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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-03
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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.167/02 03.09.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The Turkish President wants the EU to ignore the Turkish invasion and occupation of CyprusAnkara Anatolia News Agency (03.09.02) reported from Johannesburg that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Monday met European Union (EU) Commission President Romano Prodi.
Sources said that Sezer told Prodi that they wanted to see him in Turkey after the formation of the new government and drew the attention that Turkey had adopted EU adjustment laws and put forth its political will.
The sources quoted Prodi as saying that Turkey`s steps were considered as positive and there was no change in their attitude. He also noted that they had to see the implementation.
Sezer said that Turkey showed its will by taking strong steps and noted: ``However, there are some voices against Turkey`s candidacy among you. One of the commission members is making a decision on behalf of 15 countries.`` Sezer, thus, expressed uneasiness over words of EU Commissioner for enlargement Guenter Verheugen.
President Sezer stated that unless a date was set for opening of full membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU at the Copenhagen Summit to take place at the end of the year, EU`s sincerity would be questioned. He pointed out that statements of some members against Turkey were not welcomed.
Sezer said that the legislative body took a decision and the executive implemented those decisions. To this end, he noted, concerns about the implementation were in vain.
Asked how he evaluated the statement of Verheugen that Turkey should not expect any full membership negotiation date from the Copenhagen Summit, Sezer said: ``He cannot talk on behalf of 15 EU member countries. He cannot direct EU`s stance. I do not find his directive statement as right.``
Upon a question on the Cyprus question, Sezer said: ``I do not think that they will put Cyprus as a precondition. They had earlier announced that it would not be a precondition. Cyprus cannot and should not be an issue related with Turkey`s EU full membership.``
Responding to another question, Sezer said that sustainable development could not be possible unless injustice in distribution of income was overcome and a fair distribution of income was made in national and international grounds and noted, ``rich countries will make self-sacrifice and should help developing or poor countries.``
Meanwhile, Sezer held bilateral contacts with his Croatian, Romanian and Macedonian counterparts. Sezer will meet with U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell on Wednesday.
Sources said that Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz congratulated Sezer after Sezer`s speech. Aziz told Sezer that he liked his speech very much and that he wanted to come to Turkey. Aziz added that he would try to visit Turkey in the possible shortest time.
In the afternoon, Sezer visited Turkish stands in Ubutu village and talked with mayors and governors who came for the summit. Mayors said that such summits were very beneficial for promotion of a country and hoped that the third summit which would be held 10 years later would take place in southern Antalya province.
Sezer said that Antalya could host such a meeting thanks to its accommodation possibilities but the summit should be held in April, May or the second half of October not to face any problems. He noted that there was 10 years time to hold the summit and added: ``We will be willing to host this meeting ten years later as an EU member country.``
 The Turkish Cypriot leader comments on his meeting with Lord David Hannay and the Paris meetingAnkara Anatolia News Agency (02.09.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas, speaking after his weekly regular meeting with so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and the so-called State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Salih Cosar, said that they discussed the issues related to the solution of the Cyprus problem with Hannay.
Denktas noted that Hannay told him that Britain tries to help by voicing views, adding that the British government didn`t have any policies on the issue and it was not in a position to impose any views on Turkish Cypriots. Noting that there is a problem of diagnosis regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, Denktas said: ``Those who accept the Greek Cypriots as the legitimate government have a wrong diagnosis and they are guilty. They should know and understand that. We can`t accept the Greek Cypriots` getting Cyprus under the false title of the Cyprus Republic. We will continue to prevent that.``
Denktas stressed that they would call the pseudoassembly for an extraordinary meeting after the Paris meetings, adding that he would not give information to party leaders before going to Paris.
``It is understood that we will go there to discuss the Cyprus issue from all angles and to review the things done to date. We will get the views of U.N. Secretary General. In that respect, we don`t need to make a new meeting now thinking that there is nothing new. The contacts done are known. We are in contact with the government. When we return, there will be a need to make a new assessment,`` he said.
Addressing those opposition circles who hold him responsible for the developments about Cyprus, Denktas said: ``It will be better for them to clearly state what Turkish Cypriots want rather than spreading their claim that `the Greek Cypriots put forward very good things on the table for us and that we rejected them`.``
Denktas also criticized the approach of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou who says that Cyprus is an EU membership criterion for Turkey after its adoption of the EU adjustment laws, adding that the Greek Deputy Defense Minister also continues to support the well known claims of ``legitimate government`` by saying that there is no concession on Cyprus issue
 Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel to NTV television. He alleges that the US has the most realistic approach on CyprusIstanbul NTV television (02.09.02) broadcast that Sukru Sina Gurel, deputy prime minister and foreign minister, in reply to Murat Akgun's questions on NTV, said that he found it strange for Gunter Verheugen, EU commissioner for enlargement, to issue such statements in connection with Turkey's accession talks, and pointed out that Turkey met all the conditions necessary for starting the accession talks.
"The EU is in deficiency with regard to its relations with Turkey because we have fulfilled all our responsibilities. Actually, the stage in Turkey-EU relations show that Turkey is put to a test of sincerity by the EU," he said.
Gurel also reacted to the EU demand with regard to the adaptation laws, as follows:
"Why does the EU doubt our will? I find this difficult to understand."
Gurel explained that the ministries had started to work on education and broadcasts in mother tongue.
"The Ministry of Education has launched work to this end and these efforts will be completed as soon as possible. This work will be completed not because Verheugen said so," he added.
