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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-09-30

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.187/05 30.09.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gul: We will not go to Luxembourg without seeing Negotiation Framework Document
  • [02] Arinc said that the Turkish parliament will not approve EU Additional Protocol before 3 October
  • [03] Erdogans adviser: These (EP resolution) are traps that do not deserve any attention
  • [04] Tan: The discussion of the Armenian issue in political platforms helps nobody
  • [05] An extraordinary meeting of EU General Affairs Council on October 2nd
  • [06] British Prime Minister: Broken hearts could be mended
  • [07] The self-styled assembly of the occupation regime is preparing to issue a decision on the Cyprus problem
  • [08] Hisarciklioglu re-elected Eurochambres Executive Board Member
  • [09] Independent Deputy joined ANAP
  • [10] Turkish and Iraqi Ministers discussed trade, bypassing Kirkuk-Yumurtalik Oil Pipeline
  • [11] Turkey will buy 172 German tanks without linkage to the Kurdish issue
  • [12] Representatives of Bush government had a meeting with Erdogan
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] Greek Cypriot attempts to join NATO

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gul: We will not go to Luxembourg without seeing Negotiation Framework Document

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, holding a news conference yesterday, said: It is normal that the document will be approved during the meeting of EU Foreign Ministers on October 3rd. Everyone knows that there is no point in going to Luxembourg without seeing this document.

    He noted: We are facing serious problems about beginning of entry talks with the EU. Everyone should fulfil their responsibilities in this process. Both the EU presidency and the EU-member states are aware of some factors that cannot be accepted by Turkey. There is a heavy agenda in front of us. But we still have time to solve these problems.

    When asked whether there was a risk that the negotiation process would not begin on October 3rd, Gul told reporters: There is such a possibility. But we have been expending great efforts.

    [02] Arinc said that the Turkish parliament will not approve EU Additional Protocol before 3 October

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that the Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, appearing on a program live broadcast on private NTV channel, said: Nobody should expect the (Turkish) parliament to approve the additional protocol before October 3rd. The additional protocol will be debated (at the Turkish parliament) after (Turkey's full membership) negotiations are launched.

    Such an international agreement will be submitted to the parliament if the government deems it necessary. After it is submitted, the draft will be debated first at the commissions, and will then be submitted to the General Assembly. Obviously it is up to the Parliamentarians to decide whether or not the additional protocol will be ratified, noted Arinc.

    Regarding the Armenian genocide Arinc remembered that some tragic incidents occurred during the 1914-18 war, but they could not be considered as genocide.

    Replying to a question on the conference on "The Armenians during the Collapse of the Ottoman Empire" held in Istanbul last weekend, Arinc indicated: The conference proved that such matters can be discussed in Turkey.

    Arinc noted that the European Parliament's (EP) resolution on "recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey during accession talks" was not the first of its kind, and added that such political decisions would not affect negotiations process.

    [03] Erdogans adviser: These (EP resolution) are traps that do not deserve any attention

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that Egemen Bagis, Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP from Istanbul and foreign policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has indicated that the recent resolution adopted by the European Parliament (EP) is a trap that does not deserve any attention.

    In an exclusive interview with the AA correspondent in Lisbon on Thursday, Bagis remarked that the resolution voted by the EP yesterday is nothing than a new obstacle put in front of Turkey.

    The resolution is intended to take the Turks away from their efforts to become an EU member. We read such news in the Washington Times, Herald Tribune and Le Monde. The EP resolutions are traps which do not deserve serious attention, Bagis said.

    Those who made a promise to Turkey in Helsinki were not EP members, commented Bagis.

    According to Bagis, the then EU Commission member Gunter Verheugen, British Premier Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Dutch Premier Jan Peter Balkanende stressed that Turkey has met the requirements of the Copenhagen criteria. On December 17, 2004, these leaders mentioned that signing of the Additional Protocol would not mean nor imply recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey's goal is to conduct negotiations that will eventually make Turkey a full member of the EU," Bagis commented.

    Bagis added that Austria may bring up the idea of privileged partnership for Turkey. Nonetheless, it seems like we have the vote of 24 members as regards the Negotiating Framework Document, Bagis noted.

    [04] Tan: The discussion of the Armenian issue in political platforms helps nobody

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that in reference to a resolution adopted by the European Parliament (EP) and asking Turkey to recognize the 1915 events as genocide, Namik Tan, Spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted on Thursday that "the discussion of the matter in political platforms helps nobody".

