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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-10-11

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.194/02 11.10.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Bulent Ecevit insists on the realities of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.
  • [02] Sukru Sina Gurel confirms that Turkey is bargaining with the US over Cyprus in return for participation in an operation against Iraq.
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry invokes the London-Zurich Agreements when it considers expedient.
  • [04] Tansu Ciller assesses the EU Commission Progress Report on Turkey.
  • [05] Chief prosecutor questions right of DEHAP (Revolutionary People/s Party) to take part in elections.
  • [06] Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) says EU progress report is objective.
  • [07] Talat stated that nothing is final regarding Cyprus and Turkey/s progress to EU.
  • [08] Angolemli said that the EU Commission Report would affect the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist in ORTADOGU calls on Turkey to increase its occupation forces in Cyprus.
  • [10] US to clear up the mess.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Bulent Ecevit insists on the realities of the illegal Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (10.10.02) broadcast that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit made statements at the end of a meeting at the Ankara Chamber of Industry.

    "We can never accept any situation in which we are expected to make do with an alternative proposing anything other than the rights granted to other EU members. There is no question of our even discussing this. Trying to console us by means of different concocted solutions is not an acceptable attitude.

    As for the Cyprus issue, a solution that will satisfy both sides cannot be found as long as the Cyprus reality is not accepted. All the EU elements other than Turkey are non-Muslims, therefore, it is normal for them to be concerned over a possible government in Turkey that does not conform with the principle of secularism. This was clearly mentioned in yesterday's EU report," he said.

    In reply to the question: You had stated that the red line was crossed in north Iraq. Does this mean that Turkey will intervene?, Mr Ecevit said:

    "There is no need for an intervention at present, but our sensitivity with regard to north Iraq and to the prospects of establishing a Kurdish state in north Iraq continues, and it will continue in the future as well".

    [02] Sukru Sina Gurel confirms that Turkey is bargaining with the US over Cyprus in return for participation in an operation against Iraq

    Istanbul ZAMAN newspaper (09.10.02) publishes an interview conducted with Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel by Abdulhamit Bilici and Salih Bozta in Ankara.

    Following are the quesitons and Mr Sukru Sina Gurel/s replies: Question:There are reports to the effect that the United States put forward certain demands, albeit unofficial. Is this true?

    Answer: I cannot go into details on this issue. Let me say this, however: In our meetings with the United States, we drew attention to all the disadvantages of a new crisis in the region. We noted that such an intervention might even cause problems in Afghanistan. We are not merely talking about the Middle East. There might be crises in other regions as well. There is no doubt that we should reassess our bad experience in 1990. We suffered intensive damages as a result of the 1990 Gulf crisis. We do not want to suffer such damages again. We tried to explain this to the United States. We are very sensitive with regard to issues such as the security and the stability of the region. We tried to explain how important Iraq's territorial integrity is. We are against an intervention against Iraq. It is possible to achieve certain goals without carrying out an intervention. We want the United States to consider and to try these ways. In short, we are not saying: An intervention will be carried out anyway, so let us extend support in such and such ways.

    Question: Have you received a guarantee from the United States with regard to the compensation of the damages and the territorial integrity of Iraq?

    Answer: If they want our support, they will have to give us what we want.

    Question: Will the United States' oral statements to the effect that a Kurdish state will not be established be adequate, or will you request a written guarantee?

    Answer: I do not want to go into detail on this issue. However, we talked to US Vice President Dick Cheney on these issues.

    Question: If the United States meets Turkey's demands, shall we participate in an operation?

    Answer: Look, we will continue to supervise whatever we can supervise as long as we can. If things develop out of our control or if developments that do not serve our interests occur, why should we not try to safeguard our interests?

    Question: In an earlier statement, you said: "We do not think differently from the United States." The US Secretary of State congratulated the parliament in Arbil, however. Was this a surprise for you? Furthermore, the prime minister issued a statement to the effect that "if they overstep the line, Turkey will do whatever is necessary." How do you define "overstepping the line?"

    Answer: We did not put much emphasis on the congratulations message. They will be overstepping the line if they establish an independent state. As a matter of fact, why have they taken these steps? They want to benefit from the turmoil and the confusion. Under these conditions, we will naturally intervene.

    Question: How do you assess the participation of the Turkomans in the parliament? Is there bargaining for a 15 to 20 percent representation?

    Answer: We expressed our concerns before this so-called parliament convened. We did this in order to ensure that this is not turned into a show and into a celebration. We pointed out that this should not constitute a step toward to the establishment of a state. If they comply with this, there is no problem. The rest is tolerable. Second, we demanded that the Turkomans be represented in the parliament. We did not go into detail, but we are talking about 15 to 20 percent representation.

