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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-18

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.178/02 18.09.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides under UN auspices.
  • [02] Denktas: The UN Secretary-General has promised that neither the Turkish Cypriots nor Turkey will encounter surprises during the New York meeting in October.
  • [03] The Turkish President is concerned about poll delay.
  • [04] Former pro-Islamist Prime Minister to face court again.
  • [05] Ankara has provided a shopping list to Washington for its co-operation in an operation against Iraq.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] The occupation commanders said to be behind a move on the Pyla-Arsos road.
  • [07] Commentary on moves to postpone elections in Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

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

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (17.09.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, said on Tuesday that U.N. Secretary-General`s special representative to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto submitted a 12-article agenda during last week`s talks, adding they started to discuss the first article which is on the status of the Turkish side.

    Speaking to reporters before going to meet with President Glafcos Clerides, Denktas said that de Soto submitted them a programme and they started to discuss it. Denktas said that its first article was also discussed by jurists.

    Denktas said that Turkish and Greek Cypriot jurists came together in the buffer zone on Monday to discuss the first article of the programme submitted by Alvaro de Soto.

    Denktas said: ``Firstly the status of the Turkish Cypriots has to be sorted out.``

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot press reported that ``the Greek Cypriot national council discussed the 20-page new proposals submitted to them by the Turkish side and that a response would be given to the Turkish side today,`` Denktas said: ``It will be good if they give a response. We will tell their response to our parliament tomorrow and it will be a sound meeting.``

    Denktas said that there was also a wrong news published in the Greek Cypriot side to the effect that ``Turkish Cypriots accepted the prime ministry system,`` and added: ``We have not accepted such a thing yet. We focus on an administration between two presidents who have the executive power. Prime ministry regime was tested in Lebanon, but the population ration was fifty fifty, it was a very different regime. Saying `let's apply this regime in Cyprus` means that we shall be a 20-25 percent again under domination. We can't accept that. ``

    Denktas alleged that there are two equal states, adding Greek Cypriots will either accept partnership between these two equal states or not, ``this is so simple.``

    Meanwhile, Denktas reacted to a local newspaper which wrote that ``a law on treatment of Turkish Cypriots as Turkish citizens in Turkey was adopted``, and said the newspaper distorted and reflected it in a way which might destroy the direct talks process.

    Noting that they had for a long time wanted treatment of the Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey as Turkish citizens and they had exerted efforts to this end, Denktas said that adoption of such a law was a great thing for Turkish Cypriots.

    Stressing that all doors had been opened for Turkish Cypriot sportsmen and women to play for Turkish teams and ways for opening of business fields in Turkey by the Turkish Cypriot businessmen had been facilitated, Denktas said that with Turkey, they were trying to do what Greek Cypriots were doing and would do with Greece after joining the European Union.

    ``All of us have to thank the Turkish government if this law was really adopted. It opens a field of 65 million for us. This is a field of our brothers and sisters and this is a field from which we will benefit also economically,`` Denktas added.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting Denktas said that they took up the issue of legislative in the meeting and that they will also take up the issue of legislative and executive powers. Denktas said that the talks would continue until September 26.

    Denktas said that the programme of U.N. Secretary-General's Cyprus special representative Alvaro de Soto is related to the things they did to date, adding that they will take up the issues of the executive and legislative power and territory. Denktas noted that a map was wanted from them regarding the territory and there was a dispute on this issue.

    Denktas said that the other side wanted to discuss the issue by taking the Gali Map as basis, adding that this can't be acceptable.

    Denktas said that de Soto prepared a programme for putting out ideas on all issues before the meeting to be held in New York between 3-4 October, adding that de Soto will present a report to Secretary-General about the things done to date and they expect the Secretary-General to prepare his own report.

    Denktas said that there are those who are afraid of a possible plan that would be brought by Annan and the U.S, adding that many plans were brought forward in the past recalling that any of the sides didn't accept these plans due to various reasons. ``There is no such thing that they will bring a new plan and this will kill us,`` Denktas said, adding that ``we will examine if such a plan is in line with our rights, if it protects our sovereignty, rights, if it is strong enough to prevent the island from returning to the period between 1963 and 1974, and if it has taken into consideration the things we discussed so far. U.N. Secretary-General's putting forward a plan - knowing that it won't be accepted - is related to his own prestige and status. He won't say that `I will put forward a plan and I will insist on that.` He told us that he would not do such a thing. He told us that the U.N. won't urge the sides to accept something by pressure. Therefore, those who are afraid of any such plan should be sure of the fact that they will protect their state, sovereignty, rights.``

    Denktas remarked that he was not informed about the possibility of the U.N.`s putting forward a plan during the meeting to be held in New York on October 4 and that he didn't expect any plan, adding that no agreement has been reached yet between the two sides on main issues and particularly about the issue of sovereignty.

