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

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.237/02 12.12.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot to remain in hospital for a few days.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas asks for more time for negotiations.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot political parties conveyed their views on the revised UN plan to Denktas.
  • [04] The Association of Assistance and Support for Refugees sent a letter to the UN asking the revision of the UN Plan.
  • [05] The year 2002, a bad year for human rights in Turkey.
  • [06] Turkish Journalistsī Association points out problems on freedom of expression in Turkey.
  • [07] Baron asks Turkey to allow Zana to receive Sakharov Prize from EP.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot to remain in hospital for a few days

    NTV, Turkish TV news channel, has broadcast live (12/12/02) the announcement of Prof. Dr Nusret Aras, one of the doctors who have examined the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Dr Aras said that Rauf Denktas underwent the medical check-up today and although he passed the medical exam, they didn^“t find any serious problem. Dr Aras said that Denktas will remain in Ankara University Faculty of Medicine for a few days (3-5 days or a week) to receive treatment for post-operative fatigue and anaemia. After that he will return to the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Replying to reporters^“ questions, Dr Aras said that they didn^“t find any microbes and he doesn^“t have to undergo a new operation. He also added that Denktas can continue his work in Ankara if he wishes to do so.

    NTV also broadcast that the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer visited the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas to wish him well.

    [02] Rauf Denktas asks for more time for negotiations

    Istanbul NTV television (11.12.02) broadcast live a telephone interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas by Mithat Bereket.

    The interview is as follows:

    Question: How are you? Why are you going to Ankara? Please tell us about your health.

    Answer: I had to leave New York before I completely recovered so that I could be here before 12 December and confer with my colleagues. As you know I had a series of complications in New York. The doctors and cardiologists in Ankara want me to go there so that they can carry out a detailed consultation. I have not felt very well these past two days, as you may have seen on television. Therefore I will go there tomorrow morning. I will undergo medical checkups and return in the afternoon. I am not going to hold any talks. There is no such program. I will only go for health reasons and return in the evening.

    Question: What is the problem exactly?

    Answer: I have water retention in the chest. If it continues, the microbe can spread to the heart. That is the concern. It might even necessitate surgery. Specialists from three to four hospitals will check me tomorrow.

    Question: What is your stand about the revised UN plan?

    Answer: The plan certainly has some improvements. Nevertheless, the plan has basic problems concerning our problems about sovereignty, about our state, about the Greek Cypriots settling among us, and so on. There is also a problem with the map. We would have liked to hold negotiations with the Greek Cypriots after the revised plan was submitted to us, so that we could see what parts the Greek Cypriots accepted and what parts we could change. If we had failed to change some parts, we would have said that we failed to reach an agreement. Instead, the whole thing is being conducted in the dark, without any contact, and we are being told to go to Copenhagen, solve any small problem there might be with the help of Alvaro de Soto, and then sign the document. We have not reached the point of signing the document. We want negotiations. We want the negotiations to continue. We insist that during this process the Greek Cypriots should not be encouraged any more and equality should not be disrupted further.

    Our ^”foreign minister^‘ will go to Copenhagen with these messages. He will be in constant contact with us. He will be going as an observer and make our intention to go on with the negotiations heard. He will ask for more time.

    Question: What is your message to the EU leaders who will convene in Copenhagen? What will happen after Copenhagen?

    Answer: We want the honorable leaders of the EU to act with reason. We want them to hear the voice of the Turkish Cypriots. We want them to realize that they are killing the chances for an agreement when they impose solutions on us. They want an agreement in Cyprus. They want Cyprus. For Cyprus to join the EU as a whole, the Turkish Cypriots, that is the TRNC, must be taken into consideration and must be heard. The Cyprus problem cannot be solved if the EU continues to say: We recognize only one Cyprus and it is the Cyprus represented by Clerides; and we will admit Cyprus whether you come or not.

    We ask them to give up this stand. What else can we say?

    Question: What would your message be to Tayyip Erdogan in Copenhagen tomorrow?

    Answer: We are in contact with Mr Erdogan. We spoke with him in Istanbul. We are in contact with Mr Gul too. We spoke with him in Istanbul. We met with the Turkish foreign minister in New York. In other words, they know very well what we think about this national cause. We have no differences of opinion regarding the basic principles of the national cause. Therefore, I have peace of mind.

