Army issue.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas: June deadline unacceptable pressure

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (06.04.02) publishes the following report:

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said the aim of the Cyprus talks was not to reach any agreement, but a lasting, mutually acceptable accord based on the realities of the eastern Mediterranean island, and which would not land Turkish Cypriots in a situation that was prevailing on Cyprus between 1963 and 1974.

    Commenting on a UN Security Council statement urging the two sides to speed up the Cyprus talks process and reach a Cyprus settlement by the end of June, Denktas, recalled that it was he who first uttered the "June deadline" , but there was no need for a "race against time" as the task was to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable resolution of the almost four decade old problem.

    According to diplomatic sources, the UN special envoy for Cyprus told the Security Council on Thursday that progress had been slow in the Cyprus direct talks process.

    Council members, in a statement issued after a closed briefing by UN envoy Alvaro de Soto, "expressed concern that progress was slow and that a great deal of ground remained to be covered for the June target date for agreement. to be met".

    The statement strongly reaffirmed the June deadline and urged Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to intensify their efforts when the UN-sponsored talks resumed next Tuesday.

    De Soto has also briefed UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the talks, and a UN spokesman said Annan "continues to believe that it is possible for the two leaders to complete their work in June 2002, given political determination and an enhanced sense of urgency".

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said that insisting on a June deadline was an unacceptable pressure.

    De Soto/s briefings came at the midpoint of the UN-sponsored negotiations, which began January 16. The United Nations has imposed a news blackout on the talks to encourage flexibility on both sides in the long-running dispute.

    Denktas said if the talks were progressing slowly, it was not because of dragging feet but rather because of the failure to make new openings. He said the international community must help the two sides make a new opening and stressed that telling Greek Cypriots that they would be accepted into the European Union with or without a settlement on Cyprus was not a helpful approach.

    He said such remarks were tantamount to telling Greek Cypriots that they need not reconcile with the Turkish Cypriots but on the contrary put forward at the talks whatever issue they believed would be unacceptable for Turkish Cypriots.

    Stressing that it was him who initiated the current talks process in good faith, Denktas recalled that it was he also who suggested the June deadline.

    "I said let us talk without any foreign interference. Now, everyone is interfering from the outside. They keep on telling Greek Cypriots `Go on as you have been, no one can pull you back from the point you are/. Therefore, it is those who say that to Greek Cypriots who delay a Cyprus resolution. They are responsible for the Cyprus problem dragging on for the past 39 years. If they insist on portraying the party who demolished the 1960 Cyprus partnership republic as the `sole legitimate government/ and try to make it our government also, there can be no Cyprus resolution. That is why a resolution was not possible and I am sad seeing that they still insist on that wrong approach", Denktas said.

    The Cyprus direct talks process has been given added urgency as the Mediterranean island is a candidate for European Union accession, and the EU has said it would accept the new wave of members in December.

    Greek Cypriots want a single federated state while Turkish Cypriots want a union of two states, only loosely linked by a central administration.

    Part of the problem in the talks to date has been a fundamental difference in the way the two leaders have approached the task, according to diplomatic sources quoted by Reuters in a report from New York.

    While Denktas has seemed intent on first agreeing on an overall vision of what Cyprus should be and only then working out the details, Clerides has focused on the details, the envoys said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    De Soto told the council he wanted to take a more active role in the talks than he had to date in order to help push things forward, they said.

    While in the past, the UN envoy participated primarily as an observer, in future sessions he hoped to present policy suggestions to the two parties. The council statement endorsed the plan, calling on both sides "to look to (de Soto and Annan) for assistance in order to move forward on the substance".

    Denktas, who has been known to be categorically against any role by de Soto other than an "observer, who would report from time to time to Annan" on the process, did not comment Friday on the new mission of the UN envoy. According to diplomatic sources, when the third round resumes next Tuesday, the UN envoy may provide the two leaders some suggestions to serve as "food for thought" and to test the reaction of Denktas before making full-fledged proposals on the outstanding issues.

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader assessed the statement of the President of the UN Security Council on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (05.04.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas, assessing the statement by the President of the UN Security Council after the Council was briefed on the second round of the direct talks on Cyprus by the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Mr Alvaro de Soto, said on Friday that it was him who put forward the June target date to find a solution to the problem in Cyprus.

    ``Yet assuming an approach saying `the talks will definitely end in June, if not it will be the end of world,` is an unacceptable pressure on the negotiators. I don't accept this pressure, `` said Denktas.

