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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-10-04

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.189/04 01-02-03-04.10.2004

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the EU-OIC Foreign Ministers' Meeting
  • [02] Turkey continues its efforts to recognize the areas of Cyprus under the occupation of its troops as a separate state
  • [03] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the inclusion of Cyprus in its Customs Union Agreement with the EU
  • [04] Reactions by the Turkish Cypriots on Turkey's decision to include the Republic of Cyprus in its Customs Union with the EU
  • [05] Under the patronage of Turkey Serdar Denktas held contacts in New York as Foreign Minister of occupied EU territories. Efforts in vain to deceive the international community on the real objectives of Turkey´s occupation in Cyprus
  • [06] Ozkan Murat on the property "law". Mindful steps regarding the usurpation of the stolen Greek Cypriot properties. Columnist says the "law" has been imposed by Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] The Chief Editor of Turkish Daily News brands terrorist the President of an EU member state. Reaction to the annulment of the EU-OIC forum

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the EU-OIC Foreign Ministers' Meeting

    Istanbul NTV television (01/10/04) broadcast the following text of the Foreign Ministry press statement on the cancellation of the EU-OIC Foreign Ministers' meeting in Turkey planned for 4 October:

    "Turkey made an effort for a long time to have the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] represented in the OIC as the Turkish Cypriot State. Furthermore, it made a serious effort to prevent such a development that has taken place at the present time. It made practical proposals that complied with international traditions. Within that framework, it was recently stated that the participation of the TRNC as the Turkish Cypriot State would not mean that it is recognized by the EU. We proposed that a disclosure might be made by Turkey or the EU to that effect. However, the EU term president objected to the proposal, regardless of being informed that the same situation applied to the Greek Cypriot Administration and that Turkey refrained from creating a problem when invitations were extended to it to participate in the meeting that was held some time ago and the convocation that would take place at the present time. The EU term president's decision not to participate in the meeting and the call made to the other member countries to avoid attending the convocation resulted in the cancellation of the unofficial meeting of the foreign ministers, which definitely did not have political objectives, and which, considering the need for cooperation and harmony among the different cultures and religions in the world, would create an opportunity for a debate on political, economic, and cultural mechanisms. However, no change has been made in connection with the international symposium entitled: Civilization, Harmony, and Values of Global Order. European and Islamic academicians, intellectuals, and journalists will participate in the convocation that will be held as planned".

    [02] Turkey continues its efforts to recognize the areas of Cyprus under the occupation of its troops as a separate state

    Istanbul NTV Online (30/09/04) publishes the following report under the title: "OIC lends support to Turkish Cypriots":

    The Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have announced that they decided to put an end to what they described as unjustified isolation of the Turkish Cypriots in line with an appeal made by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in his report issued on 28 May 2004.

    The final communique issued after the annual coordination meeting of the ministers urged 60 members of the organization to establish close relations with the Turkish Cypriots and to broaden the scope of their existing ties with a view to lending them political and financial support.

    The final communique advised the member countries to establish ties especially in the fields of direct flights, trade, tourism, culture, information, investments, and sports. The ministers also stated that "they were strongly supporting the justifiable cause of the Muslim Turkish Cypriots."

    Pointing out that the endorsement by the Turkish Cypriots of the UN plan aimed at resolving the dispute in the referendum held on 24 April 2004 had drastically changed the conditions in Cyprus, the ministers emphasized that none of the parties on the island could claim that it had the right to establish its sovereignty over the other side. They also said that the Greek Cypriots could not represent the Turkish Cypriot side".

    [03] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the inclusion of Cyprus in its Customs Union Agreement with the EU

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02/10/04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued the following statement on Saturday: ''Article 3 of Decision 1/95 of the Turkey-EC Association Council taken on 22 December 1995 on the completion of the Customs Union stipulates that the Customs Union be applied on Turkey's territory on the one hand, and on the Community customs territory on the other.

    In view of the accession of 10 new Member States (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) to the EU on 1 May 2004, the Turkish Government has decided to include all new EU members in the scope of the Council of Ministers Decree No. 2002/4616 of 3 September 2002 which specifies, as far as Turkey's internal legislation is concerned, the countries to which the Turkey-EU Customs Union applies. This decision makes it possible for goods imported to Turkey from the new Member States to be treated under the Customs Union regime.

    This decision is an administrative act emanating from our relations with the EU as well as reciprocal legal obligations under the Customs Union. Our views and position as outlined in our press statement issued on 1 May 2004 and forwarded through official channels to the EU and its member states remain valid. The amendment of our internal legislation as such does not imply in any way the recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration by Turkey.

