Read The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Part 2) (by Viscount Bryce) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 7 December 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-22

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.245/04 22.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan asked from Bush an investigation on the killing of five Turkish security officials in Northern Iraq.
  • [02] Opposition deputies assess the EU Summit results and how the occupation of Cyprus affects Turkey´s EU course.
  • [03] Turkish political party leader accuses the US of training PKK fighters.
  • [04] Talat says the President of the Republic has the ball on the Cyprus issue.
  • [05] Rauf Denktas: "I will not sit around the negotiation table".
  • [06] An opinion poll conducted in the occupied areas shows the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party in the lead.
  • [07] Erdogan: We seek to assume the role of a mediator in Cyprus.
  • [08] The views of Erdogan's advisor on Cyprus.
  • [09] General Ozkok stresses that the army considers the Islamic fundamentalism as a threat for Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in ORTADOGU accuses the Israeli lobby of "holding contacts in Turkey behind the scenes for themselves".
  • [11] Columnist argues that with Turkey the EU will put forward the option of a more peaceful pole in comparison to the United States´ Neo-conservative policies.
  • [12] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that Turkey got an accession negotiations date but the 30,000 occupation troops will remain in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan asked from Bush an investigation on the killing of five Turkish security officials in Northern Iraq

    Istanbul NTV television (21.12.04) broadcast the following:

    "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has phoned US President Bush and has said that the attack in which five Turkish policemen were martyred in Mosul in north Iraq should be investigated. Erdogan said: `We have confidence in your cooperation on this issue´. He further asked that the pertinent authorities be in contact. In response, Bush said that he gave instructions for an in-depth investigation into the incident.

    Erdogan today called Bush following the martyrdom of five security officers in a terrorist attack launched in Mosul. Erdogan said: `This incident should definitely be clarified´. Noting that the US security forces intervened in the incident capturing some of the terrorists, Erdogan thanked Bush for the cooperation. In response, Bush said that he gave instructions to the pertinent units to conduct an in-depth investigation, adding that the United States will cooperate. During the phone conversation, Erdogan also conveyed the concern felt over the spread of the clashes to Kirkuk. Noting that the time has come to put an end to the presence of the terrorist PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] organization in Iraq, Erdogan said that it would be beneficial for the security committee to be composed of Turkey, Iraq, and the United States to convene in Turkey. Bush thanked Erdogan for his proposal and said: `It will be beneficial to hold the meeting in Turkey´.

    During the phone conversation, Erdogan also briefed Bush on the EU process. Bush, in turn, congratulated Erdogan for the date set to begin the accession negotiations".

    [02] Opposition deputies assess the EU Summit results and how the occupation of Cyprus affects Turkey´s EU course

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (19.12.04) publishes the following report by Ayse Sayin under the title: "Privileged membership door is opening":

    "Diplomatic deputies of the RPP [Republican People's Party] have described the giving of a "conditional" negotiating date to Turkey as "partial opening of the door to privileged partnership." The RPP diplomacy whips pointed out that the "world's biggest deception" has been presented as a "great success."

    The diplomatic deputies have assessed briefly the decision on Turkey at the EU summit and the "performance" of the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government as follows:

    Sukru Elekdag (Deputy from Istanbul, retired ambassador): "We are face to face with the biggest deception in the history of the Republic of Turkey. The weakest aspect of the decision made is the fact that the negotiations are open-ended and the outcome cannot be guaranteed. The open-endedness also reflects an approach that leaves the door open to formulae other than full membership. Alongside full membership, it brings up the prospect of giving Turkey a privileged partnership status. Has this open-endedness been applied to the other candidate countries? No. Turkey is being discriminated against. There is no equal treatment. The "equality principle" that was accepted at the 1999 Helsinki summit is being pushed aside. The government has returned from Brussels with a decision that will not lead Turkey to full membership. This has been put on record. And it presents this result to the people as a success. This amounts to praising highly to the people something that is extremely unfavourable".

    The formula that is presented as a success relates to the stipulation that Turkey will sign the Customs Union protocol by 3 October so as to extend it to South Cyprus. This means that Turkey has entrusted to the Greek Cypriots the matter of the commencement of the negotiations with the EU. Turkey has also assigned to the Greek Cypriots the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Inal Batu (Deputy from Hatay -- retired ambassador): "The worries emanate from two reasons. The first relates to the fact that the EU is reluctant to fulfill its promise to accord equal treatment to Turkey. In other words, it has not kept its promise, and got involved in alternatives other than full membership. The second worry is about the permanent derogations that they want to introduce. This indicates that there is an important deviation from the promise to hold negotiations under conditions of equality. The public referendum threats too show deviation from equal treatment. Yet another difficulty is the EU's failure to keep the promise it made in the past: "The Cyprus issue will not be put as an obstacle before Turkey anymore." The reluctance of the EU to digest the equal treatment and its inclination to bring up the special status option will lead to serious difficulties".

