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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-04

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.168/02 04.09.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices. He seems to forget that his puppet regime was set up by the Turkish occupation troops.
  • [02] Sukru Sina Gurel alleges that the US have started to understand the Cyprus problem better.
  • [03] Sukru Sina Gurel explained the "realities" of Cyprus to "Anadolu" magazine. He calls the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus and violation of international law as peace operation.
  • [04] The President of Turkey met with the UN Secretary-General
  • [05] The new US Ambassador visited Denktas in occupied Nicosia; He stressed that the US will work for a solution in the framework of the UN resolutions.
  • [06] Denktas recalls words of Ataturk to support that Cyprus is important for Turkey.
  • [07] The blackmail and threatening policy of the Turkish side has reached its peak.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist says Denktas/ recent statements aim at sabotaging the face-to-face talks.
  • [09] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that the rhetoric used by Sukru Sina Gurel for Cyprus is causing astonishment in Europe.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices. He seems to forget that his puppet regime was set up by the Turkish occupation troops

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (03.09.02) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides came together for the 52nd time in the buffer zone under UN auspices in the framework of the direct talks on Cyprus.

    Speaking to reporters prior to the meeting, Denktas said: ``We continue to protect our sovereignty,`` adding that it would be impossible to reach a compromise by ignoring sovereignty.

    When reminded about the latest statements by Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Denktas noted that they would continue discussing the ``citizenship`` issue, stressing: ``I don't listen to words expressed out of the table. I will take into consideration the words expressed at the table. If an agreement is reached, it will be reached with the words we express at the table. If the people of the two sides like this agreement, they will approve it. If the other side does not like and approve it, we will have our state continue to exist and exalt together with Turkey. This does not have any other solution. The state is not given up in no other place in the world as there are problems in the state, economic problems in the country and complaints about the administration.``

    Recalling the speech of the Zimbabwean President at the U.N. summit in South Africa, Denktas said: ``He says that they are Zimbabweans and a sovereign state and they are as equal as Europeans and they do not impose their culture on Europeans so Europeans do not have the right to impose their culture on Zimbabwe, but they are ready to cooperate with Europeans under equal conditions. As the Turkish Cypriots, we have been saying the same thing. Greek Cypriots took a title with force of weapons and violence in 1963 and now they still say that it belongs to them and they want to patch us. They should give up this mentality. Then, it is very easy to reach an agreement.``

    When asked under what kind of a framework they were discussing on the ``citizenship`` issue before a compromise on the sovereignty issue, Denktas said: ``When the joint state is founded, the citizens of both of the founder states will at the same time be citizens of the joint state. This means that they accept your citizenship. Sovereignty will be valid for our internal purpose and this will continue to be valid, but citizens of this state will be at the same time citizens of the new Cyprus that will be founded and can get the other state`s passport.``

    When asked whether or not a step taken in this issue would bring an agreement on the issue of sovereignty, Denktas said: ``Maybe, there is no serious difference of opinion.``

    Following his meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Denktas told reporters that both sides in the island would be well-prepared for the Paris meeting.

    Denktas said that they made an evaluation in today`s meeting prior to the Paris meeting, and added: ``We explained what we think and they expressed their own views. To this end, we know what they will do and they know what we will do.``

    Upon a question about the agenda of the Paris meeting, Denktas said: ``The Secretary-General wants to make an evaluation. To this end, both sides will be prepared for it.``

    Asked if there was a development relating to the invitation of the European Parliament (EP), Denktas said that he was ready to go irrespective of the decision of Clerides. He stated that Clerides` response would become definite after the Paris meeting.

    Denktas pointed out that they could not take up the ``citizenship`` issue since they could not have sufficient time during today`s meeting and added that he would meet with Clerides on September 11.

    [02] Sukru Sikna Gurel alleges that the US have started to understand the Cyprus problem better

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (02.09.02) carried a live studio interview with Sukru Sina Gurel, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, by Burcun Imir in Ankara.

    Explaining that Gurel has just returned from Iran, Imir asked Gurel to comment on his visit. In reply Gurel said that he has seen from his contacts with the Iranian president, parliament speaker, prime minister, and others that there is a "distinctive political will" to further good relations with Turkey. Recounting that this is "extremely welcoming," Gurel adds that Turkey also seeks to pursue "sincere" relations with Iran even if there are some differences on certain issues.

