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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.113/02 15-16-17.06.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Mesut Yilmaz urges Denktas to take steps now so as to prevent Cyprus/ accession to the EUTRT 2 Television (15.6.02) broadcast that Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, accompanied by Interior Minister Rustu Kazim Yucelen and Finance Minister Sumer Oral, held contacts in Balikesir. Asked by a journalist about the possible solution of the death penalty crisis by means of the 6th protocol during his visit to the Balikesir Municipality, Yilmaz said:
"As you know, international agreements can be referred to the Assembly only in the form of a government bill. It is impossible for us to send this bill to the Assembly because we have differences of views with the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) in this regard. In other words, we cannot send the protocol to the Assembly for approval, because this requires a government decision. First, the scope of crimes that are punished by the death penalty can be restricted in line with the 6th protocol with an amendment in the law. Once this law goes into effect, the auxiliary protocol can be signed with a government decision and referred to the Assembly for approval."
When a reporter recalled that the contacts with the opposition are continuing, and asked Yilmaz to comment on the stand of the True Path Party (TPP), Yilmaz remarked that the contacts will be intensified in the coming days, and added:
"Membership in the EU is a national issue that no party can regard as its own affair. Therefore, the stand to be adopted by the parties on this subject will further clarify if they act out of small party calculations or on the basis of greater national considerations. Therefore, I suggest that in the coming days all parties review their attitude on this subject once again."
The Cyprus issue was raised during Yilmaz's visit with the Motherland Party (MP) province leaders.
"For the solution of such a rooted and complex problem, both sides must take a step. Just like the Greek Cypriot side, there are also additional steps Mr Denktas can take in this regard. In my view, now is the right time to take these steps. If these steps are taken, we can prevent the Greek Cypriots' membership in the EU, which they now regard as a foregone conclusion," he said.
Yilmaz was asked: The NAP has an attitude with regard to mother tongue education and the death penalty. Is this an obstacle to Turkey's EU membership? In response, Yilmaz said: "Yes, unfortunately it is."
 Ismail Cem: Cyprus is a political factor that will influence Turkey/s membership decisionCNN TURK Television (16.06.02) broadcast an interview with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Ahmet Sever in the "Criterion" program.
To the question of whether the EU issues -- namely, the death penalty, education and broadcasts in the mother tongue -- can be resolved in a timely fashion, Cem replies that he does not think so. He goes on to say that the death penalty issue seems the easiest to resolve, because it will not cause a government crisis. Nevertheless, he adds, the reasons for lifting the death penalty must be explained well to the martyrs' families who are very sensitive about the issue.
He points out that his party, the Democratic Left Party (DLP), has been advocating the abolishment of the death penalty for many years, long before EU membership became an issue.
Sever asks what will happen if Turkey fails to take the expected steps regarding the three issues. Cem replies that in that case Turkey will have missed an important opportunity in the EU membership process, "because in terms of the Middle East, Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and so on, Turkey is currently very valuable strategically, and this position will not go on forever." Cem goes on to say: "Also, the political developments in Western Europe are moving toward a direction that will make it more difficult for all the candidate countries, not only Turkey, to join the EU. Therefore, we must take the opportunity before these developments get out of hand."
Explaining what he means by political developments, Cem notes the growing ultra right and xenophobic currents, and "the movements that are full of complexes against Islam."
The foreign minister asserts that if Turkey fails to take steps regarding the three issues, "it will not miss the train," "but its membership negotiations will be delayed and become more difficult."
Asked what will happen if Turkey does take the necessary steps, Cem recalls that the European Commission had announced that it would ask the EU Council of Ministers to start the negotiations with Turkey. He adds that if Turkey takes the necessary steps, he will be able to make demands from the EU, while at the moment, he cannot.
Sever asks what EU membership will bring to Turkey. Cem replies: "First of all, it will bring a lot economically, at least I think so. Secondly, it will bring us a lot strategically. Turkey's position in Central Asia will be reinforced, as with its position in the Balkans and in the Middle East." Cem points out that the way the world looked at Turkey changed favourably after Turkey was declared a candidate.
