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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-03-24

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.57/05 24.03.05

[A] NEWS ITEM

  • [01] Erdogan responded to Denktas' statements that he will abandon politics because of the JDP.
  • [02] Gul's respond to Denktas' accusations.
  • [03] Gul's views on the Cyprus issue.
  • [04] Erdogan denied relaxation in EU adaptation process.
  • [05] Talat argues that the wishes and the targets of Ankara coincide with the ones of the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [06] Karamanlis will visit Ankara.
  • [07] Ecevit supports that Denktas will become even stronger after leaving the so-called presidency of the pseudostate.
  • [08] RADIKAL reports informal visit paid by 8 Muslim Ambassadors to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [09] Delay in Fiscal Reforms Could Endanger Turkey's Progress.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses the relations between the US and the ruling JDP in Turkey.
  • [11] Columnist in MILLIYET assesses that Mr Ramsfeld´s statements were made because soon the US will need Turkey for Syria and Iran.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan responded to Denktas' statements that he will abandon politics because of the JDP

    Ankara TRT 1 Television (23.03.05) broadcast that the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a meeting of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, responded to the remarks by Rauf Denktas, who said that he is not running for the "presidency" because of the Justice and Development Party (JDP). Erdogan said: "I regret it if he is quitting politics by using us a pretext."

    He also added: "I do not want to believe that the honorable `president´ made such a statement. It is impossible for me or for us to accept such a thing. Turkey has considered the 'north Cyprus issue' its own cause until today, and that is how we view it too. We want the world to recognize `north Cyprus´. That is what we want to achieve. Otherwise, I ask myself, how long can this indefinite situation go on? And then you see that [Rauf Denktas'] grandsons get passports from 'south Cyprus'. How can you explain that? This means that there is a need for a solution. He is our elder and I respect his position as a doyen in politics. Nevertheless, I would regret it if he quit politics by using us as a pretext."

    [02] Gul's respond to Denktas' accusations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.05) reports from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, holding a press conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for Brussels, said, ''We are aware of the positive impacts of the EU on Turkey and the Turkish people. We believe that the EU will fulfil its commitments before October 3rd when the entry talks between Turkey and the EU will begin. We held fruitful meetings at the Turkey-EU Troika in Ankara, and with Britain, which will take over the EU presidency in June."

    Replying to a question about statements by Rauf Denktas, who said that he decided to quit because of the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP), Gul said: "I do not have any information about such a problem between the JDP government and Mr Denktas. Mr Denktas has become the symbol of the Cyprus cause. We all respect him.''

    Replying to another question about the decision of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to name Kemal Dervis of the Republican People's Party (RPP) as a candidate for the United Nations Development Fund, Gul said: "Mr. Dervis is an experienced economist who carried out important tasks in underdeveloped regions. We support him."

    Gul left for Brussels to attend a briefing by the EU for the candidate states.

    [03] Gul's views on the Cyprus issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.05) reports from Brussels that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, who is currently in Brussels for the EU Summit, made a press statement after representing Turkey in the meeting in which the EU candidate countries were informed.

    Gul stated that the measures taken to increase the competitive power of the EU were discussed in the meeting, adding that the issue carried great importance for Turkey which joined the customs union without being an EU member. Gul pointed out that the EU presidency informed the candidate countries at the meeting, and he explained the views of Turkey. Gul said Turkey considered that the decisions taken were right.

    Underlining the importance of Turkey's accession process, Gul said that the Turkish government took this process very seriously and added: "Some may not take seriously the importance we attribute to that issue. Unfortunately there are also some others who say that an imaginary process is in question. As the position of Turkey changed, the attitude of everybody towards Turkey has also changed."

    Gul stressed that the main goal in Turkey's accession process was to increase the level of Turkish people's living standards to those of people living in Brussels in all spheres, adding that there would be significant advantages in areas like health, environment and transportation.

    Gul said that in some EU countries politicians issued statements directed to their domestic politics due to the referenda. "Recording progress is the essential thing for us. We don't want Turkey to be a tool for other countries' domestic political issues. When enlargement is mentioned, there is uneasiness in many European countries. There is no meaning in provoking them. We continue advancing on our path."

    Referring to the Cyprus issue upon a question, Gul said: "Everybody should take up and think about the issue calmly. What gains and losses did our government's Cyprus policy bring to Turkey and Turkish Cypriots? If we had lost something, please tell me...Did we withdraw a single soldier? Did we give one square meter of land? What did we do? We urged the Greek Cypriots to say for the first time that the two peoples didn't want to live together. This was told by Turkish Cypriots up to now, but now the head of the Greek Cypriot side said that. This was included in the report presented by the UN Secretary-General to the UN Security Council. As a result of our policy we made the whole world admit this fact."

