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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-11

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.130/02 11.07.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader evaluated the latest statement of the UN Security Council. He will brief the Turkish Cypriots on the talks on 16 July.
  • [02] Mmehmet Ali Talat assesses the statement by the President of the Security Council. He criticizes Denktas for his policies and warns him no to exploit the current political situation in Turkey.
  • [03] Ismail Cem is about to announce his resignation from the Government and the DLP. Zeki Sezer new State Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs.
  • [04] Parties clash over snap polls date.
  • [05] Deniz Baykal sees no need for a new government.
  • [06] Mr Ismail Cem has resigned from the Foreign Ministry and the DLP.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] The war goes on.
  • [08] Former US President Bill Clinton: Whatever you do solve the Cyprus problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader evaluated the latest statement of the UN Security Council. He will brief the Turkish Cypriots on the talks on 16 July

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (A.A) (10.07.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas responding to questions of reporters, evaluated the latest statement of the U.N. Security Council on Cyprus.

    Denktas said: ``If the international community does not act impartially by giving up its biased attitude it has been displaying for forty years and if it continues to see one of the sides as the government of the other side and if this side's policy is to be the government of whole island, then the issue naturally remains in impasse.``

    Noting that it had been understood that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan`s Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto could not be told that ``any point cannot be reached without a correct diagnosis to the problem, but with the antitheses and contrary diagnosis of one of the sides alone``, Denktas said that they had failed to appreciate and realize the value of the statements they had made.

    Stressing that the decision on the Cyprus issue would be taken by the public, Denktas said that upon invitation of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, he would publicly explain on July 16 the Turkish side's position, what the Greek Cypriots want and why those demands were rejected.

    ``Because, the judge of this issue and the decision-making organ is the public, it is not either the Security Council or de Soto. Our people do have the right to know what has happened so far in the talks process. I will explain them on July 16,`` Denktas added.

    The U.N. Security Council members held a meeting last night and discussed the Cyprus issue and listened to de Soto`s briefing on the talks process. The statement released at the end of the meeting claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side had adopted a less constructive attitude and refrained from supporting the target of solving core issues until the end of June, reported Anatolia Agency (A.A.) from occupied Nicosia.

    [02] Mehmet Ali Talat assesses the statement by the President of the Security Council. He criticizes Denktas for his policies and warns him not to exploit the current political situation in Turkey

    According to YENIDUZEN (11.07.02), the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, commenting on the recent UN Security Council statement regarding the ongoing direct talks and the Council's accusation directed to the Turkish side of being responsible for the lack of progress in the talks, said that this is the product of the wrong policies being followed.

    In his written statement Talat said that the UN Security Council has adopted a resolution accusing the Turkish Cypriot side as a result of policies being followed, which are not in the interest of the Turkish Cypriots.

    ''This resolution is the result of the wrong policies that consider promoting the non-solution as a skilful manipulation that lacks the quality of reaching a settlement suitable to the interests of the Turkish Cypriots'' , Talat said.

    Accusing the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas of being responsible for this policy, Talat said : ''It is possible that Denktas might make use of the present chaotic political situation in Turkey, to which he himself contributed and lead the talks to complete impasse. However, one should know that the consequences of such an act would be very painful''.

    ''It is not possible for the UN Security Council not to see this fact which everybody sees, and which perhaps it was a little bit late to see", Talat noted and urged the leadership to evaluate this situation, find who is the responsible for it before getting angry with the UN Security Council decision.

    Stressing that the non-solution would make the economic and social problems of the Turkish Cypriots worse, Talat urged the leadership to chart policies that will be understood by the world and take serious steps towards a solution and the EU membership, without fanning the political flame in Turkey.

