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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-03

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.103/02 01-02-03.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting President Clerides.
  • [02] "This Country is Ours" platform criticizes Denktas and calls for a federal solution.
  • [03] Statements by the Turkish Minister of Defence on relations with Greece and on the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel on the Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Ismail Cem on an illegal visit to occupied Cyprus. He expressed support for Denktas and the occupation regime.
  • [06] Angolemli says that solution is inevitable in Cyprus.
  • [07] "Unknown" persons have interfered into the website of AFRIKA.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Columnist in "MILLIYET" assesses the decisions of the Turkish Naitonal Security Council. No change on Cyprus.
  • [09] Turkish Professor support that the Cyprus problem is the main obstacle before Turkey/s EU course.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

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

    KIBRIS (01.06.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Clerides met for two hours and 15 minutes this morning.

    Replying to reporters' questions on his return to the occupied areas Denktas said that they worked in length but that the discussions on the issue of security have not yet been concluded. Noting that he will meet again with President Clerides on Wednesday [5 June], Denktas said that they will try and conclude the security issue on that meeting.

    In reply to a question on whether there were any developments at today's meeting, Denktas said: "We are working on the articles. This is the reason why it takes a long time."

    Noting that there have been no difficulties so far on the issue of security, Denktas said that the sides are defending their causes, trying to find a common denominator, and jotting them down as they are found. He added that discussions are continuing on points over which an agreement could not be reached. In reply to another question, Denktas said that, on the security issue, they have not yet reached a point where they can consult the guarantor countries.

    [02] "This Country is Ours" platform criticizes Denktas and calls for a federal solution

    YENIDUZEN (01.06.02) writes that "This Country is Ours" platform composed of various labour unions and nongovernmental organizations, including the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] and the Patriotic Unity Movement [PUM], has asked that a result be reached as soon as possible at the direct talks initiated on the Cyprus problem. The platform officials held a news conference at the Turkish Cypriot Teachers/ Union headquarters today.

    Speaking on behalf of the platform, the General-Secretary of the Union said that they want a conciliation to emerge from the direct talks initiated under the umbrella of the United Nations with the aim of achieving a federal structure with a view to EU accession. He noted that the Turkish Cypriots have a lot of expectations from the talks being held between Denktas and Clerides, adding that they do not approve of Denktas' stand at the talks. The General-Secretary continued: Sovereignty is shared. Within the framework of an understanding based on a shared sovereignty, the issue of a joint sovereignty should be taken up whereby the communities on the island can be self-governing based on their free will. He added that, within the framework of the EU, sovereignty will be exercised jointly and will be taken up within a democratic structure. He stated that rejecting the concept of a joint sovereignty will not be beneficial for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Criticizing those who view the EU as the obliteration of the Turkish Cypriots, the General-Secretary said they expect the Cyprus problem to be resolved and the path to the EU to be opened by the end of June. He concluded by saying that the political reality that has emerged with the EU process and the visit to the island of the UN General-Secretary has illustrated the necessity of reaching a lasting solution acceptable to both sides.

    [03] Statements by the Turkish Minister of Defence on relations with Greece and on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (31.05.02) reported that the Turkish Minister of National Defense, Mr Sabahattin Cakmakoglu, made statements during a visit to Kayseri Province on Friday.

    Responding to questions from journalists, Cakmakoglu said that he welcomed the extension of the territorial waters to 12 miles by the pseudostate.

    Cakmakoglu said: "The `TRNC/ is doing what is necessary as an independent state for its own security and interests."

    In reply to a question on relations between Turkey and Greece, Minister Cakmakoglu spoke as follows:

    "It has been said for some time now that our relations with Greece have been improving, under the rubric of a rapprochement. But I have been saying all along that no beginning has yet been made to resolving the significant problems that have gone on for years between Turkey and Greece. Just what sort of good relations are these that they still do not allow the aircraft of our Turkish Armed Forces to transit their airspace? For instance, if one of our military aircraft takes off from Ankara en route to Spain, it flies south of Crete and takes the long way around, over Sicily. This is not behaviour consistent with the relations that are said to be improving between these two NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] allies."

    Cakmakoglu also stated the following in response to a question as to whether or not he is notified when the United States hunts terrorists in Turkish territorial waters:

    "I have no such information. I am learning this from the media, as you are. I in fact do not believe that they are in our territorial waters. If it should turn out that this is so, then it will be with the knowledge of, and in cooperation with, our responsible officials. But this is perhaps most likely something taking place outside our territorial waters."

