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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-04-12

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.70/02 12.04.02

[A] NEW ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas says that they have started discussing the details with President Clerides.
  • [02] Denktas is going to Strasbourg.
  • [03] Ismail Cem: In the United States the Jewish lobby has always supported Turkey.
  • [04] Mustafa Akinci:"They are preparing us for the non-solution".
  • [05] Showrooms of Peugeot opened in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] We are threatening everybody.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas says that they have started discussing the details with President Clerides

    KIBRIS (12.04.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas said yesterday that they have started to discuss the details with President Clerides during the third round of the face-to-face talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Talking after meeting with Peter Hain, Britain's Minister for Europe and Sir David Hannay, the British Special Envoy for Cyprus, Mr Denktas said that until today they discussed all the issues in "a substantive way" with President Clerides and repeated that the talks are not going to stop in June, but "this procedure will continue until the end".

    Answering a question Mr Denktas said: ".Of course we have discussed the substance. And now we are entering into discussing the details.".

    Commenting on information published in Turkish mainland HURRIYET regarding some proposals Turkey is planning to make in order to "assist" the procedure, Mr Denktas noted: "It is obvious that HURRIYET does not know that both sides are making proposals during the procedure".

    Referring to his meeting with Mr Hain, the Turkish Cypriot leader thanked him for his views and his intention to help the two sides towards finding a solution. "I am sure that you have obtained all the information you needed. Of course, we also have listened to you carefully", he added.

    On the other hand, Mr Hain stressed that Britain would definitely support a solution and an agreement reached between the sides and expressed the opinion that "we have made a lot of progress". He also praised "the courage showed by the leaders of both communities".

    [02] Denktas is going to Strasbourg

    KIBRIS (12.04.02) reports that on 23 April 2002 Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas is going to Strasbourg for a conference on "The legal aspect of the Cyprus problem".

    The paper writes that Mr Denktas will meet with Walter Schwimmer, General Secretary of the Council of Europe and other chairmen of political groups in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    Mr Denktas will be accompanied by a four-member delegation, in which Unal Ustel so-called "deputy speaker" of the "assembly" will also be participating.

    [03] Ismail Cem: In the United States the Jewish lobby has always supported Turkey

    Istanbul KANAL 7 Television (10.4.02) carried its weekly hour-long "Red Light" interview program hosted by Akif Beki with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem his quest.

    The interview covered mostly the issue of "Turkey's Palestinian policy."

    Asked if Greece is trying to assume a more active role in the Middle East in line with its historical rivalry with Turkey, Cem says he does not know what Greece is doing but stresses that Turkey is not lagging behind.

    Akif Beki states that Greece and Cyprus have always been more pro-Arab and pro-Palestinian than Turkey, and that Turkey's relations with Israel are more advanced than their ties with that country. He asks Cem if such an equation exists. Cem denies that and says: "It is true that Greece and the Greek Cypriots have always been pro-Palestinian. However, our affinity with Palestine is very different. Unfortunately it did not work, but Turkey made serious contributions to the efforts made during the last term of Bill Clinton and during Baraq's premiership, especially with the foreign minister at the time, Ben-Ami." He says that after the United States, Turkey was the most influential country during those efforts. "A terrific opportunity was missed," he says, "it is a great pity."

    Asked if he and Papandreou are going to meet Arafat for sure, Cem replies: "There is always a possibility that it might not happen, but we have been promised, otherwise we would not go. Mr. Peres told us that."

    To the question of whether they are going with a plan, Cem notes that it is not a plan, but that they support the UN resolution, the Mitchell report, and the Tenet initiatives. He also says that they have some ideas which they plan to share with both sides.

    Akif Beki then asks: "Is the Jewish lobby so important for us that following its reaction, Prime Minister Ecevit had to correct his remark about a genocide twice?"

    Cem replies that the prime minister made a statement in this regard and he does not want to add anything. He asserts, however: "Turkey is the only factor that determines our foreign policy. As for the place of the Jewish lobbies as far as Turkey is concerned, I must point out that especially in the United States, the Jewish lobby has always supported Turkey against any injustices that have been made or that were going to be made." The foreign minister points out that the Jewish lobby has always helped Turkey in connection with the Armenian genocide issue.