    Question: Do you support Erdogan's remarks that the Turkish side should not shun the negotiations that it should continue to negotiate?

    Answer: It is because we feel that way that Mr Erdogan was able to say that. We are not shunning the negotiations. We are declaring our regret because we were not given time to negotiate. We are saying: Give us time so that we can discuss this plan with the Greek Cypriots.

    Nothing can be clearer than that. Negotiating the plan does not mean accepting it. We cannot accept the map in any way. These issues must be discussed. Several other issues must also be discussed. If Europe wants Cyprus to be united through an agreement, then it must give this chance to the two sides. Also, while doing that, it must not raise the status of one of the sides at the expense of the other. That is what we think.

    Question: What are the sine qua non conditions in connection with the plan?

    Answer: The plan is so complicated and detailed that it is impossible to say. Nevertheless, our sovereignty, our equality, the possible rights and status of the Greek Cypriots in connection with their settling among us, the responsibility, powers, and contribution of the two states regarding these issues must be reviewed. There are certain dangers for us that stem from an EU without Turkey. We say that if we can reach an agreement by changing the document through negotiations and by turning it into an acceptable plan, Cyprus must still wait for Turkey to join the EU so that the agreement can be implemented. If the EU insists on taking the Greek Cypriots, then they must negotiate with us separately about our membership, they must lift the embargoes, they must extend economic aid to us and raise the level of our economy to that of the Greek Cypriots. In that way, we can also get ready -- in terms of our law and everything -- by the time Turkey is ready to join the EU. In other words, the EU must accept our existence and our equality with the Greek Cypriots. It must act by acknowledging that it held no negotiations with us. It must give us the same opportunities it gave to the Greek Cypriots. That is the way there can be progress.

    Question: We have been on the island for a few days. Everybody we spoke to wants something to be done in Cyprus, especially because of the economic difficulties. They want peace as soon as possible. Do you have a B plan if things go wrong in Copenhagen?

    Answer: If we sit and think calmly, we will reach the conclusion that the EU wants the whole of Cyprus, not only the Greek Cypriots. If it gets only the Greek Cypriots because of its mistakes, then it will need us. Some say that our bargaining power will be eliminated completely. This may be the impression for a certain period of time, but because the EU wants the whole of Cyprus, it will be forced to take us into consideration, to contact us, and to negotiate with us, as long as we stand firm, as long as we do not deal with catastrophe politics, and as long as we explain that our sovereignty cannot be easily wasted. I am never concerned. Even what you call the worst case scenario must not cause any concern, because we have territory that is based on sovereignty and on our state and it is guaranteed by Turkey. Those who consider Cyprus an obstacle to Turkey's membership in the EU are committing a grave mistake and are being very unjust. I hope that this injustice will be eliminated on 12 December.

    Question: Some 70 percent of the Greek Cypriots are saying that they do not want a common state. The Turkish Cypriots we interviewed are saying that the Annan plan is unacceptable and that the common state cannot function in this way. Both sides are saying that if necessary they should remain separate. So why is this plan still being discussed?

    Answer: It is difficult to understand. The EU committed a mistake a long time ago by considering the Greek Cypriot Administration a legitimate government. I have told all the concerned officials that forced marriages do not work, that we must be given a chance, that a moratorium is needed even if an agreement is reached. A lot of tension and concern will be eliminated with Turkey's joining the EU. We want much derogation so that we can be protected and they must continue until Turkey joins the EU, not only for a preset time of two or three years. The two peoples must not be forced to live together once again. Everybody must consider this and help in this respect.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot political parties conveyed their views on the revised UN plan to Denktas

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (11.12.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, held a meeting today with the leaders and officials of the political parties represented at the ^”Republican Assembly^‘. During the 90-minute meeting, they discussed Kofi Annan's revised solution plan.

    Present at the meeting were Zeki Vehbi Serter, so-called speaker of the ^”Republican Assembly;^‘ Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party, Salih Cosar, leader of the Democratic Party, Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party; Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party; Ertugrul Hasipoglu, leader of the Renewal Progress Party; Kenan Akin, leader of the Nationalist Justice Party; Tahsin Ertugruloglu, so-called minister of foreign affairs and defence; and other officials from the parties.

