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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-04
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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.24/05 04.02.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Erdogan and Gul on Turkey´s fulfilling its obligation to sign the Customs Union Agreement ProtocolIstanbul NTV television (04.02.05) broadcast that the Cyprus problem, which is going to play a key role in Turkey's negotiations with the EU, left its imprint on Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with the President of the French National Assembly, Jean-Louis Debre.
Debre asked when the protocol on the modification of the Ankara Agreement in a way that the latter will also extend over the Republic of Cyprus will be signed. Erdogan said that they have undertaken to sign the protocol by 3 October, when the membership negotiations are to start.
Mr Erdogan said: "We are taking the views of legal experts on the harmonization protocol. We are not acting hastily. Not a political but a commercial consequence should be inferred from the signature to be attested to the protocol. In the meantime, the Greek Cypriots should be brought to the table and the solution process should be encouraged."
Istanbul NTV television (04.02.05) also broadcast that in a statement in Shanghai this morning, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul evaluated the issues on Turkey's agenda.
When reminded that the EU Commission is reportedly asking the Turkish Foreign Ministry to sign, by the end of February, the protocol that envisages the extension of Ankara's Customs Union Agreement over the Republic of Cyprus, Gul said:
"Turkey has until 3 October to sign the protocol. The protocol could only be signed on the condition that the Greek Cypriot sector will not be recognized until a final solution in Cyprus is found. There can be no question of recognizing the Greek Cypriot sector before a final solution".
With the language he used, Gul implied that there can be no question of signing the additional protocol in February. Instead, he called on the EU to take steps of its own, namely to approve the two Cyprus-related regulations that have become mired at the EU Commission. Stating that these are still waiting on the EU table, Abdullah Gul said: "We hope that this vast EU will adhere to the promises it made to the Turkish Cypriots at the referendum; if it forgets these promises it will lose great credit in the eyes of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey."
 Talat speaks about economic boom despite isolation allegationTurkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (04.02.05 internet version) reports that the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime has declared that following the 24 April referendum, the number of tourists visiting the occupied area increased by 20%. MILLIYET reports that Talat had visited the paper's offices and answered questions put to him, regarding developments concerning the Cyprus problem.
Talat said that for the first time foreign investors have shown interest in the occupied area and said: "The Greek Cypriot tour operators say that next year north Cyprus as well will be included in the holiday packages and will be marketed". Talat went on and said: "The economy is on the offensive. Despite the fact that the non-removal of embargoes created disillusion there are positive developments in the economy. At this moment our situation is not the same, as it was prior to the referendum. The Greek Line Regulations are in force. Those who come from south and want to stay more than 24 hours in the north they could do so. Those who arrive in from the Ercan Airport could cross into the south. In 2005 the Greek Cypriot tour operators will be forced to market the north.
They have expressed this verbally. And when the Westerners cross into the north they have realized that the Turks are not spectres or ghosts´ and more started coming. There is 20% increase in the number of tourists arriving in the "TRNC". There are people who say that `Property is cheaper here´ and they invest. In the property sector the British are top in the list, and then come the Israelis. There are investment activities. A Jewish company with British roots is working for a marina. Because of the competition we have reduced the VAT (Value Added Tax). For the first time in history there were decreases in the prices.
Subtitle: Protocol does not mean recognition:
The protocol that the EU wants Turkey to sign does not mean diplomatic recognition of the south Cyprus. I do not say: `Turkey must sign this´, but an end should be put. The Greek Cypriot side is exerting pressure on the EU Commission so that the protocol could be signed until the end of February. This is not a must. The important date is 3rd October. In my opinion, what is envisaged is to settle this issue (Cyprus problem) before 3rd October. Turkey also wants to get rid of this pressure.
This protocol is hanging like the Democlean Sword. In order for the EU to force Papadopoulos to sit around the negotiations table, signing of this protocol will be beneficial. This is not recognition; it means normalizing and increasing the relations.
