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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-11-19

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.222/04 19.11.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Gul arrogantly declares that Turkey will not recognize the Republic of Cyprus before 17 December but demands the vote of a "non-existent" Republic for Turkey´s accession negotiations date.
  • [02] Lord David Hanney argues that the solution of the Cyprus problem would be inevitable if Turkey gets a date for the beginning of its accession talks.
  • [03] Erdogan uneasy about the US operation in Iraq.
  • [04] True Path and Motherland Parties continue their efforts to merge.
  • [05] Angolemli calls for an investigation as regards the money sent by Turkey. Allegations of money given before the referendum.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in STAR argues that with the Greater Middle East Project President Bush aims at changing the geography of the region by supporting the political Islam in Turkey.
  • [07] "Let Greek Cypriots veto Turkey!"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Gul arrogantly declares that Turkey will not recognize the Republic of Cyprus before 17 December but demands the vote of a "non-existent" Republic for Turkey´s accession negotiations date

    ZAMAN newspaper (18.11.04) publishes the following article by Suleyman Kurt under the title: "We will not recognize the Greek Cypriots before 17 December or accept special status:

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said: "If the European Union comes to Turkey with an alternative other than full membership the whole issue ends there".

    Ankara is waiting for a clear and unequivocal date for the start of accession talks from the European Union leaders at the 17 December summit. With one month to go before the crucial summit Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul spoke to ZAMAN, and came out strongly against "special status" proposals. Gul said: "If such a proposal comes then the whole issue ends there. For us talks mean full membership talks. There can be no alternative to that." Gul also "vetoed" the likelihood of the Greek Cypriot administration being recognized, and said that Turkey had taken "courageous and civilized" steps towards settling the Cyprus problem, but that it would not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration before the 17 December summit. Foreign Minister Gul also implied that the likelihood of the Greek Cypriots vetoing Turkey's membership would be obstructed by the European Union.

    Maintaining that alternatives to the EU were full of problems Gul said: "You have to be realistic. Is it possible to have a structure like the EU that goes beyond just close cooperation in an Islamic union? It is not. To which Islamic country can we say, 'We would be happy to establish a regime and a style of government like the Republic of Turkey has'? As a result everybody wants to live in a civilian, democratic, free and transparent society like the EU where the individual rights come first."

    Noting that there was little chance of Turkey suffering a disappointment before the 17 December summit Gul said: "I am very hopeful. Turkey has over the past two years and in the words of foreign politicians carried out a civilian revolution. We shall see after we have done all we can for the best. If the result we see satisfies everyone we shall continue of course. In theory anything is possible." In reply to a question as to what result would be a success at the 17 December summit minister Gul said, "Success on 17 December will mean getting a clear and unequivocal accession talks start date, and for these talks to be clearly presented as leading to full membership."

    Stating that they were expecting the accession talks start date to be in the first half of 2005 Gul went on: "Our expectation is definitely the first half of 2005, and without delay. It will be within 2005. These are the decisions made at Copenhagen. The EU is bound by this."

    Minister Gul said clearly that Turkey would not recognize the Greek Cypriots before the summit. In reply to the question, "Might it be possible to recognize the Greek Cypriots?" Gul said: "No, no. We have done what we were going to, and did so in a courageous and civilized manner." While evaluating the prospects of a Greek Cypriot veto the Foreign Minister pointed out that it was theoretically possible, and added: "The Greek Cypriots do have a vote, and the right to veto by themselves. Of course they will make their calculations. They will vote according to the outcome of these calculations. The huge EU will make the other calculations. Can it or can it not give such an authority or responsibility?" In reply to the question, "Might the EU obstruct such a move by the Greek Cypriots?" Gul referred to his previous comment saying, "I just told you."

    Gul also made it perfectly clear that no alternative to full accession talks would be acceptable. When asked what they would do were such a proposal to be made the minister replied: "It ends there. Acceptance is not possible." He also replied to comments coming from Brussels of: "Turkey may suggest a special status for itself because it does not want to share sovereignty." Gul said: "Turkey is entering the EU knowing full well what it is. With the EU sovereignty is shared on many issues. Your borders are one; there is a common customs tariff and common armies. You jointly use another's sovereign right. These lie at the heart of the matter. There is no surprise. For us accession talks mean full membership talks. There can be no alternative to this for us."