    With this resolution, the so-called Armenian genocide has been carried onto the agenda of the EP. We want to remind all parties involved that discussing the matter in political platforms benefits no one. Turkey has always supported the idea that historical facts must be assessed by historians. Turkey's archives are open to all scholars, Tan said.

    [05] An extraordinary meeting of EU General Affairs Council on October 2nd

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the EU (COREPER) couldn't reach an agreement on Thursday on the Negotiating Framework Document which will constitute the basis of the accession negotiations between Turkey and the EU.

    The document which was prepared by the EU Commission and submitted for approval on September 29th, has to be approved by the EU Council, the decision-making organ of the EU, prior to October 3rd, when the accession negotiations are due to start between Turkey and EU.

    Britain which holds the rotating EU presidency summoned ministers to an extraordinary meeting (EU General Affairs Council meeting) in Luxembourg on October 2nd, 2005 as no agreement was reached in COREPER, which is composed of permanent representatives of EU member-states.

    [06] British Prime Minister: Broken hearts could be mended

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair in an exclusive interview to Ertugrul Ozkok, editor in chief of the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (30/09/02) answered questions put to him by Ozkok on the Cyprus problem.

    Ozkok: Are you aware of the fact that the Cyprus problem has created problems to both sides?

    Tony Blair: I think as regards Cyprus, had we acted a little bit cleverly we would have had a solution by now. Cypruss position was very clear. Accession negotiations did not mean legal recognition of Cyprus. We have said this and this is very clear. What I want to say is more important.

    Ozkok: Will Cyprus problem affect Turkeys membership?

    Tony Blair: The main point that we have to solve in the Cyprus problem is that it should not affect, strategically Turkeys EU membership. On this issue there will be debates and arguments. However, once the train gathers steam and starts moving slowly or quickly, or sooner or later, it will reach to its destination.

    Ozkok: Turkish Cypriots hearts were broken. They were very willing to say yes during the referendum. However, after the referendum when they have seen that the Europeans did not help them they were disillusioned.

    Tony Blair: I do understand. And I do feel how strong this feeling is. Broken hearts could be mended. For the last eight years I am involved in the Cyprus problem. I could understand the situation in the divided communities .People could see the realities if they look into them from a wider perspective. Also I have very good relations with the Greek Prime minister. He too is a prudent man. I hope in time everything will be all right. I am a positive person. Problems related to Cyprus will be settled.

    M/Y

    [07] The self-styled assembly of the occupation regime is preparing to issue a decision on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.09.05) reports that the self-styled assembly of the occupation regime discussed yesterday the recent developments on the Cyprus problem during an extraordinary session that lasted three hours. The session was held after a proposal made by the National Unity Party the previous days.

    The so-called assembly decided the two motions submitted by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the National Unity Party (UBP) to be urgently discussed at the Legal and Political Affairs Committee, in an attempt to amalgamate and join the two drafts into one, before the self-styled parliament convene again.

    Speaking on behalf of the CTP deputies group Mr Omer Kalyoncu, referred to his partys proposal and noted that the CTP supports Turkeys EU process. However, he noted that Turkey must not open its ports to the Greek Cypriots before the lifting of the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. He also stated that the CTP is against the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of Turkey before the solution of the Cyprus Problem.

    Referring to its own proposal the UBP noted that the Turkish Grand National Assembly should take under consideration the EU Counter Declaration and the other decisions taken by the European Parliament and should not approve the Additional Protocol, extending the countrys Customs Union to the ten new EU members including the Republic of Cyprus. The party also noted that the Cyprus problem no more should be put before Turkey as a condition.

    C/S

    [08] Hisarciklioglu re-elected Eurochambres Executive Board Member

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), was elected a member of the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Eurochambres) Executive Board for the second time, said TOBB on Thursday.

    TOBB issued a statement noting that a TOBB delegation headed by Hisarciklioglu left for Stavanger city of Norway yesterday to attend the 98th general assembly of Eurochambres and to meet European businessmen prior to October 3rd--when the accession talks between Turkey and the EU are due to start.

    Hisarciklioglu was elected "unanimously" for the second time. Pierre Simon, president of the Paris Chamber of Commerce, was elected the new President of Eurochambres.

    Eurochambres represents 44 national associations of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, a European network of 2000 regional and local Chambers with over 18 million member enterprises in Europe.

