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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-07-23

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.137/03 23.07.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The occupation regime punishes Cevikel and Demirtas because they supported the Annan Plan.
  • [02] Akinci accuses Turkey of not following a stable policy on the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot civil engineers says it is impossible to settle in the buildings of the closed Varosha area.
  • [04] A new platform, under the name ^”This state is our Alliance^‘, was established at the pseudostate.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriots soccer players were punished for participating in bi-communal sporting activity.
  • [06] Political parties against sending troops to Iraq.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] HURRIYET columnist supports use of Turkish troops in International Force in Iraq.
  • [08] Birand: NSC General Secretariat a military inspection body.
  • [09] Gul going to Washington for the final rendezvous with US Washington

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The occupation regime punishes Cevikel and Demirtas because they supported the Annan Plan

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.07.03) reports that associate professor Nuri Cevikel, chairman of the Turkish settlers^“ association in the occupied part of Cyprus and Abbdulkerim Demirtas, general secretary of the ^”fighters^“^‘ association ^”are facing serious problems^‘.

    Noting that the occupation regime has recently been exerting pressure on the above-mentioned persons because they had complained about the problems they are facing and supported a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan Plan, KIBRIS writes that Dr Cevikel has lost his job at the illegal ^”East Mediterranean University^‘ (EMU), while yesterday the ^”fighters ^“^‘ association removed Mr Demirtas from his post.

    Dr Cevikel has considered that his contract with the ^”EMU^‘ would not be renewed and reminded that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas himself had publicly given this instruction. ^”The people there (translator^“s note: the administration of the ^”EMU^‘) have put into practice this instruction^‘, added Dr Cevikel who described as ^”illegal and political^‘ the decision as for the moment there is not a ^”legal dean^‘ at the ^”EMU^‘.

    Dr Cevikel said that they were punished because they opposed to ^”the status quo that existed for 29 years^‘ and recalled Mr Denktas statement who had said: ^”I wish I had had him (Dr Cevikel) dismissed from the job^‘. Dr Cevikel said that he has been orally informed about the decision and added that he was expecting to receive it in writing as well.

    Furthermore, Dr Cevikel accused the so-called ^”prime minister^‘ Eroglu, his deputy Serdar Denktas and Turkey^“s envoy of suggesting his removal from his post.

    Meanwhile, Mr Demirtas said he was not surprised by the decision of the ^”fighters^“^‘ association, which had been taken after his statement that he would be by the side of the ^”pro-solution^‘ forces during the December ^”elections^‘. Mr Demirtas noted that from the very first day of its establishment the ^”association^‘ acts under instructions from outside and added that some members of the ^”association^‘ began to resign after he was removed from his post.

    [02] Akinci accuses Turkey of not following a stable policy on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.07.03) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) has accused the government of Turkey of not following a stable policy on the Cyprus problem. In a statement issued yesterday Mr Akinci noted, inter alia, the following:

    ^”^ŇThe Denktas-Eroglu-Serdar Denktas trio is working together with the military and civilian bureaucrats in Turkey who support the non-solution towards the direction of missing the opportunity of May 2004 as well. Worrying about a possible change during the December elections they had the general secretary of the National Security Council make a statement in favour of the status quo. Denktas is attacking the opposition and sling mud at it in a manner that is not appropriate for a president. Their aim is the non-solution of the Cyprus problem after May 2004. They see that afterwards the way of Turkey to the EU will be closed and actually this is what they want. Everybody remembers the words of the NSC general secretary, General Kilinc, which meant: ^—let go of the EU, look at Iran and Russia^“. The whole world knows any more that the modern democracy and the international law are scaring Denktas to death. ^ŇThe government of Turkey does not apply with the necessary determination its statements and does not follow a stable policy on the Cyprus problem. Mr Erdogan himself was praising the Annan Plan before the Hague and in a week^“s time he could say ^—we were deceived^“. Foreign Minister Gul who said that the ^—Annan Plan is on the table^“ a short time after Denktas had said that ^—The Annan Plan is dead and buried^“, is now saying that solution could be achieved with the Annan plan or otherwise. ^Ň^‘.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot civil engineers says it is impossible to settle in the buildings of the closed Varosha area

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.07.03) reports that Salim Piyale, chairman of the Chamber of the Turkish Cypriot Civil Engineers, said yesterday that settling people in the buildings of the occupied closed city of Varosha would not be easy and simple, because the buildings had been built 50 ^÷ 60 years ago and were not maintained for 30 years. As a result of this, he added, their life span has to a great extend been completed.

