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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-16

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.176/02 14-15-16.09.02


  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices.
  • [02] From the UN rostrum Sukru Sina Gurel threatens that Turkey will destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean if Cyprus accedes to the EU.
  • [03] Sukru Sina Gurel discussed the Cyprus problem with the UN Secretary-General.
  • [04] Reference to Cyprus by Mesut Yilmaz during a press conference in Brussels.
  • [05] Chairman of the Koc holding Rahimi Koc: "They will not give date if the Cyprus problem is not solved".
  • [06] Turkish businessmen support the "Common Vision" of the 90 Turkish Cypriot civilian organizations.
  • [07] The Schools open today in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [08] There are 7 thousand illegal workers in the construction sector in the occupied area.

  • [09] Ilter Turkmen says annexation will be a suicidal initiative.
  • [10] Columnist in RADIKAL says Sukru Sina Gurel is pleased with new EU approach towards the Cyprus problem.


    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (AA) (13.09.02) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas met with President Glafcos Clerides in the buffer zone on Friday as part of the direct talks that are aiming to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Before the meeting, Denktas told reporters that Turkish Cypriots were pressured to give up their state status and said that they would turn into a minority if they do that.

    Reacting to Cyprus Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou who said that they cannot accept Turkish Cypriots` new document if they are insisting on sovereignty, Denktas said: ``Who took the first step in 1963 in Cyprus? Who became armed and dug mass graves? They treated us cruelly for 11 years, they drew us away from our homes and villages, they destroyed 103 villages, they destroyed our economy by continuing sanctions. They shed blood to cancel the 1960 agreements. And they are not taking any step back on any of these.``

    Denktas said Greek Cypriots cannot reach anywhere with such an attitude. ``If the Greek Cypriots join the EU on their own, Cyprus will remain divided forever,`` he asserted.

    Addressing the young Turkish Cypriots, Denktas said: ``You will either live an honourable and free life under your own flag despite some difficulties or you'll become the slaves of Greek Cypriots. Look at those who went to Britain, how happy are they? Look at those who went to the Greek Cypriot side, listen to those who come back from there. You will become nothing, but a minority if we give up our state.`` Quoting Greek Cypriot leaders who said ``they can never give up the Cyprus Republic,`` Denktas said: ``Then, there will never be an agreement.``

    Following his meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Denktas told reporters that there was no change in the attitude of the two sides at the moment.

    Denktas said: ``Difficulties still continue. It will be useful if everybody knows this.`` Upon a question about the agenda of the talks, Denktas said that the agenda was evident.

    Denktas said: ``Discussions still continue on how we will start to found a new state if we think of forming a new organization, and what the methods are. The issue is what the sides understand when we say new organization, new state and new partnership. There is a confusion about this issue. We are trying to settle it down.`` Mr Denktas and Mr Clerides will meet again on September 17.

    [02] From the UN rostrum Sukru Sina Gurel threatens that Turkey will destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean if Cyprus accedes to the EU

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (14.09.02) reported from New York that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sukru Sina Gurel, speaking at the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly, said: ``Although Kuwait was saved from the occupation of Iraq and more than ten years have passed since the Gulf War, the problem of Iraq could not be resolved yet. The negative impacts of this situation have still been continuing for the Iraqi people, Turkey and other regional countries. Turkey invites and encourages Iraq to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. It is the only way to overcome current problems.`` Gurel reiterated that Turkey attributed great importance to Iraq`s territorial integrity and political unity.