To a question on the recent polarization in Turkey regarding EU membership, Cem says that certain circles have concerns, which he, too, partly shares. However, Cem notes, we must discuss these concerns and issues calmly, and not fight over them.
Asked about his expectations from the Seville summit, Cem replies that the Foreign Ministry and the ambassador to the EU "are making efforts to have the summit's final declaration have the most favourable paragraph possible in connection with Turkey." He adds: "However, it would not be realistic to expect a date for negotiations to be announced at this summit."
Later on, Cem says: "Of course Cyprus is not a condition for our membership. I personally tried hard to make sure that Cyprus was not a condition." He then adds: "Nevertheless, Cyprus is a political factor that will influence the membership decision. We are aware of that. If we fulfill our obligations and become the creditor as opposed to the debtor in our relations with the EU, then we will be in a stronger position regarding the Cyprus issue as well. It is very important to fulfill our obligations in that respect too. Nevertheless, if it does not happen, it will not be the end of the world. We are talking here of a tiny spot in time if you look at the historical dimension. We will succeed."
 The leader of the True Path Party repeats that the Cyprus problem is the most important issue on Turkey/s EU pathCNN TURK Television (16.06.02) broadcast that True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller has said that the most important problem on the way to EU membership is the Cyprus issue.
Tansu Ciller's statement is the following:
"The government does not seem to realize that the most important problem on the way to the EU is the Cyprus issue. Therefore, I invite all the parties to come to the Assembly. Come. The EU is a train that must not be missed in any way. The place where an accident can take place is Cyprus. If Cyprus goes, it will be the most important obstacle before Turkey's EU membership. Come, let us discuss the EU issues as a whole, starting from Cyprus and including all the short-term promises made by this government. Let us discuss all that at the Assembly. The government must explain to us what it is doing and we must tell it in what way we can support it. I repeat, the Assembly must in no way go into summer recess this year. Immediately after that, it must start to work on the Political Parties and Election Laws."
 Kofi Annan assessed his visit to Cyprus for HURRIYET newspaperHURRIYET newspaper (14.06.02) publishes the following report by Dogan Uluc from New York:
The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan evaluated for the "HURRIYET" Newspaper his contacts on Cyprus last month. Annan stated that the greatest obstacle in front of a solution is the problem of recognition of the pseudostate and spoke as follows:
"In any case, they are already discussing the problem of recognition, but I do not know what will be the outcome of it in the end. Denktas wants the recognition status to be clarified as soon as possible. I made some suggestions on this subject on how progress can be made. I stated how they could progress on other subjects without the recognition problem being an obstacle. They received my proposals positively." Secretary- General Annan reminded that Denktas and Clerides had determined the month of June as a target date for a solution and said the following:
"Clerides stated that it would be possible to reach an agreement by the date targeted. However, Denktas said during our conversation that he needed more time. I will review the situation at the end of June and will see how much progress has been made. My special representative Alvaro de Soto came to Rome three days ago and informed me of his own impressions. We will hold our breath and continue the contacts with the two leaders."
 Statements by Mesut Yilmaz on Turkey/s expectations from the Seville SummitAnkara Anatolia (14.06.02) reported that State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz in an interview with Anadolu Magazine published in Brussels for Turkish people living abroad, said: ``We target at EU`s taking a decision during its summit meeting in Copenhagen in December to start full membership negotiations with Turkey. However, we have some serious concerns whether or not we can reach this target till December. Our concerns stem partially from Turkey, and partially from foreign factors.`` ``Some circles in Turkey think that the EU would never accept Turkey`s full membership and that it would try to gain time by prolonging Turkey`s candidacy process. As a result, they do not want to fulfill Copenhagen criteria about cultural rights, and to take serious steps in efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus question. Therefore, we expect the EU to put forward a clearer perspective about Turkey during next week's summit meeting in Seville.
