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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.92/04 18.05.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Illegal settler so-called MP resigns. Efforts to form a new so-called coalition government in the occupied areas of CyprusAccording to local Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (18/05/04), former chairman of the illegal mainland settlers association and now so-called Republican Turkish Party -United Forces(RTP-UF) deputy Nuri Cevikel has tendered his resignation from the Republican Turkish Party of Mehmet Ali Talat. Cevikel yesterday held a press conference and strongly criticized Talat for the policy he is following after the so-called elections. Cevikel claimed that Talat did not appoint mainland Turks to "to government posts".
He disclosed that on 29 September 2003 they have signed a protocol with the RTP according to which an end would be put to discrimination and separatism. However, he said, the RTP did not respect the protocol and he was not invited to take part in the meetings of the party organs. He accused the RTP of waging a major propaganda of lies.
Despite the fact that he has decided to withdraw his support from the so-called government he said that at this stage there was no need for holding early elections and that he is of the belief that the government should continue for some time. He declared that he will serve his term as an independent "deputy".
With the resignation of Cevikel the arithmetic of the so-called assembly has changed and the so-called government became a minority government. With this resignation the RTP holds 18 seats, as the (NUP) National Unity Party. The present distribution of the seats are as follows; The RTP 18, the NUP 18, the DP 5, the PDM 4, the CLP 1, the UCP 1 and the Independents 3.
Commenting on the resignation of Mr Cevikel, the RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat said that he is not going to answer Cevikel's accusations. Talat declared that given the present situation the best way was to hold early elections. Talat noted that Cevikel was not a member of the RTP.
On the other hand the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) Mustafa Akinci declared that they were ready to take part in a "government " that reflects the referendum results of the 65 percent "yes" vote. However, he said they are not prepared to take part in the "present government" as a patch. He said that he favoured a way out through negotiations within the so-called assembly without submitting a no-confidence motion to the "assembly".
 Blair and Erdogan forge a strategic alliance over Iraq, Afghanistan and the illegally occupied by Turkish troops territories of the Republic of CyprusUnder the title "Turkey, Britain unveil action plan" Turkish Daily News (18.05.04) reports the following as regards the British Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to Ankara yesterday:
"Britain and Turkey agreed on Monday to cooperate on a wide variety of issues, ranging from cooperation in forwarding Turkey's bid to join the European Union to contributing to stability in troubled Iraq and Afghanistan.
Their cooperation will also include British support for direct British and European Union contact with Turkish Cypriots in economic, political and cultural fields, show of London's commitment to help efforts to end Turkish Cypriots' isolation after their vote in favour of a U.N. plan for reunification of their island.
The unveiling of the agreement on the "action plan for partners in a shared agenda" came during a lightning visit by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Ankara on Monday afternoon.
It was the first by a British premier in 16 years since Margaret Thatcher. The progress in implementation of the action plan is subject to review twice a year.
During his six-hour visit, Blair held talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the first of an annual series of summits between Britain and Turkey agreed at a last year meeting between the two premiers.
Britain is a strong supporter of Turkey's aspirations to join the EU, against skepticism in some other EU partners including France. In Monday's talks, Blair expressed Britain's appreciation of the significant progress made by Turkey, echoing earlier remarks that accepting Turkey into the club would show Europe was committed to "diverse races, cultures and religions."
But he suggested that a positive result from December's summit depended upon the continuing implementation of the legislation passed in connection with the political criteria.
Turkey hopes to get the green light to start long-delayed accession talks in a summit of EU leaders in December and if all goes well, the accession talks will start as early as the first half of 2005.
"We have to meet them part way," a British official told The Associated Press, on condition of anonymity in London.
"Turkey has made important progress. We should recognize that by setting a date for the beginning of negotiations."
Late on Sunday, just hours before his visit, four small bombs exploded outside branches of the British bank HSBC in the capital Ankara and the commercial hub Istanbul, but police said there were no casualties.
Blair is to visit Turkey in June as well, this time to attend a NATO summit in Istanbul.
Security for Monday's visit was very tight and measures are underway to ensure safety of the June summit of NATO as well.
Turkey has launched a diplomatic campaign to end international isolation of Turkish Cypriots after they voted to support U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan for reunification of the island ahead of its accession into the EU. The plan failed because of a Greek Cypriot rejection in an April 24 referendum.
