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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-14

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.112/02 14.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The British Embassy in Ankara denies that Lord Hannay stated that the Turkish Cypriots will have a sovereign state.
  • [02] The Turkish Prime Minister who ordered the Turkish troops to invade Cyprus alleges that the Cyprus problem is an artificial problem arising from the EU.
  • [03] Ismail Cem: We must exploit this period when our strategic importance has increased.
  • [04] Friendship Association established between Azerbaijan and the pseudostate.
  • [05] PUM: "The fact that the Cypriots are forced to live separately creates a lot of problems".
  • [06] Ciller: The 24th of October is the latest date for a solution in Cyprus; those who separate the Cyprus problem from Turkey/s EU membership are not realistic.
  • [07] ORTAM writes that an interim solution is "almost ready"; Angolemli: There is some progress in the talks.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Mehmet Ali Birand. The more the announcement of the election date is delayed the bigger the tension and the country/s loses will be.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The British Embassy in Ankara denies that Lord Hannay stated that the Turkish Cypriots will have a sovereign state

    Turkish Daily News (14.06.02) publishes the following letter from the British Embassy in Ankara which denies yesterday/s report in the paper to the effect that Lord Hanney was quoted as saying to CNN Turk that "TRNC will be a sovereign state".

    The letter as well as Turkish Daily News/ editor/s note are listed below: "Lord Hannay's interview CNN-Turk Dear Editor,

    On June 13 you reported that Lord Hannay, the U.K. Special Representative on Cyprus, told CNN-Turk that "the TRNC will be a sovereign state when a solution is reached on the island. It is also stated that the TRNC will live in this territory independently."

    This is not what Lord Hannay said. Lord Hannay's words were as follows: "I think that we are going to have a central state and two component states... which will have very substantial responsibilities, effectively for everything that is not explicitly given to the centre. ... The two states, the Turkish Cypriot state to the north and the Greek Cypriot state in the south, will have responsibility for a whole range of matters, like health, education, welfare, transport, police and so on. And they will run their own affairs, they will be masters in their own house."

    Sangeeta Ahuja Press Attache

    Editor's note: The Turkish Daily News (TDN) story on Lord Hannay's interview with the CNN-Turk was based on a "press release" the CNN-Turk provided to us. As far as the TDN is concerned, there is no "misquotation" and if there is such a complaint, it must have been addressed to the CNN-Turk. Out of our courtesy to the ethics of journalism and in full respect to the right to response, however, we welcome the clarification the British Embassy has brought to the alleged remarks of Lord Hannay."

    [02] The Turkish Prime Minister who ordered the Turkish troops to invade Cyprus alleges that the Cyprus problem is an artificial problem arising from the EU

    Turkish mainland RADIKAL (13.06.02) publishes an interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Murat Yetkin at Ecevit's Residence on 12 June under the title: "Ecevit: 'Ciller Holds the key'".

    Following is the full text of the interview:

    Question: True Path Party (TPP) Leader Tansu Ciller insists that the bill on abolishment of the death penalty should be tabled by the Government, whereas the Justice and Development Party (JDP) suggests that the bill should be submitted by the Justice Minister. In that case, the JDP argues, the bill would be treated as the government's proposal. In your opinion, what is the best method that could be employed to lay the bill on lifting capital punishment before Parliament in order to achieve a successful result?

    Answer: Firstly, Ciller's suggestion that the bill should be tabled by the Government is not realistic. Her proposal is tantamount to resorting to procrastination. It is clear that there is no consensus between the coalition parties. The Nationalist Action Party (NAP) has made its stance clear on this matter. I have met with NAP Leader Devlet Bahceli. He has publicly promised not to consider this issue a reason for withdrawing from the government. Then, Ciller's proposal that the bill should be submitted by the Government practically means that she is not supporting the idea of abolishing the death penalty. She has set an impracticable condition. You know that Ciller has always championed Turkey's integration with the EU. She had even instructed her aides to organize a noisy celebration in front of the EU Representation in Ankara late in the day when the Customs Union was completed. If our accession to the EU is put at risk or substantially postponed or cannot be accomplished at all because of Ciller's unacceptable conditions, then Ciller will also be responsible for that failure.

