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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-30

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.124/06 30.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] A Greek Cypriot cutter created crisis at Gocek.
  • [02] Serdar Denktas says no government can work in harmony unless the Democratic Party participates in it.
  • [03] Ibrahim Gambari to visit Brussels, Ankara and Athens prior to his arrival in Cyprus.
  • [04] Olli Rehn warns Turkey with suspension on its EU accession process.
  • [05] Hansjoerg Kretschmer: Olli Rehns statements on Turkeys EU accession process should not be a surprise.
  • [06] The Turkish President Sezer met with his Russian Counterpart; the Cyprus problem on the agenda.
  • [07] Bullent Arinc denies Turkeys deviation from EU membership.
  • [08] The Turkish Parliament approves the Anti-Terrorism Bill.
  • [09] The Turkish Ambassador to Washington speaks of new measures by the U.S. for Turkish Cypriots.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Is Turkey becoming strategically disoriented?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] A Greek Cypriot cutter created crisis at Gocek

    Under the above title Turkish MILLIYET newspaper (30.06.06) reports the following from Antalya:

    A Greek Cypriot boat approached yesterday the Gocek marina. The Coastal Security asked from the boat to leave.

    A cutter from the Greek Cypriot sector, which violates the Turkish sea waters with merchant ships for some time now, succeeded to enter the Gocek marina. As for the Officials of the Coastal Security Command, making clear that Turkey does not recognise the Greek Cypriot sector, they asked for the marina authorities to take the cutter out of the marina.

    After no permission was granted to the ships named Abel F under the Greek Cypriot flag which wanted to approach Mersin in February and Pantokrator under the Greek flag which had the Greek Cypriot seals in some of its documents a month later, another development happened this time.

    Subtitle: You cannot wander at Turkish sea waters

    The 18-metre-long and navy blue cutter which had the name Limassol written in its stern, entered the Gocek marina at 12.15 yesterday.

    The Marina administration stated the following to the military authorities while were discussing until yesterday afternoon how to take the cutter out of the marina:

    The inscription at the back part of the boat, which we called stern, show to which port is the boat registered. Even if it does not carry on it a Greek Cypriot flag, it understood that this boat is a Greek Cypriot boat and it comes from the Limassol port to which it is bound.

    Merchant ships, boats or cutters cannot by any means enter the Turkish Sea Waters. Because we do not recognise such a state.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.06) reported the following from Mugla:

    A Greek Cypriot boat was not allowed to dock at a marina in Turkish western town of Gocek, Deputy Mayor Fuat Gunlu said on Friday.

    Gunlu told reporters that the Greek Cypriot boat asked for permission to dock at the marina, but its request was rejected.

    "The boat was not allowed to approach the marina by the coast guard. It had to anchor offshore. Then, the boat left Gocek for Marmaris (another Aegean town). And, the coast guard teams in Marmaris were warned that the boat might try to dock at the Marmaris Marina. We did not allow the boat to dock at the marina as we don't recognize the Greek Cypriot administration," he said.

    The boat left the region immediately after the incident, Gunlu noted.

    Gunlu added, "as far as I am concerned, (I can say that) the boat has anchored at the Rhodes port."

    (C/S)

    [02] Serdar Denktas says no government can work in harmony unless the Democratic Party participates in it

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (30.06.06) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus), Mr Serdar Denktas, has expressed the opinion that no so-called government can work in harmony unless the DP participates in it.

    Speaking yesterday at a press conference at his partys headquarters in the occupied part of Nicosia, Mr Denktas said that the DP is the absolute winner of the 25 June municipal elections and the by-elections for the two empty seats in the self-styled assembly of the TRNC. He reminded that the DP increased its votes from 12.7 % in last years parliamentary elections to 23 % in these by elections. It has also increased its votes in the municipal elections from 18 % to 28 % and this is an increase of 2-2.5 times, he noted.

    Mr Denktas said that his party does not support binding the police to the political authorities and that he does not even want to think what will happen in this case. Responding to a question he noted that this is the only issue, on which his party does not agree with its coalition partner, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    Furthermore, referring to the Turkish Cypriot Airlines, Mr Denktas said that they are about to go bankrupt.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (30.06.06), mouthpiece of the CTP, covers Denktas statements under the title We are not obliged to give account to our partner.

