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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-10-22

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.201/02 22.10.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Pentagon source is quoted to have said that Turkey can voice all its demands including Cypurs in view of a possible operation against Iraq.
  • [02] Statements by Serdar Denktas and Ergun Olgun on Rauf Denktas/ health. Olgun comments on reports for a solution plan.
  • [03] KTOS: Ankara is at the negotiating table; the will of the Turkish Cypriots is not represented.
  • [04] Churches in occupied Famagusta Castle are in a tragic condition.
  • [05] New Trade Union established in the pseudostate.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in RADIKAL calls on Turkey not to create another Cyprus problem in Northern Iraq.
  • [07] Getting to know the poll leaders.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Pentagon source is quoted to have said that Turkey can voice all its demands including Cypurs in view of a possible operation against Iraq

    HURRIYET newspaper (21.10.02) publishes the following report by Kasim Candemir under the title: "Pentagon: Kurds Talking Rubbish":

    "Both the Turkish General Staff and the Pentagon are preparing to take important steps in Ankara that will shape the future of Iraq and the Middle East.

    Talks in Ankara to be held today with General Tommy Franks -- considered the prospective "Governor of Iraq" -- and NATO Supreme Commander Joseph Ralston are being evaluated by experts as important steps to be taken in the process of restructuring the Middle East "towards democracy".

    One senior Pentagono official who spoke to Hurriyet on condition of anonymity, said: "Our Turkish friends can raise whatever issue they want at the table. We are ready to discus anything. While on the right path to making important changes in the region, you can voice all your demands including the Cyprus issue. We shall discuss and argue over what can be done."

    The Pentagon official also said that statements by the Iraqi Kurds saying they would make Kirkuk their capital were "stupid". The same official said that Ankara knew very well that the United States would ask for support during the Iraq operation and that the scope of this support would be raised at the table. The US official added: "We will never allow the formation of an independent Kurdish state in Northern Iraq."

    Meanwhile NTV television (21.10.02) broadcast that the US is preparing a package of aid and assistance for Turkey in the event of a military strike against Iraq, according to sources in Washington. Sources close to the Bush administration told NTV that the package would cover both military and financial aid. It is reported that the financial aid could be between four to six billion US dollars.

    The nature of the package could become clearer next week before the US Congress, which has to ratify any such package, goes into recess, the sources said.

    During the 1990-91 Gulf War, Turkey was given 80 F-16 fighter aircraft and more than 900 M-60 tanks. There was also some financial aid provided.

    [02] Statements by Serdar Denktas and Ergun Olgun on Rauf Denktas/ health. Olgun comments on reports for a solution plan

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) (21.10.02) reported from New York that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, was in stable condition after a second operation following his heart surgery in New York and is expected to get out of intensive care soon.

    Denktas/ adviser Ergun Olgun told A.A correspondent on Monday that ``Denktas woke up and started to talk with people around him.`` Olgun said that ``Denktas was expected to get out of the intensive care unit in the evening and continue to rest in his room at the hospital.`` This new operation of Denktas would delay his discharge from the hospital, Olgun noted.

    Olgun stated that doctors would make a statement about Denktas` discharge from hospital soon.

    Denktas had a heart surgery in New York on October 7. He underwent another surgery on Sunday due to unexpected complications.

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (21.10.02) broadcast a live interview with Ergun Olgun by telephone from New York.

    The interview is as follows:

    Question: How is the general health of "President" Rauf Denktas? Has he started to talk?

    Answer: Yes, he has started to talk and our "president" is conscious. He has no infections and all his vital functions are normal. That is, his blood pressure and heart rate. He can speak and I expect him to be transferred from the intensive care to his private room at 16:00-17:00 New York time.

    Question: What are the doctors saying about his transfer to the private room?

    Answer: The doctors expect him to be transferred to his private room in about four hours since his condition is pursuing a normal course. I talked to him and he said that he is comfortable. His morale is high. He is asking when he will be released from hospital and return to Cyprus. I suppose that he will have to stay in his private room for another week at least because he is still attached to drainage tubes.

