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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-12-10

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.235/02 10.12.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Show TV disclosed what is said to be President Cleridesī letter with the Greek Cypriot side^“s objections to the Annan Plan.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot papers see the occupation authorities and the Turkish army behind the meeting demonstration against the Annan plan.
  • [03] The Turkish Association of Victorious Fighters alleged that the UN Plan is aimed at the realization of ^”Enosis^‘.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry withdrew from the ^”Common Vision^‘.
  • [05] The Islamic countries support Turkey^“s membership of the EU.
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot soldier who was beaten by a Turkish occupation army officer underwent a kidney transplant in the free areas.
  • [07] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister while addressing his party assembly group.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Although it continues to occupy militarily a small defenceless state in violation of numerous UN decisions and international law, violating the fundamental rights of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Turkey wants a date for accession talks in Thessaloniki.
  • [09] Former Turkish Ambassador says Turkey will hold the occupied areas hostage until it gets what it wants from the EU.
  • [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News supports that a tug-of-war between a government suspected by its Islamic leanings and a staunchly secularist establishment is taking place in Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Show TV disclosed what is said to be President Cleridesī letter with the Greek Cypriot side^“s objections to the Annan Plan

    AKSAM newspaper (08.12.02) publishes the following report under the title: ^”Cleridesī Reply^‘:

    ^”The leader of the Greek Cypriot administration listed his objections to the Annan Plan in his reply to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The letter obtained by Show TV shows that the Greek Cypriot side is making moves in order not to reach an agreement.

    Show TV obtained the letter expressing the reaction of Greek Cypriot Leader Glafcos Clerides to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Cyprus Plan. Clerides, who stated that he favoured negotiations and not refereeing between the sides, opposed the proposed three-year co-presidency and claimed that the Turks were dangerous. Clerides claims the Turks will not keep their promises during their term as president.

    Clerides' objections and suggestions are as follows:

    1. It should be stated in no uncertain terms that the name of the Republic of Cyprus will remain as it is.

    2. The proposals regarding the issue of land are not satisfactory. They can be accepted only if the two maps that have been presented are combined and our new proposals are taken into account. The repatriation of 100,000 Greek Cypriot refugees would be possible in that case.

    3. The article that gives the sides the power to sign agreements on international trade should be deleted. Agreements should only be signed with EU countries.

    4. The Turks who came to the island afterwards should return to Turkey.

    5. The numerical ceiling of the people who are to return should reach 20 percent not in 15 years, but 12 years. Limitations to the freedom of settlement should be ended after 15 years and in accordance with a European Court of Human Rights verdict.

    6. The regions that Greek Cypriots will return to should be made subject to UN inspection.

    7. It is not acceptable for the Turkish or Greek armies to be present on Cyprus in order to protect only one side, whereas they should be there to defend the island against foreign forces.

    8. Only those people who have been Cypriots since before 1963 and their children should vote in the referendum.

    9. We advocate that the number of representatives who will be chosen from the two partner states not be equal and that they be determined in proportion to the populations of the two sides -- on condition that the figure is not less than 30 percent.

    10. The members of the Supreme Court should be citizens of an EU member state. The verdicts of this court should bind all courts.

    11. The delegates who will represent the common state in the European Parliament should be determined according to the number of people who live in the states and who have the right of citizenship.

    12. The article stating, "Those who are also citizens of Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus should be considered only as the citizens of Cyprus" should be erased. The right to citizenship cannot be given to those Turks who came to the island after 1963.

    13. The word "sovereignty" does not fit the description of powers found in the Constitution. This is why it is unnecessary and confusing.^‘

    [02] Turkish Cypriot papers see the occupation authorities and the Turkish army behind the meeting demonstration against the Annan plan

    Under the banner front-page title ^”The shame of the state!^‘ YENI DUZEN (10.12.02) reports that the occupation authorities force the people to attend the rally organized today in the occupied areas under the slogan ^”We say yes to peace, but no to this plan^‘.

    The paper writes that the headmasters of the schools tell the students that there are going to be no lessons today and that busses will carry them to the Inonu square in occupied Nicosia, where the gathering and a concert of singers from Turkey would take place.

    Furthermore, the so-called ^”ministries^‘ have given instructions to their employees telling them to participate in the rally and that those who will go shall be given a day off. In addition, the vehicles of the so-called ^”Civilian Defence^‘ have been used to call on the people to participate in the meeting, while in some departments of the pseudostate the employees have been ordered to attend the meeting.

