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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-12-17

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.240/02 17.12.02

[A] NEW ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Government will continue to support efforts for a new partnership in Cyprus.
  • [02] The Turkish side is still working on defining its attitude at the Cyprus talks until 28 February; Denktas is expected to return to the occupied areas today or tomorrow.
  • [03] Erdogan: The Cyprus problem should be solved based on mutual sacrifice.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriots are optimistic regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, according to a street question poll conducted by KIBRIS.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot opposition demands Rauf Denktas` resignation from his duties as a negotiator.
  • [06] First charges against a JDP minister.
  • [07] Turkey shaping its bargaining points on Northern Iraq.
  • [08] Mehmet Agar new True Path Party leader to succeed Tansu Ciller.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Editorial in SABAH calls for common sense from Denktas.
  • [10] How Turkish Prime Minister Gul approaches the Cyprus problem.
  • [11] Rumours of resignation.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Government will continue to support efforts for a new partnership in Cyprus

    NTV television (16.12.02) broadcast that the Turkish Prime Minister's Office issued a written statement denying the allegations that corrections were made in the final declaration of the Copenhagen Summit in exchange for a promise to solve the Cyprus problem by 28 February. The statement said that the Cyprus issue was definitely not included in the focus of the contacts pertaining to the date of the negotiations with the EU. The statement noted that the phrase without any delay, which was included in the final communiqué, was approved by the EU Council as a result of initiatives aimed at finalizing the negotiation date. It was further stated that no link was established with the Cyprus issue in this process.

    The statement announced that the Turkish Government will continue to support the efforts aimed at establishing a new partnership that will satisfy the sides, adding that the Foreign Ministry will issue a detailed statement in connection with the latest developments pertaining to the Cyprus issue.

    [02] The Turkish side is still working on defining its attitude at the Cyprus talks until 28 February; Denktas is expected to return to the occupied areas today or tomorrow

    KIBRIS (17.12.02) reports that the Turkish side is conducting meetings in Ankara, in order to define its attitude at the Cyprus negotiations. The United Nations demand beginning of the negotiations within this week.

    Yesterday, writes KIBRIS, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas met and discussed the issue with his advisors, Ergun Olgun and Mumtaz Soysal as well as with the so-called 'Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence' Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the so-called 'ambassador' of the pseudostate to Ankara, Zeki Bulunc.

    Furthermore, today the above-mentioned persons are expected to have a meeting with officials of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with whom they will discuss the situation regarding the Turkish attitude at the Cyprus talks. The final decision on the issue, continues KIBRIS, will be taken after consultations of Mr Denktas with the political party leaders and so-called 'government officials' in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to Mr Olgun, Mr Denktas is expected to return to the occupied areas today or tomorrow. Referring to the way of conducting the talks, Mr Olgun said that it is not yet known whether or not they are going to be face - to- face or proximity talks.

    [03] Erdogan: The Cyprus problem should be solved based on mutual sacrifice

    NTV television (17.12.02) broadcast that Justice and Development Party (JDP) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a statement he made during a television program he participated in, said: 'I do not consider the logic of giving it away and getting rid of it [Cyprus]. The problem should be resolved based on mutual sacrifice.' Erdogan further noted that there is no discord between Rauf Denktas and himself, stressing that there is no need to pressure Denktas. He said that, however, the JDP policy on Cyprus and Turkey's traditional Cyprus policy do not overlap.

    [04] The Turkish Cypriots are optimistic regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, according to a street question poll conducted by KIBRIS

    KIBRIS (17.12.02) reports that the Turkish Cypriots are still optimistic regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and they believe that an agreement will be reached until the 28th of February. The paper conducted a street question poll in occupied Nicosia, in which around twenty people evaluated the developments on the Cyprus problem after the Copenhagen Summit.

    According to the question poll, the Turkish Cypriots hoped that a preliminary agreement for the Cyprus problem would have been signed in Copenhagen and were shocked when this did not happen. Some of them believe that due to this a great opportunity has been lost for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The paper stressed that the Turkish Cypriots saw their hopes for a solution to rise when the talks between the President, Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, started and said that their dream (for a solution) was postponed to February. They stressed that they hope that an agreement will be reached until the 28th of February. 'There must be a solution for the future of our children', said the majority of the people asked, who also stressed that the UN Plan must be discussed. The paper also refers to the answers of some other people who said that the Copenhagen summit did not change anything and that they do not expect a solution by the 28th of February.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot opposition demands Rauf Denktas` resignation from his duties as a negotiator

    YENIDUZEN (17.12.02) reports that the opposition parties, Communal Liberation Party (CLP) and Republican Turkish Party (RTP), have begun their efforts to make the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas resign from his duties as a negotiator, to have a new 'negotiator' appointed by the so-called 'TRNC Assembly' or to elect a new negotiation team which will have 'the trust of the Turkish Cypriots' and will participate in the negotiations with Denktas.

