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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-20

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.12/04 20.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat and Serdar Denktas to visit Turkey today. Summit on Cyprus on 24 January after the NSC meeting.
  • [02] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat : Referenda to be held on a mutually agreed date.
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot papers describe the so-called government programme as pro status quo.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [04] Erdogan's visit to the United States.
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot columnists see a game by Rauf Denktas in the so-called "ministers" crisis, in order to prevent a solution to be reached until 1 May.
  • [06] Sedat Ergin : "There is no time for Cyprus".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat and Serdar Denktas to visit Turkey today. Summit on Cyprus on 24 January after the NSC meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.01.04) reported from occupied Nicosia that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Serdar Denktas will visit Ankara on Tuesday. Talat and Denktas, who will visit Ankara as the guests of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges in Turkey (TOBB), are expected to return to the occupied areas on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile Istanbul NTV television (19.01.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, is expected to visit Ankara after the National Security Council meeting on 23 January. The Turkish side is expected to determine its final stand on the Annan plan at the summit meeting with Denktas on 24 January. NTV further reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, Republican Turkish Party leader, and Democratic Party Chairman Serdar Denktas are also expected to participate in the summit.

    [02] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat : Referenda to be held on a mutually agreed date

    Turkish Daily News (20.01.04) publishes the following report:

    "Reaching a Cyprus settlement by May on the basis of a United Nations blueprint is now the priority of the new two-way coalition government in the `TRNC´.

    Turkish Cypriot `Prime Minister´ Mehmet Ali Talat told the `Republican Assembly´ on Monday that his "Communal reconciliation and settlement" government, the 18th administration of the `TRNC´ since it was proclaimed on Nov. 1983, will work "in harmony with President Rauf Denktas" to achieve a Cyprus settlement on the basis of the U.N. plan by May, and to hold a referendum on the settlement plan at a mutually agreed date with the Greek Cypriot side.

    Talat said that harmonization with European norms, undertaking democratization reforms, introducing competition system in economy, restructuring in agriculture and a tax reform to prevent tax evasion were other major targets of the new two-way coalition government of his Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) and Democratic Party (DP) government.

    "We aim to create a state system where state is servant of the people," said Talat, the first-ever socialist Turkish Cypriot `prime minister´.

    The socialist politician who succeeded in forming a coalition with conservative DP leader Serdar Denktas, the son of Rauf Denktas, after weeks of wrangling because of the even distribution of the 50-seat `Republican Assembly´ between the pro-U.N. plan left and the anti-U.N. plan conservatives, said the new two-way coalition would take every measure to stop partisanship at state offices -- a major complaint of the opposition groups led by Talat before the cliffhanger December 14 parliamentary elections -- and create a transparent state administration.

    Stressing that the new `government´ was established on the principles of equality and cooperation, Talat underlined that enhancing the democracy understanding in northern Cyprus, coping with European standards in all fields, the `TRNC´ premier said, "Our government shall always remain loyal to the principle that the `TRNC´ is a democratic, secular, social law state."

    Talat said in the fast globalizing world, the democratization level of a society was a very important statistic about that country. He said enhancing Turkish Cypriot democracy and consolidating norms and institutions of democracy will be a prime concern of the new `government´.

    The `prime minister´ said the two-way coalition `government´ has come to power as the Turkish Cypriot people were passing through a very important and crucial junction. He appealed for the parliament to support his `government´ in achieving the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot people, starting with a just and lasting settlement for the four-decade-old Cyprus problem.

    Talat said communal liberation was needed in northern Cyprus more than ever. "We hope, as a `government´ for communal reconciliation and settlement, to achieve communal reconciliation and take our people to a just and lasting settlement," said Talat.

    He said time was running out to reach a Cyprus accord before the May 1 unilateral Greek Cypriot EU accession. He said rather than seeing Greek Cypriots join in the EU unilaterally, his `government´ would spare no effort to bring about a Cyprus settlement and achieve EU accession of a "United States of Cyprus," in which Turkish Cypriots would have their "equal partner" rights.

