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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.247/04 24-25-26-27.12.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Erdogan said he spoke with Annan on the phone after BrusselsAnkara Anatolia (24.12.04) reported from Ankara that on Friday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed a conference sponsored by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) in Ankara.
In his speech Mr Erdogan said: "Diyarbakir became the mostly-visited third city of Turkey after Ankara and Istanbul by foreigners. Why do they insist to visit Diyarbakir? I wonder if it is really because of economic and cultural liveliness and/or extreme tourism riches there? No, I believe it is totally a political approach. This annoys us.
This is a plan of those who have a negative approach against the territorial integrity of our country. I am also telling this to my friends in the EU. I say, 'you are going to Diyarbakir but why don't you travel also to Erzurum, Konya, Kayseri or Rize? Turkey has 81 cities. What is your goal in travelling just to Diyarbakir? What do you want to see, learn and understand? If you will prepare a report about Turkey on the basis of a 'check list' given to you by some circles, then we surely will not accept it. Reports can only be healthy if you review and take into account all parts of Turkey,"
As regards the Cyprus issue Mr Erdogan said: "We do not want to sacrifice (our) EU process to the clash between southern and northern Cyprus.
After I returned from Brussels, the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called me on the phone. I told him that there are many things to be done together. I told him that we should talk what we can do jointly to solve the problem.
Turkey has a foreign policy of gaining friends, not enemies, starting with its neighbours and surrounding countries. We follow the same policy in Cyprus to make it an island of peace. We do the same thing towards Greece as well. Some circles are trying to undermine this. We should not allow them.
EU membership has nothing to do with the Cyprus problem, but people are trying to make it a Cyprus question. The real issue is what will be the condition of 25 countries regarding Customs Union based on 1963 Ankara Agreement.
"A peace and consensus should be settled in Cyprus. The Annan Plan can be revised. It can be submitted again after revision and in a way that both sides can agree. The important thing is the content of the Plan."
 Rauf and Serdar Denktas seem to prefer the armed struggleIstanbul HURRIYET newspaper (24.12.04) reports that Mr Serdar Denktas so-called Foreign Minister of Ankara's occupation regime has said: "If Turkey is prepared to sacrifice us, the Turkish Cypriots may resist just like the PLO."
Mr Serdar Denktas made striking remarks when answering the questions posed by Mithat Bereket on Best FM yesterday.
Serdar Denktas asserted that if Turkey is prepared to sacrifice Cyprus, they will engage in armed resistance similar to the PLO. Denktas said: "I do not believe that Turkey will sell us in this manner, but let us say that Turkey decided to give up its rights in Cyprus by saying that 'it is better to accede to the EU.' The Turkish Cypriots will not give up."
Also answering the questions posed by Hurriyet regarding this issue, Denktas said: "Turkey will never give Cyprus up. If it does, however, and if it tells us 'to submit to all the conditions,' we will resist to the end, just like the Palestinians."
Subtitle: Rauf Denktas: The soldiers should remain
Answering the questions posed by Mehmet Ali Birand during the "Headline" program broadcast on the CNN Turk, Mr Rauf Denktas asserted that it is necessary to spread the solution of the problem over to a long period of time, adding: "We want Turkey to avoid politically recognizing the Greek Cypriots and to continue recognizing the "TRNC". Furthermore, we want the Turkish troops to remain in the island."
 Gul meets Serdar Denktas. Statements by Gul on EU and CyprusAnkara Anatolia (24.12.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met Serdar Denktas, the so-called Foreign Minister of Ankara's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus on Friday.
In statements Mr Gul said: ''What is important is that the solution should be acceptable by all the parties. As Turkey and `TRNC´, we have fulfilled our responsibilities. Simultaneous referenda were held in the island for the first time, and the owners of the island cast their votes. Turkish Cypriot side was the compromising party in these referenda, and showed that they favour a solution. On the other hand, the Greek Cypriot side unfortunately missed a big opportunity. Although they seemed in favour of a solution, the referenda indicated that they, in fact, did not favour the solution. And, the whole world has seen it.''