    In a statement at the end of the meeting, Eroglu said that the parties conveyed their views on the new document. Eroglu pointed out that both Rauf Denktas and the parties will continue to assess the document.

    In a statement, Serter said they discussed the changes made to the Annan plan, adding: We will continue to follow the developments. We will continue to make assessments.

    Salih Cosar said, in turn: We have time until tomorrow evening. We believe that the negotiations can go on, with the help of motherland Turkey, and that we can get results. Cosar asserted that he is happy with the changes made in the plan.

    Angolemli said: Our party reviewed the document. We discussed what we will lose if we sign it and what we will lose if we do not. We concluded that a founding agreement must be signed on 12 December. We conveyed our conclusion.

    Talat stated that the changes made to the Annan plan are serious improvements and that they bring reasonable improvements to the points that disturbed the Turkish side. He said: We must calculate everything well and we must conclude this issue. An agreement in Cyprus will also help Turkey's membership in the EU.

    Hasipoglu pointed out that at the meeting they discussed the positive and negative aspects of the Annan plan, adding: I believe that very important contacts will be held today and tomorrow. We will see the outcome tomorrow. I hope that the current impasse in Cyprus will be resolved in favour of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Kenan Akin charged that the new document is not much different from the one submitted on 11 November and that the changes meet the Greek Cypriot demands rather than eliminate the points that disturb the Turkish Cypriots. Akin stressed: We believe that the negotiations must go on so that a lasting peace can be established. Nevertheless, we do not approve the signing of this document.

    [04] The Association of Assistance and Support for Refugees sent a letter to the UN asking the revision of the UN Plan

    HALKIN SESI (12.12.02) reports that the Association of Assistance and Support for Refugees of the puppet regime sent a letter to the Secretary-General of the UN, Kofi Annan, yesterday, in which they asked from Mr Annan to revise the proposed plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The chairman of the Association, Enver Dincoglu, who delivered the letter to the UN Forces at the Ledra Palas Check Point, said that the two communities are led to a chaotic situation since they are uneasy and worried from the Plan prepared by the UN. Stressing that there was no military skirmish or even a small incident between the two communities since the Turkish invasion of 1974, Mr Dincoglu said that during the period 1963-1974 many distressing events took place between the two communities and claimed that a massacre was carried out against the Turkish Cypriot community.

    ^”From now on the two communities want to live separated, they want their ībordersī to be drawned and they want to be protected by their own army^‘, said Mr Dincoglu.

    [05] The year 2002, a bad year for human rights in Turkey

    Serdar Alyamac, reports the following in Turkish Daily News (12.12.02):

    Izmir Bar Association released a statement on the 54th anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration ratified by the United Nations (U.N.) in 1948. The Bar stressed that despite the fact that there were improvements in human rights since the approval of the Human Right Declaration, the year 2002 was a worrying year in which some retrogressive events were experienced due to the human rights in both Turkey and abroad.

    Stating that following the September 11 terrorist attacks, many countries, particularly the U.S., had restricted basic rights and freedoms because of security reasons in many countries, especially the U.S. and European countries, backlash to Arabians and Muslims increased, as a result of wrong policies implemented by some.

    The Bar emphasized that an anxious process had started, where basic rights and freedoms were suspended. This crippling process in human rights of the world caused increases in human right violations in Turkey, whose transcript was already bad. Despite the sweeping reform package legislated on August 3, there remained some points to be focused on.

    The Bar cited torture as the most prominent problem in human rights violations in Turkey. "In the first 10 months of the year 2002, 870 people have applied to the Turkey Human Rights Foundation (THRF) claiming to have been subjected to torture or degrading treatment. Some 288 of these 870 people have proved their claim with a health report confirming the torture they were subjected to. Furthermore, in this period of 10 months, five persons have lost their lives under custody and three persons have gone missing."

    The Bar also stressed that according to data from the Human Right Association (HRA), during the first six months 15,469 people were taken into custody and 381 people have applied to the HRA, claiming they were subjected to torture and human degrading treatment during custody. "According to the data of the Interior Ministry, 153 civil servants were tried in 2002 on charges of degrading treatment and only one of them was punished. On the other hand, three civil servants were tried on charges of torture and nobody was punished in these cases," the statement said.