    In reply to a question on whether he discussed a possible operation into Iraq with the Irani administration, Gurel explained that both Turkey and Iran share the same concerns with regard to a possible strike because an action from outside will cause havoc in the region and have lasting consequences. Gurel further noted that Turkey shares Iran's view that the issue of Iraq should be resolved by persuading Iraq to implement the UN resolutions and not by launching an operation.

    In reply to another question on whether Ankara declared to the US Administration and other counterparts that Turkey will not extend support to any military operation, Gurel said that a "very sincere conversation" was held with the US officials. Explaining that the US Administration has not yet decided where, how, and when it will carry out an operation, Gurel added: "If you look into the statements issued by US Secretary of State Powell, you will realize that there is a difference from the statements made by the other US officials. The United States has, anyhow, not told us that it is making preparations for an operation and that it has demands from us. We, therefore, do not have any problems in this regard."

    Responding to a question on whether Turkey has already delineated the borders with regard to a possible operation, Gurel says: "Of course. Turkey has always told its friends in total sincerity its views on what undermines the essence of its interests."

    Commenting on the remarks made by Gunter Verheugen, EU commissioner responsible for enlargement, to the effect that Turkey should not expect a date for accession talks, Gurel said: "I had a chance to learn about the details. Verheugen said that it was a difficult decision to make. I agree with him that it is a difficult decision as all political decisions are." Continuing by explaining that Turkey also took some very difficult decisions, Gurel adds that "the Turkish Grand National Assembly adopted the adaptation laws even though political instability in Turkey had reached its peak." "In turn, Turkey expects the EU to take a small step, which will actually be very meaningful for Turkey. We expect this step to be taken by those who determine the political will of the EU and not by EU officials such as Verheugen."

    Gurel further said that Turkey sought to adapt itself to international standards as soon as possible and adds: "In this way, we have met the preconditions if there were preconditions to meet. I think that it is unjust to be told that the EU wants to see if we can implement these laws. In my opinion, this is unjust. If Turkey displayed this political will at a very difficult period, this proves that it has the political will to implement these laws." Gurel further notes that the reforms will be completed and the laws will be enacted before the elections.

    In reply to a question on the expectations of Ankara and Nicosia from the 6 September talks in Paris, Gurel says that he does not expect "the UN Secretary- General to make the mistake of presenting a paper to Clerides or Denktas because this is tantamount to having a direct influence on the talks."

    In reply to a question on whether Ankara and Nicosia have a contingency plan in the event that a paper is presented, Gurel says that "a new assessment will be conducted if there are unexpected negative developments in Paris." Noting that the UN Secretary-General will listen to both sides separately, Gurel says he does not believe that the UN Secretary-General has the intention to intervene in the talks.

    Responding to Imri's comment that Turkey envisaged to integrate with the occupation regime in the event that southern Cyprus integrates with EU, Gurel said: "This is nothing new. Turkey has been saying this since 1997 at the time of the 55th government, when Mr. Ecevit was deputy prime minister at the time." "In the event that the EU continues to take steps along the lines of integrating with the Greek Cypriot side, Turkey will take similar steps with the`TRNC/. Actually, we have and will continue to take such steps."

    In reply to a question on whether the United States is extending support to Turkey on the Cyprus issue, Gurel says that there are countries, like the United States, that have started to understand better the Cyprus issue and tell the truth in this regard.

    Noting that the coming period will be a testing period for the EU, Gurel said that Turkey has always been loyal to its commitments to the EU, adding that "most of the time, it was the EU that had shortcomings in its relations with us." Explaining that Turkey has now taken a major step, Gurel added that "to tell you the truth, it is not very nice of the EU to express appreciation of these steps on the one hand, while not doing the necessary on the other. This is the time when the EU is being tested for its sincerity."

    [03] Sukru Sina Gurel explained the "realities" of Cyprus to "Anadolu" magazine. He calls the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus and the violation of international law as peace operation

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (03.09.02) reported from Brussels that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Sukru Sina Gurel, on Tuesday told ``Anadolu`` magazine, which is published in Belgium for the Turks living there, that the Cyprus Government was encouraged by a series of ``imaginary solutions.`` ``It should never be forgotten that the Cyprus question is an issue between the two people having two separate national identities. The Turkish society in Cyprus has been a target for the first ethnic cleansing in Europe as of the end of 1963. The two `peoples/ in the island cannot co-exist since those days. Then, the Cyprus Peace Operation which increased the confidence of Turkish Cypriots and which ensured a secure geographical ground was staged in 1974. If the Greek Cypriot administration and those who direct the international community had not ignored basic realities about the Cyprus question those days, a ground through which the two societies in the island could co-exist could have been established again,`` Gurel alleged and added:

