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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-11-16

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.220/01 16.11.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Speech by the Turkish Cypriot leader at the UDI celebrations ceremony in occupied Nicosia.
  • [02] Michael Leigh calls on Turkey to turn its National Program commitments into concrete measures.
  • [03] Ertugruloglu met with the US Coordinator on Cyprus.
  • [04] Ciller "worries" about Cyprus and criticizes Ecevit.
  • [05] Ertugruloglu asks for recognition from the ICO.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Retired Turkish Ambassador says that the majority of the Turkish public is not behind the government in its Cyprus policies.
  • [07] The editor-in-chief of KIBRIS argues that the Turkish Cypriots are at an impasse.
  • [08] Birand stresses the differences between the Turkish Cypriots and the settlers in the occupied areas. Mainland Turks said to be 90,000.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Speech by the Turkish Cypriot leader at the UDI celebrations ceremony in occupied Nicosia

    Illegal BRTK Television (15.11.01) broadcast live the speech made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas, at the gathering in occupied Nicosia before a parade of the Turkish occupation troops commemorating the unilateral declaration of independence.

    The speech is the following:

    "The world does not see us. The world does not recognize us. It is being said that the world considers us as a minority of the Greek Cypriots. We, however, are aware that we exist. We have the awareness of the path we have travelled to achieve what we have today. As Mr Sukru Gurel said a little while ago, we were saved from the ghettos, the tents, the caves, and from 11 years of oppression thanks to our faith and our confidence in the motherland. We could not achieve liberation without having the martyrs of the motherland join our martyrs. Even so, we extended our hand in peace to the other side.

    For the past 28 years, they have resorted to every means to own the whole of Cyprus as the legitimate government of Cyprus. Fearlessly, by deceiving the world, by means of Greece's blackmail at the EU, and without heeding what the Turkish Cypriots have to say, they pursue their policy of trying to own the whole of Cyprus.

    I address those circles that pressure us, claiming that the Greek Cypriot train -- which these circles call the Cypriot train -- is approaching the EU. You should realize that this train is not a European train but a Greek Cypriot train. You must realize that there exists an insurmountable Turkish obstacle on this road. The EU does not have the right to unanimously cancel the rights granted to us and to Turkey by international agreements. That is what it is doing. It is doing an injustice to the Turkish Cypriots. It wants us to base peace on injustice. It is denying our equality. It is ignoring our sovereignty. Those who invite me to the negotiating table want me to give up our sovereignty at the table. They want me to say that we are not sovereign. They want me to view our equality as a numerical equality. They want me to accept that Turkey's guarantees are only 15 percent or 28 percent, and to accept the dilution of Turkey's guarantees within the other country's word and authority. In fact, they say that under the agreement on guarantees, Turkey does not have the right to obstruct Cyprus' membership in the EU. In this way, they deny the law. They try to make us surrender ourselves blindly at the negotiating table.

    My dear brothers, you can protect your rights only if you know how you gained those rights. There are circles who do not appreciate the value of the republic or the value of having established a state; circles who hide behind the world peace and who do not realize what will happen to them once they celebrate signing a new piece of paper supposedly affirming an agreement. I address myself to them: You must appreciate every day the struggle waged and the sacrifices made to establish this state.

    A while ago I noticed what some university students said on a television program. The young do not know the past. Some of them say we lived with the Greek Cypriots in the past and we can live with them again. These youths are in the minority, but nevertheless, we see that they are capable of saying such a thing. This is not their fault. It is our fault. It is the fault of those who did not teach them their history, who did not teach them the aim of the Greek Cypriot efforts, who did not teach them how we used to live in the past. In other words, it is our fault. We must turn toward our youths. Some of them are jobless and in crisis. In Europe, they see the road to a solution. There is no such road. That is the wrong road. Our road is this: We will be in Europe only if we can be there together with the motherland. The day we separate from Turkey, the day we join the EU as 200,000 Turkish Cypriots without Turkey, we will become 200,000 separate candles that can be blown off easily with a puff.

    The Turkish Cypriots want to be recognized as a people who established a state, who affirmed their sovereignty, who used their right of self-determination, and as a democratic entity that upheld its democracy. That is our right, our absolute right. Our martyrs prove it, our flag proves it, and our people's will proves it.

    Peace cannot be based on illegal grounds. Peace cannot be based on inequality. Peace can be achieved between two sovereign sides through an agreement. That is what we want. We want equality. We want sovereignty. We want balance between Turkey and Greece. We do not want this balance to be upset. The minute this balance is upset, the disaster will begin.

