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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-09-24

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. 182/02 24.09.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader will leave for New York on 29 September by way of Istanbul
  • [02] Mumtaz Soysal: The current policy is one of delaying tactics
  • [03] The Turkish Grand National Assembly will meet on October 1
  • [04] Turkish Air Force Chief supports the decision to ban Erdogan. Reaction by Erdogan
  • [05] Denktas: "I do not have to give territory"
  • [06] The German Ambassador met with Talat and Angolemli
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Pro-Nationalist Action Party newspaper says Mesut Yilmaz expects support from the EU for the upcoming elections in Turkey
  • [08] Turkish columnist comments on post-election balances in Turkey

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader will leave for New York on 29 September by way of Istanbul

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (23/09/02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas will meet with political party leaders on 27 September to assess the situation on the eve of the Cyprus summit to be held in New York. Denktas held his routine weekly meeting with the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Deputy Prime Minister Salih Cosar this morning. The Cyprus issue and economic topics were discussed during the meeting.

    In a statement before the meeting, Denktas announced that on 29 September he will leave for Istanbul en route to New York, and prior to that he will meet with the leaders of the political parties on 27 September for an assessment of the situation. In his statement after the meeting, Eroglu said that agreement was reached to meet with Denktas before and after his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York.

    Commenting on Mr Alvaro de Soto's upcoming contacts in Ankara and Athens, Denktas explained that de Soto will return to the island after his visit to Athens to participate in the direct talks to be held on Tuesday and Thursday, and he will proceed to Ankara after the final meeting in Cyprus before the New York summit. It is very natural for de Soto to hold contacts in Ankara and Athens, Denktas remarked, adding: "It is beneficial for the Secretary-General to be aware of the final word of the two guarantors during the assessment he will conduct in New York."

    Pointing out that the Ankara Government had previously invited de Soto and asked to meet with him, Denktas stressed that the special envoy then decided to go to Athens as well.

    [02] Mumtaz Soysal: The current policy is one of delaying tactics

    KIBRIS (24/09/02) reports that Mumtaz Soysal, the Turkish Cypriot leader's advisor on constitutional and legal affairs, declared that in the event of a solution that excludes the Turkish Cypriot side and that admits Cyprus into the EU, the talks will cease. In a statement to IHAS News Agency in Istanbul before a meeting between the Turkish journalists and columnists who deal with the Cyprus problem, Soysal said that if such a result emerges, we cannot continue with the talks. The meeting was a closed door session.

    Pointing out that the EU cannot turn its back on Turkey in the real sense of the word, Soysal added: "It is in their interests not to turn their back on us; and nor can we turn our back on them. Neither side will turn its back on the other. At worst, if our accession process is negatively affected, we will not break away from Europe. They, in turn, cannot exclude Turkey in the full sense of the word. The current policy is one of delaying tactics. There is mutual love, and we are going through an engagement period whose outcome is not very clear."

    Noting that Cyprus should not be used as a domestic political tool, Soysal said: "To become a political tool, the Cyprus issue must secure a measure of advantage to that side. It is our impression that the people are more or less on the same line with regard to Cyprus. In other words, those who advocate renouncing Cyprus cannot score any points. Cyprus must be regarded as a national policy."

    Soysal recounted that the Greek Cypriots favour a constitutional change, while the Turkish side wants to establish a new partnership and reach an agreement. If south Cyprus continues to exist as a separate state and intermingles with Greece and with the EU, Soysal stated, the occupied areas, in turn, will forge closer ties with Turkey. He added: "If they react against this and do something wrong, this could go as far as war depending on the degree of their error."

    The meeting was attended by Derya Sazak, Mehmet Ali Birand, Ilter Turkmen, Cengiz Candar, Hasan Cemal, Sami Kohen and Ozden Sanberk.

    [03] The Turkish Grand National Assembly will meet on October 1

    Turkish Daily News (23/09/02) reported that the Turkish Parliament will convene briefly, unless there is widespread backing for a proposal to postpone the general election. The Parliament, as required by its governing regulations, will meet on October 1 for the official beginning of the 2002-2003 legislative year.

