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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-06-28

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.121/02 28.06.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas comments on the Belgium model.
  • [02] The Turkish Prime Minister spoke of early elections but later said he was misunderstood.
  • [03] Tansu Ciller: Time has come for Ecevit to say farewell to the people.
  • [04] Irtemcelik calls for national consensus government.
  • [05] Five Turkish Cypriot trade unions establish the Confederation of Cypriot Trade Unions.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas comments on the Belgium model

    According to KIBRIS (28.06.02) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas replying to press reports regarding the discussion on the Belgium Constitution as a whole for Cyprus, said: "No country can adopt as a whole the constitution of another country, and act as it is its own, because every country has its own specific problems".

    He went on and said: "We are discussing a partnership based on two separate, equal and sovereign states. We try to establish this. Because the Greek Cypriot side claims that an institution with two components cannot enter the EU, with a view to finding out the Belgium relation with the EU, which is based on two separate peoples, we have looked into this model (Belgium) and we have proposed this, since we have concluded that Belgium could serve as example. In our effort to show an example from any other country with the intention of defending our proposals, the Greek Cypriot side comes up by saying, 'You cannot take only what suits you, but all of it.' Because they did not intend to make any sacrifice from their views. However, when a country charts her internal orders, laws or constitution, it looks into what the other countries have done and inspires from sections, which are acceptable. No country adopts as a whole the constitution of another country and act as it owns it. Because every country has her special problems. The constitution, agreements and laws are charted for solving these special problems of the country."

    [02] The Turkish Prime Minister spoke of early elections but later said he was misunderstood

    According to Turkish Daily News (28.06.02) the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit shocked the Turks Thursday when he told his Democratic Left Party (DLP) deputies that even though he is against early polls "elections are seen on the horizon," but then a few hours later he further surprised the nation by saying he had been misunderstood and that he was against early elections and that polls would be held in the year 2004 as scheduled.

    Analysts said the prime minister may have made a Freudian slip by spelling out what is at the back of his mind and then had to retract it under adverse reactions from the markets. After his address to the DLP deputies in Parliament the prime minister met shortly with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and then faced journalists in front of his residence where he said he was unaware that he had said early elections were on the horizon, and added that when he said early elections he meant the polls scheduled for the year 2004 according to the Constitution...

    The address to the DLP deputies was Ecevit's first appearance in Parliament since the start of May. It followed a comprehensive medical check-up at the Baskent hospital Wednesday night to see whether he was ready to return to work.

    On Wednesday night while leaving hospital the ailing prime minister said his health was clearly improving, but a lingering spinal problem meant he would need another two or three weeks rest. His doctors were not allowed to speak to the press.

    "After two or three weeks more I will be able to carry out all my duties fully," Ecevit said. "I have put most of the problems behind me."

    The premier fell ill at the start of May and was twice admitted to hospital, sparking fears of a political vacuum and allowing differences within his fragile three-party coalition government to deepen in his absence.

    "From now on, I will be able to devote more time for meetings but I will continue to rest for two or three weeks more," Ecevit said. So Ecevit went to the Parliament to address the DLP deputies for only 15 minutes and then briefly meet the president. But later he announced he was skipping the meeting of the all-powerful National Security Council (NSC) scheduled for today. Ecevit also failed to attend last month's NSC meeting.

    The arrival of the prime minister to Parliament was staged managed by his aides. The prime minister can't walk up stairs so his aides made sure he entered Parliament from the no.1 entrance and not the honorary entrance where Ecevit had to mount several steps. Ecevit was then brought down to the hall where the DLP holds its group meetings, by elevator.

    His aides also made sure that Ecevit walked only a very short distance in Parliament. Turkish Daily News (TDN) correspondents said Ecevit moved extremely slowly and at times with the help of his aides. The rostrum where Ecevit addresses the DLP deputies is usually on an elevated platform, but this time it was brought down so the prime minister could not walk up any stairs.

    Ecevit was treated to a thunderous applause by the deputies and party supporters as he entered the meeting hall. His long time right hand man and Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan was missing, fueling speculations that he is out of favour with the Ecevit couple. It is said that Ozkan is at odds with Rahsan Ecevit, the wife of the prime minister and the deputy chairperson of the DLP. DLP sources claimed Ozkan's wife had fallen ill in Istanbul and the deputy prime minister had rushed there to be with her.