    ``Putting forward a plan coming from outside in front of the two sides whose visions are 180 degrees different from each other means either saying to the two sides `reject it` or causing one of the sides to reject it, and this is of no use,`` Denktas said.

    In reply to a question, Denktas said that if the EU accepts Cyprus unilaterally, it will have a great risk, adding that there is no single Cyprus, but two Cyprus on the island today.

    When asked if there is a possibility of agreement on the issue of status, Denktas said: ``Not yet. There is an approach to the effect that we are `equal and equal community`. But we are obliged to go on the talks,`` Denktas said that the talks between the jurists will continue at the technical level.

    The technical talks among jurists from both sides are being carried out under the leadership of Rauf Denktas` consultant for constitutional and legal issues Prof. Dr. Mumtaz Soysal and Cyprus Attorney General Alecos Markides.

    Denktas and Clerides will come together again on September 19.

    [02] Denktas: The UN Secretary-General has promised that neither the Turkish Cypriots nor Turkey will encounter surprises during the New York meeting in October

    KIBRIS (18.09.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said yesterday that during the recent meeting in Paris the UN Secretary-General has promised that the Turkish side will encounter no surprises at the 3-4 October meeting in New York.

    Speaking on "Akis" programme of Mete Tumerkan (illegal Bayrak television), Mr Denktas repeated his intransigent views noting that the agreement in Cyprus must not be signed by two communities, but by two separate states. Furthermore, he reminded that the wish of the Greek Cypriot side is to achieve an agreement between two communities and repeated that this would not be realised. He continued as follows:

    "We are not a community. We are two states in Cyprus. If you do not accept this, and I see that you do not, it means that, as Kissinger had said, 'you consider that you hold in your hands the right to annihilate us one day and come to our land'".

    The Turkish Cypriot leader claimed that if the Turkish Cypriot side is forced to sign an agreement without its existence being accepted, the worth of this signature will be equal to the worth of the paper it will be written on.

    Noting that autonomy was proposed to the Turkish side and that this is not possible to be accepted, Mr Denktas added referring to the Greek Cypriot side: "Who are you to give me autonomy? Only legitimate governments give autonomy to minorities. Even saying this is very heavy. We want to establish a partnership as two states. This is our effort".

    Mr Denktas said also that on Thursday he would inform the so-called "assembly" regarding the answer given by President Clerides during their meeting yesterday about the so-called "new" proposals submitted by him earlier in the talks.

    Referring to the role of the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor, Alvaro de Soto, at the talks, Mr Denktas said that this role has not changed. He added that his advisor Mumtaz Soysal and the Greek Cypriot advisor on legal issues, Alecos Markides would hold special meetings in an effort to find a formula on the issue of the status.

    Asked to comment on the possibility of the international community trying to use the IMF master card and increase the pressures on Turkey regarding Cyprus, Mr Denktas claimed that these allegations are "remote probabilities", because "Turkey is not Argentina".

    [03] The Turkish President is concerned about poll delay

    NTV television (17.09.02) broadcast that Turkey's President said Tuesday that he was concerned that moves to have the parliament debate a lowering of the 10 percent electoral threshold could be used to postpone the November 3 poll.

    Speaking at a press conference before his departure to the Azeri capital of Baku, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that efforts by a number of political parties to convene parliament in order to debate the lowering of the electoral barrier could have an ulterior motive.

    "The purpose of this is to postpone the elections," he said. "I have the concern that trying to decrease the threshold might change into an initiative to postpone the elections."

    When asked about the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeals to overturn a decision by the Diyarbak?r State Security Court to erase the criminal conviction against Recip Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), Sezer said that as the judiciary had taken a definite decision he could not comment.

    On Monday, the Court of Appeals handed down its decision on an appeal by the Chief Prosecutor against the State Security Court's ruling, saying that Erdogan's conviction still stood. The ruling means that the JDP chairman may not be able to run in the election.

    Sezer has gone to Baku to take part in the ceremonial laying of the first foundation for the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, designed to carry Caspian basin oil through Georgia and Turkey for export to Western markets.

    [04] Former pro-Islamist Prime Minister to face court again

    NTV television (17.09.02) broadcast that the leader of political Islam in Turkey, former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, has had another obstacle placed in front of efforts to revive his parliamentary career, after a court case was opened against him for allegedly making statements inciting hatred.

    Erbakan, who is hoping to stand in the November 3 election as an independent candidate for his former electorate of Konya in central Turkey, has yet to be given final approval to run, despite another court erasing the records of his conviction for a similar offence.