    Question: Ankara announced that it objects both to an independent state and a federation. Does the acceptance of such a parliament mean that Ankara is taking a step backward?

    Answer: Steps have already been taken backward. The parliament initially convened in 1992. It stopped convening because of the conflicts between the two groups. The two groups have been socially organizing in two separate places since then. What can you do? Question: TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly] Speaker Omer Izgi and Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu noted that Mosul and Kirkuk constitute state policy. Is this so? If so, what are the main lines of this policy?

    Answer: We do want anyone's territory. Turkey continues to pursue its traditional foreign policy. It continues and will continue to adopt a strong line. We want a peace belt in our region, however. We do not want any threats in our surroundings. We take the necessary steps in the region for the good of the Turkish people. This does not mean that we will enter into an adventure in order to conquer lands in certain place. In a way, this issue is a state affair.

    Question: Have the Kurdish movements in north Iraq taken Turkey's sensitivity into consideration so far? Do you find their statement to the effect that "they do not want an independent state" convincing?

    Answer: As I have tried to point out earlier, they are hoping to take advantage of a chaos environment. They are making preparations to this end.

    Question:There are rumors to the effect that the United States will extend support to Turkey in the Cyprus issue dependent on the support that Turkey will extend to the United States in the Iraqi issue. Are there any substantial developments regarding this issue?

    Answer: This is not a bargain. If we have a strategic partnership however, it is impossible to say that within the framework of this strategic partnership, the political priorities of one side are put on the table and the priorities of the other side are ignored. We also have priorities. We will also discuss these priorities and we will demand support for these priorities.

    Question: Intensive diplomatic activities are conducted in relation to Iraq. US Assistant Secretary of State Jones and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz visited Turkey. Later, the honorable president held a security summit at the Cankaya Mansion. There are rumors to the effect that certain important messages have been issued during the summit. What are these important plans?

    Answer: Who is fabricating all this? There is no such thing. We focused on Iraq during the summit. Much emphasis was not put on the parliament.

    Question: When we look at our policy in general, we see that we have conflicts with the EU with regard to Cyprus and with the United States with regard to Iraq. These are the two main pillars of our foreign policy. Do you believe that different searches will be conducted in terms of our foreign policy in the period ahead of us?

    Answer: We are undergoing a very fragile period. Furthermore, we are entering this process at a time when political uncertainty reigns over Turkey and when elections appear on the agenda. Important responsibilities are laid on the shoulders of Turkish voters. I am certain that the Turkish people will act with common sense at a time when certain knots can be undone in a way that may determine the next 30 to 50 years or when these knots can turn into a Gordian knot.

    Question: If the Cyprus issue is not resolved and if the EU does not give Turkey a date for the commencement of the negotiations, will the relations with the EU remain in the same level?

    Answer: At a time when certain people are asking whether or not we made a mistake in Helsinki, I want to say the following to everyone: This decision does not merely concern Turkey. On the contrary, this decision is also related to the future of the EU. They will primarily decide whether or not they want a pluralistic, multi-religion, and multi-culture European society. Or do they want something else? They have not yet reached a decision on this issue. This is why their decision about Turkey is delayed. This is why this has turned into a painful process. On the one hand, they believe that they need Turkey because Turkey constitutes a serious security factor for them. Furthermore, Turkey is a good market. They do not want to miss this economic opportunity. Turkey, however, cannot remain in the margin forever. It cannot accept such a relationship forever. There is no such option. They should see this and they should make their decision accordingly.

    Question: The Greek media featured certain reports to the effect that Turkey put forward a new proposal regarding the European Security and Defense Policy [ESDP]. Is Turkey adopting a more flexible approach on this issue?

    Answer: These reports do not reflect the reality. Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou tried to talk to me about this issue. I refused to talk, however. We do not see this as a Turkish-Greek issue. This issue concerns the EU and NATO. From our standpoint, this issue was over with the Ankara Document. We are not adopting a more flexible stand in one way or another.

    Question:The Habur Border Gate constituted one of the most important reasons for the fight among the Kurdish groups. There are rumors to the effect that "when the gate was closed, the conflict was ended and the groups approached each other." Are there plans to open the Habur Gate or a second border gate?

    Answer: How can you do this in this chaos? We have plans in this regard, but it is very difficult to put these plans to practice under these conditions.

    Question: There are rumors to the effect that the operation against Iraq will be launched in December. When do you think the United States will launch the operation?

