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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-04-06

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.67/06 06.04.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the latest developments over the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Michale Leigh held contacts in the occupied areas.
  • [03] Erdil Nami said that Michael Leigh told him that the office of the EU financial aid will be opened in1-2 months.
  • [04] Statements by the US Secretary of State on the Annan Plan.
  • [05] Matt Bryza on the so-called isolations.
  • [06] The USA is reportedly exerting efforts for the recommencement of the negotiations towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [07] High-level contacts by Gul.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses the US relations with AKP and the Turkish generals.
  • [09] Gul´s advise for rest with an anecdote of Rauf Denktas. His messages to Europe, Turks and Kurds.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the latest developments over the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.04.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The UN is the place where Cyprus problem should be solved, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Namik Tan said on Wednesday. In his weekly press briefing, Tan stated that the Cyprus Government is trying to bring forward the matter in the EU, urge us to recognize itself and make Turkish Cypriots a minority in the island.

    Recalling that Turkey has proposed a Cyprus action plan, Tan said, ''UN Secretary-General sent a letter to Gul in which he said that the plan is being investigated, and they will notify us the result of their investigation after it is over.''

    Tan stated that Turkey is also supporting UN's efforts aiming to set up technical committees which will work on issues like environment in the island. ''But this will not replace a comprehensive settlement to be reached on the basis of Annan plan. And, it is obvious that issues to be discussed as a part of a comprehensive settlement cannot be resolved by these technical committees,'' he stressed.

    According to Tan, such approaches will not contribute to a comprehensive settlement. And, he said that concerned parties are expected not to ignore this.

    Tan said that Turkey believes that countries like the USA will take some concrete steps to solve Cyprus problem as soon as possible, when commenting on U.S. authorities' visit to Ankara.

    [02] Michale Leigh held contacts in the occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.04.06) broadcast the following:

    Michael Leigh, the Director for the Office of EU Enlargement - has arrived in Cyprus for talks with the two sides.

    The EU envoy has already embarked on his contacts that are focusing on the implementation of the EU Financial Assistance Regulation, prepared in 2004 by the European Union to help boost North Cyprus economy, after the Turkish Cypriot sides approval of the Annan Plan in a referendum.

    The Director of the Office of EU Enlargement - Michael Leigh arrived in the island for talks that are focusing on the details of the implementation of the EU Financial Assistance Regulation for North Cyprus.

    He was received by `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat at a meeting also attended by the `Prime Minister´ Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the `Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister´ Serdar Denktas and the `Minister of Finance´ Ahmet Uzun.

    The BRT has learnt that there was an exchange of views at the meeting particularly on technical issues relating to the implementation of the EU Financial Assistance Regulation for Northern Cyprus.

    The EU envoy said later that his meeting with `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat had been very useful and constructive in that there was an exchange of views over the prospects of EU Commission getting more involved in matters like environment and energy in the `TRNC´.

    As for the Greek Cypriot sides objection to an EU Office being opened in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´, the EU envoy said it is too early to comment on that.

    Mr Michael Leighs contacts included a working lunch with the `Mayor´ of Lefkosia Kutlay Erk and a meeting later with the president of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce - Erdil Nami.

    The relations with the EU as well as the wider issue of the implementation of the Green Line Regulation, together with the Financial Assistance promised by the European Union, were high on the agenda at the talks.

    [03] Erdil Nami said that Michael Leigh told him that the office of the EU financial aid will be opened in 1-2 months

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.04.06) reports that Michael Leigh, the director for the office of EU Enlargement had a meeting yesterday with Mr Erdil Nami, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce along with a delegation of the Chambers officials.

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Nami stated that the meeting took place in a very good climate. He also stated that Mr Leigh told him that the office that the European Union (EU) will open as regards the EU financial aid will be opened in about 1-2 months. Mr Nami expressed to Mr Leigh his worries as regards this issue.

    According to Mr Nami, Mr Leigh also said during the meeting, that experts that will be appointed by the EU will work at the office and added that the necessary financial aid will be given for projects, after these projects will be approved. Mr Nami said that they asked from Mr Leigh for the necessary arrangements to be made so that the Turkish Cypriots to be able to apply under equal conditions for the awarding of contracts which are related to the financial aid.

    Mr Nami also stated that during the meeting they discussed the Green Line Regulation, as well.

    (C/S)

    [04] Statements by the US Secretary of State on the Annan Plan

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.04.06) broadcast the following:

    The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has expressed the belief that the Annan Plan remains the most suitable basis for a comprehensive and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking in Washington, Dr Rice said that the United States is working on finding ways to get the Annan Plan accepted by the two sides in Cyprus.

    The US Secretary of State said she believes the Annan Plan also provides the best available basis for a conciliation between the two sides in Cyprus.

    Speaking at the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee during discussions on next years foreign aid, Dr Rice reiterated the United States support for the Annan Plan and said the United States has been working to promote the blue-print as a compromise for the benefit of both sides in Cyprus.

    Touching upon the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visit to Washington last week, Mrs Rice said that the Cyprus problem was also taken up during the meeting.

    Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State has announced that her country is to withdraw its financial support for the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations in Cyprus.