    Question: I know that our "president's" health is very important, however, the developments on the Cyprus issue are also continuing. A report carried by the Greek Cypriot press today says that the new round of talks will take place in New York because of the "president's" condition. Do you have any information in this regard?

    Answer: We have not received any official information to this effect. The "president" has to rest for eight weeks after the operation. The "president" may start to carry out his duties after his health condition is assessed at the end of this period. We are waiting impatiently for the "president" to regain his health and assume his duties. It is more appropriate, if the "president" will be in New York at the end of the eight-week period, for the talks to be held in New York. We have not received any official information to this effect, however.

    Question: There are reports that the Untied Nations will submit a solution plan after the elections in Turkey. Do you have anything to say on this issue?

    Answer: A conciliation in Cyprus can only emerge in the wake of a negotiation between the two sides in Cyprus. A solution can only be secured at the end of the talks and negotiations held between the two sides in a way that is satisfactory and acceptable to both sides. This can only be secured through talks. Therefore, it is impossible to have an imposition.

    Statements to illegal Bayrak Radio were also made on (21.10.02) by Rauf Denktas/ son Serdar Denktas who noted that Rauf Denktas' respiratory problems will end in two days, after his lungs adapt to his body. Serdar Denktas, who met with occupied Kyrenia Mayor Sumer Aydin and Municipal Council members today, answered the questions of the journalists regarding Denktas' health. Reporting that Rauf Denktas underwent surgery last night because the sutures of the chest tissue broke, Serdar Denktas explained that his father is experiencing respiratory problems due to the pressure he felt in his chest after the surgery. Serdar Denktas added that Rauf Denktas was kept in intensive care yesterday 20 October and today.

    Stressing that Rauf Denktas' problems are age and weight-related, Serdar Denktas said: "We were not expecting a second intervention. We were also shocked. We are praying for his quick recovery, and we hope that he will be out of the intensive care unit shortly." Noting that the sutures of overweight people can break after such surgical procedures, Serdar Denktas stated that if Rauf Denktas had been more careful after surgery, this would not have happened.

    Pointing out that he has talked to hospital officials and that he was told that there is no reason for him to worry or to go to New York, Serdar Denktas noted that he has not yet decided whether or not he will go to New York. Serdar Denktas stated that he will reach a decision in this regard today.

    Recalling that the doctors had already postponed Denktas' discharge from the hospital by one or two weeks prior to the second surgery, Serdar Denktas added that they hope that the Turkish Cypriot leader will be able to return to his former working tempo in eight weeks.

    [03] KTOS: Ankara is at the negotiating table; the will of the Turkish Cypriots is not represented

    YENI DUZEN (22.10.02) reports that Sener Elcil, General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), has said that the health problems of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, have proved that Ankara is directly at the negotiating table.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Mr Elcil noted that the Turkish Cypriots do not know what is going on at the negotiations. Mr Elcil expressed the opinion that the recent developments regarding Mr Denktas' health have brought onto the agenda the question of "who is going to represent the will of the Turkish Cypriots."

    Reminding that the European Court of Human Rights holds Turkey responsible for what happens in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Elcil underlined that the recent incident with the Spanish journalists "showed once again the real face of the regime", which "forces the Turkish Cypriots to live in slavery".

    [04] Churches in occupied Famagusta Castle are in a tragic condition

    Yeni Demokrat (22/10/02) reports that the state of the churches in occupied Famagusta Castle is tragic and points out that this area is of great interest for tourists who pay attention and criticize this situation.

    According to the paper, inside the churches there are a lot of garbage including bodies of computers, broken armchairs, pieces of glass and cloth, plastics, boxes of cans and many others. The paper also states that due to the fact that nobody tries to clean the grounds around the churches, weeds block the entrance of the churches and nobody can enter the monuments.

    According to the paper this situation is due to lack of personnel in the so-called Department of Antiquities and Museums in the branch of occupied Famagusta.