In reply to a question on whether Cyprus will constitute the breaking point with regard to Turkey's relations with the EU, Gurel said: "Turkey has a clear-cut stand with regard to a mistaken EU decision that finalizes the division in Cyprus." Gurel further said that the United States is the third party involved in the Cyprus issue that has the most realistic approach.
Commenting on Turkey's policies concerning northern Iraq, Gurel said that it is unacceptable for a separate state to be established in northern Iraq and continued:
"It is unacceptable for us to have regional solutions and a new order in northern Iraq by establishing regional political authorities. We will also never accept the natural resources of Iraq to be allocated to others."
 Gurel to seek support for membership from the European ParliamentTurkish Daily News (03.09.02) reports that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel will fly to Strasbourg today to seek support from the European Parliament (EP) to obtain a date for membership negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit.
Commenting on EU commissioner Gunter Verheugen's statement that it is impossible to give a date to Turkey for membership negotiations at the Copenhagen summit, Gurel said: "We have demonstrated that we could take the most difficult steps in the most difficult conditions. We have fulfilled the preconditions of the EU for setting a date for membership negotiations. Now we are waiting the same attempt from the EU. Our expectation is to get a date for membership negotiations from the EU. We think that the political will of the EU is necessary for this, not an official of the EU."
In Strasbourg, Gurel will meet with leaders from political groups of the European Parliament, firstly with Europe United Left Group leader Francis Wurtz, and then the Greens Group chief Daniel Cohn Bendit, Christian Democrat Group boss Hans-Gerd Pottering, President of European Parliament Pat Cox, liberal Group chief Graham Watson and at last EP Turkey reporteur Alain Lamassoure and co-chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission Joost Lagendeijk.
After his contacts in Strasbourg Gurel will go to Brussels to meet with other high ranking EU officials
Meanwhile, the Justice and Development Party (JDP) reacted to Verheugen statements in a written statement saying that it was obvious that Verheugen's remarks were unfortunate but that Turkey was also at fault.
"The government could not give the EU the impression of being trustworthy both during the enactment of the EU adaptation laws and in the implementation process," the statement said adding "The government should evaluate its attitude at first and then blame Verheugen." It said Turkey did not implement the reforms properly and is still enforcing anti-democratic political bans.
 Statements by Sukru Sina Gurel to "HURRIYET" newspaper. He continues to express Turkey/s demands from the EU and threats for annexing CyprusIstanbul HURRIYET newspaper (02.09.02) carries the following report by Ugur Ergan under the title: "We will not accept an interim solution for EU accession":
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, when evaluating for the HURRIYET Newspaper the developments related to the EU said: "We want a date for the negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit. It is definitely impossible for us to accept an interim formula".
Gurel expressed that he discussed the EU subject with the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr George Papandreou, with whom he spoke on the telephone last week and said the following:
"Cyprus was not mentioned at all in our conversation with Papandreou. We only spoke about the EU. He asked me, 'What do you want me to say to my EU colleagues?' I said, 'We have taken important steps. We want a negotiation date at the Copenhagen Summit. It is definitely impossible for us to accept an interim formula.'"
Gurel made the threat that Turkey would be integrated with the pseudostate in case the EU unilaterally accepts Cyprus for EU membership without waiting for a solution on Cyprus and for Turkey to become a member.
Gurel stated: "Rauf Denktas is also saying, 'We will integrate'. In any case, we are taking steps in this direction. If the EU continues its present attitude until the end, then that is what we will do. Whether it is annexation or integration, put whatever name you want".
Gurel, upon his return to Turkey from Iran, made an announcement related to the statements of Gunter Verheugen, the member of the EU Commission responsible for enlargement. Gurel said, "Our expectation is for the EU to decide before the end of the year on a date for starting the negotiations. For this, the political will of the EU is required, not the view of an EU official".
 Bulent Ecevit evaluates Verheugen's statementsTurkish Daily News (02.09.02) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said: "We don't know whether European Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen's statements are true or not, but this will be an injustice against Turkey if they are." He was responding to questions before his departure for his Tekirdag city election visit, in Ankara.
Ecevit said: "Turkey has enacted EU adaptation laws and EU reforms, despite many problems and if these statements are true this will be an injustice against Turkey."
Ecevit also stated that it was difficult for the EU to find an excuse so as not to give Turkey EU membership. "I suppose that Mr Verheugen's statements are not true." Ecevit also added: "We will evaluate this issue with Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel."
Verheugen was quoted on Sunday by the Turkish press as saying: "It seems that it is difficult for Turkey to set a date for membership negotiations at the Copenhagen summit." On the other hand Reuters had said on August 30 that Gunter Verheugen said: "We cannot hide the fact that we need to see proper implementation of the reforms," adding, "I do not believe we will have a track record by the end of year that is sufficient to make a final judgement on opening negotiations."
 The foreign policy expert of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) expresses the party/s positions on Cyprus and other issues facing Turkey todayIn an exclusive interview with the Turkish Daily News, (02.09.02) Abdullah Gul, the deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) replies to questions on how his party would address the foreign policy issues if his party becomes government after the November 3 elections.
The full text of the interview is as follows:
Question: Mr Gul, we would like to start the interview with a question on Iraq. One of the very first things, if you come to power, to come on the agenda will be the Iraq problem. How do you approach this problem? How should this problem be solved?