    [09] Independent Deputy joined ANAP

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that the independent deputy Ibrahim Ozdogan joined the Motherland Party (ANAP) on Thursday increasing the number of ANAP seats in the parliament to 18.

    After Ozdogan joined the ANAP, the number of independent parliamentarians dropped to 7.

    Below is the current distribution of the seats in the Turkish parliament:

    AKP: 355

    CHP: 157

    ANAVATAN: 18

    DYP: 4

    SHP: 4

    HYP: 1

    Independent: 7

    Vacant: 4

    TOTAL: 550

    (AKP stands for governmental Justice and Development Party, ANAVATAN for Motherland Party, DYP for True Path Party, SHP for Social Democrat People's Party, HYP for People's Ascendancy Party)

    [10] Turkish and Iraqi Ministers discussed trade, bypassing Kirkuk-Yumurtalik Oil Pipeline

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/09/05) reported that the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Hilmi Guler met the Iraqi Minister of Planning and Development Barham Salih in his office on Thursday. Guler and Salih held a press conference after their meeting.

    We talked on the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik crude oil pipeline and evaluated a scenario where the pipeline can be bypassed in region in which security of the pipeline is not adequate, said Guler.

    Guler noted that electricity sales to Iraq may be increased soon. We focused on increasing the present amount of mutual trade volume, currently 2 billion USD, to 8 billion USD. We also talked on carrying more Iraqi oil via Turkey, remarked Guler.

    Guler noted that the idea of opening a new border pass between Turkey and Iraq was also taken up in the meeting with Salih.

    Meanwhile, Salih commented that Turkey is an important neighbour and trade partner of Iraq. I invite all Turkish entrepreneurs to invest in the energy sector in Iraq, Salih said.

    [11] Turkey will buy 172 German tanks without linkage to the Kurdish issue

    Ankara daily The New Anatolian newspaper (29/09/05) published the following report under the title No Strings Attached' in German Sale:

    Turkey will purchase the Leopards from Germany. Germany had previously sold arms to Ankara so long as they are 'not used in military operations in the southeast,' but will not press point in tank contract

    Turkey is finally approaching a happy ending to the story of its modern tank project with Germany. The two countries have agreed that 172 units of Leopard-2 tanks will be transported from Germany to Turkey. Germany had once placed a condition on the equipment it sold to Turkey that it "not be used in military operations in the southeastern region," but has now come to abandon this condition.

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) had been looking for a solution to modernize its tank fleet to replace its M-60 and M-48 tanks it has been using for years with new generation battle tanks. The TAF was carrying on its meetings on tank procurement primarily with the U.S. and Germany.

    Meetings with the U.S. for the potential procurement of the Abrahams A-1 tank were reportedly ended due to the tanks' technical inadequacies.

    Tank procurement talks with Germany are in their last phase. Negotiations for the German Leopard-2 tanks were approved for purchase by the German Defence Ministry but for some reason stalled. However, when the talks resumed, the rough edges concerning the sales were mainly smoothed. Meetings related to the procurement of 172 units of the Leopard-2 tanks are reported to have only a slight problem over price.

    On the other hand, a significant step was taken in the talks for the purchase of the tanks. For years, Germany always stipulated that its military equipment sold to Turkey was "not to be used in military operations in the southeastern region." This time, Germany did not press such a stipulation. Land Forces Command will use the Leopard-2 tanks until the time that Turkish defence companies produce and deliver a tank which is still being developed. In addition, the modernization project of the M-60 tanks using Israeli tanks is in the works.

    The Lorop Project, which covers the procurement of photo-taking survey pods mounted under aircraft, was cancelled. Israeli firm El-Op won the high-altitude survey pods tender that was opened in 1999 at a price of $36 million, and agreed to deliver them in 2001. In 2000, the firm suggested delivery in August 2002 in return for technical improvements in the performance of the goods. The Defence Ministry accepted the proposal. However, the firm didn't hand them over at the time it had pledged.

    After negotiations, the first system was delivered in 2003, a year late, but failed the performance tests. The same test was applied last year but the results were again negative. Following the two failures, the ministry cancelled the tender and the Israeli company's performance bond, which costs $3 million, was transferred to the budget as income. The ministry is reported to have decided not to include any Israeli firms in its next tenders for the procurement of new systems.

