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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-04-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 73/02 17.04.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkey-EU Association Council Meeting Ends, EU does not Set Date for NegotiationsAccording to Ankara Anatolia (16/04/02) the 41st Turkey-European Union (EU) Association Council meeting ended yesterday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem urged the EU to take necessary steps to set a date for opening of full membership negotiations with Turkey before the end of this year.
The EU stated that significant progress had been recorded in Turkey-EU pre-accession relations after the Helsinki summit, but recommended that reforms should be increased within the scope of the Copenhagen criteria.
Foreign Minister Ismail Cem wanted the European Union (EU) to set the date for the beginning of full membership negotiations with Turkey before the end of this year during the meeting of the 41st Turkey-European Union (EU) Association Council on Tuesday. However, the EU said that it welcomed the reform process in Turkey. But, pointing out that recent reforms had not yet met expectations about the Copenhagen criteria, the EU did not respond to Turkey's request for setting a date for full membership negotiations.
Stressing that Turkey had been continuing to make reforms with great determination in order to fulfil Copenhagen criteria, Cem said that the EU should fulfil its responsibilities by setting a specific date for beginning of full membership negotiations with Turkey.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Josep Pique of Spain, the current president of the EU, said that Turkey-EU relations' pre-accession strategy had been progressing in a positive way.
Referring to the Cyprus question, Pique said that they had been supporting the direct talks process between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
After the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting, Cem held a press conference with EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister Josep Pique and EU Commissioner for enlargement Gunter Verheugen.
Cem said that they debated Middle East, Cyprus question and Karabakh dispute in their meeting besides Turkey-EU relations.
Foreign Minister Cem said that there was a serious opportunity to reach a solution in Cyprus and that this chance should be used.
Cem stressed that a solution, which would be reached by the consent of both sides on the island, was for the benefit of everybody.
Noting that the sides had the political will and good will about improvement of Turkey-EU relations, Cem said that Turkey, which continued to make reforms within the framework of the Copenhagen criteria, expected a date for opening of its full membership negotiations with the EU.
Pique said that the ball is in Turkey's court and noted that in case expectations about the political dimensions of the Copenhagen criteria were met, the EU would not be late in setting a date for beginning of full membership negotiations with Turkey.
EU Commissioner Gunter Verheugen for enlargement defined the reforms in Turkey as encouraging and said that if Turkey met the criteria, he, on behalf of the commission, could complete his preparations in order to give the negotiation calendar within a few weeks.
More over, KIBRIS (17/04/02) reports that Verheugen said the following on the Cyprus issue:
"I want to make a statement regarding the Cyprus problem. During our meeting concrete and open statements were made on this issue. I would like to say that the ongoing face-to-face talks between the two leaders and the relations between the two communities are very encouraging. The round of the talks began with the acceptance of UN Security Council's resolutions of 1st April. And we request the leaders to remain loyal to the timetable, which they have fixed themselves. Like the President of the Security Council said, it is necessary that the two leaders should put more effort. Of course, we will continue to support this procedure and we will continue to give our useful opinions."
 Turkic Republics did not attend a conference in the occupied areas because they do not recognise the pseudostateAccording to YENIDUZEN (17/04/02) the Fifth Eurasia Islamic Council, which opened in the occupied area, started under the "shadow of non-recognition of the TRNC". The paper says that apart from Russia, Turkic Republics of the Central Asia; Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzistan, Uzbekistan, Chuvash Republic, Dagestan, as well as, Belgrade and Bosnia-Herzegovina muftis did not attend the conference because "the TRNC was not recognised".
YENIDUZEN reports that, the absence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was the host to the fourth Eurasia Islamic Council meeting last year and is also deputy President of the Council, has a shocking effect, on the "TRNC" and the organizer, the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs.
The Council meetings will continue until 19 April.
YENIDUZEN further reports that, those who attended the Council meeting faced "recognition" problem, which was overcome by not stamping their passports with the pseudostate's stamp. Religious men and muftis from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Tajikistan, Croatia, Kosovo, Romania, Montenegro, Xsanthi, Albania, Belarus, Sanjak, Voyvodina, Crimea, Skopje, Lithuania, North Iraq, Komotini, Mongolia, Moldova and Poland are attending the council deliberations.
 Ban on Cyprus passport, reason for seeking asylumYENIDUZEN and AFRIKA (17/04/02) report under banner headlines that the so-called "Passport law", if approved by the pseudo-state's Assembly, which envisages legal proceeding against those Turkish Cypriots who carry Republic of Cyprus' passports, will be a "reason" for "seeking asylum".