The action plan said the two prime ministers agreed, "in order to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots ... to work within the U.N., the EU and bilaterally to promote greater direct commercial, economic, political and cultural contacts between the UK, the EU and the Turkish Cypriot side."
Talks in Ankara covered cooperation in Afghanistan and Iraq as well. Turkey borders Iraq and is viewed by Britain as a strategic power in the region.
Turkish public opinion strongly opposed the U.S.-led war to oust Saddam Hussein and has been shocked, like the rest of the Muslim world, by recent photographs detailing abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers.
The action plan signed by Erdogan and Blair committed the two countries "to establish a strategic UK-Turkey dialogue on Iraq, in order to promote our shared objective of preserving Iraq's territorial integrity, and establishing a stable, prosperous and democratic Iraq."
Blair's talks in Ankara came as he is under growing political pressure at home to find an Iraq exit strategy. On Monday, his government said it planned to step up training of Iraqi forces to allow its own military to leave as soon as feasible.
"The strategy is to allow the Iraqis to take control as soon as possible and to allow us to leave as soon as possible," Blair's spokeswoman told reporters.
The goal was a peaceful and stable Iraq, she said. "One way is by improving the training of people on the ground."
Until now, the government line has been that a British presence would be maintained for "as long as it takes". The spokeswoman conceded the government was reaffirming its strategy, not changing it and a key Blair ally said there would be no premature exit before Iraq was stable.
"It's absolutely clear that we will stay until Iraq is properly able to look after its own affairs," Cabinet Minister Lord Falconer said.
Blair's popularity has plunged since he waged war in Iraq, to the point where his followers are speculating about how long he has left as premier and urging him to distance himself from U.S. President George W. Bush.
Support for ISAF expansion in Afghanistan
On Afghanistan, the two premiers agreed to support NATO's stabilization mission in the country, including through support of the planned expansion of the force beyond Kabul and widening of the network of Provincial Reconstruction Teams.
Turkey is among several allies that has been urged by NATO to contribute more to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Turkey has been cool towards the idea of sending more combat troops, saying it has already made enough contributions.
But policy-makers are considering ways to create a Provincial Reconstruction Team but the location and financing of the team is still subject to negotiations between Ankara and the Alliance.
The action plan commits Turkey and Britain to cooperate in economic and cultural fields as well".
 Gul to visit Moscow for the Organization of the Islamic Conference quartet talksTurkish Daily News (18.05.04) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will head to Moscow on Wednesday to attend a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ministerial Delegation with the Middle East Quartet member Russia, a statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
The Quartet, comprising of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union, has been created to help implementation of the Road Map for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
The ministerial delegation was formed to hold talks on behalf of the Organization on the issue of the Israel-Palestine conflict in an extra-ordinary OIC meeting on April 22, 2004.
Turkey was invited by the OIC Summit term president Malaysia due to its close interest in the Palestine issue, its constructive efforts for peace in the region and for the fact that it will host the coming OIC Foreign Ministers' meeting in June, read the statement. Apart from Turkey, Senegal, the next term president of the OIC, OIC Jerusalem Committee president Morocco and Palestine take part in the delegation. In Dublin, the capital of the EU's term president Ireland, the OIC Ministerial Delegation and the EU is scheduled to meet today. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who headed for Brussels on Monday night to attend a Turkey-EU Partnership Council on Tuesday, will not attend that meeting.
The Turkish State Minister Besir Atalay is set to attend the OIC-EU talks in Dublin.
Gul is scheduled to attend the talks between the delegation and Russia tomorrow and also plans to have a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart, according to the Foreign Ministry statement.
Preparations of the OIC Ministerial delegation for visits to the U.N. and U.S. still continue.
 The changes in the Higher Education Board draw more protests in TurkeyNTV television (17/05/04) broadcast that the controversial amendments to the Higher Education Board (HEB), passed by the Turkish parliament early Thursday still scores objection from many universities in Turkey.
Employees of almost 30 universities based in north-western Marmara region of Turkey staged a demonstration against the HEB changes on Monday. It was the article granting students of vocational high schools the same weighting in their university entrance exams as students from other schools that aroused the most discussion.