    On Monday, the Istanbul State Security Court (SSC) opened a court case against Erbakan for breaching article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code. Though recently revised, the article still carries heavy penalties for those deemed to have incited hatred by invoking religious, ethnic or class differences. The latest charges against Erbakan stem from an investigation by the state prosecutor in the north western province of Bal?kesir into a speech the former Prime Minister gave earlier this year.

    Erbakan, in an open air meeting in Bal?kesir on July 26, was reported to have said, "The Prosperity Party is like a factory. After it takes a Muslim and hammers three nails into his head he is made more conscious."

    He is also alleged to have said that those opposing to National View (a staunchly pro-Islamist religious group) would die.

    [05] Ankara has provided a shopping list to Washington for its co-operation in an operation against Iraq

    Turkish Daily News (17.09.02) publishes the following report by Ilnur Cevik:

    The United States is willing to takeover the strategic oil cities of Kirkuk and Mossoul and prevent any Kurdish intervention in the area when it launches its military operation against Iraq to topple the Saddam Hussein administration, sources close to the negotiations between Ankara and Washington revealed.

    This would ease Turkish concerns about northern Iraq and also allow Ankara to scrap tentative plans to move into the region to prevent Kurdish domination of the two strategic cities.

    The issue has been extensively discussed between Turkish and American officials during the visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman to Ankara and the visit of Ambassador Ugur Ziyal, the undersecretary of foreign affairs, to Washington recently. The issue is also being discussed between the military officials of the two countries and will be taken up again when Chief of Staff General Hilmi Ozkok visits Washington soon.

    Kurdish groups controlling northern Iraq have repeatedly said Kirkuk and Mossoul are Kurdish dominated cities and should fall into their jurisdiction. Turkey feels a majority of Turkomans live in this region and thus they should have a major say in the area.

    There have been reports that in the case of an American attack on Iraq, Turkey may intervene in northern Iraq and takeover the region to provide security for the Kurds against a possible offensive by Saddam's troops and prevent a mass exodus of Kurds to the Turkish border areas like the one experienced in 1991 after the Gulf War.

    In talks with Turkey, the Americans have reportedly offered to land their airborne troops into the Kirkuk and Mossoul area and thus prevent the Kurds from taking over the region in case of war. In return Turkey would not intervene in northern Iraq.

    Turkey feels an American operation may trigger the proclamation of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq and also fears the Kurds may move to claim sovereignty over Kirkuk and Mossoul. The Iraqi Kurds have given assurances that this is not the case but some tough nationalistic talk by Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) President Massoud Barzani has irked the Turkish military officials that the Kurds may have a different agenda if and when Saddam Hussein is toppled.

    According to sources, Turkey and the U.S. are also negotiating an aid package in return for Turkish cooperation in the Gulf War. Ankara has provided a shopping list to Washington that may help the modernization of the Turkish Armed Forces. There will also be economic aid in the package to offset some of the losses of a U.S. military intervention. The total aid package is said to be worth about $10 billion.

    Turkey will also receive guarantees from the U.S. that Turkish contractors will play a major role in the rebuilding of Iraq.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] The occupation commanders said to be behind a move on the Pyla-Arsos road

    Turkish Cypriot AFRIKA newspaper (16.09.02) publishes the following commentary by Ali Osman under the title: "This is a provocation:

    Everyone is uneasy with the stage where the Cyprus problem has reached. Greek Prime Minister Simitis just yesterday expressed his concern that something would happen there.

    The Turkish and Greek Cypriots, who remained in Pyla in the British bases region after the division of Cyprus into two in 1974, are presently living together in Pyla. It was shown as an example throughout the talks on the Cyprus problem to prove that the two peoples can live together.

    However, Tsakourmas/ arrest and his abduction and putting him in jail in north. With this example, it was aimed at proving that the Turks and the Greek Cypriots cannot live together.

    Meanwhile, problems recently emerged all of a sudden on the Pyla-Pergamos road where no incidents occurred for the past 28 years. After a decision made by the pertinent "Ministry" of the "TRNC", work began on the construction of a road extending from Arsos to Pyla. Officials from the UN Peace Force obstructed this work, which was being carried out in the buffer zone. However, the inhabitants of Pyla, Arsos, and Lyssi were raged. "Under what right are they [the UN Peace Forces] preventing us from entering the lands that we inherited from our forefathers," asked the inhabitants of these places.

    Well, these people are right in this regard. However, these are not the only regions where people have not been able to enter after 1974. Some 200,000 Greek Cypriots were expelled from their houses and lands in 1974. It is forbidden to these Greek Cypriots to return to their lands now... Therefore, the inhabitants of Pyla and Arsos are not the only ones whose fields, property remained in the buffer zone.

    Have a look at the map of Cyprus from the east to the west. The lands belonging to a number of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots remained in the buffer zone... Let these citizens ask for their lands as well... The Turkish army set up a garrison on a plot of land belonging to my father in Elia. Let the army withdraw from my father's land as well... Let everybody acquire his/her property. It is obvious that it is Denktas and Ankara that do not want settlement.

