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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-15

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.240/04 15.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan said that Turkey would not hesitate to reject unacceptable conditions by EU.
  • [02] Erdogan and Gul to go to Brussels with a Cyprus file in their bag [03. Gul stated that EU is not the appropriate ground to resolve the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] Talat says that financial aid will directly be given to the Turkish Cypriots by the EU and the USA.
  • [05] The "government" of the occupation regime withdrawn the "bill" on real estate acquisitions by foreigners.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Turkish National Security Council Report on Terrorism, EU, Regional Developments.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan said that Turkey would not hesitate to reject unacceptable conditions by EU

    According to Ankara Anatolia News Agency (14.12.04) the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied to questions of ambassadors of the EU-member countries during a luncheon he gave for them in Ankara.

    Replying to a question about the Cyprus issue, Prime Minister Erdogan said: ''Turkey will not make any opening about Cyprus before December 17th. The EU admitted the Greek Cypriot side's membership before a solution. It is the problem of the EU. The EU cannot expect Turkey to resolve it. However, if the United Nations launches a new initiative, we will make constructive contributions with good-will.''

    Upon another question, Prime Minister Erdogan said: ''If unacceptable conditions are put forward at the EU Summit on December 17th, Turkey will not hesitate to say no to the EU. Turkey has made all those reforms with its own sources and efforts. Any attempt to grant Turkey a special status will mean rejection of Turkey and Turkish people. If entry talks are not opened or stopped somehow, Turkey will decide on its own what to do in the future. Turkey can survive on its own.''

    [02] Erdogan and Gul to go to Brussels with a Cyprus file in their bag

    Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (15.12.04), reports under banner headlines "Cyprus File in the bag" and says that there are two days for Turkey´s 41 year long European Adventure to come to a happy ending.

    On 17 December, reports HURRIYET, the EU leaders will give their historic decision regarding Turkey´s starting of accession talks.

    The paper then reports that today Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will leave for Brussels to attend the Summit deliberations. It reports that a tough diplomatic battle will be waged to the very last moment and in case it is deemed necessary, there is a Cyprus File in Erdogan´s and Gul´s bag which will be put on the negotiation table.

    HURRIYET reports that the file was prepared with the help of important institutions, of which one is attached to the Prime Minister's office.

    HURRIYET goes on and reports that this file includes two papers.

    The first paper writes that in case the EU insists on its point Ankara will sign the harmonization protocol not with the EU council that represents 25 member countries but with the Netherland, that is the EU term president. With this arrangement Turkey will be able to by-pass Cyprus. If the EU accepts this, the document will be signed by Turkey´s Erdogan and Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende.

    Subtitle: 2nd Paper, Reservations to the Greek Cypriots

    The paper goes on and reports: "Following this, Turkey, as it did in Rome during the EU Constitution signing ceremony, will submit an appendix which will be the text of the reservation that Turkey will be putting regarding the Republic of Cyprus.

    In this paper, HURRIYET says it will be stressed that unless a comprehensive settlement is reached within the good-offices mission of the UN Secretary-General in the Cyprus problem, Turkey will not recognize politically the Greek Cypriot side.

    [03] Gul stated that EU is not the appropriate ground to resolve the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14/12/04) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Tuesday speaking during the discussions of the motion submitted by the Justice and Development (JDP) and the Republican People's Party (RPP) deputies for a general debate about the EU in the parliamentary general assembly, said:

    ''Unfortunately, the Cyprus issue could not be resolved. We wished we could. However, neither Turkey nor the TRNC is responsible for the insolubility in Cyprus. The EU made a serious mistake by accepting the Greek Cypriot side's membership before a solution. After membership of the Greek Cypriot side, the EU failed to fulfil its promises to the TRNC. We consider solution of the Cyprus issue and recognition of Cyprus parts of a lasting solution. However, direct or indirect recognition of the Greek Cypriot side cannot be in question before a lasting solution in Cyprus. It is the UN umbrella under which the Cyprus issue will be resolved. There is not any appropriate ground in the EU to resolve the issue.''

