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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-12-29

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.249/04 29.12.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Prime Minister addressed the TGNA during the budget debate.
  • [02] Final speeches by Erdogan and Baykal during the budget debate.
  • [03] US Deputy Secretary of State to visit Turkey.
  • [04] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Turkey´s objections to the EU Summit decisions.
  • [05] Accusations by Akinci that "traps have been set" for the continuation of the cooperation between RTP and DP after the early "elections".
  • [06] NSC will discuss the Turkish strategy towards reaching a solution in Cyprus.
  • [07] Michael Klosson stated that the initiative for a solution of the Cyprus problem must come from the Greek Cypriot side.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Former Turkish Foreign Minister stresses that all points of disagreement in the Annan plan were filled by the Secretary-General in favour of the Turkish side.
  • [09] Columnist in RADIKAL argues that the note sent by Turkey to the EU has the meaning of Turkey not accepting the Summit decisions.
  • [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News describes how Turkey approaches the situation in Iraq today.
  • [11] Columnist in AFRIKA wonders about the correctness of the voters' figure in the occupied areas.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Prime Minister addressed the TGNA during the budget debate

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.12.04) reported from Ankara that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday addressed the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) before vote on the 2005 fiscal year budget draft law.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem Mr Erdogan said that the most unjust criticism they were facing was related with the Cyprus problem, and noted that his government considered Cyprus as a national cause, and had many times stated that they would not condone any initiative which would in overshadow the interests of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Not only the statements they made but also official statements made after December 17th openly said that the decision to extend the Customs Union so that it would include ten new EU members would in no way mean recognition of the Greek Cypriot side, Erdogan recalled.

    Pointing to the statement the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan made at the Security Council after the April 24th simultaneous referenda held in Cyprus, Erdogan said: "In his report, Annan made all the world hear about the situation of Turkish Cypriots. There is no reason to press on Turkish Cypriots or isolate them. The report calls for an end of practices which prevent development of Turkish Cypriot side and isolate them. It stresses that a lasting peace in the Cyprus should be based on political equality and partnership, and lays the responsibility of failure in the solution plan on the Greek Cypriot side. It says that the Greek Cypriots rejected not only the Annan plan but also a solution."

    Erdogan added: "Moreover, the Secretary-General strongly criticizes the stance of the Greek Cypriot side during and after the negotiations, and draws attention to the behaviors of the Greek Cypriot leadership which contradict with their promises before the negotiations. He stresses and welcomes constructive attitude of Turkey and Turkish Cypriot side before, during and after the negotiations. This means that this diplomatic evaluation was registered in the UN Security Council records. If this had continued as thought in The Hague, maybe we would not come to today's conditions."

    Mr Erdogan also stated that his government supported every effort exerted within the framework of good offices of UN Secretary-General.

    "In coming days, we will actively join searches for a solution which take partnership as the basis and which foresee equality of two parties in the island under the UN umbrella. We expect the EU to contribute to this process," Erdogan said.

    On Turkey´s relations with the United States Mr Erdogan said that relations with the United States based on partnership continued multi-laterally.

    Recalling that tension that escalated between the two countries in the first half of 2004 due to the Iraq crisis was overcome, Erdogan said that the two countries should continue their relations, taking into consideration their mutual sensitivities.

    Noting that some loathsome incidents had occurred in Iraq after the operation of the coalition forces led by the United States, Erdogan said: "It is our right to expect our ally to show maximum sensitivity about such incidents, deeply affecting our nation. And, we express our sensitivities to the U.S. administration in various grounds. I believe that our sensitivities will be taken into consideration and Turkey's importance for providing peace in the region will be understood better."

    [02] Final speeches by Erdogan and Baykal during the budget debate

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (28.12.04) broadcast that the 2005 budget was approved at the Turkish Grand National Assembly plenary session today. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that the atmosphere of political confidence lies at the foundation of the economic success experienced in Turkey. Republican People's Party Chairman Deniz Baykal, in turn, charged that the budget was prepared under the supervision of the IMF.

    The final speeches were delivered at the National Assembly plenary session today on the entirety of the 2005 budget. Baykal criticized the government's economic policy, saying: "The debts in Turkey are increasing. The current accounts deficit is increasing. The foreign trade deficit is increasing. The real interest rates are not falling. Public investments in Turkey are decreasing. The unregistered sector is expanding. Unemployment is rising. These are concrete scientific economic facts, but despite this, we are trying to deceive ourselves into believing that the economy is improving."