Answer: We do not see the Iraq problem as a party's problem. It should be considered as a problem facing the country. On an issue that concerns the vital interests of the state, a party cannot have its own approach, even if it has, it cannot try to implement its own approach. When national interests are concerned, a national approach is needed to solve the problem. Iraq is not a problem that a party will face after winning the elections. Iraq has become a national interest matter. When Turkey's interests are the issue we shall better look in a wider angle. If we establish the government and if this problem persists we would ask the Foreign Ministry, Turkish military and some institutions in connection with Iraqi affairs for their opinion. We would devise an approach accordingly. We have to look at what Turkey's best interests are and act accordingly. This case is very problematic. There is no room for foreign policy to act according to ideology, rhetoric or exaggeration. Regional and world realities should be kept in mind as well.
Iraq has had problems for the past 10-15 years. One million people died in the Iran-Iraq War. One million people from this region died in that war. I underline this. Huge amounts of resources were wasted. Resources to be spent for the development and the welfare of regional people were wasted. Nothing changed in the end. Later a pointless invasion of Kuwait was realized by Iraq. The U.S. led international coalition intervened and Iraq was ousted from Kuwait. This devastated the region. Chemical weapons were used against Iran and against Kurds in Halabja for the first time since World War I. This is painful. We also should mention that people who are currently Iraq's enemy watched all that had happened without saying a word.
The sum of what happens here is clear. People of this region wasted their financial and human resources meant for development and welfare.
Of course we cannot control other countries' regimes. They are all legitimate for themselves. As an individual I am in favour of liberal, democratic regimes. We have sympathy towards them. We have no sympathy towards autocratic, dictatorship regimes. However, in state to state relations, one key principle is non-interference in each other's internal affairs and it is none of our business what system of administration any country might prefer to have. People should decide their own destiny. You have to respect them. You may have good relations with them, as required by your national interests, but this is something else than showing sympathy towards them.
From all that has happened in Iraq over the past decade caused too much suffering for the Iraqi people and the people of this region. Our sincere hope is to see Iraq fully complying with United Nations resolutions and quickly taking up its right place in the international family of nations.
There is a claim that Iraq is producing chemical weapons and may also produce nuclear weapons and this may threaten the region. Of course we do not want our neighbours to produce nuclear weapons and chemical weapons. On the other hand Iraq invites UNSCOM inspectors to investigate. There is no justification for acting with rage and enmity. Everyone should remember that there are international laws - U.N. Security council regulations. So no country should say, "I can do what ever I want," ignoring the laws and people. This goes for the U.S. as well as the European Union.
An Iraq operation cannot be staged with an individual decision by one country. If there are reasons necessitating such an operation, evidence must be clearly revealed. An operation must be justifiable. When Turkey is involved we pay more attention to such issues. We pay attention to developments in Latin America but we give more importance to any development in our neighbouring countries. We have historical and cultural relations. Iraq and Turkish people have many common points. Moreover, Turkey and Iraq have economic, trade interests. The last Gulf Crisis cost Turkey more than $40 billion for which we have not been compensated for despite all the pledges. Egypt and Syria have been compensated for their loss, but not Turkey. Besides other factors, the Gulf War losses of Turkey contributed as well to the current economic crisis in the country.
Because of the situation in Iraq there is a power vacuum in Northern Iraq, and there is a new "de facto" emerging state. Whether you accept it or not it is there.
"No this won't happen" has been stated repeatedly, but obviously a development has taken place. This will definitely create many important imbalances in the region. This will influence Turkey, Syria and Iran. This might disturb these countries at a domestic level, which is of importance to us.
When I say Turkey's interest I mean looking at Turkey's national interests. Therefore I compare it with the developments in Latin America because the results will directly influence us. We are in favour of Iraq's integrity. We want this to continue. Iraq's territorial integrity must continue. All Iraqi people must feel secure. All Iraqi people in northern, central and southern Iraq rather than fearing for themselves should be eligible to benefit from their constitutional rights. Iraq's integrity is important because disintegration means disrespectful behaviour towards Iraqi people. Accepting disintegration of Iraq would destabilize the entire geography. It would lead to unforeseen risks emerge in the long run.
The U.S. has not made a decision on Iraq. James Baker and many people say different things than the U.S. administration about a military strike. There are conflicting approaches on the issue in the United States. No one should expect Turkey to act according to other people's ideas. If ever this issue comes on the agenda of the country, this issue must be decided in a manner that serves best to Turkey's and regional interests and for that the views of the state establishment, the Foreign Ministry, the military will have to be given due consideration.
Question: The Second Intifada has continued in Palestine for the past two years. There appears to be no end to the continued bloodshed. What's the approach of your party to the Arab-Israeli problem? How do you see the solution for the Middle East?
Answer: The Middle East issue continues. The violation of Palestinian territories continues and Palestinian children keep dying. Meanwhile, an American operation against Iraq is an imminent question in the regional people's minds and hearts. This issue should be calculated very well.
Therefore the job is not that important. The results of the job are important. Unfortunately Israel under the Sharon administration almost caused great drawbacks for the U.S. among Middle Eastern people. These politics gave strength to anti-Semitic movements. We view both developments as very dangerous. This should not happen. We want peace between Israel and Palestine. Turkey should contribute to this. An independent Palestine state should be established. Israel should withdraw from the invaded territories and Israel's security must be provided. We think that the recent Arab summit in Beirut has resulted with very courageous decisions. I want to draw attention that the U.S. and Israel should carefully evaluate this.