    With these thoughts, I would like to give you the following message. Or, rather, I would like to confirm the encouraging message Mr Sukru Gurel gave us: We exist and we will continue to exist, because the motherland is on our side with all it has got. We are in the right path and God will help those who are in the right path.

    It is my duty to refuse invitations to negotiations that will ignore our sovereignty and state. You gave me this duty. Therefore, we must look to the future with hope. We must be patient, believing that our current problems will be solved soon. Let us embrace each other. Let us see what the Greek Cypriots are trying to do.

    I would also like to refer to the British policy which considers it an honour and a pleasure to support the Greek Cypriots in every respect. The British have forgotten that they are our guarantors. They interpret the guarantee agreement in line with their own interests. Not only do they say that the guarantee agreement does not prevent Cyprus from joining the EU if Turkey is not a member, but they ignore the views of their most distinguished jurists, and consider it their duty to support the Greek Cypriots.

    We too are members of the Commonwealth [last word in English]. At least, that is what we thought we were. However, we do not have the right to speak in this Commonwealth. Nobody listens to us there. Nobody protects us there. We must leave this Commonwealth. There is no other way, because the hostility goes on. Britain should give up its hostility toward us, it should give up its visa requirement from the Turkish Cypriots, and it should treat us equally. That is our right. We want our right. We are not kneeling before them to beg them. We want equality. You [Britain] will do to us what you do to the Greek Cypriots. If we are members of the Commonwealth, and if you want to honour your signature in the 1960 agreement, you must do to us what you do to the Greek Cypriots.

    We cannot bear it any longer that you send Lord Hannay after us to say exactly the opposite of what we say. We want our right, we want justice. The Turkish Cypriots have struggled for 38 years for their rights, for justice, and for their Turkish entity. They did not struggle in order to surrender, not in order to go where we are asked to go like sheep.

    The time has come for everybody to realize that. The Turkish Cypriots exist, and whatever status the Greek Cypriots have, we have the same. Not an inch more, not an inch less. It is the duty of us all to protect this right till the end. Let us continue to carry out this duty honourably, in unity and solidarity, together with our motherland".

    [02] Michael Leigh calls on Turkey to turn its National Program commitments into concrete measures

    Ankara Anatolia (15.11.01) reported that the EU Commission`s Head of Turkey Team for Enlargement Michael Leigh has said that that Turkey-EU relations would suffer and Turkey`s EU membership would be overshadowed if Cyprus joins the EU before an agreement is reached between the two sides on the island.

    Mr Leigh expressed his views regarding the progress report which was recently announced by the European Commission.

    He said that they were pleased by Turkey`s statement in the National Program which supports the efforts led by the U.N. ``We encourage Turkey to turn its commitments to solid measures,`` he said.

    He said he hoped a solution is brought to the Cyprus conflict before Cyprus joins the EU. He added that the EU would support all kinds of solutions that would satisfy both sides.

    When asked if a crisis would occur if Cyprus joins the EU before a solution is reached, he answered that if an agreement is not reached between the two sides despite all efforts, this would not constitute an obstacle to Cyprus` EU membership. ``This is not what we wish of course, but if this happens, Turkey-EU relations and Turkey`s EU membership process would be overshadowed,`` he commented.

    Expressing his opinions about the Progress Report for Turkey and replying to questions of reporters at the EU Commission Representation in Ankara, Leigh said the EU believed that a solution which would satisfy all sides could be found to the Cyprus question.

    Noting that the process for a solution to the Cyprus issue should be accelerated, Leigh said they were expecting Turkey to use its influence in this process.

    Stating that although the United Nations process and EU membership process in Cyprus were different from each other, they affected each other, Leigh said: ``We want also the Turkish Cypriots to be members of the EU together with the Greek Cypriots. The solution to this question will be the source of inspiration to other disputes in the world.

    However, a solution can't be found without the participation of the key sides. Flexibility of the sides involved will be tested in this process. `` Noting that Cyprus was not exposed to different criteria from those imposed on other candidates, Leigh said that latest developments gave hope to them.

    Responding questions about the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI), Leigh said that they understood Turkey`s concerns but they wanted to put the ESDI into practice in accordance with the schedule they had earlier set.

    Recalling that in the Progress Report, EU expressed its desire for acceleration of efforts of solution regarding ESDI issue, Leigh said that solution could be found before the Laeken Summit in December if there would be political will and desire.

    Leigh added that they were expecting Turkey to more actively participate in the process of solution to ESDI issue.

    Michael Leigh said that 2001 was a very important year for Turkey`s preparation for EU membership.

