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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-02-23

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 <>



  • [01] The "candidates" for the so-called presidential elections to be announced.
  • [02] Erdogan and Blair discussed the Cyprus problem in Brussels.
  • [03] NATO Spokesman: An EU country cannot be excluded from the NATO-EU Summit.
  • [04] Journalists debate JDP intra-party problems.
  • [05] Anti-Americanism in Turkey is seen as obstacle to future use of Incirlik by USA.
  • [06] A family of settlers who was brought to the occupied part of Cyprus from Turkey three months ago lives under terrible conditions.

  • [07] "The `TRNC´ in the wake of the elections".
  • [08] A columnist argues US giving up on Erdogan.
  • [09] A Turkish columnist blames broken US promises for decline in Turkish-US relations.


    [01] The "candidates" for the so-called presidential elections to be announced

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.02.05) reports that the timetable of the so-called presidential elections, which will be held on April 17th in the occupied areas of Cyprus, was announced officially on Tuesday.

    The "Higher Election Board" (HEB) stated that the names of the "candidates" will be officially known on March 21st.

    The propaganda period for the "elections" will start on March 22nd.

    Public surveys and researches regarding "elections" could be published after April 2nd.

    The propaganda period will end on April 16th.

    [02] Erdogan and Blair discussed the Cyprus problem in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.02.05) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday in Brussels with the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

    In statements at a press conference after the meeting, Mr Erdogan, who is in the Belgian capital representing Turkey in the NATO Summit, said that the Cyprus problem was among the issues he discussed with his British counterpart.

    According to KIBRIS, Mr Erdogan noted the following:

    "We discussed the issue of Cyprus as well with Blair. They brought onto the agenda things that might be done. As we said at the process before this, we have always had a positive approach. Our approach now is also positive. We want a solution. We do not accept the non-solution, but the solution must be radical. We said that the most ideal will be a solution at the UN. Thus the sides will achieve a just and permanent result. And the guarantor powers will relax".

    Replying to questions, the Turkish Prime Minister said that the Cyprus problem was not on the agenda of the Summit and that no one submitted any demand to him on this issue.

    Mr Erdogan noted that the work regarding the signing of the protocol of the Ankara Agreement is being conducted under the supervision of Foreign Minister Gul and that Turkey will announce its decisions when this work is over.

    [03] NATO Spokesman: An EU country cannot be excluded from the NATO-EU Summit

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (23.02.05) reports that NATO Spokesman, Mr James Appathurai, who replied to Mehmet Ali Birand's questions on CNN-Turks MANSET programme (22.02.05) said that the NATO-Europe cooperation has been suffocated due to Turkey's objections on the Cyprus issue.

    Mr Appathurai noted: "Turkey cannot ask Cyprus to be kept out of the NATO-EU summit. An EU country cannot be excluded due to Turkey". He also added that "important uneasiness" was created due to the fact that the (Cyprus) problem has not been solved.

    [04] Journalists debate JDP intra-party problems

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (20.02.05) broadcast a debate entitled "Ankara Kulisi" (Ankara's Political Backstage). The participants were the representatives of HURRIYET, MILLIYET, and RADIKAL in Ankara, columnists Sedat Ergin, Fikret Bila, and Murat Yetkin respectively.

    Ergin opened the program by recalling the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Erkan Mumcu's decision to resign from the Justice and Development Party (JDP) and asked his colleagues to comment on whether the resignation might affect the political life in Turkey. Stressing that Mumcu signaled that he considered launching a new political initiative together with his supporters in the JDP, Bila said that he believed the establishment of a new party under the leadership of Mumcu is unlikely regardless of whether or not a few more JDP deputies decided to quit the party. Bila pointed to the speculation on a possible cabinet reshuffle and argued that the statement Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan made after Mumcu's resignation showed that the JDP administration was inclined to remove him from the cabinet if he had not resigned. Recalling that Mumcu was a Motherland Party deputy before he joined the JDP in 2002, he claimed that the JDP grassroots had never seen him as part of their political movement.