    [03] Ismail Cem is about to announce his resignation from the Government and the DLP. Zeki Sezer new State Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs NTV Television (10.07.02) broadcast that Husamettin Ozkan, Ismail Cem, and

    Kemal Dervis whose names are mentioned in unison with regard to political scenarios, met this evening. NTV Ankara Representative Murat Akgun reported the following on the latest situation in the capital:

    The political activities were very intense at the capital today. There were two important questions at the center of these activities. What kind of a stand will the two important ministers of the government, namely Cem and Dervis, adopt? What steps will they be taking? The answer to these questions have been clarified. These two important officials will be acting together with Ozkan. What will happen next? Foreign Minister Cem is expected to announce his decision before the weekend. When we say before the weekend and since today is Wednesday, this decision is expected to be announced either on Thursday or Friday. Cem is expected to hold a meeting with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Following this meeting, Cem is expected to submit his resignation from the DLP [Democratic Left Party] and the government. A change in this decision is seen as almost impossible. Cem will probably announce his plans with regard to Turkey's future.

    There is the question of who will be the leader of this new formation. Although the answer is not that clear, attention is focusing on Cem. What will happen next? This depends on who will follow Cem in the aftermath of the resignation.

    Reporting on the same issue in MILLIYET newspaper (10.07.02) Serpil Cevikcan writes that following Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's decision to appoint State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel to the second highest-ranking cabinet post allocated to his party within the coalition government, which had been left vacant following Husamettin Ozkan's resignation, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who perceived this move as a signal, is on the verge of tendering his resignation. Disappointed by Ecevit's failure to take radical steps, Cem decided to ponder on the situation until the weekend while State Minister Kemal Dervis announced that he would not resign.

    The tremor within the DLP [Democratic Left Party] triggered a series of meetings in Ankara yesterday, which could lead to drastic changes. All eyes are on two figures, who are expected to determine the fate of both the Government and the group led by Ozkan, since yesterday morning. Initial reports indicated that Cem was expecting to receive a message from Ecevit in order to make a decision about the stance he would take. However, at the same time Cem called Ecevit's home in Or-An at noon, the Ecevits announced that Gurel had been appointed Deputy Prime Minister and new ministers had been appointed to fill vacant seats in the cabinet without delay.

    According to political sources, Cem implied in his telephone conversation with Ecevit that there was a need for "more radical changes" within the DLP rather than a cabinet reshuffle. The remarks made by Cem during the conversation reflected his expectations for assuming the party's leadership while an official at the DLP's headquarters tacitly criticized the stance displayed by Cem in the past couple of days. "It seems that he is unable to make a final decision about the position he should take in order to get the maximum gain. He has been giving himself airs for some time," he said. It was also learned that the Ecevits interpreted Cem's approach as an "untimely demand."

    Sources at the DLP's headquarters also noted that Cem's meeting with Ozkan in Gocek and the fact that Mustafa Yilmaz, Halit Dikmen and Hakan Tartan, all MPs who are known to be loyal to Cem, have joined the rebels led by Ozkan, captured the Ecevits' attention.

    Ecevit's decision to prefer Gurel to Cem was interpreted by Ozkan's allies as a "tactical mistake that would accelerate desertions from the DLP." "Cem will join our ranks," said former Culture Minister Istemihan Talay. One of the crucial messages sent by this group to Cem assured him that Ozkan would not oppose assumption of the group's leadership by another figure who might quit the DLP. Cem, who met with Dervis around noon, did not respond to questions whether he would resign.

    Meanwhile, Dervis met with Cem and Ecevit following his meetings with State Minister Fikret Unlu and Forestry Minister Nami Cagan in the morning. "I plan to remain in the cabinet until the next general election in order to ensure that the principles of the economic program are not infringed," he said in his meeting with Cem, pointing out that he had to remain in the cabinet because of his responsibilities related to the national economy.

    In his meeting with Ecevit, Dervis noted that he wanted to remain responsible for the economy. For his part, Ecevit expressed his satisfaction about Dervis' remarks. "I do not plan to part company with Ecevit and I am benefiting from his political experience," said Dervis. "I am not considering tendering my resignation. I am meeting with everybody," he commented in response to questions put to him by reporters ahead of a dinner with Ozkan.

