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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-12-13

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.238/02 13.12.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Copenhagen under Turkish occupation.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas will be discharged from hospital today
  • [03] The representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader left for Copenhagen.
  • [04] How the Turkish Cypriot Press covers the Copenhagen Summit.
  • [05] The Turkish Parliament holds back on EU reforms.
  • [06] The True Path Party will elect a new leader among three powerful candidates.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Copenhagen under Turkish occupation

    Turkish Daily News (13.12.02) publishes the following report from Copenhagen by Yusuf Kanli.

    The Danish capital has been occupied by Turks, forcing the doors of Europe and building unprecedented pressure on European leaders to give a "firm" and "sometime in 2003" date for the start of accession talks.

    Turkey's new Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, the unofficial leader, ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, scores of top diplomats and hundreds of Turkish journalists have formed the largest delegation attending the EU summit in Copenhagen. Turkish Cypriot so-called Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu and tens of Turkish Cypriot journalists are also in the Danish capital.

    European Union leaders have come under heavy pressure to offer better terms to Turkey as they opened Thursday a landmark summit to seal the expansion of the 15-nation bloc into eastern Europe. A breakthrough on Cyprus would help a better date for Turkey, diplomats said.

    Apart from the "physical pressure" Turks have been exerting on the European leaders with their presence in the Danish capital, Washington on the one hand and Britain on the other have reportedly campaigned hard that the Turks be given a firm and acceptable date. British Foreign Secretary Straw was reported to have been in touch with his European counterparts, strongly advising them not to alienate Turkey. Meanwhile, American President George W. Bush was conducting telephone diplomacy in support of Ankara's bid. Bored with Turkey's pressure and the persuasion attempts of the United States, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the summit host, has reportedly told the United States it was for EU leaders alone to decide when to start entry talks with Turkey.

    U.S. President George W. Bush has lobbied hard for Turkey, a crucial ally in any war with Iraq, to receive a firm date to start talks on joining the EU. Bush called Rasmussen and French President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday to press Ankara's case. "The president expressed his hope that the EU would seize this historic moment and respond to Turkey positively and with vision," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.

    Rasmussen said that he welcomed advice but the EU would not be pressured. In a letter welcoming leaders to the EU capital, Rasmussen appealed to Turkey's new leaders for patience and pleaded for an 11th-hour deal to enable Cyprus to join united.

    Efforts to strike a deal on Cyprus, however, appeared to dim due to the poor health of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Denktas, who flew to Ankara Thursday, was hospitalized and his doctors have announced that although his condition was not serious, he would remain in hospital for at least a week. As he was unable to travel to Copenhagen, under Turkey's intense efforts of persuasion, Denktas has agreed to dispatch his Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu -- a hawk -- to the Danish capital.

    Subtitle Instruction: If Turkey satisfied, go ahead

    Meanwhile, well-placed sources have told the Turkish Daily News that the Turkish Cypriot leader has instructed Ertugruloglu "to fulfil whatever is required" if Turkey was given an appropriate date by the EU for the start of accession talks. This instruction, which could not be verified, could pave the way to a Cyprus breakthrough in the Danish capital on Saturday, well-placed diplomatic sources said. Alvaro de Soto, the special envoy of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, was also in the Danish Capital. The U.N. envoy, who met with Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides here on Thursday, said he would shuttle between the two sides and "hope to persuade them until the last moment, whenever that last moment is." The EU would prefer a united island to join the bloc, but is prepared to admit the Greek Cypriot part if there is no accord with Turkish Cypriots who control about one-third of the island.

    Under U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan there would be broad power-sharing between the two sides and population movements.

    U.S. Cyprus envoy Thomas Weston told reporters a Cyprus deal was still on the cards. "We are closer than we have ever been to a Cyprus settlement. It is still possible to get a result in Copenhagen," he said. Despite the positive remarks of the U.N. and U.S. envoys, however, a meeting between Erdogan and Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Wednesday in New York U.N. headquarters reportedly ended in total disagreement. Sources said Erdogan told Annan that no-one in Turkey could accept the U.N. plan though they could talk over it. A "result" to the Cyprus problem in Copenhagen could help Turkey get a better and firmer date from the EU for the start of accession talks, EU diplomats and leaders have asserted.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was clear in his support for Turkey. The Italian prime minister stressed that Italy and five other EU countries -- Greece, Britain, Spain, Belgium and Portugal -- wanted Turkey to be given a firm accession date: Jan. 1, 2004.