    Subtitle: Joint policy with Turkey

    In efforts to find a settlement to the forty-year-old Cyprus problem, Talat said, his `government´ will act together with Turkey, along the lines of a "joint policy."

    He said the guarantor rights Turkey derived from international treaties will be protected in a Cyprus settlement.

    He said relations with Turkey will be conducted on the basis of reciprocal respect and mutual benefit. He said existing social, economic and cultural relations will be continued with that understanding.

    Subtitle: Press freedom

    Talat said the new coalition `government´ will take every possible measure to make sure unhindered press freedom prevails in northern Cyprus.

    He said the `government´ will spare no effort in the consolidation of freedom of press and facilitating newspaper publishing. He said newspapers and other media organs will be provided with state means on the basis of equality and in a balanced manner.

    He said democratization and restructuring of the Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation (BRT) will be a fundamental target of the `government´. He said legal and administrative measures will be taken to make sure that the BRT reports in an impartial manner, representing the views and ideas of all segments of the Turkish Cypriot society.

    Talat said measures will be taken to encourage the effective participation of civil servants in public life and that all restrictions in that sphere will be lifted through constitutional and legal amendments.

    Organization of the social and non-governmental establishments will be encouraged, he said.

    Traffic control and fire brigades in cities will be under the authority of the municipalities, Talat said.

    On the thorny issue of citizenship, Talat said the immigration legislation will be reviewed, the citizenship process will be made transparent and the arbitrary execution of the power of the `Cabinet´ in declaring citizens will be restricted.

    "The state is for its citizens," said Talat, adding that the state will be the "servant of the people." He said speed and transparency in state works will be achieved and the `TRNC´ will be converted into an e-state.

    The public sector, he said, will be restructured from top to bottom in order to boost efficiency and productivity in state services, to introduce transparency and achieve public contribution."

    [03] Turkish Cypriot papers describe the so-called government programme as pro status quo

    Some Turkish Cypriot papers criticised the so-called government programme announced yesterday by the new pseudogovernment and described it as pro-status quo.

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (20.01.04) under the headline "A status quo programme by Talat", writes that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, announced a programme that has no difference with the "old order". Stressing that Mr Talat's legitimacy as "Prime Minister" is under debate, the paper writes that despite the fact that RTP-UF carried out an "election" campaign in which it claimed that it will demolish the status quo, the new "government" programme did not present any important reforms compared with the old order.

    In addition, as Mr Cenk Mutluyakali, the editor in chief of the Turkish Cypriot YENI DUZEN newspaper (20.01.04) writes in his regular column, only the first paragraph of the "government" programme is important.

    "Did you like the 'government'' programme? The answer to this question can be given from two points of view. If the Cyprus problem will not be solved, it is a really bad programme", stresses Mr Mutluyakali, who goes on writing about the first point of view that the programme can be seen.

    As Mr Mutluyakali writes, "the programme is bad" because, among others, the so-called police's connection with the "civilian authority " did not take place, nothing is mentioned as regards the issue of the illegal workers, the number of the military is not reduced or ceases to exist, the programme does not refer to the families which were separated and the Turkish Cypriots who cannot enter the island and are prisoners away from their country, it does not say that the new "government" will fight against the paramilitary organisations or that it will lock the door for them, it does not say that all the illegal "citizenships" that were given will be discovered or that the "citizenship" will stop being distributed "like bread and cheese", it does not say that the Turkish Cypriot Airlines belongs to the Turkish Cypriots or that the Turkish Cypriots will choose the President of the Central Bank. It does not open the road to the Turkish Cypriot officers to the commandership of the "Security Forces", it does not mention that the Turkish Cypriots who carry passports of the Cyprus Republic can leave Turkey and travel freely, without facing any problems.

    "This is the one side of the coin", says Mr Mutluyakali and goes on writing about the second point of view that the "government" programme can be seen.

