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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-06-25

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. 117/03 25.6.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press on the PAOCE's decision
  • [02] President Papadopoulos received yesterday a delegation of UCP
  • [03] Mehmet Ali Talat is accusing Rauf Denktas that he behaves in arbitrary manner
  • [04] Public beach at occupied Kyrenia was found to be polluted with colon bacillus
  • [05] The National Security Council to convene tomorrow
  • [06] Statements by the outgoing German Ambassador to Turkey
  • [07] An ancient tomb of 2800 years was discovered at occupied Galatia village
  • [08] The compulsory military service will be reduced in the occupied areas
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Turkish Cypriot columnist expresses the opinion that Turkey is in trouble
  • [10] Commentary in Cumhuriyet supports that the Justice and Development Party is advancing islam

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press on the PAOCE's decision

    Most of the Turkish Cypriot and some Turkish mainland newspapers (25.06.03) cover on their front page the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PAOCE) regarding the violation of the human rights in the occupied part of Cyprus and the colonization of the occupied areas with settlers from Turkey.

    Under the front-page title "Shocking decision from Europe", the biggest Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper, KIBRIS writes that in spite of the reaction of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side PAOCE adopted two reports prepared by the Finnish MP Jaako Laakso, accusing Turkey of violating the basic human rights of the Greek Cypriots and Maronites who are living in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The report, continues KIBRIS, points out that the number of the settlers from Turkey is increasing, that Turkey has thus significantly changed the demographic structure of occupied Cyprus.

    "In the report there is the opinion that the number of the immigrants from Turkey exceeds the number of the Turkish Cypriots", notes KIBRIS adding that according to the report the administration in the occupied areas grants very easily the "citizenship rights" to the settlers from Turkey, something which caused the increase of tension among the Turkish Cypriots in the island. The paper concludes by saying that the report calls on the creation of an international fund from where the Turkish settlers would be compensated and return to Turkey.

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA refers to the issue under the front-page title "the settlers to be compensated and go away". According to the paper, the report suggests the contribution of the European Development Bank on the issue of the Turkish settlers who will leave Cyprus. AFRIKA writes also that the report provides for the conduction of population censuses both in the occupied and the free areas of Cyprus by a European Population Committee and for Turkey's compliance to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights regarding the issue of the refugees in Cyprus.

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN under the front - page title "'Colony'" writes that the report "has fallen like a bomb" onto the agenda. The paper notes that according to the report Turkey tries to turn Cyprus into its colony by applying the policy of changing the island's demographic structure. Commenting on the report the paper expresses the opinion that "those who are responsible for the non-solution in Cyprus have put another obstacle before Turkey's way at the international platform".

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM under the front-page title "'The Turkish Cypriots are emigrating'" writes that the PAOCE adopted the reports on Cyprus and adds that "the policy of Denktas and the supporters of the status quo are collapsing".

    Turkish mainland MILLIYET newspaper refers to the issue in its inside pages under the title "Now we have become colonizers as well in Cyprus!". The paper writes that some Turkish Cypriots as well created a lobby contributing to the adoption of the reports by the PAOCE.

    [02] President Papadopoulos received yesterday a delegation of UCP

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.06.03) reports that a delegation of the United Cyprus Party (UCP), consisting of its general secretary Izzet Izcan and the party members Ozker Ozgur, Yalcin Okut, Fadil Cagda and Zihni Uysal, visited yesterday president Papadopoulos in his residence at Deftera village.

    The paper writes that President Papadopoulos reiterated his readiness to unconditionally begin talks towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan plan. President Papadopoulos announced that the fine of 15 pounds paid by everybody who has delayed to register their children at the District Officer will be abolished both for the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, that the daily insurance rate of 10 pounds for the Turkish Cypriots who wish to cross over to the free areas with their car will be changed to 10 pounds for two months or more and that a law will pass from the House of Representatives allowing for the movement of lorries from the occupied areas to the free areas, "as long as they can be compliant, either now or in the foreseeable future, with the obligations imposed on us by the EU".

    In his statements Mr Izcan said he was glad that as from the next week the penalties for the birth certificates and the 10-pound daily car insurance issue would be settled.

    Mr Izcan also said: ".These measures cannot substitute a solution. They are positive and should be encouranged and supported. .There is still a chance for a solution. For us the Annan plan is a basis for a solution. There are some pieces which have to be discussed, points that the two sides may not accept as they are, but it gives us a point to start from somewhere. .I am glad that Mr Papadopoulos is ready to start negotiations and hope they will resume soon. .".