    The leader of the CLP, Huseyin Angolemli, said: 'Our aim is to elect a new negotiation team; a team that will consist of the political parties, which are represented in the 'TRNC Assembly'. Denktas must abandon this duty with his own will or to be taken away from him the duty of the negotiator'. Stressing that Denktas must listen carefully to the civil organizations, Angolemli said: 'We still have in our hands one more 12 December. This is the procedure until the 28 of February. We want to evaluate very well this process; for this reason we want to work with the rest of the political parties under the roof of the 'Assembly'.'

    The General Secretary of the RTP, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, called on Denktas' adviser Mumtaz Soysal to resign immediately from his duties and added that Soysal is against Turkey's accession into EU and a settlement in Cyprus.

    Many civil and political organizations issued statements supporting the UN plan for Cyprus and demanding the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader as a negotiator, Turkish Cypriot press reports today (17.12.02).

    The Patriotic Unity Movement (PUM) announced that the Turkish Cypriot community has still a chance to take part in the EU. They stressed that with the existing team their community cannot join the EU, so they must begin a struggle by organizing the masses and obtaining support from the international institutions.

    The General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Intermediary Education Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS), Mr Adnan Eraslan, said that they will continue their struggle until 28 February. Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has disappointed and betrayed the Turkish Cypriots, he added that Denktas doesn't represent the Turkish Cypriots.

    The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Ali Erel expressed the opinion that the UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan's plan for Cyprus must be discussed and signed until 28 February.

    [06] First charges against a JDP minister

    NTV television (16.12.02) broadcast that an Istanbul court investigation over the natural gas provider for largest city of Turkey Istanbul has laid charges against the current Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and three other parliamentary deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP).

    Prosecutors claim that 152 persons, currently under investigation, could be involved in the state making losses worth 170 trillion TL from the operations of the Istanbul gas supplier İGDA^. The losses were the result of corruption in the buying of an earthquake security system and the laying of new pipes, according to prosecutors.

    Among those being investigated along with the current Energy Minister is the brother of the Parliament Speaker Bulent Arınc.

    The prosecution will apply for the immunities from prosecution of the four JDP deputies to be lifted.

    [07] Turkey shaping its bargaining points on Northern Iraq

    NTV television (16.12.02) broadcast that Ankara has determined its policies over what it sees as the almost inevitable US action against neighbouring Iraq, seeking an expanded role for the Turkish military in Northern Iraq.

    In response to Washington's requests for permission to deploy forces in Turkey and use some of its military and airbases in the event of an armed strike against Iraq, Ankara is expected to ask for British soldiers not to take part in any operations in Northern Iraq. Ankara bases this argument of not wanting British troops on historical events, dating back to the end of the First World War when the British ousted the Ottoman forces from the region and then took control of it.

    According to diplomatic sources, Turkey is also set to ask that the Turkish Armed Forces, which is reported to already maintain a presence in Northern Iraq, should enter the region in larger numbers and be in control of the area during the operation. However, they said that Turkey might agree to have only higher numbers of Turkish troops stationed in Northern Iraq instead of being in control of the region.

    Some overseas governments have expressed concern in the past over the question of the Turkish military having control over Kirkuk and Mosul, the two major cities in the area and at the centre of the region's oil production.

    The hardest decision to be made by Ankara is whether to agree to allow US troops on Turkish territory. However, it has been reported that Washington has a second option should Ankara refuse, that of getting NATO involved in military action against Iraq. Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, which eventually would result in Turkey opening its bases to other NATO members in the event of joint action.

    [08] Mehmet Agar new True Path Party leader to succeed Tansu Ciller

    Turkish Daily News (16.12.02) reports that election loser True Path Party (TPP) elected Mehmet Agar as its new leader at the general convention over the weekend.

    Agar won 815 votes and beat his closest rival Ilhan Kesici with a substantial margin. Kesici got 227 votes, followed by Hasan Subasi with 47 votes, Ufuk Soylemez with 14 and Dursun Atabek with one vote.

    Former TPP leader Tansu Ciller, who was Turkey's first female prime minister, stepped down as leader of her party after TPP failed to pass the 10 percent national threshold needed for a political party to enter Parliament.

    Agar is the sole member of the TPP in Parliament. Agar was elected as an independent lawmaker to Parliament at the November 3 elections.

    After Ciller's announcement that she won't run for the leadership of her party again,

    Agar joined the TPP ranks with the intention of becoming the new leader and carried the party back to Parliament.

    After his leadership became final, Agar addressed the delegates, thanked them and said he was trembling with excitement. All candidates other than Ufuk Soylemez, who served as economy minister in the Ciller-led government, saluted the delegates by holding each other's hands high.

