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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-10-15

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 <>



  • [01] Rauf Denktas´ health said improving, discharge date not final.
  • [02] Denktas´ adviser confirms that the Turkish side has taken no step regarding the Committees for the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] So-called deputy of the National Unity Party joined the Democratic Party.
  • [04] New lawsuits against the newspaper AFRIKA.
  • [05] According to Sedat Sertoglu German officials say Kofi Annan will present a proposal in the Cyprus negotiations.
  • [06] Spanish journalists were prevented from carrying out their duty in the occupied areas.
  • [07] Alvaro de Soto to visit Ankara.

  • [08] Columnist in RADIKAL says the US lobbying for Turkey over Cyprus and EU is a result of bowing to Turkish pressure. The Turkish army ready to send more troops to N. Iraq and Cyprus.


    [01] Rauf Denktas´ health said improving, discharge date not final

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (14.10.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypirot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, who underwent heart surgery in New York, is in better health today. It is not yet definite when he will be discharged from the hospital.

    His advisor Ergun Olgun, who is currently in New York together with Denktas, told BRT that Denktas is in very good health. Pointing out that Denktas continues to stay in the hospital at his own request and with the approval of his doctors, Olgun said: The "president" can leave the hospital whenever he wants. He nevertheless chose to stay on for a while longer, because he is staying in a special floor of the hospital that serves as a semi-hotel.

    Olgun remarked that there is no definite date yet for his own return to Cyprus, adding that there is great interest in Denktas from Turkey as well as from foreigners, therefore he will stay with Denktas and serve as his secretary.

    [02] Denktas´ adviser confirms that the Turkish side has taken no step regarding the Committees for the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (13.10.02) broadcast that while the Greek Cypriot side says that the committees -- the establishment of which was decided upon at the latest meeting in New York -- will convene tomorrow, 14 October, the Turkish Cypriot side denies it.

    The Greek Cypriot press is saying that the committees will hold their first meeting tomorrow to look into the technical aspect of the Cyprus problem in terms of the law and international law. Denktas´ adviser Ergun Olgun, however, is saying that this is not so. The Greek Cypriot press reported that the committees of the two sides will hold a joint meeting and draw up a work schedule for the coming weeks.

    Replying to the questions of our correspondent, Olgun asserted that the Turkish Cypriot side has not yet set up the committee in question. He pointed out that Mumtaz Soysal, Denktas´ constitutional and legal aide, is currently in Ankara and he himself is in New York. He said he does not understand why the Greek Cypriot side is spreading such reports, adding: "We have not worked on the committees at all. Anyway, the `president´ must be the one guiding the work on the committees. Before everything else, the `president´ must regain his health and return to his duties. We have not taken any steps regarding either the work of the committee or its composition".

    The Greek Cypriot press had reported that the Greek Cypriot committee would be headed by Attorney General Alecos Markides, and the Turkish Cypriot committee by Mumtaz Soysal and Ergun Olgun, concluded illegal Bayrak radio.

    [03] So-called deputy of the National Unity Party joined the Democratic Party (DP)

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (14.10.02) broadcast that Tansel Doratli, National Unity Party [NUP] so-called deputy from occupied Famagusta, resigned from his party and joined the Democratic Party [DP]. In a news conference about his resignation at the DP headquarters, Doratli charged that in the NUP personal interests are held above communal interests. Pointing out that a clique within the NUP is pursuing populist

    policies while excluding the "deputies" and the "ministers" from executive matters, Doratli said that the party leader and his team turn a blind eye to this.

    Following Doratli's resignation, the distribution of the 50 seats at the so-called Republican Assembly changed as follows: The number of NUP seats decreased to 20, while the DP seats increased from 11 to 12. The Communal Liberation Party [CLP], the main opposition party, is represented by six "deputies", the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] by five, and the Nationalist Justice Party by one. There are also four independent "deputies" in the "Assembly". Another two seats are vacant following the demise of DP "Deputy" Ahmet Elbasin and the election of RTP "Deputy" Sumer Aydin's as mayor. In the general elections held on 6 December 1998, the NUP had won 24 seats, the DP 13, the CLP seven, and the RTP six.