    Answer: It might be earlier than expected. Do not expect it to be launched during the election process. Such an operation will not have an impact on the elections. In other words, the elections will be held even if an operation is launched. It will certainly affect the decision of the Turkish voters, however. It will have an impact on the results of the elections. We might face such a situation. Under those conditions we will resemble a goal keeper who was caught when he was standing on his weak leg. We should avoid this.

    Quesiton: There is criticism to the effect that Turkey is in favor of Iraq's territorial integrity on the one hand and it is in favor of Cyprus' division on the other. How do you respond to this criticism?

    Answer: We do not even bother to respond. These are two separate issues. We are merely safeguarding our interests.

    Question: The progress report is being announced. There are rumors to the effect that the strategy part related to the negotiation process has been left empty. How do you assess this?

    Answer: If parts, such as the part on the negotiation schedule are left empty in the progress report, we will view it as a technical report. In this regard, we will not put too much emphasis on the report. If there is a negativity that goes beyond this, however, this means that the other side does not have good intentions. We will therefore adopt a stand accordingly.

    Question: After your recent contacts in Europe, you drew a pessimistic picture regarding the negotiation schedule. In this regard, you should have developed an alternative policy. Or are there still any hopes?

    Answer: The progress report is a recommendation for the Copenhagen summit. We are not expecting any political results from the Commission's report. The decision on the commencement of the negotiations with Turkey constitutes a political decision. In this regard, we expect such a political decision to be taken in Copenhagen. If this report does not recommend the EU to make a political decision within a foreseeable future and if it uses contrary terms, this means that the Commission does not have good intentions.

    Question: If Turkey is not given a date for the commencement of the negotiations, shall we experience a crisis that resembles the crisis after the 1997 Luxemburg summit in the relations with the EU?

    Answer:I am afraid so. Why? This is because this will result in major disappointment. I do not know who will come to power in Turkey in the future. I do not know what kind of a government will be established. If the EU refuses to give Turkey a date for the commencement of the negotiations, however, the majority of the people will be greatly disappointed. Under those conditions, this disappointment will have an impact on our bilateral relations with the EU. Our relations with the EU do not merely include the membership process. If the EU's decision on whether or not to give Turkey a negotiation date is based on double standards and if the EU fails to give Turkey what it deserves, this will lead to major disappointment. No matter who is in power, this disappointment will have a great impact on Turkey's foreign policy.

    Question: If the EU gives Turkey a negotiation date, will Turkey agree to Cyprus' membership?

    Answer: No. From our standpoint, these are two separate issues. No one in the EU, other than one member, links our membership to the Cyprus issue.

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry invokes the London-Zurich Agreements when it considers expedient

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (10.10.02) broadcast that Turkey has warned the EU member countries and the international public opinion in connection with Cyprus.

    The Foreign Ministry issued a statement recalling that under the Zurich and London Agreements, Cyprus cannot join international organizations and alliances where Turkey and Greece are not both members. The statement was in reaction to the EU Commission's Strategy Document and Progress Report in connection with Cyprus/ membership in the EU.

    In its statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry alleged that in addition to the 1959 Zurich and London Agreements, the 1960 Guarantee Agreement too says that Cyprus cannot form a political or economic union with any country, either partially or completely.

    The Foreign Ministry further alleged that the EU does not have the right to reach unilateral decisions regarding the future of the island of Cyprus by ignoring international agreements. It said: "If the EU Commission's recommendation is implemented before a solution is reached in Cyprus, the political and strategic balance established between Turkey and Greece will be upset. Also, the Greek Cypriot Administration's aim of uniting with Greece -- an aim the Greek Cypriot Administration has always been after -- will come true indirectly, through the EU of which Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are not members."

    [04] Tansu Ciller assesses the EU Commission Progress Report on Turkey

    Ankara TRT2 Television (10.10.02) broadcast that Tansu Ciller, leader of the main opposition True Path Party [TPP], has said that the EU made a serious mistake with the EU progress report but that the government is also to blame.

    Ciller was replying to questions on the EU report during a visit to the Turkish Union of Travel Agents in Istanbul. She charged that with this report it is difficult for Turkey to make a leap, and added:

    "Nevertheless, if a very determined government emerges from the elections, this can happen in 2003. It must be done before 2004, because it must be done before Cyprus joins the EU. Those who say that the report is meaningless are not telling the truth, but it is as wrong to say that this report means everything".

    [05] Chief prosecutor questions right of DEHAP (Revolutionary People/s Party) to take part in elections

    NTV Television (10.10.02) broadcast that Turkey's Chief Prosecutor has demanded that an investigation be launched into whether the electoral alliance DEHAP (Revolutionary People/s Party), comprising leftist and pro-Kurdish parties, should be allowed to contest the November 3 election.

