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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-10

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.237/04 10.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey shown as the winner from the latest COREPER meeting.
  • [02] Turkish opposition calls on EU to respect the country's sensitivities.
  • [03] Statements by Erdogan before leaving for Brussels.
  • [04] Gul is holding contacts in Brussels.
  • [05] Talat says that the international community expects the results of the "elections" in occupied Cyprus before undertaking a new initiative.
  • [06] Ilkin express the opinion that the Cyprus problem "will be revived" in 2005.
  • [07] The occupation regime to impose a 30% customs duty on goods bought by the Turkish Cypriots from the free areas of value more than 50 Euro.
  • [08] Turkey to offer 500 trillion Turkish liras to the occupation regime.
  • [09] Leyla Lana is asking Turkey to recognize for the Kurds the same status it demands for the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in AFRIKA: "It is not possible to reach an agreement without overcoming Turkey".
  • [11] Birand“s warning to the EU: "Erdogan comes from Kasimpasa in Istanbul, which is a very tough neighbourhood. As a leader, he doesn“t shrink from showing his taught side".
  • [12] Former diplomat argues that the Cyprus problem should be solved only after Turkey is an EU member.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey shown as the winner from the latest COREPER meeting

    Istanbul NTV television (09.12.04) broadcast the following:

    "The most controversial issues debated at the COREPER [Permanent Representatives Committee of the EU] meeting were Cyprus and the list of conditions for Turkey's EU accession. The revised second draft agenda was discussed at the COREPER meeting. According to information obtained by NTV, the special membership formula was not included in the draft document. The EU Presidency, which pointed out that this subject is closed, said that the special membership issue will not be discussed any more, and the only goal for Turkey is full membership.

    Meanwhile, the paragraph on Cyprus was not amended. According to our information, the Greek Cypriot sector charged that the draft document should mention that Turkey must recognize south Cyprus. The term presidency, in turn, remarked that Turkey cannot be forced to recognize the Greek Cypriot sector, adding, however, that the EU can ask that the Ankara agreement be adjusted for the 10 new members of the EU, and the draft document will reflect this.

    Greece, in turn, ensured that a reference is made to the Helsinki Final Act which stipulates that if border disputes are not resolved by 2004, the matter will be taken to the EU Court of Justice in The Hague.

    Term president Netherlands will write the third draft in light of the views expressed by the member countries in the meeting, and send it to them by the weekend".

    [02] Turkish opposition calls on EU to respect the country“s sensitivities

    Ankara TRT 1 Television (09.12.04) broadcast that the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) and the True Path Party (TPP) have conveyed to the EU the message that it should be receptive toward and respectful of Turkey's sensitivities.

    NAP Chairman Devlet Bahceli, during a meeting with the representatives of media groups in Ankara, said on the EU issue that his party favors a stand that protects the fundamental principles of the Constitution and the Republic and the integrity and unity of the country. He stressed that a large part of the never-ending impositions are unacceptable.

    TPP Chairman Mehmet Agar, in a written statement he issued, stressed that EU member countries cannot win Turkey through an understanding that constantly shows their public opinion as an obstacle to Turkey's justified requests. He said: If there are those who believe that Turkey is bewitched by the EU and that it will bow down to everything that is presented to it on 17 December, then they will not need a long time to understand that they have been mistaken.

    [03] Statements by Erdogan before leaving for Brussels

    Istanbul NTV television (09.12.04) broadcast that a week before the 17 December summit, Prime Minister Erdogan has recalled the points over which Turkey is insistent. He said that a political decision that is not included in the Copenhagen criteria should not be imposed on Turkey.

    In a statement at Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Brussels, Erdogan said that the first of the three points over which Turkey is insistent is full membership. Noting that Turkey has taken the necessary steps and that it has fulfilled its obligations, Erdogan said that Turkey was conveyed the message that nothing related to the Copenhagen criteria is left on the table. Stressing that the negotiation process should begin and that a date should be set, Erdogan said that he does not want to make an assessment on the third draft through the media.

    Upon being reminded about the statement made by Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot regarding the 17 December summit, Erdogan said: We will not conduct talks with the EU heads of state and government through the media.

