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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-12

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.110/02 12.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides.
  • [02] The Turkish Coast Guard Commander is illegally visiting the areas of Cyprus occupied by the Turkish troops since 1974. Denktas stresses that he is doing everything to defend Turkey/s rights.
  • [03] Statements by Mesut Yilmaz to NTV television.
  • [04] Native language student trial begins in Diyarbakir
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot newspaper sees initiative by Lord Hannay who has reportedly proposed the continuation of the talks in Geneva.
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot newspaper sees Turkish Koc Holding behind the pollution in the installations of CMC.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Mehmet Ali Birand: We are heading for a disaster in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

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

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (11.06.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met with President Glafcos Clerides for the 39th time within the framework of direct talks process on Tuesday. Prior to the meeting in the buffer zone, Rauf Denktas told reporters that they would continue to discuss the issue of security.

    Responding questions of reporters following the meeting, Denktas said they would continue discussing the security issue.

    When asked if they had made any progress during today`s talks, Denktas said that they were continuing the talks and this could be considered a progress.

    Denktas and Clerides will meet again on Friday.

    [02] The Turkish Coast Guard Commander is illegally visiting the areas of Cyprus occupied by the Turkish troops since 1974. Denktas stresses that he is doing everything to defend Turkey/s rights

    Ankara Anatolia (11.06.02) reported that Admiral Yalcin Ertuna, Commander of the Coast Guard of Turkey, is visiting the areas of Cyprus under the occupation of Turkish troops since 1974. Admiral Ertuna yesterday met in occupied Nicosia with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas.

    Coast Guard Commander Admiral Yalcin Ertuna said that the purpose of his visit was to further develop the relations between the coast guards of the pseudostate and Turkey, and to carry out preparatory work on an agreement on coastal security cooperation that will be signed between the two "countries."

    Speaking during the meeting Denktas referred to the Cyprus problem and said that it would be possible for establishing two separate states internally in Cyprus, with an overarching body that would represent the country as one entity abroad, but that the Greek Cypriots hide behind their claim of being the legitimate government of Cyprus. Stating that he has been doing everything in his power to reach a compromise which would take account of what the Turkish Cypriots' rights are and would also defend the rights of Turkey, Denktas stressed that the cooperation protocols between Turkey and the occupation regime have been his lifeline.

    In reply to a reporter asking him for his comment on the statement by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides to the effect that "We will try everything for a settlement and Cyprus will enter the European Union as one", Denktas said "Kasoulides is a militant pro-Greek, and has a makeup that does not recognize any rights for the Turks."

    Alleging that if Cyprus joins the EU the Cypriot Greeks would face problems, Denktas said:

    "It is a fact that Turkey, which is the guarantor of this state and all of Cyprus, will not fall for these tricks. Consequently, let them come to us on an equal basis and let us reach agreement and compromise. That matter of entering into the EU as one entity that they want is quite simple, if they go towards a formation based on two voices, two feet, and two states. But as long as they say that 'There is no TRNC/ and 'The Turkish Cypriots are not sovereign', then nothing they try will work, and even entering the EU on their own will bring problems upon them."

    [03] Statements by Mesut Yilmaz to NTV television

    Istanbul NTV Television (10.06.02) carried a live interview with Mesut Yilmaz, Deputy Prime Minister and Motherland Party leader, by Murat Akgun at the Ankara studio.

    Akgun starts by asking Yilmaz what his impression was of the first Council of Ministers meeting held without Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Yilmaz replies that he thinks it was "a very good meeting," adding: "Even though it was the first time he was chairing a Council of Ministers meeting, Mr Bahceli acted like an experienced acting prime minister. It was a very beneficial meeting."

    Akgun asks if the meetings will be held regularly under Bahceli or if the next meeting will be held only if Ecevit signals the need for such a meeting. Yilmaz replies that he believes that the meetings will be held every Monday, as in the past, chaired either by Ecevit or by Bahceli.

    Akgun then goes on to the EU issues and asks if the Cyprus problem will create a deadlock in the ties with the EU even if the three main issues -- the death penalty, education and broadcasting in the mother tongue -- are resolved. Yilmaz says that the Accession Partnership Document which the EU officially gave to Turkey citing Turkey's membership preconditions, states that Turkey must fulfill the Copenhagen criteria for the accession talks to begin. He stresses that in the document, the Cyprus problem is not cited among the preconditions, but under the headline "political dialogue," where Turkey is called on "to contribute to the negotiations being conducted between the two communities on the island."