    "Our efforts will not be in vain"

    The Foreign Minister was asked: "You say that should an adverse result come out of 17 December then it ends there. Would that not mean that Turkey's efforts over the past 40 years have been in vain?" He replied: "Why should it be in vain? The ground covered by Turkey is plain to see. It is not just Turkey that gains from this; the EU also gains. Our heads are high. Turkey will contribute much to the EU. It will add strategic depth, which no other member could do."

    "Non-EU alternatives seen as problematic"

    Gul was also asked, "Ministers who once regarded the EU with suspicion have become EU supporters; is that out of self-interest or is it because they have internalized the values?" Gul gave the following reply:

    "They saw how problematic their alternatives were when they looked at them. You have to be realistic. Looking at things realistically today, is something like the EU possible in an Islamic union, something that goes beyond solidarity and close cooperation? It is not. Look at the regimes. Of which Islamic country could we say they would be happy to establish the Republic of Turkey's style of government as their regime? Not one of them. Consequently, in the choice of both intellectuals and the people for the EU is [the fact that it is a society] that is democratic, civilian and free, and where the rights of the individual come first, where the law comes first, where basic rights and freedoms are assured, where all aspects of the administration are transparent, and where everybody can be called to account. Everybody wants to live in such a society. After that comes the economic aspect of the business. Furthermore, there are the security and stability aspects."

    Gul commented on the Turkish public's current high support for the EU and the government's "fervent leadership" in this matter: "At the start of its Constitution the EU says, 'Diversity in unity.' We believe this: That we have the right to preserve our diversity and our identity, and to live within these universal values. Looking at it this way, if the matter is one of how much freedom and how many established rules, then this makes our people happy."

    Marginalizing military direction giving is significant progress

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul replied to a question on the Justice and Development Party [JDP] government's relations with the military. "What are military-civilian relations like in Turkey? Two years ago when the JDP came to power people expected it to argue with the military." Gul replied: "Our relations with the military, the government, military and other bureaucratic relations in a democratic country are according to the laws and the rule of the Constitution. There can be nothing so mistaken as to see the military as a separate or an alien group." In reply to the comment: "In connection with this, those unhappy with what you are doing are complaining to the military" Gul said: "That is normal. It is going to happen. In a country of 70 million people there are going to be all kinds of differing and dissenting thoughts. We have to stomach them. They were once direction giving in nature but they have now become marginalized. This is the greatest development in Turkey, especially from the perspective of Turkey's long-term stability. From that perspective the fulfilling of the EU's political criteria in a country is the most significant indicator of the political structure achieved by that country."

    Liking the events in Al-Fallujah as "a second war" the foreign minister said: "The word 'operation' cannot describe what is going on there. Everybody saw it on TV. Of course, there is not much we can do. Unfortunately, a lot of blood and tears have been shed. This can be seen clearly in the reports by international humanitarian aid agencies." Stating also that the international conference to be held in Egypt in the days ahead could be signal of a softening of the United States Iraq policy Gul said: "The Americans wanted to carry off this business alone right from the start. They paid no heed to calls from the outside. That they have accepted such a meeting, and that the platform we established (neighbours summit) has been turned into an international conference, could be a sign of a change in their policy."

    [02] Lord David Hanney argues that the solution of the Cyprus problem would be inevitable if Turkey gets a date for the beginning of its accession talks

    The British former Special Representative for Cyprus, Lord David Hanney has argued that if on 17 December the decision for the beginning of Turkey's EU accession talks is taken, the solution of the Cyprus problem will become inevitable.

    In statements published on CNN Turk's internet site (19.11.04) Lord Hanney, who was yesterday hosted on Mehmet Ali Birand's "Manset" (Headline) program, gave information about the new book he is going to publish on Cyprus and his experience during the efforts towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Hanney said that a whole year was wasted when in 2001 the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas abandoned the negotiating table having the support of the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

    Asked to describe Mr Denktas, Lord Hanney noted, inter alia, that the Turkish Cypriot leader's "biggest idea was the accession of Northern Cyprus to Turkey" and that he does not want the accession of Turkey to the EU.