    Akif Beki refers to an open letter from the Jewish lobby which reportedly compares the occupation of Palestine to the struggle against the PKK, the Workers Party of Kurdistan. Cem says that the two are "apples and oranges and cannot be compared."

    Cem refuses to say whether Ecevit's use of the term "genocide" was an accident, and says that the prime minister has already issued a statement in this regard. He also refuses to reply to the question of whether he believes that the prime minister should stop writing his own statements and leave it to the Foreign Ministry. He stresses, however, that the prime minister always works together with the Foreign Ministry when an important foreign contact or visit is involved.

    Asked if the anti-Israeli demonstrations make it difficult for him to pursue policies, Ecevit says that they do not. The government takes the public opinion into account, he says, but by that I mean mostly the political parties and the media.

    Cem refuses to say whether the timing of the tank modernization deal with Israel was right, because he says, it is not his field, and "the officials involved in that matter issued very clear statements, statements that seem very reasonable to me. In other words, a decision was made in line with Turkey's and the Turkish Armed Forces' needs." Pressed to answer the question, Cem says that the timing is not a diplomatic matter but a matter that concerns the needs of the Armed Forces.

    To the question of where Turkey stands in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Cem replies that it stands with the UN resolution which says that Israel must immediately withdraw from the occupied territories, and that a stand should be adopted against terrorism. He says Turkey announced this very clearly and denies that Turkey used "too harsh" a language when making this statement.

    Beki asks: "Do you think that Sharon or Washington really intend to get rid of Arafat?" Cem says that he does not know, but expresses the belief that eliminating a legitimate head of state will not solve the problem. "It would be very wrong," he says, "it would bring a non-solution."

    Beki recalls that the autopsy report and investigation conducted in Israel indicates that Turkish Major Toytunc was killed by a weapon used by the Israeli Army. Cem says that Turkey is following this matter very closely. He points out that both sides blamed each other, and adds: "My impression is that the bullets will not reveal the identity of the murderer. In fact, I know that serious efforts are being made to find out who perpetrated the attack."

    Beki then says: "There seems to be a new configuration in the world with Israel and the United States on one side, and Europe, the Arab world, Turkey and the rest of the world on the other. Is Turkey looking to formulate new policies in this configuration?" Cem replies: "No. Turkey's place is alongside Turkey's interests."

    Beki asks: "What will Turkey do if the EU carries out a military intervention in Israel as it did in Kosovo and Bosnia?" Cem says he does not believe that such an intervention will take place.

    Asked if he thinks Iraq may attack Israel, Cem replies: "I do not think so, no." Cem also denies that the United States will lose the international coalition it helped form against the Taliban because of its pro-Israeli support. He says he does not see such a thing happening at the moment.

    To a question on whether the number of Foreign Ministry personnel should be increased, Cem replies that the standards for admitting personnel is very high. He also complains that as with the rest of the government departments, it is difficult to hire qualified computer programmers because the salaries are very low. He says: "We have a ridiculously low budget."

    Asked if the EU will eventually admit Turkey as a member, Cem replies: "Of course".

    [04] Mustafa Akinci: "They are preparing us for the non-solution"

    ORTAM (12.04.02) reports that Mustafa Akinci, so-called "MP" of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) and former "deputy Prime Minister" of the pseudostate, has said that "those who really decide" in the occupied areas are preparing the Turkish Cypriot community, not for the solution but for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Talking at the so-called "assembly" regarding the wages of the "civil servants" and the pensions, Mr Akinci referred to the economic problems of the Turkish Cypriots and expressed the view that these problems will be solved with the solution of the Cyprus issue and the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.

    Mr Akinci, pointed out, among other things, the following: ".Those who take the real decisions in this country are not preparing us for the solution, they are preparing us for the non-solution. .Has the government decisive role in taking these decisions? I do not know to which extend it has a say in these decisions. However, at least no one can persuade me that it has a say in all these decisions. Someone else takes these decisions elsewhere. The government is only applying them. .".

    [05] Showrooms of Peugeot opened in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    KIBRIS (12.04.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas will open today the first showrooms and garage of the French car company, Peugeot in the occupied areas.

