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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-10-02

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.189/07 29-30.09/01-02.10.07 C O N T E N T S

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] General Yasar Buyukanits address to the War Academies
  • [02] President Gul Inaugurates New Legislative Year at Parliament
  • [03] Erdogan discussed projects in Cyprus with OIC's Ihsanoglu
  • [04] Erdogan: Turkey asked for support for a non-permanent seat at the Security Council
  • [05] Self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci meets US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Metthew Bryza in New York
  • [06] Ali Babacan to occupied Cyprus and Middle East early in October
  • [07] Turkish military tells Turkish Government to slow down on the EU reforms and the Cyprus issue
  • [08] Gul to visit TRNC office in the PACE
  • [09] US partial weapon withdrawal from Iraq via Turkey postponed
  • [10] Police Officer involved in the murder of Hrant Dinks got promotion
  • [11] Occupied Lefkoniko Airport to be leased
  • [12] An immigration policeman was arrested
  • [13] The Turkish Cypriot leader openly declares: Our goal is to make the TRNC a fully institutionalized state
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [14] Columnist in Kibris argues that the AKP government was never in favour of a united Cyprus and Talats policy is changing

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] General Yasar Buyukanits address to the War Academies

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    We do not know the draft constitution prepared by the Turkish government. Once the draft constitution is made public, we will express the views of the Turkish Armed Forces on items related to us, said Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit on Monday.

    General Buyukanit delivered a keynote speech at the beginning of the new academic year 2007-2008 at the Turkish War Academies on Monday.

    There are points that the Turkish Armed Forces cannot give up. These are the unitary form of the Turkish Republic, the nation-state structure in Turkey, the secular government and not hurting the Turkish Armed Forces by political, emotional and pre-conceived notions, told General Buyukanit.

    General Buyukanit pointed out that in recent times Turkey has been compared to other Islamic countries, including Malaysia.

    We need not live with fears. Let us be sure of one thing. No force can divide Turkey. No one has the power to divide Turkey, noted General Buyukanit. No force can turn Ataturk's republic into something else. No force can change the secular structure of the Turkish Republic. No one has the power to change the secular establishment in Turkey, underlined General Buyukanit.

    General Buyukanit wished everyone at the war academy a successful academic term.

    We are faced with a mentality that does not call terrorists as terrorists, recognizes terrorists as brothers and sisters, and refer to the Turkish Armed Forces as 'separatist', said Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit on Monday.

    While our tens of thousands of sons were fighting against terrorists on the mountains, it is very sad to hear such rhetoric in Ankara. Republic of Turkey, as a democratic state in which the rule of law prevails, must resolve this problem basing on its laws. No country has ever entered such a period of weakness after losing thousands of its soldiers and citizens as Turkey have," noted Gen. Buyukanit. "The Turkish people will never forgive those making slogans that are pleasing to ears, underlined Gen. Buyukanit.

    Gen. Buyukanit indicated that the terrorist organization have attacked around 2,000 establishments including 250 schools, 110 mosques, 50 health clinics, telephone control rooms, and television transmission plants and killed about 500 public servants, including teachers and religious officials.

    With its attacks, the terrorist organization has hurt the people of the region most. We must praise the efforts made by Turkish security forces especially in the recent months against the terrorist organization. We will continue to be successful against the terrorist organization, noted Gen. Buyukanit.

    It is a known fact that it is impossible for a terrorist organization to survive without assistance from abroad. We have warned many allies and friendly countries on this topic. But, unfortunately, we have not seen any support from any of them. All countries that we have warned continued to support them (terrorist organization) directly or indirectly. Words are not important in fight against terrorism. Action is what counts. So far, there has not been a struggle against terror in essence. I have to make these comments. If there are countries getting offended by my words, it is their own problem.

    Pointing out to developments in north of Iraq, Gen. Buyukanit stressed that Iraq is rapidly moving towards a confederation. Division in Iraq is very close. An independent state in north of Iraq would not only be a political threat, but also a security threat to Turkey. Turkey must look at north of Iraq from a political, military and psychological perspective. Turkey must watch closely the formation in north of Iraq.

    Leaders who were called 'charismatic' in the 20th century have all destroyed everything. The only exception is Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who is a leader indeed. Ataturk has not left behind any dogma or structural 'ism', said Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit on Monday.