    [04] New lawsuits against the newspaper AFRIKA

    AFRIKA (15/10/02) reports that the so-called Attorney General opened 25 lawsuits for the incidents that occurred at the "20 July Fen Lyceum" on 10 December 2001. On that day the Turkish Cypriot teacher Nilgun Orhon was removed from her school.

    All the journalists and the unionists, who went to the place of the incident in order to support the teacher, are now being accused with the offence of "trespassing property". The hearings of the lawsuit will begin on 21 November 2002.

    The names of the people who have been sued are the following:

    Ahmet Barçın, Varol Öztüğ, Erdoğan Sorakın, Cemaliye Volkan, Vedat Tek, Hasan Ecer, Erdinç Selasiye, Salıh Yaradanakul, Kamil Saka, Harper Orhon, Tulin Murat, Emin Özkalp, Mustafa Ertuna, Süleyman Göçer, Ender Öztunca, Nilgün Orhon, Samiye Nurten Yaradanakul, Yusuf Karşılı, Mustafa Hastürk, Ertan Azer, Gülay Kaşer, Kazım Denizci, Sevgül Uludağ and Oya Gürel.

    The paper criticizes the pseudo-authorities for their action in the column "Letter from ´AFRIKA ´.", as follows: "We can't know how Turkey is being prepared for the Copenhagen Summit, but it continues the occupation of North Cyprus in cheerfulness.

    These cases opened against our newspaper show what our stance is on the issues of the Cyprus problem and the EU membership.

    Here it is how North Cyprus is being prepared for the EU!

    May your turn come next Turkey!"

    [05] According to Sedat Sertoglu German officials say Kofi Annan will present a proposal in the Cyprus negotiations

    On the eve of the Copenhagen summit and a possible Iraqi operation and, after the Progress report issued by the EU, Turkish Daily News (TDN) (15.10.02) reports that it spoke about the hard issues the new government will face after the elections, with one of the most prominent columnists in foreign policy, Vatan's Sedat Sertoglu. Sertoglu had just returned from his visit to Germany and shared his contacts with us especially on the EU issue, and responded to our questions on Cyprus, Iraq, and other problems awaiting the new government after the November 3 elections.

    Sertoglu says that Turkey's chance in the Copenhagen summit for setting a date is five percent, commenting on the Progress report. Sertoglu also criticizes Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel regarding the appointment as head of the Secretariat General for EU Affairs Volkan Vural and Akin Alptuna, deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry responsible for the European Union.

    Sertoglu shared his interesting views with TDN. Responding to our first question "What do you think will be the main international problem awaiting the new government to be established after the November 3 elections?" He said, the most important one will be the European Union, and Cyprus will come second and added: "I talked about this issue in Berlin with a German Foreign Ministry official responsible for EU enlargement in his country. He told me that the implementation of EU laws in Turkey will be the main problem for setting a date for membership negotiations for Turkey in the Copenhagen Summit."

    Sertoglu evaluated Turkey's chance in the Copenhagen Summit: "I think Turkey's chance is 5 percent in the Copenhagen summit not more than this. When we look at the Progress Report, we can say that it is quite objective and reflects the true picture of Turkey. The problems mentioned in the report are the same problems that we have always mentioned," and Sertoglu continued: "They are not saying only do this or that, this report does not mean this. It also has a political aspect."

    Sertoglu also evaluated the new government's position on the eve of the Copenhagen summit: "The new government will have ten days after its establishment; this is not enough for any attempt to set a date. Furthermore if the Republican People's Party (RPP) does not take part in the new government, the political will of the government will be open to discussion, other parties seem unaware of the importance of the issue."

    "If I say Frankly, I have no hope, maybe in 2010. If we start negotiations in 2003 or 2004 many problems will be put forward, they can delay it until 2006 or 2007. It seems wise for them because they need a digestion period for the ten countries which will be accepted in the Copenhagen summit. Portugal and the Spain issues were important example cases. They have put forward many problems of these countries and the negotiation period of these countries took a long time. Moreover we are not a small country like the others which were recommended for membership in the Progress Report, and there is high unemployment in Turkey."

