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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-11-29

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.228/04 27-28-29.11.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat sides fully with Ankara´s and Rauf Denktas´ 40-year efforts to destroy the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister assessed his contacts in Egypt, the Netherlands and Italy.
  • [03] Talat was re-elected to lead the Republican Turkish Party.
  • [04] Mr Angolemli calls on Turkey to let Turkish Cypriots to rule themselves. Reply to Gul´s statements.
  • [05] A five-star hotel is under construction five miles west of occupied Kyrenia-Plans to pass its administration to an international hotel chain.
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot legal expert on the issue of foreigners who buy usurped Greek Cypriot land in occupied Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Columnist in MILLIYET sees Cyprus´ efforts to get rid of the continuing Turkish occupation and its effects on European citizens as fooling the EU.
  • [08] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses that the ground is being prepared for talks on the Cyprus problem in view of Turkey´s EU course.
  • [09] The spectre of "genocide" looms over Turkish politics.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat sides fully with Ankara's and Rauf Denktas´ 40-year efforts to destroy the Republic of Cyprus

    Local KIBRIS newspaper (27.11.04) reported from occupied Lefkosia that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of Ankara´s regime in occupied Cyprus, on Friday met with Mr Rifat Nalbantoglu, the Chairman of the Chamber of Accountants and Financial consultants of Turkey (TURMOB), which held its 8th symposium in the occupied areas.

    In statements made during the meeting Mr Talat expressed the hope that Turkey will get a date for accession negotiations with the EU on 17 December, but stressed that the negotiations process will be difficult for Turkey because at every stage the approval of the 25 EU member states will be needed, and added:

    "Asking Turkey to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, where Turkish Cypriots are not living, was tantamount to inciting Turkey to commit a crime".

    Referring to the 1963 period, when Turkey, in co-operation with Rauf Denktas´ TMT started the struggle to destroy the Republic of Cyprus, and which it tried to finish with the 1974 military invasion, Mr Talat said:

    "The Greek Cypriot side does not think of sharing the administration with the Turkish Cypriots. Its aim is to spread the sovereignty of the Greek Cypriot administration with the title Republic of Cyprus to the north (occupied Cyprus). The reason why they are asking Turkey to recognize them is to make Turkey accept the situation that existed in 1963".

    [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister assessed his contacts in Egypt, the Netherlands and Italy

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.11.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said on Friday that the Cyprus problem was not a precondition of (full membership) negotiations with the European Union (EU).

    Gul, who returned from his tour to Egypt, the Netherlands and Italy, told reporters: ''On this matter countries may have different perspectives. What is important is that Turkey and `TRNC´ have fulfilled their responsibilities. They have given the best example of how a compromise can be reached. But unfortunately this opportunity was missed due to the Greek Cypriot side's 'No' vote (in referendum held in April). As a matter of fact, the EU should not deal with these matters. So, it wanted to enlarge (the EU) after the Cyprus problem was solved, but this problem was not solved as the Greek Cypriots said 'no' and the problem was brought in front of the EU (countries).''

    Asked about the possibility of a postponement of the commencement of Turkey's full membership negotiations after 2005, Gul said that a final decision had not been made yet, but the EU leaders would definitely remember the resolution of the 2002 Copenhagen summit which they reiterated during their six-monthly meetings.

    Gul said: ''Therefore, I don't think there will be such a delay.''

    He also said that the Netherlands continued its talks with other member states as the acting president of the EU, and a paragraph on Turkey would be prepared after the views of the 25 members were listened to and then debated with the Turkish government.

    [03] Talat was re-elected to lead the Republican Turkish Party

    All the local Turkish Cypriot daily newspapers (28.11.04) except VOLKAN, report about the 19th General Congress of the Republic Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF).

    The slogan of the Congress was "We have the last word. We have words to say to Europe and Cyprus", and all the papers use it as their banner headlines. Following the opening speech of the General Secretary of the RTP-UF, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the leader of the RTP-UF Mehmet Ali Talat, took the floor and spoke for almost one hour analyzing the developments in the Cyprus problem during the so-called "RTP-DP" coalition rule. Talat had claimed that "their government" was the most successful "government" in recent years.

    In his speech Talat criticized the Cyprus government claiming that it is continuing to "block" the economic development of the occupied area. He claimed that the Cyprus government lacked the contemporary European values. He said that as long as the Turkish Cypriots continue to follow policies universally acceptable then inevitably they will be successful.

    During the Congress, Mr Talat, who was the only candidate, had been re-elected as the leader of the RTP-UF.

    At the Congress the document the "Political Thesis" which envisages to chart new policies suitable for the new conditions created following the 24 April referendum, had been approved.

    In the course of the Congress the members of the Party Assembly had been increased from 45 to 55.

