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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-19

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.34/03 19.02.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Rauf Denktas is trying to blame the Greek Cypriots for the calamities he brought to Cyprus through his partitionist policies. In line with his policies in the 1960's he called on the young Turkish Cypriots to hate the Greeks
  • [02] Instead of concentrating on a solution Ankara is trying to create a bad image for the newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Turkish University Presidents' Committee meets in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [04] Mehmet Ali Talat: "The first impression of Papadopulos/ election gives hopes for the Cyprus problem"
  • [05] Izzet Izcan made positive comments regarding Papadopulos/ election
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in Radikal warns that Turks will have no right to complain for the future consequences if they do not work for a solution in Cyprus today
  • [07] Columnist in Turkish daily says Turkish politics is tied up by the economy, Iraq-Kurdish and Cyprus problem chains
  • [08] Although the U.S. tried hard at all levels to help Turkey's EU course and pledged billions of dollars of aid Turkey still seems unwilling to meet the U.S. demands over a possible war in Iraq

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Rauf Denktas is trying to blame the Greek Cypriots for the calamities he brought to Cyprus through his partitionist policies. In line with his policies in the 1960's he called on the young Turkish Cypriots to hate the Greeks

    Illegal Bayrak Television (18/02/03) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas met with a 27-member delegation from occupied Palekythro.

    Speaking during the meeting Mr Denktas said:

    "The Greek Cypriots are not interested in the valuable property the Turkish Cypriots left behind in south Cyprus. They do not want any Turkish Cypriot property in the south. The Greek Cypriot newspapers reported today that 80 percent of the displaced Greek Cypriots want to return to north Cyprus. They do not want compensation. Why? Well, they want to disperse us. They want to reunite Cyprus in order to turn it into a Greek island, regardless of the fact that they divided it through their armed activities in the past. Various circles have justified their approach, saying that the question of property is important. Well, what about the question of security? Is that not important? People must live in peace. They must not be put in mass graves. Babies, particularly 16 months old infants, and primary school children must not be riddled with bullets. Is all that not important?

    We drew up formulas to obstruct all that. We did that together with those who were responsible for all that. We did so with Makarios and Clerides. We agreed to exchange population and have a bizonal structure. We agreed that acquisition of property by the Greek Cypriots in the north should be subject to our laws and quotas. We drew up those formulas because living together was not possible. Clashes and bloodshed would take place. However, all that has been forgotten. It has been claimed that returning to one's property is related to individual and human rights. The most important among individual and human rights is to be able to live in freedom."

    Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side failed to propose changes in the Annan plan, Mr Denktas explained the Greek Cypriot side's approach as follows: "Since Denktas has not agreed to the document in its present form, then we should avoid asking for changes in it because we are to join the EU."

    Denktas also said that the Greek Cypriot side completely rejected all the Turkish Cypriot side's indispensable demands and proposals for changes in the Annan plan and noted: "That means that the Greek Cypriots do not wish to reach an agreement with us, believing that they will join the EU as the side that represents the Cyprus Government. However, the territory of what they describe as the Cyprus Government ends at Ledra Palace. They believe that they will carry Cyprus into the EU as a whole. But, the Turkish Cypriot people did not yield even when they were forced to live in small areas in the past. Will they yield now?"

    Denktas recalled the change the elections brought about in south Cyprus and said that everyone wondered whether it was for better or worse. He noted: "I did not have an opportunity to conclude an agreement with Clerides until now. However, the Greek Cypriots accused him of making concessions. He did not make any concession. As a member of EOKA he defended the Cyprus Republic."

    Recalling Tassos Papadopoulos' statement that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to maintain the talks, Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots plan to keep the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiation table. He asserted that he will inform Kofi Annan when he visits the island that exchange of property is a basic issue. Noting that the number of villages the Greek Cypriots evacuated in the north was almost equal to the number of villages the Turkish Cypriots abandoned in the south, Denktas said that a balance exists but the Greek Cypriots plan to return in order to disperse the Turkish Cypriot community. He asserted: "If the UN body and the United States and Britain, which advise the Greek Cypriot side, fail to realize that, then they probably believe that they will be able to safeguard their interests by forcing us to live together again. That will result in bloodshed on the island".

    While stating that the two sides can reconcile their differences, Denktas criticised the Turkish Cypriots for being motilized in favour of peace, as follows:

    "Various circles lit fires in villages, put up clocks for the countdown, and warned to take action on 1 March if an agreement is not reached by 28 February. Such an approach does not befit the Turkish Cypriot people and the young generation. I want to say this to the misled youths. Hear what your fathers and grandfathers have to say. Allow them to explain why they were forced to immigrate. Try to understand the nature of the Greek Cypriots. Learn about the Greek Cypriot national cause."

    Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriot television networks should screen the photographs in the Greek Cypriot schools and the documents that depict the way the Turkish Cypriots are described to the Greek Cypriot students. He asserted that quickly getting together with the Greek Cypriots again is impossible and defended the view that reunion can be achieved in time, after the two sides exist as neighbors. He said: "Bring us together again and then watch what happens. That is out of the question."

    Denktas reacalled former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel's statement: "Turkish Cypriots turned the territory they lived on into a homeland through their honorable struggle. No one should expect their homeland to become just a piece of territory again."

    He further asserted that people may remain hungry for the sake of the state they establish on their territory. He noted: "But they will never say that they do not have a state. No one has the right to surrender the state the people established to the side that tried to bury them in mass graves in the past."

    Mr Denktas also replied to reporters' questions. Asked to comment on the Cyprus talks, he said that the two meetings that were to be held during the current week were canceled in accordance with the Greek Cypriot side's request. He asserted that they will wait for Alvaro de Soto to inform them on his contacts in Ankara. Recalling Tassos Papadopoulos' statement that he is ready to resume the talks, Denktas said that Papadopoulos wanted the committees to maintain their work. He noted that he agreed.

    A reporter recalled Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul's statement that a good opportunity exists for an agreement by 28 February and asked Denktas to comment. Denktas said: "That was probably suggested by Alvaro de Soto. He claimed for a long time that the two sides are now very close to each other. He believes that solving the Cyprus problem is a matter of prestige for him. He believes that he can apply pressure to solve the problem. But a solution cannot be found in that way. I never thought that Prime Minister Gul would make such a statement. He might have done so in the light of the information conveyed to him by Alvaro de Soto."

    A reporter recalled the meeting of Alvaro de Soto with Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal for nearly six hours and asked whether a third plan was submitted to the Turkish side. Denktas said: "He was supposed to explain the new plan to Turkey. Probably that is the case. We will be informed on it later today or tomorrow."

    [02] Instead of concentrating on a solution Ankara is trying to create a bad image for the newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A.) (18/02/03) reported from Ankara that Turkey warned on Tuesday United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General Kofi Annan`s Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto that Tassos Papadopoulos, who was elected as the new President of Cyprus, had a ``bad past.``

    Sources told A.A correspondent that Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal had a meeting with de Soto on Monday which lasted for six and a half hours.

    The sources said that de Soto explained details of the new revised plan for Cyprus during his contacts in Ankara.

    De Soto briefed Ziyal on his meeting with Papadopoulos and quoted Papadopoulos as saying that he would continue the Cyprus talks within the framework of Annan`s plan.

    Alvaro de Soto, who is trying to convince the parties for an agreement before Annan`s visit, was warned that the Turkish side was doing its utmost for a solution but that newly-elected Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos ``had a bad past,`` reports A.A.

    [03] Turkish University Presidents' Committee meets in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    According to TERCUMAN newspaper (19/02/03), the presidents of the state and foundation universities in Turkey will hold their month of February meetings in the occupied area. The meetings which will open tomorrow will be chaired by the president of the Turkish Higher Education Council (YOK), Prof. Kemal Guruz.

    When asked whether holding of the meeting in the occupied area is an expression of support to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Prof. Guruz said: "The Committee of university presidents always extended great support to Mr Denktas." The president of the Middle East Technical University Prof. Ural Akbulut said: "At a time when Cyprus is on the agenda, going to the 'TRNC' will boost the morale of the Turkish Cypriots. Of course, holding of the meeting prior to 28 February in the 'TRNC' should have a meaning".

    [04] Mehmet Ali Talat: "The first impression of Papadopulos/ election gives hopes for the Cyprus problem"

    Under the title "The first impression gives cause for hope" YENI DUZEN (19/02/03) publishes the comments made by Mehmet Ali Talat, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), about the election of Tassos Papadopulos in the presidency of the Cyprus Republic.

    Mr Talat said the elections in the Cyprus Republic were held at the most critical phase in the Cyprus problem's history and stated that the elections hold the progress of the Cyprus talks back. He also said that "the Turkish Cypriots listened with anxiety about what Papadopoulos said or done in the past". Mr Talat said that nevertheless the first speech Mr Papadopulos made after his election was positive and he stressed that he found important the promises that Mr Papadopoulos gave regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and the EU accession. He also said that the new president would be benefited by the fact that the parties, which supported him, have good relations with the Turkish Cypriots.

    [05] Izzet Izcan made positive comments regarding Papadopulos/ election

    YENI DUZEN (19/02/03) reports that Izzet Izcan, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (UCP), commented on Tassos Papadopulos/ election to the presidency of the Cyprus Republic.

