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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-08-06

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.147/03 06.08.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas claims that the customs union of Turkey with his regime would not negatively affect Turkey^“s relations with the EU.
  • [02] Talat: ^”Denktas has no will for solving the Cyprus problem^‘.
  • [03] The chairman of the illegal Turkish settlers meets with the responsible for Turkish affairs of the US embassy.
  • [04] Turkmen stated that Denktas is against the European Union.
  • [05] Durduran: ^”The education right of the Greek Cypriots at Karpass Peninsula is prevented^‘.
  • [06] The occupation regime tried to prevent Nese Yasin from participating in a students forum at a University in Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Commentary in MILLIYET supports that ^”the stand Ankara takes on Cyprus is a determining factor in the EUīs mind^‘.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas claims that the customs union of Turkey with his regime would not negatively affect Turkey^“s relations with the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.08.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, claimed yesterday that the customs union of Turkey with his regime would not cause any problems in Turkey^“s relations with the European Union (EU).

    Asked after one of his meetings yesterday whether or not the customs union of Turkey with the pseudostate will cause any problems in Turkey^“s relations with the EU, Mr Denktas alleged: ^”It should not cause any problems. Certainly Turkey comes here after having examined this. We do not feel like defending Turkey without this being necessary^‘. Mr Denktas argued that the customs union with the pseudostate was Turkey^“s duty against ^”those who are roughly treated^‘ being under an ^”embargo^‘.

    [02] Talat: ^”Denktas has no will for solving the Cyprus problem^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.08.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas does not want to solve the Cyprus problem.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Mr Talat argued that both the equality and the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots and the active guarantees of Turkey exist in the Annan Plan. ^”What does not exist is the will of president Denktas for a solution^‘, he added. Mr Talat argued that Mr Denktas becomes more isolated every day and that his anger against the supporters of the solution, the EU and the Annan Plan increases.

    Mr Talat added: ^”Not only Turkey^“s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and HURRIYET columnist, Mr Ilter Turkmen established the fact that the Annan Plan includes the sovereignty, the equality, the security, the founding state and a new Cyprus and the fact that it is the best opportunity for solving the Cyprus problem prepared until today. The great majority of the Turkish Cypriots has also established this. The Annan Plan is created on the basis of two states, which share the sovereignty. These two states and their peoples will establish the new state of Cyprus. In the same way, the referendum provided for in the Annan Plan and prevented by president Denktas himself, is a way of expressing the people^“s self-determination right^‘.

    [03] The chairman of the illegal Turkish settlers meets with the responsible for Turkish affairs of the US embassy

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.08.03) reports that Mr Nuri Cevikel, chairman of the association of the illegal Turkish settlers brought into Cyprus after the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, met yesterday with Mrs Helen Lovejoy, responsible for Turkish affairs at the US embassy in Nicosia.

    In statements after the meeting Mr Cevikel said that they had the opportunity to inform the American official both orally and in writing about the problems and the expectations of the Turkish settlers.

    Mr Cevikel reiterated his support to the forces, which support the Annan plan, the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession to the EU. Mr Cevikel said that they agreed with Mrs Lovejoy to continue their meetings and added that they intent to inform all the countries, which are a party to the Cyprus problem, about their problems and expectations regarding the agreement in Cyprus.

    [04] Turkmen stated that Denktas is against the European Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper YENI DUZEN (06.08.03) reports that Mr Ilter Turkmen, former Turkish ambassador and Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, is against the European Union (EU). Mr Turkmen made this statement yesterday morning during a programme of Turkish Cypriot SIM FM Radio Station.

    Stressing that there is a great disagreement between him and the Turkish Cypriot leader regarding the European Union, Mr Turkmen said: ^”He considers the EU to be a disaster while I consider the EU to be a peace project and I believe that the future of Turkey is with the European Union forces^‘. Mr Turkmen also said that he believes that a large section of the Turkish Cypriots, along with the respect they feel for Mr Denktas, have the opinion that the EU is more appropriate for their benefits.