    He expressed Turkey`s satisfaction with the participation of Switzerland and East Timor in the United Nations, and underlined the United Nations` contributions to settlement of peace and security in the world, and to the solution of global problems.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem Mr Gurel said:

    "On Cyprus, we continue to support the efforts aimed at finding a just, viable, lasting and complete settlement. Cyprus is an issue between the two equal, distinct peoples in the Island, namely the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, who each live under their own political and democratic structures. The two peoples of Cyprus should be able to co-exist and share power under a new partnership state structure on the basis of the equal status and sovereign equality of the two partner states. We will continue to support the current direct talks between the two leaders in Cyprus, which enable the two parties to search for a comprehensive reconciliation without any third party involvement. We believe that equal treatment of both sides will foster an environment that will encourage them to move towards a new partnership of equals, excluding the possibility of reverting to the situation before 1974. We support the recent Turkish Cypriot proposals, which provide a sound and realistic basis for a settlement. We believe that the international community should give due consideration to these proposals which open a new window of opportunity for the resolution of this long standing issue.

    The decision of the EU Council to start accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration, despite the illegitimacy of its claim to represent the whole island, has made an agreed settlement even more elusive. Unfortunately, Greek Cypriot/s focus so far has been totally diverted to the EU membership. Membership prior to settlement would create many problems and would lead to tensions in the island and in the Eastern Mediterranean. We have reiterated that a unilateral Greek Cypriot entry into the EU would harm chances of a mutually agreed settlement establishing a new partnership between the two parties. The EU must tell the Greek Cypriots that they will not be admitted before a final settlement. This is essential if we are to make meaningful progress towards resolving the Cyprus issue."

    [03] Sukru Sina Gurel discussed the Cyprus problem with the UN Secretary-General

    Ankara Anatolia New Agency (15.09.02) reported from New York that Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sukru Sina Gurel, who is currently in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly session, held bilateral contacts with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of Finland and Foreign Minister Abd Al-Rahman Shalgam of Libya.

    Diplomatic sources told the A.A correspondent on Sunday: ``Although European Union (EU) ministers talked about `general political atmosphere in Europe`, they did not say that the EU would not set a date for beginning accession negotiations with Turkey. EU ministers said that EU process in Turkey had been progressing well, and added that they would take decisions to show that they had been encouraging Turkey.``

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Yusuf Buluc said: ``During his contacts, Gurel said that Turkey was determined to become a full member of the EU, and explained his views about the beginning of accession negotiations.`` During his meetings with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and EU ministers, rated that Turkey had been supporting the proposals of Rauf Denktas regarding the Cyprus problem.

    Gurel said: ``EU membership process will not ease a solution on the island. Rauf Denktas` latest proposals include a state structure in Cyprus such as in Belgium and Switzerland. This very important opportunity should not be missed.``

    During the meeting between Gurel and Annan, the issue of Iraq was also brought onto the agenda. Annan confirmed that the United Nations Security Council would pass a new resolution about Iraq.

    Following his meeting with Annan, Gurel said: ``We exchanged views about the Cyprus problem. Meanwhile, the United Nations has been expending efforts on the issue of Iraq. He also gave information about the new draft resolution about Iraq.`` Gurel is scheduled to hold bilateral contacts with foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Armenia. On Monday, Gurel will meet with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sukru Sina Gurel also met with Foreign Minister Louis Michel of Belgium. During the meeting, Gurel recalled that Turkey had lifted the death penalty, and asked Belgium to extradite Fehriye Erdal, a member of the Revolutionary People`s Liberation Party-Front (RPLP-F) and one of the suspects of killing businessman Ozdemir Sabanci in 1996.

    Michel told Gurel that there had been some difficulties stemming from internal law of his country, and added that they had been expending efforts to overcome these difficulties.

    Gurel also conveyed Ankara`s request about inclusion of PKK which changed its name as KADEK, in the European Union`s list of terrorist organizations with its new name.

    Gurel stressed that Turkey insisted on inclusion of KADEK in the list of terrorist organizations.

    [04] Reference to Cyprus by Mesut Yilmaz during a press conference in Brussels

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (13.09.02) reported from Brussels that State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, currently in Brussels to participate in the European Convention meetings, on Friday held a news conference to evaluate his contacts in Brussels, and also responded to the questions about domestic policy.

