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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-08-23

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. 160/04 21-22-23.08.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey to intensify its efforts to legalise the faits accomplis of the brutal occupation of Cyprus after Verheugen´s visit to Ankara
  • [02] In spite of declarations of good will Turkey continues to refuse to abide by its obligations towards an EU member state
  • [03] The head of the occupation regime expects a new approach to the barbaric invasion and brutal occupation of Cyprus by Turkish troops
  • [04] The EU Commission's Ceasefire Line trade regulations to go into force on 23 August
  • [05] Turkey uneasy because its plans to legalize the faits accomplis of the illegal invasion and occupation of EU territory have been stalled
  • [06] President Putin to visit Ankara. Cyprus on the agenda
  • [07] The Free Thought Movement of Salih Cosar was turned into a party
  • [08] Attempt by the occupation regime to violate the agreement on the issue of the re-opening of the Greek Cypriot gymnasium in occupied Rizokarpasso after the Talat-Serdar-Gul meeting in Ankara
  • [09] Turkey's National Security Council to discuss Cyprus on 25 August 2004
  • [10] Abdullatif Sener admits that the occupied Greek Cypriot properties are illegally sold to foreigners
  • [11] Turkish Cypriot tradesmen accuse the "mayor" of Morfou of trying to prevent the ceremony at Saint Mamas church
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Columnist in Milliyet discloses that the latest Ankara meeting worked out a strategy on how to bypass the implementation of the EU laws in Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey to intensify its efforts to legalise the faits accomplis of the brutal occupation of Cyprus after Verheugen´s visit to Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak television (21/08/04) broadcast the following: "The shape of political initiatives to come on the Cyprus problem in September is becoming clear. Turkey is going to intensify its initiatives with the EU and the UN Security Council with the aim of ending the isolation imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Ankara is expecting the EU to approve the package of measures for the TRNC and the UN Security Council to adopt a decision on the lifting of the isolation against the TRNC.

    Following Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat's statement that he expects important political changes as of September, the shape of the political initiatives to come in September is becoming clear. The Greek Cypriot side, in turn, is making preparations to counter Turkey's political initiatives with the UN and the EU.

    In its initiatives with the EU Commission and important countries, Turkey would primarily seek the approval of the aid package for the TRNC from the EU Commission and the adoption of a decision on ending the isolation of the TRNC from the UN Security Council.

    Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will hold a series of contacts in New York in September for this purpose. Gul will meet the EU foreign ministers, and the members of the UN Security Council and OIC [Organization of Islamic Conference]. Gul, who will be participating in the UN General Assembly deliberations on 19 September during his long stay in New York to secure support on the Cyprus problem, will leave for New York just after EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenther Verheugen's visit to Ankara on 6 September.

    In the meantime, the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadhopoulos is making preparations for his visit to the EU countries. According to reports, he is planning to visit seven European capitals and hold important contacts in New York within the framework of the UN General Assembly meeting."

    [02] In spite of declarations of good will Turkey continues to refuse to abide by its obligations towards an EU member state

    Illegal Bayrak television (21/08/04) broadcast that Turkey is reviewing its policy on Cyprus in expectation of a membership date from the EU in December.

    A comprehensive legal work has been launched in Ankara to surmount the political, legal, and practical problems that have emerged with the EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus. And the suggestion made by the leading international legal experts is the functional recognition of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey.

    Illegal Bayrak broadcast the following on the issue: "The South Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration's admission into the EU in the name of the Cyprus Republic is forcing Turkey, which itself is knocking on the EU's door, to review its policy on the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    It is being noted that Turkey's non-recognition of the Greek Cypriot Administration is causing political, legal, and practical problems. And the biggest political difficulty facing Turkey is the EU's argument that it cannot grant membership to a country that does not recognize another EU member. And the legal requirement for the Turkish Government to extend the customs union to Cyprus in line with its agreement with the EU and the presence of Greek Cypriots in the EU delegation that would conduct talks with Turkey are causing practical problems.

    Hoping to get a date from the EU, Ankara does not want any crisis to develop, but, at the same time, it chafes at taking a step that might be construed as a reward to the Greek Cypriot Administration despite the latter's no vote at the referendum. It is being noted that to resolve this contradiction, Turkey has launched a comprehensive legal work and asked for the views of leading jurists of the world. The functional recognition was the formula that emerged at the end of this deliberation. Noting that the functional recognition means a limited and partial recognition, the experts are arguing that if this formula is endorsed [by the Turkish government], the Greek Cypriot Administration will be treated as a counterpart only within the EU-related activities but will not necessitate the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    The extension of the customs union to Cyprus is expected to be the first step to be taken toward the Greek Cypriot Administration within the framework of the relations with the EU. However, no decision has yet been made as regards its timing. While some diplomats working on the issue hold the view that this decision could be put into effect in tandem with the implementation of the EU's promise to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, others argue that this step has to be taken as soon as possible."

