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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-05

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.105/02 05.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Devlet Bahceli addressed his party's parliamentary group. He referred to EU, Greece, Cyprus and internal issues.
  • [02] The Nationalist Action Party has determined its stance for the leaders/ summit.
  • [03] Seven Turkish Cypriot economic organizations call on President Sezer and the political parties in Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem and support that finding a framework for a solution in June is of vital importance.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot press criticizes the environmental situation in the occupied areas.
  • [05] Depositors of the bankrupted banks: "Are we in a Nazis camp?"
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist in AFRIKA criticizes Denktas/ insistence on sovereignty.
  • [07] Columnist in AFRIKA newspaper assesses Cem/s visit to Cyprus and the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
  • [08] Ankara looks at Cyprus differently.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Devlet Bahceli addressed his party/s parliamentary group. He referred to EU, Greece, Cyprus and internal issues

    Istanbul NTV Television (04.06.02) broadcast live a speech delivered by Devlet Bahceli, Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Nationalist Action Party, (NAP), to the NAP parliamentary group.

    On Turkey's ties with the EU, Bahceli says: "During the debates on the stages, problems, and future of our relations with the EU, we notice distortions and mistakes that reach frightening proportions at times. Before each critical stage, certain circles push Turkey into crossroads syndrome, and on every important stage in the relations, they create the expectation that we are one step before full membership. If you look at the past 10 or 15 years of the relations carefully, you will see cases of extreme but planned optimism similar to the storms certain circles want to create today."

    Bahceli states that a similar style was used by certain circles when Turkey applied for full membership; when the right for individual application to the European Court of Human Rights, (ECHR), was accepted; during the Customs Union agreement; during the Helsinki summit, and so on. He asserts: "Similar circles said similar things when the issues of Cyprus, the death sentence, and Article 312 were unnecessarily debated during the last days of 2001. Recently, these circles have been trying once again to create storms in connection with the Copenhagen criteria and the Cyprus issue. An one-sided propaganda bombardment is being carried out against the Turkish Cypriot community."

    Bahceli goes on to say that Turkey has various state policies and national aims, besides its EU policy. As examples, he cites the relations with the Turkic republics, the Cyprus issue, and the aim of making Turkey a leading country in national unity. He adds: "Everyone should realize that Turkey -- which is in favour of a just and lasting solution in Cyprus -- will never give up the presence or rights of the Turkish Cypriot community in return for any position or target. Turkey which has historical, humanitarian, and legal duties and responsibilities in Cyprus has nothing to gain by giving them up. Any assessments made by disregarding these facts can only hurt Turkey and reinforce the position of the Greeks and Greek Cypriots."

    Bahceli then refers to Greece, as follows: "Unfortunately, certain circles in our country are not aware of the statements made by the highest-level Greek officials regarding Turkey and the fact that efforts are being made to revive Pontus scenarios. Also, the circles that insist on joining the EU at all costs are not at all interested to see if any progress is being made in the European Security and Defense Policy. Greece continues to influence the EU Administration by using the veto weapon and is very far away from developing a reasonable and friendly approach toward Turkey."

    On the issue of lifting the death sentence, Bahceli says: "As on other issues, the NAP is the only party that pursues a consistent and clear policy in this regard." He goes on to say: "As on other issues, the debates on the death sentence are being conducted in a distorted manner and unilaterally. What needs to be debated today is not whether to lift the death sentence or not. The death sentence has been lifted to a large extent and a constitutional amendment has been carried out in this regard, with the contributions of our party. Under this amendment, the death sentence is carried out at times of war or near-war and for terrorist crimes. Those who want the death sentence lifted are really against the implementation of this principle which was formulated by all the parties at the Assembly. They want the death sentence completely lifted as soon as possible, just like the EU officials who frequently state that wish. Even if they do not say it out loud, what they have in mind is the status of the terrorist ringleader. It draws our attention that the Copenhagen criteria and even Turkey's membership in the EU are being linked to this matter. Unfortunately, we observe certain parallels between the demands being made by the terrorist organization with its new facade, and some of the interpretations of the Copenhagen criteria. It should not be forgotten that it is everybody's duty to prevent the interpretation of the Copenhagen criteria in this way, and to prevent the terrorist organization from using this situation as a means of achieving its aims. It is both necessary and important that the NAP makes the discrimination and prevents a distortion of the facts. Organizations and murderers who attacked the unity of the Turkish nation and state must bear the consequences they deserve. Therefore, the execution process must go on following the ECHR ruling and the relevant file must be placed before the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA], because it is the TGNA that must make the final decision.

