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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-05

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.126/02 05.07.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Devlet Bahceli rules out concessions on Cyprus.
  • [02] Sener Levent: It is impossible to hold democratic elections in an occupied territory.
  • [03] AFRIKA columnist says Denktas and his comrades-in-Arms are in panic.
  • [04] The occupation authorities affirm the existence of scrapie on animals in the pseuodstate.
  • [05] A team from Greece is reportedly interested for Sabri, the Turkish Cypriot football player of AEK Larnaca.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [06] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses the results of the recent so-called municipal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Devlet Bahceli rules out concessions on Cyprus

    NTV television (03.07.02) broadcast that Devlet Bahceli, Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader and deputy prime minister, has assessed both the recent leaders' summit and Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's performance at the summit. The prime minister did not have any problems during the almost two and one-half hour meeting, said Bahceli. In reply to reporters' questions, Bahceli commented on Ecevit's health.

    Bahceli said: "I found the prime minister in very good health at the summit. He had no trouble in his assessments and in making comparisons with the past. Everybody gets tired after a certain period of time. I do not think that it is ethical, however, to subject those in the Turkish society who have served the country to malicious and belittling remarks, ridiculing them cruelly in the last years of their lives. It is a shame to criticize people in this manner. Both the politicians and the media have to shoulder their responsibilities to this end. For us, it is not important where the prime minister is. He is the prime minister until he decides whether to head or not to head the government. In the event of his withdrawal, another procedure will take effect."

    Commenting on the TUCCE [Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges] statement, Bahceli said: "This is just another summons issued in addition to all the others. This, however, was one of the most gentle and consistent".

    Stating that it is difficult to explain the adverse developments in the market despite the positive economic indicators, Bahceli added: "Our stock market is not such a developed stock market, it is, therefore, affected by the commentaries".

    In reply to another question, Bahceli said that it is out of the question for Turkey to make concessions the Cyprus issue.

    [02] Sener Levent: It is impossible to hold democratic elections in an occupied territory

    OZGUR POLITIKA newspaper (04.07.02) publishes a report by Cemal Turan on the so-called municipal elections in occupied Cyprus under the title: "Northern Cyprus might be evacuated!"

    "Local elections were held in the region where the Turkish society lives in Cyprus on 30 June. The Republican Turkish Party [RTP], which had been in the opposition until then, became the first party in these elections. This victory was directly linked to the fact that the RTP is in favour of a "solution and the EU membership." Assessing the results of the election to the Ozgur Politika, RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat answered Denktas' remarks to the effect that "they will be watching the RTP." Talat said: "Denktas will be very surprised."

    The elections were held at a time when Denktas and Clerides continue to hold negotiations. The RTP won municipalities in Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia, three important cities in Cyprus. Furthermore, receiving 33.98 percent of the total votes, the RTP became the first party. Noting that the Cyprus problem is of utmost importance in terms of Turkey's membership in the EU, Talat said: "The solution of the Cyprus problem is no longer a precondition for Turkey's EU membership. As a matter of fact, the solution of the Cyprus problem is imperative to this end. This is because to accept Turkey's membership prior to the solution of the Cyprus problem runs counter to the EU spirit." Noting that as a party, they are in favour of a solution and the EU membership, Talat said: "Otherwise there will be chaos. This will lead to the evacuation of the Turkish sector in Cyprus."

    In answer to our questions on a solution in Cyprus and the obstacles in the way of the EU membership, Talat said the following: "Certain people are talking about 'national interests.' This term is directly related to an ideological viewpoint. This constitutes an obstacle in the way of a solution. The truth is that Turkey does not really know where its national interests are. Turkey is very confused about its national interests. I see this with concern."

    Subtitle: Denktas Will Be Treated as a Traitor

    Referring to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas' statement to the effect that "if we become an EU member, we will lose our national identity," Talat said the following: "I believe that it is funny to claim that we will lose our national identity. If it were so, the Turkish Cypriots should have lost their national identity a long time ago. We will have equal rights in the EU. In this regard, losing our national identity is out of the question. Even those who use the national identity as a pretext do not believe their own words. I find this excuse very absurd." Recalling that following the elections Denktas said to the RTP: "We will be watching you," Talat said: "He will be so surprised, that his eyes will be wide open. He will see how good our performance is and he will see that the people extend us support, and his eyes will be wide open."