    The Cyprus issue is now being discussed at the United Nations... Work will be conducted in New York on 3-4 October in this respect for reaching a framework agreement regarding the Cyprus problem.

    However, the village headmen of a couple of villages gathered a number of citizens around them with the initiative of the commanders with the aim of disrupting the peace and starting conflicts in the region at a time when there is concern that a similar provocation will be made in the Aegean or the regions they call grey zones.

    The people in the region is uneasy regarding this issue... Why was Pyla chosen and not another place for making this provocation? Well, because it is the place where two peoples live together, and it is the place prone to provocations.

    Moreover, remember the remarks that Tsakurmas' brother made while Tsakurmas was jailed in north Cyprus, mainly, the bombing provocation proposed to him in Pyla in order to have his brother freed from jail...

    [07] Commentary on moves to postpone elections in Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (17.09.02) publishes the following commentary in the column "Equilibrium" by Burak Bekdil:

    There is always a reason to pull down Turkey's financial markets. It's either bad news from the Central Bank or the Treasury when politics is relatively stable or vice versa.

    Earlier this year, markets were gloomy over poor macroeconomic performance but happy with politics -- they showed teeth at every proposal for early polls. How things may change at an amazing pace in the land of the Crescent and Star! These days, markets are gloomy over politics despite a stunning macroeconomic performance -- and they show teeth at every proposal to postpone early polls.

    It was an open secret that September 11 (not the commemoration) would be a bombshell in Ankara. The day when Turkey's political parties submitted their lists of candidates to the electoral board proved a rallying point for "disgruntled" deputies who were scratched from party lists and, as expected, have launched a campaign to delay elections.

    Add to them the parties that are shown by every opinion poll falling below the 10 percent barrier for entry to Parliament, the risk of putting off the November 3 election is not too minor. Only a couple of months after 449 deputies voted for early polls, many of them, for different reasons, may propose a new vote to postpone the election -- and just when things in the economy seem to be going in the right direction.

    Turkey's gross national product (GNP) rose a better than expected 8.8 percent in the second quarter of 2002, or 8.2 percent year on year, after a 12.1 percent slump in the corresponding period of 2001. The figure, although it possibly stems from excessive pile up of inventories, has confirmed year-end growth rate may go beyond the official target of three percent. And there is more.

    Annual consumer price inflation was 40.2 percent in August, down from 41.3 percent in July -- a sign that the Central Bank's year-end target of 35 percent was quite attainable. The Bank has said that it was extremely confident of meeting inflation targets although global oil prices remained a future risk. And for the first time, inflation expectations have fallen below the official target -- 34.8 percent in the Bank's latest survey.

    At exactly that point politics came in. In an explicit move to avoid an election defeat that may kill his political career, Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, whose center-right Motherland Party faces a possible rout at polls along with other mainstream parties, has urged expulsion of his nationalist allies and formation of an interim "pro-EU" cabinet. Mr Yilmaz, who has made Turkey's EU membership ambitions his campaign cornerstone, says a short delay to a December 15 poll date would win time to press implementation of political reforms and win solid encouragement at a December 12 EU summit in Copenhagen.

    Understandably, Mr Yilmaz reasons that a handsome EU response, though quite unlikely, might be the saving point of his party. But his move did not send Turkish stocks and lira down and bond rates up but also sparked a cold response from the press. "Immorally disgruntled," an Istanbul newspaper carried the move into its banner headline.

    Although Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit moved last week to banish market fears as rebellion simmered in his frail coalition, markets needed a stronger consolation than an ailing premier whose political career, like Mr Yilmaz's, would likely end very soon. And they reversed their downward course immediately after President Ahmet Necdet Sezer put up the barricades against efforts to delay elections. In plain language that everybody can understand, the president said he was prepared to dissolve parliament to block efforts to delay elections.

    Sezer, who said a delay would bring "shame on Parliament," has constitutional powers to dissolve the assembly if the government collapses and a new one cannot be formed within 45 days. His warning was in fact an echo of what Turkey's powerful generals said earlier -- that cancellation of the polls would pitch the country into chaos.

    That much of a warning from the peaks of the establishment should normally be sufficient to discourage efforts to put off elections. Thus, Ankara looks like a flea market these days. Half a dozen deputies change parties every day -- even from one extreme of the political spectrum to the other. "The disgruntled" feel no shame in confessing that they move against the polls because their names were not in the list of candidates.

    Nine in every 10 Turks want to go to the ballot box on November 3. So do the president and the generals. That means the odds are against a delay. All the same politics is always most unpredictable in the land of the Crescent and Star.


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