    Gen. Buyunanit told that at times, you have to question the military principles that may seem unquestionable.

    Gen. Buyukanit stressed that this honorable home (War Academy) has trained many great leaders beginning with Ataturk. It is a home in which the concept of leadership taught can be made a topic of scientific research.

    The War Academies should be a place where not only leaders are raised, but also the theories on leadership are developed, added Gen. Buyukanit. This place deserves training future leaders by bringing together the dynamics of the 21st century and leadership qualities.

    [02] President Gul Inaugurates New Legislative Year at Parliament

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    "Turkish parliament has maintained its courage, dynamism and approach for the future since April 23rd, 1920. I have no doubt that the parliament will harmonize its national and universal responsibilities in the best way, as a parliament of 21st century," said President Abdullah Gul on Monday.

    Gul delivered a speech at the Turkish parliament on the occasion of the inauguration of the 2nd legislative year of the 23rd term.

    "The new legislative year will be a period during which the policies and decisions enabling our country's and nation's moving forward in the 21st century will be discussed, determined and implemented. This will also be a period during which we may come across with severe international issues ranging from economy to diplomacy," Gul said.

    Gul stressed that the Republic of Turkey was currently the attraction center of its region and a prestigious member of the international community with its dynamic economy, pluralist democratic political structure, lively cultural life, pacifist diplomacy and modern army.

    Regarding Turkey's relations with European institutions, Gul said, "These relations constitute a multi-dimensional phenomenon to which statesmen with vision from both parties contributed and attached importance".

    "The current situation in Turkey-EU relations is not a coincidence or the consequence of coercion or a unilateral preference. It is the product of a compromise based on common values, a historical accumulation and mutual interests," Gul affirmed.

    Noting that Turkey's EU adhesion process was being monitored by world countries with great interest, Gul said this interest proved that Turkey-Europe project was not an ordinary and narrow local concept.

    Underscoring the importance of moving altogether on the path of modernization as well, Gul said education, science & technology, R&D activities, innovation and culture were the major issues that should be taken into consideration within this framework.

    Gul also stressed that during his presidency, he would provide all the support on such matters.

    "I guess we all agree that our nation can preserve its power and dynamism and move forward only in an atmosphere of real democracy and freedom, as well as with the presence of an independent and objective media," Gul added. Moreover, President Gul stressed that efforts to draft a new constitution should seek an inclusive approach which would strengthen national unity and social solidarity, protecting basic rights and freedoms and affirming democratic, secular and social character of the state.

    "I am confident that ongoing lively discussions about a new constitution would yield the most perfect constitutional arrangements with the contributions of political parties and every segment of the society," he told the General Assembly. "And I am happy to see that there is a search for consensus both within the government and the civil society regarding discussions on a new constitution without displaying any exclusionist attitude," he said.

    On Cyprus Mr Gul stated the Cyprus issue was "a national cause" for Turkey, adding that he paid his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) to affirm Turkey's support for the TRNC and its commitments about Turkish Cypriots' rights, security and prosperity.

    Gul also noted that as the president he would focus on the Iraqi issue, stating that the international community expected Iraq to protect its territorial integrity and national unity and to cooperate with its neighbors.

    [03] Erdogan discussed projects in Cyprus with OIC's Ihsanoglu

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.09.07) reports the following from New York:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in New York on Friday.

    Ihsanoglu told the A.A that his meeting with Erdogan was very constructive and positive.

    "We discussed the issue of Islamophobia. We talked on projects regarding Cyprus. Mr. Erdogan is closely following the activities of the OIC and extends great support," said Ihsanoglu.

    The OIC will hold a summit in March, 2008, underlined Ihsanoglu. "Erdogan told me that Turkey's support to the OIC will continue in the near future," added Ihsanoglu.

    [04] Erdogan: Turkey asked for support for a non-permanent seat at the Security Council

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.07) reports from Ankara:

    "We have asked for support for our membership for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for 2009-2010," Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

    "We hope that this membership will come true," Erdogan told reporters as he returned to Turkey from the USA where he attended the 62nd UN General Assembly.

