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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-02

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.22/05 02.02.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The US under attack from Erdogan after Turkey exploited fully the Americans to impose its policies in Cyprus and promote Turkey´s EU aspirations.
  • [02] The Palestinian leader and the Chief of the Israeli Staff are on a visit to Turkey.
  • [03] The European Parliament says Turkey should withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus without waiting for a solution to be reached; Reactions by Talat and the Press.
  • [04] Talat says that the Turkish Cypriots were not given any promises before the 24 April referendums.
  • [05] Gul to seek China´s support to promote Turkey´s expansionist designs in Cyprus under the guise of lifting the "isolations" imposed because of the Turkish occupation army.
  • [06] December was a very busy month for illegal Tymbou airport.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Editorial in TDN reminds that Turkey did not allow the US troops to pass through Turkey and assesses Erdogan´s and Gul´s criticisms of the US for "insensitivity" to Turkey´s sensitivities.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The US under attack from Erdogan after Turkey exploited fully the Americans to impose its policies in Cyprus and promote Turkey´s EU aspirations

    Istanbul NTV television (01.02.05) broadcast that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing the JDP [Justice and Development Party] parliamentary group meeting, has criticized the United States saying that those who came to the region in order to bring democracy have remained indifferent to antidemocratic implementations. Erdogan added: "The unrest there is our unrest. No one has the right to render us uneasy."

    Expressing Turkey's concerns in the aftermath of the Iraqi elections, Erdogan criticized the deficiency of the coalition forces in the region.

    He said: "I am sorry to state that the forces that are responsible for securing order in Iraq have not shown the necessary sensitivity toward certain developments which have profoundly grieved our nation. We would have expected these countries to take the necessary measures without delay against these developments that might disrupt Iraq's domestic tranquillity, its democratic future, and its relations with the regional countries. However, these forces that claim to have arrived in the region with the intention of bringing democracy have, unfortunately, preferred to remain indifferent to these antidemocratic goals. Everyone should be well aware that Turkey will not allow this geography, with which it has historic ties as well as ties of kinship, to be dragged into an upheaval that might last for years. If one does not put a stop to these initiatives that might lead democratic solutions to an impasse in Iraq, then we fear that one might give rise to clashes that will delay regional peace for a long time to come".

    Erdogan said that Turkey's reactions to the developments in Iraq are being conveyed at every platform with the seriousness befitting a state.

    And Mr Erdogan concluded: "Every step to be taken disregarding Turkish laws will generate no solution other than expanding the regional fire. One should put a stop to developments that might damage Iraq's integrity and delay peace and tranquillity before it is too late.

    Dear colleagues, if one does not act with sensitivity on the issue, then these negative developments that might take place in our neighbourhood will undoubtedly disturb us and the other neighbours as well. No one has the right to open the path to such a possibility."

    [02] The Palestinian leader and the Chief of the Israeli Staff are on a visit to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.02.05) reported from Ankara that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday on a two-day visit.

    Abbas, who is accompanied by Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaah and Transportation Minister Hikmad Zaid, is expected to meet Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), today (Tuesday).

    After visiting the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the Founder of the Republic of Turkey, and meeting Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc tomorrow (Wednesday), Abbas will depart from Ankara.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.02.05) later on reported also from Ankara that the Turkish General Staff Chief Gen. Hilmi Ozkok met Israeli General Staff Chief Gen. Moshe Ya'alon today (Tuesday) in Ankara.

    Ya'alon, who is visiting Turkey upon the invitation of Gen. Ozkok, will depart from Turkey tomorrow (Wednesday).

    [03] The European Parliament says Turkey should withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus without waiting for a solution to be reached; Reactions by Talat and the Press

    Under the front-page title "Withdraw the troops without waiting for the solution", Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.02.05) writes that the European Parliament adopted yesterday a decision that "will ensure mobility on the Cyprus problem". Describing the decision as "ultimatum for Turkey", the paper notes that "those who deceived" the Turkish Cypriots that the climate in Europe is in their favour have been surprised.

    According to the paper, the European Parliament calls on the Turkish officials to withdraw their troops from Cyprus before the solution of the Cyprus problem within the framework of a certain timetable and the decisions of the United Nations. "This will be a necessary step that will prepare a lasting solution", the decision stresses. It also notes that the mere commencement of the accession talks of Turkey to the EU would mean that Ankara recognizes the Republic of Cyprus.

    Furthermore, the decision calls on the Council of the EU to keep the promises it had given to the Turkish Cypriots and put an end to the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Commenting on the decision, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (02.02.05) writes that "Britain's 'withdraw your troops' games have begun again" and suggests that the Turkish side should ask the closure of the British military bases on the island as a response to the beginning of the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops.

    Meanwhile, according to daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.02.05), Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, said the following commenting on the decision of the European Parliament:

    "The Turkish troops would be reduced to the level provided for by the agreement. As the Cyprus problem has not been solved we must not downgrade the Cyprus problem to a problem of the troops which are on the island. No concessions must be given to the Greek Cypriot side which said 'no to the solution' and to its results. Therefore, the European Parliament giving support in such a manner to the side that said 'no' to a solution which the parliament itself had supported, is an approach that cannot be understood. This will only be useful to encourage the Greek Cypriot administration to the non-solution. Supporting Papadopoulos' views in order to motivate him for a solution is extremely dangerous".

    [04] Talat says that the Turkish Cypriots were not given any promises before the 24 April referendums

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.02.05) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriots had not been given any promises before the 24 April referendums in order to support the Annan Plan.

