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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-04-21

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.73/04 21.04.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The National Security Council of Turkey will convene extraordinary session on 26 of April, having Cyprus problem on top of its agenda.
  • [02] Ankara is not opposed to the Cyprus report to the UN Security Council but does not consider its approval to be crucial - Gul says the report does not entail any news elements.
  • [03] Nationalists from Turkey spread terror in the occupied areas of Cyprus; Talat warns that tolerance has its limits.
  • [04] Ecevit visited occupied Cyprus in order to boost Denktas´ "no" campaign - Bahceli to visit the pseudostate today in order to extent support to the "no" campaign.
  • [05] The Democratic Party has expelled some of its prominent members due to their stand on the DP's position on the referendum.
  • [06] Retired Turkish ambassador comments on the President of Azerbaijan´s statements to recognize the occupation regime.
  • [07] Republican People´s Party´s deputy Ozturk resigned.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] The Anna Plan and the Turkish army.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The National Security Council of Turkey will convene extraordinary session on 26 of April, having Cyprus problem on top of its agenda

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.04) reports that the Turkish National Security Council (NSC) will convene extraordinarily on April 26, 2004, having Cyprus problem on top of the agenda. The meeting will start at the Cankaya Presidential Palace at 14.00 local time. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will preside at the meeting.

    Developments in Cyprus following the referendum to be held on April 24 will top the agenda of the meeting. During the regular meeting of the NSC held on April 1 and 5, a decision was made to hold an extraordinary meeting on April 26.

    [02] Ankara is not opposed to the Cyprus report to the UN Security Council but does not consider its approval to be crucial - Gul says the report does not entail any new elements

    NTV television station (20.04.04) broadcast that Ankara is not opposed to the report UN Secretary General Annan submitted to the UN Security Council [UNSC] on 19 April, but it does not think that its approval by the UNSC is crucial. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who submitted the Cyprus report to the UNSC asked the Council to support the founders' agreement.

    Although it does not look warmly to the inspection, Turkey is not objecting to the report which AKEL has set as a condition for voting yes in the referendum. Diplomatic sources are saying that the idea is to have the Annan plan's implementation guaranteed by the report.

    Nevertheless, the endorsement of the report is not being considered essential. Ankara thinks that as a result of the Greek Cypriot Administration's efforts, Russia, one of the UNSC's permanent members, may oppose the report. The diplomatic circles stress the importance of the US stand as well. They also note that Turkey has not made any moves at the UNSC so far.

    In addition, as TRT 2 broadcast (20.04.04), the Foreign Minister of Turkey Abdullah Gul has said that the latest Cyprus report submitted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the UN Security Council does not entail any new elements outside the existing plan. Gul pointed out that the disarmament of the island is part of the plan, and that this issue has been reinforced with the latest move. He added that Turkey has no objections to that. Gul made these statements upon his departure from Turkey to Sarajevo, to attend the meeting of heads of state and government of southeast European countries.

    In reply to a question on Kofi Annan's report to the UNSC, Gul said: "As you know the island is going to be demilitarized. The island is not going to have an army. There will only be a police force." He went on saying the following: "We do not have any objections because this was part of the agreement anyway. Under the agreement, the island is going to be without weapons, the soldiers are going to be disarmed. Recently you asked me what is going to happen with the weapons that exist on the island. All of them will be removed from the island," he said.

    [03] Nationalists from Turkey spread terror in the occupied areas of Cyprus; Talat warns that tolerance has its limits

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.04.04) reports that nationalists from Turkey members of the organization known as "Grey Wolves" are spreading terror in the occupied areas of Cyprus three days before the 24 April referendum on the Annan Plan.

    The paper writes that a group of approximately 30 persons from Turkey holding knives and thick sticks brutally attacked last night in occupied Nicosia five Turkish Cypriots, the age of whose is between 16 and 22, because they supported the "yes" vote at the referendum.

    The young Turkish Cypriots were taken to the hospital having been seriously injured, as a result of the attack. Two of them were kept for further treatment.

    Commenting on the recent attacks of the nationalists from Turkey, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, said that these incidents cause concern and are unacceptable behaviours. "No one who is not a citizen of Turkey can organize an act in Turkey. Here is the same. However, our police and security forces tolerate (such things). They exert efforts so that tension is not caused. However, tolerance too has its limits. ...".