Question: Does Israel have the right to decide who the Palestinian president should be? Can a state say, "I do not want you" to the president of another country? Can they say "We do not want Arafat?" What do you think about state terror or suicide attacks?
Answer: No they cannot. It should be the people who should change their leader. The same mistake can be seen in the U.S. policy towards Iraq. Broadcasting hatred against Iraq disturbs Iraqi people, which in turn cause them to become more patriotic and more conservative. Those who might have been against the current regime might decide to support it due to this broadcasting. The same can be said for Palestine. If you try to choose their representative from outside, the people will be insulted and turn against you. So you have to leave the decision up to the people. Each person should choose its own representative. Even if it is a mistake, they must make their own mistakes. Perhaps he is very old and his health will not allow him to go on, but such pressure makes him a symbol.
Question: What do you think about terror in the region?
Answer: There is no way to support terror. We do not welcome suicide attacks. There is no difference between an innocent Palestinian child and innocent Israeli child. However this is not the end of the issue. You had to look at Palestine and Gaza territories under occupation. Then you may understand how people reach such a level of madness. I repeat it. This does not mean we approve of such things. I do not approve of suicide attacks. Neither Muslim nor Jews, I do not want any blood or teardrops. This has to be stopped but we also think that we first have to know the reason for the problem. If a girl at the age of 18 becomes a suicide attacker, you have to find the reasons behind this. You have to solve the problem, and then you can end the attacks. There is no way to reach a solution by bombing. The world is full of examples of this.
Question: What is JDP's view toward relations with Israel? What is your approach to Turkish-Israeli relations?
Answer: We are in favour of developing our relations with all regions. Turkish-Israeli relations are fine and at their best so far. We are in favour of continuing this good relationship based on mutual interests.
Question: Do you think Turkey is contributing to the Middle East as it requires?
Answer: Turkey has to be influencing the region. Turkey controlled the region for one hundred years. Controlled Jerusalem for a long period. Under Ottoman rule, the region lived the longest uninterrupted peace.
Turkey's contribution to the region will be beneficial for the region. The most important thing is that Turkey is equally remote to both countries and wants the well-being for both of them.
Question: Do you think Turkey has neglected Arab countries?
Answer: I think Turkish-Arab relations have been neglected in recent years. We want our economic, tourism, political and cultural relations be improved.
We have to overcome the "trust problem". I think everyone's life style is worth respecting. Relations must improve according to this understanding. Especially Syria this is a valid argument for all neighbours. I think that our relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia are below what it has to be.
It is in the best interest of Turkey and the Arab world to have better relations in all spheres.
Question: What about Iran and Russia? There is an image that there is a power struggle in the Caucasus and Central Asia between Turkey, Russia and Iran. How do you evaluate this?
Answer: The Turkish-Iranian border is older than American history. This is a fact known very well. It is up to he Iranian regime but apparently they are loosing their extreme views as well. When you ask whether Iran has influence on Turkey, apparently Turkey has more influence over Iran than Iran has over Turkey.
If you consider the Iranian population in Turkey, which is almost a million, we think that Turkish-Iranian relations will bring peace of mind to the region. We believe Turkey will develop relations with Asia and the Far East.
There is big room for cooperation in the region. We do not need to compete. I believe that cooperation is more beneficial for all. The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) development bank should be invigorated, very much like the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Development Bank. Black Sea Development Bank made important contributions to the improvements in the region. We believe that a similar role can be played by the ECO Development Bank.
Question: What about Russia?
Answer: Russia is a big country. It has enormous potential in many ways. Having good relations with Russia is important for Turkey. This is for Russia's interest as well. When economy is considered Russia is an important country once more. Having economic relations are important for political relations. Our unofficial relations are ahead of official relations, and that is very promising
Question: Didn't we neglect relations with Central Asian countries?
Answer: In a similar way relations with Turkic republics have been neglected for the past four years. Once, there were uncalculated projects and promises. As was the case in Turkish Islamic countries relations, rhetoric became important. We have to use a realistic approach. I believe there is an important amount of business potential for both Turkey and Turkic republics. I should say we are to blame for the current situation in our relations with the Central Asian and Caucasian Turkish republics. This will have to change fast.
We are not saying Turkey should play a "big brother" like role, in the region; on the contrary, a web of relations between the equals should be developed for our mutual benefit.
Question: We know that in all these countries, the former Soviet rulers are still running their countries. Do you think the regimes in this region cause problems for you since the JDP is in favour of freedoms?
Answer: Development and long term stability is only possible in democratic countries. The best thing for this is to set an example. Turkey is a Muslim country, which is also a democracy. If we demonstrate that a Muslim democratic country can become a developed country, we will set an example for others. I consider Turkey as the source of excitement for others. I mean I believe that a country, which respects its own identity, democratic, open, in peace with its people, will set an example to other countries.
Again, we believe what administrative system a country should have; who should be the leader of a country is something that should be decided by the people of that country. We respect their decision.
We want intense and intimate relations between Turkey and the Turkish republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. But, rather than building these relations on rhetoric and slogans, we want these ties to flourish on mutually beneficial cooperation projects.
Question: Another issue is Armenia. That Caucasian country is very much like the cork of a bottle that lies on the land connection between Turkey and the Turkish World. What's the approach of JD Party towards relations with Armenia?
Answer: Turkey has always had good intentions for Armenia. Armenia is our neighbour, therefore we would like to have good relations with them.