    As Mr Mutluyakali writes the most important part of the programme is its first paragraph, which is the following:

    "The competent organs of the Republican Turkish Party and the Democratic Party have decided to form a coalition government the goal of which will be reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem before May 2004 as a result of a negotiation process on the basis of the Annan plan conducted in harmony by the government and the president within the framework of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General taking into consideration and developing the rights, the interests and the security of the Turkish Cypriots deriving from international agreements. The aim of the coalition government is to simultaneously present this solution to referendum on a date on which the sides will agree, to lead the Turkish Cypriot people to a democratic modern state, harmonized with the EU norms and having high level of social prosperity and well-arranged economy".

    "Here is the 'magical formula', these sentences'Here is the real goal!...The protocol, only this. You understand, you read the first paragraph of the protocol and you forget what is following'" writes Mr Mutluyakali who stresses that if the goal of the solution of the Cyprus problem and EU accession have a happy ending, actually there is no need, neither for a "government" nor for its programme.

    "From now on the hopes are connected with the materialization of the first paragraph' The fifteen-page programme, with the exception of the first page, does not interest me' And why should I be interested?...", concludes Mr Mutluyakali.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [04] Erdogan's visit to the United States

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (20.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever:

    The visit of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the United States at the end of this month is very important in my eyes.

    This trip may not only improve the damaged relations between Turkey and the United States but perhaps may also contribute to the settlement of at least some of many problems in the Middle East.

    Among the numerous items on his agenda, Erdogan must bring two in particular to the United States:

    1. The Cyprus problem

    2. The Iraq problem

    Erdogan should attempt to engage President Bush on these issues.

    1) Erdogan should give a program -- specifying dates -- to Bush detailing how he will tackle the "Cyprus problem." He should make it very clear that the Cyprus problem will be solved within the context of the Annan plan.

    But he should also give Bush a written statement clearly identifying to which points of the Annan plan Turkey and Turkish Cyprus are requesting changes or clarifications and why. The prime minister should also announce the date of a referendum on the Annan plan in northern Cyprus.

    2) Meanwhile, Erdogan should voice his concerns about the U.S. performance in Iraq, which has been a complete failure so far.

    It is very clear that the hypothetical government of Iraq that will take over by June 30 is still up in the air. It is obvious that none of the players in Iraq is satisfied nor have they even clarified how they will contribute to the government.

    It is also obvious that law and order have not been able to be established in Iraq, even after the arrest of Saddam. Terror, more than the U.S. military, still grips the people, and basic services are still lacking in Baghdad.

    The United States believes that some of the Kurdish clans in northern Iraq are its best allies in the area, and as a result the most privileged concessions to date have been received by them. But the Kurds in the area interpret these concessions as a backing for "a federal Iraq" based on ethnicity and also that they alone can control oil-rich Kirkuk. The possibility of such a "federal Iraq" openly threatens Turkey, Iran and Syria. An ethnic northern Iraq is not also acceptable to the Shiite majority in Iraq or to most of the Sunnis.

    It is Turkey that can best explain the reasons for the unrest in the area that is shared by most of the countries and the various parties. It is still Turkey that can best coordinate discussions in the area and explain the stance of various countries vis-à-vis the United States and vice versa. It is also Turkey that can coordinate a possible rapprochement between Israel and the various Arab states, starting with Syria.

    Above all, Erdogan should explain to the president of the United States that the conservative majority in Turkey cannot digest concessions in Cyprus and northern Iraq at the same time.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot columnists see a game by Rauf Denktas in the so-called "ministers" crisis, in order to prevent a solution to be reached until 1 May

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM and AFRIKA newspapers (20.01.04) Hasan Kahvecioglu and Mehmet Levent comment on the charges filed against the pseudogovernment by the National Unity Party (NUP) and support that this is a game by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas in order to prevent a solution to the Cyprus problem to be reached until May 2004.

