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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-03-21

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.55/03 21.03.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat has sent a letter to the European Parliament asking for the Annan plan to be annexed to the Accession Treaty of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [02] Talat and Angolemli have met with the Dutch ambassador; Talat: If Denktas represented the interests of the Turkish Cypriots the Hague talks would not be unsuccessful.
  • [03] A new political formation is reportedly about to emerge in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [04] Letter containing suspicious powder sent to Mr Eroglu.
  • [05] Actions in favour and against the solution of the Cyprus problem continue to take place in the pseudostate.
  • [06] The TGNA approved the government motion on Iraq.
  • [07] European Parliament's committee adopts Cyprus report.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Not an inch of land can be conceded!
  • [09] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the stand of the JDP government on Iraq and Cyprus.
  • [10] Commentary in Turkish Daily News criticizes Sezer and Erdogan for their stance on the Iraq issue.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat has sent a letter to the European Parliament asking for the Annan plan to be annexed to the Accession Treaty of the Republic of Cyprus

    YENI DUZEN (21.03.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has sent a letter to Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament (EP), and to the parties that are represented in the EP asking them to refer to the Annan plan as a basis for Cyprus negotiations in the protocol that will be annexed to the Accession Treaty of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU.

    Furthermore, Mr Talat expresses his sorrow for the fact that Mr Denktas had not negotiated on the basis of the Annan plan in the Hague and thus the talks there entered into an impasse. Mr Talat writes, inter alia, the following in his letter:

    ".It is very sad that Rauf Denktas has failed to represent the common demands of the Turkish Cypriot community for a solution on the basis of the Annan Plan and did not negotiate and give the necessary importance to such a plan which was so carefully designed to enable comprehensive solution on the basis of democracy, equality and sustainability.

    However, to preserve the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community as a whole and in view of a settlement within a reasonable period with the prospects of finalizing the negotiations and to reach a comprehensive solution within the EU perspective it is vital to keep the plan on the table and to accept it as a basis for the Cyprus negotiations. .

    The UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan pointed in his statement in the Hague that if the sides summon the will to finalize the negotiations he will be ready to assist. To that effect, we would like to ask you to refer to the plan as a basis for Cyprus negotiations in the protocol that will be annexed to the Accession Treaty. .".

    [02] Talat and Angolemli have met with the Dutch ambassador; Talat: If Denktas represented the interests of the Turkish Cypriots the Hague talks would not be unsuccessful

    KIBRIS (21.03.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) has said that if the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas represented the interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the Hague, the talks would not have been unsuccessful.

    Mr Talat and Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), had yesterday separate meetings with Maximilian Gevers, the ambassador of the Netherlands to Nicosia.

    Mr Talat expressed to Mr Gevers the wish of the Turkish Cypriots to become members of the EU and noted that the Turkish Cypriots would exert efforts towards finding a solution and join the Union, while Mr Angolemli noted that his party supported the wish of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution and pointed out that in case a solution is postponed again the balances would be ruined and the future of the Turkish Cypriot community would be put in danger.

    Furthermore, Mr Gevers stressed that the policy of his country not to recognize the puppet regime as a separate state has not changed and pointed out that the Netherlands wished for a united Cyprus to join the EU.

    [03] A new political formation is reportedly about to emerge in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    KIBRIS (21.03.03) reports that the efforts, towards establishing a new political formation in the occupied areas aiming at leading the Turkish Cypriots towards the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession to the EU, are about to be completed shortly.

    The paper writes that these efforts have began two months ago, after an initiative undertaken by Mr Mustafa Akinci, former chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP). The goal is to find the people and create a political movement to conduct a struggle for the solution and accession to the EU.