The Seville Summit can be a means for this. If the EU goes further than Laeken Summit at the Seville Summit and clearly states that `in case of fulfilment of criteria, there are not any obstacles before opening of full membership talks in the following year`, this will encourage us not only to complete the remaining reforms but also increase our contributions to solution of Cyprus question."
When asked, ``if the expected decision does not come out in Copenhagen, that is if green light is not shed for opening of accession talks in 2003, what will happen? Will there be a negative atmosphere like the one that occurred after Luxembourg Summit?`` Yilmaz said: ``A more critical summit is in question for us when compared to the Luxembourg Summit, because we might not make progress in Turkey-EU relations and at the same time some decisions which may disturb Turkey-EU relations can be reached at this summit.`` Yilmaz added: ``When I say this, I mean EU membership of the Greek Cypriot administration. If the EU accepts the Greek Cypriot administration as an EU member representing the whole of the island while it does not open accession talks with Turkey, this will be a biased and hostile attitude towards Turkey and this will cause a problem in our relations with the EU in the future which might not be compensated.
We know that the EU did not fulfil some of its financial commitments to Turkey because of Greece's obstacles before the Helsinki Summit in 1999. However, Greece`s prevention has been removed considerably following the Helsinki Summit.`` ``We can talk about the EU`s failure in providing necessary support to Turkey in preparing itself to full membership, instead of fulfilling its commitments to Turkey. EU Commission officials told us that the EU could allocate more sources to Turkey from its new budget to be prepared next year. However, all these developments depend on Turkey-EU relations` gaining a new acceleration at the Copenhagen Summit. Therefore, we can expect the EU to undertake more commitments to assist Turkey in preparing itself to the full membership in the coming period. I believe that the EU would keep its promises to Turkey.
Some circles in Turkey think that the EU would not accept Turkey's full membership even if Turkey fulfilled all criteria because of certain prejudices. And our politicians base their statement on these thoughts. But I believe that EU will not show an institutional weakness. I think that the line drawn by Helsinki is binding for the EU and even the changes in the governments will not affect this Union's will put forth at Helsinki. I believe that the determining point in this issue is Turkey`s fulfillment of its obligations.``
Yilmaz noted that EU`s evaluation about Turkey was not static in time and it should not be ignored that EU`s evaluations had a dynamic course according to changing conditions.
``Europe had a different point of view towards Turkey in the cold war era. In the post cold war era, it had a different point of view, and in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks it has a very different point of view. The EU is building the frame of its future structuring with the European Convention. The most important formation that I have found out at the Convention so far is that the more the EU is pleased with economic earnings, the more uneasy it is about the passivity in international relations and security,`` Yilmaz said.
Yilmaz went on saying: ``I think that EU`s being not only an economic power but also a political power will be one of the main targets in future restructuring of the EU. Such a change in the concept will affect EU`s point of view towards Turkey. Because, an EU which has launched initiatives to become a world power will definitely need Turkey. It will be impossible for the EU to fulfill its targets without Turkey. To this end, I believe that in the end of this strategic evaluation, the EU's support to Turkey will increase in the course of time. But, this will never mean that Turkey will integrate with the EU before fulfilling the Copenhagen political criteria. Because, such an integration will mean diluting the principles that form the EU. I think that the EU`s sensitivities about this issue will not permit such thing. To this end, I think that Turkey will not only fulfil the criteria but also carry out the activities which will help it utilize its strategic importance and especially, its characteristic of intermingling different cultures and its position in energy strategies,`` Yilmaz added.
