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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-08-24

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. 161/04 24.08.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey to seek Russia's support for its policies over the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Erel says that Turkish Cypriots began applying to sell their products in the free areas of the Republic; Talat accuses the Greek Cypriots of being afraid to buy Turkish products
  • [03] Serdar Denktas continues his efforts to blame the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of the re-opening of the gymnasium in Rizokarpasso
  • [04] Talat says they answered positively to the UN Secretary - General on the issue of the missing persons; Statements on opening a crossing point in Zodia area
  • [05] Rauf Denktas is against the free movement in Cyprus because if this happens the Greek Cypriots will demand their occupied properties
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Ilter Turkmen assesses the gains for the Turkish Republic and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" four months after the referendum
  • [07] While it continues the violation of the human rights of EU citizens unpunished Turkey is pressing the EU to legalize its crimes against Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey to seek Russia's support for its policies over the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia (23/08/04) reported from Ankara that Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Turkey was very important with regard to Turkey's foreign policy and its relations with Russia, sources said on Monday.

    Putin will pay a visit to Turkey between September 2nd and 3rd.

    Sources noted that the trade volume between the two countries amounted to 6.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2003, adding that it was expected that trade volume would reach 9 billion U.S. dollars at the end of 2004. Turkish businessmen's investments in Russia amounted to 12 billion U.S. dollars, sources said.

    Stating that there was a great progress in the tourism field between the two countries, sources said that 1,250,000 Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2003. This figure is expected to reach 1,700,000 at the end of this year.

    Sources said that there were no political problems between the two countries.

    Turkey would ask Putin to support Turkey's stance toward the Cyprus issue, the sources stressed.

    Russia has pursued a closer policy toward Greek Cypriots so far, but the country has started to balance its policy on the Cyprus issue, sources noted.

    The same sources said that the Turkish straits could not bear more tanker burden, stating that bringing some restrictions to the straits due to environmental and geographical circumstances stemmed from necessity. Stressing that no restriction was brought to the arrangements foreseen by the Montreux Treaty, sources said that what Turkey did meant only ''putting traffic lights or limiting truck passages''.

    The sources noted that the number of tankers carrying oil or similar dangerous load was 4,200 in 1996, adding that this number reached 8,000 in 2003. Underlining that there was not any manner against Russian tankers, the sources said that Moscow also started to realize that the geographical and environmental conditions did not permit passage of more tankers from the straits and Turkey's attitude was not against Russian tankers, but a requirement of environmental and geographical conditions.

    The sources added that a friendship and multi-dimensional partnership declaration was also planned to be signed during Putin's visit to Turkey, noting that some other agreements were also on the agenda, but studies on those agreements were not concluded yet.

    As regards Russia's concern over Chechen foundations in Turkey, sources said that any association which worked according to Turkish rules could not be closed down. Stating that activities of associations which did not comply with the rules were stopped, sources added that any activity in those associations against Russia were not allowed.

    Assessing the visit the sources said Putin will be the first Russian leader paying an official visit to Turkey in the last 32 years. Putin's visit will be a sign of mutual confidence and dialogue which have been developing in recent years between Turkey and Russia.

    The sources said that Turkey wanted to establish friendly and good relations based on cooperation with all its neighboring countries, noting that Turkey's basic goal was that current problems should be solved peacefully in the international and regional areas and the region should reach stability, confidence and prosperity.

    Stating that Turkey wanted to have good bilateral relations aiming at cooperation based on friendship and mutual confidence with Russia which was an important power in global and regional level, sources said that Turkey's relations with Russia turned into a cooperation and multidimensional partnership rather than a competition. They added that relations would also be brought to the level of ''developed'' multidimensional partnership with Putin's visit to Turkey.

    [02] Erel says that Turkish Cypriots began applying to sell their products in the free areas of the Republic; Talat accuses the Greek Cypriots of being afraid to buy Turkish products

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.08.04) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), has said that since yesterday morning the TCCC began accepting applications by Turkish Cypriots who want to get hold of certificate of origin in order to sell their products in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, within the framework of the EU Commission's Ceasefire Line regulations, which went into force yesterday.

    Mr Erel noted that 20-25 persons have applied to the TCCC until last night in order to get certificate of origin or some information about the issue. Mr Erel said that following the examination of the applications yesterday they would give certificate of origin to 3-4 of the above-mentioned applicants. Mr Erel added that the first dispatching of goods could take place today.

    Noting that the applicants were from the textile, fishing, fruit, vegetables and furniture sectors, Mr Erel said: "The interest shown on the first day was very good. Let us hope that interest will be manifested from the south as well. In response to the 25 applications there was demand from the south for 4-5 sectors. Because of the fact that the demand is very high, some of them have appealed only for preliminary preparation".

    Furthermore, in his statements on the issue, Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, alleged that the Greek Cypriots are not psychologically ready to buy Turkish Cypriot products.

    Mr Talat claimed that according to information he acquired, the Greek Cypriots are afraid to buy Turkish Cypriot products and among them there is the impression that if they do this they will be committing a crime. "If the Greek Cypriot administration can overcome this, the Green Line trade regulations could be useful", he argued.