    [03] The head of the occupation regime expects a new approach to the barbaric invasion and brutal occupation of Cyprus by Turkish troops

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20/08/04) broadcast that the so-called Prime Minister of Ankara´s regime in occupied Cyprus, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, said that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) could produce an alternative for the case about Greek Cypriot Titiana Loizidou, recalling that property issues in Cyprus would be debated at the ECHR on September 2nd.

    Stating that the Turkish Cypriot "people's" struggle has not been registered on international agreements yet, Talat noted that he believes that the Cyprus issue's political and economic aspects would be taken up with a new approach by the international community during the coming period.

    Talat noted that the European Union (EU) would debate the trade regulations, the Council of Europe would discuss representation of Turkish Cypriot "people" and the United Nations would take up the situation of the United Nation Peace Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the coming days.

    Underlining that what was important now was to end the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Talat added that end of isolation would have positive impact on the economic life of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [04] The EU Commission's Ceasefire Line trade regulations to go into force on 23 August

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20/08/04) reported from occupied Nicosia that the European Commission decision, regulating specific rules concerning goods arriving from the occupied areas to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, will enter into force on August 23rd, the Official Journal of the European Union (EU) said on Friday.

    As the regulation was issued in the Official Journal of the EU earlier today, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, authorized by the EU, will start giving a certificate of origin for these mentioned goods as of August 23rd.

    After the regulation was issued in the EU's Official Journal, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce made a detailed statement, and announced how certificates of origin can be obtained and how the regulation will operate.

    The statement asked Turkish Cypriot businessmen to help the Chamber of Commerce as much as they could in order to help end the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Noting that goods to be sent to the free area or any other country via the areas under the control of the Republic should be produced in the occupied areas, the statement recalled that sale of livestock, animal products, and fodder was banned.

    The statement said, "Businessmen need to get a certificate of origin from the Chamber of Commerce for goods to be sent to the south of Cyprus or a third country for consumption. There is also need to get a certificate of health for some agricultural products. An application form will be acquired from the Chamber of Commerce as of August 23rd in order to get a certificate of origin, and necessary information like the name of the producer, seller of the good, the name and address of the purchaser, the definition of the good, its weight, and number of packages will be filled in this form."

    Officials of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce would visit the producer companies after they applied to get a certificate of origin for their export to see whether or not the good was produced in the Turkish Cypriot side, and whether or not the good complied with certain criteria, the statement said.

    The statement noted that the regulation foresaw several rules for exports of potatoes. Accordingly, Turkish Cypriots can export only the potatoes cultivated by seeds brought from EU countries or Switzerland.

    The Turkish Cypriots could start exporting potatoes in 2005 the soonest, the statement pointed out.

    In its statement, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said that ready-to-wear products manufactured in the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation by thread brought from Turkey could be exported also after a certificate of origin was acquired.

    The Chamber of Commerce noted that the regulation on direct trade that foresaw the occupied areas to use its own ports for exportation of goods, and the regulation on financial assistance to the occupied areas were being prepared, adding that legal problems with these regulations had not been overcome yet.

    On the other hand, the Republic of Cyprus has taken the necessary measures for efficient operation of the regulation, sources said, concludes Ankara Anatolia.

    [05] Turkey uneasy because its plans to legalize the faits accomplis of the illegal invasion and occupation of EU territory have been stalled

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (21/08/04) publishes an interview with the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in column by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Gul: EU's Cyprus stance is causing uneasiness".

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has disclosed that the stance of the EU Council on Cyprus is causing uneasiness in Ankara. In a statement to Radikal Gul said that Europe must keep its promises on Cyprus and that, "despite the continuing sincere efforts," a sense that the Turkish side is being stalled has emerged. Gul also said that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots must end in order for Ankara "not to lose its vision."

    The picture that emerged from the meeting Gul held with TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on August 18 is partly responsible for these remarks. This meeting, which came on the footsteps of a two-and-a-half-hour meeting Talat had with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the latter's house in Istanbul on August 14, was initially seen as a gathering to assess the situation. However the duration of the meeting--five hours though originally scheduled for only two hours--and the identity of its participants implied that it would have political ramifications.