    This evening Erdogan is expected to hold a working dinner with Balkenende, the EU term president and the Dutch prime minister, and assess the stage reached on the eve of the EU summit. Erdogan is expected to meet with the president of the EU Commission and the commissioner in charge of expansion. Erdogan is expected to return to Turkey on the evening 10 December.

    [04] Gul is holding contacts in Brussels

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.04) reported from Brussels that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met on Thursday German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw in the Belgian capital.

    Turkey-European Union (EU) relations and Ankara's expectations from the meeting of the European Council due on December 17th were the main issues debated in these meetings.

    Gul conveyed Turkey's messages that it expects ''a clear and unconditional negotiation date'' from the EU.

    Mr Gul later met the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in Brussels in the evening, to accompany him during his meeting with the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

    [05] Talat says that the international community expects the results of the "elections" in occupied Cyprus before undertaking a new initiative

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (10.12.04) reports that the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the international community is expecting the results of the so-called parliamentary elections in February and the "presidential elections" in April before undertaking any new initiative towards the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In statements last night on a program of Turkish Cypriot private GENC TV television, Mr Talat argued that the USA and the EU wanted "a government" that "will not turn back the peace process" and the election of a leader at the "presidential election" in April who "supports the solution".

    Mr Talat expressed the opinion that the world expects a "stable government" in the occupied area of Cyprus in order to launch a new UN initiative. Mr Talat noted the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas does not want a solution and alleged that this gave President Papadopoulos an important excuse for not conducting negotiations. He also claimed that in case a leader who supports the solution is elected in April in the occupied part of Cyprus, then President Papadopoulos would not be able not to negotiate.

    Mr Talat said that the possible resumption of the Cyprus talks was the reason for the provision of 500 thousand dollars for the needs of the UN office in Cyprus in the budget of 2005.

    [06] Ilkin express the opinion that the Cyprus problem "will be revived" in 2005

    Turkish Daily News (10.12.04) reports that Ambassador Baki Żlkin, newly appointed as Turkey's new Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has said that the Cyprus problem could only be resolved in the framework of a U.N. good-will mission that would be revived.

    Invoking semi-official Anatolia news agency, TDN writes that speaking to Turkish correspondents in New York earlier this week Mr Żlkin noted that the Cyprus problem in the past had only one international dimension that was handled by the United Nations.

    "Now, there are dimensions concerning the European Union, the European Council and the European Court of Human Rights," he added.

    Mr Żlkin said it was not yet clear how, when or by whom a new process based on the good offices mission of the U.N. Secretary-General could be started: "Every one adopts a position on the side of the solution, however there is no one yet who says 'Let's start from here'."

    [07] The occupation regime to impose a 30% customs duty on goods bought by the Turkish Cypriots from the free areas of value more than 50 Euro

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (10.12.04) under the banner headline "30% tariff for shopping over 50 Euro", writes that the so-called ministry of finance of the occupation regime issued a statement as regards the cost of goods that the Turkish Cypriots are allowed to buy from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The statement was published in almost all the Turkish Cypriot papers.

    According to the statement issued by the "ministry", the new regulations will not apply to the Turkish Cypriots the value of goods they buy is up to 50 Euro. However, those to exceed this limit will have to pay 30% on the value as a fixed customs duty.

    In addition, limitation will be imposed on various things. According to the statement of the "ministry" the Turkish Cypriots will only be allowed to buy the following:

    * Tobacco goods: 400 pieces of cigarettes or 500 grams of tobacco.

    * Alcoholic drinks: 150 cc

    * Wines: 150cc

    * Perfumes and toiletries: 100cl

    [08] Turkey to offer 500 trillion Turkish liras to the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (10.12.04) reports that Mr Aydan Karahan the so-called ambassador of Turkey to occupied Cyprus had a meeting yesterday with Mr Ahmet Uzun, the so-called minister of finance of the occupation regime. During the meeting Mr Karahan made statements as regards the financial aid extended by Turkey to the occupation regime.

