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

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.79/04 29.04.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Talat at Istanbul airport after returning from Brussels.
  • [02] Izzet Izcan leaves the Peace and Democracy Movement to assume charge of the United Cyprus Party.
  • [03] Efforts by Turkey to by-pass the implementation of international law in occupied Cyprus.
  • [04] Ankara is planning to apply the "Armenian model" in its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [05] Gul stated that Turkey will propose a candidate for the post of General Secretary of the Islamic Conference Organization. He says the issue of the occupation regime's recognition is carried out under a strategy.
  • [06] Baykal states that his party pledges to co-operate on Turkish Foreign goals which are the recognition of the pseudostate and Turkey´s EU accession.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on the Erdogan government to withdraw the Turkish troops from Cyprus.
  • [08] Mehmet Ali Birand calls on the Turkish government to act like victors in Cyprus, just like the Ottoman did.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Talat at Istanbul airport after returning from Brussels

    NTV television (28.04.04) broadcast a press conference by Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, upon his arrival at Istanbul airport from Brussels.

    Following are Mr Talat´s statements and his replies to questions:

    "We participated in the EP Foreign Relations Committee discussion meeting. I expressed the views of the Turkish Cypriots at this meeting. I responded to certain allegations. We also had some contacts with the press. We paid visits to the EP group leaders -- the Liberals, Socialists, Conservatives, and the Greens. I also met with the UK ambassador in Brussels. As you know, there is work under way to draw up a regulation in connection with the free flow of goods in the buffer zone. We expressed our views in this regard and called for his help. We have, therefore, exerted efforts to advance the positive atmosphere, which emerged in favor of the Turkish Cypriot side, and to turn them into concrete advantages. When compared to the past, there is a serious change in the approaches to the Turkish side -- both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side. The Europeans view the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey as countries, sides, and communities which keep their commitments. This is a very significant gain. They are amazed and angry because they realized that they had committed a mistake by believing that the Greek Cypriots will accept the agreement, which was going to pave the path to a Cyprus solution. This is also a very significant event and development.

    This is a very significant advantage for us and we have to put it to good use. We have to be proactive and engage dynamic politics. Without wasting time, we have to work nonstop to do the necessary in order to be saved from isolation. The resources to be provided by the EU in the conditions for lifting the embargoes will be significant and beneficial. These resources are being used for various infrastructure work such as road and power plant constructions. As you know, however, the Turkish Cypriot economy is still undeveloped. It is weak and almost crawling. The reason for this is, of course, the `embargoes´. As long as the `embargoes´ continue, the EU's $250 million for three years is meaningless. In the event that there will not be any `embargoes´, on the other hand, it is almost certain that the Turkish Cypriot economy will gain momentum with the $250 million to be sent by the EU and the continuing contributions of Turkey. For this reason, we attach great importance to ending the isolation, canceling the impact of the `embargoes´, and having direct flights to Cyprus. In this way, the Turkish Cypriots will also benefit from the EU advantages."

    Talat further said that "the request for continuing with the harmonization process with EU was expressed," at the meetings, and added that initiatives were undertaken to have the harmonization process, which had already started under the United Nations umbrella during the talks, continue with the EU. Talat continued by explaining that he and Serdar Denktas will go to Ankara on 29 April to conduct coordination work.

    In reply to a question on the details of the EU financial aid, Talat says: "Until now, the Greek Cypriots hid behind a principle called the principle of no compulsion in international law and used the Greek Cypriot republic in all stages." Talat further alleged that the principle of no compulsion was annulled in the wake of the referenda in Cyprus and adds: "Therefore, it is out of the question for us to accept that the Greek Cypriot side will represent the Turkish Cypriots. We said so in Brussels."

    Responding to another question on the appointment of two Turkish Cypriots and four Greek Cypriots to the EP, Talat said: "This legal situation did not arise as the Annan Plan was rejected. Six persons are going to be elected. There are reports that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to legitimize the situation by registering a minimum number of Turks as electorates. It is impossible for us to accept this; however, the appointment of four Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots is our proposal. We will be very happy if the EP accepts this proposal. We conveyed our views on this issue to the EP President Pat Cox." Talat continued by recounting that he explained to Cox that if the formula of four Greek Cypriots to two Turkish Cypriots in the EP or keeping the seats of the Turkish Cypriots empty is not accepted, then two Turkish Cypriots should attend the EP work as observers.