    However, the session is expected to be short lived, with the parliament to recess almost immediately ahead of the November 3 national elections. There is a possibility that the session may be extended if a proposal to defer the election gains sufficient support for it to be debated.

    Another issue that may cause the session to be prolonged is a proposal to amend the laws governing the conducting of elections. One of the suggested proposals involves the lowering of the ten percent electoral threshold. Currently, a party must obtain more than ten percent of the national vote in order to qualify to take up seats in the parliament.

    [04] Turkish Air Force Chief supports the decision to ban Erdogan. Reaction by Erdogan

    NTV television (23/09/02) broadcast that a senior Turkish officer has backed the ruling denying the leader of Turkey's most popular party the opportunity to be a candidate in the country's forthcoming general elections.

    Speaking at the 37th general assembly of the Turkish Aviation Authority on the weekend, General Cumhur Asparuk said that he supported the decision of the Supreme Election Board (SEB) in banning Recep Tayyip Erdošan from standing in the November 3 election. Erdošan is the chairman of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), currently leading most pre-poll opinion surveys.

    The General said that if he had committed a crime under Turkish law he would face the punishment and so would everyone. Turkey's laws were not applied differently towards individuals in Turkey but equally to all, Asparuk said.

    "The finger cut by Sharia does not hurt," he said.

    NTV also broadcast that Recep Tayyip Erdošan, chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday reacted to statements, including those of the Turkish general, that the Supreme Election Board's (SEB) decision to ban him from standing in election would not hurt as it was a ruling in line with the law.

    He responded to comments that "the finger cut by Sharia would not hurt", by saying, "If the finger is healthy it hurts". One of those to make the comment that there should be no pain associated with the ruling of the SEB was General Cumhur Asparuk, the commander of the Turkish Air Force.

    Erdošan also criticised political parties that gave support to him after he was banned from running in the election for not having supported a constitutional change put forward by his party previously to prevent this.

    He added that the JDP executive board was still discussing his situation.

    On Friday, the SEB banned the leaders of three parties, Erdošan, Murat Bozlak and Akżn Birdal and senior independent politician and former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, from being candidates in the election. All of the four have applied to the European Court of Human Rights against the decision.

    [05] Denktas: "I do not have to give territory"

    KIBRIS (24.09.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that he did not have to make concessions on the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem and added that in case the UN Secretary - General, Kofi Annan submits any proposals during their 3 - 4 October meeting in New York, he would return to the occupied areas and discuss them with his so-called "assembly".

    Talking yesterday during a meeting with a delegation of the so-called "Civilian Initiative Movement", headed by Taner Etkin, coordinator of the National People's Movement, Mr Denktas repeated his views on the Cyprus problem. He claimed that the problem in Cyprus could be solved only when the Turkish Cypriots are accepted as equal with the Greek Cypriots.

    "If the Greek Cypriots accept the TRNC as a fact and agree to set up a partnership", he supported, "the doors may be opened toward an agreement".

    Mr Denktas asserted that the statement made by Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish deputy prime minister and foreign minister, is appropriate. If the EU admits the Greek Cypriots unilaterally that would mean annexation and that would lead to a retaliation, claimed the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    On the upcoming talks with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, Mr Denktas said that Mr Annan expects the Turkish side to take certain steps that cannot be taken given the current conditions.

    Denktas said: "I am being told that I am supposed to give land. I am not obliged to give land. If I am supposed to give land for an agreement, I must be told what land I am supposed to give. If I tell my people that certain parts of the land are going to be given away, then I will be putting my people to sit onto burning coals. We are talking about border adjustments but certain circles are talking about giving land away. Maps are being drawn up by people who may be related to the issue or not. They are talking about displacing 50,000, 60,000, or 70,000 people. Nobody cares. We are being told that the Greek Cypriots will come and settle in our land and that it is their right. How can I sign an agreement unless all this is clarified?"