    Erdogan recalled that he participated in a panel discussion on climate change last Monday (September 24th), and had the opportunity to express Turkey's approach and sensitivities.

    PM Erdogan said that he attended the opening session of the 62th UN General Assembly on Tuesday (September 25th), and had the opportunity to have bilateral meetings with more than 30 heads of state and government. According to information he gave, Erdogan exchanged views on bilateral relations, and regional and international topics during his meetings. He also discussed steps to be taken to enhance political, economic and commercial ties.

    Erdogan said that he took the floor in a think-tank named Council on Foreign Relations, participated in a panel discussion on 'Building a Multi-ethnic Global Society' held under the Clinton Global Initiative, and met representatives of Jewish associations in the USA.

    "I exchanged views with CEOs of leading U.S. companies in a dinner hosted by Coca Cola," he told reporters.

    Erdogan noted that he opened the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday (September 26th), and discussed situation of financial markets with executives of the stock exchange.

    Premier Erdogan said that he promoted the stable investment medium in Turkey to businessmen during a dinner hosted at the Turkish Culture Center on Friday (September 28th), and talked about Turkey's global vision and targets. Erdogan added that he also met representatives of Turkish associations in New York.

    [05] Self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci meets US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Metthew Bryza in New York

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci, who is in New York for the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting, is having contacts in the city.

    Mr Avci met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and the US State Departments Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Bryza.

    During his meeting with Mr Bryza, the Foreign Minister stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side has always been one step ahead in efforts aimed at settling the Cyprus problem.

    During the meeting, the Foreign Minister told Mr Bryza that the Turkish Cypriot side has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness towards reaching a settlement in Cyprus.

    The Turkish Cypriot side proved its will towards a solution during the 2004 referendum, the 8th July process and the 5th September meetings, he said.

    Complaining that the Greek Cypriot Administration has been using its EU membership to drag the Cyprus problem into a deadlock, Mr Avci asked for Washingtons support in removing the unjust embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Touching upon the Green Line Regulation, Mr Avci said that the regulation has failed to achieve its desired goal and that tourists crossing into North Cyprus constantly received misleading warnings from Greek Cypriot officials.

    For his part, Mr Bryza underlined the need for the Turkish Cypriot people to be always prepared towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci who continued his contacts in New York together with Turkish Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdogan has attended the public gathering held at Mariot Hotel.

    Mr Avci met the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan after the dinner.

    According to a statement issued from the Foreign Ministrys press office, the meeting between Mr Avci and Mr Erdogan had focused on the latest initiatives and projects launched by the TRNC Foreign Ministry.

    The statement said that Mr Erdogan had expressed his happiness and support to recent contacts established with Syria and Italy.

    During his meetings, Mr Avci also exchanged views with the Turkish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on policies to be pursued on the Cyprus issue.

    On the same issue Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (29.09.07) reports the following: Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Turgay Avc1 has urged the United States to take new steps to ease the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and to also attempt to inspire the 27 member-European Union to do the same.

    Avc1's remarks came during a meeting with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matt Bryza held at UN headquarters in New York on Thursday, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Foreign Ministry said on Friday. Avc1 was there to attend a coordination meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which has expended productive efforts for easing the isolation of the KKTC. Turkish Cypriots should always be a step ahead along the process concerning the Cyprus issue , Bryza told Avc1 during the meeting, according to the ministry. The Turkish Cypriot side has always been a step ahead with their pro-settlement policies concerning the Cyprus issue when compared to the Greek Cypriot side and its uncompromising attitude , Avc1 told Bryza in response.

    [06] Ali Babacan to occupied Cyprus and Middle East early in October

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan will have busy diplomacy traffic in October.

    Babacan, following his visit to the United States, will leave for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on October 4th.

    In the first half of October, Babacan will start a Middle East tour. He will hold talks in Jordan on October 6th, Israel and Palestine between October 7th and 9th, and Syria between October 9th and 10th.

    Babacan will hold the second part of his Middle East tour in the second half of October.

    On the other hand, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will arrive in Ankara on October 5th. During his talks in Ankara, bilateral relations, Turkey's EU process and regional matters will be discussed.

