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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-19

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.115/02 19.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides; the talks will be recessed on 2 July.
  • [02] Bulent Ecevit's interview with NTV; Cyprus/ importance for Turkey will increase when the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline reaches eastern Mediterranean.
  • [03] Ismail Cem briefs the Turkish Prime Minister on foreign policies and Cyprus problem.
  • [04] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey and the pseudostate will feel free to plan `Joint Future/ If the EU admits Cyprus.
  • [05] National Security Council will convene on June 28.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist in HURRIYET newspaper says Turkey must see its problems as problems and not as sensitivities.
  • [07] Turkish columnist warns against increased pressure on the Cyprus question.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides; the talks will be recessed on 2 July

    According to Anatolia News Agency (18.6.02) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met yesterday in the buffer zone for the 41st time within the framework of the direct talks, which started on January 16 aiming to solve the Cyprus question.

    Responding to the questions of reporters before the meeting, Mr Denktas said they discussed security issues during the last talks.

    Mr Denktas noted: ``We met some difficulties in the security issue. Efforts are underway to solve the difficulties. If we cannot overcome the difficulties, we will discuss another issue. This can again be the functions.``

    When asked about his views pertaining to the request of the True Path Party (TPP) to hold a discussion in Turkey/s Parliament about the Cyprus question, Mr Denktas said, ``there is a lot of action in Turkey about Cyprus. This sensitivity is important for us and for the national cause. Discussion of the issue in the parliament means filtering the issue again. This is up to Turkey. We will not interfere in Turkey's matters.``

    Addressing journalists following the meeting, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that a meeting would not be held on June 21 due to President Clerides` programme abroad.

    Noting that the direct talks process would be recessed on July 2, Mr Denktas told reporters that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto who has been attending the talks as an observer, would leave the island for New York on July 3. Mr Denktas and President Clerides will meet again on June 25.

    [02] Bulent Ecevit/s interview with NTV; Cyprus/ importance for Turkey will increase when the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline reaches eastern Mediterranean

    Istanbul NTV carried on 18 June a live 30-minute interview with Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by Murat Akgun in Ecevit's work office in Oran, Ankara.

    Responding to Akgun, who started the interview by noting that it is a happy day for Turkey, which won the soccer match against Japan in the World Cup, Ecevit says that it is a happy and auspicious day for Turkey, congratulating the soccer players and the national team.

    Akgun then says that his first question will be on the health of the Prime Minister and asks him how he is feeling. In reply, Ecevit says: "I feel better and better with each passing day. I am moving around easily. We will obtain results very shortly if I comply with the doctors' orders. As you know, I first had an infection in my leg, then a broken rib, and finally injury in the spine. I left behind two of them. That is, the infection in the leg and the broken rib are left behind. Doctors are very careful in the treatment of the injury in the spine. Of course, I should be careful as well. My wife helps me in this respect. The esteemed doctors and the nurses help me, as well. I hope that we will surmount this very shortly. I will be able, in a very short time, to use all my functions. Even if I worked from the office in recent weeks, I showed a close interest in state affairs. I tried to fulfill all my duties. On the other hand, I am impatient to return to my job again."

    In reply to a question on whether the doctors gave a sign as to when he will return to work, Ecevit says: "They say that this depends on my behaviour. The more I comply with their orders, the quicker I will be back at work."

    In reply to a question as to whether the doctors, who visited Ecevit everyday day at first, then every two or three days, will visit him more rarely now, Ecevit says: "The visits show that I am getting better each day. They do not think it is necessary to come over everyday. This is a welcoming development."

    In reply to a question on what he does throughout the day, Ecevit says that he is "closely following the press. The journalists are actually in front of my door. They have set up headquarters there. I, therefore, can receive the news reports before the others."

    Explaining that his colleagues call him when they need something, Ecevit adds: "Sometimes I call them. I have a very full day. Let alone that I am not having a holiday and getting rest, I feel the need to work from early morning to late at night. I would like to add a pleasant aspect to this. It was not easy, when working at the Council of Ministers, to find time to learn more about the details of problems. Now, I can allocate more time for them. I find the opportunity to examine in detail some important issues."

    In reply to a question on whether he will be choosing between the Office of the Prime Minister or his residence when he returns to work, Ecevit says: "I think that it will be appropriate to work at both places."