    Speaking about the EU Commission`s Progress Report for Turkey, Leigh said that the Progress Report was the proof that the EU was treating equally all member countries including Turkey.

    Leigh maintained that a new period had started for Turkey, and the EU would be in closer cooperation with administrative units in Turkey through the help of experts.

    Leigh indicated that Turkey prepared a National Program that covers all the points in the Accession Partnership Accord and they expected Turkey to clarify dates on certain issues in its new National Program.

    Responding to a question, Leigh said they found Ankara`s reaction to the Progress Report ``encouraging``. ``The reactions are underlining that the European Commission has been objective and constructive in its analysis,`` he said.

    He stated that Turkey made progress by fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria but still needed a number of changes in its constitution. He said that what is most important is that the administrative authorities in Turkey, judiciary and police, should put these changes into practice.

    About human rights, Leigh said Turkey failed to show the expected progress. ``We observed during our contacts with the NGOs that there isn`t a comprehensive progress in the field of human rights yet. We realize that this is causing worries both in the EU and in the Turkish public opinion. The European Parliament wants to see a clearer progress in the field of human rights from Turkey,`` he commented.

    Speaking about Turkey`s economic hardships, Leigh said the EU Commission was aware how the Turkish people were affected by the economic conditions. He said they expected the Turkish government`s efforts to receive financial aid from certain financial institutions.

    Despite the economic troubles, Leigh said that the Turkish economy was strong enough to compete in many sectors and it was very successful in some key sectors such as textiles.

    Answering a question about the screening process, Leigh said what is more important is to clearly set up targets and decide on dates to realize these goals.

    Leigh who presented information about the EU`s enlargement process, said that they expected to complete talks with ten candidate countries before 2004 so that these countries can take part in the European elections which will be held in the same year.

    He also pointed out that the EU must realize a series of institutional changes in its own body for a successful enlargement.

    [03] Ertugruloglu met with the US Coordinator on Cyprus

    KIBRIS (16/11/01) reports that the so-called Foreign and Defence Minister, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who is in New York for the annual coordination meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) and the works of the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly, met on Wednesday (14/11/01) with the US State Department Coordinator on Cyprus, Ambassador Mr Thomas Weston.

    The paper gives no details of the content of the meeting.

    [04] Ciller "worries" about Cyprus and criticizes Ecevit

    KIBRIS (16.11.01) reports that Tansu Ciller, True Path Party (TPP) leader, said yesterday her party "worries extremely" of Turkey loosing Cyprus and added that they criticize the policy of the Turkish government sincerely with the aim of not loosing the "national cause".

    Talking at a Press conference and asked to comment on Prime Minister Ecevit' s statements that he is surprised about the mind of those who think that his government could be willing to sacrifice Cyprus, Mrs Ciller said that she worries because the "Southern Cyprus" joining the European Union is seriously discussed, something which the Turkish Foreign Minister has been forced to admit.

    [05] Ertugruloglu asks for recognition from the ICO

    KIBRIS (16.11.01) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, so-called Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister, called on the 52 member-states of the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO) to support more actively the Turkish Cypriots in obtaining equal status with the Greek Cypriots and having their state recognized.

    Addressing the ICO's meeting in New York, Mr Ertugruloglu said that the Islamic countries could express this support by using the name of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the documents of their organization.

    Mr Ertugruloglu claimed that the best answer, which could be given to the Greek Cypriot policy, is the application of the ICO decisions expressing support to the Turkish Cypriots.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Retired Turkish Ambassador says that the majority of the Turkish public is not behind the government in its Cyprus policies.

    In a commentary in RADICAL newspaper (14.11.01) under the title" "Cyprus Again", retired Ambassador Gunduz Aktan, writes the following:

    "We are entering a critical year in the Cyprus problem. By simply saying this we acknowledge the link between a solution in Cyprus and [Turkey's] membership in the EU. However, we cannot sacrifice our basic interests in Cyprus for the sake of membership in the EU. One group that has been advocating EU membership unconditionally minimizes the importance of Cyprus as compared to the EU membership and wants us to make sacrifices of undefined scope.

    This is impossible. Nor is it necessary. For this reason they must abandon their wrong approach and join the normal course.

    The great majority of the American public supports the war against Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. In other words there is no problem of national consensus. However it is hard to say that the United States has been able to persuade Europe, particularly over the broadcasts of the Al-Jazeerah television station. Thus the United States risks losing the war itself if it loses the public relations war over the justness of its campaign against terrorism. As a result the United States is now embarking on a major propaganda campaign, or in more delicate terms it is preparing to implement "public policy" [as published].