    Pointing out the importance of the economic criteria (Maastricht criteria) Sertoglu said: "We have also forgotten the economic criteria. We need 30 years to decrease our budget deficit to the sixty percent of our National Product. We have $240-250 billion domestic and foreign debt. But the crucial thing will be the agriculture negotiations with the EU. There will be great struggles, olive struggles will take place between Turkey and the Mediterranean countries of the EU," and continued: "Economic criteria are very crucial and hard to implement. Turkey should find $10-15 billion more to roll over the debt, say economic analysts, and also Turkey should decrease the amount of debt rapidly."

    Asked what he thought on the efforts of both Motherland Party (MP) leader Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and the visits to EU capitals, Sertoglu said: "Mesut Yilmaz's visits, are not so meaningful because they will not affect the attitude of anyone. Everybody knows that his party is under the election threshold and will not be able to take any seat in Parliament. They will not be represented in Parliament one-and-a-half months later."

    Sertoglu also mentioned an interesting point and said: "I want to say an interesting thing at this point. Gurel made a big mistake and appointed to other posts, two well-informed bureaucrats from the Foreign Ministry who worked on the EU issue very well. One of them is Volkan Vural head of the Secretariat General of EU Affairs, he served two years in that post and prepared the last EU reforms enacted in Parliament in August. The second one is Akin Alptuna, deputy Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry responsible for the European Union. Maybe they will take over their new posts after the Copenhagen Summit, but this is a big mistake. The one who will take over these posts needs too much time, at least one year to learn the regulations and technical laws."

    We also take the views of Sertoglu on the Cyprus issue and asked: "What do you think, can we solve the Cyprus problem or will the fact of recognizing the Cyprus impasse as a solution on the island continue?"

    Sertoglu replied as follows: "As we learned from German officials, EU representatives and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will present a proposal in the Cyprus negotiations. If Denktas rejects this proposal, they may support the Greek Cypriot's membership to the EU as the representative of the whole island. But if Denktas gains time saying in principle I am accepting the proposal but we have to negotiate some specific clauses, the attitude of the EU will change in favour of the Turkish side."

    Sertoglu also shared his worry on the issue with us: "But I am anxious about this attitude, because hawks are prevailing in Turkish Foreign Policy now. However, EU officials are saying that Turkey also has to help the EU for the solution of the problem."

    We also talked on a possible Iraq operation with Sertoglu and then asked: "Do you expect an Iraq operation by the end of the year?" Sertoglu responded to this question approaching the issue from a different angle: "Let us look at the logistic planning of the possible operation. Interestingly as an indication to reckon the possible date, the Boeing Company, which is producing smart bombs, increased its capacity to 1,500 bombs per month in the last four months from 1,000 per month. This indicates the ammunition need is important and logistic planning of the operation has not been completed yet. Logistic planning took six months in the Gulf War. I think this operation might be in February or March."

    Responding to our question on a possibility of establishing a Kurdish state in the region, after an Iraqi operation Sertoglu explicitly said: "A Kurdish state cannot be established in the region, the U.S. will not even attempt." Sertoglu also commented on Turkey's policy in the region: "We have to ensure that the Turkomans take place in the picture. We have to bargain with the U.S. on the issue. Kurdish factions could not defend themselves for five hours against Saddam in 1991. Any way they come to an agreement on something today, and tomorrow they start to struggle again. I also think that Chief of General Staff took all the measures against the establishment of a Kurdish state. Then I don't think the U.S. will give permission to this."

    We also asked, with what kind of government Turkey may overcome all these issues to Sertoglu, and Sertoglu said: "Turkey has to control the developments and cannot afford to stay out of this issue. Also whatever the structure of the government may be, when you sit in the responsible seat of state you become aware of all the necessities but also a Republican People' Party and True Path Party coalition may be successful in this period."

    [06] Spanish journalists were prevented from carrying out their duty in the occupied areas

    KIBRIS (15.10.02) reports that fourteen Spanish journalists and two academicians, who visited yesterday the occupied area of Cyprus in order to have contacts with Turkish Cypriot journalists and civilian organizations, were prevented from carrying out their duty.

    The Spanish journalists, who came to Cyprus in order to participate in the seminar "Spain and Cyprus: Facing the challenge of an enlarged EU", were forced to leave the occupied areas with the pretext that they participated in a meeting without permission.