    Akgun then explains that he would like to pose some questions on economy and asks about the briefing Ecevit received from State Minister Kemal Dervis on 17 June. In reply, Ecevit says: "Dervis drew a realistic picture of the economy. The picture he drew confirmed my assessment. On the one hand, positive developments, more promising than expected, are occurring in the Turkish economy and the rate of inflation is rapidly decreasing. There are also good investments and developments in the manufacturing industry. These are very pleasing and promising developments. On the other hand, however, the increase of the US dollar against the Turkish lira in the past days and the sharp decrease of the national index at the stock exchange caused some uncertainty. This, of course, affects the economy. That is, the economy is going through a shaky period due to some factors not connected to the economy. In addition, the 57th government undertook reforms, particularly in the area of economy and finance. The three coalition parties within the government worked in great harmony; but, the relations between banks and the production sector are still waiting to be laid on a sound ground."

    In reply to his views on the reasons for this situation, Ecevit explains that "the banking sector was functioning in an extremely undisciplined way before the reforms were undertaken by the 57th government." Noting that the government adopted some rules and some disciplinary measures, Ecevit adds: "There are some circles who managed to adapt and others who failed to adapt themselves to these reforms."

    In reply to a question on whether he has a timetable for when the economy will be put on the right track, Ecevit says that it is difficult to say something definite. Explaining that certain institutions, which were set up with a great deal of good will, did not yield the results the government expected, Ecevit adds: "For example, the difficulties encountered by the BDDK [Banking Regulation and Audit Board.] There is a very valuable banker heading this institution. Mr Akcakoca is working very hard with his colleagues; however, not everybody can keep up." Noting that this is only one example and that other sectors are also experiencing difficulties, Ecevit notes that "it is necessary to examine the private organizations once again without undermining the system. We still have shortcomings on such issues. The time factor is very important. In other words, certain essential appointments in various institutions cannot be implemented. We have difficulties to this end."

    Pointing out to the interpretations that the political atmosphere prompts an atmosphere of uncertainty, Akgun asks: "What measures can be undertaken to overcome this uncertainty? Will your returning to the Prime Minister's Office be sufficient to overcome this uncertainty?" In reply, Ecevit says that his illness should not affect the atmosphere of uncertainty. Explaining that Prime Ministers and Presidents can feel the need to take a vacation for medical treatment from time to time, Ecevit adds that this is considered a natural process.

    Explaining that the markets are easily affected by politics in Turkey, Ecevit said the economy shakes when a leading politician from the opposition or from the government uses an expression, which can raise concern within the society. Pointing out that a Prime Minister can become ill, Ecevit adds: "This, however, means that we still have several shortcomings. There are some problems stemming from structural reasons, not only from my illness. The public easily panics on issues like economy and finance. There are also circles which exploit this panic."

    In reply to the question: "When you look at the government from outside, there is always the problem of disharmony between Motherland Party (MP) and the Nationalist Action Party (NAP). Do you think that this has an adverse impact on the atmosphere?" In reply, Ecevit says that this is only an impression. Ecevit continues: "The 57th government exhibited an exemplary compromise and harmonization. The coalition partners, however, should not be expected to reach a speedy agreement on every issue. We reached an agreement on many issues beyond the expected rapidity. There are some issues, mainly the issue of the death sentence, on which we have some disagreements. This should be considered natural."

    Expressing hope on surmounting this disagreement, Ecevit says that "the three coalition partners know that the success of this coalition government and positive results are vitally important for the future of Turkey and the Turkish nation, not only for the coalition parties. For the first time, Turkey made initiatives for radical structural reforms and began to obtain results."

    Recounting that those who experienced last year's February and March events could not even think of such a decrease in inflation this year, Ecevit adds: "Nobody expected a revival in the economy in such a short time. The Turkish society and Turkish economic life, however, have a real dynamism. When we start to make use of this dynamism, we believe that we can solve many economic and social problems in a short time."

    In reply on a question on whether Dervis and the economy bureaucrats made a proposal for economic measures at the economy summit, Ecevit says that everybody expressed views at the meeting, adding: "the measures and reasons for the problems are clear and the economists and experts are working together to implement the measures."

    Upon being reminded that a leaders' summit may convene later in the day, Ecevit said that he did not have any information about this summit.

