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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-10-08

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.190/03 08.10.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader repeats that he is defending Turkeyīs rights in Cyprus.
  • [02] Denktas and Ertugruloglu will go to Malaysia for the summit of the Islamic Conference Organization.
  • [03] Turkish settlers fight with each other for the so-called citizenship of the occupation regime.
  • [04] VOLKAN calls on ambassador Klosson to ^”go home^‘.
  • [05] The Turkish Grand National Assembly approved the motion to send troops to Iraq.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in MILLIYET analyses opposite views in Ankara over Cyprus.
  • [07] Dear Denktas, step down now.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader repeats that he is defending Turkeyīs rights in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.10.03) reported from Kutahya that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, on Monday said that the Cyprus issue was a geopolitic and strategic issue of Turkey.

    Addressing the opening of the academic year of Dumlupinar University in western Kutahya province, Mr Denktas, inter alia, said: '' The Cyprus problem is not the issue of Turkish Cypriots. It is not an issue that is not solved due to the resistance of Denktas. The Cyprus issue is a geopolitic and strategic issue of Turkey. Turks' patience will never end in protecting the country. If you are Turk, you will be patient. EU member countries say 'Turks are not suitable for us ideologically.' They want to make Cyprus a Greek island. This fight started like that and Turks resisted against it.

    If we accept the Annan plan, the right which Turkey gained in 1960, the right to intervene and the Turkish-Greek balance on the island will end. Turkey will no longer have rights on Cyprus. Because according to the 1960 treaties, Cyprus can't become a member of an organization without Turkey. The Greek Cypriots violated that agreement and it is on the way to become an EU member. They want me to sign this illegitimate application and make it legitimate. I won't do that. We will go for elections in December. The U.S., the U.K, and the EU openly support the opposition. They say that the Cyprus issue can't be sorted out with Denktas. I have become the target as I defend the rights of Turkey on Cyprus. We won't give them up.^‘

    [02] Denktas and Ertugruloglu will go to Malaysia for the summit of the Islamic Conference Organization

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (08.10.03) reports that the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the pseudostate, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, will depart from occupied Cyprus this morning in order to participate in the summit of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO), which will take place on the 13th of October at Putrajaya, Malaysia.

    The paper reports that Mr Denktas will also participate in the ICO summit, representing the pseudostate and he will be accompanied by a delegation of the so-called Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Ertugruloglu and the delegations of the pseudo ministry will return to occupied Cyprus on the 19th of October.

    [03] Turkish settlers fight with each other for the so-called citizenship of the occupation regime

    Under the banner front-page title ^”Citizenship disgrace!^‘ Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.10.03) reports that every day there is a big crowd in front of the so-called Immigration Department, where the applications of Turkish settlers for getting the ^”citizenship^‘ of the occupation regime have increased.

    The paper writes that hundreds of people applied for the ^”citizenship^‘ during the last weeks and describes the situation at the ^”Department^‘ as a ^”total disgrace^‘. Yesterday, notes KIBRIS, people began pushing and shoving each other after waiting for hours their turn. Some of them began fighting with each other using knives and their fists, continues KIBRIS, adding that the so-called police interfered to calm the situation down.

    Furthermore, the paper writes that because of the many applications for ^”citizenship^‘, long queues are seen at ^”Burhan Nalbantoglu^‘ hospital in occupied Nicosia. People wait there from the early morning hours in order to get a health report and submit it with their application for ^”citizenship^‘, writes KIBRIS.

    Meanwhile, elsewhere the paper reports that there was an information yesterday at the backstage of the ^”assembly^‘ that the so-called government of the regime gave the ^”citizenship^‘ to 3.000 more people since 30 September 2003. According to the same information, the ^”Ministry of Interior^‘ has sent a list with 3.000 names to the ^”Supreme Election Council^‘, in order to be added to the ^”electoral list^‘.

    The above-mentioned information caused the strong reaction of the General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, who warned the pseudogovernment that there would be trouble if the number of the voters were between 140.000-145.000.

    [04] VOLKAN calls on ambassador Klosson to ^”go home^‘

    Under the banner front-page title ^”Yankee, go home^‘, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (08.10.03) calls on the US ambassador to Nicosia, Mr Michael Klosson ^”to go home^‘ and stop interfering in the internal affairs of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper argues that Turkish-speaking employees of the US embassy are visiting villages where mainly Turkish settlers live and urge them to vote for the opposition parties at the December ^”elections^‘.

    Furthermore, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the occupation regime, issued yesterday a written statement accusing Mr Klosson of behaving as ^”a governor of a colony^‘ and protested for his interference in the ^”elections^‘.

