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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-04-21

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.75/05 21.04.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] EU reacts to Erdogan's statements that there are efforts within the EU to partition Turkey.
  • [02] The serial on the use of Incirlik by the Americans has no end although according to Gul the request has nothing new.
  • [03] Gul will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [04] The crossing points of Zhodia and Ledra Street were added to European Commission's list.
  • [05] Soyer: "Coalition will continue".
  • [06] Turkish deputy warned that the signature of the additional protocol of the Customs Union means the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [07] The leader of the Motherland Party (MP) Erkan Mumcu: "Time is being lost regarding Cyprus".
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in SABAH argues that Erdogan is fanning the anti-EU flames as in the case of anti-Americanism.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] EU reacts to Erdogan´s statements that there are efforts within the EU to partition Turkey

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (19.04.05) publishes the following report from Ankara by Evren Mesci under the title: "EU bewilderment re Erdogan":

    "The Prime Minister's statement that "There are efforts within the EU aimed at partitioning Turkey" has drawn a reaction. European officials are of the opinion that this statement has triggered nationalism.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement to the effect that there are efforts within the European Union (EU) to partition Turkey has given rise to a reaction within EU circles. European officials are saying that Erdogan's statements, rather than restraining extreme nationalism, have in fact triggered it. It has been learned that the EU ambassadors in Ankara, in the routine monthly meeting that they held on 7 April, also assessed the rising nationalism in Turkey. It is noted that the conclusion that came out of the meeting that "The way things are going is worrisome", was sent in a report to the EU capitals.

    Subtitle: "One does not approach the goal with suspicion"

    One high-level source from the EU, speaking to SABAH, said that the statements made by Prime Minister Erdogan were met with "bewilderment" in Europe. The same source, who advised that the EU had conveyed to Ankara the message that "The government should dampen down the rising wave of nationalism in Turkey", offered the following assessment: "Erdogan, with the things he said, acted exactly opposite to our expectations. He also gave certain clues as to why the Turkish government had entered into inertia since 17 December [2004]. If Prime Minister Erdogan is convinced that the EU wants to partition Turkey, why is he still keeping EU membership as the government's first agenda item? One does not approach the goal with suspicion. These statements are causing us to question what Turkey's goal is."

    Subtitle: "Must Explain"

    Yet another European diplomat stated that Erdogan should explain his words that "It is true that there are a good many impositions in the EU. In fact, it has even occurred that we have encountered propositions aimed at partitioning us." This diplomat said: "We think that Erdogan experienced disappointment on 17 December. He encountered the realities of the EU. To adopt the EU perspective means accepting shared sovereignty. But Erdogan perceives this as something being imposed. He has to change this viewpoint."

    [02] The serial on the use of Incirlik by the Americans has no end although according to Gul the request has nothing new

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has departed for Vilnius, Lithuania to attend an unofficial meeting of the NATO foreign ministers.

    Asked by a journalist about the Incirlik Base and a possible extension of the duration in which the U.S. may utilize the base, Gul replied that there is no new development. ''A decision will be made to extend the period.'' He indicated that ''the departure and arrival of planes and the type of cargo the planes are carrying are all noted down. Block permissions are out of question'', said Gul.

    ''The topic is about organizing attempts to help Iraq and Afghanistan. I expect the process to be completed soon,'' said Gul.

    On the same issue, Istanbul NTV television (20.04.05) broadcast that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul announced the start of the process of attesting signatures to the council of minister's decree that would broaden the use of the Incirlik base by the United States. Gul said that the decree meets Washington's request to use the base as a logistics center.

    Replying to questions on the Incirlik base before his departure to Lithuania, Gul said that the process has started regarding the decree that would broaden the use of the base by the United States.

    Clarifying the content of the decree, Gul said that the decree is related to the better organization of the assistance provided to Iraq and Afghanistan presently, it has no other dimension.

    Gul also pointed out that the decree in question amounts to the extension of the document in force for the last two years and due to expire on 23 June.

    Noting that the General Staff will continue the technical work, Gul said that there will be a detailed verification of the destination and freight of each plane.

    The foreign minister also underlined that any permission for block flights for planes is out of the question.

    He said: "Actually, there is nothing new. The aim is to organize a bit better what is already being done. As such, it [the new decree] will be enacted in the form of extending the old decisions. There is, therefore, no question of imparting it with new and different dimensions. What is being done concerns a bit better and orderly organization of the assistance provided to Iraq and Afghanistan presently. I expect that the process would be completed in a short period within this framework. The work in that direction has already begun."

    After the completion of the signature process at the council of ministers, the decree will be sent to the Cankaya Mansion for the approval of President Sezer.

    Once the Incirlik base turns into a logistics supply center, the maintenance and repair of planes will be possible on the base itself. Unmanned ordnance destined for Afghanistan and Iraq could also be deployed at Incirlik temporarily.

    [03] Gul will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.04.05) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul will visit the occupied areas on Sunday (24.04.05) to attend the inauguration ceremony, where the outgoing "president" Rauf Raif Denktas will hand over his duties to the newly "elected so-called president" Mehmet Ali Talat.

    [04] The crossing points of Zhodia and Ledra Street were added to European Commission's list

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.04.05) reports that the European Commission has announced that the list of crossing points at the Green Line on the island had been extended and the crossing points of Zhodia and Ledra Street were added in the list.