    When a reporter reminded Denktas about a statement made by Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides that the Greek Cypriot side would not accept the proposal of two states, Denktas said: ``I don't take into consideration the words of Kasoulides. I talk with Clerides. If this is the last word of Clerides, then you can ask this question to me.``

    [03] Ismail Cem admits that recognition of the pseudostate is contrary to UN decisions

    Istanbul NTV television (07.04.02) broadcast a 30-minute live interview during a program entitled "Middle East Under Fire" with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Mithat Bereket.

    In reply to a question on why "Palestine" and the other Arab countries are not taking any steps to support Turkey in recognizing the "TRNC" while they expect Turkey to support the Palestinians, Cem pointed at two reasons. He explained that one of them is the "low level of relations" and "mutual misunderstandings" between Turkey and the Arab world at the time of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the other is the "extremely unfair and merciless" UN resolution that practically punishes the countries that recognize the pseudostate. He added, however, that there is some progress, if not change, in this regard. Cem cited the positive development of the Gulf countries' relations with the pseudostate, as well as Turkey's increased influence in the Organization of Islamic Countries with regard to Cyprus. Cem said: "There is a positive trend, but this is not sufficient. It is our duty to take this further."

    [04] HURRIYET reports that the Turkish side is preparing for a new offensive with new ideas

    HURRIYET (08.04.02) reports that within the framework of the direct talks started on 4th December 2001, between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, Turkey is getting ready to start a new offensive with new ideas.

    In the process, reports HURRIYET, which started in December, Turkey put aside its confederation thesis and resumed the dialogue within the new partnership (Tr.note: the English word mentioned by the paper) concept. Now, in addition to this New Partnership concept on Friday it is expected that the Turkish side will inform the public on its views regarding the future of Cyprus.

    The Turkish side will voice its views regarding territorial percentage, authority to be transferred to the central government, sovereignty, return of refugees and global exchange of property.

    HURRIYET goes on and reports that in the beginning of last week there was an evaluation meeting regarding this offensive, at the (Turkish) Foreign Ministry, in which Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, under-secretary Ugur Ziyal, from the Cyprus Desk, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, and the pseudostate/s Ankara envoy Ahmet Zeki Bulunc.

    The change of terminology by the Turkish side has been realized prior to the surprise dinner held on 4th December.

    Following a number of secret meetings between Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials, it was decided to prepare a gesture, which will be geared towards accommodating the Greek Cypriot concern regarding the "confederation" expression.

    The Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials, with a view to stressing their sincerity as regards the side which desires a settlement in the island, have agreed on the concept of "New Partnership", concludes the report.

    [05] 53% of the Turkish public want an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia in (29.3.02) reported that the results of a "Study on Turkish Foreign Policy" carried out by the European Studies Centre of Bogazici University (BU) have been published.

    The results of the study, prepared by Dr Ali Carkoglu and Dr Kemal Kirisci of the BU International Relations Department, were presented by the two faculty members.

    The survey, intended to determine the Turkish public's "general tendencies regarding foreign policy" and in particular, its "views on Turkish-Greek relations and towards the EU [European Union]", encompassed 3,086 people above the age of 18 in 20 provincial centers. While the number of participating men and women were equal, 53 percent of the participants had completed primary and middle school, 27 percent had completed high school, and 22 percent were university graduates.

    According to the survey, while 50 percent of those asked identified "government-to-government diplomatic talks" as the most appropriate way to resolve problematic relationships in the international realm, the supporters of "following a completely understanding and flexible policy" in foreign relations was the most frequent stance, with 59 percent support.

    In relations with Greece, those who thought the best way to guarantee peace is "to rely completely on diplomatic talks" were 53 percent of those polled, while those preferring "to rely completely on military force" were 20 percent.

    Turkey's friends

    One interesting result of the survey was that, in response to the question "What state is Turkey's best friend?", 34 percent answered that "It has no friends", while 27 percent said "the United States", and 9 percent said "other Muslim countries". Those who saw "Europe" as friendly were 7 percent, while those who cited the pseudostate of occupied Cyprus were noteworthy at being only 2 percent.

    It was observed that, of those who said "It has no friends", 41 percent were of high socio-economic status, and 40 percent of them also said "No to the EU".

    In reply to the question "What state is Turkey's biggest enemy in international relations?", 34 percent of those polled cited "Greece", while it was observed that neighbouring countries such as "Syria", "Russia", "Iran", and "Iraq" remained at low levels ranging from 2 to 5 percent.