Both papers give the example of a Turkish Cypriot, who was residing in the UK, who applied to the British government, and asked to be granted political asylum, since he was holder of a Republic of Cyprus passport, and will be prosecuted if returned to the occupied areas. The British Home Office accepted the application.
YENIDUZEN and AFRIKA report that if the "Assembly" adopt the so-called amendment to the "passport law" then, the papers fear, this will create a new wave of Turkish Cypriot asylum seekers in UK, which in turn means, more Turkish Cypriots leaving the occupied area.
 Chinese Prime Minister: Cyprus problem should be solved between the two communitiesAccording to KIBRIS (17/04/02), the Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit held a joint press conference together with the Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji, who is currently in Turkey on an official visit.
When to asked to comment on the Cyprus problem, Zhu said that the Cyprus problem should be solved between the two independent communities and within the framework of the U.N.
Meanwhile, Ecevit said the EU`s intervention on Cyprus issue would not help the solution of problem.
 Provocation by the mufti of the Greek city of Xanthi against the Republic of GreeceKIBRISLI (17.04.02) reports that one of the speakers at the 5th Eurasia Islamic Council in occupied Famagusta was yesterday the mufti of the Greek city of Xanthi, Mehmet Emin Aga, who gave also an interview to the illegal Bayrak television. The chairman of Turkey's Directorate of Religious Affairs, Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz joked with him saying: "you have given an interview to Bayrak. We shall have no responsibility, if they see this in Greece and forbid you to enter here". Mr Aga answered: "Let them hear me and see me. That is why I gave the interview".
Furthermore, in his address to the Council Mr Aga claimed that the Moslems of Western Thrace face a lot of difficulties when they want to build a mosque and they accept pressures so that the minarets of the mosques are smaller than the belfries of the churches. He also alleged that a lot of mosques in ten villages of the area of Xanthi have remained uncompleted because of obstacles put by the Greek government, which according to Mr Aga violates the relevant articles of the Lausanne Agreement.
 The results of a public opinion poll in IstanbulKIBRIS (17.04.02) reports that a public opinion poll conducted in Istanbul by the Academic Media and Public Opinion Researches Group of the Istanbul University's Communication Faculty (AKADEMEDYA), has showed that more than 50 % of the inhabitants of Istanbul support Turkey's accession to the European Union.
The paper writes that 59.7 % of the 320 people who participated in the research, said that they support Turkey's accession to the EU, while 39.1 % noted that they do not support it. The 21.1 % of the participants in the poll expressed the opinion that by accessing to the Union Turkey will have the most important benefits in the field of economy, while 5.9 % said that that the most important benefit will be in the improvement of the situation of the human rights in the country and 4.2 % consider as the most important thing the increase of the trade capacity.
According to the participants in the poll, in case Turkey does not join the EU, she will lose mostly in the fields of the economy, human rights and democracy.
Asked whether a referendum must be conducted on Turkey's accession to the EU, 61.4 % answered "yes" and 37.4 % said "no". 38.3 % expressed the opinion that Turkey will join the EU after 7 years or more than seven years, 20% said that this will happen in five years, whereas 32.6 % noted that Turkey will never join the EU.
Furthermore, 38 % of the participants in the poll believe that the EU plays a supervising role in Turkey's internal affairs, 24.3 % said that this role gives negative direction and 20.9 % expressed the opinion that this role is positive.
In addition, 79.7 % believe that the laws for the harmonization with the EU constitute a pressure on Turkey, whereas 16.9 % said that these laws are necessary for joining the EU. Asked whether they consider satisfactory what Turkey does to join the EU, 56.9 % answered "no", 31.1 % said "partly" and only 11.1 % gave a positive answer.
According to 13.4 % of the participants in the poll, the most important reason which delays Turkey's accession to the Union is the bad economic situation of the country, whereas 6.6 % expressed the opinion that the reason is Turkey's Moslem identity and the human rights record. 3.2 % said that the main reason is the backwardness in the education field and mentioned 2.8 % the death penalty.
58 % of the participants in the poll said that they oppose lifting the death penalty, whereas 40 % said that it must be lifted.
Asked on what issues Turkey must not make concessions in order to become member of the EU, 81.4 % answered that concessions must not be given on the Cyprus problem and 74.8 % on the death penalty of Abdullah Ocalan.