Subscribe to our Personal NewsPaper-Online (Free Custom News Service) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 14 December 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-10-07

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. 190/02 05-07.10.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Annan hopes for progress after joint meeting with President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [02] The rate of inflation in the occupied areas
  • [03] Turkish lawyer says the new regulations on the acquisition of property by minorities is worse than the previous one
  • [04] Turkish Research expert explains the voting preference of the Turkish Public
  • [05] Opinion Poll conducted recently on the Turkish elections
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Turkey is approaching the Cyprus problem with the mentality of getting everything but giving nothing
  • [07] Commentary in Hurriyet analyses the results of three opinion polls on the Turkish elections
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist says that the Turkish army is the one to make the decision for Cyprus and Turkey's relations with the EU

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Annan hopes for progress after joint meeting with President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader

    Turkish Daily News (05/10/02) reports that goaded to the negotiating table by the U.N. Secretary-General, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas met on Thursday with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides, but a breakthrough remained unlikely in the dispute dividing the Mediterranean island.

    Kofi Annan opened two days of talks with the leaders with an aim of restarting a peace process before the year-end deadline when Cyprus is to be admitted to the European Union, a move Denktas and Turkish leaders say will end any reunification process.

    "We're going to try and do as much as we can to come to an understanding and bring the talks to closure (and) at least come to an agreement on the core issues by the end of the year," Annan said before Thursday's talks began.

    But walking into the United Nations building on Thursday, Denktas indicated he wasn't in a mood for compromise.

    "Only one point. If EU takes Cyprus as a member, talks are ended and Cyprus is divided forever. Thank you," he told reporters.

    Earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit appeared to soften his stance on the issue, saying that Greek Cypriots could join the EU themselves. "Although we would not be pleased with this, it would not lead to a catastrophe," Ecevit told the Turkish daily Hurriyet.

    But Ecevit warned that "if the EU does this by pretending that (a Turkish Cypriot state) does not exist, important problems would emerge."

    In Athens, government spokesman Christos Protopapas described Ecevit's remarks as a "significant statement," but said, "they must be accompanied by actions."

    Also Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis said he did not think Annan would submit a plan until Turkey holds elections on November 3.

    "According to information and all the indications that we can have, I can tell you that a solution plan is expected after the Turkish elections," Beglitis said.

    The U.N. Security Council has called for the reunification of Cyprus as a single state made up of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot federal regions.

    The latest round of talks, which started in January, stalled over Denktas' demand for recognition of "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" before the end of the year. Meetings in Paris last month failed to break the deadlock.

    Greece, Cyprus' patron, has warned it will veto other countries' entry into the 15-nation bloc if the island is not granted EU membership. At the same time, Turkey, which is bidding to become an EU member, has threatened to annex the Turkish-controlled north of the island if Cyprus joins the EU before a settlement.

    A resolution to the island's division is not a precondition for Cyprus joining the 15-nation bloc.

    The Greek Cypriot foreign minister told reporters it was unlikely that talks in New York would lead to a breakthrough, but he remained hopeful of a resolution this year.

    "It is possible if there is political will on both sides," Ioannis Kasoulides said. He was not participating in the negotiations.

    Kasoulides said the main sticking point was Denktas' insistence that his Turkish Cypriot region receive international recognition before any reunification talks start.

    Annan has not submitted any specific plans for resolving the Cyprus dispute, partly, according to observers, because political parties in Turkey will find it hard to accept any compromise ahead of the November 3 general election in that country.

    On Thursday, Annan met separately with Clerides and Denktas and then hosted a lunch for them before ushering them into the same room for more substantive talks, where they were joined by U.N.'s Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto.

    Neither Clerides nor Denktas made any comments as they left the U.N. building, only saying they would return Friday afternoon for a final round of talks with Annan. The U.N. spokesman's office also declined to release details of Thursday's talks.

    On Monday (07/10/02) Turkish Daily News reported the following after the New York talks:

    A new and invigorated phase will open in the Cyprus peacemaking in November the task of which will be to complete a "vision for the future of Cyprus" by the December 12 summit of the European Union and reach a resolution on the eastern Mediterranean island by end of March next year and make it possible for EU accession of a united Cyprus in April.

    The new round of Cyprus talks are expected to be held in New York with the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan with an "open-ended" approach and continue until a deal is reached between Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides.

    The talks will start in "early November" after Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas recuperates from a heart operation and elections are held in Turkey on November 3.

    Denktas, who will be undergoing heart surgery today in connection with a longtime problem with a heart valve, is expected to stay in hospital until Friday. The Turkish Cypriot leader told reporters in New York that he believed he would resume his routine in 10-15 days after discharged from the hospital. The operation on Denktas will be performed by a team of doctors headed by Turkish surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz.

    Dr. Oz, Turkish Cypriot sources said, decided an operation on the heart of Denktas has become an urgency after the Turkish Cypriot leader underwent a routine angioplasty, which restores blood flow through clogged arteries with a balloon-tipped catheter threaded inside the blood vessel. Denktas, 78, has a long history of heart and vascular problems and was treated several times in the past by Turkish doctors in Ankara and Istanbul.

