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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-07-19
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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.135/04 17-18-19.07.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Arrogant approach by the Turkish Foreign Ministry towards measures suggested by the Cyprus Government. No sign that Turkey intends to end the brutal military occupation of an EU member stateUnder the title: "Greek Cypriots announce goodwill gestures", Turkish Daily News (17.07.04) reports the following:
"The Greek Cypriot government yesterday unveiled a set of confidence-building measures in an overture to the Turkish Cypriots, who were left out of the European Union despite their vote in support of a U.N. plan aimed at reunification of the island.
The proposed measures, which require approval from the Turkish side to go into force, include a military pullback by Greek Cypriot and Turkish forces from the U.N.-guarded Green Line that has divided the island for three decades and halting army maneuvers along the line in an attempt to boost mutual confidence.
They also include the opening of additional crossings between the Greek and Turkish zones of the island and disengaging forces from a U.N.-guarded line within the medieval walls of Nicosia, the capital city that is divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Disengagement was also proposed in the southeastern Famagusta region.
The package includes measures dealing with the issue of how to market Turkish Cypriot goods in the European Union. Accordingly, the Greek Cypriots offered to open the Turkish Cypriot port of Famagusta to foreign trade if the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (`TRNC´) agreed to cede control of the deserted Turkish town of Varosha to the Greek Cypriot administration.
The goodwill package proposed that the port of Famagusta be handed over to EU control and that a joint Turkish and Greek Cypriot committee be established to run the port.
"It is our conviction that these initiatives will form the basis of fostering trust and security among Greek and Turkish Cypriots," Greek Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said.
Chrysostomides also said the government had submitted to the EU Commission a request for the return of a fenced area of Famagusta and for necessary access to the lawful property owners and residents of the town.
Subtitle: Turkish side cool
Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials did not immediately comment on the Greek Cypriot move but they were hardly excited by the proposals, saying there were not many new elements and that the measures were still being examined.
The measures came after the Greek Cypriots, in an April 24 referendum, rejected a U.N. plan aimed at reunification of the island ahead of its accession into the EU. The plan was approved by the Turkish side but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.
The "no" vote by the Greek Cypriots meant EU membership benefits were not applicable to the Turkish Cypriots and that economic sanctions which have crippled the Turkish Cypriot economy for decades remained in place.
The EU Commission has proposed a package of measures aimed at ending the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots through providing financial assistance and granting trade benefits. These measures, which still await the approval of the EU ministers, have drawn criticism from the Greek Cypriots, who have vowed to challenge the proposed trade measures at the European Court of Justice.
Greek Cypriot officials say direct trade between the EU and Turkish Cyprus resembles the EU's trade arrangements with third countries.
Under the EU proposals, Turkish Cypriot ports, closed for decades, will be opened for trade but there was no reference to the issue of direct links to Turkish Cyprus because direct flights to Turkish Cypriot airports would require approval from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)."
Ankara Anatolia (16.07.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Namik Tan said on Friday that it was not possible to describe the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side as "confidence building measures", alleging that those proposals were an attempt to change the agenda.
Replying to a question, Tan said that the occupation authorities made the necessary statements on the package that was presented by the Cyprus Government spokesman as "confidence building measures".
Stressing that it was not possible to describe the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side as "confidence building measures", Tan said that it was obvious that the Greek Cypriot side tried to prevent initiatives of the international community especially the European Union (EU) to end the "isolation" of Turkish Cypriots by bringing them to the agenda.
Tan underlined that the measures were far away from seriousness.
"The proposals of the Greek Cypriot side which has shown in referenda that it is against solution and compromise are far away from seriousness, as `TRNC´ Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat also said. The Greek Cypriot side's real aim is to change the agenda on Cyprus," he alleged.
 Gul hopes that direct flights to the occupied airports of Cyprus will start soon. He calls on Turkish businessmen to make money from the free areas of Cyprus after exploiting the properties and businesses of the Greek Cypriots for 30 years in the occupied areasIstanbul HURRIYET newspaper (18.07.04) reports that Foreign minister Abdullah Gul has issued a "historic" call upon Turkish businessmen, encouraging them to engage in trade with the "Greek Cypriot sector".
In an exclusive statement to HURRIYET, Minister Gul called upon Turkish businessmen as follows: "Take your briefcase, go to the Greek Cypriot sector, market your goods and make money."
