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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-14

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.90/04 14.05.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] So-called prime minister Talat: "I refuse to negotiate the Annan plan".
  • [02] Serdar Denktas states that Turkey should establish semi-official relations with the Cyprus Republic.
  • [03] The Higher Education Board law which was the cause of great tension between the Turkish government and the army was approved by the Turkish Assembly.
  • [04] The Turkish Prime Minister criticizes US sanctions against Syria.
  • [05] The Republican People´s Party demands a debate on Iraq at the Turkish Parliament.
  • [06] Cuba's Ambassador to Turkey Miguel Lamazares : "We will do all we could do to see the embargoes removed from the north Cyprus".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] So-called prime minister Talat: "I refuse to negotiate the Annan plan"

    According to the local Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.05.04), the so- called prime minister of the occupation regime Mehmet Ali Talat, has declared that he refuses to renegotiate the Annan Plan. Talat went on and said that the plan was not dead and for this reason, at this moment not a comma could be changed. Talat said neither the UN nor the EU nor Britain are of the idea that "let us review the plan" and put it into voting again. However, he added, if in the future voting on the plan is raised then this should take place only in the south. Talat further said that if the renegotiation of the Annan plan comes on the agenda then there should be changes in favor of the Turkish Cypriots.

    "The Turkish Cypriots will continue their solution vision", Talat stressed and said that if the Turkish Cypriots demand recognition then "the Greek Cypriots will regain immediately those things that they have lost". He underlined that a very fine policy should be followed. He demanded removal of the so-called isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    Speaking in the so-called Assembly yesterday Talat said that their relation with the EU is fine and added that they expect from the EU to open to free trade the occupied by Turkish troops ports and the airports as well as to operate an office in the occupied area. He also wanted to start the joint work for using 259 million Euros.

    [02] Serdar Denktas states that Turkey should establish semi-official relations with the Cyprus Republic

    Turkish Daily News (14.05.04) reports that the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas stated that Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus could establish semi-official ties, noting that this was a requirement for Turkey´s European Union aspirations.

    Denktas was speaking to a group of reporters on Wednesday in Ankara, where he came to address a conference at Gazi University.

    Upon a question concerning the possibility of Turkey recognizing the Cyprus Republic, Denktas said that they were aware that the EU was pressing Turkey in this respect and that Turkey taking a step in this direction was at the same time a requirement for Turkey's own hopes of joining the EU.

    "It could be possible for Turkey to 'accept' the `Greek Cypriot administration´ considering the current borders on the island," said Denktas.

    The Cyprus Republic joined the EU on May 1 shortly after rejecting a U.N.-brokered plan to reunify the island. Turkey expects to get the go-ahead at a summit of EU leaders at the end of this year to start accession talks with the union.

    Denktas also emphasized that the EU had expressed on many occasions that it wanted to see Cyprus united and that "it was the Greek Cypriot side that was responsible for the failure to reach a settlement."

    "While pressing Turkey to recognize the `Greek Cypriot administration´, the EU should also put pressure on the Greek Cypriots to accept the existence of a Turkish Cypriot authority in the north of the island," Denktas said.

    Serdar Denktas also recalled that the U.N. Security Council report on Cyprus was to be released next week, adding that the report would be discussed at a summit in Ankara to be attended by Rauf Denktas and other top officials of the pseudostate.

    Mr Denktas noted that it was impossible to accept financial aid in the amount of 259 million euros to be transmitted by the EU to the pseudostate through the "Central Bank of the Republic of Cyprus," adding that if the EU insisted on this, they would refuse the aid."

    [03] The Higher Education Board law which was the cause of great tension between the Turkish government and the army was approved by the Turkish Assembly

    Turkish Daily News (14.05.04) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) parliamentary group went along with the government's determination to make it easier for imam-hatip graduates to enter university and helped pass the Higher Education Board (HEB) bill through Parliament. Parliament completed the session that started at 4 p.m. Wednesday and ended at 10 a.m. Thursday morning. Despite all of the efforts from the opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) to prevent the bill's passage, the bill was passed after an 18-hour debate.

    The bill changes the HEB law, reducing the number of board members and adjusting the structure of the board. It also modifies the academic career structure of university members. The most controversial article of the bill increased the university entrance coefficients of imam-hatip graduates. The Office of the Chief of Staff, Inter-University Council, HEB and political parties waged an intensive campaign against this article, arguing that it would harm the secularist principle of the republic and was a violation of the fundamental laws that assured unified education.

    The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied harshly against these criticisms and made accusations against the media and university executives, which had supported the government until now, calling on Parliament to pass the bill. JDP deputies supported Erdogan's stance and assured the bill's passage after an 18-hour session.

    Subtitle: What does the bill bring?

    The number of HEB members will be decreased from 22 to 16. Five of the members will be chosen by the president, five by the Inter-University Council and five by the government. Additionally, the Office of the Chief of General Staff will select a member. However, the constitutional amendment package passed by Parliament, currently waiting for President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's approval, rescinds the Office of the Chief of General Staff's right to appoint a member to HEB. This aspect of the HEB law will have to be amended once again when the president approves the constitutional amendment package. The chairman of HEB, who is currently being selected by the president, will be elected by the board itself.

    The education minister will be allowed to attend HEB meetings and will chair the meetings he or she attends.

    The article of the bill that allowed HEB to transfer some of its powers to universities was removed due to objections raised in the statement released by the Office of the Chief of General Staff.

    Objective rules will be applicable in appointments to associate and assistant professors. The waiting period at associate professorship will be eight years and the minimum academic credentials asked from them will be determined by university senates in accordance with the rules outlined by the Inter-University Council. The minimum period of wait for assistant professors before becoming full professor will be five years.