Subtitle: Ship comes ports open:
Following the signature if the Greek Cypriots demand their ships to be admitted in the Turkish ports, in that case we say: `What will happen to Kyrenia and Famagusta ports and Ercan Airport, they should also open to international traffic. Otherwise our economy flows to south, and this is contrary to the EU will. We do not want EU documents to be used to weaken the TRNC´s economy.
Subtitle: We do not evade the unification
Our new policy is in harmony with the world´s language. We do not change this policy. If we do so, we will crash against the wall. What is this policy; It is a demand of unification and be in the EU. We have an image now in the world. We cannot tarnish it now. If we came against the unification, we will see Papadopoulos jumping into air in joy. Regarding these policies we are in agreement with Ankara. One thing is obvious that in the period ahead, Papadopoulos will be under heavy pressure. The Americans during a meeting in the USA said: `We could use the recognition of the "TRNC" card against the Greek Cypriot Administration´. This is totally new thing. Will this bring result? Will they do it? We will see. The extreme chauvinistic approach of the Greek Cypriot administration is effecting the integration process.
Subtitle: The NUP is getting eroded
We will come out as the first party from the elections. Our target is to get votes above 40%. We are on the rise. The National Unity Party is getting eroded. Serdar Denktas´s problem is his father.
Subtitle: Withdrawal of troops should not be debated
I do believe that there should be no talk about whether to withdraw troops or not. If we debate this then we will fall into the trap of those who claim that the Cyprus problem is a problem of occupation. The Greek Cypriots whom I know a little bit, if we say: `We are withdrawing one thousand troops this will be enough for them to declare next day that the issue is an occupation issue.
Two days after the 24 April referendum, the Cyprus problem was debated at the Foreign Relations Committee of the European Union. I was also attending the meeting. There the Greek Cypriots referred to the number of the Turkish troops and said that the number is too high. And Verheugen replied to them: `Since you have said no in the referendum this number could increase more´.
Subtitle: 53 new hotels are under constructions
Existing bed capacity: 12 thousand
Overnight stay: 1.5 million
Income from tourism (2004): 271 million USD
Foreign tourist (arrival) 2004): 500 thousand USD
Targeted tourism income: 500 million USD
Investments under construction: 53 hotels
Increase in the bed capacity for 53 hotels: 9 thousand
 Erdogan met the French Speaker, the Kazakh Assembly Chairman and the EP Women's Rights CommitteeAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.02.05) reported from Ankara that the President of the French National Assembly Jean Louis Debre met Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday.
Debre asked Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the implementation of reforms which Turkey fulfilled in the EU process as well as Cyprus and Armenian issues, said sources.
Erdogan told Debre that France and Turkey share common values like democracy, freedom, human rights and supremacy of law.
Noting that Turkey tries to effectively implement the reforms it made in the EU process, Erdogan said Turkey's EU membership will further improve the relations between Turkey and France. ''It will also contribute to economic relations,'' he added.
Erdogan said Armenian genocide claims should be left to historians. ''If their historians have claims, our historians have claims too. They shall study Ottoman archives.''
Erdogan added Turkey does not have any problems with its Armenian citizens. ''Armenians should also open their archives,'' he added.
Ankara Anatolia (02.02.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met with the Kazakh Assembly Chairman Oral Muhamedjanov. During the meeting Erdogan expressed his government's contentment over the Kazakh Parliament's declaration of PKK/Kongra Gel as a terrorist organization.
"Kazakhstan helped in the election of a Turk to the position of the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). Turkey extended its support for the membership of Kazakhstan in the World Trade Organization," remarked Erdogan.
Erdogan further stated that there exist some problems between Turkey and Kazakhstan. "We are requesting assistance in land transportation with Kazakhstan. Visas and work permits for Turkish teachers, professors and religious officials must be granted under simpler rules and conditions," said Erdogan.