Recalling that given that the "Greek Cypriot sector" has become an EU member as of 1 May, it has decided not to levy any import taxes on Turkish goods due to the Customs Union, Gul said the following: "This is a very important development. We should not always see the negative sides of the developments. We should also look at the positive sides. It appears that not many businessmen know about this positive development. We know that the `Greek Cypriot sector´ is very rich. Therefore, there is a great potential there. I believe that it is necessary to put this potential to good use."
Asserting that the entire world knows about the Turkish businessmen's ability to take initiatives and that successful Turkish businessmen realize major business projects in many countries throughout the world, Gul continued as follows: "Our businessmen should take their briefcases. They should go to the `Greek Cypriot sector´ and they should market their goods. Turkish businessmen are going to Congo and Siberia in order to do business. Why should they not go to the `Greek Cypriot sector´ of Cyprus which is so close to Turkey? There is no reason that prevents them from going there."
Explaining that he has received information to the effect that the Greek Cypriots are especially interested in Turkish glass products, Gul said: "As far as I know, they like the products of Pasabahce very much."
Being reminded that Loyola de Palacio, EU Commission vice president in charge of transportation and energy, demanded that Turkish ports be opened to Greek Cypriot ships, Gul said the following:
"Did I not say several months ago that Turkey is conducting work related to free trade that stems from the conditions of the Customs Union? You will remember that I talked about this several times. We are conducting some studies. This will not mean, however, that we officially recognize the `Greek Cypriot sector´. We want to have free trade. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriot side should also take certain steps in this regard."
Moreoever, Istanbul NTV television (16.07.04) broadcast that Mr Abdullah Gul, foreign minister and deputy prime minister, has said that in the aftermath of the package of measures the EU has announced with regard to the areas of Cyprus under the military control of Turkey, direct flights to occupied Tymbou Airport will begin in a short while.
Gul, who received members of the Turkish Cypriot war veterans associations, said that the world witnessed the goodwill of the Turkish Cypriot people as a result of the referendum. He added that the results of the referendum showed that the Greek Cypriots do not wish to represent the Turkish Cypriots. Noting that a new era has begun, Gul added: "We should work with goodwill and patience". He said that Turkey expects the world to lift the "embargoes". Recalling the package of measures the EU announced with regard to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Gul said that positive steps have begun to be taken. He further expressed his hope over starting direct flights to occupied Tymbou and over foreign investments.
 Turkey´s refusal to allow Cyprus registered ships to its ports was discussed with EU commissionerAnkara Anatolia news agency (16.07.04) reported from Ankara that the European Commission Vice President Loyola de Palacio said on Friday that Turkish officials pledged to resolve the problem about Cyprus-flagged vessels.
Holding a news conference, de Palacio pointed out that the issue of Cyprus-flagged vessels' benefiting from Turkish ports was discussed during her meetings with Turkish officials.
Noting that Turkish officials pledged to resolve the problem, de Palacio told reporters that they would wait for the final response of the Turkish officials.
Upon a question about the European Commission's likely attitude about direct flights to the occupied areas of Cyprus, de Palacio said that governments of the EU-member countries would make a decision about it.
De Palacio underlined that they were in favor of a united Cyprus.
Upon another question, de Palacio described Turkey as a strategic partner of the EU as for energy resources. She stressed that Turkey was a "bridge of energy" in efforts to provide long-term energy security of the EU.
Underlining that Turkey was a significant country in regard to transportation of oil and natural gas, de Palacio said that the energy cooperation between Turkey and the EU should be further strengthened.
Noting that Turkey would be included in interconnection of west European electricity network, de Palacio said that an electricity synchronization would be set up between Turkey and the EU to this end.
She added that issues such as European-Mediterranean energy partnership; Turkey's participation in Galileo Project; Turkey-Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria natural gas pipeline projects; transportation and safety of sea transportation were also high on agenda of her meetings with Turkish officials.
 Two Turkish frigates and a submarine visit occupied KyreniaIllegal Bayrak television (18.07.04) broadcast that two Turkish frigates and a submarine arrived in the occupied areas of Cyprus to participate in the celebrations to be held to mark the 30th anniversary of the Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. The frigates, Gemlik and Ege, which are under the command of Commodore Bulent Bostanoglu, commander of the southern task force, anchored off the Port of occupied Kyrenia. The submarine, Yildiray, docked in the port that is reserved for tourism. The vessels were welcomed by Brig Gen Necmettin Baykul, commander of the so-called Turkish Cypriot Security Forces, the so-called Presidential Undersecretary Ergun Olgun and other officers of the occupation troops.
