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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-10-11

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.194/04 09-10-11.10.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turks leak information to the press that Jack Straw advised them to deal with the Cyprus problem after December.
  • [02] Mr Gul hopes that the occupation of an EU member state would not be a hindrance in front of Turkey's EU course at the December summit.
  • [03] Human rights association criticizes Erdogan's attitude on torture.
  • [04] Sezer and Gul on the minorities in Turkey.
  • [05] Talat and the "transportation minister" accuse the Republic of Cyprus of creating problems as regards the opening of a check point at Zodhia.
  • [06] Mehmet Ali Talat gave a lunch in honor of the new occupation forces Commanders.
  • [07] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers covered statements by Mr Christofias that he will not take the role Talat plays in the occupied areas.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the EU Progress Report and the problems for Turkey from keeping the Republic of Cyprus divided for 30 years through the force of 40,000 fully equipped troops.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turks leak information to the press that Jack Straw advised them to deal with the Cyprus problem after December

    Istanbul NTV television (08.10.04) broadcast the following:

    "It was learned that British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw gave Ankara the message that the Cyprus problem should be postponed to after 17 December. Straw met with Foreign, Interior, and Justice ministers in Ankara yesterday. According to information received, Straw said that the Cyprus issue can be discussed in a calmer political atmosphere after the EU Summit on 17 December. Straw further noted that there may be countries which would seek to place additional conditions to Turkey. However, Straw added, the issue of Turkey's recognizing the Republic of Cyprus can be placed on the agenda not as a condition, but within the framework of a solution.

    Western diplomatic sources said that Straw expressed regret over the continuation of the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots."

    [02] Mr Gul hopes that the occupation of an EU member state would not be a hindrance in front of Turkey´s EU course at the December summit

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that it was impossible for Greek Cypriots to hinder Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU).

    Appearing on private SKY Turk TV channel late on Friday, Gul said that the Cyprus issue would not be a hindrance in front of Turkey's possible membership at the EU Summit to be held on December 17th.

    When asked how entry negotiations would function, Gul said that a technical delegation would carry out negotiations, stating that there were 31 issues which were very important for Turkey.

    [03] Human rights association criticizes Erdogan's attitude on torture

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (09.10.04) reports the following:

    "Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) President Yavuz Onen and Human Rights Association (IHD) President Husnu Ondul released a statement on Friday, alleging that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that people working for human rights associations had links to terrorist organizations and had called for investigations initiated into their affairs.

    Onen and Ondul noted that both the IHD and TIHV described the torture in Turkey as systematic in accordance with the guidelines set by the United Nations, adding that the government's responsibility in such crimes was to assess and investigate in a timely manner.

    They said that Erdogan's conduct against human rights organizations ran counter to his recent speech at the Council of Europe, when the prime minister had said that they had zero tolerance for torture.

    They said that Erdogan's statement made against human rights supporters were unfortunate, noting that they still remembered the murders of the human rights supporters that happened in the 1990s."

    [04] Sezer and Gul on the minorities in Turkey

    Under the title: "Sezer dismisses `minorities´ in Turkey", and subtitle: "Gul says the EU has shown understanding by taking out references to Kurdish and Alawite 'minorities,' calling the description unacceptable", Turkish Daily News (09.10.04) reports the following:

    "President Ahmet Necdet Sezer dismissed yesterday that Kurds and Alawites constituted a minority in Turkey, saying they were part of the "majority" in the country.

    "Why should we call a part of the majority a minority?" asked the president, in response to a question requesting comment on the European Union Commission's reference to minority rights in a progress report on Turkey's reform efforts.

    The Commission recommended in its report beginning of long-delayed accession talks. EU leaders will decide on whether or not to begin the talks at a December summit.

    Turkey has passed reforms allowing courses to open to teach Kurdish and state broadcaster TRT has launched Kurdish broadcasting in line with laws passed to that effect.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said the EU report did not refer to minorities.

    "All of such references have been taken out in the final version (of the report)," he told reporters.