"Our target in trade volume with Kazakhstan is to reach one billion U.S. dollars, with the assistance of the Kazakh Parliament," noted Erdogan. "Turkey is interested in gas and oil tenders in the Caspian region. The Akdav connection of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is very important," said Erdogan.
Referring to the training of Kazakh cadets in Turkey, Erdogan reiterated that these Kazakh military students comprise an important bridge between Turkey and Kazakhstan.
On his part the Kazakh Assembly Chairman Oral Muhamedjanov said that the two countries share the same religion, language and history. "The Turkish people have a special place in the Kazakh people's hearts," said Muhamedjanov. Muhamedjanov added that Turkey was the first country in the world to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan. "We are always together in happy and difficult times. Turkey's progress within the EU is not only a matter for Turkey but for the whole Turkish world," stressed Muhamedjanov.
According to Oral Muhamedjanov, more than 5,000 students study in 24 Turkish high school across Kazakhstan. "96 percent of the graduates of these Turkish high schools are admitted into universities. 18 percent of the high school graduates receive admissions and scholarships from European universities," stated Muhamedjanov. Muhamedjanov requested from Erdogan to find a suitable location for a new Kazakh consulate general in Istanbul.
Ankara Anatolia (02.02.05) further reported from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met members of the European Union Parliament Women's Right Committee Members on Tuesday.
Erdogan's meeting with the European Parliament Women's Right Committee focused on women's rights and the prevention of domestic violence. "During the EU process, we have given utmost importance to the status of women and women's rights in the society. Our party provided and continues to provide many opportunities for female participation in politics," said Erdogan. "The Justice and Development Party (JDP) has organized women's groups in all 81 provinces of Turkey."
Committee Chairwoman Dr. Anna Zaborska has commented that reforms in family and criminal laws and reforms pertaining to labor laws are important steps towards ending discrimination against women.
"Domestic violence and education of girls require special attention," said Zaborska.
A member of the Women's Right Committee, Dutch deputy of Turkish origin, Emine Bozkurt has congratulated Erdogan over the establishment of a committee on equality of women in the Turkish Parliament.
 Talat now says promises were given to the Turkish Cypriots to vote "yes" in the referendumAnkara Anatolia news agency (A.A.) (03.02.05) reported from Istanbul that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat so-called Prime Minister of Ankara's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus arrived in Istanbul for a conference. Mr Talat made statements to A.A. regarding the recent situation in Cyprus.
When asked, ''Are you disappointed when promises made were not kept after the referendum?'' Talat said: ''We were certainly disappointed. The whole world and the EU were expecting the Greek Cypriot side to vote 'yes' and Turkish Cypriot side 'no'. The whole plans and programs were made accordingly. Thus, the result surprised the world and the EU. If the EU had known that the Greek Cypriot side would vote 'no' in the referendum, it certainly would not accept the Greek Cypriot side in the EU.''
Talat added: ''Our first disappointment was the 'no' vote of Greek Cypriot side and thus failure of a solution based on Annan Plan. The second disappointment was that the promises made to Turkish Cypriots were not kept after the referendum.''
When asked whether the Turkish Cypriots have a positive approach towards a new Annan Plan, Talat said: '' The Annan Plan can come into force only if accepted by both sides. Otherwise, it is already a non-existent plan. Although the Annan Plan does not exist legally, it will exist in future efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and it will be discussed again.''
When asked how the Turkey-EU negotiation process will be affected by Cyprus, Talat said: ''Since Turkey got a negotiation date from the EU, it will come face to face with the Greek Cypriots. Difficulties will be bigger in this new situation.''
Upon a question whether Turkey should sign the Ankara Protocol, Talat said: ''Turkey has to sign it. It will negotiate it while signing.''
When asked whether the Turkish occupation troops should withdraw from the island, Talat said: ''Turkish soldiers will be withdrawn after a solution. So, it is not correct to discuss a withdrawal without a solution. The Turkish troops are deployed due to the Cyprus problem.''