    Gul said that the participants "discussed all issues related to Cyprus and associated with the UN, the United States, and the EU, together with their strategic dimensions." Three basic problems related to Cyprus were discussed at the meeting: the hitches that emerged, as a result of steps taken by the Greek Cypriot Republic, in the approval of the procedural rules that were drafted by the EU Commission with the intention of scaling back the trade embargoes in effect against the TRNC; the reappearance of the Loizidou case in the European Court of Human Rights in a way that may undermine the political groundwork; and increased pressures from the EU Council to make Turkey sign a customs union with the Greek Cypriot Republic.

    So what was the outcome of the meeting?

    Gul said:

    --"It is the Council that empowered the Commission on the issue of the procedural rules. Yet we see that the Council is engaged in an effort to delay [a decision] in the aftermath of the decision and report of the Commission which is comprised of EU experts. Of courses this makes us uneasy. Certain promises have been made. Keeping those promises and ending the isolation are important. The Turkish Cypriot ´people´ gave a positive response to the EU's call. Now there is a crisis of confidence in the Turkish Cypriot community. Their confidence in the EU has been shaken. Yet the people must not lose their hope and must be encouraged."

    --"Efforts to bring about a solution along the lines we desire have not come to an end. We had two meetings about trade between the TRNC and Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a meeting with Talat in Istanbul. Thus the TRNC Prime Minister has thus far had meetings with the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, and Russia. We are also in constant touch with the United States and EU countries. When we ask them they reply that a process is under way and that they are making a certain effort. Indeed we maintain our good will because we see these efforts. Still a certain sense of being stalled has begun to emerge."

    --"Turkey will do whatever is incumbent upon it on the customs union and other EU matters. Our vision is still in place. If the steps taken by the Turkish Cypriots remain without reciprocation, that is if they are kept in the punishment position, they too will begin to have different thoughts. If promises are not kept our vision will be affected."

    Gul is not saying it openly but the government does not want to be forced into a position of "if the procedural rules are not approved the customs union cannot be signed." At the Ankara meeting an agreement seems to have been reached with Talat and Denktas on not linking these two issues. Now that Ankara is free of the Cyprus hurdle blocking its EU membership thanks to the "yes" vote from the Turkish Cypriot side, it does not want to tie its hands again. In the meantime Erdogan, Gul, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry have a responsibility to save Talat from accusations by TRNC President Rauf Denktas to the effect that "Erdogan did what was right for Turkey but that does not mean that it was right for the TRNC."

    Gul also believes that the start of accession talks with Turkey will be announced at the EU summit in December. He bases his belief on the following points:

    --"At the Copenhagen summit of 2002 the EU said that it will make a decision on starting accession talks by the end of 2004. Thanks to our intervention it added that the talks will begin 'without delay.' The only requirement for this is compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria and the affirmation of this in the progress report that will be released in October."

    --"We took this process seriously and completed the list in our hand. We are only left with the penal code, appeal courts, and trial procedure laws. We will complete those when we convene the Assembly in a special session on September 15. Of course we cannot say that everything is done and that the train has reached its final stop. Much progress can be achieved during the accession talks, as was the case with other candidate states. However we believe that we have crossed the critical threshold to start the talks."

    --"The other side also has the list we have. If the progress report sees the same picture I do not think that the EU summit will say 'no' to Turkey. Otherwise that would mean that 'we were playing games until now.' That would mean sowing seeds of enmity between civilizations when they were talking about harmony of civilizations until now."

    --"After all, for the EU, Turkey is no longer just Turkey. Many EU leaders are aware of this. Schroeder, Blair, Chirac are aware of this. The United States is aware of this. Iraqi President Ghazi al-Yawr paid his first overseas visit to Turkey. One of the first questions he asked us was related to the status of developments with the EU. Turkey comes to the EU with not just a dynamic population and economic capabilities but also its potential to create harmony between civilizations. I believe that a date will be given and that the talks will begin months later."

    That last sentence means "in 2005."

    [06] President Putin to visit Ankara. Cyprus on the agenda

    Under the title "Putin is coming to Ankara, cards are being opened", Hurriyet newspaper (23/08/04) reports that the President of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Putin, will pay an official visit to Turkey between 1 and 2 September. The paper stresses that Mr Putin´s visit to Turkey takes place 32 years after the Chairman of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Mr Nikolay Podgorni, visited Ankara in 1972 at the invitation of President Cevdet Sunay.