    In reply to another question on whether the plans of the EU to open an office in the pseudostate will pave the path to the UN recognizing it, Talat said: "No, because this is anyway not on the agenda at present. Our offensive is directed to get rid of our isolation. It will be to our advantage if the EU opens an office in the north. In this way, we can have direct contacts with Brussels. This is what we want and desire. Actually, this was our complaint until now. They have a small office; however, the duties and authority of this office is very limited. It is only an information office."

    Explaining that the Loizidou case in the European Court of Human Rights is closed and that Turkey paid the fine, in reply to a question on the issue Talat said that he himself does not know the status of the other 4,000 shelved cases.

    In reply to a question on the "government" after two "deputies" resigned from the Democratic Party, Talat said: "Approximately, 60 percent of the Turkish Cypriots support the incumbent government. Let me say, rather, that they support the policies of the `government´, not the `government´ as my partner unfortunately gave a free hand to its electorates. At least, very big part of the people support this `government´ in comparison to the past." Noting that the "government" has the people's support, Talat added: "I think, therefore, that parties and the "deputies", who know this [support] will not undertake any steps to topple the `government´. In the event that they undertake such a step, the `parliament´ is there and another `government´ will emerge from the `parliament´."

    Asked about early elections, Talat said: "Early elections are very risky for us. As a party, early elections are very advantageous for us but, in general, it is very risky for the Turkish Cypriot people because it will suspend our diplomatic offensive. We are, therefore, not thinking of such a thing."

    [02] Izzet Izcan leaves the Peace and Democracy Movement to assume charge of the United Cyprus Party

    Illegal BAYRAK television (28.04.04) reports that Mr Izzet Izcan, who was elected so-called Nicosia deputy with the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) has resigned from the PDM and returned to the United Cyprus Party (UCP). Izzet Izcan declared that he will serve from now on as General Secretary of the UCP.

    Stating that he has completed his mission inside the PDM and that he stayed with the PDM until the referendum so as not to harm the alliance and the community, Mr Izcan said that he would now take charge of his own party. Also noting that there are no bad feelings between him and the PDM, Mr Izcan said that in the period ahead his UCP will work in alliance with the Communal Liberation Party and the Cyprus Socialist Party.

    Announcing the Mr Izcan's departure, the leader of the PDM Mr Mustafa Akinci thanked him for his contributions. Noting that he respects Izcan's decision to return to the UCP, Akinci said that the PDM´s desire is to form a mass party in place of small parties. Asked if such resignations mean the deflation of his party, Akinci said that the PDM draws its strength from the grassroots as proven by the elections and he noted that nothing could stay as it was in pre-24 April period.

    In addition, as Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (29.04.04) writes, the so-called seats of the pseudoparliament, following the developments that took place inside the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas, are now as follows: Republican Turkish Party 19 "deputies", National Unity Party 18 "deputies", Democratic Party 5 "deputies", Peace and Democracy Movement 4 "deputies", Communal Liberation Party 1 "deputy", United Cyprus Party 1 "deputy". In addition 2 "deputies" are independent.

    [03] Efforts by Turkey to by-pass the implementation of international law in occupied Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.04) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan on Wednesday held a press conference at the Foreign Ministry.

    When asked whether or not Ankara had a clear policy regarding recognition of the occupation regime, Tan said: "`TRNC´ urgently needs breaking of isolation and standing on its feet firmly. Therefore, we are extending efforts for lifting the embargo.''

    Replying to a question on Ankara's expectation for European Union Commission's changing Cyprus regulations, Tan said that they thought there would be some changes in the regulations, but what was important was whether or not those changes would be sufficient. He added that they expected the EU to establish a direct relation with the occupation regime.

    Replying to another question, Tan said that initiatives which would be launched also included changing of the decisions of the European Court of Justice, based in Luxembourg.

    When asked how the Republic of Cyprus would be announced in the Eurovision Song Contest, Tan said that the title which Turkish Radio and Television Corp (TRT) would use in the contest would not bind Turkey but would mean geographical description".

    In addition, as Turkish Daily News (29.04.04) reports, State Radio and Television (TRT) recently asked the Foreign Ministry for opinions on how to refer to the contestant of the Cyprus Republic since TRT is the official broadcaster of the contest this year. Commenting on the issue Mr Tan stated that the "TRT's description of the Greek Cypriot contestant and of Greek Cyprus would not say anything about Turkey's official position". "TRT is an autonomous institution and the adjective that it will use in the contest will not bind Turkey. It will only be a geographical definition," Mr Tan told reporters.

    [04] Ankara is planning to apply the "Armenian model" in its relations with the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.04.04) reports that in its future relations with the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey will take as example the model it applies in its relations with Armenia. According to the paper, Ankara recognizes Armenia as state, but it has not established diplomatic relations with it. Therefore, Armenia has not an embassy in the Turkish capital.