    According to KIBRIS, initially the group consisted of 30 persons but in a short period of time this number has been rabidly increased. Among these people are high-ranking officials of the CLP, so-called "MP's" of the above-mentioned party and new faces, which are taking part in the opposition of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    4.Letter containing suspicious powder sent to Mr Eroglu KIBRIS newspaper (21.03.03) reports that a letter sent to Mr Dervis Eroglu, so-called Prime Minister of the puppet regime, yesterday morning, contained suspicious light yellow powder. The letter was sent from occupied Famagusta.

    When the envelop was opened dust came out and because of panic that the powder could be anthrax the alarm was raised and the six employees working at the so-called Prime Ministry were put under quarantine.

    The paper reports that samples of the powder were sent to the free areas of Cyprus through the United Nations and to Ankara for analysis. The results of the analysis in the free areas are expected to be announced today, while the results of the analysis in Ankara later.

    In statements to the press Mr Eroglu said that the letter was addressed to him, but it was opened by his secretary and that it was the first time such an event occurred to him.

    He added that they did not give much probability that the powder is anthrax but in any case they are taking every precautionary measure for everybody involved.

    [05] Actions in favour and against the solution of the Cyprus problem continue to take place in the pseudostate

    KIBRIS (21.03.03) reports that various actions in favour and against the solution of the Cyprus problem continue to take place in the puppet regime.

    According to the paper yesterday morning the Revolutionary Workers' Union (DEV- IS) organized a "Peace March" in occupied Kyrenia while the workers in the Kyrenia "municipality" went on an one-hour strike at the time of the march.

    The march started at the Kyrenia "municipality", went through various roads of Kyrenia and ended again at the so-called municipality. The demonstrators carried banners where various slogan were written, like: "The Annan Plan is on the table, Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister", "We are ready for EU and Solution", "Peace, immediately, now", "Denktas you do not represent us". The demonstrators placed a banner in front of the Dome Hotel, which called on Mumtaz Soysal, Denktas' advisor, to resign.

    As the paper reports, the march was supported by various Turkish Cypriot organizations and trade unions, which are in favor of solution and EU accession.

    Members of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), the Turkish Cypriot Primary Scholl Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), the so-called Public Servants Trade Union (KTAMS) and the Republican Turkish Party participated in the march.

    Moreover, as KIBRIS reports, members of the nationalistic organization, National Solidarity Council (NSC), protested against Genc TV and KIBRISLI newspaper. As the paper reports Genc TV and KIBRISLI newspaper became a target for those who do not want solution for Cyprus, because they broadcast news in favor of solution and EU accession.

    According to the paper members of the NSC gathered in front of the offices of the KIBRISLI paper where the chairman of the NSC, Fatih Ozturk, read a declaration accusing the paper of publishing one-sided news. The members of the NSC placed a black wreath and the text of the declaration in front of the paper's doors and then marched to the offices of Genc TV. In the declaration read there NSC also accused two programs of Genc TV, "Konusma Zamani" (Time to Talk) and "GAK TV" of creating unrest among the Turkish Cypriots. The organization placed a black wreath and the text of the declaration in front of the building as well.

    [06] The TGNA approved the government motion on Iraq

    Turkish Daily News (21.03.03) reports that in a long-delayed decision to give partial support to United States to open a northern front against Iraq, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) voted Thursday to pass a government motion allowing the United States to use Turkey's air space and cross to Iraq for airborne attacks.

    The passed motion also authorizes the government to dispatch troops to northern Iraq, where Turkey fears the U.S.-led attack could trigger a refugee flow and pave the way for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state.

    Overflight rights will not allow the fully-fledged "northern front" Washington had hoped to launch from Turkey. But it would allow warplanes to conduct bombing missions and land special forces in northern Iraq to engage Iraqi forces and to secure oil fields, Washington fears could be sabotaged.

    The proposal will not, however, allow U.S. planes to use Turkish air bases or refuel in Turkey. The United States also will not be able to use the Incirlik air base, a sprawling facility that houses 50 U.S. fighters used to patrol a no-fly zone over Iraq. In the event of a war, fighters at Incirlik would apparently not be able to fly over Iraq.