    Onur Oymen (Deputy Chairman -- retired ambassador): "What Turkey will give to the EU is clear, but what the EU will give to Turkey is not. Moreover, even if you fulfill the conditions, there is the "referendum" threat of some countries, such as, France and Austria. In case 51 percent of the people in Austria or France say no, Turkey will not be able to become a member. Some of the restrictions will be temporary under Article 47 of the protocol between Turkey and the EU. This is not included in the text of the decisions, though. The paragraph related to Greece too has been written in the way that Athens demanded. Cyprus too will cause constitutional difficulties. If you sign an agreement with a country, this means that you recognize that country. Once you sign a protocol to extend the Ankara Accord to South Cyprus, this would amount to recognizing a government that you have declared illegal. Recognizing South Cyprus would amount to stopping recognizing North Cyprus".

    [03] Turkish political party leader accuses the US of training PKK fighters

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (21.12.04) publishes the following report under the title: "Perincek: The United States are training PKK members":

    "Labour Party (LP) Chairman Dogu Perincek has charged that the five Turkish security officials killed near Mosul were killed by mercenaries trained by special forces of the United States.

    Perincek, in a press conference held in the party´s Istanbul Provincial Headquarters, stated that it is essential to identify the force that carried out this attack aimed against Turkey, and claimed that the United States has trained terrorists of the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan] in Northern Iraq via special forces. Stating that the number of these terrorists has reached 17,300, and that 7 thousand of these are Turkish citizens, Perincek spoke as follows: "Those who killed our five security officers were also mercenaries trained by the special forces of the United States. Turkey cannot accept the establishment of a puppet state in Northern Iraq."

    [04] Talat says the President of the Republic has the ball on the Cyprus issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (22/12/04) reports that the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat participated last night in the "Akis programme" of the illegal TV station Bayrak.

    Commenting on the Cyprus issue, Mr Talat said that the ball is at the Greek Cypriot side and added: "If Papadopoulos hits the ball, the game will begin. But he stands above the ball and he doesn't hit it".

    Mr Talat repeated that the Turkish Cypriots voted "yes" in the referendum, but the Greek Cypriots have not decided yet what they want.

    Noting that Greek Cypriot politicians are saying that "the Annan plan would be the basis", Mr Talat said: "Of course, but what basis would it be? Let them do a concrete proposal. 'Let us change these and these parts in the Annan plan'. The Greek Cypriots are the ones who will say that."

    Mr Talat, said that the EU Commission, the EU members, the UN and the permanent members of the UN Security Council have a major influence on the Greek Cypriot side, added: "Utilizing these influences, it is necessary to determine what the Greek Cypriots want and think".

    Noting that "when the Greek Cypriots will hit the ball, say: 'Here, I am at this point. I want this'.", Mr Talat said: "We must make Mr Papadopoulos to hit the ball with our active policies. When Papadopoulos will hit the ball, then the game will begin. It cannot start without hitting the ball. He stands on the ball, he doesn't hit it. This is the situation."

    [05] Rauf Denktas: "I will not sit around the negotiation table"

    Local Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (22.12.04), reports under the above title that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that he is not after sitting around the negotiation table, but whoever sits around the table first it is necessary for fixing the criteria.

    Denktas went on and claimed that a great plot is being hatched and for this reason fixing the criteria is important. He said: "There is no other way out but, to own our sovereignty, i.e. independence".

    Speaking to a delegation from illegal Turkish New Agency Cyprus TAK, headed by its chairman Emir Ersoy, Denktas repeated his known allegations that, "until the Greek Cypriot administration gives up the ENOSIS ambition and the world, tells them: `You have no right to speak for the Turkish Cypriots, and that in Cyprus there are two separate people, two separate states´ the Greek Cypriot administration will not work for a settlement.

    [06] An opinion poll conducted in the occupied areas shows the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party in the lead

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.12.04) publishes an opinion poll conducted in the occupied areas by the Cyprus Social Research and Consultancy Centre KADEM. The opinion poll shows the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) of Mehmet Ali Talat and the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu in the lead.