On his part, Mr Serdar Denktas said that the obligation Turkey was asked to fulfil in the presidency conclusions of the meeting of the European Council on December 17th did in no way mean political recognition.
The Turkish Cypriots still needed and intended to solve the Cyprus issue, Denktas said and added:
''What is important is whether the Greek Cypriot side has the same intention and the need. We have seen on April 24th that they don't have such an intention. Has anything changed since then? In our opinion, the Greek Cypriot side doesn't have a new motivation.
"We will preserve our good will and approaches to a solution, protecting our rights. I hope we will reach such a solution together with the Motherland (Turkey) in five years.''
Noting that he thought a solution till October 3rd, 2005 (when the EU would open negotiations with Turkey) was unlikely, Denktas said that everybody had seen that a solution could not be reached by unilateral intentions, and went on:
''Therefore, a solution can be possible if the EU and the UN urge the Greek Cypriot side to take similar steps. I don't think this can be achieved in 11 months, but I hope I am wrong''.
I hope the Greek Cypriot side will change its stance as if a magical stick was touched on them, and a solution is reached. But, if we approach the matter realistically, there can be a preparation process in these 11 months, but it seems that a final solution in these 11 months is a dream.''
Commenting on the press reports quoting him as talking about an armed struggle in the island, Denktas said: ''It is totally wrong. They misinterpreted one of the words I used in a program.
What I said was very clear. Will Turkish Cypriots surrender if Turkey leaves us alone? No, Turkish Cypriots will continue to protect their own rights against the Greek Cypriots in every kind of struggle. But, as Turkey won't leave Cyprus alone, there is no need for intifada.''
Ankara TRT 1 Television (24.12.04) broadcast that Mr Abdullah Gul replying to deputies' questions during budget debates today, expressed his displeasure with the fact that the opposition was making it look as if Turkey accepted certain issues that were not even discussed during the EU summit.
"The opposition claims that the prime minister of the Turkish Republic sacrificed Turkey's rights. Really, we should not reach such a level. It is in Turkey's interests for the opposition to criticize us, to keep the public alert, and to hold its sword over our heads. We elicit strength from that when we negotiate with third parties. That is the right thing to do and it is in Turkey's interests. Nevertheless, this must be done in moderation and with fairness."
Gul reiterated once again that the Republic of Cyprus will not be recognized unless a final solution is reached in Cyprus.
"When signing this protocol, Turkey will be signing it not with the Greek Cypriot side, or with any other country, but with the Commission that represents the EU's 25 countries. The signing does not mean the recognition of the Greek Cypriot side".
Furthermore Istanbul NTV television (23.12.04) broadcast that while briefing the parliamentary committees related to the EU issue, Gul said the following in connection with the 12 December summit: "This is all we could manage. In any case, we could not have done more".
Explaining that the Turkish team reached the point of quitting the table with regard to Cyprus and the derogations, Gul stated: "If we had done this, we would have become heroes. We would have been received by 100,000 persons, not just 50,000, upon our return to Turkey, but we would have experienced great difficulties, first in the economy, then in many other areas."
"We believed that it was necessary for us not to quit the table because 70 percent of the Turkish people support the EU," Gul remarked. He added that the Turkish team did not consult with Rauf Denktas when the articles pertaining to Cyprus were being discussed, but briefed Denktas after the summit. Noting that the Turkish side asked UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to be more active with regard to the Cyprus issue, Gul declared: We will solve this issue through conciliation".
 Statements by Rauf Denktas in TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (23.12.04) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas on Thursday met with the Democratic Left Party (DLP) leader Zeki Sezer.
Speaking at the meeting, Denktas said he did not have a look at the document which was published at the end of December 17th EU Brussels Summit and did not want to look at it at all.
He said the Turkish government had made a promise to them and that this promise was confirmed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul before and after December 17th.
''What was this promise? It was that they (Turkish government) would not recognize actual Greek Cypriot administration as the legal Cypriot government as long as a (new Cyprus) government --which we will jointly recognize-- is formed with the initiatives of the UN Secretary-General. This commitment of the (Turkish) government is a national promissory note. We believe and rely on this. I believe that a mistake would not be made such as recognizing Greek Cypriots. We continue to protect our state and independence,'' Denktas said.