    Mr Baykal also remarked that Cyprus cannot be abandoned for the sake of EU accession, saying: "No one has the right to relinquish Cyprus. We, on our part, would not allow this, not would the nation. Do not forget that the children of the motherland sacrificed their lives in order to protect the Turkish Cypriots. We have given our word of honor to the Turkish Cypriots and to the martyrs that have fallen there."

    Responding to the criticism, Erdogan said that the government brought lasting solutions to the economic problems. He said: "Yes, under the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government, Turkey's heart is ticking like a clock. Neither the dollar nor the foreign currency markets are fluctuating. Nor are politics in turmoil. This is because under the JDP government, there are no disruptions in rhythm or mismatched political blood.

    On one hand, the rate of inflation is decreasing, and on the other, the civil servants' wages are increasing. Dear friends, as I have always been saying -- although there are those who find it difficult to understand, and I must repeat it for them -- people who have not actually done things unfortunately experience this problem. You cannot achieve this by sitting at the table, it is necessary to actually experience life. If you experience life, you understand how important this is. We are governing the state of the Turkish Republic. If you start distributing the funds without limits, you reach a point where you cannot pay the wages of the civil servants and the workers. Now, there is stability. Now, there is confidence. This is the way we have to govern."

    Moreover Istanbul NTV television (28.12.04) broadcast the following: "RPP [Republican People's Party] Chairman Deniz Baykal described as unfortunate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks to the effect that the government would not sacrifice Turkey's EU membership for the sake of the north-south confrontation in Cyprus. Baykal said: "No one has the right to relinquish Cyprus. The nation would relinquish you. It would not relinquish Cyprus."

    Delivering a speech on behalf of his party during the parliamentary debate on the fiscal 2005 budget, Baykal said that the 17 December decision is unacceptable when assessed in the light of the decision made at the Cankaya summit. Referring to the note submitted to the EU with regard to the permanent derogations, the RPP leader said: "In fact, the note was submitted not to the EU, but to the government which believes that there are no permanent derogations".

    A solution in Cyprus by 3 October is the best case scenario, Baykal stated, adding, on the other hand, that the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus is unacceptable. Recalling Erdogan's remarks that we cannot sacrifice Turkey's EU membership for the sake of the north-south confrontation in Cyprus, Baykal said that he finds Rauf Denktas' reaction to these remarks justified.

    [03] US Deputy Secretary of State to visit Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (28.12.04) reported from Ankara that the US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage will visit Turkey on January 2nd, 2005, diplomatic sources told the A.A on Tuesday.

    Armitage will start his official program on January 3rd. He is expected to meet Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The U.S. Embassy requested an appointment from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on behalf of Armitage. Recent developments in Iraq will be high on the agenda of the meetings of Armitage with Turkish officials.

    The parties will scrutinize the general situation in Iraq prior to upcoming elections.

    During the talks, the Turkish side is expected to express its uneasiness about security of Turkish citizens in Iraq in the wake of the terrorist attack on Turkish security guards in Mosul on December 17th, and the failure of the United States to launch a concrete fight against the terrorist organization PKK/KONGRA-GEL.

    Armitage will visit Turkey for the last time as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State since he will hand over his mission in the coming days, concludes A.A:

    [04] Statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Turkey´s objections to the EU Summit decisions

    Istanbul NTV television (28.12.04) broadcast that following the growth of the controversy triggered by the note submitted to the EU last week with regard to the permanent derogations, the Foreign Ministry broke its silence on the matter.

    Pointing out that the note officially records Turkey's objections, the Foreign Ministry also stressed that Turkey did not sign the conclusions of the 17 December summit.

    The Foreign Ministry responded to the comments made in connection with the note submitted to the EU by issuing a written statement. The statement recalled that the conclusions of the 17 December summit are unilateral decisions reached by the EU. Noting that there is no question of Turkey's signing the conclusions of the summit, the ministry remarked that the note once again registered Turkey's views.

    The statement stressed that the interim periods, the protective measures, and the exceptional arrangements included in the summit decisions will be discussed during the negotiations. The Foreign Ministry stated that these matters will be concluded in line with a compromise that does not run counter to the EU's basic law.

    [05] Accusations by Akinci that "traps have been set" for the continuation of the cooperation between RTP and DP after the early "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.12.04) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) has said that "new traps have been set in the 20 February early elections in order to ensure the continuation of the cooperation of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) with the Denktas family which talked about resorting to arms".