    Strengthening the buildings, which had been built with old technology used before 30 years ago, added Mr Piyale, could be very expensive. The maintenance cost could be equal to the cost of building new buildings, noted Mr Piyale adding that some civil engineers from Turkey had visited Varosha and inspected the buildings there.

    [04] A new platform, under the name ^”This state is our Alliance^‘, was established at the pseudostate

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper AFRIKA (23.07.03) reports that a new allience, consisting of seven organizations, was established at the pseudostate under the name ^”This state is our, Alliance^‘.

    As the paper reports the Alliance wants the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Mehmet Ali Talatī s ^”parliamentary^‘ immunity to be lifted and he should to be tried, because of his behavior towards Mr Rauf Denktas and because he called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to resign. The organization also called on all the ^”deputies^‘ of the pseudoparliament who treat Mr Denktas ^”inappropriately^‘ to resign because, as it was stated, they do not keep their oath to protect the existence of the pseudostate.

    The members of the organizations which made up of the alliance are the following: The Mothersī Association, the Consumersī Associations, the Consumersī Union, The Human Rights Association, the ^”Civil Servants^‘ī Trade Union, The Association of the ^”Refugees from the South who Faced Damages and the Paphos Turks Union.

    [05] Turkish Cypriots soccer players were punished for participating in bi-communal sporting activity

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (23.07.03) reports that six Turkish Cypriot soccer players who participated in a bi-communal sporting activity were punished by the so-called ^”Turkish Cypriot Football FederationĽ. The players were deprived of their right to play football for a period of three months.

    The Turkish Cypriot players participated in a football game where a bi-communal mixed team played against a mixed team of the UN and the EU in a game organized in the buffer zone by the Italian Embassy to Nicosia.

    [06] Political parties against sending troops to Iraq

    According to Turkish Daily News (23.07.03), the majority of Turkish political parties have declared that they were against any possibility of sending Turkish troops to Iraq as peacekeepers under the command of the United States.

    Paper says that as the unofficial negotiations between Turkish and American officials continue over sending Turkish troops to Iraq as peacekeepers, most Turkish political parties declared yesterday that they were against sending troops to Iraq.

    Stating that Turkish Parliament will not accept any decision which will endanger the lives of thousands of Turkish soldiers and make them targets of separatist terrorizm, New Turkey Party (NTP) leader Ismail Cem said that "There will be no vote even from ruling JDP for such a decision."

    Cem visited Ataturkīs Mausoleum in Ankara with a Party delegation on the occasion of the first annivarsary of the establishment of NTP and answered questions from journalists on some issues of the agenda.

    Cem also warned Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul not to give a false impression during his visit to Washington. Cem continued to say that "Deterioration of Turkish-American relations cuased by the false impression given by JDP administration before the Iraq war and not keeping the promises."

    Cen said that "The separatist and reactionary terror organization in Iraq will especially target Turkish soldiers to destabilize Turkey and carry terrorizm to our country again. So I warn the government to be cautious."

    Turkish Daily News further reports that, the Felicity Party (FP) deputy leader Temel Karamollaoglu revealed his party's opposition to sending troops to Iraq and said that "Turkish soldiers should not be human shields for American soldiers."

    Claiming that sending troops to Iraq will deteriorate the relations of Turkey with its neighbors and other countries in the Middle East, Karamollaoglu stated that "American soldiers increased their oppression over Iraqi people becuase of their increased fears. So they wanted soldiers from other countries to die instead of themselves. Turkey is also among these countries. The government presents the American demand for Turkish troops as the sign of the friendship between the two countries, as the U.S. has still not apologized for detention of Turkish soldiers. Turkish soldiers could not be sent to a quagmire. This could deteriorate the relations of Turkey with its neighbours and the countries in the Middle East as Turkey does not need such a thing."

    Karamollaoglu also claimed that Turkey may be a target of the United States eventually.

    Also, Great Union Party (GUP) leader Muhsin Yazicioglu stated that "If Turkey sends troops to Iraq under the terms and conditions of Americans, Turkish people may experience a Vietnam."