''Of course it is optimistic to think that the Cyprus question will be solved before October 3rd (2005)'' Denktas also noted.
Denktas said: "Overcoming this problem depends on our accepting their conditions. These conditions are: withdrawal of Turkish troops from the Island, cancellation of guarantee agreements, abolishment of the right of intervention (of Turkey), return of (Greek Cypriot) refugees, and acceptance of the rights that would be given to Turkish Cypriots solely on paper.''
Denktas also added that it was a vain effort to expect compromise from those who consider themselves as the 'legal Cyprus government', and as far as they say their country is under occupation. ''What should be done is to explain the Turkish thesis to the EU and the UN Secretary-General day and night.''
Denktas said: ''It is meaningless to make us sit at (the conference) table by putting the dead Annan Plan on the table. This means giving more to the Greek Cypriots.''
Denktas said: ''Previously, the Turkish government had said recognition would be effective when Turkey enters the EU. However, according to the recent situation, recognition was linked to October 3rd. We hope that the Turkish government will explain its case both to the EU and the Secretary-General (of the UN) saying that the intransigent side was the Greek Cypriots.'
Moreover illegal BRT-1 TV (23.12.04) broadcast that after attending a panel entitled "The `TRNC´, Turkey, and the EU in the Wake of 17 December" held at the Yildiz Technical University auditorium, Denktas replied to reporters' questions. Asked to assess Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's stand at the Brussels summit and what he would do if it were him attending the summit, Denktas said: "This is not a question I can answer. A struggle was waged. The Turkish officials telephoned us as soon as they returned to Turkey, and issued statements to dispel our concerns over Cyprus. The Turkish officials said: We will not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, which is called the Cyprus Republic. Do not worry. We will not do anything that will reduce you to the status of minority."
Denktas noted that Turkey has entered a course, which is full of dangers and turns, and added: "They will live through very difficult days. We can see that. If Cyprus is relinquished by recognizing the Greek Cypriots in advance, Turkey will have no cause left to defend. This would have a domino effect".
 The Turkish Secretary-General of the OIC plans to use the organization's potentials to promote Turkey's aims against CyprusTurkish Daily News (27.12.04) reports the following:
"The New Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu has said he aims to re-energize the 57-member organization by undertaking a series of administrative reforms.
İhsanoglu, the first Turkish and democratically-elected OIC Secretary-General, is expected to take over the top job tomorrow in a ceremony in Jeddah from incumbent Abdelwahed Belkeziz of Morocco whose four-year-term has expired.
Speaking to the Turkish Daily News in a telephone interview from Istanbul before his departure for Jeddah, İhsanoglu pointed out that the OIC is the second biggest international organization after the United Nations and that he would seek to boost its performance levels.
"The OIC has great potential and opportunities that make it capable of dealing with the problems Islamic countries currently face," he said.
"My goal is to make a series of administrative reforms, to take measures in order to boost the OIC's performance and increase its synergy," he added.
İhsanoglu said he intended to enhance cooperation and communication among the member states. The new secretary-general underlined the need for hiring the highest-quality personnel to ensure the OIC becomes highly efficient.
The OIC was formed in Jeddah in 1969 to strengthen solidarity and cooperation in political, economic, cultural, scientific and social fields.
İhsanoglu was elected as the new secretary-general in June, becoming the first Turk to lead the institution. The 61-year-old academic has had a long career as an official of the OIC where he has worked in different branches of the organization for 24 years. He served as the head of its cultural arm and the Istanbul-based Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture, a post he filled in 1980.
A Turk born in Egypt, İhsanoglu is fluent in Arabic and is respected by many Muslim countries. He has received state medals from Jordan, Senegal and Egypt for his professional accomplishments.
İhsanoglu said the upcoming elections in Palestine and Iraq were top of the OIC's agenda.
In preparation for his new post, he asked the OIC to provide assistance to the Palestinian leadership for the January 9 polls. İhsanoglu added that the organization would have an observer status at the Palestinian elections.
Regarding January 30 polls in Iraq, İhsanoglu said the OIC would make the necessary contribution, but he declined to elaborate further on either election.