    In its front page leader the paper writes that the fact that the CTP increased the number of its seats from 23 to 25 after the by elections conducted on 25 June 2006 and the behaviour of the DP during the election procedure, has brought onto the agenda a new government model.

    The paper goes on and says: The reactions coming from all parts of the society are directed to the fact that the CTP-DP government will not be able to continue any more. The trade unions in our country envisage a government with the Peace and Democracy Movement.

    Furthermore, referring to Mr Denktas statements, Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (30.06.06), mouthpiece of the DP, writes that Mr Denktas clarified his position before his meeting with the chairman of the CTP, Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer, which is expected to take place today and be connected to the situation of the government after the elections. Mr Denktas said that his party will not be the cause of a crisis in the government.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (30.06.06) describes Mr Denktas statements as a show of megalomania, which derives from the increase of the percentages of the DP because of the votes of the newly elected mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, Mr Cemal Bulutoglulari, which do not belong to the party.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ibrahim Gambari to visit Brussels, Ankara and Athens prior to his arrival in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.06.06) reports that the United Nations Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari is expected to arrive in Turkey on Monday for talks on the Cyprus Problem.

    Mr Gambari will be in Cyprus between the 6th and 9th of July for talks with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the Cyprus President Tassos Papadopulos.

    In a statement issued from the UN Secretariat, Mr Gambari will be holding discussions on the Cyprus Problem to see whether there is the necessary ground for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process.

    The statement says that Mr Gambari will be having discussions in Ankara and Athens between the 3rd and 5th of July before arriving in Cyprus on the 6th of July for talks with Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and President Tassos Papadopulos.

    At the end of his discussions in Ankara, Athens and Lefkosia, Mr Gambari will return to New York to brief the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the results of his contacts.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.06.06) under the title Gambari will meet with Rehn in Brussels reports that the United Nations Secretary-Generals Undersecretary for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari will also visit Brussels on his way to Cyprus.

    Following his visit in Brussels, Mr Gambari will visit Ankara on the 2nd of July and Athens on the 4th July. He will be in Cyprus on the 6th of July.

    (M/L)

    [04] Olli Rehn warns Turkey with suspension on its EU accession process

    Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (29.06.06) report that the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, said that talks concerning Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU) could be suspended if Turkey does not open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

    In his statement to the Finnish news agency STT on Wednesday, Rehn stated that adjourning talks was one of the options they had in hand.

    "I hope that we don't have to resort to that, but we have no reason not to use it if there are grounds for it," Rehn was quoted as saying by STT.

    On Wednesday, EU ambassadors decided for the first time to advance faster in accession talks with Croatia than with Turkey because of Ankara's refusal to open its harbors and airports to traffic from Cyprus.

    EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn previously warned of a possible "train crash" on Turkey's path to EU membership if there was no change in Turkey's stance on Cyprus.

    Last year, Turkey had signed the additional protocol of the Ankara Treaty which extended Turkey's custom union agreement to the 10 new members of European Union, including Cyprus.

    The signing of the additional protocol had been a condition imposed by the EU prior to the opening of accession talks with Turkey in October of last year.

    [05] Hansjoerg Kretschmer: Olli Rehns statements on Turkeys EU accession process should not be a surprise

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.06.06) reports the following:

    "Olli Rehn is EU Commissioner for Enlargement. His statement should not be a surprise," Hansjoerg Kretschmer, head of the delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, said on Thursday while speaking on the statement of Rehn that EU could suspend negotiations in case Turkey fails to open its ports to Greek Cypriot side.

    Kretschmer replied to the questions of reporters after concluding his talks in eastern and southeastern cities of Van, Hakkari, Semdinli and Yuksekova.

    Asked about his comments on Rehn's statement, Kretschmer said: "Rehn is my boss. There is nothing to add to what he has said. This issue has been brought to the agenda during EU's meeting in September 2005. It has been indicated that in case Turkey fails to implement the additional protocol of the Ankara agreement, this could have an impact on the negotiations. This is a probability at the moment."

    Kretschmer said the Commission would submit a report on approval and implementation of the additional protocol at the end of this year, indicating that the member states would make a decision according to the report.