There is need to have more economic cooperation for bilateral and regional development. Increased economic cooperation will help establishment of peace and stability in the region. So cooperation is in the interest of both countries.
This does not mean we will not notice some unfair behaviour. Armenia still occupies Azerbaijan territories. There are over one million displaced Azerbaijanis because of occupation of Nogorno-Karabagh by Armenia. Over the past years Turkey has done its best to contribute to a resolution of that problem, and those efforts will continue.
On the other hand, we expect some European countries to be more constructive. I believe the politically-motivated resolutions adopted by some European parliaments in support of Armenian claims against Turkey won't do any good to anyone. Those confrontations bring nothing to countries. When economic development is realized it also gives a path to trust.
Question: Do you have the opinion that Economic cooperation will help solve bilateral problems?
Answer: This is my priority. I have a similar approach to Turkish-Greek relations. I declared it on Turkish-Russian relations. Unofficial relations mean economic relations. Therefore if you improve economic relations and trade, these will also provide an improvement in political relations.
Question: Another area that Turkey has neglected over the past years was the Balkans.
Answer: Turkey has not neglected the Balkans, the Arab World or the Turkish World. Turkey has turned inwards. There is a reason for this. Turkey has neglected its own people. Turkey's economy is bad and this influenced Turkey's relations abroad. If Turkey cannot pay attention to her own people, how can it pay attention to the Balkans or Caucuses? Therefore we put the economy on the top of our list.
We have contributed to the establishment of peace and order in the Balkans as a member of the international community. We have made military contributions. But we did not have the same influence in the economy or politically. In fact there is a base for it. If Turkey had supported some areas Turkey would be the most advantageous country in the Balkans. We already have a very rich common history in Balkans.
Question: What is your approach to the Cyprus issue?
Answer: The Cyprus issue is not a party problem. This is Turkey's national problem. All parties from different parts of the political spectrum have similar approaches when Cyprus is the case. I want to declare a fact: Turkey is unsuccessful in the Cyprus case. Some 25 years after, the Turkish Cypriot society have problems, which it did not have at the beginning. Northern Cyprus can be an attractive area for the international community. All could be in a better situation economically. A political solution would have been easier if we had succeeded in building a healthy economy there. I find us unsuccessful.
Greek Cyprus' accession to the EU will not solve the problem. We always talk about it with our friends in the EU. There is the Belgian model. This model works for one of the founding countries of the EU, Belgium, why not in Cyprus? We do not believe that there is a solution in Cyprus in this current situation unless the founding partnership rights of the Turkish Cypriot people are acknowledged by the Greek Cypriot side and Europe stops treating the Greek Cypriot state as the sole government of the entire island.
Question: If you gain the majority at the elections and come to power, one of the issues on the immediate agenda would be the "If Greek Cyprus access the EU alone we will annex Northern Cyprus" declaration of Ecevit. What would you do?
Answer: It is not appropriate to consider such a thing. This issue belongs to all parties. Cyprus is a national issue that has to be addressed after due consideration with the Foreign Ministry, the military and other relevant agencies of the state.
Question: Turkey made some reforms. The attempt was to adopt the Copenhagen criteria. It is almost done. Turkey has a base to get a date. Are you satisfied with these reforms?
Answer: There are issues that the EU cannot give up. There are EU club membership rules. You cannot ask to change a rule for yourself. If the EU puts extra rules other than those written ones, however, this will undermine trust towards the EU. The Cyprus issue is one of those additional issues that the EU intends to bring up.
When we look at the social and political development in Cyprus we have to see that this is a dangerous one. We have a question in our minds. Will Turkish people be eradicated in the long run in Cyprus? This is a trauma for us. We have seen the examples of this. In the Aegean Islands, in Crete we saw. We may applaud a project thinking that we solved the problem... But that settlement may eradicate you in 30 years. This is not a solution. We look 30 years after. That is how we can solve the problem.
Our western friends have to understand this. We always lost on the table. Turks keep this fact in mind. And this is true we have this in our mind.
Question: Do you consider recent reforms adequate?
Answer: No I do not find them sufficient.
Question: Will you make new reforms if you come to power?
Answer: Reforms made involuntarily will not be practiced with enthusiasm. This means failure. "Reforms are important but implementation of them is more important" Europeans say. We want reforms not because the EU has been demanding them, but rather out of our belief that our people deserve them. We think that the EU standards are one that Turkey has to reach; we will win anyway even if the EU does not accept us if we achieve those standards.
Question: How do you see Turkey sending troops to Afghanistan?
Answer: There is an area Turkey cannot stay uninterested in. The Balkans, Afghanistan, Cyprus, the Middle East, the area where we have vital interests. Turkey has always had close relations with these regions.
Turkey's contribution to such operations must be for regional people. This is important. An operation shall not be against the goodness of regional people.
Question: Turkey is located in a strategic region. Do you think it is easy to overcome problems in the region or is there a need for structural change in the makeup of Turkish state administration?
Answer: This is the problem of understanding. This is something that is related with changing Turkey and changing the world. You cannot succeed only by changing the ministry or bureaucracy. Many roles could be played by nongovernmental organizations. Our bureaucracy has to be upgraded, this is natural. I think that Turkey has a good and strong foreign bureaucracy. It is not politicized. It has to be supported for development. We have to implement a new understanding instead of a state based system. When it is realized many things will be done without state control, without the official way.
Question: What about Turkish-American relations?