    [05] New Trade Union established in the pseudostate

    KIBRIS (22.10.02) reports that a new Trade Union of so-called public servants was established in the pseudostate on the 10th of October, under the name of Memur-Sen. The new trade union was established by members who split from the so-called Public Servants Trade Union (Kamu-Sen).

    Referring to their decision to form a new trade union, the spokesman of Memur-Sen, Ali Ozakalin, said that the pseudostate faces big economic problems and that Memur-Sen is ready to struggle in order to help the economy breathe. Memur-Sen also accused the current administration of Kamu-Sen that won the election of using antidemocratic methods.

    Moreover, the new Trade Union stated that the Turkish Cypriots/ target must be the European Union and that the Turkish Cypriots must find their place in the EU. Mr Sener Ozburak was elected as the first Chairman of the new trade union.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in RADIKAL calls on Turkey not to create another Cyprus problem in Northern Iraq

    Erdal Guven, as a follow up of his article in Radikal (18/10/02) (see Turkish Press 18.10.02 No 199/02 Commentary No. 1)writes:

    "In my article on Friday I have defended the fact that Turkey does not have a Middle East Policy and criticized Turkey's stance in Cyprus and in Northern Iraq". He then publishes a letter sent to him by one of his readers regarding the subject. Mrs Ayse Hur wrote: "Maybe we have to ask openly the following: Is Halepje less tragic than the killing (in bathroom) in Cyprus? Or if we start charting policies built on tragedies who will be the one on the top of other? I am anxious to know why it is feared that in a united Cyprus under the control of the UN, EU and the guarantor states the Turks would be massacred".

    "I am too", Guven says and adds:

    No one will object when a country, because of its cultural ties, would try to protect and defend its kinsmen living in another country. However, it would be different if the issue turns into a chauvinistic and irredentist action. With the same token, according to international law a country has the right to take preventive action beyond its national boundaries, if its national interests are endangered. But, if this action turns into an occupation and annexation then the situation would be different.

    For example: Yes, Turkey intervened in Cyprus using its right to intervention stipulated under the Treaty of Guarantee. This was both a lawful and legitimate intervention. However, there is a point that those who express the official Turkish position on the Cyprus issue evade deliberately; the said right has been given to Turkey to restore the constitutional order in the Island and not to change it. Turkey with its second intervention overstepped legal boundaries let alone the legitimacy. This is the underlying basic reason that the entity in Cyprus is unable to get acceptance by the international law.

    As far as I am concerned Turkey is threading in Northern Iraq on a very thin line.

    For goodness sake please do not create another Cyprus (problem)!"

    [07] Getting to know the poll leaders

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (22.10.02) publishes the following commentary:

    How bizarre for a country that has been ripped off billions of dollars in just a short span of few years! If opinion polls are accurate, five awfully controversial politicians look safe or just around the edge of winning 10 percent of the national vote needed for parliamentary representation. And what a bunch! A man who faces a dozen corruption charges; a self-declared social democrat who is famous for his personal greed and aggressive rhetoric than for any genuine social democrat policy; a diehard nationalist and a Euro-skeptic; and a lady who adores power and once governed one of the most corrupt chapters in Turkish political history. Add to them the country's most notorious corporate desperado, Turks will probably wake up to an unpleasant world on November 4.

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the comfortable leader of every poll, is banned from parliament because of a former political conviction. He is allowed to have a seat in Cabinet -- but not the premier's. Apparently Mr Erdogan's "tough guy" manners appeal to millions of Turks. He may get dizzy with tens of thousands of chanting crowds at public rallies. But he is a man who faces prosecution for billions of dollars worth of corruption charges. And, to remind Mr Erdogan, he will be deprived of a parliamentary shield against prosecution because of his ban.

    Perhaps the man who is disliked by most of the Turkish establishment should have been more cautious when he privately met with the three heroes of Turkey's most famous bank scandals. He did not explain what was discussed with the three businessmen whose banks collapsed after they siphoned off billions of dollars in bad loans to their own companies. Nor did he explain his motives for meeting them.