The OIC would maintain support for the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´), he said.
The organization, at the end of a June gathering of foreign ministers of OIC member states in Istanbul, adopted a declaration that said the `TRNC´ -- which attends the organization's activities solely as an observer -- will be invited to future gatherings of the organization as the "Turkish Cypriot State," as set out in U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan for reunification of the island.
The plan was rejected because of Greek Cypriot opposition to it in an April referendum. Turkey has been lobbying hard to get international sanctions on Turkish Cypriots lifted after their vote in support of the plan. The European Union and United States have pledged measures to develop ties with the Turkish Cypriot state, which lacks international recognition.
Conclusions of the OIC's Istanbul meeting included a call on the member nations to strengthen effective solidarity with the Muslim Turkish Cypriot people, form close partnerships with them and extend their cooperation with Turkish Cypriots in all fields, particularly through trade, transportation, culture and sports contacts in order to help overcome the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.
However, a joint EU-OIC meeting in October in Istanbul had to be cancelled since the EU presidency objected to the participation of the `TRNC´ in the meeting using the name of "Turkish Cypriot State."
İhsanoglu remarked that the title granted to the `TRNC´ by the OIC was no different to that in the Annan plan. He said the organization would also maintain its backing from Turkey's perspective regarding a solution on the divided island of Cyprus upon the basis of the U.N. Secretary-General's efforts.
The EU invited Turkey to start its accession negotiations on October 3 next year but asked Ankara to expand its Association Agreement with the 10 new EU-member states, including the Greek Cypriot administration, before the start of the talks. Now, international efforts are to be renewed in order to bring an end to the division of the island."
 The Secretariat of Turkey's NSC calls on the government to be careful on the issues of Cyprus and the minoritiesUnder the title "Be careful for Cyprus and the minorities' issues", Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (26.12.04) reports that the General Secretariat of Turkey's National Security Council (NSC), which prepares a report on every important issue that concerns Turkey, has studied the decision of the 17 December EU Summit in Brussels.
The paper writes that in an informative note sent to the members of the NSC before the last meeting of the Council for this year which is planned for next Thursday, the Secretariat estimates that the above-mentioned decision "opens the way of Turkey".
According to the paper, the main points of the note are the following:
"1) The report opens Turkey's way. A significant distance has been covered for Turkey to become a full member of the EU.
2) During the procedure that will follow, Turkey has to be extremely careful on the issues of the minorities and Cyprus.
3) Turkey has nothing to fear. It has the power to be successful in the future as well as it has been until now.
4) The reference to the issue of the tortures in the report is an unfortunate incident and not in harmony with the rules of courtesy. The fact that the expression that 'there is no systematic torture in Turkey', which has many times been used in the oral statements, is not included in the report shows that Turkey did not receive what it deserved for the positive steps it has made".
 Prof. Soysal critical of Erdogan calls on the army to interveneFormer Turkish Foreign Minister and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas´ constitutional advisor Prof. Mumtaz Soysal, writing in the Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (20.12.04) in his column "ACI" (Angle) - strongly criticizes the Justice and Development Party (JDP) lead by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his Cyprus and Iraq policies and implicitly invites the Turkish Army to intervene in the civilian rule. Prof. Soysal says:
"As the number of such incidents increase, the people are beginning to ask some questions. In the past, when `civilian politics´ became ineffective, `military pressure´ would take over, and it would be corrected by its weight. We are now faced with issues that directly affect our national security, and even those who are against military intervention when the basic principles of the republic are trampled upon cannot and would not object.
Is the system of the Turkish state so destabilized that the military is keeping silent and remains inactive on matters that directly concern it, like Cyprus and northern Iraq?"
 New party by former Kurdish deputiesIstanbul NTV television (25.12.04) broadcast that the Democratic Society Movement [DSM], led by former DEP [Democracy Party] Deputy Leyla Zana and her friends, was introduced in a meeting in Diyarbakir.