    Meanwhile, Yetkin described Mumcu's resignation as the first signal of intra-party problems in the JDP. Ergin agreed with him, speculating that that those who did not have links with the pro-Islamic faction known as National Vision were prevented from participating in the JDP decision-making mechanisms.

    Claiming that the JDP made partisan appointments to bureaucratic posts, Yetkin said that Onder Piyade, who was detained during the investigation into allegations of corruption in the energy sector, was appointed as the acting director of the Electricity Production Corporation regardless of the fact that the appointment was vetoed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer twice. Asserting that a link exists between the bureaucratic appointments and allegations of corruption in the Ministry of Energy, he argued that sometimes the ministers failed to have the bureaucrats comply with their instructions.

    Bila intervened to say: "I disagree with the argument that the ministers are unable to control and inspect their bureaucrats. This is impossible in our system. A minister can control his bureaucrats and obstruct corruption if he wants to do so. I have some experience on how the state-owned organizations work. So, I can easily say that a minister who carefully and fully uses the present inspection mechanisms can categorically obstruct corruption." He argued that Energy Minister Hilmi Guler could have taken the necessary measures to obstruct acts of irregularity in his Ministry.

    In the second part of the program, Bila said that Prime Minister Erdogan recently began to attack the media organs and accused the Republican People's Party (RPP) of having a "stained history" with the aim of diverting attention from the claims of corruption in his Government. Meanwhile, Ergin noted that instead of accusing the media organs and the RPP, Erdogan should deal with the JDP deputies' alleged links with the businessmen who are said to have been involved in corrupt activities. He added: "Erdogan accuses the RPP of having a stained history, but actually the JDP itself is under the spotlight. He cannot obstruct accusations against some of his party members by criticizing another party." Recalling the lawsuit Erdogan filed against a cartoonist in daily CUMHURIYET for depicting him as a cat, Ergin criticized the Prime Minister for adopting an "intolerant approach" toward the media organs.

    At his point, Ergin referred to Washington's reaction to the increasing anti-American sentiment in Turkey and asked whether the Turkish Government could take specific measures to change the negative atmosphere in the country. Bila said: "The Turkish people do not like those who occupy foreign countries because Turkey was established as a result of the war they waged for their independence against the forces that occupied their homeland. What I mean is that Turkey's opposition to expansionist and imperialist states and administrations should be seen as a natural reaction. The Turkish people, who attach great importance to the concept of independence, should not be expected to remain indifferent to the suffering of the Iraqi people".,

    Ergin censures the United States for failing to keep the promise it made to remove the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) militants from northern Iraq and said: "The US troops raided the Iraqi Turkoman Front's central bureau in Mosul last week. However, Osman Ocalan, who is still regarded as a terrorist by the United States, remained in that province for months. Even his home address was available, but the US troops took no action."

    Ergin closed the program by noting that Washington's "double-standard policies" undermined the US credibility among the Turkish people.

    [05] Anti-Americanism in Turkey is seen as obstacle to future use of Incirlik by USA

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (22.02.05) reports the following: "The Developments in Iraq and anti-Americanism in Turkey are the main obstacle to resolving the Incirlik issue. The evolving state of the relationships between the Turks, the Americans and the Iraqi Kurds are the main determining factors impacting the future use of a critical Turkish air base by the U.S. forces.

    The Turks are wary of U.S. intentions regarding the future of northern Iraq, while the United States still holds the belief that Turkey's rulers maintain solidarity with the Sunni/Baathists of Iraq, not the Iraqi people. Turkey also has a deep suspicion about Washington's future plans for Iran and Syria. How, under such circumstances, can the old NATO allies find a common ground over Incirlik?

    Turkey did not let the Unites States use Incirlik for military purposes during the 2003 Iraq invasion, prompting the U.S. Air Force to deploy fighters there from other bases.

    Analysts suggest that the only remaining obstacles to a formal agreement over Incirlik are the Iraq dispute and a resulting wave of anti-Americanism in the Turkish public opinion".

