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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-07-31

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.144/02 31.07.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides.
  • [02] Nationalist Action Party: The Cyprus issue may be the most important breaking point in Turkey-EU relations.
  • [03] Turkish Parliamentary Committee approves elections on 3 November.
  • [04] KIBRIS: "Heavy Meeting Traffic in Ankara"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meeting President Clerides

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (30.07.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, today again met with President Glafcos Clerides within the framework of the direct talks being held in Cyprus. At the meeting the Turkish Cypriot side is expected to respond to the Greek Cypriot side's numerical proposals on the territorial issue.

    In a statement before the meeting, Denktas assessed the remarks made by Mr George Vasiliou, Cypriot official heading the Cyprus delegation conducting talks with the EU, on the EU membership and the Cyprus issue. Denktas also replied to reporters' questions. He criticized the following remarks made by Vasiliou: "We will accede to the EU, the talks continue and then you follow us." Denktas said: "This greatly disturbed us. Contrary to what they think, we are not a community that will be dragged after them. We are a people that has established the `TRNC/. We established the `TRNC/ because we were thrown out of our state. We established it in order not to remain without a state once again. Therefore, if we are going to establish a new partnership, we will establish it based on our state. If the EU accepts the Greek Cypriots to membership claiming that they have accepted the south or Cyprus, then the negotiation process will be closed. Then the Cyprus issue will be solved."

    Noting that he will also send a written reply to Mr Vasiliou, Denktas said that the Greek Cypriots are again engaged in a dream world, adding: "They are trying to deceive Europe by saying that the Turks are so pro-European that if the Greek Cypriots join the EU, the Turks will follow suit. There are those within the country who are trying to create the same impression. The essence of this people is strong. It is aware that if it is left without a state once again, it will not be able to get up on its feet." In reply to a question, Denktas said: "No plan or map will be submitted at today's meeting. The Turkish Cypriot side has informed the Greek Cypriot side that the territorial issue can be resolved once the principle of sovereignty is accepted." In reply to a question on the pressure being applied with regard to the final give-and-take, Denktas said that there is pressure from every side to give and take, adding that, however, for this to take place first the identity of the Turkish Cypriot side has to be accepted. He said that if time is left at today's meeting, the missing persons issue will also be discussed.

    On his return to the occupied areas after the hour-long meeting, Denktas replied to reporters' questions. Denktas said that at today's meeting, the Turkish Cypriot side, in a non-paper, expressed its views on the territorial issue in response to the Greek Cypriot proposal. He added that the Greek Cypriot side will assess this non-paper and will express its views at the meeting to be held on Friday 2 August. Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side once again conveyed its views on the missing persons issue, Denktas said that this issue will be taken up again on Friday.

    Explaining the reason why today's meeting was a short one, Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriot side submitted its views in a non-paper. In reply to another question, Denktas said that no new proposal was placed on the agenda today, adding: "We are not yet discussing the return of territory. For us to discuss this issue, they have to first accept that we have sovereignty over our territory. What we are discussing is the quality and situation of the territory and the rights of the sides. We are answering the views of the Greek Cypriot side."

    Pointing out that the next meeting will be held on Friday and that then there will be a recess, Denktas said that this recess will continue until 23 or 26 August and that the decision on the issue will be made on Friday.

    Commenting on a Greek Cypriot report that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament will invite the two leaders to Brussels to hold an open debate, Denktas said that they were informed about the issue unofficially and that they welcomed it. He added that he is ready to accept such an invitation if Clerides also accepts it. Denktas said that it will be beneficial for Europe, which has so far been listening a one-sided version of the Cyprus issue, to listen to such a debate, to hear the difficulties and approaches of both sides, and to then diagnose the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to Greek Cypriot reports that the Untied Nations will submit a document, Denktas described them as speculation, adding that there is no such authority within the framework of the UN mission of good offices, that no such authority was requested from the Turkish Cypriot side, and that the Turkish Cypriot side has not granted such an authority.

    [02] Nationalist Action Party: The Cyprus issue may be the most important breaking point in Turkey-EU relations

    Coalition senior partner Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader and Deputy Premier Devlet Bahceli has compiled a booklet on Turkey's European Union bid and his party's approach to the bid, Turkish Daily News (31.07.02) reports.

    Prepared by NAP headquarters and carrying Bahceli's signature, the 160-page booklet is entitled "Turkey's EU membership and the NAP, our basic approach and views in light of recent developments."

    The booklet claimed that a misguided campaign was being carried out regarding Turkey's EU bid and that a dangerous polarization, anti-EU vs. pro-EU, was intentionally being created in Turkey. The booklet supported the notion that the EU process was aimed at and depended on a narrow and shallow foundation and a defeatist attitude.

    Criticizing the EU for aiming to create a Kurdish minority in Turkey, the NAP said that this stance matched that of the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). According to the booklet, the EU attributed special meaning and function to the Copenhagen political criteria and saw Turkey as different from the other candidates because of the Southeast problem. Saying that the EU would also wait to see that Turkey had implemented the Copenhagen criteria, it was claimed that Turkey's accession negotiations could not start until 2004, at the earliest, even if Turkey fulfilled all the criteria.

    The NAP also touched on education and broadcasting in Kurdish and said that some people faced problems in understanding and speaking Turkish, the official language, adding that this was Turkey's fault.