    Furthermore, according to Anatolia News Agency (09.12.02) the leader of the Democratic Party Salih Cosar has called on the supporters of his party to attend the meeting, noting that the ^”proposals in the document presented to the sides by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on November 11, 2002 about some vital issues are unacceptable^‘.

    ^”During the latest meeting of the DP, the document of Annan was taken up in detail. The document includes unacceptable proposals about some vital issues such as territory, sovereignty, political equality and return of many Greek Cypriots^‘, he said.

    Supporting that the Cyprus problem could not be considered as a single issue in the current political conjuncture of the world and Middle East, Cosar said that the importance of Turkey^“s getting a date at the Copenhagen Summit was obvious.

    Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak radio (08.12.02), the Association of the so-called ^”Martyrs' Families and Disabled War Veterans^‘ has announced that it supports the rally to be held at Inonu Square in occupied Nicosia today. Ertan Ersan, head of the association, said that they cannot accept the Annan plan and called on all the members of the association and the people living in the occupied areas of Cyprus to participate in the rally.

    Furthermore the Ataturkist Ideas Association has announced that it supports the rally, stressing that the Turkish Cypriots want an agreement, peace, a solution, and EU membership but only under acceptable conditions.

    In addition, a delegation from the Turkish Confederation of Moral Rights Workers (Hak-Is), of which Turkish Cypriot Public Sector Workers Union (Kamu-Sen) is an affiliate, has arrived in the occupied areas in support of the rally.

    Furthermore, the National Unity Party (NUP) has announced that it fully backs the rally. NUP Deputy Secretary General Savas Atakan has issued a written statement on behalf of the party headquarters, saying that the party is in favour of a solution, but that it does not agree with the Annan document.

    Finally, six civilian organizations have issued a joint declaration calling on their members and the people live in the occupied areas to participate in the rally. The six organizations are: ^”The Human Rights Association^‘, the so-called ^”Public Sector^‘ Personnel Union, the Mothers Association, the Cukurova Solidarity and Cultural Association, the Association of Wronged Turkish Cypriot Refugees from the South, and the Consumers Association.

    [03] The Turkish Association of Victorious Fighters alleged that the UN Plan is aimed at the realization of ^”Enosis^‘

    KIBRISLI (10.12.02) reports that the Turkish Association of Victorious Fighters stated that it is against the UN Plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem, since it is aimed at the realization of Enosis in the long-term.

    According to a written statement, the association calls on the Turkish Cypriots ^”not to trust the so-called hand of friendship that is extended towards them and which is aimed at getting rid of the Turkish people using the īAkritas Planī^‘.

    In the statement it is pointed out that ^”honour, pride and dignity cannot be expressed in money^‘ and is stressed that the land that was gained with blood and soul cannot be abandoned. The Association also stressed that it will always support the Turkish Cypriots.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry withdrew from the ^”Common Vision^‘

    KIBRIS (10.12.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry decided to separate itself from the organization ^”Common Vision^‘, because the declaration ^”Solution and EU of the Turkish Civil Community Vision in Cyprus^‘ is against their beliefs and ideas.

    In a written statement the administrative committee of the Chamber of Industry stressed that they support a just and lasting solution in Cyprus after Turkey^“s accession to the EU.

    [05] The Islamic countries support Turkey^“s membership of the EU

    Turkish Daily News (10.12.02) reports that the Prime Minister Abdullah Gul received the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary-General, Abdulvahid Belkeziz, who is in Turkey to attend a meeting in Istanbul and to convey the Muslim countries' congratulations to the new government.

    Belkeziz said the Islamic World would support all the decisions of the Turkish government regarding the EU membership process and added, "We will support Turkey in any case." Belkeziz was met by Islamic History, Art and Culture Research Centre (IRCICA) director general Ekmelettin Islamoglu and will attend an IRCICA meeting today in Istanbul.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot soldier who was beaten by a Turkish occupation army officer underwent a kidney transplant in the free areas

    AFRIKA (10.12.02) reports that while the Turkish Cypriot soldier Devran Tureray was serving his military service, he was beaten badly by a Commander of the Turkish occupation army. He lost his kidney and his mother donated him one of her kidneys in a hospital at the government controlled area of Cyprus.

