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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-09-23

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 Turkish Foreign Minister´s reaction to the EU counter declaration.
  • [02] The Turkish Foreign Ministry´s reaction to the EU counter declaration.
  • [03] The Spokesman of Turkish Foreign Ministry denies statements attributed to Mr Gul.
  • [04] Turkey to be closely monitored during the negotiation process.
  • [05] How the Turkish team to carry out the negotiation with the EU will be organized.
  • [06] Mustafa Akinci asks Turkey to turn the administration of the occupied areas of Cyprus over to the Turkish Cypriots and says that no one demands the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [07] Baykal: The EU calls on Turkey to give Cyprus with the counter declaration.
  • [08] Turkish State Minister will address the inauguration ceremony of the North Cyprus Campus of Middle East Technical University.
  • [09] Statements by Ferdi Sabit Soyer after returning from Brussels.
  • [10] Serdar Denktas continues his contacts in New York.
  • [11] Alevi Foundation leader views lawsuit against Prime Ministry.
  • [12] Conference on the Armenian genocide postponed.
  • [13] Turkish diplomats warn the US over Armenian genocide Bill.
  • [14] Denmark turns down Turkeys request for closure of Kurdish TV station.
  • [15] Turkey, US decide to cut off PKKs financial resources.

  • [16] Two alternatives remained.
  • [17] Columnist assesses the Kurdish demand for federal solution to the Kurdish problem.


    [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister´s reaction to the EU counter declaration

    Istanbul NTV television (22.09.05) broadcast replies by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to questions by NTV's New York representative, Selim Atalay. To a question on the counter declaration approved by the EU, Gul said: We are continuing to hold talks with Britain. The process is still under way.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister added: As I said, the process is still under way. The negotiations go on. The framework document of the accession talks has to be formulated. It has to be approved by the European Parliament. And then an intergovernmental conference will be held, as you know. One of the most important phases in this process will be the framework document. Since all these phases are linked to each other, I do not want to make a comprehensive statement about a declaration that was made a couple of hours ago. I am sure you and the public will understand. The issue is being assessed and we will then make a statement.

    That is how the foreign minister assessed the counter declaration approved by the EU and the negotiation framework document that will be taken up next week.

    In connection with Cyprus, the foreign minister criticized the Republic of Cyprus for trying to involve the EU in the solution of the Cyprus problem, saying:

    The solution of the Cyprus problem lies in the United Nations. I said that nothing could be more wrong than taking the solution to a platform other than that of the United Nations. At the UN General Assembly meetings last week and this week, everyone stressed that the United Nations must become more powerful and that it should assume a more active role in various world affairs. So, I reiterated that, at a time like this, it would be very wrong to move the Cyprus issue away from the United Nations. I also issued a call regarding this matter.

    [02] The Turkish Foreign Ministry´s reaction to the EU counter declaration

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.09.05) reported the following statement of Mr. Nam1k Tan, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the EU counter declaration:

    1. We regret that the EU made a counter declaration on 21 September 2005. The said declaration, the wording of which contradicts the spirit of the traditional cooperation that exists between Turkey and the EU for over 40 years, contains an unfair stance and some new elements. This declaration of unilateral and political nature might undermine the UN settlement process on Cyprus. We cannot share this approach.

    2. Turkeys policy on Cyprus is known and clear. It has been put on record once again yesterday by H.E. Minister Gül, in his address to the UN General Assembly.

    3. Turkey has, on various occasions, expressed that it would fulfill all commitments emanating from the Ankara Agreement and the Additional Protocol to all EU member states in a non-discriminatory fashion. As a matter of fact, the Ankara Agreement and the relevant decisions of the Association Council lay down various mechanisms for discussing problems which might arise during the implementation stage. Therefore, it is difficult to understand the intention to introduce new elements as regards the follow-up of the Protocols implementation.

    4. On the other hand, it is a grave injustice that the existence, status, rights as well as the aspirations of the Turkish Cypriot people have been disregarded in the declaration.

    5. On this occasion, we would like to remind that the EU has certain responsibilities and undertakings to be fulfilled vis-à-vis the Cyprus issue. These are:

    Firstly, to actively support the UN Secretary-Generals efforts directed towards finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus issue and to contribute to the preparation of the environment and conditions which will facilitate this process. In fact, this is an obligation stipulated in the EU Council decisions.