    Gul alleged that the whole world had experienced the shock of being deceived by the Greek Cypriots, adding that many obstacles which stood in front of Turkey were lifted.

    "We must see well the things that are possible and impossible...Are the Turkish Cypriots economically worse now when compared to their position before the referendum? Were they open to the world before the referendum and now are they isolated or is it just the opposite? Everything goes step by step. We know that the pace is not like the one we expect. All of us fight to gain more things and everybody knows what kind of a fight that is. To those who say that 'this means giving up Cyprus' I ask the questions of 'why did you start negotiations after declaring the 'TRNC'? Why did you meet Greek Cypriots at UN after the foundation of 'TRNC'? Why did you negotiate over the state that was founded? As you negotiated, certainly nobody can recognize you. I say that covering the last 20 years. There were states which had recognized 'TRNC', but they stepped back later...We are in the government for two years and we try to do the best for the Cyprus issue. I believe that the things done in the last two years are also correct," Gul concluded.

    [04] Erdogan denied relaxation in EU adaptation process

    Istanbul NTV television (23/03/05) broadcast the following: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again denied the allegations that Turkey has relaxed its efforts regarding adaptation to the EU. He stressed that the government which had given absolute priority to the 17 December process is continuing to pursue the same policy. Nevertheless, Brussels still expects Turkey to take certain steps in the field of human rights, freedom of expression, and Cyprus.

    Regarding the allegations that Turkey relaxed its adaptation efforts, the prime minister stated that he has not heard such a remark from the European officials he spoke with.

    Erdogan said: "The presidents and prime ministers of the EU member countries, the president of the EU Commission, my colleague who is the term president, none of them have said such a thing. Nevertheless, certain circles are trying to create such an impression, such an atmosphere."

    Nevertheless, Brussels still expects Turkey to take certain steps in various fields such as human rights, freedom of expression, and Cyprus.

    The advisers of Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg which has assumed the term presidency of the Union, have recalled that they asked Turkey to sign the Customs Union adaptation protocol as soon as possible. Also, the excessive violence used by Turkish police during the 6 March world women's day demonstrations was shown as a sign that there are deficiencies in the implementation of the reforms. Juncker's advisers pointed out that the issue of the rights of religious minorities has not been resolved yet. Also, Europe is uncomfortable about the sermon issued by the Religious Affairs Directorate on 11 March. European sources also say that they are closely following the suit filed by the prime minister against a magazine that published cartoons poking fun at him.

    The sources in Brussels disagree that the Turkish media is creating the impression that Turkey has relaxed the reform process. They point out that the first criticism that was levelled to Turkey in this respect had come from Luxembourg Minister Nicolas Schmidt.

    Prime Minister Erdogan filed a suit against the humoristic magazine Penguen for publishing in its cover cartoons that depict him in the form of various animals. He is suing the magazine for 40,000 New Turkish Lira."

    [05] Talat argues that the wishes and the targets of Ankara coincide with the ones of the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.03.05) publishes an interview with Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, who argues that the wishes and the targets of Ankara coincide with the wishes and targets of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Asked about his opinion on the approach which says that "Cyprus is an important point in Turkey's EU course" and that "harmonizing the political structure to this has been considered to be useful ", Mr Talat replied, inter alia, the following:

    "No, this has happened by its own. I see some writers who say things like 'Ankara wants this, Ankara prepared it like this' or even 'Talat is Ankara's pawn'. The issue is not this. The issue is basically that Ankara's wishes and targets coincide with our wishes and targets.

    In the past the wishes and targets of Mr Denktas coincided with the wishes and targets of the then government in Ankara. Therefore, the stance of Ankara plays a normal and direct proportional role in the creation of the political power in Cyprus. This is very normal, because they are 70 millions. 'And this happens by itself. That is, Ankara cannot say that 'I want this to be in this way', in spite of the government here, because this cannot happen. Harmony is a condition. 'If there was another government in Ankara today, if there was the Ecevit mentality and the Annan Plan was discussed, then the Annan Plan would die before it even began. And because it would die before it even began we could not have had the current structure. ' I am very satisfied with the relations we have at this moment with Turkey. Turkey never gives me instructions saying: 'Do this in this way'. It says: 'What would you say if this happened in this way'? '".

