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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-10-04

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 189/02 04.10.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is trying to blackmail the U.N. and the EU from the U.N. headquarters
  • [02] Turkey to get a date for accession and Cyprus' EU membership to be finalized
  • [03] Turkish State Security Court changes Ocalan's death penalty to life sentence
  • [04] Tayyibe Gullek on Turkey-Pseudostate Economic Joint Council
  • [05] Verheugen says EU under US pressure on Turkish EU bid
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in Radikal: The Turkish Cypriot negotiator is lagging behind his community
  • [07] "Accept our sovereignty and let us shake hands"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is trying to blackmail the U.N. and the EU from the U.N. headquarters

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03/10/02) reported from New York that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas said on Thursday: ``I will say only one thing. If the European Union (EU) takes Cyprus as member, the talks will end and Cyprus will be divided forever.``

    Denktas was speaking before his meeting with the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan within the framework of the solution that will be found to the Cyprus question.

    The U.N. Secretary-General earlier met with President Glafcos Clerides.

    The meeting held later between Rauf Denktas, the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and President Glafcos Clerides lasted less than expected.

    Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Denktas said: ``We will continue the talks after 22.00 local time on Friday.``

    Meanwhile President Clerides said he would meet Alvaro de Soto at 17.00 local time, and the Secretary-General at 22.00 local time.

    No statement has been made so far from the U.N. regarding the schedule.

    [02] Turkey to get a date for accession and Cyprus' EU membership to be finalized

    TRT 2 Television (03/10/02) broadcast that the EU is giving a conditional negotiation date to Turkey. EU sources are saying that if Turkey fulfills certain conditions, the membership negotiations may begin in the spring of 2003. The correspondent of TRT 2 Can Izbul reported the following from Brussels:

    There are increasing chances that during the Copenhagen summit, Turkey will get a negotiation date based on certain conditions. EU sources are saying that the annual progress report will not have a clear proposal to give a date to Turkey, but that the Commission will expect the member countries to assign it to start negotiations. Accordingly, if certain conditions are met, the Commission will start the membership negotiations in the spring of 2003. According to the same sources, the member countries are increasingly saying that the negotiations may begin especially if the human rights practices reach the desired level and if the reforms are generally implemented.

    We have learned that certain countries, including Greece, are saying that while giving a date to Turkey, Cyprus' EU membership must be finalized in 2004, as planned.

    The Commission sources are saying that they do not want any delay in connection with Cyprus.

    There are reports that a special meeting may be held regarding the developments in Turkey.

    [03] Turkish State Security Court changes Ocalan's death penalty to life sentence

    Ankara Anatolia (03/10/02) reported from Ankara that under the law that abolishes death penalty, except during times of war and imminent war, which was passed by the Turkish Parliament last August as part of Turkey's efforts to adjust to EU law, Ankara State Security Court changed Abdullah Ocalan`s death penalty to life sentence on Thursday.

    The court also decided that Ocalan will not benefit from conditional release and he will remain in jail until he dies.

    A copy of the court decision will be sent to Imrali maximum security prison where Ocalan has been staying since February 1999.

    The decision was taken unanimously.

    [04] Tayyibe Gullek on Turkey-Pseudostate Economic Joint Council

    BIRLIK (04.10.02) reports that the Turkish State Minister, responsible for Cyprus affairs, Mrs Tayyibe Gullek, said that the necessary resources were secured for the increase of the prosperity level of pensioners and workers in the pseudostate. Mrs Gullek made this statement to Illegal Bayrak station (BRT) referring to the results of the Joint Council meeting between Turkey and the pseudostate, held recently in Ankara.

    Mrs Gullek stressed that investments in occupied Cyprus must start the sooner possible so that the economy and the employment will be helped. She also stressed that the agreements signed by Turkey and the pseudostate reached the level of agreement signed by Turkey and Europe.

    Referring to the Turkish elections of the 3d of November, Mrs Gullek said the election results will have no effect on the relations of Turkey and the occupied Cyprus and she added that Turkey is always sensitive regarding the Cyprus issue.

