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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-28

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.248/04 28.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] SABAH publishes a new Cyprus plan according to which it does not intend to withdraw the occupation troops.
  • [02] Statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish government after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.
  • [03] The population in the occupied areas is 187,244.
  • [04] At a time when Turkey exerts efforts to pose as model or example for the neighbouring countries, Turkish professor tries to justify the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Mehmet Ali Birand critical of father and son Denktas who threaten to resort to arms.
  • [06] Columnist in RADIKAL tries to blame President Papadopoulos for the crimes Turkey is committing against Cyprus for 41 years.
  • [07] Columnist in SABAH analyses the emigration of Turkish citizens. Turkish workers tend to go to Russia rather than to Western Europe.
  • [08] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses Putin's approach to Turkey-Russia relations and hopes Russia may get close to Turkey regarding the occupation of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] SABAH publishes a new Cyprus plan according to which Turkey does not intend to withdraw the occupation troops

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (27.12.04) publishes the following report by Evren Mesci under the title: "Ankara's New Cyprus Plan":

    "The Greek Cypriot administration's effort to put pressure on the UN through the EU will be stopped. The negotiations' timetable will begin in May. No [Turkish] troops will be withdrawn from the island before a solution. No concessions will be made on political equality.

    While preparing to begin accession talks with the EU on 3 October, Ankara has determined its strategy on Cyprus. Ankara's primary objective is to ensure that the Cyprus negotiations, which would begin under the auspices of the UN, are carried out on a track different from that of the EU negotiations. The stand that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and `TRNC´ Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas agreed on during their talks last Friday [24 December] is as follows:

    - The Greek Cypriots' EU Plan: The Greek Cypriot administration's effort to put pressure on the UN through the EU is unacceptable. Turkey's negotiations with the EU and the negotiations on Cyprus should be on two separate tracks parallel to each other. The Greek Cypriot sector will have 62 veto rights in the course of the opening and the closing of the 31 chapters that will be negotiated. If the Greek Cypriots put pressure on Turkey for recognition and use their veto card while the process of negotiations continues on the island, the table will be abandoned.

    - Talks to Begin in May: The solution process that would take shape within the framework of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's good offices' mission will not begin before May. Turkey has conveyed its request to the UN and EU officials to wait until after the elections in the `TRNC´ to begin the Cyprus negotiations. Britain, which will take over the EU term presidency from Luxembourg in June, will play an active role in the solution process that will begin in May.

    - Condition for Withdrawing Troops: The EU wants Turkey to make certain concessions and withdraw a small number of troops from the island during the solution process. Despite this, not even one soldier will be withdrawn from the island ahead of a firm solution. Efforts will be made to ensure that this prospect is removed from the EU's agenda. Moreover, no concessions will be made on political equality during the solution process.

    - Annan Plan to be Taken as Reference: The final version of the Annan Plan that was put to a public referendum on the island should be taken as a point of reference. No solution less than the Annan Plan should be accepted.

    [02] Statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish government after a meeting of the Council of Ministers

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Government spokesman and Justice Minister Cemil Cicek replied to questions of reporters after the Council of Ministers meeting.

    Asked if they have discussed the issue of chief negotiator, Cicek said: ''Obviously, this is an important issue. However, we have discussed issues that have priority. This is a very comprehensive issue. It is not only about appointment of chief negotiator. We are considering the issue within the framework of a comprehensive plan.''

    A journalist stated that the Ankara Agreement has to be signed till October 3rd, and asked whether this issue was discussed, Cicek said: ''This is a long negotiation process. Obviously, the matter about the Customs Union has to be resulted till October 3rd. We always favored solution of Cyprus question justly. We as Turkey, Turkish side and `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´, we have always been constructive on this issue. The referendum on April 24th is the recent proof of it. We hope negotiations could re-start to solve the question within the framework of the UN and in the basis of Annan plan till October 3rd. We preserve our goodwill on this issue and continue to exert efforts.''

