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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-17

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.177/02 17.09.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader briefed the pseudoassembly on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Mehmet Ali Talat: It is tiring to hear the negative statements of Denktas almost every day in the face-to-face talks.
  • [03] Sukru Sina Gurel conveyed Denktas/ proposals to Colin Powell.
  • [04] Ecevit and Annan had a telephone conversation on Iraq and the Cyprus problem
  • [05] The "citizens" of the pseudostate have become citizens of Turkey.
  • [06] Court says Erdogan can't stand in election
  • [07] Turkish Parliament to hold extraordinary meeting over election threshold.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader briefed the pseudoassembly on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (16.09.02) reported that the pseudoassembly convened in an extraordinary session on Monday to discuss the Cyprus problem.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, told reporters that he would give information about the Cyprus issue, adding that he didn't have any expectation from the "parliament". Denktas said that he would also get the views of "deputies", adding that the aim of the meeting is to give information and to discuss the issue.

    ``We will explain what we do and the stage of the talks, `` Denktas said.

    Upon a question, Denktas said that he will also give information to the public about the April 29 Document which he submitted to the Greek Cypriot side, adding that ``the Greek Cypriot side considered it as unnecessary and decoration. `` The meeting of the pseudoassembly was closed to the press.

    Speaking after the meeting, Denktas said that the meeting would continue on Thursday.

    The pseudoassembly parliament will convene at 15.00 local time on Thursday.

    [02] Mehmet Ali Talat: It is tiring to hear the negative statements of Denktas almost every day in the face-to-face talks

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (16.09.02) publishes an article by Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party (RTP) General Chairman Mehmet Ali Talat under the title: "The time is running out on Cyprus".

    The full text of the article is as follows:

    It is necessary to evaluate together all the factors when considering the Cyprus problem, which is experiencing the most complicated period in its history. For this, it would be useful to go back into the past a bit.

    The Cyprus problem, which became more definite as of 1955 and became active with the incitement first of all of the imperialist states, led by the colonialist England, then fell into the super power competition of the Cold War period and continued with clashes between the communities, then experienced a turning point with the coup d'etat organized by the Greek Junta in 1974 with the objective of "enosis" [union with Greece] and as a result of this, the intervention of Turkey. The Republic of Cyprus was founded in 1960. In 1963, after the destruction of the constitutional order, this new change in status that emerged was a very drastic change. Once more the balance of powers became topsy-turvy. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community for the first time obtained political and military superiority.

    It was expected that Turkey would establish the constitutional order by using the legal duties and authorities given to it by the Guarantee and Alliance agreements. However, it was understood that Turkey's real intention was to preserve the status quo as much as possible and to make it permanent in time. The political advantage was lost in a short period of time and due to the continuation of only the military superiority, it transformed the viewpoint of the world about the Turkish Cypriot side into a discontented rigidity. Turkey became the focus of criticisms on all the international platforms with the justification that it used force in violation of the UN Charter and that it continued this. Turkey could not transform the military success into a peace agreement and almost made an invitation to be the target of new political manoeuvres.

    Until 1990 the Cyprus problem was something that did not go beyond being a regional problem that continued among the Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkey and Greece and that was the subject of competition among the super powers.

    Subtitle: The European Union Dimension

    The Greek Cypriot side, after a new round of talks, made an application for European Union membership in 1990. Here it must be stressed that the issue of application did not emerge suddenly. It is impossible to describe in an article of this size, the EU adventure, which started even when the joint state of Cyprus was continuing. However, it should not be forgotten that Denktas, with the title of Vice President at that time, gave official approval in 1973 for the signing of an association partnership between Cyprus and the EEC.

    The evaluations of the developments experienced after the application for full membership by the Greek Cypriot side, which was accepted by the world as the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus for all of Cyprus, also exceeds the scope of this article. In 1995 a date was given to Cyprus for starting the accession negotiations with various factors, debates and agreements. It is now a known fact that in the giving of this date, the removal of the Greek veto for Turkey's entrance into the Customs Union, as a product of reconciliation, had a great role in Turkey's remaining silent.