During the meeting attended by former DEP Deputies Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan, Hatip Dicle, and Selim Sadak, the goal of the DSM was explained. A 19-page document comprising the basic principles of the movement was read out by Dogan. Pointing out that the DSM will support the EU process with resolve, Dogan noted, however, that the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government is far from being able to successfully conclude this process despite its ambitious declarations. Dogan asserted that his movement will not be a repetition of the past, but it will bring about change and transformation by learning lessons from the past.
During the second part of the meeting, which continued in camera, the participants discussed the views and proposals with regard to the movement, which is expected to become a political party in the period ahead. A large crowd, including Tuncer Bakirhan, Murat Bozlak, Feridun Yazar, Ahmet Turk, and two of Abdullah Ocalan's lawyers, attended the meeting.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.12.04) reported from Diyarbakir that Prof. Dr. Umit Ozdag, a member of the Executive Board of Eurasia Strategic Studies Center (ASAM), said that the political party to be founded by former deputies of the outlawed Democracy Party, would not serve Turkish politics, Prof. Dr. Ozdag said: ''This party will carry out lobby activities in Europe against Turkey. Leyla Zana can become leader of this party only with approval of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist
organization. Such a development will not make any positive contributions to Turkey. I believe that such an approach targeting the national and territorial integrity of Turkey would cause problems in Turkey.''
 Dervis Eroglu was re-elected leader of the National Unity PartyTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26/12/04) reports that the leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), Mr Dervis Eroglu, was re-elected without any opponent during the 15th general congress of the party, which was held last Saturday.
The Chairman of the Party Committee, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, read the decision that was taken regarding the Cyprus issue at the congress meeting. According to the decision, two communities and "two states" exist in Cyprus and a possible solution must take into consideration the "realities" of the island.
"The negotiations must start between the "two states", aiming to find a solution to the Cyprus problem very soon. The necessary international guarantees must be given also to the Turkish Cypriots.", the decision reported.
It was also noted in the decision that the "embargoes", which are imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, must be lifted. It was added that the promises that were given to the Turkish Cypriots should be kept.
It was also announced that the Greek Cypriot side does not represent the Turkish Cypriot people and noted that Turkey's policy of not recognizing the Republic of Cyprus was correct.
Addressing the congress, Mr Dervis Eroglu, inter alia, said that the NUP is going through a rapid change and development. He noted that when this development will be completed, he will quit from the party leadership.
Commenting on the Cyprus problem, Mr Eroglu said that only the so-called TRNC can be the basis of the negotiations and not the Annan plan.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in MILLIYET assesses the political developments in Turkey after the 17 December EU decisionsIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (24.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Hasan Cemal under the title: "Alternative to the JDP!":
"Where will politics in Turkey go? This is one of the key questions following 17 December. It can be said that the political stage is just ripe for several important changes in the coming period. Firstly, one point must be made clear: With 17 December Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's hand began to grow stronger. It would probably have been Erdogan's biggest nightmare to return from Brussels empty-handed. But that did not happen. Turkey was given a date.
Therefore, it would not be wrong to say that under Erdogan the Justice and Development Party [JDP] has drawn an upward curve. The JDP votes had already gone over 40 percent in the local elections. It is now no distant possibility to secure 45 percent after this point.
In other words:
It would not be a surprise to see the JDP, which has secured a date from the EU, has reduced inflation to single figures and introduced the New Turkish Lira by lopping off six zeroes from the old lira, win the next general election with a considerable lead.
It is therefore a realistic expectation to see the JDP conquer the political center and stay in office another term. In other words the JDP may be in government for a total of eight more years.
Of course, there are still a few questions that come to mind.
How will sensitive issues such as the Imam Hatip schools, the universities and the Higher Education Council or the religious headwear issue, which were put off until now so as not to muddy the waters with the EU and thus not be given a date, be put back on the agenda?
Perhaps more important than this: What will become of the presidential system?
In fact I will take up these topics in a future column by trying to open up new windows. For now I would like briefly to touch on another issue: What about the Republican People's Party [RPP] in its current state?
The People's Party with Deniz Baykal and Onur Oymen displayed a pathetic image over the EU and the accession talks date issues. It continued to slide along the rail of dense nationalism that has nothing to do with social democracy. It was not at all in a pro-EU disposition.
