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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.134/02 17.07.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Denktas statements before and after the meeting with President CleridesKIBRIS (17.07.02) reports that the fifth round of the Cyprus talks which are being conducted in order to reach a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem began yesterday.
The Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met at the Nicosia Conference Center in the buffer zone. Alvaro de Soto, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy in Cyprus, attended as an observer.
Before the meeting, Rauf Denktas replied to questions. He pointed out that the fifth round was being held under the shadow of attack helicopters. He recalled that the talks initially began with the agreement that there would be a blackout on the contents, that an agreement would not be declared unless the sides agreed on every single issue, that all issues would be discussed at the table, and that there would be no preconditions. Denktas pointed out that Alvaro de Soto visits New York once every few months and that as a result of these visits, the UN Security Council [UNSC] issues statements that give the message that the Turkish Cypriot side is not doing what it is supposed to do.
Denktas noted that the people do not know what is being discussed at the talks. He said: Since there are no preconditions, since everything can be negotiated, and since an agreement will not be reached unless there is agreement on all issues, these UNSC statements are nothing but one-sided assessments of the talks.
Denktas charged that the UNSC places on its agenda whatever is left over from the Cold War and whatever has prevented the solution of the Cyprus problem for the past 39 years, and turns them into preconditions. The UNSC is not helping the talks in this way, he added.
Denktas also said that the EU is making statements that support only the Greek Cypriots. Such statements make it difficult and even impossible to solve the problem, he stressed, adding: "We are sick and tired of that. They should either let us discuss all the issues without preconditions or if they want to impose their own preconditions they should say so openly. They should ask the people if they are willing to accept these preconditions. This is impossible. They are breaking all the rules of the game. They are continuing to add injustices to the injustices they have subjected my people to for the past 39 yeas. Enough is enough."
Asked if he will voice these complaints at the meeting today, Denktas said that he already conveyed his complaints to de Soto, that there is no need for him to repeat that, and that he is making his people and the world aware of the situation now.
Asked if he might withdraw from the talks, Denktas replied: "No. We will not withdraw. We are at the negotiating table because we are defending a just cause. We will continue to do that. Whoever wants to withdraw may do so".
The meeting lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. From the Turkish Cypriot side, it was attended by Ergun Olgun, Denktas/ under secretary; Resat Caglar, so-called Under Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Defence; and Professor Mumtaz Soysal, Denktas' constitutional and legal adviser.
Denktas replied to reporters' questions when he returned from the meeting. He said that they made a general assessment today and that this assessment will continue at the next meeting which is to be held on 19 July.
Meanwhile, it has been officially announced that Mustafa Yildizcoban and Mustafa Gomulu, two murder convicts who escaped from the Burhan Nalbantoglu Hospital in occupied Nicosia on 10 July, fled to the free areas. Denktas said that he discussed this issue with Clerides, and that the President promised to extradite the convicts to the occupation authorities.
A police spokesman said that the two have been arrested in the free areas of Cyprus and are now at the central prison of Cyprus.
Yildizcoban was convicted for the murder of journalist Sertac Gorguner in 1999 and Gomulu for the murder of a friend while they were both doing their military service.
 Yilmaz on EU-Cyprus relationsAccording to Ankara Anatolia (16.07.02) the Motherland Party (MP) leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has said that the EU made it more difficult to bring a solution to the Cyprus conflict by signaling the Cyprus Government that they could join the EU even before reaching an agreement with the Turkish Cypriots.
Yilmaz received Ahmet Zeki Bulunc, the Representative of the pseudostate in Ankara and Faik Koyuncuoglu, Chairman of the Turkish Cypriots Fighters Association on Tuesday due to the approaching 28th anniversary of July 20 Turkish invasion to Cyprus.
``During all our contacts with EU officials, we tell them that this attitude would not help at all. We`ll continue to work to bring a sustainable solution to Cyprus. There are certain things that Turkey cannot give up in Cyprus and the whole world knows this already. Turkey cannot accept any solution that denies the equal partnership status of Turkish Cypriots. Turkey doesn't want history to repeat itself. I believe that we can reach a middle point and the Cyprus Government has most of the responsibility here. Turkey will continue its reasonable and constructive approach,`` Yilmaz said.
Yilmaz stated that the Cyprus issue may prevent Turkish-EU relations from developing if Turkey does not support negotiations on the island. Yilmaz explained that this danger may appear even if the EU considers Turkey to be playing a role in supporting negotiations, but is in fact not supporting them. Yilmaz cited Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas/ recent attempts to help ameliorate Turkey's image. Yilmaz indicated that there were some fundamental issues that Turkey could not give up on in Cyprus, such as security and equal rights. Yilmaz stated that it was possible to reach a solution without changing the status of the island. Yilmaz hinted that Turkey could be making progress on the remaining subjects, Turkish Daily News (17.07.02) reports.