    AFRIKA reports the story as follows:

    ^”A few years ago, Devran Tureray was punished by the Commander of his unit, Ibrahim Dagman, with the ^”justice stick^‘ on the excuse that he returned late from his leave. As a result of the beating one of Devranīs kidneys could no longer function properly due to the excessive bleeding and the inflammation. Devran, who was connected to a machine in order to stay alive, was sent to Turkey with a decision of the ^”Council of Health^‘.

    After extensive analyses and tests, he was sent back to ^”TRNC^‘ with the excuse that his mother^“s kidney was not matched. As a last resort, he crossed to South Cyprus with his mother and found out exactly the opposite. His mother^“s kidney was a match. The Greek Cypriot doctors in order not to make a mistake contacted the Turkish hospital. The answer they received showed how little regard for human health there is in Turkey and in ^”TRNC^‘!

    The officials at the Turkish hospital said that Devran^“s operation would cost 30,000 sterling and because the ^”TRNC^‘ couldn^“t afford to pay the amount, lied in their report.

    The Greek Cypriot doctors carried out the operation using the donated kidney and didn^“t take a cent because he is a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus.^‘

    [07] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister while addressing his party assembly group

    TRT 2 Television (10.12.02) broadcast that Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, addressing the JDP (Justice and Development Party) National Assembly group meeting today, said that his party does not view a non-solution regarding the Cyprus issue as a solution, adding that, however, his government will not be party to negotiating table tactics while seeking a solution. He noted that the EU stand towards Cyprus and Turkey will be tested at the Copenhagen summit.

    Mr Gulīs statement is the following: ^”A non-solution is not a solution for us. We all desire a solution here. While we are seeking a solution in Cyprus, naturally it is definitely out of the question for us to loose Cyprus at the negotiating table. From that point of view, there is a link between the EU and Cyprus. The stand to be adopted toward Turkey in Copenhagen is, at the same time, linked to the stand to be adopted toward Cyprus. If a prejudiced stand is adopted against Turkey and if the Greek Cypriot sector is treated as a country that represents Cyprus, then this is totally unacceptable to Turkey^‘.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Although it continues to occupy militarily a small defenceless state in violation of numerous UN decisions and international law, violating the fundamental rights of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Turkey wants a date for accession talks in Thessaloniki

    RADIKAL newspaper (09.12.02) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Ankara's latest proposal: 'Let Greece give Turkey a date'":

    Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis has said that in case the door is not closed on Turkey's accession to the EU at the summit on 12-13 December, they will look sympathetically on Turkey being given a date for the start of membership talks at the summit meeting to be held in Thessaloniki in June 2003. Yakis responded to our questions before starting contacts in EU Term President Denmark today together with Justice and Development Party [JDP] Leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He commented as follows on the situation that has emerged in the wake of the intense diplomatic traffic of the past few weeks:

    "Chirac and Schroeder^“s suggestion after their meeting on December 4 that Turkey be given a timetable for negotiations in the year 2005 is not acceptable. On account of the Helsinki document signed in 1999, setting such a date could only compound problems. We are wondering if the French and German leaders meant their suggestion to be taken as a bargaining chip. This is what we are trying to understand. For, if negotiations with Turkey are postponed till 2005, we will not only be in a position to secure the approval of some 25 EU member-states instead of only 15, but we will also be facing a new Commission that is not as familiar with the Turkey file as the present EU Commission. We are discussing this situation with our foreign counterparts as well as amongst ourselves."

    When I asked Yakis whether certain recent signals such as Danish Prime Minister Fogh Rasmussen's remark that Turkey could not be given a date at the Copenhagen Summit would cause any changes in Ankara's policy, he said:

    "Turkey is trying to quickly pass the reforms it has pledged to carry out. Our friends will be trying to pass a number of adaptation bills even while we are holding negotiations in Denmark and the United States and even while the Copenhagen Summit is taking place. Most of these bills will be passed before the Copenhagen Summit and all of them will have been passed by the end of December. In this way, the political criteria will have been met on paper. I explained this to all the EU foreign ministers with whom I met last week.

    It is understandable that EU leaders should want to see these reforms actually being implemented. The Copenhagen Criteria include provisions to this effect. We believe that a period of six months will be sufficient to see whether the reforms have come into force. If certain unacceptable conditions are not put forward in Copenhagen, we believe that it will be possible to reach a decision concerning Turkey."

