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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-10-05

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.190/05 05.10.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reference to Cyprus by Gul during a press conference in Luxembourg
  • [02] Olli Rehn on the screening process and the accession talks with Turkey
  • [03] Turkey´s opposition leaders assess the negotiating framework for Turkey´s accession talks
  • [04] Talat says he could visit Britain upon invitation of the British Government after the British term presidency of the EU is over
  • [05] How the Turkish Cypriot political leaders commented on the commencement of Turkeys EU accession negotiations
  • [06] Azerbaijan culture days started yesterday in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [07] The deputy Minister of Education of Tajikistan invited the self-styled education minister in the occupied areas of Cyprus to visit Tajikistan
  • [08] The holy month of Ramadan started today
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Commentary in Milliyet assesses Baykal´s reaction to the negotiation framework [a] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reference to Cyprus by Gul during a press conference in Luxembourg Ankara Anatolia news agency (04/10/05) reported from Luxembourg that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul on Tuesday said in a press conference: "This strategic decision has made it (Europe) an actor who will play an important global role from now on. Europe needed two things throughout the history in order to be a great power: One of them is to absorb multiple cultures and the other is being a bridge between Europe and Asia. Turkey and Europe have decided to live with multiple cultures and different religions." Underlining the regional impact of Turkey-EU relations, Gul said that Turkey was in fact a country, assuring stability in the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East. "Turkey will continue this mission more strongly and firmly with the help of the EU," he added. "Yesterday was a historic milestone, and a giant leap was made," also indicated Gul. Referring to historic relations between Turkey and Europe, Gul mentioned that Turkey was a part of Europe for more than 1,000 years, and also a part of European political institutions for nearly 200 years. "This (start of entry talks) is, in one sense, the continuation of this course," stressed Gul. Gul said that Turkey wanted to adjust itself to European standards not only to become an EU member, but also for the benefit of Turkish people. "We will continue to make reforms. I don't say that Turkey has become a democratic country just in the last three years, but its democracy and institutions have been improved (during this period). European Commission's report said that Turkey passed the critical threshold, and this means that a country which is overwhelmingly Muslim was successful in democracy, like Europeans were," added Gul. Asked by a journalist about who were involved in persuading Austrians, Gul said that Turkey's membership is a matter of importance not just for Turkey and the EU but the whole world. "We talked to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Britain demonstrated true leadership as the current president of the EU. I talked with the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw around 30 times," commented Gul. Meanwhile, chief negotiator Ali Babacan has indicated that the screening process may take a whole year. "We may start talking on topics first when screening would be completed by the end of 2005," noted Babacan. Referring to Turkey´s policy on Cyprus, Mr Gul has indicated that a change will not occur in Turkey's policy concerning Cyprus unless a solution is found. "Turkey will stand by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) at all costs until a lasting solution is found," said Gul. Gul held the press conference in Luxembourg. Asked if a new initiative is imminent on Cyprus, Gul responded that a new initiative may take place nowadays. "I was in New York in September. We discussed the issue many times. The solution of the Cyprus problem will make happy not only the two nations but the entire world," told Gul. When asked if the upcoming EU presidency of Austria is a matter of concern for Turkey, Gul answered: "The Austrians will represent 25 members of the EU. We expect Austria to act in a responsible fashion," stressed Gul. Gul said that the decision to start entry talks with the EU is a political one made by the current government of Turkey. "As a political gesture, we have informed the Turkish president Ahmet Necdet Sezer and opposition leader Deniz Baykal of Republican People's Party (CHP), about the government's decision prior to making our decision known by the general public," said Gul. Gul stated that Turkey's only goal is to become a full member to the EU in the future. "The use of the term 'absorption capacity' is nothing new. Such a terminology was used in the Copenhagen political criteria on 1993 and in the documents pertaining to December 17th, 2004," said Gul. In response to a question asking if it is about time for the EU to keep its promises made to the Turkish Cypriots, Gul answered that it is way beyond time to keep such promises. "The time has come. The EU must keep its promises made to Turkish Cypriots," noted Gul. Turkish Cypriot Halkin Sesi newspaper (05/10/05) quotes Mr Gul to have said that the Cyprus problem is of great concern to the EU and that the platform for its solution is the U.N. and not the EU.