    According to KIBRIS, even if Turkey recognizes the Republic of Cyprus in the future, it will not permit it to open an embassy in Ankara. In case of such a demand on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey "will show as address" the so-called embassy of the pseudostate.

    Ankara is determining its strategy on the issue as it expects international pressure on it in the direction of the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara is planning on delaying as much as possible the political recognition, but it could make some "openings" towards the Republic of Cyprus, to the extend the European Union establishes relations with the Turkish Cypriots.

    Furthermore, Turkey will have contacts with the Republic of Cyprus within the framework of its relations with organizations which have many members, one of which is the Republic of Cyprus. The first contact will be on 16 May at the meeting of the Partnership Council between Turkey and the EU, concludes KIBRIS.

    [05] Gul stated that Turkey will propose a candidate for the post of General Secretary of the Islamic Conference Organization. He says the issue of the occupation regime's recognition is carried out under a strategy

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.04) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has said that new General Secretary of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) would be elected in the ''31st Foreign Ministers Conference'' that would be held in Istanbul in June, adding that they would present (OIC) Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) Director General Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as candidate. Gul visited the IRCICA at the Yildiz Palace in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    ''A new OIC general secretary will be elected in the Foreign Ministers' conference in Istanbul in June. Turkey has never undertaken duty in the highest-level at OIC so far. But now the time has come. With this respect, we will present IRCICA Director General Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu as Turkey's OIC general secretary candidate,'' Gul said.

    He added that there were positive steps on the recognition of the occupation regime. Asked whether or not there was any development about Azerbaijan's recognizing the pseudostate, Gul said: "There is no development about this issue now, but those issues are carried out gradually under a strategy. Undoubtedly, we will act first by recalling promises that friendly countries have made. There are positive steps about this issue. As you see, those steps started to be taken in Europe first.''

    When reminded of the statement of European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen who said that as long as the U.N. Security Council did not recognize the "TRNC", the EU would not recognize it, Gul said: "These are normal. Of course, there are works which will be first carried out in the U.N. Security Council. Other things will also be made later. Everyone should know that we started to work on those issues on Saturday evening when the referendum was held and we are exerting extreme efforts".

    [06] Baykal states that his party pledges to co-operate on Turkish Foreign goals which are the recognition of the pspeudostate and Turkey´s EU accession

    TRT 2 Television station (28.04.04) broadcast that the Republican People's Party [RPP] Chairman Mr Deniz Baykal said that Turkey has two important goals in the process ahead -- the recognition of the pseudostate and receiving a negotiation timetable from the EU and declared: "The RPP will do whatever is required toward these two goals."

    Baykal, who held contacts in Mersin within the framework of his tour to embrace the people in Anatolia, said that the environment is very conducive to receiving a negotiation date from the EU. Pointing out that Turkey's head is upright in this regard, Baykal stressed that a new strategy is needed on the subject of Cyprus.

    "Our primary foreign policy goal consists of freeing the people in north Cyprus from all kinds of sieges, injustices, and isolation. An environment conducive to this exists at present. It is the duty of our government to draw all world countries into a new understanding with regard to north Cyprus. We are open to all types of cooperation along this line. We will undertake any task that falls on us in this regard", he said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on the Erdogan government to withdraw the Turkish troops from Cyprus

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (27.04.04) publishes the following commentary by Fatih Altayli under the title "Let us withdraw troops from Cyprus":

    "The outcome [of the referenda] in Cyprus is not "ideal" from the standpoint of the Turkish Cypriots. It is yet a fact that it has created a more promising situation in terms of their future. The status quo has been disrupted and a dynamic process has started. It is not possible for this process to harm the interests of the `TRNC´.

    The real winner in this game has been the "motherland" [Turkey]. It has got rid of its image as an occupier in Cyprus and has stopped being described as the cause of non-settlement. And its de facto position in Cyprus has not changed at that.

    Nobody should expect the embargo against the `TRNC´ to be speedily removed or imagine that the `TRNC´ will be recognized by one country after another. However, things will turn out in favour of the `TRNC´. That much is certain. As for the Greek Cypriots, they will expect a process of dissolution in the north after they have been admitted to EU membership. That, however, is unlikely because it has become clear how the Greek Cypriots look at the Turks.

    It is a win-win situation, as Prime Minister Erdogan said yet the two winning sides are the `TRNC´ and the Turkish Republic.

