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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-02
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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.123/02 02.07.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Rauf Denktas during his weekly meeting with Eroglu and CosarIllegal Bayrak Radio (01.07.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas this morning held his weekly routine meeting with Dervish Eroglu so-called Prime Minister and Salih Cosar, so-called State Minister in charge of the economy and Deputy Prime Minister. The latest developments in the direct Cyprus talks and the "local elections" held on 30 June were assessed at the meeting.
Prior to the meeting, Denktas assessed the "election results" and replied to reporters' questions. He wished the election results to be auspicious to the country and asked the newly elected mayors to serve the people conscious of the reasons for their election. Noting that work should be conducted on issues such as cleanliness, mosquitoes, water pollution, environmental issues, weeds, and services for tourists, Denktas said that if measures are not taken on these issues and an interest is taken in political ones, then the people will continue to complain. Recalling the statements made by Republican Turkish Party [RTP] leader Mehmet Ali Talat to the effect that general elections should be held immediately on grounds that the people have conveyed their wish and expressing his amazement at these statements by Talat, Denktas criticized the fact that the local elections have been turned into a political gain. Noting that one should acknowledge that the RTP has worked well, Denktas congratulated the party for its victory, adding: "On the eve of the elections, however, Talat told all of us that this was, in no way, a political issue and that political views have nothing to do with municipal elections. He went from door to door conveying this message."
Pointing out that this was the message, Denktas said that the Cyprus issue, which is a political one, is continuing. He added that a new partnership to be established based on the principle of the state and its sovereignty should be satisfactory to both sides. Denktas said that preventing the Greek Cypriots from settling among the Turkish Cypriots, solving the exchange of goods and property issue through compensation and barter, preserving the principle of guarantorship as it is, and providing guarantees for Turkish Cypriot territories will open all the paths toward a full solution. Denktas continued: "It is possible to speedily reach a solution if the following points are renounced: Even if you have your own sector, the Greek Cypriots will return to their property and land. You will give one third of your territory to us, but you will not have sovereignty over the territory that is left to you. The United Nations will replace the guarantor states as the third and superior guarantor. Greek Cypriot sovereignty will continue as though there is the principle of a majority and a minority. If these points are not renounced then a solution cannot be reached."
Denktas said that speaking about opening up without safeguarding the state is tantamount to opening up to dangers and negative developments, adding that no one should play with the future of the people and put the state on sale because of economic difficulties. In reply to a question, Denktas said that the economic problems have had an effect on the election results, adding that the votes were cast as a reaction. He said that, therefore, one should dwell with understanding on economic programs and the economic situation and reassess the issue. Noting that everyone has reacted to the difficulties and the shortages, Denktas said that the people have lost three thirds of their wealth as a result of the devaluations in foreign exchange rates during the last year.
In reply to another question, Denktas said that the RTP emerged with the propaganda of providing municipal services, adding that ugly songs were sung especially at rallies and platforms in which a Turkish minister was present. Noting that he conveyed all these points to Talat, Denktas continued: "I hope that he will be able to see the beneficial side of this victory. He should be able to see the validity of administering or fulfilling his promises without hurting the people on national issues." Noting that the RTP use of the Turkish and the pseudostate/s flags at rallies is a sign of change, Denktas expressed the view that this party should change further. He said: "They have to rid themselves of the phobia of Turks, Turkey, and Denktas. I would like it to be known that we are conducting the negotiations in full cooperation with Turkey in the knowledge that an agreement that is not approved by Turkey will destroy this people." In a statement after the meeting, Eroglu said that the latest situation in the direct talks and the election results were assessed. Noting that he did not have the opportunity to conduct sufficient consultations on the talks because of the elections, Eroglu said that they made a brief assessment on the issue. He continued: "The talks are continuing as we expected."
Eroglu said that the National Unity Party [NUP] and the Democratic Party [DP] are governing the country at a most difficult time, adding that the primary goal in these difficult times is to keep the state alive. He continued: "Our goal, as the government, is to survive and to provide wages to state employees. There are issues such as that of the bank depositors. We are continuing our efforts to resolve these problems. We believe that we have done our utmost with regards to these issues."