    The giving of a date to Cyprus for the EU membership negotiations brought a new dimension to the Cyprus problem. It also started to affect the enlargement process of the EU. Greece, even if it was not mentioned recently, announced that it would veto the entire enlargement process if Cyprus' membership were prevented. Turkey's thesis of "Cyprus cannot become a member of another alliance based on the London-Zurich agreements and Guarantee and Alliance agreements" continued to be uncertain on whether or not it would continue in case the Cyprus problem was solved. The "limits" of an "unlimited" reaction that would emerge in such a situation continued to be debated. The addition of the EU dimension removed the Cyprus problem from being a regional problem. However, the attempts to push Turkey aside as a party to the problem, did not allow the sustainability of progress in this direction either.

    Subtitle: Turkey's Membership

    The EU Summit, which convened in Helsinki at the end of 1999, by making Turkey an EU candidate member as well, both eliminated Turkey's exclusion and also placed the Cyprus problem completely in front of Turkey's membership. It became mandatory for Turkey, which would become an EU member, to solve the Cyprus problem. At this point, I must immediately give a very brief response to the claims by various high-level officials that the Cyprus problem will not constitute an obstacle for Turkey's EU accession process and that this was not expressed by the EU officials. The EU is a security community; it is an integration movement, which started with the target of eliminating all kinds of probabilities of war in its territories. As it was stressed in the Helsinki Summit decisions, there should be no problems left that could lead to conflicts, led by the border problems of the member and candidate member countries. That is, as the result of the EU's definition, problems such as the Cyprus problem should not be on the EU territories.

    The fact that the Cyprus problem is not among the Copenhagen Criteria is quite natural, because the subject of criteria are requirements that must be satisfied before starting negotiations and they are identical for every country. As for the Cyprus problem, it must be solved as a requirement of the EU's spirit and definition and is more rigid and mandatory than the initial Copenhagen Criteria.

    Subtitle: Face-to-Face Talks

    Thus, the Cyprus problem, when the threat of veto by Greece and also the "limitless reaction" of Turkey are taken into consideration, was transformed into a world problem at dimensions greater than it should be in connection with the tensions it would create in case it is not solved. Thus, it was just at this point that the face-to-face talks started. The processes experienced up until this point, with whose initiative and with what objective the talks were started also exceed the dimensions of this article. Let us continue from this point and have a look at the stage reached in the talks.

    Initially, the sides continued their efforts to have the opposite side accept their own visions. Despite the request of the UN Secretary-General and the UN Security Council to make serious negotiations on practical subjects, Denktas, while expending efforts to buy time in order for Turkey to be able to get a negotiation date from the EU, Clerides, while being aware that showing a lack of reconciliation would cause difficulties on the EU course, evaluated Denktas' attitude as a tremendous opportunity. Even if he made use of Denktas' irreconcilable attitude, Clerides created the impression of being constructive, by making some proposals and advanced with confident steps on the course to the EU. The Greek Cypriot side transformed in time the military superiority obtained by the Turkish side in 1974 by eroding it with political manoeuvres and is preparing to finalize it by transforming the defeat into a victory.

    However, there is a matter, which should be emphasized on this point. Finally, it has been perceived very well that it is necessary not to realize the solution of the Cyprus problem, which has become an international problem, in the form of a victory for one side. In this connection, the efforts of the international community and the EU will definitely break the insistence on a lack of solution on Cyprus. The New York Summit to be realized after the meeting of the leaders in Paris will be reflected in the regular report of the European Commission, which will be announced on 14 October. The elections and the outcome of the elections in Turkey will influence to a great extent the Copenhagen Summit, where the EU membership of a solved or unsolved Cyprus problem will also be decided upon.

