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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-01

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.40/04 28-29.02.04-01.03.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader during a meeting with the newly established National Resistance Movement.
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting with Mr Hasipoglu.
  • [03] Statements by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party during a meeting with the Businessmen´s Association.
  • [04] Bulent Arinc: The last word on the Cyprus issue will be uttered by the TGNA.
  • [05] The Turkish army wants a just solution in Cyprus based on the Security requirements of Turkey.
  • [06] Mr Huseyin Angolemli has returned to the Communal Liberation Party.
  • [07] The Turkish Cypriot coordinator for the harmonization with the EU says their aim was to minimize the economic and social problems.
  • [08] Erdogan admits that his government consults the Turkish army for every step it takes.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist in ORTADOGU criticizes the US for its human rights reports and alleges that the US needs Turkey because it failed in Iraq and for its Greater Middle East project.
  • [10] The Turkish Parliament will approve the agreement on Cyprus only if accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [11] The Turkish Army behind Denktas´ demands in the talks for a solution to the problems created by the Turkish invasion and the illegal occupation of a small EU member country.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader during a meeting with the newly established National Resistance Movement

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.02.04) broadcast that the National Resistance Movement (NRM), which is established by the representatives of various associations to give support to Rauf Denktas, held a demonstration in occupied Nicosia today. After the demonstration, the NRM members marched to the office of Rauf Denktas and submitted a memorandum.

    Addressing the gathering, Mr Denktas said:

    "When we reach the inevitable referendum day, you should say your yes or no self-consciously. Not according to what others say on the goodness or badness [of the agreement] or prompted by reports by this or that newspaper in Turkey, but by self-examination and by relying on your conscience. You should ask yourselves: Are the conditions you just read out found [in the agreement], are you being divested of your statehood, are you being deprived of your lands, is there going to be a mass displacement, is there land enough to rehabilitate these would-be refugees, where will they be taken, do these people have money, has anything [money] been put into this plan to avert our economic collapse and our annihilation; or, will they hoodwink us by making no distinction between the Greeks and Turks in compliance with the Greek Cypriot desires, by considering us all Cypriots, by giving the Turks a make-believe constituent state and nonchalantly allow some Greek Cypriots to settle in it, and by saying there is no distinction between the Turks and Greeks as all of us are Cypriots and hence brothers?

    We have been bringing all these issues to your attention with our daily briefing.

    I repeat, you should assess all these well, for the decision rests with you. They do not want a signature from me. They have abandoned the signature formality, because they know perfectly well that I will not sign the Annan plan in its present form. All we are going to do is to see to what extent we could change this plan, if we could insert articles to save ourselves, and what we could achieve together with Turkey. Only after we do that, it [the agreement] could go to referendum."

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting with Mr Hasipoglu

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.02.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, met this evening a delegation from the JPP [Justice and Peace Party] under Ertugrul Hasipoglu and Thalassemia Association officials under Kuday Untac.

    During the meetings, Mr Denktas made statements and also replied to journalists' questions on the Cyprus problem.

    He said: "They [the UN officials] do not want signature from me. In the latest version, they abandoned the idea of signature, knowing full well that I will not sign such an agreement. Now it all has come down to them telling us: You either negotiate directly and conclude an agreement, or the Secretary-General will fill in the blanks and you will have to go to a referendum.

    It was for this reason that at New York we introduced a second barrier to Secretary- General's absolute authority: That the disagreements should also pass the scrutiny of Turkey and Greece. We introduced that second barrier, though it did not fully turn out the way we wanted."

    Noting that they have not obtained the desired result from the talks held to date, that what have been done so far are only preliminary initiatives, and that they will continue the talks with sincerity, Denktas said that they will try to protect the Turkish side's sine qua nons.

    Noting that they have seen the way the Greek Cypriot press has been pillorying the Turkish side's initiatives and protective measures at the talks, Mr Denktas said: The Greek Cypriot side finds the Turkish side's initiatives as totally unacceptable. We, in turn, do not find their approach acceptable. The difficulties are still continuing.

    Announcing that he would go to Ankara on Wednesday, 3 March, for a conference and would also assess the latest Cyprus developments with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Denktas said: Everybody acknowledges our need to move in tandem with Turkey. As always, we will tell them [the Turkish officials] frankly where the steps taken by our side are going to lead us to.

