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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-10-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.198/01 17.10.01
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Devlet Bahceli to visit Washington in November. The Cyprus problem on his agendaUnder the title «Washington is expecting Bahceli» CUMHURIYET newspaper (16.10.01) publishes the following by Ozgen Acar in the column «Crossroads»:
«Devlet Bahceli, the Deputy Prime Minister and NAP [Nationalist Action Party] General Chairman, in case he finalizes his "promise in principle" on the subject of visiting Washington, D.C., will go to the United States during the first week of November. Bahceli's meeting and talks with Dick Cheney, the US Vice President, are on the agenda. The officials in Washington, D.C. are waiting eagerly for Bahceli.
The "Assembly of the Turkish-American Associations" (ATAA) in the United States sent a delegation under the chairmanship of Orhan Kaymakcalan to Turkey. The delegation visited Deputy Prime Minister Bahceli prior to 11 September and he gave a "promise in principle" on the subject of participating and giving a speech at the meeting of the Assembly to be held [in the United States] on 1 November. Bahceli's promise would be finalized depending on developments. The Deputy Prime Minister is expected to phone the ATAA officials soon to inform them whether or not he will attend the meeting. The response that Bahceli will give became even more important after the 11 September attacks.
There is no head of state or government of the allied countries who has not visited Washington, D.C. after 11 September. From Turkey, Ismail Cem, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, went to Washington, D.C., upon the invitation of his counterpart, Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State. However, the officials in Washington, D.C. are expecting discussions with Ankara at a higher level on the subject of Afghanistan. The American officials find it strange that no one at a head of state or government level has come to Washington, D.C. from Turkey, which is "one of the important allies".
The unique attitude of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer in diplomacy and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's health problems are preventing the realization of talks and dialogue between Ankara and Washington, D.C. at a high level.
For this reason, even if it is for the ATAA meeting, the officials in Washington, D.C. want Bahceli to come to the United States. The officials in Washington, D.C. have already met two of the three party chairmen in the Turkish coalition government and are hoping to also have the opportunity to become closely acquainted with Bahceli and to start a dialogue. From the telephone conversations we had with some of the American and Turkish circles in Washington, D.C., they are especially dwelling upon a point related to Bahceli. It is perceived that they also want to learn the viewpoint of Bahceli on the Islamic world as a party chairman who obtained votes with a Turkish-Islamic synthesis.
According to the division of work among the Turkish coalition partners, the fact that the NAP is responsible for the relations with the Central Asian Turkic Republics is another important point. The officials in Washington, D.C. also aim to benefit from the experience of Bahceli about the influence of the Afghanistan operation on the neighbouring countries and about possible developments for Turkish-American cooperation in this field and to learn Bahceli's thoughts. Exchange of information on the subject of "new formations that could emerge", with a political party chairman who took the lead in the decision in the Turkish Parliament for opening Turkey to foreign soldiers and for sending Turkish soldiers abroad on the subject of Afghanistan, could constitute another focal point of the discussions. Undoubtedly, for Bahceli, who wants to come to power on his own in the future, to meet with the US administration in this atmosphere will be an important investment for his own politics.
As soon as Bahceli decides to go to the United States, a meeting date with Cheney will be determined. The Iraq and Cyprus problems, among the other important items on the Cheney-Bahceli talks agenda, could also include the subject of eliminating the uncertainties in the United States-IMF relations connected to the economic crisis in Turkey.
In addition, Bahceli might have contacts with the American press and might make a speech at one of the "think-tank" institutions. Bahceli will also meet the Turkish community in the United States and according to the duration of his visit, it will be arranged for him to make some contacts in New York as well. For all of these things to happen will be dependent on Bahceli saying, "All right, I will definitely make the visit".
At the three day ATAA meeting, two US Congress members, Juha Kahkonen, the IMF Turkey Representative, the new and former Turkish and American ambassadors and Van Krikorian, the Representative of the Armenian Lobby will also be among the speakers»...
 The Turkish Prime Minister replied to questions on Turkey's position on recent world developments and the situation in TurkeyIstanbul STAR newspaper (16.10.01) publishes the following Interview with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit by daily Star columnists Sabahattin Onkibar and Fatih Cekirge on the Star Television Network's "Alternative" program in Ankara on 15 October under the title: "We Cannot Agree to an Intervention in Iraq".
Question: Prime Minister Ecevit, will Turkey be given a task beyond its present mission in the war against Afghanistan?
Answer: We will probably have to agree to a new task. However, I believe that the operation in Afghanistan will be successful. The effort made thus far will be useless if the ethnic groups in Afghanistan cannot reconcile their differences. We are trying at the present time to persuade the rival military groups to establish close relations as much as possible. Unfortunately, the results we have achieved thus far are not enough.