    In response to the question "Of the various nationalities, which peoples do you see as enemies and which as friends?", "Azeris" and "Japanese" headed the list of friends, while "Greeks" and "Armenians" were most prominently listed as enemies.

    Threats from within

    It also emerged from the study that the Turkish public holds the view that the greatest threat is not from the outside, but from within. Accordingly, in evaluations on a scale of 10, "politically linked corruption", with 8.7, and "religious fundamentalist terrorism", with 8.4, were most cited.

    Meanwhile, while those who are not worried about a military attack being made on Turkey in the next few years amounted to a high 47 percent, the highest number, amounting to 32 percent, answered "Greece" to the question as to which country such a military attack could come from.

    It also emerged from the study that the public has complete confidence in the country, in terms of the question as to how much confidence they have that Turkey would be able to defend itself. While on a scale of ten those who were very confident that Turkey would be able to defend itself under the threat of any other country were 8, while belief that the European allies would provide support for Turkey's defense was at only 4.3.

    In the survey, which indicated that "the most important problem in Turkish-Greek relations" is the Cyprus issue (51 percent), and that "the problem which most urgently needs solution" is likewise the Cyprus issue (53 percent), those who propounded the solution of problems between countries via diplomatic negotiations were 57 percent, while those who supported the same methods for resolving the problems in the Turkish-Greek relationship were 49 percent.

    Turkish-EU relations

    Asked in the survey "How would you vote if a referendum were to be held on Turkey's full membership in the EU?", 74 percent said that they would vote in favour of such membership.

    Asked as to the "greatest benefits that the people would experience" following Turkey's joining the EU, 45 percent checked "increased economic prosperity", while the second-highest response, with 15 percent, was "the right to free movement".

    As for "things which must be accomplished for full EU membership", the most commonly given answers were "provision of the necessary conditions for freedom of religion and conscience", "provision of the necessary conditions for freedom of thought and expression", and "resolution through compromise of the Cyprus problem and the problems between Greece and Turkey"; those who believed in the necessity of eliminating the death penalty, however, were only 5.8 percent.

    [06] Alvaro de Soto will "offer ideas" for the negotiations to the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders

    Turkish Daily News (08.04.02) reports the following:

    "Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Glafcos Clerides, will return to the negotiations table on Tuesday for the third round of the Cyprus direct talks process, which is expected to be different than the preceding two rounds in many aspects.

    On the one hand, the two leaders will come under more international pressure to get to the crux of the matter and to work faster to reach a resolution by the end of June, while on the other hand, Alvaro de Soto, the envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, with a fresh mandate from the Security Council, will "try to help" the two leaders by "offering ideas" to break the impasse in three main areas: the sovereignty issue (constitutional aspects), territory and the refugee problem.

    According to well-informed diplomatic sources, the first suggestion De Soto is expected to make will be on the sovereignty issue and may come as early as the first meeting of the new round on April 9. According to the sources in the "non-paper" on the sovereignty issue, de Soto may suggest to the two leaders a "cocktail" of the positions the two have been defending. That is, he would suggest the establishment of a Cyprus federation, with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot regions, which would enjoy an "advanced level of autonomy," to the extend that they would establish their own foreign economic deals, local parliaments, education systems, tourism units, police forces and courts.

    The sources did not further comment on the proposal, but conceded that it was less than the two-state confederation proposal of Denktas and more than the federation proposal of Clerides.

    Neither Denktas, nor Clerides will be happy with the new role De Soto has acquired with the latest U.N. Security Council statement. However, for Clerides, the third round will be even more difficult, as he may soon end up with a government crisis."

    [07] Talat criticizes the fact that Denktas reacts against the target of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem until June

    KIBRIS (08.04.02) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) said yesterday that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas must not react against the target of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem until June, because he was the one who has put this target.

    In a written statement Mr Talat criticized the fact that Mr Denktas described as "pressure" on the Turkish side the reference in the recent statement of the president of the UN Security Council that the goal in Cyprus must be finding a solution until June.

    "Nobody will believe you, nobody will trust you, if you describe as pressure and react against statements which you made when these statements are repeated by the UN Security Council", noted Mr Talat, adding that taking into consideration the fact that Mr Denktas himself "as a negotiator has referred to the target of June and he gave the world this message, his reaction is meaningless".