    ''Under its latest enlargement, 10 countries became new members of the EU on May 1st, 2004 on the basis of the Accession Agreement dated April 16th, 2003. The agreement includes an article which says that new members will automatically admit agreements signed previously by the European community with the third countries. Therefore, 10 new members of the EU have automatically undertaken to abide by the Ankara Agreement and the Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the EU.

    The EU called on Turkey to include the new members in the Ankara Agreement and the Customs Union Agreement. Turkey has already extended geographical area of the Customs Union to include the new member countries with a decision of the Council of Ministers dated October 2nd. The Greek Cypriot side is a part of it. However, the European Commission informed us that this unilateral procedure was not legally adequate, and an adjustment protocol was required. A draft protocol was sent to Turkey. We have still been working on it. Some sections of the public opinion perceived it as a document concerning only the Greek Cypriot administration. It is not correct. The protocol contains all 25 EU-member countries. Recognition of the Greek Cypriot side by Turkey is out of question. Direct or indirect recognition of the Greek Cypriot side cannot be in question before a lasting solution in Cyprus."

    [04] Talat says that financial aid will directly be given to the Turkish Cypriots by the EU and the USA

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (15.12.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, has said that the EU will give directly to the Turkish Cypriots the 259 million euro financial aid. He added that the USA as well will grant directly the 30.5 million dollars promised to the Turkish Cypriots.

    In statements to KIBRIS Mr Talat noted yesterday that the occupation regime would have the authority to distribute this money and that the coordination of the EU and US aid to the Turkish Cypriots will be conducted by the so-called Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Rasit Pertev who will be the "Coordinator of the Financial Aid".

    Mr Talat said that the EU presidency has rejected a demand of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, which wanted the aid to the Turkish Cypriots to be given through itself. Responding to a question regarding the coordination of the financial aid that will be granted to the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat said:

    "The duty of the coordination belongs to the government of course. If something will be made in the northern part of the island this will be made with the government. In the beginning I, as Prime Minister, was the one who had contacts with the EU. However, when the financial aid came onto the agenda and the possibility that the aid would come from not only one but from many sources appeared, we felt the need for an experienced person and a strong center which will be coordinating this. 'I gave this duty to the Minister of Agriculture and Forests, Rasit Pertev. '".

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat noted that nothing will happen if the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan is not convinced to launch an initiative towards the solution. "The thing that will convince Annan are the suggestions of Papadopoulos for changes", argued Mr Talat.

    [05] The "government" of the occupation regime withdrew the "bill" on real estate acquisitions by foreigners

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.12.04) reports that the so-called government of the occupation regime has withdrawn the "Draft Law on Acquisition of Real Estate (by Foreigners)." The so-called draft law provided the granting to foreigners planning to buy real estate in the occupied Cyprus 125-year lease instead of title deeds.

    Speaking to the illegal Turkish Cypriot Agency (TAK), the so-called prime minister of the pseudostate Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that with the resignation of the "government" the "bill" expired like all other "draft laws" and that it must be redrafted for the "legislative process" to go forward.

    Mr Talat said that granting foreigners planning to buy real estate in occupied Cyprus long-term lease instead of title deeds would cause great harm to the pseudo state's economy and that his "government" will not resubmit this "law" in its current form. "We may consider a mechanism that provides the option of a long-term lease and full ownership, provided that the choice exists. The choice between these two options may depend on the agreement between a seller and a buyer", he said.

    The "draft law" was published in the so-called official gazette of the occupation regime on 17 September for the purpose of informing the public after it was approved by the "council of ministers". Later it was sent to the "assembly" for enactment into "law" but it was never put on the agenda. In the pseudostate the "bills" go into effect after they are enacted into "law" and published a second time in the so-called official gazette

    Talat said that the developments relating to a ruling by courts of the Republic of Cyprus against a British couple who purchased real estate in occupied Cyprus are being watched closely. Pointing out that the said lawsuit is still before courts of the Republic of Cyprus and that no litigation has yet been started in Britain, Mr Talat said that the occupation regime is monitoring the case closely "in terms of its legal and political implications".