    According to KIBRIS the Spanish guests were able to meet with representatives of civilian organizations and discuss the Cyprus problem at the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union headquarters and subsequently went to KIBRIS Media Group headquarters where they were informed about the views of Suleyman Erguclu, general director of the above-mentioned group, regarding the Cyprus problem.

    During Erguclu's briefing, notes KIBRIS, an employee of the so-called Information Department of the so-called "Ministry" of Foreign Affairs and a pseudo-police officer visited KIBRIS' headquarters and informed the participants in the meeting that the Spanish journalists would be "expelled", according to the expression they used, from the pseudostate because they crossed into the occupied areas with a tourist visa and therefore they had no permission to participate in a meeting.

    "The journalists, who were not aware of the fact and got informed about the realities in Cyprus during the meeting, could not hide their surprise when they heard that they would be expelled", notes KIBRIS adding that Ali Erel chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Ozdil Nami, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Young Businessmen's Association (GIAD), Metin Arhun, deputy chairman of the Building Contactors' Union and a group of businessmen visited KIBRIS and expressed their sorrow about the event.

    Meanwhile, the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) criticized the behaviour of the occupation regime. In a written statement issued by the press office of the party, RTP notes that "This behaviour, especially against the press of a country member of the European Union, is unacceptable during this important period both for our country and for Turkey".

    The Turkish Cypriot paper publishes also statements of Mr Xavier Vidal-Folch, editor in chief of El Pais newspaper, who said that they were satisfied with the fact that they met with Turkish Cypriot journalists and representatives of civilian organizations and added that during their short visit the Spanish journalists tried to understand what the Turkish Cypriot community thinks. Mr Xavier Vidal-Folch noted that they got the impression that journalists in the pseudostate do not express their views as freely as the civilians. "It is sad that journalists and people in general do not have the right to move and express their views freely", said Mr Xavier Vidal-Folch and added that "the right of the people to move freely and meet with each other freely is not only a precondition for the EU, but for a normal democracy".

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot press refers to the issue under the following titles:

    KIBRIS in its front page says: "Spanish journalists were expelled"

    AFRIKA: (Front-page banner title) "Spanish journalists and professors were expelled form the TRNC". The paper notes that the journalists have been prevented from doing their duty despite the fact that they had fulfilled all the necessary formalities and adds that "the border affairs in Northern Cyprus are under the control of the Turkish military authorities". The paper expresses the opinion that such "an irrational behaviour" by the Turkish side is a sign for "new tension" in the island".

    YENI DUZEN, under the front-page banner title "Disgrace!", describes the behaviour of the occupation regime as a shame to the so-called "democracy" of the Turkish Cypriots, to the Turkish Cypriot community and to journalism.

    ORTAM under the front - page banner title "They have disgraced us!" writes that the Spanish journalists were shocked by this event, which "cannot occur in any democratic country". The paper writes that the foreign journalists were forced to annul their meetings with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the Communal Liberation Party and the Republican Turkish Party.

    Commenting on the issue Basaran Duzgun, editor-in-chief of KIBRIS, notes that the Spanish journalists were shocked from the behaviour of the occupation regime and concludes:

    ".The bi-communal contacts are prevented. The members of the bi-communal choir or the teachers who try to have contacts abroad are prosecuted. The meetings of the Chamber of Commerce are prevented. The political parties, which have meetings in Southern Cyprus, are almost accused of 'treason'. And finally, foreign journalists who visit the TRNC are expelled. How can all these be explained with democracy? .I cannot write what they made this beautiful country look like, but the Turkish Cypriots will definitely become free from this oppression".

    Meanwhile, Cenk Mutluyakali, editor-in -chief of YENI DUZEN, writes, inter alia, the following under the title "We are 'sabotaged'!":

    "What a way to understand democracy is this! What an enmity against the European Union! Whom are they helping by acting in such a way? Are they helping Turkey, which tells the EU 'accept me'? Or are they helping the Turkish Cypriot businessmen, tradesmen, teachers, doctors, grocers, greengrocers and workers who strongly desire 'solution' and 'peace'? Do they have the right to disgrace us like this and humiliate us? .

    The Spanish journalists were forcibly sent back. They had asked us about the freedom of the press. We did not say that the press is not free. We did not want to say. We could not say this. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs with its 'action' showed that there is no freedom of the press. .".

