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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-08

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.127/02 06-07-08/07/02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Rauf Denktas tries to persuade the Turkish Cypriots that accession to the EU will not be to their interest.
  • [02] Mehmet Ali Talat calls on the Turkish Cypriot leader to work for a solution and EU membership of Cyprus.
  • [03] Cyprus talks at make-or-break junction.
  • [04] Bahceli calls for election in November.
  • [05] Sabri and his family return to the occupied areas after pressures and a lot of promises by the occupation regime; His father is not satisfied by this development.
  • [06] Erhan Arikli is the new General Secretary of NJP.
  • [07] US Ambassador to Ankara supports Cyprus` accession into the EU after the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
  • [08] Denktas criticizes the Turkish Cypriot businessmen who had contacts in Brussels with the Greek Cypriots.
  • [09] A Company operating in the occupied areas cheated the Trade Leaders Club.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] Ilter Turkmen assesses Richard Holbrook`s statements on Cyprus-Turkey-EU.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Rauf Denktas tries to persuade the Turkish Cypriots that accession to the EU will not be to their interest

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (06.07.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, speaking at the illegal Near East University's graduation ceremony on Saturday, said: ``People who don't even see us as a state want to join the EU so that they could deprive us off all our rights. The EU doesn't regard us as a state. We are trying to reach an agreement but some people are confused about their priorities. As if the Greek Cypriots accepted our sovereignty and equality, as if they decided not to send all the immigrants to the North, all they want is to join the EU. ``

    Mr Denktas alleged that the Greek Cypriots wanted to join the EU to deprive Turkish Cypriots off all their rights adding that they have full faith in Turkey and they would join the EU only if they are recognized as a sovereign state, and added:

    "Everybody in `TRNC` has to tell the same thing in order to be accepted to the EU as a sovereign state. The Greek Cypriots can't come and settle here while I am trying to protect my state, sovereignty, and equality while entering the EU.

    While I am trying to discuss the issue of exchange of properties on the negotiation table, my friends who lost their priorities, advocate EU membership more than anything else. In the meanwhile Greek Cypriots think that how can a representative of a people who want to join the EU ask for state, sovereignty and equality. We bargain on behalf of the nation, we don't want anybody to play a trick on us. Everybody here in `TRNC` should behave properly and they should tell us if they defend this state, flag and if Greek Cypriots will come and live with us. They should tell these realities openly. They try to show as if EU wants our accession to the EU as an equal state and people. This is not the case. The EU gave its decision. There is only one legitimate state in Cyprus according to them. They think that Turkish Cypriots are minority. How can you join an organization as a minority? You can't do that. ``

    Calling on the students, Denktas said that they study in a society, which fought for independence.

    [02] Mehmet Ali Talat calls on the Turkish Cypriot leader to work for a solution and EU membership of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (06.07.02) broadcast that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party, has said that the path to surmount the economic crisis is paved in undertaking radical changes in domestic and foreign politics.

    In a written statement he issued today, Talat said that the EU membership is the only way in addition to an agreement, which will provide political equality and security for the Turkish Cypriots. Explaining that this is one of the greatest social and historic duties, Talat stressed that nobody has the right to play with the future of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Noting that, instead of calling on others, Rauf Denktas should realize that surmounting the economic deadlock depends on seeing the link between a Cyprus solution and the EU membership, Talat said that the messages conveyed by the people last week should be taken into consideration.

    Talat further said that the EU membership process of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will constitute a significant turning point in surmounting several deadlocks, including the economy.

    [03] Cyprus talks at make-or-break junction

    Invoking sources from occupied Cyprus, Yusuf Kanli, reports the following in Turkish Daily News (08.07.02).

    The direct talks aimed at resolving the almost four-decade-old Cyprus problem paused last week to allow the United Nations to take stock of the slow-moving process and to allow the two leaders to reassess their positions. This has landed the talks in an impasse once again, sources with insight into the talks told the Turkish Daily News (TDN).

    The sources said that the talks between Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Glafcos Clerides, have reached a make-or-break point, and that hopes for a breakthrough anytime soon were fading fast.