    [06] A family of settlers who was brought to the occupied part of Cyprus from Turkey three months ago lives under terrible conditions

    Under the title "The other Nicosia", Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (23.02.05) reports about a family of illegal settlers who live in the garden of a historical church in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    As the paper writes, the family which is consisted of 15 members came to the occupied part of Cyprus from the Osmaniye province of Turkey three months ago and has been living in the garden of a historical church which is located opposite the Dervis Pasha mansion in occupied Nicosia. The paper writes that the settler's family lives under a nylon tend, without a house, under very bad conditions and notes that the children's education has been left half-finished and the parents are unemployed.

    The paper writes that the family refused to talk to the ORTAM's correspondent or give its name. "If we talk we will be thrown out of the island and the family will fall in a worse situation", they said, adding that even if they talk, nobody will listen to their misery and save them from this situation.

    The family however told ORTAM that they could not find a job in Turkey and therefore they have not the neccessarry money to live. Therefore, they came to the occupied part of Cyprus upon a recommendation of a relative. "However, we could not find here what we were looking for. We are facing again issues like having no job and being without a house. We call on the authorities here to find a solution for our situation", the family said.


    [07] "The `TRNC´ in the wake of the elections"

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News newspaper (22.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Gunduz Aktan:

    "In the `TRNC´ the first victor of the recent `elections´ was the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the second victor the `government´; that is, the ruling RTP-Democratic Party (DP) `coalition´. Therefore, it may be assumed that the government is to stay on. The Turkish Cypriot people have shown that they support the "peace approach" of the Mehmet Ali Talat-Serdar Denktas duo.

    The statements they have made indicate that both Talat and Denktas will give priority to the task of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem by October 3, focusing for this purpose on the issue of negotiating the proposed changes the Greek Cypriots seek in the Annan plan for the reunification of Cyprus. To be able to analyze the potential results of this approach one should first look at the Greek Cypriot attitude.

    The original Annan plan did not favor the Turkish Cypriots. In fact, after the Greek Cypriots rejected his plan in the April 24 referendum, Kofi Annan issued a statement in which he explained item-by-item exactly how the Annan plan favored the Greek Cypriots. For Papadopoulos these had not been enough. He aimed to gain advantages beyond what the Annan plan would provide -- by exploiting the fact that the Greek side would have the right to veto a European Union decision to start accession talks with Turkey. In this context he demanded that Turkey recognize the Greek Cypriot administration as the "Republic of Cyprus" and withdraw its troops from the island. Obviously he hoped that this way the Turkish Cypriots could be reduced to the level of a minority group and that the de-facto situation created on the island as a fait accompli in the aftermath of 1963 would be legitimized via Turkey's "acceptance" of it.

    There is no reason to expect that, if the plan were now to be presented anew for reconsideration, the concessions the Greek Cypriot side would seek would be anything less than the concessions they had expected to gain as a result of a potential Turkish recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration as the "Republic of Cyprus."

    Furthermore, seeing Annan's "good offices" mission as a kind of "arbitration" and rejecting it, Papadopoulos insisted that there should be no timetable for the negotiations.

    Also, he insists on negotiating with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and not with `TRNC Prime Minister´ Talat. His aim is to pave the way for a Cyprus negotiating process that would run parallel to the EU-Turkey accession talks. This would be an effort to shift the Cyprus negotiations away from the United Nations and into the EU framework. Meanwhile, he maintains his efforts to gain recognition from Turkey via certain articles inserted into the text of the annex protocol of the Ankara Agreement at his instigation.

    Under the circumstances, it is not even clear whether the new `TRNC government´ would opt for a resumption of the "inter-communal negotiations." In a situation where Rauf Denktas is withdrawing from the position of `TRNC President´, Papadopoulos would continue imposing his own conditions on the `TRNC government´, which he considers to be eager to find an urgent solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Assuming that the Cyprus negotiations would begin, the Turkish side would have to fulfill Papadopoulos's extreme demands to be able to bring the negotiations to a conclusion by October 3. Otherwise the Greek Cypriots would postpone the "resolution of the Cyprus problem" to a date later than October 3. Then, after the start of the EU-Turkey accession talks, they could test the effectiveness of their veto.