    In reply to a question if he is hopeful that such a summit should be convened, Ecevit notes: "I do not have any information whether the leaders' summit will convene today. It may or may not convene. It is obvious, however, that such a summit will be beneficial."

    In reply to another question on how the deadlock on the death sentence issue will be settled, Ecevit says: "If the death sentence is abolished, it is obvious that our EU full membership will be easier. However, this is not for certain." "As the three coalition partners, we agreed on a number of steps and measures last year. I believe, for this reason, that it will be easier to secure a compromise among the coalition partners after overcoming the issue of the death sentence. It can be said that we sort of found a solution to the issue of the death sentence because we reached an agreement with Mr Bahceli. The coalition partners will be able to agree with the other political parties, in particular on the death sentence, if they cannot agree among themselves. This facilitates the solution to the death sentence issue. The stand of the Democratic Left Party [DLP] is clear and it has already launched initiatives. I hope that these initiatives will yield results in a couple of days. The attitude of MP is obvious. It seeks to lift the death penalty."

    In reply to Akgun's question on whether he believes in the support of the opposition on this issue, Ecevit said he believed in some parties but that the stand of Mrs. Ciller is uncertain.

    Pointing out that the solution of the death sentence issue constitutes an important step in the path of the EU membership, Ecevit says that the DLP wanted and supported the abolition of the death sentence since the very beginning.

    Ecevit continues: "Everybody knows that the sine qua non condition of the EU membership is the abolition of the death sentence. All the political parties are aware of this and so does the True Path Party."

    Explaining that Ciller's statements to the effect that the coalition partners should call on her after they reach an agreement is in contradiction with her previous stand, Ecevit adds: "We did not have to consult with the opposition parties if we had already reached an agreement among ourselves."

    Ecevit further explains that "Ciller and her party are in a key position at present."

    In reply to a question on whether he was planning to meet with Ciller, Ecevit says: "Maybe. I will be pleased to meet Ciller and her aides. At this stage, however, the representatives of the parties are having talks. I think it will be beneficial to meet with Ciller after these talks end."

    When asked whether or not the Assembly can work in the summer, Ecevit says: "We have to overcome this obstacle as soon as possible. This strengthens Turkey both inside and outside."

    In reply to a question on how the coalition partners will surmount the hitch on the issue of broadcasts and education in the mother tongue, Ecevit says: "We have not discussed this in detail. I believe, however, that we can easily reach an agreement when we discuss it. Turkey is in a special position. For example, there are discussions in Turkey on whether there should be Kurdish television broadcasts. This discussion, however, is invalid because television channels can now be watched from every place in the world. There are satellite dishes on roofs of many houses in villages in order to receive Kurdish television channels. These are known facts. We have to solve the communications problem by taking into consideration these facts." Ecevit ends his line of thought by saying that "this issue should be settled because modern technology requires this from us."

    In reply to a "last" question on whether he shares the concerns under way that Kurdish broadcasts can be considered a step toward creating a "Kurdish nation," Ecevit says: "I know about these concerns. I also have these worries. Certain circles want the Kurdish broadcasts so that Kurdish-origin citizens can learn their mother tongue more easily. There are others, however, who seek to exploit the Kurdish broadcast issue for separatist movements. Nobody in Turkey will oppose Kurdish broadcasts if they remain a cultural factor. There are some circles, however, who seek to exploit broadcasts and education in the mother tongue in order to create a separate nation."

    Akgun they says: "The Seville summit will take place this week. What kind of an encouraging message issued at the summit will satisfy you?" In reply, Ecevit says: "It is hard to guess at this moment because the Seville meeting is on immigration and human smuggling. Turkey participates in this meeting as a country which fulfilled its assignments on a solid basis. This is the main issue. If they mention the political issues, I hope that some statements could be made giving hope for Turkey's position as it happened in Laeken.

    Asked if he was hopeful that a date could be set for the EU accession talks until the end of this year, Ecevit says: "We have to fulfil our obligations within the following few months."

    In reply to another question on whether the Republic of Cyprus/ membership by the end of this year will make Turkey's relations with the EU more difficult, Ecevit says: "Of course, it can make it difficult. But, Turkey's behaviour and especially the position of the `TRNC/ is very different from the position of other countries. When a country applies for full EU membership, the EU says that it has some criteria and principles and that the country can become a member after a period of adjustment. There is no precondition which says that a country should contribute to a solution to the Cyprus issue. This is a precondition for Turkey only. We should take this out of the general framework of our relations with the EU. This is a separate issue."

