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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-12-06

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.233/02 06.12.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot side submitted its response to the Annan Plan.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriotsī `initial viewsī on objections to UN Plan reported.
  • [03] Rauf Denktasī Ramadan message. He declares that no one can make the Turkish Cypriots accept something by force.
  • [04] The Turkish Prime Minister said that an accession negotiations date for Turkey will help the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Britain wants Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem.
  • [06] Foreign Minister Yakis approaches ^”cautiously^‘ the idea of a ^”framework plan^‘ on Cyprus.
  • [07] Bahceli: Cyprus cannot be sacrificed for a date.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist in YENI SAFAK comments on the US approach towards the new Turkish Government.
  • [09] Columnist in CUMHURIYET describes how the new islamist government is trying to gain legitimacy by exploiting the possible operation against Iraq.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot side submitted its response to the Annan Plan.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.12.02) reported from New York that the document containing the views of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, with regard to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's solution plan on Cyprus was submitted to UN officials today.

    The document was handed over to the relevant UN officials by the puppet regimeīs New Work representative Resat Caglar.

    Meanwhile, it was learned that Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Cleirdes' response was also handed over to UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto around the same time.

    It was also reported that Denktas will undergo a final medical check-up tomorrow, and he will depart for Cyprus the same day if no problems arise.

    [02] Turkish Cypriots' 'initial views' on objections to UN Plan reported

    Istanbul NTV television (05.12.02) broadcast the following telephone report by Ahmet Yesiltepe from New York:

    ^”The document submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side to the United Nations is defined as a preliminary preparation or a file containing initial views on fundamental issues. It is also termed as a summary of the detailed file of objections to be submitted to the United Nations at a later date. According to information we received from diplomatic sources, the document primarily expresses the views of the Turkish Cypriot side with regard to the territorial distribution. In addition, it refers to the situation of the refugees, namely the Greek Cypriots who are slated to settle in the north according to the UN plan, and to sovereignty, namely the sharing of the power. The document notes that the sovereignty of the ^”TRNC^‘ is being diluted. Turkey's rights as a guarantor are also mentioned in the document, which stresses that this right is being weakened.

    To summarize, the territorial distribution, the refugees, sovereignty, and the guarantees are the subjects that occupy an important part in the file of objections submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side. Naturally, we do not yet have the opportunity to receive clear information about the detailed contents of the file, because the sides do not have the authority to issue statements in this regard.^‘

    Meanwhile Denktasī constitutional adviser Prof. Mumtaz Soysal said that the issues of sovereignty and territory constitute the most important objections in the response submitted to the United Nations. Speaking to NTV on the content of the Turkish Cypriot response to the UN plan, Soysal said that the objections of the Turkish Cypriot side were presented to the United Nations within a general framework. Pointing out that the issue of sovereignty occupies an important part, Soysal noted that the two states should sign the solution plan under their existing names. He reported that the Turkish Cypriots also objected to the settlement of Greek Cypriots in the north at a rate of one-third of the population. Stressing that the territorial aspect must be one of the important topics to be discussed, Soysal said that the weakening of Turkey's guarantee and the issue of equality are also included in the objections.

    Soysal speculated that the UN Secretary-General may pressure the sides to sign the plan by the Copenhagen summit on 12 December, or he could produce a new document by joining the objections of the sides without forcing them to sign the existing document. If the Cyprus problem is to be solved, Soysal stressed, the situation pertaining to the Greek Cypriots' accession to the EU must first be clarified.

    [03] Rauf Denktasī Ramadan message. He declares that no one can make the Turkish Cypriots accept something by force

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.12.02) reported from occupied Nicosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, said on Thursday that ``nobody can make the Turkish Cypriots accept anything by force and everything will be sorted out by negotiations.``

    Issuing a message upon Ramadan Holiday to illegal Bayrak Radio tv channel, Denktas, who is still in New York said: ``The Turkish Cypriots go through difficult days. The people think what happens to Cyprus, what will be their rights and what will happen to their villages.^‘

    I would like to give you a message; nobody can make us accept anything by force. ^”There can be no forced marriage.^‘

    Denktas said that no body can force anybody to leave their homes, villages and everything can be sorted out by negotiations.

    Denktas said: ``There are views. Everybody is talking about which of these issues should be objected. Approaches that `it is a very good document and it is acceptable` are changing now. What is necessary is to deeply examine this document, see what it brings forth and then take action. We are acting in this way and I am pleased.