    Turkish officials said doctors had advised Denktas last year that he ought to undergo an operation last June but the Turkish Cypriot leader decided to postpone the operation in order to continue the talks. Both Turkish Cypriot officials and United Nations Secretary-General told reporters last week that they did not believe the surgery would create problems for the talks.

    As the talks between Denktas and Clerides are guided with the "nothing is done until everything is done" principle, Turkish and diplomatic sources said although there were promising signs of progress, no breakthrough should be expected until the two leaders complete a framework agreement bringing an end to the almost four-decade-old power sharing problem between the two communities of the eastern Mediterranean island.

    Diplomats also stress that Turkish elections on November 3 was another factor that has a bearing effect on the talks. Still, diplomatic sources underline that there were some positive signs diffusing the atmosphere of pessimism the Greek Cypriot side has been trying to create.

    One, and perhaps the most important sign, was a statement by Cyprus government spokesman Mihalis Papapetrou to Turkish CNN-Turk news channel that the aim of the Cyprus talks process was to establish a "new common state" on the island. For a long time Greek Cypriots were refusing Turkish Cypriot demands for the establishment of a "new partnership state" and insisting that the new Cyprus state would be a "successor" of the Cyprus Republic.

    Another important sign, sources stressed, was the decision of the two leaders to establish two committees to keep up momentum while Denktas recovers from the heart surgery.

    U.N. special envoy Alvaro de Soto said he was going to Cyprus this week to help set up the committees, one of which would focus on treaties for a new "common state" while the second would look at its laws.

    Resat Caglar, a senior advisor to Denktas, said the treaties panel would look at "agreements made by both sides separately with other third parties." Representatives from both sides would "prepare a list and decide which ones would be incorporated in a future state," he said.

    Sources said particularly the treaties panel indicate the strong will of the two sides to resolve the Cyprus problem. It also underlines, sources said, that the Greek Cypriot side has finally started to come to terms with the Turkish Cypriot side on the "succession" issue.

    Still, the sources said, the November round of New York talks, which are expected to start on November 7 and continue until the two sides, with the good-offices of Annan, finalize a common vision for the future of Cyprus. The two leaders are expected to produce a "common vision" on the future of the island by December 12, when the European Union leaders gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, to take decisions on new members to accept in 2004. If they manage to work out a common vision for the future of the island, Denktas and Clerides will have three months to complete the remaining elements of a framework agreement for a resolution on the island so that in April 2003 a unified Cyprus could sign an accession treaty with the EU. The Turkish Cypriot side has been sending warnings to the EU that if EU signs an accession treaty with Greek Cypriots before a settlement on the island, that would be the end of the Cyprus talks process and the island would be partitioned. Turkey, on the other hand, has warned the EU that a Greek Cypriot accession without a political settlement on the island would trigger strong Turkish reaction, which may go as far as annexing northern Cyprus.

    Greek Cypriot leader Clerides, returning to Nicosia from New York over the weekend, stressed that deep-rooted differences about sovereignty in any reunited Cypriot state were the main issues plaguing peace talks aimed at ending the island's partition.

    "There does not appear to be any bridging of positions of either side on basic points," Clerides said. The Turkish Cypriots are proposing a three-layer administrative system for the island. Turkish Cypriots are holding out for a union of two largely independent states under a common state which would have sovereignty, single international identity. The Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, have been insisting on making some constitutional amendments and incorporating the Turkish Cypriot "community" into the Cyprus Republic.

    [02] The rate of inflation in the occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (03/10/02) broadcast that the so-called the State Planning Organization has announced the inflation rate in September as 1.5 percent. The consumer price index rose by 16.9 percent since December 2001, and by 29.5 percent since September 2001.

    [03] Turkish lawyer says the new regulations on the acquisition of property by minorities is worse than the previous one

    Turkish Daily News (05/10/02) reports that a set of regulations went into force Friday, officially entitling foundations set up by minorities to acquire real estate property to be used for religious and social purposes but in reality making it more difficult for those foundations even to maintain their existing properties.

    "That's gross injustice, discrimination," remarked Mrs Kezban Hatemi, a well-placed lawyer dealing among other issues with legal affairs of minorities.

    "The law was bad, the regulation was even worse," she said adding that with the regulation the minority foundations were required to undergo a series of difficult tasks to register the property they already possessed.

    The new regulation was prepared after Parliament enacted a series of political reforms in August to achieve harmonization with standards set by the European Union for membership.

    Despite the opposition of the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) flank of the three-way coalition government, the Prime Ministry finally completed the work on a regulation on the application of the law and published it in yesterday's edition of Official Gazette.

    Under the new regulation, foundations set up by communities that are granted minority status by the Lausanne Treaty and subsequent international treaties will have the right to own real estate properties for educational, religious, social, charitable, health and cultural purposes, provided they obtain a Cabinet decision.

