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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-06-22

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.116/04 22.06.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Abdullatif Sener says the TGNA could approve the customs union "agreement" of Turkey with the pseudostate in Cyprus.
  • [02] World Bank ready to extend aid to the areas of Cyprus under the military control of Turkey.
  • [03] Durduran: The Greek Cypriot school at Rizokarpasso must open immediately.
  • [04] The occupation regime signed protocols of cooperation in sports with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Columnist in MILLIYET approaches President Bush´s visit to Turkey as though the US owes everything to the Turks although at the most critical phase of the war against Sadam they refused to even allow passage of troops.
  • [06] Turkey does not want to make any step in Cyprus until it takes a date from the EU in December.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Abdullatif Sener says the TGNA could approve the customs union "agreement" of Turkey with the pseudostate in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (22.06.04) reports that Turkey's deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus, Abdullatif Sener has said that the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) could approve the customs union "agreement" signed last year between Turkey and the pseudostate in occupied Cyprus.

    In statements yesterday to NTV television, Mr Sener, who will be illegally visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus today, noted that the "public" and the real sectors of the Turkish Cypriot economy and the banking system will be harmonized with the EU.

    Mr Sener said that technical committees of Turkey and the pseudostate would meet and discuss the necessary changes, which will be guaranteeing that the Turkish Cypriot economy is able to face international competition. They would also examine measures for ensuring the influx of foreign investments to occupied Cyprus within the process of lifting the "embargoes" and increasing its potential in tourism.

    Mr Sener said that they would harmonize the 25 banks in the occupied areas, including the three "state" banks, to the EU standards. He also noted that they have many requests for direct flights to the illegal airport of occupied Cyprus.

    Noting that during his illegal visit to the occupied part of Cyprus they would also discuss the so-called customs union agreement between Turkey and the pseudostate, Mr Sener said: "Anything could be done, including approval by the parliament. We shall evaluate together the developments".

    Commenting on the wish of the Turkish Cypriots to introduce the Euro, Mr Sener supported that this could no be done in the short term because of the many-sided economic relations of Turkey and the pseudostate.

    [02] World Bank ready to extend aid to the areas of Cyprus under the military control of Turkey

    According to local Turkish daily KIBRISLI newspaper (22/06/04), the director of the Turkish Desk at the World Bank, Andrew Vorkink, has alleged that there is identity of views in the international community as regards putting aside the so-called isolationist policies imposed on the occupied area. He said that once the views of the UN and the USA get clear as regards the occupied area, they are ready, as the World Bank, to abandon this policy and extend help.

    He further claimed that a good will has been created internationally as regards removing the so-called isolation on the occupied areas. He said that they are closely following the economic developments in the occupied area, that he had met with Mehmet Ali Talat, the so-called Prime Minister of Ankara´s regime in occupied Cyprus, and saw in him the strong desire to introduce the economic reforms necessary for the occupied area and that once the views of the USA and the UN will become clear they, as the World Bank, will extend the necessary assistance.

    [03] Durduran: The Greek Cypriot school at Rizokarpasso must open immediately

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (22.06.04) reports that Mr Alpay Durduran, the secretary of foreign affairs of the Patriotic Union Movement stated yesterday that the Greek Cypriot school at Rizokarpasso must open immediately.

    Mr Durduran said that according to the 3rd Vienna Agreement the Greek Cypriots who live in Karpass area must be benefited from the services of their own teachers. "However, despite the fact that integrating the students to the Turkish educational system is against the Agreement, Mehmet Ali Talat may pretend that the Agreement is invalid", he said. Mr Durduran also stated that if this situation continues, all the benefits that the Turkish Cypriots gained from the positive answer they gave to the referendum, will be lost.

    [04] The occupation regime signed protocols of cooperation in sports with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (22.06.04) reports that the president of the so-called National Olympic committee of the pseudostate Eyup Zafer Gokbilen along with the President of the so-called football Federation of the pseudostate, Omer Adal will return to occupied Cyprus, after they visited Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan where they signed protocols of cooperation in various sports.

    As the paper writes, Eyup Zafer Gokbilen signed protocols with the National Olympic Committees of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, while Omer Adal signed a protocol of cooperation in football with the football Federation of the two countries for matches to be contacted in this field. In addition, it was made known that in the framework of the protocol, a team from Kazakhstan will come in July in the pseudostate to have one or two games in the occupation regime.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Columnist in MILLIYET approaches President Bush´s visit to Turkey as though the US owes everything to the Turks although at the most critical phase of the war against Sadam they refused to even allow passage of troops

    As in the Second World War the Turks skillfully avoided involvement in the war against Sadam Huseyin, they did not allow the American troops to pass through Turkish soil causing a delay in the development of the war and giving time to the Iraqi forces of resistance to get organized, but in the end they are benefited most both politically and economically.

