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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-27

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.120/02 27.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas: The territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem cannot be discussed with percentages.
  • [02] Turkey/s Minister of Education alleges that the pseudostate is recognized by the world through its illegal universities.
  • [03] UNESCO awarded a Turkish Cypriot college.
  • [04] The number of the "voters" in the so-called "municipal elections".
  • [05] RADIKAL on European Handball Championship.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the views prevailing in Turkey over the Cyprus problem after the Seville summit.
  • [07] The majority of the Turkish public believe Turkey cannot become EU member in the next 10 years.
  • [08] Mesut Yilmaz: We must solve the Cyprus problem by December.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas: The territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem cannot be discussed with percentages

    KIBRIS (27.06.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas argued yesterday that the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem could not be discussed with percentages.

    Speaking during his meeting with Turkey's Minister of National Education, Metin Bostancioglu and asked to comment on information published in the Greek Cypriot Press that President Clerides proposed to the Turkish side 24 % territory, Mr Denktas said: "The territorial issue is not discussed with percentages".

    [02] Turkey's Minister of Education alleges that the pseudostate is recognized by the world through its illegal universities

    KIBRIS (27.06.02) reports that Turkey's Minister of National Education, Metin Bostancioglu has alleged that some countries which say that they do not recognize the pseudostate, in fact they do recognize it through recognizing the diplomas given by its so-called "universities".

    Talking yesterday during his arrival at the illegal Tymbou airport, Mr Bostancioglu said he was visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus and the pseudostate, with which they "offer together the education services", in order to participate in the first graduation ceremony in the "Bulent Ecevit Anadolu Lyceum".

    Mr Bostancioglu noted also that the success of the pseudostate in the field of the higher education is increasing every day. The basis of this success, he added, is the primary and secondary education.

    Referring to the developments regarding the Cyprus problem, Mr Bostancioglu said that they are closely following the face-to-face talks towards finding a solution to the problem and claimed that the Turkish side is not running away from the negotiating table, as it wishes a solution.

    Furthermore, the Turkish Minister argued that the European Union "should be more careful" on the issue of Cyprus.

    Besides participating in the first graduation ceremony in the "Bulent Ecevit Anadolu Lyceum", Mr Bostancioglu had also separate meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and the so-called "Prime Minister" Dervis Eroglu.

    [03] UNESCO awarded a Turkish Cypriot college

    KIBRIS (27.06.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Eastern Mediterranean College (DAK), which was the only college from the occupied areas participating in the 4th International Southeastern Mediterranean Sea Project (SEMEP) organized by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for young people between the age of 11 and 16, took the first place in the Mediterranean Region in the preliminary competition for Turkey and won the prize of "The Most Comprehensive SEMEP Study in the Mediterranean Region".

    The paper writes that 64 schools from Turkey have participated in the "SEMEP Competition Project" and DAK took the first place among the 12 schools, which competed in the Mediterranean Region. The above-mentioned region was the second with regard to the participation after Istanbul, where 34 schools participated in the competition.

    The director of DAK, Dr. Mehmet Garip said that the SEMEP Project Competition is a serious one because it is organized by UNESCO and expressed his satisfaction for the fact that they represented their country "successfully in such a platform".

    Schools from twenty-four countries including Turkey, Greece, Italy, Russia, Slovenia, Israel, Egypt, Romania and Ukraine participate in SEMEP, concludes KIBRIS.

    [04] The number of the "voters" in the so-called "municipal elections"

    KIBRIS (27.06.02) reports that 134.628 people have the right to "vote" in the 30 June so-called "municipal elections" in the pseudostate. There are 175 "election areas" and 529 ballot boxes. The 134.628 persons will "elect" 28 "mayors", 228 members of the "municipal councils", 172 heads of the villages and 944 members of the councils of the villages.

    According to information acquired by the so-called "Higher Election Board", the number of the "voters" in each region is as follows: occupied Nicosia 41.672 (152 ballot boxes), Famagusta 35.546 (140 ballot boxes), Kyrenia 24.741 (102 ballot boxes), Morphou 18.803 (71 ballot boxes) and Trikomo 13.866 (63 ballot boxes).

    Furthermore, the number of the members of the "municipal" councils are as follows: Nicosia 18, Famagusta 16, Kyrenia and Morphou 12, Trikomo 8, Gonyeli and Lefka 10, Yerolakkos, Kythrea, Lyssi, Pergamos, Vadili, Ayios Sergios, Karavas and Lapithos 8, Louroudjina, Lefkoniko, Sinta, Assia, Chatos, Akanthou, Ayios Epiktitos, Dikomo, Ayios Amvrosios, Komi Kepir, Rizokarpaso, Galatia and Yialousa 6.