    Ecevit appointed Zeki Sezer and Tayfun Icli, both among the DLP's deputy leaders, to the cabinet. Icli, an aide to Rahsan Ecevit [DLP Deputy Leader and Bulent Ecevit's wife], replaced Recep Onal as State Minister while Zeki Sezer, who has close ties with the Ecevits as the DLP's Secretary General, was appointed State Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, replacing Gurel. Izmir deputy Suat Caglayan, a doctor of medicine and a member of the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly], replaced Istemihan Talay as the Culture Minister. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has ratified the appointment of the three new ministers. Other ministers are expected to be appointed after the resignations of State Ministers Hasan Gemici and Mustafa Yilmaz have been officially endorsed.

    [04] Parties clash over snap polls date

    Turkish Daily News (11.07.02) reports that after Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli called for snap polls in order to put an end to new government scenarios, both ruling and opposition parties raced to repeat their calls for early elections publicly. But due to differing expectations and calculations, every political party proposed a different date for elections. The Democratic Left Party (DLP) was the only party that didn't call for early elections.

    First official petition asking for early elections was made by the NAP. The NAP applied to the Parliament Speaker's Office with a petition signed by 125 deputies, asking that Parliament be recalled from recess for an extraordinary session on September 1 and to declare polls for November 3. NAP's Edip Ozbas didn't sign the petition while Parliament Speaker Omer Izgi's signature was also absent in the petition. According to the Constitution, Parliament Speaker is not allowed to sign such petitions.

    The NAP's petition underlined that political instability has affected the confidence environment and included the idea that snap polls have become inevitable.

    Main opposition, True Path Party (TPP), first, welcomed the NAP's move but then asked that polls be held at an earlier date.

    Here are the different propositions of different parties:

    NAP: The senior coalition partner asked for snap polls after it saw that unrest in the Democratic Left Party (DLP) has climaxed. NAP was aiming at putting an end to new government scenarios as well as opening Turkey's path for elections. According to the NAP, November 3 would be the best time to ease the pressure on it for reforms, crucial for Turkey's membership to the European Union (EU). However, NAP officials said that they might get in contact with other political parties to set another elections date and underlined that they were open for negotiation.

    DLP: Despite the ongoing quake in his party, the Prime Minister continued to rule out snap polls. But after meeting with Bahceli on Tuesday, Ecevit changed his previous adamant approach. Ecevit said that he had explained the shortcomings of snap polls to his partner and added that, "But if snap polls are inevitable, we have to obey it."

    MP: Junior coalition partner Motherland Party was among the parties fearing that it may not be able to exceed the 10 percent national threshold if elections are held soon and it didn't want early polls accordingly. But after Devlet Bahceli made the call for early elections, MP leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz proposed that elections should be held on September 29. Yilmaz said that the new government that will be formed after the elections should have time to pass the laws crucial for Turkey's membership to the 15-member grouping. Yilmaz claimed that elections that will be held later than September 29 will leave no time to the new government to legislate the reforms as a part of Turkey's effort to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria.

    Meanwhile, MP believed that if a new government supporting Turkey's ambition to become a member of the EU family and excluding the NAP can be formed, the elections might be held in April of 2003. MP aimed at entering the elections as the party which enabled Turkey to start accession talks with the EU. At the same time, MP claimed that NAP was trying to block Turkey's path to the EU by calling snap polls on November 3.

    TPP: First, main opposition True Path Party (TPP) announced that they supported NAP's offer to hold elections on November 3. But after new government scenarios started to float around Ankara, it proposed that Parliament can be called for extraordinary meeting at the end of July and elections be held in October. TPP leader Tansu Ciller called for urgent extraordinary meeting in Parliament to pass reforms, to amend the elections and the political party laws and to carry the country to polls in autumn.

    JDP: Opposition Justice and Development Party (JDP) asked for extraordinary parliamentary meeting on July 23 and polls on October 6. JDP currently has 110 seats in Parliament which is not enough to call an extraordinary meeting but it submitted its offer to hold snap polls on October 6 to the Office of Parliament Speaker.