    Representatives from the Greek Cypriot Political Parties: AKEL, DYSI, EDI, EDEK and "Yes Platform" attended the Congress.

    The ruling Justice and Developments Party, JDP, of Tureky was represented by its Deputy leader Akif Gulle and the general secretary Idris Naim Jahin.

    [04] Mr Angolemli calls on Turkey to let Turkish Cypriots to rule themselves. Reply to Gul´s statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.11.04) reports that the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Mr Huseyin Angolemli criticized the statement of the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Gul that "the Turkish Cypriots paid their debt to Turkey by voting 'yes' to the referendum".

    Mr Angolemli, in a written statement, noted that the relations between the Turkish Cypriot and the Turkish people should be evaluated as relations of friendship and not as relations of debtor and lender.

    Mr Angolemli also said that "according to Gul´s evaluation that the debt has already been paid, Turkey should return the administration of all institutions and foundations in Cyprus, which are under the control of the military-civilian bureaucrats, to their real owners". He added that a step should be taken quickly so that the Turkish Cypriots may use their right to rule themselves.

    Angolemli also noted that after Turkey receives the negotiation date from the EU summit, Turkey will sooner or later recognize the Republic of Cyprus and then either the Cyprus problem will be frozen or the Republic of Cyprus, which is controlled by the Greek Cypriots, will be imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    [05] A five-star hotel is under construction five miles west of occupied Kyrenia-Plans to pass its administration to an international hotel chain

    Turkish Cypriot weekly CYPRUS TODAY newspaper (27.11.04) reports that a five-star hotel was under construction on the seashore five miles west of the occupied town of Kyrenia. Efforts will be made for the administration of the new hotel to pass to an international hotel chain. The architect of the project is Nedim Dikmen.

    The new hotel, which will be "an echo of the historical castle" of the occupied town, will have a 750-bed capacity. It is being built on a 50 thousand square metres site, leased for 49 year from the pseudogovernment by T&T Tourism Construction Company, a joint enterprise of Turkey's Akfen Constructions and Gunes Group. The hotel, which is estimated to cost around $25-30 millions, is scheduled for completion next year. It will feature a 1.000 persons capacity conference hall, restaurants, open air and indoor swimming pools, meeting rooms, fitness centre, sauna, Turkish bath and casino.

    "The aim is for the management to be passed to a major international hotel chain, such as the Hilton, Sheraton, Hyatt or Sofitel and negotiations are taking place", writes the paper.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot legal expert on the issue of foreigners who buy usurped Greek Cypriot land in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot weekly CYPRUS TODAY newspaper (27.11.04) under the title "Foreign property owners: A legal expert's opinion", publishes an article by Mr Mert Guclu as regards this issue. Mr Guclu (LLB Hons, LLM International Law UK) is an advocate and a lecturer at the so-called International Cyprus University.

    Mr Guclu writes in his article that the Greek Cypriot lawyers support that under European law, they can sue a foreigner who buys occupied Greek Cypriot land and this argument may possibly be carried out in the context of acquis communautaire. However, he claims that the issue will primarily fall into private international law and will be dependent on the following:

    1) The recognition of foreign judgment (both the Convention and relevant Common law principles).

    2) The personal law of an individual that creates a connection to a certain court of law.

    In addition, Mr Guclu, inter alia supports in his article that the changing circumstances that exist in Cyprus can affect the decision taken by a court on this matter.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Columnist in MILLIYET sees Cyprus´ efforts to get rid of the continuing Turkish occupation and its effects on European citizens as fooling the EU

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (26.11.04) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Would EU be fooled?":

    "Could the Greek Cypriot government obstruct the giving of a negotiating date to Turkey at the EU summit on 17 December?

    The efforts made by the Tassos Papadopoulos administration and the statements made by some EU officials in the recent days create doubts in the minds on this issue.

    The atmosphere that prevailed at the Troika meeting in The Hague and the remarks that Foreign Minister Bernard Bot of Holland, the term president, made at his press conference are of the kind that could deepen these suspicions. In other words, the tendency in the EU is at least in favour of the recognition by Turkey of the Greek Cypriot administration by 17 December. Despite the fact that not all of the members insist on this, many of them clearly imply that a gesture by Ankara in this direction would be "useful."

    Turkey's resolute stand on this issue is apparent, though. Recognizing the Greek Cypriot state ahead of the EU summit is out of the question. What would happen then? Would the Papadopoulos administration exercise its veto right and, thus, obstruct the commencement of the negotiations? Would the EU leaders allow the Greek Cypriots to put the EU under their control on 17 December?

    As a matter of fact, Papadopoulos is taking a chance. It is very doubtful, however, whether he would carry this risk to the point of using his veto at the summit.