    Mr Kahvecioglu stresses that Mr Fuat Veziroglu, the man who the NUP appointed as his advocate, is a supporter of Rauf Denktas and thus he could never do anything against him. Mr Kavhecioglu writes, inter alia, the following:

    "The NUP is prepared (to act) against the three ministers who had been appointed from 'outside the country'. It has decided to appeal to the Constitutional Court. Who is the advocate that the NUP appointed? Do you know? It is the lion of the lions, the tiger of the tigers, Fuat Veziroglu who had made speeches supporting Denktas in newspapers and televisions, in London and elsewhere, who had made speeches which included a lot of heroism, who had strongly attacked the Annan plan and published a book before the elections having as one and only goal to confuse the people. 'He is going to prepare the file of the case of NUP, stand before the Constitutional Court and say:

    'This government is illegal. It is not possible for it to operate. The actions it made and will be making are not legal. Mehmet Ali Talat was not able to form the government within fifteen days because of this 'illegal situation' created because of the three ministers appointed from outside the country. The duty of forming a government should have been taken away from Mehmet Ali Talat and be given to Dervis Eroglu. The president has not done this and committed a constitutional offense'.

    And who will be the defendant? Mehmet Ali Talat and Rauf Denktas. The first because he formed a government adding onto the list these 'illegal' names and Mr Rauf because he 'appointed this government. '

    Even a primary school student who reads the constitution knows that no one who lives outside the country could be appointed 'as minister' within one day. '

    Serdar Denktas says: 'What shall we do. We have so many valuable people living outside the country. Should we not benefit from them?' Of course we should. Serdar Denktas' 'thought' is extremely good. However, after a 'constitutional obstacle' came up, saying first that 'we shall amend the constitution' and then 'insisting' on this action, is extremely wrong. Actually the 'intention' of Serdar Denktas is amending the constitution after the decision of the 'Constitutional Court' and conducting a referendum. Mr Serdar who prevented the Turkish Cypriots from conducting a referendum regarding the Annan Plan, will change the constitution as he likes and then go to a referendum.

    That is from this 'obstacle,' everybody who knows the Turkish language could easily understand that the NUP and DP will endlessly continue `Fighting with each other´.

    First we shall be distracted with the court and then when Annan talks about referendum we shall tell him: 'Wait, first we have our own referendum. Let us finish with this referendum first and then we shall see. Is there a hurry?'

    Afterwards Mr Fuat will begin appearing on the television screens and tell us how joyously we overcame May.

    It is obvious that Mr Fuat has undertaken a new 'leading role' in this 'delaying tactics' process. Furthermore, this new 'duty' seems to be a legal struggle against his boss.

    Is there a single person in this country who believes that Fuat Veziroglu could take part in an "action" against Mr Rauf? Then what is left? The prearranged delaying tactics. The aim is let May pass. It is seen very clearly that the DP is in this 'trick'. The 'sudden' regrets of Serdar Denktas and the fact that he says different things everyday are clearly showing this.

    However, I could never think that RTP 'deserved' being put into this situation. How would RTP be protecting our May goal with this disputable council of ministers, the ministers for which legality is searched at the constitutional court and absurd actions such as DP's demand for a 'referendum'? How would it be concentrated on the negotiations? How could it behave with determination on the issue of conducting a referendum before May? How would it conduct the negotiations having by its side as 'partner' a 'president', against whom charges have been filed by his advocate? ' We are all worried about the fact that RTP has fallen into this 'pincer movement of the status quo'. '".

    Furthermore, Mr Mehmet Levent writes, inter alia, the following on the issue:

    "Is there any of you who still believe that the unconstitutional appointment of the three ministers of the pro-status quo government, is not a ploy, with the full meaning of the word? DP has stated that it would insist on the illegal ministers even if the constitutional court takes a negative decision on the issue. In that case, it said that it would suggest to the parliament amending the constitution! After achieving the necessary 2/3 (two thirds) majority of the votes, they said that they would take the issue to a referendum. (The necessary number is 33 whereas the number of the MP's supporting the government is 26!)!!!'

    Only God knows at what point of 2004 we shall be after all these finish. However, is there someone who alleges that all these could end until May and the Annan plan will be negotiated and taken to a referendum?