    Confirming that there has been "substantive progress" in the talks regarding almost all key issues, except for the return of refugees and the future role of the United Nations force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the sources stressed that unless the Greek Cypriot side modified its uncompromising stance on both of these issues, the talks were doomed to collapse.

    "We are at a make-or-break point. We shall continue negotiating in good faith, but it takes two to tango. If the other side insists on its uncompromising demands, continues pretending to negotiate magnanimously in order to persuade both the UN and the EU that they have done everything possible but that their efforts were regrettably not enough to overcome Turkish Cypriot intransigence, how are we going to succeed in establishing a new partnership state?" the sources asked.

    Clerides' insistence that a settlement must allow all Greek Cypriots, who migrated from north to south in 1974, to return to their former homes, and the Turkish refusal on the grounds that such a move would kill the bi-zonal nature of the new state, was the most important sticking point, landing the talks in an impasse, if not a deadlock.

    Stressing that, in line with the 1975 Population Exchange Agreement and the 1977 High Level Agreement between Rauf Denktas and then Greek Cypriot leader Archbishop Makarios, entrenching bi-zonality as a principle in a comprehensive settlement, the Turkish Cypriot side has offered to settle the property issue on the basis of a global exchange of property and/or compensation, the sources said that the Greek Cypriot side, however, with an uncompromising attitude, has been demanding the return of all refugees to their previous homes, because without such an agreement, the Greek Cypriots would not approve the accord in a referendum.

    Explaining that over the years the Turkish Cypriot side has kept on calling for the Greek Cypriot leadership to resolve the property issue by establishing a "Joint Property Claims Commission," the sources said that because of the intransigent attitude of consecutive Greek Cypriot administrations and the tendency of the Greek Cypriot side to use the property claims issue as a political tool, Turkish Cypriots were compelled to take their own measures and to resolve their own part of the problem. Thus, the sources said, through the "Equivalent Property Law," Turkish Cypriots, who migrated in 1974 and 1975 to northern Cyprus or who were made refugees in the 1963-1974 period, were given title deeds to property left in the north by Greek Cypriots to compensate for their property left in the south.

    If, the sources said, rather than continuing to exploit this humanitarian subject, the Greek Cypriot leadership followed the example of northern Cyprus, the two sides could, in that way, provide a global exchange and/or compensation settlement on the property issue.

    The Greek Cypriot insistence on the return of all refugees to their former homes would not only contradict the bi-zonality principle and undermine a settlement, it would disturb the existing social fabric in northern Cyprus and create new refugees. In view of the fact that most of the Turkish Cypriot population, made refugees three times since 1963, would be asked to become refugees once again if the Greek Cypriot demand were accepted, the sources said that such a development would annihilate the prospect of a Cyprus accord being approved in northern Cyprus in a referendum.

    The Greek Cypriot demand, on the other hand, that the UNFICYP remain permanently on the island after a settlement to "enforce" the implementation of the Cyprus accord, sources said, did not conform to the principle of sovereignty, but rather, if accepted, would make the island a protectorate of the United Nations.

    The intention behind the Greek Cypriot demand, the sources said, was suspected to be the desire to achieve the return of all refugees to their previous homes through an indirect method. "What would happen if, under the Constitution's 'Equality of all citizens principle,' a Greek Cypriot applied to the court and was given the right to return. All Greek Cypriot refugees, using that ruling as a precedent, would try to return to the north, and the Greek Cypriots would use the 'UNFICYP will enforce the implementation of the accord' clause of the agreement to achieve their aim. That's the plot that we saw," the sources said, also disclosing that Turkish Cypriots would not oppose the UNFICYP's staying for a few more months or a year on the island after a settlement to monitor and verify the demilitarisation of the two founding states of the new partnership state.

    The sources said the Greek Cypriot's intransigent attitude on these two issues was the most prominent in a set of factors that have landed the talks in a "confidence crisis," apart from the Clerides administration's persistent disinterest in reaching a settlement.

    The sources said the continued international recognition of the Greek Cypriot leadership as the "sole legitimate government" of the entire island remained the fundamental obstacle for a new power-sharing deal on the eastern Mediterranean island.

