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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-12

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.214/03 12.11.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gul and Denktas say that the Turkish side is working on the Annan Plan.
  • [02] Turkey is reportedly preparing to ask the new pseudogovernment to let Denktas in the post of the negotiator of the Turkish side during the Cyprus talks.
  • [03] Erdogan confirms he will illegally visit occupied Cyprus on 15 November.
  • [04] A retired commander who participated in Turkey^“s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 stated that the Turkish Armed Forces never leave a job unfinished.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Columnist in HURRIYET criticizes the Turkish General^“s statements and stresses the illegality of the Turkish military occupation of Cyprus.
  • [06] Efforts by the Turkish Foreign Minister to present the Cyprus problem as an issue of flexibility rather than a problem of illegal invasion and occupation of EU territory.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gul and Denktas say that the Turkish side is working on the Annan Plan

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.11.03) reports that Turkey^“s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul has said that his Ministry is making ^”a new study^‘ on the plan submitted by the UN Secretary ^÷ General, Kofi Annan, towards reaching a solution in Cyprus.

    Talking yesterday in Rome after a meeting with his counterparts of the EU Troika, Mr Gul said: ^”We are making reasonable preparations for a lasting, permanent and realistic solution. The ability of reconciliation is one of the most important elements of the European culture. Reconciliation could not be reached only by the efforts of the one of the sides^Ň^‘.

    Mr Gul noted he was hopeful on the issue of reaching a result regarding the Cyprus problem until May 2004. Reiterating that Cyprus was not a political criterion for Turkey^“s getting a date for beginning its accession talks with the EU, Gul added: ^”We understand that we have to be realists on this issue. We wish for the creation of a basis for a reconciliation taking into consideration the realities on the island. However, reconciliation should be two-sided. We wish that the issue is solved after the democratic elections in the Turkish part^‘.

    Asked whether the solution of the Cyprus problem will be based on the Annan Plan, Mr Gul argued: ^”Everybody knows that we support the efforts by the UN. We do everything we can for a solution. However, this could not be one-sided. Both sides should approach the reconciliation^‘.

    Meanwhile, in statements made yesterday on illegal Bayrak^“s ^”Akis^‘ programme, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that both Turkey and the authorities of the occupation regime are making a study on the issue of what could be done regarding the Cyprus problem. ^”A new window will be opened^‘, he alleged and added that he could negotiate the Annan Plan in case two states, two peoples, two sovereignties and Turkey^“s active guarantees are included in the plan.

    Noting that the two studies will be unified into one study, Mr Denktas alleged: ^”Wait and see. These studies will be revealed and a new window will be opened. We shall begin discussing whether the world will like and whether the Greek Cypriots will accept this window. ^ŇEverybody should know that there is no chance for us to abandon our state and the guarantees of Turkey. A great deal of Greek Cypriots would not be able to come and settle among us. This could happen according to a quota and according to our laws. We could not accept an approach that would make refugees 100 thousand people. This will be limited somewhere^‘.

    [02] Turkey is reportedly preparing to ask the new pseudogovernment to let Denktas in the post of the negotiator of the Turkish side during the Cyprus talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (12.11.03) reports that Turkey is preparing to ask from the pseudogovernment which will be formed after the 14 December ^”elections^‘ to let the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in the post of the negotiator of the Turkish side at the talks towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Meanwhile, Mr Denktas told Reuters News Agency that he would resign from the above-mentioned post in case the opposition parties win the ^”elections^‘ with a great difference.

    According to KIBRILSI, Mr Denktas said the following: ^”If they (the opposition) win by a great majority it means the people have lost confidence in me, so why should I stay here and waste my time? But I know that this will not happen^‘.

    [03] Erdogan confirms he will illegally visit occupied Cyprus on 15 November

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.11.03) reports that Turkey^“s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed that he will be paying an illegal visit to occupied Cyprus on 15 November, the anniversary of the unilateral declaration of the illegal Turkish Cypriot state.