    "We see that the terrorist organization is trying to implement its politicization project and that ideas are being aired about saving the terrorist ringleader. It is impossible to understand the reaction shown to our demands that the terrorist organization, with all its elements, surrender to Turkish justice, and the terrorist ringleader be transferred to an F-type prison. We should not ignore the vital importance of ending the special treatment of the terrorist ringleader and of completely eliminating the threat of terrorism."

    On the summit of June 7 to be held by the political party leaders under the chairmanship of President Sezer on the EU issues, Bahceli says that all the participants must openly declare their views and the minutes of the meeting recorded for subsequent publication. Noting that his party finds the summit important in this respect, Bahceli says: "We should stress on this occasion that the summit should not serve the impression that there is an administrative vacuum in our country, and it should not be used as a tool for purposes other than the real one. As I have said before, the honourable prime minister's health should not be used as a new tool for exploitation and debates. The honourable prime minister who is an experienced politician must decide himself whether or not he is capable of continuing to discharge his duties. However, numerous circles both inside and outside the country have recently been drawing possible government scenarios.

    Our true wish is that our honourable prime minister regains his health as soon as possible and discharges his duties effectively. I want to point out once again that we find it wrong in terms of political courtesy and coalition regulations to participate in the current debates on the issue. If the honourable prime minister decides that his health will not permit him to continue to discharge his duties, then democratic convention and constitutional procedures will be resorted to. In that case, until a new government is established, the current government will continue to carry out its duties in line with the coalition protocol. We will prefer that the new government be an executive government until April 2004, the date of scheduled elections, and that its formation be in line with that principle. The reason is that it is important to complete the strides made in the solution of the socio-economic problems and to make sure that the economic program reaches its aims. Only if the conditions do not permit the establishment of such an election government should we consider the establishment of a government that will lead the country to elections in a given period of time and which will have the backing of the Assembly. Other scenarios will not be beneficial for our country or for our democracy.

    It is obvious that the various calculations and efforts to restrict or mislead the will of our lofty Assembly will not be allowed. In short, the process we are going through is important in many respects, and it is a critical test for the Turkish intelligentsia, media, and politicians."

    [02] The Nationalist Action Party has determined its stance for the leaders/ summit

    Istanbul NTV television (05.06.02) broadcast that the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) determined its stand on the eve of the party leaders/ summit on the EU. The expanded council meeting of the party adopted a decision not to make concessions from national sensitivities.

    The meeting lasted approximately three hours. According to information obtained by NTV, Devlet Bahceli said that the NAP stance until now on education in the mother tongue, the abolition of the death penalty, and the Cyprus issue are clear, and this stance must continue. Bahceli remarked that education in the mother tongue and the abolition of the death penalty are issues that must be resolved in the medium-term and time is needed in this regard. Pointing out that these matters are not urgent, Bahceli stressed that the Cyprus issue must be solved urgently and Turkey should stand by the side of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas.

    [03] Seven Turkish Cypriot economic organizations call on President Sezer and the political parties in Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem and support that finding a framework for a solution in June is of vital importance

    KIBRIS (05.06.02) reports that seven Turkish Cypriot organizations issued yesterday a written statement calling on President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and the political parties in Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem, "before the window of historical opportunity is closed".

    The seven organizations, which issued the statement on the occasion of the 7 June Cankaya (translator's note: the district in Ankara where the Presidential residence is) meeting of the Turkish parties represented in Turkey's Grand National Assembly (TGNA), are the following: 1) Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, 2) Turkish Cypriot Businessmen's Association, 3) Turkish Cypriot Hotel Owners' Union, 4) Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors' Union, 5) Turkish Cypriot Young Entrepreneurs/ Association - Jaycees, 6) Turkish Cypriot University Graduate Women and 7) Turkish Cypriot Banks' Union.

    In their statement the organizations describe this period "appropriate" for a solution, because of "outside factors" and express the opinion that by the end of the year it is possible to find a solution, which is acceptable by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and safeguards their rights. The seven organizations argued also that June and this year were very important and added that finding a framework for a solution in June 2002 was of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    "The struggle of existence has been won, but it has not been sealed with a political and economic victory", continues the statement noting that "as a result of this situation, the Turkish Cypriots are being forced to emigrate from their country in increasing numbers".