    [04] Bahceli calls for elections in November

    Turkish Daily News (08.07.02) reports that Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli dropped the political bomb on Sunday calling for early elections on November 3 as the domestic political scene had already heated up over deep splits in the ruling Democratic Left Party (DLP) and controversy surrounding State Minister Kemal Dervis who said he would enter active party politics within the next few weeks.

    Earlier, ailing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit declared again he would not be intimidated by his adversaries and would not quit office.

    Bahceli, speaking to a major party meeting in Bursa, called on other parties represented in Parliament to convene the house in an extraordinary session on September 1 and decide on early elections for November 3. He said the elections would be held in a 60-day campaign, which has proven sufficient in the past.

    Bahceli said there are claims that the current political uncertainties are forcing interest rates and the value of foreign currencies up and leading to adverse economic conditions.

    "So if there are political uncertainties in Turkey and this is preventing the successful implementation of the economic program then this means you should get rid of the current coalition government. If that is the case then you should have the courage to have the nation do this. Let us convene the Parliament on September 1 and decide on September 3 for elections to be held on November 3, 2002. This means elections will be held under the current coalition led by Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit."

    Opposition parties accepted the call immediately while the Motherland Party (MP), a junior member of the coalition responded cautiously saying "why do we need early polls when we have not yet legislated reforms for the European Union?"

    The coalition partners have repeatedly ruled out early elections and declared elections should be held in April 2004 as scheduled.

    The latest bombshell came amid repeated speculations about a split in the DLP. The divisions in the party surfaced in earnest on Friday when DLP Parliamentary chief Emrehan Halici accused Deputy Prime Minister Husamettin Ozkan, a right hand aide of the prime minister, of not doing enough to protect Ecevit and the party against the repeated criticisms by their adversaries and calls for the prime minister to step down.

    Ozkan, who has always been regarded as the close confidant of the prime minister, did not reply to the criticism but instead flew to the holiday resort of Gocek where he went on a short yachting cruise. However, Ozkan did make a point of showing he means business, by meeting Foreign Minister Ismail Cem who was also on a yachting cruise in the region. Cem is also a popular DLP member.

    Observers speculated that Cem may have informed Ecevit about the substance of his talks with Ozkan.

    Newspapers speculated that the two had discussed the future of the DLP and the government. Newspapers also quoted Ozkan as saying he had been punished for his loyalty to Ecevit.

    Asked about the Ozkan affair Prime Minister Ecevit commented on the issue on the Cafe Politics program aired live on CNN-Turk and said the party officials and supporters were deeply disturbed by the fact that Ozkan had not replied to the "harsh" criticisms against Ecevit, his wife Rahsan (also the deputy chairperson of the DLP), the party and the government and in a way had given them tacit approval.

    Ecevit said he had a good working relationship with Ozkan but could not deny the incidents, which angered his party people.

    Asked about speculation that he would meet Ozkan today (Monday) Ecevit said he was not aware of such an appointment and added that he met with Ozkan frequently but that such a request had not been made by his deputy prime minister. Asked if he would demand the resignation of Ozkan, Ecevit said: "I don't discuss these things on my own. I will meet him one of these days and talk about this issue."

    Sources said the Ecevit couple were angered over reports that Ozkan has secured support from several DLP deputies to become prime minister after forcing Ecevit out of office and pushing the NAP out of the coalition. They said Ozkan would lead a new coalition set up between the DLP, the MP, which is still in the existing coalition, and the TPP, which is the main opposition party.

    This government would allegedly legislate and implement all the reforms for European Union membership and lead the country to elections. The NAP opposes lifting of the death penalty and also language broadcasts and education in Kurdish, which are among the reforms demanded by the EU.

    The opposition Justice and Development Party (JDP) which is leading the public opinion polls said it would support such a government.

    Asked about pushing the NAP out of the coalition Ecevit said he is completely against such a move. He said the NAP has made good contributions to the government and it should be given the benefit of the doubt on whether it would block reforms for EU membership. These comments were made about two hours before Bahceli proposed early elections in November.

    Observers said Bahceli had made the surprise move to undermine the efforts to oust his party from the cabinet and also remove Ecevit from office.

    Meanwhile, Dervis confirmed reports that he will enter active politics within a few weeks. He told a business gathering in Izmir that he could not just stand aside and say "I have done my share."