    According to the poll, the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) comes first with 33.0%, followed by the main opposition party the NUP which is second with 32.0%. The Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas comes third with 12.1%, the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) of Mustafa Akinci comes fourth with 6.8 %, the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) of Huseyin Angolemli comes fifth with 2.9%, the Nationalist Justice Party (NJP) sixth with 1.2% and the Patriotic Unity Movement (PYM) follows with 1.1%, while various other small parties receive less than 1%.

    In addition 9.7% of the persons who participated in the poll "did not answer" or said that "they have no opinion" as regards which party they will support in the forthcoming "elections".

    Commenting on the poll's results the paper notes that the difference between the RTP-UF and the NUP is less than 1% and writes that Ahmet Kasif and Unal Ustel, who were "elected" initially with the DP and later joined the NUP, did not add to the Party's percentages. The paper also notes that the PDM which got 13.20% in the 14 December 2003 "elections" loses according to the poll half of its power since it receives only 6,8% and writes that the majority of PDM votes goes to RTP-UF.

    KIBRIS also writes that the 25-25 result as regards the number of the seats in the "parliament" which came out in the 14 December 2003 "elections" does not seem to change. Based on the poll's result the RTP-UF gets 20 seats in the "parliament", compared to 19 seats in the last "elections" and the PDM gets 5 seats compared to 6. The seats of the NUP, which got 18 seats and the DP which got 7 seats in the last "elections" remains the same according to the poll's results.

    The opinion poll was conducted by KADEM with a sample of 6.370 persons who live in occupied Cyprus, between 3-18 of November.

    [07] Erdogan: We seek to assume the role of a mediator in Cyprus

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (22.12.04) broadcast live statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to his departure on an official visit to Syria at Ankara's Esenboga Airport.

    Mr Erdogan said: "We are going on a visit to Syria, which is a friendly and neighborly country with which we have religious ties. My colleagues Mr. Mehmet Aydin, Mr Kursat Tuzmen, and Mr. Hilmi Guler and other deputies will accompany me on this visit. A large delegation of businessmen will accompany us on this visit in addition to press members. On this two-day visit, we will hold a signature ceremony of the free trade agreements, which we had already initialled. In addition, our businessmen will hold meetings with their counterparts during this visit.

    In the meantime, the Turkish-Syrian friendship groups will hold mutual meetings. I, in turn, will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad. Later, we will meet with the honorable Syrian prime minister and delegations. Tomorrow afternoon, we will go to Aleppo and conduct work there. In the wake of these contacts, we will return to Turkey tomorrow evening.

    As you know, the visit of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad some time ago launched a new period in the relations between Syria and Turkey. We hope, God willing, that during this visit we will be able take steps to have these relations, which became much more meaningful with the visit of the honorable prime minister at the beginning, and then the visits of our Assembly speaker and our ministers and delegations, acquire a different future-oriented aspect both in the political and commercial areas.

    We are ready to depart and I thank you for the attention you have showed. If there no questions, we can go. Yes, please".

    Question: How will Turkey's relations be with its eastern neighbors now that it received an accession date from the EU?

    Answer: Excitement has enveloped the Middle East and the Islam world as well, if you look at the phone calls we received from them. All of them are extending their congratulations and expressing their appreciation. It is also possible to observe this if you follow the media of the Islam world.

    Question: Will the peace process resume in Cyprus?

    Answer: We have, from the beginning, said that we sought and encouraged peace in Cyprus. We have also said that we seek to assume the role of a mediator in Cyprus. We have always emphasized the responsibilities we should assume to this end and even undertook initiatives in this regard. As you know, the last initiative -- the fourth negotiations -- was launched by us. And now, we will exert every effort possible to transform Cyprus into an island of peace, which is what we wish for. We are constantly working to this end. In the coming weeks and months, this issue may once again be placed on the agenda.

    Question: Millions of people are dreaming of owning houses after the Collective Housing Administration projects. Do you know when this project will start?

    Answer: At present, preparations are under way to formulate a prototype project. Ensuing the conclusion of this project, the needs of the various provinces will be determined and the cornerstone laying ceremonies will start according to these findings. As you know, the flats are 45 square meters. Yes, thank you.

    [08] The views of Erdogan's advisor on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.12.04) reported from Istanbul that Egemen Bagis, a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) from Istanbul and foreign relations senior advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has stated that no any leader could have returned from the recent European Union summit with a better result.