    Noting that one of the issues affecting the process of accession to the EU [European Union] is the problems experienced with Greece, Cakmakoglu said that "The Cyprus issue comes at the forefront of these problems. We know that there are various circles that see Cyprus as an obstacle to EU accession. We are not among those who see things in this way. Cyprus is in fact an inheritance from our history and our geography. Since the 1570's, it has been an island of the Turks. We have not taken it from the Greek Cypriot administration that lays claim to it today."

    The Turkish Defense Minister also said that he has certain hesitations on the topic of EU membership.

    During the course of his visit to Kayseri, he visited the Kocasinan and Melikgazi Chambers of Agriculture, as well as the First Commando Brigade. Participating as well in the Assembly Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, he commented on relations with the EU and said he has a number of hesitations with regard to the EU:

    "According to a survey cited in the meeting of the National Security Council, 72 percent of the Turkish public want to join the EU. But according to the same survey, those who answered "yes" to the question as to whether or not they knew what the EU was, were about 2 percent. This situation shows that clear information regarding the EU is not reaching the Turkish people. Our people think that when we enter the EU, unemployment will be eliminated. But it is the European countries who have sought to divide us up throughout history, and on the topic of terrorism have not been at our side but rather have aided the terrorists. For this reason, we have hesitations with regard to the EU."

    Stating that certain impositions have been placed on Turkey in order to be able to enter into the EU, Cakmakoglu, claimed that the conditions of the EU must be evaluated in accord with Turkey's sensitivities, and concluded:

    "There are certain weak points in Turkey's social fabric. The garment that the EU is trying to make Turkey put on simply does not fit. When Turkey is not even being cited as one of those candidate countries to join by the year 2010, the demands of the EU should be evaluated carefully, and there should be no undue haste."

    [04] Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel on the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul NTV television (31.05.02) broadcast that in the wake of the National Security Council meeting of yesterday, State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel made statements on Cyprus. Gurel declared that there is no question of any policy change on the Cyprus issue.

    During a visit to the Turkish Engineering and Architecture Consultants Union, Gurel replied to journalists' questions on Cyprus as follows: "There is no question of our changing our policy on Cyprus."

    The State Minister alleged that the admission of Cyprus into the EU as though it is the representative of the whole of Cyprus runs counter to international law as well as Turkey's interests and added:

    "Cyprus can join the EU only after reaching a comprehensive solution, simultaneously with Turkey. It is impossible for Turkey to accept any other alternative."

    Gurel also stressed that an issue like Cyprus can in no way be linked to Turkey's EU accession process. In reply to a question on the move undertaken by the pseudostate to increase the occupied areas/ territorial waters to 12 miles, the State Minister alleged that the pseudostate is a sovereign state.

    "The `TRNC/ can increase its territorial waters as it wishes without creating a conflict with the territorial waters of other states, and without having the need to reach an agreement with them," he said.

    Gurel remarked that the reactions are against the existence of the "TRNC", not against the steps it is taking.

    Answering a question on the discussions over Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's health, Gurel said that he cannot comment on this subject.

    [05] Ismail Cem on an illegal visit to occupied Cyprus. He expressed support for Denktas and the occupation regime

    KIBRIS (01.06.02) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ismail Cem, is on an illegal visit to the occupied by Turkey/s troops part of Cyprus.

    In a statement at occupied Tymbou airport, Cem said that Turkey supports the solution model based on two states advocated by Denktas. He noted that the National Security Council [NSC], which convened on 30 May, assessed the issue within this framework and extended its support to Denktas. Cem noted that he held a phone conversation with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit prior to his departure and once again received his approval and support on the joint approach regarding the Cyprus problem adopted with the prime minister's contributions. He noted that Turkey and the pseudostate have always been and will continue to be together and in unison, adding: "Naturally, it would not be appropriate to make very positive estimates with regards to the current process. I am, however, confident that at the end of this process both Turkey and the `TRNC/ will be stronger and more effective, that the people in both `countries/ will be happier, and that they will advance with strong steps toward a joint future. I am among you to share this confidence".

    Replying to reporters' questions at the airport, Cem alleged that the pseudostate has the judicial authority to increase its territorial waters to 12 miles, adding that it is the right decision.

    Meanwhile KIBRIS (02.06.02) writes that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem was awarded an honourary doctorate during a ceremony at the illegal Kyrenia American University in occupied Kyrenia.