    The paper writes that the issues to be discussed are the Caucasus, Central Asia, PKK and Chechen terrorism, Iraq, Cyprus, bilaterial trade and other important issues.

    [07] The Free Thought Movement of Salih Cosar was turned into a party

    Illegal Bayrak television (20/08/04) broadcast that the Free Thought Movement, incorporating two so-called deputies who had resigned from the Democratic Party, namely Ahmet Kasif and Unal Ustel, became a party today following a petition submitted to the "Interior Ministry". As of today, the movement has turned into the Free Thought Party.

    Party Chairman Salih Cosar, in a statement he made when he submitted the petition, declared that the movement was formed by a group that is able to become synchronized, that adopts changes, and it has now decided to turn into a political party.

    [08] Attempt by the occupation regime to violate the agreement on the issue of the re-opening of the Greek Cypriot gymnasium in occupied Rizokarpasso after the Talat-Serdar-Gul meeting in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.08.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, has alleged that the Greek Cypriots were trying to sabotage the re-opening of the Greek Cypriot gymnasium at Rizokarpasso village by appointing there "the most fanatic and aggressive teachers".

    Mr Talat claimed that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus was planning to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), "showing as a pretext the negative developments which could happen with the climate that the fanatic Greek Cypriot teachers will create".

    "We have established that we are face to face with an administration which is appointing extremely fanatic teachers aiming at creating problems in the area", alleged Mr Talat claiming that the Greek Cypriot side's goal is to force the Turkish side not to open the gymnasium and then appeal to the ECHR saying: "Look at them, they are not opening the school".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (22.08.04) reports that the Turkish policy on Cyprus was hardened after the meeting Mr Talat and Mr Serdar Denktas had with the Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul last week in Ankara.

    In its daily "Letter from AFRIKA" column, the paper notes, inter alia, the following:

    "'In spite of the fact that the Ankara summit remained in the darkness, some things give us some clues. Those who follow closely Talat's and Serdar's attitude after they returned home may have noticed that there are some moves towards hardening the Turkish policy on Cyprus. Right after their return from Ankara our people (Translator's note: Serdar Denktas and Mehmet Ali Talat) changed their attitude regarding the Greek Cypriot school in Karpass. As if they regretted that they gave permission to the Greek Cypriots to open this school and now they are searching for ways to break (their promise). '

    The Greek Cypriots, they say, are exploiting the issue. They are preparing to appoint here fanatic nationalist teachers, they say, in order to create trouble. Talat complained about this. (Rauf) Denktas has gotten into action. Serdar (Denktas) has sent a letter to Tassos Papadopoulos and warned him. He implied that the school might not open. '".

    [09] Turkey's National Security Council to discuss Cyprus on 25 August 2004

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (22.08.04) reports that Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) will be discussing the Cyprus problem during his next meeting on 25 August 2004.

    The paper notes that the NSC will search for "a way out of the impasse on some points of the Turkish policy" on Cyprus, due to the fact that "the UN and the EU have not kept some promises" they gave after the 24 April referendums.

    "NSC will evaluate the steps to be made in case the Greek Cypriot demands come onto the agenda", writes MILLIYET and concludes that NSC will also discuss the statement of Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos that "there is no freedom of religion in Turkey and that the EU must exert pressure on Turkey" on this issue.

    [10] Abdullatif Sener admits that the occupied Greek Cypriot properties are illegally sold to foreigners

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (23.08.04) reports that Turkey's deputy Prime Minister and State Minister responsible for Cyprus, Mr Abdullatif Sener, has said that the amount of properties that foreigners buy in the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased by ten times during the last two years.

    Responding to a question put by Atilla Basoglu, Adana MP who has resigned from the Republican People's Party and became a member of the parliamentary group of the Justice and Development Party, Mr Sener noted that one million square metres of land were sold during the last 3.5 years only in the area of occupied Kyrenia.

    Mr Sener pointed out that the immovable properties have rapidly been changing hands after the Annan Plan was submitted to the sides in 2002.

    Noting that the great majority of the foreigners who buy land and properties in the occupied part of Cyprus come from Britain and Turkey, Mr Sener admitted: "Great demand is seen as compared to previous years, on purchases in various areas especially in Kyrenia. In spite of the fact that the foreigners preferred buying properties the title-deeds of which belong to Turks, the fact that the past few years they are buying also properties the title-deeds of which belong to Greek Cypriots attracts the attention".