    In statements yesterday at occupied Trikomo village, Mr Akinci noted that there were great differences between the RTP of today and the RTP of the period one year ago. Reminding the statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and his son Serdar Denktas regarding the possibility of resorting to arms in case the Turkish Cypriots are abandoned by Turkey, Mr Akinci pointed out that the RTP must be asked how it could continue being together with the Denktas family.

    Noting that new traps are being set aiming at the continuation of the cooperation of the RTP with the Denktas family, Mr Akinci argued that "a strong PDM is needed in this environment".

    The leader of the PDM accused illegal Bayrak radio and television of censoring his party and the criticism against the RTP and DP. Bayrak is acting with the logic that "you can censor everybody except the RTP and DP", said Mr Akinci noting that this is being carried out in an organized manner.

    Referring to the issue of the illegal workers from Turkey, Mustafa Akinci expressed the opinion that the "government" of the occupation regime should first think about its own "citizens" and added that instead of saying to the Turkish Cypriots "there are jobs in this field, come and work or else we shall legalize the labour force we have brought from Turkey", the pseudogovernment has "blatantly legalized 30 thousand persons".

    Mr Akinci expressed the opinion that under the current circumstances the most reasonable solution to the Cyprus problem would be a solution on the basis of the Annan Plan and argued that a multilateral policy should be followed in order to achieve this. He noted that the efforts of the occupation regime towards the direction of putting an end to the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots were not enough and asked everybody to understand that no benefit acquired from the lifting of the "isolations" could substitute the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Akinci pointed out that his party supports that, while struggling for an early overall solution to the Cyprus problem, more crossing points between the free and the occupied areas of Cyprus should be opened, the Turkish side as well should participate in the project of cleaning the minefields, the issue of the missing persons should be settled and the Reconciliation Committee provided for in the Annan Plan should be established. He also said that the occupied closed city of Varosha should be "given to the service of humanity".

    "Together with Varosha, opening the Famagusta Port and the Tymbou Airport for the international traffic will be a reasonable development based on the mutual interest", he concluded.

    [06] NSC will discuss the Turkish strategy towards reaching a solution in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.12.04) reports that the decision of the 17 December EU Summit in Brussels, the Cyprus problem and the issue of Iraq will be evaluated tomorrow at the meeting of Turkey's National Security Council (NSC), which is expected to discuss especially the strategy which the Turkish side will follow for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem until 3 October 2005, when Turkey is expected to begin its accession negotiations with the EU.

    Noting that the decision of the 17 December Summit will be the main issue on the agenda of the meeting under the President Sezer, KIBRIS adds:

    "It is noted that three separate studies will come onto the table in this special paragraph of the agenda. The first one is a report prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat for the EU.

    It is noted that the military wing of the Council will also bring onto the agenda a study mainly on the security aspects of the decisions of the EU Summit regarding Turkey. It is expected that the military will be concentrated especially on Cyprus and the Aegean issues.

    The General Secretariat of the NCS has also prepared a study commenting on the decisions of the summit. Mainly Iraq and Cyprus will be on the foreign policy agenda of the meeting.

    It is especially expected that the strategy to be followed towards a solution to the Cyprus problem until 3 October, when the negotiations with the EU are expected to begin, will be put onto the table.

    It was made known that the National Security Policy Document is not included in the agenda because the work is not concluded".

    [07] Michael Klosson stated that the initiative for a solution of the Cyprus problem must come from the Greek Cypriot side

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.12.04) reports that Mr Michael Klosson, the USA Ambassador to Lefkosia, stated that in order for the Cyprus problem to be solved an initiative must be taken by the two sides of the island and noted that the initiative must be taken especially by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Mr Klosson stated that his country believes that the Annan Plan is a ground for negotiations as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem and that the USA want, as the UN Secretary-General does, the two sides in the island to come together and continue the negotiations. "In this way, we will support the good offices of the UN Secretary-General", he said and added that the initiative must be undertaken especially by the Greek side that said "no" to the referendum.

    Referring to the lifting of the "isolation" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Klosson stated that the USA follows "a firm policy" as regards this issue and added that for the last months a certain number of steps were taken.

