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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-05-19

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.93/04 19.05.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish sources give details of how Blair will work within the EU to stop the implementation of international law in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since 1974
  • [02] Denktas: "There are people who want to revive the Annan Plan"
  • [03] Early pseudo elections very possible to be held in occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Thirty deputies of the Republican People's Party in Turkey call for extraordinary congress criticizing the Party's leadership
  • [05] The Turkish trawlers fishing illegally off the Karpass peninsula left the area
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] The British Prime Minister is quoted to have said to Erdogan that the Annan plan is not dead
  • [07] Retired Turkish General analyses the U.S. policy on Cyprus. He suggest that the U.S is following a divide-and-rule policy
  • [08] Although Britain´s most important military bases are on Cyprus columnist in Radikal sees Blair´s support to Turkey as part of the Greater Middle East project
  • [09] Columnist in Afrika wonders whether a new Denktas is being born in the face of Talat

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish sources give details of how Blair will work within the EU to stop the implementation of international law in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since 1974

    Semi-official Anatolia news agency (17/05/04) dispatched the following report from Ankara:

    "British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said at his meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that efforts had been under way within the structure of the European Union (EU) to put an end to isolation against ´Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (TRNC), adding that they would assess the issue in the EU.

    Sources told the A.A correspondent on Monday that Prime Minister Erdogan had asked Prime Minister Blair to hold direct flights to the Ercan Airport in Lefkosa and to increase British investments in ´TRNC´.

    In response, Blair told Erdogan that he would seek for ways within the structure of the EU.

    Prime Minister Erdogan said: ''Although the Greek Cypriot side rejected United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan in the referendum on April 24, it was accepted as a new member of the EU. Now, we want the international community to support the Turkish Cypriot side which voted in favour of the plan.''

    Prime Minister Blair said that if the Greek Cypriot side did not change its attitude, everything would become negative for them.

    Referring to Turkey's EU membership process, Prime Minister Blair said that there was not any problem in the British public opinion to this end. He noted that although governments of some countries supported Turkey's membership to the EU, their public opinions rejected it.

    Stressing that some steps should be taken to remove hesitations of those public opinions, Blair said that steps could be taken on the issues of religious freedoms and human rights.

    Blair said that most of problems stemmed from economic hesitations. Noting that such countries were afraid of Turkey's being an important country, Blair said that Turkey could not be compared to Estonia to this end.

    Blair called on Erdogan to maintain economic reforms and to explain those reforms to European public opinions. Stressing that Europe also felt the changes in Turkey as a result of reforms, Blair noted that the Turkish government's attitude about the Cyprus issue had very positive impacts.

    Prime Minister Erdogan informed Prime Minister Blair on recent package of constitutional amendments.

    Meanwhile, the issue of re-trial process of Leyla Zana, the former deputy of the Democracy Party (DEP) which was banned by the Constitutional Court, was also discussed at the meeting. Stressing that the European public opinion was very sensitive about the issue, Blair said that coming to a conclusion in the case would create a positive atmosphere.

    Prime Minister Erdogan said: ''The case had started before we have come into power. We started the re-trial process. However, there is judiciary independence in Turkey. We also want the issue to reach a conclusion.'' Blair said that the EU had displayed a contradictory attitude, noting that the EU wanted Turkey to assume an attitude about the case while it was talking about supremacy of law and judiciary independence. Recalling that the State Security Courts (DGMs) would be annulled under the new constitutional amendments, Erdogan said, ''if Zana and her friends will be re-tried, a civilian court will hear the case.''

    [02] Denktas: "There are people who want to revive the Annan Plan"

    According to local Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19/05/04), the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that foreigners who used to say "there is no Annan plan, it does not exist any more", have changed their stance.

    Speaking during a reception Denktas warned that they have to be very careful in the face of those people "We have to be awake", Denktas warned.

    Commenting on statements made by certain diplomats Denktas said that they were exhibiting the same double standards. Denktas reacted to the US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston's statement that 'he understands the Geek Cypriots'.

    In another column the paper reports that yesterday Denktas had a meeting with Talat. After the meeting Denktas told the reporters that they have exchanged views on different issues. Denktas said that it was a normal meeting and expressed the wish that these routine meetings will continue and take place every Monday.

    When asked to comment on the meeting Denktas said: "There were various issues. We have made assessments together and exchanged views".

    [03] Early pseudo elections very possible to be held in occupied Cyprus

    Under the banner headline "Towards early elections" Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.05.04) reports that it is very possible that early elections be held in occupied Cyprus, after the resignations in the previous days, of a number of so-called "deputies" of the parties of the "coalition government", which let the pseudogovernment to fall into a state of minority at the pseudo assembly.

