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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-12-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.232/03 06-07-08.12.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Gul claims that the illegal courts in occupied Cyprus will be taken into consideration during the examination of new Greek Cypriot applications against Turkey at the ECHRTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.12.03) reports that Turkey^“s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, has claimed that the illegal courts in occupied Cyprus ^”will be taken into consideration^‘ during the examination of new Greek Cypriot applications against Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
In statements to Turkish mainland Kanal 7 television and responding to a question regarding the Loizidou case, as a result of which Turkey paid over one million euro as compensation to the Greek Cypriot refugee from Kyrenia, Mrs Titina Loizidou, accepting thus, according to Kanal 7^“s journalist, her property rights and the property rights of all the Greek Cypriot refugees, Mr Gul said that the issue of the properties should be solved with an agreement and the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Mr Gul argued: ^”During the (examination of the) applications, which will be made after that, the courts in the TRNC will be taken into consideration. From this point of view, we have to take on our agenda the solution in Cyprus. ^Ň ^Ň (Turkey^“s) EU project is a project of 50 years. We shall do whatever is needed for this project. ^Ň After we came to power, both Mr Tayyip and I said in all our statements that the non-solution is not a solution in Cyprus. Until today the positions of Greece have been approached with sympathy both in Europe and the world. There was a general cold stance against Turkey. ^ŇHowever, it is obvious that this stance was supported by some tactical approaches of the Greek policy for talks and reconciliation on the problems between Turkey and Greece and by the impression of the hardliner given by our side. We are now showing a more balanced approach from this point of view^‘.
Responding to a question, Mr Gul supported that the Greek Cypriot side had ^”serious objections^‘ about the Annan Plan and added: ^”However, these (objections) have not come to the surface because no negotiations were conducted. Therefore, not conducting negotiations in The Hague was a mistake, but this is past and gone. Now, we must discuss the plan for reaching a mutually acceptable solution until May 2004. A solution, which will be protecting the interests of the Turkish side, is a must. We have now come to the end of a 40-year old history. We have to solve this with a mutually acceptable agreement protecting the interests of the Turkish side^‘.
Asked about the forthcoming ^”elections^‘ in occupied Cyprus, Mr Gul said they would respect the decision of ^”the TRNC people^‘ and cooperate with the winner of the ^”elections^‘.
 Turkish Cypriot daily says the ^”customs union agreement^‘ between Turkey and the pseudostate has been revivedUnder the banner front-page title ^”Fresh blood to the status quo^‘, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (08.12.03) reports that the so-called framework ^”customs union agreement^‘ between Turkey and the pseudostate has been revived after the illegal visit to occupied Cyprus by Turkey^“s Deputy Prime Minister, State Minister, Abdullatif Sener, who upon his arrival said that the above-mentioned agreement had been signed after a decision of Turkey^“s Council of Ministers.
^”The framework agreement is being applied and the process is going on^‘, Mr Sener noted, adding that a 450 million dollar credit will be granted by his country to the occupation regime until the end of 2005. Mr Sener alleged that the money given now to the occupation regime had nothing to do with the 14 December ^”elections^‘, concludes AFRIKA.
 The person who organized Erdogan^“s election campaign undertook Eroglu^“s election campaign as wellTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (06.12.03) reports that Mr Erol Olcak, who is the person who organized the 3rd of November ^”victorious election campaign^‘ of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) of the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has now undertaken the election campaign of the National Unity Party of ^”Prime Minister^‘ Dervis Eroglu. Mr Olcak, who is considered to be among the persons who are very trusted by the Turkish Prime Minister, also organised the wedding reception of Mr Erdogan^“s son, writes the paper.
Mr Olcak, visited the pseudostate ^”quietly and unobtrusively^‘ and started working on the election campaign of Eroglu^“s party. As the paper stressed, Mr Erdogan^“s recent visit to occupied Cyprus was the reason for making Mr Olcak to undertake this task.
In addition, as Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS (07.12.03) reports commenting on the issue the Turkish Prime Minister stated that he has nothing to do with Mr Olcak^“ s involvement in the so-called elections. ^”Mr Erol Olcak^“s coming to the ^”TRNC^‘ is a business issue. It does not mean that we support one side^‘, stated Mr Erdogan.
 The occupation regime uses the army in order to get more votes for the forthcoming ^”elections^‘According to the Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (07.12.03) the occupation regime is using the army in order to get more votes for the forthcoming ^”elections^‘.