    So Ecevit was back with his deputies after a nine-week absence.

    Ecevit told the deputies "as you know I don't want early elections... However, despite everything elections have appeared on the horizon. For that reason without any further delay I want our deputies to travel to their constituencies after Parliament goes into summer recess and report back to me or the party executive about their findings."

    After his group meeting Ecevit travelled to the presidential palace. Since he fell ill Ecevit had not been able to visit the president. President Sezer visited Ecevit once and then the two communicated through the telephone in the past few weeks.

    Ecevit met Sezer briefly and then returned to his residence at the Or-An district of Ankara. Instead of entering his home he called the journalists waiting outside and said he did not remember his statements about early elections in Parliament, but added that they had been misunderstood. He said, "when I said early elections are seen on the horizon I meant polls in the year 2004." Ecevit said those who keep on calling for early elections in fact are not too keen on it.

    Ecevit said he will put special emphasis on the economic issues in the coming days and said the government will not head for elections until the positive results of the economic reforms are seen. He said his two coalition partners the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) and the Motherland Party (MP) oppose early elections. "We are all against early polls."

    Ecevit also said his doctors were against him attending the NSC meeting. However, he did say he would convene a meeting of the coalition leaders on Monday at the official residence of the prime minister and a Cabinet meeting could also be held later.

    Asked about the call of nine dissident DLP deputies for his resignation, Ecevit said the deputies were airing their own views and claimed the DLP is a democratic institution. "The timing of their statement was inappropriate. We are going through times when some plots are being staged at home and abroad regarding the economy. It would have been better if such a statement had not been made."

    Observers said Ecevit's reaction was rather subdued as he cannot afford losing the nine deputies when the NAP, another senior coalition partner whose seats in Parliament are nearly as much as the DLP, is gaining ground by recruiting deputies. In the past deputies who made much more harmless statements have been kicked out of the DLP.

    Ecevit said in two or three weeks he will have fully recovered if he adheres to the strict rules put down by his doctors.

    Ecevit thanked his DLP deputies for showing unity and solidarity and also had praise for correspondents following his illness. He said while he had a rough time with columnists, the correspondents treated him impartially.

    Ecevit also complained about the rift between the NAP and MP and said there is a difference of style between the two parties. "I am very troubled about this rift. Until now the three partners displayed great harmony and thus served the country with success. This harmony has to continue until the end, for the sake of Turkey. So I am requesting from our friends both in MP and in the NAP, to help in restoring this harmony that we enjoyed a few months ago."

    Ecevit also said the opposition should help in overcoming the problems regarding Turkey's accession to the European Union and on the economic issues.

    He said the DLP had managed to forge an agreement among political parties in Parliament for the lifting of the death penalty without a Constitutional change. He said with the lifting of the death penalty, an important hurdle on the way for EU membership will be overcome but added that more work is needed on some basic laws. He said work on these laws can be done among parties in the summer and then laws can be legislated after the recess when Parliament returns to work in October.

    Ecevit said he is aware that some organizations are lowering Turkey's ratings and said these are casting a shadow on Turkey's good economic performance. He said his administration will concentrate on economic issues in the months to come.

    TDN Senior Parliamentary Correspondent Ayla Ganioglu reported, meanwhile, that Ecevit may not have made a mistake after all. Ganioglu said political observers feel Ecevit tried to serve a notice to the DLP dissidents as well as his NAP and MP partners by mentioning early polls.

    They said Ecevit may have shown the stick that he may force elections to the DLP dissidents. He also served notice to his coalition partners that he calls the cards and if they continue bickering he may have to bow to demands for early elections.

    Observers say when Ecevit saw that his statement on elections created tensions in the volatile markets, he decided to retract his statement not to cause further instability. Turkish markets, which were barely recovering from Wednesday's shock from the WorldCom accounting scandal and a Standard and Poor's outlook downgrade and were cheering over the news that the Prime Minister would be able to show up at his party's group meeting, were shaken once more after Ecevit hinted at a snap poll. His remarks on early election rattled already fragile investor nerves and the lira skidded against leading currencies, falling to close to 1,630,000 to the U.S. dollar on the interbank market, compared to 1,600,000 in morning trade.