    [05] The Turkish Grand National Assembly approved the motion to send troops to Iraq

    Turkish Daily News (08.10.03) reports that after convening in a closed-door session, the Turkish Parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of a government motion to send peacekeeping troops to neighboring Iraq, a move that would relieve the United States as it is struggling to restore order in the war-weary country and make Turkey the first Muslim country to commit troops to Iraq.

    The motion cleared Parliament with a majority vote of 358-183. Two deputies abstained.

    The number and location of the troops were not specified in the passed motion, which foresees a one-year deployment for Turkish troops in Iraq. Those details were left up to the government and are due to be settled in subsequent talks between Turkish military and Foreign Ministry officials and the United States, which have been under way for several weeks.

    In an effort to convince his Justice and Development Party (JDP) deputies, some of whom have expressed reservations against any deployment in Iraq, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a meeting prior to the parliamentary vote the party should act in unity and stressed that deployment would be in the interests of Turkey.

    "Every task has its risks. ... But by sending troops, we can have a say in the new design [of Iraq]. We have to go there for the sake of Turkey's own well-being and future," Erdogan reportedly told deputies in private discussions.

    The government stipulated that Turkey had a vital interest in helping to restore stability in neighboring Iraq and indicated that deployment would help crush terrorists of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), based in northern Iraq.

    The vote came amid reports that the Iraqi Governing Council has adopted a resolution against the dispatch of Turkish troops to Iraq. Council member Mahmud Ali Osman, known as being close to the outlawed PKK, told Agence France Presse that the council had unanimously voted against Turkish troops.

    Reports sparked further objections from the opposition Republican People's Party (RPP), which voted against the motion, prompting Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to address Parliament for a second time.

    The mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, Feridun Celik, told private CNN-Turk television that the deployment in Iraq could spark unrest in southeastern Anatolia, populated mostly by Kurds.

    The troops are to be sent as part of a separate section in Iraq that would be run by a Turkish commander, the government said in the passed motion. That section is expected to start 150 kilometers south of the Turkish-Iraqi border and run parallel to Iraq's boundaries with Syria and Jordan.

    The number of troops is also to be established by the government, in line with results of deliberations at the General Staff. There have been reports suggesting that the number could be as high as 10,000, which would make Turkey the country with the third largest deployment in Iraq after the United States and Britain.

    But other reports have indicated that the number could be far less. According to private NTV television, the number of troops to be sent is 5,000-6,000 and this could be backed by a commando force of 800-1,000.

    Iraqi Kurdish groups have spoken out against a possible Turkish deployment, saying this could harm stability in Iraq and turn out to be detrimental to Turkey's interests as well.

    Many Turks, who are overwhelmingly opposed to the war, question whether their soldiers, many of them conscripts, should risk dying for a mission they don't support. A recent opinion poll indicated that more than 60 percent of Turks are against sending troops.

    The government has been trying to distance itself from the unpopular occupation. "Those who go there must go there to help bring peace to Iraq," Foreign Minister Gul said on Monday. "Turkey will definitely not be part of the occupation."

    The vote came immediately after the government submitted the motion to Parliament late on Monday.

    In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman welcomed the government's move. "Turkey has an important role to play in stabilizing Iraq. We are continuing our discussions with Turkish authorities on the details of a possible deployment," spokesman Richard Boucher said on Monday.

    Boucher also reiterated that there was no place for terrorists in Iraq and noted that an action plan, worked out last week with the Turkish government, would "subdue the terrorist threat that might exist in this area."

    Assurances by Washington, given during last week's talks with a U.S. delegation led by Cofer Black, who heads the Counterterrorism Department of the State Department, are widely seen as helpful in easing parliamentarians' opposition to deployment.

    "Turkey is absolutely determined to take all necessary measures to prevent Iraq's territory being used as a base for [PKK] terrorists," the text of the motion said in language clearly designed to win over wavering lawmakers.

    Turkey and the United States agreed on a joint action plan against the PKK, which is also known as KADEK and which is estimated to have some 5,000 terrorists in the mountains of northern Iraq.

    When asked if this action plan involved the joint operation with the Turkish military, State Department spokesman Boucher declined to comment and said instead, "We worked out an action plan that describes the kind of things that we can do, but I won't have any more details about the military aspects at this point."

    The government is keen to repair ties with the United States, which recently agreed on a package of loans for Turkey worth $8.5 billion to help stabilize its shaky economy and compensate for losses incurred during the Iraq war.