    [03] Mehmet Ali Talat is accusing Rauf Denktas that he behaves in arbitrary manner

    YENIDUZEN (25/06/03) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, in a written statement released yesterday, criticized once more the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot leader does not stick to what he says. He says one thing the first day and another thing the following day. He says that he will never do something and in a short time he is forced to do that and thus the Turkish Cypriots' credibility worldwide is destroyed.

    Mr Talat goes on: "During the last few days, Mr Denktas started to say that Cyprus can't become member of the EU unless Turkey becomes a member. In the beginning of the year 2002, when the face-to-face talks started, Mr Denktas, who was saying to the Turkish Cypriots, the public in Turkey, the UN, the EU and to the whole world, that the Turkish Cypriot political side's political line was 'accession to the EU together with the solution'. This is known to the whole world. In the UN Secretary-General's report it was declared that Denktas and Turkey's position was in that direction.

    This being the situation and while the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriots are supporting the accession with the solution of the Cyprus problem, Denktas has abandoned the policy declared at the beginning of 2002, in addition to his diplomatic inconsistency and these have dealt a new blow to the credibility of the Turkish Cypriots."

    Mr Talat also accused the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas for operating in an arbitrary, autocratic manner causing damages to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

    [04] Public beach at occupied Kyrenia was found to be polluted with colon bacillus

    Turkish Cypriot Ortam newspaper (25/06/03) reports that as a result of microbiological analyses it was found that the waters of the occupied Kyrenia municipality's public beach are polluted with colon bacillus.

    A team from the Health Services Unit of the so-called Kyrenia municipality and the "police" visited the area yesterday and placed a signboard warning swimmers that entering the waters could be hazardous to their health due to the bacilli. They also sealed up the toilets and ordered the person who runs the facilities to cease every activity.

    [05] The National Security Council to convene tomorrow

    Turkish Cypriot Ortam newspaper (25/06/03) reports that Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) will tomorrow hold its monthly meeting in Ankara.

    The main issue on the NSC's agenda will be Turkey's EU accession course and especially the Seventh Harmonization Package.

    The paper also reports that in addition to the EU issues the NSC is expected to discuss the latest developments in the issues of Iraq, the Aegean and the Cyprus problem.

    [06] Statements by the outgoing German Ambassador to Turkey

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (24/06/03) publishes the following article by Ugur Ergan under the title: "Turkey's place is in Europe".

    "Rudolf Schmidt, Germany's Ambassador to Turkey, gave his observations of Turkey when departing from his duty in the capital city of Ankara. Amb. Schmidt said that in case the political criteria are fulfilled, then at the end of 2004 it will be decided to start the negotiations with Turkey "immediately" and he stated, "Turkey belongs to Europe". The statements of Ambassador Schmidt are as follows:

    The messages of some of the EU statesmen in the recent period and the EU Council decisions in Copenhagen reflect the sincere hopes on the subject that Turkey will reach the goal of starting the membership negotiations with the EU. Especially, the decision taken in Copenhagen in December last year by the EU Council is extremely clear. In case the political criteria are fulfilled, then the EU Council will take a decision to start the membership negotiations immediately in December 2004. When the decisiveness of the Turkish government and the society is taken into consideration on the subject of the reforms, then I believe that this is an extremely realistic perspective. For this, however, it is necessary to expend great efforts within the next one and one-half years.

    The decision in December 2004 will probably be given by the 25 members of the EU Council. Turkey should prepare itself accordingly. It would be realistic to solve the Cyprus problem and the border problems in the Aegean by the end of 2004, even if they are not a part of the Copenhagen criteria. Good relations with its neighbours are the best foundation for the security of a country. The German Government will now support Turkey with all of its power on the course to the EU, just as it did previously in Helsinki and Copenhagen.

    Controlling the military by the civilian powers is one of the basic elements of the perception of state and democracy in Europe. For this reason, the organs having democratic legality, by the parliament and the government, just as in the other EU countries, should give political decisions. The armed forces can and should concentrate on their essential function, which is to protect the country against threats coming from outside. This debate is being continued in Turkey at the present.

    During the period of over three years in which I have been in Turkey, very significant advances have been made, which even a majority of my Turkish friends would not have considered to be likely. The Turkish parliament has made six different reform packages into laws. But, perhaps most important of all, a consensus of opinion was reached within the Turkish society that the fulfilment of the Copenhagen Criteria does not have the meaning of giving concessions to the EU, on the contrary, Turkey will become a country where the living and working standards will be better, thanks to the reforms, and it will be to the benefit of the Turkish people themselves. This, at the same time, is also the course, which leads to the EU.