    Mr Klosson also said that the USA sees with satisfaction the fact that the EU has given to Turkey a date for starting negotiations. He also said that his country also sees with satisfaction the fact that Turkey decided to sign the protocol that envisages the adaptation of the Ankara Agreement prior to the beginning of membership negotiations. He said that a lot of discussion is taking place as regards that the signing of the protocol means the recognition or not of the Republic of Cyprus. He also added that the 3rd of October is not the final date for the solution of the Cyprus problem.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Former Turkish Foreign Minister stresses that all points of disagreement in the Annan plan were filled by the Secretary-General in favour of the Turkish side

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (28.12.04) publishes the following commentary by former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen under the title: "Is a solution on Cyprus possible?":

    "Indications of flexibility on the Cyprus issue have been coming in recent days from both the Prime Minister and from the Foreign Minister.

    Naturally, in the Cyprus context, flexibility means leaving the door open to making some adjustments in the text of the Annan Plan, which South Cyprus had rejected in the referendum. Well, fine, but the changes that we might propose will be extremely limited. Papadopoulos, however, questions all the basic parameters of the plan, and does not hide the fact that he wants fundamental changes in it.

    Some of Papadopoulos' demands are procedural. For instance, he opposes the holding of a referendum before full agreement on a solution has been reached by the two sides, as occurred the last time. There is no reason for us to reject this objection. The last time, the United Nations Secretary-General's filling in the empty spaces on issues in the Annan Plan on which agreement had not been reached was, in general, favorable to Turkey and the `TRNC´. But if there is to be another referendum, this method could work against us.

    On the other hand, the fact that the agreement that was reached was not signed by the leaders of the two sides constituted a handicap. We thus encountered a disturbing situation in which the presidents, both in the North and in the South, worked ceaselessly for a "no" vote in the referendum.

    The Southern Cyprus leader's objections to the substance of the Annan Plan are as comprehensive as possible. In the security area, he opposes the protocols that adapt the Treaty of Guarantee and the Treaty of Alliance to the new situation.

    As will be recalled, in the debates that took place in Turkey regarding the Annan Plan, these protocols had been harshly criticized, and it had been claimed that these restricted, and even eliminated, our rights in the treaties of 1960.

    But Papadopoulos sees things exactly opposite. In his view, the protocols give Turkey rights that go far beyond the treaties. He does not accept the protocol regarding the Treaty of Guarantee guaranteeing not only the constitutional system of the "United Cyprus Republic" (UCR), but at the same time those of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot constituent states as well.

    He considers that, in this way, Turkey would in theory be able to interfere in the internal affairs of the Greek Cypriot constituent state; but he considers that the real danger derives from the continuation of the guarantorship over the Turkish constituent state.

    Papadopoulos also has objections to the protocol regarding the Treaty of Alliance. The point on which he has focused the most is its granting to Turkey the right to maintain troops in Northern Cyprus even after becoming an EU member. He is also unhappy with the provision that prevents the UCR from joining in the European Security and Defense Policy without Turkey's assent. Furthermore, he does not consider the mission of monitoring the implementation of the Annan Plan that is given to the UN Peacekeeping Force to be sufficient, and wants a wider international force, preferably an EU force, to be deployed on the island.

    He claims that the law on the continental shelf which is appended to the Annan Plan prevents Cyprus from exploiting its own maritime resources. And he believes that "the joint civil aviation policy imposed by Turkey" will deprive Cyprus of the right to administer its own air space.

    All of these various objections are, in the general sense, related to security issues. Papadopoulos is also seeking to alter the arrangements provided for in the Annan Plan regarding the constitutional and administrative structure of the new state to be established.

    He considers the provisions regarding real property to be unjust. This all means that the new negotiations that will be launched on the Annan Plan will inevitably be extremely difficult, and that in these negotiations, Southern Cyprus will seek to exploit to the maximum the advantages it has from now being a member of the EU.

    How can we bring this equation more into balance?'"

    [09] Columnist in RADIKAL argues that the note sent by Turkey to the EU has the meaning of Turkey not accepting the Summit decisions

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (28.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "What could obstruct negotiations with the EU?":

    "The EU's announcement of the date for the commencement of membership negotiations, at its 17 December summit in Brussels, may be singled out as the most important political development, from Turkey's point of view, of the year that we are about to end. The Council of Ministers debated at length yesterday the things that should be done on this issue in the year ahead. It is understood that the stages that have to be covered ahead of the negotiating stage, and the mechanisms that would ensure the harmonious functioning of the Turkish administrative system in the process that might take 10 years were among the issues debated. Government Spokesman and Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said the negotiating team's makeup and nomination may be postponed to the next meeting.

    Once the framework is determined, the nomination will be more of a formality. The nomination of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in the initial stage will surprise no one. Gul, with his strong political personality, emerges as the name agreed upon most in the circles that are concerned with the issue.

