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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-20

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. 35/03 20/02/03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Malevolent statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the democratic elections in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [02] Mr Kofi Annan/s visit to Ankara on 23 and 24 February
  • [03] Erdogan comments on Mr Papadopoulos/ election in a spirit different from the traditional Turkish mentality
  • [04] Radikal: "Tension with Egypt regarding Cyprus"
  • [05] Mehmet Ali Talat: The UN Plan provides equality and security
  • [06] The illegal Eastern Mediterranean University organized a conference about the UN Plan - the speakers stressed that the Plan provides equality for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Rauf Denktas says that no one can force him to sign a solution
  • [08] KIBRISLI says that Mr de Soto discussed the map in Ankara
  • [09] Mr Alvaro de Soto met with the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [10] Six women's organizations call on Mr Denktas to abandon his intransigent policy
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that Turkey must abide by the UN resolutions on Cyprus and not only on Iraq.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Malevolent statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the democratic elections in the Republic of Cyprus.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19/02/03) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Tassos Papadopoulos, who was newly elected as President of the Cyprus Republic, brought together with him the ``heavy baggage in which he carried his identity supporting EOKA``.

    Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc, who addressed the weekly news conference, said that the role which Mr Papadopoulos played in the political life of the island, had a long past.

    Stating that Papadopoulos was not a leader whose identity is not known, Buluc said: ``On the contrary, he brings together with him a fairly heavy baggage in which he has his identity supporting EOKA.``

    Reminding the journalists that the new President made various statements regarding the negotiation process so far, Buluc said: "Before anybody, the Greek Cypriot people know very well how he considered the solution issue. The Greek Cypriot administration elected Papadopoulos in the first round of elections. This reflects the concrete and conscious preference of the Greek Cypriots."

    When journalists recalled that the U.N. Secretary - General Kofi Annan`s Cyprus Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto visited Ankara with a new revision, Buluc said a text, which is called ``revised second Annan plan`` has been under negotiation in Nicosia for some time.

    [02] Mr Kofi Annan/s visit to Ankara on 23 and 24 February

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19/02/03) reported from Ankara that the United Nations Secretary -General Kofi Annan will visit Ankara to hold contacts on February 23.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday that Annan will firstly arrive in Istanbul, then proceed to Ankara and he will start to hold contacts on February 24.

    Annan will meet with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and he will chair interdelegationary meetings together with Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis.

    Annan`s visit is important due to the recent point reached on the Cyprus plan which is named after him, and developments concerning Iraq.

    [03] Erdogan comments on Mr Papadopoulos/election in a spirit different from the traditional Turkish mentality

    Istanbul NTV Television (19/02/03) carried a live interview in the Ankara studio with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, chairman of Turkey's Justice and Development Party, (JDP), by Murat Akgun.

    Akgun begins by asking Erdogan about the current stage of the negotiations with the United States pertaining to the Iraqi operation. Pointing out that following the visit to the United States by Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis and State Minister Ali Babacan certain demands were submitted to the US side, Erdogan says that the United States had not given a positive response yet, and "according to the latest information I received from my colleagues, there is still no positive development in this regard."

    Akgun questions Erdogan about the points of disagreement in the talks with the United States. Erdogan replies: "Actually, we have not fully agreed on political, military, or economic issues. There are still aspects of discord in political, military, and economic matters. If Turkey is making a sacrifice in this regard, its demands in exchange for this sacrifice should not be viewed as simple bargaining. We are not a country or a nation so devoid of values that we would turn a matter of humanity and war into a subject for bargaining. Above all, the developments are likely to occur at our doorstep, at our neighbour's house. As it happens, we are opposed to the event itself, to war. This is our principle, but, as a precaution, we should adopt our measures against this event. We have always said and we are still saying that in taking our precautions, we will not take part in the war. We want to prevent this event at our neighbour's house from spreading into our country. Naturally, because of an alliance based on the past, the Turkish Grand National Assembly endorsed a motion submitted by the Prime Minister's Office with regard to the bases and ports. We said even then that this is not tantamount to the endorsement of a second motion."

    Erdogan also goes on to deny having made any promises in this regard, and adds: "Our demands must be met. Only after they have been met, as noted by the prime minister as well, we can submit the motion to the National Assembly. These demands are not being met, and Turkey is continuously expected to make sacrifices. As the chairman of the JDP, I can say that it is impossible to approach this matter through sacrifice alone."