    The Bar also emphasized that these verdicts were contrary to the superiority of law and have undermined messages to alter social beliefs. "In the case of Suleyman Yeter, accused policemen were punished. However, their punishments were decreased and they were released and reprimanded. Furthermore, in the Manisa case accused policemen on duty could not be summoned to trial, and their involvement in the case went towards overtime.

    The emergency rules applications that were lifted on November 30 featured in the Bar's declaration. "Despite the emergency rules application lifted in the south-eastern region on November 30, the 'situation of emergency rules' that has been continuing for about 24 years is continuing in daily life. The most prominent indicators of this situation are the village guard practice and infringements experienced in the process of returning to villages."

    "The constraints and bans on freedom of thought have been continuing. From data of the HRA covering the first six months of 2002, 2,260 persons were tried on thought crimes and 112 persons were sentenced to a total of 165 years in jail and fined a total of TL 58 billion. Closed political institutions, non-governmental organizations, publications and cultural centres number 78. Some 87 publications were also levied or banned."

    Further statistics revealed include the number of thought criminals in jail is 101, though according to official figures this number is 73. Some 533 of 3,621 students who were taken into custody for raising a petition on Kurdish education were arrested. "Unfortunately, F-type prison problems were not solved yet and the hunger-strikes protesting the implementation of cell-based F-type prison have been continuing, so far claiming the lives of 101 inmates. Due to the problem, the observing prison commissions formed by the Justice Ministry are not independent and impartial. Since the establishment of these commissions, no noteworthy work of these commissions has been observed. Furthermore, some members of these commissions were involved in human rights violations.

    The Bar also states some solutions to solve human rights violations by underlining the importance of implementation of legal amendments to prevent the violations.

    "The investigations into claims of torture or degrading treatment should be started immediately without provision. The state should ensure the right for the suspect to confer with her/his lawyer. Officers who have committed crimes of torture should be judged fairly and influentially and if necessary should be punished. All legal applications causing torturers not to be punished should be lifted. Torture should be included to crimes against humanity. Officers who are tried of torture or degrading treatment should be temporarily dismissed during the trial. The State Security Courts (SSC) that constrains the right of being fairly tried should abolish. Obstacles in front of freedom of thought should be removed. All the legal and administrative barriers in front of persons and institutions dealing with human rights should be lifted."

    [06] Turkish Journalistsī Association points out problems on freedom of expression in Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (12.12.02) the Turkish Journalists' Association (TJA) Chairman Orhan Erinc, yesterday said that Turkey would especially be challenged in adapting to the EU conditions of freedom of expression, semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

    Holding a meeting in Istanbul, TJA Press Senate handled the problems of the media and journalists and touched on the country's European Union bid.

    Erinc informed that they were preparing to hold a meeting with the new government on the problems of the press. He said that the press cards were eroded after September 12.

    Touching on the EU bid, Erinc stated that certain media institutions made extraordinary efforts to support Turkey's EU bid, which in turn raised suspicions about the reason of these efforts.

    Journalist Orhan Tasan told reporters that the press sank to the bottom with its problems, stressing that there was lack of job security in the press sector.

    Tasan said that workers, who are paid a small wage, were working as reporters in the press at present, suggesting that a Press Congress should be convened in order to discuss these problems.

    [07] Baron asks Turkey to allow Zana to receive Sakharov Prize from EP

    Turkish Daily News (12.12.02) reports the following:

    ^”The President of the PES Group in the European Parliament, Enrique Baron, has asked the Turkish Government to allow defunct pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP's) imprisoned former deputy Leyla Zana to travel to Strasbourg next week to receive the Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, which was awarded to her in 1995.

    Zana was sentenced to prison for 15 years -- a decision unanimously condemned by the European Court of Human Rights and, on many occasions, by the European Parliament.

    According to news report of www.abhaber.com.tr, in a letter to the Turkish Ambassador to the European Union in Brussels, Oguz Demiralp, Baron said that he had raised this question with the leader of the governing Justice and Development Party (JDP), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at a meeting in Strasbourg on November 21.

    Next week in Strasbourg, the European Parliament will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Sakharov Prize by inviting all previous award winners, including Leyla Zana, to attend.

    In his letter, Baron says that the presence of Zana in Strasbourg next week would be an important symbol for the Parliament of the seriousness of Turkey's intent to fulfil the political criteria of Copenhagen and to begin negotiations for accession to the European Union.^‘


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