    [04] Ecevit visited occupied Cyprus in order to boost Denktas´ "no" campaign - Bahceli to visit the pseudostate today in order to extent support to the "no" campaign

    Turkish Daily News (21.04.04) reports that Rauf Denktas and his "no" campaign received a major booster on Tuesday when the leader of the Democratic Left Party and former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who was the prime minister who ordered the 1974 Turkish invasion on Cyprus, visited occupied Cyprus and warned Turkish Cypriots that they would lose their homeland if they voted "yes" in the April 24 referendum. In addition, Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) will be travelling to the pseudostate today, while scores of other prominent conservatives have been in occupied Cyprus to support the "no" campaign.

    According to a report by NTV (20.04.04) Mr Ecevit stated before his departure to occupied Cyprus that an anti-propaganda has been waged in Cyprus for the past year. He also criticized the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that "his accusations against Denktas were ugly and inappropriate"

    Moreover, as NTV reports, Ecevit and Mehmet Ali Talat, who was in Turkey, were on the same plane and those who received Ecevit at illegal Lefkoniko Airport, turned their backs on Talat in protest. In a statement at the airport, Talat said that he was opposed to the demonstrations being staged in Cyprus by Turks from the mainland.

    After his arrival in occupied Cyprus, Mr Ecevit met with Rauf Denktas and held a press conference where he stated that everybody was fighting Denktas and where he accused the Greek Cypriots of being racist and expansionist. "It would be difficult for the two sides to rule a country", he said.

    In addition, as Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.04) reports, the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader, Mr Devlet Bahceli will visit occupied Cyprus today in order to extend support to the "no" campaign on the eve of the referendum. Bahceli will be accompanied by members of the NAP Chairmanship Council and the Central Administrative Council, as well as former NAP ministers. Mr Bahceli will pay a series of visits and participate in certain programs in order to support the "no" campaign. He will return to Turkey on 23 April.

    [05] The Democratic Party has expelled some of its prominent members due to their stand on the DP's position on the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (21.04.04) reports that the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas has temporarily expelled from the Party some of its prominent members who will be sent to the Party's "High Disciplinary Committee".

    These members are the following: Kemal Havali, General Secretary of DP, Ahmet Kasif and Unal Ustel, who are "parliament deputies", Arslan Bicakli, Fikri Ataoglu and Fuat Zor, deputy General Secretaries, Turgay Erogul, Ibrahim Uysal, members of the DP Central Executive Committee, and Ergun Vehbi and Turkmen Sencer, members of the Party's assembly.

    This action was decided to be taken by the DP after these persons sent an ultimatum note to the Party's leader Serdar Denktas prior to the party's meeting where DP stand on the referendum was to be determined. They sent the note in order to boycott the meeting of the party's assembly and to prevent the Party from taking a decision as regards the referendum.

    [06] Retired Turkish ambassador comments on the President of Azerbaijan´s statements to recognize the occupation regime

    Retired Turkish ambassador Yalim Eralp writing in Turkish mainland daily TERCUMAN newspaper (20.04.04) under the title "Prior to the Referendum" inter alia refers to the statement made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev that "they could recognize the TRNC" when the latter visited Turkey last week. Eralp said: "The statement made by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev that they could recognize the `TRNC', to say the least, took me by surprise, since in 1995 Haydar Aliev (Tr. Note: Late father of Ilham Aliev) had said that regarding Nagorno Karabagh the Armenians took the `TRNC´ as example and this is very bad for Azerbaijan. Will the Greek Cypriot State recognize Nagorno Karabagh if Azerbaijan recognizes the `TRNC´? Most probably the Azeris have this possibility in their mind that makes them to think.

    The proper way is: The West should increase its pressure on the Greek Cypriots for a "yes" vote. AKEL's playing with words demonstrates this," Eralp concludes.

    [07] Republican People´s Party´s deputy Ozturk resigned

    NTV television (20.04.04) broadcast that the Republican People´s Party (RPP) Istanbul deputy Mr Yasar Nuri Oszturk resigned from the RPP on Tuesday. This development came only days after the party´s deputy leader, Mr Kemal Dervis stood down from his post.

    Speaking at a press conference Mr Ozturk said that he had tended his resignation from the RPP as he was not in harmony with RPP leader Deniz Baykal and the party's administration. Stating that he did not agree with the party's view on secularism, religion and integration with people, Oztürk said that it was impossible for him to serve the country with the RPP.