    ``But, this was not possible because the realities were not evaluated. Now, the attitude of the EU makes a solution difficult, and in fact, it makes a solution impossible. The EU is encouraging the Greek Cypriot administration with unrealistic and imaginary so-called solutions which do not have any validity. If those who are looking at the issue from outside and intervening in the issue from outside do not make a realistic evaluation in this current situation, the issue will continue in its current course.`` When it was noted that his approach towards the EU was ``harsh``, Gurel said, ``we should immediately stress this. Unfortunately, the EU has become a side in the Cyprus question and Turkish-Greek relations. Unless it leaves this position and unless this position is re-evaluated, it can not help a solution to Cyprus question. To this end, the EU has to review its attitude first of all. As I have said before, progress in negotiations on Cyprus mainly depends on act of the EU ghost, whether or not it withdraws from the negotiation table.``

    Asked if there were steps that Turkey could take relating to the Cyprus question, Gurel said: ``Steps that Turkey can take are certain: A solution to the Cyprus question is not connected with Turkey's EU membership. However, Cyprus` EU membership is directly linked with Turkey`s EU membership. That is, facilitation of a solution to the Cyprus question by Turkish Cypriots or Turkey`s representatives should and cannot have any positive or negative role in Turkey`s EU membership process.`` ``However, Cyprus cannot become a member of the EU even after finding a solution. Therefore, Turkey should act in line with its fundamental policy, and should not give any impression that can cause misunderstandings and disappointments later. Turkey`s attitude is clear, and everyone should be well-informed on the issue,`` he said.

    When asked about his expectations from the EU`s summit meeting to be held in Copenhagen in December, Gurel said: ``First of all, the EU should clarify its expectations from Turkey. We should take all steps to fulfill the political criteria. However, we should take these steps not to satisfy the EU, but to reach the standards of the modern world. It seems that there has been a serious disagreement among the EU member countries in the common agricultural policy. Also, there may be a tremor in the EU`s perspective due to political changes in some member countries. Can the EU complete its enlargement process? Can it start the enlargement process as of 2003-2004? Even these issues are suspicious. The most important thing for Turkey is to carry out its preparatory work for the EU membership. As the government, we have the will to carry out their work. However, if the EU tries to connect Turkey`s membership with some other issues like the Cyprus question, we consider it a sign of the EU`s bad intentions. We hope that we would not face with such bad intentions. Turkey`s proving itself to be ready for the EU full membership is not enough. Also the EU should prove its readiness for Turkey. The EU should give a clear perspective to Turkey.``

    ``The attitude of the EU about the Cyprus question does not make any contribution to the direct talks process aiming at finding a solution. The Greek Cypriot side`s joining the EU will be a violation of the international agreements. Such a development will hamper peace and stability in the region, and damage the balances. Cyprus cannot become a member of the EU without approval of Turkey. It is a policy of the state,`` he added.

    Referring to the issue of the Turks living abroad, Gurel said: ``The government has developed a main policy about Turkish people living abroad. We do not want our people to live an introverted and isolated life. Turkish people living abroad should become individuals making the most indispensable contribution to the society of that country. They should participate in political, cultural, and economic activities of those societies. They should both reach an harmony with that society and protect their own identities. We are responsible for helping them in this process. Therefore, we aim at creating such an integration.``

    ``Integration does not mean assimilation. We are determined to do our utmost to teach our children the Turkish language and Turkish culture. We attribute great importance to education. Because, education plays a key role for Turkish people living abroad to become an indispensable individual of that society,`` he said.

    Gurel touched on the importance of the participation of Turks living abroad in the political life of those countries and said: ``Of course, our people have to efficiently take part in all activities in the society they are living. They should join politics and show their power and existence. If you ask me, our people living abroad have two political duties. Firstly, they have to carry out political activities in the society they are living and thus, they can contribute to themselves, the society they are living in, and also to Turkey. The second, they should affect the political process in Turkey. This is the duty of all our people.``

    ``As Turkey, we have always hoped that our citizens can have the right to free movement in the EU and the whole world. The Foreign Ministry has been exerting efforts to provide visa facilities and even exemptions to Turkish citizens,`` Gurel stated.