    Secondly, to honor the promises given to the Turkish Cypriots and to remove all embargoes and restrictions, in line with the commitment of the EU on 26 April 2004. In this regard, the regulations prepared by the Commission on Financial Assistance and Direct Trade should be implemented in full and without further delay.

    Thirdly, in conformity with the appeals of the EU Council as well as the UN Secretary-General, to support the package of proposals made by Turkey on 30 May 2005 regarding the simultaneous lifting of all restrictions on Cyprus by all relevant parties.

    [03] The Spokesman of Turkish Foreign Ministry denies statements attributed to Mr Gul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.09.05) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Namik Tan has remarked today that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul has not made any comment regarding the Cyprus issue that says "we are the side that gives concessions all the time."

    Tan indicated that some newspapers quoted Abdullah Gul, during his meeting with the Latvian Foreign Minister, as saying that Turkey is the side that gives concessions all the time. "Mr Gul has not made such a remark," said Tan.

    [04] Turkey to be closely monitored during the negotiation process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.09.05) reported the following from Brussels:

    European Union (EU) has announced today that Turkey will be closely monitored during the negotiations process in order to see whether or not it is fulfilling its responsibilities completely.

    Christina Nagy, spokesperson for EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, answered questions in a press conference.

    Nagy indicated that talks are still in process for the Negotiating Framework Document.

    Nagy pointed out that the Negotiating Framework Document prepared by the EU Commission carries some concerns on enlargement and that this issue will come up again and again during Turkey's entry talks which will ''undoubtedly'' take at least 10 years to complete.

    Commission spokesperson Francoise Le Bail stressed that only on October 3rd will everyone know if negotiations with Turkey will begin or not. ''If the negotiations start, Turkey will be under close monitoring by the EU Commission and member states,'' said Le Bail.

    [05] How the Turkish team to carry out the negotiation with the EU will be organized

    Istanbul YENI SAFAK newspaper (21.09.05) publishes the following report:

    Gearing up for the start of entry talks with the EU on 3 October, Turkey has developed a unique model, which is different from all the methods tried out so far. State Minister Ali Babacan, who has been appointed the chief negotiator, has adopted a "pyramid" model, which will have Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the top and experts at the bottom.

    The Secretary General's Office for EU Affairs will act as a coordinator between different organizations while Turkey's Representative to the EU and the Foreign Ministry's Deputy Undersecretary in charge of relations with the EU will serve as Babacan's aides.

    Subtitle: How will the pyramid function?

    The pyramid-shaped system under Babacan's office will function in parallel with smaller pyramids to be created within each ministry, which will be involved in the negotiating process. Officials assigned different roles in this structure, which will be overseen by a deputy undersecretary in charge of the EU affairs, will be constantly in touch with both Babacan as the chief negotiator and the officers assigned to that unit.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will represent Turkey in the negotiations to be conducted with the EU in his capacity as the leader of the negotiating team. Unlike the negotiating teams of other countries, which are candidates for EU membership, there will not be a negotiating team consisting of the same members in the Turkish system. Babacan will not formally appoint a deputy chief negotiator. His aides will include Volkan Bozkir, who was recently appointed Turkey's representative to the EU; Deputy Undersecretary responsible for EU affairs in the Foreign Ministry; and the Secretary General for the EU Affairs, who will be responsible for coordination between the ministries.

    According to sources, Babacan has preferred the pyramid model in order to ensure that all the government officials involved, ranging from the expert at the bottom of the pyramid to the Prime Minister at the top, assumed responsibilities and put their shoulders to the wheel.

    Negotiating teams will be set up according to the chapters to be opened for Turkey. For example, not only the Minister of Education but also the Minister of Environment and the Minister of Health will be involved when issues related to environment and public health are discussed in connection with the chapter focusing on education. The government, which has scrutinized the ongoing preparations for the entry talks with the EU in a series of cabinet meetings, will maintain this tradition under Erdogan's chairmanship.

    Subtitle: Acet is tipped as Secretary General

    The successor of Murat Sungar, the former Secretary General for the EU Affairs who recently tendered his resignation, is expected to be named after the release of the EU's counter-declaration and the Framework Document and the commencement of the entry talks. There are, however, three officials widely regarded as possible candidates. Among them are Ambassador Oguz Demiralp, who has been transferred to the Foreign Ministry's headquarters after completing his tenure as Turkey's Representative to the EU, and Selim Kuneralp, who was transferred from Stockholm to Seul due to his differences with then State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel and recently returned to Ankara in accordance with a Cabinet decree. Kuneralp and Demiralp are widely tipped for two vacant undersecretary positions in the Foreign Ministry while Ambassador Ahmet Acet, who is familiar with the Secretariat General for the EU Affairs and has been working for the agency since 2003, is expected to be appointed secretary general.