Referring to the Cyprus problem Yilmaz said: ``There are steps that can be taken by both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot side on the Cyprus question. And these steps should be taken as soon as possible.`` Yilmaz said: ``No one expects Turkey or the "TRNC" to give up their rightful case totally. However, having regard to the facts that today's conditions are completely different from the conditions in 1960s and 1970s, that a new structure is in question in Europe, and that Cyprus is envisaged to take place in this structure, everyone has to review its attitude. There are steps that can be taken by both Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides on the Cyprus question. And these steps should be taken as soon as possible.`` Asked what kind of steps he was talking about, Yilmaz said: ``Here, it is out of question for Turkey to leave the Turkish Cypriots without guarantee, to approve several formations that may enable reoccurrence of history in Cyprus or to take a backward step from the structure we defend in Cyprus which is political equality and bi-zonal structure. I think that the Turkish side can make more proposals about other parameters of a solution, for example, in parameters like fundamental freedoms and rights and parameters like distribution of territories.`` Yilmaz added: ``Such proposals may at first end prejudices in Europe that the Turkish side is preventing a solution in Cyprus or Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side do not want the solution of the question. Secondly, such proposals will force the Greek Cypriot administration to take steps. If it does not take those steps, EU integration of the Greek Cypriot administration will be prevented. To this end, I believe that the most reasonable policy for the Turkish side in Cyprus question is the most active and most compromising policy.``
 Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey has a right of say over the whole of CyprusNTV television (13.06.02) broadcast an interview with Sukru Sina Gurel, State Minister in charge of Cyprus Affairs, by Murat Akgun at the Ankara studio.
Asked by Akgun if the death penalty may be lifted by the end of June, Gurel says there is no need to hurry and adds: "We should not fight each other while trying to enter the EU. We should not cause such unnecessary and untimely friction, conflicts, and division among ourselves. We can solve all the issues. A formula can be found regarding the abolishment of the death penalty that will be acceptable to all. A formula can be found in connection with education in the mother tongue, a formula that respects the sensitivity of all involved. However, we are not obliged to do all that within a timetable imposed on us by others."
When Akgun asks if time is not running out, Gurel replies that he finds it difficult to understand that. He says: "I do not think that the EU will reach a decision on expansion during its extraordinary summit in October this year. That means that the issue will not be finalized in December. There is such a possibility. In other words, we may be getting into a panic for nothing."
On the issue of education and broadcasts in the mother tongue, the minister asserts that the standard should be the practice in EU countries, such as in France.
Noting that he will be going to Brussels on Monday, 17 June, Gurel says he will brief the EU officials on the steps taken by Turkey within the framework of its National Program and on other structural reforms. He stresses that he intends to ask the EU to set a date for the start of the full membership negotiations. He adds that he will also raise the Cyprus question.
Asked what will happen if Cyprus joins the EU before Turkey, Gurel says: "If the EU does that, it means that the EU does not intend to advance its relations with Turkey."
He goes on to say that he sees no link between the Cyprus question and the three conditions, namely the death penalty, and education and broadcasts in the mother tongue. He affirms that even if an agreement is reached in Cyprus that is acceptable to the two sides, to Turkey, to Greece, and to Britain, that would not mean that Cyprus can join the EU. Under the 1960 agreements, he alleges, Turkey has a right of say over the whole of Cyprus, and Cyprus cannot join an organization of which Turkey is not a member. He adds: "Therefore, as far as we are concerned, the solution of the Cyprus problem is one thing, the advancement of the Turkish-EU relations is something else, and Cyprus' membership in the EU is still another. In other words, Cyprus' membership in the EU and Turkey's membership in the EU are closely linked, because, legally, and in line with international law and agreements, Cyprus can join the EU only when Turkey joins it. Consequently, we do not see an alternative that is acceptable to us other than the simultaneous memberships of Cyprus and Turkey. In other words, a solution in Cyprus is one thing and Turkey's membership in the EU is something else. However, Turkey's membership and Cyprus' membership are linked."
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President CleridesIllegal Bayrak Radio (14.06.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met once again within the framework of the direct talks on Friday. In reply to a correspondent's question prior to the meeting on the UN Security Council's latest Cyprus report, Denktas said: "Let us first work and assess the report."
Upon being reminded of True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller's statement to the effect that the Cyprus issue should be resolved by 24 October, Denktas said that the EU Ministerial Council will hold a meeting at this date, adding that it will be crystallized at this meeting whether a date will be given for Turkey's EU membership. Pointing out that this date is of importance for Turkey, Denktas added, that from the point of view of the pseudostate the meetings are continuing.