    Mr Karahan stated that in the budget of Turkey for the year 2004 there is the amount of 500 trillion Turkish liras as a financial aid for occupied Cyprus and added that there is also the amount of 127 trillion Turkish liras which is left from the year 2003. He added that until now 337 trillion Turkish liras have been transferred to occupied Cyprus.

    Mr Karahan also stated that Turkey is the only country that provides assistance to the occupation regime now and stated that he is sure that other countries will follow in the near future.

    [09] Leyla Lana is asking Turkey to recognize for the Kurds the same status it demands for the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus

    Mainland HURRIYET newspaper (10.12.04) reports that a paid advertisement in the International Herald Tribune by "former DEP deputy Leyla Zana and her friends" was received as a cold shower in Turkey.

    The report in HURRIYET under the title: "Look at what she is doing at the last moment", argues that "through a half-page advertisement in the Herald Tribune Leyla Zana and her friends came up with demands which will put Turkey into a difficult position".

    Under the subtitle "Ankara, give to us the same rights you demand for the Turkish Cypriots", the paper goes on to stress that citing Cyprus as an example the Kurds demand from Turkey the recognition of the existence of the Kurdish people, a new constitution which to provide the Kurds the right to establish their own institutions and orgnizations. By this, writes HURRIYET, the Kurds put forth their demand for autonomy.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in AFRIKA: "It is not possible to reach an agreement without overcoming Turkey"

    Columnist Arif Hasan Tahsin in his column "Events and Realities" in the local Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (10.12.04) writes:

    "At last the Turkish officials spilt the bean. What did they say? `Recognition of Cyprus is part of a final settlement. And that could be realizied within the framework of the UN. That is, they say exactly the same thing as the decision taken by our pro-peace and solution political parties `in the Assembly“, in co-operation and consensus with NUP and DP, conforming to the instruction of forces from Turkey through Mr Denktas.

    You might say: "What a nice thing, the settlement is by the door" and feel at ease.

    However, the point under consideration is just the opposite. The aim is to appear to be for peace and for settlement, and show that the other side is intransigent. I wish I would be proven wrong. However, it is so open and clear that Turkey is firmly against and unless it is faced with serious pressure it will not accept a settlement in Cyprus that envisages an independent, territorially integral, united Cyprus where the Turkish Cypriots will enjoy equal rights and will command their own destiny.

    Turkey, could, as well for the time being, accept and recognize that the Greek Cypriots live this way in the south of Cyprus. Turkey will never accept willingly, that the Turkish Cypriots have the right to govern themselves and that they will acquire a status where they will be free.

    This is the reason why Turkey insists on not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey very well knows that if it says `I recognize Cyprus“ it is tantamount to saying I do recognize the Treaties of Establishment of the Cyprus Republic, as well as accepting that the Turkish Cypriots are equal partners of this Republic.

    What does that mean? It means letting the Turkish Cypriot free. It means Turkey“s putting an end to its occupation of northern Cyprus.

    And, it means its acceptance of an agreement in Cyprus.

    Are our political parties in the Assembly which are for a settlement unaware of this situation? Of course they know. Or at least they should know. If that is the case, they should have not accepted the plot they were intrigued to.

    One has to know that sitting around a negotiation table for the settlement of the Cyprus problem does not mean wanting settlement of the problem. How many times have these negotiations under the auspices of the UN failed? Is there anybody who knows this number? Did they reach to a reconciliation for so many years? What is being planned now is the same thing.

    While Turkey is advancing towards EU membership, let us sit around the negotiation table for settling the Cyprus problem, but the negotiations should never end.

    It is very clear and so obvious that Turkey does not want a settlement in Cyprus. Had Turkey really wanted a settlement in Cyprus, what should it have done?

    After the referendum, it should have changed its policies and turn its course towards a settlement. What should have Turkey done? It should have prepared north Cyprus, that is the Turkish Cypriots, for a settlement within the Annan Plan. How, for example?

    It should have stopped the sale of property, and building on the immovable property belonging to the Greek Cypriots.

    What else? It should have declared null and void the title deeds that it had issued for the immovable properties belonging to the Greek Cypriots. It should have stopped transferring settlers from Turkey to north Cyprus.

    What else? It should have handed over the administration of northern Cyprus to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Anything else?

