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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-29

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.19/04 29.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] European diplomatic sources analyze the increased US interest in the solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Statements by Erdogan after meeting President Bush.
  • [03] Salih Boyaci, the father-in-law of Serdar Denktas, was sentenced to six years in prison.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [04] Columnist in Turkish Daily News explains Turkey´s intransigence in the past years.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] European diplomatic sources analyze the increased US interest in the solution to the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul NTV television (28.01.04) broadcast that given that the Erdogan-Bush meeting coincides with a period in which the White House is becoming increasingly involved in the solution of the Cyprus problem, important negotiations are expected to take place with regard to Cyprus. The security of energy basins and corridors is a top priority in US foreign policy. To this end, Washington is undertaking new military projects in the Middle East and the Caucasus. At this stage, an increased interest in Cyprus is interpreted as an attempt on the part of the Bush administration to solve the Cyprus problem and exert influence on the island with a view to becoming a more effective force in the eastern Mediterranean.

    The United States is displaying an increasingly powerful will with regard to the solution of the Cyprus problem. European diplomats in Brussels who spoke to NTV note that it is natural for the United States to become more involved in the Cyprus issue. The European diplomats say that compared with Greece, Turkey, and Britain Washington is displaying a more impartial and objective attitude with regard to the Cyprus issue. Furthermore, the diplomats point out that because of this characteristic, the United States, which has the power to both guide and shape the solution, could assume the role of guarantor in Cyprus.

    What are the expectations of the United States from Cyprus? The answer to this question also lies in the strategic direction of the Washington administration. By increasing its political and strategic influence in Cyprus, the United States will be able to focus more on its priority issues such as the security of the energy basins and corridors as well as counter terrorism. Moreover, it will be able to exert more influence in the Middle East, central Asia, and the eastern Mediterranean.

    The US plan to liquidate its military bases in Germany within the framework of its new military doctrine and relocate them to Romania, Poland, and Turkey, which are geographically more suitable for emergency military interventions, is shown as another reason for its interest in Cyprus.

    [02] Statements by Erdogan after meeting President Bush

    Istanbul NTV television (28.01.04) broadcast live the press conference by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following his meeting with President Bush and Vice President Cheney in Washington.

    "Today, we held an important and beneficial meeting with President Bush. I am very pleased with the results. We were very pleased to see that Turkey and the United States are acting within the unity of a strategic vision. Both I and the President of the United States declared that we share the same values over the transatlantic relations and the wide Middle East. This has encouraged our view of the future. This is a confirmation of our will and determination to act together.

    We agreed to strengthen our cooperation regarding Iraq and to continue to make contributions for the establishment of a single, united, and democratic republic. We determined that we have full agreement to end the terrorist presence in Iraq. We agreed that we will continue to fight terror just as we have done until now.

    In connection with Cyprus, we continue and will continue to support the UN Secretary- General's good offices mission just as we have done until now. In the same way, we reiterated and stressed that we will continue to take the serious steps we are taking now with the Annan plan taken as reference, that the `TRNC´ will be one step ahead of every positive step to be taken by the `Greek Cypriot Administration´, and that as a guarantor state, Turkey is determined to support and encourage that.

    The time until 1 May is not long; it is short. We observed that we agree that speedy steps must be taken to achieve results in such a short time.

    The United States is going to continue to support the Turkish economy. We had the opportunity to discuss the qualified industrial zone. We observed their positive approach to this issue as well. The president confirmed that the United States will continue to strongly support our candidacy for EU membership.

    In addition to coming to our country for the NATO summit in June, the President will be coming for talks to Ankara too.

    We concluded our meeting with a broad agreement."

    Question: What steps will the United States take in connection with Cyprus?

    Answer: Mr Powell will meet with Mr Annan tomorrow [29 January]. The United States will strongly support the resumption of the negotiations.

    Question: Do you mean Mr Powell supports the negotiations?

    Answer: Surely Mr Powell is not acting on his own. Mr Bush had assigned this job to Mr Powell. He confirmed this when I was there.

    Question: Can you say that you received the necessary support from the United States in this regard?

    Answer: Yes, we received and saw this support during our talks.

    Question: Can we say that the United States is getting actively involved in the Cyprus issue?

    Answer: As you know, we had heard about that. We saw that now. The President confirmed that he assigned this job to the Secretary of State. They will discuss this issue with Annan tomorrow.

    Question: Has Powell become the mediator?

    Answer: The President does not have the authority to appoint the facilitator. It is the Secretary-General who can do that. The President will extend the necessary support.

    Question: While you were at your meeting, the White House spokesman said that the Turkish side is taking steps and that it is now the turn of the Greek side to take steps. How do you view that? It looks like an important development.

