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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-04-20

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.72/04 20.04.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat accuses Rauf Denktas of seeking to disrupt the internal balance in Turkey.
  • [02] Erdogan states that the Turkish Government is in full consensus with the Turkish military and the Turkish President as regards the Cyprus problem.
  • [03] Turkish nationalists attack the headquarters of PDM, SEUP and CLP.
  • [04] Gul, Talat and Serdar Denktas spoke about the economic dimension of the Annan Plan at a conference organised by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges.
  • [05] The chairman of TUSIAD states that the Annan Plan serves the interests of Turkey and the pseudostate.
  • [06] Poll in occupied Cyprus shows that one fourth of Dervis Eroglu and Serdar Denktas´ parties will vote "yes" in the referendum.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Burak Bekdil: "Cypriots should teach the West a lesson of democracy".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat accuses Rauf Denktas of seeking to disrupt the internal balance in Turkey

    NTV television station (19.04.04) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) accused the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas of seeking to disrupt the internal balance in Turkey and pursuing a policy of isolating Turkey from the world. Mr Talat was commenting on Denktas´ comments that Turkey sacrificed Cyprus for EU.

    "Mr Denktas' policy seeks to isolate Turkey. Such a policy will pave the path to the isolation of Turkey in the same way as the `TRNC´ was and it is isolated. Such a policy, therefore, is neither modern nor in line with the Turkish interests. We should not forget the cases of the likes of Loizidou. Turkey will have to pay unending payments to the Greek Cypriots because of the loss of property. How can this be accepted? How can this be worthy of Turkey? Can Mr Denktas tell Turkey not to pay?, said Mr Talat.

    According to Mr Talat, Denktas' goal is to disrupt the internal balance in Ankara: "It is reported that certain marginal groups have started to organize themselves in Cyprus and Mr Denktas' stand will reinforce an atmosphere of rowdiness, tension, and clashes. The accusation of Mr Denktas that Turkey sold out Cyprus will prompt these groups to tension, and disrupt the internal balance of Turkey. Actually, Mr Denktas is trying to disrupt the internal balance in Turkey and create a commotion within Turkey."

    [02] Erdogan states that the Turkish Government is in full consensus with the Turkish military and the Turkish President as regards the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish Government had full consensus on the Cyprus issue with the General Staff and with Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

    Sources said on Sunday that Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul made some assessments on the Cyprus problem in the meeting of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) in the southern province of Antalya. Erdogan said that they felt at ease on the Cyprus problem and people should be at ease on the issue and noted that they had full consensus both with the Turkish General Staff and with President Sezer.

    Meanwhile Foreign Minister Gul said that the Turkish side had been in favour of the solution and extended efforts for it from the very beginning and noted that occupied Cyprus was making important gains. Gul also said that Greek Cypriot AKEL party's attitude would affect the result of the referendum.

    [03] Turkish nationalists attack the headquarters of PDM, SEUP and CLP

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.04.04) reports that nationalists from Turkey members of the organization known as "Grey Wolves" attacked yesterday the headquarters of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), the Solution and EU Party (SEUP) and the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), which support voting for "yes" at the 24 April referendum in Cyprus.

    The paper writes that the nationalists tore the ropes of the flags in front PDM's headquarters and stack posters with the picture of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas writing "this is the language these people can understand".

    In statements after the incident, Mr Huseyin Erk, official of the party, said that such fascist actions would not scare the Turkish Cypriots and reminded that two nights ago the enemies of peace attacked the headquarters of another pro-solution party, the SEUP.

    Meanwhile, yesterday unknown persons attacked the headquarters of CLP and tore placards writing "Yes at the referendum, yes to the future".

    Meanwhile, commenting on the incidents which took place during the last few days, the so-called interior minister of the occupation regime, Mr Ozkan Murat noted that foreigners organize some actions in occupied Cyprus and added: "No one should turn our country into an arena of (his) political ambitions. ' The nationalists come to Cyprus and organize some actions. Foreigners cannot organize actions here. '".

    [04] Gul, Talat and Serdar Denktas spoke about the economic dimension of the Annan Plan at a conference organised by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.04.04) reports that Mr Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, along with Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and Mr Serdar Denktas, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) participated in a conference under the name "Meeting on Economic Dimension of Annan's Plan", which was organised by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TUCCE) in Ankara, last Monday.

    Speaking at the conference, Mr Gul stated that whatever the result of the referendum will be, Turkey will support the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Gul said that if both sides vote 'yes' in the simultaneous referenda to be held on Cyprus on April 24, a new climate would emerge. He also said that the solution would bring a new cooperation opportunity to Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and the region.

    Mr Talat said that the Annan plan was negotiated only when two developments in Turkey and North Cyprus coincided: The effort which Turkish Cypriots exerted for solution and the Turkish people's making an important political revolution and electing a government which had the EU vision. Evaluating the current situation as "insolubility", Talat said that this was a situation which did not fit into international law basket and thus a new situation should be created. Talat said that some marginal groups considered the existing situation as an accepted situation, adding that both he and Turkish Cypriot people did not have this approach. He also said that he does not thing that the Taiwan model could be implemented for occupied Cyprus.