    It should have started withdrawing its troops from Cyprus according to the Annan plan.

    More?

    This is enough for settlement. The rest should have been provided by the Turkish Cypriots.

    It seems that with this mentality we will continue to suffer more. With this mentality, Europe will suffer more in the hands of Turkey, because Turkey wants to become EU member with the help of Europe, for ruling Europe."

    [11] Birand“s warning to the EU: "Erdogan comes from Kasimpasa in Istanbul, which is a very tough neighbourhood. As a leader, he doesn“t shrink from showing his thought side"

    Under the title "EU, enough is enough", Turkish Daily News (09.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "A friendly warning to the 25 EU members: You are testing the nerves of the Turkish people. Maybe you don't intend to, maybe you do. We are not a calm people. Even if we might regret it tomorrow, we'll just break all relations. The mood of the nation is affecting Erdogan. Don't be surprised if he shows his tough-guy side on December 17. As expected, a storm is brewing in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.

    Term president Holland faces an impossible task.

    On the night of December 16, the heads of state and government of the 25 EU member countries will gather around a dinner table and debate the answer they will give to Turkey. If each one says something different, great confusion will reign over the proceedings. That's why Holland is trying to prepare a joint statement. In other words, it is trying to formulate a paper that would be found agreeable to most member countries.

    That's the reason behind all this hoopla. Almost all members have a point to settle with Turkey. They all are trying to collect on old debts at this important point in time.

    The Greek Cypriots are trying win over the whole of Cyprus. The Greeks are trying to win over the Aegean Sea.

    France is trying to delay the whole proceeding and will do everything it can to ensure the full membership aim of the negotiations will be as confused as possible.

    Germany is trying to erect barriers against Turkish workers. Scandinavians are mainly concerned about the Kurds.

    Some don't want to lose the option of keeping Turkey out of the Union. A great confusion reigns over everything, and intense negotiations are going on.

    In the past, such negotiations used to take place between nine, or, in the recent past, between 15 members. It was comparably easier. Now there are 25 members, and this is the first time they will meet to agree on something. Everything is a blur.

    Holland is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Thank God the negotiations are being handled by an experienced prime minister and Foreign Ministry team with a sense of responsibility. If this hadn't been the case, Ankara could have been tossed around.

    The negotiations between the 25 governments will last until the night of December 16. If there is a consensus at the end, everything will be good. If not, and if everything is left to be settled at the dinner table on December 16, things could get out of hand.

    Subtitle: EU playing a dangerous game

    The 25 EU member states are playing a dangerous game with Turkey.

    I accept the fact that it is Turkey which wants to enter this club. It is not the EU that wants to enter Turkey's club. However, the things are getting so much out of hand that we get the impression they are trying to get a rise out of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Some believe they are trying to stir up the tough guy in Erdogan, who will just slam the door in the EU's face.

    Some in Brussels think that Turkey has no other option and will have to accept any demand put in front of it.

    There could be no greater error.

    The ambassadors of the EU countries should start ringing the alarm bells in their capitals as a warning. Erdogan comes from Kasimpasa in Istanbul, which is a very tough neighborhood. As a leader, he doesn't shrink from showing his tough side. The number of commentators in the media known for their support for the EU who have started to say enough is enough is increasing every day.

    We are not a people who have the calm and collected nature of the British, the Germans or the Scandinavians. There have been a lot of instances where we threw the bathwater out with the baby. Such reactions may not have any rational basis. We can break off relations very easily. We may regret it tomorrow, but when our patience runs out we'll be out for revenge.

    EU officials may not be aware, but this is where they are pushing the Turkish people. Erdogan knows this and that's why he's nervous. His Kasimpasa soul can't take much more.

    This is what I warned all the EU officials I talked to in Brussels about. They really need to take this warning seriously. They should all know this is not just a simple bargaining game.

    If they want to get on Turkey's nerves, the EU should continue to follow the same road. But, they should not regret what they did later.

    Those who follow my column know how important Turkey's relations with the EU are for me. They should also realize Turkey has the right to reject any negotiation process that doesn't lead to full membership.