As the paper writes, a very luxury booklet of 40 pages, with the title ^”The story of the road that leads to freedom^‘, was distributed to the so-called Security Forces^“ personnel and the army. Nobody knows who wrote, printed and distributed the booklet which refers to ^”the evils of the Annan Plan and how the legendary leader Rauf Denktas saved the Turks in Cyprus^‘.
In addition, the paper writes that according to its sources, on the 14th of December, which is the ^”election^‘ day, nobody will be on leave in the army. This means that due to this development there is no other choice for the soldiers than to vote at the military barracks. As AFRIKA stresses, this is an interference in the political will of the soldiers. ^”Is it easy to vote in the presence of the commanders?^‘, the paper wonders and goes on writing the following: ^”The military company^“s calculation in clear. Is it too difficult to fix who gives vote to whom? Is it possible for the will to be freely reflected under commands at the military barracks?^‘
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Ilter Turkmen: ^”According to TRNC law any application to the Compensations Committee amounts to immediate cession of property rights^‘Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (06.11.03) publishes the following column by Ilter Turkmen Former Foreign Minister, under the title: "European Court and Turkey":
^”From a human rights perspective there are two corner stones in Turkey's relations with the EU: One of them is made up the EU Commission's Progress Reports while the other consists of European Court of Human Rights rulings and the opinion of the European Council Committee of Ministers with respect to how these rulings are implemented. It is inevitable that a Turkey at odds with the European Council will find itself being dragged into corners during the EU accession process.
Turkey is at the forefront of the most delicate cases at the European Court. Of the 868 cases acceptable by the European Court against 46 European Council member countries 248 are against Turkey. Of these 57 are concerned with the right to live. This category covers execution of punishment without trial and missing persons. In recent years the Turkish government has been continuously paying out reparations to applicants to the European Court in out-of-court settlements. Despite the 61 torture cases that are ongoing there is still an overall reduction in the number of applications.
It is property cases that put the toughest squeeze on Turkey. In the 1996 Loizidou case the European Court accused Turkey of violating the first protocol of the European Human Rights Convention by preventing the applicant from being able to get to her property in northern Cyprus. A ruling was made in 1998 to pay Loizidou reparations to make up for the loss in income she suffered as a result of being unable to use her property. When failure to implement the ruling was taken up at the European Council Committee of Delegates, Turkey agreed to pay the reparations and with interest on condition that its declaration at the Delegates Committee that the case not constitute a precedent be noted. There were no problems here because Turkey's declaration has no legality in the eyes of the European Court. In the end it is inevitable that billions of dollars in reparations are going to be paid out in similar cases in the absence of a solution on Cyprus. True, a Compensation Committee was set up in the `TRNCī so that applications in property cases could be referred to the local authorities in the preliminary stages. However, it is again the European Court that will evaluate the effectiveness of this Committee and decide whether or not the application for reparations should be referred to the Committee. Besides, according to `TRNCī law, as all the former Greek Cypriot property has been nationalized, any application to the Compensations Committee amounts to immediate cession of property rights.
The real problem at the European Council concerned the 1996 ruling that the protocol was violated because when the matter was tabled the Committee of Delegates could have asked Turkey to remove the obstacles preventing Loizidou from using her property. This in turn would have brought the entire Cyprus issue onto the agenda. So, by means of the ruling taken on 2 December Turkey has eliminated this danger for now. If you like, it has won a tactical success. Besides, unless there is a solution by then the issue will come back to us in 2005.
Subtitle: Religious headwear case coming
The cases that are going to cause problems for Turkey from a domestic policy point of view are those concerning religious headwear. The ruling that will set a precedent here will be the one for the case of Leyla Sahin. While still a fifth-year student at Istanbul University Faculty of Medicine she was forced to drop the faculty because she wore a headscarf. Seeing that the Foreign Minister was critical of the EU Commission for failing to mention the headscarf issue in the Progress Report it can be assumed that the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government is waiting for the European Court to rule in Ms Sahin's favour. However, regardless of which way the ruling goes it could well lead to a political debate that could affect EU policy in Turkey.
The year 2004 will be a critical one for Turkey from all aspects. We urgently need a broad consensus rather than unproductive and wasteful polemics over the European Council, the EU and Cyprus.^‘