    The regulation set out the legal procedure to be followed by such foundations as they attempt to acquire real estate property for the said purposes. Accordingly, they will first have to apply to the relevant local branch of the Directorate General for Foundations.

    While applying to the Directorate General for Foundations, minority foundations will be required to provide a set of documents, indicating a land register of the property in question and for what purpose the property is to be acquired. The applicants will also be asked to present expert reports from the Trade and Industry Chamber, Ziraat Bank and Chamber of Architects.

    A committee to be formed by the regional office of the Directorate General for Foundations will make an initial evaluation of the application, stating its opinion whether the building in question is suitable to meet the applicant foundation's needs as stated in the application to the Directorate General for Foundations.

    The committee will forward the application to the Cabinet for a final decision afterwards.

    In addition to purchase, minority foundations will be entitled to acquire property through inheritance and donations as well.

    Another stipulation of the new regulation was that the minority foundations in registering their already existing property, will have to seek evaluation of the Directorate General for Foundations and approval by the Cabinet.

    Hatemi complained yesterday that the law granting minorities the right to acquire property was badly written and was far from restoring the rights lost by those groups, but the regulation for the application of that law was even worse as the minorities now require to get approval from the Cabinet for registering property they already possess.

    [04] Turkish Research expert explains the voting preference of the Turkish Public

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (30/09/02) publishes the following interview with Necat Erder, member of the TUSES Board of Directors, by Nese Duzel:

    The full text of the interview is as follows:

    "It is a difficult job to solve the political structure and the political preferences of the people in Turkey on a logical platform. It is impossible to understand which segment votes for which party and for what reasons. In addition, the classical political structure observed in the developed countries of the world is not encountered in Turkey. The Turkish Social, Economic and Political Research Foundation (TUSES) has been studying in Turkey the political structure, the political parties and the tendencies of the supporters of these political parties throughout Turkey since 1994. It is determining the profile of the supporters of political parties, their characteristics, identities and long-term tendencies. We talked with Necat Erder, a member of the Board of Directors of the TUSES Foundation on which segments orient towards which parties and why. Furthermore, we also asked which segments are the most progressive, which segments are the most conservative and whether or not there is a threat of the Shariah in Turkey. The answers to some questions were unique to Turkey alone and were really astonishing. Dr. Necat Erder graduated from the Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences and he obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Paris University, Faculty of Law and realized his post-doctoral studies at Columbia University. At one time, he worked at the World Bank and the OECD. He is presently a member of the teaching staff at the METU [Middle East Technical University] in Ankara.

    Question: You engage in studies to reveal the profile of the Turkish electors. You determine which segments support which parties. We will talk one by one on the elector profile of all the parties, but first of all, let us start from the party, which puzzles me the most. According to your studies, the NAP [Nationalist Action Party] is obtaining votes from the base of the left segment. How can this be possible?

    Answer: The NAP is obtaining votes from the blue-collar workers, who are normally supposed to be in the base of the left segment. The RPP [Republican People's Party] is not able to get votes from the blue-collar workers. The RPP gets votes from the white-collar workers. A party like the RPP, which calls itself leftist, is actually a "civil servant" party in Turkey. The NAP, which considers itself to be on the right, is the party, which has the most support from the workers.

    Question: This is a major contradiction, is it not?

    Answer: There is such a contradiction in Turkey. Normally, the real base of the left should be the workers, the blue-collar workers. However, this segment is not in the grass roots of the parties, which call themselves social democrats. Parties, which call themselves leftist in Turkey, cannot reach their natural grass roots. The situation is just the opposite in the rest of the world.

    Question: How can the NAP get votes from the workers, who should be the grass roots of the left?

    Answer: In Turkey, the workers' segment gives its votes to the right to a great extent. Few votes go to the left from this segment. The NAP has been at the head of the parties to which the workers gave their votes for a long time. Now, the votes are being divided between the NAP and the JDP [Justice and Development Party]. It is such that in the opinion poll we made in April 2002, it showed that 30 percent of the electors who voted for the NAP in 1999 have shifted to the JDP. Only 23 percent of those voting for the NAP in 1999 plan to vote for the NAP again. It appears that 36 percent of the electors are undecided. There is a great loss of votes for the NAP.

    Question: All right, which conditions of Turkey bring together on the right those who should be voting for the left parties?

    Answer: Here, the characteristics of the left parties and organization strategies are very important. As the TUSES Foundation, we determine the supporters of the political parties and their elector profiles. We have made five large opinion polls throughout Turkey since 1994. The book of the most recent opinion poll made in April 2002 will be published soon. For example, in the opinion poll we made in 1995, we tried to find the societal base of social democracy. We chose Zeytinburnu in Istanbul for the organized workers' segment, Umraniye in Istanbul, and Altindag in Ankara from the aspect of those workers living in the poor suburbs.

    Question: What was the result?

