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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-28

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.18/04 28.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Akinci accuses Turkey of not being sincere when it says that it wants solution in Cyprus until May.
  • [02] PUM: Turkey is trying to gain time and not to solve the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] After letting the Americans down at the most critical stage in the Iraq war Erdogan now wants to improve strategic ties with the US.
  • [04] Nechirvan Barzani calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Northern Iraq.
  • [05] The Turkish Prime Minister declares that Turkey will follow an offensive policy backed by strength.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in MILLIYET explains why Mr Denktas is pleased with the policy followed by the Turkish Government.
  • [07] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses the latest decision of the NSC.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Akinci accuses Turkey of not being sincere when it says that it wants solution in Cyprus until May

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (28.01.04) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), said yesterday that if the sides were sincere when they declare they want a solution to be reached in Cyprus until May, they would not exert efforts to show that the UN Secretary - General's special advisor for Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto and his team are the "scapegoats" and demand their removal from their duties.

    In statements yesterday after a meeting with Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the occupation regime, Mr Akinci reiterated that his party would continue the efforts towards a referendum and a solution in Cyprus before May 2004.

    Referring to the proposal of the Turkish side for removing Mr De Soto from his duties, Mr Akinci said: "If there is sincerity in the target of May, no one of the sides must exert efforts to change De Soto and his team and show them as 'scapegoats'".

    Mr Akinci noted that Mr Denktas informed him about their recent contacts in Ankara and that the PDM are worried of not being able to achieve the goal of reaching a solution in Cyprus until May 2004.

    Referring to the Turkish National Security Council's recent decision on Cyprus, Mr Akinci pointed out: "Saying that the Annan Plan will be a reference along with some other things, is not enough for us". He also added that for reaching a solution more clarity and accepting the Annan Plan as basis for negotiations is needed.

    Mr Akinci said that there were continuous statements on Cyprus and the agenda on the issue is extremely heavy, but there is some contradictory information, which came from Davos after the meeting of Prime Minister Erdogan with the UN Secretary-General, regarding the positions of the Turkish side.

    "According to Reuter/s news agency Erdogan even approved the filling up of the gaps by the UN Secretary-General if the Greek Cypriot side accepts this. Therefore, there is some very interesting but contradictory information", concluded Mr Akinci.

    [02] PUM: Turkey is trying to gain time and not to solve the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (28.01.04) reports that the Patriotic Union Movement (PUM) has expressed the opinion that the recent behaviour of Ankara does not aim at reaching a solution in Cyprus, but at gaining time and showing to the world that Turkey is not the intransigent side.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, PUM argues that the Turkish Cypriot masses, which have been struggling for years for peace in Cyprus, are now very disappointed due to the recent developments and statements by Ankara.

    ".It is obvious that the policies set forward by Ankara and its local representatives towards solving the Cyprus problem are not giving hopes for the reunification of Cyprus and the Cypriots", notes PUM and adds, inter alia, the following:

    "It is seen that the military and civilian authorities of Turkey, which have for years been keeping Cyprus and the Cypriots as hostages for their own interests, have not changed their attitude. Within this framework they have achieved the result they wanted in the elections by interfering in them. Afterwards they have formed the government they wanted. Finally they have openly declared that the real government is that in Ankara. .The military and civilian authorities of Turkey are openly discussing about Cyprus and the Cypriots behind closed doors. Prime Minister Erdogan considers himself as the only authorized person on this issue, acts as he likes and makes any proposal he wants. The local officials in Cyprus are only informed about this.

    PUM considers that saying absolutely nothing against the policies applied by Ankara and its local representatives is humiliating. .PUM believes that the current behaviour of Ankara does not aim at achieving a result, but at showing to the world that the intransigent side is not Turkey and at gaining time. In the same way, ignoring that for years they and Denktas have been the intransigent side and demand that Alvaro de Soto be replaced and the Annan plan be shortened, are signs of this understanding. .".

    [03] After letting the Americans down at the most critical stage in the Iraq war Erdogan now wants to improve strategic ties with the US

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.01.04) reported from New York that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Turkey wanted to further improve its strategic partnership with the United States.

    Erdogan delivered a speech on Turkey's foreign policy in the 21st century at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and then replied to questions of participants.

    Prime Minister Erdogan said that there had been some problems in Turkish-U.S. relations in the past, but all were left in the past.

    Recalling developments that occurred during the U.S. intervention in Iraq, Erdogan said: "Just as the U.S. Congress is sovereign, everybody should respect those who believe in the will of parliament and democracy in Turkey. Non-adoption of the motion on deployment of foreign troops in Turkey and dispatch of Turkish troops abroad was the will of the parliament. Moreover, it was not rejected because the votes for the motion were more than the votes against it, but because parliament could not reach the necessary threshold for adopting the motion. Then, the United States made a demand about opening the air corridor.

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell talked beside me. The United States only wanted the air corridor to be opened. We asked if the United States had any demand about land and sea. Mr Powell only wanted air corridor to be opened and we gave this permission."