    Saying that "After detention of Turkish soldiers in Suleymaniyah, the U.S. demand for Turkish soldiers in Iraq is a strategic step of the U.S.," Yazicioglu stated that ^”Sending Turkish troops to Iraq should be under the decision and command of the United Nations."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] HURRIYET columnist supports use of Turkish troops in International Force in Iraq

    Ertugrul Ozkok writing in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (22.07.03) under the title: ^”What happens to an army that goes 40 years without fighting?^‘ Writes the folloing:

    ^”I heard the following classic comment recently from a former military commander for whom I have great respect. This reportedly reflects a general approach that is accepted in the American military as well.

    According to this,

    `If an army goes for 20 years without fighting, it forgets about war. If it does not fight for 40 years, the country forgets about its army. And if it does not fight for 60 years, the country begins to ruin its soldiers.ī

    Startling, But...

    [This is] A military mentality that is startling and thought-provoking for generations, such as our own, that were born only after the great war, and have not lived through large-scale wars.

    It might well be a good thing if all the armies in the world would forget how to fight, but we all know that there are a good many armies that will never forget how to fight.

    As long as they do not forget, it is impossible for us to forget, particularly in such a region as this.

    I learned this harsh reality through personal experience. And the fact that my family was uprooted and expelled from the country in which it was living also played a role in the formation of this mentality of mine.

    As a result, ever since the day when my intellectual makeup was first formed, I have always believed that the Turkish military has to be very strong.

    And I believe this even more today than I did in the past.

    After this introduction, I come to the following critical point.

    Should Turkey send troops to Iraq or not?

    I am not going to answer this question immediately.

    But I am going to relate some of my views regarding the Turkish military.

    Whoever wants to can draw whatever conclusions he or she might wish.

    I believe in the classic view regarding the greatness of nations.

    That is, in the theory that has been valid since the first periods of history.

    In order to be a great state, it is not enough merely to have a large and strong economy.

    You have to possess a strong military at the same time.

    It is also not enough for your military to be strong. It is also necessary for other nations to acknowledge this strength.

    And it is essential as well for your army to have strong morale.

    I have my concerns regarding the [morale] situation of the Turkish military recently.

    Consequently, we should look back at the course of our military over the history of the past 100 years.

    This military lived through perhaps its most painful period in history during the Balkan War.

    The Balkan defeat turned into a feeling of suffering and shame in the spirits of Turkish officers that would be very difficult to remedy.

    This feeling was finally eliminated with the victory of the War of Independence.

    The period after that was the period in which the Turkish military step by step regained the psychological superiority that it had had during the period of the rise of the Ottoman Empire.

    The taking of Hatay, the Cyprus War, the struggle with the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan], and the strategic superiority established in Northern Iraq.

    The rejection of the motion by the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly] in my view dealt a very great blow to the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF).

    For, just as everyone with any sense has already written, this decision by Turkey left the Turkish military and the US military facing each other in Northern Iraq, and, unfortunately, erased one by one those "red lines" that we had put forth so boldly.

    And this shook the legend that the Turkish military had step by step constructed over 80 years.

    The second factor that has buffeted the legend of the Turkish military has been the controversy over the EU.

    For this debate has, unfortunately, gotten away from coolheaded people and, as happens all the time, become hostage to the marginal extremists.

    One the one hand we have the "so-called liberal-Islamist alliance" that, using the EU as an excuse, is trying to satisfy its need to "settle scores with the military in a crude manner", and on the other hand we have the so-called left that, under the "nationalist" label, takes a very crude nationalism all the way to calling for a military coup d'etat.

    To all this we must also add the stance of certain generals who are now approaching retirement.

    Yet Turkey could have continued its EU accession process while still maintaining the legend of its military, and indeed should have done so.

    For the European Union as well needs a strong Turkish military, just as much as Turkey itself does.

    Consequently, it is a duty of every one of us to prevent these debates from shifting onto a basis that would undermine the pride and the image of our military.

    After this introduction, I come to the same question.

    Should Turkey send troops to Iraq?

    Turkey has already sent troops to Kosovo and to Bosnia. These units carried out, and are continuing to carry out, very successful tasks there.