    Gurel added that there was a firm approach in the EU relating to visa issues and this understanding would be strengthened as probable tendencies like xenophobia and racism in the EU increased and had strong reflection on political life.

    The EU could implement such a strong visa to Turkish citizens because of the effect of such political tension, Gurel said, but unfortunately, the same tendency was seen in EU candidate countries.

    ``Changing this course and providing the Turkish people comfortable and free movement possibilities in Europe is one of our main targets. However, we cannot say we have been successful in this regard, but it is due to the understanding of the Europeans,`` he concluded.

    [04] The President of Turkey met with the UN Secretary-General

    According to Ankara Anatolia (03.09.02) the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer who is currently in Johannesburg city of South Africa for the U.N. Sustainable Development Summit, met with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Among other issues, they discussed also the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the meeting, the Presidential Office Chief Adviser for Foreign Affairs Tacan Ildem said that Annan told Sezer in the meeting that he would meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides on September 6 in Paris and that he would be informed by both leaders about the direct talks on the island and encourage them to speed up this negotiation process.

    Sezer alleged on his part that the "realities" on the island have to be taken into account for a lasting peace on the island, and that there were "two sovereign states" on the island with their institutions. Sezer stressed that a solution has to be found with a new partnership understanding as this is the condition of a lasting peace.

    Sezer claimed that the Greek Cypriot side delays the solution of the problem and it does not make a sufficient opening by being effected by the statements telling that the EU would positively resultits full membership application by the end of this year.

    [05] The new US Ambassador visited Denktas in occupied Nicosia; He stressed that the US will work for a solution in the framework of the UN resolutions

    KIBRIS (04.09.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met yesterday with the new US ambassador, Mr Michael Klosson in occupied Nicosia. In a statement before the meeting, Mr Denktas pointed out that all new ambassadors who arrive in Cyprus express the hope that the problem will be resolved during their term, and that when they leave, they express the hope that it will be solved in a short time.

    Mr Denktas said that the Turkish side takes this wish into consideration regardless of whether it is realistic or not, and added: "We must hope that an agreement will be reached. We must work to achieve that, but without giving up our principles".

    Mr Denktas recalled that this new ambassador comes from a country that is friendly not only toward the two sides in Cyprus but toward the respective motherlands of these two sides as well. Addressing Ambassador Klosson, Mr Denktas said: "I hope that you will be happy here, and that you will contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem".

    Michael Klosson said, in turn, that the United States supports the Cyprus talks and that it will do its share within the framework of the UN resolutions.

    [06] Denktas recalls words of Ataturk to support that Cyprus is important for Turkey

    KIBRIS (04.09.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas recalled yesterday words of Kemal Ataturk who had said that "All roads are closed if Cyprus is in the hands of the enemy", in order to show the importance of Cyprus for Turkey.

    Addressing a delegation of the "Association of the inhabitants of Gumushane" , from Trabzon area, which is visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Denktas alleged that the existence of the Turkish Cypriots on the island coincides with the geopolitical rights of Turkey.

    Mr Denktas claimed also that in case Cyprus "falls into the hands of Greece", like the Dodecanese, then Turkey would be under a Greek blockade and would no longer have access to the sea.

    [07] The blackmail and threatening policy of the Turkish side has reached its peak

    Under the front-page banner headline "War and Peace", pro-Denktas Turkish Cypriot "KIBRISLI" newspaper, (04.09.02) brings the long started policy of threats and blackmail against Cyprus and Greece to its peak. On the eve of the Paris meeting between the UN Secretary-General, President Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, the paper joins the orchestrated campaign of threats and includes EU, the NATO and the big states as recipients.

    The paper cites statements by the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Mr Sukru Sina Gurel, that Cyprus cannot accede to the EU without Turkey's consent, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, that if Cyprus becomes EU member he will bring the talks to a halt, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry, to the effect that Turkey's reactions will be without limits if Cyprus is accepted as full EU member, and adds:

    "Assessing all these as a whole it is understood that we are at an equal distance between war and peace".

    And the paper goes on:

    "Either the sovereignty is accepted and we reach peace or everybody from Cyprus to the EU and NATO will experience a very big crisis".

    The paper concludes by calling on big states to take these into consideration and work so that the opportunity of the Paris meeting will not be missed.

    The paper warns that the military balances are in favour of Turkey.

    The campaign is seconded by another pro-Denktas Turkish Cypriot newspaper VOLKAN, mouthpiece of the National People/s Movement.