    Mr Denktas added that in connection with this issue, he expected understanding from the United Nations, the EU, and other organizations, which uphold rights, justice, democracy and human rights.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader alleged also the following: "We want peace. You must be crazy if you do not want peace, but you must be really crazy if you want a peace based on an agreement similar to the 1960 agreement, one that may be rendered void in three years. We must be able to call our land our land and our home our home. We want a peace from where the Greek Cypriots cannot sweep us away. The Greek Cypriots continue to deceive the world. To overcome that, we must be united around the basic issues, and we have achieved that".

    [06] The German Ambassador met with Talat and Angolemli

    YENIDUZEN (24/09/02) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, met yesterday with the newly appointed German Ambassador to Cyprus, Mr Jochen Trebesch.

    In a statement prior the meeting, Talat wished to the German Ambassador all the best in his new duties and added that he will brief him regarding his views on the Cyprus problem and the EU-Cyprus relations.

    Reminding that Cyprus is being dragged to uncertainty, Talat said that during the Copenhagen Summit, Cyprus“ accession into the EU and the starting date for Turkey's accession negotiations with the EU will be discussed. He also mentioned that there are indications that the Cyprus problem will be solved by the end of the year.

    Opposing those who deny this and those who claim that the Cyprus problem has nothing to do with Turkey's process into the EU, Talat said that it is a known reality that both problems are in the centre of EU“s enlargement and within this framework he pointed out that he wants to inform the German Ambassador, who comes from one of the most important countries of EU, about the views of his party, which supports the Cyprus settlement, Cyprus“ accession into the EU and to give a starting date to Turkey for the accession talks with the EU.

    Talat also stressed that the solution of the Cyprus problem and the EU is of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriots.

    The German Ambassador, on his part, said that he carried out this visit in order to meet with Mr Talat and to be informed on his party's views on the current issues.

    Mr Jochen Trebesch also met yesterday with the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Mr Huseyin Angolemli.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Pro-Nationalist Action Party newspaper says Mesut Yilmaz expects support from the EU for the upcoming elections in Turkey

    Istanbul Ortadogu newspaper (23/09/02) publishes the following analytical report by Esra Demir under the title: "The plan to save Mesut Yilmaz":

    The Motherland Party (MP) General Chairman Mesut Yilmaz, whose political career hit rock bottom, has pinned all of his hopes on the EU. Yilmaz and his party, which has formulated the party policy on relations with the EU and Turkey's EU membership process, have indexed to the EU the necessary visa for escaping from the High Tribunal. Yilmaz's target is to postpone the elections until after the Copenhagen Summit, to be held on 10 December, and by creating the atmosphere that Turkey is about to enter the EU, to both leave the Nationalist Action Party (NAP), which has expressed that Turkey will not enter the EU, out of the running, and to raise his ratio of votes, which has decreased to around 3 percent, to above 10 percent, which is needed to enter into the Parliament. The EU is also giving support to the plan of Yilmaz, who wants to label the NAP as anti-EU at every opportunity.

    Yilmaz held contacts last week in Brussels with Gunter Verheugen, the key man of the European Commission Responsible for Enlargement, who had showered insults in Helsinki on the Turkish Cypriots, Romano Prodi and the Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen and asked them for 'help'. After these discussions, the EU changed the normal schedule for the announcement of the EU's Turkey Progress Report from 9 October to an earlier date and called a meeting. At the foundation of the EU's gesture to Yilmaz lies the fact that Yilmaz makes the same statements as the EU on the EU's Turkey policy. Yilmaz is the most fervent defender of the evil laws passed in the Parliament under the name of convergence to the standards of the Copenhagen Criteria, which were previously formed especially for Turkey under the heading EU convergence laws, and in this connection Yilmaz also facilitates the EU's job. In other words, Yilmaz, who is ready to make all kinds of concessions to save his own skin, is just the right man for the EU.

    Presently, the EU is trying to have Leyla Zana and the former DEP [Democracy Party] members, who are collaborators with the PKK [Worker's Party of Kurdistan] released. If the MP would be in a government model to be formed after the elections, then this would be extremely beneficial for the EU. For this reason, the EU provides full support to Yilmaz. In the calculations made, in case Yilmaz can have the elections postponed until after the Copenhagen Summit to be held between 9-10 December, then he will create "the atmosphere that Turkey is entering into the EU" and during this period the support given to the MP will be emphasized and thus Yilmaz's votes will be increased.