    When university academics are appointed at another state institution, they will be able to collect wages from both jobs.

    The high-school coefficients for vocational school graduates that apply for faculties that correspond to their field of expertise will be 0.8. The coefficient for graduates from literature-major high-schools will receive a coefficient of 0.6 if they apply to science-major university faculties. Education Minister Huseyin Celik announced that imam-hatips will be considered equal-weight high-schools. Imam-hatip graduates who apply for science-major faculties will receive a coefficient of 0.6, while the coefficients of those who apply to literature-major faculties will be 0.45.

    University students will be allowed to form five-member "student councils." The chairman of the council will vote in the rector elections of their university and will be considered a member of the university senate.

    The current HEB members will be replaced as soon as the law comes in to effect.

    What will happen now?

    Parliament Speaker's Office will send the bill to President Sezer for his approval. Sezer has 15 days to assess the bill, before deciding on whether to veto it or not. Sezer can veto it and send the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration; he can approve it and launch a complaint at the constitutional court or approve it and send it for publication. Parliament expects him to wait 15 days before vetoing the bill.

    If the bill is vetoed, the government may pass the bill again with its majority without any change. The president cannot veto it a second time, but can apply to the constitutional court for its annulment, after approving it.

    If the government amends any part of the bill before sending it to the president, Sezer will have the right to veto the bill again. However, if the government amends the bill in accordance with the president's objections, there is a great likelihood that the bill will be approved the second time around.

    The government may choose to delay discussing the bill after the president's veto in order to lower the tension and pass it at an opportune time in the future.

    If the opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) or the president applies to the constitutional court for the HEB laws repeal after its approval, the matter will become even more complicated. The court may decide to suspend the law's application as it examines the case, which will result in the new rules not being applicable before the university entrance examination in June.

    If the law is applied after the university examination, students may apply to courts for the annulment of the exam because the exam rules have been changed. This will result in this year's university exam results becoming confused, which will cause a very harsh reaction from the parents of nearly two million students entering the exam this year.

    Erdogan insisted on passing the law in order to show the government's strength, despite causing a great deal of confusion in the universities and judicial system. The reaction of the military and academic institutions to this insistence is yet to be determined.

    [04] The Turkish Prime Minister criticizes US sanctions against Syria

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (14.05.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized a decision by the United States to impose sanctions on neighboring Syria, saying such steps would not help in the solution of problems but rather would be counterproductive.

    "I don't think embargos are in accordance with human rights in this day and age. This kind of approach does not facilitate a solution, but rather increases the problem," Erdogan said. He was speaking at a joint press conference with Lebanon's visiting prime minister, Rafik Hariri. The two premiers discussed bilateral ties and the situation in the Middle East, with a special focus on Iraq.

    On sanctions, Hariri agreed with Erdogan: "Sanctions are not a solution. They have never brought a solution. In the past, there have been many embargos, sanctions imposed on many countries. Has there been a result? No," Hariri said.

    U.S. President George W. Bush announced economic sanctions on Syria on Tuesday for backing militant factions fighting Israel and for failing to prevent guerrillas opposed to the U.S. occupation from entering Iraq.

    "The way to peace and globalization is not through embargoes," Erdogan said.

    Syria denies giving more than political support to groups fighting the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and to Hizbollah, whose forces periodically clash with Israeli troops on the Lebanese border. Washington says they are "terrorists."

    Erdogan also criticized Israel's plan to withdraw unilaterally from Gaza. He said the plan was "not right, just or conducive to a solution."

    Hariri, for his part, urged Israel to withdraw from territories that it had seized from Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.

    [05] The Republican People´s Party demands a debate on Iraq at the Turkish Parliament

    Turkish Daily News (14.05.04) reports the following: "The opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) demanded a Parliament debate on Turkey's Iraq policy due to the recent inhumane treatment of the Iraqi captives by the United States and British soldiers.

    In the debate proposal submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker by RPP deputies Haluk Koc, Kemal Anadol and Ali Topuz it was emphasized that the Coalition forces in Iraq have become "invasion forces" in the recent period.

    The recent pictures of torture by U.S. and British soldiers have sparked a wave of reactions from society, many political parties, government officials and nongovernmental organizations.

    "Every country and international institution which share the values of democracy should react to the pictures of torture and violence in Iraq," said the proposal statement.

    The proposal said that it was with the efforts of RPP deputies that "Turkey was prevented from being dragged into a war that has no legal, political or moral grounds, recalling that the government motion to send troops to Iraq was rejected on March 1 due to the strong opposition from RPP".

    "The recent practices by the Coalition forces on Iraqi people show us that there is a need for the government to revise its Iraq policy," it was stated.

    The deputies noted in their proposal that the Turkish Parliament should condemn the countries responsible for the events.

    [06] Cuba's Ambassador to Turkey Miguel Lamazares: "We will do all we could do to see the embargoes removed from the north Cyprus"

    According to Turkish mainland daily MILLIYET newspaper (14.05.04), Cuba's Ambassador to Ankara Mr Miguel Lamazares, has declared that his country will do all it could do, starting from the UN in all the international forums to see the so-called embargoes removed from the north Cyprus. Lamazares further said that soon important developments will take place in Cyprus. The Ambassador said: "The sanctions imposed on Cuba and the embargoes imposed on the TRNC should come to an end". Lamazares said that the latest sanctions imposed on Cuba by the USA will have negative effect on Cuba.

    "The rights of the two communities on the island should be on an equal footing. The people of the north Cyprus should enjoy the same rights as the people in the south. The international Community should notice this," the ambassador said.

    /SK


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