    "This problem may be solved till the end of the year. There is no problem in the world that does not have a solution. There may be some problems till the end of the year. However, this does not mean the end of the road. Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a clear statement on this issue and the EU disclosed its own position. This should constitute a starting point," Kretschmer noted.

    Recalling that signing of the additional protocol was a precondition for opening of negotiations with Turkey, Kretschmer said, "we have launched the negotiations on October 3rd. Now we expect the same thing from the other party. Only signing the protocol is not enough. It should be put into force."

    Stating that the Semdinli issue was among the topics that were discussed during his talks in the region, Kretschmer said the Semdinli incident was important and brought along some other issues (independence of jurisdiction, civilian-military relations).

    "The problem which everybody described as Kurdish problem should be settled in Turkey's accession process to the EU. This is related to the other issues that were on the agenda in Turkey's accession to the EU," Kretschmer said defending that global solution could not be found to other problems before making progress on this issue.

    [06] The Turkish President Sezer met with his Russian Counterpart; the Cyprus problem on the agenda

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.06.06) reported that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has met with his Russian Counterpart Vladamir Putin in Moscow.

    The Turkish President is said to have discussed a wide range of issues including the Cyprus Problem where he asked for Moscows support for the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul who is accompanying the President during his visit to Moscow meets his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

    Ahmet Necdet Sezer is the first Turkish President to visit Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    On the same issue, NTV television (29/06/06) broadcast that Turkey sees Russia as the major power in the region and as an important neighbour, Turkeys President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said during a visit to Moscow on Thursday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, President Sezer said that the strengthening of ties between the two countries was a priority.

    It is very important to develop the Russian-Turkish relations; they developed and will develop on the basis of trust and mutual respect, Sezer said. Trade and economic relations have been developing at a fast pace since 1991, and political relations have begun to develop after them since 2000.

    President Putin said that Moscow and Ankara were looking to achieve an increase in trade of up to 50 percent annually.

    Major investment projects, permanent contacts at a political level are on the agenda, Putin said. Over the recent years, the relations of Russia and Turkey have taken on a quite special character, Mr Putin said.

    [07] Bullent Arinc denies Turkeys deviation from EU membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.06.06) reports the following: "Turkey has not deviated from its EU full membership goal and makes decisive steps towards this goal," Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc said on Thursday.

    Arinc held a news conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before leaving for Denmark to attend the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments.

    Replying to a question that pace of reforms has slowed down in Turkey, Arinc said Turkey has formally launched negotiations on October 3rd, 2005 with the EU.

    Arinc said screening process and detailed screening were made and that screening process has been completed on around 20 chapters, and noted that actual negotiation process started on June 12th, 2006.

    "Turkish-EU relations continue on its normal course," Arinc underscored, and noted that, "from now on we are at the position of a negotiating country. It is possible that negotiation process may be wearisome, long and tough. However, Turkey has not digressed from its goal to be a full member of the EU."

    "Turkey has achieved full adjustment to the EU criteria thanks to its parliament and government. However, the important thing is to implement the reforms and make them permanent. Reform follow-up committee and other organs closely pursue the implementation of the reforms," Arinc said.

    "What saddens us is that from time to time issues which are not included in the criteria have been brought in front of Turkey. Cyprus is one of them. Cyprus is a separate issue which has been pursued by UN Security Council and some other platforms for a long time. It is not possible to think of the problem unilaterally. Neither of the negotiation chapters have direct connection with Cyprus problem. This problem is brought in front of Turkey for political targets," Arinc said.

    Referring to the Conference of Speakers of EU Parliaments, Arinc stressed, "Turkey will attend the conference for the first time as a country which started actual negotiations with the EU. The conference will focus on cooperation among parliaments of the EU member and candidate countries. We will also discuss the role of parliaments in debates over future of the EU."

    "During the conference, the project of 'Antiparliamentary EU Information Exchange' will be officially opened. The project aims to accelerate exchange of information among parliaments of the EU member and candidate countries," he indicated.

    Arinc added that he would also have the opportunity of holding talks with his European counterparts.

    Arinc is expected to return to Turkey on July 2nd.

    [08] The Turkish Parliament approves the Anti-Terrorism Bill

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29/06/06) reported that the Turkish parliament approved the Anti-Terrorism Bill on Thursday.