    [05] Sabri and his family return to the occupied areas after pressures and a lot of promises by the occupation regime; His father is not satisfied by this development

    KIBRIS (07.07.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot football player, Sabri Selden, who had fled to the free areas of Cyprus with his family and got a transfer to AEK Larnaca, returned on Saturday to the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to the paper the Selden family decided to return to the occupied areas as a result of the efforts of Ozel Tahsin, former so-called "minister" of the pseudostate and former chairman of Binatli Football Club.

    Talking to KIBRIS Sabri said:

    "I was only thinking playing football when going to the Greek Cypriot side. In my mind there was the thought of creating solid bases for my future. However, during this period I realized that I missed a lot my family, my brothers and my country. .We have been treated very well there, but the longing and the appeals of our President and the government officials brought us back. When we were in the Southern Cyprus we were given a lot of promises by our state and government officials through mediators, some people who were able to reach us. Promises were given for support on financial matters and the employment. We are waiting for those promises to be kept. I would like to thank our President Rauf Denktas, the government officials and the Command of the Security Forces".

    Furthermore, Sabri's mother, Aygul Selden said: "I want my child to be at ease in his country. We faced no problem during our staying in Larnaca. We would like to live the same way here. Sabri's being at ease is the most important thing for me. Some mistakes were committed by our going there, but we have understood them and came back. Before coming here many promises were given to us.I would like to thank all, those who helped us to come here".

    Meanwhile, according to KIBRISLI (07.07.02) Sabri's father, Tumer Selden said that he was not satisfied that his son returned to the occupied areas and complained that football officials from Turkey "do not have a positive approach towards the Turkish Cypriot football players". Noting that in the free areas many teams have expressed their interest for Sabri, Mr Selden added that "the future of Sabri has been blocked". "As a father I am not at ease", he continued.

    Furthermore, Necmi Belge of VATAN (08.07.02) asks for Sabri's being led to "trial" and his punishment by the occupation regime, because, as he alleges, the pseudostate is not under nobody's control.

    [06] Erhan Arikli is the new General Secretary of NJP

    KIBRIS (06.07.02) reports that Erhan Arikli has been elected as General Secretary of the Nationalist Justice Party (NJP). According to a statement issued by the party Mr Arikli is taking the place of Ahmet Gulay.

    [07] US Ambassador to Ankara supports Cyprus' accession into the EU after the settlement of the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (06/07/02) reports that the Ambassador of the United States of America to Ankara, Mr W. Robert Pearson, attending a reception organized by the Rotary Club in Adana for the 226th anniversary of USA independence, said: "If Cyprus accedes into EU before the solution, the problems between the two communities in the island will become bigger. The USA supports Cyprus' accession into EU after the settlement between the two communities. The USA will always support Turkey's accession into EU."

    [08] Denktas criticizes the Turkish Cypriot businessmen who had contacts in Brussels with the Greek Cypriots

    According to KIBRIS (06/07/02) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, during a meeting with a committee from the Turkish Cypriot Industrial and Commerce Chamber, criticized the contacts held by the Turkish Cypriots in Brussels with their Greek Cypriot counterparts by saying: "Those, who had contacts in Brussels with the Greek Cypriots, are not aware that the Greek Cypriots have other status and themselves have a different one. Their economic status is different. Your equality cannot be discussed while there is this abyss between your economic situation and theirs."

    [09] A Company operating in the occupied area cheated the Trade Leaders Club

    According to mainland RADIKAL newspaper (07.07.02), the Turkish Cypriot Company ''The Cypria-Cola'', in order to by pass the trade regulations imposed by Europe, gave its address as ''Lefkosa-Mersin-Turkey .

    The director of the said company Ahmet Gurtuna declared that when they use the ''Mersin -Cyprus '' address all the documents go to the free areas of Cyprus . "So in order to overcome this we have used the Nicosia, Mersin - Turkey address'', Gurtuna said.

    After receiving the XXX Golden Trophy for Quality Award of the Trade Leaders Club, Gurtuna said: "The institution which awarded us thinks that our factory is in Cyprus and our operational base is in Turkey. Thus we have overcome the embargo and received our award in the heart of Europe, in Paris ''.