    Asked about the economic aspect, and on the various figures mentioned in the media with regard to the US aid, Erdogan said that the economic talks started at $5 billion and then moved to a total of $6 billion, of which $4 billion would be a gift and $2 billion military aid. An alternative was presented to turn the $4 billion into a loan of $24 billion, conditional on Congress approval, which may take six to eight weeks. He adds: "They are also saying that the operation will be concluded within three days to a week. If indeed it is concluded in this time and Congress makes a negative decision, what will happen? Is it possible for us to approach this in a positive light?"

    "Does it cross your mind that if we fail to provide the United States with the necessary support on Iraq, we may be forced to pay the price in the future in other foreign policy matters such as Cyprus, Turkish-Greek relations, etc," Akgun asks. Erdogan replies: "Naturally, all this must be taken into consideration. The issue does not have only one dimension, it has several aspects."

    On to the Cyprus issue, Akgun asks Erdogan how the "extreme right-wing" politician Papadopoulos' election will affect the efforts for a solution in Cyprus. Erdogan notes that it would be wrong to say something before seeing his performance and observing the stand he will adopt in the negotiating process. "The views of north Cyprus appear clear. There are expectations from south Cyprus. Until now, the Greek Cypriot side proposed certain things under the leadership of Clerides. To what extent this will become more flexible or more rigid under Papadopoulos will be seen at the negotiating table. We hear many things, but I do not want to act according to rumours." Is it true that Karpass has been left to the Turks, Akgun asks. Erdogan notes that the Greek Cypriots were anyway flexible on that subject. On the question of dates, he says: "It would be very auspicious if this matter were concluded by 28 February, but this is not the end of the road. The date of 16 April is more important." As the process with Papadopoulos is new, one week may not be sufficient to reach a conclusion, he adds.

    [04] Radikal: "Tension with Egypt regarding Cyprus"

    According to RADIKAL newspaper (20/02/03), Turkey has warned Egypt regarding the protocol signed between Cyprus and Egypt on oil and gas exploration and commercial exploitation in the Mediterranean Sea. The paper reports that in a note submitted to Egypt it was mentioned that "there is a problem in Cyprus where an attempt is going on to solve it within the good offices mission of the UN. The agreement that you have signed with an administration whose legitimacy is in question, without settling the problem, renders the agreement that you have signed void of legitimacy."

    RADIKAL further reports that Turkey has suggested Egypt to review the protocol that it signed with Cyprus.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (20/02/03), reports that the so -called minister of Transport and Public Works of the pseudo state Salih Miroglu in a written statement referred to the said protocol and claimed that it "was a violation of the sovereign rights" of the pseudo state. He alleged that the government of the Republic of Cyprus has no right to sign such an agreement with Egypt. He claimed that the real aim of the Cyprus Government is to "create fait accompli to extend its sovereignty to areas which do not belong to it"

    [05] Mehmet Ali Talat: The UN Plan provides equality and security

    YENI DUZEN (20/02/03) reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat gave a speech about the UN Plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem at a press conference in the occupied Gerolakkos village yesterday.

    In his speech Mr Talat said that the UN proposal is a plan that provides equality and security for the Turkish Cypriots and addressed a warning that in case this plan is rejected, very difficult days will wait the people who live in northern Cyprus.

    Stressing that the 16th of April is the last date for a solution of the Cyprus problem, the chairman of the RTP said that Cyprus will become by then member of the EU and added: "What is important is which Cyprus will become member of the EU".

    Referring to the illegal settlers from Turkey, Mr Talat said that the UN Plan will legalize the status of some of them. He also said that the persons among them who will have to change residence will be given good alternatives and they will not be treated unjustly.

    [06] The illegal Eastern Mediterranean University organized a conference about the UN Plan - the speakers stressed that the Plan provides equality for the Turkish Cypriots

    KIBRIS (20/02/03) reports that a conference about the UN Plan took place yesterday in the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU). The conference's theme was "The UN Plan with the eyes of academicians" and various academicians from the "university" participated in it.

    Speaking at the conference Dr Yucel Vural, the vice president of the Department of Political Science of the "university", said that the UN Plan provides equality for the two communities of the island. Mr Vural said that the Plan refers to a federation system and divides the sovereignty of the two states, giving some of the authority to the central state and leaving each of the two states with their own authority. "There is no hierarchy inside this sharing", he stressed. Mr Vural also said that the plan provides that the central state will not be able to interfere into the authority of the two component states and stressed that a federal system will create two regions.

    [07] Rauf Denktas says that no one can force him to sign a solution

    KIBRIS (19.02.03) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that no one could force him to sign a solution to the Cyprus problem. Talking last night on illegal "Bayrak" television's AKIS programme, the Turkish Cypriot leader reiterated the opinion that in case the UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan exerts any pressure on the sides during his expected visit in the island, then his good offices mission will come to an end.