    [12] Representatives of Bush government had a meeting with Erdogan

    Istanbul NTV television (29/09/05) broadcast that Ankara received coldly the messages given by Hadley and Hughes, representatives of the Bush administration who are currently visiting Turkey, to the effect that the United States wants a change of regime in Syria.

    At their meetings, Prime Minister Erdogan cautioned Hadley and Foreign Minister Gul cautioned Hughes against intervening in the Damascus regime. The government told the Bush administration: We, too, are aware of the nature of the regime in Syria. We constantly tell them to introduce more democracy. Nevertheless, it would be dangerous to play with Syria. Syria would be worse than Iraq.

    During the talks with the US officials, Ankara implied that it does not very much trust the report that will reportedly reveal the forces behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] Greek Cypriot attempts to join NATO

    Istanbul daily Milliyet newspaper (27/09/05), under the above title, published the following commentary by Fikret Bila:

    Efforts are being made by southern Cyprus to use the accession talks between Turkey and the EU scheduled to begin on 3 October as a hostage. It is due to these efforts that the framework document has still not been given its final shape.

    With such a short time left until 3 October, when the accession talks are due to begin, the Greek Cypriot administration is doing its level best to add new conditions to the framework document. One of its aims is to put Turkey's "veto" into check should southern Cyprus ask to become a member of NATO. They want to use the EU to bypass Turkey's veto against the Greek Cypriots joining NATO.

    The provision that the Greek Cypriots want to add to the framework documents states that Turkey cannot prevent southern Cyprus from joining international organizations, or use its power of veto.

    Even though it may not state it openly this provision is aimed at southern Cyprus joining NATO. No matter how much the talks with Turkish officials might revolve around organizations such as the OSCE the debates are concentrating on NATO.

    Subtitle: Remarkable Pressurizing

    After Greece was able to join NATO without Turkey vetoing it what is being sought now is for a way to open the door to southern Cyprus's membership of NATO even though a solution on the island has not been reached.

    The EU is applying whatever pressure it can on Turkey ahead of the 3 October start date. Opening the door for the Greek Cypriots to join NATO is the most remarkable of this pressurizing tactics.

    The EU completely ignored the London and Zurich agreements, which state that Cyprus cannot become a member of any international organization that Turkey and Greece are not both members of, and is trying to do the same thing so that southern Cyprus can join NATO.

    After the EU trampled all over international agreements and made southern Cyprus a member despite so solution being reached on the island the fact that it is not trying to ensure southern Cyprus' NATO membership constitutes a serious move against Turkey and the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus].

    While the Turkish Cypriots, who said Yes to the Annan Plan arte being punished, the Greek Cypriots, who rejected it, are being rewarded.

    Subtitle: Turkish Military Being Told To Pull Out

    Turkey has the power of veto within NATO. If it comes to it Turkey could use its veto to prevent southern Cyprus joining NATO. However, attempts to put Ankara into check before the EU Accession Talks begin are doubtless very annoying to Ankara. First, they make the Greek Cypriots EU members without there being a settlement on the island. Now, if they are allowed to join NATO after a specific process is played out what kind of shape might the Cyprus problem take?

    The answer to this is clear: Seeing that the Turkish military on the island is being declared "an occupying army" in an EU country the next stage will be to declare it "an occupying army" in a country that is both an EU and a NATO member. Doubtless, in order to end this "occupation" the demand will be made to have the Turkish military pull out of Cyprus.

    Subtitle: Using The Accession Talks To Place Turkey In Check

    It will mean southern Cyprus becoming a member of NATO just as it became a member of the EU without a settlement first being reached on the island.

    Naturally, Turkey's veto is enough to block such a development. Turkey could use its veto within NATO to stop this. However, adding such a provision to the Accession Talks Framework Document at this stage means using the accession talks as a pawn to place Turkey's veto in check. When the time comes the Greek Cypriot administration will therefore be able to suspend the accession talks. It will be able to block the talks when it wants to in order to make Turkey forego its visa and grant entry to NATO.

    Up until now the EU has always been on the side of the Greek Cypriot administration. It punished the Turkish Cypriots, who accepted the Annan Plan, and rewarded the Greek Cypriots, who rejected it. The move to open the door to NATO for them shows that this mentality has not changed.

    Inclusion of such a provision in the framework document while it may not prevent the accession talks from starting will still have the function of putting the squeeze on Turkey at any time. Turkey must resist the inclusion of such an expression in the framework document.


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