    The paper supports that it is not possible for a new "government" to be established, by forming a new alliance in the "assembly" since there are a lot of different views between the Turkish Cypriot Parties. The only possibility could be the forming of a coalition "government" with an alliance between the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) of Mehmet Ali Talat and the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu. However, the RTP considers this as "showing disrespectfulness to the will of the Turkish Cypriots". Nevertheless, with the exception of the RTP which supports the idea of early "elections", all the other parties of the pseudo assembly favour to find a solution within the "parliament" before holding "elections".

    In addition, the NUP supports the idea of forming a broad-based "government "in the pseudostate. The party, which appears to be angry with the way that the RTP sees the possibility of an alliance with the NUP, states that all the chances for forming a new alliance within the "parliament" must be taken under consideration. "There is a formula for a broad-based 'government'", supports the party.

    [04] Thirty deputies of the Republican People's Party in Turkey call for extraordinary congress criticizing the Party's leadership

    Turkish Daily News (19.05.04) reports that thirty parliamentary deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (RPP) in Turkey called on Tuesday for the convening of an extraordinary party congress. The deputies criticized the party leadership and called for amendments in party regulations to make membership more inclusive. They said, "No matter what happens, we will continue to make our voices heard in accordance with party unity."

    The 30 deputies, speaking at a press conference in the Turkish Parliament, gave a briefing about their movement called "Progression towards Government." The youngest deputy in the group, Mehmet Kirklareli from Kesimoglu, read a three-page declaration.

    The deputies said they were to begin collecting the signatures of 651 party delegates, which were necessary for the convening of the emergency party congress, adding that they would be handing over the signatures to the party leadership within 15 days.

    In reply to a question, the deputies said they had no links with the RPP deputy Kemal Dervis. The declaration also said that the RPP was not ruled properly or efficiently due to the structure and the attitude of the leadership.

    [05] The Turkish trawlers fishing illegally off the Karpass peninsula left the area

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.05.04) under the banner headline "At last the trawlers left", writes that following the intervention of the so-called cost guard boats of the occupation regime, the Turkish trawlers which were fishing illegally off the Karpass peninsula, had now left the area. There were around 100 trawlers, which were fishing illegally at the area, putting in danger the lives of the 'caretta caretta' turtles and other aquatic creature in the area.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] The British Prime Minister is quoted to have said to Erdogan that the Annan plan is not dead

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (18/05/04) publishes the following article by Hilal Koylu under the title: "Good News from Blair"

    "While openly indicating his support for Turkey's EU accession in Ankara Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said this support encompassed the Turkish Cypriot people as well. Telling Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "We believe you will get an accession talks date in December" Blair gave the good news that aircraft would be allowed to land at Ercan Airport in order to break the TRNC´s [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] isolation. Tony Blair and Tayyip Erdogan also signed a joint action plan that symbolizes Britain's "strategic partnership" with Turkey.

    Subtitle: Joint Action Plan

    Attaching great importance to Blair's visit because it was the first visit by a British prime minister in 14 years Ankara succeeded in gaining "a powerful ally" ahead of the EU summit in December at which it expects to be granted an accession talks date. After meeting President Ahmet Necdet Sezer Britain's prime minister met Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. Blair's full support of Turkey's expectations on its way to the EU put Ankara's mind at ease. Both sides decided to sign a five-page action plan deepening cooperation as "strategic partners and allies". The main points of the plan, which emphasizes support for Turkey's EU candidacy, are:

    1. Both countries' foreign ministers will be in dialogue so as to follow up Turkey's performance vis-ŕ-vis the Copenhagen Criteria.

    2. Britain will switch to the offensive diplomatically speaking at the EU and the UN in order for the EU to establish direct commercial, economic, political and cultural ties with the Turkish side of Cyprus.

    3. Cooperation in defence between both countries will be strengthened. NATO operations will be enforced.

    4. The joint MOU signed for combating terrorism will be continuously monitored.

    5. Turkey and the United Kingdom will establish a dialogue over Iraq.

    6. They will work together to bring about stability in Central Asia. They will work together to find a settlement to disputes between the countries of the southern Caucasus starting with Nagorno Karabakh.