    Turkish diplomatic sources said Thursday that Britain also demanded overflight rights. The government would look into the request of London, the closest ally of the United States in the strike on Iraq, after it gets the permission to open up Turkish air space to the United States, said State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin to reporters hours before the vote.

    For months the United States has been pressing Turkey to allow in 62,000 soldiers to open a northern front against Iraq. But as the date for an Iraq war drew closer, Washington requested the urgent use of Turkish airspace for overflights.

    Turkish officials have not ruled out a motion on allowing in U.S. troops at a later date.

    "At the moment what they want is the airspace," said Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, who returned from talks in Washington. "We will see what other requests they may have later."

    But with the request for troop deployment authorization having been withdrawn, Turkey will not be eligible to get a previously pledged U.S. aid package, conditional to the granting of combat troop deployment rights.

    Turkish markets have nose-dived amid fears that the U.S. aid package was no longer valid.

    State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin played down fears of an economic crisis and said the government has taken measures to cope with negative impacts of the war.

    "The Turkish economy will withstand every circumstance. We, as the government, have taken the necessary measures and will continue to do so," he said.

    In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said overflights are routinely granted without provisions of economic assistance and that the United States expects the overflights concerning Turkey "will be handled in that manner."

    Economy Minister Ali Babacan said the original U.S. aid package was no longer valid, but he left open the possibility of a new financial deal.

    But the U.S. officials also held out an olive branch to the Turkish government as it scrambled to reassure local financial markets shaken by the prospect of a war that could start within hours and may batter the fragile Turkish economy.

    "The White House has not ruled out assistance for Turkey in this matter. But I don't have anything to indicate beyond that," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said in Washington.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Ankara might again seek financial help if the United States asked for troop deployment at a later date.

    "If such things are on the table of course the economic matters will re-emerge in a different way. But now they are to one side," he told Reuters in an interview.

    Hours before Parliament met to vote on the motion granting overflight rights to the U.S. military, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer spoke against the strike on Iraq, saying he did not think the "United States' unilateral action is right."

    Sezer told reporters that he maintained his position that any strike on Iraq should be carried out with "international legitimacy" and described the U.S. attack as unilateral because the process in the United Nations was not completed yet.

    He was speaking after a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Sezer, who is largely a figurehead, has long advocated a peaceful solution to the crisis with Iraq and has said any military action should be backed by a U.N. resolution.

    The previous motion, allowing for troop and aircraft deployment besides overflight rights, was narrowly voted down in part because of Sezer's arguments it violated the constitution.

    Sezer does not have the power to veto any troop basing or airspace motion once they are approved.

    The motion also allows the dispatch of tens of thousands of Turkish troops into northern Iraq -- an area outside Baghdad's control since the 1991 Gulf War and currently governed by Kurds viewed with deep suspicion by Ankara.

    Turkey fears the Kurds may move in the chaos of war to create their own independent state and trigger renewed Kurdish separatism on Turkish soil. The Kurds for their part reject the idea of a Turkish incursion. The United States has also advised Ankara against it, arguing it could raise tensions with Kurds, but government officials have recently said an agreement had been reached with Washington in principle for Turkish military presence in northern Iraq.

    The United States, Turkey and Kurdish groups are set to coordinate their military activities in the region through a joint committee, reports said. Any activities which are not consulted and agreed upon in this committee will be deemed "unilateral" and the U.S. officials have warned that Turkey and the United States could be caught in friendly fire should Turkey carry out any unilateral activity in the region.

    In addition to fears of a Kurdish state, Turkey is also worried that it might face a refugee tragedy similar to that of 1991, when more than 500,000 Iraqi Kurds fled to Turkey and 1,500 of them died due to poor accommodation and lack of adequate food.

    State Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said Turkey was more prepared this time, asserting that there was no refugee crisis for the time being.