    Although a public opinion survey in the Greek Cypriot sector indicates that 62 percent of the people are in favour of the veto, Greek Cypriot politicians and journalists with common sense advise the government not to engage in such an adventure. Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis too made a similar warning to Papadopoulos during his latest visit to Nicosia.

    Under these circumstances, it would be crazy for Papadopoulos to issue a threat at the 17 December summit to the effect that, "We shall use our veto in case Turkey does not recognize us." The Greek Cypriots are aware of this. So are the EU officials. Therefore, the European leaders have the duty to ensure in advance that Papadopoulos abandons such a gamble.

    What we see at the moment is an effort on the part of the EU countries to achieve a compromise and to persuade Ankara. Turkish officials, primarily Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, have been stating openly that such a gesture, "which would amount to rewarding the Greek Cypriots for having said 'no' to a solution in the public referendum last April," should not be expected.

    There is yet another important factor that the Turkish officials point out: Yes, Turkey is aware that it will sit at the same table with the Greek Cypriot state, one of the 25 members, when the negotiations begin. Such a development would require Ankara to somehow recognize that state. The Turkish diplomacy will then find a convenient "recognition formula." (The case where Turkey recognizes Armenia without establishing diplomatic relations with it, may be cited as an example)

    Coming back to our original question, we do not think the Papadopoulos administration will prevent the EU from giving a negotiating date to Turkey. In the meantime, however, it will keep on the agenda its preconditions with the idea of, "Whatever I manage to get will be my gain," and will try to mobilize the countries in the EU that have reservations about Turkey's membership.

    We hope that the European leaders will not be fooled by this game on the day of decision."

    [08] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses that the ground is being prepared for talks on the Cyprus problem in view of Turkey's EU course

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (26.11.04) publishes the following commentary by Ferai Tinc reporting from Rome under the title: "A Referendum is being warmed up in Cyprus":

    "The EU is once again cooking the Cyprus issue, but we do not know when this dish will be brought to the table. Will it be brought to the table before 17 December? Or will it be brought after the decision on the negotiations with Turkey, but before the commencement of the negotiations?

    The ongoing preparations give the impression that efforts are being made for the second option.

    A meeting with wide participation was held in Rome in order to strengthen the dialogue between the nongovernmental organizations in Turkey and Italy. During this meeting I saw that the developments, which I have been smelling for a week, have gradually begun to shape.

    The topic of the Turkish-Italian Forum, which was held by Limes, the Italian Review of Geopolitics, and SAM, the Turkish Center for Strategic Studies, was certainly 17 December.

    Will the negotiations with Turkey begin?

    In general, the Italians approach this issue positively. The Berlusconi government -- in other words, the Italian right wing -- has not issued a negative message thus far.

    Yesterday's meeting aimed to extend the good relations with the Italian right to the left wing. In his speech, Fassino, chairman of the Italian Democratic Left Party (PDS), noted that when he served as the foreign minister of the leftist government, they had made efforts for Turkey's integration with the EU. "This issue constituted one of the main items of our agenda," he said. According to him, it was not adequate to give Turkey a negotiation date and to commence the negotiations. He also claimed that the steps that will be taken in this process should be clearly determined. Opposing the idea of an open-ended process, he stressed the need for a process in which Turkey will be able to see the steps before it and to arrange itself accordingly.

    Yes, the Italian Government is not against Turkey's membership. There is a certain consensus in this regard in the left wing as well. Nonetheless, the extreme right and those who are pro-League think differently. They want to mobilize the opposition by going out with slogans to the effect that the Turks cannot become Europeans and by nurturing the people's concerns with the fear of "Mamma li Turchi [in Italian -- Mommy the Turks!]," the Turks are coming. They also intend to hold a large rally. The rally will not be held on 17 December. Rather, it will be held on 19 December.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also attended the meeting in Italy yesterday. Gul and his Italian counterpart Gianfranco Fini addressed the audience. Gul gave a good speech. He stressed that within the framework of the EU, the relations between the two countries will strengthen the solidarity in the Mediterranean and the stability in the region. Similar to his government, Fini is also in favour of the commencement of the negotiations with Turkey.

    And at this point Cyprus appeared on the agenda. As a country that issues the warmest messages in favour of Turkey's EU membership, Italy was also assigned to put this issue on the agenda on Europe's behalf.

    There is no doubt that I listened to Fini by taking into consideration that Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos visited Rome last week and that he held a meeting with Berlusconi, on the contents of which information was not given.

    "Yes," said Fini, "Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots did everything possible for the solution of the problem. They said yes to the Annan plan in the referendum. The other side, however, did not accept the plan. This was a shock for us."

    The remarks that Fini made later were even more important:

    "Nevertheless, the EU is such a field that problems among its members cannot be tolerated. No one should run away from his responsibilities by saying that he has carried out its responsibilities regarding Cyprus . This problem still awaits a solution."

    Everyone wondered what kind of a solution Italy has in mind.