    Noting that the answers to and explanations for the questions raised by the Turkish Cypriots are being furnished on televisions by lawyer Fuat Veziroglu and others, Denktas said that the Annan plan provides no guarantee at all on economic matters and includes nothing but only grandiose words on the issue of rehabilitation, and added:

    "What our people should know is that if [at the talks] we fail to secure a future for a humane existence in a free country then the final decision will rest with them [the people]. That is why, they should study the matter well, follow the talks closely, keep their eyes open so as not to hold others responsible [for the final result] later on. That is why, everyday I am disclosing the developments at the talks and the stage we have reached. Naturally, at the end of 21-22 March, when my duties expire, I will speak more openly about what we wanted, what we obtained, what we could not obtain, and what the end result is. Quite satisfactory answers will then be given to all the questions you have been raising. Accepting the Annan plan as it is now, in the way that it approaches these problems, would mean our ruin, annihilation from the island, and collapse. We are, therefore, working to correct these points. But you can see that we have not covered much distance.

    Some colleagues are advising us: This Annan plan is our fate, let us try and see if we can mend it, if we manage to do it somewhat that would be fine, but if we cannot then let us say yes at the referendum and finish off this affair.

    Such a fate is unacceptable. A person would not surrender his fate to others. Rather, we should make a decision by observing, learning, and assessing what the plan would give to and take from us. We will all make the decision together. On that day [of referendum], I will be an ordinary voter. That is why, we should help each other, we should not be scared of or evade the realities. Your [Hasipoglu's] election alliance may have disintegrated, after all it was an alliance made for the elections. But, you all are people who stand on the same front and uphold similar views. So, you should maintain your solidarity on this issue [on the Annan plan and referendum]."

    Noting that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat has been helpful and supportive at the time when the best should be done for the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Denktas said: "But one day, he might act in line with his party's perspective and tell us he can accompany us only thus far and would not go any further. We all could say that. But for now, we have formed a conscious alliance and are cooperating to serve the people. If everyone draws lesson from this, then we would not end up being divided into hostile camps at every election, and would instead run in a democratic race without hurting each other."

    When reminded by a reporter about the President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos' insistence that the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA] should approve the text of the referendum before the actual referendum and asked if there has been any consultations with Ankara on this issue, Denktas said: "This is Ankara's own constitutional problem. The TGNA approved the 1960 agreements. Turkey is involved in Cyprus under its guarantorship status. Those agreements approved by the TGNA will now be altered. If we conclude a new agreement the former ones will be altered. What could the TGNA guarantee or approve if it cannot view the alterations as an integral whole? To insist therefore that Turkey should accept the result even before the referendum, should accept whatever might emerge from the referendum, sounds a bit strange to us.

    They [the Republic of Cyprus] applied [to the EU] to undermine Turkey's rights over Cyprus and reduce us to a minority Turkish community in a Hellenistic island. We realize that their latest initiative shows the continuation of this policy. This of course saddens us, for as long as this philosophy continues it would be difficult for us to achieve anything. They have to change their philosophy. Cyprus is neither Hellenic nor the property of the Greek Cypriot administration. There are two national peoples in Cyprus. These two national peoples have lived side by side for the last 400 years by protecting their own national and religious characters. The 1960 agreements provided for a partnership republic based on the existence of the two national peoples. Their attempt to eliminate all these [agreements] and to say that Denktas is being racist by wanting to build everything on two national peoples is also saddening and highly disappointing."

    To a question regarding Greek Cypriot press reports that Turkey has taken initiative with the EU ambassadors to delay Cyprus´ EU membership, Denktas said that he has no information about such an initiative.

    Denktas also said that he will not ask for the postponement of the Cyprus talks on Wednesday when he will be in Ankara, because the Turkish delegation will continue the talks.

    [03] Statements by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party during a meeting with the Businessmen´s Association

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.02.04) broadcast that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat met today with a delegation of the Businessmen´s Association under Unsal Ozbilenler.

    During the meeting Mr Talat made the following statement:

    "After the New York talks, the UN Secretary-General sent us 44 important laws, also dubbed as the Holy Laws. He said that these are fundamental laws and we must process them before the referendum. The Greek Cypriot side now objects to this, saying that these laws number 104, these are the laws they regard as very important for them. These 104 laws have to be processed before the referendum. The Greek Cypriots say these laws are indispensable for them and they have been mentioning them since the Hague meeting. They created the impression that without these laws there can be no referendum. I say impression, for there is not yet any concrete position. Since they had gone to New York by accepting the Secretary-General's letter they should have accepted its consequences. I do not know, there is a room for interpretation here. We believed that even the 44 laws would be physically difficult for us. Now we have 104. We have to admit that we have a problem here, for if we do not process the 104 laws, then the Secretary-General would complete them, and the Secretary-General would inevitable complete them according to the draft submitted by the Greek Cypriot side. So, we have such a difficulty. We have to work on this problem. That too will take much of our time. Four new committees have been established on legal issues. It is not easy, for our human resources are limited. It is also difficult for us to get reinforcement. If we bring people from abroad they would not know the conditions of Cyprus. If you bring them from Turkey they would not know our judicial system. So, we have such difficulties, but we are trying to overcome them. We have been using almost all our human resources. Our aim is to process, to the extent possible, as many laws as possible, that is more than 44 laws. And that requires plenty of time and effort. That is why it is difficult. It is difficult because of political antagonism as well as workload. Of course, there was a two-year period, or one and half years, when the Secretary-General first submitted them in 2002. He submitted them with this in mind. Now, we have to squeeze them into a very tight period. This is one aspect of the problem. The other aspect is that we have to pass a decision on referendum from the Assembly in keeping with our internal laws. For that we are waiting for the determination of the date of referendum. That is what I asked from de Soto. Once that is clear, we would pass a referendum decision from the Assembly. But for now it is impossible to adopt such a decision before the date becomes clear. We set up a constitutional committee at the Assembly. There was no obligation for that, but we wanted to facilitate the process and also obtain the sensitivities of the Assembly."

    [04] Bulent Arinc: The last word on the Cyprus issue will be uttered by the TGNA

    Istanbul NTV television (29.02.04) broadcast that the Turkish National Assembly (TGNA) Speaker, Mr Bulent Arinc, said that the last word on the Cyprus issue will be uttered by the National Assembly. Pointing out that only the parliament can make the decisions that will determine the fate of the Turkish people, Arinc revealed that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime asked him for support with regard to the draft constitution that is being prepared in Cyprus.

    At a breakfast meeting with parliamentary correspondents, Arinc dwelt on the Cyprus issue and the relations with the EU. Arinc remarked that he attaches importance to the ongoing talks, underlining that the real decision will be adopted by the parliament.

    He said: "The decisions that will determine the fate of the Turkish people can only be made by the National Assembly. We know that the honorable prime minister is attaching as much care to this matter in all the institutions. Consequently, the last word on the Cyprus issue will also be uttered by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. If an international agreement can be signed and Turkey signs it too, as you know, in line with Article 90 of the Constitution, this accord or international agreement can only be adopted through the enactment of a law."

    Noting that Talat telephoned him the day before yesterday asking for support in connection with the draft constitution that is being drawn up, Arinc said that the National Assembly will accord all the support it can.

    [05] The Turkish army wants a just solution in Cyprus based on the Security requirements of Turkey

    Istanbul NTV television (27.02.04) broadcast that the monthly briefing was held at the Office of the Chief of the General Staff [OCGS] today.

    Major General Sabri Demirezen, the General Secretary of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Metin Yavuz Yalcin, Head of Operations and Lieutenant General Aydogan Babaoglu, Head of the General Planning and Principles briefed the media.

    On the Cyprus problem Mr Demirezen said:

    "The TAF has always extended its support to finding a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. Within this framework, the views and proposals of the TAF on a solution were expressed during the Cankaya summit and the NSC meeting in January. Moreover, the OCGS proposals which we believe should be included in the Annan plan and which were prepared in view of the security requirements of Turkey and the `TRNC´ and the reasons for these proposals were submitted in written form to the Office of the Prime Minister on 15 February 2004. The negotiations resumed with the participation of officials from the `TRNC´ and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south in Nicosia on 19 February 2004. These negotiations are being conducted within the framework of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General. We are closely following these negotiations."

    [06] Mr Huseyin Angolemli has returned to the Communal Liberation Party

    Illegal Bayrak television (28.02.04) broadcast that in a news conference at the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) headquarters, Huseyin Angolemli announced that he has resigned from the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) and returned to the CLP. Angolemli said the reason for his resignation was that the PDM, which was established in line with the popular desire for peace, solution, and EU, has ceased to be an umbrella party with its restructuring decision.

    Mr Angolemli said: "The umbrella has gone awry. The political parties, the nongovernmental organizations, and trade-unions will again come together after a short while and discuss how to expand the umbrella of this union. Our struggle for solution and EU would not suffer because of this [dispute], rather our ardor for struggle will redouble as we try to enlarge this umbrella."