    Chief Prosecutor Sabih Kanadolu is calling for the Supreme Election Board to revise its position over the party, which gave it permission to contest the national election. In his statement calling for the investigation, the prosecutor cited some media reports dating from September 27 claiming that DEHAP did not qualify to take part in the elections.

    The prosecutor said that, according to press reports, the four parties forming the alliance had breached some articles of the Political Parties Law, especially the one that lays out the democratic processes to be followed at its congress.

    The statement cited information that other articles of the political parties law had been breached, as well as some criteria for organisational establishments not being met in the required time ahead of the polls.

    [06] Turkish Human Rights Association says EU progress report is objective

    Turkish Daily News (11.10.02) reports that (IHD) Human Rights Association (HRA) said that the European Union progress report for Turkey, which was announced on Wednesday, was very objective, emphasizing that the report only handled the main human rights problems in Turkey.

    Issuing a press release yesterday, HRA stressed that the regular progress report of the EU Commission included issues that the Turkish human rights institutions have been reporting for many years.

    According to HRA, Turkey handles the report only in terms of setting a date for the accession negotiations but the basic problem is whether Turkey is a democratic country, which protects and practices human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    HRA stated in its press release that at least 2,461 people were subjected to torture in the past three and a half years and questioned whether setting a date for the accession negotiations was important in a country where politicians and top bureaucrats assessed the torture events as discrete cases.

    Touching on the EU adaptations laws that amended some articles of Turkish Penal Code and the Constitution, HRA supports that these amendments did not change the scope of the crimes mentioned in these laws but further expanded their scope related with freedom of thought and expression.

    HRA informed that at least 572 people were arrested in the scope of Penal Code Article 169 in the first seven months of this year because of submitting petitions demanding Kurdish education. The Association stressed that human rights and freedoms could not be placed under guarantee as long as the law enforcers assess law amendments as changes that give them the opportunity to further restrict the freedoms and rights.

    [07] Talat stated that nothing is final regarding Cyprus and Turkey's process to EU

    KIBRIS (11/10/02) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat, evaluating the EU Commission Report on the progress of the candidate countries, stated that nothing is final yet for both Cyprus and Turkey's process to the EU.

    In a written statement, Mr Talat said that the EU and Turkey must approach each other until the Copenhagen Summit. He also pointed out that this approach between Turkey and EU would be extremely useful to Cyprus talks/ procedure, as well as to the prevalance of peace in Cyprus and the whole region.

    Mr Talat added that the Turkish side had a wrong approach regarding the issue of Cyprus membership to the EU till today and that only his party indicated this in the past.

    [08] Angolemli said that the EU Commission Report would affect the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (11.10.02) reports that the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) Huseyin Angolemli said that the EU Commission Report on the progress of the candidate countries, will effect directly the Cyprus problem and the future of the Turkish Cypriots.

    He added that it should not be neglected that a bargaining is taking place regarding the Cyprus problem and he pointed out that this bargaining would continue until the Copenhagen Summit.

    Angolemli said that the fact that a date was not set for Turkey was a big omission. He said that it should be safeguarded that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities must become members of the EU at the same time, after a solution to the Cyprus problem is found and he added that if a date is set for Turkish membership things will get easier towards this direction.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist in ORTADOGU calls on Turkey to increase its occupation forces in Cyprus

    Istanbul ORTADOGU newspaper (10.10.02) publishes the following commentary by Cem Basar under the title: "The time has come to see the Cyprus reality":

    "The arming of the Greek Cypriots is not an ordinary event that can be overlooked. This is an open threat aimed directly at Turkey. Turkey had intervened in 1974 to quell the coup d'etat realized by Greece to annex the island of Cyprus to its borders and with the objective of stopping the bloodshed by using its legal guarantorship rights. The most interesting aspect of this intervention is the fact that Greece, which transformed the Republic of Cyprus into a blood bath, is one of the guarantor states. England, the other guarantor, did not even consider the incident to be important.

    Turkey, in order not to be intervening on its own, applied to the UN and the United States, but they too, like England, appeared to be completely unmoved.

    Thus, for Turkey, there was no other solution than to intervene on its own.

    Turkey intervened and saved the people on the island from a Greek-EOKA massacre and at the same time prevented the island from being annexed by Greece in an operation similar to that on the island of Crete.

    Subtitle: Turkey's Cyprus function has not finished

    Turkey's function on Cyprus has still not finished. As long as Greece does not forget about ENOSIS completely, no one should expect the Turkish soldiers to leave the island. The problem has now surpassed the guarantorship limits. Now, the subject is the national security of Turkey and the `TRNC/.

