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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-10

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.212/03 8-9-10.11.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Chief of Staff discloses that even if Turkey is accepted in the EU it will not give up the occupation of Cyprus
  • [02] Statements on Cyprus by Erdogan during a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Finland
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister hopes for a solution in Cyprus after the so-called elections
  • [04] The occupation regime alleges that since the year 1571 the occupied area of Varosha belongs to EVKAF religious foundation, which has prepared an "Action Plan" to illegally open the closed city and calls its legal owners as "occupiers"
  • [05] Weston to start a tour in the region in order to feel out the situation for the "elections"
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Sami Kohen assesses the reaction in Turkey to the EU Progress Report
  • [07] Columnist in YENI DUZEN criticizes the plundering of the occupied closed area of Varosha

  • [A] NEW ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Chief of Staff discloses that even if Turkey is accepted in the EU it will not give up the occupation of Cyprus

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (09/11/03) publishes the following interview with the Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok by Mehmet Ali Kislali under the title: "The situation in Iraq creates difficulties"

    "When I went to the office of the Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok for a conversation, which lasted for one and a half hours, I remembered 40 years ago in 1963 when I made an interview for the "Milliyet" Newspaper with Gen. Cevdet Sunay, the Chief of General Staff at that time.

    When I said this to Gen. Ozkok, he showed the photograph of Gen. Sunay among the photographs of the previous Chiefs of General Staff hung on the wall and asked: "Are you coming here for the first time since that day?"

    I said, "No". "I visited all of the Chiefs of General Staff except two, but I am coming here for the first time to make an interview to be published".

    Subtitle: Gen. Ozkok Talks for the First Time

    Gen. Ozkok served at the Brussels headquarters of the NATO for two periods. He served one year at the NATO College in Rome and he also served for one year in the United States. Gen. Ozkok has an obvious ease in his relations with the media. For that reason, he did not make restrictions expressing concern related to the conversation that I recorded. From time to time I also reiterated according to my own perception the sentences that I had difficulty in deciphering due to the malfunctions of the tape recorder. I do not know, did I damage the real expressions of the Chief of General Staff when doing this?

    Even if that is so, I think that he would tolerate the mistakes resulting from primitiveness of technology. Here are my questions and the answers given by the Chief of General Staff during our conversation:

    Question: What is the most important security problem for Turkey today?

    Answer: All of what is happening around us. There are burning fires and smoldering fires in all of them. There are fires that stopped temporarily. The triangle of the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East, these are the hot points.

    The Balkans has entered into a relative order, but still no one is sure about this. Especially, what would happen to Kosovo could not be determined. Then it is requested that some responsibilities should be assumed within the framework of the ESDP [European Security and Defense Policy] identity. But the Europeans sometimes go too far on this subject and, as a result the United States is disturbed about this. It does not want initiatives in the form of developments, which would break or threaten the European-Transatlantic ties.

    A hot situation could erupt at any moment in the Caucasus. Twenty percent of Azerbaijan is under occupation. Ossetia-Chechnya is a major problem. The humanitarian aspect is predominant, but there are also aspects related to terrorism.

    Subtitle: Violence Creates Violence

    The situation in the Middle East has transformed from a single-centered crisis to a two-centered crisis. Only Israel was imposed in the Middle East up until now. It was a matter of having asserted itself. This could not be completely established.

    Violence encourages violence. It was not expected that a second crisis would erupt in Iraq in such conditions. When there is a polarization at one place, then a balancing pole is formed in another place and that creates more imbalance rather than balance, because the Middle East geography cannot cope with two crises at the same time. The situation formed to our south is a situation, which disturbs me the most at the moment, however whether it is the most important problem could be debated.

    Terrorist activities are increasing. If Iraq becomes a source of terrorism, then it would be of close interest to Turkey. We know that there are many [terrorist] organizations. They are immediately contacting the [terrorist] organizations in Turkey. The success of one encourages the other. It is occurring within a very complicated interaction. That is, instability in Iraq will also take Turkey under its influence very easily. Especially, when the formation in northern Iraq is compared with realities in our Southeastern Turkey, then it is obvious how much difficulty it would create for us.

    Subtitle: The Situation in Iraq Is Confused

    The United States puts the group in the north of Iraq [Tr. note: Kurds] too much in the forefront and sometimes they [the Kurds] play this in an exaggerated manner. At the moment, Iraq is in a situation such that we do not know what form it will take, because we do not know the details of the incidents. Also, we do not have complete control militarily within the incidents. They are doing some things. We also do not have the right to say anything because we are not there.