    Italy will not act alone in one way or another. And it will not impose anything on anyone. It can only act together with Europe where this issue is concerned.

    It was necessary to pose several additional questions in order to fully understand what Fini was trying to say. And it was revealed that "Italy will carry out its responsibilities in order to revive a process during which the Cyprus issue will once again be taken up under the roof of the United Nations and on the basis of the Annan plan."

    Yes, the Cyprus issue is once again being warmed up. The confessions of the former EOKA [National Organization of Cypriot Fighters] member might have appeared in the press as a result of these efforts -- in order to ensure that the Greek Cypriots have doubts about their rightness. If the Greek Cypriots once again hold a referendum on condition that the "yes" of the Turkish side remains on the table and if they accept the Annan plan, this should be viewed as a positive development from our standpoint. This way, Turkey will accept a state of partnership where the Turkish Cypriots have equal rights. However, it is impossible to resume the negotiations and to change all the parameters in order to guarantee that the Greek Cypriots say yes in the referendum. I hope that those who want to revive the process do not disregard this fact."

    [09] The spectre of "genocide" looms over Turkish politics

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (27.11.04) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Gul: Wrong to use 'genocide' expression":

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has objected to Parliamentary Human Rights Commission Chairman and Justice and Development Party [JDP] member Mehmet Elkatmis referring to the US military operation in Al-Fallujah as genocide. Gul said that Turkey was voicing its displeasure over the incidents in Al-Fallujah at the highest levels but that exaggerated expressions such as "genocide" not only failed to serve Turkey 's aims but they also cast a shadow over the accuracy and credibility of criticisms. Gul made the same criticism of allegations that the United States has used nuclear weapons in Al-Fallujah.

    It would be useful to give Gul's statement before looking behind the scenes of the incident: "Every topic should be debated within its own confines. The incidents in Al-Fallujah are being debated in the United States, the world and in Turkish public opinion. The necessary criticism and warnings are being made. While making known criticism and reactions it helps the messages be perceived correctly if you are attentive and constructive. Furthermore, one should not carry debates on delicate matters outside their confines. Just as exaggerated definitions and descriptions such as genocide and atom bomb fail to serve the purpose they also cast a shadow over the accuracy and credibility of the criticisms."

    Let us return to the developments that prepared the grounds for yesterday's statement. When Elkatmis announced the other day the decision to form a special commission to investigate events in Al-Fallujah he used the term "genocide", and this became a new source of tension in Ankara's political circles.

    Genocide is a specific word. It describes efforts to eradicate a people, en ethnic or religious group, regardless of political opinion, age, business or any other discriminating factor en-masse and in such a way as to prevent them from continuing their race. This is the term used to describe what the Nazis tried to do to the Jews during World War Two. Armenian groups have been trying for many years to convince powerful Western states that the Ottoman Turks carried out genocide against the Armenians during World War One. The most critical watershed here was the United States. Despite powerful Armenian lobbying within the US Senate and House of Representatives the US administration intervened at the last minute and prevented this initiative, which would have started an international chain reaction against Turkey , from making it through Congress. Yet now, the events in Al-Fallujah, despite the images being broadcast by international news agencies being unacceptable and enough to make your hair stand on end, do not constitute genocide. That word could leave Turkish external politics without the support of the White House to counter the US Congress. It has already been seen just how adverse an effect the word genocide had on Turkey 's greatest supporter within the United States - the Jewish lobby - when former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit used it to describe events in Palestine.

    Sources from the US Embassy in Ankara began to share with diplomats, politicians and journalists in Ankara their discomfort at the use of this expression. The matter was asked of Mehmet Elkatmis yesterday. Elkatmis said: "I am unaware of any reactions. I stand behind what I said."

    Meanwhile, people leaving Kocatepe Mosque after Friday Prayers prayed for the dead in Al-Fallujah and cursed those carrying out the killings. They dispersed after shouting, "The world sleeps; America strikes."

    Shortly afterwards Foreign Minister Gul returned from five days of meetings abroad. When asked about this topic at Esenboga Airport his reaction was: "We are making our reactions known. In Turkey anybody can say what they want."

    When he went to the Ministry his under secretary Ambassador Ali Tuygan was talking to US Ambassador Eric Edelman. The meeting had actually been arranged earlier to discuss Iraq's foreign debt and continuing US support for Turkey 's EU membership bid. However, when the conversation got round to this subject Tuygan took Edelman to see the minister. At their meeting both sides agreed that while there may be criticism the word genocide altered the tone of the business. Edelman further explained that mosques were being targeted because armed groups (those responsible for the deaths of Turkish truck drivers) were using them as arsenals, headquarters and fire positions. Gul all the same believes this is not an adequate explanation and that US soldiers should act with more care.

    Gul's written press statement came after this conversation".

    /SK


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