    Answer: First of all, that the social democratic parties have difficulty in reaching the workers living in the poor suburbs. Moreover, it appears that they do not place importance on this. The NAP, Idealist Hearths and the Welfare Party [RP, now defunct] were reaching this worker segment. Today, the JDP has replaced the RP. If we had made this opinion poll prior to 1980, then we would have been able to see the organization efforts of the left in these regions. However, these regions were taken over by the rightist parties after 1980. Evidently, the social democratic parties have not expended efforts to reach this segment.

    Question: As for the JDP, who are supporting the JDP? From which segments does the JDP get votes?

    Answer: Fifty-one percent of the JDP supporters live in rural areas and 49 percent live in the cities. The JDP supporters are encountered the most among the "village and city men". Twenty-four percent of the men in villages and only 16 percent of the women in villages support the JDP. The JDP has the fewest supporters among working women. It can obtain the votes of only 8 percent of the working women. This ratio is 17 percent among housewives.

    Question: Why have those who supported Necmettin Erbakan at one time now decided to support Tayyip Erdogan?

    Answer: The JDP is definitely a different party from the RP. For example, the RP was getting votes from the segments with a low level of education. The ratio of those with higher education voting for the RP was 7.6 percent. This ratio is 17 percent for the JDP. This is a very new fact for a party on this line. Our opinion polls show that the JDP is not an extension of the RP. The extension of the RP is the Felicity Party [FP]. The FP is a marginalized party with very few supporters. The JDP is a new party and represents a new current.

    Question: What does the JDP represent?

    Answer: We discussed this question among ourselves a lot. Some of our colleagues define the JDP as a "new formation, a new synthesis in the society" and some of them have resembled the JDP to the Democratic Party movement after 1945 and the Ozal movement after 1980. The RP was not a synthesis like the JDP. In general, it was the party of those who had received little education and the religious reactionary segment. The JDP gives interesting conclusions on the subject of the Shariah. Among the supporters of the JDP, 22.8 percent support the Shariah and 43.5 percent say no to the Shariah order. The JDP has a different supporter profile from the RP line and from the FP. In 1996, 52 percent of the RP supporters and in 1998, 35 percent wanted the Shariah order. The JDP is separated from the RP line in connection with the Shariah.

    Question: If it is taken into account that women support the JDP less, then I wonder if this is a new synthesis of men?

    Answer: Yes, women are fewer. This could be a new formation mostly of men. Twenty-six percent of the JDP supporters are composed of tradesmen and artisans, 20 percent of small farmers, 18 percent of the workers' segment and 13 percent of civil servants.

    Question: All right, from which parties is the JDP transferring votes to itself?

    Answer: The former Virtue Party [FP] forms 27 percent of the JDP grass roots. The remaining votes it gets first of all from the NAP with 22 percent and the MP [Motherland Party], TPP [True Path Party] and DLP [Democratic Left Party]. The JDP is a movement with a broad spectrum of electors. From this aspect, it is impossible to define it as an Islamist party. It is also inadequate to define the JDP as a protest party. Actually, the JDP appears to be like a new blending movement in the society. Furthermore, the identity of Tayyip Erdogan draws a leadership profile that should be examined.

    Question: Why?

    Answer: Erdogan is the first leader who came from outside of the system. Menderes came from the RPP, Ozal from a bureaucratic elite. Erbakan is also someone from within the system as a graduate of ITU [Istanbul Technical University] and his identity as a professor. As for Erdogan, he is the first successful example coming from outside of the system, from Kasimpasa in Istanbul. In addition, he is not the only leader, like the others. He comes to the forefront within a cadre. Erdogan appears to be the symbol of the JDP, but he does not appear to be the only person.

    Question: Now, the entrance into politics of a political leader coming from outside the system has been banned. In your opinion, what will be the reaction of the people to Erdogan's being banned?

    Answer: The supporters of Erdogan will definitely not decrease. However, we do not yet know whether or not this will be reflected positively to the votes of the JDP at the ballot box, because the society could be scared from people who are not at peace with the system. For this reason, it is uncertain what sort of preference the voters will make between the attraction provided by being unjustly treated and the fright caused by not being at peace with the system.

    Question: All right, what is the percentage of those in Turkey who wants the Shariah?

    Answer: We asked this question in all five opinion polls we have made since 1994. The percentage of those who do not want the Shariah is always constant at around 60 percent. The ratio of those who want the Shariah is fluctuating. In 1995, those who wanted the Shariah were 20 percent and it went up to 27 percent in 1996. In 1998 it once again dropped to 20 percent and to 10 percent in 2002. That is, it drew a big zigzag. Those who want the Shariah are hiding themselves even more in sections, such as "I do not have an opinion", "No answer". 1995 and 1996 were the years when the RP was a candidate for government and then formed the government. In that period, those who were asked the questions gave their real opinions. Later, 28 February 1997 was experienced. The ratio of those who said, "I do not have an opinion" increased a lot. The trace of 28 February is still continuing in the society and the society is deceiving on the subject of the Shariah.

    Question: All right, when we look at these figures, can we say that there is a threat of the Shariah in Turkey?