    Asked if he saw such goodwill from the EU, Ecevit says: "Beyond goodwill, realism is needed on this issue. There are two separate states and peoples in Cyprus. There are two separate languages. In this small island, the Turks had difficulties saving themselves from the Greek Cypriot oppression. They now have their own territory and are under the guarantee of Turkey. Why should they abandon this guarantee? Turkey's guarantee is very important because anyone looking at the map can see to what extent the TRNC territory is of vital importance for not only the Turkish Cypriots but also for the security of Turkey. In addition, once the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline reaches the eastern Mediterranean, it will be seen then to what extent the TRNC is important not only for Turkey but for the whole world as well.

    Consequently, I do not have any doubts with regard to this issue because I believe and know that I am right. We are in a position to respond to every possible allegation. This should not be linked to the EU criteria. We can do harm to ourselves. Unfortunately, some experts and intellectuals are happy to support the concessions expected from Turkey for the Turkish Cypriots and northern Cyprus."

    [03] Ismail Cem briefs the Turkish Prime Minister on foreign policies and the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (19.06.02) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem briefed yesterday Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on foreign issues, as well as on the Cyprus problem. After the meeting Cem made the following a statement and replied to reporters/ questions:

    Cem: "We briefed the Prime Minister on the latest foreign issues we have been working on during the past days. We listened to the prime minister's guidance. We briefed the prime minister on the stage reached on the EU issue. He is, actually, aware of all this, but we gave him more details. We briefed the prime minister on our government's EU policy, the upcoming Seville summit, and the preparations under way in Brussels for the Seville summit.

    The second issue we took up was the Cyprus issue. Our government's stance on the Cyprus issue is very clear. The outlines of this policy were adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. As Turkey and the `TRNC` we are working under the leadership of Rauf Denktas for an agreement and compromise, which will be acceptable to nations and sides in Cyprus. We are telling everybody, however, that we will do everything possible for a conciliation but that nobody should think we are obliged to secure a conciliation. Of course, Turkey and our government will not commit the mistake of endangering Turkey's and the TRNC's future with approaches that are ready for concession regardless of the cost. We are proceeding with our Cyprus policy in a determined and serious way with an aim at a compromise. We informed the prime minister about this issue at our meeting.

    Question: Turkey does not accept Cyprus as a condition within the framework of the EU talks. The EU, however, will make a final decision on Cyprus full membership. Has our policy on this issue crystallized?

    Cem: The policy we are pursuing has been formulated by our Ministry, presented to the approval of the prime minister, and submitted to the president. Our policy is to provide a compromise in the best way. We are exerting efforts to this end. Our policy is that we are not obliged to this end. Our policy is to extend full confidence and support to Denktas. Mr. Denktas continues with the negotiations with extreme goodwill and skill. Our policy, which also includes agreements, says that the Cyprus issue is not a condition between us and the EU. There have been efforts to put this issue forward as a condition at the Helsinki Summit at first, and later in the Accession Partnership Document. At the Helsinki Summit, I told the EU term president Finland's foreign minister: No, thank you. We cannot accept a concept, which puts forward Cyprus as a condition for candidacy. Consequently, this was not included in Helsinki. It was tried once. I suppose that Greece wanted this. We maintained our stand and it was not included. Consequently, the Cyprus issue is not a condition and criterion of our EU candidacy toward membership. It is a part of the political dialogue. I have to say, however, that the developments in Cyprus will affect our relations with EU. This is a fact. It can never be a condition, however. We will not allow it to be transformed into a condition."

    [04] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey, and the pseudostate will feel free to plan 'Joint Future' if the EU admits Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia on (18.06.02) reports that State Minister, Sukru Sina Gurel returned to Turkey after attending the 49th meeting of Turkey-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Commission in Brussels.

