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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-11-01

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.208/04 30-31.10-01.11.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan tries to diminish the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [02] Dervis Eroglu relinquished the task to establish so-called government in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [03] Mehmet Ali Talat urges Turkey not to interfere in so-called elections.
  • [04] Two new Turkish dailies in the US.
  • [05] Turkey does not expect drastic changes in the US foreign policy after 2 November elections.
  • [06] Turkey's Gul notes active support for greater Middle East project.
  • [07] The Justice and Peace Party merged with the Democratic Party.
  • [08] A strike at the illegal Tymbou airport.
  • [09] Patriotic Unity Movement changes its name to New Cyprus Party.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkish columnist analyses the messages from Cankaya.
  • [11] Turkish columnist wonders if Republic of Cyprus will use its veto right.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan tries to diminish the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.10.04) reported from Rome that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope on Friday that their signatures under the European Constitutional Treaty would contribute to formation of a Europe where civilizations met.

    Erdogan held a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in of Rome, Italy after signing the Final Act and holding bilateral meetings.

    Erdogan recalled that he met his Italian, Britain, Austrian, German, Belgian, Spanish, Swedish and Greek counterparts during and after the signature ceremony.

    Noting that they discussed Turkey's EU membership bid and the European Council to be held on December 17th, Erdogan said, ''we were pleased to listen to their positive views. I believe that a step we all expect will be taken on December 17th.''

    When a reporter recalled that the Final Act that Erdogan (and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul) signed included protocols regarding Cyprus and said that some thought that Turkey's signing this act would mean it would recognize the Greek Cypriot side as ''Cyprus'', Erdogan said: ''The text we signed today is not a text legally binding Turkey, but a text politically binding Turkey. We signed it as a candidate country and as an observer. Moreover, an additional letter regarding Cyprus was given.''

    Erdogan did not comment on the contents of the letter.

    Finally, Erdogan said that negotiation process and full membership were two different things, and noted, ''EU will decide whether to open negotiations (with Turkey) on December 17th. So, a referendum can't be held on this decision.''

    [02] Dervis Eroglu relinquished the task to establish so-called government in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (01.11.04) reports that the National Unity Party (NUP) leader, Mr Dervis Eroglu, who was assigned the task of forming a so-called government in the occupied areas of Cyprus, has announced that he would relinquish the task and return his mission to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas today.

    Eroglu, whose efforts to establish a so-called government proved to be fruitless, stated that his party will begin to work for "elections" as of 1 November. Eroglu said that he attempted to form a government, but his efforts, whose outcome he described as self-evident, proved to be unsuccessful.

    The Party Assembly of the NUP convened yesterday in order to assess the latest situation regarding the efforts to establish a new government. They released a statement saying: "The NUP submitted a package of proposals to the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the Democrat Party (DP) to form the new 'government'. However, both political parties rejected the proposal. Therefore, the NUP decided to return its mission of forming the new 'government' to Denktas on Monday."

    Mr Denktas will either designate another so-called deputy to form the new "government" or make a decision to hold early "elections".

    [03] Mehmet Ali Talat urges Turkey not to interfere in so-called elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (31.10.04) reports that the so-called caretaker "Prime Minister" Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday: "Turkey should not interfere in any election. This is our internal affair".

    Stressing that the "government" that will come to power after the so-called elections would have to cooperate with Turkey, Talat said: "It is necessary for Turkey and the `TRNC´ to coordinate" their policies jointly.

    Talat also said he could not come to an agreement with his partner in the "government" on an early "election" date and noted that the Turkish Cypriot people's will had changed fast from the time of the so-called presidential elections in April 2000 to the present. Talat urged that the will of the people should reflect upon the so-called Republican Assembly.

    In a statement to Turkey´s Anatolia Agency correspondent, Talat said: "We do not expect any support from the Turkish Government in the 'elections'," adding that this was "out of the question." He said: "We do not expect this because we opposed this all along when the Turkish Governments supported the other parties in the past. We said that the Turkish Governments should not interfere in our internal politics. Therefore, we do not expect anything from the Turkish Government, and we do not have such a demand. Turkey should not interfere in any election. This is our own election; it should not interfere. Whoever is elected should cooperate and coordinate its policies with Turkey."

    Pointing out that he was not able to come to an agreement with his coalition partner on an early "election" date, Talat said: "We could not agree on a date and we are suffering a delay. There is no date yet."