    In my view, they could successfully take on the same role here [i.e., in Iraq] as well.

    And in my view, this would also be the only way for the Turkish military to compensate for its declining role in the region.

    But there is one condition for this. That is for the United States to take not only Turkish troops into that region, but the troops of other nations as well, and thus to form a force with an international character.^‘

    [08] Birand: NSC General Secretariat a military inspection body

    The Turkish Daily News (22.07.03) publishes an article by Mehmet Ali Birand originally appeared in Turkish daily POSTA. Birand writes:

    ^”The National Security Council proper (NSC) and the NSC General Secretariat have always come to be confused with one another. The NSC is a board that meets once a month with the president in the chair, bringing together, on one side the prime minister and the ministers and bureaucrats concerned and, on the other side, the chief of staff and the force commanders plus the gendarmerie commander -- despite the fact that he is not a full-fledged force commander.

    This board, which Ertugrul Ozkok compares to the politbureau of the now defunct Soviet Union, was created for the first time in the wake of the May 27, 1960 coup. The aim was to ensure a continuous dialogue between the military and the civilian government.

    However, as years passed, its form was changed due to the March 12, 1971 coup attempt and the Sept. 12, 1980 intervention.

    In 1983, in order to be able to keep politics under control the Sept. 12 military administration pushed through Parliament a bill which altered the powers and duties of the NSC General Secretariat.

    Under the former system there existed a `medium sizedī body that served as the NSC secretariat. Its replacement kept expanding especially in the 1990s.

    In the end, it turned into an action-taking executive body that employs hundreds of civilian and military experts, a body that has various subcommittees or working groups, a body that has enormous powers and duties.

    It has become quite clear that they were embracing the idea that `Turkey's administration cannot be left to the civilian governments alone.ī

    In reality, the NSC had been devised, at the very beginning, as a body affiliated to the Prime Ministry, a body that would provide secretarial services to the prime minister on security issues.

    However, as time went by, it turned into a mechanism which enables the military to keep the civilian governments under check, a mechanism that permitted the military to take part in the administration.

    Similar institutions exist in other countries too. However, none of these have such sweeping powers. In other countries, such institutions do not go beyond their `advisory functionsī.

    The institution we have in our country operates fully as an executive body.

    These powers and duties are being amended not only to adjust to the European Union norms but also to be able to meet the needs of Turkey, a changing country.

    Subtitle: The changes to be made in the NSC General Secretariat's powers and duties

    Article 9 involving the `distribution and follow-up of the Council of Ministers decisions on NSC decisionsī by the NSC General Secretariat, is being scrapped. Under the existing system the NSC General Secretariat provides information to the president, to the prime minister and to the NSC on the implementation of the government decisions related to NSC decisions.

    Article 13 defining the NSC General Secretariat's duties is being scrapped altogether. It is being replaced with a new article that says that the NSC General Secretariat will fulfil the job of the NSC secretariat, that it will `fulfil the tasks assigned to it by the NSC and by the lawsī.

    Under the existing system, the law says that the NSC General Secretariat coordinates overall defense services that remain outside the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces, following up on the arrangements made in this sphere.

    Also under the existing system the law says that the NSC General Secretariat works on the steps to be taken in case a state of emergency gets declared due to an escalation of the acts of violence and the public order gets seriously disrupted, determining the duties and obligations that would fall on private establishments in case of a state of emergency, war or post-war situation.

    It presents to the prime minister its proposals as to how to ensure coordination in practice.

    Article 14 involving the powers of the NSC General Secretariat is being scrapped.

    Under the existing system the NSC General Secretariat is authorized to take steps on behalf of the president, the prime minister and the NSC to ensure the fulfilment of the duties cited in Article 13, to follow-up on and set the direction of these activities in line with the directions it will receive.

    Article 19 involving `information and documentsī is being scrapped.

    Under the existing system the ministries, public establishments and corporate bodies have the obligation to deliver to the NSC General Secretariat -- regularly or when demanded ^÷ open and secret information and documents of different digress.

    Subtitle: A secret set of directives

    Furthermore, there is a set of directives issued in 1983, that is, regulations that are being kept SECRET.

    With the proposed changes these SECRET regulations would be cancelled. It is being stated that new regulations would be issued.