    Subtitle: Target: Thessaloniki 2003

    "The EU could, for example, announce at this summit that a date for the commencement of talks will be disclosed at the Thessaloniki Summit in 2003. Such a decision could be made in Copenhagen. This decision, which would assure Turkey's accession to the EU, could be made by Greece. We would actually like to be given a date by Greece. Obviously it is possible for a date to be announced at the summit in December 2003 during Italy's term presidency yet we would prefer it to be announced earlier in Thessaloniki. This would contribute to the atmosphere of friendship that has evolved between Turkey and Greece in recent years. Membership talks could be arranged to start in the spring of 2004.

    The situation of Cyprus is important here. At a time when the United Nations has started a new negotiation process and the Turkish and Greek sides have submitted their views concerning the UN proposal to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, admitting the Greek side to full membership in the EU would only compound the obstacles facing settlement. We will explain this to Annan when we meet with him in New York."

    Yakis ended by saying that the decision on Turkey would probably be made "at the last minute" in Copenhagen.

    It is possible to draw the following conclusions from Yakis' remarks:

    1. Ankara sees that it might not be given a timetable for negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit. It finds it understandable that the EU might cite Turkey's failure to implement the political criteria as the reason for denying it a date. In other words, Ankara appears to be ready to accept a conditional date.

    2. Ankara insists in return that Southern Cyprus be admitted to EU membership under its official name of "the Republic of Cyprus" while negotiations are continuing. On the other hand, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou has warned that a political crisis will emerge if Cyprus is not admitted to membership and has threatened to veto the membership of Eastern European and Baltic states.

    3. Under the circumstances, a solution would seem to consist of an arrangement involving the EU's invitation of Cyprus to membership under a name other than the official name of the Republic of Cyprus after the UN negotiation process has been completed and an announcement that a date for the start of negotiations with Turkey will be disclosed in June 2003 provided Turkey's implementation of its reforms is carefully monitored.

    All these issues and obviously US plans regarding Iraq will be discussed at the meeting that Erdogan and Yakis will be holding with President Bush in Washington.

    Subtitle: Most Critical Decision of the Republic

    Foreign Minister Yakis said, "Turkey has never faced the need to make such a critical decision ever since the foundation of the Republic," and went on to add: "The decision as to whether we should take part in World War II was probably as critical. Yet, if we compare that decision with the decision me must make in connection with Iraq, we see that we face the added challenge of determining policies on Cyprus and the EU. We are about to make the most critical decisions in the history of our Republic."

    [09] Former Turkish Ambassador says Turkey will hold the occupied areas hostage until it gets what it wants from the EU

    Former Turkish ambassador Gunduz Aktan, who usually expresses views of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Office of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff, in an article in RADIKAL (09.12.02), under the title ^”What will happen in Copenhagen?^‘ criticizes the Franco-German stance vis-ŗ-vis giving a date to Turkey and says that the delaying tactics of Germany cannot go on for ever. He says: ^”There should be an end to Germany^“s delaying tactics against Turkey as well as to its public. Until when with the German government delay coming face to face with the reality. What will they say to the people of Germany when the year 2005 comes?^‘

    Aktan goes on and says:^‘ Let the liberal intellectuals and certain businessmen living abroad consider this date 2005 positive, however, postponement of accession negotiations to mid-2005, putting aside other aspects, cannot be accepted taking into consideration Cyprus alone. If the EU thinks that the Cyprus problem could be solved within the framework of the Annan plan, prior to beginning our accession talks, and Cyprus becoming a member including the Turkish Cypriots then it means that the EU is dreaming. No Turkish government can take the risk of both loosing the north of Cyprus as well as Turkey^“s EU membership. No diplomat that respects the mental faculties of his interlocutor could propose īlet first Cyprus become member and after two years we can decide on Turkey^“s membershipī^‘.

    In this situation the way out is to create a solution according to the renegotiated Annan plan; the postponement of putting this agreement into force until Turkey signs its accession agreement; the entry of South Cyprus into the EU at the Copenhagen summit as a ^—component state^“ representing ^—the partnership state^“; the immediate removal of the embargo imposed on the north Cyprus and the starting of harmonization process; and giving Turkey a negotiation date as soon as possible. This solution will neither clash with the interests of the sides in Cyprus nor with that of Turkey^“s and Greece^“s interests. Thus with this arrangement the EU enlargement will not be jeopardized, together with Turkey^“s membership the settlement in Cyprus could be put into force at a rapid pace.