    [03] Serdar Denktas continues his efforts to blame the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of the re-opening of the gymnasium in Rizokarpasso

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.08.04) reports that Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the occupation regime, has argued that his so-called government had taken all the necessary measures for the re-opening of the Greek Cypriot gymnasium at occupied Rizokarpasso village.

    In a written statement he issued yesterday, Mr Denktas called on the government of the Republic of Cyprus to cooperate with them on the matter and accused it of following "deceptive and provocative policies".

    Mr Denktas alleged that his so-called government decided "to meet the needs of all minorities" living ion the occupied areas of Cyprus and that "the legal arrangements" for the re-opening of the gymnasium at Rizokarpasso have been submitted to the "council of ministers". The expenses for repairing the school and the necessary furnishings will be met with this "law", he argued.

    [04] Talat says they answered positively to the UN Secretary - General on the issue of the missing persons; Statements on opening a crossing point in Zodia area

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.08.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, has said that the Turkish side has answered positively to the letter sent by the UN Secretary - General who called on the sides in Cyprus to exert efforts for solving the issue of the missing persons.

    Responding to a question after one of his meetings yesterday, Mr Talat noted that they have replied positively to Mr Annan and that they stressed they are working seriously on the issue. Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot Committee on the missing persons has a separate place to work now and its work has been re-inforced and organized.

    Furthermore, referring to the opening of a crossing point between the occupied and the free areas of Cyprus in occupied Zodia village, Mr Talat argued that the Turkish side did the necessary work and added that the ball now is in the field of the United Nations.

    Mr Talat alleged that the Greek Cypriot side is applying delaying tactics on the issue and added that the Turkish side approved the opening of a crossing point in the area of Zodia in accordance with its needs. He also said that the occupation regime might begin building a road in the above-mentioned area.

    [05] Rauf Denktas is against the free movement in Cyprus because if this happens the Greek Cypriots will demand their occupied properties

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.08.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas, has argued that the Greek Cypriot position in Cyprus will be proved to be right in case those who want to move in the whole area of Cyprus could do so without showing identity card.

    In statements yesterday during a meeting with young Turkish Cypriot football players, Mr Denktas reminded that there are persons in the occupied areas who support not showing a passport or an identity card when moving in the island. Mr Denktas claimed the following on the issue:

    "Why (do this)? So that 3-5 persons may gain a few cents more. These are people who do not know what the struggle waged until today means. Or if they know their aim is different. If you abolish the identity card as well, then you will be confirming the Greek Cypriot position that 'this land is mine, I go where I want'. Then they will come before you and say: 'Get out of my house and my land'".

    Mr Denktas alleged that his so-called state is in danger and once more called on everybody to defend it together with Turkey.

    Meanwhile Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (UCP) has accused Mr Denktas of trying to raise the political tension on the island with his aggressive statements during some ceremonies or meeting he is holding.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Ilter Turkmen assesses the gains for the Turkish Republic and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" four months after the referendum

    Mainland Hurriyet newspaper (21/08/04) publishes a commentary by former Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr. Ilter Turkmen, who assesses the gains for the Turkish Republic and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", as Turkey calls the occupation regime set up through the force of arms since 1974 in the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr. Turkmen assesses that the obstacles before the Turkish Cypriots emanate from the non-recognition of the occupation regime while for Turkey the political and legal burden has been reduced and will be further reduced if the European Court of Human Rights takes a decision in favour of the occupier of Cyprus regarding recourses by Greek Cypriots for their properties under Turkish military occupation.

    The commentary, published in Hurriyet on 21 August 2004, is as follows:

    "The TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] appears to have entered a new long transition period after the 24 April public referendum and after Cyprus became an EU member.

    North Cyprus also has now become a part of the EU. As a matter of fact, the Turkish Cypriots also have acquired EU citizenship. The TRNC is not, however, able to easily get rid of the obstacles that emanate from non-recognition due to the fact that South Cyprus alone represents Cyprus in the EU. Another reason relates to the suspension of the acquis in the North.

    The Turkish Cypriots are not carried away by dreams. They are aware that, unless a solution is achieved, the measures aimed at reducing their isolation would solve their problems only to some extent. A solution does not appear in the horizon, however. Even if the Annan Plan is brought up again, the Greek Cypriots will insist on substantive changes.

    It even seems more possible that the Greek Cypriots will in time aim to bring about a reunification process that would be closer to their case. It was not difficult to guess that the price of having lost the opportunities in December 2002 and March 2003, before Cyprus joined the EU, would be high.

    Proceeding from these observations, could it be argued that the Turkish Cypriots failed to acquire considerable gains as a result of their positive vote in the public referendum? It is definitely not so, because very important gains have been achieved. The Turkish Cypriots have saved themselves from being left out by the international community.

    The United States, the EU and the Muslim countries have accepted them as a valid party to be addressed. The EU has put together the Green Line Regulation in the first stage. According to the regulation, the goods that are produced in the North from local and imported raw materials may be exported to the South, and from there to the EU.