British, German and Spanish social democrats in particular have been observing the RPP in wonder recently, and they have been continuing to ask the question, "Is this nationalism or social democracy?"
In short: The reply to the question, "What is to become of the RPP in its current state?" and closely related to the political stability in the Turkey of tomorrow.
Long-term centre-right or conservative governments may lead to the centre-left pulling itself together and renewing itself, even though this may be a long and painful process. This is what happened in both Britain and Germany.
Tony Blair's new left movement took to the stage after three terms of Mrs Thatcher's Conservative Party in government.
In Germany the Christian Democrats stayed in power for full four terms. German social democracy set off on the path to government with Schroeder and the New Centre after toiling and thrashing about for so long.
Could this happen here? Or is the alternative to Erdogan not a party on the left but another party emerging from the centre-right?"
 Turkish Cypriot columnist wonders against whom Serdar Denktas will conduct an armed struggle and who will be the members of his organizationCommenting on the statement of the Democratic Party (DP) leader, Serdar Denktas that if Turkey abandons the Turkish Cypriots they will begin to struggle, if necessary with arms, Turkish Cypriot columnist Serhat Incirli wonders in daily AFRIKA (25.12.04) against whom Serdar Denktas will conduct his armed struggle and who will be the members of his organization.
Commenting on the reference by Mr Denktas to "resistance of the Turkish Cypriots similar to the resistance of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO)", Mr Incirli wonders whether or not Mr Denktas will change his name to Serdar Arafat and what he means when he talks about "selling out" the Turkish Cypriots by Turkey.
Mr Incirli writes, inter alia, the following:
".What is the meaning of the 'selling-being sold' issue to which Serdar Denktas refers? And Serdar Arafat continues: 'Let us say that pressure was put on Turkey. It thought that joining the EU is much better and gave up its rights in Cyprus. In that case the Turkish Cypriots will not abandon their rights. They will resist. They might begin a resistance similar to the resistance of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Even armed resistance might come onto the agenda'.
Serdar Arafat has not noted here against whom he will make the armed struggle. That is, (his) Israel is not clear! Was he referring to Turkey? I did not understand. I am sure that his father understood. If he was mentioning Turkey, is Serdar Arafat a traitor? Will the National People's Movement (NPM) issue a statement on this? Or is it afraid of Serdar's father?
There is another issue that I am curious about: Are the persons who my brother Serdar calls Turkish Cypriots and will take in his PLO those who wait for a job in the morning at the Kyrenia gate or the new citizens supporters of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) in the Industrial Area?
What did he mean when he was referring to the Turkish Cypriots? Are those young people supporters of intifada (translator's note: armed resistance) whom he will take to his PLO, the same persons who say that 'Turk goes Turk comes'? ...
If the target of the possible armed struggle of Serdar Denktas Arafat is the Greek Cypriots, then his behaviour is shameful, because what is the blame of the Greek Cypriots?...
Good luck with the PLO of Serdar Arafat, because if the selling he is talking about is the selling of the same cause to which his father refers for years now, then this selling incident took place in Helsinki! If he wants to see the invoice and the receipt and establish his PLO according to these, he can call Bulent Ecevit!
My dear Turkish Cypriots, esteemed brothers from Alexandretta, let your PLO be blessed!"
 Columnist in MILLIYET speaks of "excessive use of force" against Turkey by the EU. Ankara reportedly expects the British EU presidency to increase the pressure on the long-suffering under occupation Greek CypriotsIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (24.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "Excessive use of force":
"Excessive use of force" is a concept that found its way into our language in the aftermath of the 11 September attack and the US invasion of Iraq.
The point reached on the Cyprus issue reminds us of this concept. The policy that the European Union follows against Turkey on the Cyprus issue may be described as "excessive use of force."
Before giving a negotiating date to Turkey, the EU member-states applied intense pressure with all their power to force Turkey to recognize South Cyprus. Their insistence on the immediate signing of the protocol in a ceremony is one of the clear proofs of this pressure.
Despite the fact that Turkey did not put down its signature in Brussels, it gave verbal and written assurances that it will do so by 3 October 2005. It was, thus, able to get a negotiating date.