    Yilmaz said: ``I gave them information about the recent harmonization work in Turkey and I expressed our expectations. Guenter Verheugen said the important step taken by Turkey would be evaluated in the Commission report as it required. However the issue whether or not Turkey would be included in the enlargement process of the EU would be a political decision.``

    Yilmaz said the EU wing has some wrong information, and gave the allegations of torture as an example. Yilmaz said he reminded them the significant decrease in the number of individual applications made to the European Court of Human Rights.

    Stating that he stressed the importance of implementing the same criteria to Turkey as for the other candidate countries, Yilmaz said: ``I said a different approach would be a double standard, and that this would be a return to Luxembourg Summit, and that we expected the EU to encourage the very big change in Turkey.``

    Yilmaz also said Cyprus was also brought onto the agenda, adding: "They also see that it was not possible to reach a solution in Cyprus before December. They stated that a principle agreement that would be reached would relieve EU`s enlargement process to a great extend.``

    Responding to a question on the elections in Turkey, Yilmaz said that different proposals were brought onto the agenda recently, adding: ``We must not give up-holding the early elections at the most appropriate time. The thing that matters is not to miss the appointment with the EU because of early elections. It was earlier known that an important summit would be held in Copenhagen. I don`t like and I don`t accept the attitude of our coalition partner. I didn`t earlier think of the possibility that the parliament would not fulfil the mission given to it by the parliament due to the lack of harmony within the government. There is such a danger today. This will negatively affect the whole EU process and endanger the future of Turkey-EU relations. Turkey must sort out this problem. If we sort it out within the coalition, there is no need for change of government and there is no need for a change in the date of elections. But if we can`t do it and if we become a government that can`t implement the laws which were adopted, we must find another solution. The issue of government is not our number one issue. It is not possible for us to ask for postponement of early elections. We want Turkey to fulfil its obligations regarding the EU. This can take place with the existing structure; if not, a new structure can be formed. We will see in the coming days.``

    After the news conference, Yilmaz left Brussels for Istanbul.

    [05] Chairman of the Koc holding Rahmi Koc: "They will not give date if the Cyprus problem is not solved''

    According to YENIDUZEN (16.09.02), the chairman of the Koc Holding Executive committee, famous Turkish Industrialist Rahmi Koc, has said that unless the Cyprus problem is solved the EU will not assign a date to start accession negotiations with Turkey. He went on and said: "Even if we do everything, the Europeans definitely will put forward Cyprus. Our view is `let them accept us first then a way out be found/. One has to find the ideal point of these two views. As far as I am concerned, I am of the view that unless a way out is found to the Cyprus problem, it is not possible to assign a date and accession negotiation to start. Esteemed Ismail Cem's departure from the Foreign Ministry, decelerated the movement towards this direction. We do not know the level of experience of esteemed Sukru Sina Gurel. Howevere, had Mr Ismail Cem stayed in the post (as foreign minister) the movement would have been continued. If we continue the success we have scored in Turkey regarding the EU harmonising laws there (in Cyprus) also, I think they would assign a date for us''

    Koc further said that Europeans are afraid that Turkey would be a burden for them and added that if Turkey wants to become EU member then within five years it should improve its economy.

    [06] Turkish businessmen support the "Common Vision" of the 90 Turkish Cypriot civilian organizations

    YENIDUZEN (15.09.02) reports that, during a meeting in the city of Mardin, the Platform of Industrialists and Businessmen/s Association (PIBA) has expressed its support to the "Solution of the Cyprus problem and accession to the EU" vision of the 90 Turkish Cypriot civilian organizations and described it as "extremely important" from the point of view of both its content and the support by the community.

    The paper writes that Ozdil Nami, chairman of SIAD met with a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, headed by its chairman Ali Erel. The Platform consists of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen/s Association and Turkey's Industrialists and Businessmen/s Association (TUSIAD). According to the paper, State Minister responsible for the economy, Masum Turker was also present at the meeting.