Moreover NTV television (3.02.05) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister, said that it will be beneficial for Turkey to sign the Ankara protocol as early as possible. Speaking to NTV, Talat stated: If you ask me, there is no need for Turkey to wait until 3 October.
Answering the questions of NTV, Talat recalled that Turkey announced that it will include the Republic of Cyprus in the EU Customs Unions. He reiterated that this is not tantamount to recognizing the Cyprus Republic. Turkey will sign this protocol and it is not possible for it to evade this, Talat noted, adding: As for the timing, if you ask me, there is no need for Turkey to wait until 3 October. Turkey can negotiate the matter, and sign the protocol. I do not see any danger in the early signing of this protocol; on the contrary, I see a benefit.
Talat remarked that if the protocol is signed late, the Greek Cypriots will exploit this situation, and the Cyprus issue will thus be moved away from the world's attention.
 French Parliament Speaker reminded the Turkish about the Turks about the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and the Armenian genocideAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.02.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and the President of the French National Assembly Jean Louis Debre held a joint news conference on Thursday.
When asked, ''do you think that a negative result will emerge in the referendum which will be held in France about Turkey's EU membership and how do you interpret such a result?'' Arinc said: ''Turkey is not after a privilege about EU membership. However, we oppose to any discrimination to be made against Turkey. EU should apply the same procedure it applied on other candidates.
''A referendum for Turkey will be held in the future, not today. Throughout this period, I believe there will be positive developments in Turkey and France. I think a positive result will emerge from the referendum."
Replying to the same question, Debre said: ''It is a tradition to hold a referendum (in France) when a situation is in question regarding borders and structure of the EU. When time has come, French people will make its decision.''
Meanwhile, Arinc said that they have taken up Turkey-EU relations during meetings between Turkish and French delegations. He noted: ''We informed the French delegation about the details of the reforms Turkey implemented.''
On the other hand, Debre said: ''It is impossible to stay indifferent to the request of a country with a population of 71 million habitants to join the EU. We should listen to each other. Of course, some questions emerge in the French public opinion. Because, we want to build a Europe we have questions to ask. Is the Turkish society ready to adopt the reforms which will change the structure of their society? There are also other questions like Cyprus, human rights and Armenian issue, to be solved.''
Regarding the Cyprus problem and Armenian issues, Debre said: ''We have discussed these issues with Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I told him that Cyprus and Armenian issues are considered as problems in France. Everything works more comfortably as long as people are in peace with their own histories.''
 Row between Rauf Denktas and Mehmet Ali Talat on the presence of the Turkish occupation troops in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (04.02.05) reports that the decision of the European Parliament of 15 December 2004 calling on Turkey to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus has been kept secret from the public opinion in the occupied areas of Cyprus and Turkey.
The paper writes that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minster of the occupation regime, has attempted to deceive the Turkish Cypriots by saying that the information published in the Press two days ago was not true.
AFRIKA notes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas said yesterday that he had visited all the big newspapers in Istanbul asking them to publish the above mentioned decision, but they refused to do it.
Mr Denktas added that because of this refusal, he had the decision translated, that the translation finished late and that afterwards it was distributed to the Press.
Commenting on Mr Talat accusing him of disinformation, Mr Denktas said that "these are very shameful things". He noted that he gave this decision to the Press in order to show to the people what concessions the EU will ask from Turkey. "It is not possible for me to understand the reason why Mr Prime Minister had to say that 'there is no such a decision'", added the Turkish Cypriot leader.
 Mr Erel: "Some improvements of the Green Line Regulation will be done within 2005"Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (04.02.05) reports that the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade, Mr Ali Erel met yesterday with the Head of the European Commission group of Cyprus, Mr Leopold Maurer. In the meeting, they exchanged views on the problems of the implementation of the EU Green Line Regulation. Mr Erel also submitted to Mr Maurer the views of his Chamber regarding the necessary amendments that should be done in the Regulation.