    Under the front page leader with the title "Show of Determination", VOLKAN (04.09.02) writes that on the eve of the Paris meeting and in view of the enlargement EU report on 16 October "Motherland Turkey and the `TRNC/ have once again exhibited their determination".

    The paper cites statements made from time to time by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Bulent Ecevit, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Sukru Sina Gurel, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party, Mr Devlet Bahceli, the Chairman of the "Platform for the National Target", Mr Faik Koyuncuoglu and the Chairman of the "World Council of the National Turkish Organizations", Mr Huseyin Macit Yusuf.

    The statements are to the effect that if Cyprus accedes to the EU and the "sovereignty" of the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime is not acknowledged, the whole region will enter into a crisis and Ankara/s regime in the occupied by Turkish troops area of Cyprus will be integraded with mainland Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist says Denktas' recent statements aim at sabotaging the face-to-face talks

    Unal Findik of YENIDUZEN (04.09.02) points out that the recent statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to KIBRIS newspaper aim at sabotaging the face-to-face talks procedure towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Writing in his regular column, Mr Findik notes that all those who have read Denktas' statements carefully understood that the Turkish Cypriot leader applies the same ""prior warning tactic" which he uses before every crucial meeting. Under the title "Where is Denktas running to?", Mr Findik writes the following:

    "Denktas, who will depart today for his 6 September Paris meeting with the UN Secretary - General, Kofi Annan and Clerides, has chosen to play again the role of the 'naughty boy'.

    Denktas made very hard statements in the reportage published last weekend in KIBRIS newspaper and broadcast by its television. At the same time the newspaper used for these statements the title 'The pressure is starting'. Those who read this title thought that our leader is under pressure again and for this reason he began calling for help from now.

    However, those who read the whole article realized that Denktas, who considers himself as the most 'hard nut' of the world in the negotiating business, is actually applying the classical 'prior warning tactic' to which he resorts before every crucial meeting.

    In his statements to KIBRIS Denktas both seeks a quarrel with the world and the representatives of the Turkish Cypriots and reproaches the political parties of Turkey.

    He describes as 'beginning of the pressure' the visits of David Hannay and Tomas Weston, who came to the island one after the other and met with him and Clerides. He also estimates that the 'Solution and EU' demand of the civilian organizations in the inside is weakening him. He even goes further and accuses the 90 organizations, which signed the 'Vision', of wanting the same things as the Greek Cypriots. Furthermore, he reproaches the political parties in Turkey by saying that 'no one could win the elections in Turkey by saying we shall give Cyprus'. He means that wanting a solution both in Turkey and in the `TRNC/ is equal to wanting to give Cyprus.

    In the same statements he is revealing his real intentions by saying: 'We shall establish with our Turkey both the same functions we shall jointly make and share with the Greek Cypriots and the affairs the Greek Cypriots will jointly make with the EU'.

    If we leave aside the discussions he has been conducting for so many years, we see that during the last few days Denktas increased his statements, which aim at sabotaging the 'face-to-face talks procedure', which continues from 16 January 2002 after his invitation.

    There are some reasons for this. The first one is that Denktas had began the face-to-face talks procedures because he knew that he had to make a step in order for Turkey to take the status of the candidate-country and open the way for its full EU membership. At this stage he realized, but at the same time he has been told, that there will be no abandonment of the talks for frivolous pretexts.

    The second thing is that when he was making the invitation for the face-to-face talks he was thinking that the Greek Cypriot side would not accept it and even if it accepted it he was estimating that it would not show any flexibility on the issue of finding a solution to the problem as it would consider its EU membership for granted. This too did not happen. Both the UN Secretary-General's representative, the Secretary-General himself and the EU officials involved in the issue, point again on Denktas as the intransigent side.

    The third is that he, as all the others, is seeing signs of his being directly pointed to as the intransigent side in the near future.

    The fourth reason is that he is, even a little bit, relieved by the vacuum created in Turkey because of the early elections decision, the fact that the political parties are living in the panic of the elections and the fact that especially the coalition partners have problems to pass the threshold for entering the parliament.

    I think that Denktas began to realize that he is continuously loosing the support of the Turkish Cypriots. For this reason during the last few days Denktas attacks the government, because of problems such as especially the economic difficulties, which have reached their highest point, the fact the all the sectors of the economy are dying and the trials regarding the debts and the bankruptcy cases are approaching to the end. He is trying to create the image that the collapse of this system for which he is personally responsible constitutes a problem only for the governments, or he is trying to create the image that his political views are different from those of the government.