    Cyprus, which was turned into a huge graveyard during the Turkish invasion of 1974, is the major victim of this skillful neutrality of Turkey, and as the columnist of MILLIYET writes, Turkey expects the US to fulfill its promises regarding the areas of Cyprus under Turkish military control, where Turkey usurped all the properties of the Greek Cypriots and 70% of the wealth of a small hardworking peaceful country.

    The column, by Yasemin Congar, MILLIYET´s correspondent in Washington, is published in MILLIYET on 21.06.04 under the title: "When President Bush comes".

    The full text of the column is as follows:

    "The visit to Turkey of the US President on 27-29 June is a visit, which is difficult to reach success, in the eyes of the Turkish public. The sources of this difficulty are both universal and unique to Turkey.

    Let us first look at the general reasons for the fact that President George W. Bush would not be met with such shows of affection in Turkey.

    Opposition to the Iraqi War has not lost its strength in Turkey, as in many places of the world. The results, which could decrease this opposition, could not yet be obtained due to the stagnation by United States in Iraq, its not being able to provide security and the uncertainties of the process of political restructuring.

    In my opinion, the torture images from the Abu Gurayb prison in the Iraqi picture, which settled in our memories, is another element, which would overshadow our societal perceptions related to the Bush visit and which form the most justified criticism against the administration in Washington D.C. The widespread belief that the Bush administration both prepared the foundation for these violations and did not give an adequate reaction increases the graveness of these images.

    Undoubtedly, the close stance of Washington D.C. to the Likud government in Israel makes it difficult for the Turkish people "to receive President Bush with open arms".

    These are elements, which are not unique to Turkey. You can observe that the feeling against the Bush administration, for instance, in Trafalgar Square in London, as much as in the Taksim Square in Istanbul, have these common aspects. Actually, ever since President Bush separated the world into two, by calling them the good and the bad, and ever since he showed that he is ready to take steps, despite the allies, within the scope of this black and white vision, in general he does not have the support of the peoples of the world. President Bush and his team could not succeed completely in transforming the solidarity sentiments created by the 11 September attacks in the direction of support for the policies of the United States after 11 September. Washington, D.C. could not even win the support of the public in Britain, its closest ally, which both the British government and the main opposition party gave to him.

    Promises that could not be kept

    There are also subjects on the agenda of Ankara and Washington D.C., which are not advancing at a level that would satisfy the expectations in our society. Both capital cities will expend efforts for these subjects not to overshadow the visit, but some promises that could not be kept, could make the Turkish public think that the Bush visit is a "visit in vain".

    The fact that the operation, which would finish the PKK [Worker's Party of Kurdistan] presence in northern Iraq by the United States is not envisaged in the near future, with the statement of the US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman, is one of the negative points in the eyes of the Turkish public. Naturally, for the United States not to make an operation does not have the meaning that it is condoning the free movements of the PKK in the region. Washington D.C. is determined to prevent the armed organization members from constituting a threat to Turkey via Iraq. But there is a very extensive group in Turkey, which would not be content until the presence of the PKK in northern Iraq is ended.

    The fact that the Turkomans are not strongly represented in the new structuring in Iraq, the strengthening of the Kurdish autonomy and the knowledge that the probable cross border operations of the Turkish soldiers would be prevented are creating question marks against the United States in the Turkish society.

    Even the US$8.5 billion loan gesture of Washington D.C. made to Turkey has made a negative effect rather than a positive effect on cooperation, due to the conditions imposed by the US Congress. Although Washington, D.C. prepared a text, which takes into account the concerns of Ankara for the financial agreement, the decree "The loan will be cut off if the Turkish soldiers unilaterally intervene in Iraq", has the attribute of US law and would not change. Even if this decree does not have the meaning that Ankara would enter into a binding commitment with the use of the loan, the fact that it is perceived as such by the Turkish public makes cooperation difficult.

    Another subject is the fact that the gestures of the United States to make travel-visa facilities aimed at Northern Cyprus and to start diplomatic contacts with the `TRNC´ even if it is not called this, are not supported with concrete steps, for which the reverberations and effects would be greater. Last week, Ambassador Thomas Weston, the Cyprus Representative of the US Department of State, stated that they are working on a financial package aimed at the `TRNC´, but that he did not expect the steps, such as direct flights, to be announced soon and thus implied that the Bush visit could not be an occasion for such an initiative.

    Whereas, it is necessary for the United States, without being prevented by the Greek Cypriot pressure and the inertia of the EU, to fulfill the promise, "We will not condone your being treated unjustly", it gave to the Turkish Cypriot side before the referendum. It is definite that every new gesture, which would be announced on the subject of Cyprus, would contribute to the "positive" perception of the Bush visit by the Turkish public.

