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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-12

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.131/02 12.07.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas has appointed seven committees for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the Greek Cypriots after a possible solution
  • [02] Denktas keeps on ignoring the decisions of the UN Security Council, alleging that they prevent the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Cem quits, confusion on Dervis
  • [04] Diplomats expect Cem to head new pro-EU political movement
  • [05] Terrorist threat in Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist in STAR newspaper supports that the west wants a strong government in Turkey in November

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas has appointed seven committees for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the Greek Cypriots after a possible solution

    YENIDUZEN (12.07.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has appointed seven working committees, which began and continue to work on steps towards the direction of the harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the Greek Cypriots after a possible solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The paper writes that the committees work secretly and they are going to prepare reports, which will be submitted to Mr Denktas on 15 July 2002. The paper supports that "the Cyprus problem which is on the table for years, is now taking mew dimensions".

    The seven committees are the following: 1) Competition Committee, 2) Agriculture Committee, 3) Energy-Transport and Communication Committee, 4) Higher Education Committee, 5) Public Finance and Regional Development Committee, 6) Financial Sector Committee and 7) Social Policies Committee.

    [02] Denktas keeps on ignoring the decisions of the UN Security Council, alleging that they prevent the solution of the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (12.07.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas accused yesterday the UN Security Council of taking decisions, which prevents the solution of the Cyprus problem for 39 years and try to put the Turkish Cypriots in a very difficult situation.

    Talking during a meeting with Kutlay Erk, the new "mayor" of the occupied part of Nicosia, Mr Denktas repeated that the Turkish side does not accept the decisions of the Security Council and added that it has been doing this for 30 years and will continue doing this for another 100 years. He claimed the following:

    "The Turkish Cypriots have their sovereignty right, their state, the continuation of the Turkish guarantees. The Greek Cypriots have and will have not the right to return to their old properties saying that they have properties in our land. People's property rights will be protected by the exchange of properties. There has been a political earthquake in Cyprus. The principle of bi-zonality has been accepted. Bi-zonality means two zones. Otherwise, we cannot accept the Greek Cypriots to come again to the territory they call the Turkish side, lie in ambush create incidents and put us in a dangerous situation again. .We cannot mortgage again the future of Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots, the supporters of EOKA. Everybody must realize this. .".

    [03] Cem quits, confusion on Dervis

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (12.07.02) carries the following report on Ismail Cem's and Kemal Dervis' resignations:

    "Finally rampant speculations became a reality and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem quit his post and the Democratic Left Party (DLP) to join the "new formation" as a member of the "troika" the domestic and foreign economy circles have been pushing to come together for a long time.

    Moments after Cem's resignation, Treasury Minister Kemal Dervis also tendered his resignation, bringing the number of ministers to resign from the Cabinet in one-week to eight. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, on the other hand, has rejected the resignation of Dervis and thus prompted a new discussion whether the presidency has such a constitutional power. The treasury minister, on the other hand, was reportedly determined to quit the government and has already bid farewell to his close aides and top economy bureaucrats.

    Now, Cem, Dervis and disgraced former right-hand-man of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Husamettin Ozkan are "formally" together.

    The decision of Cem to quit from his post followed a Wednesday night meeting at his official residence with Dervis and Ozkan and reportedly followed a message from Prime Minister Ecevit that he was expected either to resign or to severe contacts with the two, or else he would be sacked from his post. After the same message was reportedly handed on to Cem on Thursday morning also, the former foreign minister who intended to announce his resignation at a press conference today, decided to disclose his resignation.

    Ecevit's messages to Cem were reportedly conveyed by Forestry Minister Nami Cagan. Similar messages were also conveyed to Treasury Minister Dervis yesterday, prompting him to resign although according to sources close to him he was intending to stay on in the Cabinet until an International Monetary Fund team concluded its contacts in Turkey in two weeks time. The "Group of Nine" opponents of the DLP (Democratic Left Party) who have been pressing hard on Ecevit to call an extraordinary convention of the party, have been trying to convince Dervis join the party.

    The resignation of Cem and Dervis, which were announced as the markets were closing yesterday, did not have much impact on the markets, but analysts said they did not expect an adverse reaction.

    Cem, Dervis and Ozkan came together Wednesday night at the official residence of Cem and they agreed to "act together" in bringing to life a "new political formation" in the country. The troika has reportedly agreed on a three-man chairmanship council headed by Cem.