    On his part, Mr Serdar Denktas noted that private sectors of Turkey and the pseudostate could speed up development by marriages and said that even if the result of the referendum in the Greek Cypriot side was negative, Greek Cypriots would see that the solution was inevitable. Thus, he added, starting new investments would be the first requests of Turkey and the pseudostate. Noting that the Taiwan model could be brought onto the agenda in case there would not be solution, Denktas said that he was in favour of continuation of talks on solution under the U.N. umbrella again if the Greek Cypriot side voted "no".

    In addition, Mr Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the chairman of TUCCE, stated that the Annan Plan was prepared with the perspective that Turkey will become member of the EU and added that the new era that will start in Cyprus is connected in every aspect with Turkey´s full accession to the EU.

    [05] The chairman of TUSIAD states that the Annan Plan serves the interests of Turkey and the pseudostate

    NTV television station (18.04.04) broadcast that Mr Omer Sabanci, the chairman of the Board of Directors of TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association] said: "If the Greek Cypriot side casts a 'no' vote in the referendum, it will be de facto voting in favor of dividing the island." Under these conditions, Omer Sabanci proposed, Turkey should take initiative and start the integration of occupied Cyprus into the EU with a Customs Union agreement.

    TUSIAD organized a seminar in Nicosia with the pseudostate´s Businessmen´s Association. In his address at the seminar, Sabanci said that the Annan plan will serve the joint interests of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey despite the risks involved and the uncertainties on the issue of derogations.

    Sabanci continued: "In the event that the Turkish Cypriots cast a 'yes' vote and the Greek Cypriots cast a 'no' vote, it will not be reasonable to claim that south Cyprus can represent the whole of the island." According to Mr Sabanci, such a result will be tantamount to Greek Cypriot support for dividing the island. Under such a circumstance, Sabanci proposed, Turkey should launch speedy action to have occupied Cyprus integrated with the EU by a Customs Union agreement.

    [06] Poll in occupied Cyprus shows that one fourth of Dervis Eroglu and Serdar Denktas´ parties will vote "yes" in the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper KIBRIS (18.04.04) publishes the second part of an opinion poll which was conducted by KADEM (Cyprus Social Research and Educational Consulting Centre). According to the poll´s results, one-fourth of the grassroot of the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu and the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas will vote "yes" in the 24 April referendum. The opinion poll was conducted between 11-16 April 2004, and was carried out among 1,815 persons in 70 areas of settlement.

    According to the opinion poll it has been found that NUP supporters do not approve of the "no" campaign that the NUP´s leadership carries out against the Annan Plan. Almost one-fourth of the NUP members have said they will vote "yes" in the referendum despite the fact that the NUP leadership clings to the rhetoric about the flag around the clock and tries to present the Annan Plan as a "bogeyman."

    Some 21.5% of the NUP members said they support the Annan Plan. This ratio represents almost one-fourth of the party members.

    Noting that almost one-fourth of the NUP members are getting ready to vote "yes" in the referendum, political observers say the NUP leadership has kept going on the course that Mr Rauf Denktas followed ever since the Annan Plan came up, and has, in fact, pursued a policy of no solution aimed at preserving the status quo. It appears that the grassroots of the NUP do not approve of this policy. The same observers interpret the 21.5 percent support for the Annan Plan within the NUP as, "An important split in the party."

    The situation in the DP, does not look much different. The DP has along tried to remain impartial toward the Annan Plan. The statements made, though, indicated that it was closer to "no." Those who say "yes" in this party exceed those in the NUP. The DP decided the previous evening to let its members free to vote in the way they want in the public referendum. More than one-fourth of its members are now getting ready to vote "yes." The support for the plan within the DP rises to 28.4%. What this means is that the DP grassroots does not approve of its leadership's stand that leans toward "no."

    Having waged a big struggle in favour of the Annan Plan senior partner of the coalition government RTP [Republican Turkish Party] acts together with its grassroots. Some 94.4%, in other words, almost all the RTP members long for the day when they will vote "yes" in the referendum. Compared with the other parties, this is the highest percentage of "yes" votes.

    The PDM [Peace and Democracy Movement] ranks second with 90.7% "yes."

    Another party that staged a struggle in support of a solution and EU membership is the SEUP [Solution and EU Party]. The ratio of "yes" votes in this party is 80%.

    As for the CJP [Cyprus Justice Party], which has declared, "We shall be doomed, we shall die if the Annan Plan is accepted," some 33.3% in this party say they will support the plan.

    Subtitle: Overwhelming majority know about the Annan Plan

    The KADEM tried to determine how much the people are informed about the Annan Plan. An overwhelming majority of 74.4% of the people felt they have information about the plan. Some 15.3 % said they have no information at all.

    In this connection, 14.8% said they were "very informed," 29.6% "rather informed," 30% "little informed," and 10.3% did not reply.