    According to the Motherland Party, if the plan of Yilmaz, who tries to emphasize at every opportunity that the NAP is anti-EU, works, then the NAP could also be left out of the running. The NAP, which makes warnings at every opportunity related to the real nature and dangers of the dream of entering the EU with an unconditional, submissive mentality, constitutes a serious block in front of Yilmaz's intrigues. For this reason, the NAP is in the position of an unwanted party against the MP.

    As in the example of "a drowning man will clutch at a straw", the process that leads to Yilmaz's hopes for help from the EU accelerated with the bringing onto the agenda of the opening of the Blue Stream Project File recently.

    If the project, in which $116 million was siphoned, is discussed and if Yilmaz remains outside of the Parliament, then he could be tried at the High Tribunal. However, if he becomes a Member of Parliament again, then the danger of the High Tribunal could be bypassed.

    [08] Turkish columnist comments on post-election balances in Turkey

    Derya Sazak, writing in Milliyet (21/09/02) under the title "JDP after 3 November", reports the following:

    "How will the decision by the Supreme Elections Board (SEB) stating that Tayyip Erdogan and Erbakan cannot be deputies affect the post-election balances?

    I spoke with Gurcan Dagdas, who is conducting politics on the centre right, about possible eventualities.

    Dagdas was a minister during the Welfare-Path coalition and together with Adnan Menderes had tried to make Erbakan follow a "common sense" line. When the government broke up after 28 February, Dagdas joined the Democratic Turkey Party [DTP]. Ever since the elections of 19 April 1999 he has been out of parliament. He did not agree with the union formed by True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller with Menderes and Mehmet Ali Bayar.

    He became an "independent" deputy for Kars.

    As Dagdas being a young man does not see politics as "a way of life that cannot be lived without" and because he also takes to the streets, he is going to Kars with hope.

    The people are going to vote "in reaction" more than anything else on 3 November.

    Even the Justice and Development Party (JDP) - Republican People's Party (RPP) choice has emerged from the reactions of a people that have been losing their jobs and becoming poorer since 1999.

    The bill for the economic crisis will be made out to the coalition. The erosion in the centre right has also been influential in the rise of the JDP. Looking at the surveys the Motherland Party (MP), the JDP and the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) all face the risk of staying below the threshold. The drive by the Young Party is adversely affecting the NAP.

    We asked Gurcan Dagdas about the image on the right and how possible it was to compare the rise of the JDP to the Democrat Party's activities of 1946-50.

    Although he said that similarities existed the electorate's perception of both parties ahead of the 3 November 2002 elections, Dagdas also pointed to a "difference":

    The cadre that had formed the Democratic Party had emerged from within the RPP and the cadre together with Celal Bayar, which had split away from the RPP with a four-article protest, had no problems with the basic parameters of the Republic. Those that brought the party to power had no doubt about this. Its cadres were more refined.

    The State does not feel the same confidence about the JDP or its administration. Even if the JDP increases its votes in these elections it will not be easy to dispel the doubts felt regarding it.

    During the debates regarding Tayyip Erdogan we will see the following: Erdogan's situation will positively affect the JDP's votes up until 3 November. Afterwards it will adversely affect it because the JDP will either become Erdogan's party or it will become yet another structure on the political right.

    According to Gurcan Dagdas if the JDP can pool around 30-35 percent of the votes then the parties of the centre right, the JDP and MP could suffer an earthquake.

    "A new structure that will instil confidence in all walks of life and that will have a broad voting base" will appear between a JDP devoid of Erdogan and the other centre right parties that will have lost the elections, yet have also renewed their leaders."

    Dagdas said that after the elections a parliament that would work like "the first Turkish Grand National Assembly" would be formed and that just as that assembly had had to deal with inherited Ottoman debts, so the new one would have to face a grave economic situation and national matters such as "domestic peace", EU membership, Cyprus and a war against Iraq.

    The SEB ruling on Erdogan looks like being the first step in this process."

    EG/


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