    Huseyin Angolemli added that the CLP Party Assembly will meet next Friday [5 March] and make the necessary assessment. Asked if PDM´s CLP-origined so-called deputies will also follow his example and resign from the PDM, Angolemli said that he expects that after the CLP Party Assembly decision the colleagues assigned to work for the PDM would also make their own assessment.

    He concluded: "In this situation, I either belong to this or that party. Had there been an umbrella I would have remained there. And as you know I was the last leader of this party [CLP]. That position was very important for me, for in that capacity I helped my party organize the mass gatherings, especially in Nicosia and Famagusta.

    I conducted joint assessments with various organizations, for what is essential is that I belong to this party [CLP]. As such, I later on met [CLP's] district leaders, and after assessing the situation I reached the conclusion that I should return to the CLP as its leader."

    [07] The Turkish Cypriot coordinator for the harmonization with the EU says their aim was to minimize the economic and social problems

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (01.03.04) reports that Mr Erhan Ercin, the Turkish Cypriot coordinator for the harmonization with the EU, has said that their aim was to minimize the economic and social problems of the Turkish Cypriots.

    "For example, the sooner we show that we are harmonized with the Food Health Laws of the EU, the sooner we will be able to export our agricultural products", noted Mr Ercin in an interview with YENI DUZEN adding also that the sooner the Turkish Cypriots harmonize their institutional and administrative structure the faster they will have the opportunity to benefit from the EU financial aid.

    The paper writes that Mr Ercin has been for six months in Brussels and worked at the EU Commission's Regional Policy Directorate. A week ago he left his job at Turkey's Financial Development Foundation and returned to occupied Cyprus.

    Asked when their work to harmonize the Turkish Cypriots with the EU started and at which stage it had come, Mr Ercin said:

    "It has been almost a week. Within a week we have defined the EU coordinators at the ministries and worked to realize their internal organization. We are exerting efforts to create an institutional structure, which on 1 May 2004 to be able to undertake the EU laws. Our coordinators at the ministries have been very rabidly designated and we designate names that will rabidly be educated. We have informed them about the process. We are trying to organize our internal structure in this way. Every ministry will make its internal preparation, but of course all these will happen after the education is realized.

    We have examined the negotiations made earlier by the Greek Cypriots. We have examined from which processes they have passed through, what they demanded and what they got. In the process that will take place afterwards, we shall create a structure that will eliminate the economic and social problems of our community. In a statement to the press, the Greek Cypriot coordinator for harmonization with the EU, said that they would try to facilitate this process in cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots. However, we have not yet had a direct contact. '".

    Asked about the way the harmonization work with the EU will be conducted, Mr Ercin said:

    "The harmonization with the EU could not be unilateral. We shall realize this after discussions with the EU. Ambassador Peker Turgud, as negotiator, Ozdil Nami and me as coordinator will be participating in this EU harmonization committee that is established under the umbrella of the UN. This is a very big success for us in very short time. These negotiations could begin after 1 May, but then our social and economic problems would be more. We want to make the most of the period until 1 May. We will try to speed the process up as much as possible and prevent possible problems. Our most important advantage is that we are a small country.

    The government and we, who will work on the issue of the EU, consider the EU as a project of communal transformation. This communal transformation process will have some steps. One of them will be discussed under the umbrella of the UN, the gaps between the TRNC and the EU laws will be established and we shall send to the parliament some laws in order to fill these gaps. The Turkish Cypriots, the EU experts within the framework of the UN and the Greek Cypriots will be under the umbrella of the UN. Because of the existing situation the EU could not hold direct talks with us. Our goal is to ensure in a rapid manner ensure the harmonization with the EU in cooperation with the Greek Cypriots. '.

    The Delegation of the EU Committee in Cyprus will assist us very much in this process. We have been benefiting from the assistance of ambassador Van der Meer. We have met with experts of the British High Commission on legal and internal affairs. We have brought them together with the coordinators of our ministry of interior so that they could cooperate from now on. '".

    [08] Erdogan admits that his government consults the Turkish army for every step it takes

    Istanbul TERCUMAN newspaper (29.02.04) publishes an interview with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Murat Celik on the plane taking Erdogan to Burdur for an election rally on 29 February. The interview, under the title: "28 February process should no longer continue", is as follows:

    Question: Today is 28 February, which is the anniversary of one of the most important events in Turkey's recent past. The Chief of the General Staff of the day said that the 28 February process could continue even for 1,000 years if necessary. Do you think that the 28 February process still continues in Turkey?