Answer: Turkish-American relations are very important. We have a strategic partnership with the United States. We are in favour of improving these strategic relations between Turkey and the United States. This is based on mutual interest. Nothing based on one-sided interest can live long. Turkey has relations with the U.S. in many areas; in science, education, technology, culture, trade and military cooperation. These relations must be enhanced.
Turkey as a NATO member is one of the strongest allies of the U.S.. We are aware of the importance of such things. Of course we want to improve our relations. We want to increase Turkey's power in NATO. We do not want anybody to forget Turkey's invaluable services during the Cold war era.
Question: America is at war against international terrorism. What is the place of Turkey in this war?
Answer: There are new improvements. Subjects are not old classic subjects anymore. When you look at NATO meetings, agendas of other institutions you see it. There are new issues arising. One of them is international terrorism. September 11 is a turning point in that sense. It is a turning point in world politics. We as JD Party were the first who noticed this new era. We were a very young party when it happened. The night of the event our Party Executive prepared a message and presented it to the U.S. ambassador to Turkey. We said in our letter that condemning terror is not enough and that there is a need for common ground for fighting with terror. Things developed in that sense. We will do our best to contribute fighting terrorism. Terrorism is not addressed solely in the U.S.. We are a country that has suffered seriously from terrorism. When September 11 happened, many countries remembered the ordeal we had to suffer. Turkey has been doing all it can to help fight terrorism and will continue doing so.
 Court decision confuses whether Erdogan is banned or notTurkish Daily News (02.09.02) publishes the following report:
After Turkey's top court issued its reason on the political ban of Hasan Celal Guzel who was convicted on charges of violating the Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code just like the popular leader of the Justice and Development Party, (JDP) newspapers made differing comments on the political future of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Former Istanbul Mayor and current leader of JDP, Erdogan was also convicted on charges of violating Article 312, which is mainly a regulating penalty for those accused of inciting unrest, rebellion, hatred, or secession on the basis of religion, race, or class, during a speech he made years ago. Later, Parliament amended Article 312 as a part of its reform package.
According to the previous regulation those who were sentenced on charges of violating Article 312 were banned from being a founder member or leader of a political party.
After the amendment, the Constitutional Court decided that Hasan Celal Guzel, who was the leader of the Rebirth Party (RP), can be a party member.
Earlier, the same court asked Erdogan to step down from the membership of his JDP.
After this decision, Erdogan is expected to apply to the Supreme Election Board to remove his political ban, a move that would allow him to enter the elections set for November 3.
According to RADIKAL newspaper, Erdogan has a slim chance and it is unlikely for the Supreme Election Board to allow him to run in the elections due to the previous decision of the Constitutional Court.
On the other hand, YENI SAFAK newspaper in its headline wrote: Politics without a ban. According to YENI SAFAK, due to the top court's decision, Erdogan will enter the elections without a hitch.
Meanwhile, MILLIYET newspaper quoted a top jurist whose named was held upon his request as saying that neither Erdogan nor Necmettin Erbakan would be able to enter polls. According to MILLIYET, the most influential jurist of Turkey said neither of these politicians will be candidates in the elections and there is nothing to discuss about this situation.
Erdogan's JDP was one of the parties that was founded from the ashes of the defunct Virtue Party (FP) which was banned by the Constitutional Court on charges of being the center of an Islamist movement.
Erdogan repeated that he and his political views have changed and his JDP is a center-right party which is not based on religious rules. But he is still viewed as a threat by some strictly secular parts of the state.
According to public opinion polls, JDP will be the winner of the 2002 elections.
 Bargaining season opens over Cyprus, EUReferring to the latest situation in the Cyprus problem and invoking well-placed sources, Yusuf Kanli, writes the following in Turkish Daily News (03.09.02).
An intense bargaining season has started over Turkey's place in Europe and the future of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
The next four months will be very crucial for Turkey's European Union bid as well as for Cyprus developments since efforts to work out a solution on the eastern Mediterranean island will reach a climax while Ankara will either get a date and maintain its hopes for a possible accession in 2007 or will continue knocking on the European door without a membership perspective.
Annoyed with statements from northern Cyprus and Ankara that if the European Union goes along with the plans and spells out a date for Greek Cypriot accession at its December Copenhagen summit Ankara and the "TRNC" would accelerate their integration, Washington and London on the one hand, Brussels on the other, as well as United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, have started to build up pressure on the Turkish government and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
In the latest talks with United Nations Cyprus Envoy Alvaro de Soto, American State Department Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston and British Cyprus special envoy Sir David Hannay, as well as with EU officials, Ankara and northern Cyprus has reportedly underlined that they did not want "surprise" developments on Cyprus.
Rauf Denktas, in latest talks with both De Soto and Hannay has reportedly stressed that whatever the cost would be he would reject any imposition.
Annan, according to well-placed sources, has postponed his intention of submitting a "non-paper" outline for a Cyprus settlement. The new U.N. "set of ideas", sources said, was to be presented to Denktas and Clerides when the Secretary-General met the two leaders in Paris on September 6, but taking into consideration the forthcoming elections in Turkey, Annan has postponed presenting the "non-paper" until December.
"The U.N. chief is not going to present any proposals at the Paris encounter but he is likely to sound out the two leaders on his intention to do so," a source said.
According to sources, the "set of ideas" will offer a basis for a solution and will be presented in the form of the ultimatum: "Take it or leave it".