High-ranking officials from Turkey will arrive in the occupied areas of Cyprus to participate in the celebrations to be held to mark the invasion on 20 July. General Sukru Sariisik, secretary general of the Turkish National Security Council, will arrive in the occupied areas tomorrow to represent the Turkish Armed Forces in the celebrations to be held on 20 July. According to a written disclosure by the Security Forces Command Press Office, General Sariisik will arrive on Monday, 19 July.
Some of the ships of the Turkish Naval Forces Command have anchored off the Port of occupied Kyrenia to participate in the celebrations that will be held to mark the "Peace and Freedom Day". According to a written disclosure by the Security Forces Command Press Office, the people will be able to visit the ships from 1000 to 1200 and 1400 to 1600 local time on 19 and 20 July. Boats will be available for the people at the marina in Kyrenia to allow them to visit the ships.
 US State Department official due in AnkaraTurkish Daily News (17.07.04) reports that the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Laura Kennedy will be in Ankara for talks next week, according to the Anatolia news agency.
Kennedy, who was appointed to replace Lynn Pascoe, is expected to arrive in Ankara on July 20. Kennedy will hold talks with officials from the Foreign Ministry and the General Staff.
Kennedy will then head for Cyprus to meet with Turkish Cypriots in occupied Cyprus and the Cyprus Government on July 21.
The issues of Cyprus, Iraq, the anti-terror fight, Turkey's bid to join the European Union and bilateral relations are all expected to be on the agenda of the talks.
Pascoe had previously chaired the U.S. delegation at the first round of talks between Turkey and the United States aimed at eliminating the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- which now goes by the name Kongra-Gel -- currently holed up in northern Iraq.
 The EU expects concrete measures from Turkey regarding the Customs Union Agreement with the new member statesMainland CUMHURIYET newspaper (19.07.04) reports that the EU Commissioner Responsible for the Enlargement, Mr Gunther Verheugen, and high ranking EU officials expect concrete measures on the part of Turkey regarding the expansion of its Customs Union Agreement with the EU to cover the new EU member states and especially the Republic of Cyprus.
In a letter sent by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, to Mr Verheugen on 10 June 2004, he promised that on the issue of including Cyprus in the Customs Union Agreement sincere and serious work is being carried out and that technical work is under way in this direction.
Invoking information from diplomatic sources the paper writes that both Mr Gul´s letter and the message given during contacts that "We accept that the Customs Union Agreement covers the 25 member states, the necessary technical work is continuing" were not satisfactory for the EU Commission which expects a concrete step from the Turkish Government.
It is noted that in his letter to the Commission Mr Gul did not use the word "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus-TRNC" but instead he said "Turkish Cypriots and north Cyprus". As regards the Republic of Cyprus he said "Greek Cypriot Authorities".
 The Turkish Human Rights Association released its report for the first six months of 2004Ankara Anatolia (17.07.04) reported from Ankara that the Human Rights Association [IHD] Chairman Husnu Ondul has said: "It was unacceptable for the General Staff Second in Command to hold a press conference immediately after the release of the Democracy Party [DP] deputies and make comments about the political work of civilian political personalities."
Speaking at a press conference held at the IHD Headquarters, Ondul gave a briefing on the Turkish Human Rights Report, prepared by the association and covering the first six months of the year. Stating that today was the 18th anniversary of the founding of the association Ondul thanked everybody who had toiled during the founding of the association and in its subsequent work.
Stating that in the first half of 2004 people were continuing to die on hunger strike, Ondul said that the number of people who had lost their lives on hunger strike to date had reached 115.
Claiming that the isolation problem had spilt over to the new D-Type prisons Ondul said: "Imrali Maximum Security Prison is a place where one person is being held and where intensive isolation is being practiced. Abdullah Ocalan has been held in isolation there since 1999. Restrictions are being imposed on visits by his family and lawyers. Ocalan's family and lawyers are not being told about his state of health."
Recalling that the Birtan Altuntas case, which was made current by the IHD in 1991, had concluded in the first half of this year, Ondul said that due to intense public interest the case had been saved "for now" from prescription.