    "I think that he cannot do that. He knows what we want. No one can force me to sign", noted Mr Denktas who responding to a question said that during his meeting yesterday afternoon with the UN Secretary-General's special advisor, Mr Alvaro de Soto, informed him about the meetings he had had with the newly elected President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Referring to Mr de Soto's contacts in Ankara, Mr Denktas said: "I think that in Ankara de Soto sounded the views regarding the changes to be done to the plan. I think that they will make amendments without changing the philosophy of the plan".

    [08] KIBRISLI says that Mr de Soto discussed the map in Ankara

    Under the banner front-page title "Who is discussing?" KIBRISLI (19/02/03) reports that according to "reliable sources" during his six-hours contacts at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs the UN Secretary-General's special advisor, Mr Alvaro de Soto "worked on maps" with Foreign Ministry officials.

    Under the subtitle "It is alleged that de Soto worked on maps for six hours in Ankara", the paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    "The contradictions between the USA and the EU have increased Turkey's importance. While the increased importance of Turkey within the world's equilibrium creates more chances for bargaining on the Cyprus issue, this is also a factor that increases the hope for a solution. When the Annan group, which is working on a new plan, comes to Cyprus will feel the pressure of the international situation. The important developments regarding Iraq will definitely influence the peace process in Cyprus.

    Political observers claim that the center of gravity of the negotiation procedure, which is congested in Nicosia, is placed onto the orbit of the relations between Greece and Turkey. The discussions and the efforts exerted yesterday by de Soto are shown as a proof for this.".

    [09] Mr Alvaro de Soto met with the Turkish Cypriot leader

    KIBRIS (19.02.03) reports that the UN Secretary-General's special advisor for Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto met yesterday afternoon with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Responding to questions after the meeting, Mr de Soto said that they had to exchange views with the two sides before making any statement to the public. Asked whether or not there is a third Annan plan, Mr de Soto noted that "it could be submitted or could not be submitted".

    [10] Six women's organizations call on Mr Denktas to abandon his intransigent policy

    KIBRIS (19.02.03) reports that the Patriotic Women's Union, the Movement of Women for Peace and Federal Solution, the Women's Center for Researches and the Women Branches of the Trade Unions KTOS (primary school teachers), KTOEOS (secondary school teachers) and KTAMS (so-called public servants) have prepared memoranda regarding the Cyprus problem, which they will send to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and the so-called "MP's".

    Talking yesterday at a press conference on behalf of the six organizations, Mrs Oya Talat expressed the opinion that both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots suffered a lot because of the Cyprus problem.

    In the memorandum to be sent to Mr Denktas, the Turkish Cypriot women reminding the coming visit of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus, say, inter alia, the following: "Abandon your behaviour which preserves the non-solution. Show your will for peace and democracy. Seek support from your own people, not from those whom you bring from abroad.".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that Turkey must abide by the UN resolutions on Cyprus and not only on Iraq.

    Turkish Daily News (20/02/03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "Turkish officials, especially President Sezer, urge for a second UN resolution for Iraq. Be careful! If we act with this logic and insist on a UN resolution, what will we do if we face a Cyprus problem later?

    Especially President Ahmet Necdet Sezer insists on a second U.N. resolution in order to cooperate with the U.S. in an Iraq operation. He emphasized that international legitimacy may be provided through this way and that our constitution also urges this.

    Mr Sezer is so sensitive about law that he speaks as if he ignores the international facts.

    Our President's approach also affects the Gul government to a certain extent. A Justice and Development Party (JDP) group also adopted this stance to prevent the Iraq operation.

    Turkey has suddenly become very sensitive on international order and law.

    Republican People's Party (RPP) leader Deniz Baykal pointed to the reactions against a possible operation in his party and said: "If the entire world finds an operation unjust, that means the operation is unjust."

    In fact, both approaches have just and true dimensions.

    International law is extremely important. In case international law is lacking, the world's countries fight each other. In a similar way, it's ethically right to find an operation unjust since the other countries and people find it unjust.

    However, there is the political dimension of it as well.

    If one focuses on a topic too much and prioritizes certain institutions and concepts in an exaggerated way, he may fall to the grave that he digs on his own.

    For instance, the United States or a group of countries one day may say, "If U.N. Security Council resolutions are a taboo then nobody should breach these resolutions. Or if you say that it is unjust as you find it unjust, you should obey the U.N. Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and lend an ear to the world's voice on this issue." What would we do in this case?

    It's better not to mix law-politics and public opinion factors in international relations. Those who govern the countries should speak carefully by considering the traps that they may come across in the future.

    Double standards are often used in international relations. However, those who have shortcomings should use their double standards carefully."

    YH/


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