  • [02] Olli Rehn on the screening process and the accession talks with Turkey Ankara Anatolia news agency (04/10/05) reported the following from Brussels: "Screening process will start with science and research chapter on October 20th," EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said on Tuesday, stating that he could arrive in Turkey for consultations this week. Rehn told a news conference in Brussels that the chapter on education and culture will be next in the screening process. He noted that the process could take one year, yet stated that this would not prevent opening of negotiations. "The EU makes historic decisions at night," said Rehn and described the start of full membership negotiations with Turkey as a "historic decision". Indicating that the target of negotiations with Turkey was full membership and that this was an unanimous decision, Rehn also noted that an open-ended process is in question. "A 10-15 years timetable can be necessary," he noted. Rehn stated that the EU declaration on Cyprus was very clear. "Recognition of the 'Cyprus Republic' is a part of the accession process. This process will be followed and the parties will be encouraged to reach a solution," he added.
  • [03] Turkey´s opposition leaders assess the negotiating framework for Turkey´s accession talks Ankara TRT2 Television (04/10/05) broadcast the following: Republican People's Party [CHP] Chairman Deniz Baykal charged that 3 October launched a screening process that directs Turkey toward a special-status relationship with the EU, that posits Cyprus as a precondition, and that places Turkey in a situation worse than the one preceding 17 December. Addressing his party's parliamentary faction meeting today, Baykal described the negotiating framework document as dramatic and full of booby traps. He said: ´The kind of relationship we are being directed to is a special-status relationship. No one can call it full membership. My dear friends, we will not be the same as Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, or even Croatia which has not even embarked on the process yet. Ours will be different. What is in a name? Whether you call it special status or not, it makes no difference. It does not need a label. Today, the negotiating framework document was approved, but, tomorrow, Turkey will come before Europe as a country that cannot come to terms with any relationship other than full membership. The EU is telling us that this is its expectation regarding us: The best Turkey is an EU candidate Turkey. Please, always remain a candidate. Always remain a candidate. The best Turkey is the perpetual candidate for EU membership. Not far enough to break away from my influence, and not close enough to enter my decisionmaking organs, my parliament, my government, or my council with all its force and weight.´ Motherland Party Chairman Erkan Mumcu, in turn, declared that the fact that Turkey has begun negotiations with the EU is the success of past governments as well as the current government. In a news conference at parliament today, Mumcu said that showing excessive joy and engaging in euphoria could harm Turkey. He said: ´This would weaken Turkey's hand. We should not promote expectations that could create disappointments in the face of the difficulties inherent in the process ahead.´
  • [04] Talat says he could visit Britain upon invitation of the British Government after the British term presidency of the EU is over Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.10.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he could visit Britain upon the invitation of the British Government and that the visit could only be realized after the end of the British term presidency of the EU, because of the heavy schedule of the British officials. Speaking yesterday at a press conference, Mr Talat said he had a telephone conversation with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayip Erdogan whom he congratulated for the beginning of his countrys accession negotiations with the EU. Referring to Turkeys accession process to the EU, Mr Talat noted that this will be a dynamic process and within this process there will be both problems and opportunities. Mr Talat expressed the opinion that this period would be very difficult for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Talat pointed out that the place where the Cyprus problem should be solved is the United Nations and argued that the EU has no ability to solve the problem. The EU has neither the capacity nor the means to solve the Cyprus problem, said Mr Talat and added: The UN process will come again onto the agenda during Turkeys EU process and within this framework the discussion of the Cyprus problem will be achieved. The solution can only be reached at the UN. Turkey recognizing the Republic of Cyprus before the solution is not a solution and it is tantamount to the beginning of new problems, he alleged. Mr Talat said that in the near future they might evaluate the situation with Turkey, but there is no meeting scheduled for the time being. Commenting on his meetings with the head of the EUs Unit Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community Leopold Maurer and the Speaker of the European Parliament, Joseph Borell tomorrow, Mr. Talat said that with Mr Maurer they discussed the 259 million euro financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots and with Mr Borell they would discuss the proposed establishment of an EU-Turkish Cypriot contact group. Mr Talat argued that the Europeans felt the need to establish such a contact group as a result of their discomfort from the lack of Turkish Cypriot representation at the EU institutions. Furthermore, KIBRIS reports that Mr Talat will have dinner tomorrow night with the chairman of Democratic Rally Party (DISI), Mr Nikos Anastasiades at his residence in occupied Kyrenia. According to some information, Mr Talat will also meet with the General Secretary of AKEL and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Dimitris Christofias. I/Ts.