    "The property ownership issue, which has a very important place in the resolution of the Cyprus problem, cannot be settled through courts. This is a political problem and is an element of the solution. Dragging the issue into the legal domain does not help the solution of the problem", alleged Mr Talat.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Turkish National Security Council Report on Terrorism, EU, Regional Developments

    Istanbul weekly NOKTA magazine (12.12.04), publishes a report prepared by the Turkish National Security Council (NSC), on the subject of the "Evaluation of the internal and external threats and the developments in our region."

    Following are some of the main headlines in the report:

    1. The PKK Activities

    The PKK made a new organization and staffing by taking the name of the KONGRA-GEL [People's Congress of Kurdistan]. This increased the separation between the traditionalists and reformists within the organization. The environment of clashes, for which the organization attempted to provide an environment of reconciliation, became deeper at the tenth congress of the organization and in the end, Osman Ocalan, with the code name Ferhat, who is the leader of the reformist group, left the organization with his group. The difference of opinion experienced among the high-level administrators of the organization was also reflected to the terrorist groups at the lower level. This weakness in the administration of the organization and the increase in the number of terrorists, who fled, caused the organization to start armed actions and to try to recover. The PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization started armed actions in Turkey as of 1 June 2004 and an increase in violent actions realized under the name of retaliation actions was observed. The PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization could not be successful with the actions started under the direction of Cemil Bayik, with the code name Cuma, who follows a stance in favour of harshness, and the disagreements within the organization could not be eliminated and reactions were also received from the public. It is being evaluated that the organization could orient itself to some new searches in the upcoming period with the objective of recovery and of being able to give the appearance of a peaceful organization.

    2. Cyprus, Greece and the Balkans

    The proposal package was prepared by the EU Commission in the direction of "Putting an End to the Isolation of the Turkish Cypriot Community" and was approved by the EU Commission on 7 July 2004. Although the EU Council of Permanent Representatives discussed the package on 22 July 2004, a concrete decision could not be made for the removal of the isolation. After the referendum, none of the political and economic commitments made by the UN, the United States, the EU and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) could be transformed into a concrete gain at the stage reached for saving the Turkish Cypriot side from the unjust isolation, to which it is subjected. It is evaluated that the 'Southern Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration' could take some initiatives for show towards the Turkish Cypriots in order to moderate the atmosphere formed against it in the world public and by receiving the support of the EU in this direction, it could find the opportunity to make insistent demands for a solution proposal, which could contain more demands than were provided to it by the Annan Plan. It is evaluated that these types of initiatives, which are already being attempted to be reflected to the public opinion, could accelerate and the Greek Cypriots could try to force Turkey to accept them with the possibility of using the "veto" authority on the subject of giving a negotiation date to Turkey in December 2004. On the other hand, it is evaluated that even if the "Green Line Regulation", which regulates the flow of commercial goods from the 'TRNC' to the 'Greek Cypriot Section' and which went into force on 23 August 2004, appears as a step taken in a positive direction for lessening the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot side, this would not ease the situation due to the difficulties, which could be experienced in its application. On the contrary, it is evaluated that it would make the Turkish Cypriot "People" become even more dependent on the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    3. Iraq and the Middle East

    Security continues to be a priority subject in Iraq. The transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis could not provide a significant development on the subject of security. Despite the efforts of the Iraqi Temporary Government to provide stability in the country, mainly with the components formed of the local security forces, the resistance organizations are continuing their attacks, sabotage and hostage-taking incidents. Chaos is presently dominant in Iraq. The objective of the resistance movements and hostage-taking incidents is to apply pressure on the subject of the withdrawal from Iraq of the US soldiers, the Multinational Coalition Forces and the foreign companies in Iraq and to weaken the Iraqi administration. While the international searches continue, Spain, Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines, with the threat of terrorism, withdrew their forces in Iraq as of May [2004] and it is expected that Thailand will withdraw its soldiers in September [2005]. The United States stated that withdrawing soldiers from Iraq due to fear of terrorism would mean to give concessions and would encourage terrorism.