    [05] Verheugen says EU under US pressure on Turkish EU bid

    Turkish Daily News (04/10/02) reports that the Washington administration has been exercising tremendous pressure on the European Union to convince the 15-nation bloc to give a date to Turkey for the beginning of its accession talks in the upcoming Copenhagen Summit in December, said the EU's enlargement commissioner Guenther Verheugen.

    A weekly meeting of the European Commission took up the enlargement process, the membership bid of Cyprus and a progress report expected to be issued on October 9 to evaluate membership performance of Turkey throughout 2002. The enlargement policy of the EU will be rendered meaningless if Cyprus is not granted membership status, said Verheugen at the meeting, according to news portal AB Haber. Verheugen was responding to some commission members at the meeting, asking whether the political instability on the island would be an obstacle for Cypriot membership.

    Turkey has warned in the past that it might annex the northern part of the island if the EU admits Cyprus as a member to represent the entire island before a solution to the dispute between the Turkish and Greek communities of Cyprus.

    On Turkey's membership bid, Verheugen said Ankara has not yet fulfilled political criteria of membership for the EU, which means it will probably not receive a date for the commencement of talks with the Union in December when the EU countries will gather for the Copenhagen Summit. Verheugen cited reports of international human rights organizations, highlighting that human rights violations were still underway in Turkey despite a series of political reforms enacted by Parliament in August. He explained it would be hard for the Union to give a date to Turkey in the light of these reports. Some Commission members asked how the EU could defend its decision not to grant candidacy status to Ukraine, which they said was more European than Turkey, if it happened to give a date for the launching of accession talks to Turkey in December.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in Radikal: The Turkish Cypriot negotiator is lagging behind his community

    Radikal newspaper (02/10/02) publishes the following commentary by Erdal Guven under the title, "The great race for Cyprus":

    We are entering the final stretch of 2002, which was declared to be "the year for a solution" on Cyprus. Whatever is going to happen will happen between 3 November and December 2002. Of course there is no such thing as a finishing line in diplomacy but things are still going to be nail biting. Both Denktas and Clerides are taking their first steps along the final stretch in New York with what breath remains and under the UN's starting gun. The "year for a solution" was entered at a rush. Up until then the two leaders, who had shied away from getting together even in a third country and who had reluctantly shaken hands, suddenly decided to meet face to face and in their own countries. Reciprocal visits were made and meals were eaten. The UN supported the initiative and the "main capitals" expressed their delight. The EU applauded and both peoples had their hopes raised. Almost everybody was of the opinion in the light of external factors that "this time the situation is different and a solution is closer than at any other time". The marathon had begun.

    The aim was to reach at least a framework agreement within six months. The parties got together at least twice a week. Close to 50 meetings were held. Yet come June there was still no agreement on the table. The deadline was extended until October or even December if necessary. In order to speed things up Annan went firstly to Cyprus after which he got both leaders to meet in Paris.

    In one sense this meant that the UN, which had withdrawn at the start of proceedings to remain merely an observer, had returned to the table. Still, nothing changed, at least on the surface. The UN submitted a program but there is still nothing to show for it.

    Denktas reckons the leaders have turned around by 180 degrees. The Greek Cypriot leader complains that his counterpart has not demonstrated the same will. According to UN Special Envoy De Soto there is still a "gulf" between them.

    So, what now? What must be done? What could come out of New York? I sought the answers to these questions over three days on Cyprus.

    If a general start has to be made then two conclusions can be drawn. The first is that the New Year optimism has given way to pessimism, and hopes, while not being dashed, have reached rock bottom. Secondly, the belief that both parties would be able to resolve the problem on their own has weakened considerably and everybody has set their eyes on third-party powers. The Greek Cypriots are also undecided. However, this disappointment should not deter us from our efforts for a solution.

    The most experienced journalist on Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Akpinar, has been in the thick of the Cyprus issue for 30 years. He managed the most widely read Turkish Cypriot paper on Cyprus, Kibris, for many years. He has watched countless meetings ,conducted research and written columns. Of today's situation he says: "Nobody is going to get anywhere with the current two leaders. I have no hope left." He believes that if a solution is going to be found then it will only be possible as the result of external imposition.