    [07] Turkish military tells Turkish Government to slow down on the EU reforms and the Cyprus issue

    Turkish Daily News (01.10.07) reports the following:

    As government's focus turns to reform in order to bring new life to the stalled EU membership process, military voices its preference for Turkey taking the slow lane in implementing reforms

    Turkey's powerful military has warned the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government not to take the fast lane in the European Union reform process.

    According to officials who wished to remain unidentified, the warning came from a top level military official, during a meeting held last month in Ankara to review Turkey's reform process. The intra-governmental meeting on September 17, presided by Turkish Foreign Minister and EU Chief Negotiator Ali Babacan was attended by top level bureaucrats as well as Lt. Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu, head of the General Staff Planning and Principles Department.

    During the meeting Zorlu said the General Chief of Staff has been closely following Turkey's reform process. Reading from a text he said was approved by the General Chief of Staff, Zorlu warned not to take additional measures on sensitive issues like article 301 of the Turkish penal code, the law increasing the rights of religious foundations and the Cyprus issue.

    Zorlu's intervention was referred to as the September 17 ultimatum in reference to a similar warning issued on April 28 by the military. During the process of electing the president in Parliament, the Army published a memorandum on its Internet site warning against the choice of a pro-Islamist candidate (Erdogan's deputy, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul) with a headscarf wearing wife. The virtual ultimatum by the Army prompted early elections in Turkey that resulted in a landslide victory for the AKP, which increased hope in European circles that the new government will reactivate the stalled reform process.

    The military's warning on the reform process comes just weeks ahead of the publication of the European Commission's annual report on Turkey's progress toward EU membership, expected to be critical of the slow pace of reforms during an election year. The notorious article 301 of the Turkish penal code is expected to appear high on the list of criticism. The European Union has been pressing Ankara to abolish or change the article, which punishes the offense of insulting Turkishness.

    During his September 17 speech, however, Lt. Gen. Zorlu said similar laws existed in countries of the European Union and made clear that the army will not be happy to see any amendment in the article, the Turkish Daily News (TDN) learned.

    Zorlu also said the army did not deem right any amendments to the foundation law, a source familiar with the meeting told the TDN. The EU also wants amendments in the law in order to improve the rights of non-Muslim minorities.

    The military official also asked the government to proceed very carefully on the Cyprus issue.

    Turkey's EU bid suffered a serious blow in December 2006 when the bloc froze talks in eight of the 35 policy areas candidates are required to complete over Ankara's refusal to open its ports and airports to shipping from EU-member Greek Cyprus.

    Lt. Gen. Zorlu was very detailed in his comments on the Cyprus issue. He also mentioned the immovable property commission in northern Cyprus, said a Turkish official to the TDN. According to the same official Zorlu said the Turkish side should act with caution as far as the deliberations of the committee are concerned.

    The property commission was established as a domestic remedy mechanism to prevent thousands of Greek Cypriots from applying to the European Court of Human Rights for property they abandoned in the north in 1974. This mechanism, also recognized by the European court, lays open the way for a settlement to property disputes with a formula including not only compensation but also exchange and return of property.

    The activities of the property commission receive support from the Turkish government as it will stop Turkey paying thousands of Euros in compensation and also bring a solution to the most complicated property disputes on the island. Lt. Gen. Zorlu's reference to this issue has shown the unease within military circles about the activities of the property commission.

    According to the Turkish bureaucrats dealing with EU issues in Ankara, the military felt the need to step in due to the impression that the AKP will go ahead quickly with the eagerly sought human rights reforms.

    However, their concern is not justified since this is a false impression. The government is unlikely to pass major reforms sought by the EU before the Commission progress report in November, a Turkish official told the TDN. The meeting of the Reform Monitoring Committee, which came a day after the September 17 gathering, let down those bureaucrats who believe the Turkish government needs to act more vigilantly, if it wants to avoid a negative report in November.

    During the meeting, Besir Atalay, the Interior Minister, and Mehmet Ali Sahin, the Justice Minister, clearly expressed their unwillingness to make any amendments to article 301.

    [08] Gul to visit TRNC office in the PACE

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspapers (02.10.07) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul is going to Strasburg today upon an invitation of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rene Van Der Linden.

    The paper writes that in the framework of his contacts in Strasburg Mr Gul will visit Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians. The paper writes the following:

    Furthermore, the President visiting the TRNC office which is at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, he will meet with Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians.