    [06] Mustafa Akinci asks Turkey to turn the administration of the occupied areas of Cyprus over to the Turkish Cypriots and says that no one demands the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title Akinci asked: Why do we not demand our rights in the Republic of Cyprus? Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.09.05) publishes statements made the night before by the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), Mr Mustafa Akinci. The paper reports the following:

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriots are getting more isolated as long as they expect the lifting of the isolations, the leader of the BDH Mustafa Akinci has said that the Turkish Cypriots are facing the danger of being even more isolated.

    Speaking at a reception of the BDH the night before, Akinci pointed out that a difficult period is in store for Cyprus and noted that the dynamism of the people must be created again so that this period is overcome.

    The reception of the BDH took place at the partys headquarters the night before at 19:00. The chairman of the BDH, Mustafa Akinci addressed the reception, in which many party members and guests participated.

    Noting that there are periods of ups and downs in the life of all communities, Akinci said that the current low spirit and the difficult period are not new things and that the (Turkish Cypriots) came to this situation as a result of the mistakes of the past.

    Noting that the consequences of the mistakes of the past appeared later, Akinci stressed that the most important mistake made in the past was the policy of running away from the negotiating table. Reminding that they have always been saying that this policy was not right, Akinci noted that the future of Cyprus concerns everybody and therefore everybody must join forces and find a way out.

    Drawing attention to the fact that the Turkish Cypriots administrating themselves and supporting their own will is one of the most important issues, Akinci expressed the opinion that the administration must be turned over to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Stressing that while the Turkish Cypriots are expecting the lifting of the isolations they are getting more isolated, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriots are facing the danger of being more isolated within Turkeys new process and that the dynamism of the people must be created again.

    Drawing attention to the fact that a difficult process expects the Turkish Cypriots, Akinci said: We must decide whether or not we will accept our fate and remain as a minority under the administration of the Greek Cypriots or we will administrate this country with the dynamism which we will create again in a structure that is self-sufficient. Noting that the rights in the 1960 Republic are violated, Akinci pointed out that these rights are demanded by no one.

    Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriots must apply a policy with which they will get their communal rights and that they must create ideas for this. Adding that we have the duty and the responsibility to take this process forward all together, Akinci expressed the belief that with this idea the future of the Turkish Cypriots will be more successful.


    [07] Baykal: The EU calls on Turkey to give Cyprus with the counter declaration

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (23.09.05) reports that Mr Deniz Baykal, the chairman of the Republican Peoples Party (RPP) in Turkey, stated that the EU calls on Turkey to give Cyprus with the counter declaration.

    Mr Baykal, stated that Turkey has accepted the de facto recognition of the Greek Cypriot Administration as he called the Republic of Cyprus, as a pre-condition for starting accession negotiations what with the EU. Mr Baykal said that the legal recognition is unavoidable and noted what the EU is saying to Turkey with the counter declaration is Give Cyprus.


    [08] Turkish State Minister will address the inauguration ceremony of the North Cyprus Campus of Middle East Technical University

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (23.09.05) reported that the Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener is going today to the occupied area of Cyprus to attend the inauguration ceremony of the North Cyprus Campus of Middle East Technical University (METU). Mr Sener will return to Turkey on Saturday, 24 September.

    Mr Sener, as well as the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will address the ceremony, which will be held this afternoon.

    The General Secretary of METU North Cyprus Campus Erdal Onurman said that the METU North Cyprus Campus will offer this year eight undergraduate programs. He also added that the METU North Cyprus had already admitted students to undergraduate programs in 2003 2004, and in 2004 2005. These students attending these programs spent their freshmen year on METU Ankara Campus and will move to METU Northern Cyprus Campus at the beginning of the 2005 2006 academic year. The programmes that the METU Northern Cyprus Campus offers are Computer Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Economics, Business Administration, Business Administration (UOLP-SUNY New Paltz, a joint programme with State University of New York) and Political Science and International Relations.


    [09] Statements by Ferdi Sabit Soyer after returning from Brussels

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.09.05) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has indicated today that the efforts of the Greek Cypriots to display Mehmet Ali Talat as a fake president can not be understood since Talat, in fact, is as legitimate as Tassos Papadopoulos. The TRNC (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) government is much more democratic than the Greek Cypriot administration, said Soyer.