    We are still in the process of trying to understand if we can do anything to help bring the two sides closer and remove their differences; and I can say that weve committed ourselves to achieving that she said.

    [05] Matt Bryza on the so-called isolations

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.04.06) broadcast the following:

    The US State Department Undersecretary in charge of Eurasian Affairs - Matt Bryza has said that his country wants the removal of the economic isolation of the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´).

    Mr Bryza stated that Turkish Cypriots political will for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, although lately recognized, together with the fact that resolving the economic problems of the `TRNC´ will help facilitate the unification of the island, are the two reasons the United States supports the lifting of the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    The US State Department Undersecretary in charge of Eurasian affairs- Matt Bryza said the United States has two reasons to support the idea of removing the economic isolation on the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´.

    He expressed the belief that Turkish Cypriots political will for a solution to the Cyprus problem and a possible improvement in the Turkish Cypriot economy after the lifting of the isolation will help achieve unification.

    Referring to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans mediating role, Mr Bryza gave a reassurance that the US will support any new initiative to come from the Secretary General.

    Mr Bryza reminded that the Turkish Cypriot `People´ has already proven its willingness for peace in Cyprus by supporting the Annan Plan, and stressed the need for Greek Cypriots, now, to persuade the UN Secretary-General that they are ready to restart the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Expressing the belief that Turkey will go ahead and open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft to fulfill its international responsibilities, Mr Bryza called on the EU to help Turkey in this respect, and said the EU should also help bring forward the lifting of the international isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the subordinate to Ankara regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of Cyprus under the occupation of 40,000 Turkish troops, which the Turkish propaganda machine calls isolation of the Turkish Cypriots).

    [06] The USA is reportedly exerting efforts for the recommencement of the negotiations towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.04.06) reports that Mr Daniel Fried, responsible at the Desk for Europe and Eurasia of the US State Department, has said that his country is exerting efforts for the recommencement of the negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to questions of a group of journalists, including KIBRIS editor-in-chief Mr Basaran Duzgun, Mr Fried reiterated that the USA supported the reunification and not the division of the Island. The reunification of the Island will be for the benefit, not only of those who live in Cyprus, but of Turkey and Greece as well, he added.

    Noting that they were disappointed because the Annan Plan had not been approved, Mr Fried said that he met with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and that they regarded his stance constructive and positive. This stance must definitely continue. The high support of the Turkish Cypriots to the solution must continue. We have to evaluate this and reach the solution, he said and expressed the opinion that the the Turkish Cypriots deserve the solution and in this manner to become a member of the EU.

    Mr Fried said they appreciated the pro-solution stance of the government of Turkey and pointed out that this should continue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] High-level contacts by Gul

    The New Anatolian (06.04.06) reports the following: The Turkish Foreign Ministry is to hold a high-level meeting with its key diplomats on major issues, ranging from Cyprus to Iran and the Middle East to the European Union, this week.

    The ministry brainstorming sessions carried out both regularly and at ad hoc meetings in Balgat, the seat of the Foreign Ministry, will be reflecting on short- and medium-term strategies on those hot potato issues.

    So the experience of Turkish diplomats on Iraq will also be assessed in retrospect as a lesson on what to do about the current state of volatile Iran in particular, said Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul this week but carefully refrained from drawing comparisons between Iraq and Iran.

    Gurcan Turkoglu, former adviser to Gul and presently ambassador to Tehran, will also be asked to participate in the brainstorming, Gul said. Other key figures, such as Ugur Ziyal, Foreign Ministry undersecretary at the time of the Iraqi crisis, will also come from Rome.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in HURRIYET assesses the US relations with AKP and the Turkish generals

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (04.04.06) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: The Diyarbakir-Washington-Tehran line:

    I asked two questions in my article entitled "What Is Happening in the Southeast" and that was published on Sunday, 2.4.2006:

    1. (Following the "Iran warnings" that have been issued by US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson and that have clearly and openly called upon Turkey to give up its desire to mediate.)

    "...If we translate the aforementioned diplomatic remarks to my language, I believe that they will read as follows: 'Will you stand by my side when an armed struggle (against Iran) becomes necessary?'

    "The United States is seeking an answer to the question of whether or not Turkey will stand by its side if it feels obliged to launch an attack against Iran with Europe's support."

    2. There is an additional issue that is not openly asked, but that is discussed in the United States: Is the civilian government or the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] more trustworthy in terms of cooperating with the United States in the "Iranian issue"?

    It is as if Yasemin Congar, one of Turkey's experienced journalists who lives in Washington in the United States, tried to answer these questions in the article entitled "As AKP's [Justice and Development Party] Credit in United States Runs Out" that she wrote for MILLIYET on Tuesday 3.4.2006.