    (CS)

    [09] US partial weapon withdrawal from Iraq via Turkey postponed

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (28.09.07) reports the following:

    Permission issued for transporting weapons, ammunition, and military equipment owned by the US armed forces from Iraq to Mersin port through Habur border crossing in 30 tractor-trailers has been indefinitely postponed in response to a request made by US authorities.

    The US authorities informed Turkish officials that the plan to withdraw weapons and ammunition from Iraq had been shelved for the time being because of an instruction they received. They provided no explanation about why the withdrawal had been put off.

    A Turkish official said that the United States had to obtain permission in order to withdraw weapons through Turkey. The same source added that security measures taken at Habur border crossing in order to ensure security along the road had been lifted. Another official said that the postponement might have resulted from a report saying that US weapons would be withdrawn via Habur which recently appeared in Hurriyet.

    [10] Police Officer involved in the murder of Hrant Dinks got promotion

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (30.09.07) reports the following:

    The records of the telephone conversation police official Muhittin Zenit had with Erhan Tuncel shortly after Hrant Dink, director general of publications of Agos, was murdered showed that he served in Ankara. It has been ascertained that he was transferred to work under Ramazan Akyurek, head of the Directorate General of Police Intelligence Department, when he served as Director of Police in Trabzon. That was the time when Tuncel was employed as an informer.

    Striking information keeps coming to light on Dink's assassination. The intelligence units were informed that an attempt would be made to kill him many months before he was murdered. The information that Zenit called Tuncel shortly after Dink was killed by O S created a new controversy.

    Tuncel asked Zenit during their telephone conversation whether Dink had died. The way he responded showed that he was informed on how Dink was to be killed. He said: Of course, the only difference is that he (assassin) would not escape. But, he ran away. It has been established that Zenit was transferred to headquarters. His whereabouts were unknown for a long time.

    Zenit, who served at the Directorate of Police in Trabzon when Akyurek was the director of police, was ordered to be responsible for Tuncel's activities. Hayal, a close friend of Tuncel was detained for hurling a bomb at the McDonald's place in Trabzon. That was about the time when Tuncel was employed as an informer. It has been said that Zenit saved Hayal from being tried in courts by claiming that he helped Tuncel gather information. Tuncel was accused of inciting Hayal to commit a crime at the time Zenit's links with Tuncel were cut after he was appointed to serve in Bayburt, eastern Turkey, before Dink was killed. Meanwhile, the Directorate of Police in Trabzon suspended its links with Tuncel as an informer.

    Zenit served in Bayburt when Dink was killed on 19 January 2007. Because of his links with Tuncel, Zenit was believed to be informed on Hayal's plan to kill Dink. His telephone conversation with Tuncel after Dink was killed drew significant attention.

    Dink's family and lawyers attached significant importance to the telephone conversation because it showed the approach of the intelligence units on the incident. Zenit was transferred from Bayburt to work under Akyurek at the Directorate General of Police Intelligence Department. It has been ascertained that the inspectors established during their investigation that he conferred with Tuncel in accordance with the instructions that were given to him by the officials of the Intelligence Department. However, the question as to whether or not the inspectors were aware that the telephone conversation would create a controversy still remains to be answered.

    The inspectors launched an investigation against Akyurek after Dink was killed. But, they decided that they had no evidence that showed that Akyurek, who was said to have been informed on the assassination when he served as the director of police in Trabzon, had misused his authority.

    The Ministry of Internal Affairs tasked some of its inspectors to investigate the murder of Dink. It said that legal and administrative measures would be taken in accordance with the outcome of the investigation and that the judicial officials would be informed on the developments.

    [11] Occupied Lefkoniko Airport to be leased

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.09.07) broadcast the following:

    The Minister of Public Works and Communication, Salih Usar, has announced that Gecitkale (occupied Lefkoniko) Airport will be rented for 15 years with the Build-Operate-Transfer model.

    The Minister said that the firm, which will win the bid to be opened, will build painting and repair hangars and a fruit and vegetable packing service within the Airport.

    Pointing to the strategic importance of North Cyprus in the region, he said that international airline companies will be able to use Gecitkale (occupied Lefkoniko) Airport once the repair hangars are finished.