    JDP's goal was the opening of the political path to their leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. JDP wanted to enter the elections under the leadership of Erdogan. According to a previous decision of the Constitutional Court, Erdogan should step down from his founding membership and leadership at the JDP until October 19. JDP wanted to go for snap polls before this date. Erdogan was convicted on charges of violating Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code in a speech in 1996. He has served his jail term but he was barred from political life as those convicted under Article 312 of the Penal Code are barred from politics for life. Article 312 regulates penalties for crimes against the state and constitutional order of the country.

    FP: Opposition [Felicity Party (FP) was considering to rule out snap polls until February, 2003. They were believing that the former leader of the defunct Welfare Party (RP) Necmettin Erbakan's political ban would end at this date. FP was aiming at entering the polls under the leadership of Erbakan but currently it said elections can be held either in September or in October.

    The Constitutional amendment that was made last October does not allow the implementation of possible amendments in the Elections Law in the first next elections. But later, a temporary article saying that this amendment will not be implemented in the next first elections, was added. Omitting this temporary article, MP leader Yilmaz claimed that any amendment in the Elections Law will not be valid in the upcoming snap polls.

    On the other hand, Parliament has to achieve a number of stages in order to amend the Elections law. It was also rumoured some lawmakers would try to prevent the snap polls as they believed that it won't be possible for them to be reelected in case of elections.

    [05] Deniz Baykal sees no need for a new government

    Turkish Daily News (11.07.02) reports that center-left Republican People's Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal said yesterday that Turkey should go for early elections with the current government, adding that November seemed as a serious option for elections at the moment.

    Receiving Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Chairman Tuncay Ozilhan in his office at the RPP headquarters on Wednesday, Baykal said after the meeting that a new political structure must be created in Turkey.

    Stressing that there was a serious disintegration in the biggest coalition partner, Baykal noted that there was no formula that would bring stability to the current political disintegration.

    "There is no need to search for a new government. Turkey should go for elections with the current government. We are loosing time. I am sad to see that prime minister is waiting for April 2004. Turkey should immediately come to the stage of a clear political preference," Baykal said.

    Responding to a question on the election date, Baykal stated that party leaders should come together and negotiate on the election date, adding that November seemed as a serious option for elections.

    When asked whether some of the ministers, who resigned from the DLP, might join the RPP, Baykal noted that the RPP was not seeking to transfer any deputies, adding that they might be together with some of their friends in the following period. Ozilhan also made a statement following the meeting and said that they met Baykal in the framework of their visits to party leaders to discuss EU bid. Ozilhan warned that inflation might soar and the economy would contract if the political uncertainty could not be removed immediately.

    [06] Mr Ismail Cem has resigned from the Foreign Ministry and the DLP

    NTV television (11.07.02, 13:30 hours) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Ismail Cem, today submitted his resignation from the Foreign Ministry and the Democratic Left Party (DLP).

    Mr Cem will make further statements to the press tomorrow.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] The war goes on

    Under the above title and subtitle: "Bahceli and Ecevit alliance may prove too strong for Ozkan and his friends as Cem is left in the limbo", Turkish Daily News columnist Ilner Cevik writes the following on 11.07.02:

    "Can the mavericks of the Democratic Left Party (DLP) who quit from the party under the leadership of Husamettin Ozkan really form a viable front to topple this government or will the weakened Ecevit coalition survive to lead the country to elections? These are the two questions that should be answered today.

    The initial reports were that Ozkan and his colleagues would be joined by Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and State Minister Kemal Dervis who is in charge of the economy and thus their front would become a real force that would lead to the fall of the coalition.

    However, things did not turn out the way the Ozkan team hoped. Ecevit and his wife Rahsan Ecevit, the Deputy chairperson of the DLP, fought back and this seems to have slowed down the defections.

    The fact that Ecevit spoke to nine dissident deputies who had earlier asked him to ease himself out of the cabinet and the party administration and then said he would be inclined to consider calling for an extraordinary party convention seems to have eased some of the anger among the mavericks. These nine deputies had nothing to do with the Ozkan team and Ecevit thanked them for displaying party solidarity.

    Yes, Ecevit is hitting back and at times he is disregarding the orders of the doctors to take it easy. He has headed a cabinet session yesterday which would have been major news in the past week but has become rather trivial in view of the current developments.