    Question: Do you not think that this problem could be solved in Parliament if the TPP declines to back the bill?

    Answer: No, it could still be solved. You know that both the FP [Felicity Party] and the JDP have expressed support for the idea. They also set some conditions, but those conditions can be satisfied easily. Therefore, I believe that Ciller holds the key to overcoming this problem. If our accession to the EU eventually faces a mishap, the blame would primarily fall on Ciller.

    Question: But Ciller also says: "The death penalty is not the only problem that we have to tackle in order to clear the way for EU membership. We would still have the Cyprus question if we resolved all other problems. I am ready to lend my support if they argue the Cyprus issue is not a big problem." How could a solution to this matter be worked out?

    Answer: The EU has set specific conditions in order to admit the applicants. All the countries, which apply for EU membership, are required to fulfill those conditions. However, those conditions do not include the Cyprus question, which is a separate issue. Ciller can probably guess that I will not make any concession about that matter. We know that she too has her own sensitivities about this matter, but we should not confuse it with our accession to the EU. We will solve the Cyprus question one way or another and I sincerely believe that we will be able to do that. For, we are definitely in the right. If the EU is eventually forced to make a choice between the Greek Cypriot Republic and Turkey, it would probably not neglect Turkey. That is a separate and a national issue from our standpoint.

    Question: Do you think that an agreement, which Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides may work out in the current talks by the end of the year, clear the way for starting Turkey's accession negotiations?

    Answer: If it was not for the support lent by the EU to the Greek Cypriot Administration, Clerides and Denktas could have easily reached an agreement. However, Clerides and naturally the Greek Cypriot Administration are enjoying the EU's support and therefore the talks cannot produce an accord. This issue is an artificial problem arising from the EU. It does not concern the international community. It is a separate issue, which we are trying to solve on a different platform.

    Question: Will you have an opportunity to meet with Ciller? Are you going to call her about the issue of abolishment of the death penalty?

    Answer: Of course. We must find a possibility to discuss this matter.

    Question: Do you intend to do it by phone?

    Answer: I do not want to go into those technicalities at this phase. Of course, this depends on my quick recovery. We can have a telephone conversation as well. For example, I had a telephone conversation with Bahceli. We will find a way.

    Question: Could that happen before Parliament takes a recess?

    Answer: I believe that this matter should be clarified before Parliament is adjourned.

    Question: In the last interview you had given to me, you had said that you would take certain steps after you get back on your feet in order to enable the DLP to function more efficiently. You had enough time in the past couple of weeks to assess this matter with Rahsan Ecevit. Have you made a new decision?

    Answer: Making preparations for the next elections is one of the primary tasks of a political party. We have intensified our organizational efforts as the date for the next election has already been set. Rahsan Ecevit is dedicating a large part of her time to those efforts in her capacity as the Deputy Leader. She meets with groups visiting our home in order to wish me a speedy recovery in addition to the party's officials and MPs. We have sent some of our MPs to other cities in order to meet with the public and the non-governmental organizations. In other words, we are preparing ourselves in all respects. As I have always pointed out, some intellectuals and media establishments in Turkey claim that the DLP does not actually have a nationwide organization. They had made similar allegations prior to the general election held in 1999. However, the DLP subsequently emerged as the largest party and is now leading the government. We continue to work in our own way.

    Question: Is there any person, to whom you could comfortably hand over the party after you have retired?

    Answer: As I have always said, it is too early to select my successor. Could I or my colleagues make any contribution to that process, or some candidates directly contend for leadership? These are some of the options. However, I do not think that starting a debate on this issue and placing it on the national agenda would benefit Turkey at this phase.

    Question: Are you in good health now?

    Answer: Thank God I am fine. However, I have to rest for a certain period. I am trying to keep abreast of the developments, albeit it is difficult to do that at home. In a sense, I can monitor developments more carefully by examining details. Therefore, there are some reasons for consolation.

    Question: We are hearing different speculations about your health every day. Even some physicians, who have not examined you, make comments about your health. Do you have any intention of making a detailed statement about your health condition or permit others to do that for the sake of providing clarification?