    He noted that the project will be implemented in a year the latest.

    [12] An immigration policeman was arrested

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (02.10.07) writes that it was learned that an immigration policeman is among the persons who were arrested because they were planning to have eight persons from Iraq, among them four children, cross over from occupied Cyprus to the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper writes that the police confirmed to STAR KIBRIS that there is evidence that the police was involved in the issue, but it did not give further details.

    [13] The Turkish Cypriot leader openly declares: Our goal is to make the TRNC a fully institutional state

    Under the title Talat makes important statements to Cyprus Dialogue Editor Aker, Conditions have changed!, trilingual weekly newspaper Dialogue (28/09-05/10/07) publishes the following interview with Mr Mehmet Ali Talat:

    Question: The conditions and circumstances that existed 3 years ago during the April 2004 referendum are not the same today.

    Answer: The Turkish Cypriots have shifted beyond the circumstances that existed three years ago when the referendum was held. I do not think that the Annan Plan will be accepted in its current form. It would be naive to think that the Turkish Cypriots would innocently hang around for a solution, especially after the Greek Cypriot leaderships rejection of the Annan Plan and its efforts to prevaricate regarding the Cyprus process. No one can be expected to wait indefinitely with their hands bound behind their backs.

    Question: Im not sure if Turkish Cypriots will be willing to give up Guzelyurt (occupied Morfou).

    Answer: In the referendum, the Turkish Cypriots accepted to concede large amounts of territory within the framework of Annan Plan, but their attitudes have now changed. No one is in the same position they were three years ago. People who have given up hope for a solution have now built new homes or workplaces and have seen their children married. Would these people be prepared to give up Guzelyurt? Im not so sure.

    Question: The TRNC will become a full institutionized state.

    Answer: We have not changed our thesis. From the very beginning, we have supported a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the political equality of the two sides. No one can expect the Turkish Cypriots to abandon their own administration as soon as a settlement is reached. Turkish Cypriots have been administrating themselves for over 43 years. They cant just be expected to give up their own institutions and be governed by a foreign body. Even under a political settlement, they would have to elect their own administrators and would expect to govern themselves in their own zone. Thats why the TRNC needs to strengthen itself economically, politically, socially, culturally and in the field of sport. Democracy has to be strengthened even more. Our goal is to make the TRNC a fully institutionalized state.

    Question: We dont support partition, but

    Answer: We dont support partition but we do favour a solution that takes into account the facts. This is exactly what Mr. Abdullah Gul emphasized during his visit. Today, Turkish Cypriots are governing themselves within a democratic structure. Isnt it a fact that there are two separate peoples, two separate religions and two separate democracies on this island? What is there to criticize here? I find it difficult to understand how those who accept clerical administration are angered when it is mentioned that there are two religions on the island. A two state solution is not a con-federal solution. What we support is a two-state, bi-zonal and bi-communal federal solution.

    Question: We are expecting new initiatives and opportunities from Islamic countries.

    Answer: The world is only beginning to see which side is truly intransigent, which is why we are concentrating on improving our relations with the rest of the world, especially Islamic countries. The long interrupted ferry services between Famagusta and Latakia have been relaunched. Our relations with OIC are improving. The Islamic Conferences Youth Forum held its meeting in the TRNC. There will be a tourism conference held in North Cyprus in the near future. We will not only be expecting new initiatives from Islamic countries but from the rest of the international community as well.

    Question: Guls visit is legal.

    Answer: EU officials and citizens are being allowed to enter Cyprus through Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport and cross to the South. The legality of this is not subject to any debate. They are declaring Guls visit to North Cyprus which took place at our invitation illegal. It is, in fact, their own methods which are out of order. They claim to be representing the whole of Cyprus, and this is why their methods are not legal. We on the other hand tell the world we only represent the Turkish Cypriots, and for the past 43 years we have been administrating ourselves. Thats why our methods are more legal than theirs.