    Participating in a meeting, titled "December 17th EU Summit," and sponsored by the Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD) on Wednesday, Bagis elaborated on Party's ideology on foreign relations and economic developments.

    "Turkey is one of the rare countries that has good ties with Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. Our relations with the United States are very prominent. Then, there is the issue of Iraq. We have lost more lives compared to some countries that have military personnel in Iraq. Despite the loss of those precious lives, we will not stop sending humanitarian aid to Iraq," remarked Bagis. According to Bagis, Turkey's top priority in foreign relations is the EU.

    In response to a question on Cyprus, Bagis expressed the view that everyone wants to resolve this issue but that efforts have not reached a satisfactory level.

    "The decision on Cyprus at the EU summit does not imply recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration by Turkey. There is no change to Turkey's policy toward Cyprus. Annan's plan, which envisaged the establishment of equal partners with equal rights, may come up on the agenda again with minor changes. Cyprus is not a matter of the EU but rather the United Nations," stated Bagis.

    [09] General Ozkok stresses that the army considers the Islamic fundamentalism as a threat for Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.12.04) reported from Ankara that General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok said on Wednesday, "the Republic of Turkey has been the target of fundamentalist circles since the day it was founded. Today, there is not any change in the attitude of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) against fundamentalist circles."

    Releasing a message to commemorate 3rd Lieutenant Kubilay on the 74th anniversary of his killing on December 23rd, 1930, General Ozkok said, "the Republic of Turkey has been the target of fundamentalist circles since the day it was founded. Those dark powers have always targeted to poison minds and mentality of our young people. However, they could not reach their heinous target because of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's reforms and principles."

    "Today, there is not any change in the attitude of the TAF against fundamentalist circles, which have still been posing serious threat. I want to reiterate that the TSK is determined to maintain its traditional stance and its vision to bring Turkey to a more brilliant future," he added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in ORTADOGU accuses the Israeli lobby of "holding contacts in Turkey behind the scenes for themselves"

    Istanbul ORTADOGU newspaper (19.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Necdet B. Sivasli under the title: "We are only listening":

    "The leading figures of the Israeli lobby in the United States visited Turkey at the beginning of last week. This group had dinner with the representatives of all the major newspapers in Istanbul and later it held contacts in Ankara. And after completing its errands, the group returned to the United States. We believe that it is necessary to underline that Abraham H. Foxman, Rabbi Garry, and M. Breton-Granatoor [names as published], three administrators of the Anti-Defamation League which is one of the most important organizations of the Israeli lobby in the United States, are very influential in high posts in the United States. The columnists who had dinner with these figures have already talked about their impressions in their columns and they have already emphasized that the leading figures of the Israeli lobby expressed their concern with regard to the recent tension in the relations between Turkey and Israel.

    It is good to listen, but...

    There is no doubt that we did not feel uncomfortable due to the fact that such a delegation visited Turkey. We certainly believe that the fact that they met and had dinner with the representatives of the media is positive. We merely listened to this group, which conducted behind the scenes activities for themselves and which asked us to avoid becoming involved in acts that hurt the United States. If we had talked about our problems, our colleagues, who had met and had dinner with the members of the group, would have talked about these problems in their columns. We did not encounter such an article, however.

    It is possible to summarize the goal of the delegation's visit as follows:

    The delegation aimed to warn Ankara regarding the recent tension in the relations between Turkey and the United States and to ensure that the relations rise to their former level.

    Nonetheless, it distressed us that the members of this delegation focused only on their own interests. They merely aimed to serve their own interests -- from the relations between Turkey and Israel to the relations between Turkey and the United States. Furthermore, they always showed the iron hand beneath the velvet glove.

    We cannot know about the items that appeared on the agenda during the delegation's contacts in Ankara. Nonetheless, in Ankara the members of the delegation must have held meetings that were more comprehensive than the meetings they held with our colleagues.

    We know that these lobbyists carried to the relevant persons the concern felt by former US Ambassador to Turkey Mark Parris and Marc Grossman, one of the leading names in the US Department of State, about US-Turkish relations.

    Are they always right? Here we cannot help, but think as follows:

    The Americans always turn everything to their own profits. They turn their backs to issues about which Turkey is right. They still find excuses where our demands to eradicate the 5,000 armed PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] militants from northern Iraq are concerned. They are indifferent to the situation of the Turks living in Kirkuk. They do not safeguard our interests. They do not protect our drivers that carry goods to Iraq.