    Answer: I would like to emphasize a certain point about that issue. It would not be appropriate to keep some issues, which have always caused troubles, on the national agenda constantly. We are rather looking ahead and making efforts to raise the people's hopes. There is no point in continuously focusing on those gloomy pictures we saw in the past. The country would gain nothing from debating those issues. On the contrary, it would constantly suffer losses. We should, therefore, look ahead and try to broaden our horizons.

    Question: Do you mean that the 28 February process should no longer be in the spotlight?

    Answer: Necessary conclusions should have been drawn from its positive aspects, if any, and put into practice.

    Question: Should it end now?

    Answer: Yes, it should. There is no point in debating and discussing those issues any longer. We should rather focus on how we could contribute to efforts aimed at brightening up our country's future. If we continue to waste time by debating those matters, Turkey could sustain considerable losses it actually does not deserve. The government, therefore, has no time or intention to be occupied with those troublesome days we have gone through in the past. Question: Are the current relations between the military and the government actually as pleasant as a "poem" as described by a former Chief of the General Staff?

    Answer: We take no step without first consulting with the General Staff on any issue requiring consultations. I discuss those issues with the President during our regular weekly meetings. I also consult with the Chief of the General Staff about such issues when we need to. Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry keeps in constant touch. There is absolutely no problem at all in our relations. Unfortunately, some columnists occasionally claim that there are disagreements between us. If, for example, I cannot go to Cankaya [President's Office] due to a foreign trip or our meeting is postponed by reason of the President's visit to another country, they say that we were not able to meet for two weeks. In fact, our busy schedule could be the only reason for postponing our regular meetings. Actually, I never declined to meet with the President due to resentment since I took office, because I learned during my political career that there should be no resentment or hard feelings between leaders heading the state's organs.

    Question: You, however, sometimes have opposing views.

    Answer: That is a separate issue. A person, who has been given a political mandate to represent people, should certainly have the right to express his opinions. Moreover, my statements reflect not only my personal views, but also the government's approach. The President and the General Staff may voice opinions different than those of mine. Nonetheless, we can reach a consensus after discussing those issues, just as we have recently done regarding the Cyprus question.

    Question: Do you mean that there is full harmony between you and the military?

    Answer: As I have just told you, the most important point is to have discussions and reach a consensus based on common sense. We would hardly take any step about an issue concerning our national interests without first informing each other.

    Question: The allegation that you, your party or the government has a hidden agenda has become another controversial issue that has triggered debates in some circles.

    Answer: It is not my problem. It is only a matter of concern for those who made that allegation. You should, therefore, put that question to them. There are some people who have such doubts in their minds. They keep trying to guess our intentions as they believe that they are experts in reading people's minds. It appears that they are extremely successful in doing that, because they make up such scenarios. My performance during my tenure as Istanbul Mayor is well known and I am ready to discuss it with anybody, who believes that he can do better. What benefits has Istanbul reaped or not reaped during my tenure? A comparison between my and my predecessors' accomplishments would confirm that I was successful. What our government has achieved in the past one and a half years is also very clear and obvious as confirmed by economic parameters. There is trust and stability in the country and the public supports our government. There is no need to worry. We will also see it very clearly on 28 March. If people reconfirm their confidence and demonstrate it by increasing their support for our party in the local elections, the arguments made by those circles would be totally disproved.

    Question: Could we talk about the Cyprus question and the breakfast you had with the representatives of the media on Wednesday? After judging its results and the ensuing debates did you come to the conclusion that you should not have held that meeting at all? Did you regret?

    Answer: My conviction is that every event certainly has a positive aspect however unpleasant as it may be. Inviting so many journalists to that meeting was probably a mistake. It would have been more appropriate had a lesser number of people been invited. My advisers, however, made that decision, which I respected. They said: "We should hold this meeting as things are moving fast and it would be useful in terms of briefing the media. We can later hold separate meetings with reporters and columnists." Actually, seating arrangements were not made properly. I mean tables should not be put one after each other to form a long and narrow line. There could have been a U-shaped arrangement to enable the guests and myself to see each other more easily. It was one of the serious mistakes. There was, however, another point, which was more disturbing. People in Turkey persistently refuse to understand each other. As you might have noticed, I said in that meeting that I had no right or authority to impose a ban on the media. How could a person, who has made that comment, ask the media to censor its reports? I said: "You may call it censorship, but you will do it, not me." I used that term only to make an analogy. I was absolutely not referring to censorship as defined in the Constitution. It is totally out of the question. I just wanted to discuss frankly what we could jointly do in order to safeguard our national interests frankly and I was acting in good faith. That was the reason for holding that meeting. Could we take a common stance vis-a-vis Cyprus? I requested the representatives of the media to exercise self-control in that context.