    [07] European Parliament's committee adopts Cyprus report

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (21.03.03) writes that the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday adopted Cyprus rapporteur Jacques Poos' Cyprus report with votes 57-1, Anatolia news agency reported.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou was quoted by the Greek Press Agency as saying this signaled that Cyprus had come to the end of its long European Union membership path.

    The European Parliament's General Assembly will meet at the beginning of April and express opinions about the membership of the ten candidates in light of the reports adopted by its committee.

    The suggestions of Poos concerning Cyprus were included in the report to be submitted to the assembly by the Foreign Affairs Committee head Elmar Brok.

    Poos said he was fond of the decision, emphasizing that his report would have a positive impact on the European Parliament's decision expected on April 8 or 9.

    Poos stated in the report that the Turkish side is responsible for the lack of a solution in Cyprus, writes Turkish Daily News.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Not an inch of land can be conceded!

    Under the above title, Mehmet Levent of AFRIKA newspaper (21.03.03) writes, in the column "The voice of silence", that the message from a speech by army captain Mr Gonultas, during the ceremony for the battle at Kallipolis, is that not an inch of land concession will be made by Turkey.

    "Not an inch of land shall be given!!! You too heard it Mr Erdogan, didn't you? Please give up you empty words that `the Cyprus problem should definitely be solved'. With this statement you become a laughing stock as well as pitiable.

    How many times we have written and continue to write. the key for the solution is in the hands of the Army. Everybody, not only in Cyprus but all over the world know this fact. However, knowing is something, shouting it in a courageous manner is another thing".

    Mehmet Levent then goes on and criticizes the Turkish Cypriot opposition for inability and impotence. He directs his criticism mainly on the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and to a lesser extend to the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) as well as Akinci.

    He says that after the Hague, the CLP leader Angolemli has accused both Denktas and Ankara of being responsible together for the failure, and adds:

    "That is, he called on those behind the scenes: `the accused stand up'. It is an important step that needs to be praised".

    Mehmet Levent then directs his strong criticism to the RTP and he says that "it is only the RTP and Denktas's supporters that do not blame Ankara. The reason for this stance is that the RTP is well aware of the fact that the road to come to power in the `TRNC' passes through Ankara. For the RTP the only important thing is to occupy that cursed seat".

    He concludes by saying that "unfortunately the opposition in Cyprus is yet to adopt a common stance against Ankara which has the major responsibility for the failure of the Hague Summit".

    [09] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the stand of the JDP government on Iraq and Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (20.03.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Kislali under the title: "Iraq, Cyprus, and the JDP":

    "First, the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] was upset with the JDP [Justice and Development Party] due to the fact that it was not able to prepare the motion in a way that would ensure its approval. Secondly, it was upset with the JDP because it issued statements with regard to the Cyprus issue in complete ignorance.

    When the United States asked for the TAF's cooperation regarding the Iraqi issue at the beginning of the crisis, the TAF said to the US officials: "Do not come to us. Go to the government."

    The truth is, however, that the TAF had been concerned with the hesitant stand of the government at that time as well.

    The JDP's lack of experience and the hypothesis that the JDP grass roots would not approve Turkey's support to a US-led operation created problems. As the Chief of Staff openly stated, under different circumstances Turkey would have extended support to the United States in one way or another. Experience was needed, however, to properly negotiate the conditions of this cooperation.

    Inexperienced politicians interfered and spoiled the negotiations held by the Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Chief of the General Staff. The representatives of US and EU interests in Turkey even claimed that the relations between Turkey and the United States can no longer be repaired. These people later claimed that the fact that Cyprus rejected the Annan plan would lead Turkey to disasters.

    When I talked about the first issue to the soldiers, the diplomats, and the relevant scientists who participated in the symposium that was held at the War Academies, they openly stated that regardless of what happens with the motion, the relations between Turkey and the United States will continue at a certain level. Issuing a statement later, retired Admiral Salim Dervisoglu, former Naval Forces commander, confirmed this thesis.