    The bill broadens and re-defines the scope of terror crimes.

    Accordingly, several crimes including migrant trafficking, human trafficking, felonious homicide, intimidation, blackmailing, torture, coercion, hampering of education in schools, preventing activities and political rights of public institutions, hampering syndicalist rights, burglary, looting, counterfeiting, spreading radiation, drug smuggling, causing fear and panic in public and insulting sovereignty symbols of the state will be deemed as terror crimes.

    According to the bill, those who set up and rule a terrorist organization to commit crimes through coercion and violence, and members of terrorist organization will be penalized in accordance with the provisions of "armed organization" of Turkish Penal Code.

    Those who make propaganda for terrorist organization will be sentenced from one year to five years.

    On the other hand, those who knowingly grant funds to terror gangs will be penalized like a member of terrorist organization.

    Anti-Terrorism bill stated that wearing a mask and carrying emblems belonging to terrorist organization as well as chanting slogans (supporting terrorist organization), wearing uniforms with emblems of terrorist organization will be sentenced from one year to five.

    Those who declare identities of public workers and informers, and publish statements of terrorist organization will be sentenced from one year to three years.

    Those who serve for fight against terrorism will be protected by the state.

    Right of the suspect, who is under custody, to meet his lawyer may be suspended for 24 hours; however, he would have the right not to testify during this period.

    [09] The Turkish Ambassador to Washington speaks of new measures by the U.S. for Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (30.06.06) reports that only days before Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül's scheduled talks in Washington with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Turkey's ambassador in the U.S. capital has explicitly accused two main Iraqi Kurdish groups of providing arms, shelter and equipment to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while urging the United States to use its influence with the Iraqi Kurds for an end to this support.

    The Washington Times, a conservative U.S. newspaper, quoted Ambassador Nabi ^ensoy as saying in an interview that the PKK was receiving arms, safe passage and other logistical help from the two leading Iraqi Kurdish parties, in apparent reference to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Massoud Barzani, president of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in Iraq's north.

    The United States is on record as saying it is an enemy of terrorism wherever it is in the world, he said. We take the United States at its word.

    ^ensoy said Ankara understands that U.S. forces face serious security challenges in other parts of Iraq and that an armed intervention against the PKK was unlikely. He acknowledged that the United States had also helped to disrupt the PKK's funding links in Western Europe.

    However, he said Washington should use its influence with its Iraqi Kurdish allies to end their links to the PKK and to disrupt the militants' command-and-control networks.

    You have great influence over these people, he said, adding that the average Turk was increasingly frustrated by the apparent inability to contain the PKK threat from Iraq.

    US aware of what happened in Cyprus'

    During the July 5 talks in Washington, Gül and Rice are expected to unveil a new strategic cooperation document laying the framework of principles for the two nations' future relationship. Both sides have stressed a need to revitalize their ties after relations suffered badly on the eve of the Iraq war three years ago when Turkey's Parliament refused to allow U.S. troops to use Turkish territory to launch an attack on Iraq.

    The Cyprus issue and Turkey's European Union membership process are also constant topics on the agenda of bilateral talks between the two capitals.

    On Cyprus ^ensoy said he thought the Bush administration was close to revealing a series of new measures to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots after the April 2004 vote on a U.N.-endorsed plan to reunify the Mediterranean island state. Turkish Cypriots voted in support of the plan while the Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected it.

    The United States is very much aware of what happened, ^ensoy said, adding that ending the U.S. ban on direct flights to the island's Turkish part is a very good bet.

    He said eventual membership in the EU is a central pillar of Turkey's foreign policy but that no Turkish government could make concessions on Cyprus when the EU membership talks have barely begun, according to the newspaper.

    The success of Turkey's secular state is a very important project for the Islamic world and for the world at large, he also said. We are a litmus test. We have to succeed.

    ^ensoy, a former Foreign Ministry deputy undersecretary, presented his credentials to President George W. Bush and officially assumed his duties as envoy in mid-March.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Is Turkey becoming strategically disoriented?