    I am thinking of a future which depends on our sovereignty under our flag and have our own territory and in which we have good relations with our Greek Cypriot neighbours. This is naturally dependent on the approach of the Greek Cypriots. Our path will be opened when they withdraw from seeing Cyprus as a Greek island and considering Turkish Cypriots as minority.``

    [04] The Turkish Prime Minister said that an accession negotiations date for Turkey will help the settlement of the Cyprus problem

    KIBRIS (06/12/02) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that if Turkey takes a date for accession talks in Copenhagen, it would contribute greatly to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    In an interview to the Turkish channel TGRT, the Turkish Prime Minister said that the Copenhagen Summit on 12 December is very important and Turkey must make a good assessment of this opportunity.

    Commenting on the latest developments in Cyprus, Gul said: ^”We all try very hard for peace. This peace must be a satisfactory one. If the EU gives a date for accession talks to Turkey in Copenhagen, then this will influence very positively the negotiations in Cyprus^‘. Gul added that he stressed this point to the EU officials.

    Replying to a question on the UN plan that was submitted to both sides, Gul said he believes that there are many things the sides are concerned with and they will discuss them. He also added that both sides want to solve the Cyprus problem and they have not said, ^”We accept everything in the first place^‘.

    Gul also said that everyone knows that it is impossible to reach a final solution before 12 December and added that the important thing is to approach the issue with good will.

    [05] Britain wants Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem

    According to KIBRIS (06.12.02), the British Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS), during a press briefing, when asked to clarify the UK's position on admitting Turkey to the EU, said: ^”We had set out our position clearly in the past. We wanted to see a resolution of the issues in which Turkey was involved, including questions concerning Cyprus and defence matters. The Prime Minister had met Recep Erdogan, the leader of the main political party in Turkey, around two weeks ago. He had also met the Turkish President at the NATO Summit. Issues regarding enlargement and Turkey would be discussed again at the European Council in Copenhagen. In the meantime, discussions were continuing and we would not pre-empt their outcome. We believe that the new Turkish Government was approaching the issue in a positive way.^‘

    Asked as to whether Britain continued to support Turkey's membership of the EU, the PMOS said: ^”Our position has not changed in any way. However, we are only one voice amongst many in the EU. This is a matter which would be discussed further at Copenhagen^‘. Asked if he would agree that their position had changed for geo-political reasons, particularly in the wake of September 11, the PMOS said: ^”The new Government in Turkey has taken all the issues on board. We believe that the discussions on this matter are positive, although they have yet to reach a conclusion.^‘

    [06] Foreign Minister Yakis approaches ^”cautiously^‘ the idea of a ^”framework plan^‘ on Cyprus

    KIBRIS (06.12.02) reports that Turkey^“s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yasar Yakis has said that during their meeting his Greek colleague, Mr George Papandreou had suggested the idea of a ^”framework plan^‘ on Cyprus. Talking yesterday at the airport before his departure for Brussels, Mr Yakis noted that they were cautious about this idea of Mr Papandreou because they had no information regarding the plan. ^”We want to see what this framework is. We have said to the Greek side that we shall respond to you if you send us a text and we learn what this framework is^‘, added Mr Yakis who said also the following:

    ^”Must the Anan plan be abandoned or must the work on it continue after 12 December, if the negotiations on the issue of the accession to the EU of the new partnership state in Cyprus suggested by (the UN Secretary ^÷ General Kofi) Annan, are not completed until 12 December? We do not wish the closure of the negotiations on it. That is, with the precondition that the partnership state is the state which will accede (to the Union). Therefore, if such a thing is meant, we shall sit and negotiate with Greece. However, if something different is suggested, then we must make a different assessment. We cannot predict from now what the Greek side has in mind before seeing that text. ^ŇWe are now expecting this text. We assumed that they had a text in their pocket during the meeting. According to the fact that they did not take it out, I guess that they will do this after discussing with their authorities. ^Ň^‘.

    [07] Bahceli: Cyprus cannot be sacrificed for a date

    VOLKAN (06.12.02) reports that Devlet Bahceli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Party (NAP), has asked from the Turkish government to be cautious on the issues of Cyprus and the relations of Turkey with the European Union.

    Talking yesterday to NTV television Mr Bahceli expressed the opinion that ^”Cyprus cannot be sacrificed for getting a date^‘ to begin the accession negotiations with the EU. Furthermore, Mr Bahceli said that his party believed that Turkey must not accept the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations on Cyprus.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in YENI SAFAK comments on the US approach towards the new Turkish Government

    Istanbul YENI SAFAK newspaper (05.12.02) publishes the following commentary by Cengiz Candar under the title: "A Ramadan Festival with the United States":

    The dizzying diplomatic traffic in Ankara ahead of the Ramadan Festival produced an interesting result the other night. Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan secured a "White House appointment" in advance of the Copenhagen Summit, where Turkey expects to obtain a timetable for negotiations.