    In a statement issued after the meeting, SIAD asks Turkey not to act against the will of the Turkish Cypriots and notes that no one of those who ask flexibility on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem demands anything which is contrary to the interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS (14.09.02) reports that addressing the meeting, Tuncay Ozilhan TUSIAD's chairman, said that the Cyprus problem could become an obstacle in Turkey's course towards the European Union. Referring to the "Common Vision", Mr Ozilhan argued that Turkey must take into consideration the will of the people, the safety of whom claims it was aiming to protect by conducting a military operation, as he described the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    [07] The schools open today in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    BIRLIK (16.09.02) reports that the 2002 - 2003 education year is beginning today for 35.000 students in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The paper writes that 17.000 pupils will go to kindergarten and primary school and 14.430 students to secondary school. Another 3.044 students will be educated in technical schools.

    The paper notes that about 1.140 teachers will work in the 106 kindergartens and primary schools, which are bound to the so-called "Primary Education Department" and another 1.206 teachers will work in the 30 secondary schools. Furthermore, there are 13 schools bounded to the so-called "Professional and Technical Education Department", where 473 teachers will be occupied.

    [08] There are 7 thousand illegal workers in the construction sector in the occupied area

    KIBRIS (14.09.02), reports that the so-called minister of labour, social insurance, youth and sports of the pseudostate Ahmet Kasif has declared that in the construction sector in the occupied area there seven thousand illegal workers.

    Speaking in the so-called assembly of the pseudostate and answering questions put to him on the subject, Kasif said that a fortnight ago they controlled all the building and construction sites and found seven thousand illegal workers in these places. He said that their duty is to find these people and then report them to the so-called aliens department and if they do not pay the fine, send them to court. He went on and said that with a view to solving this issue they are carrying out a joint work with the so-called ministry of finance and the aliens department. He said that the so-called finance ministry wants the payment of income tax retroactively for the period an illegal worker worked and stayed in the occupied area. In his turn Kasif said they are considering a formula with which the illegal worker will pay her/his social insurance contribution the moment the so-called social insurance department caught him/her working.

    Kasif also referred to the Turkish Cypriots who cross into the free areas on a daily basis to work in the construction sector, and said that among these workers there are university graduates as well.

    Taking the rostrum the Communal Liberation Party, (CLP) leader Angolemli criticized Kasif and said that he does not share the view that illegal workers should pay social insurance contribution because that ''means any illegal worker that is caught will be made citizen'' He called on the occupation regime to give up such thinking and urged that these people should be sent back ''otherwise, open the gates and let the Turkish Cypriots that want to work in the south Cyprus go and work. "They can go in the morning and return in the evening", Angolemli stressed.

    Taking the floor the CLP ''deputy'' Tahsin Mertekci strongly criticized Kasif for the illegal construction workers and said that the occupation regime was on the one hand turning a blind eye to the illegal workers and on the other it was sending its own citizens to south Cyprus to work in the construction sector.


    [09] Ilter Turkmen says annexation will be a suicidal initiative

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (14.09.02) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: "The Cyprus Scenarios":

    Despite the fact that efforts were made to create the impression that UN Secretary- General Koffi Annan's meetings with Denktas and Clerides were held in a relatively positive atmosphere, it is clear that there has not been any change in the basic stands of the sides.

    The negotiation process between the two leaders will continue until their meeting with Koffi Annan on 3 October. Despite the fact that no one openly states this, if an agreement is not reached within this period, Annan is expected to lay a solution package on the table. Believing that this package will support the Greek views, rather than the Turkish Cypriots' views, the Turkish Cypriot side opposes such an initiative. If the Turkish Cypriot side rejects the package, it will be accused of failing to conciliate. In this regard, the Turkish Cypriot side is concerned that the Greek Cypriot Administration will make use of this accusation for the sake of its EU membership. It is right in a way. The Secretary-General, on the other hand, is under heavy pressure.