    He also noted that the former president of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides really wanted a solution and that if the Turkish side said it accepted the Annan Plan during the EU Summit in Copenhagen in 2002, Mr Clerides was ready to accept it as well.

    "Basically Denktas did not really want a solution to the Cyprus problem, he did not want conditions under which negotiations could happen. I was later convinced that Clerides wanted a solution to the Cyprus problem and that he was ready to show flexibility", said Lord Hanney.

    When Mehmet Ali Birand asked him whether the fact that the Greek Cypriots joined the EU in spite of the fact that they rejected the Annan Plan and the Turkish Cypriots did not was not unfair, Lord Hanney, who alleged that President Papadopoulos was "a rejectionist", said:

    "I think that life is sometimes unfair. I wished both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots thought all these earlier. I had very good talks when I first visited Ankara and Istanbul. I said: 'With Turkey's and Denktas' policy the Cypriots will join the EU'. They got very angry, they became sad. They said that this was unfair. I said that I was not saying that this was fair, but I was just saying that it was going to happen. I worked for 20 years with the EU and the UN. I have carefully analyzed the situation. I said these because I thought that they would happen. During these years the government of Turkey and Denktas did absolutely nothing. In the end Turkey began doing something, but many years have been wasted".

    Responding to another question, Lord Hanney said: "'Let us wait now and see what will happen on 17 December. Will the negotiations with Turkey begin? However, with my approach to Cyprus, it is obvious that if negotiations begin with Turkey, then the solution of the Cyprus problem becomes inevitable".

    [03] Erdogan uneasy about the US operation in Iraq

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.04) reported from Ankara that in a telephone conversation with US Vice President Dick Cheney, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan conveyed the unease being felt by Turkey regarding the US operation in Iraq, and especially the indignation caused in Turkey and in the Islamic world by the US troops' behaviour in the mosques.

    The prime minister called Vice President Cheney on the telephone today, and congratulated him on the US election results.

    Cheney said that they went through a very difficult election period, and pointed out that this was the first time since 1928 that the President's party had won the majority both in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. This was a major election victory, he stressed.

    During their conversation, Erdogan affirmed Turkey 's unease regarding the US operation in Iraq and especially the indignation caused in Turkey and in the Islamic world by the US troops' behavior in the mosques.

    Erdogan also conveyed Turkey 's concern about the murder of Turkish drivers in Iraq, the security measures that need to be taken against the attacks on Turkish citizens, and the efforts to cancel the local elections to be held in Kirkuk.

    Vice President Cheney said he understands the sensitivity about the incident in the mosque very well, and that the US authorities are investigating this issue in all its aspects.

    Cheney also said he understands Turkey 's concerns regarding the murder of Turkish drivers, the attacks on Turkish citizens in Iraq, and the Kirkuk elections, and that he is going to share this both with President Bush and with the Iraqi authorities.

    [04] True Path and Motherland Parties continue their efforts to merge

    Istanbul NTV television (18.11.04) broadcast that the debates on whether or not to merge with the TPP [True Path Party] have caused a crisis within MP [Motherland Party]. The debates have led MP leader Nesrin Nas to the verge of resignation. She announced that she will resign if the MP Central Decision-making Council decides at its meeting next week to oppose the union of the center right.

    The efforts to unite the center right seem to have been stillborn. The debates within MP escalated before the talks between the two parties became official and this pushed Nas to the verge of resignation.

    Interviewed on NTV, Nas said she is thinking of resigning at the party's Central Decision-making Council meeting on 25 November. She said that she will tell the Council of the meeting she held with TPP leader Mehmet Agar, and that if she sees that the majority of the members prefer that MP act on its own, she will resign. She added: What I must do is refrain from insisting and dividing the party, and withdraw.

    Nesrin Nas pointed out that the party's deputy leaders are accusing her of selling out the party to the TPP for political interest. She added: I expected this issue to be debated but not in this way.