    [08] Gurel comments on the research of the Bogazici University

    KIBRIS (08.04.02) reports that Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, has said that the bonds between his country and the pseudostate are eternal and will not be damaged by the results of a research.

    In a written statement regarding the results of a research conducted by the Bogazici University of Istanbul, according to which only the 2 % of the Turkish people consider the pseudostate among one "of the most friendly states" to Turkey, Mr Gurel argued the following: "According to information I had, the participants in the research were not given options when they were asked this question. Therefore, each of them gave only a name of a country, which came to their mind. Naturally, first came to their mind the names of countries, which give direction to the international affairs. This result came up, because the Turkish people consider the TRNC to be their own and they do not think it is a separate state.".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [09] Columnist in STAR newspaper foresees a harder stance on behalf of Turkey on the European Army issue

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (04.04.02) carries the following commentary by Semi Idiz under the title: "Turkey's ESDP problem continues":

    With attention focused on the Middle East, Afghanistan and Cyprus, we seem to have forgotten some other fields of interest in Turkey's multi-dimensional foreign policy. However, new developments are constantly occurring. The latest of these is related to the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), which appears will be tied to a satisfactory conclusion but has not yet been finalized.

    This extremely complicated issue seemed as if it would be closed by reaching an agreement satisfactory to Turkey as the result of long and difficult negotiations in Ankara and London with American and British officials. While America represented NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] in these meetings, Britain represented the EU [European Union]. In the end, the principles were accepted that the ESDP would not be used against a NATO member and that NATO resources would only be used by the EU with the full agreement of NATO members.

    While this agreement has now been accepted by 14 EU members, one lone EU member, i.e. Greece, is opposing it. Athens defends the position that a country which is not an EU member must not, even if it is a member of NATO, be in a position in which it can influence EU military decisions. It is therefore rejecting the "Ankara agreement." In short, it cannot stomach the diplomatic advantage Turkey gained by getting the remainder of the EU members behind it.

    But the truth of the matter is that as long as Greece continues to oppose the Ankara agreement--in other words, as long as it continues its veto--the issue cannot truly be considered closed from Turkey's perspective. Therefore, Turkey is not relaxing its guard against unexpected negative developments on this subject. Developments indicate that Ankara will soon have the opportunity to show its determination on this subject to the EU in a concrete way.

    And the place where it will have the opportunity to demonstrate this determination at this stage will be "Macedonia". In other words, the "Macedonia" from which NATO will withdraw and transfer military responsibility to the EU. According to information I obtained from sources close to EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission co-chairman Joost Ladendijk, who is currently in Ankara, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has already let the EU get a taste of Turkey's determination.

    To make a long story short, as long as the Greek veto over the agreement reached on the subject of the ESDP is not lifted, Ankara is prepared to obstruct NATO's turning over the command of the international force in "Macedonia" to the EU. Putting it another way, if such a transfer occurs, it will block the EU from using alliance resources. And it will do this in NATO's powerful organ, the North Atlantic Council, which can only make decisions through full agreement.

    Basically, the logic driving Turkey here is extremely sound. It will be recalled that NATO members which are at the same time EU members later tried to water down guarantees given to Turkey at the Washington summit celebrating NATO's 50th anniversary. When Turkey opposed this in a clear manner, an agreement was reached as the result of long negotiations.

    But, like in the saying, "once burnt, twice shy," Turkey, as I noted above, has not yet let its guard drop. It is hesitant, fearing that the EU, which has previously failed to stand by its word, will take this business to places Ankara doesn't want it to go upon the transfer of the command in "Macedonia" to the EU. In summary, Turkey is saying, "Let Greece sign the Ankara agreement, too. Let this be a binding agreement from the EU's perspective; we will only then consent to this business." It is said that this was relayed to the EU during Ismail Cem's roughly one-and-a-half hour meeting with Joost Ladendijk the other day.

    Another important factor here is the US, because Washington wants the EU to take on its military obligations and do what lies within its responsibilities as soon as possible. It also says that this could begin with "Macedonia". Under these circumstances, it would appear that a stick has been poked into the US' plans. But the situation isn't really like that, because the US was one of the sides preparing the basis for the Ankara agreement.

    In short, both Washington and the 14 EU members know very well who is obstructing this agreement from being brought to life. Therefore, if Turkey blocks the passing of the command of the forces in "Macedonia" from NATO to the EU, pressure must be directed, not at Ankara, but at Greece. Of course, time will tell whether it will turn out this way or not.

    KV/SK


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