    The resignations of Cem and Dervis were anticipated by the troika to lead to a flurry of resignations in the DLP wing of the three-way coalition and thus bring an end to the parliamentary majority of the coalition.

    After the resignation of the two ministers, three more deputies of the DLP (Democratic Left Party) resigned, bringing the number of deputies to have resigned from the DLP over the past one week to 39 and pulling the number of DLP seats in Parliament from 128 to 89.

    As early elections appear to be in the horizon, political analysts expect a large number of DLP (Democratic Left Party) deputies who have lost hope of being reelected if they stayed on in the party may quit and join the "new formation" headed by the troika.

    According to speculations, that are rampant nowadays in Ankara, the new formation would soon establish a "center" political party which would be social democratic regarding social policies but liberal in economy approach.

    [04] Diplomats expect Cem to head new pro-EU political movement

    Reporting on the current political developments in Turkey, Saadet Oruc, writes the following in Turkish Daily News (12.07.02):

    "The resignation of Foreign Minister Ismail Cem has been evaluated as a step towards the formation of a new pro-European Union (EU) political movement. In response to the Turkish Daily News, diplomatic analysts said that the EU triggered the current political crisis in Ankara.

    "That is not a case seen only in Turkey. All the candidates are passing through the same process. The EU, which is a very serious matter and forces everyone to take their stand in the final analysis," a Turkish diplomat, focusing on EU matters, said.

    "There was a gap, which the Motherland Party (MP) tried to fill for the pro-EU circles. However, some wrong steps such as the RTUK law did not suit with the image of a pro-EU party," the official said.

    According to analysts, the MHP's anti-EU moves accelerated the formation of the pro-EU response from the political arena. Well-informed analysts, however, do not think that the EU was at the core of the debate. "Their main goal is related with their personal political ambitions," analysts say. On the other hand, the appointment of Sukru Sina Gurel, who is known to be an anti-EU politician, and the presence of the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) in the coalition, create an anti-EU image for the existing government.

    Meanwhile, Washington wants to see a "right person" in Ankara at the time of a possible operation on Iraq. Cem's proceeding towards the leadership of a new formation, is also evaluated as a positive development concerning U.S. expectations, more than Ecevit's (the old anti-American politician) presence at the head of the government during such a development. Throughout his personal political career, Ecevit has always been skeptical concerning the U.S. policy on Iraq.

    The statement from Cem that he has resigned from his ministerial post and the Democratic Left Party (DLP) put the embassies in Ankara on alert. Both U.S. the European Union (EU) diplomats had extraordinary meetings following the announcement, to evaluate the impact of a key Turkish politician resigning from his position and preparing to take the leadership role of a "new" party.

    An EU official, speaking to the Turkish Daily News, said that in order to make a healthy comment on the situation, we have to wait for the end of the political struggle in Ankara.

    "It is very difficult to comment, but everybody understands that a strong government is much more effective than an acting government. As quickly as possible, an effective government needs to be established to continue with the reforms," the official said.

    "We are witnessing a political crisis in a country. The institutions have to come to a conclusion. Of course any crisis is not helpful to reform process," the official continued.

    "Turkey is one of the 13 ships sailing towards the EU. It is a big one, which sometimes has difficulty to manoeuvre. Sometimes there is more wind. But currently there is a stormy weather," the diplomat said, in response to a question as to whether he considered the political situation in Ankara as the journey of "The Titanic" or a submarine.

    [05] Terrorist threat in Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (12.07.02) reports that terrorists have illegally smuggled toxic biological or chemical material into Turkey, according to news reports, but the contents have not yet been identified.

    The Police Directorate sent a telex order to the provincial police departments asking them to take preventive measures regarding illegal toxic materials. They also notified the Gendarmerie General Command.

    According to information given by the CIA, and shared with the Turkish police by the U.S. Embassy, a Georgian, Abu Atiya, sent the toxic material in a tube via courier to a code name, "Musab".

    It was reported that the chemical or biological material might be used within 20 days. The report said the material, absorbed through skin, could be used by "Musab" or a terrorist named Abu Tasiir.

    The name of the terrorist organization was not explained in the telex order, but it was said that the above-mentioned material could be used in subway stations, sports centers or stadiums. It was also pointed out that the material could be used against U.S. or Russian establishments, or any representation in Turkey.