    The Cyprus issue is gradually becoming more and more complicated both in terms of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side. The fact that it is impossible to include the de facto balance that has been effective since 1974 in any solution constitutes the main reason behind this complication. When we look at the picture from this standpoint, we see that a solution package will bring along a great number of minuses. To understand the plusses of a solution is even more difficult. This requires looking at the issue from a wider perspective and assessing the national interests within the framework of the EU vision. Partially with this awareness the leadership in the Turkish Cypriot side has made certain changes in its former negotiation position. It has not received a clear reply from Ankara, however. It will be very appropriate to focus on this point in order to understand why, despite the firm stand adopted by Clerides in the negotiations, the international public views the Turkish Cypriot side as the side that is not ready to conciliate. On the other hand however, the Turkish Cypriot side leadership is being criticized by an important part of the Turkish Cypriots. Last month 86 nongovernmental organizations [NGO's] issued a joint statement and noted that they believe that a solution will be found by the end of 2002. These NGO's extended support to Cyprus' EU membership after a solution is found and stressed that the Turkish Cypriots will suffer the most as a result of non-solution. These organizations are right. Unfortunately, the most important dimension of the Cyprus issue -- the dimension of the Turkish Cypriots -- is being ignored.

    Now that we are living in an uncertain environment, a great number of international thought centers are developing various scenarios on the basis of the EU schedule. The scenarios are based on the theory that Cyprus will become an EU member whether a solution is found or not. There is no doubt that everyone prefers a scenario that is based on Cyprus' EU membership after a solution or simultaneously with a solution. Under such conditions, Turkey's membership process will be accelerated.

    The second scenario is based on the postponement of the expansion program due the recent developments in Europe and the elections in Germany. This possibility will serve the interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side in the short and middle runs. If the time that is gained is wasted however, we will go back to square one. The third scenario, which is the most realistic scenario, in turn, is based on the approval of south Cyprus' membership in the Copenhagen summit without a solution. The answer to the question on whether or not this last scenario will turn into a doomsday is dependent on the stands that will be adopted by the EU, Greece, and Turkey. The EU will most probably try to soothe Turkey as much as possible. It might enable Turkey to continue with its membership process and it might even want to give a conditional negotiation date to Turkey. Greece will also pursue a soothing policy. This development is dangerous in terms of Turkey because the connection between Turkey's EU membership and the solution of the Cyprus problem will continue and because the Turkish Cypriot side/s trump cards will weaken to a considerable degree after south Cyprus is accepted to the EU.

    It is difficult to predict Turkey's reaction, because we do not know what kind of a government will run the country in December. We will most probably avoid suicidal initiatives such as annexation. To bring about tension in Greece and Cyprus or in the Aegean might lead to controversial results. To exaggerate in the confrontation process might mean disaster for both sides, but we will suffer further damages because our economy is very fragile and because Greece will benefit from EU support.

    I want to repeat something that I have written earlier. There is no ideal option for Turkey in Cyprus. There is no choice other than choosing the least evil option. We urgently need a strong and a realistic government that has the political courage to take the necessary steps to this end.

    [10] Columnist in RADIKAL says Sukru Sina Gurel is pleased with new EU approach towards the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (internet version) (11.09.02) publishes the following article by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Membership and Cyprus are Separate Issues":

    "Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has disclosed that the EU had unveiled a new perspective closer to Turkey's theses on the Cyprus issue during the meetings he held in Brussels last week. Gurel made this disclosure about Cyprus and the EU in an informal gathering he had with a group of journalists at his residence Monday night. According to his remarks, the EU's new approach to the Cyprus question was conveyed in a meeting Gurel held with Gunter Verheugen, EU commissioner for enlargement, on 5 September.