    The tourists that come to the South will be able to cross to the North, and those that come to the North will be able to cross to the South. The regulation will facilitate the sale of goods to the South, but exporting from the South to the EU will require the payment of double VAT and double income tax. The real need of the TRNC in the political and economic sense is the opening of a direct trade route with the EU. The package of measures that the EU Commission has prepared for this purpose will be submitted to the Council's approval.

    South Cyprus is engaged in efforts to prevent direct trade, though. While, on the one hand, it provokes the legal complexity at the EU, on the other it grants permission to commercial vehicles to circulate in order to make trade via the South attractive. It also exempts from the VAT the goods arriving in the South for delivery to the North.

    It should also not be forgotten that the positive vote of the TRNC people in the 24 April public referendum removed the most difficult obstacle before Turkey's accession talks with the EU. Moreover, another side effect of the vote in the public referendum is in the offing. A hearing will take place at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the beginning of September. This hearing will determine whether, in light of the referendum result, Turkey would still be held responsible for the violation of property rights due to the presence of the Turkish military forces in the TRNC. Should the result of the hearing be in Turkey's favor, demanding compensation from Turkey for the prevention of the right of use of private properties in the aftermath of 24 April will not be possible.

    The ECHR will also consider whether the conditions for referring to the compensation committees in the TRNC the compensation cases through 24 April have been satisfied.

    This means that while the TRNC people have achieved limited gains for themselves with their positive vote in the public referendum, they have at the same time provided a great advantage to Turkey, reducing its political and legal burden.

    What Turkey needs to do now is to clear North Cyprus' course through a long-term and creative political strategy."

    [07] While it continues the violation of the human rights of EU citizens unpunished Turkey is pressing the EU to legalize its crimes against Cyprus

    Under the title: "Cyprus quagmire haunts JDP" Turkish Daily News (24/08/04) publishes the following analysis by Yusuf Kanli :

    "Upset with the slow pace of the European Union and Washington in moving towards the long-pledged ending of the isolation of northern Cyprus, pressure from Brussels to engage in a customs union deal with the Greek Cypriot side "representing the whole of Cyprus" and the scheduled October 6 release of the EU Commission report whether or not its accession talks can begin, the Ankara government is passing through "Cyprus pains" nowadays.

    In meetings with European counterparts, Foreign Ministry executives at all levels have been stressing that while the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) government has been acknowledging existence of some sincere efforts for ending the isolation of northern Cyprus, patience was running out and serious doubts have started to emerge whether Turkey was subjected to a stalling tactic.

    In a marked shift from Turkey's traditional Cyprus policy and despite veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas's opposition, the ruling JDP supported a U.N. settlement plan and allied with the then-pro-settlement opposition in northern Cyprus. The U.N. plan received an overwhelming approval vote in northern Cyprus in twin referenda held on April 24, but the plan faltered because of a massive 75 percent rejection vote by Greek Cypriots.

    The JDP government was accused by Denktas at the time of acting with the interests of Turkey but those interests were not serving the Turkish Cypriot state. The JDP government was hoping that even if a Cyprus deal would not be attained a Turkish Cypriot overwhelming "yes" vote would eradicate the Cyprus trump card in front of Turkey's EU bid. In other words, Turkey was abandoning the Turkish Cypriot state in hopes that it would not obstruct Ankara's EU bid.

    Now, weeks before the release of the Commission report which would be of vital importance when the EU leaders meet on December 17 for a decision on Turkey, the JDP government has started to come under intense pressure that it should enter into a customs union deal with EU-member the "Republic of Cyprus" -- the Greek Cypriot administration recognized internationally as the sole government of the eastern Mediterranean island.

    Meeting behind closed doors for 2.5 hours with Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat on August 14 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and in a five-hour long discussion on August 18 in Ankara with Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas -- the son of President Denktas -- Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul went into pains in trying to explain that the JDP government has decided to handle a customs union deal with the Greek Cypriot state separate from efforts aimed at bringing a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    While no "consensus" was reportedly reached at the Erdogan-Talat meeting, the Ankara meeting however did produce a concord.

    His Turkish Cypriot guests reportedly warned him that if Ankara proceeded along such a road and entered into a customs union deal with the Greek Cypriot administration, such a development would mean recognition of its claim to be the "sole legitimate government for the entire island." Despite such a warning and a veiled threat that "history will take all of us responsible for such a move by Turkey" Gul reportedly convinced Talat and Denktas Jr. on the new approach of the Turkish government for the sake of not giving back to the EU the Cyprus trump card "as Turkey passes through such a sensitive period in its EU accession process."

    Still, according to well-placed sources, Gul pledged to Talat and Denktas Jr. that if the EU did not move towards ending the isolation of the north, if Ankara continued to be pressured with European Human Rights Court cases by Greek Cypriots demanding compensation for their pre-1974 property in northern Cyprus, Ankara "may take all the risks required."

    /MD


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