    Answer: No, because we are also asking the question in our opinion polls, "Why do you want the Shariah order?" Only half of these say, "I am a Muslim. The Shariah is a requirement of Islam. I want the Shariah in principle". The remaining ones do not want the Shariah in its real meaning. They only prefer the Shariah for a more just order. That segment can abandon this wish at any moment. The percentage of those in Turkey who wants the Shariah in its real meaning is around 10 percent. In our opinion polls we are asking concrete questions directed at the application of the Shariah. Ninety percent of the society wants the application of civil codes, not the Shariah laws, when set forth as a concrete subject. For example, an 86 percent segment wants women and men to receive an equal share from inheritances.

    Question: Let us also talk about the RPP a bit. Who is supporting the RPP?

    Answer: The RPP is mainly the party of the city people. A total of 42.5 percent of its supporters live in rural areas and 57.5 percent in the cities. The RPP supporters are quite concentrated among the men living in the cities, working women, civil servants and among those who received higher education. However, the RPP is not a party preferred by young people. The 18-20 year old age group is represented very little. This is a contradiction for a party, which says that it is a party on the left. The RPP must definitely do something to attract young people.

    Question: The Alevis are also among one of the largest groups supporting the RPP. Why do the Alevis support the RPP?

    Answer: The Alevis are more modern, more democratic persons. For a long period of time they have considered the RPP as a way out for themselves in a society where the Sunnis are in the majority.

    In any case, the RPP is the only party that the Alevis support as a group. Thirty-six percent of the Alevis are RPP supporters. Sixty percent of them change their votes from one election to another.

    Question: It is understood that the RPP increased its votes considerably from the past election up until the present. From which parties is the RPP getting these electors?

    Answer: The RPP has two sources of votes. One group is those who were disgruntled with it in the past and the other group is the DLP. The New Turkey Party [NTP] had not yet been established when we were conducting the opinion polls in April 2002. However, the following emerged from our opinion poll. Only 13 percent of those who voted for the DLP in 1999 are supporting the DLP today. The RPP receives 62 percent of its present elector support from its own former grass roots RPP members and 11 percent from the DLP.

    Question: How about the NAP? Who are supporting it?

    Answer: The NAP is preserving only 23.3 percent of its grass roots. Thirty percent of the NAP's supporters in 1999 are going to the JDP. That is, the NAP is preserving its nationalistic grass roots, but losing its Islamist grass roots. If the villagers are keeping Ciller on her feet, it is the young people who are keeping the NAP on its feet. The NAP is the party of the young people. If the Youth Party [YP] is stealing the votes of the NAP youth, then the NAP's situation appears to be very difficult.

    Question: Let us also talk about the MP. Why have the votes of the MP melted away?

    Answer: The MP is the party, in which the people have lost the most trust. Today, only 32 percent of the MP supporters trust their own party. The MP lost its supporters to a great extent, which it had in 1999. The economic crisis became the most important factor influencing the elector supporter profile in 2002. The DLP, NAP and the MP, which are considered to be the cause of the economic crisis, are losing a lot of supporters. The MP is able to preserve only 29 percent of its base of 1999, the DLP 13 percent and the NAP 23 percent. Forty percent of those who voted for the MP in 1999 are undecided on the subject of which party they will vote for today. Of those who have made a decision and left the MP, 17 percent went to the JDP, 6 percent to the TPP and 2 percent to the RPP.

    Question: How about the TPP? All right, who are supporting it?

    Answer: While the MP is mainly a party, which is intensively supported by the city people and the working women, the TPP is generally a village party supported by the men and women in the rural areas. Furthermore, the TPP is the weakest party from the aspect of forming a vote potential. It is unable to benefit from being in the opposition. Moreover, it is losing 17 percent of its present supporters to the JDP. The deepening economic crisis and the fact that none of the political parties appear to be credible on the subject of finding a solution has radically changed the ideological topography of Turkey. The left-right, pro-Shariah-secular polarizations of the past have been removed from the agenda today. The economic crisis came onto the agenda. The polarization will be between those who can solve the economic problems and those who cannot.

    Question: According to the opinion polls, which are the most conservative segments of Turkey?

    Answer: The village women and men. The most progressive segment is the working, educated women. They are the ones who oppose the Shariah. They are the ones who want the EU. They are the ones found most in the leftist segment. They are the ones who are in favor of change and democracy. The men with a high level of education living in the city are in the second place in progressiveness. For example, 40 percent of those who did not finish primary school do not want the Shariah, 61 percent of the primary school graduates, 70 percent of the middle school graduates, 76 percent of the high school graduates and 91 percent of the university graduates do not want the Shariah. It is observed that the solution to the Shariah problem is with education.

    Question: What is it that the Turkish people fear the most? What is the problem that makes them the uneasiest?

    Answer: In 1998 terrorism and security was the greatest danger from the aspect of the society. Now, this problem has been removed from the agenda of the society. This problem was reduced from 40 percent to 1.5 percent. In 2002 the greatest danger for the society became the economic crisis, high cost of living and unemployment. The Shariah danger decreased to 1 percent and was almost wiped off from the agenda of the society.