    [06] Karamanlis will visit Ankara

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (24.03.05) reports that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Costas Karamanlis is to pay an official visit to Turkey, at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    SABAH´s Athens correspondent Stelios Berberakis reports that Karamanlis´ visit will most probably take place after Turkey signs the Customs Union Agreement additional protocol which will extend the Agreement to the ten new members including Cyprus.

    Referring to unnamed circles in Athens, Berberakis reports that the development that paved the way for and rendered easy Karamanlis´ visit to Ankara is that a formula has been found regarding the protocol.

    Berberakis, referring again to his unnamed circles in Athens, reports that during Karamanlis-Erdogan meeting in Brussel the other day, Erdogan had conveyed to Karamanlis his worries as regards the signing of the protocol - which was the approval of the protocol in the Turkish Grand National Assembly, (TGNA), if the protocol is approved in the TGNA this will mean the official recognition of the Republic of Cyprus which in turn, will become a major political issue, in Turkey. However, reports Berberakis, during the Brussels meeting the sides came to an understanding on the following formula; Turkey will sign the protocol before 3rd of October, but it will be submitted to the TGNA´s approval after 3rd of October. "This way Turkey neither legally nor de facto will be considered recognizing officially the Republic of Cyprus, because this agreement will be considered an agreement between Turkey and the EU concerning trade relations only", Berberakis reports.

    Berberakis further reports that President Tassos Papadopoulos´ statement that: "If Turkey signs the protocol until 3rd of October this will be a sign that the relations between Cyprus and Turkey will enter into a regular and good path" is interpreted as agreeing with the above explanation.

    Berberakis concludes by reporting that Erdogan has conveyed to President Papadopoulos that "he is sincere and nurtures goodwill as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem" and asked the President to accept that the solution which will be found will be within the framework of the Annan Plan". As a result of this request, reports Berberakis: "The Greek Cypriot leader, was obliged to announce that he wishes the solution of the Cyprus problem to be within the framework of the Plan prepared by Annan".

    [07] Ecevit supports that Denktas will become even stronger after leaving the so-called presidency of the pseudostate

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.03.05) reports that Bulent Ecevit, Prime Minister of Turkey when Turkish troops invaded Cyprus, made comments about the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Mr Ecevit stated that some circles inside and outside Turkey believe that "they will be saved" after Rauf Denktas leaves his duties. However he stressed that Rauf Denktas will become stronger and more influential after leaving his duties.

    Mr Ecevit stated that Denktas has faced strong attacks both from his community and foreign powers but he managed to cope with them. He stated that he felt sad with Denktas' decision not to run for the 17 April so-called presidential elections. He also stated that the majority of the Turkish people support Denktas and added that it will always consider him to be "a great hero".

    [08] RADIKAL reports informal visit paid by 8 Muslim Ambassadors to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (23.03.05) publishes the following report by Serkan Demirtas under the title: "OIC delegation's secret trip to `TRNC´ ":

    "As Turkey continues to make efforts to ensure that a new initiative led by the United Nations is taken to resolve the Cyprus question, similar efforts made within the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which has 51 members, yielded a successful result for the first time. The ambassadors of eight OIC-member countries in Ankara paid a visit to the `TRNC´ [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] on 11-14 March at the invitation of Tamer Gazioglu, `TRNC´S Ambassador to Turkey. The ambassadors met with `TRNC´ Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas. It was reported that Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration had tried to put pressure on the OIC in a bid to obstruct the visit. The ambassadors, who flew to the `TRNC´ for the visit, which was not disclosed to the press, included Ahmet Mokthar Selat-Malaysia (the current holder of OIC presidency); Memet Nevruzoglu Aliyev- Azerbaijan; Amanbek Karipkulov- Kyrgyzstan; Amanjol Jankuliev- Kazakhstan; Khamid al-Uyadi- Oman; Nazrul Islam- Bangladesh; Abdulgaffar Poya Faryabi- Afghanistan; Muhammed Mangus.

    Dinner formula

    Although their visit was an informal one, the ambassadors met with Talat and Denktas at a dinner hosted by Turkish Ambassador Karahan. The ambassadors also had conversations with students and academics at the Eastern Mediterranean University and the Near East University during their visits to those universities. One of the ambassadors, who joined the tour, said: "Our purpose was to be acquainted with the `TRNC´'s landscape and natural beauties" while another one commented: "Before coming here I thought that I knew the `TRNC´ well. But, I have seen that I actually knew very little about it. We could send delegations in the future in order to explore business opportunities."