    When the relation between the level of knowledge [about the plan] and the stand in the referendum is taken into regard, those that would say "yes" in the referendum and those that feel they are informed about the plan reach the highest level.

    Subtitle: The Turkish Cypriots are optimistic about the developments

    The poll results also indicate what the Turkish Cypriots think about the course of events. According to the KADEM survey, the Turkish Cypriots are optimistic about the general trend. Particularly the youths appear to be optimistic. Making an assessment of the districts, apparently the Famagusta district comes out more optimistic than other districts.

    On the other hand, optimism increases parallel to the level of education. Some 14.8% said, "I am very optimistic," 29.6%, "I am rather optimistic," 30%, "I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic," 15.3%, "I am rather pessimistic," and 0.7% said, "I am very pessimistic."

    The NUP and DP members stick out more pessimistic. They are also not happy with the general course of events.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Burak Bekdil: "Cypriots should teach the West a lesson of democracy"

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (20.04.04) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil:

    "These days, anyone who calls for a rejection of the U.N. reunification plan for Cyprus can easily be accused of undemocratic thinking, dishonesty, even archaic nationalism. The international and concerted action to pressure the Cypriots for a nai/evet, to its campaigners, merely aim to champion democracy and peace. Has anyone ever thought that any pressure for any vote result in any referendum is pure obstruction of democracy? Pressure for nai/evet is no less evil than pressure for ohi/hayir.

    Referenda are, in theory, held to gauge and follow the will of the people. In Cyprus, the vote on April 24, it seems, must serve other goals than merely ending the island's ethnic division. Why, otherwise, the Cradle of Democracy and its European and international allies should suddenly care too much about whether a bunch of Cypriots should begin to co-habit after three decades of partition, and campaign in a most undemocratic way to affect the vote result?

    The Cypriots should be able to see that their country is only a pawn in a broader strategic game stretching from the Middle East across the Atlantic. They must simply vote as they like, totally ignoring the outside pressure i.e., they must vote nai/evet if they genuinely believe in the idea of reunification, with its costs and benefits, and ohi/hayir if they have serious doubts concerning the U.N. plan.

    The referenda, more and more, is tending to turn into a Communist era vote, with international pressure mounting to new undemocratic heights everyday, and that for the sake of democracy! What's next, will the Cradle of Democracy threaten to execute those who would vote against the plan -- for purely democratic reasons?

    Naturally, the IMF is playing its part. According to the Bretton Woods twin, a united Cyprus would grow faster than a divided island, cashing in on an investment boom expected after the U.N-brokered settlement. How very nice! It is unknown whether the statement is based on solid macroeconomic analysis, but it certainly proves, once again, that the Fund is an inseparable part of U.S. foreign policy-making.

    There are, of course, financial carrots too. IMF's real patrons in Washington, certainly not its Executive Board, and their men in London have pledged generous aid to help reunite Cyprus. At a preparatory donors' conference timed to give Greek and Turkish Cypriots an incentive to vote for reunification, Washington dangled $400 million in reconstruction assistance and London, in proportion with its own say in world politics, $37 million.

    The cross-Atlantic "cousins" clearly see a Cyprus settlement as central to their efforts to stabilise the east Mediterranean and open the way for Turkey to join the European Union, which also fits into their political reconstruction plans for the Middle East. All that is only too nice. But no one really cares about the Cypriots, or about their will; it's merely real-politik. And the generosity comes on top of $2.4 billion EU funds over five years as part of international aid to stitch Cyprus back together.

    Ask Guenter Verheugen, EU's enlargement commissioner, he would say that "there is a clear view that if there's no solution at the end of the month, there will be no solution for a very long time." Ask U.S. officials and their "think tank fellas," they would say that "they would do everything they could to ameliorate the effects on Turkish Cypriots, which would include an examination of all the policies related to their unfair isolation," or "we would not leave the Turkish Cypriots out in the cold."

    And who says Azerbaijan spelled out one political price for the Greek Cypriots if they vote ohi because of its ethnic relation and sentimental attachment to Turkey? With Washington's backing for its multi-billion-dollar energy projects, Azerbaijan, too, was playing its part when President Ilham Aliyev said that the country would join Ankara in recognizing the Turkish Cypriot statelet in the event of an evet vs an ohi.

    The careful observer must have observed that no one in big western capitals is interested in the real issue: do the Cypriots think Kofi Annan's text is a fair and sustainable plan for reunification? Well, there is only one way to learn: let the Cypriots decide, with no pressure for either vote!

    Both the proponents and opponents of the plan deserve respect for their thinking, as in proper democracies. Unfortunately, there is too much foul playing going on around Cyprus, with its masters disguised, ironically, as defenders of democracy and peace. In fact, they solely defend their own interests. Evidence? You don't normally threaten people for their choice of a vote in proper democracies, do you, or signal rewards? Perhaps, the best democracy lesson the Cypriots could give the West is to go to ballot boxes on April 24 and vote regardless of all the carrots and sticks. They may vote nai/evet or ohi/hayir; but they should vote as they like, not as foreign powers dictate."

    /SK


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