    Even though the quest for a united center right seems to have been postponed for the moment, Nas believes that the quest will not be abandoned. She told NTV that she briefed former MP leader Mesut Yilmaz on the developments.

    On the quest for a united center right, Yilmaz reportedly told his immediate circle: I have some court cases. I will not be in active politics for a long time. If you believe in a merger, you must protect your identity and make up your own minds. I am not going to advise you one way or another.

    [05] Angolemli calls for an investigation as regards the money sent by Turkey. Allegations of money given before the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (19.11.04) under the title "It will be investigated who has received money and how much" reports that the so-called parliament of the occupation regime has accepted unanimously a proposal made by the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu for the conducting of an investigation on this subject.

    As the paper writes there will be an investigation regarding a possible financing on behalf of the USA and the EU to persons, institutions, foundations, civil society organisations and political parties in the period that the so-called elections of the pseudostate took place and during the period that the referendum was conducted.

    Commenting on the issue, Mr Huseyin Angolemli, the chairman of the Communal Liberation Party stated that there must be an explanation for the money sources of all the parties as regards the "elections" and also as regards the last "presidential" elections. He also stated that an investigation must be conducted not only as regards the money of UNOPS but also the distribution of funds sent by Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in STAR argues that with the Greater Middle East Project President Bush aims at changing the geography of the region by supporting the political Islam in Turkey

    Istanbul STAR newspaper (18.11.04) publishes the following commentary by Uluc Gurkan under the title: "To be able to say 'Stop' to President George Bush":

    "Look at what the US President George Bush has made the world live through within the past two weeks.

    - President Bush was re-elected as "President".

    - President Bush was not affected at all when the world was shaken with the image of an innocent two-year child who lost his leg in the US bombardment.

    - And he did not consider the resignation of the US Secretary of State Colin Powell to be important. He immediately accepted it.

    - And he gave the order for an attack against Mosul, similar to the attack against Al Fallujah.

    - While the world watched in horror the killing at a mosque in Al Fallujah of an injured and unarmed Iraqi by the US soldiers shooting him in the head, President Bush appointed the National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, who is in favor of violence, as the US Secretary of State.

    What a chain of events. He almost made us greatly regret the loss of Hitler.

    If the United States does not leave a stone unturned with this violence in Iraq and complete control is obtained, then would it stop?

    Let no one's imagination run away with him or her. All of the countries in our geography and in the meantime, Turkey as well, are the targets of the United States.

    It should not be forgotten that Condoleezza Rice, when defining the "Middle East Project", first of all gave the name of "Greater" and later "Expanded" and said, "The political and economic geography of 22 countries, from Morocco up to the border of China, will change." If these words were not a real intention and were a slip of the tongue or a declaration exceeding their objective, then probably Ms Rice would not have been appointed to the position of the US Secretary of State.

    It appears that the United States has taken everything into consideration on the subject of strengthening its sovereignty over the world and of providing complete control over the energy sources with the "Middle East Project". Whether or not there is sound evidence, the United States is not hesitating from intervening without recognizing any rules against every formation, which it believes constitutes a threat for itself.

    The United States will increase even more in the new period the use of military force and the dosage of violence. As long as the world does not come together and say "stop" to the United States, then the scenes of horror in Al Fallujah will be repeated mercilessly wherever there is life.

    The "change of political and economic geography", which the United States is trying to realize in the Middle East, also includes Caucasia and Eurasia.

    The United States, on the subject of the control of this region, envisages dulling the national awareness of the countries of the region in the long-term, besides the use of military power in the short-term. Thus, it is aiming to transform nation states into federal states.

    The United States is placing importance on religious policies with a political Islamic axis for its dulling of national awareness. On the one hand, while continuing a war, which reminds one of the Crusader campaigns, against radical Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism, on the other hand, it is also using the weapon of political Islam against nationalism.

    The US strategy experts think that the most suitable infrastructure for distancing the masses from national awareness would be formed with the support of political Islam.

    From this aspect, it is not a coincidence that the US spokesmen recall Turkey with insistence as an "Islamic state" and that they are taking pains to change the secular order to a more Islamist structure. They are the reflections of the US policy aimed at dulling the national awareness.