    Parliamentary immunity of Agar, who served as interior and justice minister in TPP governments, was previously lifted in relation with the Susurluk scandal that surfaced in 1996 but, he was re-elected to parliament in the 1999 elections and therefore could not be tried. Another attempt to lift his immunity was made by some MPs earlier this year.

    The Susurluk scandal has unveiled illegal relations between politicians, police, the National Intelligence Agency and underworld gangs when a traffic accident in 1996 in which a luxury car carrying an MP, a police chief and fugitive hit man crashed near Susurluk, a town in western Turkey.

    Investigations into the crash found that the government had hired assassins to kill people perceived as threats to the state, including activists, journalists and Kurdish politicians.

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

    Ciller has been the leader of the party since 1993 after Demirel was elected as the 9th President of Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTARIES EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Editorial in SABAH calls for common sense from Denktas

    SABAH newspaper (15.12.02) publishes the following editorial under the title: 'Call for common sense':

    The statements made by Erdogan and Gul on their return from Copenhagen showed that the government had not only quickly overcome its drop in moral but also that it had secured serious assurances that the EU accession talks date would be brought forward if reforms were speeded up.

    Turkey is more at ease now that it can see the light at the end of the tunnel it has been walking down for the past 40 years, even if this light is not as bright as it would have hoped for. The Greek Cypriots are also happy to be joining the EU after a 12-year struggle. But what about the Turkish Cypriots? A mood of despair, disappointment, pessimism and anger has descended on the north of the island. You only need to look at the northern Cyprus press to understand that this mood is a "time bomb" for Denktas.

    "You do not want the EU, Mr Denktas. You do not want peace. You want us to live on a map stretching from Rizokarpasso to Limnitis and from Kyrenia to Mesaorya. But we desire to join the rest of the world.

    "You say that not one span of land will be surrendered. If you remain the father of a non-existent people on this land, which is many spans large, then they will call you not a president but a landlord."

    It hurts so much that on such a dramatic day Denktas did not even broadcast a comforting message full of assurances to his people. It fell to Greek Cypriot leader Clerides to comfort the Turkish Cypriots: "I want to give you this assurance. We will do all we can so that both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots will be able to benefit from all the rights and resources the EU has to offer until a solution can be found."

    Can one imagine such a gulf between the administration and the people when they go up to the presidential residence and shout, "Denktas Should Not Return to the Island"? Despite a people willing to risk everything for a solution can resistance still be put up for a state of no solution? Impossible. That has not even been seen in dictatorships.

    Denktas currently has three options to choose from: A solution based on the Annan plan; annexation with Turkey; northern Cyprus' continued isolation from the rest of the world.

    He should not even consider annexation with Turkey because this would mean dynamiting Turkey's road to the EU. Besides, there is no longer any support for this "solution". The political leader who once went for annexation fell short of the voting threshold.

    If he intends to rule a northern Cyprus isolated from the rest of the world then let us repeat the call of a young Cypriot man whose name stays with us: "There were 120,000 of us in 1974. Today the number of real Turkish Cypriots is less than 80,000. If the Greek Cypriots join the EU by themselves we shall all get Cyprus EU passports and go abroad."

    Denktas should at last listen to this painfully sharp call that has reached even our ears. He should establish peace within the next 76 days, by 28 February 2003, which is the final date set by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    If he does then he will sign the accession agreement in Athens on 16 April 2003 together with Clerides.

    If he does not then seeing that this would mean Annan ripping up his plan after 28 February and new EU member southern Cyprus no longer being as desirous for peace as they are now, the people of northern Cyprus, especially the younger ones, will have no choice but for exodus.

    What do you think? Will Denktas show a little mercy and crown the Cyprus cause he has put a lifetime into with peace? We let a Cypriot journalist reply to this: "We can lose hope in Denktas, but never in Allah!"

    [10] How Turkish Prime Minister Gul approaches the Cyprus Problem

    Columnist Fikret Bila of MILLIYET (17.12.02) in his column 'Direction'(Y^N) refers to the debate that is going on in the Turkish media regarding the aftermath of the Copenhagen Summit and the views expressed. The majority of the commentaries claim that at Copenhagen Turkey had favoured to sign a peace agreement but it was the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas that precluded the signing of such an agreement. Bila then asks what was the position and approach of the Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul to these media reports. The columnist said that Prime Minister Gul had said that the Cyprus problem was not put before Turkey as a condition in the Copenhagen Summit and added: 'We do not see the Cyprus problem as a domestic political issue. There, no one forced us for anything. We are in favour of a solution .We have said this to them there .We are after a just solution ,we are after a solution that takes into account Turkey's interests as well. This will be our stance and approach until 28 February'.

