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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-03

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.2/03 03.01.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met party leaders.
  • [02] Mr Talat called on Denktas to resign during the meeting of the party leaders.
  • [03] The Prime Minister of Turkey discussed Cyprus with Kofi Annan.
  • [04] Turkey's National Assembly to approve providing support to the puppet regime in search and rescue issues.
  • [05] More on Mr Erdogan's statements in Rize.
  • [06] Kenan Akin joined the Renewal Progressive Party.
  • [07] Siirt poll may be delayed.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] The Harmless Lion.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader met party leaders

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.03) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met on Thursday with leaders and representatives of political parties having seats in the so-called Assembly.

    Speaking at the meeting, Denktas said: ``The meeting aims at revealing whether or not we have consensus of opinion on principles we want to protect during our meetings with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides.``

    ``When United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented his first proposal, we said that the `proposal could not be accepted as a basis`. We conveyed our concerns to Annan. The Greek Cypriot side also conveyed its concerns. However, the press reflected this as if the Greek Cypriot side had accepted the document, but Denktas had rejected it. This is not true. ``

    ``Later, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented a second document by taking into consideration the concerns of both sides. It is seen that the document has got closer to our views in a few points, but in all other issues, their

    policy to satisfy the Greek Cypriot side has continued. In spite of that, we said we want to hold negotiations with the Greek Cypriot side and insisted on being given an opportunity to hold negotiations. I cannot go to negotiations as I am recovering from a heart operation, but we should be given time. ``

    Regarding Cyprus´ accession to the EU Denktas said: ``We conveyed every diplomat we met what the Turkish side needs regarding entrance to the EU, and to what kind of delegations and defence rights they need. Cyprus` accession to the EU without Turkey contradicts with the 1960 agreements. We have conveyed our views in this respect. We agreed with Turkey on this issue and we have shown flexibility, but it has not been appreciated. The Greek Cypriot side went too far to do what it wants. ``

    Denktas said the Turkish side did not go beyond defending its rights which the people protected for years during the talks, stating that they made this defence with decisions of the Parliament and Turkey.

    Mr Denktas also said that it was the biggest mistake to show the Cyprus problem to the people as ``Denktas` problem``, and referring to the statements of Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said: ``He said `this is not the question of Denktas, but the nation`.`` Denktas said Erdogan focused on abiding by wishes of people.

    ``What are the wishes of the people? I held this meeting today to understand this, `` Denktas said, pointing out that, ``we should discuss whether or not people gave up sovereignty, or political equality, whether or not the people is ready to accept Greek Cypriots and their casting vote after so many years, and whether or not this common living will take place within the framework of their own laws. What will happen if Greek Cypriots who will come to live with us had done bad things in the past? We will mislead the world, our people and ourselves if we fail to say what kind of a peace we want while calling for peace. ``

    Mr Denktas will meet with the politicians at 15.00 local time again on Friday 03.01.03. Denktas called on the participants to present their views regarding the procedure that would be covered on the Cyprus issue in a written way.

    Mr Denktas is expected to convey the views that were conveyed to Alvaro de Soto, the U.N. Secretary-General's Cyprus Special Envoy, to the political parties. The Political parties will convene their authorized committees and determine their attitude for Friday's meeting.

    [02] Mr Talat called on Denktas to resign during the meeting of the party leaders

    NTV television (02.01.03) broadcast that soon after the meeting held today between the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and the leaders of the opposition parties, the sides made statements to NTV expressing the belief that a result will not be achieved at the meeting to be held tomorrow either.

    Mehmet Ali Talat, the chairman of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party [RTP], said that at the meeting they asked Denktas to resign.

    "Today I called on Mr Denktas to resign. It is no longer possible for Mr Denktas to continue as the negotiator because his views are in direct opposition to the Turkish Cypriots at the moment. He does not represent the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. This is the reason why I believe that his acting as the negotiator will be extremely disadvantageous. He said that he will assess the situation. I believe that Mr Denktas' resignation will be most auspicious. I believe that the Turkish Cypriot people can conduct this business through their democratic mechanisms. Naturally, Turkey's contributions and support will definitely be expected, requested, and received", Mr Talat said.