    Answer:I am not in a position to clarify my health condition. However, the Physicians' Association issued a statement about this matter, noting that they would take some measures. That is a very unbecoming attitude. We have made a statement about my health problems and my present situation is known. We are disclosing every detail. Therefore, there is nothing else that we can do.

    [03] Ismail Cem: We must exploit this period when our strategic importance has increased

    NTV television (13.06.02) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who was the guest of honour of the Turkish-American Businessmen/s Association, commented on the EU process.

    He said: "Turkey's relations with the EU are not a snowball that would melt away and disappear in the sun. In other words, the train would not just run away, but unfortunately, the train would be seriously delayed, and it would become considerably more difficult for us to come aboard."

    Noting that the circles among the EU countries that are opposed to the Union's enlargement have become a government alternative, Cem said: "We must exploit this period when our strategic importance has increased. Since we have decided to embark on this matter, since we intend to launch the negotiation process, and since we plan to meet the natural conditions for launching the negotiation process -- today, tomorrow, or the next day - it is naturally to Turkey's benefit to fulfill these conditions now, a time that best serves our interests."

    Cem remarked that Turkey's foreign policy changed its face in recent years, adding: "Turkey has become a country that contributes to the solution of problems, rather than one that creates problems."

    Ankara Anatolia (13.06.02), in a related report, adds the following remarks that Cem delivered in his address to the Turkish-American Businessmen/s Association:

    "'Our relations with the EU have been further improving day by day since the Helsinki Summit in 1999. There are some approaches in Turkey that claim that the EU would never accept Turkey. These are totally wrongful approaches. There is no room for feelings in foreign policy. The foreign policy is a mathematical equation of benefits of a country. There have been healthy relations between Turkey and the EU. Because Turkey`s cooperation is extremely important for the EU. Also, the EU full membership is beneficial for Turkey. Some circles claim that the EU puts forward some conditions because it considers Turkey an enemy. These claims are totally baseless. The EU determined some criteria to accept candidate countries. These criteria are valid for all candidate countries," he said.

    Underlining the importance of starting full membership negotiations, Cem said that beginning of full membership negotiations would also have positive impacts on the Turkish economy.

    Cem added that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had been intentionally keeping the issue of the EU full membership on top of Turkey`s agenda since the Helsinki Summit in 1999.

    Cem also stated that serious progress had been recorded in relations between Turkey and the United States especially in last five years, adding, 'this is important for us and it is important for you too. Because economy and foreign politics, economy and strategy actually constitute two parts of a whole.'

    Noting that Turkey was the weakest country in Europe with regard to foreign trade volume with neighbouring countries, Cem said that while foreign trade of countries in Europe with its neighbours ranged between 45-50 percent, Turkey`s trade with its neighbours was still 8 percent, recalling that it had been between 4-4.5 percent five years ago.

    "Increasing political relations between Turkey and the United States had started to gain strategic characteristics, Cem said and added: "Turkey and the United States have very interesting positions. Because both Turkey and the United States define same incidents as crisis, problem or opportunity."

    Recalling that Turkey had for the first time held a trilateral meeting by having the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers come together, Cem said: "It is not bilateral relations but a trilateral action. Now we are having talks. I will meet with the Armenian Foreign Minister probably in coming days in Istanbul. And I will meet with the Azerbaijani officials during or after this meeting.

    Turkey approaches not only these issues but also Cyprus and the European Union issues as not a part of the problem but as a part of solution. Now Turkey is not a country that creates problems but it contributes to solution of problems through its experiences in terms of its position in the world."

    [04] Friendship Association established between Azerbaijan and the pseudostate

    According to KIBRIS (14.06.02), the chairman of the so-called TRNC-Azerbaijan Friendship Association, Agil Semetbeyli, has declared that they will struggle for the recognition of the pseudostate in the Turkic Republics of Central Asia.

    The ''official'' inauguration of the so-called association took place in the occupied part of Nicosia yesterday. The so-called chairman of the association said that the occupied area is known to the people of Azerbaijan and they love it . He further added that the friendship relations between the two peoples would be strengthened.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has sent a message to the founders of the so-called association, congratulating them for their endeavours.