    Subtitle: Direct Flights to TRNC

    During his tęte-ŕ-tęte talk with Prime Minister Erdogan Blair was quoted as saying that the Greek Cypriots, who had voted 'No' to a settlement on Cyprus and made the EU's work tougher, "would pay the price". Blair reportedly explained his support to the Turkish Cypriot people with the words: "British planes will land in the TRNC. Other EU countries will be encouraged to do so to." Diplomatic sources stated that work on a flight timetable was about to begin and made the following evaluation: "Britain is not obliged to act in accordance with a joint EU ruling in order to have flights [to the TRNC]." When Foreign Minister Gul asked, "When will British planes be landing in the TRNC?" Blair replied: "You will see soon. Britain has openly expressed its support."

    Subtitle: Plan Not Dead

    Blair voiced his support for Turkey's EU membership at a press conference held jointly with Prime Minister Erdogan with the words: "We hope that you will get a negotiations timetable in December." Blair also noted that the necessary quests were being made for a settlement on Cyprus and said, "I do not think the Annan Plan is dead." In response to questions about Iraq at the press conference Blair said, "We will stay in Iraq until the job is done" whereas Prime Minister Erdogan said there was no question of sending Turkish forces.

    Subtitle: Tight Security

    1. Blair's visit was torture for the people of the capital city. Helicopters followed Blair's convoy. Blair was met by State Minister Tuzmen and British Ambassador Westmacott.

    2. The official car that Blair got into as soon as he disembarked was not plunged into city traffic.

    3. All the streets around the Presidential Mansion were closed to one-way traffic. Drivers caught in jams protested by blaring their car horns.

    4. Special police dog teams joked with photo-journalists saying: "What are you doing photographing us. Photograph Blair. He is the king of the road."

    5. Blair's flight home was delayed for 45 minutes due to a technical fault.

    6. A group comprising members of the Confederation of Public Sector Employees Unions and the Socialist Youth Association held a demonstration in Kizilay Square protesting Blair and the Iraq war. Police prevented them from walking to the Prime Ministry."

    [07] Retired Turkish General analyses the U.S. policy on Cyprus. He suggest that the U.S is following a divide-and-rule policy

    Istanbul Aksam newspaper (17/05/04) publishes the following commentary by Retired Brigadier General Nejat Eslen under the title: "The Significance of Cyprus for America":

    "The interests of the United States required the prevention of Cyprus's integration as a state, the winning over of the Turkish administration, and in time the increase of the US military presence in Northern Cyprus.

    It is essential to read Cyprus correctly. One has to pose the question as to what Cyprus, which is small in itself, but has great geo-strategic importance in the global and regional dimensions, means for the United States:

    - Cyprus, because of its location, is in a position to control the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and even the Turkish Straits. Cyprus is also important for the security of the Eastern Mediterranean and Israel.

    - Cyprus is in a position to control the energy resources of the Middle East, and is also in a very important location on the maritime transportation route of these resources. (The route via the Gulf of Basra, the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, Cyprus, Crete, Malta, and Gibraltar. This sea transportation route is at the same time also used by Europe for its trade with the Far East.)

    - Cyprus is also in a position to control the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [petroleum] pipeline and the terminal of this pipeline, the other energy transfer lines that are being opened and will be opened to this region, and the GAP [Southeastern Anatolia Project] region and the water resources of Eastern Anatolia, which will become gradually more important as a result of global warming.

    - For all of these reasons, controlling Cyprus is of vital importance for the United States, which wants to control the Eurasian energy resources and the transport routes of these resources, as well as for Israel, which wants to control the water resources of Mesopotamia.

    The United States possesses certain advantages as a result of the British sovereign bases in the south of Cyprus, but these advantages are not sufficient, and the United States, for the reasons listed above, wants to convert Cyprus into a forward operations base by increasing its military presence.

    The Cyprus strategy of the United States, which wants to make Cyprus into a forward operations base, has been based on the following principles: In the event of Cyprus's being transformed into a unified state under the control of the Greek Cypriots, the United States' project to control Cyprus might very likely be endangered, due to opposition from the Greek Cypriots. Moreover, the integration of Cyprus as a state would also mean the European Union's becoming sovereign on the island. For this reason as well, the interests of the United States required prevention of Cyprus's integration as a state, the winning over of the Turkish administration on Cyprus, the achieving of a situation advantageous to the administration in Turkey and for it to win prestige, and in time the increase of the US military presence in Northern Cyprus. And the government in Turkey was suitable for the realization of these conditions. The scenario was written in accord with this, and the game was played according to this scenario.