    Speaking about the Annan Plan, Mr Turkmen said that the best thing about the Plan is that it gives the Turkish Cypriots the right to reject it. He also repeated that the Annan Plan refers to the creation of a new state which will be created by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and that the Plan creates both the establishment of a community and of two regions.

    [05] Durduran: ^”The education right of the Greek Cypriots at Karpass Peninsula is prevented^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper ORTAM (06.08.03) reports that Mr Alpay Durduran, the secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM), stated that the education right of the Greek Cypriots in the Karpass Peninsula is prevented. Mr Durduran made this statement during a meeting of PUM with the Greek Cypriot Committee of Education of the Karpass Peninsula and the Rizokarpasso Association.

    Stressing that Greek Cypriot schools must exist at Karpass peninsula, Mr Durduran stated that the right of education is a right secured by the Vienna Treaty. He also said that especially these days it is wrong to prevent education.

    On its part the Greek Cypriot Committee of Education of the Karpass Peninsula stated that it is important for efforts to be made in order for the Greek Cypriot students of the peninsula to receive education in their region. The Committee also stated that it expects the support of the Turkish side on this issue.

    [06] The occupation regime tried to prevent Nese Yasin from participating in a students forum at a University in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper YENI DUZEN (06.08.03) reports that the occupation regime along with the so-called embassy of the pseudostate in Ankara, tried to prevent Turkish Cypriot poet Nese Yasin from participating in a students forum that will take place at the Ankara Middle East University.

    As the paper reports the senate of the University replying to the paper^“s questions said that Rauf Denktas reacted against the participation of Mrs Yasin to the forum. The University senate also stated that it was not their demand that Mrs Yasin should not participate in the forum, but the demand of the so-called embassy of the pseudostate in Ankara. The pseudo embassy alleged that Mrs Yasin lives in the south and does not represent the opinion of the Turkish Cypriots. Speaking to YENI DUZEN , Mrs Yasin said that she will participate in the forum. ^”The intervention was made by a dictator side^‘, she said.

    The forum, which is taking place today (6th of August), is organized with the initiative of the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr George Papandreou, and the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mr Ismail Cem. The theme of the forum is the History books in Cyprus. According to the paper five Turkish Cypriot and five Greek Cypriot students will participate in the forum.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Commentary in MILLIYET supports that ^”the stand Ankara takes on Cyprus is a determining factor in the EUīs mind^‘

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (04.08.03) publishes the following commentary by Yasemin Congar, under the title: "Turkey's big chance":

    I wrote about this earlier. A Bush administration official who understands Turkey well reportedly said during a meeting a few months ago: "It would be wrong to put the question as: 'Will Turkey continue to preserve its importance?'" Then he continued with language that echoed how Washington can never be sure about what is happening in Ankara: "Turkey will retain its importance in all circumstances. The question we must ask is: 'Will Turkey be important because it is a country that cannot maintain its stability, that is perennially unable to solve its problems, and that is never at peace at home or with its neighbours; or because it is a country that can look at its future with confidence and that can build stability in its region?'"

    As the lethargy of August settles on the politics of the northern hemisphere these days, just about everyone in the U.S. capital who stops for a moment and looks at Turkey carefully sees us "on the threshold of an opportunity" that can answer the question posed above.

    Each one of us who carry a Turkish identity card bear in our minds a question that has become part of our national heritage: "What will happen to this country?" The question of whether "we will be important for this reason or the other" is not much different from that. The opportunity mentioned above is a chance to solve this problem in a way that would make asking such questions absurd some day.

    U.S. officials believe that the way Turkey takes advantage of this opportunity in the areas of economics, security, democratization, and integration would be a test for many sectors in Turkey ranging from the JDP [Justice and Development Party] and the military to the business community, the media, and civilian bureaucracy.

    Which mentality in Turkey weighs heavier will also be a factor in determining the outcome of this test. Success will depend on taking the steps that are opposed by the nightmare ideologues of the right and the left that have formed an alliance--which RADIKAL described as the "Red Apple Coalition" in its headline yesterday--around visionless nationalism and resistance to change. This circle "is opposed to concessions on Cyprus, membership in the EU, and adaptation laws" and is "convinced that the United States and the EU want to break up Turkey." Whether we can take the steps this circle resists will determine whether we waste the opportunity that stands before our country. Now let us look at the elements of this opportunity.