    Gurel said that Verheugen made the following remarks during the meeting although the Turkish delegation had not actually asked him to express his opinions about the matter:

    "The UN is continuing to make efforts regarding the Cyprus issue. We hope that the UN will be successful. This is not the EU's business and it is a separate matter. Cyprus and Turkey's membership are two separate issues."

    Subtitle: Voiced for the first time, albeit indirectly

    The main part of Verheugen/s remarks, which pleased Ankara, consists of the last two sentences. In other words, the EU has for the first time, albeit indirectly, expressed that it would not be involved in the efforts aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus question. In addition, the EU also voiced for the first time that it would keep the Cyprus issue apart from the process of Turkey's accession. Gurel said that he responded to Verheugen remarks as follows:

    "I am pleased to hear that. However, you have not lent a meaningful support so far. You made no contribution to the efforts designed to find a solution to the problem as you have continuously supported the Greek Cypriot Side's admission to the EU alone."

    In spite of his bitter response to Verheugen, Gurel and the Foreign Ministry strategists are actually pleased with the latest developments. However, they have taken a fairly cautious approach, because, based on their experience, they are not sure whether the EU will stick to its new position. "This is an important development. We have heard this stance for the first time. I think it is a positive sign," said Gurel.

    Gurel added that he had also welcomed another view expressed by Verheugen. He quoted Verheugen as saying that he was in favour of classifying the KADEK [Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] as a terrorist organization just like the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] and that he hoped that a decision would be made in that direction in a meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers scheduled for 17 September.

    Sharply criticized by Gurel because of his recent statement that Turkey should not take it for granted that it would be given a timetable for opening accession negotiations after the EU summit to be held in Copenhagen in December, Verheugen is also quoted as saying to Gurel in their meeting that "they would first monitor Turkey's implementation of the harmonization laws, which, he noted, is a procedure applied not only to Turkey, but all the candidates in accordance with the decisions made in the Madrid summit held in 1995."

    Gurel disclosed that he responded to Verheugen's comments as follows:

    "1. Why do you predict that Turkey will not implement those laws and it does not have the will to do that? Is there any solid reason justifying your lack of confidence?

    2. "Implementation of the harmonization laws is a prerequisite not for opening accession talks but for accession itself. Therefore, you cannot impose it as a precondition for starting the negotiations.

    3. "This represents a discriminatory treatment, because you have started accession talks with Poland and Slovakia before they had fully met EU's conditions, citing certain "special conditions" as a reason.

    4. "Madrid '95 regards implementation of the laws as a precondition for membership rather than opening accession talks.

    "The decisions adopted in Madrid also refer to creation of necessary institutions in order to guarantee implementation of the laws instead of completion of the implementation process.

    5. "We want the talks to start in March 2003 and expect that the timetable for the negotiations will be announced during the summit to be held in Copenhagen in December. They should refrain from telling us that the screening of the implementation process would take time, as this has almost been completed thanks to the Customs Union. They themselves have admitted that it would be completed in maximum one month after they get it started."

    Gurel went on saying: "Apart from that, we told them that we would see whether Belgium would apply the laws vis-a-vis the case of Fehriye Erdal. For, the death penalty has been abolished in Turkey and there is no reason that could preclude Erdal's extradition to Turkey at least for having been involved in a murder."

    Subtitle: Religious difference again?

    In spite of all these facts, Gurel said, Turkey's relations with the EU may be overshadowed by new clouds. Gurel quoted some members of the Christian Democratic parties, which are currently represented in the European Parliament, as saying in their meeting with him that "Europe was facing a difficult decision to admit a Muslim country."

    Gurel commented: "This is a new situation. I believe that by rapidly passing those laws Turkey has thwarted the ploy devised by certain groups in the European Union. Religion should not be a determinant factor in decisions about Turkey. Furthermore, we have also emphasized that Europe will not only make a decision about Turkey, but also its own future and thus decide whether it will be a multi-religious and multi-cultural society."


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