    Yilmaz recalls that after Turkey was granted candidate status in Helsinki, and given the country's sensitivity on the issue, "the EU term chairman came to Ankara and gave the prime minister a letter saying that there are no direct links between the Cyprus problem and Turkey's ties with the EU, and that the only thing Turkey is expected to do is to contribute to the solution of the problem." Yilmaz asserts: "I believe that the Cyprus problem is a pretext given by circles that do not really want Turkey to join the EU."

    Akgun points out that once the EU announces that it is admitting Cyprus, it will create the impression that the EU is not helping Turkey at all. Yilmaz retorts that before seeking the EU's understanding and help, Turkey must look at itself and check to see if it is fulfilling its promises. He adds: "At the moment, we have not yet been able to fulfill our promises. If we fulfill the Copenhagen political criteria, then we can warn the EU that its one-sided pro-Greek Cypriot stand will damage both the Cyprus problem and the Turkish-EU relations in the future."

    Yilmaz goes on to say that Turkey is mixing issues that can be negotiated with issues that cannot. He elaborates that the Copenhagen criteria cannot be negotiated while the Cyprus issue can.

    Asked if he is hopeful that the Cyprus problem can be resolved until the Copenhagen summit this year, Yilmaz answers that he wishes it would but does not think so, seeing that it is "a very complicated problem that has been going on for a long time." He says: "Mr Denktas said that he finds the UN Secretary-General's request to conclude the talks in June as unrealistic, and I agree." Yilmaz adds that the two leaders in Cyprus must take the time factor into consideration. "I believe that this is even more important for us," he says, noting that Cyprus/ full membership is almost final, and that "Turkey must take this into consideration and really continue to extend support for the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    Akgun asks if Turkey did not declare that it would annex the occupied areas, if Cyprus is admitted as an EU member. Yilmaz replies by saying that Cyprus membership may not be such a sure thing, because Holland and even Britain are saying that admitting it before a political solution is reached causes "serious concern." Yilmaz says he believes more countries will begin to see the picture in this way, so the Greek Cypriots should not take their membership for granted. Therefore, he adds, the two leaders in Cyprus must do their best to solve the problem "because that is in the interests of both communities, of Turkey, and I believe, of the EU."

    Asked what steps will be taken after the EU summit held under President Sezer, Yilmaz says that the meeting should have produced the solutions to the problems. "We must admit that the summit did not produce this result; instead, it merely established the situation." He goes on to say that "the most important outcome of the meeting was that it showed that the problems can only be resolved at the Assembly, and with the help of the opposition parties."

    Akgun asks Yilmaz if he does not see a threat the Nationalist Action Party may withdraw from the government. Yilmaz replies that he does, but that if there is no other choice, then it might happen. Prompted by Akgun, Yilmaz points out that "once Turkey manages to pass the current threshold -- involving the acceptance of the EU norms regarding issues about which Turkey is sensitive given its long struggle against terrorism -- Turkey's membership will only be a matter of time." He notes that the current government took great strides both toward membership in the EU and in the economy, and expresses the hope that it will continue to do so until the scheduled general elections. However, he adds, "if it becomes impossible to achieve that for certain reasons, if it proves impossible to achieve a consensus on the three issues, then surely one of the most important criteria in the formation of the new government will be harmonization with the EU."

    Asked if he held any contacts about a new government, Yilmaz says he has not. He also affirms that he does not believe Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan held secret talks with Justice and Development Party's Salih Kapusuz. Yilmaz asserts: "I believe that this government will remain in power until one of its partners withdraws. We should not forget that EU membership is one of this government's priorities and part of its historic mission." Yilmaz warns that Turkey must solve the current deadlock in a few months given the EU's expansion project. Otherwise, he says, "our membership will be postponed indefinitely."

    To the question of whether he trusts the opposition will really support the government regarding the three issues, Yilmaz says he does not know about the True Path Party, because it did not attend the meeting.