    It is now necessary to consolidate this encouraging picture. And the easiest way of doing this would be to reduce the number of [Turkish] troops in Cyprus. During these days, when the Greek Cypriot approach has been revealed, it will be an amazing diplomatic move for Turkey to entrust the Turkish people on the island to the European Union's honor and law by taking steps to reduce the number of Turkish soldiers on the island. I expressed this opinion to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday evening. He commented that this is "a subject that needs to be considered carefully." Yet he did not rule it out.

    The Government should take up this matter together with the General Staff and withdraw some of the troops maintained in Cyprus. The favourable climate of opinion that this will create will so much promote the atmosphere produced by the Annan Plan that even we might be surprised."

    [08] Mehmet Ali Birand calls on the Turkish government to act like victors in Cyprus, just like the Ottoman did

    Under the title: "Everything may change in six months", Turkish Daily News (29.04.04) publishes the following article by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "Wherever you look, there is a general feeling of happiness. The difficult situation Greek Cypriots are faced with has created a great deal of satisfaction among the media, the scientific community, politicians and the military. The international condemnation and the European Union's criticisms are exaggerated out of proportion in Turkey. Yes. Greek Cypriots have encountered many problems as expected, after voting "NO" in the referendum.

    However, we need to read the current situation correctly. In international relations, disagreements between allies don't last long. There may be reciprocal condemnations, but eventually everything settles down.

    You'll see. The same thing will happen between the EU and Greek Cyprus. If they cannot manage the situation appropriately in the coming weeks, they will receive a lot of beatings at the hands of the EU. The EU and the U.S. will take steps in order to ensure 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) is not punished and Greek Cypriots will be furious. Greek Cypriots will not use their veto, or will be forced not to use it, while every move that favours Turkish Cypriots will mean the strengthening of the island's division. The Greek Cypriots strongest supporters, Athens, will be able to do nothing. Greeks will choose to remain on the sidelines. And, we will watch these developments with great satisfaction.

    But be careful, things won't continue like this. This is what I am most suspicious about. In other words, the danger of relaxing our hold on the controls, while watching developments that favour the 'TRNC' may come to pass.

    I don't think I am exaggerating, when I say I don't think Greek Cypriots will continue to make such mistakes and if they play the game correctly, they'll be out of trouble within 6-7 months. The EU's agenda will change. Greek Cypriots will show how good they are by agreeing to do everything that Brussels asks them to do.

    Of course this scenario also includes the mistakes that will be perpetrated by some of our institutions that love the country the most, our independent judiciary, police, nationalist organizations and resisting groups.

    If we enter such a period, we will see that we will be at square one again. Turkey will be asked to provide a timetable for troop withdrawal and the issue of Turkish settlers on the island will be taken up again by European institutions. Then Greek Cypriots will be the good boys, and we will be viewed as occupiers again. We always have to be a step ahead.

    I can almost imagine what you will think when you read the headline. I feel the same thing. "Will we still try to please these guys? Will we make additional sacrifices? Don't we have any mandatory demands that have to be met?"

    Everything constantly changes in international politics. You can constantly change your stance until you reach your objective. You may make sacrifices, you may bluff your way out of problems, and you may say something today that can contradict what you said yesterday. You can use double standards.

    The Turkish side now has the opportunity to make the EU accept a two-state or two-region solution on Cyprus. The International community has started to ask itself, "Why do we force these people to live together, if they don't want it?"

    Turkey should not miss out on this chance. It should do everything possible and cash in on the mistakes made by the Greek Cypriots. There is only one way to ensure this.

    "We always have to be one step ahead of the Greek Cypriots," just like Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeated constantly. The game should be played properly. Narrow-minded nationalism should be ignored and clever and pragmatic steps should be taken.

    Let's not kid ourselves. 'TRNC' can only become a member, together with Turkey. The prosperity in the north will be delayed. Turkish Cypriots will be able to do whatever they want with their 'TRNC' passports, while it will be the settlers who will suffer.

    If we are aiming at a two-state solution, we should continue to impress the world. Let's surprise the people and always be a step ahead. Let's think big.

    For example: Even if it might be described as a trick, let's withdraw 3-4,000 troops. This won't affect the overall security of the north. Let's open Varosha, which we declared repeatedly that we would hand over to the people and announce that Greek Cypriot, Turkish and international firms are allowed to invest. Let's allow Greek Cypriots to buy summer homes in the north. Let's support Greek Cypriot investment in the north.

    Just like we promised in the Annan plan, let's open the regions with religious significance in Karpass to Greek Cypriots. We can extend this list.

    Let's act like victors treating the defeated with dignity, just like the Ottomans did. Let's think in the long-term. Let's not miss out on the opportunity that was presented to us."

    /SK


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