    [05] Radikal on European Handball Championship

    According to Radikal (19/06/02), Turkey and Cyprus have been drawn in the same group together with Georgia and Slovakia in the European Handball Championship. The paper reports that one of the members of the arbitration committee of the European Handball Federation (EHF) is Democratic Left Party Samsun Deputy Tarik Cengiz, and says that in case the Turkish team refuses to play in Cyprus then Cengiz will be forced to sign the EHF order that punishes the Turkish team, because of the fact that the Turkish Foreign Ministry forbids Turkish teams to visit and play with Cypriot teams. The paper says that it would be a very difficult decision for Cengiz to sign the order for Turkey.

    The match is planned to be played in Cyprus in January, and if Turkey refuses to play, then it will be ordered to pay a 20 thousand Euro fine, Turkey will be precluded for two years from playing in the championship and the match will be awarded to Cyprus.

    The paper thinks that The Turkish Foreign Ministry will not change its decision.

    Cengiz also said that in 2004 the EHF general Council is going to meet in Cyprus and he said that he has time to decide but if he decides to go to Cyprus most probably he will be the first Turkish citizen to visit Cyprus with diplomatic passport.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the views prevailing in Turkey over the Cyprus problem after the Seville summit

    RADIKAL newspaper (26.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Tension increasing over Cyprus":

    "Nationalist Action Party [NAP] Leader Devlet Bahceli's statement yesterday was not the only sign that tension over Cyprus increased after the EU summit in Seville. The reference made to Cyprus by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem two days ago, the assessment made by British Secretary for European Affairs Peter Hain on the outcome of the Seville summit, which you will read in Radikal today, and the two booklets the General Staff Press Office distributed to the news agencies yesterday, showed that tension over Cyprus escalated.

    Studying the key points one by one will allow us to have a better view of the picture.

    First, let us discuss two points in the outcome of the summit:

    1. The EU disclosed that it supports the accession of Cyprus to the organization after the problem is solved and the island is reunited.

    But,

    2. The EU disclosed that the solution of the problem will not be a condition for Cyprus' accession during the Copenhagen summit in December.

    Addressing the NAP parliamentary group yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli said "the outcome of the summit showed that the EU is determined to allow the Greek Cypriot Administration to join the organization as a full member, regardless of Turkey's objection."

    It seems that the EU summit decision was open to such an assessment.

    Considering the summit outcome, Bahceli said that the EU does not attach importance to Turkey. The most important passage in his speech was: "There is only one thing the EU Administration can do if it wants Turkey to join the organization. It can postpone the Greek Cypriot Republic's accession and quickly move to start the talks on Turkey's accession."

    Bahceli recalled the statement Democratic Left Party Minister of State Sukru Sina Gurel made last week to urge the EU to postpone Cyprus' accession and hinted that Turkey's initiatives to comply with the Copenhagen criteria should be suspended until the EU clarifies its policy on the island. However, what he said conflicted with his statement that "the Government supports democratization because that is what the Turkish people want, not because the EU puts pressure on it."

    Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said when he was interviewed on the "Cafe Politics" program on one of the television networks on Sunday: "The EU will not be able to say 'I will not agree to hold talks on Turkey's accession' when we reach a point where we are able to comply with the political requirements. Let it say that if it can."

    In his interview on the "Headline" program on another television network on Monday, he said that his statement required Turkey to have a strong geostrategic advantage. That was interesting.

    The difference between Cem and Bahceli is that the latter wants the effort made to comply with the Copenhagen criteria to be suspended. Meanwhile, Cem does not expect the parliament to take new steps to realize additional reforms at this stage. In fact, he now concentrates more on the initiatives the Government will make to remain in power. That shows that not only the NAP but also the DLP wing of the Government is inclined to adopt a defensive approach.

    The British Secretary for European Affairs Peter Hain almost justified the increasing uneasiness in Ankara on the Cyprus problem by saying, "An open check does not exist for EU membership. Expecting the international community to accept the status quo in Cyprus will be unrealistic." His remarks made us recall the uneasiness in Mr Rauf Denktas' statement: While we try to find a solution acceptable to the two sides, they treat us in a way that creates the impression that we are obliged to agree to any solution.