Touching also on the release of the DEP deputies by the Court of Appeals Ninth Penal Court Ondul continued:
"This is a joyous development, a very important ruling. As far as we are concerned the verdict was overturned both on merit and procedurally speaking. However, for the General Staff Second in Command to hold a press conference that same day and make comments about the work of civilian political personalities, and to criticize the responsible civilian leaders was something unacceptable for a democratic state with rule of law. The role and powers of the military in democracies is clear. The political work of civilians and political parties falls outside the jurisdiction of the military."
Maintaining that the basis of the case to close down the Educators Union [Egitim-Sen] also stemmed from the military's function of observing and monitoring the civilian arena, Ondul said: "For the General Staff to make the statutes of a labor union its business and for it to act on this is again an understanding and practice we find unacceptable."
Giving a briefing on the contents of the report Ondul stated it had been determined that 692 persons had been tortured in the first six months of the year. He went on: "Even though we find positive the government's rhetoric of 'zero tolerance for torture' we are looking at deeds and procedures." Pointing out that violations in the field of freedom of expression and organization "were in essence no different" to last year, Ondul said a reduction in the number of banned books, journals and newspapers had been observed in the first six months of the year.
Stating that a total of 61 persons including members of the security forces had lost their lives in armed clashes in the first six months of the year, Ondul said they were in favor of a peaceful solution to all problems including the Kurdish problem.
 Efforts to overcome the political crisis in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus under the control of the Turkish occupation army. Talat´s reaction to the measures proposed by the Cyprus governmentIllegal Bayrak television (17.07.04) broadcast that the so-called Republican Assembly convened to take up the National Unity Party motion that called for a no confidence vote against the "government" today. The motion was debated during a general assembly session two days ago.
Some 25 "deputies" upheld the motion. However, 25 "deputies" voted to support the "government". Consequently, the motion was rejected because it was not supported by a simple majority vote. Some 26 votes were required for the motion to pass.
Reporting on the issue local HALKIN SESI newspaper (18.07.04) wrote that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, in a statement made to journalists following the rejection of the no-confidence motion said that the vote had come out 25 to 25, that this meant that the "government" does not have a majority in the "Assembly", and that this situation has made it clear that the "government" will not be able to survive for long.
Talat, stating that he will evaluate the situation that has come about together with his partners said "[The answer is] An early election, but an early election when? We are going to assess this."
Noting that the partners in the "government" have almost reached agreement on an early election on 7 November, Talat said that an early election is inevitable, and that there is no other alternative to this.
Mehmet Ali Talat, declaring that he will work to secure a governmental majority until the election, said that they will pass the budget in the "Assembly" in the event such a majority is obtained.
Stating that everyone must make his position known on the issue of an early election, Talat noted that efforts are underway, by maneuvering in the "Assembly", to appear to favor elections and then avoid them, or else to blame others for the problems.
Stating that he will work to determine a date for early elections by making contacts with the various political parties, Mr Talat stressed the necessity of everyone's making his position clear.
Noting that he will begin official contacts in a few days on behalf of the RTP/UF [Republican Turkish Party / Unified Forces] in order for the "government" to reach the number of 26, Talat also said that the formation of a "government" that would have a majority could also indirectly impact the determination of the date of an early election.
Mehmet Ali Talat, stating that his party is henceforth going to focus on what can be done in order to reach a solution on Cyprus, spoke as follows:
"The important thing is to know that the measures taken, such as the elimination of various forms of isolation, will, in the end, make a strategic contribution to a solution. We are going to lay out our efforts aimed at doing away with the isolation, and also work to make it plain that a solution is really the only alternative, and thereby avoid the efforts to shift the agenda that the Greek Cypriots have initiated, particularly in recent days. There must be great attention paid to this."
Moreover AFRIKA (17.07.04) reports on Talat´s reaction to the Confidence Building Measures (CBM) announced by the Cyprus Government, who, without giving due attention has rejected them right away.
Claiming that the CBM are aimed at diverting the attention and changing the agenda, Talat said that he had found the proposal to open Famagusta Port in return for handing over Varosah to its legitimate owners "Comical and overly audacious".