    At a breakfast meeting at the British Embassy yesterday, I sat on the left of British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw at a large table. Straw had Ambassador Peter Westmacott on his right. He was talking about the intensive talks he had conducted in Ankara the day before and the dinner he had had with Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis. He said he had also met with Erdogan. I said, "You probably know that Erdogan will be received by President George W. Bush at the White House at the beginning of next week." He did not. I actually knew he did not when I said what I said.

    The British Foreign Secretary had told me that he was "reasonably optimistic" about the possibility that the "in-principle agreement" regarding Cyprus would be signed before the Copenhagen Summit. His optimism must have increased with the knowledge that Erdogan would be flying to Washington from Copenhagen on December 9, be received by Bush on December 10, and return to Copenhagen on December 11.

    According to information I obtained from Washington, Erdogan would be received together with a delegation consisting of seven people at the Oval Office. The delegation will include the Turkish Ambassador to Washington, possibly the Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Erdogan's own five advisors - a fairly crowded and high-level reception.

    Actually, the fact that the White House has invited Tayyip Erdogan before the Copenhagen Summit is very, very important for many reasons. A lightning invitation of this sort coming at such a time to someone like Erdogan, who is without any state titles such as President, King, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister etc, is quite unprecedented.

    What does it mean? Primarily it means that the United States (and particularly George W. Bush) regard Erdogan not only as Turkey's leader but also as a permanent future head of state.

    In view of the United States' status as a superpower and the agenda it is pursing regarding Iraq, the "political preference" suggested by the invitation is bound to have implications for Turkish politics and to get across certain "messages" to Ankara.

    The fact that this invitation was issued during Paul Wolfowitz and Marc Grossman's visit to Ankara means - regardless of whoever might attempt to deny this - that Wolfowitz has reached or will definitely reach an understanding with the JDP Government about cooperation concerning Iraq. Otherwise, such an invitation would not have been made the same night Wolfowitz met with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Prime Minister Gul talked to me at noon yesterday about the theoretical significance of the JDP Government. He said that he had told Wolfowitz the same things the day before. Interestingly enough, Wolfowitz has very similar opinions on this issue.

    To understand what the JDP or what Turkey under the JDP and what Erdogan as a political figure supported by the people, mean to Washington, let us look at the following part of Wolfowitz' London speech:

    "Turkey's recent election has been described by some as a 'political earthquake,' and there is no question that it has transformed Turkey's political landscape. The JDP which is best known for its Muslim identity, has also strongly declared its belief in a Turkish destiny in Europe, and the government it has formed has demonstrated this since coming into office. It has repeatedly expressed its support for the separation of religion and the state, which is the basis of Turkish democracy. If it carries through with its stated positions, there is no more reason to fear this party than religious-based parties in Europe and elsewhere in the world that combine religious faith with belief in tolerance and religious freedom and the separation of church and state.

    Modern Turkey demonstrates that a democratic system is indeed compatible with Islam, a Muslim understanding Ataturk once expressed, when he said: 'Islam means morals.' (Wolfowitz said this in Turkish.) And in upholding Islam's morals and values, there can be a separation of religion from state - a separation that is completely compatible with personal piety.

    People who share the values of freedom and democracy that grew out of European civilization are seeing increasingly that these are not just Western values or European values. They are Muslim and Asian values as well. Indeed, as we have often seen, the values of freedom and democracy are universal values.

    Europe now has a strategic opportunity. By helping Turkey realize its aspirations to join the EU, Europe would contribute to the progress of a country that has the potential to be a model for the Muslim world. Turkey's success could demonstrate to the world's 1.2 billion Muslims that there is a far better path than the path of destruction and despair offered by the terrorists and demonstrate that the benefits of free and prosperous and open societies are available equally to Muslims as to everyone."

    Do you now understand within what parameters the United States is assessing the JDP Government and Tayyip Erdogan and into what geopolitical and geocultural framework the JDP and Erdogan fit?

    If your answer is "yes," you could solve the complex equations concerning Cyprus, Iraq, ESDP, EU, etc more easily.

    [09] Columnist in CUMHURIYET describes how the new islamist government is trying to gain legitimacy by exploiting the possible operation against Iraq

    Istanbul CUMHURIYET newspaper (05.12.02) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Arcayurek under the title: ^”For the sake of earning `Legitmacyī^‘:

    What is going on in Ankara? The answer consists of five words, which have a very broad content: the capital city is under a total siege.