    According to the Commission's press release, the Commission said: "The relevant legislation has been amended for that purpose. It is now for the two communities to agree on the actual opening of new crossing points. This will allow the new measure to come into effect. This measure will further facilitate the movement of persons and goods across the Green Line, inter alia, to further promote intra-island trade."

    The European Commission also reminded that the EU-financed de-mining of the Zhodia area has almost been completed and noted: "This will allow the two sides to decide further on the practical arrangements of this crossing point."

    [05] Soyer: "Coalition will continue"

    Local Turkish daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.04.05) reports that delegations from the Republican Turkish Party - United Forces (RTP-UF) and Democrat Party (DP) met yesterday and discussed the creation of the so-called new coalition government following the departure of Mehmet Ali Talat, from the so-called Prime Minister´s post.

    Answering questions put to him prior to the meeting, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the so-called coalition established after the 20 February elections, will continue after 17 April as well.

    When asked to comment on the Christofias´ statement that President Papadopoulos and Mehmet Ali Talat will meet, Soyer said: "In order for the negotiation process to resume and be a serious base there are demands expressed by the UN Secretary- General".

    He went on and said that from the Turkish Cypriot point of view, it is not possible to agree with open-ended, without time limit negotiations, with Cyprus´ one sided EU membership: We are playing for time, we have to use the time in a very efficient and productive manner, thus reaching to a solution as soon as possible".

    [06] Turkish deputy warned that the signature of the additional protocol of the Customs Union means the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (21.04.05) reports that the independent deputy of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Mr Emin Sirin, sent a letter to the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, warning him that the signing of the additional protocol of the Customs Union means the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, Mr Sirin before sending the letter asked for legal advice from the Turkish Professors of International Law Dr Huseyin Pazarci and Dr Hasan Unal.

    [07] The leader of the Motherland Party (MP) Erkan Mumcu: "Time is being lost regarding Cyprus"

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (21.04.05) reports that the leader of Turkey´s Motherland Party (MP) Erkan Mumcu, has declared that time is being lost regarding the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting of his party´s executive committee, Mumcu referred to the Cyprus problem and said: "We are face to face of the threat that steps taken regarding the Cyprus problem could be useless steps. Time is being lost regarding Cyprus; the time lost is like gold."

    Mumcu also criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) for inconsistency regarding Turkey's lasting interests. He also criticized the government for not informing the Parliament regarding the Customs Union.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in SABAH argues that Erdogan is fanning the anti-EU flames as in the case of anti-Americanism

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (19.04.05) publishes the following commentary by Asli Aydintasbas under the title: "Europe is partitioning us":

    "Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan's speaking out against the European Union in the MUSIAD [Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association] meeting last week has been met with considerable surprise in Ankara. The Prime Minister had also spoken harshly towards Europe while in Norway last week.

    But in the general assembly of MUSIAD, speaking even more openly, he said: `It is true that there are a good many impositions in the EU. In fact, it has even occurred that we have encountered propositions aimed at partitioning us. But if you stand your ground there, it is impossible for anyone to try to do such things regarding our country.´

    For the Prime Minister of a country that is about to begin membership negotiations with the European Union to speak of `efforts to partition the country´ has naturally agitated the European diplomats, in particular. What led the Prime Minister to adopt the rhetoric of Ankara Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sinan Aygun, who is known for his stance against the EU, and to hint that Europe was a bundle of plots aimed at `partitioning´ Turkey? Was there a new piece of intelligence in his hand? Had the ECHR's [European Court of Human Rights] expected ruling in terms of retrying [Workers' Party of Kurdistan - PKK - leader Abdullah] Ocalan caused the government to act in this way? It has been speculated that there was anti-EU rhetoric coming from the rank and file, or else that there was a new opinion survey along these lines. Meanwhile, some have said that the `personal offense´ that Erdogan felt toward Europe on 17 December has become stronger in recent months.

    The truth is that no one knows why the Prime Minister got into step with the caravan of those opposed to Europe. The Europeans as well are trying to understand what happened. One diplomat says that `These statements are causing the question marks in our minds to grow even larger. Just what does your Prime Minister want?´

    If Erdogan's objections were ideological criticisms regarding the economic or political system of the sort that we hear from the EU opponents, known as Euro-sceptics, in various countries in Europe, such as that the bureaucracy or the taxes in Europe are excessive, or that the social state is a burden on society, this would be more understandable. But the Prime Minister, by speaking of `partitioning´, is levelling a `fundamental` objection against the EU.

    Because if Europe is trying to partition us, then certainly we do not want to travel this road. But is this really the case? The worst aspect of this is that the mentality of `Everyone is trying to divide us, which has always existed in Turkey, has become stronger recently with paranoia regarding `missionaries`, `minorities´, and `foreigners´. Those who observe us from outside are unable to resist noting the places of [Hitler's] Mein Kampf and Metal Firtina [Metal Storm] on the best-sellers list. Even the most basic elements of being an EU member, such as the free purchase of property in Europe by Europeans, are being turned back by the Constitutional Court.

    There is yet another danger of the growing anti-EU rhetoric. It has been seen in the process experienced with the United States that officials who speak `comfortably´ before the public noticed after a certain point that, without having been aware of it, they had stirred up anti-Americanism. But in the later stage it has fallen to these same officials to deal both with the damage caused to the bilateral relations and with the rising anti-Americanism within society.

    Would it not be a shame, in light of the progress that has been made in the EU [accession] process, to fall into the same vicious circle with Europe?"

    /SK


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