    Question: The final question: What kind of a political party do the people want?

    Answer: The people have a yearning for a new leader, not a new party. Forty-two percent of the people want a new party to be formed, but 72 percent of the people want the emergence of a new leader. The people are searching for a new leader other than Erdogan. Whatever the results of the upcoming elections, it will determine the future of politics in Turkey, the long-term political tendencies and the performance of the governments in the economy. During the short period until the elections we should ask the political parties even more about their economic programs. The economic program of the JDP is still unknown."

    [05] Opinion Poll conducted recently on the Turkish elections

    Istanbul Star newspaper (28/09/02) publishes the results of the second opinion poll sponsored by Deutsche Bank and carried out by the KONDA Research Company owned by Tarhan Erdem.

    The voting percentages shown by the results of the poll are:

    Justice and Development Party [JDP] 30%

    Republican People's Party [RPP] 19%

    True Path Party [TPP] 11%

    People's Democracy Party [HADEP/DEHAP] 9%

    Young Party [YP] 8

    Nationalist Action Party [NAP] 7%

    Motherland Party [MP] 3.5%

    New Turkey Party [NTP] 3.5%

    Felicity Party (FP)2%

    Democratic Left Party [DLP] 1.5%

    The remaining votes are distributed among the other parties and independent candidates.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Turkey is approaching the Cyprus problem with the mentality of getting everything but giving nothing

    Istanbul Yeni Safak newspaper (30/09/02) publishes the following commentary by Koray Duzgoren under the title: "Falsehood in Cyprus, Browbeating in Northern Iraq...":

    The three main problems in Turkey are being ignored. Northern Iraq, Cyprus, and EU membership, the three problems that have remained unsolved throughout the years, have been transferred to the bureaucrats for a long time now... These three problems are waiting for a solution as if they are simple problems like other minor problems.

    Officials are neither heeding to the advice of wise individuals nor are they trying to introduce the necessary conditions for devising correct and honest policies regarding these three issues.

    Bureaucrats, for their part, are drawing courage from the absence of any solution, thus continuing to remain in power. Well, can a strong government produce healthy solutions for these problems? No, I do not think so.

    These problems will continue to be approached from the military perspective and security concerns as long as the same problems are regarded as "security" or "national" issues that the National Security Council [NSC] is directly concerned with...

    However, it is almost impossible to solve issues that are approached with a security understanding with the solution methods of the contemporary world. Both sides in a certain conflict should make certain concessions under contemporary conflict resolution methods. The mentality of "getting everything but giving back nothing" is not valid any more.

    Yet, Turkey is approaching the Cyprus, northern Iraq, and even the EU issues with the aforementioned mentality. Turkey is refusing to give anything in return for whatever it takes by saying: "Only whatever I want should happen. However, any other approaches are aimed at dividing us and, therefore, are contradictory to our security."

    We now know that the Cyprus problem has reached a deadlock. Benefiting from the turmoil in Turkey, Rauf Denktas is reflecting the image that he is continuing the talks, but he is actually resisting at the point where he started. This point is the point of non-solution.

    The non-solution has reached its maximum limit. This non-solution will continue staying at its maximum limit until the date when the EU accepts the Republic of Cyprus as a full EU member. Even a number of columnists who are close to high-ranking officials are now writing about the losses that Turkey would sustain and the catastrophes it would encounter after the Republic of Cyprus gains EU membership.

    Denktas and, naturally, Turkey are making demands that the Greek Cypriots and the international community would not accept for the solution of the Cyprus problem. They are introducing this intransigent line as their "national cause." Moreover, while doing this, Denktas and Turkey are not hiding the fact that Turkey's security and not the human factor is deemed important and that Cyprus has a strategic importance for Turkey. There are plenty of factors for proving that this claim is not true. However, the im portant thing here is the lack of consistency in the approach of Denktas and Turkey toward the issue.

    Denktas and Turkey claim that the Greek Cypriots constantly display an intransigent stand and reject all the demands of the Turkish Cypriots during the talks. Moreover, they claim that Turkey is always rightful and that it will make no concessions whatsoever. The public, for its part, has no choice other than believing in these claims.

    However, the truth is not the same as presented by Denktas, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sukru Sina Gurel, or the statist media. Denktas' remarks to the effect that the Greek Cypriots have not taken any steps toward the solution of the Cyprus problem do not reflect the reality.

    Meanwhile, in an article published in the 19 September 2002 issue of the weekly Toplum Postasi magazine published in English and Turkish in London, Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of RTP [Republican Turkish Party] that carries out activities in north Cyprus, presented striking information regarding this issue. Given that Denktas and Turkey deny the information presented by Talat, this information should be accepted as true.