    Speeches were delivered by the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

    In his speech, Rauf Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots will not give up their state for the sake of peace. He stressed that peace is the right of those who protect peace and who make the necessary sacrifices for it. Denktas called on everyone to protect the state as well as the environment, because, he said, nature does not forgive. He also urged the youths to drive carefully.

    Following Denktas' speech, the Turkish Foreign Minister was given an honourary Doctorate in the field of international relations and political science.

    In his speech Ismail Cem asserted that Turkey and the pseudostate sincerely want peace in Cyprus, adding: "However, nobody should think that we are obliged to reach an agreement. Turkey and the `TRNC/ want a peace that will be acceptable to all and that will bring happiness to all. Turkey and the `TRNC/ are countries that have proven that they can say no when necessary. Turkey is always on your side. If you have problems and you shout from Kyrenia, we will hear you from Anamur, we will come here, and be with you. A struggle is being waged under Rauf Denktas' leadership to build a future that will make everyone happier. This is a quest for a formula on which the two nations in Cyprus can agree."

    He also stated that an agreement is possible only if it enables the pseudostate to live forever and if it ensures the Turkish Cypriots sovereignty, security, and well-being. He also underlined that the Turkish State and Government have full confidence in and support for Denktas, adding: "We want peace, a peace that will be acceptable to us all and that will make us all happy."

    [06] Angolemli says that solution is inevitable in Cyprus

    ORTAM (03.06.02) reports that Huseyin Angolemli, Communal Liberation Party (CLP) leader, has said that the end of the Cyprus problem is approaching.

    Mr Angolemli, who is visiting London as a quest of the CLP London Solidarity Committee yesterday expressed the view that: "Peace is standing right outside of our door and as much as they want to run away from it, they will not be able to do this".

    Mr Angolemli said also that until now the USA and the EU have not interfered into the Cyprus problem, but they will do it in case a solution is not reached within this year. Noting that will is needed from both sides to achieve an agreement he added: "The important thing is this will, but there is no will on both sides".

    The aim of CLP, concluded the Turkish Cypriot politician, is a just solution to the Cyprus problem and after that the accession of Cyprus to the EU.

    [07] "Unknown" persons have interfered into the website of AFRIKA

    AFRIKA (03.06.02) reports that since some time now it cannot publish its Internet edition. The paper publishes the following announcement on its front page:

    "The web site of our newspaper has not been able to be published for some time now. In a research we have done, we established that our site has been closed by an unknown person or persons and the word 'forbidden' is written in English. We shall inform the public opinion on the results of our researches".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Columnist in "MILLIYET" assesses the decisions of the Turkish National Security Council. No change on Cyprus

    MILLIYET newspaper (01.06.02) published the following commentary from the "Direction" column by Fikret Bila:

    "We can summarize as follows the conclusion reached at the National Security Council [NSC] meeting on the subject of completely abolishing the death penalty: "The death penalty should be completely abolished, but an article should be included in the Constitution prohibiting amnesty.

    The subject of the abolishment of the death penalty was brought onto the agenda within this approach by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer at the NSC. Sezer emphasized that it is necessary to abolish the death penalty, however it is also necessary to convince and mollify especially the families of those who were martyred. Sezer stated that abolishing the death penalty could be exploited by terrorist organizations and their supporters and to prevent this, it will be useful to include an article in the Constitution.

    This approach of President Sezer is also shared by the ministers who attended the NSC meeting. It can be said that only the Minister of National Defense Sabahattin Cakmakoglu made an annotation in the direction of the views of the MHP [Nationalist Action Party].

    The military members of the NSC, by only listening and by not opposing, have shared this approach. The Foreign Minister Ismail Cem made a speech dwelling upon convincing the families of martyrs and giving a guarantee to them on the subject of amnesty. Especially, he emphasized that it is necessary to explain very well to the people and the families of the martyrs why the death penalty is being abolished, due to the fact that Abdullah Ocalan will also be able to benefit from the abolishment of the death penalty. He said as follows:

    "Let us abolish the death penalty, but we should absolutely take the necessary measures. Not only for the EU, but perhaps for Turkey as well it is necessary to take this decision. However, there are 30 thousand lives lost. There are the deeply grieving families of the martyrs. It is necessary not to forget their feelings and thoughts. It should be explained to them why this decision was taken. It should be attempted to convince them on this subject. Measures should be taken that will prevent the exploitation of the abolishment of this penalty. This is required for a serious state approach. Those who will benefit from the abolishment of the death penalty should be prevented from benefiting from amnesties or conditional releases. Perhaps such an article could be put into the Constitution. A Constitutional guarantee should be provided that will prevent them from being freed with an amnesty or conditional release."