    It was reported that Michael Christides, Greek Ambassador in Ankara, had tried to prevent the visit and therefore the ambassadors of some other countries could not join the trip. Egyptian Ambassador Omar Metvalli and Syrian Ambassador Khalid Raad said that they could not go to the `TRNC´ because their countries only recognized the Cyprus Republic while Palestinian Ambassador Fuad Yasin initially accepted the invitation, but changed his mind at the last minute, sources said. Pakistani charge d'affaires Amjad Majid Abbasi declined the invitation on health grounds while Iranian Ambassador Firuz Devletabadi conveyed the message that "he could not join the trip due to possible US reaction." Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot Administration has sent protest notes to the countries whose ambassadors had participated in the visit.

    [10] Delay in Fiscal Reforms Could Endanger Turkey's Progress

    Under the above title, Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.03.05) reports from London that Sureyya Serdengecti, the governor of Turkish Central Bank, in an interview with the Financial Times, one of the leading dailies in Britain, said that "the reforms, which were promised by the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, but yet to be finalized, were essential to the bank's continued ability to reduce inflation and interest rates".

    Serdengecti said that the delay was sending the wrong signals to the financial markets and added: "There were no problems when the agreement was announced but some problems have arisen since then that have caused it to be delayed. This agreement could have been completed already, and the further it is delayed the more dangerous I would find it."

    Serdengecti said: "But the delay in securing the deal is the only significant cloud on a relatively bright economic horizon. We have to complete this agreement, and I think the government agrees with that. It's too early to say that we are in a totally stable environment or that we have achieved sustainable growth. But it is also true that we are no longer a chronic inflation country with roller-coaster growth."

    She also said that "further delay in completing the fiscal reforms required to seal the 10 billion U.S. dollars Stand-by deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would endanger Turkey's progress in stabilizing its economy."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses the relations between the US and the ruling JDP in Turkey

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (22.03.05) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Mutual feelings in the United States and the JDP":

    "The presentation that was given to the Senate shows that the United States has begun to hit the Justice and Development Party [JDP] with the intention of hurting it.

    In an interview to the Fox TV the day before yesterday, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld stated that the fact that Turkey did not allow US troops to launch an operation from the north also contributed to the prolongation of the armed action in Iraq. These remarks caused distress in Ankara. Government circles were surprised at the words uttered by the US Secretary of Defense at a time when the foreign secretaries of the two countries are issuing statements with the aim of easing the tension.

    It is possible to see that Rumsfeld's remarks show that the US capital views 1 March 2003 as the beginning of the deterioration in the Turkish-US ties. These remarks also constitute the outward expression of a judgment, which is gradually becoming permanent, against Turkey and especially against the JDP government.

    It is possible to see this in the expressions used in a presentation that was given at the US Senate. The presentation given to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on European Affairs is entitled "The Future of Democracy in the Black Sea Region." Bruce P. Jackson who gave the presentation uses terms that are very difficult to accept in terms of Turkey and especially the JDP.

    As you can read in detail from the report on this issue, according to Jackson, Turkey which achieved a historic milestone with the EU on 17 December 2004 is experiencing "a national and geopolitical identity crisis" and therefore it is at the verge of "entering a difficult and problematic stage." Jackson explains that this may be related to the fact that the JDP, which he describes as a secular Islamic government, is caught between the changes that are occurring in the Middle East and the problems and contradictions that the government is encountering in the course of Turkey's integration with Europe. And he hopes that the recent "negative" trend in Turkey's foreign policy is not permanent and that it is merely linked to the problems encountered by the JDP. According to Jackson, the rejection of the motion [for the stationing of US troops in Turkey] on 1 March 2003 was also the product of the contradictions that the JDP encounters with the West. And Jackson also believes that the JDP seems to have taken a turn for the worse, characterized by strident anti-Americanism, cultural anti-Europeanism, and a resurgent xenophobia. In his presentation to the Senate, the expert stresses that Turkey has entered a dangerous period both for itself and for US-Turkish relations, which deserves serious attention.

    Sources in the US Administration claimed that one of the reasons behind the fact that President Bush received Prime Minister Erdogan on 10 December 2002 -- with the title of JDP leader -- was to ensure that this democracy movement gained national and international legitimacy. The change that has occurred in the way the US Administration looks at Erdogan after a period of two and a half years is astounding. It is true that in an interview that was published in Sabah on 19 March, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul asserted that the public surveys show that the JDP's popularity rate increased after leveling criticism against the media and the United States, but it is obvious that the contradictions with the United States constitute the main reason behind the problems experienced by the government abroad. If these problems are reflected on the economy -- for example, on the relations with the IMF and the World Bank -- they may create additional problems for the government which is facing a very difficult year, anyway.