    Soyer held a press conference upon returning to occupied Lefkosia after opening the Brussels Office of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO).

    Soyer remarked that he had many fruitful meetings in Brussels in which he had a chance to inform parties about the policies of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Soyer said that the Greek Cypriots are working hard to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from taking steps. I used the VIP lounge in Brussels on my arrival. However, after Greek Cypriot efforts, I could not use the VIP lounge at the time of my departure from Brussels, noted Soyer.

    Soyer mentioned that the decision to open an office in Brussels representing the KTTO was a timely and appropriate one. Such an office should encourage other NGOs to open representations in Brussels as well, commented Soyer.

    Soyer commented that the EU officials and the French ambassador appreciated the Turkish Cypriot attitude towards finding a solution in the island. Membership to the European Union has taken the Greek Cypriots away from the discussion table, expressed Soyer.

    Mr Soyer concluded: Even if the whole world recognizes the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots will refuse any recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration.

    [10] Serdar Denktas continues his contacts in New York

    Illegal Bayrak, television (22.09.05) broadcast the following:

    Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas has been holding bilateral contacts in New York on the sidelines of the Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

    Speaking to reporters during-and-after his discussions with foreign ministers from a number of O.I.C. member nations, the Foreign Minister underlined the importance of such contacts for the Turkish Cypriot cause.

    Within the framework of his contacts in New York, Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas met with the Somalian Foreign Minister Abdullahi Sheikh Ismail and Tanzanias deputy-Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdulkadir Sherif.

    Later, Mr Denktas had discussions with the deputy-head of the United Nations Development Program Marta Ruedas and attended a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the O.I.C. on the planned reform of the United Nations organization`.

    Speaking afterwards, Mr Denktas said hed explained how the Greek Cypriot Administration started using the EU laws after it became a member of the European Union, to enforce further the unjust restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot `people´.

    The international restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot `people´ and the opening of Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot-registered vessels were among the topics discussed during the Foreign Ministers bilateral contacts in New York.

    In response to another question, the Foreign Minister said it was very saddening to see that many countries were not even aware of the unjust international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot `people´.

    [11] Alevi Foundation leader views lawsuit against Prime Ministry

    Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper(22.09.05) reports that Cem Foundation Chairman Izzettin Dogan announced yesterday that the group will file a case against the Prime Ministry accusing it of violating the constitutional rights of Turkeys Alevis.

    Speaking at a press conference at Istanbuls Pera Palas Hotel, Dogan stated that tomorrow they will sue the Prime Ministry at the Council of State on behalf of 2,000 people on the grounds that it is violating the Constitution, the law and statutory judgments of the law related to the religious freedom of Turkeys Alevi citizens.

    Disregarding the 1982 Constitutions sections on the freedom of religion and conscience, said Dogan, the state budget supports no religion besides Islam.

    In an application this June to the ministry the group urged a solution to problem, but Dogan said that they were turned down.

    The chairman stated that they want to solve the problem within the Turkish legal system rather than seeking redress from the Europeans, but warned that they would apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if no result is found with Turkish institutions.

    [12] Conference on the Armenian genocide postponed

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.09.05) reported the following from Istanbul:

    The Istanbul Administrative Court no:4 has decided today to put on hold a conference, titled Ottoman Armenians During the Empires Fall: Scientific Responsibility and Problems of Democracy, that was to take place in Istanbul tomorrow.

    The conference was originally scheduled in May, 2005 but was postponed due to reactions.

    The Istanbul courts decision came after a lawyer, member of the Foundation of Lawyers Union, filed an application.

    [13] Turkish diplomats warn the US over Armenian genocide Bill

    Ankara Turkish Daily News (22.09.05) reports that Turkeys relationship with the United States, already damaged by disputes over Iraq, may deteriorate at an unprecedented rate in the event the U.S. House of Representatives approves two Armenian genocide resolutions passed by a house panel last week, Turkish diplomats warned.

    We dont expect this to happen, but if the resolutions are approved by a floor vote at the House of Representatives, it will mean that the United States legislation in one way or another will have labeled the Armenian events as a genocide, and the effect will have catastrophic dimensions in terms of ties between Turkey and the United States, said one diplomat. The Turkish people will never forget this, and no Turkish government may remain indifferent to what the people think.