    This approach and proposal of Cem's is in parallel and shared with that of President Sezer's approach. It can be said that this model, which prevailed in the NSC meeting, is the formula that was previously adopted personally by the high-level commanders and stated to be the "Rudolf Hess" model. With an article to be included in the Constitution, a legislation is envisaged for those who would benefit from the abolishment of the death penalty to spend the rest of their lives in prison, just like the Nazi Hess, who remained in prison until his death.

    There is a great probability that President Sezer will take this approach formed at the NSC meeting to the Leaders' Summit he will convene on 7 June. It is obvious that the support of the opposition parties will be sought for this approach, because the MHP continues its objection. The NSC took a decision in the direction of the expectations of the EU with its decisions to abolish the death penalty and to terminate the OHAL [State of Emergency] implementations. However, the decision of the NSC on the subject of Cyprus is in the direction of not making concessions from the 29 April document. A conclusion was reached that it is necessary to support the solution proposal, based on two sovereign states on the island and a single representation abroad, jointly developed by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to support Denktas. It was emphasized once again that it will be unacceptable for the EU to accept Cyprus to the EU without reaching a joint solution on Cyprus.

    The NSC has taken historical decisions for both Turkey and for the EU process. From now on, the expectation is for the EU to take a step and to determine a schedule for starting the negotiations..."

    [09] Turkish Professor supports that the Cyprus problem is the main obstacle before Turkey/s EU course

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (30.05.02) carries a commentary by Assistant Professor Ihsan D. Dagi, Middle East Technical University International Relations Department under the title: "Cyprus Constitutes the Main Obstacle Before Turkey's EU Membership".

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "The EU will certainly announce the Cypriot Greek Administration's full membership at the end of 2002. This means that as of this date Turkey's EU membership will require Cyprus' approval.

    As expected, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's visit to Cyprus was not able to resolve the problems. This is because only the sides have the will that is required to resolve the problems.

    The Cypriot Greek Administration, which is about to become an EU member as the representative of the entire island, is very comfortable in the negotiations. The Turkish side, in turn, has always believed that the status quo is the best solution. In this regard, the sides are not so willing to find a solution. Turkey, on the other hand, cannot leave the solution of the problem to the initiatives of the sides on the island, because we will pay the heaviest price under these conditions.

    What Does Denktas Want?

    The negotiations are not leading to any results. The sides no longer expect a framework agreement to be signed by the end of June. It is impossible to explain this merely by accusing the Greek Cypriot Administration of adopting a "provocative stand." We should also question whether or not Denktas really wants a solution and we should do this without any delay.

    In his recent statements, Denktas has "warned" us not to expect a solution before December. Does Denktas not know that December is too late? Does he not know that if a solution is found by December, the Turkish side cannot become an EU member along with the south? Does he not know that December is too late in terms of determining a schedule for Turkey's full membership negotiations? Denktas certainly foresees that if the Greek Cypriot Administration becomes an EU member as the representative of the entire island, the relations between Turkey and the EU might reach a deadlock and might even end. In Ecevit's words, what kind of a solution are we talking about in a process "where everyone goes his own way?" Is Denktas waiting for the Turkey-EU relations to end by gambling against time? All these issues raise doubts on whether or not Denktas is sincere with regard to a solution. It seems that Denktas, who is the hero of the anti-EU lobby, is not hurrying to achieve results in these negotiations.

    It is very difficult and almost impossible for Denktas, who is working with an anti-EU team, to resolve the problem. As a matter of fact, the issue goes much beyond resolving the Cyprus problem. Certain anti-EU groups view the Cyprus problem as the only way to prevent Turkey's EU membership. Denktas, who apparently cannot understand that the EU membership is of vital importance for Turkey or who maybe wants to maintain the status quo in the `TRNC/ is encouraged by anti-EU sectors. These relations have turned the Cyprus issue into the most important obstacle in the way of Turkey's EU membership. Viewing Turkey's EU membership as a threat to the `TRNC/, Denktas refuses to take the proposals of the government's reformist wing seriously.