    The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KKTO), which is renowned for its comments in favor of EU membership and a solution, Ali Erel, is optimistic yet with critical mood. More to the point he is critical of the Turkish Cypriot position. He has made a striking finding: In Southern Cyprus the negotiator [Clerides] is ahead of his community while in Northern Cyprus the negotiator [Denktas] is lagging behind his community. What he means is that whereas Clerides is being flexible to a degree the Greek Cypriots are not ready for, Denktas is not giving any concessions despite the fact that his people are calling on him to be more flexible. Erel's eye is on the UN process but his mind is on the EU process. According to the KTTO chairman, the EU does not have a "Plan B" but definitely wants a solution. He says, "What is bothering Brussels is that there should be a single voice coming out of Cyprus and a central political power on the island that can apply the EU regulations." Erel cannot see in the Turkish Cypriot side the necessary political will for this solution.

    Another personality complaining of the lack of political will is the leader of the opposition Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat. According to Talat the point the UN has reached is most positive as far as the Turkish Cypriot side is concerned. So we have "Denktas acting absurdly". Talat thinks Denktas' insistence on "sovereignty" is not necessary. He maintains that the UN has introduced an interim formula on this matter to get both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot parties to agree and that this formula is acceptable to the Turkish Cypriots. Talat believes that the same is true of political equality. The RTP leader further believes that enough assurances have indeed been given on this matter to the Turkish Cypriots: "Despite this, Denktas still has this fear of being a minority. This fear is groundless," says Talat and gives two reasons for Denktas dragging his heels: Tactically speaking, the Turkish Cypriots do not wish to expose their cards when it is not clear what the EU is going to give to Turkey. The second, is that Denktas does not want a solution, just as he never has. Neither does Talat believe much that the direct talks are going to produce a result. He thinks it positive that the UN is once again adding its weight to the table.

    Wojciech Forysinski has been living in Northern Cyprus for nine years. He is a Polish academician and an associate [professor]. He is currently head of the International Relations Department at the most prestigious university in Northern Cyprus, the Eastern Mediterranean University. Naturally he is interested in the Cyprus problem and he was even before he came here. According to Forysinski, the factors that make the Cyprus problem so complicated are its multifaceted and multisided nature. "External factors have as much a share in the problem as domestic ones," he says. "Therefore, the problem cannot be solved through internal dynamics alone. External forces have to step into the ring as well." However, Forysinski does voice one warning: The international community cannot bring about a solution, it can only facilitate one.

    In connection with this, Forysinski sees Cyprus' EU prospects as a positive factor. "This is because," he says, "contrary to what is reckoned, Cyprus was not such a serious issue for the international community before the EU process. If anything it was a headache because they did not give a damn about it. Cyprus became a real issue the moment the EU process began. The idea that a solution definitely had to be found finally settled in to people's mind because Cyprus is now a problem for the EU enlargement process. Consequently, the current atmosphere of stalemate is making the international community and the EU in particular very tense."

    In contrast to this, Forysinski still believes that the EU can really play an important role if it takes into account Turkey's interests. He also believes the EU has failed to do this. "For instance, the EU called the Turkish Cypriots to the accession talks but this was only a cosmetic proposal. It was clear the Turkish Cypriots would reject it," he says.

    The Polish academician cannot see any insurmountable legal or technical dispute at the point now reached. "The only element missing is political will. I do not expect there will be any serious developments before the December summit. The solution will come at five to 12, I think, maybe even at five past 12. Without a solution EU membership for Southern Cyprus is not in the bag at all.

    So what if Greece were to veto EU enlargement because Southern Cyprus fails to join the EU? Forysinski does think this will happen. "The Greeks simply cannot go against over a dozen European countries. Even if they use their right of veto, the EU would never allow its plans for enlargement to be obstructed," he says.

    "The Greek Cypriots are expecting the UN to do more than simply make its presence felt at the table. Perhaps not in New York, but definitely after the 3 November elections. Southern Cyprus' Chief Public Prosecutor Alecos Markides, who is the legal advisor on Clerides' talks delegation, thinks both sides could be exposed to pressure In an interview with Fileleftheros newspaper in the past Markides says: "The New York rendezvous is the confirmation of the UN's intense efforts towards and interest in achieving a solution on Cyprus before it joins the EU because the EU is under just such pressure. The situation we are in now is conducive to applying pressure both parties. Some people are holding the Sword of Damocles over the heads of them both. One side is being threatened, 'If you do not do this or that then you will see the Republic of Cyprus joining the EU' while the Greek Cypriots are being threatened, 'If you do not do this then you will not be able to join the EU'. However, this is a superficial analysis. There can be no question of our EU membership being cancelled."