Mr Erel said that until this moment during his contacts that he had with the EU there has not been any concrete decision or result regarding the Green Line Regulation or other regulations and added that only after the so-called parliamentary elections, they will start to get any results. Mr Erel went on by saying that the proposals made by the Commission such as for the travellers who go from the occupied area of Cyprus to the government-controlled area, to have 175 euros instead of 30 and the increasing of the limitations on cigarettes and alcohol, can not be considered a result.
Noting that in 2005 there would be some improvements to the Green Line Regulation, Mr Erel said that the financial aid will also be approved. He also said that it is expected that Turkey will smoothen out its relations with the Republic of Cyprus until 3 October and added that EU expects Turkey to sign the enlargement protocol of the Ankara Treaty with the ten new members in order to be able to start negotiations.
On his behalf, Mr Maurer said that the aim of the meeting with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber was to exchange views on the EU Green Line Regulation and to discuss how they can overcome the problems of the regulation's implementation.
 Akinci: Only the solution will safeguard the lifting of the isolationTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.02.05) reports that Mr Mustafa Akinci, the chairman of the Peace and Democracy Movement, (PDM), commented on the statements made by the so-called government of the occupation regime about the lifting of the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots and said that it will only be achieved with the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Mr Akinci made these statements during a meeting as regards the 20 February forthcoming "elections".
Mr Akinci also said that the PDM made various efforts for the lifting of the "isolation" and stated to foreign diplomats the Party held meetings with, that the Turkish Cypriots have at least the same right with the Greek Cypriots to make international trade with the world, but the international law prevents some actions to be materialized. He also said that the Republican Turkish Party and the Democratic Party, do not tell the truth to persons living in occupied Cyprus in order to get "votes" and added that the PDM believes that they must tell the truth no matter how bitter it is.
 The environmental disaster of the occupied areas an issue in the campaign for the so-called electionsUnder the title "Environmental destruction from the claiming to be `environmentalist´ RTP", Turkish Cypriot "GUNES" newspaper (04.02.05) accuses the Republic Turkish Party (RTP) - Democratic Party (DP) duo of opening the way for environmental disaster by cutting olive trees at occupied Kazaphani, in Kyrenia.
The paper writes: "Recently the RTP-DP `government´ gave permission to a construction company allegedly to build a school on a field belonging to Kazaphani village. By turning a blind eye to the cutting of the olive trees, which were being used by the villagers for their produce under lease for many years, the RTP-DP paved the way for environmental catastrophe.
The villagers revolted yesterday when they saw the heart breaking view because they were using this filed for years. The field is with Turkish title deed with many olive trees near the Kazaphani football ground".
An old man standing near the cut off from root olive trees said with tears in his eyes: "From what we heard this field was given to an RTP Kyrenia assembly member to erect a school. The RTP, which closed down the school of the village, now felt the need to make a school. Besides, there were two schools in the village which were closed down. The school left by the Greek Cypriots was closed by them and was given to a carpenter without rent. This was the most beautiful place in the village and was left to us by our forefathers as a keepsake".
 Alevis criticize the Ministry of Interior and the Religious Affairs DirectorateIstanbul NTV television (03.02.05) broadcast that Mr Ali Yildirim, Turkish Cemevi [Alevis' place of worship and social gathering] Founders´ Union leader, criticized the fact that the Interior Ministry did not allow the establishment of a Cemevi. Yildirim reported that his union sought a permission to build a Cemevi in Cankaya, but the Interior Ministry failed to issue permission in line with the views of the Religious Affairs Directorate. "This is an unjust and lawless attitude", Yildirim stated, charging that the Religious Affairs Directorate is an unconstitutional institution.