    This "urgent" message sent by the Police Directorate ordered that extraordinary measures be taken in big shopping centers, hotels, sport centers, stadiums, places of ceremony, bus stations, airports, and at the U.S. and Russian establishments.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist in STAR newspaper supports that the west wants a strong government in Turkey in November

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (10.07.02) publishes the following commentary by Zeynep Gurcanli under the title: "The West expects strong Turkish Government in November":

    "The United States and the European Union are monitoring the Government crisis in Turkey--probably more closely than the Turkish people, because the political crisis in Turkey is very closely associated with two important "timetables" in the United States and the EU.

    First, the US timetable:

    US President George Bush is firmly determined to extend to Iraq the "war against terror" operation that he started in Afghanistan. Having buried "in the pages of history" the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and Arafat in the Middle East, Bush has already started his preparations to overthrow Saddam Husayn, the archenemy. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz is coming to Ankara next week to "get a feeling for the situation" in Turkey. The leader in the United States of those favouring the overthrow of Saddam, Wolfowitz will get to know the "concerns" and "expectations" of Turkish officials so that the United States might shape its plans accordingly.

    Reports say that Bush will wait for the congressional elections in the United States, due to be held in November, to give the "starter's" order for the "operation in Iraq".

    Therefore, Washington needs to see a "serious and stable" Government in Ankara in order to jointly implement its plans against Iraq by the end of November, at the latest.

    The second issue that concerns the Americans is the economic situation in Turkey. Washington has noted the statement made by Kemal Dervis Minister of State in charge of the Economy, attributing to "psychological" reasons the instability in the economy. The United States waits for this "psychological" barrier to be removed either through elections or by setting up a "strong Government" that will come to power from within the present parliament.

    When all these conditions are listed together, the expectations of the Americans regarding Turkey's internal policy are shaped as follows:

    Elections immediately a new Government in November, or a new Government; elections in the autumn of 2003, at the earliest.

    The European Union timetable:

    The European Union timetable is a bit more complicated. The EU timetable contains three issues that closely concern Turkey in the short term: The ESDP [European Security and Defense Program] or the European Army, Turkey's EU membership process, and the Cyprus issue.

    The European Union will make its decision about admitting new members in December. Therefore, expectations of a stable and strong Government in Turkey by November, at the latest, dominates the EU timetable too. This means that the EU timetable, just like the US timetable, is based on either "immediate elections" or "a new and strong Government now" formula.

    If a decision is adopted for "immediate elections," the EU Commission, which evaluates the progress of candidate countries on the membership course, will say in its "Progress Report for Turkey" in November:

    "Turkey is determined to pass the reforms, but, due to the grace of democracy, elections have intervened and the reforms could not be completed." Such a clause in the report will prevent the closure of the EU course for Turkey. November happens to be the final date for a Government to be set up either through election or from within the parliament. If Turkey manages to adopt major reforms in one month, it will stand the chance of getting a "timetable for membership negotiations" in December.

    The timetable for the ESDP (European Security and Defense Program) is a bit tighter:

    The EU would like to take over in the autumn full responsibility for the peace force in Macedonia. This will be the EU's first military operation, but the EU has not yet put together the "means and capabilities" for carrying out this operation. It is in need of NATO for this reason. However, Turkey holds the key to the "means and capabilities" of NATO. In other words, the ESDP (European Security and Defense Program) issue needs to be resolved "as early as possible." The EU feels there is need for "a strong interlocutor", that is to say, a stable Government, in Turkey in order to negotiate the issue.

    The concern about the Cyprus issue relates to the effect that political instability in Turkey will have on the Cyprus talks. Withdrawal from the talks of Mr Rauf Denktas, in case Turkey's pressure is removed, is the biggest nightmare of the Europeans.

    When all these conditions are listed together, the political preference of the EU countries regarding Turkey is shaping up, just like in Washington. That is:

    Elections immediately; a new Government in November or a new Government; elections in the autumn of 2003, at the earliest.

    Both the EU and the United States are expected to convey these messages to Ankara during two critical visits to take place next week. Commission President Romano Prodi, representing the EU, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, representing the United States, will pay separate visits to Ankara next week. Both Prodi and Wolfowitz will convey the same message, although with different objectives:

    "Instability in Turkey affects the entire region."

    They will do so if, of course, they are able to find a Government when they come.


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