Noting that the budget revenues were upset as a result of the foreign exchange crises, Eroglu said that it is common knowledge that workers and state employees were not granted the desired wage increase, adding that, however, this reality was not reflected in the ballot box. In reply to a question, Eroglu said that, in the aftermath of the elections, the "government" will give priority to the economy as it has done in the past. Recalling that a program was drawn to overcome the economic crisis, Eroglu said that this program will be reviewed in a bid to eliminate the various difficulties that might emerge in its implementation, adding that if there are other measures that can be taken, then these will also be assessed. Noting that it is impossible to govern without rectifying the economy and without reducing to a minimum the problems of the people, Eroglu concluded by saying that measures aimed at providing relief in the short term will be speeded up.
 Mehmet Ali Talat calls on Denktas to respect the Turkish Cypriots/ choice of the European idealIllegal Bayrak Radio (01.07.02) broadcast that Republican Turkish Party (RTP) leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that his party finds odd the style Rauf Denktas has used toward the RTP in his assessment of the "election" results.
In a written statement he issued today, Talat criticized the statement Denktas made in connection with the election results. Talat said: "The statement in which he uses phrases that do not befit a `president/ is most unfortunate for him. We call on Denktas to renounce this style and to respect the wishes and political choice of the people". Talat further called on Denktas to review his policies aimed at influencing the politicians and bureaucrats in Turkey through his epic speeches. Calling on Denktas to try and understand the European ideal which is the clear choice of the people, Talat added that no one will be harmed by it. Noting that Denktas should free himself from the RTP phobia, Talat said: "Our people trust and support us. Rauf Denktas, through the speeches he delivers based on the RTP phobia, is damaging the respectability of the `presidency/".
Talat further said that Denktas' policies will bloc the path of Turkey which is marching toward the EU and secure the accession of south Cyprus to the EU on behalf of the entire island. He concluded by calling on Rauf Denktas to review his policies.
 Reference to Cyprus during an interview by the Danish Ambassador to Turkey with Turkish Daily NewsTurkish Daily News (01.07.02) publishes the following:
Denmark is taking the term presidency of the European Union (EU) for six months on July 1.
The next six months is quite vital for Turkey concerning its future with the 15-member block. Will Turkey be able to take a date from the Union at the Copenhagen summit in December, after fulfilling the political criteria? Denmark is not taking the term presidency on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and the eurozone, in accordance with earlier referendums in the country. Since the country is not involved in these two issues, the next president Greece will hold the term presidency during the Danish lead of the EU. And as an interesting coincidence, Copenhagen will be the place, where the EU leaders will decide in December, to what extend the Turkish side fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria...
What about Cyprus?
Christian Hoppe once more reminded that the political criteria are not limited with three topics, abolishment of the death penalty, right to learn the mother tongue and broadcasting in Kurdish. Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, complete elimination of maltreatment and torture, more civilian control over the armed forces should not be forgotten according to the Danish Ambassador... Despite all the uncertainty over the future of Turkish-EU relations and the domestic "bloody" debate on the issue, the ambassador spoke in an optimistic way. And despite all our insisting questions, he chose his words carefully, especially on the Kurdish problem. And he promised that the EU will not demand more from Turkey, after the fulfillment of the political criteria.
In the midst of our chat after the interview, he stopped for a short time and used the phrase "It takes two to tango" to refer to the responsibilities of the EU.
The next six months will be the most critical period and the Copenhagen summit of the EU Council to be held in December, will be the turning point vis-a-vis the fate of Turkey and many other EU candidates.
Following is the interview with a diplomat, who will be the most busiest man in Ankara in the next six months...
Debate on the death penalty overshadowed other criteria: Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, complete elimination of maltreatment and torture, more civilian control over the armed forces...
Question: What kind of a picture did you take from the Spanish presidency in terms of relations between the European Union (EU) and Turkey?