    Asked yesterday to comment on the recent statements made by Turkey^“s Chief of the General Staff, general Himli Ozkok, regarding Cyprus, Mr Erdogan said that on Saturday he will be visiting occupied Cyprus and added: ^”You will see what I say when I go to Cyprus^‘.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS reports also that the Saray Hotel, in occupied Nicosia, is making preparations to host Mr Erdogan. Within this framework, the hotel owners are preparing the seventh floor for the meetings of Mr Erdogan with the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders. The eighth floor is being turned into a restaurant where the Turkish Prime Minister will be dinning with the Turkish Cypriot leader and 150 more persons.

    [04] A retired commander who participated in Turkey^“s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 stated that the Turkish Armed Forces never leave a job unfinished

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (12.11.03) reports that a delegation of twenty retired commanders who participated in Turkey^“s illegal invasion of Cyprus in 1974 met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas. The retired commanders came to occupied Cyprus in order to participate in the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the pseudostate.

    Speaking during the meeting the retired Commander, Mr Orhan Kose, who was at the head of the delegation, stated that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) never leave a job unfinished. He also said that TAF will not allow any games to be played on the 207 thousand Turkish Cypriots and added that the statements made by TAF leadership aim at this direction. On his part Mr Denktas strongly criticized the UN Plan and stated that it will create a chaos in Cyprus. He also criticized the press in Istanbul pointing out that it must defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Columnist in HURRIYET criticizes the Turkish General^“s statements and stresses the illegality of the Turkish military occupation of Cyprus

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (11.11.03) publishes the following commentary by Hadi Uluengin under the title: "General Ozkok's views":

    ^”I will say what I should have said at the end of this column right at the very beginning: I do not share the opinions expressed by Chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok, especially those related to Cyprus. I should, however, first make some comments about the way those remarks were made.

    There is no doubt that the military's habit of expressing opinions about almost all issues and dictating those views to the government by means of recommendations made by the NSC [National Security Council] or memoranda does not square with democratic traditions.

    The comments made by Ozkok, who has presented himself as a legalist general since he took office, should, however, be assessed in a different context.

    Given that Ozkok is in charge of the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] and the current issues he commented on, including the national security strategy, are of vital importance to Turkey, it is only natural that he has conveyed his message through a "barracks messenger," namely Mehmet Ali Kislali, who is one of the examples of this type of journalists in the world.

    This ethical and legalist posture should be considered normal at least under the existing conditions in Turkey.

    The situation, however, would look abnormal if the government strictly obeys Ozkok's advice, acting as if it is a part of the chain of command. It has, however, not done such a thing so far and therefore it would be irrational to make comments about a hypothetical situation.

    In fact, Ozkok made his comments in a manner reflecting the chain of command and hierarchy within the military and it was much better than letting every general expressing his opinions, which usually gives rise to the speculation that a military coup is imminent.

    As I have just said, my objections to the gist of his remarks are not negated by the withdrawal of my objection to the method he has used. I believe that it is my responsibility as a civilian intellectual to voice those objections.

    Firstly, Ozkok said that Turkey's military presence in Cyprus was based on international agreements. He actually referred to the London Agreement signed in 1960 and the ESDP treaty.

    In fact, his assertion supported by the words "based on" is only an interpretation.

    Furthermore, it is a very subjective, relative and flexible interpretation, which is only made by Ankara. It is not accepted by any other country in the world.

    If we do not agree that it is a subjective interpretation, how could we explain the fact that Turkey is the second mostly condemned country by the United Nations, the main forum of the international community, after Israel?

    How could we also justify the fact that Turkey ranks second after Israel in terms of the number of UN Security Council resolutions they refused to comply with?

    In fact, it is a very obvious fact, which we are still trying to ignore.

    Therefore, we could not even attempt to declare our candidacy for UN Security Council membership in the past forty years, while small countries such as Chad has become a member of the Council, because the interpretation that Turkish military presence in Cyprus is based on international agreements, which we have used to justify our arguments, was not endorsed by any other country, whether it is an ally or a foe or Muslim or Christian. I do not mention the EU, which is much more important than the United Nations, and other organizations.

    In fact, the situation I mentioned above is an objective reality, not a subjective assertion. It is not open to interpretation.