    "Those who came to Washington for the annual ATC [American Turkish Council] meeting last week echoed their impressions with an astonishingly confusing pessimism: 'The state of relations is far worse than we thought...' In fact, the situation is not new. Here are the well known headlines of the recently accumulated problems that were conveyed by the Americans to their Turkish counterpart... What does the Bush administration's waning confidence in the AKP government actually mean? Will individuals in Washington act in line with the hopes of some Turks, who are looking in the United States for a way to get rid of the AKP, and will they press the button to this end? Of course, they will not. The Bush administration knows that 'they are stuck with the AKP' as long as there is no serious alternative that may receive the support of the people in Turkey. Basing its actions on this knowledge a little, Washington is making efforts for properly improving 'soldier to soldier' relations and holding more frequent dialogues with the generals, just as emphasized by US CJC General Peter Pace at the ATC meeting, which he attended immediately after his return from Turkey."

    The government wanted to give the impression that it had invited HAMAS to Ankara after receiving the approval of the United States, but those who spoke to Yasemin Congar do not agree:

    "During the visit of a former Turkish politician in his office, a high-level US official who is very familiar with Turkey said: 'From our standpoint, HAMAS's visit equals the rejection of the 1 March motion [for the stationing of US troops in Turkey]'."

    Those who want to look at the developments in the Middle East in general and in the southeast of Turkey in particular from a wider angle should definitely read this article that has been written with great caution by Yasemin Congar. It is almost as if she has chosen each and every word.

    It is possible to explain the fact that the government has simultaneously and rapidly embarked upon a decline period before the United States, the EU, the IMF, the businessmen, the media, and even the civilian bureaucracy only with its "diameter."

    Now that the prime minister has simultaneously confronted almost all the political actors who shape Turkish politics, it is easier to understand why he is so nervous.

    The government has begun to see its grass roots as its only refuge. It is therefore trying to keep its head above the water until the elections by pursuing a populist policy and by fine-tuning its performance according to the grass roots.

    The trick according to which the government was shown death and was convinced to accept malaria has been placed on low heat!

    And the prime minister has actually been tricked!

    [09] Gul´s advise for rest with an anecdote of Rauf Denktas. His messages to Europe, Turks and Kurds

    English language Ankara Turkish Daily News newspaper (05.04.06) publishes the following editorial by Yusuf Kanli under the title: The right message: More reforms:

    Early in the morning Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, at an breakfast with some senior journalists, and hours later Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan underlined what we believe to be the right message that the Turks, Turkey's friends in the international community -- particularly the European Union -- and most important of all the Kurdish separatist terrorists must listen to very carefully: There will not be any letup in Turkey's anti-terrorism resolve; the security forces will undertake every possible measure to combat terrorism; and the government in Ankara is determined to foil the plot of the terrorist gang and remain anchored to further reform and wider democracy in the country.

    Turkey definitely does not have the luxury of neglecting its domestic security needs. It cannot let mobs torch the cities of the country. However, while it is a must for our state to be resolute against terrorism, vandalism and all kinds of violence, recognition of the need for further reform for broader democracy and enhanced individual and social rights and liberties -- without hampering the integrity of the country -- is an obligation as well.

    What we understood from what Gul said was that the new reform package that the government is preparing to unveil soon does not include either an amnesty for PKK members, nor a constitutional amendment. There is apparently no consideration being given to lowering the 10 percent national threshold that would allow parliamentary representation of minority views. Still, the government's decision to unveil a new reform package during these difficult days demonstrates its resolve not to let Turkey be derailed from its modernization and advancement drive because of the latest PKK-provoked developments.

    In view of the recent tensions and the apparent surge in PKK-related violence, it is of course impossible for any political team -- except the pro-PKK groups -- to demand an amnesty; however, we have to admit that for a comprehensive resolution of the problem at some stage we are bound to declare an amnesty and allow our society heal the wounds of this immense trauma of terrorism through a concerted national action.

    At a time when the four-year collective growth rate of the country has reached 34 percent, the annual inflation rate could be pulled below 5 percent and foreign direct investment in the country has reached unprecedented levels, Turkey should no longer waste time with emergency rule and such provisional measures. We were delighted to learn on Tuesday that in the top echelons of the Turkish government no thought was being given to clamping down emergency rule in the Southeast in hopes of stopping vandalism by protestors, since we were very much afraid that such a move would play straight into the hands of the PKK.

    Democracy cannot stop terrorism, as Gul said, but it can alienate and marginalize it. The remedy for Turkey's problems must be sought in wider democracy without deviating from the resolute anti-terrorism stance.

    'People must take holidays'

    Gul, relaxed after two weeks of low-profile work at his residence following an operation on his ear, started his breakfast with journalists in Ankara with an anecdote from Rauf Denktas, the founding president of the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´.

    Years ago when Denktas was serving as deputy chief prosecutor of the British colonial administration of Cyprus, the British prosecutor decides to hire one new person. Together with the Greek deputy prosecutor, they establish a three-man commission to interview the candidates. One of the candidates was a very talented man, very bright and intelligent. They almost decide to recruit him, but the candidate, in an attempt to demonstrate how dedicated he was to his profession, tells the commission, "I am working so hard and committed to my work so much that for many years I have not taken any leave." The commission decides not to recruit him "because a person who does not know how to rest and enjoy life cannot be 100 percent at work."

    Thus Gul said, "It was great to have some rest," and find some time to read unfinished books. He indeed appeared to be refreshed.

    /SK


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