    Subtitle: The Proposals at the Talks

    It is tiring to hear the negative statements of Denktas almost every day in the face-to-face negotiation process. Actually, what Denktas has said related to the Greek Cypriots not having taken any steps forward is not true and everyone knows this. In the process up to last May, Clerides had made some serious proposals to decrease the concerns of the Turkish side. To catch these and to respond by taking steps could have regained what was lost by wrong policies and time on the course to a solution. If we were to collect briefly the proposals envisaging the formation of a new State of Cyprus, which was reflected to the press piecemeal, the following can be enumerated:

    a- The 1960 Constitution will be abolished,

    b- A new formation agreement will be made on which to base the Constitution of the State of Cyprus,

    c- The new formation agreement will be based on political equality, two sections and two communities,

    d- In the executive, legislative and judicial organs the active participation of the Turkish Cypriots will be provided and the Greek Cypriot majority will not be able to impose its demands on the Turkish Cypriots (what is meant by active participation is that rather than taking decisions with a unanimous vote, in order for a decision to be valid, it will be required that a certain number of Turkish Cypriot members approve it),

    e- There will be two self-governing states and each state will have its own police and civilian services besides their executive, legislative and judicial organs,

    f- The State of Cyprus will not be able to impose anything on the federated states,

    g- The guarantee agreements will also include the territorial integrity and constitutional orders of the two states,

    h- Plans will be made to increase the national income of the Turkish Cypriot side,

    i- The agreement reached and entrance into the EU together will be presented in separate referendums to the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots and if it is approved, then the sides will be the joint founders of the State of Cyprus,

    j- Additional authorities will be vested in the two sides,

    k- Turkey's guarantorship will continue and a permanent military unit will be kept on Cyprus.

    Subtitle: Beware of Denktas

    As it can be seen, what Denktas repeats every day does not reflect the truth. During a meeting, after Clerides accepted the above mentioned (points), when Denktas withdrew an article he himself dictated during a previous meeting, Clerides said that he is withdrawing his proposals. However, not to accept this attitude as a negotiation tactic and to appear to have yielded, but to feel happy about this and repeat that no steps have been taken, cannot be an acceptable approach.

    The time is running out. During the periods when there are political instabilities in Turkey, the fait accomplis, in which Denktas has played the leading role, could also come onto the agenda today and on the morning of 4 November Turkey could be stuck in a swamp from which it could not come out easily.

    Subtitle: Together With the Turkish Cypriots

    It should not be forgotten that Turkey's future is also dependent on the solution of the Cyprus problem and in EU membership. To do whatever is necessary is the duty of every patriot.

    [03] Sukru Sina Gurel conveyed Denktas/ proposals to Colin Powell

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (16.09.02) reported from New York that Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel had his first official meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday.

    Gurel and Powell mainly discussed the Iraqi issue and Powell explained Gurel that U.S. President George W. Bush was very serious about the Iraqi issue. The spokesman of the U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. John Negroponte told A.A correspondent that the meeting lasted 15 minutes as foreseen and that the Cyprus problem was also taken up.

    Powell told Gurel that the U.N. adopted 16 resolutions about Iraq so far and that these resolutions have to be implemented, adding that U.S. President Bush favours U.N. to assume a central role about the Iraqi issue.

    Powell also reiterated the support the U.S. extends to the economic reforms Turkey undertook. The spokesman said that the two ministers later took up the Cyprus problem and they explained their views, but the spokesman didn't give details.

    U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Monday gave assurances to Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel that Turkey would not be face to face with a surprise on Iraq issue and thanked for the support expended by Turkey in the fight against terrorism.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc told A.A correspondent that the meeting between Powell and Gurel took place in a way that should be done between the ministers of two countries, which are strategic partners.

    Buluc said Powell told Gurel that talks between Washington and Ankara would continue on the Iraq issue, and noted that Turkey would not be left face to face with a surprise.

    Underlining that U.S. President George Bush intended to work with the U.N. on the Iraq issue, Powell said the Security Council worked on a new draft resolution, and that reactions coming from other members were positive.