    [03] The population in the occupied areas is 187,244

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (28.12.04), in its front page under the title: "Our population: 187,244. Our voters 146,971", reports the following:

    ""In accordance with the list of the permanent register of voters and the number of the 'deputies' that will be elected in the five districts in the 'early elections' on 20 February in the 'TRNC', the number of the voters was announced. Although the number of the 'deputies' remains the same, the voters' number according to the 'registered voters' is 146,971.

    According to the Chairman of the 'Supreme Election Council', Mr Taner Erginel, the population today in 'TRNC' is 187,244. According to this, 50 'deputies' will be elected, 16 from Lefkosia district, 13 from Famagusta, 9 from Kyrenia, 7 from Morphou and 5 from Trikomo. The distribution of the 'parliamentary seats' by district is again the same.

    The number of the voters will be finalized when the electoral lists are made public.

    The population distribution by district is as follows: "Lefkosia 58,955, Famagusta 49,527, Morphou 24,740, and Trikomo 20,224. According to the 'registered voters' the distribution of the 146,971 voters is as follows: 'Lefkosia 46,224; Famagusta; 38,628, Kyrenia 27,111; Morphou 19,848 and in Trikomo 15,160.'

    According to the 'election schedule' that the 'Supreme Election Council' announced the political parties must decide on their candidates until 11 January 2005 and they must fill the application forms for candidacy until the 14th of January."

    The paper points out that lately the population in the occupied areas was estimated to have reached 700 thousands including those who have come from Turkey, but only 187, 244 were announced by the so-called Supreme Election Council and that exactly the same number of the population was also announced in the previous "elections", two years ago.

    [04] At a time when Turkey exerts efforts to pose as model or example for the neighbouring countries, Turkish professor tries to justify the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.04) reported from Konya that Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu, chairman of the Turkish History Society, has stated that foreign population statistics openly and clearly refute Armenian allegations that 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by Ottoman Turks.

    Participating in a conference, titled ''Armenian Resettlement and Realities,'' at the Selcuk University's Suleyman Demirel Cultural Centre, Dr. Halacoglu said that until the 1870s the Turks and Armenians had good relations.

    ''However, with the establishment of missionary schools after 1863, things began to change,'' said Halacoglu. ''During these years, many missionary schools were opened by Americans and minorities. While these schools did not admit Muslim students until the Ottoman-Russian war, as of the 1877-1878 school year, Muslim students began to be admitted into these schools. Armenian missionary activities continued after 1881 with parties and associations. As of 1900s, there were 21 organized parties in the Ottoman Empire,'' remarked Halacoglu.

    According to Halacoglu, Armenians had the aim of establishing an independent Armenian state on Ottoman soil and were heavily supported by the West with tools such as bomb attacks and assassination attempts.

    At the beginning of 1906, Armenians in eastern city of Van and southern city of Adana were involved in attempts of uprising against the Ottoman rule.

    ''The uprisings and movements of Armenians in Van and Adana were perceived by the West as a massacre of Armenians. Such rumours of massacres resulted in pressure placed on the Ottoman rule by the Westerners. Consequently, the Ottoman State was forced to sign a document that created an Armenian state comprised of six cities in eastern Anatolia. With this agreement, Armenians were able to make the Armenian language the second language of the Ottoman Empire.''

    ''Due to the serious uprisings, the Ottoman government decided to resettle a portion of its Armenian population to a region which is now Syria. Today, Armenians claim that millions of Armenians were massacred during the resettlement,'' expressed Halacoglu.

    Halacoglu added that, according to a research conducted by the Armenian Patriarchate, the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire in 1913 was 1,915,653. ''In a separate research done by foreigners, the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 was 1,479,000. The war years indicate a difference of 400,000 between the two researches. The difference could be due to casualties caused by illness and poverty. The data collected by the foreign research openly and clearly disprove the allegation that 1,5 million Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman government,'' stated Halacoglu.