    The paper writes that information on the issue was given yesterday by Bengu Beyar, General Coordinator of the company FAB Ltd and Peugeot.

    Mr Bayar expressed his satisfaction for the fact that they will "get together again with the Turkish Cypriot people after 28 years".


    [B] COMMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] We are threatening everybody

    Under the above title Mehmet Ali Birand criticizes the Turkish foreign policy in his commentary in Turkish Daily News (12.4.02):

    The rhetoric we use, especially in foreign policy, contains threatening words. We project to the world the image of a country that is trying to make its demands accepted through the use of force. This is not the way to conduct a policy

    We see it as something natural. It is as if our ears do not hear what we are saying and how we are saying it. Even when we do hear our own words we fail to assess the meaning of our rhetoric.

    In both domestic politics and foreign policy, the rhetoric we use is different than the practices in the contemporary world and the accustomed international standards.

    Pay attention and you will see that we keep using "threatening" sentences about our interlocutors. This may not be upsetting us, but our approach is of a kind that is extremely upsetting to the "other party."

    This is a habit we have formed in our daily lives, and this habit gets reflected in domestic politics. In our domestic relations this approach may not be a cause of distress for us. However, in foreign relations, this approach increasingly causes us to lose "points."

    The official statements, the speeches made by various politicians even when they are not acquainted with the topic at hand, newspaper articles and certain expressions used by TV commentators, upset many. All these cause Turkey to be seen as a country that wants to solve its problems with a militaristic approach rather than through politics.

    Here are a few examples of the comments I am referring to:

    * "If the Greek Cypriots join the European Union on their own, there will be turmoil in Cyprus and we will know how to get what is the Turkish side's due."

    * "If the EU admits the Greek Cypriots while leaving the Turkish side out, both Cyprus and the Aegean will be in turmoil. Turkish-EU relations would be damaged irreparably and the EU would pay a high price for this attitude."

    * "If the EU fails to give Turkey a date for the start of accession talks, it will lose Turkey, and we would abolish the customs union."

    * "If the U.S. Congress gives the Armenian theses its support, the use of bases will not be permitted, and there will be no participation in the intervention against Iraq."

    * The establishment of an independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq would be a cause for war. Turkey would intervene."

    * "Twelve miles in the Aegean would mean a declaration of war. Turkey would take action."

    * "Unless it changes its stance, the Armenian state will meet with a strong reaction from Turkey. Their airspace would be closed and Armenia would be strangled."

    This list can go on and on...

    I want to draw your attention to the underlying tone, the style of this rhetoric. The message being given is, "If you do not do this or that, something bad is going to happen." We keep intimidating, issuing threats.

    So what? Aren't we going to protect our interests?

    I can almost hear my readers say, right at this minute:

    "What are you saying? Are we not supposed to protect our interests? Should we bow down to everybody? Shall we not say what would happen if they conducted the kind of policies that contradict our own policies?"

    Of course we will protect our interests. Who can possibly say we should not do that. This is not the point.

    What I am talking about is the "warped" aspect of our rhetoric.

    In cases of conflict, the "threat" element is naturally present, however, that approach gets adopted only in the end. All the other paths get tried, various initiatives get taken, and when the "knife touches the bone", the two sides start exchanging threatening words. The military rhetoric is used only in the final stage. If you resorted to "threatening" and "military rhetoric" so much, you would not be plausible anymore.

    If we look around us we can see that "contemporary" countries try to solve their differences by using a different kind of language, that is, without issuing threats.

    And that is called "politics."

    In both domestic issues and external issues, "imposition" is something that emerges in the advanced stages, not in the initial stages. Yet, we proceed to that later stage right from the start, while the first steps are being taken. All of a sudden we blurt out what would happen to the other side if our demands are not accepted.

    From now on, we must attain the international standards especially in foreign policy.

    If we do have no intention of changing these habits then we should not get angry when we hear criticism coming from other countries.

    Let us know ourselves.

    By looking at the negative image that has gotten stuck on us, don't let us say, "They do not like us." Let us admit that part of the problem stems from us.

    Don't you think I am right?

    KV/SK


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