    According to Talat, Glafcos Clerides, who participates in the talks on the Cyprus problem on behalf of the Greek Cypriots, has made a number of serious initiatives along the course of time leading to May 2002 for reducing the concerns of the Turkish Cypriot side. These initiatives can be listed as follows:

    1. The 1960 Cyprus Constitution will be annulled.

    2. A new establishment agreement on which the Cyprus state Constitution would rely will be reached.

    3. The new establishment agreement will be based on political equality, bi-zonality, and bi-communality.

    4. The Greek Cypriots will refrain from imposing their demands on the Turkish Cypriots in the executive, legislative, and judicial fields by securing the active participation of the Turkish Cypriots (active participation here means that instead of making a decision by unanimity of votes, a decision will be valid when a certain absolute number of Turkish Cypriot members of the parliament agree to this decision).

    5. Two self-ruling states will be established. Each of these two states will have its own executive, legislative, and judicial organs as well as its own police and civilian services.

    6. The Cyprus state will not impose its will on any of the two federal states.

    7. The guarantee agreement will also encompass the territorial integrity and Constitutional order of the two federal states.

    8. Plans will be drawn up for raising the National Income of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    9. Separate referendums will be held in the two sectors on the agreement that will be reached as well as on the issue of EU membership. Should the agreement in question and the issue of EU membership be adopted through the referendums, the two sides will become the founding members of the Cyprus state.

    10. The remaining powers will be kept with the two sides.

    11. Turkey's guarantorship will continue and a permanent [Turkish] military unit will stay in Cyprus.

    As far as we know, Denktas, for his part, is saying the exact opposite. Holding on to Denktas, Turkey, on the other hand, is being dragged directly to a deadlock.

    As for the Iraqi issue, Turkey is seeking to conduct a policy of blackmail and the use of force instead of trying to solve the problem. Moreover, Turkey is insisting on a structure similar to full independence for the 200,000-strong Turkish Cypriot community. However, Turkey finds excessive the desire of the approximately five million Kurds living in northern Iraq and who have relatives in Turkey to establish a federation within the territorial integrity of Iraq. By doing this, Turkey is interfering in Iraq's territorial integrity even though it says that this integrity has a great importance for it.

    Who believes in the seriousness of this kind of politics?

    [07] Commentary in Hurriyet analyses the results of three opinion polls on the Turkish elections

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (06/10/02) publishes the following analysis by Sedat Ergin under the title: "The Elector tendencies reflected in the public opinion polls".

    A few days ago, with only one month left before the elections, the results of three different public opinion polls were announced. What kind of a picture did they reveal?

    In the public opinion polls made by the Strateji-Mori, Konsensus and Stratejik Iletisim companies, when they are examined without taking the factor of the undecided persons into consideration, it is possible to make the following generalizations:

    A) Dominant Political Parties

    All three of the polls are showing the JDP [Justice and Development Party] as the first party with a clear difference and the RPP [Republican People's Party] as the second party with a certain difference.

    The votes of the JDP are changing within a range between 22 and 30 percent. While the ratio of this party falls to 22.4 percent in the poll made by Konsensus, it increases up to 29.9 percent in the poll made by Stratejik Iletisim. Whereas, the Strateji-Mori shows the JDP between the two at around 27 percent.

    The RPP has a margin ranging between 11 and 18 percent in these polls. The highest ratio for the RPP is 18.3 percent in the Stratejik Iletisim poll and the lowest ratio is 11.4 percent in Konsensus poll. The Strateji-Mori poll points to a ratio of 15.8 percent, which is once again between the other two.

    B) Political Parties at the Threshold Range

    In all of the three polls the TPP [True Path Party] and the Youth Party [YP] are close to the threshold range and are standing on a ground in which they can feel optimistic on the subject of exceeding the threshold.

    The TPP's ratio is rising to 9.2 percent in the Stratejik Iletisim poll, 6.9 percent in the Strateji-Mori poll and falls to 5.4 percent in the Konsensus poll. The YP rises to 9 percent in the Stratejik Iletisim poll, 7.5 percent in the Strateji-Mori poll and falls to 7.5 percent in the Konsensus poll.

    C) Political Parties in Danger of Not Exceeding the Election Threshold

    These polls indicate that the NAP [Nationalist Action Party], DEHAP [Revolutionary People's Party], MP [Motherland Party], NTP [New Turkey Party], FP [Felicity Party], DLP [Democratic Left Party] and other parties are faced with the danger of not exceeding the election threshold. However, within these parties, the NAP is still standing with a range partly above the others with a highest of 6.2 percent and a lowest of 4.1 percent. Also, the DEHAP is standing at an average of somewhat over 4 percent.

    D) The Factor of the Undecided Persons

    The undecided persons show a ratio in the polls of all three of the companies, which should not be disregarded. Stratejik Iletisim gives the undecided at the ratio of 15.3 percent and Strateji-Mori at the ratio of 18 percent. Both companies do not put into separate categories answers such as "none" or "does not want to answer".

    In contrast, Konsensus shows the undecided persons at 14.9 percent, those who will say "none" at 7.9 percent and those who indicate that they will give an invalid vote at 4.2 percent. Also, in Konsensus, "those who do not want to answer" constitute a ratio such as 6.3 percent.