    So what are the Turkish Cypriots saying to all this criticism and expectations? I put this to a person right in the thick of it all, to Denktas' Undersecretary Ergun Olgun. But the first question was this: "How can it be that absolutely no progress has been made despite so many meetings and so much effort?" Olgun attributes this to the fact that neither side has any interests in common and that this cannot be created.

    "Partnership can only come about if both sides need it. A partnership is formed in order to achieve what both sides cannot achieve by themselves. This aim creates a mutual dependency. This does not exist on Cyprus," he says.

    Olgun believes that the EU membership process has increased the disparity between the two sides. "If you tell the Greek Cypriots they can join the EU with or without a solution how can you expect them to want a solution? Especially if they know that becoming members they will gain significant political leverage against Turkey. This is the greatest obstacle to a solution," he says.

    So, what about the UN's position? Olgun believes that the UN has hobbled itself thanks to the unfair resolutions it made in the past: "The UN Security Council is like a hunch on the UN's back. It erodes the UN's ability to remain neutral," he says.

    So, is there no exit? Olgun believes the way to a solution passes through bringing the Greek Cypriots to the right maturity. This is where external factors come into play. The last thing either the EU or the international community wants here is instability. What could lead to this instability then? Southern Cyprus getting accepted alone into the EU. It is that obvious," he replies.

    By way of an alternative to this nightmare scenario, Olgun says that the first example of a "joining of civilizations" could be demonstrated on Cyprus. "If the international community can see the facts and the Greek Cypriots understand this, then that is possible," he concludes. We shall see.

    [07] "Accept our sovereignty and let us shake hands"

    Under the above title in the column "From inside life", Kazim Denizci of AFRIKA (04.10.02) criticizes the Turkish Cypriot leader for insisting on sovereignty when the Turkish Cypriots want a solution in earnest and when a great majority of them is lost. The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "Have you agreed on all other issues and only sovereignty remained? Have you agreed on the territory, the refugees, the properties, the missing persons, the legislative and executive powers and the constitution? That is, have you agreed on everything else and only the issue of sovereignty remained? One should really not be glad to see how much this people want an agreement, but also the fact that they are about to lose hope.

    When we were saying that 'solution is not possible with Denktas', they were saying 'let us encourage Denktas'. Are those who supported and encouraged the continuation of this non-solution and intransigent Denktas, not seeing that the community is paying the price of this? While approaching the end of the road, is it not obvious that they will again force the Cypriots to pay the price of this adventure, which will definitely end? .

    The Turkish Cypriots, who have lost the great majority of their population, are being dragged again into wars by the use of concepts such as 'sovereignty' on these lands, which are shed with blood.

    The left parties in the assembly spend their time sitting and receiving their salaries and participating in sessions, which lead nowhere. However, no one knows what is discussed in these sessions. Is there hope for peace and solution? I am addressing you left wing parties, is it the fate of the Turkish Cypriot to have such a negotiator?

    However, he is not our representative. It is said that he is the representative of Turkey. The preparations for our becoming the 82nd province of Turkey are due to him. Denktas, who for fifty years now changes views day and night on the Cyprus problem, will continue this issue for another fifty years. He brought the world and domestic opposition to the current situation by using various methods for years. You do not know well this man, who has dedicated his life to partition and annexation to Turkey, if you expect concessions from him now when he is so close to achieving his target.

    Now he is in America. As soon as he set foot there he went to an appointment arranged beforehand. He has undergone an angiography. Are the negotiations the pretext or what? The poor Turkish Cypriot people will be forced to pay the price for this in any case.

    Have you understood now why he went to New York? All these years Denktas has been deceiving the world and us in this way. Of course he is not alone. Of course he has the endless support of America. He has England's support as well. They have created a 'devil's triangle'. The aim of America, England and Turkey is dividing Cyprus into two. The rest is only words.

    EG/


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