    During a period when almost the whole of the society agrees that the solution and the EU vision is the only way out, Denktas is trying to open the door for the annexation, instead of helping towards finding a solution.

    Since the 1950's Denktas exerts efforts to divide Cyprus between Turkey and Greece. This is his goal and his aim. He does not see and does not want to see that the conditions in the region and in the world have changed and that we are now living in a different world, as there is no more the bi-polar world.

    Therefore, he cannot see that his insistence on his intransigent policy harms both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    [09] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that the rhetoric used by Sukru Sina Gurel for Cyprus is causing astonishment in Europe

    Turkish Daily News (04.09.02) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand under the title "Grand bargaining with the EU".

    "In international relations no one sells anybody any item cheaply or give them away as a gift especially if that involves a populous (70 million) and poor (per capita income a mere $3,000) country such as Turkey trying to join one of the richest clubs in the world.

    If this giant will compromise the interests of the existing members the moment it joins the club, this makes the job all the more difficult.

    The "old" members would do all they could not to admit the candidate country or to delay its entry. They would keep obstructing it, using all kinds of pretexts, some of them quite farfetched.

    They would be justified in doing so because they would be protecting their national interests.

    These facts lie behind the quarrel taking place over Turkey's demanding that a specific date be set by the European Union for the start of the accession talks. If Turkey had been a member of the EU and if a country as big as Turkey had knocked on the EU's door, seeking membership, Turkey too would have resisted in a similar manner, trying to dissuade the newcomer.

    A large-scale bargaining process has begun. The EU will resist. Turkey will press on.

    They will make the kind of statements that would demoralize us, confront us with incredible pretexts. A similar process had been experienced during Britain's accession process. In the end, the British have won thanks to their keeping cool and being insistent.

    There are a few potential dangers for Turkey in this bargaining process.

    1. The public may get angry, become touchy, lose enthusiasm and start saying, "They will not admit us whatever we do, what are we doing, trying to enter a place where we are not wanted?"

    On the contrary, we should be convinced that this has got nothing to do with sentiments. We should see the reality, the fact that Turkey is trying to get what is Turkey's due. And we must press on, engaging in a hard struggle every step of the way. Pressure must be put on the EU capitals -- even at the risk of leaving them feeling suffocated.

    2. However, while doing all that we should not fall into another trap. One should not take the easy way out by embracing the deceptive logic of the following argument: "We have done all we possibly could. The rest is for the EU to do."

    This is because Turkey has not fulfilled the constitutional conditions valid for all candidate countries. The "Let them make to with this much. We would fulfill the rest when the accession talks begin," kind of logic is not valid in the EU. The Copenhagen criteria must become effective for us to be able to start the accession talks with the EU. In other words, they must be put into effect.

    Yet, even a few of the incidents that have recently made headlines, indicate that the way we live is far from being in line with these criteria. One cannot claim that one has complied with these criteria simply by abolishing the death penalty and by granting the right to have education and broadcasting in the mother tongue.

    3. There are several factors which we must keep in sight during the bargaining process, factors which will have a great bearing on whether Turkey will be given a date or not. Complying with the Copenhagen criteria and being able to think truly like a European, are different things:

    * Look, for example, at the National Security Council's (NSC) status. The weight the military carry in political life and the interventions staged by the military, will be put on the agenda at that stage. The quarrel triggered by Sezen Aksu's singing songs in Kurdish and in Armenian, the quarrel which has come to involve the military as well, does not fit the EU logic.

    * Certain ongoing process involving, for example, the case of the youngsters in Manisa, the way those who want to give their children Kurdish names are taken to the court, the nature of the Supreme Radio-TV Board and the torture claims, all fuel the EU's suspicions.

    * The fact that a solution is yet to be found to the Cyprus problem and the off nature of the rhetoric the Foreign Minister uses, is causing astonishment in Europe.

    * The possibility of People's Democratic Party (PDP) being banned, is adding to that confusion. That would not be in line with the EU mentality at all.

    This is the picture we are faced with. Between now and the EU's Dec. 12 Copenhagen summit we must take care whenever we take a step. Rather than being unduly touchy we should try to attain what we are entitled to. Even if we cannot get what we want at the Copenhagen summit we must follow this up. We must be persistent.

    Let us repeat. No one gives anybody a gift. The important thing is to know how to get.


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