  • [05] How the Turkish Cypriot political leaders commented on the commencement of Turkeys EU accession negotiations Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.10.05) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), has said that a new period began in the relations between Turkey and the EU with the commencement of Ankaras accession negotiations. In statements yesterday Mr Akinci noted that new parameters are created with this new process and that these parameters demand a new policy. BDH is working on this issue, he said. Mr Akinci wondered what the position of the Turkish Cypriots will be in this process, while Turkey will be having a new relation with the Republic of Cyprus. Commenting on the same issue Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said yesterday that new policies must be developed in this process which will be paving the way for a solution. He accused the self-styled government in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus of following a policy which only aims at the lifting of the isolation and the embargo. It made steps which opened the way of Turkey, but ignored the protection of the interests, the future, the identity and the existence of the Turkish Cypriots, noted Mr Izcan. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (05.10.05) reports that Omer Kalyoncu, General Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) expressed the opinion that the Turkish Cypriots should exert the necessary pressure in order to force President Papadopoulos to sit at the negotiating table. Ertugrul Hasipoglu, MP with the Democratic Party (DP), said that the real struggle will begin from now on and that the Turkish Cypriots should do correctly the duty and to rise their standard of living. And we must take this to the UN in the negotiations process, he added. Hasan Tacoy, MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), expressed the opinion that the opposition and the ruling parties must exert their efforts on the Cyprus problem having common views, opinions and behaviours. The need for a new policy by the Turkish Cypriot side was also stressed by Huseyin Angolemli, chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (TKP) and Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. I/Ts.
  • [06] Azerbaijan culture days started yesterday in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus Illegal Bayrak television (04/10/05) broadcast the following: The Azerbaijan culture days began today with a conference held at the ´Near East Universitys´ Ataturk Cultural Centre. The event is organised jointly by the ´TRNC´ (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) ´Ministry of Foreign Affairs´, the (illegal) Turkish Embassy in Lefkosa, the ´Near East University´ and the ´Eastern Mediterranean University.´ (operating illegally under the laws of the Republic of Turkey in occupied Cyprus) Addressing the opening ceremony, the undersecretary of Azerbaycans Ministry of State Rahmi Hasirov said his country will continue to support the ´Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ in all fields. He added that work was underway to schedule regular commercial flights directly between Baku and Ercan. Referring to the opening of accession talks between Turkey and the European Union, Mr. Hasirov welcomed the development and praised Turkey s strenuous diplomatic success in removing dangerous provisions that would have otherwise been included in the framework agreement. Mr Has1rov reiterated Baku s continued support to the Turkish Cypriot ´people´ in helping remove the unjust international isolations imposed on it. In the meantime (self-styled) Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas has complained of Greek Cypriot pressure being exerted on Azerbaycan to prevent the planned direct flights between the country and the ´TRNC´ from being launched. Evaluating the latest developments on the issue, Mr. Denktas said the Azeri governments decision to postpone scheduling the once-weekly commercial flight was the result of the Greek Cypriot Administrations threat to veto a friendship agreement to be signed later between Azerbaijan and the European Union. Criticizing the Greek Cypriot side of displaying a hostile and aggressive attitude, especially at a time when the Turkish Cypriot Sides hand of peace continues to be extended, Mr. Serdar Denktas said the Greek Cypriot side was using its EU membership to deepen the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people. Explaining that he will raise the issue at tomorrows meeting with the President of the EU Parliament, Joseph Borell, the ´Foreign Minister´ said he will remind Mr. Borell that the EU has failed in keeping its promises made to the Turkish Cypriot ´People´ that its international isolation would be removed.