The experience in Brussels amounts to Europe using excessive force against Turkey through diplomatic means. The EU had emphasized that it would not give Turkey a negotiating date, which was its right, unless it put down its signature and gave official assurances. The EU committed Turkey by insisting on this.
As such, Turkey and North Cyprus have again been left under obligation to find a "solution" in Cyprus.
The same Brussels decision, however, gives an opportunity to South Cyprus to wait until 3 October 2005 without making any move. Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos already states at every opportunity that he will not move. He often repeats his threat that he will exercise his "veto" power if Turkey fails to sign the protocol by 3 October 2005.
Turkey and the "TRNC" have no power of sanction to turn Papadopoulos away from his policy. Being the party that said "yes" to the Annan Plan, Ankara expects the EU to establish pressure on the Greek Cypriot administration. Pressure may be put on the Greek Cypriot side through a process that would call for sanctions with a view to forcing it to agree to a fair solution that would safeguard the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. Ankara places its hopes in the second half of 2005 in particular, when the EU term presidency will pass over to Britain. However, would the EU, which up until now used its influence in favor of the Greek Cypriots and admitted South Cyprus into the EU without waiting for the solution to the problem, opt for such a policy? Would the UN, before the EU, exercise pressure in the same direction?
It is not possible to easily say "yes" to these questions. The stand that the EU displays implies that the Turks are wrong and the Greek Cypriots are right. As a matter of fact, the UN stand is not different. It is the UN that recognized the Greek Cypriot administration as the Republic of Cyprus. Moreover, the EU, by admitting the Greek Cypriot administration as a member, has made it clear that it does not accept the legitimate reasons for the 1974 [Turkish] Peace Operation in Cyprus. It does not consider legal the exercise by Turkey, as a guarantor power, of its right of intervention under international treaties against the attempt to usurp the Republic of Cyprus through a military coup. The EU has not changed its stand even after the public referendum in Cyprus.
It is difficult to say that Turkey and the "TRNC" are in a strong position in the face of the blackmail aimed at using some sort of excessive force and refusing to commence the negotiations.
As a matter of fact, the condition that Turkey should have advanced against the EU is being advanced against Turkey for the second time. It would be a very insincere approach to argue that, if the negotiations are to commence, the 200,000 Turks in Cyprus would not matter much for the 70-million Turkey. The issue is not as simple as that. It would be difficult to give an account before history if one considers as right the EU stand that views Turkey and the "TRNC" as guilty, accuses Turkey and the Turks at every opportunity rather than the Greek Cypriot administration and the EU carries this to the point of worshipping the EU, and acts more royal than the king.
The EU has the responsibility to contribute to the efforts that the UN has to undertake on the basis of equality. The EU may do so through an approach that would recognize the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots."
 Leftist Baykal asks America's interventionColumnist Fikret Bila, in his "Direction" column in the Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (27.12.04) refers to his meeting with the leader of the main opposition in Turkey Deniz Baykal of Republican People's Party (RPP) and writes that during their meeting they have discussed a number of current issues including the Cyprus problem. He says that referring to the Cyprus problem, Mr Baykal called on the US administration to take certain steps in Cyprus that will make the Cyprus Government to fear and as a result to change its policy favouring a settlement. Baykal said: "After this stage only the USA could be effective. For example, let a US plane land to the `TRNC´ or a warship belonging to 6th Fleet pay a visit to a port in the `TRNC´ and get supplies, and only then the Greek Cypriots will realize the seriousness of the situation and will be frightened. One has to put the question and fear in the Greek Cypriots´ mind and heart: `Is the `TRNC´ going to be recognized? It is inevitable that the USA has to look into the solution of the Cyprus problem. In fact, the responsibility and the duty of the USA and Britain is in question".
Bayak also suggested as a way of pressuring and "frightening" the Greek Cypriot side, "to invite Mehmet Ali Talat and Serdar Denktas to the USA, or a Macedonian type recognition" being extended to the Turkish Cypriots".
Baykal concludes that no EU member country including France will oppose to a suggestion made by the USA and adopted by Turkey on the Cyprus problem.