    Mr Izcan said that Mr Papadopoulos made it clear that he agrees with Kofi Annan/s philosophy regarding the Cyprus problem and stressed: "This is an important indication that the doors of the Cyprus talks will remain open".

    He also said that this change that took place in the recent elections of the Cyprus Republic, would bring the two communities in the island closer. He also stressed that those who support the status quo in Northern Cyprus must change their view in order for the solution of Cyprus to become ever easier on the basis of the UN Plan.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in Radikal warns that Turks will have no right to complain for the future consequences if they do not work for a solution in Cyprus today

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (17/02/03) publishes the following commentary by Ismet Berkan under the title: "Cyprus Not Just Cyprus":

    "The rumbling caused by Iraq and the economy made us forget Cyprus. Nevertheless, we are approaching the last few days during which we have to find a permanent and fair solution on the island. There has been no progress even though the time the EU had given to the sides is about to run out.

    The Cyprus problem is gradually becoming even more of a life-and-death issue for us at a time when signs that the world will be reshaped around the Iraq problem have started to appear.

    If there is no agreement on Cyprus, in other words if the northern side of the island cannot join the EU, the Turks who live on the island will not be the only ones to suffer the consequences. We will too.

    Turkey is already taking leaping steps towards the scenario it fears the most due to the Iraq issue. The situation becomes graver when you add to this the possibility of breaking away from the EU politically because of Cyprus.

    Let me try to explain:

    It is obvious that Turkey has to unlock two doors to be able to join the EU.

    The first of these has to do with Cyprus and the second with the Copenhagen Criteria. Let me immediately say that unless Turkey unlocks the Cyprus door, it will have trouble joining the EU even if it fulfills the criteria. True, Cyprus is one of the conditions or is not a precondition but let us be realistic. We cannot turn a blind eye to the political situation. This is why both doors have to be unlocked at the same time if possible.

    The problem concerning Cyprus has to do with under which conditions the door will be unlocked. In other words, would it be better for you to do so with the Annan Plan you have today or with keys similar to the East Germany model, which could gain currency in the future? Which is important, the equal sovereignty that has been attained today or minority status?

    To be frank, it will not be possible to negotiate once again within the scope of the Annan Plan unless a solution, which would have to be approved by the people on the island, is attained by 16 April, which is the date when the agreement on Cyprus' full membership to the EU will be signed on the island. This means that if finding a solution is the objective then the same conditions will not exist again. This is why people who do not like the Annan Plan as it stands are called "stalemate advocates" in this column.

    This is also why the 28 February date that the EU has mentioned to the sides on Cyprus is not a symbolic date but a realistic one commanded by the busy timetable.

    If Turkey is left out of the EU it will be bound by a single source, by the United States, in the fields of foreign policy and security. This would be no different than being dependent on a single source in the field of energy.

    In other words, the current state of dependency will grow when it becomes certain tomorrow that Turkey will be left out of the EU. Turkey, in its region, will have to get closer to the United States and possibly to Israel too.

    At present Ankara cannot go against the United States in Turkey's relations with the IMF or on the Iraq issue. Ankara also gives the impression that it always has to implement its policies under America's shadow. Just imagine the state such an Ankara will face in the future.

    Besides, Turkey's position will become even more critical if European defense really is to gradually break away from the United States and if a US-EU conflict is to occur in the future. Will Turkey cooperate with Europe or with the United States in the sphere of defense? Will Turkey have to increase its defense spending due to this or will it continue to spend at current levels?

    How will a Turkey that will have to increase its defense spending attain welfare? Questions, questions, questions...

    This is why the Cyprus issue is becoming more important than it should be. We will not have the right to complain of what befalls us in the future unless we find a fair and permanent peace on Cyprus today and do not abandon the island to stalemate just because of certain personal rivalries or stubbornness.

    Nobody would like to be in the situation the government faces today with regards to the Iraq issue. It would be beneficial to spread out the risk and dependency instead of putting all our eggs in the same basket if we are to avoid similar situations in the future."

    [07] Columnist in Turkish daily says Turkish politics is tied up by the economy, Iraq-Kurdish and Cyprus problem chains

    Columnist Okay Gonensin, writing in the Turkish daily VATAN (18/02/03) under the above title, says that three huge chains have tightly tied up Turkey's hands and feet and as a result of these no government in Turkey could take a different stance than the present government's stance regarding the war in Iraq.

    He names these chains as:

    Turkey's weak economy

    Northern Iraq, Kurdish issue

    Cyprus problem

    On the Cyprus problem, Mr Gonensin says: "The third chain is the Cyprus problem. It is only quarter to twelve for the Greek Cypriot side's EU membership as the Republic of Cyprus. Gradually, Turkey enters into a more difficult period in Cyprus.