Answer: We have a good picture. I think Spain in many fields, but also in relations with Turkey, has been very active. Turkey has become a normal part of the family participating in the convention, as my Spanish colleague told your newspaper. It is an ongoing process and we hope to continue that process in the next six months.
Question: Concerning the Turkish-EU agenda, which issues are priority for Danish presidency?
Answer: Same priority as Turkey. We look forward to the day when Turkey fulfills all of the political criteria, the Copenhagen criteria, so that we may decide on a date for accession negotiations. But it must be understood that all these political criteria must be fulfilled. It is up to Turkey how fast the reform process will go.
Question: When you met with True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller, she quoted you as saying that the death penalty was not a priority. Could you elaborate what the fulfillment of the political criteria really meant? And what about these three topics, broadcasting and education in Kurdish plus the abolishment of the death penalty?
Answer: What we have said about these three was that they are very important and that we would warmly welcome steps in this area. We can also say that maybe the public debate on these issues, have overshadowed the fact that there are other criteria which should be fulfilled. This is the point that we wanted. There are more. What are these? They are all reflected in the Accession Partnership Accord. Freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, complete elimination of maltreatment and torture, more civilian control over the armed forces...
In October, the EU Commission will declare the progress report. We very much hope that before that report, Turkey could make significant progress in all these areas.
Answer: Not otherwise! We hope strongly that they will be fulfilled. We fully realize that some of them would take time. But the important thing is that they are pursued with energy and determination. This will allow the EU Council of Copenhagen to make another positive assessment. You have seen the text from the EU Council of Seville, which is very positive and encouraging. We want this trend to continue.
Question: If I ask you a question, which I expect that you will consider as a domestic Turkish affair. We see a deadlock vis-a-vis the functioning of Parliament and concerning the reforms. Do you see a momentum to fulfill the criteria?
Answer: You have partly given the answer but... We have seen major steps in the direction of fulfillment of the political criteria with the constitutional amendments and the mini packages, lifting of Emergency Rule (ER) in two provinces. We are looking forward to the lifting of two others; we have also noted that since March there have been not much momentum on reforms. We hope strongly that this momentum will be recreated that there will be more significant reforms. But of course, it is up to Turkey.
Question: You said that Turkey should fulfill the criteria before October. It does not seem that Parliament will do much.
Answer: Parliament will start its summer break. Then it will come back. And we hope that necessary steps will be taken.
Question: If not?
Answer: If not... Our prime minister said in the press conference that it is a hope that until the EU Council meets in December, Turkey will make progress in fulfillment of the criteria. When all the criteria are fulfilled, we can decided on a date. If that happens in or after December, it is impossible to predict. It is up to Turkey to decide. Question: There are some circles in Turkey who believe that even if Turkey fulfills the criteria, the EU will always make new demands. And they think that these demands will never end.
Answer: I can say categorically that the EU will not make new demands. There will not be more demands.
Question: How will you decide that Turkey has fulfilled the political criteria? Will words be enough?
Answer: Of course, legislation is important but implementation is more important. We follow developments in this country closely. At the end our political leaders will decide.
Question: A very important political development is the German elections and the rightist wave in the EU. How can this affect Turkey?
Answer: We have elections in our countries all the time, which is a normal part of the political process. If you want a straight answer, I can say that in terms of Turkish-EU relations, the policy which we have will continue. And that is if Turkey fulfills the political criteria completely, the accession talks will be starting.
Question: Concerning the political criteria, you referred to the need for more civilian control over the military. How?
Answer: Like in any Western democracy.
Question: But practically how? Especially in the aftermath of Sept. 11, struggling against terrorism and military activities became a very important issue on the international arena. And there is a threat of war in our southern neighbour, Iraq. (These are factors causing dominancy for the military.)
Answer: If you look at the situation in other Western democracies, civilian governments are in complete control. We think that more progress needs to be done.
Question: Do you have a National Security Council in your country?
Answer: No but we have government committees. In defense matters, ministers only take the decision. Uniformed officials take part at the meetings but it is only the civilians who take the decision.