    Akgun goes on to ask him what he thought of Prime Minister Ecevit's news conference on 9 June. Yilmaz says: "As I always say, in terms of his mental capacities, there is nothing to prevent the honourable prime minister from fulfilling his duties. The physical aspect, though, is up to the doctors. I cannot know that."

    To a question on the elections, Yilmaz points out that even though they are scheduled to be held in April 2004, Turkey is more accustomed to holding elections in the Fall, and not in winter or right after winter. Therefore, holding the elections in October 2003 would be more advisable. Also, he notes, by that time the government will have fulfilled its economic program as well as the National Program.

    Asked if he too would withdraw from the government, if one of the partners left it, Yilmaz replies that in that case, the new government should be linked to the EU and not to early elections. This is due to the timetable imposed on us by the EU, he says, adding: "That government can also lead the country to elections, but its most important mission should be to ensure that Turkey passes the threshold before its membership in the EU." He expresses the hope that it will not come to that, and that "we will pass the threshold with the current government."

    Akgun moves on to economic issues and asks which is the government's priority, bringing inflation down or ensuring economic growth. Yilmaz replies that the Central Bank may think that the fight on inflation is the most important problem, but the government believes that economic growth is as important.

    Asked to comment on Minister Kemal Dervis' statements that an election date should be set or that the economic situation is not very good, Yilmaz replies that Akgun should ask these questions to Dervis himself, but goes on to admit that uncertainty is very bad for the economy, and that this is probably why Dervis said that a date should be set for the elections.

    Yilmaz points out that Dervis complains at times of a lack of coordination among the ministries that belong to different parties. Yilmaz says that this is natural in a three-party coalition, and adds: "but this does not mean that Mr Dervis' complaints are unjustified. His ideal and mine is that all the ministries concerned with the economy should function in coordination."

    Noting that Yilmaz will be going to Madrid on 11 June, Akgun asks him what he expects from the Seville summit in two weeks. Yilmaz replies that he expects a "reinforcement of the EU position that Turkey will come closer to full membership negotiations if it continues to implement its reform process."

    [04] Native language student trial begins in Diyarbakir

    The Turkish Daily News (12.06.02) reports that the trial of 27 children, accused of carrying out a demonstration regarding native language education in Carikli Community, began in Diyarbakir on Monday.

    Due to the young age of the defendants the opening hearing was closed to the press, however, it was learned that during the hearing the defendants claimed that they had congregated because it was Human Rights Week. The defendants pleaded innocent and denied allegations that they had shouted slogans related to native language education.

    Of the 27 children, two did not appear before the tribunal because investigations into their involvement are still continuing.

    The defendants stand accused of aiding and abetting terrorism and prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of three years and nine months for each defendant.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot newspaper sees initiative by Lord Hannay who has reportedly proposed the continuation of the talks in Geneva

    Under the banner front-page title "There are concrete proposals" ORTAM (12.06.02) reports that the USA and Great Britain exert efforts towards speeding up the face-to-face negotiations in Cyprus between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    The paper notes that the British Special envoy for Cyprus, Lord David Hannay came to the island having concrete proposals on the issues of sovereignty and the distribution of powers. According to the paper Lord Hannay tries to persuade the two leaders on the issue of reaching an agreement on the principles by the end of June 2002 and he is expected to propose the continuation of the talks in Geneva, aiming at their speeding up.

    ORTAM writes that the initiatives of Lord Hannay have been described as "intensifying the pressure exerted on the Turkish side". The message sent by Mr Denktas to the mediators that the Turkish side would harden its stance if pressure was exerted on it, is described as confirmation of the fact that there are pressures, adds ORTAM.

    Meanwhile, Lord Hannay said that there are a lot to be done even though some progress has been achieved in the face-to-face talks. The British envoy noted also that time is running short.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot newspaper sees Turkish Koc Holding behind the pollution in the installations of CMC

    Under the banner-front page title "is Koc Holding behind the CMC incident?", HALKIN SESI (12.06.02) reports that according to some allegations, Mustafa Koc, son of the well known Turkish businessman and chairman of the administrative council of Koc Holding, Rahmi Koc, is behind the environmental pollution in the installations of the abandoned Cyprus Mining Corporation (CMC) in the occupied area of Karavostassi.

    The paper writes that Sidika Atalay, a Turkish Cypriot businesswoman and owner of Denizbank, is also involved in the incident.