    The NAP suggested that Kurdish education demands be met through private opportunities, step-by-step, stressing that state education in Kurdish would provide legal status to languages and dialects other than Turkish. According to the booklet, this was one of the PKK's basic political aims.

    Underlining that Turkey did not pledge to abolish the death penalty for all crimes immediately, the book stated that the issue could not be handled separately from the death sentence of PKK chieftain and death row inmate Abdullah Ocalan.

    "The NAP feels that the abolition of the death penalty, before the threat of terrorism is totally removed and Ocalan's execution is carried out, would not comply with the social and political reality, but would deeply harm the public consciousness," the booklet stressed.

    Touching on developments in the Cyprus issue, the booklet emphasized that making the divided Cyprus an EU member by force, before a political solution could be found, would have serious repercussions and that Turkey would not remain silent against such a development.

    "In this respect, Cyprus may be the most important breaking point in our relations with the EU in the following period," the booklet stressed.

    It was noted that Turkish political parties should know that they would also face a Cyprus bill. The booklet added that Turkey's becoming an honourable EU member constituted the basis for the NAP's approach.

    [03] Turkish Parliamentary Committee approves elections on 3 November

    Turkish Daily News (31.07.02) reports that a key parliamentary commission approved Tuesday by 22 to 3 a drive by the Nationalist Action Party (NAP) to call for early elections on November 3.

    Only the three Democratic Left Party (DLP) deputies of the 25-member commission voted against the proposed parliamentary decision calling for early polls on November 3.

    While endorsing the proposed parliamentary decision, the Constitutional Commission of Parliament decided to debate a package of European Union reforms as a "separate draft" and continue its work until debates on the reform package are completed.

    The proposed parliamentary decision stipulating early polls on November 3 is expected to be handled by Parliament today and voted after completion of debates over it.

    The fate of the possible amendments to be made in the political parties and elections laws as well as the destiny of the EU reforms will be decided today when the Justice Commission of Parliament convenes.

    At the Constitutional Commission debates on the proposed parliamentary decision only the DLP members openly objected the early elections drive citing worries that an election could hurt the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported economic program of the country.

    "If unwanted people enter Parliament in these early elections and take the Parliament decision to the European Court of Human Rights, the responsibility of that will rest with those who approved early elections", said Necdet Saruhan, a DLP deputy.

    Motherland Party (MP) deputy Isin Celebi suggested that the commission establish a sub-commission and have detailed debates on the proposal. Mustafa Kamalak of the Felicity Party (FP), on the other hand, suggested that early elections be held either on April 13, 2003 or on November 10, so that at least one more week could be provided for the legislation of the EU reforms and amendment of the political parties and elections laws.

    The proposal from the pro-Islamic deputy was found interesting, if accepted it would have coincided with the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern secular Turkey.

    The MP and True Path Party (TPP) members of the commission, on the other hand, stressed that early poll decision ought to be approved by the commission without any delay and that approach was accepted by New Turkey (NT) party chairman Metin Bostancioglu of the commission.

    Attending the commission Supreme Elections Board (SEB) Chief Justice Tufan Algan stressed that if Parliament could take an early elections decision by August 10 his board could complete all preparations and hold elections in comfort on November 3.

    TPP's Salih Celen, meanwhile, claimed that opposing early polls would mean "treason against the state" and thus triggered tension in the commission.

    After the debate the commission voted the proposal twice and in both votes the three DLP deputies voted against and all the remaining 22 deputies voted in favour.

    Subtitle: EU reforms

    On the other hand, debates were held on the European Union harmonization arrangements, the so-called EU reforms, at the Health and Internal Affairs commissions of Parliament. The Justice Commission, will convene today and decide the fate of the 14-article package proposed by MP which has now become 18-articles after the job security arrangements were included in it by the Health Commission.

    If the Justice Commission completes its work on the package today, Parliament may start debating the package on Thursday or the debate on this package will be left until next week.

    The Constitutional Commission is anticipated to complete work on the amendments to be made in the elections and political parties laws late tonight. Among the articles wanted to be added to these laws are those revamping the set-up and composition of local elections boards and one that allows parties who have completed its organization in sufficient number of provinces but could not yet gather their general conventions.

    The Constitutional Commission will also try to find a solution to a practical difficulty: the length of the ballot papers. As more than 18 parties will be participating in the early elections, the length of each ballot paper is expected to exceed one meter, making printing of ballot papers very difficult.

    Among the articles to be considered by the Commission there is one regarding the prevention of possible election pollution. The proposed article stipulates that parties would be able to decorate with their flags and placards certain places in the cities.

    [04] KIBRIS: ''Heavy Meeting Traffic in Ankara''

    According to KIBRIS (31.07.02), there was a heavy diplomatic traffic in Ankara yesterday. It started with the USA ambassador to Turkey Mr Robert Pearson's meeting with the Turkish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Ambassador Ugur Ziya.

    Following this meeting, reports the paper, the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had two meetings with Turkish Chief of the Staff General Kivrikoglu, and the Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel.The paper further reports that then the three had a meeting with the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Later on Ecevit had a meeting with the Turkish Defence Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu.

    After the meetings the prime minister's office issued a statement saying that during the meetings regional issues as well as tomorrow's meeting of the Supreme Military Council were discussed.


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