    4. The Activities of the Kurds

    Necirvan Barzani from the KDP [Kurdish Democratic Party] went to Seoul in the middle of August with the objective of coordination on the subjects of the deployment in Arbil of a 3,600 strong South Korean unit (800 of which are combat soldiers), who would have duties in the Multinational Forces, and to have them protected by the Peshmergas against the terrorist attacks. This attitude of Mr Barzani is evaluated as an application of privileges recognized to the Kurds with the Temporary Administration Law dated 8 March 2004. Turkey, upon the hostage-taking and killing actions aimed at the personnel of the Turkish companies in Iraq, is developing measures for "safe trade" in Iraq, which emerged as a new problem. The Iraqi President Ghazi Ajil al-Yawir made his first official foreign visit to Turkey on 16-17 August. The subjects of the special status of Kirkuk and the preservation of its demographic structure, the elimination of the PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization in the north of Iraq, opening a second border gate, opening a Consulate General in Mosul, economic cooperation between Turkey and Iraq and safe trade with Iraq were discussed in the talks in which Turkey's concerns and expectations were expressed. President al-Yawir emphasized that they expected understanding from Turkey on the fight against the PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization due to the fact that the structuring of the Iraqi army has not yet been completed.

    5. Kirkuk Is Critical

    A federal, democratic, pluralist and united structure was envisaged in Iraq in the Iraqi Temporary Administration Law dated 8 March 2004. The decision related to the status of Baghdad and Kirkuk was left to the permanent constitution activities in 2005. The Kurds are trying to change the demographic structure in Kirkuk in their favour. This situation creates the concern of Turkey and the Turkomans that Kirkuk would enter into the de facto administration of the Kurds, even if it remains outside of a probable Kurdish federation. In the studies made on location in Kirkuk on 6-11 July by a delegation under the chairmanship of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, it was determined that the efforts to systematically change the demographic structure in Kirkuk had reached alarming dimensions and a reaction was shown. It is thought that if this situation continues, then it could be the cause of tension and clashes in the upcoming period. Turkey wants the United States and the Iraqi Temporary Administration to take concrete measures as soon as possible on the subject of the elimination of the PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization in the north of Iraq. But as long as the internal security problem continues in Iraq and until the Iraqi army reaches a sufficient level, it is thought that it would be difficult to take the steps expected on this subject and that the subject of Iraq is presently open to many developments.

    6. Iran and Its Nuclear Program

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in its decision accepted at the meeting organized in June 2004, made a call to Iran to continue its active cooperation with IAEA, to put an end to its uranium enrichment and transformation programs and to review its decision for establishing a heavy water [deuterium oxide] facility. Iran, however, announced that the aforementioned IAEA decision was political in content, that there is no longer a reason for it to keep the promise it gave within this scope to Germany, England and France to voluntarily suspend its activities for the enrichment of uranium and that it would restart its nuclear fuels production projects and its production aimed at linear accelerated particles, but that it would continue its cooperation with the IAEA. The EU, United States and the IAEA showed a reaction to this decision of Iran's and they made a call to Iran to "re-evaluate its decision." Recently, it was observed that the criticism and warnings of the United States aimed at the nuclear activities of Iran have become more frequent. It was stated that Washington, D.C. is determined not to permit Iran to produce nuclear weapons and that President Bush has evaluated the capabilities he has related to what could be done.

    8. Pay Attention to Israel

    There are news and claims that Israel plans to realize a military operation against the nuclear facilities of Iran. Within this scope it is stated that the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon expressed in mid-July 2004 that Israel would not give permission for Iran to have nuclear weapons. On the other hand, after Israel realized the test firing of its Arrow-II anti-missile system on 29 July 2004, it was observed that Iran responded to this with the test firing of its Shahab-3 missile on 11 August 2004. After the subject test firings, reciprocal missile threats between the Iranian and Israeli military officials came onto the agenda and a high-level official of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards expressed, "All of the military and nuclear facilities of Israel are within the range of the developed missiles of Iran and that the United States and Israel would not be able to realize the threats against Iran, because the results of such an attack would be very large." It is claimed that Iran could realize the production of nuclear weapons within 2-3 years. The Bush administration, which constantly keeps the claims related to Iran's nuclear weapons and missiles activities on the agenda, is expected to intensify its pressures against Iran even more. As for Iran, on the one hand, it is expected that it would continue its cooperation with the IAEA, and on the other hand, it would also continue its nuclear activities. On the other hand, it is thought that the tension experienced between Israel and Iran would continue and increase in the upcoming period.