The dean of Istanbul University, Mr Kemal Alemdarolu in the press statement following the march, claimed that the objective of the government was not aiming to have vocational schools by this amendment but religion based schools. "We as the university members are against this law which breaches the fundamental and secular principles of our republic," he said. Alemdarolu also stressed that this was the joint view of the universities to the undemocratic move of the government. Some university students also participated in the protest.
Many secularists claimed that the amendments were a move by the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) to allow more graduates from schools operated to train personnel for service in Turkey' religious institutions to enter university. Opponents of the new law said that the move would undermine the secular nature of Turkey's higher education system.
President Sezer has 15 days in which to consider the legislation before, either approving it in total or vetoing part or all of the law and returning it to parliament for a second round of debate.
If JDP dominated parliament approve the legislation a second time without making any changes, Sezer can not exercise his veto but can challenge its validity in the Constitutional Court. The powerful and staunchly secularist Turkish Armed Forces is also a strong opponent of the move.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Ozker Ozgur supports that Mr Talat will do what is provided in the Greater Middle East ProjectUnder the title "The Great Middle East Project", AFRIKA newspaper (18.05.04) publishes the following commentary by the veteran Turkish Cypriot politician, Mr Ozker Ozgur:
"Should the elections be repeated or should they not be repeated? The major partner of the coalition is indecisive. Father Denktas has the proposal of a tripartite coalition government, which it will include the son Denktas. What is going to happen it will be in line with the interests of the big boss, the USA and the government of the Justice and Development Party which waits from the EU a date in December 2004 and which wants to get rid of the Cyprus problem. The government of the Justice and Development Party has a lot of troubles to face because of the Higher Education Board's legislation. Repeating the elections in Northern Cyprus will not be very useful. The National Unity Party has already announced that it will get along the new conditions. Since there is a condition "to manage somehow" until the December 2004, isn't of no use to bring suddenly onto the agenda the repeating of the elections?
In addition, money is required in order the elections to be repeated. Who is going to provide money for the repeating of the elections, the present coalition government which tries to save the day by getting of 1/12 of the of old budget or a new government that can be established? What does the big boss the USA says as regards the repeating of the elections in Northern Cyprus?
The big boss is preparing for the NATO Summit meeting which will take place in Istanbul on the 28-29 of June. In the NATO summit putting into practise the Greater Middle East Project will be discussed. The USA which relies on Tayyip Erdogan's moderate Islam is experiencing the difficulties of the materialization through Islam of the Greater Middle East Project which is spread over a wider area. Because of this the USA turned to NATO and Turkey. It is understood that the USA wants to realize the Greater Middle East Project through military methods. NATO is the Military arm and Turkey is central to this. In order for full control to be taken of the Middle East's oil, after Iraq, it will come the turn of Syria's and Iran's occupation will follow. If this is successful, then the turn of Caucasus and Central Asia will come. In these attacks use of Military basis in Turkey and very possibly the North Cyprus is on the agenda.
It is not clear what would the government of the Justice and Development Party say to this plan of the big boss, the USA. However, the dimension of the danger is scary. It seems that the NATO summit in June in Istanbul will be problematic and difficult. Information is coming in that thousands of protesters who are against the war, are prepared to go to Istanbul from every part of Europe. The World Social Forum organises meeting against the globalization. The slogan of the Global Peace and Justice Commission is "Bush, do not come, we do not want (you)". At the anti-war forum the war crimes of the NATO member countries will be disclosed. The number of the local and international organisations which will demonstrate against the NATO summit is huge. Under such conditions, could the elections here be repeated in order to keep happy the "United Forces" in Northern Cyprus that the government of the Justice and Development Party took under its protection?
The operation has been completed on the 24 April. The USA has provided that the majority in northern Cyprus say "yes" and in the south to say "no" on the 24 April 2004 referenda. A new status quo was created which will serve the interest of the USA until Turkey becomes full member of the EU. Neither the "United Forces", nor the National Unity Party are against the new status quo. The USA wants a stable and peaceful environment in Northern Cyprus for materialization of the Greater Middle East Project.
The most stable and peaceful environment could be secured with the father Denktas' proposal of a tripartite coalition government. Do not pay attention that Mehmet Ali Talat and Ferdi Soyer do not look warmly to a coalition with the National Unity Party. Whatever the Greater Middle East Project envisages, it is going to happen".