The meeting between Denktas and Clerides lasted for approximately 90 minutes.
In a statement after the meeting, Denktas said that they will continue to discuss the issue of security on Tuesday [18 June]. Upon being reminded that a delegation headed by Nicos Anastasiades, Cyprus House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, complained about the Turkish side to the US Administration on account of the deadlock in the talks, Denktas said: "It is wrong to say that the talks are deadlocked just because there is no agreement on all the issues. It is wrong to think that there is no agreement just because there is no agreement on all the issues. The meetings are continuing. The meetings would have been suspended by now if they were deadlocked."
 Tansu Ciller replies to Ecevit and those who think the Cyprus problem is not tied to Turkey's EU courseRADIKAL newspaper (13.06.02) publishes an interview with True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Ciller: 'We are Ready To Have a Dialogue, but..."
The interview is as follows:
Question: Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has said that you are holding the key to accomplishing Turkey's accession to the EU. What is your response to his comments?
Answer: Could there be such a cheap policy?
Question: In response to my question whether he was intending to have a dialogue with you regarding abolishment of the death penalty, Ecevit said there was a need to find a way to have such a dialogue with you. Are you ready for such a dialogue?
Answer: Though his remarks are not credible, we are ready to have such a dialogue. He can call me whenever he wants and I would fully adapt myself to his work schedule. However, the main issue is the need to refer this problem to Parliament and to unveil the Government's policy there for further discussions with the opposition.
The three coalition parties must disclose their opinions about the promises regarding education and broadcasts, which Turkey has given to the EU. We have expressed our opinions about those matters. We suggested that television programs in all languages other than Turkish should be broadcast by the TRTInt [Turkish Radio and Television Corporation's world service] accompanied by a subtitle in Turkish. No language other than Turkish can be used in education, but the right to learn one's mother tongue may be exercised by opening private courses, which could offer those courses in return for a certain fee depending on request, similar to the French model; and the teachers teaching those languages could be educated by the State.
What is the Government's stance on these issues? These are homework that should have been completed until March. Who has told Ecevit that accession talks would start even if Turkey has failed to take all those steps, but only lifted the death penalty? I beg him to disclose the name of the person who made that promise, so that we could solve the problem quickly. In fact, this is only a deception.
Question: In response to your remarks about the Cyprus issue, Ecevit has said that the Cyprus question was not among the criteria established for EU membership, and that it would be resolved on a separate platform. Do not you think that this is sufficient?
Answer: If he regards the Cyprus issue as a separate problem, it is either Ecevit is misled by some people or he is not able to perceive the facts. They have themselves transformed the Cyprus issue into a short-term criterion. Those two issues cannot not be separated irrespective of Ecevit's assertion that they had done so. The problem is not limited to making a concession regarding the Cyprus issue. One of the coalition parties has maintained that Rauf Denktas could not solve the dispute. Fortunately, a miraculous intervention was made by the United Nations. Now, the Prime Minister should efficiently use this opportunity and embark upon a shuttle diplomacy in order to explain the facts to the leaders of other countries. However, he is not able to do that. Ecevit suggests that Turkey should annex the "TRNC" if no solution can be found, and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli shares his opinion. We could get nowhere with this policy.
Question: What should be done?
Answer: It would be easier to find a solution if they left the matter to the Foreign Ministry. However, they refuse to do that, and thus Turkey's policy on Cyprus is being shaped by two or even three actors acting independently. Everybody was against us when we were advocating the Customs Union. However, we formed coalition governments first with the SDPP [Social Democratic Populist Party] and then with the RPP [Republican People's Party] to solidify our stance and create synergy, which the present government lacks. Now I want to make a call. I urge them to hold a general debate on Cyprus in Parliament. It would be more beneficial if they tried to avoid wasting time rather than testing our sincerity. We are still open to dialogue. We are ready to have private meetings or to hold debates on an all-embracing package in Parliament.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Columnist in "RADIKAL" newspaper says Turkey will not give its Cyprus trump card before irreversible steps in its EU course are takenRADIKAL newspaper (15.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Why Cyprus?"