    As Ecevit spoke, fixed income and equity markets were luckily at the noon break and were therefore unaffected by the volatility in the foreign exchange market. Once the ailing Prime Minister corrected the misunderstanding the U.S. dollar eased back to below 1,600,000 to the lira. The Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) ended the day with gains for the first time this week and the national-100 index was up by an average 4.43 percent from Wednesday's close to 9,009 points.

    [03] Tansu Ciller: Time has come for Ecevit to say farewell to the people

    Turkish Daily News (28.06.02) reports that main opposition True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller said yesterday that the time has come for Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to say farewell to the people, as her party also signalled that Ecevit's political life has ended.

    Addressing her group in Parliament, Ciller stated that the uncertainty still lingered over the government and the prime minister and stressed, "Is state administration only composed of delivering an eight-minute statement or attending the party group in Parliament for half an hour?"

    Ciller claimed that the government was escaping from Parliament, saying," The government in fact escapes from the EU by escaping from Parliament and constitutes the major obstacle to the EU." Stressing that even the Democratic Left Party (DLP) signalled that Ecevit's political life has ended, Ciller noted that the time has come for Ecevit to say farewell to the nation.

    Ciller said that some 12-13 criteria should be fulfilled for the sake of the EU bid, adding that the DLP and junior partner Motherland Party (MP) preferred to remain in power rather than realizing these arrangement and reaching the EU target.

    Strongly criticizing the government, Ciller said that not only the partners but also the ministers became different governments within the current government. Condemning senior partner Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader Devlet Bahceli's stance on the death penalty issue, Ciller noted that Bahceli feared both Parliament and the TPP.

    Ciller reiterated that the cost of the government's remaining in power was higher than the cost of an election, stressing that ballot boxes were on the horizon. She called on deputies to amend Political Parties and Election Laws and to support a two-round voting system.

    A ceremony was also held at the group meeting on the occasion of former state minister and NAP deputy Abdulhaluk Cay's joining the TPP. After decorating Cay with the party's badge, Ciller said that the TPP was the sole address of real nationalism.

    [04] Irtemcelik calls for national consensus government

    Istanbul Independent Deputy and former State Minister Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik has called for the establishment of a national consensus government, asking the current government to step down, reports Turkish Daily News (28.06.02).

    Issuing a statement yesterday, Irtemcelik claimed that the Turkish nation was paying the cost for the power ambitions of the Ecevit-led government, which resembles a monument of disharmony, incompetence and carelessness. "As long as this government, which has lost its democratic legitimacy, remains in power, it is obvious that this cost will become more severe day-by-day, and we will face negative developments that cannot be foreseen today," he added.

    Calling for common sense and public awareness, Irtemcelik recalled the proverb, "If you get yourself into trouble then you have no right to complain." He called for the establishment of a national consensus government, which would handle the country's agenda in light of national priorities and which would carry Turkey to the ballot boxes without implementing an election economy.

    Irtemcelik warned that unless such a government was established, Turkey might have to face a much different agenda when the European Union Copenhagen summit comes round at last.

    [05] Five Turkish Cypriot trade unions establish the Confederation of Cypriot Trade Unions

    KIBRIS (28.06.02) reports that five Turkish Cypriot trade unions announced yesterday that they have established the Confederation of Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions (KIB - SEK).

    According to the paper, the five unions are the following: Turkish Cypriot Federation of Revolutionary Workers Union (DEV - Is), Trade Union of Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers (KTOEOS), Trade Union of Turkish Cypriot Teachers (KTOS), Trade Union of Turkish Cypriot Public Servants (KTAMS) and Turkish Cypriot Medical Workers Union (TIP - Is).

    Speaking yesterday at a joint press conference of the five organizations, KTOEOS chairman, Ahmet Barcin said that the trade unions "have become the target of the ruling powers which oppose peace and democracy" and resort to every means to prevent and eliminate the organized struggle.

    Noting that in spite of everything, the trade unions and the other organizations will continue to exist, Mr Barcin added that they would continue their course in order to ensure lasting unity in the actions of the trade unions and create an influential power. Mr Barcin argued also that a lot of the problems in the pseudostate are due to the non-solution in the Cyprus problem and to the fact that the political power is not in their hands.

    Furthermore, the Turkish Cypriot trade union leader stressed also the necessity of the creation of a bi-communal, federal Cyprus member of the European Union so that peace may come to the island.


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