    Let us assume the Cyprus negotiations begin, and the Greek Cypriots surprise everybody by seeking only modest changes in the Annan plan, and the problem is resolved by October 3. The Turkish Cypriots would, via reunification with the Greek Cypriots, take their place in the EU. However, that would happen at a time when Turkey's EU membership drive would be in a much more indefinite stage compared to the past occasions when the initial five versions of the Annan plan had been drafted. If Turkey cannot become a member of the EU, then not only would a situation contrary to the (Cyprus) Guarantee Agreement be created in Cyprus, but Turkey would also have lost virtually all its guarantor rights and powers.

    If the Cyprus case were to be lost in this way, a sharp polarization would take place in the Turkish section, a polarization that would carry the seeds of a potential clash. Also, such a development would set a highly unfortunate precedent on other issues such as the Aegean problems, the "Armenian genocide" claims and "ethnic minority" issues.

    This grave situation has come into being partly because of the fact that the EU and the United States have failed to lift the embargo on the `TRNC´ despite the fact that the Turkish Cypriots voted "yes" on the Annan plan in the referendum.

    Also, the fact that the National Unity Party (NUP) has failed to renew itself further weakens the hand of a Turkish side that was negotiating with the Greek Cypriots from a not-too-strong position in the first place. The political parties in the `TRNC´ suffer from the same malaise as their counterparts in Turkey: They have a leadership problem. Unless the required changes take place in that party by the next presidential election, then the NUP will continue to go downhill and will stop playing a meaningful role from the standpoint of defending Turkish Cypriots.

    That will leave Mr. Talat as the only source of hope. In psychology, the defeat of an old leader by a young challenger is referred to as the ritual of "slaying the father." The "son" who once held exactly the opposite of the "father's" views, reverts back to the views of the "father" once he gains power. We witnessed that phenomenon in the Ismet Pasha-Bulent Ecevit race.

    Let us wait and see whether Talat's behavior will reaffirm this rule".

    [08] A columnist argues US giving up on Erdogan

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (22.02.05) under the title: "Has United States give up on Erdogan?", publishes the following commentary by Can Dundar:

    "Looking at last week's papers all at once after a long trip it has become clearer that a development whose symptoms have been felt for a long time now has gained impetus:

    The United States is giving up on Erdogan.

    This is being increasingly felt in commentaries by the US press and in Washington's speeches, all of which have had the gloves taken off.

    Another indicator is this:

    There has been a sudden shift in attitude observed among those supportive of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) in the Turkish media. There is a voice in the columns accompanying the sound of brakes concerning the JDP:

    The voice of the US Ambassador to Turkey, who is saying, "You are going too far in your criticism of the United States." This voice is being translated in various tones as, "We have gone too far."

    Finally, Erkan Mumcu's split from the JDP brings news of new preparations. It must not be forgotten that Mumcu was the pragmatic voice within the JDP opposing those who rejected the 1 March Troops Motion saying, "If we cannot prevent the war then let us take care of Turkey's interests."

    We are accustomed to this.

    Turkey's history is as much a graveyard for those completely opposed to the United States as it is a sultanate for politicians in agreement with the United States.

    Just two-and-a-half months after Ismet Inonu said, "A new world is being formed and Turkey will take its place in it", he received the letter from President Johnson preventing intervention in Cyprus. He was toppled eight months later.

    So, do any of you remember when the Sampson coup took place on Cyprus?

    Just two weeks after Ecevit challenged the United States by abolishing the ban on hashish. Inonu had likened relations with major states as "sleeping with a bear". Just two years ago Erdogan was given his license, but there are now claw marks on his back.

    It is understood that Washington is, perhaps a little unfairly, putting the blame for 1 March and America-hatred in Turkey on Erdogan's shoulders.

    I say "a little unfairly" because Erdogan's efforts to get the Troops Motion passed, despite the protestations of his voting base, his parliamentary group and his government, are still fresh in the mind. However, these efforts were not enough and he got swept along with the public's opinion on Iraq.

    The United States, currently totally unable to secure control in Iraq, is about to play a lot of cards in order to bring Turkey into the game.

    We are going to see the repercussions of this very soon in northern Iraq, the southeast, the EU accession talks and in domestic policy.