    Washington says the aid is conditional on Turkish cooperation in Iraq but does not hinge on the sending of peacekeepers.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in MILLIYET analyses opposite views in Ankara over Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (06.10.03) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "Dispute in the Cyprus policy":

    ^”As we approach the election process in the `TRNCī [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] the disputes regarding Ankara's Cyprus policy are becoming more obvious.

    Having adopted a stand against Denktas, the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government is extending support to the opposition. This can be seen from Foreign Minister Gul's statements regarding his contacts with the EU.

    The JDP government has adopted such a stand mainly because of the pressure imposed by the EU. The messages issued by Verheugen primarily and other EU officials stress that the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the Annan plan constitutes a sine qua non condition. Apparently, the government has decided to sacrifice Denktas for the sake of receiving a negotiation date from the EU.

    On the other hand, however, the Cankaya Presidential Mansion primarily as well as the Office of the Chief of the General Staff and the `TRNC Administrationī seem to be in favor of the traditional policy that Ankara has been pursuing for almost 40 years. This dispute is also seen in the National Security Council meetings from time to time. The fact that Foreign Minister Gul and other government officials have given assurance to the EU to the effect that "progress will be after the elections in the `TRNCī" means that the opposition will come to power in the `TRNCī and that a solution that is acceptable by the EU will be found with a Denktas-free administration.

    The top of the state views this as a promise made by the government. The dispute in Ankara's Cyprus policy becomes very obvious at this point.

    It is not clear however, whether or not this policy pursued by the JDP government against Denktas will guarantee a negotiation date from the EU.

    Cankaya, in turn, is very distressed and criticizes the government for taking steps that are in line with the desires of the EU and for making promises in this regard without guaranteeing a negotiation date in return. Ankara has failed to react to the fact that a Cyprus report which apparently supported the Greek Cypriot theses was submitted to the Organization of the Islamic Conference ministersī meeting in New York. This constitutes an indicator of the dimension of the dispute in Ankara.

    This is the first time in 40 years that Ankara is experiencing such a dispute regarding the Cyprus issue.^‘

    [07] Dear Denktas, step down now

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (08.10.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    ^”The Turkish people loves Rauf Denktas a lot. They see him as a smiling fatherly figure full of jokes, a leader who has not been implicated in any shady deal at all, a leader who thinks only of Cyprus.

    The Turkish people would like Denktas to go down in history with this kind of reputation. They would be upset to see him projecting -- as he has been in recent days -- the image of a bad-tempered, grumpy, elderly leader trying to cling on to the power seat.

    He is faced with two options both of which would cause him to be the loser:

    * The opposition may win the forthcoming elections in the ^”TRNC^‘. This possibility is growing with each passing day. The JDP government in Ankara not only refrains from giving Denktas its support but also plans to sign the Annan Plan with a few changes.

    Meanwhile, the military does not carry an "irresistible weight" in the decision-making process on such issues as it did in the past.

    If the opposition wins the election Denktas will come under great strain. In the end he will be left out of the loop by force whether he liked it or not. His resistance would not prove effective. Yet, none of us think that he deserves that kind of treatment. He must not push himself into such a situation.

    * If the opposition loses the election, that will trigger the kind of developments that would destroy Denktas's charisma, something he has built up over so many years.

    The legitimacy of the election results would be questioned. It would be claimed that he won the election thanks to the lobbying efforts of the military -- that is, the Turkish Peace Force on the island -- and through blackmail.

    Since he would resist to a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem, Denktas would be seen by the majority of the Turkish society as "the leader that blocks 70 million people's European Union path." He would not be able to cope with that "big burden". The public would blame him as "the person that has closed the EU door."

    Would resistance be worth risking all these negative developments? Denktas's statement that he would "veto it, resign if I must and put up resistance," has not received wide press coverage, failing to attract public interest. Is not this a significant sign?

    This is why I want to tell dear Denktas:

    "Resign now so that you will not find yourself in the position of the leader that has blocked Turkey's path. Both the opposition and we -- whom you have referred to as the 'armistice era press' [obviously meaning collaborators] -- consider Cyprus as important as you do and we love it as much as you do. See the reality.

    "Besides, you must nor forget that those who will be in power beyond December will have more clout than you would when it comes to bringing about changes in the Annan Plan.

    "So as not to miss that chance, the EU countries would put pressure on Greek Cypriots. Papadopoulos and those Europeans who do not want Turkey to be admitted into the EU, have pinned their last hopes on you. They want you to resist and ensure that the Cyprus problem will not be solved. This way both Greek Cypriots and those who want to block Turkey's EU path, will be the winners.

    Mr Denktas, do not give them an opportunity. Remain as the leader that has been in our hearts. Rest assured that we love you a lot and we want you to remain just the way you are."

    /SK


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