    "Everybody knows that Turkey can never accept that. Europeans know it very well."

    The Lausanne Treaty of 1923, the founding agreement of the Turkish Republic, stipulates that description of "minority" could be applied to non-Muslim citizens only.

    "That was a mistake. That would not be welcomed by our own citizens. There are issues that Turkey can never accept and such descriptions are one of them," Gul said, adding that the EU showed understanding by agreeing to take out references to "minorities"´´.

    [05] Talat and the "transportation minister" accuse the Republic of Cyprus of creating problems as regards the opening of a check point at Zodhia

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (11.10.04) reports that the so-called prime minister of the pseudostate, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, and the "minister of public works and transportation", Mr Omer Kalyoncu, alleged that the Republic of Cyprus is creating problems as regards the opening of a new check point near the occupied Zodhia village.

    Mr Talat who was speaking on illegal BAYRAK station, admitted that it was the Government of the Republic of Cyprus which firstly suggested the opening of a check point at Zodhia in order to show that it considers important the cooperation between the two communities of Cyprus, and for improving its bad image after it said "no" at the referendum, as he claimed. "But later it abandoned the idea as it always does", he alleged. He also accused the Republic of Cyprus for bringing "unreasonable conditions" as regards the opening of new check points.

    On his part, Mr Kalyoncu, who also was speaking on illegal BAYRAK station, said that the Turkish Cypriot side makes requests as regards the opening of new check points but, as he alleged, the Greek Cypriots "raise objections". He also added that the Turkish Cypriot side did what it had to do for the opening of the Zodhia check point and reminded that the works for asphalting the road in the area will start on Monday. He said that it is not clear when the works will be completed.

    On the same issue KIBRIS newspaper reported on 09.10.04 that according to a statement of the "ministry of public works and transportation" the occupation regime will start the asphalting of a road on Monday, for the opening of the a new check point at occupied Zodhia village.

    [06] Mehmet Ali Talat gave a lunch in honour of the new occupation forces Commanders

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.10.04) reports that the so-called Prime Minister, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, hosted a lunch last Thursday in honour of the newly appointed commanders in the occupied area of Cyprus, the Corps Commander Hasan Memisoglu, Commander of the Turkish Cypriot Occupation Forces, Major General Aydemir Culculoglu, Commander of the 28th division and the Commander of the Security Forces, Major General Tevfik Ozkilic.

    Addressing the new Turkish officers, Mr Talat stressed that the commanders have been appointed in a difficult but also important period, because the new process now with the beginning of Turkey's accession talks with the EU would also have its effects upon Cyprus.

    The Commander of the Turkish Cypriot Occupation Forces, the Corps Commander Hasan Memisoglu, said that they would do their best to safeguard the security of the Turkish Cypriot "people".

    [07] How the Turkish Cypriot newspapers covered statements by Mr Christofias that he will not take the role Talat plays in the occupied areas

    The Turkish Cypriot newspapers (11.10.04) give wide coverage to statements made by the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Demetris Christofias, that "he will not become a new Talat".

    The papers cover the issue as follows:

    Under the title "Full support to Papadopoulos from Christofias", KIBRIS writes that the President of the House of Representatives stated that his Party will not abandon President Papadopoulos and that Christofias himself will not take the role that Talat has in the north. KIBRIS publishes the interview, which was given by Mr Christofias to local PHILELEFTHEROS newspaper on 10.10.04, in its inside pages.

    GUNES, covers the issue in its front page under the title "Shame on you Talat", and writes that Mr Christofias made very serious accusations against Mr Talat indicating that Mr Talat followed orders from the Anglo-Americans. The paper writes that Mr Christofias stated that he will not become a new Talat.

    Under the title "Talat a man of imperialism", VOLKAN writes that Mr Christofias made serious accusations against his companion.

    KIBRISLI reports about the subject in its inside pages under the title "He is becoming a second Papadopoulos" and writes that "Christofias said to the Anglo-Americans to forget that he will become a new Talat".

    YENI DUZEN also writes about the issue in its inside pages under the title "Christofias: I will not become a new Talat".