    I would like to remind the 25 EU ambassadors in Ankara and the commission and council officials in Brussels, who I know follow this column, of these facts before it's too late. They are now playing with fire, and there will be no winners in such a game.

    Maybe they don't know what the Turkish people are like, but the patience of the nation is running out. Warning bells are ringing".

    [12] Former diplomat argues that the Cyprus problem should be solved only after Turkey is an EU member

    Under the title "Watching at first hand" former ambassador, Gunduz Aktan writes in Turkish Daily News (10.12.04) the following regarding his recent visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus and the developments on the Cyprus problem:

    "I will try to summarize our impressions from a visit to the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus“ (`TRNC“) at the Eurasia Strategic Research Center (ASAM) that took place between December 6 and 8.

    The decision taken unanimously at the TRNC Parliament on December 2 is a first in the state's history. The decision asks Turkey not to recognize Greek Cypriots as the 'Republic of Cyprus'. This was underlined at a meeting held between Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gül with their counterparts from the `TRNC“ on December 3, and at the Ēankaya summit on December 8.

    From this, it appears the Turkish side is formulating a common stance against the veto threat utilized by Greek Cypriots. In other words, on this fundamental matter there are no differences of opinion among the `TRNC“ political elite. There is also a general consensus with Turkey. When one considers the dangerous division before the referenda, this is an important development.

    Some groups in the `TRNC“, remembering how Turkey resisted paying compensation for the Loizidou trial and eventually caved in, how it backtracked from signing a customs union with the `TRNC“ and how it showed intent on doing so with Greek Cypriots, call on the government to do something soon for a resolution, because Turkey will eventually recognize the Greek Cypriots. That is why they are calling for a new round of negotiations based on the Annan Plan. In order to strengthen the hand of those who want peace in the south, they believe certain guarantees could be given about the implementation of the Annan Plan or even some Turkish troops being withdrawn.

    On the other hand, it seems the European Union supports Greek Cypriot demand for recognition. However, recognition is not an isolated matter and entails many other consequences. Recognition is just a first step for a Greek Cyprus 'solution' to dominate the entire island. Then comes the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the settlers from Turkey, restoring former properties of Greek Cypriots to their former owners and eventually comes the dissolution of the `TRNC“. This way, the only thing remaining from the 1960 system will be a return to the carnage that occurred between 1963 and 1974. The Greek Cypriots want to achieve this objective by using their veto right, which was accorded to them with their EU membership.

    Can the start of the negotiations 'based' on the Annan Plan lead to a different outcome? Cannot Greek Cypriots who use their veto power to be recognized, use similar threats to extract what they want and legitimize the 1963-74 era?

    That is why the Turkish side needs to follow an alternative route. As in U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final report, the Annan Plan favours the Greek Cypriots. However, what happened happened and the Turkish Cypriots approved the plan. Within the EU, there are many instances of a document rejected at a referendum being approved in a second referendum. The Greek Cypriots may hold another referendum and approve the plan. However, there are certain current problems about the implementation of any such plan.

    Just like Turkey and the EU, Turkish Cypriots feel cheated because of the Greek Cypriot rejection. Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos's insistence on recognition and his efforts to dominate the entire island has destroyed the last vestiges of trust Turks had for the Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots also do not trust the EU that failed to lift the sanctions on the TRNC as it promised.

    At the 1999 Helsinki summit, the EU had promised to treat us the same as other candidates once we fulfill the Copenhagen criteria and start membership negotiations. However, now it links our membership to conditions very hard to satisfy. Such an attitude makes it very hard for us to trust the EU.

    At a time when Turkey's membership is uncertain and the Greek Cypriots efforts are directed at dominating the entire island, the only safe route to follow seems like the postponement of the implementation of the Annan Plan until after Turkey is an EU member.

    During the negotiations on the Annan Plan, we gave the Greek Cypriots the impression that there was nothing we would not do to become an EU member. That is why the Greek Cypriots believed they could get even more by using their veto threat. If it goes on like this, they will start demanding things that we shall never give. Then, neither shall we become an EU member, nor will the Cyprus problem be resolved. This way all sides lose, including the Greek Cypriots".

    /SK


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