    Mr Sener reminded that the foreigners who want to buy properties in occupied Cyprus need to acquire permission from the so-called council of ministers of the occupation regime and those who want to buy property bigger than a thousand square meters need special permission from the "council".

    According to the Turkish Minister, foreigners bought 63 thousand square meters of land in occupied Cyprus in 2001, while this number increased to 290 thousands in 2002 and 613 thousands in 2003. During the first six months of this year, foreigners bought 116 square meters of land in the occupied part of Cyprus, he said.

    [11] Turkish Cypriot tradesmen accuse the "mayor" of Morfou of trying to prevent the ceremony at Saint Mamas church

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (22.08.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Union of Tradesmen and Craftsmen of Lefka and Morfou area has expressed its sorrow because of the fact that some circles are trying to prevent the ceremony at Saint Mamas church in Morfou on 1 and 2 of September and accused those persons of "setting their eye on the job" of the craftsmen.

    In a written statement signed by the chairman of the Union, Mr Ulus Es, the craftsmen accuse the so-called mayor of Morfou Mr Ozcinar of creating problems on the issue of the ceremony at Saint Mamas church "in order satisfy his chauvinistic feelings".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Columnist in Milliyet discloses that the latest Ankara meeting worked out a strategy on how to bypass the implementation of the EU laws in Cyprus

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (20/08/04) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "If the Embargo is not lifted'"

    "No reaction whatsoever has come from EU officials, who are on their summer vacations, to the messages that came out of the four-hour "comprehensive discussions" held the day before yesterday between TRNC ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus"] Prime Minister M[ehmet] A[li] Talat and [Turkish] Foreign Minister A[bdullah] Gul. Even so, some diplomats involved in the matter, who continued to work, did not delay in making note of these messages and putting them under review.

    The most important element directly affecting the EU of the joint strategy that was determined at these talks in Ankara concerns the impasse in the process of ending the isolation of the TRNC. The message conveyed by the Turkish side on this topic was very clear: The EU has to keep its word and must first of all end the isolation (or, in the language of the people, the "embargo".) For this commitment not to be fulfilled, and especially for a decision contrary to this to be made, would change the course of the Cyprus issue, and would give rise to new complications...

    Following the referendum held last April, the EU -- and at the same time, the United States and the UN -- had announced that the policy of isolation applied for years to the Turkish [Cypriot] side would be ended, and that the necessary arrangements for this would be implemented.

    Those who know were aware that this was not going to happen within a few days or weeks, as some in the TRNC and Turkey had expected. Because this would require collective policy decisions, and at the same time legal arrangements. Indeed, although almost four months have passed since then, the "lifting of the embargo" has not yet taken place. And at this point, it should not be expected to be lifted all that soon...

    The problem in the EU is, in spite of the Commission's inclination to end the isolation, the Council's position -- triggered by the Greek Cypriot side -- that this topic must be taken up from the legal standpoint, and its insistence that unanimity, rather than consensus, is required. This would give the Greek Cypriots the ability to veto the decision; in other words, the likelihood of the embargo's being lifted would be endangered.

    Now Turkish diplomacy is beginning an intensive campaign both for the EU to demonstrate the political will to fulfill its commitment and for the legal controversy not to turn into an obstacle. One element of the strategy worked out in the Talat-Gul discussions was exactly this.

    Turkish officials are hoping that the members of the Commission, including Gunther Verheugen, will exert their influence in this debate in September, and that the promise made will in the end be kept.

    If this does not happen, both the TRNC and Ankara will be greatly disappointed, and will accordingly be obliged to make a number of decisions.

    Such a situation would eliminate the possibility of a "comprehensive solution" that is still desired by the TRNC administration, as well as by a large portion of the population, and, as Talat has said himself, would inevitably lead to a hardening of the Turkish side's position.

    Talat, in the last conversation I had with him, said that the Turkish side has not given up the "vision" of a solution and unification of the island based on the Annan Plan, but that the Papadopoulos administration must change its current stance for this to occur. Should this stance not change, and especially if the EU should go along with him, I fear that the Turks of Cyprus (including the 65 percent of them who voted 'yes' in the referendum) will before long abandon the idea of a "solution involving unification" and instead take the route of integrating more with Turkey.

    The Greek Cypriot leaders, who are worried about the island remaining divided, have to see this reality.

    The same thing, however, also goes for the EU (as well as for the United States and the UN), which is angry at the Greek Cypriots who voted 'no' in the referendum. I thus hope that summer idleness does not keep the message conveyed from Ankara from being properly assessed."

    EG/


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