Question: I see that you are worried. A ground operation was launched against Iraq during the Gulf War. Do you anticipate a similar operation against Afghanistan?
Answer: I cannot clearly answer your question on the matter. The conditions in Afghanistan significantly differ from those in Iraq. Whether we like it or not, Iraq is a contemporary country. We have not been informed on the plans the United States might have drawn up for Afghanistan.
Question: Have you been informed on the work of the generals in Florida?
Answer: The United States asked seven countries in the world to send their representatives to Florida for liaison work. Turkey was one of them. I am informed on the developments by the General Staff every day.
Question: Has a central headquarters been established in Florida? Or, is a building being constructed for that purpose?
Answer: The installations in Florida might not be enough to host all the guests. Technical preparations are made to allow the liaison groups to establish links with their countries. As far as we have been informed, a temporary centre has been established there.
Question: So, a headquarters will be established for the seven countries, including Turkey. A similar headquarters was established during the Gulf War. Can it be assumed that we are moving in a similar direction?
Answer: Separatist terrorism continues to exist in Turkey. I mean, Turkey is already confronted with problems. Nevertheless, we want to contribute toward the operation against Afghanistan. Even if Turkey's physical participation in a ground operation would be out of question, I would like to cautiously express my views on the matter. Turkey will significantly contribute toward the operation.
Question: Will Turkey ask the Western countries to explain their approach toward the Workers Party of Kurdistan [PKK]? Will it ask for guarantees?
Answer: Turkey will definitely ask for guarantees. Some of the terrorist actions, including death fasts, have been planned in our Western allies.
Question: NATO deciding to invoke Article 5 only against Usama Bin Ladin has made everyone uneasy. Thousands of people were martyred by the terrorists in Turkey. What do we plan to do in the organization? Will we only comply with NATO's calls?
Answer: Turkey being a NATO member after World War II was a significant guarantee for our country. However, the approach maintained by many countries on terrorism gradually began to differ. When we criticized them for supporting separatist terrorism in Turkey, they reacted by saying: "They are freedom fighters, not terrorists."
For a moment, let us agree to what they said. But, we should then ask whether Turkey's allies should support those who plan to divide our country by claiming that they wage a struggle for freedom? What is the independence called for by those who say that they wage a struggle for freedom? Do they want to establish a separate state? I must recall that Turkey is a NATO member with all its territory.
Question: What are the chances of a US attack on Iraq?
Answer: An operation against Iraq would be wrong. Turkey cannot agree to that. It might lead to a division in our country. It might disrupt all the balances in the Middle East. We have clearly outlined all that as our Government's approach. I want to stress that we hope a ground operation against Afghanistan will be limited to that country. We also hope that it will be carried out within a short period. We definitely do not want an intervention in Iraq.
Question: Have you conveyed your views to President Bush? Have you discussed all that with Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld when he visited Turkey?
Answer: Yes, I did. I informed them on various occasions. The United States has not mentioned anything about an operation against Iraq thus far. In a statement he made two or three days ago, President Bush said: "Iraq must be careful."
That meant that no action would be taken against that country if it behaves.
Question: Would you be able to inform the United States that it will not be able to use the air base in Incirlik in an attack on Iraq?
Answer: We informed Washington after the disastrous incidents in the United States on 11 September that it can use Turkey's ground facilities and airspace. We showed that we acted with goodwill.
Question: How will the operation against Afghanistan affect the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East?
Answer: Some of the balances might change. All the republics in Central Asia, including the Turkic republics, will be confronted with a serious threat if the Taliban regime survives.
Question: Unemployment has become a very serious problem in Turkey. Many people have lost their jobs.
Answer: We cannot disclose the number of the unemployed people because we have just begun to put the Labour Insurance Law into effect. However, the rate of unemployment has significantly increased. That is a fact. We got positive signs related to economic recovery in July, August, and September. However, everything collapsed after the attack on the United States on 11 September. The incident created a crisis not only in Turkey but also in all the other countries in the world.
Question: Can you comment on Turkey's economic situation?
Answer: We relied on our exporters and the tourism sector. Significant progress was achieved. Our hotels were full. The situation has completely changed now. Our hotels are empty and our exports decreased.
Question: Would the IMF and the World Bank help Turkey? Can that be possible?
Answer: We received some signs from the World Bank, not from the IMF. However, compared with the IMF, the World Bank's support would be limited. Nevertheless, we have received hope-inspiring signs from the United States. Washington expects the G-7 countries to take action. But, they usually pass the ball to the IMF. We do not have the strength to wait.
Question: Do you believe that Minister of State Kemal Dervis has been successful? Do you plan to replace him?
Answer: He has done as much as he can. We do not plan to reshuffle the cabinet. We believe that is unnecessary.
Question: Turkey has many underground resources. It has gold reserves. However, reports said that Germany obstructed the extraction of gold.