    Despite objections by U.S. President George W. Bushs administration, the House of Representatives International Relations Committee on Sept. 15 endorsed the two resolutions denouncing the deaths of Armenians early last century as genocide. The House is the lower house of the U.S. Congress, while the Senate is its higher house.

    The committee voted 35-11 to approve a resolution, sponsored by Democratic lawmakers, calling on Turkey to acknowledge the culpability of its predecessor state, the Ottoman Empire, in the 1915-1923 deaths.

    A second resolution, sponsored by Republican representatives, passed 40-7, calling for U.S. foreign policy to reflect an understanding of the Armenian genocide and for the president to recognize the deaths as genocide.

    It is not clear if or when the resolutions will be brought before the full House of Representatives.

    In private talks Turkish diplomats say House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican lawmaker close to Bush, is not expected to bring the resolutions to a floor vote at the House because he is aware of the grave consequences in Turkish-U.S. relations.

    However, Armenian groups also claim that they have Hasterts support for their cause.

    As we work to build on the committees favorable action, we look to Speaker Hastert to honor his pledge and schedule a full floor vote on the Armenian Genocide legislation at the earliest opportunity, said Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America.

    Armenians claim that the Ottoman empire caused the deaths of up to 1.5 million of their kinsmen in a planned genocide. Turkey says the toll is wildly inflated and that Armenians were killed or displaced in civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey says many Muslims also lost their lives. Ankara believes that Armenia will use the genocide claims to make territorial demands against Turkey.

    [14] Denmark turns down Turkeys request for closure of Kurdish TV station

    Istanbul NTV television (21.09.05) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Embassy in Copenhagen has lodged a formal complaint with Denmarks Radio and Television High Council, which turned down the request on the grounds that Roj TV had not violated Danish laws.

    Following an initial investigation, the Council announced that Roj TV had not infringed the Danish Radio and Television Act and, therefore, its broadcasting license would not be revoked.

    Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that he was not aware of Roj TVs broadcasts until he had been informed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting they held in the sidelines of the UN summit in New York. He noted: It was, therefore, not possible for me to make a decision regarding the accusations leveled against us.

    In response to Erdogans suggestion that the broadcasting license of Roj TV, which is airing pro-PKK programs, should be revoked, Rasmussen said that any media establishment based in Denmark could broadcast programs reflecting its own views unless it violated the laws.

    [15.] Turkey, US decide to cut off PKKs financial resources

    Istanbul NTV television (22.09.05) broadcast the following:

    Turkish and US officials have reached an agreement on the measures to be taken to cut off the financial resources of the terrorist PKK. The Turkish and US experts decided to establish a working group that will hold regular meetings. The working group, which will be made up of experts from the two countries, will first launch an inventory study. The purpose of this study is to reveal the legal and illegal establishments in Europe which are affiliated with the terrorist organization. According to the outcome of the meeting held by the Turkish and US experts, the PKKs most important financial resource is extortion money collected from the Kurds in Europe and Turkey. These funds reach the organization through couriers or bogus bank accounts owned by ordinary people. The PKK also obtains funds through drug trafficking and human smuggling. It is believed that the organization annually obtains $100 million through this ugly trade.


    [16] Two alternatives remained

    The main editorial in the Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.09.05), under the above title writes:

    The officials of the Republic of Turkey, could again deliver epic speeches for domestic political consumption by boasting. `We will not open our ports and we will not recognize South Cyprus´.

    But this time they will most probably find before them a smaller mass of people who believe in them. And especially in Cyprus they will not find at all.

    Turkey, which entered the EU tunnel has to abide by the European decisions and norms. The end of the tunnel is already obvious.

    Whatever happens in Cyprus, will happen. Neither bizonal, bicommunal federal system, nor the Annan Plan. The only thing that could be is the unitary state.

    Nothing else

    The Turkish Cypriots will leave Turkey´s administration, and this time come under the Greek Cypriot rule

    Whatever happened in Greece when the Ottomans Left, the same thing will happen when they leave and go from Cyprus

    At this stage, we have only one way out to fend off this danger.

    Which is to demand our partnership rights that we have in the Republic of Cyprus.

    It is the only legal avenue with which we can demand our rights. If there are people who dream more, then their illusion is in vain

    There is no more than this. It is possible that some will not find this palatable after having this huge war booty and plundering

    No one could hold onto something forever

    Thirty years were enough to enjoy.