    Finally, HALKIN SESI, ORTAM, VATAN and AFRIKA newspapers cover the issue in their inside pages.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses the EU Progress Report and the problems for Turkey from keeping the Republic of Cyprus divided for 30 years through the force of 40,000 fully equipped troops

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (09.10.04) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin, under the title: "Difficult without recognizing Greek Cypriots":

    "Cyprus is the most real obstacle among the many controversial provisions of the EU Progress Report that Turkey will encounter in a short time. As a matter of fact, this was evident also in the Progress Report that was issued in the beginning of November before the 2002 Copenhagen summit. There was also criticism at that time and demands were listed about the Kurdish problem and the rights of worship of the religious communities other than the Sunni Muslims. At that time the people focused all their attention on this issue, and did not want to refer to Cyprus. `TRNC President´ Rauf Denktas became seriously ill in New York, where he had gone for talks. A new party, the Justice and Development Party [JDP], had emerged from the elections. The new government was not yet formed. Therefore, the voices that said, "Cyprus is the main issue," were not very effective.

    However, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Cyprus solution plan that was released almost one week after the 2002 Progress Report revealed the sad truth. Ankara was not ready. Denktas was ill. It was not possible to take any step ahead of the Copenhagen summit. Had a step been taken, would a decision for a negotiating date that we are now expecting at the 17 December summit have been adopted in 2002? Could Turkey get, at the time, a negotiating date subject to a specific reform timetable?

    It is difficult to give a sound reply to this question today. We do know, though, that something less than desired was achieved at the Copenhagen summit because of the Cyprus problem, and that even the provision -- "Negotiations will begin without delay once the criteria are fulfilled," the importance of which is understood today -- was included after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met at the last moment with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. We are also aware that the opportunity that came about in The Hague on 10 March 2003 could not be used both because the Annan Plan did not sufficiently take into account the demands of the Turkish side and Denktas' failure to lend support to reconciliation.

    The unconceivable steps on Cyprus taken by the [Mehmet Ali] Talat `government´, which came to power in the `TRNC´, and the Erdogan government indeed changed the Cyprus picture considerably. The acceptance of the Annan Plan by the Turkish Cypriots and its rejection by the Greek Cypriots in the 24 April 2004 public referendum was taken to mean that the Greek Cypriots would be held responsible for the state of no solution. A move indeed started after this date to hold the Greek Cypriots responsible for the state of no solution.

    The justified cause and position of the Turkish Cypriots did not, however, stand in the way of their international isolation. The Greek Cypriots have prevented even the EU support packages for the Turkish Cypriots that were much below expectations. The unjustified position to which the Greek Cypriots fell constituted no obstacle for them to get everything they wanted in international politics. Despite the promises made to Turkey, the unjustified Greek Cypriot position did not prevent them from officially becoming a member of the EU, and even opposing Turkey's membership and the starting of the accession negotiations.

    The Progress Report said, "The European Council called on Turkey on June 2004 to put into effect with the 25 member countries the Ankara Agreement," and that it expected a positive response.

    What this remark implies in the political sense is: Turkey would probably not be forced to officially recognize the Greek Cypriot republic as a condition for getting a negotiating date at the 17 December summit. The Greek Cypriot and Greek diplomacy is not that naïve and amateur to expose itself at this stage. They are aware that, in case they do, the European countries that used them as a shield for so many years would shine the spotlight on them and say, "Here are those who obstruct Turkey." They do not have to do this, because the Intergovernmental Conference for getting the negotiations started is approaching. At the Intergovernmental conference, Turkey would have to accept as its interlocutor the Greek Cypriot government, together with the other 24 countries, and meet with it.

    How would you carry on the game without meeting with and recognizing the existence of a country which became member of the club that you want to join before you? Not only the Erdogan government, but together with it the entire National Assembly should come up with creative and courageous solutions. Naturally, the Erdogan government has the main duty for the reason that the steps taken (and have to be taken) toward EU membership should have been predicted in advance."

    /SK


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