Answer: We will take the necessary measures. Our gold reserves will be an important factor when we move to exploit our resources. Claims have been made to the effect that investors have to knock on 40 doors and wait for many years if they want to make investments in Turkey. That is ridiculous. The domestic and foreign investors will not have to knock on 40 doors. Their initiatives will be finalized in three months.
Question: Do you have any good news for the real sector?
Answer: There are unbelievable bureaucratic and legal obstacles in Turkey. We have to solve that problem. Many business establishments are in difficulty. They can be saved if they are supported. We want to create an opportunity for them to survive. We have talked about the need to reduce the size of the state. However, the real sector has shrunk.
Question: The people in even the most remote areas in Turkey are aware of the importance of Ziraat Bankasi [Agricultural Bank] and the gendarmerie forces. We suddenly viewed the public banks as the enemy. The private sector is shrinking. The international trusts have moved to buy the private sector establishments that work at a loss. An example is the Demir Bank. The HSBC offered $1.2 billion to buy it in the past. However, it bought it for $350 million.
Answer: It has been established that some of the measures that were imposed on Turkey were not useful.
Question: The government employees and the workers took to the streets because they have not been able to earn their living. The measures that have been taken under pressure created problems for the people and the businessmen. Has the matter been rushed?
Answer: I believe that we went a little too far in the steps we took to realize democratisation. Many independent and official institutions were established. The Government has been unable to control them.
Question: Can it be said that early elections must be held?
Answer: Even the calls made for early elections affect the money markets. We must definitely improve the economy. Otherwise, everything that has been done thus far will be meaningless.
Question: Does the Democratic Left Party [DLP] have someone who might take over the party administration from you in the future?
Answer: There will be someone when the time comes. We have very efficient cadres. I am not worried at all. The DLP will stand on its feet after someone takes over from me.
Question: You said that the DLP will stand on its feet after someone takes over from you. But, you have not said...
Answer: I believe in God. I do not know what God has planned for us. I try to consider all the possibilities.
Question: Your health has led to speculation in various circles. Do you have a health problem?
Answer: Similar claims have been made for many years. If what has been said was right, I should have died a long time ago.
 Eroglu will deliver a speech on the Cyprus issue in IstanbulAccording to KIBRIS (17/10/01) the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu yesterday went to Istanbul as guest of the Karakoy Rotary Club. Eroglu will start his contacts with a meeting with the Dean of Istanbul University Prof. Dr Kemal Alemdaroglu and later this evening he is going to deliver a speech on the Cyprus issue at a meeting of the Rotary Club.
In a short statement prior to his departure Eroglu said that during his visit to Istanbul he will inform the Rotary Club members about the policy of the pseudostate and the situation in the occupied areas.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 "Avrupa" says 350 thousand mainland Turks were granted the "citizenship" since 1974Under the title "They say we are not the minority!" "Avrupa" (17.10.01) reports that 350 thousand mainland Turks were granted the so-called "citizenship" of the pseudostate since 1974 and adds that members of the "village guards" units which had been formed in southeastern Turkey in order to fight the Kurds of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) are still being settled in the occupied part of Cyprus. "Avrupa" writes, among other things, the following:
"Is there anyone who knows the number of the Turkish Cypriots in the island today? No, there isn't! Everyone approaches this matter, which is among the most interesting matters for the foreign journalists who visit Cyprus, as he wishes. Those who are very pessimistic say that it is 40 thousands, those who are little optimistic say that it is 60 thousands and the more optimistic ones say 80 thousands. Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat, however, is more optimistic than everyone. According to him, this number exceeds 100 thousands. That is, as our population is estimated to be 182 thousands, the Turkish Cypriots are still the majority, they have not become the minority.
Undoubtedly, those who know this island do not believe the words of Talat. Everybody knows that especially after 1990, the Turkish Cypriots have become the minority here. Are Denktas, Eroglu and Talat the only persons who do not know that? Furthermore, the rank and file of RTP knows it as well. Let the supporters of RTP speak and you will see, there is no one who says that the Turkish Cypriots have not become a minority. This wrong estimate belongs only to the administration of the party.
Why is the leadership of the party opposing its rank and file on this vital matter? It is not known, but it seems that the regime has taken the current leadership of RTP into its protection. The RTP leader is given preference in the papers, which support Denktas and the army. .
As far as the real number of the mainland Turks who were granted the citizenship in our country, do you know what it is according to the rumours of experts on this matter? 350 thousands! Search the matter Mr. Talat. Search and see. If you search you will see many more things. For example, you will see that members of the 'village guards' units, which had been created in southeastern Turkey against the Kurds, are still being surging into our country in crowds. Instead of trying to convince the supporters of RTP that 'Sener Levent is a spy of Denktas', deal a little with some serious matters as well. .".