 Leaders agree: Polls on November 3Turkish Daily News (17.07.02) reports that a meeting behind closed doors leaders of Turkey's three-way coalition government decided Tuesday to take the country to early polls on November 3 as was suggested by Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli.
The three leaders, meeting as the former largest partner Democratic Left Party (DLP) of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has become the smallest partner with the defections that pulled the parliamentary strength of the three-way coalition below 276 in the 550-seat legislature, declared in a joint statement that they would take to their party organs their decision to go to polls on November 3.
The decision of the three leaders has converted the three-way coalition government into an election government. Still it was not yet clear whether the Motherland Party (MP) of Mesut Yilmaz would use the time before November 3 to legislate European Union reforms and thus go to polls having fulfilled the pledge of conforming with EU criteria and building on a hope that the country would receive in December a green card regarding a date for the start of accession talks.
Political parties are now busy trying to steer events to their own benefits, while it remains uncertain whether the revolt in the ruling DLP will bring down the fragile coalition which has lost its parliamentary majority. The parties are reevaluating their respective positions after NAP leader Bahceli stated that his party will not oppose the legislation of European Union reforms, provided his partners agree to hold early elections on November 3.
While the Motherland Party (MP) and the opposition parties seem to be supporting the NAP call, there are indications that both the parliamentary decision to hold early elections and the EU reforms all face uphill battles.
All the political parties represented in Parliament, with the exception of the Democratic Left Party (DLP), say they back early elections. As Ecevit has agreed with his coalition partners for early elections on November 3, the DLP will, naturally, change its anti-election rhetoric also. All the parties, with the exception of the NAP, also say they will back EU reforms. However, there are claims that the parties will not be able to reach a common understanding about the date for early elections. Observers also say the parties will have a hard time reaching a common ground about the content of the EU reforms.
Here is a survey of where the parties stand regarding early elections and EU reforms.
Until the leaders summit, DLP leader Prime Minister Ecevit was the only leader who opposed early elections. Ecevit was acting with the belief that the DLP needed time to set up a new administration after a flood of revolts and defections. He also was of the opinion that an American military operation against Iraq may not be in the too distant future, which may disrupt polls, and that the months ahead should be used to legislate EU reforms.
The 77-year-old ailing Ecevit was feeling that due to the loss of the popularity of his DLP, his own illness and his age, his party needed more time to recuperate lost ground and thus felt that elections should be put off. However, Ecevit has said if elections seem inevitable he might support the NAP decision to hold elections on November 3. Eventually, the leaders summit showed that Ecevit has reached the conclusion that polls have become inevitable. On the other hand, the DLP wanted the legislation of EU laws including the abolishment of the death penalty.
NAP leader and Deputy Prime Minister Bahceli had said if his coalition partners decided to cooperate with the opposition to legislate EU reforms, with the exception of the lifting of the death penalty, he would quit the government. Now Bahceli has lifted this condition and says his partners can cooperate with the opposition parties. He stressed that once the Parliament decides on early polls EU reforms can be legislated.
Bahceli was acting with the conviction that by making such a gesture he would force the MP to remain in the coalition (MP reportedly wanted to quit the cabinet and join with the defectors of the DLP to form a new front) and also gain an important edge for the elections campaign.
NAP had started regaining some of its lost popularity in government by pushing for the execution of terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan. If Parliament manages to convene in the weeks ahead and lift the death penalty and thus save Ocalan and then legislate laws allowing Kurdish language broadcasts and education the NAP will exploit this to win more nationalist votes.
Supporting Bahceli's proposal, MP leader and deputy prime minister Mesut Yilmaz said they would make an initiative for an emergency parliamentary meeting. However, MP was against an election in November. Although it earlier suggested an election on September 29, MP was in favour of an election in the FP ring of 2003. Now, Yilmaz has backed down from his views and came to terms with Bahceli.
MP deputy group chairman Beyhan Aslan told the TDN that they would launch an initiative in order to call Parliament to meet at the beginning of August but stressed that it would be wrong to take an early election decision before this meeting. Aslan noted that state minister and MP deputy Nejat Arseven would meet the deputies from other political parties once he concluded his studies on the EU adaptation laws, adding that Arseven would present a package of EU laws to the other parties. This package will include death penalty, education and broadcasting in Kurdish and bills that are currently on Parliament's agenda, he said.