    Erdogan recalled that the U.S. press published ugly, humorous articles and caricatures prior to the motion and those articles and caricatures were effective on the voting.

    Asked what those caricatures and articles were, Erdogan said: "I think it is not ethically convenient for me to explain all these. Turkish media also published these articles and caricatures taken from the U.S. press. Now, they don't have any importance. Yesterday was yesterday. Let's look at today and the future."

    Upon a question, Prime Minister Erdogan said: "There is a demand to establish a federation in the north of Iraq. We approve neither ethnic nor religious based federation. These developments will cause a difficult situation for Iraq in the future."

    When one of the participants compared the contradictory stand of Turkey on the situation in Cyprus with the demand for a federation in Iraq, Erdogan stated that those two were different from each other and that there was not any ethnic, religious or linguistic based situation in Cyprus and the Annan plan proposed an opposite solution.

    In this issue, an outcome could be reached by speeding up the process by taking chapters of the Annan plan as basis instead of the whole of the plan, Erdogan stated.

    Erdogan noted that the issue of the constitution and the map could be taken up as the basic principle and reiterated that the occupation regime would take one more step in return for every step to be taken by the Greek Cypriot side.

    "It was not possible for the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to personally deal with the issue," Erdogan said and added that persons Annan had chosen were not successful in their mission.

    "A person from an impartial and politically powerful country would help facilitate a solution in Cyprus," Erdogan concluded.

    [04] Nechirvan Barzani calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Northern Iraq

    NTVMSNBC (27.01.04) reports that the Prime Minister of the regional Northern Iraqi government, Nechirvan Barzani, has warned that they could use force against the Turkish Armed Forces if necessary to make them leave northern Iraq.

    "If they do not leave we will make them," Barzani told the Associated Press Agency in an interview carried on Tuesday.

    He said that the Kurdish parliament had applied to London and Ankara in October to have the Turkish forces withdrawn from northern Iraq but has so far received no response. He told the Associated Press that they would stage protests and close down Turkish Armed Forces offices in northern Iraq.

    Turkey has repeatedly warned that it would not accept any efforts by the Iraqi Kurds to establish an independent state in Northern Iraq or to seek broad autonomy from the central government in Baghdad.

    [05] The Turkish Prime Minister declares that Turkey will follow an offensive policy backed by strength

    According to the Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (28.01.04) the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is currently visiting the USA, addressed to the Turkish guests at the "Turkish House" in New York yesterday. When a Turkish American attending the speech expressed concern about the continuous raising of the Armenian Genocide issue in the USA, Erdogan said: "We do want to remove from our history books everything related to the genocide. In the history there are things that were done by the Armenians and by us as well. Let us make ourselves understood. What is important is to be strong. If you are not strong enough they could tailor all kinds of suits to you. If you are strong all these are vanished. Let us look into today and to the future"

    The paper also reports that circles close to Erdogan told HURRIYET that the Prime Minister's call for the Armenians were a call and an important message to the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots as well.

    Erdogan went on and said: "We do not think about a policy where we are on the defense. We do think of an offensive policy. If you continuously are on the defense, you will be condemned to preparing replies to these".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in MILLIYET explains why Mr Denktas is pleased with the policy followed by the Turkish Government

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (27.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "Why is Denktas happy?":

    "The Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas came to Ankara after the National Security Council [NSC] meeting and held a series of meetings: President Sezer, Prime Minister Erdogan, Chief of the General Staff Gen Hilmi Ozkok, Foreign Minister Gul, Democratic Left Party Leader Bulent Ecevit, former Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and so on.

    Mr Denktas is pleased with the NSC's decision and with the talks that Prime Minister Erdogan held with UN Secretary-General Annan, and with the line that emerged from the statements made afterwards.

    What can be the reason for Denktas' happiness?

    The basic point that makes the president of the `TRNC/ happy is the line that Ankara made clear with the NSC meeting and the fact that Prime Minister Erdogan made this line known to Annan.

    From what we have been able to learn from the backstage Denktas made the following assessment of this line to his close circle:

    "The policy made clear by Ankara shows it has been understood why I did not sign at The Hague and that I was right. It was as if Annan had cast a spell over Ankara. The UN Secretary-General was making them resist over an inconceivable condition. He was saying: 'Even if you fail to agree I will fill in the gaps in the document and we shall put it to a referendum.' This was never going to happen. Now by means of the decision it has made Ankara has broken Annan's spell. That decision is also in the NSC decision. The decision to hold a referendum only after an agreement has been reached."

    Denktas also maintains this is why he did not sign at The Hague. He points out that it was this condition set by UN Secretary-General Annan that caused the problem to lock up. He recalls that talks can start from an open position once this lock has been opened and that the Turkish side is ready to do this.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot side was also objecting to this precondition, Denktas is making it known to his close circle that once this condition has been removed the Annan lock will be opened.