The Religious Affairs Directorate, in turn, responded to these allegations in a written statement. It said that the attempts to portray the Cemevi as an official place of worship prepares the grounds for a differentiation that threatens national unity and solidarity. The statement declared that the directorate continues to fulfill its duty under the supra-identity of being a Muslim without any discrimination between the sects.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist former Turkish Ambassador compares Cyprus to Northern Iraq and argues that it is a war crime according to Article 8, sub-article 2 (b) viii of the International Criminal court to transfer population to occupied lands, as Turkey does in occupied Cyprus for 30 yearsTurkish Daily News newspaper (03.02.05) publishes the following commentary by
Gunduz Aktan under the title: "Turkish-US Relations (1)":
"Our relations with the United States are headed towards a serious crisis. The most important crisis with this country, which was the backbone of our defense during the Cold War, occurred in 1964 with the Johnson letter. The Greeks attacked the Turkish Cypriots. The United States did nothing to stop the Greek Cypriots while preventing Turkey from doing anything. The problem was postponed by U.N. Security Council Resolution 186 (1964) regarding the sending of a peacekeeping force to the island. Turkey was forced to intervene as the result of the 1974 Sampson coup. Afterwards, the U.S. Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey.
There are certain similarities between the Cyprus crisis and the developments in Kirkuk. This time the rights of another Turkish community, the Turkomans, are being violated by the dominant Kurds.
The United States sympathized with the Turks on Cyprus, who were suffering. It was worried that a military initiative on our part would have caused a Turkish-Greek war and consequently the collapse of NATO's southeastern flank, leading to Soviet intervention. This time, the United States, which is in Iraq, is ignoring Kurdish violations of the rights of the Turkomans, especially in Kirkuk. Moreover, it gives the impression that it tacitly approves of Turkomans being given a less proportionate influence in the governing of Iraq.
The mistreatment of Turks in Cyprus caused a backlash against the Greek minority in Turkey and then against the Turkish minority in Greece. A similar danger, in a much broader context, exists right now.
The mistreatment of Turkish Cypriots then had caused a long-term problem that still affects our foreign policy. It is probable that unfair treatment accorded to Turkmens could have even longer-term ramifications.
Then, we faced Greek/Greek Cypriots, the Greek lobby in the United States and the Congress under its influence. This time, we face the United States as a whole, at least until it withdraws from Iraq.
During the 1960s, the Cold War against the common enemy, the Soviet Union, had pushed bilateral problems to the background. This time around, the common enemy, terrorism, is not tangible enough to resolve bilateral differences.
In other words, the coming crisis has the potential to be even larger than the one before.
There is no doubt that the main cause of the crisis will be understood to be the Turkish rejection of the March 1 resolution. If the resolution had passed through Parliament, we would not have faced these problems; however, current problems would only have been replaced by new ones.
While the United States continues normal relations, apart from those concerning Iraq, with Turkey without change, it shows its reaction through incidents such as the one that happened in Sulaymaniyah and by ignoring Turkey's interests in Iraq.
The United States risks its relations with Turkey and even the Sunnis and the Shiites by allowing Kurdish groups to be given disproportionate weight in the transition government, doing nothing to control their independence ambitions. It allows them to broaden their sovereignty, which they have won in the past decade, and also gives them the possibility of protecting their independence option in the future constitution by giving them the veto right in the Law of Transitional Administration.
This Kurdish statism first burnt the population and land registers in Kirkuk, which it sees as a sine qua non for independence, in order to include the city within its boundaries. Later, it committed a war crime act, according to Article 8, Sub-article 2 (b) viii of the International Criminal Court Rome Statute, by transferring its own population to occupied lands. As a result, the elections in Kirkuk became disputable.
On the other hand, the United States, which occupied Iraq to fight terrorism, fell out of line with its own principles because it did not do what it had to do to ensure the extradition of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK/Kongra-Gel) from northern Iraq.
Machiavelli advises the prince to do wrong once and in a terrifying fashion and to do good little by little over a long period of time. The United States does just the opposite. It does the wrong little by little. Consequently, each additional wrong aggravates the one before and causes more irritation. There is no reason to describe our normal bilateral relations as a good deed".