    [07] Alvaro de Soto to visit Ankara

    According to NTV (15.10.02, 13:00 hours) the UN Secretary-General´s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto, is to pay a surprise visit to Ankara in the coming days.

    He is going to meet with the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary, ambassador Ugur Ziyal.


    [08] Columnist in RADIKAL says the US lobbying for Turkey over Cyprus and EU is a result of bowing to Turkish pressure. The Turkish army ready to send more troops to N. Iraq and Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (13.10.02) publishes the following comentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Northern Iraq, Northern Cyprus":

    "Things went off the track", Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said yesterday in a direct reference to efforts being made by the northern Iraqi Kurds to establish a state. The most important event that prompted Ecevit to make those remarks was the disclosure on 11 October of a plan by the local Kurdish parliament, which held its second meeting in a week in Sulaymaniyah controlled by Jalal Talabani, to establish an Arab-Kurdish federal state in Iraq, referring to the Turkomans as a minority, and its declaration of Kirkuk as the capital of the prospective Kurdish state. Kirkuk is not presently being controlled by the Kurds and Turkey has already made it clear that it would consider seizure of this city, which is rich in oil reserves, by the Kurds a reason for launching a military intervention.

    The fact that the Iraqi Kurds took that step after the meeting they held with US officials in Washington on 9 August indicates that they were encouraged by the plans initiated in the United States for toppling the Saddam regime. The most influential members of the team of hawks in Washington, who have taken the hardest line vis-a-vis Iraq, belong to a wing of the Jewish lobby and this automatically brings to mind the assistance extended by the Jewish lobby in the United States to the Iraqi Kurdish groups through Israel. In that context, official statements made by some US officials that "they are against the establishment of a Kurdish state and in favour of preserving Iraq's territorial integrity," do not overlap with the realities in the region and cause distrust in Ankara.

    This explains why Ecevit yesterday said: "Time has come for us to discuss this matter with the Americans."

    The visit to be paid by the Chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok to the United States in November will provide an opportunity for direct talks on the military aspects of the matter apart from political discussions. Ozkok had (for the first time) confirmed Turkish military presence in northern Iraq in response to questions put by journalists at an official reception held on 30 August when he formally took over office from his predecessor. In fact, he was best placed to know that fact as he was serving as the Land Forces Commander before taking his new office.

    Subtitle: What is the common ground?

    In response to questions put by journalists about the Cyprus issue before the ceremony organized for introducing DLP's candidates for Parliament, Ecevit said that there was no change in Turkey's position.

    In fact, the link established between Iraq and Cyprus has recently come to the fore in Ankara. During the talks held on 16 July in Ankara during the visit paid by US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Marc Grossman, Turkey asked the United States to support its national interests in response to the latter's request for Ankara's support for its policy vis-a-vis Iraq. This prompted Grossman to meet with Gunther Verheugen, the EU Commissioner responsible for enlargement, and Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Defence Policy, in Brussels after winding up his talks in Ankara. Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel confirmed the reports that Ankara had asked the United States to support its argument against Cyprus' anticipated accession to the EU, which Turkey considers a priority issue from the standpoint of its national interests (Radikal, 21 July 2002). In the light of these facts, it was not surprising to see Thomas Weston, US Special Envoy to Cyprus, among the officials who were lobbying for Turkey on 9 October, when the EU Commission unveiled the progress reports for the candidates.

    However, the situation in both Cyprus and Iraq is very clear. These problems are getting more and more complicated and thus exert a growing pressure on the Turkish foreign policy. From Turkey's standpoint Cyprus and Iraq have another common denominator, which seems to be its most important bargaining chips in respect of both issues. Turkey is maintaining a military presence in the northern parts of both Cyprus and Iraq. The fact that Atilla Ates, Hilmi Ozkok and Aytac Yalman succeeded each other as the commander of the Land Forces, indicates that there is a continuity regarding Turkey's policy vis-a-vis Cyprus, northern Iraq and the struggle against the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan]. "We have adequate number of troops and might send more if considered necessary," say military and civilian authorities in response to questions about the size of those forces which mainly consist of army units. It is clear that those words do not only imply a passive defense position.

    However, a Chinese proverb says that dismounting a tiger is more difficult than mounting it. Therefore, it is necessary that each step must be taken very cautiously.

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