    Turkey's ambition to get a timetable for starting accession talks with the EU is at the root of all the developments.

    Foreign delegations visiting Turkey one after another are exploiting our strong desire to get a timetable in almost all fields.

    For example, the United States say that we could be given a date should we agree to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Cyprus plan and lend support to its anticipated war against Iraq in a manner satisfying its expectations.

    The United Kingdom has taken a similar stand while Denmark has told us during closed meetings that we could take it for granted that the EU would set a timetable in exchange for accepting Annan's plan which would transform Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot island as a whole.

    Meanwhile, Greek officials are visiting the capital city at a time when Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis is displaying his anxiety that he could run into big trouble should Southern Cyprus' admission to the EU be not formally announced on 12 December due to the resistance put up by the ^”TRNC^‘ and Turkey.

    In addition, external pressure coming up in the form of a series of waves is compounded by some discriminative comments made by some people in Turkey. For example, a group dominating the Foreign Ministry urges Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas, who is expected to notify Annan of his reservations about the plan in the next few days, to sign the document. Some Foreign Ministry officials drawing attention to some points in the plan, which are unacceptable from the standpoint of Turkey and the ^”TRNC^‘, and advocating the view that the plan should be negotiated before it is signed, are being bypassed.

    Rumour has it that some easy-going top Foreign Ministry officials, who are said to be in step with the government, are making efforts aimed at bypassing even the military officials, who identify the unacceptable aspects of Annan's plan and inform the Foreign Ministry of those handicaps.

    Events happen one after another so quickly. Following its unsuccessful attempts to sidestep the military, the Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the General Staff yesterday afternoon, emphasizing that Denktas should sign the Annan plan, which was drafted as a result of pressure put by the United States and the United Kingdom.

    The latest scandal, which broke out in the Foreign Ministry, worsened the situation. Less than four hours after Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis had announced that we would open our military bases to the United States, the Foreign Ministry retracted his words by issuing a written statement that his remarks did not constitute an official commitment.

    Justice and Development Party (JDP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister are making contradicting statements.

    Meanwhile, the General Staff is awaiting a written political instruction from the government about Iraq.

    The Cyprus issue could not be resolved as envisaged by those who advocate the view that Turkey should accept the proposed solution unconditionally. The possibility of working out a full agreement between Turkey and the United States regarding Iraq also looks dim for the time being. Turkish soldiers are capable of maintaining a strong presence in North Iraq with the objective of keeping the greedy Kurdish tribes, which could never found a state throughout centuries, under control.

    Just after his previous arrival in Turkey, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz had said that they had started to discuss Turkey's possible contributions to the United States' war against Iraq with the former government led by Bulent Ecevit.

    Since then, the United States wants to use Turkey as an "open military base" in a probable war against Iraq. It had informed Ecevit that it wanted to deploy 80,000 American and British soldiers (the total figure is much higher today and ranges between 150,000 and 250,000) in Diyarbakir and some southern provinces.

    Furthermore, the United States is reluctant to let Turkey control North Iraq regarded by Turkey (which is especially concerned about the possibility of the British and the Americans giving the green light to establishment of a Kurdish state) as a very sensitive area.

    Their goal is not limited to using the airports and ports in Turkey's southern provinces. The United States also wants permission to use the Trabzon Airport, the Samsun port and even some strategic points, albeit there is no official explanation about the reasons why those facilities could be connected with a war in Iraq.

    Their ultimate goal is to use Turkey as an open military base in the region as they had told the Ecevit government. Moreover, they are seeking an open-ended permission. Do they intend to use those facilities until the Iraqi issue is resolved?

    During his time as Prime Minister, Ecevit emphasized that the Iraqi issue should absolutely be resolved through peaceful means, including the use of UN arms inspectors.

    Former Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel met with Tariq Aziz four times in a bid to pressure him into accepting UN inspectors, who are now in Iraq. The present situation is the result of the diplomatic efforts exerted during that period. US Vice President Dick Cheney received a detailed report from Gurel, who emphasized that the initial cost of a possible war to Turkey would be around $40 billion, which, he noted, could not be recouped for years.

    What is the current situation? $3.4 billion in economic aid, including military equipment worth $2 billion, is proposed to be extended within three years in exchange for dispatching 30,000 to 40,000 Turkish soldiers in order to guarantee security of American and British soldiers behind the front line. According to some rumors, it will eventually reach $20 billion.

    The JDP government's efforts are primarily designed to legitimize itself in the eyes of the EU and the United States. Being aware of this fact, the West is flattering the Erdogan government.

    It remains to be seen who will eventually distort the historical facts under the pretense of safeguarding them.


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