According to Aslan, it will be enough for Parliament to work for 15-20 days at the beginning of August in order to enact these laws. He stated that an early election date might be set once these arrangements are completed.
Like the NAP, main opposition True Path Party (TPP) has also been in favour of setting an early election date first and then enacting the EU adaptation laws. However, TPP wanted Parliament to convene on July 22. Preparing a proposal for an emergency parliamentary meeting on July 22, the TPP could not collect 110 signatures, which were required to present it to the Parliament Speaker's Office. TPP deputy group chairman Turhan Guven told the TDN, "Let MP collect the 110 signatures and let's call an emergency meeting on July 22." He suggested that all parties should take an early election decision when the Parliament resumed its studies, adding that Political Parties and Elections Laws should be amended and the EU adaptation laws should be passed thereafter.
TPP's Guven said that November was the most appropriate date for an election in terms of both EU laws and Higher Board of Election's demand for time to prepare for elections.
However, Guven noted that it would not be right to go for early elections with the current DLP-NAP-MP coalition, urging premier Ecevit to step down in a way that suits a statesman.
TPP, too, has been demanding an election in November since Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have to resign from the chairmanship of his party because of the court order and the new formation will not be able to emerge into a party by that time.
JDP was also in favour of setting an early election date at first. Stressing that EU adaptation laws might be passed thereafter, JDP officials also have been urging regulations pertaining to freedom of expression. JDP was seeking to lift the obstacles to its leader Erdogan's being elected an MP. JDP supported going for early elections with a new government, which would include the defectors of the DLP, since it may bargain Erdogan's situation with the government.
JDP also preferred an election date before October 19, when Erdogan will have to step down as the party leader. The Constitutional Court ordered that Erdogan should resign from his post by October 19.
Saadet (happiness or contentment) Party (FP) leader Recai Kutan said that it would be an adventure to topple the current government before a new government structure is formed.
FP has been calling for an election after February 23, when politically-banned former Welfare Party (FP) leader Necmettin Erbakan's ban would expire.
Failing to meet a 10 percent national election threshold according to opinion polls, FP prefers to go to elections after Erbakan takes over the leadership of the party.
 Turkey Government loses parliamentary majorityTurkish Daily News (17.07.02) reports that the three-way coalition government lost its majority in Parliament Tuesday after six more deputies resigned from the Democratic Left Party (DLP) of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, bringing the number of DLP-defectors to 59 and reducing the parliamentary strength of the government to 275 seats in the 550-seat unicameral legislature.
Prime Minister Ecevit had vowed over the last weekend to resign if this happened, though with 13 empty seats in Parliament, the loss of an absolute majority would not automatically bring down the government. For that to happen, the opposition would have to muster 276 votes to support a motion of no confidence, which appears very unlikely because of the anticipated support to the government by 13 independent deputies and particularly after the Islamist Felicity Party (FP) declared Tuesday that it would align with the other opposition parties and groups only if a government that would replace the Ecevit-led coalition was shaped before a no confidence vote.
Despite Ecevit's remarks last week that if the government lost its parliamentary majority he would consider resignation, the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) which has become the largest partner in the three-way coalition after mass defections from the DLP, declared on Monday that the opposition must garner 276 votes against the government if it wanted to oust it.
That is unless Prime Minister Ecevit resigns, the three-way coalition appears very unlikely to be ousted from office through a no confidence vote in Parliament.
13 seats are empty in Parliament because of deaths or expulsions since the elections. 13 independent deputies, apart from the 59 DLP-defector independents, are also anticipated not to lend support to opposition to oust the government in a no confidence vote.
The Islamist FP, on the other hand want to see first what kind of a new government would replace the three-way coalition before aligning with other opposition parties in support of a no confidence motion.
The True Path Party (TPP) of Tansu Ciller, which has declared that the government was "physically dead" is not anticipated to support a no confidence motion either before concluding talks with other opposition parties on a new government.
The Motherland Party (MP) of Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz also declared Monday evening that the party would not be involved in any activity to end the coalition government.
Ismail Cem, leader of the DLP-defectors who have been preparing to set up a new social democratic party, also declared that they would not aim to bring an end of the Ecevit-led coalition government and that their priority now was to get organized for a possible election on November 3.
According to political sources, Ecevit has backed down from his declaration to tender his resignation if the coalition lost its parliamentary majority after NAP leader Devlet Bahceli declared on Monday that his party would remain in the coalition even if DLP and MP cooperated with the opposition in legislating European Union reforms provided that Parliament decides first on early elections be held on November 3.
Defections on one hand, pressures from mavericks inside the party on the other, the DLP of Ecevit is on the verge of collapse.