    The Greek Cypriot side, which is the side that does not want a solution, will confirm its position as the Republic of Cyprus with great economic and political support, and in case of no solution, it will no longer be an issue of defending the interests of the Turkish side.

    And, in case the USA takes an open stance then north Cyprus will turn for the whole world 'a territory under Turkish occupation' and if this happens then Turkey will be forced to retreat continuously.

    It is the administrators that shackled Cyprus on Turkey's feet, who considered maintaining the status quo as success, who let the Turkish Cypriot community remain backward and who did not have any success in the international field.

    However, it is unfair to criticize the present government in Turkey because it sided with the USA and as the way the USA wanted".

    [08] Although the U.S. tried hard at all levels to help Turkey's EU course and pledged billions of dollars of aid Turkey still seems unwilling to meet the U.S. demands over a possible war in Iraq

    Turkish Daily News (19/02/03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "The negotiations between Turkey and the United States obviously turned into a bargain for money. The common view in Washington is that Turkey wants to benefit from a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq to recover its fragile economy.

    Turkish-U.S. relations have been going through a very critical process. At any time, the car could go off the road. In the event that it is flipped over, then, its maintenance and functioning as in the past will take a long time.

    The responsibility for Turkey's reaching this point is not one-sided. Both sides have made mistakes.

    The Bush administration acted in a hurry. It was something in the bag for U.S. that Turkey would accept what the U.S. said. They did not adequately evaluate the new government's sensibilities. Then, they got angry as "Turkey betrayed as well."

    The Gul government perceived the intentions of the Bush administration highly late and could not measure how serious the issue was. They acted slowly. They could not balance the international bargains in line with Justice and Development Party ideology and strong public opposition to the war. Their lack of experience made the work more difficult.

    What is expected took place...

    Now, let me evaluate today's developments...

    Today, it is reflected that Turkey bargains for money, however the government claims the opposite.

    This situation, stemming from that Turkey could not express itself, causes a negative impression on us. U.S. televisions and media make comments such as "Turks do not seem willing for cooperation as they consider that the financial package is not sufficient."

    It is a humiliating situation.

    Turkey is quite right about bargaining on military-economic and political issues. Nobody could object to this. It is voiced now that the 1991 Gulf War harmed Turkey. However, whatever happens, Turkey must get rid of this impression. Because it is very humiliating that Turkey is reflected as saying "no" to the U.S. demands. Money is an important factor, but the bargains which should he held silently have reached such a level that they do not serve the purpose any longer. Turkey was backed into the corner.

    The most harming situation concerning international relations is to extend an issue and to let an uncertainty be the issue of politics. At once, the Gul government should recover from this impression which was created because of Turkey's inability to express itself. They should not push both themselves and the country into difficult situations. Turkey and the United States will more clearly see the future whether the "yes" or "no" resolution is given early despite all of the risks.

    President Bush acted unjustly towards Gul.

    The leader of the Republican People's Party Deniz Baykal and several U.S. officials acted unjustly towards Tayyip Erdogan as well.

    At last, the truth was seen.

    According to newspaper columns and rumors, President Bush told Yasar Yakis that Gul should keep his promise and approve the motion on February 18 concerning the U.S. troops crossing via Turkey.

    I wonder whether Gul gave such a promise. I asked Yasar Yakis and he said: "No, there has been no promise. They comment on developments in this way."

    I was not satisfied with the answer and I asked U.S. Deputy Foreign Minister Mark Grossman -- a former U.S. ambassador to Ankara -- who closely watches the relations with Turkey and knows all the details. He gave the same response: "Prime Minister Gul did not give a promise. We perceived that February 18 was the final date, as the resolution concerning base modernization and deployment of U.S. troops was set apart from the second resolution."

    There is no promise, but a misunderstanding.

    Did Erdogan promise to Bush?

    The claims of Tayyip Erdogan's promising full support to President Bush during the talks at White House concerning a U.S.-led war against neighboring Iraq is a matter of debate.

    Mr. Deniz Baykal particularly voiced this claim and accused Tayyip Erdogan of giving binding promises although Erdogan did not have any official power at all.

    I also asked a Turkish diplomat participating in Erdogan-Bush talks and a U.S. official. Their answers were also the same:

    "Erdogan has not promised at all. However, the meeting created such an atmosphere that especially the U.S. side drew a conclusion that Turkey would not cause any difficulties on the Iraq issue after all the talks... Then, Ankara rightfully initiated the bargaining process in accordance with U.S. demands. This situation disappointed the Bush administration. It was perceived that Turks should not have done this..."

    It seems that some words of the Turkish leaders were misunderstood. The current conditions indicate that declarations must be carefully made. It is very important to be careful. "

    EG/


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