    In contrast Turkey appears to have lost the war about the justness of its cause in Cyprus not just overseas but also at home. Interestingly it is either not aware of this or is minimizing its importance. The truth is that if a large portion of the media blames the failure to find a solution in Cyprus entirely on us and constantly writes about it may, at a minimum, encourage the Greek and Greek Cypriot side to expect more concessions than would be necessary. Also it is very difficult for a government to negotiate without having the full support of its public.

    Mr Rauf Denktas has been accused of walking out of the intercommunal talks. The public has not been persuaded that his decision not to return to the negotiating table unless the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot side is recognized was right.

    Resolution No. 186 of the UN Security Council in 1964 recognized the Greek Cypriots as the only legitimate government on the island. A close examination of that resolution reveals a language which suggests that the Turkish Cypriot side launched an insurrection against the state. Today one may criticize our consent to the passage of such a resolution. However, at the time, when the UN was full of newly independent and weak states formed following the demise of colonialism, it was unacceptable for a numerically small minority to resist the usurpation of its rights by the majority community. Human rights did not yet dominate the international agenda. However, once this resolution was passed it became impossible to gain recognition for the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots.

    If I am not wrong the West believes that this equality should be recognized when a settlement is reached. To offset the advantage the Turkish side gained after 1974 the West has chosen to let the Greek Cypriots represent the whole island. Moreover the West is worried that if the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is recognized the Turkish side would lose any interest in the settlement of the problem.

    However all this does not mean that Mr Denktas should return to the negotiating table with these conditions. The unofficial document presented by UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan on 8 November 2000 prevents that. Any outcome that may result from the acceptance of this document as a framework for negotiations may lead to a situation that is worse than what existed before 1963. The said document first calls for talks without any preconditions but then enumerates as preconditions everything that the Turkish side has rejected until now. Moreover it bars Turkish Cypriots from submitting proposals or changes that are at odds with the positions it articulates. How can there be negotiations in such circumstances?

    It is obvious that this document was drafted to appease the Greek Cypriots who have lost any interest in intercommunal talks or even a final settlement on the island even as they progress toward full membership in the EU.

    The real problem is that the Greek Cypriots who subjected the Turkish Cypriots to crimes against humanity between 1963 and 1974 and even attempted to perpetrate genocide against them through the Akritas plan now deny what they have done and are able to teach to the younger generations the nonsensical notion that Turkey has occupied Cyprus for no reason. How can the Turkish Cypriots be surrendered to a majority community with this state of mind?

    As if that was not enough they have shamelessly issued a red warrant for Gen. Hasan Kundakci. It is Turkey that should have issued a red warrant for those responsible for the events of 1963 through 1974, including Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides. However we have not yet managed to include in our penal code genocide and crimes against humanity which can be prosecuted retroactively".

    [07] The editor-in-chief of KIBRIS argues that the Turkish Cypriots are at an impasse

    Basaran Duzgun, editor-in-chief of KIBRIS (16.11.01), expresses the opinion that the Turkish Cypriots are in an impasse and have no hope for the future. Mr Duzgun blames the politicians and the way the history of Cyprus is taught to the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Duzgun writes, among other things, the following:

    "The Turkish Cypriots have entered a dead-end road where they are having doubts about the past, suffering torments at the present and giving up hope for the future.

    History has turned into a poem of lies in the hands of the politicians and obtained a form which surprises even those who made it. 'Canbulat is actually a made-up story', Dr Nazim Beratli says in his book. . We think that Cyprus had no history prior to the Ottomans. We turn the post-Ottoman period into a lie and a mistake in the name of political interests.

    Very well, what happened after the Ottomans?

    An old ghazi (translator's note: victorious fighter for the Islamic faith) has said: 'They describe the battles I have participated in and our struggle in such a way that I cannot believe my ears when I hear them'.

    There are so many events of our recent history, which have been made-up and distorted. Has the date on which TMT was established not been discussed for a long time? Have the names of its founders not been discussed for a long time? The international aspect of the matter is still being kept a secret. An effort is being made to cover up the truth, making pompous nationalistic speeches.

    Today they have turned every moment of our life into a torment. The economic crisis which is becoming deeper has started to mess up completely both the family budget and structure. The social, cultural and moral values are changing. The Turkish Cypriots are feeling ashamed because they cannot pay their debts and keep their promises. And the economists say that 'we are still at the beginning of the crisis'. .

    The policy built on distributing unearned incomes is collapsing day by day and the politicians are getting into the trouble of finding new ways of obtaining unearned income.

    Alliances difficult to believe are established, both inside and outside the country, in order to ensure the maintenance of this situation, which leads the Turkish Cypriots to annihilation.