    The distribution of two booklets by the General Staff on the day Devlet Bahceli accused the EU of not attaching importance to Turkey's sensitivity on Cyprus and terrorist activities was an interesting coincidence. One of the booklets is entitled "Activities of PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan], DHKP/C [Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front], and Terrorist and Reactionary Organizations in Europe" and the other is entitled "PKK Activities in South Cyprus." The second booklet has been translated into English.

    True Path Party (TPP) Leader Tansu Ciller's questions must be noted: "What will happen if the EU summit in Copenhagen allows Cyprus to join the organization but fails to give a guarantee to Turkey on the commencement of talks for its accession? Would claiming that Turkey would annex north Cyprus be an appropriate policy? Should all that not be debated in the parliament?

    The parliament should debate the situation. It must be noted that the people have the right to debate a problem like the Cyprus issue, on which a wide-scale political consensus can be reached in Turkey.

    Considering all that, it can be said that tension has seriously increased on Cyprus. An unknown factor is the absence of the United States from the picture. The EU might decide to allow the Greek Cypriot side to join the organization. But it must consider the political cost of its decision if it fails to give strong guarantees to Ankara on Turkey's accession."

    [07] The majority of the Turkish public believe Turkey cannot become EU member in the next 10 years

    STAR newspaper (23.06.02) publishes an analysis by Umit Aslanbay of an opinion poll carried out last month according to which more than 10% of Turks believe Cyprus is one of the reasons why Turkey cannot join the EU in the next decade.

    The article is as follows:

    "Turkey does not have any chance to gain EU membership. I have before me the latest public opinion poll conducted by Strateji Mori in Turkey. According to the results of the poll conducted in May 2002, 58.7 percent of the respondents believe that a cure may be found for cancer...

    However, in reply to a question as to whether or not Turkey may gain EU membership in the next 10 years, only 22.4 percent of the respondents taking part in this poll expressed the belief that Turkey may gain EU membership in the next 10 years. On the other hand, 61.4 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that Turkey cannot gain EU membership during this period...

    There is another more interesting result. In reply to a question as to whether or not they expect the inflation rate to drop below 10 percent in the next 10 years, 17.6 percent of the respondents replied in the affirmative, while 67.5 percent of the respondents said that they never expect the inflation rate to drop below 10 percent in the next 10 years...

    The aforementioned results show better than any other aspect the hopelessness that prevails among the population in general. Moreover, the results of the next questions show that this hopeless situation has a close relation with the political deadlock that prevails in the country.

    According to the results of the poll, 15.8 percent of the respondents believe that the Center Right parties can come together under a single umbrella, while 15.6 percent of the respondents believe that the Center Left parties can come together under a single umbrella... That is, the Turkish people believe that the disputes will continue among the political party leaders in the country and that no solution whatsoever will be found to these disputes... Well, at least I see things that way...

    However, do the Turkish people accept this situation? According to the results of the same poll, no, they do not... The results of all the public opinion polls indicate that at least 60 percent of the Turkish people (this figure is more than 60 percent in many public opinion polls) want to join the EU.

    Meanwhile, those who are against EU membership believe that the Turkish people are being deceived and that those who are in favour of EU membership "are reflecting the image that our income will increase and we will be able to move into EU countries in order to find jobs." Those who are against EU membership are saying that this is exactly why they oppose EU membership. However, the results of the poll conducted by Strateji Mori reveal that the opposite is true.

    Let me give you two examples. Let us examine the results of a poll conducted by the Input Research and Higher Strategy Centre. In reply to a question about the reasons why the EU would not accept Turkey as a member, 44 percent of the respondents pointed at the deficiencies in the field of democracy and human rights; 43 percent pointed at economic problems; 38 percent pointed at the difference of the religions; 24 percent pointed at defects in the political system in Turkey; 16 percent pointed at the Kurdish problem/PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan]; 16 percent pointed at the deficiencies in the legal system in Turkey; and 11 percent pointed at the Cyprus problem as the reasons why the EU would not accept Turkey as a member...

    There are even more interesting results. In reply to a question about the gains that our country would make with EU membership, 43 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that EU membership would render our democracy and human rights more contemporary. On the other hand, 30 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that EU membership would secure employment opportunities for us, while 24 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that EU membership would secure the freedom of movement for us.

    That is, democratic standards are regarded as more important than our economic program. The Turkish people, who a year ago supported those who chanted "God damn human rights," have today begun to understand Europe and its democratic standards in a better way (the latest disputes that erupted in Turkey and the domestic political arguments have a major share in the increase in this understanding).