    As a matter of fact, the developments until the announced 3 October 2005 negotiating date appear to be more important. The screening process is not the biggest obstacle in this regard. It was already known that screening would be carried out on the topics that have been covered to a large degree by the Customs Union agreement. This should not be treated as a surprise. The screening process is not expected to pose an obstacle to the negotiations.

    Cyprus appears as the biggest problem. It may be more correct to describe Cyprus as the second biggest problem. The permanent derogations that might be imposed on the freedom of movement and employment of the Turkish citizens within the EU borders after membership appears as the most serious problem in the 17 December document. It was realized after the Foreign Ministry sent a note to the EU that the government failed to explain fully to the people and the parliament the facts on the permanent derogations during the general debate at the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly]. Having spotted this failure, RPP [Republican Peoples Party] leader Deniz Baykal, said, "The note has, in fact, been addressed to the government." Despite the fact that this is a remark for internal consumption, it points to the most worrisome factor in the 17 December document as far as Ankara is concerned.

    Well, could a note by Turkey have any meaning, since the 17 December document that has been drawn up by the 25 EU members is a reality? Could it be that the aim in sending a note is to give to the Turkish people the message, "We are not remaining idle?" Or could the note have an effect on the trend, and turn it in Turkey's favor?

    When you consult people on this issue, not only the experts working at the Foreign Ministry, but also retired diplomats that have spent many years on such cases, it is possible to conclude that giving a note has a meaning and importance that could affect the trend of the events. According to the experts, Turkey has stated most clearly: "I do not recognize this decision that you have made. I am stating in advance that I shall not accept the imposition of this decision on me."

    Its meaning is serious enough. The possibility of permanent derogations is liable to influence, more seriously than the Cyprus problem, the commencement and the conclusion of the negotiations. The reason is that the signing of the protocol that would include South Cyprus in the Customs Union ahead of 3 October was indeed not an issue that Turkey had rejected. Having been stated so many times that this would not imply official recognition, the Greek Cypriot government also seems to have accepted this fact.

    Well, once the negotiations commence, would it possible to interrupt them or raise new demands at that stage? Yes, definitely. Well, would that be the end of everything? No. Professor Ali Bayar from Brussels Free University, who is a strong EU supporter, says this is not something to be afraid of. He notes that cutting off the talks too could be a diplomatic move. We have the examples related to Britain, Spain and Denmark that were rejected by France in the course of the negotiations. During a coffee break in the course of a "brainstorming" meeting on this issue recently, [retired Turkish ambassador] Gunduz Aktan explained that Britain had insisted on imposing on Spain, at the signing stage, an increase in fishing quotas. He also explained how this was overcome indirectly through a note.

    The important thing is to commence the negotiations. After that, it will be easy to struggle against and deal with the demands that may be made. What is important is to avoid losing one's determination to struggle, and to defend one's interests knowing where one is right.

    [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News describes how Turkey approaches the situation in Iraq today

    Under the title "Confronting the Iraq reality again", Turkish Daily News (29.12.04) publishes the following article by Yusuf Kanli:

    "The kidnapping of shipping magnate Kahraman Sadikoglu in Iraq, the highest-profile Turkish citizen -- and indeed foreigner -- to be kidnapped in Iraq to date, has again brought to the agenda the extreme state of lawlessness Iraq has found itself in since the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime in the wake of the U.S.-led operation on that country.

    Indeed, "What will you install in its place? How are you going to have stability in Iraq once Saddam is removed?" were questions Turks asked the Americans before the Iraq war. Developments since then have unfortunately proved that the Americans had no plan for "the day after" nor did they work out an exit strategy. Although, according to many "well-placed" Turks, Sadikoglu has most likely been abducted by his business rivals, whether he was kidnapped by terrorists or rivals doesn't change much in reality.

    The murderers of scores of hostages, many of whom were Turkish, these hostage takers -- irrespective of whether they belong to a heinous machine of murder or are simply business rivals -- are all making good use of the state of lawlessness in Iraq. They are just trying to benefit from the huge power vacuum in that country, either by promoting their so-called "cause" or by furthering their business interests, while other feudal landlords in the northern part of the country are busy changing the demographics of the region in their favour in order to carve out a Kurdish state.