    Powell also said they wanted Iraq to know that the United States did not bluff.

    Gurel in his part conveyed the impression he got from his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri.

    The Cyprus issue was also discussed during Gurel-Powell meeting. Foreign Minister Gurel conveyed to Powell in a written form the recent proposals of Rauf Denktas, regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Ecevit and Annan had a telephone conversation on Iraq and the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (17.09.02) reports that the Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit conducted a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, on the issue of Iraq and the Cyprus problem.

    A written press release issued by the Prime Minister's Press Office on the Annan-Ecevit conversation is as follows:

    "During the conversation, the Secretary-General briefed Ecevit on the various contacts he held in recent days regarding Iraq, and conveyed to the Prime Minister his assessment of the developments.

    The Prime Minister recalled that he has insistently urged Iraq to fully comply with UN resolutions and to primarily allow UN inspectors to return to Iraq and fulfil their tasks without constraints. He also expressed his conviction that, as in the past, the UN Secretary-General will continue his leadership and efforts to bring about Iraq's full cooperation with the United Nations in the future as well.

    During the conversation, the two officials also referred to the Cyprus issue. After recalling that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides will meet with him in New York on 3 October, the UN Secretary-General remarked that although no significant progress has been registered until today, he is hopeful about the meeting.

    The Prime Minister conveyed to Annan that the Secretary-General's personal interest in the matter is a source of hope for the Turkish side, but the interference of the EU is rendering the solution more difficult, and that in any event it is not possible to reach a solution without taking into consideration the existence of two states and two nations on the island."

    The paper also reports that there was a meeting yesterday at the Prime Ministry, where the Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, was informed by the Chairman of operations of the General Staff and his military advisor, Lieutenant General Koksal Karabay, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry Ugur Ziyal and the deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ali Tuygan on the latest developments on Iraq and the Cyprus problem.

    The meeting lasted 1.5 hour and no statement was made after the meeting.

    [05] The "citizens" of the pseudostate have become citizens of Turkey

    Under the front-page banner title "Step by step integration", ORTAM (17.09.02) reports that Turkey has begun the unilateral application of the so-called "unlimited reaction package" of measures announced to be taken by the Turkish side in case the Republic of Cyprus accedes to the European Union (EU) before the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to an article of Sedat Gunec in Turkish mainland ZAMAN, ORTAM writes that the so-called "citizens" of the illegal "TRNC" have become citizens of the Republic of Turkey with a circular published on 6 September by the Turkish Internal Affairs Ministry, as they have obtained all the rights of a Turkish citizen. The extract of the article of ZAMAN published in ORTAM is the following:

    "The citizens of TRNC no longer have the status of 'a citizen of Turkish origin' and now obtained the right to be subjected to the same treatment and the laws as the citizens of the Republic of Turkey. Experts say that this arrangement has been realized with the aim of integrating the TRNC with Turkey, in the same way that the Greek Cypriots are integrated with the EU during the unilateral EU accession course launched unilaterally by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Within the framework of the action plan approved by the Council of Ministers aiming at strengthening the relations between the TRNC and Turkey, the citizens of the TRNC have obtained all the rights of the Turkish citizens with a circular published by Sebati Buyuran, deputy permanent undersecretary of the Interior Ministry, on 6 September 2002. According to the circular, which ZAMAN got hold of, the citizens of TRNC no longer have the status of the foreigner of Turkish origin. The citizens of the TRNC will be benefiting from all the rights acknowledged to the Turkish citizens, such as the rights of residence, work, owning of property and being active in the economic and social fields. The other facilities recognized to the TRNC citizens with the circular published by Buyuran are the following: The TRNC citizens will not be obliged to take residence permit. The residence permit will not be a forced curse. The exemption of the residence permit will be announced. All those, wishing to get residence permit despite the new procedure, will be given residence permit for five years. Those citizens of TRNC who wish to work in Turkey need no residence permit. Furthermore, the TRNC citizens who wish to work in Turkey will be able to do business in trade fields, which are forbidden for the foreigners. The laws applied in the transactions of the TRNC citizens establishing or becoming partner in a firm, will be the same laws, which are valid in the case of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey. In the field of education the TRNC citizens will have the same rights as the citizens of the Republic of Turkey.