Question: Fundamentalism is still being considered as a threat in our country and we have a Feb. 28 process. We see that EU countries, the European Court of Human Rights did not accuse Turkey for the closure of the Welfare Party. How will you handle such a threat?
Answer: I would say such a process (Feb. 28) could not take place.
Question: Our Chief of Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu repeatedly makes statements against fundamentalism and politicians like Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Justice and Development Party (JDP).
Answer: It is a domestic Turkish issue; but in my country the military is not a part of the political process.
Question: Now the $10 billion question, Cyprus! What kind of developments do you foresee concerning the Cyprus issue?
Answer: What we can foresee... It is difficult, but I can tell you what we hope for and what we can work on. To negotiate a solution between the two sides. We are still looking for more progress and it will be most welcomed by all of us. They have been negotiating for more than six months. United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pointed to June as an informal deadline for a solution. But there is not a solution, yet. We expect a major step.
Question: What is the solution to Cyprus?
Answer: A solution that the two sides will agree on. Question: It seems that a solution will not be possible easily. So you will declare membership of Cyprus?
Answer: We don't know what will happen. But it is the goal of the Danish presidency that we take a decision which will accept 10 new members, eight Central and Eastern European states plus Cyprus and Malta. We cannot predict. But that is the goal. There is no guarantee for any kind of a decision. On Cyprus, specifically since the Helsinki summit, the EU policy is clear, which is that
- the EU encourages and would welcome a solution to the Cyprus problem which will facilitate the membership of Cyprus to the EU,
- Secondly, such a solution is not a precondition,
- Thirdly, When it will take its decision, the EU Council will take into account all relevant factors. And you will ask what are these relevant factors... Factors in December, which will be seen to be relevant. The main factor is that nine other countries are at the doorstep of membership. We cannot ask them to wait until there is a solution to Cyprus. There might be other factors. The point is that we have our own internal factors which might affect enlargement such as the Irish referendum, the agricultural policy, which is one of the big pillars of the EU. We have been confident that these potential problems would be overcome and that we can proceed the enlargement as planned in December. Nobody can predict... I told you our goals.
Question: If Greek Cyprus is taken, the Turkish position is clear. There seems to be more distance. Don't you need Ankara?
Answer: We need Ankara very much. We have no intention to ever close integration between Turkey and the EU. We hope that the Turkish government has the same will.
Question: And the Kurdish issue? Do you expect Turkey to recognize Kurds as a minority?
Answer: If reforms are realized, it will be a positive step.
Question: Does the Copenhagen criteria include recognition of Kurds as a minority?
Answer: It includes general principles
Question: So you will not put any pressure on Turkey on this issue any more?
Answer: Again I refer to the Copenhagen criteria. When I speak to my Turkish friends, they say that there is a large number of ethnic groups. What is important is for equal rights to be granted.
Question: So, no clear answer?
Answer: That is a very clear answer. The rights of all citizens in Turkey should be respected.
 RTP became the first party in the so-called "municipal elections"KIBRIS reports that Republican Turkish Party (RTP) took the first place in the so-called 30 June "municipal elections", having increased its percentages to 33.98 % in the five major occupied cities.
According to the "official" but not final results announced by the so-called "Higher Election Council", National Unity Party (NUP) of the so-called "Prime Minister" Dervish Eroglu, remained in the second place with 32.47 %, followed by the Democratic Party, its partner in the "coalition government" with 18.96 %. The power of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) of Huseyin Angolemli decreased to 6.48 % and as a result of this the party elected no "mayor". Nationalist Justice Party (NJP) took 1.9 % of the votes and the independent candidates 4.2 %.
The paper reports that about 5.000 supporters of RTP celebrated their victory last night in the occupied part of Nicosia.
 The Nationalist Action Party threatens withdrawal from the coalitionTurkish Daily News (02.07.02) reports that a senior member of the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) warned the other two coalition parties Monday that if Kurdish education and broadcasting reforms were pushed through Parliament despite NAP opposition and in collaboration with the opposition parties, the NAP would abandon the ruling three-way coalition government.