    Talat said a stable "government" cannot emerge from the present so-called Assembly and reiterated his call for "early elections," adding: "The present 'parliament' reflects the will of the 14 December 2003 'elections'. The will that emerged from the 24 April 2004 public referendum is not represented in the parliament." The 50:50 will on 14 December 2003 changed to 65 to 35 percent in the referendum, which is indicative of the fact that the will that emerged in the referendum and its aftermath is not represented in the composition of the 'parliament'. Therefore, we want the 'parliament' to take its shape in line with the new will. The way to achieve this is through elections."

    Expressing confidence that the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) would "come out strong" in the so-called elections, Talat said the Turkish Cypriot people's will has changed a lot after the April 2000 presidential elections. He went on to say: "The will of the Turkish Cypriot people started to change extremely fast. Well, why should we not have this will represented in the parliament? Is this not the right way and is this not what democracy requires? The problem boils down to this. This is something that representative democracy requires.

    [04] Two new Turkish dailies in the US

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS (01.11.04) reports that two Turkish daily newspapers, the HURRIYET and ZAMAN, are this week to start being published and delivered daily in America, Anatolia news agency said.

    HURRIYET, which until now was delivered in the U.S. after being published in Germany, is to be the first Turkish daily that is published and delivered in America with its first official issue today. HURRIYET's representative in Washington, Dogan Uluc told Anatolia that the paper would be delivered to all the states.

    ZAMAN newspaper is also to be published daily in the U.S. starting from Wednesday, on the foundation anniversary of the paper. ZAMAN is mostly to be delivered to its subscribers in the U.S.

    [05] Turkey does not expect drastic changes in the US foreign policy after 2 November elections

    Turkish Daily News (01.11.04) reports the following article as regards Turkey-USA relations after the forthcoming USA elections:

    "Turkey's relations with the United States are not expected to go through a drastic change after the November 2 presidential election in the USA since both candidates hold similar positions on most foreign policy issues, although Washington's stance on Iraq and an alleged Armenian genocide might be different than the one currently held in the event the Democratic candidate wins.

    President George W. Bush, who is running for a second term, has avoided using the word "genocide" in traditional April 24 messages, the anniversary of the alleged genocide. Democratic candidate John Kerry, on the other hand, has pledged in speeches throughout his election campaign to recognize the allegations.

    Turkey has so far demonstrated little concern that Kerry would endorse the allegations if elected, given the fact that U.S. presidents, even those who had pledged to recognize the allegations of a genocide before coming to power, have so far valued good relations with Turkey above domestic political gains.

    But some observers say with Kerry as president, the United States might revise its policy concerning the alleged genocide, though a number of others argue that there is little reason why the traditional U.S. policy on the issue should change.

    In the past, a bill calling for recognition of the alleged genocide was shelved at the last minute in the U.S. House of Representatives after then President Bill Clinton intervened.

    Armenians claim that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire in the last century as part of a genocide campaign. Turkey categorically denies the genocide allegations, saying the killings came when the Ottoman Empire was trying to quell civil unrest during the World War I years.

    Subtitle: Iraq uncertainty

    One of the most sensitive issues involving Turkey-U.S. ties is the future of Iraq. Turkey is concerned about the presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the mountains of northern Iraq and the prospects of stronger political influence exercised by the Kurds in the north. Turkish concerns have grown, particularly in recent months, over Kurdish attempts to control the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

    Ankara is also pressing the United States for taking action to eliminate the PKK. Washington has pledged that there will be no place for terrorists in Iraq but, given the huge task of dealing with an insurgency in other parts of the country, has avoided using military means.

    The chief elements of Bush's Iraq policy are the protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, the establishment of a federal regime in Iraq and broad autonomy for Iraqi Kurds in the north.

    Parliamentary elections in Iraq are slated for January. The Bush administration has presented no timetable for withdrawal from Iraq but has said instead the pullout would take place after the mission there was completed.

    Kerry, if elected, is expected to push for more international participation to put things right in Iraq. Observer say Iraqi Kurds expect Kerry to be more flexible as compared to Bush on the issue of an autonomy for Kurds. Kerry's position concerning the PKK presence in Iraq is not yet certain."

    Subtitle: EU support set to continue

    Washington's traditional support for Turkey's bid to join the EU is expected to remain same with both candidates. Bush has been a strong supporter of Turkish membership throughout his term as president and is expected to maintain his support if re-elected. According to political observers, Kerry is no different from Bush in that sense.

    Both Bush and Kerry are also expected to support Turkey's relations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    As for Cyprus, the Bush administration is likely to come up with a new undertaking for settlement in the island if it returns to office after the election. Kerry, however, has made no clear statement on his position on the Cyprus issue.