    People have no more strength left to wait until the middle of 2005^ŇUnderstand it^Ň

    [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News supports that a tug-of-war between a government suspected by its Islamic leanings and a staunchly secularist establishment is taking place in Turkey

    Under the title ^”A fragile government^‘, Burak Bekdil writes the following in Turkish Daily News (10.12.02):

    Each time the Americans decide to send Paul Wolfowitz, their deputy defence secretary, to Ankara, Turkey's financial markets tend to shiver. Iraq aside, Mr Wolfowitz's journey to the Turkish capital last week brought new thrill to money-makers in Istanbul as it unveiled how fragile the governance in Ankara was.

    Turkish affairs are notoriously complex. But seldom, perhaps, have they been this much complex. There is the leader of the ruling party who is banned from politics but may become the prime minister sooner than later; there is the prime minister who may have to surrender his duties to his party boss sooner than later; and, to add some colour to life in Ankara, there is a foreign minister who says things at the wrong time and in the wrong place. And only under such bizarre circumstances could a ministry feel obliged to correct their minister.

    If the Americans sent Mr Wolfowitz for a "divide and rule" mission, they have been partly successful. But if they sent the hawkish man to secure the maximum possible Turkish support for a military campaign against Iraq, they have been wrong. His visit may have failed to win a solid Turkish commitment but it certainly underlined an open secret in Ankara: a tug-of-war between a government suspected by its roots for Islamist leanings and a staunchly secularist establishment.

    Mr Wolfowitz believes that "the new Turkish government understood better than its predecessor the need for a credible threat of U.S.-led force in order to convince Iraq to disarm." But of course! He discussed Iraq with a pragmatic government that has been at pains to shake off suspicions about its Islamist roots and demonstrate its commitment to its American allies despite a growing public unrest about Iraq.

    A recent public opinion poll released by Istanbul pollsters Konsensus showed that only 6.8 percent of Turks justified a U.S. military action against Iraq. According to the poll, only 9.5 percent of Turks approved Turkey opening its air bases to U.S. warplanes should the U.S. decide to hit Iraq.

    Ironically, the foreign minister of the hope of one in every three Turks, Yasar Yakis, became the first Turkish official who declared that Turkey would open up its bases to the U.S. for military operations if necessary. In a few hours after Mr Yakis spoke came a wave of corrections that reminded the Americans -and others-who in Ankara made decisions on matters like Iraq.

    "We are not aware of such a decision," said Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, deputy chief of General Staff. "The minister must have expressed his personal view." Similarly, at an after midnight dispatch Mr Yakis's own ministry denied any Turkish commitment to the U.S. about the use of air bases.

    If a foreign minister talks about football or arts he could be expressing his own views. But if he speaks about his country's involvement in a foreign military operation to topple the leader of a neighbouring country, that cannot be his personal view - except in Turkey. Poor Mr Yakis, he must have thought for a while that he was the foreign minister of Turkey.

    About Iraq, Mr Wolfowitz's visit highlighted a deeply fractured Turkish leadership with the civilian government more willing for a commitment to support any U.S. action to get rid of Baghdad's rogue regime but the establishment remaining more cautiously gauging the possible security and economic risks.

    From a broader perspective, however, the episode highlighted the increasing tensions and power struggle between the government and the powerful military. If Turkey will open its air bases to U.S. fighter jets, and this is the reasonable scenario by all criteria, it will be the military's decision to do so, and not the government's.

    The chaos in Ankara last week was not a matter of whether or not to open bases but of who will decide that. The same applies to other strategic matters like the EU membership, Cyprus and the European Security and Defence Policy.

    In return for his government's commitment to U.S. interests Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP), won a ticket to the White House. Ironically, Mr Erdogan, who meticulously avoids calling Osama bin-Laden's Al-Qaeda a terrorist organization, will have the honour to meet President George W. Bush on December 10 to discuss America's war on terrorism -- Iraq.

    Meanwhile at home, the JDP's move to elect as chairman of the parliament's defence committee a man who had been expelled from the military for radical Islamist activity did not go unnoticed. In Ankara, more tensions may be in the offing.


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