    Those who expressed gratitude and organized prayers for the martyrs, acquired what they wanted. They plundered, sold and usurped

    Nobody had asked: where is the first owner of this property?

    It was obvious that one day the road would come to an end. Here it is, we have arrived at it.

    We have nothing but only two alternatives before us. Either our partnership rights in the Republic or unitary state.

    Which one would you prefer? At last Mustafa Akinci has realized it and started speaking about our rights in the Republic of Cyprus. We say at last, because he too had a lot of difficulty to arrive at this idea. And most probably, because of no other alternative he came and rested on this.

    For the first time he had asked: `Why nobody is demanding our usurped rights in the Republic of Cyprus´? In fact everybody should ask this question now

    The day has come and the Turkish Cypriots should take the initiativeThere is no place that we could arrive at with TurkeyTurkey is after its own business.

    What did Rahmi Koc say? Didn´t you hear? He said: `Turkey should look forward to get rid of the Cyprus evil´!

    According to Rahmi Bey, `EU membership could not be sacrificed for Cyprus´.

    In fact this view is the view of the capital and the stock exchange that directs Turkey

    The picture is so clear What we are waiting for to take our will in our hands?.

    [17] Columnist assesses the Kurdish demand for federal solution to the Kurdish problem

    Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper (22.09.05) publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik under the title: "Some of Turkey's top Kurdish intellectuals are making a mistake":

    For nearly two decades we have been consistently pushing Turkish authorities to put special emphasis on the problems of our citizens of Kurdish origin. We say some of them do not feel themselves to be first-class citizens of the Turkish Republic and that measures should be taken so that they do. They should not feel a repressive atmosphere in southeastern Turkey where the population is predominantly Kurdish.

    We have said that anyone speaking Kurdish should not be treated as a secessionist or an outcast. We have opposed the makeshift state TV programs in Kurdish and said proper TV broadcasts in Kurdish are needed to make an impact on the people of the southeast. We have said Turkey 's Kurds should be able to exercise their cultural rights. We have pushed for genuine steps to provide economic and social reforms for the region.

    Above all we have worked hard to promote Turkish-Kurdish friendship, and this paper will continue this mission with dedication because we feel this is vital for Turkey 's unity and solidarity. And we will not hesitate to point out the wrongs.

    On Monday, Kurdish intellectuals tried to present a petition in Turkish and Kurdish signed by 50,000 people demanding a federal, democratic and pluralist solution to the "Kurdish problem."

    We agree with the democratic and pluralistic bit, but we have serious reservations about demands for a federal solution.

    The Kurds of Turkey deserve to be represented in Parliament in any form they like because this is a prerequisite of democracy and pluralism. They should be able to elect their genuine representatives freely so that their representation in Parliament is meaningful. But when you talk about federalism in our part of the world, people immediately start thinking about secessionism and disunity. This federalism is not like the German or American systems. The federalism these Kurdish intellectuals are talking about has ethnic and separatist connotations and is highly dangerous. Only those who eventually would like to split Turkey into segments would support such a thing.

    There is now the Kurdish region of Iraq which is a part of a federal setup in Iraq . If the new Iraqi constitution is approved on Oct. 15, this will become formal. The Kurdish region of Iraq is not only a geographic division but also an ethnic entity. So when you have another Kurdish federation set up in southeastern Turkey just next to the Iraqi Kurdish federal entity you start talking about geographic unity of the two sides, and this is something that is already on the agenda of some ultranationalist Kurds living in Iraq . You see these maps circulating in the Kurdistan region of Iraq that puts all of eastern and southeastern Turkey from the Kars province to Antakya within the borders of "greater Kurdistan ." These ideas and these maps are all very provocative, and those circulating them should realize they are playing with fire.

    Some of Turkey 's Kurdish intellectuals who demanded a federal setup may mean well and their demands may be innocent, but we are aware that there are also those among them who like adventures and playing with fire.

    Such petitions are highly provocative and only serve to heighten tensions in Turkey . They do not serve to further the cause of our citizens of Kurdish origin. On the contrary they serve to draw enmity against those people.

    Our citizens of Kurdish origin who have a bit of common sense should know that when the accession talks start with the European Union, it will only be the beginning. People should not rush into any ideas that they can push for demands that would be normal in a Western democracy not threaratism. If they do, then they will only face ugly repercussions that not only hurt them but also tens of thousands of innocent Kurds who are opposed to such adventures.


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