Stressing that his party would not accept Kurdish education and broadcasting, "If our partners establish a consensus with the opposition parties, Parliament may be called back from recess for an emergency session and the death penalty can be lifted. But, our position is clear on Kurdish education and broadcasting. Our position is that if our two coalition partners agree with the opposition on those issues, then they will not be able to see us in the government in the period ahead," Deputy Parliament Speaker Murat Sokmenoglu, one of the heavy guns of the NAP, said.
Speaking to press during a visit to him by Social Democrat People/s Party (SDPP) leader Murat Karayalcin, Sokmenoglu said anxiety over the health situation of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit was playing havoc in Turkish markets.
Sokmenoglu said everything was locked in the country and gossips and cyber reports were floating around about the health of the prime minister, while everyone was aware of the true nature of his illness.
He said but for the national soccer team that became the world's no. 3 at the World Cup, the Turkish nation would be living a psychological collapse.
Sokmenoglu said the downgrading by the S&P of Turkey's rating was an alarming sign and recalled that the 1994 crisis was triggered by a similar action of that rating company.
Stressing that Turkey somehow must solve the "acting prime minister" issue, Sokmenoglu recalled that when he underwent a minor operation U.S. President George Bush handed over his presidential duties for a few hours to Vice President Dick Cheney.
"If the prime minister had fallen ill while visiting northern Cyprus, in accordance with the coalition protocol, NAP leader Devlet Bahceli would automatically become the acting prime minister. We have lost many things over the past time," Sokmenoglu said.
According to the Turkish Constitution, the post of prime minister cannot be occupied by a caretaker while the prime minister is within the borders of the country, even if he is incapacitated by illness.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Columnist in RADIKAL speculates on Turkey/s future in view of Ecevit/s healthRADIKAL newspaper (29.06.02) publishes the following commentary by Ismet Berkan under the title : "Will Ecevit be able to return?":
"Will the Oran-the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly]-the Cankaya Presidential Mansion-the Prime Minister's Residence-Oran tour that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit made the day before yesterday without the permission of his doctors extend his convalescence period?
According to the rumours that are based on "first-hand information" in Ankara, Ecevit is not a very good patient.
It appears that this is not the first time that Ecevit has disobeyed his doctors. The same Ecevit participated in a 40-minute program broadcast live on the NTV last week. He did not inform the doctors of his decision to participate in this program. The prime minister's pain intensified as a result of his participation in this program and the doctors instructed Ecevit to rest in bed.
Ecevit went to the Baskent Hospital on Wednesday evening. The doctors advised him to continue resting in bed. After long-lasting bargains, the doctors allowed Ecevit to move about at home for short periods and to accept guests for limited periods in a way that will not exceed two days a week. The doctors insisted however that he rests in bed for the next three weeks.
Ecevit had a very active day last Thursday. Later, the doctors once again visited Ecevit's residence in Oran and told him that "enough is enough!" According to the rumours, the doctors claimed that if Ecevit continues to act in this manner, they will protest against him before the public and that they will no longer treat him. It seems that this threat was very effective, because yesterday Ecevit apologized for upsetting his doctors.
Most probably the economic summit that is planned for Monday will be cancelled. After Ecevit's remarks on the elections, the economy will probably receive an additional blow.
If someone wants to make a prediction regarding the developments in Turkey, this prediction should be on whether or not Ecevit will once again show his former performance.
Even if we leave his neurological maladies aside, we have to admit that spinal collapse is a very serious condition. As far as we can understand, Ecevit will have to wear the steel corset for the rest of his life. He will not be able to stand on his feet for more than several minutes at a time. Neither will he be able to sit for long hours.
The collapse of the spine causes constant pain. Furthermore, the patient constantly faces the risk of paralysis stemming from the tightening of the nerves.
This is why it is very difficult for Ecevit to return to his office, to spend his entire day at the Prime minister's Office, to accept delegations, to participate in long-lasting summits, to attend the NSC [National Security Council] meetings, and to travel.