    It is interesting that in the Konsensus poll the 33.3 percent total of these four categories indicates the existence of a group, which has not yet oriented towards any political party or that will not orient in any manner.

    E) Are the Reaction Votes at the Point of Saturation?

    When starting from these generalizations, it can be thought that the results of the elections could be found to a great extent by answering the question of "to which parties will the votes of the undecided go?"

    The party, which would be affected the least from the distribution of the undecided votes, which feels a need for these votes the least, is the JDP, because of the point of superiority it has reached.

    One of the most critical questions in the elector equation is whether or not the reaction votes directed to a great extent to the JDP and the YP have reached the saturation point.

    F) Two Scenarios

    Here, there are two probabilities under consideration. The first is the continuation of some more of the reaction votes being added to these two parties.

    The second probability is for the rise in the reaction votes stopping and gaining stability at its present-day level.

    The reaction votes can be qualified as elector preferences, which have been shaped and revealed themselves. In response to this, it can be thought that in the undecided or uncertain votes, rational preferences will be predominant rather than reactional reasons.

    In that case, a conclusion can be arrived at that the undecided votes, rather than being distributed in an equal manner among the other parties, will orient predominantly to the parties outside of the centers attracting the reaction votes.

    The group, which will probably determine the result of the elections, which has not yet shaped its preference, will be the electors who will continue to weigh their preferences on the scales up until 3 November.

    [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist says that the Turkish army is the one to make the decision for Cyprus and Turkey's relations with the EU

    Under the title "The Turkish army is the one to make the decision", Arif Hasan Tahsin of AFRIKA (07.10.02) expresses the opinion that the Turkish army will decide what steps Turkey will make in case the Republic of Cyprus joins the EU without a solution to the Cyprus problem. Noting that the army is the ruling power in Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot columnist writes the following:

    "Things are now gradually becoming obvious. If there is no miracle at the last moment, the Republic of Cyprus will be accepted in the EU, whilst Turkey will not take what it hopes for from the Union. The news is in this direction. As it is understood neither the threats nor the warnings or the games or the tricks were of any use. Even the Cyprus donkey could not lead Turkey into the EU. The shame is on us.

    I wonder, what will Turkey do in this situation? Taking into consideration that the ruling power in Turkey is the army, the important thing is what the army wants and what it will say. Does the Turkish army want Turkey to become a full member of the EU? One of the preconditions for Turkey's accession to the EU is for the army to stop having a say in the administration. Does the army accept this? Who gives away his power voluntarily?

    Furthermore, the Turkish army has not taken the power by force from the hands of the politicians. How has it taken it? If you look at Turkey's history you will see that the civilians have never been able to be sovereign at the administration during the process of Turkey's emergence. During the whole of this process the administration was in the hands of the army officers.

    The army fought during the war of liberation and established the Republic in Turkey. In the light of this reality, it is undoubtedly not possible for the army to want Turkey's accession to the EU.

    The army in Turkey is not a power responsible only for the defense of the country. Furthermore, it is an economic power as well.

    Then, the army will feel relieved if it becomes obvious that the EU could not accept Turkey. Very well, what about the great majority, which wishes this membership? How will this majority face this rejection? Most probably it will go away empty handed and sit quietly in its place. This is the right thing to do. If there is a rejection, will this be faced quietly?

    The right thing to do is this: Remaining quiet, sit where you are and search to find the ways for turning Turkey into an economic power.

    However, some mistakes could be made in order to answer the anger of the people, which will lose their hope for Europe. What kind of mistakes? For example mistakes such as trying to get out from the Customs Union and annex northern Cyprus.

    I do not know what would be the minuses or the pluses of getting out of the Customs Union. The economic experts know these things better. However, it does not seem to me a wise thing to do. It is better not to hurry.

    However, as far as trying to annex the northern part of Cyprus to Turkey is concerned, this will mean causing great problems for Turkey. And the end of this trouble will not be good.

    Taking such a decision must be avoided before studying well the history of Cyprus, because all states, which have taken Cyprus in their hands, suffered great losses. Therefore, especially the army must think twice about Cyprus without sentiment. It (the army) must study its (Cyprus') legal situation as well together with its history. However, it must do this without being under the influence of people like Mr Denktas and Mumtaz Soysal.

    The issue is not at all complicated. The Zurich - London Agreements are enough for Turkey. And for the Turkish Cypriots as well. If the Treaty of Guarantee is taken together with the constitution of Cyprus and be put onto the table, solving the issue is a matter of minutes.

    Turkey will benefit the most from an independent Cyprus where the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots will live in peace and friendship and rule themselves without ethnic fanaticism.

    Yes, the army will say the last word in Turkey. This could be right or wrong. And it could either open the way for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots or make the future more difficult. There is not much time left."

    EG/


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    tcpr2html v1.00 run on Monday, 7 October 2002 - 12:03:10 UTC