    No doubt, there is also an "Islamic" identity in a great majority of the citizens of the Republic of Turkey . But this identity cannot at any time take precedence over the national "Turkish" identity.

    The Republic of Turkey is a secular democracy. It is unacceptable under any conditions to regard the "Islamic state" or "moderate Islamic country model" as suitable. And no change "in the political and economic geography" aimed at such an objective could be tolerated."

    [07] "Let Greek Cypriots veto Turkey!"

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (19.11.04) publishes the following article by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is playing a very interesting game. If you ask the Greek Cypriots, this is the greatest game of chess in the strategic arena for years. Diplomatic sources in Brussels say that the Greek Cypriot leader is involved in a very risky adventure he knows he cannot win. I say this: it is a game of aggressive thieves.

    The problem at the heart of the matter is the fact that Greek Cypriots are demanding certain guarantees be implemented by Turkey of which they want listed in the December 17 European Union summit declaration.

    According to EU officials who briefed me on the issue, Greek Cypriots are not, in fact, against the start of negotiations with Turkey. What they want is for the EU to ask Turkey to implement certain policies during the negotiations and include these demands in the summit's decision. Among these are the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island and Turkey lifting certain restrictions imposed upon Greek Cyprus. A list of 15 such articles is doing the rounds in EU capitals.

    If what I was told is true, Greek Cypriots are openly blackmailing the EU. They are threatening to veto the December 17 summit decision if their demands are not met.

    The Greek Cypriot leadership argues that they are forced to issue such demands because of its responsibilities towards its people. They say that if they fail to get solid assurances from the EU on issues such as official recognition by Turkey, such matters would be left until after the negotiations and they argue that it would be too late. If you put yourself in their shoes what they say makes some sense. They are saying: "Turks should understand that they will have to recognize Greek Cyprus during the negotiations and lift certain restrictions. If not, we will be forced to suspend negotiations."

    Actually, Greek Cypriot requests are approved by some EU member states. This argument will provide another excuse to block the negotiations. That is why the dialogue between those EU countries appears to be trying to appease the Greek Cypriots and those who are angry with the temerity of the Greek Cypriots.

    If the Greek Cypriots succeed in including their demands in the EU summit declaration, this will mean the bankruptcy of the union's Cyprus policy and its replacement with a policy of blackmail. Wasn't the EU itself to blame for the collapse of the Cyprus talks?

    What was on the mind of the EU when it begun the negotiations with Greek Cypriots and made them full members?

    They intended to force both sides to reach an agreement and accept the entire island as a full member. They had worked hard to create a united Cyprus. Greek Cypriots had told them from the very beginning that they wanted to become EU members together with Turkish Cypriots.

    Turks accepted the EU's demands and voted in favor of a united Cyprus. Papadopoulos waged a campaign to refuse the EU's proposal and he took a stance against EU demands. Despite this, he utilized the agreements made earlier and made his country an EU member while the Turkish Cypriots, who trusted and believed in the EU, were omitted.

    EU officials, the United Nations Secretary-General and all the EU capitals accused the Greek Cypriots of deceiving them and declared that the north of the island could not remain isolated. They pledged to lift the embargoes on the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´).

    But they did nothing. Greek Cypriots were able to utilize legal measures to annul the EU's decisions. Turks were punished because they believed in and respected EU policies.

    If that wasn't enough, the Greek Cypriots are now trying to bluff their way through getting more for what they already have.

    Are they trying to test the EU's capacity to be victimized through blackmail or are they trying to win the support of some countries that are against Turkey? If there is one thing I do know: It is a fact that the Greek Cypriots are openly committing theft.

    If the EU wants to prevent Turkey from becoming a member no matter what, it should by all means cave in to the Greek Cypriot blackmail because no Turkish government, especially the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP), will accept an EU that adheres to all the Greek Cypriot wishes.

    Alternatively, if the EU has even a semblance of common sense and desires to show the Greek Cypriots the true worth of their veto card, they should call Papadopoulos's bluff."

    /SK


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