    The developments on the Greek Cypriot side are not at all promising for the Turkish side. The military relations of Southern Cyprus with Greece are a problem, which must be dwelled upon with sensitivity from the point of view of Turkey. The arming and military organization continuing on the Greek Cypriot territories is a part of an aggression plan of the Greek General Staff targeting Turkey's national security. A great majority of the weapons included in the military show held on 1 October 2002 by the Greek Cypriots were not purchased with money paid by the Greek Cypriots. They are weapons transferred to the island by Greece. Those using them are Greek officers and soldiers.

    Subtitle: Turkey should increase its military forces on the island

    Since the situation is like this, it will not be wise for Turkey to withdraw its military forces from the island, just because some circles want this. On the contrary, Turkey should strengthen its military presence on the island for its security. Although 29 years have passed since 1974, Greece is still continuing to play its ENOSIS game, it is stockpiling weapons on the island and inciting the Greek Cypriots against the Turks. In short, it has transformed the Greek Cypriot section into a satellite of Greece. While the Turkish-Greek relations were dragged into friendship after the 1999 earthquake diplomacy, unfortunately the `TRNC/ was forced to pay the price for the damages. Greece, by using the EU of which it is a member, sowed the seeds of discord among the Turkish Cypriots, divided families, and has had the deceived sons almost rebel against their veteran fathers. It incited hostility against Turkey.

    Upon looking at this matter somewhat closer, we saw the "ugly Greek" behind this dirty game. That person, who is an enemy of the Turks, is Andreas Papandreou's son, George Papandreou, who is a close friend of Turkey's former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem. After Cem left the Foreign Ministry and Surku Sina Gurel replaced him, George suddenly changed and turned ugly upon not being able to take Sukru Sina Gurel under control.

    The Turkish-Greek relations will enter into a rather tense period in the upcoming months due to Cyprus. In this situation, it is necessary for Turkey to set aside the EU relations and Turkish-Greek friendship and reconsider its Cyprus policy".

    [10] US to clear up the mess?

    Under the above title Ilnur Cevik, Turkish Daily News (11.10.02), carries out a hawkish assessment of the EU Commission report on the candidate countries, in his regular column "Editorial".

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "The United States has voiced its concern about the failure of the European Union Commission to recommend a date for the start of Turkey's accession talks for EU full membership...

    U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says "Turkey's future is in Europe. It's in the strategic interest of the United States ... that Turkey and the European Union build the closest possible relationship."

    It is clear that the U.S. has been pushing the EU for quite some time to provide a date to Turkey for the start of full membership negotiations.

    So why is the U.S. so eager to see Turkey in the EU? Some may argue that it would be in the interest of the U.S. to see Turkey distance itself from the EU and be closely linked with Washington instead.

    But in essence the U.S. sees the complicated problems in the horizon and wants to avoid a real conflict in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece should Ankara be left out of the EU enlargement process.

    The EU report released on Wednesday did not only close the door for Turkey's accession but it also opened the way for the membership of the Greek Cypriots which is a potentially very explosive issue. If the Greek Cypriots are allowed into the EU and Turkey as well as the Turkish Cypriots are left out then we will really have a serious mess created by the EU...

    Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel has already warned that the EU could seal the division of Cyprus if it admitted the Greek Cypriots without a deal to reunite it.

    But this would not only seal the division of the island but would put a highly antagonized Turkey against Greece. This would be the Turkey that is vital for the western defense system...

    The Americans realize that the EU is very successful in messing up everything and then leaving it to the Americans to clean it up. This could well happen in Cyprus and also between Turkey and Greece and Washington clearly wants to avoid this.

    Even Greece is aware of the storm clouds gathering in the horizon and thus has been very cautious in reacting to Wednesday's EU report. In the past the Greeks would be delighted to see Turkey received yet another blow from the European Union but this time they were very guarded. Turkish newspapers claimed Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou called our Foreign Minister and asked him not to react strongly to the EU report and that Turkey would be given a date for the negotiations during the December Copenhagen summit.

    Publicly Papandreou said Greece remains a strong supporter of Turkey's EU entry efforts. "Turkey has taken many important steps but still has some significant shortcomings," Papandreou said. "Greece stresses its support for Turkey's course toward Europe."

    So everyone excluding the EU Commission realizes that they are playing with fire on Cyprus and the failure to appease Turkey on EU entry... Let us hope we don't have to live through another Bosnia situation thanks to the clumsy EU Commission..."

    /SK


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