    Question: Papadopoulos will change

    Answer: Solving the Cyprus problem is something desperately needed and desired by both sides. In the past it was just the Turkish Cypriots who were suffering but unless a settlement is found the Greek Cypriots also will suffer the consequences. The European Union has already admitted its regret at having allowed the Greek Cypriots sides unilateral membership into the bloc, and this is why I expect the pressure on Papadopoulos to mount. I hope that Papadopoulos will change his current attitude if he is re-elected for a second term. We would re-negotiate the Annan Plan taking into account the new circumstances and conditions that have arisen and find a mutually acceptable solution. We need peace for the stability of the Eastern Mediterranean as well.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [14] Columnist in Kibris argues that the AKP government was never in favour of a united Cyprus and Talats policy is changing

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (23.09.07) publishes the following commentary by Ali Baturay, under the title: Had the AKP truly been in favor of a United Cyprus? Is the Government's and Talat's Cyprus Policy Changing?:

    The AKP [Justice and Development Party] had been newly established.

    We had certainly been demoralized as the results of the public opinion polls that had been held even before the brand new AKP had the chance to run in the elections for the first time had begun to show that the AKP would reach the peak and that it could even come to power alone.

    Being prejudiced, we had wondered what kind of a stand the AKP, which we had described as a reactionary party, would adopt with regard to the Cyprus issue.

    I had entered the AKP's website in order to check its policies regarding Cyprus, but I had not been able to receive much information in this regard. Nonetheless, it had appeared that the AKP's policies regarding Cyprus had been different from the other parties.

    I had received the impression that there had been differences, albeit small.

    Later during the period of the Annan plan we had suddenly seen that a party was issuing statements that were different from the other parties.

    In fact, an Islamist rightist party was saying things that parties described as leftist and progressive had not been able to mention. This had pleased us.

    What a surprise! A party in Turkey was approving a "federation," "a united Cyprus."

    The truth is that we had liked the ideas that had been voiced even though these ideas had not been their real ideas.

    Despite the fact that it had been possible to see between the lines that this was not what they really thought, we had not been able to see this. Or rather, we had not wanted to see this.

    It had been disregarded that they had been angry with Denktas not because he used to attack the Annan plan, but because he used to support the other parties in Turkey and therefore each and every attack launched against Denktas by the AKP members had made headlines in the newspapers that used to support the Annan plan.

    We had been pleased with the statements that Erdogan, Gul from time to time, and sometimes Arinc used to issue with the aim of targeting Denktas and the former Turkish Governments.

    Given that we had believed that it had been impossible for a party from Turkey to extend support to a plan such as the Annan plan, our viewpoint of the AKP had changed and we had begun to actually like this party.

    Certain actions taken by the AKP within the framework of Turkey's EU course, the fact that it was taking courageous steps in domestic politics, and in parallel to this, the differences in its Cyprus policy had increased the admiration toward the AKP among those who supported a solution in Cyprus.

    No one saw the AKP as a religious, Islamist or reactionary party any more. Erdogan and the AKP were praised during conversations among friends.

    We had also approved of the AKP's struggle against the soldiers and YOK [Higher Education Council]. The sharp remarks made by its staff officers and the fact that it used to play the victim in its struggle against the soldiers had increased the number of those who looked at the AKP optimistically.

    As for myself, I had always looked at the AKP cautiously and optimistically.

    I had always expected the AKP to take a step backward. As a matter of fact, it had been possible to read such messages between the lines of Erdogan's aggressive comments.

    In fact, the AKP's viewpoint of the Cyprus issue had not been very different from the other parties' viewpoint in the first place.

    This difference had merely stemmed from the pressure imposed by the EU. A strategic game had been played on the fact that the Greek Cypriots would say "no" to the Annan plan.

    If definite information had been received to the effect that the Greek Cypriots would say yes to the Annan plan, the AKP would not have struggled for a yes vote.

    Neither would it have signaled this to the people who had come to Cyprus from Turkey.

    In fact, we had also known this, but we had simply ignored it. We had not been bothered by the fact that both in the referendum and in the general elections the AKP was taking the same steps that the former Turkish Governments had taken with the aim of influencing the elections in Cyprus. Neither had we been bothered by the fact that the AKP had influenced the decision of the voters in Cyprus.

    After all, this time the forces that we supported, rather that the forces we opposed, were being supported.

    The UBP (National Unity Party), the DP (Democratic Party) and the forces that supported them had cried out that the AKP was interfering. We had replied: It had been fine when you were supported. What happened now? When responding in this manner, we had ignored the fact that all kinds of interventions were wrong.