    Subtitle: You decide

    If you say that in today's Turkey there is no need for the NSC General Secretariat to have wide powers, then let us trim these powers.

    If, on the other hand, you say that indeed there is a need for these, then let us invite the military to govern us. Then there would be no need for elections or anything like that.

    However, there is another face to the coin.

    These amendments must not create a vacuum.

    The Prime Ministry must fulfil these tasks.

    And we -- and the nongovernmental organizations -- should undertake the responsibility for applying checks and controls on the civilian government.

    We should not put that burden on the military. When things go wrong, we, ourselves, should rise rather than calling out, `Commander, where are you?ī

    Only that way we can keep democracy alive.^‘

    [09] Gul going to Washington for the final rendezvous with US Washington

    English language Turkish daily, the Turkish Daily News (23.07.03), publishes an article by Mehmet Ali Birand, appeared in Turkish daily POSTA under the above title Birand writes:

    ^”Gul will be treated like a PM

    During his stay in Washington it would have been only normal for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to meet with Secretary of State Powell and with the boss of the National Security Council, Rice.

    Yet, Gul will meet also with Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz. It is significant that the meetings with Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz have been sought by the Pentagon. Obviously, America's military wing has got things to say.

    Subtitle: A new page will be turned mutually

    How should we see this trip? I am sure there will be those journalists who will write that the U.S. is to express apologies to Turkey or that the U.S. is giving Turkey too little in an attempt to mend the fences. I think such assessments would lead to highly erroneous conclusions.

    It would be best to see this trip as a step, the first step, towards reconstruction of the `collapsed bridgeī in the Turkey-U.S. relationship.

    The most important aspect of the talks will be that the `red linesī which Turkey and the U.S. will have to observe in the future, will be redrawn:

    1. NORTHERN IRAQ:

    The situation in northern Iraq will be a significant item on the agenda.

    * Regarding the PKK-KADEK issue, will the U.S. give Turkey the guarantees being sought, and, with the implementation of the Returning Home Bill, close down the camp the militants have in northern Iraq? This is the most important issue from Ankara's standpoint.

    * In return, the U.S. will demand clarification of the activities of the Turkish military presence in the region. Efforts will be made to bring about an agreement regarding coordination between Turkish officials and the U.S. command. There is also another possibility, a strong one. The U.S. may demand that our troops be withdrawn from the region.

    * Turkey will also be trying to obtain from the Americans a pledge towards securing the Turkmen presence.

    2. IRAQ:

    The "measure" of Turkish participation in the American activities in overall Iraq will be determined. Whether the Turkish troops will provide support in a UN or NATO context will be determined in a definite manner along with the nature of the role Turkey will play in Iraq's reconstruction.

    3. IRAN-SYRIA:

    Washington will want to hear from Gul's mouth Turkey's Iran and Syria policies. On this issue will Ankara act together with Washington or will it adopt a different stance? That will probably be the issue that will put more strain on Gul than any other topic.

    4. CYPRUS:

    Cyprus is the only issue that keeps its place on the agenda and will surely be raised by both the Turkish side and by the Americans during this meeting as well.

    Washington will press for resolution of the Cyprus problem by May 2004 on the basis of the Annan Plan.

    Ankara will demand that Washington put pressure on Greek Cypriots and on Greece to ensure that the `TRNCī will be given a `more prominentī sovereignty. Ankara will also want that a solution be sought to the Cyprus problem outside the Annan Plan.

    5. ARMENIA:

    Washington will reiterate its call for the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border gate, stressing that this way both the U.S. and Turkey can get rid of the Armenian Bill pressure.

    Naturally, some other topics, economy for example, too will be discussed.

    Subtitle: Does JDP have that vision? During this trip Washington will speak less, preferring instead to listen to Gul. What Gul has got to say will indicate whether it will be possible to rebuild the bridges with Turkey. The future of the relationship will be shaped according to what the Americans will hear from Gul.

    This trip can end up being an ordinary visit unless Gul has a grand "vision".

    Will Turkey, seeing that the Turkey-U.S. relations underwent a profound change in the aftermath of March 1, develop a new policy, use a new rhetoric accordingly?

    Do you think the Justice and Development (JDP) can make such a change? I doubt that. However, frankly, I would like to see Gul surprise us.

    /SK


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