    The completion of the Sixth EU Conformance Package was received with great appreciation in the EU. The government is presently preparing the seventh package. The government plans to pass all of the reform laws by the end of this year and then concentrate on their implementation. This is very important, because in order for the people to be able to benefit from the reform laws, it is necessary for them to be implemented in a manner appropriate for the intended purpose by the administrative offices and the courts. The EU has especially emphasized this matter in the revised accession partnership agreement. What is important is the preservation and strengthening of the rights of every Turkish person.

    More than two million Turkish people are living in Germany. Germany attributes great importance for Turkey's being a part of Europe, politically stable and economically strong. For this reason, we want the reforms to be successful. This success will also make the EU membership possible. Furthermore, Turkey should realize these reforms because it is to the benefit of the Turkish people and not to please the European politicians. I believe that this is the most important matter."

    [07] An ancient tomb of 2800 years was discovered at occupied Galatia village

    KIBRIS (25/06/03) reports that an ancient tomb of a very important archaeological value was discovered at the occupied village of Galatia. As the paper reports the tomb is dated on the 8th century B.C and belongs to the Geometric Period.

    Inside the tomb the following archaeological items were found: 1 crater, 2 urns, 3 wine jugs, 2 bowls, 1 small cup, 1 oil lamb in the shape of the cover of an oyster and 1 big decorated wine amphora. Along with these items a turquoise scarab was discovered. The paper also writes that a year ago another tomb, of the Roman Period, was discovered 400 meters far from this tomb.

    [08] The compulsory military service will be reduced in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (25/06/03), the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, who took part last night in the programme "AKIS" at the illegal Bayrak Television, said that the compulsory military service will be reduced.

    Eroglu announced that the time privates and reserve non-commissioned officers spent in the military will decrease from 24 months to 18 months, while cadet officers would serve also for 18 months rather than the present 22 month term. The new terms will come into effect as of September 1 this year, Eroglu added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Turkish Cypriot columnist expresses the opinion that Turkey is in trouble

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper AFRIKA (24.06.03) Turgut Afsaroglu expresses the following views under the title "They are in trouble":

    "After 16 April 2003 Ankara is in big trouble on three issues:

    1. The Loizidou case and the compensations

    2. Brining into Cyprus population from Turkey and colonizing the north

    3. Continuing to have military troops in Cyprus and being considered as occupier of EU territory

    The main issue for protest in the Loizidou case was the fact that she could not have access to her house because the Turkish troops have drawn borders in Cyprus and therefore she has been deprived from the right of using her property.

    As soon as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decided that Loizidou was right, Ankara hastily opened the gates. After that it started saying 'I am withdrawing. Settle your accounts with the person who is living there'.

    It is not known whether or not there will be more cases after Titina Loizidou, but Ankara is at least trying to gain time and carry the compensation cases to a different platform.

    The second serious issue which is bothering Ankara, is the issue of bringing into Cyprus population from Turkey and colonizing the north. The Council of Europe insists on this issue. It does not accept Turkey's position that 'these are seasonal workers'. It demands that a population census is conducted and after establishing the exact number of the settlers to send them back. According to the Geneva Convention, carrying population into territories captured by the use of military force is considered as a war crime. Especially because of the 80 thousand persons from Turkey who will vote in the elections in December and before the danger the political will of the Turkish Cypriots not to be reflected, conducting a population census under the inspection of the Council of Europe and rearranging the voters lists, has great importance.

    The biggest disadvantage is the fact that the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) expects to win the elections with the votes of the people from Turkey. However, not even RTP's tolerant behaviour is enough to save Ankara.

    The third important issue is how the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) will continue their presence in Cyprus after the Republic of Cyprus' actual accession into the EU on 1 May 2004. Everybody knows that a country candidate to join the EU could never get a date for starting accession negotiations without withdrawing its troops from the territory of a country-member of the EU. However, everybody ignores this fact. The Greek Cypriot side is applying a taciturn policy on this issue and is trying not to bring it onto the agenda before it actually joins the EU.