    The U.S. administration has pledged to help end the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots but has not yet taken any concrete steps in that direction.

    [06] Turkey's Gul notes active support for greater Middle East project

    CNN TURK, a private TV channel, (31.10.04) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr Abdullah Gul has declared that Turkey is providing active support to ensure that the Greater Middle East Project attains its goals and is successful.

    Mr Gul said that the project, which he defined as "the Broad Middle East Initiative", is a long-term transformation project that aims at "bringing about peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Middle East."

    Pointing out that the Broad Middle East Initiative was discussed at various international platforms, in the G-8 countries in particular, Mr Gul noted: "The initiative is consistent with the Middle East vision of our country, which wants to surround itself with a belt of peace, stability, and prosperity. Moreover, at every opportunity we voiced the points and warnings that we deemed necessary for the successful implementation of this initiative."

    For the Broad Middle East Initiative to be successful, change should be supported from within, stressed Mr Gul, adding that it is important to be attentive to the special conditions and sensitivities of the countries in the region. Expressing the belief that it will take time to institute reforms in this region, Gul stated that he is pleased that Turkey's views in this regard are reflected in international documents.

    [07] The Justice and Peace Party merged with the Democratic Party

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (31.10.04) reports that the Justice and Peace Party (JPP) of Ertugrul Hasipoglu, dissolved itself and merged with the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas. As the paper writes, after changes on the DP's organisation structure and regulations, Mr Hasipoglu was appointed as the deputy chairman of the DP.

    [08] A strike at the illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.10.04) reports that a strike took place last Friday at the illegal Tymbou airport in occupied Cyprus.

    The strike was organised by the Trade Union of the Turkish Cypriot Workers in the Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY), who protested because some of their colleagues were fired by the administration of the illegal airlines and who wanted to secure their labour rights.

    Four flights were postponed because of the strike. Three of the postponed flights were directed to the UK through Turkey and the other one to Turkey. The strike lasted 7 and half hours, between 3:00 until 10:30 in the morning and came to an end after contacts held by the "administration" of the illegal airlines and the KTHY.

    [09] Patriotic Unity Movement changes its name to New Cyprus Party

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (31.10.04), under the banner headlines "The first Turkish Cypriot political party that makes an opening to the Greek Cypriots", writes that the 8th congress of the Patriotic Unity Movement (PUM) was held yesterday.

    As the paper writes, the rules and regulations of the PUM were amended, together with its name during the congress. The party readopted its former name "New Cyprus Party" (NCP). Under the new amended rules and regulations, all EU citizens, including Greek Cypriots residing in Cyprus, and any other person who is eligible for membership in a political party according to the law, can become members of the NCP:

    The paper also reports that the "New Cyprus Party" was also registered in the Republic of Cyprus and can participate in the elections that will be held in the Republic of Cyprus.

    The leader of NCP, Mr Alpay Durduran, said: "From now on there is a political party in Cyprus to which all the Cypriots can be members".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkish columnist analyses the messages from Cankaya

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (31.10.04) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila, under the title "Messages from Cankaya":

    "The primary topic at the reception that President Ahmet Necdet Sezer gave in the Cankaya Palace on the occasion of the 29th of October [Republic Day] was the minority controversy.

    President Sezer, with answers that as always were short and to the point, explained his own stance:

    He pointed out that Turkishness is not based on an ethnic foundation, that the bond of citizenship is sufficient, and that the legal situation has not changed since the Constitution of 1924. He concluded by stressing that there can be no question, for Turkey, of a definition of minority apart from that determined at Lausanne.

    It was General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok and Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit who conveyed most of the messages at the Cankaya reception.

    The first message that came out of the answers Generals Ozkok and Buyukanit gave to questions from journalists was that assessments and opinions to the effect that the Turkish Armed Forces are opposed to the European Union are wrong. The statements of the commanders reflected clearly that, on the contrary, the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] in fact support full Turkish membership in the EU. Even to the degree that General Ozkok showed just how much care he is taking in terms of opening negotiations with the EU by emphasizing that the various institutions and groups in Turkey must avoid making any mistakes prior to 17 December.

    General Ozkok's statement, when responding to the question: 'Do you have any red lines?', that full EU membership is a desire of society as a whole, and that when concessions are being debated it will likewise be the people who determine the line beyond which 'This is too much', showed how the TAF approach the matter.