    Answer: All this shows that the steps we have been taking are getting results. That is the truth. In addition to that, I would like to point out that during our meeting, the United States declared KONGRA-GEL [People's Congress of Kurdistan] -- which is the third stage of PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] and KADEK [Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] -- a terrorist organization as well.

    Question: Did you get a promise that they will conduct an operation against the PKK?

    Answer: Yes, yes. They told us that they will absolutely not make any concessions in this regard, that they are working jointly with us and that they will continue to do so. In fact, they are working together with our Foreign Ministry in connection with the Mahmur camp in north Iraq. An agreement was reached yesterday [27 January].

    Question: When will the US Administration act against the PKK?

    Answer: What is important is reaching the decision. The rest is mere detail. Our relevant institutions will work on these details. What is important is that the United States told us that it will not allow KONGRA-GEL -- or the PKK/KADEK -- to have a presence there. In reply to a relevant question, Mr Erdogan said:

    Answer: What we discussed in this regard is just that Turkey is a model country. In other words, Turkey is a model for these countries in that it can combine the Islamic and the democratic cultures. The thing is that countries with Muslim populations should be in solidarity in the struggle against these terrorist groups; they should be more sensitive about capturing them and identifying them. This is a joint struggle we are waging through the sharing of intelligence. Since the terrorist attacks [in Istanbul] of 15 and 20 November too, we have been cooperating with all the Islamic countries and other countries within the framework of security agreements, and with countries with which we have intelligence agreements.

    Question: Did you discuss the opportunities for Turkish contractors and businessmen in the restructuring of Iraq?

    Answer: That process has already begun. The President approaches this issue positively too. We got the impression that more of that will happen.

    Question: Did you discuss Turkey's EU candidacy when discussing the Cyprus issue?

    Answer: The President said that he supports that. I will now add something to my answer to the previous question: I had a meeting with Vice President Cheney following my meeting with the President and we discussed the details. He too approaches the issue very positively.

    Question: Armenia ''

    Answer: No we did not discuss that.

    Question: Did you discuss the Turkomans and how their representation in Iraq is very weak?

    Answer: Things are moving in the direction of increasing their representation. Question: Did you discuss the Turkoman issue in detail?

    Answer: The Foreign Ministry is discussing this matter. It was not on our agenda today, but the Foreign Ministry held talks for increasing the representation of the Turkomans. Question: Was Cyprus the main topic?

    Answer: I can say that there was a balanced agenda on Cyprus, Iraq, and terrorism.

    Replying to another question on Cyprus, Mr Erdogan said: Answer: Turkey has done its share, the `TRNC´ is doing its share. After this, the first thing is for the negotiations to resume. They have not resumed yet. We are waiting to see what the `Greek Cypriot Administration´ will say and what Greece will say as a guarantor state. We must first see that. We hope that our goodwill will be reciprocated and that we can move toward a solution as soon as possible.

    Question: Did you discuss the loan of $8.5 billion?

    Answer: As you know, this loan is not part of our 2004 budget. In other words, we did not draw up our budget according to this $8.5 billion. We are not worried because Turkey is in a better situation now. We do not have a problem. If there are certain developments and if this loan is going to be beneficial, then we will take it. If it is not going to be beneficial, there is no need for us to take it.

    Asked about Turkey´s EU course, Mr Erdogan said: Answer: Almost all the EU countries except one, which has a few doubts, are looking at December positively in connection with Turkey's EU membership process. This positive approach was confirmed by Romano Prodi's recent visit to Turkey. We saw this approach at earlier meetings in Berlin and Brussels. I believe that this marathon will gain greater speed in the coming one-year period. The United States declares that it supports our EU membership, but it is the EU member countries that will decide. The United States' encouragement of those EU countries over which it has an influence will speed up this process.

    Question: Did you discuss Turkey's mediation between Israel and Syria?

    Answer: We did not discuss that today. We only raised the issue of Israel and Palestine. We stressed that the United States must play a much more active role in this regard. We said that Turkey is ready to do its share. We said that this problem in the Middle East should be solved. The President agreed.

    Question: We said that a US mediator for Cyprus would help speed up the process...

    Answer: Because it has been misunderstood, I changed the term from mediator to facilitator. We would have liked Mr Kofi Annan to handle the Cyprus negotiations from beginning to end. Anyway, he is the person in charge. Nevertheless, due to his post, he cannot handle the Cyprus issue from beginning to end. Therefore, a person is needed who can do that when Annan is not around. We want a person with political influence, an impartial person. We said that it would be meaningful for us if he [Powell] facilitated the issue. He will meet with Annan. The President has assigned this duty to Mr Powell who will meet with Annan tomorrow.