    Another topic that Mr Denktas finds very important is the meeting Prime Minister Erdogan is going to have with US President Bush. He believes that the Erdogan-Bush meeting will have influence over the start of talks and the course they follow. He believes it is necessary for Prime Minister Erdogan to preserve the line he produced during his talks with UN Secretary-General Annan when he meets with President Bush. He thinks that by standing upright Prime Minister Erdogan will prepare the best grounds for talks to be able to begin. Denktas is of the opinion that the frame made known by Ankara will form solid grounds provided that pressure by President Bush does not break this.

    After stating that De Soto caused disappointment and that the Greek Cypriots too were unhappy, Mr Denktas said it would be useful to have someone who could facilitate the talks. He maintains that if a mediator is to be appointed then this person would have to be neutral, objective and able to devote time to the problem. Denktas also points out how important it is for the right powers to be given to the mediator.

    Can the Cyprus problem be solved before 1 May 2004?

    According to information provided by his senior aides Denktas thinks this is very difficult. He thinks the Greek Cypriot side will try to put it off until after 1 May.

    However, if the talks do start, even after 1st May, he thinks that it is important for the ground to be established which to ensure their continuation.

    Both the `TRNC president/ and his close associates believe it would be naive to think that the Greek Cypriots would sign before joining the EU on 1 May. In contrast to this, Mr Denktas believes that the Turkish side has the good will and the resolve to sit down to talks and that provided the Greek Cypriots feel the same he expects the talks to start.

    Just how the Greek Cypriots will respond to the move made by Prime Minister Erdogan after the NSC meeting is a matter of curiosity."

    [07] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses the latest decision of the NSC

    Under the title: "Turkey that supports the status quo" Turkish Daily News (28.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Gunduz Aktan:

    The National Security Council (NSC) statement released was read correctly by the Greek media, while the Turkish media was mistaken. Those who blame the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and the Turkish side for the continued problems on Cyprus, even though they know the truth, are just trying to get a date to start the EU membership negotiations. Their claim that the NSC accepted the Annan plan in its statement has the same cause.

    Meanwhile, NSC aims for a solution "based on the realities on the ground and with the Annan plan taken as a reference point." This is totally different from accepting the plan to form the basis or the model for the negotiations. The statement gives more importance to the realities on the ground, or in other words the status quo. Actually, the Annan plan starts from the status quo established after 1974, but eventually goes too far.

    Turkey did not come this far easily. Initially, the first three drafts of the Annan plan, which had to be approved without discussions, and the fact that the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan would fill in the blanks that appeared after the negotiations were shelved. We forced the plan to be revised twice. The `TRNC/ opposition, which wanted to accept the plan without negotiations, in order to get an EU passport, was prevented from winning the elections. The new government was formed without the speculations some predicted. Mr Denktas's position as a negotiator was assured. Now, as set out in the NSC statement, Annan's illegal and damaging special demands will be annulled and the negotiations will be held under normal circumstances.

    This way, "liberals", who supported just the opposite of these developments listed above, did not get what they asked for. However, now, we are not further away, but closer to a solution. They would not have made these mistakes, had they realized that there were people who supported a solution on Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership in a different more serious way.

    Ignoring the historically established conflict resolution method was the first reason behind the defeat of those who acted submissively. They could not formulate a solution by defending the other side's argument. They lost their credibility and effectiveness. The second reason was their demand from the government for politically unacceptable things. Finally, their ignorance and dismissal of the workings of foreign policy institutions was an error.

    However, they did not give-up. After the Erdogan-Annan meeting, they continue with their mistaken beliefs, just as if their assertions were proved right. According to them, the Turkish side accepted the referendum Annan wanted. "A mediator with strong political weight," is being requested to help in the negotiations. The acceptance of the "narrowed plan" is being called for by May 1. "Look, the Greek Cypriot/Greek side is on the defensive. Why did we wait so long, if it was so easy," they ask.

    Some statements made by Mr Erdogan after his meeting with Annan have resulted in some misinterpretation. However, Annan must have been presented with a paper in the meeting. In other words, Annan knows what we want. The word "mediator" should be recognized as being "easing." If not, the U.N. Secretary-General's good offices mission ends. It has now become clear that the purpose is to replace U.N. envoy Alvaro de Soto. Actually, it is hard to expect people with political weight to "ease" the negotiation process. Let's say such a person has been found and he or she becomes the mediator and forces both sides to accept a solution. Even if the solution is reached through our side's moderate sacrifices, how will the government explain to the people these sacrifices were made without the bullying of the mediator or the solution is to our advantage?

    That's why there are innumerable advantages in following the normal negotiation process.

    Annan plan can be "narrowed" to a founding agreement, a constitution and a map. Actually, on the third page of the letter sent to both sides by Annan on March 7, 2003, it was suggested that incomplete federal laws should not to be included in a referendum and they could be completed by the provisional federal parliament to be established after the referendum or the "Supreme Court." In other words, Annan decides not to fill in the gaps in the incomplete federal laws.

    The problem here arises that the new state can't function before the states sign cooperation agreements with each other and the federal government according to federal laws. However, we can say that "for a complete solution, we need to wait for a date to start the EU membership negotiations anyway."

    /SK


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