    It is necessary to give those, who had once described Gunther Verheugen, EU official in charge of expansion, as "a worthless civil servant" and who had kept silent when Verheugen had later held meetings with the prime minister, information on the identity of Jackson.

    Jackson had served as an intelligence officer in the US Army for 11 years. Later he had worked at the Department of Defense as an expert on nuclear weapons and arms control. During the election campaign in 2000, when Bush was elected president for the first time, Jackson (being a Republican delegate) had taken place in the Foreign Policy Committee. Immediately later, between 2000 and 2003 -- in other words, when the preparations for the war were under way -- he had chaired the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. He is one of the five board members of the think-tank named "Project for the New American Century (PNAC)". This narrow group had published a Statement of Principles in 1997, calling upon the United States not to be afraid to use its power. Among those who had undersigned this statement are Donald Rumsfeld; Paul Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld assistant in the Pentagon who will reportedly head the World Bank in the near future; Vice President Dick Cheney; Zalmay Khalilzad, founder of the Great Middle East Project and currently US representative in Afghanistan; Eliot Abrams, current administrator of the Great Middle East Project, and others.

    In other words, Jackson is the Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz team's comrade. In fact the testimony he gave before the Senate was announced by PNAC Chairman Gary Schmitt as "Memorandum to Opinion Leaders." It is seen that some of the criticism leveled in the presentation is exaggerated. Only this is enough to show that the group that constitutes the ideological and political nucleus of the US Administration has begun to hit the JDP with the intention of hurting it".

    [11] Columnist in MILLIYET assesses that Mr Ramsfeld´s statements were made because soon the US will need Turkey for Syria and Iran

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (22.03.05) publishes the following commentary by Derya Sazak under the title: "The northern front and Incirlik":

    "US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has reportedly noted that his greatest regret regarding the Iraqi war is that a "northern front" was not opened through Turkey, adding that the resistance against the occupation forces strengthened as a result of this.

    The words uttered by Rumsfeld, who spoke on Fox TV on the occasion of the second anniversary of the occupation, express the disappointment felt as a result of [the rejection of] the 1 March motion [for the stationing of US troops in Turkey] in spite of certain promises made by the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government in Washington.

    "This is what happened: We were forced to enter from the south. The Fourth Infantry Division was blocked in the north. As a result, when Baghdad was invaded Iraqi soldiers and a large part of the intelligence services dissipated among the people."

    We cannot expect Rumsfeld, who appeared on Fox TV, to make a "just" assessment, rather than accusing Turkey, and to say: "We occupied an entire country just for the sake of toppling Saddam and we killed tens of thousands of civilians. Furthermore, we based all this on the lie about weapons of mass destruction!" Still however, does the public not have the right to ask Rumsfeld the following question?

    If Iraq had been invaded through Turkey, would it not lead to the deaths of additional Iraqis? Did the US Department of Defense not openly admit this fact? If Turkey had allowed this, would it have a more respectable place in the eyes of the United States and its allies? If Turkey, which has been accused of conducting genocide for the past 90 years due to the relocations of the Armenians in 1915, had opened the "northern front," if had allowed the United States "to cleanse" Iraq, and if it had been forced to confront the Kurds, how would the world talk about Turkey in the future?

    By blocking the United States' Fourth Infantry Division, Turkey showed that it did not want to become an accomplice to this crime. Furthermore, Rumsfeld's accusation to the effect that when Baghdad fell Iraqi soldiers and pro-Ba'th militant dissipated among the people" does not reflect reality.

    When the war started the clashes that continued several weeks in the south showed that the resistance in Baghdad would be stronger. US troops, however, entered Baghdad almost as if they were walking leisurely. One tends to believe that the city was surrendered and a blind eye was turned to the plunder of the city as a result of the bargains conducted between the Pentagon and Saddam's generals. It was erroneous to believe that the Iraqi people would greet US troops with flowers in their hands.

    Currently Rumsfeld is trying to put the blame on Turkey. During his meeting with the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly] delegation in Washington last week, he was far from making these accusations. It is as if Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is preparing grounds for policies related to Syria and Iran by increasing the pressure on Turkey. We have listened to the impressions of RPP [Republican People's Party] Ankara Deputy Muzaffer Kurtulmusoglu who has just returned from the United States. Paul Wolfowitz also reportedly praised the role assumed by Turkey in Afghanistan, saying: "Let us forget the past." May a demand regarding Incirlik appear on the agenda".

    /SK


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