    In the same vein, the Greek Cypriot administration is equally obliged according to its Treaty of Accession with the EU to provide Customs Union treatment to goods coming from Turkey. In essence, the Greek Cypriot administration has abrogated all restrictions against goods from Turkey through a decree published on 11 December 1998. The EU Commission has given written confirmation that the Greek Cypriot administration is accepting the free circulation under the Customs Union of goods from Turkey as of 1 May 2004.

    Turkey remains committed to its special relationship with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and its obligations emanating from this special relationship. Unfortunately however, the EU is yet to fulfill its commitments with a view to ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. The EU Commission has carried out its responsibility by proposing the two draft Regulations on financial assistance and direct trade on 7 July 2004. Turkey appreciates the Commission's efforts. However, the Member States could not yet finalize these positive but first steps. It is expected that the political decision taken on 26 April 2004 by the EU-15 foreign ministers be put into effect by the EU-25.

    Turkey wishes to stress once more that it is due time to stop imposing on the Turkish side, which has demonstrated clearly its will for a solution, restrictions it does not in any way deserve.''

    [04] Reactions by the Turkish Cypriots on Turkey's decision to include the Republic of Cyprus in its Customs Union with the EU

    Turkey's decision to include the Republic of Cyprus in its Customs Union Agreement with the new EU members has caused reaction within the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (03.10.04) reports that the so-called Prime Minister, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, evaluating this decision of Turkey, said that it was an expected decision. He also added that if Turkey recognized the Republic of Cyprus before the solution of the Cyprus problem this would cause a chaos for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Warning that the free trade might move to the government-controlled areas of Cyprus and thus create problems for both Turkey and the occupation regime, Mr Talat stressed that the EU should immediately pass the free trade regulation to prevent Turkish Cypriots from facing hardship.

    Mr Talat also added that a sound opinion on the new development could be formed only after seeing the practical application of Turkey's decision. Finally, he concluded that certain measures will be taken to protect the businessmen in the occupied areas and that they are already holding contacts with Turkey and EU officials over the issue.

    Commenting on the same issue, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said: "Turkey's entering Customs Union with the 'South Cyprus' will not damage us as long as it continues to recognize 'TRNC'".

    The Secretary General of the Democratic Party (DP), Mr Mustafa Arabacioglu, said that the Turkish Cypriots should review their own position from scratch and if things go like this the Turkish Cypriots would simply become a patch on the Greek Cypriots.

    [05] Under the patronage of Turkey Serdar Denktas held contacts in New York as Foreign Minister of occupied EU territories. Efforts in vain to deceive the international community on the real objectives of Turkey´s occupation in Cyprus

    The semi official Ankara Anatolia news agency (30/09/04) reported the following:

    "TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas has said UN Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast has categorically denied the reports that the UN is getting ready to launch a new initiative for a solution in Cyprus.

    In a statement to the AA [Anatolian News Agency] after his meetings with Prendergast and Deputy Secretary General Responsible for Peacekeeping Jean-Marie Guehenno, Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said the Greek Cypriot news media reports that a new initiative has been launched through Prendergast were not correct. He noted that the issue was brought up during his meeting with Prendergast, and said Prendergast told him the UN had definitely made no new initiative in Cyprus and that it had no such plans.

    Pointing out that the UNFICYP [UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus] was taken up during his meeting with Guehenno, Serdar Denktas added: "The draft of the report on the UNFICYP was distributed to the parties today. We exchanged views on the report. The report contains points that both we and the Greek Cypriot side would criticize and complain about. The Greek Cypriots object to the reduction in the number of the force. From our point of view, the reason for the UNFICYP's presence in Cyprus and the description of its duties should change. There should be a big difference between the initial and the current assignments in light of the atmosphere that has developed. We talked about all these. Our meetings were generally positive. We have seen indications that more forward steps will be taken in the future meetings."

    Serdar Denktas made the following assessment of his other contacts since he arrived in New York on Sunday [26 September]:

    "We met here with the foreign ministers of various countries to explain to them that there has been no change toward alleviating the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots despite the promises that the international community made after the public referendum. These meetings have been useful for the reason that even the report that the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has issued says the promises made by the EU ahead of the public referendum have been fulfilled. An impression has been created as if the aid and trade regulations were adopted and Turkish Cypriots had started to trade with the EU. The people are under the impression that the promises made have been kept."

    Serdar Denktas went on as follows:

    "I explained that the situation was not so and that the Turkish Cypriots had experienced no positive change after the public referendum. I told them that the good reception accorded to us, as politicians, in our contacts abroad has had no positive and tangible effect on our people. I emphasized that the Turkish Cypriot people should not be expected to trust the international community in any new step to be taken because the international community has not kept the promises it has made."

    Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said he referred to the same issues in his address at the Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers, and added: "Moreover, I raised at this meeting the objection by some circles in the EU to the participation of the ´TRNC´ in the EU-OIC meeting on 4-5 October with the status of 'Turkish Cypriot State.' As far as I could see, the OIC is not sympathetic to the demand of the said circles."

    After stating that Muslim countries have promised to engage in certain sports, social, cultural, and economic activities with the ´TRNC´, Serdar Denktas said his meetings with the foreign ministers of Sudan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Yemen, Qatar, and Somalia were most positive. He pointed out that he received official invitations to visit some Muslim countries. Serdar Denktas did not, however, want the countries that extended the invitations to be made public. He complained about the obstructive stand and efforts of the Greek Cypriot sector and said:

    "If, as a foreign minister and a political representative, I am reluctant to reveal the countries that I talked to or will contact in the stage ahead, this means that someone has to feel ashamed for this. The UN should, not we. The EU and whom I shall meet next month just because the Greek Cypriots will obstruct this. No one has the right to force us to live under such a threat. We are overcoming these obstacles step by step, though."

    Noting that some Muslim countries have called for direct flights by the ´TRNC´ planes, Serdar Denktas said:

    "When starting flights to another country the venture should naturally be profitable in the economic sense. This call is important for us, but it does not promise much. What we want is the complete lifting of the inhuman embargo. As long as direct flights to [North] Cyprus do not begin, no one should claim to have lifted the isolation against the Turkish Cypriots. Tourism is the backbone of our economy. Reviving the tourism depends on the achievement of direct flights."

    Serdar Denktas said UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan had the main duty for the lifting of the isolation against the ´TRNC´. He emphasized that the shelving of the report on Cyprus had harmed the Secretary General's and the UN's credibility and said: "The failure to adopt a decision on a report at the Security Council is something unprecedented. We do not, however, expect any move on Cyprus until the middle of next year due to certain reasons."

    Commenting also on the regulations that have been prepared on financial support and trade relations, Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said: "We shall be able to use the grant that will be offered, in its present shape, in the fields that the Greek Cypriot sector will approve. The companies registered in the ´TRNC´ will not be able to participate in the EU-financed tenders. Keep it, we do not want it."

    Serdar Denktas leaves for London today, where he will hold meetings with the Turkish Cypriots there. After his two days of contacts, he will fly to Istanbul to participate in the EU-OIC Forum".

    [06] Ozkan Murat on the property "law". Mindful steps regarding the usurpation of the stolen Greek Cypriot properties. Columnist says the "law" has been imposed by Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (03.10.04) reports that the so-called minister of internal affairs of the occupation regime, Ozkan Murat has said that the provision of the "draft-law" which eliminates the right of the foreigners to obtain property in the occupied areas of Cyprus and provides for giving the ownership of the immovable property they buy to the "state", could be changed.

    In statements to illegal "Bayrak" television Mr Murat noted that this "draft-law", which drew strong reaction from the economic circles and is recently being discussed in the society, is still at the stage of being examined by the concerned "parliamentary committee".

    Mr Murat pointed out that they would take into consideration the proposals of the sections of the society which are concerned with the issue and added that they were seeing positively the amendment of the provision regarding the handing over of property bought by the foreigners to the "state".

    Mr Murat said that instead the current situation could continue or the long - term leasing could be another alternative. Mr Murat noted that the "draft law" was both protecting the interests of the society and the foreigners who buy property in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Mr Murat expressed the opinion that the current "law" is far from meeting their needs and added that they were concerned about the uncontrolled constructions.

    Noting that during the first nine months of 2004 there were more than two thousand applications by foreigners who wanted to buy property in the occupied areas and added that by the end of the year this number would equal the total number of the applicants during the past thirty years.

    Meanwhile, commenting on the issue, Necdet Ergun writes in his regular economic column in daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.10.04) that the reason for which the "government" of the occupation regime unwillingly supported the above-mentioned "law" providing for the 125-year leasing of property to foreigners who would not have the right to own the property they buy, was that Turkey imposed this "law" by force, because it did not want to face any problems with the date it expects to take by the EU regarding the launching of its accession negotiations.

    Under the title "Northern Cyprus: the heaven for the foreign pensioners", writes, inter alia, the following:

    "We have to do everything we can to get rid of the 'Draft Law regarding acquiring Immovable Property (Foreigners)' as soon as possible. Otherwise, in case this reprehensible law passes or in case it continues to be on the agenda, the harm to the economy will be great.

    The contribution of the constructions sector, which is depended on the foreign demand, to the economy is big.

    On Friday night I watched on Bayrak that the responsible minister for this law, Ozkan Murat was facing difficulties in defending this law. Ozkan Murat, who until today was defending his actions with strong and decisive arguments and is one of the ministers of this government with the best performance, found it very difficult to explain the reasons for the above-mentioned law.