    Those students from TRNC who are studying or will be studying in Turkey will need no residence permit. In parallel to this, those students from the TRNC who want to work during their studies will be able to do so in the same way as the students citizens of Turkey.

    The charges for residence permit will also be abolished in the other transactions of the TRNC citizens, as well.

    Those TRNC citizens who have double citizenship will define to which citizenship they are more attached and the principles regarding this country will be applied in their transactions.

    Residence permit for maximum five years will be given to the husbands, wives and children who are citizens of a third country.

    Ahmet Bulunc, ambassador of the TRNC, drew attention to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side started the EU accession process ignoring the TRNC and said: The TRNC will strengthen its relations with Turkey as much as the Greek Cypriot side is integrated with the EU'. Noting that the economic integration is the most important in the relations between the TRNC and Turkey, Bulunc said that the above-mentioned circular was published in order to strengthen the relation between Turkey and the TRNC. 'These arrangements should have been made much earlier', ambassador Bulunc said.

    Furthermore, noting that preparations towards binding TRNC's Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs to Turkey are continuing, Dr Hasan Unal, professor at the International Affairs Department of Bilkent University, pointed out that the Internal Affairs Ministry is making this preparation in order to avoid any citizenship problems during the integration procedure between Turkey and the TRNC".

    [06] Court says Erdogan can't stand in election

    NTV television (16.09.02) broadcast that Turkey's Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that the leader of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) is ineligible to stand as a candidate in the November 3 general election.

    The court ruled that a previous ban from political activity imposed on Recip Tayyip Erdogan for breaching laws on inciting religious, ethnic or class hatred, was still in force, despite the Diyarbakir State Security Court, (SSC) which had handed down the original verdict against the JDP chairman, deciding to remove the conviction from the record books. The ruling was based on the fact that changes made to the laws that covered their actions, made as part of a package of legislative reforms to bring Turkish laws into line with those of the European Union, meant that their convictions no longer stood.

    The Chief Prosecutor of the Court of Appeals, Sabih Kanadoglu, had submitted a case to the court to overturn the SSC ruling and to have a stay put in place preventing Erdogan from running in the election.

    On Friday, Kanadoglu sent a written notification to the Supreme Election Board (SEB) giving a preliminary warning that Erdogan, and the former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, cannot stand as candidates in election.

    Kanadoglu, in the six page document, based his argument on the fact that erasing their past criminal records would not remove obstacles to their standing for election.

    The SEB, which vets all candidates, is expected to make the final decision on whether the JDP leader can stand as a candidate soon.

    [07] Parliament to hold extraordinary meeting over election threshold

    NTV television (16.09.02) broadcast that there is an increasing push among Turkey's political parties to lower the ten percent electoral threshold ahead of the November 3 polls, especially from parties facing the possibility of not passing the barrier and thus failing to gain seats in the new parliament.

    While ruling out working in co-operation with the Motherland Party (MP) and Prosperity Party (PP) in other matters, Istemihan Talay, the Secretary General of the New Turkey Party (NTP) said on Sunday his party would back joint action to push legislation through the parliament to lower the voter threshold.

    Talay, speaking on private television station NTV, said that they would seek to have the parliament hold an extraordinary session over the issue on Monday or Tuesday. He also said that this would not lead to confusion as predicted by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, adding that since the premier agreed that the ten percent barrier is too high he should back the movement.

    However Talay said that lowering the threshold would not rule out the forming of election alliances or co-operation. He denied that the move to reduce the level of the barrier was linked to efforts to postpone the election, in part sponsored by parliamentary deputies who had been left off the list of candidates of their parties or dropped to unwinnable positions.


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