    The other side of the coin

    Despite all of these difficulties, the Bush visit is a visit, which should open our eyes to the importance of its place and time.

    Let us not forget that the United States, just as during the Bill Clinton period, when he almost made the Turkish people fall in love with him during his visit to Turkey in 1999, also became a "close friend" to Turkey during the Bush administration. In general, the bilateral relations advanced on the basis of solidarity, despite a series of incidents, which created reactions in the Turkish society, from the "sack" disgrace at Al-Sulaymaniyah to the slip of the tongue of the US Secretary of State mentioning Turkey as an "Islamic Republic".

    The IMF program, which provided for us to start a radical economic transformation by overcoming the financial crisis, was implemented thanks to Washington D.C., which extended a helping hand to Turkey at a critical moment.

    The Bush administration understood that EU integration is the most important project of Turkey. It supported this target at every opportunity and encouraged reforms. Even if Washington D.C. decreased the dose of its suggestions in favor of Turkey when its relations with some of the Western European capital cities became strained, it continued without pause these suggestions in the dialogues with the new members of the EU.

    There was also the contribution of the United States in underlining the regional role of Ankara. Most recently, with the G-8 invitation, giving a functional role to Turkey in the reform initiative in the Greater Middle East, exemplified this contribution. The selection of Istanbul as the place for this critical summit of the NATO, which hopes to re-strengthen the harmony that was worn down with the Iraqi war, to increase cooperation in Afghanistan and to make a sound beginning with the new members, is an extension of this contribution of Washington, D.C. The United States wants to start the security dimension of the Greater Middle East reform with an initiative, which will be remembered with the name of Istanbul, at this summit. It is also emphasizing the important place of Turkey, both in transatlantic cooperation and in its place in the new geography where this cooperation extends.

    Prejudices and Palavers

    There is a group in Turkey, which resists change, which does not want EU membership, which is angered by saying, "the state is being lost", in the solution efforts on Cyprus, in the release of the DP [Democracy Party] MPs and in the steps for democratization. The view of the United States of this group, which no longer holds the reins of power in its hands and which does not represent the majority of the society, is in the unclear status, on the one hand, of being anti-Semitic and anti- American, and on the other hand, of being excessively nationalistic. This view and the propaganda fed with plot theories and false news, continues on the theories, such as the United States will let an independent Kurdish state be established, that it wants to transform Turkey into an Islamic regime and that it is carrying out a campaign to wear down our armed forces.

    But let us try to follow the Bush visit with our own eyes and ears, not with the palavers and prejudices of others. Let us pay attention to what the US President will write in the visit register at Ataturk's Mausoleum, what he will say to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, to the messages he will give to the NATO leaders and to the emphases in the address he will make in Istanbul. Let us not close our eyes to the other side of the coin, even if we would criticize the Bush administration, with some universal and national reasons."

    [06] Turkey does not want to make any step in Cyprus until it takes a date from the EU in December

    Basaran Duzgun writes in Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.06.04) that Turkey does not want to make any step in Cyprus until it takes a date from the EU in December and that it is trying to turn into an advantage for itself the 65% majority of the Turkish Cypriots which approved the Annan Plan at the 24 April referendum. Noting that Turkey's position that it did everything it could for a solution to the Cyprus problem, seems to be accepted in Europe, Mr Duzgun, writes, inter alia, the following:

    "' According to an action plan which has not been disclosed and not shared with the public opinion, Turkey does not want to make a step in Cyprus until December, when it expects to take a date for negotiations. That is, it wants to preserve its position created from the referendum. It is prepared to face in a dynamic manner the possible problems at the Customs Union and the European Court of Human Rights. Within this framework, it will make a Customs Union Agreement with the Republic of Cyprus, something which is an obligation deriving from the laws of the EU. It will make courageous steps at the European Court of Human Rights in property cases similar to Loizidou case, where Turkey is considered responsible.

    Interesting discussions are conducted at the European Court of Human Rights within this framework. The court demands from the Turkish side 'an appropriate settlement'. The condition is set as to the international identity of the Properties Commission established in northern Cyprus and the guarantee that its decisions will be applied. According to the possible way of action an internationally known foreign jurist will be appointed at the Properties Commission. Thus, the wish of the European Court of Human Rights will be fulfilled. Afterwards the decisions taken by the Properties Commission will be applied and in this manner the application and the properties cases which are on the agenda of the European Court of Human Rights will be transferred to the Properties Commission in northern Cyprus. At this point Turkey will stop being responsible. '

    The TRNC government might apply the regime of the Annan Plan on the issue of the properties. If the necessary financial support is ensured, radical steps stating from the opening of Varosha to the return of the one third of the Greek Cypriot properties could be made. '".

    /SK


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