In other words Ecevit will not be able to return. Ecevit will never be his old self. (As a matter of fact, Ecevit was intolerable even prior to his illness. The work was carried out due to mutual understanding and to the efforts made by Husamettin Ozkan. It is true that everything has piled up lately, but this is because Rahsan Ecevit has not been allowing Husamettin Ozkan to take care of Ecevit's business for the last 65 days.)
Is it possible for Ecevit to run the country from bed? Of course, it is. As a matter of fact, this is totally dependent on the other two coalition partners. If they agree to have a sick prime minister run the country from his bed for the sake of keeping their seats or avoiding elections and if they agree to lead Turkey to a vacuum, this unprecedented system might be implemented in Turkey. Even under such conditions, however, the prime minister should always be accessible or, as in the past, a mediator (Ozkan or someone else) should always be in the picture.
I am afraid that Turkey is moving toward an absurd administrative system, in which the prime minister will remain in bed for a while. You might define it as obstinacy or political ambition. Similar to Ecevit, you may even define it as "political realities." The result does not change. Turkey is moving toward a bad future.
If you look at the interest rates, you will see that we are no longer walking at "the back of a knife." You will see that we have actually fallen on the other side of the knife.
And we, the citizens, will pay the price for this. The truth is that we will really be surprised when the IMF will come to us with brand new measures.
This time the IMF will not merely demand economic reforms. It will demand that Turkey redesign its political system, accept the EU norms, and even make undesired concessions in Cyprus.
If Ankara does act ask wisely, we will experience all this one by one."
 Turkish Cypriot warning to the hawks of the occupied areas and TurkeyIlnur Cevik, writing in his regular column in Turkish Daily News (02.07.02) assess the recent so-called municipal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus:
"The results of the local elections in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus/ (TRNC) is a stark warning that the Turkish Cypriots are showing signs of impatience over the impasse in the peace process and want results...
Currently Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Glafcos Clerides are trying to negotiate a settlement through direct negotiations. The sides have made important strides on security issues but there is no agreement over constitutional or land issues.
Denktas won re-election as `president/ by promising the Turkish Cypriots that he would make a meaningful effort for a solution. His rival Dervis Eroglu, the `prime minister of the TRNC/, has been the hawk demanding serious gains if a settlement is to be reached. Denktas kept his promise and opened the way for direct talks with Clerides.
But it seems the Turkish Cypriots feel the current effort is not enough.
So in the local elections the National Unity Party (NUP) of Eroglu received a serious blow in the three major cities. The NUP lost in capital Nicosia, in Kyrenia or Girne and in Famagusta or Gazi Magosa. Nicosia was the bastion of Eroglu. In the past two local elections the NUP won the mayoral polls in that city twice... The RTP also won in Kyrenia. So in both cities the NUP bowed to the center-left Republican Turkish Party (RTP). In Famagusta, the incumbent RTP candidate won the polls. Thus it was a clean sweep of the major cities for the center-left opposition. The three cities house a bulk of the Turkish Cypriot voters... The preliminary result of Sunday's vote underline that Turkish Cypriots demand change.
It is also worth noting that the RTP is an advocate of a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem so that Turkish Cypriots can join Greek Cypriots in membership talks with the European Union.
The NUP won 16 mayoral posts out of 28, according to preliminary results but that was no consolation. The RTP also won in two more major settlements... So while the hawks in Turkey and in the `TRNC/ continue their rough and tough tactics and say "no concessions of any form" the Turkish Cypriots are serving them notice that they do not think so.
The Turkish Cypriots see their economic strength falling and realize that time is not on their side. They see that the semi-integration of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot economies has only created hard times for them as the `TRNC/ has imported Turkey's economic ills.
They also see that if the Greek Cypriots enter the EU and the Turkish Cypriots are left out, they will face prospects of being merged with Turkey and that too is creating serious concerns.
Turkish leaders and those running the `TRNC/ have to carefully evaluate the results of the local elections and act accordingly... "