    [05] PUM: "The fact that the Cypriots are forced to live separately creates a lot of problems"

    YENI CAG (14.06.02) publishes a written statement issued by the Patriotic Unity Movement (PUM) regarding the developments on the Cyprus problem.

    PUM accuses Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his team in the face-to-face talks of not submitting onto the negotiating table any proposals for a federal solution in Cyprus and expresses the opinion that Mr Denktas and his team should be relieved of the duty of representing the Turkish Cypriot side if they continue the same attitude after June.

    Noting that the Cyprus problem exists due to "the negative policy, which the ruling powers continue to apply on the Turkish Cypriots, PUM points out that the long existence of the Cyprus problem turned the occupied areas into a place where it is hard to live, and adds:

    "The division of Cyprus and the fact that the Cypriots are forced to live separately creates a lot of problems. The continuation of the status quo has created a lot of dangers for the existence of the Turkish Cypriots. The intervention of Turkey in all fields does not give the Community the right to speak and does not recognize its right to take decisions on any matter. This situation caused the loss of the three quarters of the population of the community and its turning it into a minority in its own country.".

    [06] Ciller: The 24th of October is the latest date for a solution in Cyprus; those who separate the Cyprus problem from Turkey's EU membership are not realistic

    KIBRIS (14.06.02) reports that Tansu Ciller, leader of Turkey's True Path Party (TPP), has said that the Cyprus problem must be the priority of Turkey in its efforts to join the EU and added that the latest date for the solution of the problem is the 24th of October.

    Addressing her party's parliamentary group, Mrs Ciller noted, inter alia, the following regarding the Cyprus problem: "We have an historical responsibility to solve this issue by the 24th of October. Mr Ecevit is responsible before history for not doing and not seeing this". Mrs Ciller warned that in case the problem is not solved by the above-mentioned date, the whole of Cyprus will become a member of the EU and Turkey will be an occupier of the northern part of an EU member-state.

    TTP leader argued that her country "cannot come out" of the problem by saying that Cyprus is a separate issue and has nothing to do with Turkey's EU membership. "If Mr Ecevit says that we separate this issue from Cyprus, then I am afraid that he is separating himself from the realities of the world", she pointed out.

    [07] ORTAM writes that an interim solution is "almost ready"; Angolemli: There is some progress in the talks

    Under the banner front-page title "The interim solution is almost ready!!" ORTAM (14.06.02) writes that the visits of representatives of Western countries, the United Nations and the EU to Cyprus are being intensified aiming at reaching a framework agreement for a solution to the Cyprus problem in the last days of June.

    Meanwhile, the same paper reports that Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) said yesterday that according to the minutes of the talks, which he has read, there is some progress in the face-to-face talks, despite the fact that "the sides denied statements made by foreign diplomats that some progress is made."

    Talking before a meeting with a delegation of the Turkish Cypriots "Public" Servants Trade Union (KAMU - SEN), Mr Angolemli expressed the opinion that a solution must finally be found to the Cyprus problem and added that a framework agreement should be reached by October.

    Mr Angolemli claimed that the EU must "fulfil its duty" and give Turkey a date to begin the accession negotiations, so that the way towards a solution to the Cyprus problem is opened.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Mehmet Ali Birand: The more the announcement of the election date is delayed, the bigger the tension and the country/s loses will be

    In his regular column in Turkish Daily News (14.06.02) Mehmet Ali Birand publishes the following commentary:

    "We have been undergoing a kind of "Chinese torture" for weeks.

    We now have the kind of national team we had yearned for all those years. It is in a favourable group. Yet, we have been too busy squabbling among ourselves to be able to give enough thought to our rivals. We have been fighting with one another for weeks due to impatience and intolerance and, also, due to our habit of living on a day-to-day basis rather than struggling towards a long-term goal. In the end, we left everything to the last minute. We reared up like a horse would -- only at the last minute.

    The overall picture is no different when it comes to the European Union and Cyprus issues. It seems that things will proceed as in the case of the World Cup. We will find a solution at the last minute, that is, when we come under strain.