    On his part, the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence Tahsin Ertugruloglu from the puppet regime wing criticized the stand adopted by the opposition at the talks held today.

    "Naturally it is out of the question for us to reach a conciliation at meetings attended by those whose raison d'etre is to remove Turkey from Cyprus and to safeguard the interests of Greece, the Greek Cypriots and third parties instead of the interests of the Turks. We unfortunately saw at today's meeting that the persons in question are continuing the mission they have undertaken. How can we reach a conciliation given the current atmosphere? I do not believe that this is possible. We will meet again tomorrow. If they keep up their stand at tomorrow's meeting as well, then I believe that it will not be possible for us to reach a decision with a unity of views in forums attended by these individuals", said Mr Ertugruloglu.

    Meanwhile, according to KIBRIS (03.01.03), criticizing Mr Denktas' recent statements Mr Talat said: "The recent statements of Denktas are not in favour of a solution. He is trying to extend the process after the 28th of February. He behaved in the same manner in the New Year as well. He does not intent to play".

    Furthermore, Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), expressed the opinion that Mr Denktas' behaviour is opposite to the will of the Turkish Cypriots and added that during the meeting they demanded from Mr Denktas to resign.

    Mr Angolemli noted: "We demanded from him to resign from the duty of negotiator, because he opposes to the people. The statements Denktas makes recently show that he does not take into consideration the people. Even a New Year's message destroyed people's morale".

    [03] The Prime Minister of Turkey discussed Cyprus with Kofi Annan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.03) reported from Ankara that Prime Minister Abdullah Gul talked to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the phone on Thursday.

    Issuing a written statement on the issue, Prime Ministry Press Centre said that Gul, who called Annan, had a beneficial consultation with Annan prior to Gul's visit to the regional countries to search for ways of solving the Iraqi problem within the U.N. process and without a military intervention.

    Gul and Annan also exchanged views about the negotiation process related to the Cyprus problem and Gul explained to Annan the importance Turkey attributes to the negotiation process and Turkey's views about Cyprus.

    [04] Turkey's National Assembly to approve providing support to the puppet regime in search and rescue issues

    According to KIBRIS (03.01.03), Turkey will provide coastal search and rescue service to airplanes, which are in danger or had an accident in the occupied part of Cyprus. The paper writes that the Turkish government has submitted five international agreements to the Grand National Assembly (TGNA), two of which are with the puppet regime.

    The so-called "Agreement for Cooperation in the field of Coastal Security", which is the one of the submitted draft-laws, aims at "developing and strengthening the cooperation" in the above-mentioned field, writes KIBRIS, adding that in another draft-law it is noted that "the cooperation in the field of Air Search and Rescue is favourable".

    In the covering memorandum of the draft-law the following is noted: "By signing this agreement, the sides aim at providing aid and search and rescue services to aircraft which are in danger or had an accident within their search and rescue borders, to cooperate in the field of air search and rescue and develop the capabilities of the TRNC in this field".

    In the same section it is also mentioned that a cooperation agreement between Turkey and the pseudostate in this field was signed right after Great Britain transferred to the Republic of Cyprus the duty of conducting air search and rescue operations in the "territories of its responsibility" in the island.

    [05] More on Mr Erdogan's statements in Rize

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (02.01.03) broadcast that in a statement to a local television station in Rize, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Justice and Development Party chairman, said that he is pursuing a courageous stand on the Cyprus issue. Erdogan continued: "I am behaving very courageously on this issue. I will not take a step backward."

    Commenting on the Iraqi operation, Erdogan described as positive the UN decision in favour of peace. Erdogan continued: "Turkey's decision will be along the lines of the UN decision. We cannot take into consideration our interests on this issue. We have to safeguard the universal values. We cannot stand by the United States if the United Nations decides against a war."

    [06] Kenan Akin joined the Renewal Progressive Party

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (02.01.03) broadcast that so-called deputy Kenan Akin, who had resigned from his post as chairman of the Nationalist Justice Party [NJP], has resigned from his party and has joined the Renewal Progressive Party (RPP).