    With Öztürk's resignation, the RPP has been left with 174 deputies in the 550 seat Grand National Assembly, the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) 367, the True Path Party (TPP) 4, and the remaining five seats held by independents.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] The Anna Plan and the Turkish army

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (18.04.04) publishes the following commentary by Erdal Guven under the title: "The Annan Plan and Ozkok":

    "Ozkok is saying that "despite the positive sides of the Annan plan, it fails to meet some of our demands and that there is a high probability that serious problems will emerge in the implementation of the plan."

    This view is as objective as it can be. The Annan plan is a conciliation document. In this regard, the plan naturally envisages certain concessions and gains in terms of both sides.

    It is not true that the speech prepared by Ozkok merely put emphasis on the negative sides of the plan. I want to draw your attention to the following sentences: "Although the guarantee and alliance agreements are being retained as they were, it is a fact that there will be readjustments and additional responsibilities in line with the additional protocols. We believe that these readjustments will not create obstacles to the exercise of our guarantor rights. On the other hand, as long as we, as Turkey, do not agree to the contrary, the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] will continue to remain beside our kinsmen on the island, even if in fewer numbers."

    If the Turkish chief of staff is uttering these words, no statement that claims that the Annan plan dilutes Turkey's guarantor rights and that it endangers the security of Turkey or the Turkish Cypriots will be considered credible. Subject is closed.

    Ozkok's demands and reservations regarding the Annan plan are as follows: "It is necessary to make the necessary changes and readjustments in the federal laws and international adjustments that will be decisive in terms of the new order; problems related to public order may arise during the land and property exchange process; serious social incidents may erupt unless resources are found for the housing and employment of the Turkish Cypriots who will be relocated; it is necessary to make the derogations the EU's Primary Law. Otherwise, great difficulties may arise in terms of the Turkish presence on the island and bizonality, and ultimately, great stability and security problems may arise in the region."

    Once again, these demands and reservations have been rationally expressed within the framework of certain logic. These concerns are not being disregarded by those -- including the writer of this column -- who defend a solution within the framework of the Annan plan. As a matter of fact, it is possible to talk about economic concerns primarily as well as additional concerns that have not been mentioned by Ozkok. The Annan plan does not promise a garden of roses without thorns to any of the sides. This has been so from the very beginning.

    If you pay attention however, all the negative sides mentioned by Ozkok are related to potential risks. In other words, Ozkok is making a risk analysis from a soldier's viewpoint. He does not reject the plan categorically.

    At this point, we reach Ozkok's most important remark about the Annan plan. Ozkok said: "When you view these issues (the plan's positive and negative aspects) as a whole, you will see that all of them concern security and public order in the short run or in the long run."

    It is necessary to read this sentence in two different levels. First, Ozkok wants to emphasize that his views regarding the Annan plan are limited to his authority field.

    Second, Ozkok, and in this regard, the Office of the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, do not have any basic reservations about the Annan plan other than issues related to "security and public order."

    The truth is that the answers given by Ozkok during the question-answer part of the press conference are certainly in line with the second level. Let us look at what Ozkok said about the four basic issues, on which the Turkish side has been insistently focusing from the very beginning:

    1. Bizonality has been retained.

    2. Political equality has been secured

    3. Despite the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side is losing its unilateral sovereignty, there will be a bilateral and joint sovereignty.

    4. In addition to being the guarantor of Cyprus, Turkey has also become the guarantor of the Turkish Cypriot side. Certain changes that Turkey demanded in terms of its security have also been made.

    Ozkok asserted that the most important gain of this result will be that "the Turkish Cypriots will be able to live in a more comfortable and tranquil environment" with a solution that will be found on the basis of the Annan plan.

    What about Turkey? Ozkok strikes the last blow from there: "Our hearts and our minds had never been in such a dilemma. Expressions such as lost, given, and sold are not diplomatic. As Turkey, we have to act with the guidance of our wisdom."

    What else should Ozkok say?

    With the answers he gave in the question-answer part of his speech, Ozkok placed the Office of the Chief of the Turkish General Staff far superior to all the "civilian" factors of the coalition that is in favor of maintaining the status quo and that hopes for the help of the soldiers primarily as well as to Denktas, the RPP [Republican People's Party], and Sezer. Apparently this is the trick of fate.

    Nevertheless, this coalition has learnt its lines by heart and it does not intend to change them. Look at Denktas' address to the National Assembly. Erdogan did not listen to Denktas' address. This is true. Most probably Denktas did not listen to Ozkok, either. Or did he listen to him and did he decide that Ozkok has been "deceived" just like Erdogan? Why not?"

    /SK


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