    Come, let us act differently in the quarter finals ahead.

    Let the media act like the media should. Let it fulfil its task according to the international rules. Let it engage in criticism rather than hurling insults. Meanwhile, let the soccer players and the manager stop being preoccupied with the media. Let them cover their ears and think only about the game to be played.

    This way, maybe we would also be setting an example for our politicians.

    Until a few weeks ago, an early election did not serve anybody's interests. The coalition parties tended to think that if they went to the polls before any stirrings occurred in the economy, they would be committing suicide, that they would find it hard even to get the minimum amount of votes needed for parliamentary representation.

    They were right.

    Economists too were shying away from an early election. They too, along with the business circles, wanted the election to be held no sooner than in the autumn of 2003. They argued that an early election would upset the economic balances and the efforts they had made would go down the drain.

    They too were right.

    Politicians were saying that if an early election were to be held sooner than in 2003, that is, at a time the most critical decisions would have to be made regarding the EU and Cyprus, Turkey would miss that historic opportunity. These were grounds that could hardly be ignored. However, the spot we have reached today shows that conditions have changed and that an early election is knocking on the door, however undesirable that may be.

    1. THE PM'S HEALTH:

    There is no need at all for us to deceive ourselves.

    The prime minister's health cannot improve to the point where he would be able to work at a normal pace once again, actually working for three to four hours a day and taking part in meetings. No such thing as a recovery should be expected. The best result would be no deterioration.

    The coalition cannot function under these circumstances. Regardless of how much it tries to, it would be extremely hard, if not impossible, for the coalition to continue. For the country, it would be a waste of time to force a "PM-less" government to go on at a time so many decisions have to be taken.

    2. THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY:

    At the spot it has now reached, the economy can no longer withstand uncertainties or tensions. Even a minor incident causes the dollar price and the borrowing rates to soar immediately, endangering the fight against inflation. There is a growing risk that the sacrifices made to date will go down the drain.

    Meanwhile, the intra-coalition tensions are intensifying. The tug-of-war between the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) and the Motherland Party (MP) is definitely not over. It is a strong possibility that the rift will widen. Having smelled an early election, not only the ruling parties, but also the opposition parties are taking positions accordingly.

    Such a climate cannot continue until 2003 or beyond. The economy cannot afford that. Kemal Dervis is right. An early election would cost some $2.5 billion. However, the months to be spent in uncertainty would entail a much higher price, estimated to be $8.5 billion.

    The best thing to do is to cut off the rope at the point where it has become thin.

    3. ELECTION NEEDED FOR EU AND CYPRUS AS WELL:

    Turkey has an extremely important period ahead. The EU's Copenhagen summit will be held on Dec. 12. To be able to get from a specific date for the start of the accession talks, we must, by Dec. 12, pass the "harmonization with the EU bills," at least the most critical ones, the ones involving the Copenhagen criteria, the bills involving the death penalty, the Kurdish language and associations.

    Yet, while the "election scent" gets stronger, tensions rise within the coalition and in the ruling parties themselves. In such a climate, the harmonization bills cannot be passed.

    On the Cyprus issue too the final, critical decision will be taken on Dec. 12. In its present form, this coalition cannot take any steps at all regarding Cyprus. Nobody can take risks in an election atmosphere. Yet, steps must definitely be taken on both of the aforementioned issues.

    The lesser evil: An early election in October Judging by this picture, Turkey would be opting for the lesser evil if it decided to go to the polls in October.

    The new government would then get a chance of acting more freely to pass the EU-harmonization bills, to find a solution in Cyprus and to take all the measures the economy requires.

    The current climate of uncertainty must be brought to an end. The changes needed in the Election Law and the Political Parties Law must be made and the early election date must be announced by the end of the current month. An election to be held in late October or in early November at the latest, would eliminate the economic uncertainties in a short time. Also, it would enable the country to keep -- at the last minute -- its December appointment on the EU and Cyprus issues. Even if Turkey missed that appointment, the international community would react with understanding because of the "election" being held.

    There seems to be no way out from now on. The more the announcement of the election date is delayed, the bigger the tension and the country's losses will be".

    KV/SK


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