    Noting that they do not want to underestimate Turkey's financial aid to the pseudostate the organizations say the following:

    "However, neither our own efforts nor Turkey's aid have been able to ensure the desirable economic development and increase of the prosperity. It is possible to say that our situation is much better than it was in 1963, but we could not talk about a success when we compare our standard of living with the one of the Greek Cypriots and see that they are four times more developed.

    .Because of the period we are living in and the favourable external factors, which are formed around us, it is possible to find a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of this year, which could be accepted by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and protect our rights.

    ... Foundation of a new Cyprus partnership state, which is based on political equality and bi-zonal structure and existence of two partner states, and in which our security is ensured by efficient guarantees of Turkey, and EU membership of this state is a solution that we need. We believe that the solution we want will be a new beginning for the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish Republic and its people.

    .We believe that our relations with the EU and other neighbours will be more fruitful in the new process in Cyprus that will begin with a solution. We also believe that our efforts to increase our welfare and living standards will start to bear fruit in this process".

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot press criticizes the environmental situation in the occupied areas

    The Turkish Cypriot Press (05.06.02) refers to the World Environment Day and criticizes the situation in the occupied areas in this field.

    KIBRIS continues dealing with the issue of the installations of the Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) in Karavostassi and publishes an interview with professor Huseyin Gokcekus, general secretary of the illegal "Near East University", who notes that the situation at CMC installations is very dangerous and describes them as "a volcano ready to explode".

    Meanwhile, KIBRISLI notes that sea, air and sound pollution in the pseudostate has obtained "unbearable dimensions" and writes that there is the threat of tar spreading in the sea of the occupied Kyrenia coast. Furthermore, YENIDUZEN publishes a written statement issued by the Chamber of the Turkish Cypriot Engineers and Architects, noting that the installations of CMC are the most important environmental problem of the pseudostate.

    [05] Depositors of the bankrupted banks: "Are we in a Nazis camp?"

    ORTAM (05.06.02) reports that the administrative council of the Association of the Turkish Cypriot depositors of the bankrupted banks and victims of the bank crisis issued yesterday a statement criticizing the "authorities" of the pseudostate because the problems of the victims are not solved.

    The depositors express the opinion that the occupation regime wants to crush their representatives and wonders: "Are we in a Nazis camp?".

    The depositors will begin a hunger strike on Monday, 10 June 2002, at 11:00 am in front of the building of the so-called "Central bank". According to their statement, the reason of the above-mentioned decision is the behaviour of the pseudostate against their representatives, which "obtained the dimensions of an oppression, slander and state torturing".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist in AFRIKA criticizes Denktas/ insistence on sovereignty

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper AFRIKA (01.06.02) carries the following commentary by Turgut Afsaroglu under the title: "Is there anything more important than sovereignty?":

    "The NSC [National Security Council] in Turkey is reported to have left the EU door half open when it met on 30 May. Well, who cares? Turkey is an independent and sovereign country. Meanwhile, the EU might open or tightly close its door in accordance with Ankara's decisions. Who cares?

    The `TRNC/ [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] Council of Ministers is reported to have increased our territorial waters from three to 12 miles. That made the Greek Cypriots and Greeks furious. Why should they be angry? What do they care? The `TRNC/ is an independent and sovereign country. It can increase its territorial waters to six or 12 miles in accordance with the Supreme Coordination Council's decisions. Who cares?

    To be independent and to have a right to sovereignty... What does that mean? It means that one can do anything he likes. An independent and sovereign country does not have to account to anyone for what it does. Why did Rauf Denktas declare independence on 15 November 1983? He did so for the sake of sovereignty. He did not include the two words in the `TRNC Constitution/ because he believed that Turkey could have misunderstood what they stood for at the time. The deputies pledge to safeguard independence and sovereignty when they are sworn into the parliament. Denktas believed that that was enough.