The so-called "Group of Nine" which has been leading the inside revolt against Ecevit and his wife Rahsan Ecevit in the party, on the other hand, met with the prime minister Tuesday for a third time in past few days to press for their demand for an extraordinary convention of the party. The group failed to persuade the ailing premier to call an extraordinary convention, a move that could pave the replacement of Ecevit as party leader.
Distribution of the seats in the Parliament NAP: 127 (Nationalist Action Party) TPP: 85 (True Path Party) MP: 79 (Motherland Party DLP: 69 (Democratic Left Party) JDP: 53 (Justice and Development Party) FP: 48 (Felicity Party)
Independent: 72 (Those who defected from DLP: 59)
TDP: 3 (Turkey/s Democratic Party) GUP: 1 (Great Unity Party) Vacant: 13
 The platform "This Country is Ours": The policy applied in the political and economical fields aims at maintaining the status quo in CyprusKIBRIS (17.07.02) reports that the organizations members of the platform "This Country is Ours" have expressed the opinion that "the reason for the existing situation (in Cyprus) is the policies applied in the fields of economy and politics in the name of maintaining the status quo in Cyprus, having nationalistic aims".
Talking yesterday at a Press conference organized at the headquarters of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), Ahmet Barcin, chairman of the Trade Union of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers, said that the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession to the European Union are necessary for both the "political and social future" of the Turkish Cypriots as well as from the point of view of their employment, earning their living, their peaceful life, the democracy and the demilitarization of their society.
Mr Barcin noted that the nationalistic policy caused the "endless crisis" in Turkey and the pseudostate and accused Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel of bearing the responsibility for the economic problems and the political uncertainty.
Mr Barcin argued also that the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side "plays with time" at the face-to-face talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem was the reason for which the UN Security Council accused it and added that some circles aim at the non-solution of the Cyprus problem and leaving Turkey outside the EU.
The policy applied, continued Mr Barcin, paves the way for the "unilateral EU accession" of Greek Cypriot side, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, and creates the conditions for the annexation of the pseudostate with Turkey. Mr Barcin expressed also his support to a bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal solution based on the 1977-79 High Level Agreements between President Makarios and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas.
 An ancient tomb is found between the villages of Ayios Andronikos and Ayios IacovosKIBRIS (17.07.02) reports that a two thousand and four hundred year-old tomb was found yesterday in the area between the occupied villages of Ayios (Saint) Andronicos and Ayios Iacovos (Famagusta district). Four water and wine jugs, one bowl and one oil lamp shaped like an oyster shell were found.
The paper writes that Hasan Tekel, responsible of the Famagusta area so-called "Antiquities and Museums Department" said that the tomb consists of one room with buried treasures, that they found six items despite the fact that the tomb was pillaged and that they found only a few human bones.
Mr Tekel reminded that in 1995 a similar tomb had been found 600 metres away from the recently discovered tomb.
 Vassos Ilia will remain three more days under custodyKIBRIS (17.07.02) reports that an illegal court in the occupied areas ordered yesterday the extension of the custody of the Greek Cypriot Vassos Ilia for three more days.
Vassos Ilia, from Larnaka, crossed into the occupied areas on the night of 12th July with his Turkish Cypriot friend Osman Singirli, from Gypsou. Both of them were arrested by the "police" of the pseudostate at a coffee-shop at Gypsou.
The occupation regime permitted yesterday to Vassos's wife, Maria to attend the illegal trial and meet with her husband.
 The occupation regime continues to distribute Cypriot land to mainland Turks and organizations from TurkeyVOLKAN (17.07.02) reports that the Association of Turkey's Mayors and Members of the Municipal Councils (TMMMC) has asked from the "authorities" of the pseudostate land to build a department in Cyprus and installations for granting education to their so-called "colleagues" from the occupied areas.
The paper writes that a delegation of the Association headed by Mehmet Ali Suren, chairman of TMMMC, visited yesterday Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and so-called "Prime Minister" Dervis Eroglu. Both Mr Denktas and Mr Eroglu expressed their support to the plans of the Association.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Turkish "state" does not look with favour upon Cem, and DervisIn an article in ZAMAN (14.07.02) columnist Ali H. Aslan under the title "Missing the Turkish Train" urges the West not to meddle in Turkey's issues, He said:
"The United States wants Turkey to remain as its stable and reliable friend and ally. It does not desire to see a government in Turkey, which is not sympathetic to its interests. Meanwhile, it tries not to alienate the Turkish State, which is located in an extremely critical region that has priority in terms of the United States' national security. However, there are signs indicating that its fear may come true.