 Talat describes as "an initiative of good will" the visit Mr Kasoulides paid to himTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (19.07.04) reports that Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, the member of the European Parliament of the Democratic Rally Party (DISI) and former Foreign Minister of the Cyprus Republic, visited on Saturday the headquarters of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and had a meeting with the so-called Prime Minister of the pseudostate and the leader of RTP Mr Mehmet Ali Talat.
Commenting on the meeting, in a statement to the Illegal Bayrak station, Mr Talat described the meeting as "an initiative of good will" and pointed out that Mr Kasoulides had made "an attempt for peace" and that their meeting had been a positive one.
Stressing that the Greek Cypriot politician's visit came just a day after the Cyprus government announced its measures package for the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat said the meeting was not an official one but aimed at starting a process of political contacts. Mr Talat said they discussed what could be done for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, how to remove the 'anti -solution atmosphere' in the 'south' and what was needed to put an end to the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots.
He alleged that nothing to be taken seriously had come from the Greek Cypriot side since the 24 April referenda, accusing the Cyprus Republic of "passing time with little packages and not taking any steps towards a complete solution".
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in SABAH assesses the outcome of a public opinion poll on foreign policy issuesIstanbul SABAH newspaper (18.07.04) publishes the following commentary by Soli Ozel under the title: "Poll on Foreign Policy":
"Turkey is aware that it would be an important actor in the new world order, which it knows is being established. But the old suspicions, some concerns related to identity, are also creating reluctance on the subject of to what degree it should be active in its relations with the world. An effective part of those forming the public opinion in Turkey are taking a stance against new initiatives in foreign policy, either because they could not see completely the new framework or because they do not like what they see. The public shares a part of the conservatism observed in them and it is understood that on some subjects the Turkish society has stable positions.
The results obtained from a public opinion poll conducted for Pollmark Research by Yusuf Ziya Ozcan and Ihsan Dagi from the Middle East Technical University, present the numerical data related to the above observations. The public opinion poll shows how the Turkish public opinion views foreign policy after the NATO summit.
The NATO changed it
As it would be expected, 73 percent of the public supports Turkey's EU membership. Those who believe that the answer, which would be given in December, would be positive is 40 percent and those who think that it would be negative are at the level of 45 percent. What is interesting is that in case a negative decision is encountered, then the ratio of those who say that Turkey should give up the EU membership target remains at 36 percent. Those who want union with the Turkish Republics are 45 percent. Those who want union with the Muslim countries are around 42 percent. Those who say that Turkey should not give up the target of starting EU negotiations despite a "no" answer are 54.4 percent. The fact that those who formed the public opinion in the discussions during the NATO summit mostly considered the NATO to be a simple extension of the United States, evidently also influenced the public opinion. Still, 48 percent of the public considers the NATO to be positive and considers the organization to be necessary for Turkey's security. In contrast to this, it is not considered favorably for the NATO to assume duties outside of its area and for Turkey to join in these duties.
One of the questions brought onto the agenda by the discussions related to NATO was to what extent Turkey has assimilated its belonging to the Western alliance. The public opinion, whose convictions related to Christians are negative at the ratio of 52 percent and whose convictions related to Jews are negative at the ratio of 70 percent, are positive at the ratio of 54 percent related to the Western civilization. Despite the religious difference, the ratio of those who consider Turkey as a part of the Western civilization are 47 percent and those who consider Turkey to belong to the East are 37 percent. Unlike the case in the 1990s, in its relations with the West, the Turkish public opinion desires to be close to the EU at the ratio of 52 percent and only 6 percent desire to be close to the United States. In relations with Israel, which was the most important subject of discussion last week, 75 percent of the public is of the opinion that it is unnecessary to cooperate with Israel. The belief that Israel gives support to the establishment of a Kurdish state and to the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] as much as to the Israeli policies against the Palestinians, are effective in this negative view.
Despite the fact that 47 percent of the public considers the release from prison of the DEP [Democracy Party] MPs to be negative, those who consider that broadcasts in Kurdish constitute a threat to the integrity of the country remain at only 31 percent. Those who think that the release from prison would increase terrorism are 39 percent, those who think that it would not increase terrorism are 29 percent and those who think that it would decrease terrorism are 18 percent. As the polltakers emphasized, "this has the meaning that the public has not established an absolute relation between Kurdish broadcasts and separatism."
Finally, 69 percent of the citizens would again like to live in Turkey if they were given the chance to come to the world for a second time".