    Turkey has to determine its priorities in its foreign policy. It is impossible to make efforts to maintain the status quo in Cyprus on the one hand, and to become an EU member on the other. If this is not fully understood and if this is not explained to Denktas, Turkey can neither resolve the Cyprus problem nor can become an EU member. Turkey will be making a terrible mistake by mortgaging Turkey's future to Cyprus -- in other words to the Cyprus lobby of anti-EU groups. Only the government can remove this mortgage. The future of the government is unclear, however. Furthermore, there are differences of opinion among the coalition partners with regard to this issue. As a result, the NSC [National Security Council] naturally turns into the decision making mechanism. Everyone is aware of the "hesitations" of the military wing of the NSC with regard to the EU and its firm stand with regard to Cyprus.

    Post-December

    The EU will certainly announce the Cypriot Greek Administration's full membership at the end of 2002. This means that as of this date Turkey's EU membership will require the approval of the Greek Cypriot Administration. Turkey has made long-lasting efforts in order to remove the obstacles placed by Greece in the way of its EU membership. It will never be possible to remove the obstacles that will be placed by the Greek Cypriot Administration in the future, however. In other words, Turkey will close its EU book and it will have very tense relations with Europe. Compared with now, in turn, an EU member Greek Cypriot Administration will have further demands.

    Having already stated that Turkey will annex the `TRNC/ under these conditions, our statesmen will refuse to alter their tone. A referendum will be held in Cyprus without any delay and the `TRNC/ will integrate with Turkey. In this regard, we will have to explain to the entire world that Turkey has not "annexed" the `TRNC/ and that an independent sovereign state has "integrated" with Turkey.

    To lead the Cyprus problem to non-solution and to miss the EU train will also intensify reactionary nationalism. The masses in Turkey, which has a population of 70 million people and which has not been able to resolve problems related to chronic inflation, unemployment, and poverty, will display nationalist reactions for a while. Later however, these masses will be controlled by a military structure. A process, during which further limitations will be imposed on democracy, pluralism, and freedoms, will begin. Furthermore, the country's energies will be wasted on internal clashes and confrontations during this process.

    What Should We Do?

    The government, which controls the fate of the country, should impose further pressure on Denktas and should make efforts to ensure that the negotiations lead to a solution. Cyprus is not Denktas' problem. On the contrary, it is Turkey's problem. This is why the government should make diplomatic initiatives without any delay. To announce that the number of the soldiers in the island will be decreased might constitute one of the steps that should be taken within this framework. This way, Turkey will be able to prove that it is extending support to the bilateral negotiations. Turkey will also prove that it has "realized a small change" in its stand. Even if the negotiations eventually lead to non-solution, such a diplomatic manoeuvre will not constitute a "loss" in the long-run. Moreover, it will currently force the Greek administration to adopt a more flexible stand.

    Furthermore, intensive diplomatic initiatives should be made in order to ensure that in December the EU simultaneously announces the Greek administration's membership and the commencement of the full membership negotiations with Turkey. It is necessary to immediately abolish capital punishment and to realize the necessary reforms that will enable education in the mother tongue to this end. Turkey might still catch the EU train. Compared with the past, the EU is pursuing a very constructive policy with regard to Turkey. Following Greece's EU membership in the 1970's, Turkey was invited to join the EU. Turkey, however, did not make any initiatives to this end at that time. In the 1980's in turn, Greece rejoined the NATO and Turkey was not able to veto this due to the coup d'etat. This time, Turkey cannot remain a spectator to the Greek administration's membership in the EU. Neither can Turkey remain a spectator to efforts that aim to tear it away from Europe.

    Does This Constitute the End of Westernization?

    We are running out of time for the EU membership. Furthermore, there is need for creative diplomatic manoeuvres regarding Cyprus. The prime minister's illness, the future of the coalition government, and the expectations for early elections also lead to an unclear political picture in Turkey. It is obvious that under these extraordinary conditions, the NSC will turn into the most effective decision making mechanism. We all know what the NSC secretary general, who is very influential within the system, thinks about the EU. Is it possible for us to resolve the Cyprus problem and to get closer to EU membership under these conditions?

    Look at the historic irony: The westernization movement initiated by the Ottoman intellectuals in the 19th century is being destroyed by the elite of the republic in the 21st century. The future of a Turkey which is torn away from its 200-year modernization ideology and which is prevented from integrating with "contemporary civilization" is unclear. Furthermore, it is certain that democracy, security, freedom, and prosperity will not reign over such a country."


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