    Ozkan Murat said that while within 30 years foreigners possessed 2.500 donums of property, within a year there have been about 2.500 new applications for license (total 5.000). And he is concerned that if we continue in this speed no property will remain for the locals. '

    Let Ozkan Murat not worry. This tempo will not continue at the same speed. After a while the 'automatic stabilizing forces' of the economy will get into action and this course will be normalized. This process is estimated to be about five years. There is not need for such a prohibitive law.

    Actually, the reason why the government unwillingly supports this law is something else. Let no one hide behind his finger! This law has been imposed to us by Turkey, because Turkey does not want to have any problems while entering the last curve expecting to get a date for negotiations with the EU. It wants to leave nothing to chance. Therefore, in order to face the complaints which will come from the Greek Cypriots and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding the properties and in order to gain time, it dictates to us such a law.

    So be it! We most sincerely support Turkey's getting a date from the EU for negotiations. However, what will happen to us in this period? We shall receive a blow economically. We are fed up with facing economic problems because of Turkey's imbalanced decisions.

    Believe that the foreigners' buying houses from the north and settling here will have very big advantages from the economic, social and political point of view. From the social point of view, our demographic structure is being given a quality injection. Politically, they (the foreigners) will be our biggest supporter, our lobby on the issue of the property regime of the Annan Plan.

    From the economic point of view their advantages are incalculable. A tourist, for instance, stays on average 4.5 nights and spends 450 US dollars. A foreign student spends 8-10 thousand dollars for per annum. The expenses of a couple of pensioners are, according to data based on experience, at least 30 thousand dollars per annum. I see the future of the economy of northern Cyprus in 40 thousand foreign students, 20 thousand foreign pensioners setting here and to the tourism of special interests (culture and conference). 'Therefore, the government must immediately withdraw this law. '".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] The Chief Editor of Turkish Daily News brands terrorist the President of an EU member state. Reaction to the annulment of the EU-OIC forum

    Under the title: "Facing bitter reality", Turkish Daily News (02/10/04) publishes the following commentary by its Editor in Chief, Mr Yusuf Kanli:

    "As a natural consequence of the discord over the participation status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus the long-planned European Union-Organization of the Islamic Conference (EU-OIC) Forum that was to kick-off in Istanbul as of today was called off by Turkey hours after EU term president, the Netherlands, asked EU capitals to boycott the event.

    Of course one can argue that it's no business of the EU to meddle in whether the OIC referred to the Turkish Cypriot people as the "Turkish Muslim community of Cyprus" or as the "Turkish State of Cyprus." One may say that the EU must mind its own business and should not intervene in who will be in the OIC team under what name or behind what placard.

    Though the whole discussion is very much like beating water in a bowl and with whatever name or title the Turkish Cypriot people are referred to will not produce any change towards the better for the isolation of northern Cyprus from the international community, in reality this standoff over Cyprus between the EU and the OIC may bring about some change.

    It may bring about some change if the whole issue is interpreted with realism. Like an ostrich we may prefer to bury our head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening but such an attitude will not change the bitter reality: Greek Cypriots are in the EU and, despite they have no such legal right, are "representing the entire island." Rather than talking about with superfluous clichés such as "ending the international isolation of northern Cyprus" -- which cannot be done under international law because of the recognition of Greek Cypriots as the lords of the entire island -- Turkey must abandon its decades old "Hold on to Turkish Cypriot recognition, we are negotiating a settlement" advice and indeed recommendation to some prominent Islamic countries.

    For God's sake, what's the difference between the "Turkish Muslim Community of Cyprus" and "Turkish State of Cyprus" expressions if both are titles given to an "observer" and "non-recognized" entity? It's a difference of envelope not the content.

    Rather than whistling the tune of Washington and Brussels and waste time with "we shall end the Turkish Cypriot isolation" fairy tale, Ankara must wake up and pursue a diligent policy of acquiring international recognition for northern Cyprus. Such a policy will bring about settlement on the island, as well as help Turkey join the EU with dignity and not like a defeated country.

    Today we could not convene the OIC-EU Forum in Istanbul. Tomorrow, if we do not realize what bleak future we might face and act accordingly, we shall experience the bitter Greek Cypriot veto that will derail our EU accession. This is not a farfetched threat.

    On the contrary, it is in the pipeline and terrorist - turned Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos has been confessing to it whenever he speaks nowadays.

    Because of the larynx problem he might not be talking loud, but what he has been saying should be audible enough to wake up the Islamic - rooted Justice and Development party government in Ankara.

    Romanticism is good, but there is no place for it in state administration".


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