    Holding a press conference at Istanbul`s Ataturk Airport after his arrival, Gurel said, ``during the meeting, I had the opportunity to explain Turkey`s expectations from the EU and its good intentions about the EU process. I also gave information about Turkey`s efforts to fulfill the political criteria of the EU.``

    Referring to the Cyprus question, Gurel said, ``Turkey has been acting within the framework of its political dialogue with the EU on the Cyprus question. However, Turkey does not consider developments in Cyprus an issue related to the development of relations with the EU. Even if a satisfactory agreement is reached on the island, Cyprus` membership in the EU directly depends on Turkey's EU membership within the framework of the international law and agreements. Co-President Joost Langedijk asked me whether or not Turkey intends to annex Cyprus. I told him that Turkey and the `TRNC/ are taking and will take the same steps as the EU and the Greek Cypriot side. I also said that if the EU accepts the Greek Cypriot side as a full member, then Turkey and the `TRNC/ will feel free to plan a joint future.``

    [05] National Security Council will convene on June 28

    Turkish Daily News (19.06.02) reports that Turkey's powerful National Security Council (NSC) will focus on corruption and energy policies in its meeting to be held on June 28, local news channel NTV reported yesterday.

    Meeting in the absence of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit last month, the NSC will hold its monthly regular meeting on June 28. The agenda of the meeting was prepared with the assumption that Ecevit will participate in the meeting. State Minister Mehmet Kececiler and Energy Minister Zeki Cakan will also be present at the meeting.

    Two important issues will top the agenda of the meeting. Cakan was invited for the section of the meeting, during which Turkey's energy policies will be discussed. Natural gas pipelines and the recent situation regarding the electricity and hydroelectric energy generation as well as the future investments will be handled at this section.

    Another important topic is the corruption at customs gates and the measures taken for the prevention of corruption. State Minister Kececiler responsible for the customs will attend this section, during which especially human smuggling and illegal immigration problems will be handled.

    Foreign developments, Turkey's relations with the European Union, Cyprus talks and Israeli-Palestinian fighting will constitute the routine agenda of the meeting.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist in HURRIYET newspaper says Turkey must see its problems as problems and not as sensitivities

    HURRIYET newspaper (17.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Ferai Tinc under the title "Chain of Sensitivities".

    "I ask you. Were it not for the Copenhagen Criteria, would Turkey have been able to continue as it had been without doing a thing about capital punishment, emergency rule, the mother tongue and the demilitarizing of politics?

    If the EU had not decided to make Cyprus a member at the end of this year, would we not have a problem called Cyprus?

    Some people might be against the EU and this I can sympathize with. There are even those that think that way within member countries. Le Pen for example. France's racist politician says that should his party come to power it will dissolve all agreements with the EU.

    Being opposed to the European Union is a different matter entirely. We can debate this among ourselves.

    In connection with the matter of EU membership, we can debate whether EU agricultural policies are going to harm national agriculture, whether or not ensuring compliance with the EU regulations on fishing is going to put our fishing industry at risk.

    However, we perceive the Kurdish issue, the military's influence in politics and a solution on Cyprus as European impositions. If we present them as such to the general public we will be "lying".

    Whether the EU is our target or not, Turkey has got to get to grips with these issues and work them out for the sake of peace and stability at home.

    Nationalist radicals on the left and the right are saying that the European Union is going to completely ignore our "national sensitivities" and make us take steps and then renege on its promises of making us members. Thus they are trying to paralyze the automatic reflex action of searching for solutions to our problems.

    For example, they present the right for Turkey's Kurdish-origin citizens to be taught their own language as part of a secret European plan to partition Turkey.

    Forget the reality that separatist plans can only be dashed by eliminating the problems. Do they not know that by refusing to acknowledge the differences the problems are only deepened?

    Who are those people others fear will break up our national integrity should they gain the right to be taught their own language? Who are those people being regarded as potential enemies? We are. The citizens of this country.

    Another example is Cyprus. Huge lies are being told about this.

    If there were no such thing as the EU process, would Turkey be more at ease? Would there no longer be any explanations left for Turkey to give on Cyprus?

    Is the Cyprus issue going to slip from the UN agenda? Is the Security Council not going to write reports stating who is against a solution and threatening them with an embargo? Is it going to postpone indefinitely the resolution on this matter?

    Unless and until we quit seeing the problems as "sensitivities" we shall never be able to debate our national interests properly.

    If we really are perceiving the problems awaiting solution only as criteria put before us by the EU for full membership, then the true responsible one is politics. The politics which is under guardianship and which is devoid of the strength to turn the demands of the people into political will."

    [07] Turkish columnist warns against increased pressure on the Cyprus question

    Under the title "Vacuum" STAR newspaper (17.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Fatih Cekirge:

    "Motherland Party (MP) leader, Mesut Yilmaz should refrain from making irresponsible statements about Cyprus if he is actually mindful of what is good for himself and this country," said State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel during a program broadcast by Samanyolu television network yesterday.