    Talat noted that if Cyprus becomes an EU member prior to the solution of the Cyprus problem, "Denktas will be treated as a traitor. The Turkish Cypriots will drown Denktas in a spoonful of water."

    Subtitle: This Is the People's Message to Turkey

    RTP Famagusta Mayor Oktay Kayalp: Our victory in the elections showed that the people are in favour of the EU membership. As of now, we will make efforts for the unity of the two societies in Cyprus. We believe in this. Turkey, in turn, should complete the homework that was given to Turkey in Helsinki. We want the two peoples to establish a structure that will satisfy both Turkey and the EU.

    PUM [Patriotic Unity Movement] Secretary General Izzet Izcan: The people voted for the RTP because they want Cyprus to become an EU member. This is the people's message to the EU and to Turkey. With these elections, the society showed that it is not in favour of maintaining the status quo. There are people who are against the EU in Turkey and there is no doubt that these people will not look favourably at the elections. Those who run Turkey use Cyprus as a trump card. They cannot continue like this, however. It is time for Turkey to make a decision.

    Dr Mustafa Erbilen, former Health and Social Aid Minister from the National Unity Party (NUP): the RTP's victory constitutes the people's reaction to Dervis Eroglu. The votes received by the RTP are reaction votes. Cyprus is being run from Ankara. Ankara, in turn, has not been thinking in a healthy manner lately. The prime minister is ill. I believe that as of now, Turkey will act wisely.

    Sener Levent, columnist in the AFRIKA newspaper: It is impossible to say that the RTP was successful in these elections as a party. As a matter of fact, it won the elections with the support of the other parties. It is impossible to hold democratic elections in an occupied territory. Turkey wants to announce its sovereignty. In other words, Turkey will try to bring about confrontations prior to the EU's decision.

    [03] AFRIKA columnist says Denktas and his comrades -in -arms are in panic

    Serhat Incirli, writing in AFRIKA (05.07.02) assesses the recent so-called "elections" in the occupied areas.

    Commenting on ''election'' successes of the pro-EU and pro-Settlement leftist parties in the occupied area Serhat Incirli in his daily column '' Letter from London' writes that Denktas and his supporters in the occupied area from Turkey, who consider the Turkish Cypriots non-existent, and those who oppose a settlement in Cyprus, are in panic in the face of recent local election results.

    Incirli goes on and says: "And the state of panic is very dangerous. In a state of panic one could be very aggressive. All the international institutions and organizations' attention should be drawn to this panic. The Greek Cypriot side as well should evaluate this panic. The world should act first before these 'Panic-stricken/who could even drag Cyprus into a war mobilize.''

    [04] The occupation authorities affirm the existence of scrapie on animals in the pseudostate

    KIBRIS (05.07.02) reports that the so-called "Ministry" of Agriculture and Forests conducted a research in the whole of the pseudostate and found that some animals suffer from the scrapie disease, from which could cause the "mad cow" disease develops.

    According to the paper, the illegal "ministry" began some projects aiming at the destruction of the infected animals. The "officials", however, told the reporters that there is nothing to worry about and that the so-called "Veterinary Department" would in no time eliminate the disease.

    Furthermore, YENIDUZEN (05.07.02) reminds that two days ago it wrote that as a result of the above-mentioned disease Turkey has forbidden the import of meat to its market from the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    [05] A team from Greece is reportedly interested for Sabri, the Turkish Cypriot football player of AEK Larnaca

    YENIDUZEN (05.07.02) reports that a team form Greece has expressed its interest in buying Sabri, the Turkish Cypriot football player who fled recently to Larnaca with his family and got a transfer to AEK.

    According to the paper, Sabri's father is exerting pressure on his son to accept the offer of the Greek team, but Sabri does not seem willing to get the transfer. The paper does not publish the name of the above-mentioned Greek team.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [06] Columnist in CUMHURIYET assesses the results of the recent so-called municipal elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    CUMHURIYET newspaper (03.07.02) publishes the following commentary by Oral Calislar:

    "Local elections took place in North Cyprus. For some reason, the election results did not draw much attention in Turkey. It is as though the press overlooked the Cyprus election results. What has happened in North Cyprus? Opposition Republican Turkish Party (RTP) received more votes than the ruling National Unity Party (NUP).