    Under the above title the New Anatolian newspaper (29/06/06) publishes the following commentary by Cen Oguz:

    The U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations' recently published special report on Turkish-American relations, prepared by Steven A. Cook and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, opens by saying that one of the greatest challenges facing those formulating U.S. foreign and defense policy is a "growing schism between the West and the Islamic world." As a result, Washington's relationship with Turkey, a Western-oriented, democratizing Muslim country, the report argues, is "strategically more important than ever."

    What I found of most interest in the report, however, is the authors' confession that the "consequences of a rupture in ties between Washington and Ankara -- or, more darkly, a Turkey that becomes strategically disoriented -- would be great, but have received little attention in policy circles."

    Given the significance of this analysis, let's take a look at what factors could lead to Turkey becoming strategically disoriented.

    It is actually in this regard that the results of the two Pew Global Attitudes Project surveys, published this month, require particular attention. While the first survey examined the U.S.' global image, the other sought to discover how Westerners and Muslims view each other. In both, the respondents most critical of the West and displaying the greatest change in opinion were in general the Turks.

    Only 14 percent of Turkish respondents said that they believe relations between Westerners and Muslims are generally good, while 64 percent described them as bad. More importantly, among the nations surveyed little change was found in how most Muslims view Christians, with the exception of Turkey. In Turkey those with positive opinions of Christians have fallen from 31 percent in 2004 to 16 percent currently. This is actually the lowest level among the Muslim countries. Furthermore, 79 percent (second only to Nigerian Muslims) of Turks said they believe that Westerners are mostly to blame for bad relations between the two groups.

    Turks expressing favorable views towards the U.S. have shown comparable declines as well. While 52 percent expressed pro-U.S. opinions in the 1999 to 2000 period, the most recent survey shows the figure has fallen to 12 percent, the lowest among Muslim respondents. Accordingly, 60 percent of Turks see the U.S. in Iraq as "the biggest danger to world peace" and at 3 percent, Turkey now registers the lowest level of confidence in President George W. Bush.

    Given this picture, people, foreigners in particular, could easily come to believe that Turkey is an entirely anti-Western country with reactionary as well as fanatical inclinations. Even in the Turkish press there have been analyses supporting this view. However, I strongly believe that such conclusions are totally misleading. The findings of both surveys clearly indicate that there prevails a serious crisis of confidence among Turks towards the West in general. It is precisely for this reason that anti-Americanism in Turkey cannot be abstracted from general anti-Western sentiments. Over that period, for instance, negative Turkish views of France have increased accordingly. Some 61 percent of Turks surveyed said that they "feel unfavorably" towards France, up from 51 percent last year. The question thus should be what the causes of these attitudes are. A reliable diagnosis of symptoms will help us find out whether it is conjectural.

    Let me clarify what I mean by referring to a concrete example.

    One of the questions asked was, "Can democracy work well in your country?" The response by Turks surveyed obviously pleased those who are dying to portray Turkey as

    an undemocratic and backward country. A sizable 44 percent asserted that democracy cannot work well in Turkey. Here, however, we need to elaborate very carefully what Turks presently understand by democracy.

    Nearly a year ago I wrote that the repercussions of radical changes on sensitive issues, the demands for which European Union circles justified concepts like democratization or reforms, had started to affect the daily lives of ordinary Turks. The rise in attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), for instance, was linked by a considerable number of ordinary Turks to the biased attitude, as well as support, shown by EU circles. As a result, I added, the EU came to be increasingly associated by Turks with the notion of instability. To date, neither my analysis nor the perceptions of ordinary Turks have changed.

    Under these circumstances the special report's "first track," which entails the pursuit of "short-term and time-sensitive initiatives" to address the Cyprus problem and PKK-related terrorism is of vital importance. These are the two issues that will eventually determine the forthcoming type of relationship as well as interaction between the Turkish people and the West in general. Turkey has not yet become strategically disoriented, but prospects in this regard have never been as acute as they are today.

    Finally, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party government's presumed role in anti-Western sentiments among Turks needs clarification. Neither the AK Party nor its policies are the direct cause of such sentiments; its success is rather the by-product. It should be the level of their exploitation of such feelings that needs to be monitored henceforth. Because only such potential exploitation, be it by the AK Party or any other political group, could lead to Turkey becoming "strategically disoriented."

    /ES


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