    Speaking hours before the opening of an EU summit due to seal accession agreements with 10 candidate countries, Berlusconi told reporters six EU nations supported a January 1, 2004 date for Turkey to start talks. "As things stand now, we're fixed on a date that I believe is supported by Britain, Spain, Greece, Belgium and Portugal, that negotiations should start on January 1, 2004," Berlusconi said before meeting Turkish leader Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Gul.

    "That gives Turkey one year to put into effect the reforms that are needed... to open its markets and to reform its constitution and human rights," he said. "I will be the advocate of your cause because I really believe in it and will defend it as if it were my own cause," Berlusconi told Turkish journalists. He said there should be no link between Turkish entry talks and a political settlement for the divided island of Cyprus, but "clearly, a fixed date for Turkey will facilitate the Cyprus situation".

    Subtitle:Turkey ready for talks

    But Gul said after meeting Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis that Turkey had already met all the EU conditions, known as the Copenhagen criteria since they were set out at a summit in the Danish capital in 1993. "We believe sincerely we met the Copenhagen criteria. That's why we did our homework," Gul told reporters. "It is our right to get firm and clear dates for negotiations in 2003."

    Speaking to reporters at an impromptu press conference with Turkey's Gul and Erdogan after a 90-minute meeting, Simitis said he believed Turkey could be given a date in 2004 to start accession talks but for that the Cyprus problem has to be provided a political settlement. The Greek leader stressed that a Cyprus settlement might not be reached in the next few days, but efforts should continue with the aim and intention of resolving the problem within next few months. Gul agreed with the statement of Simitis saying Turkey wanted resolution to the Cyprus problem. He vowed to do everything possible for a settlement. "Our approach is positive. We want to solve the problem to satisfy both sides," Gul said.

    Diplomats said Turkey's bottom line was that it wanted its own accession process to be irrevocable before the 10 leading candidates, including Cyprus, become members in May 2004.

    The Turkish leadership duo were meeting their strongest supporters in the EU on Thursday to try to shore up support ahead of a summit dinner at which the 15 leaders were due to discuss the next stage in Turkey's candidacy. The decisive meeting may come on Friday, when Erdogan will have a joint meeting with French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    Diplomats said that if the Franco-German axis were to agree to bring forward the proposed dates by a few months, the most reluctant EU states -- Austria, the Netherlands and Luxembourg -- might eventually accept.

    Diplomats of Italy, Greece and the other four countries have been stressing in private interviews on the sidelines of the summit that they believed a year would be "more than enough" for Turkey to implement the reforms the country legislated last year and the new JDP government has undertaken in the short period since it came to power after a landmark November 3 election victory.

    "A year will be more than enough for Turkey to implement the reforms and be ready to start accession talks by January 1, 2004," a Greek diplomat said, adding that a review of the implementation of reforms and Turkey conforming with the Copenhagen criteria could be held either at the Thessalonica summit in July 2003 or at the Rome summit in December 2003.

    January 1, 2004, would satisfy the expectations of the Turks as Turkish leaders have been stressing that the country ought to start accession talks before the completion of the current expansion wave -- that is before May 2004. However, France and Germany have suggested to open talks with Turkey in mid-2005, if it passes a review of its human rights practices in 2004.

    Subtitle:Surprise summit

    In the meantime, according to well-placed diplomatic sources, the "date" issue with Turkey will be handled today at a Turkish-German-French summit. The Danish Foreign Ministry, on the other hand, has been conducting behind the scenes efforts between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot delegations in a bid to bridge the differences between the two sides.

    While geopolitics were at play in the decisions on Turkey and Cyprus, money was at the root of last-ditch negotiations on admitting the East Europeans, all of them once communist states.

    The candidates want the EU to grant them the full 42.5 billion euros ($43 billion) originally budgeted for expansion.

    A "final" Danish offer falls two billion euros short of that, but the EU's main net contributors, notably Germany, say they can no longer afford more because of an economic slowdown.

    [02] Rauf Denktas will be discharged from hospital today

    KIBRISLI (13.12.02) reports that the Dean of the Ankara University School of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Tumer Corapcioglu, said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas would stay in the hospital the night and that he would be discharged from hospital on Friday (today).

    Speaking to reporters, Corapcioglu said that they emptied the pleural effusion in Denktas` chest and that he was fine.

    He also added that Denktas is resting and that he would spend the night in hospital, adding that when he is discharged, he would go to Presidential Palace and stay there. "His control in hospital will continue until he returns to Cyprus" Dr Corapcioglu said.

    Corapcioglu denied the news that Denktas had an infection namely `mediastinitis` following his operation.

    The paper also reports that the Chief of the General Staff of Turkey, General Hilmi Ozkok visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at Ibni Sina hospital in the Medical Faculty of the Ankara University. After the visit, General Ozkok said that Denktas/ health is in a good condition.