    For example, they are forming an army. What will be the ethnic composition of that army? How will they affect us and the relations among the groups there? Will it create hostility? Will those groups clash with each other? What will we do if they clash with each other?

    You know that previously we had mediated when the groups clashed with each other. If the same thing happens again, then no one knows what will happen. The Turkish Foreign Ministry is monitoring these, but as the military, we are obliged to make preparations to respond to these. We are doing this. We are organizing the operational situation of our forces in a manner that would answer various needs. But despite these, we do not know what will happen in Iraq. If Iraq is divided and especially if there is a formation in the north, [Tr. note Kurdish entity] then this will affect us a lot.

    Subtitle: We Do Not Have Aspirations on the Territories of Anyone Else

    Question: Is our presence in northern Iraq sufficient and large enough to prevent these types of developments?

    Answer: Materially, yes. Let us say that there are weapons and soldiers, there is also a symbolic force. That is, the determination expressed by the force there. Our units there are around 1500. That is a fact, which shows our determination there and how much that region affects us. It is obvious that we will be there. There is no formation that will change the reason for our being there. Our forces are remaining there at the moment, because there is not such a thing.

    But naturally, one should not draw a pessimistic picture for the formations in that region. We hope that common sense prevails. We hope that it becomes an Iraq, whose stable territorial integrity is preserved, whose sovereignty and unity, political integrity are preserved and its stability is established. We hope that its economy is revived. Then there is no problem for us. We do not have aspirations on the territories of anyone else. Our entire problem is not to harm our economic, political, military and social strength within the borders of the National Pact of 1920. Otherwise, we do not have any expectations from there.

    If there would be a division, then the part remaining outside of the north would be mainly Shiite. The environment in this situation will increase the influence of some countries in that region. It would whet their appetite. At least, they would think about entering into some plans there. What would be the political and military strength of the formation mentioned above? This would be reflected on us.

    Subtitle: Their Objective Is a Kurdish State

    Question: For years we have had contacts with the Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and sometimes there has also been cooperation. Have we not reached a point on which we could agree up until now?

    Answer: Turkey's policy is known. I cannot propose a new policy. These are for Iraq to exist within a constitutional and geographical integrity. The establishment of an independent Kurdish state, which Turkey opposes, is considered to be a threat to Turkey's own interests and regional security. Up until now, we have really cooperated with them on many issues in the fight against the PKK [Worker's Party of Kurdistan].

    We have helped them on many issues, on the issue of their training and we have given them money. Sometimes we had them protect our units there.

    Naturally, there are also the kinship of our people in these ties. Just as we mention kinship ties with the Turkomans, naturally, there are also kinship ties with the Kurds. But they are also saying these themselves. In the end the objective of all of them is to establish an independent Kurdish state in the region.

    Such a formation does not conform to our interests. Turkey says this openly. The coalition forces are also expressing that they will not permit such a formation. This is also necessary for regional stability. Such a formation would involve Iran, Syria and Turkey, together with Iraq and what it could lead to is unknown.

    Subtitle: We Want an Independent Iraq

    They are making a study. We do not know what kind of a formation will emerge. They are talking about a federation. There are also varieties of federation. Will it be geographical? Will it be based on ethnic principles? Will it be based on religion? Or will it be an administrative structuring based on percentages of the population? Will it be based on provinces? Best of all, will it be a unitary Iraq? We do not know these. We want to see an independent Iraq, with all of its natural resources belonging entirely to the people.

    Question: Are you concerned about the situation of the Turkomans? Recently, when you said that you would respond to the requests for help that could come from the north, whom were you referring to?

    Answer: I did not say Turkoman to the Greek journalist. But there were some people who interpreted it like that. It was as though they asked for help from us. What I said was that if there is an excessive action, initiative, a massacre against a group there, then Turkey cannot remain unconcerned about this. There are historical examples.

    In my opinion, the reason for the Turkomans coming into the forefront is that the Turkomans are in greater need of protection. The others have their geographical regions. The Turkomans are scattered everywhere. Their activities are also different. They are mostly engaged in trade. Due to these situations, they are in greater need of protection.

    As far as I know, Turkey is not making a policy of discrimination. But the fact that the Turkomans need protection makes their situation sensitive in case of turmoil. The attribute of the Turkomans separating them from the others is stemming from this.