    The company produces fruit juice, soda water with aroma and bottled water.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] Ilter Turkmen assesses Richard Holbrook's statements on Cyprus-Turkey-EU

    HURRIYET newspaper (06.07.02) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen under the title: "EU-Turkey-Cyprus Equation":

    "Last week Richard Holbrooke was in Istanbul. He came to speak at the graduation ceremony of the Koc University. It is worth dwelling upon what he said in his speech and in his private conversations, because Holbrooke, who is known as the architect of the agreement determining the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina, is a well-known diplomat who has played a rather important role in the Turkey-EU relations and in the searches for a solution on Cyprus. During the period when he was the Ambassador in Bonn, he tried to convince Helmut Kohl to support Turkey's EU membership, but he did not succeed. In 1997-1998 he had the position of President Bill Clinton's Cyprus Special Representative. At that time, a solution was almost reached, but he thinks that Rauf Denktas prevented this at the last minute. Naturally, this is his own opinion and as far as I know, it cannot be said that it is correct. However, when he states that Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has not changed at all his statements on the subject of Cyprus since 1974, it is difficult not to acknowledge that he is right.

    Holbrooke, like a majority of American diplomats, only approaches Turkey from the geopolitical aspect. Turkey became an "advance guard" country after the cold war, this function increased even more after 11 September and for this reason, he emphasizes that however much Turkey is in need of the EU, the EU is in need of Turkey to the same degree. He insists that the EU membership is the only valid project for Turkey's future. At the same time, he believes that the Cyprus problem constitutes a key element for EU membership. According to him, if the Cyprus problem enters into a course of solution in the upcoming months, then in spite of the difficulties on the other subjects, Turkey will be able to obtain a date from the EU for the negotiations. It is sensed from the messages coming from Brussels that this approach is also shared by the EU to a great extent. No doubt, the EU will not abandon the Copenhagen political criteria, but if there is progress on Cyprus, then it could enter into a more flexible and constructive behaviour on the subject of the schedule for the start of negotiations.

    Last Saturday, in my article entitled "Good-bye Europe", I stated that I had reached the conclusion that from now on the EU train had been missed. This belief of mine has not changed. On the contrary, my belief has become even stronger after the disturbances during the week. Whether Ecevit stays or leaves, it is a daydream to expect any positive performance in this area from the present-day government. However, even if we set aside the EU membership, I am convinced that it is necessary for us not to neglect a solution to the Cyprus problem. I will explain the reason:

    Southern Cyprus will conclude the membership negotiations at the end of 2002 and the EU Council will connect the membership to a decision. Even if the ratification procedures of the European Parliament and the parliaments of the member countries continue until 2004, a difficulty cannot be expected in this area. Consequently, at the end of this year the membership will be in Southern Cyprus' pocket. At this stage, even if the negotiations continue between the two sides, it would not be wrong to say that a significant portion of the present-day trump cards of Turkey and the `TRNC` will be lost. The lack of a solution would continue with a great probability. However, we can observe with concrete examples in Palestine and Kashmir how unsolved conflicts can suddenly pave the way to very dangerous situations. Even if the escalation on Cyprus were not to the same degree, both Greece and Turkey would be constantly forced to take into account the risk of a military confrontation. It should not be overlooked by anyone what a great burden such a continuous environment of confrontation would constitute for Turkey, whose economy has almost reached the point of bankruptcy.

    On the other hand, as soon as Southern Cyprus becomes an EU member, it should be expected that a significant number of the Turkish Cypriots will obtain Cyprus passports with the objective of benefiting from the privileges of the EU and that the population of Northern Cyprus will decrease. According to some people this would not be very harmful, because in any case, the total decrease in population could be compensated for by migrations from Turkey. This is not a solution for the situation, because it is unthinkable to have a Cyprus cause, which has been abstracted from the Cypriot Turks. Moreover, the systematic settlement with Turks from Turkey in the `TRNC` would pave the way for a number of legal difficulties. In this connection, the 1994 Geneva Agreement and the Rome Agreement, which established the International Criminal Court should be examined carefully.

    Yes, even if the EU is forgotten, there are incalculable national benefits in trying to solve the Cyprus problem. I know, it will not change the attitude of Ankara, but it is our job to warn, is it not?"


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