    [03] The representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader left for Copenhagen

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.12.02) reported from Istanbul that the so-called Foreign and Defense Minister of the puppet regime Tahsin Ertugruloglu on Thursday left for Denmark as observer to represent the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denkas during the EU Copenhagen Summit.

    Prior to his departure, Ertugruloglu said that fully indexing a process in the United Nations (U.N.) to a European Union (EU) calendar and bringing a signature issue onto the agenda contrary to the negotiation base with a fait accompli against a struggle which they have been continuing for years, create doubts in them.

    Stating that the Cyprus issue had two indispensable balances, Ertugruloglu said that one of them was the political equality principle between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, and the other was the balance of Turkey and Greece on Cyprus.

    Ertugruloglu said that the EU put into procedure the application of the Greek Cypriot side which called itself as ``Cyprus`` for membership to the Union despite all suggestions and noted: ``We hope and exert efforts to prevent such a grave mistake. If such a mistake is made, the negotiation process will be meaningless.`

    Stating that they wanted to continue negotiation process, Ertugruloglu said: ``We are ready to also negotiate the current document. But, we said that we don`t accept the document as a basis of negotiation. We keep our position on the issue. But not accepting it as a basis of negotiation does not mean that we will not negotiate the document. Signing the document can be in question only if a document on which the sides agree is emerged as a result of negotiations. For now, there is no document which will be signed in the current conjuncture.``

    Ertugruloglu said: ``People in the Greek Cypriot administration have assumed an attitude against the document in public surveys and demonstrations. The Turkish Cypriot people are also uneasy. To this end, indexing a process in United Nations (U.N.) to a European Union (EU) calendar and bringing a signature issue onto the agenda contrary to the negotiation base with a fait accompli against a struggle which we have been continuing for years, create doubts in us. All these shake our confidence in the EU.``

    Noting that the EU made a mistake and put forth the Cyprus issue as a precondition before Turkey`s EU membership, Ertugruloglu said that Turkey`s EU membership and Cyprus issue should not be linked with each other.

    In case of continuation of negotiations on the basis of the realities in the island, a compromise could be reached, Ertugruloglu stated.

    Ertugruloglu went on: ``We hope that the EU will give this opportunity to the parties. It is the EU`s decision whether to give this opportunity or not. If this opportunity is not given, we will take certain decisions in the direction of the daily conditions. If the EU insists on its mistake despite our expectations, I want to give this response to those who talk of disasters: `Sun will again rise from the east a day later.` We are not miserable, weak and we do not lack alternatives. Of course, there is good will but good will is meaningful for those who are also good willed to us.``

    ``If we are asked to give what is impossible for us to give, it is not logical to show good will in such an atmosphere. Wanting peace and compromise is not the same with surrendering. They want us to surrender by hiding behind `peace` and `compromise` words at the moment. We have not struggled for many years just to surrender,`` Ertugruloglu said.

    Ertugruloglu added: ``If they stand against us with a policy that `a (legal Cyprus) applied to the EU and we will admit Cyprus as a member whether an agreement is reached or not`, the ground for negotiation will be removed by the EU itself. As everything has a cost, such a decision will also have a cost. The EU officials have to search for the responsibility in themselves in such a case.``

    [04] How the Turkish Cypriot Press covers the Copenhagen Summit

    Some Turkish Cypriot papers of today (13.12.02) report under banner headlines, as "Stop Press" news the EU/s decision to give a conditional date to Turkey. Other local papers refer to EU/s decision to be taken today as regards Cyprus.

    Following are the banner headlines regarding giving of a date to Turkey and Cyprus KIBRIS: "Stop Press", December 2004.

    As for the solution of the Cyprus problem:

    KIBRIS : "The Judgement Day".

    AFRIKA: "The chance is being missed".

    VATAN: "Rasmussen, Negotiations with Turkey in 2004".

    VATAN: "16:00 Hours, Decision Moment".

    HALKIN SESI: "2004: Conditional Date to Turkey".

    YENICAG : "The Judgement Day".

    ORTAM: "Either `Yes or No/ until Five o/Clock today".

    KIBRISLI : "Uncertainty".

    [05] The Turkish Parliament holds back on EU reforms

    Turkish Daily News (13.12.02) reports that Turkey's parliament on Wednesday stopped short of fully ratifying a package of human rights reforms Prime Minister Abdullah Gul promised would be ready in time for this week's European Union summit in Copenhagen.