  • [07] The deputy Minister of Education of Tajikistan invited the self-styled education minister in the occupied areas of Cyprus to visit Tajikistan Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.10.05) reports that the deputy Minister of Education of Tajikistan, Mrs Irina Karimova departed yesterday from the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus (OTCR). The deputy Minister of Tajikistan visited the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus on the 1st of October upon an invitation of the self-styled minister of education and culture in the OTCR, Mrs Canan Oztoprak. Mrs Karimova invited the self-styled education minister to visit Tajikistan. During her visit Mrs Karimova held contacts with Mrs Oztoprak with whom she agreed to start the development of co-operation between Tajikistan and the OTCR. She also visited the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University and some primary education schools in OTCR. C/S
  • [08] The holy month of Ramadan started today Illegal Bayrak television (04/10/05) broadcast the following: The Islamic world enters the holy month of Ramadan as of dawn tomorrow. Practicing Moslems will be fasting between dawn and dusk everyday throughout the month. The religiuous festival will end with the start of the Holy festival of Ramadan on the 3rd of November.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Commentary in Milliyet assesses Baykal´s reaction to the negotiation framework Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (04/10/05) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "The Baykal-Gul Conversation": After Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul reached agreement with the European Union (EU) in the evening hours regarding the Negotiating Framework Document, and before leaving for Esenboga [Ankara] Airport, he telephoned CHP [opposition Republican People's Party] leader Deniz Baykal and briefed him. Baykal, with whom I spoke following Gul's telephone call, had not been mollified. The main opposition leader objected both to the agreement that had been reached and to the way that he was provided the information on it. He was of the view that, in the agreement that was announced to have been reached, the effort to open the door to NATO membership for Southern Cyprus had not been prevented. Baykal responded as follows to my questions regarding the conversation he had had with Gul: - The Foreign Minister announced that, before departing, he had provided you with information. Were you satisfied? - There is no question of my being satisfied. Is this the way in which information should be provided to the main opposition leader? Mr Gul, just before setting out, called me and merely said "We have reached agreement, and so we are departing, but before we leave let me brief you so that you do not get it from elsewhere." This is not the way to provide information to the main opposition leader on such an important issue. There was not even any text that I was able to see. We have no information on the stages [of the negotiations]. So what aspect of this am I to be satisfied with? This mode of behavior is unbecoming. - What did you say to Mr Gul? - What I said was that the agreement reached did not resolve the problem. I told him that the text of the agreement provided to Mr Gul, and which we learned from the television, did not meet all of Turkey's expectations. The text does not prevent Southern Cyprus's entry [presumably into NATO]. I said that the declaration did not remove the obligation [presumably regarding recognition of the Republic of Cyprus] in terms of Turkey. And I said that this text was going to be debated a great deal. Baykal added as well that, after having this conversation with Gul, he saw from the television that Gul left the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] General Headquarters. He stressed the distaste he felt from being briefed in such an offhanded way. The CHP leader maintained the following views, which he had raised in the conversation we had before it was announced that agreement had been reached, even after speaking with Gul: "The EU is supposedly unable to persuade Austria. What aspect of this can you really believe? Just think of an incident that is still fresh in everyone's memory: The EU didn't allow [Austrian politician Joerg] Haider, who had won the election, to form a government. It officially did not accept the election results in Austria. It didn't allow Haider to form a government. So the EU, which was sufficiently influential over Vienna as to prevent it from implementing the results of its elections, was unable to be influential in this case? This is not credible. Because Austria is not alone in this resistance. There are other countries and parties behind it that do not want to be seen. A game has been played." Stating that the difficulties that came out on 3 October have revealed an important truth from Turkey's standpoint, Baykal provided the following comment: "We saw the difficulties that Turkey was confronted with on 3 October. I hope that the Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] saw them as well. One has to carefully consider what the EU, which was able to generate such large crises and which has already put heavy conditions before Turkey even before negotiations have started, will be able to do in a negotiations process that is expected to continue until at least 2014. This reality shows that Turkey needs to work out a national strategy for this long process that stands before us. Turkey, both the party in power and the opposition, and with all its various components and institutions, needs to establish a national strategy that determines, in the process ahead, what things it will be able to accept and what things it will be unable to accept. Because this lengthy process is one that will last much longer than the life of any one government or any one parliament. The negotiations process must be handled in accord with a national strategy." Noting that the problematic hours on 3 October showed yet another deficiency of the government, Baykal called as follows for the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] to be involved in the process: "The government, in the period through which we are passing, has carefully kept the TBMM out of the loop. Yet on such an important issue, which will determine the future of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, the TBMM should have been involved. This would not have made the government's job more difficult, but would in fact have facilitated it. But the government always avoided this. And so the nation, and the nation's parliament, have had no knowledge as to what has been transpiring." Baykal stressed that the problems created on 3 October by the EU and by Austria have already shown that serious obstacles are going to be encountered on a number of issues in Turkey's negotiations process, and particularly on the Cyprus and Aegean. He stated that, for this reason, there is an urgent need for a basis on which Turkey, with both its government and its opposition, can take a joint stance, within the framework of a national strategy. EG/
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