    Question: You expressed with a delicate style in you statement the gravity of the Al-Sulaymaniyah incident. According to my observations the incident made an even stronger impact on the Turkish public.

    Answer: Of course. The incident upset all of us from the way it was done. It was also us who suffered the most from this. If we would analyze the incident well, then actually it was situation in which we acted very prudently.

    If we had not acted prudently there and a clash had erupted, then they would have put the entire blame upon us today. They would say that we were doing something and they caught us. The subject has been discussed a lot. There were orders given. You had also mentioned them in your article. Naturally, the Al-Sulaymaniyah incident hurt us a lot. Acting in this manner increased our hurt. We behaved very prudently. Thus, we gained superiority in the situation. Naturally, we also examined the subject. What was openly said to us was like this, but naturally, you cannot be one hundred percent sure. The subject was not something that was done in accordance with a policy from above.

    Subtitle: Relations With the United States

    In any case, the expectations of the United States from us in the future are not something that would contribute to what would happen in the region. It is a situation stemming from the way they are educated.

    We have something like this; training for battle order teaches one how the job should be done most appropriately. Their system is like that. They do not say, "My strategic partner. What have I done?"

    Question: All right, after the incidents when they talked with you did they do whatever was possible to do? Did they apologize?

    Answer: We did between the military counterparts, but an apology was made both to us and to the government with the directives they received. But the word 'apology' is a word not used as we expect in international relations. They use the word 'regret' (Tr. note: General Ozkok used the word regret). At that time, it was decided like that. This was done in cooperation with the government and we considered it to be satisfactory. They apologized to us.

    Our counterparts expressed at every opportunity that they were very sorry about this incident. I am also saying this to them and to the US senators who came here. We should take measures that would influence our relations that would last for years. There should not be a repeat of this incident. If it were repeated, then this matter would not be as it was this time. This is an incident that happened. We all suffered from it. We tried to keep the incident where it should be in the form of a crisis management. Question: The present-day atmosphere shows that the Iraqi people do not want soldiers from foreign or neighboring countries.

    Answer: Actually, it is the UN approach. I do not know if there are exceptions. In general, forces from neighboring countries are not wanted. It could create internal problems and problems of enmity. But now there is a strange situation, as if we wanted it... No, the United States felt a need.

    Subtitle: Turkey Would Be Confined

    Question: The issue of Cyprus preserves its importance and current interest. Recently, you also said this to the Greek journalist, but could you elaborate somewhat more on the importance of Cyprus for Turkey?

    Answer: I explain the importance as follows: It is on a strategic line. It starts from England and goes through Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Suez Canal, India and Singapore. For that reason, England does not put its bases on Cyprus into the EU acquis communautaire. It wants to keep them as sovereign bases.

    The island of Cyprus is on this very important chain. If we would consider this from the aspect of Turkey, a hostile power to be deployed there, especially with the use of air power, provides the opportunity of reaching places that cannot be reached with aircraft at the moment in the entire eastern part of Turkey. You know that the aircraft coming from other countries can only remain in the air for a very short period of time, due to the distance. They say that when Turkey enters the EU these will be eliminated.

    We have to think for a much longer term. Our vision is deeper. When we look geographically, an air force deployed there would threaten Turkey from a very wide angle.

    Secondly, if there is a political formation in Cyprus that we do not want and on which we cannot be influential, there are the territorial waters. Subsequently, there is the continental shelf. After that there is also the economic zone. There are the fishing areas. Cyprus would be an area in which we could not move freely towards Turkey. In any case, we have a problem in the West. If we also have a problem in the South, then this would confine Turkey. This is what I think.

    Subtitle: Cyprus and the EU

    Question: When the subject of the ESDP or identity, that is the EU army, first came onto the agenda, one of the foremost concerns of the Turkish General Staff was the possibility of this force, which would be formed one day, being used against the TRNC. Now, if the TRNC does not unite with the Greek Cypriots and only the South becomes an EU member, then they are saying that Turkey, via the TRNC, would fall into the situation of occupying EU territory. What do you say about this?

    Answer: The statement that if Cyprus enters the EU, then the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) would be perceived as occupying a part of the EU territories is the statement of the opposite side. It is not like that for us. We are there in accordance with an international agreement. This is not occupation. We always used the word 'intervention'. Let them say that.

    The ESDP and consequently the force that will emerge will be constituted from the forces of the countries. You know that there are limitations about where these forces could not be used. That subject has been regulated.