    However, it would be beneficial to state this:

    To associate the already present America-hatred in the Turkish public opinion with Erdogan and to make him the target of a Washington centered campaign may well create "a reluctant hero" in Ankara.

    Let us recall how Ecevit climbed after he challenged the United States in the latter half of the 1970s.

    Let us add to this the likely outcome of an early election that would take place on a field where the center right is about to fall apart at the seams with Mumcu and where the center left is scattered after the Republican People's Party congress.

    Yes, there could be tough days ahead for Ankara but a policy of giving Turkey a thrashing could well trigger tough days for Washington".

    [09] A Turkish columnist blames broken US promises for decline in Turkish-US relations

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (22.02.05) publishes the following commentary by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Turkish-American relations are worse now than 1 March":

    "Turkish-US relations appear to be even more shaken up than they were after the crisis caused by the rejection of the Troops Motion on 1 March.

    There is something odd going on because with the 1 March crisis there was a real reason for relations being bad. The Pentagon's battle plans were upset when despite the Justice and Development Party [JDP] government's promises the Troops Motion fell foul of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), resulting in both the US administration and taxpayers getting really angry.

    Afterwards, Washington adopted an attitude punishing Ankara, there was the raid in Al-Sulaymaniyah with Turkish soldiers having sacks put over their heads; all of this setting the stage for one of the worst crises in the history of relations.

    Today there is nothing going on like motions being rejected or the raid in Al-Sulaymaniyah.

    However, it could be said that the situation is grave if immediately after US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice had come to Ankara to patch up relations it only takes one newspaper article to scrap the good mood that her visit created.

    Subtitle: We are right you are wrong

    What lies behind relations hitting rock bottom to this extent is the breakdown in the chemistry of this relationship due to the Iraq War plus the fact that both sides are failing to read incidents or one another with the same objective responses.

    United States Defense Department number three man Douglas Feith's words during his interview with us when he came to Ankara are an example of this situation:

    "We have differences of opinion over Iraq. The Turks think we are treating them badly. We believe though that we are acting for both our interests. That means that one of us is making a mistake. There is no question of us doing something to the detriment of Turkey. However, if that is the perception this means that somebody is making a mistake."

    Subtitle: United States enflamed PKK terrorism

    Feith's chain of logic results in the notion, "The Turks are making a mistake." This Pentagon official's no nonsense categorical way of looking at things in terms of black or white only attributes the American side as being absolutely perfect and believing it does everything correctly.

    The dominant view on the Ankara front is that Washington through its Iraq policy is placing Turkey's security in danger and that it acts contrary to all the promises it gives here.

    First among the promises that are failed to be kept is the message sent by President Bush to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 13 March 2003, in which he promises: "We are going to work together with Turkey to stop northern Iraq from becoming a shelter from which terrorists can mount attacks on Turkey." Northern Iraq is still a safe haven for the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK). PKK terrorists are still entering Turkey from here while last year saw a rise in terrorist acts in the southeast.

    As far as both the JDP government and the military top brass are concerned what lies behind the increase in PKK terrorism is the United States lack of action in northern Iraq. Just one example should be striking enough to show what kind of a credibility problem the United States is faced with here.

    Subtitle: Price of ignoring PKK

    The United States sees Osman Ocalan as a terrorist. Ocalan wanders freely around northern Iraq flaunting it before the eyes of American intelligence.

    My colleague from MILLIYET Namik Durukan found Osman Ocalan in Mosul and interviewed him last September. Yet, the US soldiers turning a blind eye to Osman Ocalan in Mosul see nothing wrong in mounting a raid on the Turkoman Front central offices in Mosul.

    The United States is also turning a blind eye to the Kurds systematically altering Kirkuk's demographic makeup. Ankara's warnings about this over the past two years have not yielded one result. This situation causes the decisionmakers in Ankara to perceive that the United States does not take Ankara seriously, and furthermore attaches no importance to Turkey's security.

    It is because the Bush administration, which looks at the world through horse blinkers, fails to read this perception that relations are entering a vicious circle.

    Does the total lack of confidence that the United States has instilled within the Turkish public opinion not play any role in the abundance of conspiracy theories in Turkey targeting the United States?"


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