    In a written statement he issued on 28 December, Akin announced his resignation

    from the chairmanship of NJP. On the morning of 30 December, Akin informed the so-called Assembly Chairmanship that he was resigning from NJP. In the afternoon of the same day Akin informed the Chairmanship that he was joining RPP. Akin is expected to hold a joint news conference together with RPP Chairman Ertugrul Hasipoglu on 3 January to explain the reasons for his resignation.

    The current distribution of seats in the "Republican Assembly" is as follows: National Unity Party 20; Democratic Party 13; Communal Liberation Party 5; Republican Turkish Party 5; Renewal Progressive Party 3; independent 2; vacancies 2.

    [07] Siirt poll may be delayed

    NTV (03.01.03 NTVMSNBC internet version) reports that the re-staging of the November 3 general election in the south-eastern province of Siirt, slated for February 9, may be put back to a later date due to the possibility of disruption by the region's harsh winter.

    Tufan Algan, the chairman of the Supreme Election Board (SEB) said on Thursday that they were contemplating delaying the ballot until March or April to ensure that all voters could have access to polling stations. Heavy snows often cut off villages in the province for weeks at a time in the winter months.

    The original result of the Siirt election was overturned by the SEB after its was shown that some villages did not have ballot boxes delivered and that there was evidence that other ballot boxes had been tampered with.

    The possible decision on a new date will be of interest to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP), who intends to stand as a candidate in the ballot. Erdogan was unable to contest the November 3 election, which saw his party sweep to power with an absolute majority in the parliament, as he was still serving out a court imposed ban from politics due to a conviction for religious sedition. The parliament has just amended legislation dealing with such bans, clearing the way for the JDP leader to enter the parliament.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] The Harmless Lion

    Metin Munir writing in his column in Sabah (02.01.03) under the above title says: "The president Rauf Denktas has returned to Cyprus to continue the negotiations, however, he is a lion rendered harmless. (a lion without teeth-Dişleri Sökülmüş Arslan!) .

    Denktas has lost the overwhelming support of his community as well as of the Turkish Government.

    This is known to his Greek Cypriot interlocutor as well as to the UN mediators and the world in general.

    In that case on whose support would he count and negotiate?

    Since the overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriots want a solution almost at any cost, this has turned Denktas into a poker player who plays with his cards open and lost all his money.

    Last week a rally was held in favour of a solution in the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia. Around 30-35 thousand people attended this demonstration. If we consider that in the TRNC live around 45 thousand families then one could realize the massiveness of the meeting. The main feature of the masses gathered at the Inonu Square was that people from all walks of life were there irrespective of age, ideology or social status. Among the protestors there was Denktas' personal physician as well as journalists who were his most trusted supporters for years.

    The other day columnist Hasan Kahvecioglu warned that unless Denktas realizes the anger and the revolt of the Turkish Cypriots and stops being an obstacle both before the Turkish Cypriots and before Turkey then his end will be worse than Ecevit's.

    The protest meeting demonstrates Denktas' loosing of people's support. He is a leader who enjoys the support of very few people. He will never be able to rectify his situation.

    If there was an election tomorrow 78-year old Denktas could or could not get 20% of the votes. The same could be said for the parliament. The seats now do not represent the inclination of the people regarding the Cyprus problem today. With this picture Cyprus today presents the same picture that prevailed in Turkey prior to the November general elections. A majority that wants change. And a civil service bureaucratic team that represents the old- cadres that are unwilling to fulfil the expectations of those Turkish Cypriots who want change. Denktas also lost the support of the section of the people of Turkey who identify the Turkish Cypriots with that of Denktas.

    The overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriots favour the UN peace plan and accession to EU. The fury that piled up for so many years made the Turkish Cypriots blind even to the certain negative aspects of the plan which is contrary to the Turkish Cypriot community's interests. Fury has overtaken the logical thinking.

    In the Cyprus problem, for the first time both Turkey as well as Denktas lost the initiative.

    Unless the Cyprus problem is solved until 28 February or solution parameters are surfaced, then we could face people's activities similar to the ones experienced following the disintegration of communism in Europe"


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