    9. The Hughes Report and the EU

    The Hughes Report on the subject of "Turkey and the EU": According to the report on "Turkey and the EU", which was prepared by Kirsty Hughes, a guest teaching staff member at the London School of Economics:

    - Many rapid and radical political reforms have been realized in Turkey since 1999. But these reforms could not yet been completed and there are problems in their implementation.

    - Turkey is a large country demographically, but a small country economically. If Turkey would become a member of the EU in 2015 with the population of 82.1 million that it would have, just as Germany, which is envisaged to have a population of 82.4 million at that date, then it would constitute 14 percent of the EU population. In 2025 Turkey would become the largest country of the EU with its population of 87 million and it would constitute 15.5 percent of the total EU population.

    - Today, the Turkish economy corresponds to 1.9 percent of the GNP of the 25-member EU economy. This percentage is expected to be 2.9 percent in 2015 with an annual average growth rate of 5 percent. Regional inequalities are one of the basic characteristics of the Turkish economy. The Turkish economy is being stabilized after the 2001 crisis.

    - The EU can make use of the demographic structure of Turkey, which has a young and increasing population. It is expected that approximately 225,000 persons every year would migrate from Turkey to the EU countries and in the long-term, this would be a total of 2.9 million persons. This migration movement would be realized in a period when the EU starts to feel the negative effects of its aging population.

    - It is expected that the transfer of resources during the first three years of Turkey's membership would be approximately 45.5 billion euros. During the same period, the contribution of Turkey to the EU budget is estimated to be around 30-35 billion euros. The direct foreign investments realized in Turkey are low.

    - The EU membership expectation could bring together with it direct foreign investments amounting to 2-4 billion euros per annum (Presently, this amount in Turkey is approximately 1 billion euros).

    - Starting negotiations with Turkey and Turkey's becoming an EU member would prove that the EU is not a Christian club; but that it is a secular and multicultural organization and this would have important geopolitical results.

    - Turkey would have a major influence in the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. Turkey and Germany, which would each have 14.5 percent of the votes in the EU Council of Ministers, would be able to prevent proposals, by taking a third large country on their sides. Turkey and Germany, with 82 members each in the European Parliament, would each have 11.2 percent of the total members.

    - Turkey, which has borders with the Middle East, Caucasia and the Black Sea, would have a significant influence on the foreign policy of the EU. Turkey's membership would shift the EU's borders to the southeast and would enlarge the area of interest of the EU in these difficult regions. In conclusion, Turkey's membership would have an important influence on the EU. But these influences are influences, which the EU could cope with.

    10. The Situation in Uzbekistan

    The 11 September attacks were a turning point for Uzbekistan and it brought the opportunity for it to improve its relations with the United States and to bring it to the level of strategic cooperation. In 2002, President Islam Kerimov, on the one hand, when entering into cooperation with the United States, on the other hand, did not neglect sending warm messages to the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, during the visit of President Kerimov to Moscow in April 2004, it was announced by Uzbekistan that Russia was a "Priority Strategic Partner" and an agreement was signed. It is observed that the United States, which previously kept its criticisms at a limited level, is now expressing the inadequacy of the democratic reforms, that it wants a leader to come to power who would save Uzbekistan from the influence of Russia, that it is supporting the activities of the nongovernmental organizations, which are working for this objective and that it has cut off a US$18 million portion of the financial aid it made to Uzbekistan. It is thought that in this, there is the role of the initiatives of Uzbekistan coming into the forefront in the recent period aimed at repairing the relations with Russia in order to balance the close relations it established with the United States after 11 September. It is stated in various press organs that the United States could have entered into new searches, which would take the place of this present regime in this country, with the objective of becoming permanent in Uzbekistan and interpretations are being made that in the medium-term a velvet revolution, like the one in Georgia, could be made. As it has been observed that there is rivalry and a struggle for power in the country due to the poor health of President Kerimov, who experiences problems with his neighbours, it is thought that the conjuncture for such an action could be considered to be evaluated as suitable by the United States.


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