"Question are asked about the reason behind Ankara's tough line on Cyprus both by the spokesmen of several EU countries and by the more influential intellectuals in Istanbul in angry voices. Deputy Prime Minister Yilmaz in fact finds Denktas' attitude a little too harsh and his speech yesterday [14 June 2002] calling for the EU to adopt a specific line vis-a-vis the Republic of Cyprus and to give Turkey a perspective, could cause unrest within these circles.
In the reply we sought to this question within the depths of Ankara's political, diplomatic and military wings it became possible to see the following common points: There is no sign that talks with Turkey will begin regardless of the situation on Cyprus even if Turkey takes the steps it needs to take in order to get accession talks started -- in other words, even if it fulfils the Copenhagen Criteria. If and when a reliable sign is given the steps to be taken could be done so more easily and quickly. In fact, it is not that difficult to take steps in matters that threaten to see different social groupings emerge such as the abolition of capital punishment and the right to have education of and broadcasting in mother tongue. In spite of the accession talks process, even if the topic is EU membership, if Turkey's interests demand it then it is possible to reverse it.. In other words, new legal arrangements will be enough to enable these steps, which broaden rights, to be revoked for example during time of war.
This situation, which is valid for all EU member countries, describes a "reversible" process of compliance with the political criteria. Consequently, these steps place Turkey among those democracies in the premier league while at the same time seeing that there are no shortcomings as far as its strategic interests are concerned.
However, the situation on Cyprus is different. For Cyprus to no longer be an ace up Turkey's sleeve requires the taking of steps that are "irreversible". That is, if the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides reach an agreement and both Athens and Ankara approve it but then later Turkey finds itself rejected by the EU even after fulfilling all the Copenhagen Criteria, there will be absolutely nothing that could be done about it.
State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel's remark, "One day we wake up to find there is no Cyprus," expresses this concern in a veiled yet forceful manner. Therefore, Cyprus will not enter an irreversible process without Turkey entering an irreversible process with regard to EU membership.
Yilmaz's latest speech shows that there are no more reservations over Cyprus among the coalition parties and that they in fact are acting the same as Parliament in this matter. When we add to this picture the "Crete example" as deftly put by Denktas at the start of the year there no longer seems any reason why the other EU countries can fail to understand Ankara's line over Cyprus: It seems almost impossible for a solution on Cyprus acceptable to everyone to be achieved without Turkey's EU membership proceeding down a path on which there is no turning back."
 Turkish columnist notes that Rauf Denktas does not want a solution to the Cyprus problem or the Turkish Cypriots to join the EUUnder the title "The captain of TRNC's being a spoilsport" Alev Er writes in YENIDUZEN (17.06.02) that those who look objectively at the face-to-face negotiations towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, see that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas behaves as if he has "lost the game" and his behaviour reminds of someone who "does not want to play".
Noting that Cyprus' accession to the EU will be decided in the Copenhagen Summit in the end of the year, Mr Er adds, inter alia, the following:
"A solution has to be reached before that date so that the two communities may be able to pass together the door, but the TRNC leader tries to delay finding a solution with Clerides.Because Denktas does not want Cyprus' accession to the EU, he wants it to become a part of Ankara, at the cost of preserving and strengthening the image of being an 'illegal state' before the international community.
However, he acts as if he too wants a solution and supports the EU because he feels that not only the international law and the international community, but also the inhabitants in the 'motherland' and 'daughter-land' and even the administrators of the 'motherland' are breaking off relations with him..".
Furthermore, Mr Er expresses the opinion that Mr Denktas wishes to gain some more time, Ankara to declare that it got bored with the Copenhagen criteria, elections to take place in Germany and those who oppose the enlargement of the EU to become the majority in the EU decision taking organs."