    Bila went on and said that Gul had underlined that they have the political will for solving the Cyprus problem. Gul said: 'We demonstrate the same approach everywhere .We are in contact with esteemed Denktas. He too says the same things, Baykal too. Of course we are carrying out evaluations with the Turkish Armed Forces as well. We will take our steps regarding the Cyprus problem with consensus.

    Bila then writes that Prime Minister Gul is not in panic regarding the Cyprus problem as the case is for some journalists and columnists. 'He is stressing that there is time for a settlement in Cyprus and this settlement should absolutely take into account the Turkish side's interests. He is taking into account the national and strategic interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. He says that he had inscribed the necessary reservations regarding the Turkish Cypriots in the Copenhagen Summit and that necessary objections were raised regarding Cyprus's membership. The Prime Minister is not in the mood of 'Give and get rid of Cyprus'. Just the opposite, he is getting ready for tough bargaining to safeguard the Turkish side's interests, security and guarantees. He is realistic', Bila concludes.

    [11] Rumours of resignation

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (17.12.02) published the following article by Mete Belovacikli in which it is stated that there are rumours that the Turkish government and the JDP leader Tayyip Erdogan are pressing the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas to step down from his post as so-called 'President' of the pseudostate:

    'Eyes turned towards the Turkish side once more after the European Union pronounced February 28, 2003 as the deadline for the solution of the Cyprus problem. According to information obtained from the `TRNC Presidency`, U.N. Secretary-General's Cyprus special envoy Alvaro de Soto's law adviser Didier Tsirter demanded the sides to start the U.N. process this week.

    The Turkish side responded positively to the U.N. demand and started work immediately in order to review what can be done from now on. `TRNC Foreign and Defence Minister´ Tahsin Ertugruloglu and `President` Rauf Denktas' `Constitution Adviser´ Mumtaz Soysal attended the meeting held in Camli Palace where Denktas is staying in Turkey at present.

    According to Soysal, the participants reviewed whether U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's peace plan would be accepted or this plan would be used as a ground for a new round of talks. Recalling that `TRNC´ stipulated the lifting of an international embargo as a precondition to the start of talks with the Greek Cypriots, Soysal says, "Greek Cypriot leader Clerides delivers statements about facilitating trade. However, Turkey is required to be engaged in an intense diplomatic war on this issue."

    `President´ Denktas plans to return to `TRNC´ today or tomorrow following the meetings. What's obvious is that both sides of the island are trying to determine the steps to be taken in the process fastidiously. Greek Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides is expected soon to announce the package of economic measures prepared by the Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministry for the Turkish Cypriots. According to Chief Prosecutor Markides, the measures will not recognize the `TRNC´.

    Among those economic measures that will leave the `TRNC´ authorities outside of the loop, speeding up the passport procedures for `TRNC´ citizens ranks first. In the scope of the measures, free circulation of certain commercial goods, which will come from the Turkish side, will be allowed. Milk and milk products, which are scarce in the Greek Cypriot section, are among these commercial goods.

    The Turkish side has similar studies as well. Pointing out that the plan, which foresees that integration of `TRNC´ and Turkey, is still in effect, certain circles note that certain steps would be taken in the following days within the framework of this plan.

    Ankara is very distressed nowadays because of the Cyprus problem...

    Those claims that a backward step has been taken in Cyprus talks in return for the start of accession negotiation between Turkey and the EU, seem to have stirred up a disturbance.

    Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the news stories that the EU's final declaration was changed in return for the solution to the Cyprus problem by February 28 and said, "These are false made-up news." Although he denies these claims, his remarks are not adequate to calm down people. Ankara is in an effort to harmonize between the government's "random and unnecessary statements and former policies.

    Meanwhile, another discussion topic in Ankara is the rumours reading that Denktas is going to resign as `TRNC president´. There are especially rumours that the government and the JDP leader are pressing the `TRNC president` to step down. Although, Denktas earlier said that he might withdraw from his post, during a meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and Erdogan, he received a negative response.

    According to rumours, Denktas came to the verge of resignation again last week but gave up his decision upon demands from President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and certain prominent people.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis recently said that there might be an agreement over the revised Cyprus plan of Annan by February 28 and this has enabled these rumours of resignation to come to the agenda once again.

    Yakis says that the Turkish Armed Forces would have occupied a certain part of EU land in case the Greek side enters the EU representing the entire island. That's why he thinks that Turkey has to reach an agreement on Cyprus by February 28 at the latest.

    The hidden tension between Denktas and JDP administration has come to a breaking point with the foreign minister's statement to the news channel CNN Turk. As can be remembered, the press published stories reading that Erdogan scolded Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu in Copenhagen.

    It's rumoured that Denktas, who is depressed with the JDP government's impositions about Cyprus, is on the verge of taking critical decisions within the next 48 hours.

    A certain wing of Ankara thinks that forcing Denktas to resign would harm those that are pressing him to do so.


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