According to diplomatic sources, if the Greek side accepts the U.N. proposal -- even if the Turks don't -- the path will be clear for Greek Cypriots to join the EU.
Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas, on the other hand, may unveil in the days ahead a new and comprehensive package for a Cyprus settlement, well-placed sources said. The new offer by Denktas, which was expected to be presented to the Greek Cypriot side late last month, but was delayed, would cover all aspects of the Cyprus problem, the sources said.
The direct talks between the two sides on Cyprus, which have been continuing since January 16, have so far failed to produce a substantive breakthrough, although both sides acknowledge that on many aspects of the almost 40-year-old power sharing problem between the two peoples of the island, the two sides are closer to a deal than ever.
Still, the sides, according to well-placed sources, remain far apart, among some other minor issues, particularly on issues related to governance -- Turkish Cypriots want a confederation of two sovereign states while Greek Cypriots want a unitary federation --, "reinstitution of property rights" -- Turkish Cypriots refuse to accept the "right to return" for Greek Cypriot refugees and offer a compensation and exchange of property scheme while Greek Cypriots insist on return of "majority" of refugees to their former homes in northern Cyprus-and future role of the United Nations peacekeepers -- Greek Cypriots want the U.N. force permanently stay on the island and oversee the implementation of the settlement accord while Turkish Cypriots say U.N. force could stay for some time on Cyprus after the settlement but cannot be given the permanent status of overseeing a settlement as such a move would be in contradiction with the principle of sovereignty.
The continued stalemate in the talks and the approaching December deadline, on the other hand, has started forcing the two sides to follow a tougher line. While Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and senior executives of his administration publicly have been stressing that they would never accept a settlement that would give sovereignty to the Turkish Cypriot state, Ankara and northern Cyprus has started to talk of "tit for tat" action against possible Greek Cypriot unilateral EU accession.
According to Ankara and northern Cyprus, the 1960 treaties that gave birth to the Cyprus Republic clearly rule out "in part or whole" membership of the island in any economic, political or military organization in which both Turkey and Greece are already members.
While Britain, one of the guarantor powers of the 1960 accords together with Greece and Turkey, has been stressing that the treaties did not bar the island from entering the EU, Ankara has been saying that such a move would be incompatible with international law.
Ankara has declared earlier this summer that it would not accept such a unilateral EU accession by Greek Cypriots and could annex northern Cyprus in retaliation.
Such a move by Ankara, on the other hand, would seriously hamper Turkey's own ambition of becoming a member of the European Union.
While an island is complicating Turkey's EU accession prospects, another island may perhaps be holding the key that could effectively prevent an all-out confrontation between Turkey and Brussels.
According to an August 19-21 survey by the Reuters news agency with leading 36 economists and political analysts, the expansion plans of the EU could fall victim to an Irish referendum, besides a set of other factors including high cost of financing, and Brussels may be compelled to postpone enlargement designs beyond January 2004.
Last year, Irish voters unexpectedly rejected the Nice Treaty, whose changes to EU voting and other administrative arrangements are needed to make enlargement manageable. Another referendum is due around October, and a second rejection could lead to a delay in the bloc's expansion plans.
If the Irish referendum on the Nice Treaty fails, the immediate fall out on the accession plans of the EU would be that the relevant points, such as the number of seats in the European Parliament each accession country gets, would have to be written into accession treaties. Thus, the enlargement plans of Brussels will have to be postponed by at least a year.
Postponement of the EU enlargement plans would on the one hand ease the Turkish pressure on Brussels to give it a date for the start of accession talks, while postponing for at least one year a possible confrontation between the EU and Turkey over the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus while also providing some additional time to peacemaking talks between Denktas and Clerides.
While the U.S. and British envoys have been touring Ankara, Athens and the two parts on Cyprus to advise restraint and urge all four asides to be more forthcoming and contribute to a resolution of the Cyprus problem, there have been intense diplomatic contacts by both Ankara and Athens also.
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is preparing to launch a tour of European capitals this week to explain to his European counterparts the merits of allowing Greek Cypriots in at the December Copenhagen summit, his Foreign Minister George Papandreou telephoned last week his Turkish counterpart Sukru Sina Gurel to explain that Greece would help Turkey to get a date for the start of accession talks if Ankara showed flexibility on Greek Cypriot EU accession.
Sukru Gurel, on the other hand, is launching today a month-long program which would take him in stages to almost all European capitals to explain Turkey's right to get a date for the start of accession talks as Ankara has completed with the latest reforms the Copenhagen criteria while on the other hand telling European colleagues that Turkey's reaction to the Greek Cypriot EU entry "will not have a limit."
Gurel will explain to his European counterparts that Ankara has fulfilled all its pledges to Brussels and has fully complied with the Copenhagen criteria and now expects the EU give it a date for the start of accession talks.
After heavy pressure from the EU and the United States, the Turkish Parliament abolished last month the death penalty and granted greater rights to the country's Kurds -- moves aimed at earning membership in the European Union.
The EU made abolishing the death penalty a condition for Turkey to join the Union after making it a candidate for membership in 1999, while international activist groups have long lobbied for an end to restrictions on Kurdish education and language-use.
The trip of Gurel comes amid reports from Brussels that Guenter Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, has said this week that although Turkish reforms were appreciated, the EU would see application of those reforms before giving Ankara a date for the start of talks.
Turkey, however, tend to evaluate Verheugen's remarks as aimed for "domestic political consumption" in Germany and the approach of both the German EU commissioner, as well as the German government towards Turkey's EU membership will change once the elections were held in that country.