    Subtitle: Growth Without Inflation

    After we hit rock bottom as a result of the economic crisis, we were able to take important steps toward rescuing the economy from the yoke of politics and the influence of the state and making it more prosperous with a fairer distribution of wealth. The JDP government has continued the reforms of the three-party coalition. Today we can talk about 5 percent growth with only 20 percent inflation. Even so the fragility caused by a heavy debt burden and high interest rates continues.

    The IMF's latest decision that reduces our debt burden in 2004 is a valuable opportunity. An IMF official commenting on the decision said: "Turkey stands at a critical threshold. We decided on a repayment scheme similar to those applied in other countries to help Turkey cross this threshold more easily. We hope that Turkey will use the relief provided by this decision as well as other resources to improve its debt composition." In sum the IMF wants the budget discipline to be strictly preserved. It is essential that the $8.5-billion loan from the United States be used to payoff the high-interest domestic debt and that populist spending be avoided.

    Most importantly there must be a perception that the "program is back on track" today despite some of the sways of the JDP in the past, and the market must be reassured that this will continue. The IMF is optimistic that if there are no failures in the discipline of the program and the reforms are not delayed the threshold of 2004 will be crossed without any problems and that Turkey will enter a new era of growth with no inflation.

    Subtitle: Confidence Crisis

    Although guerrilla attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq are still continuing, the overthrow of the Saddam regime and Washington's determination not to allow a similar government from taking power in Baghdad offer the promise of overcoming Turkey's security concerns. The first concrete step in that direction is the assurance the United States has given Turkey to disallow the presence in the region of PKK-KADEK [Workers Party of Kurdistan-Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] militants who refuse to take advantage of Turkey's Rehabilitation to Society Law.

    For Ankara an end to the presence of PKK-KADEK in Iraq means seeing the Kurdish problem without a terrorist dimension and within the framework of the requirements of democracy. It would not be difficult to maintain constructive relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds who see their political future as being tied to Baghdad. This can facilitate the efforts to make southeastern Anatolia happier and more prosperous.

    The United States will effectively be our southern neighbor for some time. As Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul pointed out in Washington, U.S. success in Iraq "is definitely in Turkey's interest; the opposite would mean chaos." Consequently we have to engage in closer cooperation with the United States in Iraq, and contributing soldiers to the stability force there is an opportunity in that respect.

    Subtitle: More Democracy

    The political reforms that have prompted applause for the JDP government in Washington and European capitals will now have to pass the test of implementation. In order for the EU adaptation laws to have any meaning the political authority must demonstrate at every level that it will defend these reforms, and the bureaucracy must approach the issue with a discipline that will break its resistance to reform.

    Washington supports all the democratization steps, including the ending of the status of the National Security Council as a mechanism for military intervention in politics, with "cautious optimism." Knowing that making civilian rule a custom will take time, U.S. officials believe that the media, the business world, and the nongovernment organizations have as much work to do as the JDP on this issue.

    Subtitle: Choice of Europeanness

    One expectation that is very frequently voiced in Ankara is that the EU cannot ignore the steps Turkey has taken and that it must signal that it will start full membership talks. Although Washington supports this expectation it also has called on Turkey to be more realistic, especially on the Cyprus problem. One U.S. official commented: "Instead of insisting on 'a positive decision from the EU first and then solution steps in Cyprus,' The Turkish government would do better to tell its public bravely that a solution in Cyprus would brighten the future of both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey and that it supports a solution based on mutual concessions.

    Realism requires realizing that the stand Ankara takes on Cyprus is a determining factor in the EU's mind."

    In order to use this opportunity with all these elements to achieve an importance based on successes rather than one indexed to crises, we must be prepared to overcome all hurdles including bombs set off on the left and on the right by enemies of change. Most importantly the government must realize that these opportunities will not be there forever and taking advantage of them requires political horsemanship skills that go beyond simplistic shows of youthful exuberance.

    /SK


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