    The RTP won the local elections in Nicosia, Famagusta, and Kyrenia, the three most important towns in Cyprus. Of these towns, only Famagusta was previously under RTP administration. Kyrenia and Nicosia were under the NUP. In the elections, the RTP received 33.98 percent of the votes thus emerging as the first party.

    It may be argued that it would be meaningless to draw too many conclusions from these elections because they were local elections. However, let us not forget the atmosphere dominating the elections. Rauf Denktas and Glafcos Clerides were busy carrying out talks on the days the elections were taking place.

    In Cyprus, one section of the public was claiming that Denktas followed an uncompromising line and stressing that he had led the talks to a deadlock.

    Although the local elections were strictly local, they still had the characteristic of a public referendum. Under the leadership of Mehmet Ali Talat, the RTP used the following slogans during the election campaign: "Solution is outside the door! Open, Europe is at the door! Open!" Although local elections were taking place, the RTP was telling the Turkish Cypriots it wanted a peaceful solution in Cyprus, and conveying the message that it would struggle for a solution. It was emphasizing that achieving a peaceful solution in Cyprus would prove to be an important gain for both the Turkish Cypriots and from the point of view of leading Turkey into the European Union. The elections in Cyprus were important in the light of these debates. I was not surprised when I heard that Denktas told two renowned journalists from Turkey recently: "We are not in favour of entering the EU. If we join, the Turkish identity in Cyprus will be lost." This was no surprise, because what could Denktas have accomplished at the peace talks with his anti-EU advisors!

    Right after the elections, Mr Denktas said the election results should not be taken as a political gain. He urged the RTP to free itself from the "Turkey and Denktas-phobia." I discussed Denktas' remarks with Mehmet Ali Talat, who said:

    "We have rejected the election appraisal and the attitude toward our party of Mr Rauf Denktas, who does not care about the problems of the people and who has set himself to engage in politics by exploiting the national feelings of our people and their love for Turkey.

    "At a time when Turkey strives to make progress on the road to the EU, Denktas has pushed the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey into the present tight position. This is the result of his policies, which could block Turkey's EU course and make South Cyprus a member of the EU on behalf of the whole of Cyprus. It is high time Denktas reconsidered all his policies. We hope he will understand the message that our people gave in these elections.

    "We happen to be at a critical stage of the Cyprus problem. It is no longer the time to engage in unproductive polemics and demagogy over the flag and heroism. It is time for cooperating to solve the Cyprus problem and, together with a solution, to open the road to European Union membership. This is the meaning of patriotism."

    Talat kept up his criticism against Denktas as follows: "We advise Mr Denktas to reconsider the policy he has been following based on false declarations, capitalizing on the country, the nation, and the flag, and his heroic behaviour aimed at impressing certain politicians and bureaucrats in Ankara. We urge him to be open to our people, to understand the European values that our people clearly prefer, and to conform to all these. He should rest assured that he will suffer no harm. He will benefit just as our people will. History will record Denktas as a leader who led his people and state to bankruptcy. His heroism related to the state, therefore, becomes strange."

    During my conversation with businessmen, leaders of the political parties, and the people when I visited Cyprus last summer, I observed that a majority of almost 90 percent of Turkish Cypriots favoured a solution that provided for entering the EU jointly. The election results, in a way, confirm this.

    Dominant circles in Turkey are not inclined toward a solution in Cyprus. Counting on the support of these circles, Denktas insists on a state of no solution. The stance on this issue is very clear: Forces opposing the EU and, to put it more clearly, those opposing democratization, are exploiting the Cyprus issue with this aim. Such events concerning the Turkish Cypriots, events that have the nature of a referendum, are important. A pro-democracy leftist movement in Turkey too can lend similar support. I do not think the tendency of the people in Turkey is different from that of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The election results in Cyprus are such that should be taken into consideration from Turkey's point of view as well."

    KV/SK


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