    I do not think that any European would come and say, "Come on, this is EU territory, get out of here in a few days" and fight and die for Cyprus. I also do not expect such an initiative from the EU. It could use economic sanctions, but that can also be met if you have political strength and a strong economy. You can show resistance. But let me say the following once again. We never wanted a non-solution in Cyprus.

    Question: What would you say on the subject of the organization of the TAF according to the view that classic wars have been replaced by 'conflicts with low intensity'?

    Answer: There were conventional wars and global threats based on protecting geography. These are gone. Now the perceptions of security have changed.

    Finally, it has been removed from being mainly based on geography and the perception of security based on the protection of interests has been adopted. This mostly stemmed from the needs arising from the diversification of threats. Uncontrolled migration, ethnical clashes, religious fundamentalism, the spreading of weapons of mass destruction. It became necessary to readapt softwares, doctrines, field manuals, strategies and concepts and all of these in response to the new threats. In response to developments it was necessary for the NATO as well as the national armies to adapt themselves to these new conditions.

    Subtitle: Turkey's Misfortune

    Question: What has been done in Turkey on these subjects?

    Answer: There are also many developments in Turkey. We have contributions to these within the NATO framework. Besides that, we have a characteristic. We were forced to preserve our conventional forces since a major part of the threats for us were not removed, as they were for other countries. Additionally, we were forced to take into account the operational needs of internal security, in case a need is felt once again. This is Turkey's misfortune. It could not decrease its army to a great extent as the other countries did. The Balkans, the Middle East, plus Iraq.

    Subtitle: Economy and Terrorism

    Question: Additionally, there is also a potential threat of terrorism in Turkey. Do you agree with this?

    Answer: Yes, because our economic strength is weak. As our economy strengthens, this threat you mentioned will decrease. To be a citizen of a powerful country, means to be sure of one's future. To be happy. Only this way the extremes can remain ineffective. As the masses, who are not happy now in Turkey and are not sure of their future, get bigger then those groups resort to extremism. They are seeking a new lifestyle for themselves. They either say, "I cannot be happy in this world, then let me be happy in the other world" or they say, "Let me leave here and do something else". The ideas of separatism are created. This is Turkey's problem.

    Question: With the lessons learned from the recent past, the TAF is certainly ready for probable negative developments.

    Answer: Of course, it is necessary to think about everything. The existence of some groups, which are more sensitive to threats, which can be affected by those threats, can be mentioned. Two things should be done in the TAF. First of all, it is necessary to make the TAF smaller. To decrease the personnel and organization is one thing. To decrease in capabilities is something else. These are separate from each other. The TAF has done a lot of things in the past 10-15 years after the Warsaw Pact. It has transformed from the division to the more mobile brigade. It has transformed from the clumsy weapons in the weapons systems to those that are modern and to effective auxiliary systems.

    Subtitle: Military Service Is a Right and a Duty

    We have made preparations for decreasing the organization. The only thing I was able to do was to take into consideration the decrease in manpower. A change is difficult in the drafting military system as military service is a right and a duty according to the Constitution. The Turkish General Staff does not consider salaried military service to be ethically appropriate. We provided this by shortening the military service. Our force commanders did what was possible by making careful calculations. This was an advantage and provided a savings of 17 percent. But we cannot use this in another place, because there are also problems of the government. It is definitely necessary to realize noninterest income. But naturally, we should not sacrifice tomorrow when trying to save today."

    [02] Statements on Cyprus by Erdogan during a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Finland

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (07/11/03) broadcast that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a statement he made on receiving the Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, replied to the remarks made by the Greek government spokesman to the effect that Turkey should understand that the road to the EU passes through Cyprus. Alleging that the spokesman's style was ugly, Erdogan said: This approach is not an honest one.

    Erdogan held an hour-long meeting with the Finnish foreign minister. The major issues discussed at this meeting were Cyprus and the EU progress report. Erdogan said that the Cyprus issue is not included in the Copenhagen criteria, but that a de facto situation was created with the paragraph added to the progress report. Erdogan later raised the remarks made by the Greek government spokesman to the effect that Turkey should understand that the road to the EU passes through Cyprus. Erdogan said: "This approach is not an honest one. This style is ugly. If we are talking about the Copenhagen criteria, then Cyprus is not included among them. No one has the right to put a nonexistent thing in front of Turkey."