    Let me introduce one more result from the poll conducted by Strateji Mori. According to the results of this poll, 61 percent of the respondents expressed the belief that the army is the most trusted institution in Turkey, followed by the President, with 47 percent of the respondents expressing the belief that the President is the most trusted official in the country.

    The rest of the institutions have scored lower marks in the field of trust. For those who are interested to know, three percent of the respondents indicated that the political parties are the most trusted institutions, eight percent expressed the belief that the media is the most trusted institution, while nine percent of the respondents expressed the view that the state is the most trusted institution...

    I am writing this for those who claim that "we want to gain EU membership, but the army would not allow us to." These people are arguing that why should an institution, which wants to gain EU membership for the sake of the welfare and additional revenues that the EU secures and which allegedly also places obstacles before EU membership, be trusted? Could it be that according to the army, the Turkish people are unable to establish links between facts and events?

    No, I do not think so... For only six percent of the respondents have confidence in the government and a mere five percent of the respondents have confidence in the parliament... The people still have the highest amount of confidence in President Ahmet Necdet Sezer...

    What I am trying to say is that we now know the importance of the EU for Turkey better than before. Moreover, one does not need to be a specialist in order to understand this fact... We have been discussing this issue for some time now, so we have formed an idea about the issue.

    However, presently there is a lot of talk but no action in politics (the word politics is derived from solving and guiding, but I will write about the main source of the word in a later article) in Turkey..."

    [08] Mesut Yilmaz: We must solve the Cyprus problem by December

    HURRIYET newspaper (25.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Muharrem Sarikaya under the title: "Yilmaz: We must solve the Cyprus problem by December":

    "The chamber chairmen are stepping up to the rostrum one at a time.

    The Chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges [TOBB] Rifat Hisarciklioglu has repeated his warning: "While Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and State Minister Tunca Toskay are among us only put your regional problems to them" several times but despite this they are still all focussing on one point:

    "Carry out the EU reforms as soon as possible. Any opposition party failing to support them is going to remain an opposition party forever. If this party is a coalition party, it cannot [remain] in power."

    The timing of these words is as important as the calls themselves.

    So much so that it came just half an hour after one of the Brussels-based leaders of the Revolutionary Peoples Liberation Party-Front [DHKP-C] -- which after much effort on Ankara's part has been included on the EU's list of terrorist organizations -- entered the hall and threatened to kill Yilmaz.

    The regions from which those who uttered these words came from are just as attention grabbing.

    The Chairman of the Igdir Chamber of Trade and Industry Tayyar Oral, the Chairman of the Kusadasi Chamber of Trade and Industry Ali Ergul and the Chairman of the Manisa Chamber of Trade Bulent Korkmaz.

    Then Mesut Yilmaz steps up to the rostrum.

    He is pleased with TOBB's latest position on the EU, especially as it has been backward in coming forward over the EU to date.

    Yilmaz also takes up Chairman Hisarciklioglu's example citing Spain. The Spanish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges was 70 percent behind their country's EU membership.

    Yilmaz then said the EU had come to terms with its past and moved on but noted that Turkey had not yet done so. He continued:

    "Even though we have wanted to Westernise for the past 200 years, we have failed to keep pace with the West. Talk of history always recalls Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror but we always forget how we let the 18th and 19th centuries slip past. It was his belief that despite winning a war against the West, Turkey's future lay in the West that made Ataturk what he was."

    Yilmaz continues to cite examples from Spain: "Some $53 billion in foreign capital has flowed into Spain in the last five years, while only $3 billion has come to Turkey in that time."

    We found the opportunity to talk one to one with Yilmaz.

    We recall that in the contacts Hisarciklioglu made just three days ago in Brussels with leading EU figures they had said: "You are the people holding up a solution on Cyprus. "You must contribute towards resolving the Cyprus issue."

    In response to these words from the most influential of EU figures, Yilmaz says, "They are doing Denktas a disservice." He is supporting the Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas when just a few months ago he was criticizing him.

    "Denktas' document of 29 April is an important opening. It brought a solution. It enabled progress to be made in the Cyprus issue. Nobody can ignore this."

    He stresses that he has made this known to the EU authorities. But immediately afterwards he draws an important conclusion:

    "If we fail to find a solution to the Cyprus issue come December, it will become harder after that date to find one. This will put Turkey into a difficult position." Turkey's largest NGO -- TOBB -- has remained silent over the EU to date but in Brussels it took an important step. It is pulling labour union leaders and other NGOs to its side.

    TOBB has in the past shown its ability to get what it wants by applying its weight in many incidents from the economy to politics and is now sending Ankara a message from Brussels:

    "Open the road to the EU."


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