    The problems in the relations between Turkey and the United States stemmed from the fact that the United States is not used to holding negotiations with Turkish interlocutor. As a matter of fact, the leading US press organs news later declared: "We made a mistake by underestimating Turkey."

    The FILELEFTHEROS newspaper published an article by an expert who does not view the Cyprus issue as a defeat. I particularly focused on a paragraph in this article. Contrary to the EU-lovers in Turkey, a certain Greek Cypriot intellectual believes that the issue is much more complicated. He wrote the following: "Those who, simplifying the issue, believe that if the Cyprus issue is not resolved we will enter the EU on the one hand, and on the other Turkey will be occupying European territory as well as those who are certain that later the arrangements will automatically be in line with European regulations are not aware of the situation. Furthermore, they are not aware of what we are getting into."

    Given the fact that the Cyprus issue has reached this point however, the issue of "why the economic and social problems of the `TRNC', which can be considered a small city with a population of 250,000, have not been resolved since 1974" is being questioned.

    Inspections are being conducted on how a lady EU representative who worked in Turkey was able to establish and put under her own control EU militants in Cyprus under the eyes of Turkish intelligence units.

    In addition to the Iraqi and Cyprus issues, there are concerns that problems will emerge where issues that are related to the general characteristics of the JDP are concerned. All these issues are being closely followed. Certain people believe that the JDP might certainly make serious mistakes with regard to the parties that remained below the election threshold and that disappeared, at least temporarily, form the political scenes. These people give examples to this end from the practices of the JDP.

    They agree however, that the JDP's steps are not irreversible and that it has corrected some of its mistakes."

    [10] Commentary in Turkish Daily News criticizes Sezer and Erdogan for their stance on the Iraq issue

    Under the title: "At least they could be silent", Turkish Daily News (21.03.03) publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:

    "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says President George Bush did not call him when the United States started its campaign against Iraq with some limited surprise air raids against Baghdad.

    Is this so strange? When you toy around with the president of the U.S., when you frustrate him to the extent of driving him mad, when you fail to respond to his wishes, then you simply disqualify yourself from the list of leaders to be called first when the U.S. undertakes an important operation that has to be told to the allies.

    Erdogan should have read the situation properly when the president of the U.S. changed all the rules and invited to the White House a leader who had not even been elected to Parliament and gave him the red carpet treatment reserved for world leaders. But instead when Bush told Erdogan he needed his help in Iraq the Turkish leader turned and said, "I am not authorized."

    Recently Bush called Erdogan expecting clarifications about a motion that would have allowed American troops to be deployed in Turkey to be used to set up a northern front against Iraq. Bush wanted to hear from Erdogan that he would rush things and push through this motion in Parliament without any further delay. This time Erdogan was an elected member of Parliament and was about to form his cabinet, thus he was authorized, but even then Bush could not receive a date from Erdogan for the motion. As a matter of fact Erdogan did not even give him a hint if the motion would ever come to Parliament.

    That is when Bush crossed off Erdogan's name from the list of those to be called first in the case of an emergency...

    Those of us who remember the first Gulf War also recall how father Bush would call the late Turgut Ozal frequently not only to discuss issues but to pick his brains. We are told Bush and Ozal exchanged about 55 calls during that period.

    Today the state of affairs in Turkish-American relations only speak for themselves.

    Erdogan could have at least kept silent without mentioning he did not get a call from Bush, thus adding injury to insult.

    But then we see that there are other people in Turkey who should also at least stop making statements on such issues about the legitimacy of the American attacks.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer who opposed U.S. unilateral action against Iraq without a new United Nations Security Council resolution does not have to lead the field of objectors. Yes, the president, as a former supreme court judge, feels justice and international legitimacy are important, but then he forgets that some people would turn to him and ask how legitimate would it be if our forces enter Iraq unilaterally while the Kurds declared they are unwanted.

    Our leaders are well advised to remember that certain things are better unsaid. After all silence is golden."

    /SK


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