    Asked to comment on the statement of President Papadopoulos who has reportedly noted that Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots supported the Annan Plan not because it serves their interests but because some promises had been given to them, Mr Talat argued that this is not true and that they did not support the plan believing in something else than the solution.

    Mr Talat said:

    "The circles that do not want the solution both in the north and in the south are putting forward the same arguments. Papadopoulos too began to say the same allegation. This is not a new argument from our point of view. We have heard it some times before. This is not true. We have not wanted the solution for something else than for what the solution would bring us. We have directly said 'yes' and conducted a campaign in the favour of 'yes' thinking of what the solution would bring to both the Turkish and the Greek community. No different promise than this was given to us, neither secretly nor openly. .".

    Referring to the issue of the demand of the Turkish Cypriot side for the opening of a school in Limassol for the Turkish Cypriots living there, Mr Talat alleged that this school should be opened having the same status as the Greek Cypriot gymnasium in the occupied Karpass peninsula and that the Turkish side should operate it.

    [05] Gul to seek China´s support to promote Turkey´s expansionist designs in Cyprus under the guise of lifting the "isolations" imposed because of the Turkish occupation army

    According to NTV television station, (02.02.05) Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, within the framework of his contacts in China, in the afternoon will have separate meetings with the Chinese Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

    The NTV reports that there is no political problem between China and Turkey to be addressed, however, it adds, it is expected that the political message coming out of these meetings will be related to the Cyprus problem.

    NTV further reports that the Chinese administration handles the Cyprus problem similar to the Taiwan issue and Abdullah Gul will explain to Chinese officials that the occupied area does not follow a separatist line and that during the 24 April referendum it voted in favour of unification. Gul also will ask support for the approval of the Cyprus report prepared by the UN Secretary-General in the UN Security Council. He will also raise the so-called "isolations" issue imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, and what kind of steps China could take for removing these "isolations".

    [06] December was a very busy month for illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (02.02.05), reports that the so-called civil aviation service of the occupation regime announced the activity report as regards the illegal Tymbou airport in occupied Cyprus.

    According to this information, 277 aircraft landed at the illegal occupied airport during December 2004, while 276 aircraft took off. In addition, 34,257 passengers arrived and 27.862 passengers departed from the illegal airport.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Editorial in TDN reminds that Turkey did not allow the US troops to pass through Turkey and assesses Erdogan´s and Gul´s criticisms of the US for "insensitivity" to Turkey´s sensitivities

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (01.02.05) publishes the following editorial by Yusuf Kanli under the title: "Finally, a strong message from the US on Kirkuk":

    "For months Turkey has been looking to Washington for a comforting statement on the status of Kirkuk. Contrary to Turkey's expectations, the U.S. administration was preoccupied with the January 30 elections in Iraq rather than taking a position that could upset a "key ally" -- the two Kurdish factions -- and further complicate the already bleak situation in Iraq.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül have been criticizing the "insensitivity" of the U.S. administration to the sensitivities of Turkey regarding what they described as a "concerted program" by both the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Jalal Talabani.

    The Turkish leaders were very critical of the "failure" of the American super-governor and occupation forces in Iraq to halt the "Kurdifization" of Kirkuk with funding from the two Kurdish factions under the pretext of "resettlement of the population expelled from the city under Saddam Hussein's Arabization program."

    Still, Washington was preoccupied with holding the elections as scheduled on January 30. At a time when the Sunnis were threatening to boycott the elections and the insurgents were threatening to wage a countrywide campaign to disrupt the polls, the United States simply did not bother with Turkey's requests. However, the American administration was very much aware of Turkey's fears that the Iraqi Kurds -- who with encouragement from the leadership of the two factions under the slogan "Vote and let Kirkuk join in our region" went to the polls in large numbers on January 30 -- have been trying to take control of Kirkuk at the expense of local Arabs and Turkmens, who Ankara say constituted "the identity if not the majority" of the disputed city.

    Washington is very much aware as well that if the Kurdish factions succeed in their drive to include Kirkuk in the autonomous northern Iraq region under their control, it could herald a concerted drive to carve out an independent Kurdish state -- which could encourage separatist moves not only in Turkey but in the entire region in a manner landing the entire geography into a very dangerous atmosphere of chaos.

    Coupled with the American ignorance of Turkish calls to fight the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) camped out in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, Ankara was frustrated with the apparent U.S. ignorance -- if not indifference -- towards Turkish worries regarding Kirkuk and the aspirations of both Talabani and Barzani for the creation of an independent Kurdish state.

    On various occasions, Prime Minister Erdoğan was assured by President George W. Bush that he would look into the matter, but those words were merely confined to the official papers they were recorded on and could not be transformed into reality.

    While both capitals were trying to salvage the relations between the two countries, which were reeling from the impact of the Turkish Parliament's March 2003 veto of permission sought by the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government for the use by the United States of Turkish territory in attacks on Iraq, these developments -- or non-developments as regards the Kirkuk issue -- were further straining the ties.

    Finally, outgoing U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, considered to be an architect of the Iraq war, reassured Turkey Monday, making clear Washington still opposed Kurdish separatism.

    "It is crucial that Iraq's territorial integrity [is] preserved," he told reporters, adding that it was for all Iraqis, not one ethnic group, to decide Kirkuk's fate.

    That was the message Ankara had expected to hear from Washington for so long. What's unfortunate is that those strong words, which could have eased Turkey's worries, have come from a lame-duck American undersecretary of defense who will return to Washington to pack up his office".

    /SK


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