We do not know whether the United States has given the green light to the latest political moves made by [former Foreign Minister Ismail] Cem and [State Minister Kemal] Dervis. Most probably the latest events in Turkey took place at a pace that was even beyond the Americans' expectations. They would rather prefer a smooth transition. Some people in the US Administration, especially those responsible for allocation of public funds, fear that Turkey's domestic debt repayments and the IMF-recommended economic program could be hindered due to the current political crisis. However, it is undisputed that the United States is, in principle, close to the line adopted by Dervis and Cem alliance. Meanwhile, it could neither be claimed that the Turkish state, that is to say the military and civilian bureaucratic establishment looks with favour upon Cem and Dervis, who are admired by the West. The impression that they are backed by some external powers may cause trouble in the United States' relations with the "Turkish state." For, fundamental differences between the "state authorities" and the groups, which, the state, believes, are externally controlled, regarding the most sensitive three foreign policy issues of the regime, namely the EU, Cyprus and Iraq (hence the Kurdish issue) were at the heart of the latest split in Ankara. The United States is a party to all those issues directly or indirectly and its line about those matters is not parallel to that of the "state authorities."
The official policies of both the United States and the Turkish state are, at least in appearance, in favour of the view that Turkey should join the EU. The main problem facing the Turkish state authorities regarding the EU is not the Copenhagen Criteria, or the democratic reforms. They have already issued signals that they were relatively flexible regarding those points. Thus, there is no considerable disagreement with the Americans who are in favour of the reforms. The basic hitch stems from the Cyprus issue. The Turkish state authorities believe that the EU has no intention of admitting Turkey . Therefore, they hold the view that no concession should be given regarding the Cyprus issue, which is regarded as a national cause, even if a reluctant alignment with the Copenhagen Criteria is carried out. In contrast with this approach, the Americans suggest that the Cyprus dispute should be solved in a fashion that would also satisfy the EU. Meanwhile, the EU is more inclined to see solutions that would satisfy the Greek Cypriot and the Greek sides.
Appointment of Sukru Sina Gurel, who is known for his hawkish views about the Cyprus issue, and Tayyibe Gulek to replace [former Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin] Ozkan and Cem has been interpreted as a message of determination issued by the authority, that is to say the "state", which keeps [Prime Minister Bulent] Ecevit in power, to the Turkish public and the international community. The Turkish state opposes a possible US military intervention in Iraq because of its fear that it could lead to establishment of a Kurdish state in north Iraq, which could eventually turn into a center of gravity for the Turkish citizens living in the south-eastern part of the country. However, the United States seems determined to conduct a military operation for a change of regime in Iraq and believes that Turkey would eventually agree to cooperate with it especially due to its dependence on IMF loans.
A former American diplomat, who is familiar with the situation in Turkey, has recently said that linking a possible operation in Iraq with the release of installments of IMF loans would be extremely dangerous. I agree with him. Throughout history the Turks waged deadly defensive wars whenever they felt that they are threatened by external powers and they usually won those fights. A state, which has been left with nothing to lose other than its honour, could display unexpected reactions if it comes under great pressure. Even if a political party led by Cem and Dervis comes to power in Turkey in the future, no solution could be found before convincing the "state" about those sensitive issues. A regime crisis may even erupt if too much emphasis is placed on the matter. Punching the soft belly of the regime, which is primarily pro-Western, but has deep suspicions about the West's motives emanating from history, could cause it to vomit all the bile it has accumulated against the West in its stomach.
The latest political developments represent probably the most interesting events ever witnessed in the Turkish Republic's history. The mainstream media and the TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association], which had always sided with the state authorities during previous military coups, have joined the opposing side this time. This conclusion also applies to the United States. In fact, Turkey needs to discuss all those sensitive issues serenely. This process had already started, albeit with a substantial delay. We want the encouraging process of transformation, which is moving towards reforms with the influence of internal and external dynamics, albeit slowly, to continue uninterrupted. We are of the opinion that any sudden intervention in that process, which could be motivated by artificial timetables and short-term political interests, would be counterproductive.
What is at stake here is the process of redefining the identity of a nation, who assumed crucial roles throughout history, and its position in the world. The matter has assumed a dimension going beyond the goal of catching the EU train. It is about catching the train of history. I believe that the Turkish state and public will sooner or later reach a consensus on those issues. Better late then never.
I have a final piece of advice for our American and European friends: Turkey desires to be integrated with the West. However, it wants to achieve this goal not only based on the West's rules, but also its own rules while safeguarding its national interests, irrespective of the fact that it is in the process of redefining those interests. Our relations would not go beyond an artificial friendship unless they understand and respect this fact and the West could miss the Turkish train. Time has come for an open and sincere dialogue.