    Those words were uttered by a person who is serving as a State Minister in charge of Turkey's policy vis-a-vis the Cyprus question.

    He has plainly accused Yilmaz of making statements sharply contrasting with the Turkish Government's policy on Cyprus.

    A similar argument took place in the last meeting of the National Security Council [NSC].

    Mesut Yilmaz is the Deputy Prime Minister and also serves as the State Minister responsible for Turkey's relations with the EU.

    The warning issued by Gurel to Yilmaz during a television program has, in a sense, shown that Turkey is approaching a very sharp bend regarding the Cyprus question.

    Even more importantly, it has revealed that there is a serious disagreement, dispute or a "political vacuum" within the Government about this matter.

    In the comments he made during yesterday's television, Gurel clearly gave the following message: "Turkey is presented with an "European dream" without setting a fixed timetable for negotiations, and is asked to make concessions directly related to its existence."

    He implied that Yilmaz was the source of those demands for making concessions.

    It seems that the current debate on the EU, which Yilmaz has clutched at as a last resort in an attempt to provide the ANAP, whose popularity has fallen from 36 percent to a level under the election threshold under his leadership, with a new mission, will revolve around the Cyprus issue in the coming days.

    Thus, the reaction displayed by Gurel yesterday has confirmed this judgment.

    For, Gurel's reaction was prompted by Yilmaz, who had said that Denktas should adopt a more reconciliatory stance during the talks.

    Turkey has been plunged into a fierce argument about its very existence.

    It is evident that this is a premeditated and calculated operation.

    This fierce debate has increasingly assumed a dimension that could create a government vacuum.

    The matter is no longer confined to the death sentence or television broadcasts in Kurdish.

    Cyprus is the third leg of this planned operation.

    A group, which has created a false impression that Turkey's accession to the EU imminent, reduced Turkey into a country "brought to its knees" on the international arena by using this "short-lived dream."

    There are attempts to camouflage the huge disparity between the rich and the poor and the tragically high rate of unemployment in Turkey, which, according to international reports, has neared the limit of famine in terms of food consumption, with those debates.

    The advocates of that view presume that Turkey will join the EU after making several legal arrangements and a magic touch will eliminate poverty, unemployment and hunger, which people are suffering from.

    This is a total deception.

    They are trying to cover the Turkish people's poverty up by a vague "European dream."

    I think that these judgments, which are crucial from Turkey's standpoint, lie at the heart of the warning issued by Gurel.

    The critical remarks made by Yilmaz about the Cyprus issue in connection with the anticipated negotiations with the EU during his visits abroad, as if he is serving as the Foreign Minister or the Prime Minister, have created question marks.

    Even more interesting is that Foreign Minister Ismail Cem remains silent vis-a-vis those question marks.

    Since the Foreign Ministry is pursuing a low-key policy, the public is unable to perceive the facts amid allegations that "Turkey could face a disaster if it missed the European train."

    The same applies to the Cyprus question.

    Gurel's warning was also meaningful in that sense.

    It seems that Gurel is raising his voice on behalf of the DLP [Democratic Left Party] in response to the silence displayed by the Foreign Ministry, which is one of the key ministries controlled by the DLP.

    How does the Turkish Foreign Ministry, which is an established institution, respond to statements that would pave the way for including the Cyprus question in the accession talks to be held with the EU?

    Among those statements was the latest comment made by Yilmaz, which was designed to put pressure on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas indirectly.

    The Foreign Ministry's silence has reinforced Yilmaz's remarks.

    Gurel has undertaken the mission of issuing a message to the international community regarding Cyprus, because the Foreign Ministry remains silent.

    As regards the Foreign Ministry's silence, Cem has declined to display any reaction to Yilmaz's statements by citing the need to maintain the harmony within the coalition as a reason for his attitude.

    However, this keenness to maintain harmony has reached a point that could create an impression among the international community that there is a vacuum in Turkey especially in terms of displaying its determination.

    It is obvious that the Cyprus issue will be played up by some pressure groups in the coming days.

    Turkey will come under pressure about that matter.

    Thus, delays in some energy projects and the Manavgat Creek Project, which is of vital importance to the `TRNC/ are adding to those suspicions."


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