    Question: If the referendum in Cyprus...

    Answer: You are fixated with the Cyprus issue. Let us discuss other issues. I now have a meeting with the president of the World Bank."

    [03] Salih Boyaci, the father-in-law of Serdar Denktas, was sentenced to six years in prison

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.01.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot businessman, Mr Salih Boyaci, was sentenced yesterday to six years in prison by the so-called High Court of the occupation regime. Mr Boyaci, who was the chairman of the executive committee of the Kredi Bank, is the father-in-law of Serdar Denktas.

    Mr Boyaci was found guilty by the so-called High Court despite the fact that he was acquitted by the so-called Criminal Court, on the 16th of December 2002. The so-called High Court found Mr Boyaci guilty and sentenced him to a total of 18 years in prison, however he will remain in jail only for six years because the sentences will run in parallel. However, due to the so-called laws, his sentence was reduced to four years and, in addition, if he shows good conduct in jail, he will stay in prison only for three years and four months.

    As the paper writes, Mr Boyaci was found guilty for giving false information to the "Department of Income Tax" about the balance sheets of his Bank, for granting loans which were beyond the legal limits to family Firms. According to the pseudocourt these led to the bankruptcy and the liquidation of the Bank.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [04] Columnist in Turkish Daily News explains Turkey´s intransigence in the past years

    Under the title: "Why didn't we go into action earlier"? Turkish Daily News (29.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand from Washington:

    "I just get nervous when I think about it. We are wasting our time even on the most important issues. While looking for more, we are losing what we have in our hands.

    I want to ask, "Why? Why didn't you think of those earlier?" to those policy-makers in Ankara.

    The recent example of this habit is the attitude we have displayed on the Cyprus issue.

    In December 2002, at an EU Summit in Copenhagen, the second version of the Annan plan was on the table. The United Nations Secretary-General had made some amendments on issues on which both sides were sensitive and the plan had become very favorable for the Turkish side.

    It would have been enough if the `TRNC´ had accepted the plan. The Greek Cypriots would have had nothing to do and they would not have gained the right to join the European Union representing the whole of the island.

    Denktas didn't even go to Copenhagen. He sent his foreign minister and the minister opposed the plan immediately since he already favored a "no solution."

    The inexperienced Justice and Development Party (JDP) which had recently come to power then, just watched the developments. They could not even open their mouths. The military on one side and some circles at the Foreign Ministry on the other side scared Erdogan and Gul.

    The Turkish side lost the biggest chance in Copenhagen. It couldn't use the trump card in its hand and failed in preventing the Greek Cypriots gaining right to enter the EU.

    Then, there came the Vienna opportunity. In April 2003, the U.N. Secretary-General called the sides to convene and asked whether they accepted the plan. Denktas gave a blunt "No" before the Greeks even opened their mouths and returned victoriously. If he had waited a little bit more, he would have been able to corner the Greek side and made them say "no." The trump cards we managed to save in Copenhagen all disappeared after Vienna.

    Now, we are in a panic. We have suddenly realized what will happen if no solution is achieved by May 1.

    We are cornered. We started to race against time. So what has changed? Did Kofi Annan change the plan? No.

    So what are we doing now? We are accepting everything we rejected in Copenhagen and Vienna. We are announcing that we will accept the framework and the core of the Annan plan and the referendum. We could have voiced our demands for amendment of some details of the plan in Copenhagen or Vienna. Why didn't we do that? Was the reason the fact that we could not overcome the resistance by Denktas or we couldn't eliminate the confusion in Ankara? Or did the government just watch the events since it didn't know what to do? Who will take responsibility for the time and advantages lost?

    Subtitle: Now, we will seek backing from Bush

    After being too late, now we will knock on Bush's door. Today, Cyprus will be high on the agenda. However, Erdogan would have raised the issue of economic support or Iraq instead of Cyprus.

    If Denktas is the one responsible for this situation, the other one is Ankara. From the president to the military, from the media to some academics all have responsibility for this situation.

    Subtitle: It's the same with the US

    Aren't we suffering from the same problem of being late with our relations with the United States?

    Murat Yetkin explains in his book "Motion" what was experienced with the U.S. on the issue of Iraq. The Americans revealed their Iraq policies to Ankara months ago. They expressed their expectations.

    What did we do? We ignored the issue for a while. We thought that we could pass the issue over, wasting valuable time. We could have said, "We can lend our support to you up to this line, and after that we cannot support you," from the beginning and made ourselves clearly understood then we wouldn't have trouble now.

    What are we doing today? We are proposing to the Americans the things we used to call "impossible."

    Do we have to find the correct way every time after bumping into facts at the last minute?"

    /SK


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