    We keep on stressing one fundamental point: We might have opposed the U.S.-led operation on Iraq, and we might have refused American use of our territory for launching attacks on Iraq. Those were the issues of yesterday. Today we are opposing American cowboy-like treatment of the Iraqi people, the gross human rights abuses we keep hearing about and watching on television. But the bottom line is clear: We can't afford to see the Americans fail in Iraq. That would be detrimental to the fundamental interests of Turkey.

    The second point that has to be well established is the fact that even if the interim government was installed by the Americans, it can't be considered to be fully representing the entire Iraqi population and is just that -- an interim government. The central administration in Baghdad is primarily responsible for the governance of the country and has to be consolidated. Once these points are understood, the policy to be pursued by Turkey on Iraq must be clear: Helping the Americans succeed in their Iraq operation and then pack up and leave the country as soon as possible, while at the same time cooperating with whomever is in government in Baghdad in establishing full sovereignty over the entire country and bringing an end to the lawlessness.

    An audiotape, purportedly from al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, once again urged Muslims to wage a holy war -- a jihad -- against the U.S. forces and the government in Iraq and also urged the Iraqi people to boycott the parliamentary elections scheduled for January. The tape, which is believed to be genuine, also warned the Iraqis that they would be infidels if they took part in the polls. Why is the terrorist chieftain so adamantly against elections in Iraq? A return to normalcy in the country would be detrimental to the terrorists. A continuation of the atmosphere of uncertainty and the state of lawlessness in most parts of the country provides terrorist gangs like al-Qaeda, the clandestine Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and such organizations with a valuable breeding ground. As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan strongly stressed on Tuesday, it is in Turkey's best interests to contribute in any way it can to the restoration of normalcy in the country and to the full control throughout Iraq of the central government in Baghdad."

    [11] Columnist in AFRIKA wonders about the correctness of the voters' figure in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (29.12.04) publishes the following commentary by Turgut Afsaroglu under the title: "Figures and Ozkan Murat":

    "Oh at last!

    Finally, 'the one who knows' announced our population and therefore we learned.

    According to the Chairman of the Supreme Election Council Taner Erginel, at this moment the population in TRNC is 187,244' Our voters' number is precisely 146,971'

    The voters' number in the parliamentary elections on 14 December 2003 was 141,596 persons.

    Let God increase, let God increase'

    We are not jealous of it.

    Although we have learned the actual number of our population, we were unable to properly predict the population to that of the voters.

    Either the number of the voters is much more than the number of the population' Or the number of the population is much lower than the number of the voters'

    That is to say you will understand that when the Supreme Election Council announced these figures, it made a mistake somewhere.

    First, let us look into the increase of the voters since the last year. This increase is 5,375.

    The esteemed Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat has been saying for the last one year with insistence and stubborness that only 9 persons became citizens with the Council of Ministers' decision.

    On the other hand, the deputy Prime Minister, esteemed Serdar Denktas, said that the government is not obliged to give automatic citizenship to those who complete five years´ period of stay.

    If we accept that both of them are correct in their statements' That is, if we really believe that last year thousands of new citizenships were not granted'

    Then how are we going to explain this increase of 5,375 voters?

    More correctly, how will the esteemed Taner Erginel, as the Chairman of the SEC, announce this?

    Of course!

    A Chairman of the Supreme Court evaluates by hairsplitting thousands of findings, the testimonies, which are coming before him'

    He is very careful when he used the scale of Justice'

    And accordingly he decides'

    He says, 'this is just, this is not''

    How could he accept the haphazard figures, put before him, without any evaluation?

    Is this possible?

    For example a trade union with 500 members, is taken to the court because durinf elecitons 1500 persons have voted'

    Does not the Court declare invalid null and void the voting of this union?

    Does not it hold responsible the officials of the trade union who allowed non members to vote?

    It will be said that: The reason of the increase of the voters from last year is the natural increase of the population. That is the registration of those who completed the 18th year. Well, figures too do not match. The average figure of those who were born in the last five years is 2300 and those who died 800 persons. So, the natural increase in the population in this period is 1500'

    If none has emigrated, then the increase of the voters in a year must not be more than 1500.

    The difference is not 5 or 10 persons which could have been tolerated' The difference is at least 3,500'

    What did Talat say recently?

    The man is a policeman, soon he will be retired, he has an identity card, but not a citizenship.

    One wonders, this policeman who comes from Turkey how many times took part in the voting?

    If we say that these things were happening during NUP rule (National Unity Party)'

    But now there is no NUP and the Interior Minister is from RTP (Republican Turkish Party).

    Announce Ozkan Murat, announce'

    Is it you that gave these figures to the SEC?"

    /SK


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