    According to the information published in HALKIN SESI, the above-mentioned businessmen prepared a plan within the framework of which they have asked to be given the administration of CMC aiming at operating the mine, if that was possible.

    The same plan provides for making a marina for yachts at Karavostassi and building a chain of hotels on the beach. It is not known whether this plan was disclosed during the recent illegal visit of the large Turkish businessmen delegation headed by Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, to the pseudostate, adds the paper, concluding that it is not yet known whether this plan will be included in the already announced incentives for Turkish businessmen wanting to invest in the occupied areas of Cyprus.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Mehmet Ali Birand: We are heading for a disaster in Cyprus

    Under the above title Mehmet Ali Birand examines, in the Turkish Daily News (12.06.02), the consequences of a possible failure of the talks for a solution in Cyprus:

    "We are taking too lightly the efforts being made to find a solution in Cyprus.

    We have retained our old habits. With the assumption that nothing would come out of it anyway, we are not giving this issue an adequate amount of attention.

    Political circles still content themselves by making patriotic speeches, failing to tackle the crux of the problem. So many politicians who take a militant line on the Cyprus issue waste time with petty speeches.

    The press, the academics and the other circles concerned are no different than the political circles. They too are looking at the issue only from the outside.

    Hardly anybody acts with the awareness that things have reached a veritable crossroads in Cyprus, that the "finale" will fold out by the end of the current year in this or that manner.

    We live in a dream. We fabricate scenarios on our own, assume that we act in the best possible manner and refuse to become acquainted in any manner with the realities of the world outside us.

    It is high time we woke up.

    Unless a solution is found in Cyprus, Turkey's foreign relations will be jolted by a quake. That tremor will be so powerful that not only Turkey but also Greece, Cyprus and the European Union will be affected by it.

    Here is a look at what lies in store for us.

    The EU will make an assessment between October and December to determine which side has helped toward a solution, making its decision accordingly.

    If the Greek Cypriots are branded as the side that is making a solution difficult, then their EU membership process will be halted or postponed. If the Turkish Cypriots come to be seen as the party that is making a solution difficult, Cyprus will be invited to join the EU as a full member.

    Judging by the current atmosphere, the U.N. and EU circles harbour, in general, the impression that the Greek Cypriots are displaying flexibility while the Turks are not being helpful.

    In other words, unless a significant change occurs in the Turkish side's stance, the international community will decide that the Greek Cypriots should become a full member of the EU, representing the entire island of Cyprus. As of that moment, Cyprus will be considered EU territory.

    Then the disaster scenarios will be at work.

    *Having joined the EU, representing Cyprus, the Greek Cypriots will, after some time, say, on the basis of the relevant U.N. decisions, that the northern part of the island -- that is, part of the EU territory -- is under occupation. They will ask the EU to take action to end the occupation.

    * Since it would be impossible for the EU Ministerial Council to rebuff a demand made by a member country, the Council will have to make a move in the name of solidarity. The EU would not be able to ignore the Cyprus issue by saying, "Turkey is a significant ally which carries weight from the strategic viewpoint."

    * The mechanism will be put into motion, starting a process which would develop in stages. Turkey would first be cautioned. Then measures would be taken against Turkey. In the end, even sanctions may be imposed on Turkey. Though some of the EU members may raise objections, their hands would be tied by the spirit of intra-EU solidarity. Inherent in that process would be the danger of the EU severing its links with Turkey, whether it wants to or not. That possibility would create big problems for the EU.

    The unfavourable process stemming from the EU would soon be affecting the relations between Greece and Turkey. The current climate of peace would vanish. The tense days of the past would make a comeback in the Aegean.

    The hardliners in Greece would not miss that chance and the mounting tension would inevitable trigger a crisis.

    Such a process would cut down Greece's tourism revenues. It could even endanger the 2004 Olympic Games.

    The two sides would, once again, engage in an arms race and the clouds of war would gather over the region once again.

    If no solution can be found to the Cyprus problem and the aforementioned scenario materializes, Turkey too would be affected along with the EU, Greece and Cyprus.

    Let us remember Foreign Minister Ismail Cem's words. Cem had stressed that if no solution can be found, everybody would come to harm and that Turkey would be paying a higher price than the others."

    KV/SK


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