    These men came, they conveyed their messages, and they left. Neither our colleagues from the media, nor -- we believe -- the relevant authorities in Ankara talked to these persons about issues that are sensitive from our standpoint. They just listened. We know, however, that there were issues that should have been explained to the members of this very influential delegation that visited Ankara. Should they not have used this opportunity in the best possible way?

    Murder is publicly being committed in Al-Fallujah. Genocide is being conducted. We almost miss Saddam. Mosques are being occupied. Should Turkey remain indifferent to all this? Why are the relations getting tense when Turkey reacts to these incidents? Why do they adopt such a stand against Turkey?

    At a time the columnist extravagantly talked about the dinner they had with the representatives of one of the most important institutions of the Israeli lobby in the United States in their columns, we were sad because issues about which Turkey is right were not put on the agenda. We just wanted to share our sadness with you".

    [11] Columnist argues that with Turkey the EU will put forward the option of a more peaceful pole in comparison to the United States´ Neo-conservative policies

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (19.12.04) publishes the following editorial by Erdal Safak under the title: "After the engagement":

    "The relations between Turkey and the EU have always resembled the long-lasting and the cursed love story between Aristotle Onassis, a ship owner from Izmir, and Maria Callas, the diva soprano. In the 1950's and the 1960's the newspapers were full of stories on this relationship which had plenty of fights and plenty of reconciliations. Thanks God that our relationship with the EU became official with the exchange of the rings in Brussels. This way, we got rid of our fears about a tragic end that resembles the end of the Onassis-Callas love story.

    Currently we are tired, albeit pleasantly, after an exciting engagement ceremony. Given that there are nine and a half to 10 months until our first date with our fiancé, we may enjoy the luxury of focusing on the rumors about the ceremony in Brussels for several days, prior to making marriage plans.

    Nevertheless, the other side has already begun to make efforts for finding an answer to a question that will be asked day after day for the next decade: "Will the engagement result in a marriage? Or will the sides break up?" If we leave the analogies aside and if we use the expression used by the European press organs, "is the process that has been initiated reversible or not?"

    If you look at the answers and the comments, you will see that they are quite confused.

    For example, according to "Trouw," a Dutch newspaper, Turkey has already become a part of Europe. This is also so according to the "Volkskrant" newspaper. The French "Le Parisien" makes more challenging comments, noting that the Turks "have already accessed Europe." The Austrian and the Belgian press organs also make similar comments: They believe that this relationship resembles a "catholic wedding," according to which divorce is a sin. Despite the fact that there are certain people who hold on like a lifejacket to Chirac's statement to the effect that "Turkey's accession is beneficial for the EU, but the decision to commence the negotiations does not mean automatic membership", the majority believes that to obstruct Turkey's membership is as difficult as having a river flow upstream.

    Not a model, just an example

    We do not have anything to say in the face of these comments. In fact, we even like them. Nevertheless, a perspective is being put to the fore when discussing "the contributions of Turkey's membership to the EU" and this is the EU-Turkey-Muslim world equation. We are distressed that if this equation is put to the fore erroneously and in an exaggerated manner, it may lead to "image confusion."

    In other words, we believe that especially European politicians and public opinion actors should adopt an extremely careful style when noting that Turkey's membership will constitute a "strong message" to the Muslim world.

    We are distressed that, otherwise the minds of the peoples of Europe who are at the border of "ignorance" where Turkey is concerned will be further confused. We are distressed that they may compare us with -- for example -- the Saudis, the Sudanese, the Yemenites, and even with the Moroccans and the Algerians. Under such circumstances, we believe that their fears will further intensify.

    The EU-Turkey-Muslim world equation should be based on the following:

    -- Yes, with Turkey's membership the EU will become more influential in the Middle East and in the Muslim world. As a result, the EU will be more credible when it talks about peace between religions and conciliation between civilizations. This will further contribute to the cleansing of the sediments of the period of the crusades.

    -- Yes, it is true that with Turkey's membership the EU will be able to put forward the option of a softer, a more moderate, and a more peaceful "pole" in comparison to the United States' Neo-Con policies.

    -- Yes, with Turkey's membership the EU will become a geo-strategic power that will become influential not only in the Middle East, but also in the region that extends until the plains of Central Asia.