    This is the biggest put-up job! The leading actors are the father and son Denktas and the main walk-on is Talat! The aim is to miss the May 2004 target! It is obvious that a government, the legality of which is debated, will not be able to contribute at all to the 'solution procedure', which will be led by Denktas. As a matter of fact, as the control is in Denktas' hands, could the walk-ons have a say?

    Using the votes of the people, RTP winded up the wounds of the status quo, cured it and helped it stand up! Now it is actively playing the role of the walk-on in the ploys of status quo aiming at torpedoing May 2004. Denktas and Ankara analyzed Talat and took all initiatives in their hand by giving him a high position! '".

    [07] Sedat Ergin : "There is no time for Cyprus"

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper columnist Sedat Ergin, in his regular column today (20.01.04) under the above title, writes the following: "Ankara is entering one of the most difficult and tightest weeks in its recent times as regards the Cyprus problem.

    However, before going into the details of this let me remind you what the Government and the Turkish Foreign Ministry want to do in Cyprus.

    Ankara, in order to preclude the Greek Cypriot Administration's attempt, after becoming full member of the EU on 1 May, to make Turkey to foot the bill of non- solution, for sometimes now is working on a comprehensive diplomatic maneuver. According to this, with certain adjustment demands the Annan plan will be accepted as basis for negotiation and then the negotiations will resume, and at the end even if there is no solution before 1 May, at least Turkey's sincerity in finding a solution will be exhibited.

    Subtitle: Ankara does not have a common stance

    In order for this diplomatic effort to be successful Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should have a concrete Cyprus package with him when meeting President George Bush next Wednesday in the White House.

    The aim is to secure Bush's support so that the USA will put its weight in favor of the Turkish side. However this step alone is not enough. Erdogan should present Turkey's stance paper, which reflects the Turkish side's negotiation positions, to the Secretary-General Kofi Annan before presenting it to the President Bush.

    The eight days timetable before us makes it difficult to allow this to happen. First difficulty: Until today there is no common position with which Ankara will sit around the negotiation table. Despite the fact that there is a 'Position Paper' prepared by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and supported by the government. However, because of the objections from the Turkish army side to this position paper, a common Ankara policy is yet to be decided.

    Subtitle: What will happen if consensus is not reached at the NSC meeting?

    In order to decide a common position, people are waiting the result of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting which is scheduled to take place on 23 January.

    However, among the generals, as in the case of General Hursit Tolon, the Commander of the Aegean Army, there are officers who object to shoving flexibility. Therefore, it is not clear that in the NSC meeting the differences will be put aside and a common position will be adopted.

    Next day, 24 January, Prime Minister Erdogan is to meet the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Davos ,Switzerland. The whole issue is that, will the Prime Minister Erdogan, at this meeting, be able to but before the Secretary-General a document that will present the Turkish position? The same evening, Erdogan will return to Ankara and will take part in a joint summit in which Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas as well as `TRNC government´ representatives will participate.

    Subtitle: Would Ankara give Annan an open cheque?

    The Prime Minister is leaving for the USA on Sunday (25 January) and it is possible that he will have a meeting with Annan in New York at the beginning of the week. This too is not enough, because the US diplomats should be convinced prior to the Erdogan ^ÖBush meeting on Wednesday about Ankara's new openings, so that Bush and Erdogan could reach an understanding.

    During these few days Ankara also should decide on holding a referendum which is demanded by he UN Secretary-General, who wants from Ankara, Athens and Nicosia an open cheque. Can Ankara give such an open cheque when consensus is not reached between them? This is a question to which it is very difficult to give an answer.

    Subtitle: Would it be ready at the White House meeting?

    The success of Prime Minister Erdogan's Washington visit depends on the fact that all these preparations should finish at the beginning of next week. If these preparations do not finish then there is a possibility that shadow will be cast to Erdogan's Washington visit.

    At this point all the eyes are fixed on the role President Ahmet Necdet Sezer would play at the NSC meeting to be held on Friday.

    And a critical question: Would President Sezer remains a mere observer to a possible lock in? Or would he put his weight to open Ankara's path".

    /SK


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