    In fact, we were behaving as a party that complained about influential persons and partisanship and that expected the same kind of behavior from its own party when it came to power.

    However, we should have opposed all kinds of interventions.

    Given our anger toward Denktas, we had avoided raising our voices against the firm statements issued against him and against Erdogan's humiliating and reproving remarks against the person who represents a community. As a matter of fact, we had even been pleased with these statements and comments.

    Given that we believed that Denktas did not represent us and given that we did not share the same ideas and the same ideology with him, we had laughed up our sleeves in the face of these comments, we had been pleased, and we had carried these comments to our headlines. However, we had not even been able to see that these reproving remarks had actually targeted, albeit indirectly, the Turkish Cypriot people.

    We had even ignored the fact that Erdogan would have adopted the same aggressive stand if he had been angry with another Turkish Cypriot administrator who did not share his views.

    For example, the negative and the reproving stand that he had adopted against the This Country Is Ours Platform delegation that had visited him in his office during the time of the Annan plan had been featured by certain newspapers.

    When talking about Erdogan's stand during friendly chats, it had been possible to understand from their eyes the astonishment felt by the members of this delegation.

    If he has disputes with Talat or Soyer today, you may be certain that he will adopt the same reproving stand and that he will scold them as if they were children.

    We had adopted a hypocritical stand by noting that this stand is an insult against all the Turkish Cypriot people when the commander had avoided shaking hands with Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and by being pleased with the manner in which Erdogan used to treat Denktas.

    There have not been any changes in my views regarding Denktas, but my conscience is not clear for being pleased with the reaction that had been displayed by Turkey against Denktas at that time and for even writing articles that supported these reactions.

    You may also accept this as self-criticism.

    Looking at the remarks that Abdullah Gul had made during the visit he conducted to north Cyprus prior to becoming president and at how he had offended the Turkish Cypriot people when two women had angered him, it had been possible to see that the views he used to express had been different from his actual views.

    Now let us go back to whether the AKP had actually supported the Annan plan. As I have already noted, this had been a strategic move rather than support and a plan that had been developed on the fact that the Greek Cypriots would say 'no' to the Annan plan.

    Erdogan and the other AKP staff officers had let the cat out of the bag once we had left behind the referendum: We have fulfilled our duty by saying yes.

    Yes, the AKP which believed that it received one more point in terms of its commitments to the EU and that it was making progress in the EU had completed its mission.

    They had repeated the same sentence over and over again: We have fulfilled our duty.

    Later they had gradually changed their statements at home and they had begun to say: We have not made any concessions and we have not given Cyprus away.

    The assembly speaker has recently visited Cyprus. Later the president also visited the island.

    When you look at their statements you see that they have moved away from the idea of a federation or the idea of a united Cyprus.

    They have begun to chant slogans such as two separate states, two separate communities, and two separate democracies.

    In fact the assembly speaker has even talked about two separate religions in order to further emphasize the separation -- exactly a statement that you would expect from a religious party.

    Given that we are repeating everything and given that we have even turned this into a slogan, it is obvious that unity no longer appears on the agenda.

    This means that we are talking about a policy change.

    In fact, it had been possible to discuss whether or not the AKP had pursued a solution policy in the first place, but they have already let the cat out of the bag.

    Have the statements issued during the visits conducted by the speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and by the Turkish president not caused pain in the hearts of those who support a solution? Are they not able to understand that they are going back on their words and that they are changing their policies? I am truly amazed.

    Given this, how can we remain so calm?

    The officials of the CTP (Republican Turkish Party) and the honorable president appear to be pleased with these visits. In fact, they even have an answer for those who react against these visits.

    Does this mean that the CTP is no longer in favor of a united Cyprus? Does their new policy aim at glorifying and at ensuring the survival of the KKTC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)?

    If the CTP approves and applauds our esteemed guests' comments, this means that the answer to this question is yes. This means that your softening and your efforts for the removal of the isolations merely aimed at ensuring the continuation of the KKTC and the end of a federation, a united Cyprus.

    I am sorry, but one cannot think differently in the face of the fact that you approve and applaud your Turkish guests' statements.

    ES/


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