    However, an EU-member Turkey will certainly not become a model for the Middle East. The truth is that it cannot become a model. This will not be different in any way from the US projects that aim to export democracy to the Muslim world and that insist on changing the Muslim world. Turkey may only become a solid example for the Middle East, showing the benefits and the positive results of change, modernization, and democratization. This is all.

    And as pointed out by Sylvie Arsever who writes for the Swiss "Le Temps," there is an enormous difference between Turkey and the Arabs. The Turkish Islam is the Islam of the triumphant, while the Arabic Islam is the Islam of the defeated".

    [12] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that Turkey got an accession negotiations date but the 30,000 occupation troops will remain in Cyprus

    Under the title: "Forget the past on Cyprus" Turkish Daily News newspaper (22.12.04), publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "Everyone is angry again. Eternal pessimists have once more surrounded us with their negative views. Their conspiracy theories are ready at hand.

    'No way. We can't sell out Cyprus just to start accession negotiations. They will take the north of the island from us and then sit at the negotiation table. However, the membership is no certainty. They will leave us out in the cold and give us a special status at the end.'

    No. If we play the game right, none of this will happen.

    Let's first realize one fact. Turkey did not sell out Cyprus with the document it signed on December 17. The only thing it did was to agree to extend the Customs Union to Cyprus before the start of negotiations, which it was obligated to do afterwards.

    Nothing else has changed

    Only, Turkey will begin to play a game in the international arena, which others were playing all the time.

    When Cyprus is included in the Customs Union, Greeks and Greek Cypriots will proclaim: "We won. They officially recognized Cyprus." Turkey in turn will say: "No. This is not an official recognition, but the implementation of a commercial-technical obligation."

    Because Cyprus will not rule over the north and the 30,000 Turkish troops will continue to be stationed there, in reality, Turkey's arguments will be right. Other statements will not alter the reality.

    Greek Cypriots will not let go

    In summary, the period until the start of the negotiations on October 3 is not that important. The Ankara Agreement will be extended to Cyprus and the negotiations will get underway. However, tension will continue and political fighting between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides will continue throughout the negotiations. In other words, don't think we can push the Cyprus issue to the background. Greek Cypriots will never let it go.

    Objectives of this fight

    Greek Cypriots aim to make certain they benefit from the end and beginning of the discussions on each topic. They want to increase their advantages beyond the Annan plan as soon as possible.

    The Turkish side aims to start another round of negotiations with the Greek Cypriots and reach an agreement with them before full membership by making minor adjustments in the Annan plan.

    In short, Greek Cypriots are in a hurry, while the Turkish side is in no rush.

    However, the Turkish side should move soon

    Greek Cypriots wasted a golden opportunity on December 17. In other words, they failed to get what they wanted. However, they still own an important weapon. Turkey needs to utilize all its energy and vision to gain time and protect itself.

    It needs to work like a jeweller and make gestures that will result in the support of the entire world and especially the EU members. The United Nations should again be involved and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan should be called in. If not, we will face many troubles.

    We can no longer afford to sit back and take our time. Our Cyprus policy cannot be based on reacting to what Greek Cypriots do. We need to prepare for a diplomatic chess game.

    One day, we may grieve for the Annan plan

    I get furious whenever they tell me: "Recognize Cyprus. You can't join a club when you don't recognize one of its members." I find it hard to control myself and start yelling.

    "This just doesn't make sense. You supported the Annan plan. You told us that, if it were accepted, the issue would be resolved. The Turkish side trusted you and approved the document. 'Greek Cypriot leader' Tassos Papadopoulos made sure the plan was rejected. You then said the isolation of the 'TRNC' would end. Papadopoulos made sure that didn't happen. Now you ask us to recognize them. In other words, those who trusted you will be punished and Papadopoulos will gain. Is this justice?"

    This same reaction can be seen throughout the nation. The answer we receive is this.

    "There is no justice in international relations. Whoever plays the game right, wins. Greek Cypriots rejected the plan. You should have seen this before and stop delaying the vote for so long. You shouldn't have just sat by when 'TRNC President' Rauf Denktas constantly created obstacles. You knew that Greek Cyprus was going to be a member. You laid the trap you fell into. Greek Cypriots rejected the plan. But it was Denktas who rejected it before."

    In other words, the past should be forgotten.

    If we try to use the past to make an argument, things get confused. If one takes the rejections of Denktas into account, it is us again who is to blame for the position we find ourselves in.

    Who will pay the price for our current dilemma?"

    /SK


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    tcpr2html v1.00 run on Thursday, 23 December 2004 - 15:26:23 UTC