 Angolemli: The Greek Cypriots have made some important steps during the talksORTAM (03.09.02) reports that Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), has said that the Greek Cypriots have made some important steps during the face-to-face talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, but Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas "continues his usual attitude" and he is trying to "create a picture against the solution".
In a written statement issued yesterday after visiting the occupied area of Morphou as the head of a CLP delegation, Mr Angolemli expressed the opinion that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey will benefit more than any one else by the solution of the Cyprus problem.
"We must be the side, which exerts pressure for a solution and the side, which wants a solution for both the salvation of the Turkish Cypriots who are isolated from the world and all their rights have been taken away form them and for opening the way of Turkey towards the European Union", argued Mr Angolemli.
 Turkey's annexing occupied Cyprus is described as madnessTurkish mainland ZAMAN (01.09.02 internet version) reports that experts express the opinion that it would be madness for Turkey to annex the occupied part of Cyprus, in case the Republic of Cyprus accedes to the EU before a solution to the island's political problem. The paper notes that Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also "seeing positively" the annexation issue, but specialists argue that this is not possible.
According to retired ambassador Yalim Eralp, Turkey could use such tactics for taking a date to begin its negotiations with the EU, but even in the most negative situation annexing Cyprus could not be discussed.
"Annexation is not possible. The most Turkey could do is controlling the foreign relations and the defense affairs like India does with Nepal", said Mr Eralp, adding that "Turkey always uses this kind of methods, but it makes a complete mess of things".
Furthermore, Professor Dr Hasan Koni of Ankara University noted that many different scenarios exist regarding the Cyprus problem, but Turkey will not decide to annex the island. Prof. Koni argues that Turkey uses this threat in order to get some concessions from the other side. Prof. Koni suggested the following in case Cyprus joins the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem:
"The laws of the EU to be implemented only in southern Cyprus until Turkey becomes a member. When this happens then the EU laws should be implemented and in the TRNC. Annexation means that Turkey will completely remain outside and this would be a disaster for Turkey, the EU and Greece".
 DOKAY launches its protest actionsKIBRIS (03.09.02) reports that the Association of the Unjustly Treated Citizens who Bought a House by paying with Foreign Exchange (DOKAY) organized yesterday a protest action in tents in occupied Famagusta and launched a signatures campaign demanding either salaries indexed to foreign exchange or paying their debts in Turkish liras.
The paper writes that the slogans of the protesters such as "In 1963 we had 100 tents, in 2002 we have 3000 tents" attracted the attention.
DOKAY's chairwoman, Zehra Cengiz said that within the first day of the protest they collected 500 signatures for their demands.
 Thomas Weston held contacts in AnkaraTurkish Daily News (03.09.02) reports that Washington and Britain have stepped up Cyprus diplomacy while Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides are preparing for a crucial September 6 meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
American State Department Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston was in Ankara and British Special Cyprus envoy Sir David Hannay was in Cyprus Monday.
Thomas Weston met Foreign Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and stated after the meeting that the U.S. has not presented any solution plan. Weston indicated that the meeting was sincere and productive. Weston mentioned that he will go to New York.
Weston answering the question of whether he presented a U.S. solution proposal said the U.S. has no intention of presenting a proposal but is considering what steps can be followed. "We have no plan," Weston said.
Weston answering another question, pertaining to whether he expected any solution from his meetings, said their aim was to provide help for the process.
 Mumtaz Soysal: "Our proposal of two states has begun to be accepted"KIBRIS (03.09.02) reports that Mumtaz Soysal, advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, evaluated yesterday the latest developments in the Cyprus problem in the Turkish private NTV channel.
Referring to last week's discussion among political circles in Ankara that Cyprus will be sacrificed, Soysal said: "Cyprus cannot be sold once more. Turkey does not encourage anyone to do that in politics. In that case the reaction of the people will be huge."
Mumtaz Soysal alleged that it has been observed that the view of two partnership states and that a partnership between the two states in Cyprus must be established has been gradually accepted. He also said that these positive developments will not be enough for the settlement of the Cyprus problem until the Copenhagen Summit, which is expected to affirm the full accession of Cyprus to the bloc.
Adding that the time is getting short and that progress in the talks is very limited, Soysal said: "There is no sign that there would be no progress. There may be. The biggest mistake of the EU is that they can accept the south as a full member before even the framework of the solution and in this way they will give an end to the procedure". Soysal stressed that the negotiations will not continue with such a situation.
In case the worst scenario is realised, then others formulas, including the annexation of south Cyprus by Turkey will come on the agenda, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs said. He concluded by saying that Turkey is in favour of the continuation of a separate state for the Turkish Cypriots in the occupied areas.
 Serdar Denktas: "A referendum on the issue of sovereignty must be held"According to KIBRIS (03/09/02) the so-called Tourism and Environment Minister, Mr Serdar Denktas, replying to journalists' questions during a meeting of the Association of Turkish-German Businessmen and Academicians in Izmir, stressed that a referendum on the sovereignty issue must take place.
"We say that our right of sovereignty is important. We must protect it from the Greek Cypriots. Some persons among us say: 'If the sovereignty is so important, why do we not use it against Turkey?' There is an answer to this but we have not given it for years. We can transfer this part of our sovereign right either to the Greek Cypriots, to Turkey or to the USA. This right is ours. The right of taking this decision belongs to the people. A referendum must be held", Serdar Denktas said.