    Erdogan told the Finnish foreign minister that the EU countries should act fairly and should help Turkey get a date for the commencement of the negotiations. The Finish foreign minister, in turn, said that a date for the negotiations should be set on December 2004, adding: "We believe that Turkey is ready for this."

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister hopes for a solution in Cyprus after the so-called elections

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07/11/03) reported from Ankara that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja held a joint press conference following their meeting on Friday.

    In his statements Gul noted that he and Tuomioja took up the European Union (EU) Commission's Regular Report on the progress towards accession of Turkey for 2003.

    Foreign Minister Gul quoted Tuomioja as saying that expressions regarding Cyprus in the Strategy Plan for 2003 were "not an obligation, but there was such a general understanding in Europe."

    "Our view about this issue is obvious. Cyprus is not a part of the political criteria. Of course, Turkey wishes for solution of this issue and significant steps are being taken for it. Borders have been opened for the first time for the last 25 years and these are all confidence-building steps," Gul said.

    Gul stated that both sides should take action "if the issue was expected to be solved."

    "Compromise is a part of Europe. If a compromise is expected, the two sides should meet and reach this compromise. It won't be right to expect self-sacrifice only from the Turkish Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriot side should not behave in a relaxed manner saying 'it will join EU in any case.' Therefore, similar calls should be made not only to the Turkish Cypriot, but also to the Greek Cypriot side. We hope that the sides will sit at a table, negotiate and reach a satisfactory result before May 2004. Turkey always wishes for this," Gul said.

    When reminded that when a decision on Turkey would be taken in the EU summit in December 2004, Cyprus would be a member of the Union, Gul noted that they said continuously that international agreements were valid on the issue and they placed those things on record.

    Mr Gul added: "Of course, there are decisions which have been taken earlier. It is not in our hands" and stated that Cyprus' accession process to the EU started a long time ago.

    "The thing which should be done now is to put forward an acceptable agreement. I am sure that both sides will come together after the elections and exert efforts for a sincere solution. It should not be expected only from the Turkish Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriot side should also exert efforts for a compromise by assuming a similar sincere attitude," Gul went on.

    When a reporter said that Greece increased security measures on its border with Turkey, Gul said that Turkey and Greece were countries of this region and stated that the two countries decided to solve problems through dialogue. Gul said: "We hope that the two neighboring countries will solve problems through dialogue. Thus, everybody should talk positively."

    [04] The occupation regime alleges that since the year 1571 the occupied area of Varosha belongs to EVKAF religious foundation, which has prepared an "Action Plan" to illegally open the closed city and calls its legal owners as "occupiers"

    Under the banner front-page title "The action plan of the Wakfs for Varosha is ready", Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (08.11.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Wakf religious foundation (EVKAF), has prepared an "action plan" in order to open the occupied city of Varosha, which is closed since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    In a written statement issued on Friday, EVKAF's general director, Taner Dervish, said that the first step of this "action plan" was issuing an announcement addressed to the "occupiers" of Varosha, as he describes the Greek Cypriot legal owners of the city. The "occupiers", according to Mr Dervish are: The Greek Cypriot tourism companies, the Greek Cypriot church, the Greek Cypriot municipality, the Greek Cypriot school committees, the Greek Cypriots as individuals, the British Ministry of Defense, Turkish Cypriots as individuals.

    Furthermore, the announcement, published in the Turkish Cypriot press in English on Saturday (08.11.03), calls on the "occupiers" to get in touch with the foundation within 30 days and negotiate with it the issues of the "unlawful possession for many years" without EVKAF's permission and "without paying any rent".

    "Unless we hear from the concerned parties within 30 days of the date of this notice, we shall feel free to let and /or lease the said premises and /or properties to third parties", says the announcement.

    According to HALKIN SESI, the EVFAF foundation has prepared a "Master Plan" in order to "contribute to the economy" of the pseudostate. The statement of Mr Dervish alleges that the main objectives of the plan are: 1) Building tourist facilities having a 20 thousand-bed capacity, 2) Building five thousand working places and 3) Creating the opportunity for the employment of fifteen thousand persons.

    [05] Weston to start a tour in the region in order to feel out the situation for the "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.11.03) reports that according to ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency, Mr Thomas Weston, the US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, will start a tour in the region in order to feel out the situation for the forthcoming December "elections" of the pseudostate. Mr Weston will visit Ankara and the other capitals in the coming days in the framework of the tour.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Sami Kohen assesses the reaction in Turkey to the EU Progress Report

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (08/11/03) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Is the EU stalling us?"