    Another objective reality, which is not subject to interpretation, is that the `TRNCī which is a suis generis state, has not been recognized by any capital except Ankara and its name is not even pronounced by anybody in the world.

    Therefore, the assertion that Turkey's military presence in Cyprus is based on international agreements, which is only accepted in Turkey, cannot be described as an internationally recognized fact^‘.

    [06] Efforts by the Turkish Foreign Minister to present the Cyprus problem as an issue of flexibility rather than a problem of illegal invasion and occupation of EU territory

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (11.11.03) publishes the following commentary by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Gul: Solution on Cyprus could be on table by May":

    ^”Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will take a message to the a tripartite meeting in Rome today with the Italian and Irish foreign ministers and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen saying the Turkish side is ready for a new opening.

    The tripartite meeting is important in that it is the first dialogue between Turkey and the EU since the EU Commission's Progress Report was published.

    The importance of the meeting stems from the fact that Ireland will be drawing up the main lines of the roadmap for the first six months of 2004 during which it will be term president.

    It is clear with effect from today at which point the road map will stop at. The Greek Cypriot Administration is going to become a full member of the EU along with nine other candidates in May 2004. It will enter the EU and, from that date onwards, will have a say in all decisions relating to Turkey plus it will be able to use its right of veto.

    While traveling to Rome with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on 10 November the chat we had a group of colleagues concluded that the next six months will be the scene for an intense search for a solution to the Cyprus problem before the Greek Cypriot Administration becomes a full EU member.

    Subtitle: Ankara preparing for maneuver on Cyprus

    Everything Gul said indicated that Ankara does not wish to be caught unprepared for this search but that, on the contrary, it would seize the initiative with the intention of breaking the image that it is uncompromising. Stating that within this context there was fresh work being done at the Foreign Ministry with respect to the "Annan Plan" Gul said:

    "We have sensible preparations for a lasting, permanent and realistic solution. One of the most important parts of European culture is the skill of compromise. Compromise cannot be reached through the efforts of one side alone. Both sides need to work at it. We are doing what we must in this matter. However, the Greek Cypriot side must also put in some effort."

    It is clear that Gul will give today's tripartite meeting the message: "We are stepping in to persuade the `TRNCī. However, you must persuade the Greek Cypriots."

    Within this context Gul said that "regardless of the outcome" of the elections to be held in the `TRNCī in the middle of next month, the correct steps for the future needed to be taken.

    These words show that Gul believes that after the elections Ankara will be able to pull the new government and Rauf Denktas into a new political maneuver. One of the most upbeat statements by the foreign minister was when he stated he was "hopeful" that a solution could be found to the Cyprus problem by May 2004.

    Subtitle: Without the EU we would be moving in different direction

    Gul stated that 2004 held an historic opportunity for Turkey but warned that should this opportunity be missed then developments "could drag Turkey in a very different direction". Gul made the following evaluation of the topic:

    "If we are not at the point we desire after the EU's enlargement has covered 25 countries then it cannot be known in which direction developments in Turkey might go. Those supporting the EU today might abandon their support tomorrow. If we continuously try to form new excuses because of our unique circumstances then we might well go in directions none of us hope for. While saying let us surpass modern countries we could end up far from them."

    When Gul was asked, "So, do you mean that the flow might take Turkey somewhere else?" he replied, "Yes, that is what I mean."

    Subtitle: Headscarf missing from EU photograph Furthermore, Gul did not refrain from expressing his discomfort to the EU Commission on a topic of close interest to the JDP.

    The matter that disturbed him was the fact that the headscarf ban had not been included in the Progress Report's list of democracy and human rights problems in Turkey.

    Recalling that when in opposition they had raised the issue of the headscarf ban in talks with EU representatives, Gul said: "I gave them the message every time: 'If you want to help Turkey then do not discriminate. Be objective.'"

    However, it emerged with the publication of the Progress Report that despite the JDP coming to power the EU had not taken Gul's warnings about the headscarf ban into consideration.

    When evaluating the Commission's attitude towards the headscarf issue Gul said: "The EU took a photograph in this report. There is something missing in that photograph."

    /SK


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