    The `TRNC/ is an independent and sovereign country. So, no one can interfere in its decisions, not even Turkey. Daily SABAH in Turkey made a shameful mistake by accusing Denktas of being responsible for the recent decision the `TRNC Republican Assembly/ made to pass the cushy pension bill. Denktas retired three times. The lump sum he received in the form of remuneration for his work totalled 174 billion. The amount was given from the `TRNC/ budget, which is made up of the funds Turkey transfers to north Cyprus. Denktas lives in luxury but he is said to be defending the Turkish Cypriot cause. Well, no one should be concerned about that! The `TRNC/ is an independent and sovereign country. So no one should be concerned about who is elected president or mukhtar. No one should be concerned about how many times Denktas can retire and the amount of the money paid to him in the form of remuneration each time he does so.

    Obviously, Denktas strongly insists on sovereignty. That is not without reason. He is right in saying that no right is a right unless it is based on sovereignty. Can he agree to give up sovereignty just because Turkey plans to join the EU? No, he cannot do so. Well, can the Cyprus problem be solved if he insists on sovereignty? No, that is impossible. Would Turkey be able to join the EU before the Cyprus problem is solved? No, it would not be able to do so. Would a calendar be established for its accession to the organization? No, that too is impossible.

    So, we would suggest that Turkey reconsider its plan to join the EU. Thanks to Denktas, we have given up our expectation for a solution to the Cyprus problem and accession to the organization. That is exactly what Turkey should do as well. After all, is there anything more important than sovereignty?"

    [07] Columnist in AFRIKA newspaper assesses Cem/s visit to Cyprus and the latest developments in the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (04.06.02) publishes the following commentary in the "Angle" column by Sener Levent under the title: "The NATO Breeze":

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem visited our island for three days. He planned to depart on Sunday evening but decided to extend his stay for a day. He departed yesterday. It seems he found it difficult to leave the beautiful island at the end of his three-day visit.

    Cem made many statements. He talked about "two nations" and "two states." He asserted that the "TRNC" will live forever. Well, never mind. All that was a prelude to what he actually wanted to say. In a tone that recalled the spirit in Anamur in Turkey and the Five Fingers Height on the Kyrenia Mountains in 1974, he said: "We can hear you in Anamur if you call. We can come back again..."

    Had Ecevit made such a statement, we would have said that it was a slip of the tongue. What is going on? Is Turkey not here on the island? Do the Turkish officials and troops plan to withdraw? Do they plan to abandon us? Why should we call you in Anamur if you are already here? You have 40,000 troops and many tanks and artillery units in northern Cyprus. Are they not enough?

    Undoubtedly, everything that was discussed during the recent National Security Council in Ankara was not leaked to the press. Such a high-level meeting discussing only matters that are common knowledge is impossible. We will be informed on the details during the next few days. However, we believe that Rauf Denktas has already been informed by Cem during his extended visit.

    Statements were made to the effect that the sides should reach an agreement by the end of June. A speck of light has appeared at the end of the tunnel. The situation is becoming clear now. NATO is on the scene. Have Denktas and Clerides not disclosed that they were moving towards an agreement? In fact, was it not Denktas who said that the guarantor powers should be consulted? So, what he had in mind was NATO, not a UN peace force.

    According to the reports we have received, the Greek Cypriot side has adopted a favourable approach and the problem now is to persuade the Turkish side to agree. The Turkish and Greek military contingents on the island would become a part of the NATO force that will be based in Cyprus. Turkey and Greece are NATO members. No disclosure has yet been made in connection with the size of the military contingents Turkey and Greece will have on the island.

    Will NATO troops be dispatched to Cyprus before or after an agreement is reached? Reports said that they might be dispatched even before an agreement is reached and that they might even contribute towards the solution of the problem.

    We can assess the latest situation as follows: It seems that the United States and Britain are not seriously concerned about a solution to the Cyprus problem. Their main objective is to guarantee their own positions. They believe that they should take whatever they can, regardless of what might happen on the island.

    The Greek Cypriots will probably welcome the NATO umbrella. And, Turkey sees NATO as a strong guarantee against the EU. Cyprus will be a NATO country if it joins the EU in the future. But, what will happen to us? Well, nothing will happen to us. Those who called on the Commander of the Turkish Forces in Cyprus to express their allegiance and gratitude to him in the past will call on NATO Commander-in-Chief General Robertson for the same purpose in the future. That is all. Nothing will change!

    [08] Ankara looks at Cyprus differently

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (05.06.02) publishes a commentary by which Mehmet Ali Birand presents how Ankara views the Cyprus problem today.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "Over the last two decades, Cyprus talks have been held on innumerable occasions. I have closely followed most of them. One felt, right from the start, that these would not prove conclusive. One would see that neither the Greek Cypriots nor the Turkish Cypriots were genuinely seeking a solution, that each was performing for the benefit of its own followers.