    "We can beat about the bush but in layman's terms the real question is: "Is the EU going to accept us or not?" Or, to put it in more political terms: "Is there the will and political desire within the EU for this?" While the details of the EU's Progress Report and the Strategy Document are being debated this is the real question being asked by the Turkish public. We put this question to the EU's Turkey Representative Amb. Hansjoerg Kretschmer, who had got together with a group of columnists in Istanbul on 7 November. We recalled: "According to widespread opinion in Turkey even if Turkey follows the Copenhagen Criteria completely new conditions are going to be put forward one after the other. Cyprus has been made a condition now. Yet, candidate countries not fully complying with EU standards are being treated differently. Is this true and if it is why?"

    We can summarize the way Amb. Kretschmer put across the EU Commission's official view thus:

    1. The will and desire to start accession talks with Turkey does exist within the EU. One should not pay attention to what some people might say to the contrary. What is important is the EU Council's position and the decision it will make.

    2. The decision will be made in accordance with Turkey's performance particularly with respect to the Copenhagen Criteria. The Justice and Development Party has surprised the EU leadership with all it has done in such a short period of time. It could surprise us still in the months to come.

    3. When it comes to implementing the Criteria we are not looking for 100 percent perfection. This is how it was with other candidate countries. However, it must be accepted that Turkey is still far from meeting those standards. Although the other candidates are still not perfect with respect to freedom of expression, minority rights and torture they are nevertheless closer to EU criteria.

    4. The EU's Copenhagen Criteria are not open to negotiation. [Accession] Talks with the EU cannot begin until these conditions are fulfilled.

    5. The Cyprus connection is a fact. Solution of the problem will make it easier for the Council to rule in Turkey's favor.

    One can look at the EU's arguments as voiced by the ambassador in two ways:

    Firstly, there is the optimistic approach: "The EU wants to take us in. We have work to do. If we complete our homework then we can secure a start date for talks at the end of 2004.

    Secondly, there is the pessimistic approach: "The EU will never take us in no matter what we do. Today they put before us conditions like the Copenhagen Criteria and Cyprus. Tomorrow they are going to try and impose other political conditions on us because in essence they do not want Turkey.

    In the first case there is no need to take the optimism to the point of naivety nor is there any need to take the pessimism in the second case to the point of extreme doubt. If we stop approaching the issue with ideological or political deductions then we should be able to seek the truth between these two categories. Like this:

    1. By means of its own earlier engagements the EU has set off to take Turkey into its fold. Even though there are fragmented voices within the EU there is a trend in favor of giving Turkey the means for membership. Keeping this trend the dominant one depends on Turkey's performance and powers of persuasion. As Turkey fulfills its "obligations" it will be able to stand tall against conditions that go too far.

    2. If we do not head of down a path of giving up on the EU then the best thing to do is to keep up the struggle on realistic grounds and in the meantime do our homework as best we can. It is in Turkey's best interest to work hard to solve its domestic and foreign problems and to meet EU standards. In the end, even if the EU says, "We are not accepting you" the road traveled would have gained much for Turkey. Besides, at that point the EU might not even say that."

    [07] Columnist in YENI DUZEN criticizes the plundering of the occupied closed area of Varosha

    Commenting on the recent announcement of the Turkish Cypriot Wakf religious foundation (EVKAF) regarding the closed occupied city of Varosha, YENI DUZEN's editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali writes, inter alia, the following (09.11.03):

    ".It has been understood that the whole Varosha area belongs to EVKAF! All of it is ours. All of it! I do not know which documents coming from some Ottoman sultan show this! However, we waited for 30 years to reveal this reality! Let it be! Again it is not late. If we wanted we could wait for another 30 years! If these 30 years had nod passed, plundering the EVKAF's property would not be possible! Because, you know that 'plundering EVKAF's property is forbidden as its selling is forbidden as well. .

    For thirty years, the coffee and teacups, the glasses, the knives, forks and other objects gathered from Varosha's hotels are used in all the military companies. And they have not been used up yet! We have pulled out even the parquet floorings (of these hotels). We left no pianos or marbles behind. Everybody plundered hundreds of hotels, cinemas, theaters, working places, entertainment places and banks! And in the end it was understood that Varosha belongs to EVKAF! This Varosha has made rich at least ten thousand persons. .!.

    EG/


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