    Halacoglu said that the Turkish History Society has made a call to all international historians to conduct research on the topic of Armenians so that all nations would respect the outcome of the research. ''To this day, we have not received any reply from any country,'' said Halacoglu.

    The conference was attended by dozens of professors and students.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Mehmet Ali Birand critical of father and son Denktas who threaten to resort to arms

    At a time when Cyprus is under the yoke of 40,000 Turkish troops which killed 1% of the Greek Cypriots, forced 1/3 of the population to abandon their homes and properties under the threat of bullets and bayonets, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and his son Serdar threaten to resort to arms as in 1963 and 1974 and destroy the Republic of Cyprus completely.

    Commenting on the threats Mr Mehmet Ali Birand stresses that Turkey will never abandon Cyprus for the sake of acceding to the EU and describes as capitulation Turkey´s obligation to conform to the EU acquis.

    The commentary, under the subtitle "Everybody arming in Cyprus" as published in the column "Opinion", is as follows:

    "I don't know what's happening. The new fashion in Cyprus is about personal armament.

    First it was the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´) Foreign Minister´ Serdar Denktas who said he would arm and resist if Turkey sold out Cyprus. And then it was `TRNC´ leader Rauf Denktas who talked about armed resistance on television.

    Why?

    It's not like Turkey has abandoned the `TRNC´ and father and son Denktas are trying to prevent it.

    This can never happen. Can Turkey simply abandon Cyprus? Trying to solve the problem is different from leaving the island to its own devices.

    It is natural for Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos to resolve the issue without paying the price. He will try to utilize Turkey's desire to enter the EU in order to extract certain benefits. However, there is one thing they seem to be forgetting: Neither Turkey nor the EU has any desire to make that happen. Especially in Turkey, no one can accept such a capitulation. That's why there is no need for armament (!)"

    [06] Columnist in RADIKAL tries to blame President Papadopoulos for the crimes Turkey is committing against Cyprus for 41 years

    Under the title "If you can solve it do it", RADIKAL newspaper (28.12.04) publishes the following commentary by former Turkish Ambassador Gunduz Aktan.

    At a time when father and son Denktas threaten to take arms and resume the bloodshed they started in 1963, Gunduz Aktan accuses the President of a small EU member state of killing hundreds of Turkish Cypriots. However, Turkey is now a candidate country and the Europeans see for themselves who is criminal and who is blackmailing whom.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "The majority of the media are arguing at an increasing rate that in order for negotiations with the European Union to proceed without a hitch, the Cyprus problem needs to be resolved and in order for Greek Cypriots not to veto the start of negotiations, it needs to be resolved before October 3, 2005. There are signs that the government agrees.

    If we place such a time pressure on us, we will be weakened before extreme demands made by Greek Cypriots. We will be encouraging them to constantly postpone the proceedings with the aim of extracting more from us. Our attitude will result in them presenting recognition as the shortest way to a solution. That's why we shouldn't consider October 3 a date before which we need to agree on a solution.

    Moreover, no matter what we do, it is very hard to resolve the issue by then.

    It is understand that we will be asking for a new initiative by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan. This means the revision of the Annan plan to make amendments that will favour Greek Cypriots. In essence, the plan already favors Greek Cypriots. We would be deceiving ourselves to expect Greek Cypriots to withdraw their demand for a recognition-based solution, if the plan is negotiated once more. In other words, they will be utilizing their veto right to aim at the withdrawal of our military from the island, Turkish Cypriots being demoted to a status of a minority and the Greek Cypriot domination of the island.

    Kofi Annan may refuse to insert articles favouring Greek Cypriots into the plan, citing the protection of the balance between two peoples, which was noted in the U.N. documents and was the basis of the plan itself. Moreover, it would be impossible for the Turkish government to make the people accept such a "solution." It is probable for certain forces in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ to perceive such a solution as a sort of annihilation and react very vehemently, resulting in instability.

    Are we going to sacrifice so much in order to appease the Greek Cypriot administration led by Tassos Papadopoulos, who rejected the plan proposed by the international community and approved by Turkish Cypriots? Additionally, the December 17 European Union decision does not guarantee Turkey's membership.