    The mission of [UN Secretary-General Kofi] Annan, who is a lackey of the United States, was to prepare the ground for an agreement by drawing up a 9-thousand-page plan that was impossible even to be read carefully, let alone studied. Through the provision of new rights to the Turks as the negotiations picked up, the Greek Cypriot government and the Greek Cypriots in general, who saw the Turks of Cyprus as a minority, were placed in an impasse. The fact that the administration in Turkey and the majority of the Turkish Cypriots were ready to make every sort of concession only made Annan's and the United States' task easier.

    Now everyone seems happy. The Greek Cypriots are happy because they have become EU members. The Turkish Cypriots are happy because the embargo is going to be lifted and they are going to receive assistance and some of them also because they will become EU citizens due to holding Greek Cypriot passports. The Greek Cypriot government is happy because it will be able, together with Greece, to determine Turkey's relations with the EU, and for this reason will be able to get concessions, and because it will be able to open an embassy in Ankara. The government in Turkey, being unaware that, by seeking a solution, it has in fact proved that the policy of no solution was in fact the most appropriate policy, is happy because it has gained in prestige and come even closer to the United States. Those who have defended the thesis that Cyprus is vitally important for Turkey's security are happy because they have fallen into the error of thinking that this danger has now been eliminated. And certain forces within the EU who have not acted with equitableness and justice toward Turkey and the Turks are happy because they have not realized that they have lost the north of Cyprus to the United States, and because they have not made the Turks, even those within the Cyprus state, EU members, and have not made Turkish one of the official languages.

    As for the United States, which planned the affair, it is happy because it has shaped Cyprus in a way that accords with its own interests.

    After Cyprus, it will be time for Turkey to be shaped. As for Turkey's reshaping, it will start with the destruction of the secular system and the formation of a new model of Islam. In order to comprehend this, one has to know what State Minister Mehmet Aydin, [former Economics Minister] Kemal Dervis, [US political scientist Francis] Fukuyama, Phanariot Greek Patriarch Bartholomeos, and [Islamic sectarian leader] Fethullah Gulen had to say at the Abant meeting held in Washington, the details of which have been hidden from the Turkish people, as well as the meaning of Prime Minister [Recep] Tayyip Erdogan's looking so positively on the Anglo-Saxon model of secularism."

    [08] Although Britain´s most important military bases are on Cyprus columnist in Radikal sees Blair´s support to Turkey as part of the Greater Middle East project

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (18/05/04) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "What can be seen in overall picture?" "In order to understand what remains of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's brief visit to Turkey we need to take a step back to try and see the big picture.

    On the face of it Blair's visit was aimed at supporting Turkey's EU reforms and the policy changes seen over the last three years, in particular under the Justice and Development Party [JDP) government, with respect to the Cyprus settlement process. One other topic not connected with this was what he said about the role that Britain, which together with the United States is the main occupying force in Iraq, and Turkey can play both in getting the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular integrated into the rest of the world.

    At first glance Turkey's foreign policy headings geographically speaking look split between the East and West: On the one hand there are the efforts being made under a Cyprus and EU agenda to unify with Europe. On the other there is the greater Middle East Project, the project to integrate Iraq and the Middle East with the rest of the world, something that Ankara is approaching with caution even if it does approve of the idea.

    On the one side there is the world of stability and development that Turkey wants to be a part of, while on the other there is a world dominated by instability, uncertainty and oppressive administrations. This contradiction gives rise to the impression that Turkish foreign policy is full of schizophrenic tensions, and that Turkey is going to have to choose between these two worlds. Yet, Turkey 's European targets and the role it can play in the integration of the Middle East with the world can both be pursued without them clashing and without Turkey having to choose between them because both topics are part of the same great picture.

    It is becoming better understood both at home and abroad that the closer Turkey gets to Europe and becomes a part of it the more important and productive role it will be able to play in uniting the Middle East with the world. Furthermore, the more it establishes good relations with the Middle East the more it will be able to contribute to strength and stability in Europe. We will all see whether or not the speed and spread of better understanding will be enough to secure an accession talks date for Turkey at the EU summit at the end of 2004, and for accession talks to start in 2005 as Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan hopes. However, if we go by what Britain's Prime Minister Blair said, this is going to happen.