    For the first time, we observe serious bargaining in Cyprus. This time, the two sides are not merely acting out. We see that each side is now striving to find "the formula that would be closest to its own wishes."

    A few weeks ago, I took the pulse of the Turkish Cypriot, the Greek Cypriot side and the United Nations and relayed to you my findings. More recently, I travelled to Ankara to see what exactly has changed in the wake of the visit U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan paid to the island. I have talked with people that have been following the bargaining process at closest range and know about even the finest details.

    What I observed, was a much different approach. I sense that Ankara's pulse is now throbbing for a "solution." There is no condescending attitude. On the contrary, there is talk of "ratios of flexibility" for a solution.

    Those who have been closely following Rauf Denktas' performance are saying that, contrary to what one thinks when watching the developments from outside, Denktas has taken important steps that he sometimes even says, "I cannot recognize myself."

    It is being stressed frequently that the Denktas-Mumtaz Soysal duo has no fixations.

    When I inquired about the military's stance, I always received the same answer from the military and from the civilians concerned:

    "The Turkish Armed Forces' (TAF) sole concern is the security aspect of this issue, compliance with the numerical equality principle to ensure safety, the taking of the steps that would prevent the Turkish community from being reduced in the future to the situation the Turks of Western Thrace are in. The TAF has shown very clearly that it is not thinking of sitting on Cyprus."

    In Ankara, I felt that everything has been pegged to the steps Clerides will be taking. The issues on which the Greek Cypriot side has become sensitized, are being taken into consideration. However, it is being stressed that in the latest statement he made to CNN TURK, especially, Clerides sounded very reasonable, but these words have not been followed up with actions.

    One official said: "Clerides responds in a positive manner to Denktas' sensitivities on a given issue. Everybody rejoices, thinking that progress has been made. Later, you see that he puts forth such secondary conditions on that issue that he is giving something with one hand and then taking it back with the other hand." The same official, however, added that despite this he is not pessimistic.

    Ankara does not view the Cyprus issue in an entirely European Union framework. You clearly hear it said during private talks that the Cyprus problem is only one of the obstacles that lie in Turkey's EU path, that if that obstacle were to be removed, it would be possible to adopt a more flexible stance and to take bolder steps.

    The people in responsible positions in Ankara, who govern the country, are convinced that a solution is needed in Cyprus even without the EU. They see that a lack of a solution would harm Turkey most. Still, heroic-patriotic speeches are made, but only by a few people or groups.

    The nature of the solution to be found will differ depending on whether Turkey will join the EU or will remain outside the EU. It seems that there are two different scenarios on people's minds. This is why the developments in Turkey-EU relations, especially the June 22 Seville summit, will affect the bargaining process in Cyprus.

    To the extent that it sees a light, a perspective on the EU path, Turkey will come up with different approaches.

    Another basic problem in the Cyprus bargaining process is that there is no proper forum -- or a specific person with whom -- to discuss the aforementioned issues.

    During the coming days, first Lord Hannay, the Cyprus observer of Britain and, indirectly, of the EU, and then U.S. envoy Weston, will arrive in Cyprus. I do not know to what extent it will be possible to give these messages. In fact, the difficulty stems from this. Ankara says that there is no link between Cyprus and the EU process and yet, in its own mind it forms such a link. Furthermore, however much we may deny it, the EU has formed such a tie between these two issues.

    To sum up, there have been certain stirrings in Cyprus. I watched with sadness the speech the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader Devlet Bahceli made in the Parliament yesterday.

    In brief, Bahceli made it clear that they have "reservations about entry into the EU." With this stance, the NAP has clarified that in the EU discussions it forms the NO front, that it will not abandon its conservative approach.

    If they do not abandon these policies, Turkey obviously will not be able to get from the EU's Copenhagen summit in mid-December the perspective it expects. The "anti-Turkey" circles in Europe will be overjoyed by the NAP approach. The NAP has shown that, with the elections in mind, it is fishing for the votes of the anti-EU people.

    Meanwhile, by giving the names of some five columnists, me included, he indicated that he cannot tolerate criticism.

    It is difficult to understand the NAP's nervousness. We would have expected a more common sense approach from Bahceli".


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