    This relatively strong showing by Ecevit has also pushed Cem into a dilemma. He is left in the limbo on whether to resign or remain in the party. He seems set to stay on for a while and see how things work. But the fact that Sukru Sina Gurel has become deputy prime minister and Cem has been left in the cold by Ecevit is seen as a bad signal for the foreign minister.

    Dervis, on the other hand, is showing clearly that he lacks serious political experience in the world of sharks. So he too has been scared away and has reportedly decided to remain at the helm of the economy and see to it that the political shocks do not derail the economy...

    Nationalist Action Party (NAP) chief Devlet Bahceli has emerged as Ecevit's chief ally and has rallied behind him, thus allowing the government to survive. The Motherland Party (MP) may have to go along with its senior partners... So at the moment it seems the chances of the government surviving are stronger than Ozkan and his team toppling it. If the MP withdraws from the cabinet the True Path Party (TPP) can supplement it and thus Ecevit may remain in power. Despite everything, all this means Ecevit will only be heading a government that is taking Turkey to elections either with the TPP or with the MP. "

    [08] Former US President Bill Clinton: Whatever you do solve the Cyprus problem

    In his commentary in Turkish Daily News (11.07.02) Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the current political situation in Turkey as follows:

    "The Majority of the society is concerned about losing the current process. Rather than joining forces and emerging in a brand new formation, people are worried that politicians will choose personal priorities and act in line with the principle, 'Be it small as long as it is mine.'

    What Turkish people expect is the emergence of a new formation that would clear the country's path, continue economic reforms, prevent the missing of EU train and solve the Cyprus problem.

    Creating such a formation depends on three people. Nobody can hinder such a formula that will bring Husamettin Ozkan, Ismail Cem and Kemal Dervis together.

    Domestic and foreign actors mostly focus on Kemal Dervis. Eyes turned towards Dervis especially after the recent crisis. Markets believe in his words and depend on the steps to be taken by him. Dervis has somehow become a 'playmaker' all by himself. He has been the most precious 'joker card' of the political scene.

    Dervis is also aware of these developments and acts with extreme common sense. He meets all parties and takes his steps without seeming assertive. Being aware of the public's support, he tries to steer the developments.

    The following days are of historical importance in these terms.

    The public awaits Dervis' decision and choice. People wish to see Dervis either together with Ozkan and Cem or in another party. The only condition is that he should appear in a way that would clear Turkey's front.

    It was mentioned before but it would be useful to reiterate it:

    Turkey has no luxury to lose time.

    The economy has received blows as much as it could. People should now extricate themselves from the troublesome situation and accept the 'most earliest election' formula. If we also consider the European Union and Cyprus problems, which are knocking on our door, October should be preferred for the elections, rather than November or April 2003. Postponing the elections only for eradicating Tayyip Erdogan would cost Turkey a lot in different aspects.

    Subtitle: Clinton, too, pointed out EU and Cyprus The speech of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who came to Turkey at an invitation from Turkish American Businessmen's Association (TABA), was very important.

    Being a real friend of Turkey, Clinton stressed two points:

    1-He reiterated the vital importance of European Union full membership for Turkey. He said Turkey should not hesitate to fulfill the Copenhagen criteria. He underlined that EU membership will make Turkey a real power in its region. He noted that Washington's long-term benefit was Turkey's accession to the EU.

    Clinton evaluated the issue in terms of general strategies and stressed that Turkey must not miss this chance.

    2-On Cyprus issue, he said, 'Whatever you do, solve this problem.' He said that Turkey looks towards the future and left the past behind. He insistently reiterated that a Turkey, which solved the Cyprus problem and made real peace with Greece, would create miracles.

    He was speaking the truth while saying, "Not everything will be in the way you wished for. You will give some and the other party will give some and a middle ground will be found."

    Turkey is at a crossroads.

    We will either go for early elections and be promoted to the upper division by realizing the economic reforms, EU Copenhagen criteria and solving the Cyprus problem as soon as possible with a new formation or we will remain as a dark and poor country."


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