    Parliamentary sources said that deputies held back from pushing through the reforms until President Ahmet Necdet Sezer approves separate constitutional changes the Parliament passed on Tuesday. Those changes open the way for ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Tayyip Erdogan to become prime minister once he wins a seat in parliament in a by-election early next year.

    As soon as the Constitutional amendments are approved by the President, the reforms will be taken up by Parliament, said parliamentary sources.

    Both the government and Parliament have done enough to prove its strong will to pass reforms to meet the European Union criteria, said Salih Kapusuz, the deputy chairman of the JDP. "Only those articles of the reform package that regulate how and when they will go into force are not yet approved. They will be approved as soon as the President approves constitutional changes," he added.

    Erdogan has been blocked from the top post because he was banned from contesting a seat in the November 3 general election due to a conviction for Islamist sedition.

    The package of human rights reforms include sanctions to prevent torture and measures to make it tougher to close down a political party.

    The EU has said Turkey is not ready to begin entry talks because it has failed to implement European political and human rights criteria. Turkey became a candidate in 1999.

    The bloc has instead signalled it would give Turkey a date in 2005, if Ankara makes progress on reforms by the end of 2004. Gul and other Turkish officials have said anything short of a solid date is unacceptable,. JDP says.

    [06] The True Path Party will elect a new leader among three powerful candidates

    As elections loser True Path Party (TPP) is preparing to elect its new leader in the party's general convention set for December 14-15, the fierce leadership competition among candidates goes on at full speed, reports Turkish Daily News (13.12.02).

    TPP's Tansu Ciller, who was Turkey's first female prime minister, announced that she would step down as leader of her party after TPP failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold required for a political party to enter Parliament.

    It is expected that 1,260 TPP delegates will participate in the convention to determine their new leader. Ilhan Kesici, Mehmet Agar, Aydin Menderes, Hasan Subasi, Takiyiddin Yarayan, Ufuk Soylemez, Mehmet Sena Ekici and Inci Cavas are running for the leadership of the party.

    The fierce competition is going on especially between Kesici, Agar and Menderes. Former Motherland Party (MP) deputy Ilhan Kesici is a prominent center-right politician. Mehmet Agar is the sole TPP representative in Parliament, while former Antalya Mayor Hasan Subasi is a renowned name in the party.

    Candidates deliver sharper statements, as there is not much time left to the party convention. Holding a press conference on Thursday, Kesici denied claims that he would be a caretaker leader and that he was Ciller's candidate.

    "I am the only man that has no relations with Ciller for the past 10 years. I do not have any gratitude for anybody in politics," he stressed.

    Kesici said that Turkey could not be stuck between Justice and Development Party (JDP) and Republican People's Party (RPP), emphasizing that the country needed a party that would fill in the gap in the center-right.

    Emphasizing that TPP's provincial chairmen demanded change and renewal in the party, Kesici noted that he undertook the mission of uniting the center-right in TPP, which is a follower of the Democrat Party and Justice Party tradition upon these demands.

    Resembling TPP to the Tower of Babylon where people on each floor speak a different language, Kesici said that there was a lack of unity in the party units.

    TPP candidate Hasan Subasi, who is a prominent name in the party, also held a press conference yesterday. Referring to Agar and Kesici, Subasi claimed that those who joined the TPP after the November 3 elections, could not put out the fire within the party.

    Subasi said that TPP should not put itself in danger but go on its path with people coming from its grassroots. "Mrs Ciller was a risk and we paid the price. TPP has no chance to take another risk," he added.

    Agar joined the TPP ranks with the intention of becoming the new leader after Ciller announced that she would step down. Following Agar, Kesici joined the party in order to compete with Agar in the leadership race.

    Some 68 local TPP administrations announced that they would support Kesici in the race, while TPP Youth Branches chairman Mert Dogan Bozkir yesterday said that chairmen of the party's 65 youth branches would support Agar in the convention. Bozkir noted that if Ciller had become a candidate, they would have supported her but since she did not become a candidate, they decided to support Agar.

    The third candidate Aydin Menderes didn't prefer to take a leading role in active political life to date but he is a respected political figure. He is the son of Turkey's late Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, founder of the Democratic Party (DP), who was toppled in 1960 after the military coup and was executed in 1961 after the Supreme Court sentenced him to death.

    Since the founding of TPP in 1983, Ahmet Nusret Tuna, Yildirim Avci, Husamettin Cindoruk and former President Suleyman Demirel served as the leader of the party.

    Ciller has been the leader of the party since 1993 after Demirel was elected as the 9th President of Turkey. Ciller was accused of claiming the end of her party as well as causing the collapse of the center-right wing.

    /SK


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