    It was clear from General Ozkok's statement that they have looked into the minority issue, that they have not been able to find a single definition, and that they have examined the relevant UN documents as well, that the TAF have been discussing, researching, and forming positions among themselves regarding every topic on the agenda. In addition, by stressing that problems of this type will lose their importance if per capita national income is around 30 thousand dollars, and that no one will want to separate from Turkey if Turkey resolves its problems, he made it plain that they are paying attention to the socio-economic dimensions of the issue as well.

    The responses and explanations of the General Staff Chief also contained the message that they are open to discussion of every issue.

    As for Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit, he made statements that pertained more to the United States. He criticized the stance of the United States towards the PKK. He stressed, in an implicit way, that those on Qandil Mountain have been coming into and out of Turkey from Northern Iraq, and that the United States is waiting for all of them to enter [Turkey]. Yet another issue General Buyukanit complained about was the lack of results in the judicial system. He pointed out that not a one of thirty criminal charges have been resolved. He stated frequently that [imprisoned PKK leader] Abdullah Ocalan continues to run the organization via his lawyers, that they [presumably referring to the military] have conveyed their unease on this topic to the government, but that they have not been able to get any results from the judiciary.

    He expressed his reproach on Iraq when he responded as follows to the question 'How are relations with the United States on this topic?':

    'Is Turkey [involved] in Iraq? I am not talking about our military presence, but is Turkey [involved] in the structuring of Iraq's future? It is not. What more can I say?...'

    The message coming from the TAF at Cankaya was thus that of getting to 17 December and obtaining a date without making any mistakes, and warning the United States on the topic of Iraq and the PKK..."

    [11] Turkish columnist wonders if Republic of Cyprus will use its veto right

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (27.10.04) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen, under the title "They Will Not Say 'No,' But...":

    "Will France say 'no' during the EU summit? Despite President Jacques Chirac's hesitations that mostly stem from domestic politics, it is not highly probable that France will obstruct the commencement of the negotiations with Turkey on 17 December. At the most, France may insist on a later date and on certain conditions that are mentioned in the EU Commission's report -- similar to the leaders of certain other member countries such as Austria and Denmark who have adopted the 'yes, but' stand due to the opposition of the public.

    However, no one in Brussels or in the other capitals believes that a member country will reject or exercise its veto right against the commencement of the negotiations with Turkey.

    All right, but are we also talking about Cyprus -- and Greece? Tassos Papadopoulos issues a message to the effect that 'he may or may not exercise his veto right.' Despite the fact that Greece notes that it continues to support Ankara, it appears to be willing to use a recent tension as a trump card.

    Nevertheless, we have the impression that Papadopoulos will not exercise his veto right when the time comes and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will not say 'no' in spite of everything.

    Apparently, the strategy of the Papadopoulos administration is as follows: To take advantage of the discussions that are being held on Turkey in the EU, to put his conditions on the agenda, and to receive certain concessions from Turkey by 17 December. In other words, the Greek Cypriot side has adopted the mentality of 'we will consider all the concessions that will be received until 17 December our profit.' What do they want? They want Turkish troops to begin withdrawing from the island. They want the Ankara administration to recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration under the name of the Republic of Cyprus they want Turkey to open its ports to Greek Cypriot ships.

    Turkey, on the other hand, definitely rejects the condition that calls for the withdrawal of the troops. It asserts that the recognition of the Cypriot Government may appear on the agenda after the summit in December.

    Under such circumstances, will the Greek Cypriot side exercise its veto right if it does not achieve its goals? EU officials note that they will not allow this. Still however, some of them note that 'it will be beneficial to make certain arrangements that will satisfy the Greek Cypriot side.'

    As for Greece, a warm friendship and a fine dialogue have recently been established between the Greek and the Turkish prime ministers. Karamanlis has announced on all occasions that Greece extends full support to Turkey's EU membership.

    What is the reason for the recent deterioration?

    The flights that had been stopped due to the Olympic Games have been resumed. In plain words, Turkey has resumed flights in a region, which according to Turkey is within its airspace. Greece, on the other hand, in line with its standpoint, considers this the violation of its own airspace. Just like it did in the past. In a way, the resumption of the flights is not something new. Athens, however, has turned this into a reason for creating new tension. Maybe Athens wants Ankara to comply with a certain condition, such as giving up the flights in this region, prior to the December summit. Or maybe Greece is merely making efforts in order to ensure that Turkey complies with Papadopoulos' demands.

    Probably, Athens is also acting with the mentality of 'we will consider all the concessions that will be received until 17 December our profit.' However, this may lead to damage harm, rather than profit. And the relations between Turkey and Greece are the most vulnerable point."

    /SK


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