    EU diplomats, both in Ankara and Brussels, openly say that there can be no solution with Papadopoulos in power. In other words, they admit that the proposals made by this individual cannot be accepted by the Turkish side. Under these conditions, wouldn't it be wiser to postpone the efforts until after the Papadopoulos leadership ends?

    Isn't this person the person who personally participated in the killings of hundreds of Turks and their burial in mass graves in 1963 to achieve "enosis?" Didn't this man prepare the Akritas plan that aimed at the destruction of Turks who were imprisoned on 3 percent of the island? Isn't he trying to achieve "enosis," which he failed to secure through terrorism, by using the veto threat? Are we going to relegate the favourable parts of the Annan plan just to reward this criminal?

    The most we can do is to push for the acceptance of the Annan plan in a second referendum. If he doesn't use his veto power, he'll feel like having failed to achieve his inhumane historic mission. Let him veto it, so that we all can see its effects in our region and to Turkish-Greek relations. Through this opportunity, we will also be able to see how much the EU wants to make us a member.

    The submissive portion of the media has again started to talk about the "facts of life." They argue that the Greek Cypriots are now on the table as an EU member, have the power to utilize their veto 62 times and how we can sacrifice Cyprus for the EU.

    Foreign diplomacy aims to change the facts that run counter to national interests. It doesn't define them as facts of life. The fact of life is that 800,000 Greek Cypriots cannot influence the fate of 70 million Turks. No Turkish government can succeed in explaining the opposite to the people.

    For a solution, we can wait until the Papadopoulos government becomes a footnote of history. At most, we will lose a year".

    [07] Columnist in SABAH analyses the emigration of Turkish citizens. Turkish workers tend to go to Russia rather than to Western Europe

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (24.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Barlas under the title: "We must stop being a country of emigrants":

    "Everyone uses numbers differently. For example our profession has a well-known approach. The saying goes: "If one person dies it is news; if a thousand people die it is just a statistic." Figures related to Turkish citizens who reside abroad have begun to become statistics.

    When convoys of the first Turkish guest workers began to depart for Germany in the 1960's, they were the subjects of news stories. I do not even remember the number of times I conducted interviews during my tours of "Heims" in German cities.

    Recently I noticed an Anatolia Agency report among my e-mail messages. The report quoted officials saying that 3.551 million Turkish citizens live overseas and that 1.195 million of them have steady jobs.

    Overseas Turks are mentioned in approximation and mostly exaggerated figures in our conversations. Frankly I was impressed when I saw the official figures. I thought I should report them to my readers because you may not have seen the report I received.

    Here is a breakdown of the number of Turkish citizens who live overseas:

    Western Europe: 3,051,537

    United States and Canada: 260,000

    Middle East and North Africa: 108,918

    Australia: 56,261

    Central Asian Republics: 27,300

    Israel: 22,000

    Russia: 18,000

    Other: 7,528

    Below are figures that show the distribution of these Turkish citizens among different countries:

    Germany, 1,912,169; France, 359,034; Netherlands, 341,400; United States, 220,000; Austria, 130,703; Britain, 100,000; Saudi Arabia, 100,000; Switzerland, 78,256; Australia, 56,261; Belgium, 45,866; Canada, 40,000; Sweden, 33,094; Denmark, 30,450; Israel, 22,000; Russia, 18,000; Azerbaijan, 12,000; Norway, 10,915; Kazakhstan, 6,000; Italy, 5,284; Turkmenistan, 5,007; Libya, 3,200; Kyrgyzstan, 3,200; Kuwait, 2,770; Japan, 2,424; Georgia, 2,300; Finland, 1,981; Jordan, 1,600; Spain, 1,289; Uzbekistan, 700; Tajikistan, 400; other, 3,698.