    If Ankara is in trouble, is the Republic of Cyprus very quiet? Actually they are in trouble too. Especially the issue of the compensations is like a double-edged knife. The Turkish Cypriots have more compensation rights for their properties in the south than those rights Loizidou had demanded from Turkey for her property in the north. While the compensation rights of the Greek Cypriots start from 1974, the compensation rights of the Turkish Cypriots start from 1963. The cases to be opened on this issue are not possible to be lost, as the Loizidou case is there. Furthermore, form the moment a Turkish Cypriot refugee from the south says 'I am returning to my house, I want you to empty it', the government of the Republic of Cyprus which will be a member of the EU, will be condemned.

    And the more important is the possibility of the Turkish Cypriots' demanding their partnership rights in the Republic of Cyprus before 1 May 2004. Even if the Greek Cypriot side does not think that this is possible as long as Denktas is there, nobody knows what could happen. If Ankara is cornered a little bit more, it could find its salvation in returning to the Republic of Cyprus. After all, was this not the aim of the military intervention conducted according to the Treaty of Guarantees?"

    [10] Commentary in Cumhuriyet supports that the Justice and Development Party is advancing islam.

    Istanbul Cumhuriyet (24/06/03) publishes the following commentary by Hikmet Cetinkaya under the title: "The JDP is playing":

    The JDP [Justice and Development Party] government keeps saying: "I do it and it gets done." It thus insists on having its own way. If there is any objection it raises a clamour: "We will not run from hollow noises."

    What is the purpose of the last-minute changes in the Public Administration Reform Draft Bill?

    Contrary to what was done in the first draft the JDP government has included in this draft of the reform package the Office of the President entirely, and the NSC [National Security Council] and the MIT [National Intelligence Organization] "partially." That is certainly thought-provoking.

    That is why the following comments are heard in the political anterooms of Ankara: "With this move the JDP government wants to establish its control over Cankaya and the military."

    In the first draft the Office of the President, the NSC, the MIT, and the Ministry of National Defense were left out of the reform package altogether.

    In that draft all agencies and organizations included in the package were asked "to be "accountable and transparent, to give consideration to proposals submitted by non-government organizations, and to avoid instituting any measures that may restrict basic rights and freedoms."

    Were the Office of the President, the NSC, the MIT, and the Ministry of National Defense included in the same package so that all public agencies would be made accountable and transparent as part of the EU process?

    In my opinion 'no`.

    First the following question needs to be answered: "What does 'non-governmental organizations' mean?"

    Not just labour unions and democratic organizations of mass appeal but also "foundations" are included in this group. More specifically the path of the "religious foundations"--even Koranic courses--is being cleared.

    It is well known that the JDP government is occasionally at odds with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok.

    JDP members insist that "there is no reactionism in Turkey" adding: "Reactionary organization is a myth peculiar to the 28 February process. We will no longer hear such myths."

    My understanding is that the JDP government wants to strengthen oversight mechanisms related to the Presidency and the military authorities.

    Here is what Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said: "There was a printing error in the first draft. The Office of the President was within the scope of the package from the outset."

    However Sahin did not explain why the NSC, the MIT, and Ministry of National Defense were added to the reform package outside the framework of "organizational" structure.

    The JDP has its own calculations of self-interest. Although it insists that it has shed its "National View cloak" it is working for the expansion of political Islam.

    No one even thinks about an issue that our Sukran Soner frequently discusses: "What kind of democracy in Turkey, what kind of government, or the well-known critical issues: Cyprus, the role of the army, the Aegean islands, the territorial shelf.. Turkey's large population, territorial integrity, national income, income distribution, cultural makeup.."

    Do not all these carry a real meaning within the framework of EU membership?

    Today 20 percent of national education is controlled by a religious order sheikh. New arrangements are being made to clear the path of imam-hatip schools.

    Preparations to remove the differential applied to vocational school graduates in university placement examinations have begun to gain momentum.

    What is the purpose of all this? To clear the path of the imam-hatip schools, to restore them to their former status, and to make them "attractive."

    Minister of National Education Huseyin Celik said: "No one can stop the HEB [Higher Education Board] law we will send to the National Assembly."

    HEB President Prof. Kemal Guruz spoke very plainly: "We will not allow the imam-hatip schools' path to be cleared."

    He continued: "The most fundamental attribute of the Turkish Republic is secularism. Turkey cannot have an education system running in two separate lanes."

    I also say that "Turkey cannot have such a system." The imam-hatip schools are "religion-oriented" institutions. That is the purpose of their existence.

    Students who graduate from crafts institutes go to higher technical schools. Similarly the graduates of imam-hatip schools go to higher Islamic institutes. It is that simple.

    Which reminds me: Why did the "covered-head protests" in imam-hatip schools stop after November 3? What promises were made?

    /MP


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