    Blair's visit to Turkey must not be seen as separate from US Secretary of State Colin Powell's current visit to Jordan, or from US President George Bush's National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice's contacts in Russia and Germany. One should also view Bush's decree, which announced that Secretary of State Powell would be responsible for Iraq policy after 30 June, when authority in Iraq will begin to be handed over, in this same light. The more the role being played by the neo-con heavy Pentagon hawks in regional policies reduces -- partly thanks to the torture scandal -- the more we see how the United States has to follow a more compromising and less one-sided line. Today we are seeing this fine-tuning in a change of tact. Another sign of this is how both Powell and Rice met with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quray in Amman and Berlin on consecutive days. Despite the call by the Palestinians' aging and still-in-the-past leader Yasir Arafat of "Do not terrorize the enemy" Prime Minister Quray says he wants to sign a cease-fire with Israel. The United States can see how it got an immediate response from the region the moment is stopped blindly supporting Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies, which are not even supported by his own party. The partial signs of democratization that came from the region the moment the United States made it clear it was not going to champion single-handedly the Greater Middle East Project, for example Kuwait's announcement on Sunday [16 May] that it was giving women the right to vote, are other signs of this.

    The Palestinian-Israeli issue is another part of the same big picture along with Cyprus and Iraq.

    It might take decades for the Middle East to get more open economies and political administrations but this process will be able to strengthen Europe further and bring it forward as a world power. The contribution Turkey will make to the acceleration of this process could bring with it its unification with Europe and enable it to be more influential in the Middle East. In order for a formula that suits national interests to be found in this area, which is being widely debated in the world's capitals, it would be very useful for the Turkish public too to start debating this issue as soon as possible."

    [09] Columnist in Afrika wonders whether a new Denktas is being born in the face of Talat

    Under the title "Is it so?..." Afrika newspaper (19/05/04) publishes a commentary by Salih Celebioglu in the column "Round Table."

    Mr Celebioglu criticizes the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, for his position that he does not want to discuss the Annan plan again. He stresses that the plan upset equally the Greek and Turkish Cypriots because it would not save Cyprus from the occupation and treated the Cypriots as sheep in a pen. He accuses Mr Talat of turning his back to the Greek Cypriots and wonder whether a new Denktas is being born.

    The commentary is as follows:

    "Prime Minister Talat says: ´I do not discuss the Annan plan again´. This could be. Besides the Annan plan was not something excellent.

    It was a plan imposed on the Cypriots by the British and American imperialism both in order to protect its own interests and to provide some breathing space for Turkey.

    When the fog cleared the facts started to appear slowly-slowly. And Prime Minister Talat who should also have seen this reality wants no new negotiations.

    We are people of good intentions and we want to comment on this thought of Mr Talat. But I think we are wrong on this too.

    We understand that Mr Talat´s decision not to discuss the Annan plan derives from the fact that he wants to continue accusing the Greek Cypriot side and especially AKEL.

    The Greek Cypriots do not want peace. We are coming back to square one and together with Ankara we came to Denktas´ line.

    As if the man who is in front of us is not Talat but Denktas.

    OK. Let us say that you do not want to discuss the Annan plan again and that people accepted this decision of yours.

    In addition, this plan has upset us as much as the Greek Cypriots. It has illusioned us as much as it has illusioned them. Because it did not bring solutions to the target of the Turkish Cypriots to "be saved from the occupation", and "the life in a stock yard".

    By saying ´yes´ the Turkish Cypriots had only one hope, to get rid of the status quo'

    Let us say that after these events the people authorized Prime Minister Talat and said: ´Do not negotiate the Annan plan anymore. Well, what is the alternative? Do you have another plan?

    Do not forget that you are not there to rule under the present status quo conditions. You are a government of peace! You have come to power with the claim of making peace.

    Well how would you make this peace by not speaking to the Greeks, by being cross with them?

    In a climate where everybody understands the reason of their ´no´ you do not want to accept it. It means that you have no chance of reaching peace under these conditions.

    In that case either you create the environment for peace with a new move or leave your position to others who can do this.

    No time is left to waste on speaking about isolations, embargoes and American packages. Were thirty years not enough!

    Why do we turn our back to the Greek Cypriots and do not want to face them? Was this mistake not enough for 40 continuous years?

    Is it not we who for 40 years now isolated ourselves first from the common Republic of Cyprus and then from the world? Did we not have enough of remaining stuck to the expansionist policy of Turkey and on the high notions of rights, justice, and humanity?

    We brought you to power to put an end to all these. But you should know that you cannot put an end to these disgraces by entering into co-operation with the High Coordination Council and the fifth column of the deep state here.

    Especially you can offer nothing by saying: 'There is no difference of opinion between me and Denktas´.

    I have not yet lost hope that the peace sought by the Turkish Cypriots for 40 years will come true by putting aside all obstacles on the way.

    But after following the actions taken and the words being uttered as time goes by the concern inside me is increasing.

    Could it be that a new Denktas is being born?"


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