    According to the article that reports these figures, there has been a change in the direction of Turkish emigration recently. Turkish workers now tend to go to Russia rather than Western Europe. More than 27,000 Turkish citizens reportedly went to work in Russia in the last three years.

    What can we conclude after seeing these figures yet again? If you have no hopes of earning a living and building a future in your own country you will be forced into "migration" which is one of the most exhausting and tormenting human activities.

    For example if Rauf Denktas studies how many Turkish Cypriots have left their homes and emigrated instead of needling Turkey over the EU process by constantly asking "what is Turkey doing," he will find out how the political deadlock is affecting people's lives.

    Imagine a city of 3.5 million people suddenly vacated by its residents. Bear in mind that Libya has a population of only 5 million, Luxembourg 450,000, and Sweden 7 million.

    In tomorrow's Turkey citizens must leave the country to do work, not settle abroad".

    [08] Columnist in RADIKAL assesses Putin´s approach to Turkey-Russia relations and hopes Russia may get close to Turkey regarding the occupation of Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (25.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Haluk Sahin under the title: "A lesson on Turkey from Putin":

    "Sometimes a report that appears to be quite coincidental may be the sign of substantial change. In my opinion, the report entitled "A Lesson on Turkey from Putin" that was published in RADIKAL yesterday is a striking example to this. It was the tip of the iceberg that was coincidentally hit. I scanned our other newspapers in order to compare the report written by Suat Taspinar from Moscow that was published in Radikal yesterday, but I could not find similar reports. It is necessary to congratulate Taspinar and the editor of RADIKAL for this. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly held a press conference that lasted three and a half hours the day before yesterday. He reportedly answered a total of 51 questions during this press conference. According to the information that I received from the foreign press, most of these questions were related to the re-nationalization of one of the important parts of the Yukos oil company. Putin reportedly yelled and roared about this issue and about the games that are being staged in Ukraine. He criticized the EU and the United States, but he praised Bush. He accused the Westerners of using double standards against Russia.

    Meanwhile, taking advantage of Putin's enthusiasm, a Greek journalist also posed a question to the Russian president. Referring to the rumours to the effect that Russia will not utilize its veto right regarding the Cyprus issue against Turkey at the UN Security Council, the journalist reportedly asked: "Does this decision stem from the enhancement in the economic and tourism relations between the two countries?"

    The journalist received the following answer:

    "If Greece is distressed about the deepening in the relations between Turkey and Russia, there is a simple solution. Greece may also raise the level of its relations with Russia to the level of Turkey's relations with Russia. It will be very stupid for us to limit our relations with Turkey in order to establish balance."

    This answer alone has adequate interesting signs showing that there has been a change in the routine practices. For example:

    1. Under normal circumstances, the Greek journalist would not expect to be scolded by Putin regarding such an issue. Most probably he expected Putin to give him good news and to report that the Russian veto will continue.

    2. Under normal circumstances, if Russia were forced to choose between Turkey and Greece, it would have chosen Greece. This has always been so in the past. It was noted that this consistency stemmed from the "orthodox axis" that passed from the Greek Cypriot sector to Greece and from there to Russia via Serbia. (Is the axis broken?)

    3. Putin asserts that currently the relations with Turkey are better and deeper than the relations with Greece. Under normal circumstances the sides would not have made such a confession.

    4. In the answer he gave later, Putin implies that Turkish tourism is superior to Greek tourism. Intelligence wolf Putin who is aware of Greece's sensitivities in this regard would avoid this issue under normal circumstances. Even if he would talk about this issue, he would not say such things.

    This means that the things that were considered normal in the past are no longer considered normal. This is what I mean when I say that there has been a change in the routine practices. The United States and Europe have recently begun to frequently level criticism against Putin. As a result, Putin seems to have begun to make efforts for decreasing its isolation by getting closer to China and Turkey.

    The visit that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will conduct in Russia between 11-13 January 2005 gains importance within this framework. Russia may get close to Turkey in an unprecedented manner where the Cyprus issue is concerned. The circumstances seem suitable for the deepening of the relations".


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