    Efforts are being exerted towards dragging the Turkish Cypriots to the bargaining table just like strategic pawns. No one cares about the difficulties they are facing.

    Hopelessness about the future has reached such dimensions that it is threatening even the children who have not yet been born. Those who can go away escape to London, Australia and Canada. Those who cannot escape go to Limassol to take a breath.

    Neither the Cyprus problem will be solved nor the economic crisis will end. The Turkish Cypriots are completely messed up because of an economic crisis, which is not due to them. In the past the Cyprus problem was a cornerstone, whereas now it is only a trump-card. The Turkish Cypriots are exerting an extraordinary effort in order to hold on to their land and maintain their generation. This is in vain, however. And it is going to be in vain as long as this order of things, this status quo continues. The point is to understand this. .".

    [09] Birand stresses the differences between the Turkish Cypriots and the settlers in the occupied areas. Mainland Turks said to be 90.000

    Writhing in the column "OPINION" of Turkish Daily News (16/11/01) under the title "Denktas replies to Turkish Cypriot youth", Mehmet Ali Birand outlines the differences between the Turkish Cypriot and the Turk youths in the occupied areas. The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "After watching last night's episode of the 32nd Day I am sure some of you became very angry at the Turkish Cypriot youths. You may have said that they were insolent ingrates. And some of you must have become angry at me for producing a program of this kind. Those who prefer to sweep the facts under the rug and keep them there must have said, "Brother, was there any need for such a program?" However, some of you must have realized the gravity of the situation and started discussing the measures that must be taken.

    What you heard was not communist propaganda or a Greek Cypriot ploy but the views of some of the young people who represent the future of Cyprus. There would definitely be those who do not think like them. However, even that much should be enough for us to sound the alarm bells.

    I do not know whether you paid attention to the reactions coming from the Turkish students from the mainland who were in the audience, especially those sitting among them, are known as Nationalist Action Party (NAP) supporters, and have played a key role in a number of incidents.

    Rather than hearing out their Turkish Cypriot friends and find out what they think, they pounced upon them.

    This is exactly what upsets the young Turkish Cypriots.

    Let us be frank.

    There is really a big Turkish presence in Cyprus.

    Within a 200,000-strong population there are 90,000 Turks from Turkey that are now naturalized citizens. What is bad about this is that the Turks from Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots do not like one another. They keep a certain distance from one another. Turks from Turkey see the Turkish Cypriots as "lazy freeloaders," parasites who subsist on the basis of the money sent from Turkey. And they openly say so.

    How interesting that the young Turkish Cypriots too are complaining about this system.

    You watched them last night.

    They say: "This warped system has been brought in and imposed by Turkey. Here, people (some 80,000 of them) have become accustomed to get money from the state and live without producing anything."

    The tension between the two communities has been increasing. The pressure the radical nationalist groups put on the Turkish Cypriots, especially, is quite obvious. We witnessed that pressure even during the program shot at the university. With their reactions they prevented the Turkish Cypriots from expressing "more advanced" views.

    The Turkish Embassy (that is, Ankara) too puts pressure on the Turkish Cypriot citizens. What should be done and how gets determined by the Turkish Embassy to a great extent.

    Also to be mentioned is the 35,000-strong Turkish military presence, that is, the Turkish peace force. That force too gives orientation to the Turkish Cypriot community. Turkish Cypriots openly say that they cannot get used to the never-ending ceremonies and the way schoolchildren are taken to the border areas to boost the troops' morale.

    As an accumulated effect of all this, Turkish Cypriot youngsters stress that they have lost their identity, that they have become nonexistent under Turkey's hegemony. They said that they are fed up with the way they get accused of committing high treason, of selling out "the cause," and of oiling up to the Greek Cypriots whenever they put forth a different view. Instead of getting angry we should be asking ourselves, "Where did we go wrong?"

    Denktas says they have failed to establish a dialogue with young people

    I posed that question to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas immediately after the program was shot at the university.

    Denktas too is troubled.

    He complains that no dialogue has been established with the young people and that the country is backwards in the education area.

    I think that what Mr. Denktas could not or would not see is that there is an enormous abyss between "those who govern Cyprus and certain ruling circles in Turkey" and the Turkish Cypriot youngsters.

    We will all suffer greatly unless the measures required are taken as soon as possible -- and, by measures I do not mean restrictions or punishment.

    I have relayed to the Turkish public this bitter reality which everybody is aware of, but no one is willing to talk about out in the open.

    Let us know these things and take our steps accordingly."

    KV/SK


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