    Or take Deniz Baykal, whose RPP is the only grouping that challenges Mr Erdogan's lead. Mr Baykal is a leftist whose political career is full of in-house fighting and splits than peace and unity - as well as a strong anti-IMF rhetoric. Ironically, his party looks safe for parliamentary representation thanks to the man who shook hands with the IMF for a $16 billion rescue plan. All the same bets have already opened in Ankara as to how long Mr Baykal could co-habit with Kemal Dervis, the former economy minister.

    Nationalist Devlet Bahceli puts strong anti-EU rhetoric at the center of his election campaign. His NAP unsuccessfully opposed a flurry of political reforms passed at parliament in August but has apparently made spillover benefits out of the EU's annual progress report. The vote in 12 days time may or may not justify Mr Bahceli's critical political gamble of breaking the coalition alliance and pushing for an early vote. But his re-election to government will inevitably slow down political and economic reforms and further distance Ankara from Brussels. And, believe it or not, Mr Bahceli's election promises include a plan to develop national cartoon movie industry! Tansu Ciller is the same old Tansu Ciller. She has left behind scores of shady deals and once came close to losing her parliamentary immunity to be tried at a supreme court on charges of rigging multi-billion dollar government contracts. It frustrated millions of Turks when Mrs Ciller and her archrival, Mesut Yilmaz, survived subsequent parliamentary votes that would have sent both of them before magistrates on similar corruption charges - in a not-so-secret but rare deal between otherwise traditional foes, their parties voted against lifting the immunities of both leaders. And, believe it or not, the former premier's election promises include making a hundred dollar millionaires in every neighborhood and a fresh flow of $225 billion into the Turkish economy!

    But, according to opinion polls, there is a newcomer into the league of those who challenge the 10 percent national threshold. And the prospect of his election leaves millions of Turks and Turkey's international donors aghast.

    Cem Uzan, a multi-millionaire and the crown prince of a Bosnian business family known as Turkey's first corporate raiders, is facing a slew of court cases accusing him of fraud and racketeering at home and abroad. Two multinational mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia and Motorola, have sued him in New York for defaulting on over $2.5 billion in vendor finance that they extended to Telsim, Mr Uzan's mobile phone operator in Turkey. He keeps on violating Turkey's broadcasting laws to promote his staunchly nationalist Young Party (YP) through his three television channels, eight radio stations and two newspapers -- all of which give non-stop, front-page coverage to his "march to power."

    Mr Uzan's public rallies, warmed up by pop stars and his aggressive rhetoric, are drawing larger crowds, alarming many Turks and foreigners. He has toured more than 100 provinces and towns in just about a month. Some opinion polls put his popularity at around 12 percent. Inevitably, the man who is apparently inspired by Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's prime minister, has become the talk of every diplomatic conversation in Ankara. A mere mention of his name unnerves many westerners in the Turkish capital. But some Turks jokingly say it is great to see a Turk ripping off the west for a change - the man says he will not pay back billions of dollars worth of IMF and World Bank money when he comes to power.

    He may not go as far as the prime minister. But a seat in parliament will save Mr Uzan from hundreds of lawsuits he and his companies face in Turkey. Four million or so votes will probably make him the happiest man in the world. But his election to parliament alone, leave aside a governmental seat, may cost Turkey dearly. Mr Uzan does not only promise to "kick out the IMF" but also to "teach America and the west a good lesson." And, quite naturally, Mr Uzan's other election promises include scrapping value-added tax, distributing government land to people, tripling the number of provinces, quadrupling that of universities and giving all primary school children free textbooks. Good luck, desperado!

    Wisely, the IMF has suspended the release of a $1.6 billion loan tranche to Turkey until after November elections. Possibly having looked at the bizarre outcome of opinion polls, the Fund said the approval of lending would depend on the new government.

    Istanbul's financial markets were worrying that a post-election government led by Mr Erdogan's JDP may spell trouble for economic management in general and for the IMF-sponsored recovery program in particular. After Mr Uzan hit the scene traders may have revised their position on JDP, now the better of evils.

    /SK


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