    Question: Do you believe that some developments taking place during the negotiating process in Cyprus should not be shared with the public? Should some points remain secret?

    Answer: Have you ever seen diplomatic talks being held in a place such as an open-air theater? If that is possible, we should allow everybody to enter that place and conduct the negotiations in the presence of the public and the media. Could that be possible? If it is, what is the point in conducting the negotiations inside a building? We are doing so, because the problem has a feature that makes it special. It is not an ordinary dispute and we are trying to resolve a problem, which could not be settled in the past 40 years. In the beginning, the UN Secretary-General said that he would not oversee the talks. Nevertheless, we discussed the matter with them and our efforts yielded a successful result. In other words, resumption of these talks was an achievement. If, however, we do not trust our own diplomatic capabilities, we will eventually lose.

    From my perspective, establishment of the United Republic of Cyprus will provide an invaluable opportunity in terms of its possible consequences. There will be two separate flags and two separate national anthems. In addition to the Republic's common flag and national anthem, both sides will have their own flags and national anthems.

    In addition, Turkish will become one of the official languages of the EU. We must perceive it as a very important step.

    What are our conditions? They include reinforcement of bi-zonality and guarantees and demarcation of the border as straight as practicable. If an agreement is reached on those points, some minor issues such as ownership of property will remain to be resolved. I believe that the two sides will eventually resolve those issues between themselves.

    Question: There seems to be a sharp disagreement between you and Mr Denktas over the extent to which the public should be informed about the content of the talks. You say that the parties should refrain from making statements whereas Denktas says that he will. Will there be a change in this situation?

    Answer: We will express our opinions and we want Mr Denktas to keep going until the end of the process. The Turkish state is determined to make that happen. What we are emphasizing is that the two sides should make joint rather than separate statements. This is the method we employ in diplomacy. In other words, we usually discuss what we should say after a meeting and then prepare a joint statement. Mr Denktas should know that better than me due to his diplomatic experience. If this method is actually employed, there would be no problem at all.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist in ORTADOGU criticizes the US for its human rights reports and alleges that the US needs Turkey because it failed in Iraq and for its Greater Middle East project.

    Istanbul ORTADOGU newspaper (28.02.04) publishes the following commentary by Taylan Sorgun under the title: "The letter and report that went beyond the bounds..."

    "The regular annual human rights report of the US Department of State has been published, and in the meantime US Secretary of State Colin Powell has also sent a letter. There are aspects that go beyond the bounds both in the annual report and in Powell's letter. One of the noteworthy parts of the letter is this: It is reported in the letter that the change in the RTUK [Radio and Television High Council] [policy] which provides the possibility for broadcasting in the native language does not reflect the spirit of the changes in the laws, and that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has also criticized the report [presumably from the RTUK] on the same grounds. What an interesting development: The Turkish Foreign Ministry and the US State Department are in joint opposition to the RTUK. If this is true, then one is obliged to ask "Has the mission of the Foreign Ministry been changed?" For the duty of the Foreign Ministry is not merely to say "We also think the same way as you do."

    Subtitle: Whose human rights...

    After President Bush, using the pretext of chemical weapons, occupied Iraq for the sake of the new economic colonization under the name of "globalization", and for the sake of new colonialist expansion under the name of the "Greater Middle East", and after all the developments that have taken place there, the very last people who should be talking about human rights are the US Foreign Ministry and Bush, who in fact determined for it its mission of virtual world rule. The terrorism experienced in the US was indeed something inhuman. But the measures that the United States implemented thereafter are an indicator as to the degree to which the United States sought to protect itself. And for this purpose, new legal provisions were put in place.

    Subtitle: Look at the brazenness...

    In the report produced on Turkey, it is stated that "It maintains more forces than needed in Southeast Anatolia." So are the US State Department, or President Bush, to decide what level of forces Turkey will maintain in any given place? And what else? Cases brought on behalf of the state in the DGMs [State Security Courts] allegedly place the interests of the state above the rights of individuals. In that case, we should ask the following: Was Iraq not invaded because the petroleum needs of the United States were placed above the interests of that independent state and its citizens? And in cooperation with Great Britain, naturally... During the course of the invasion of Iraq within the framework of the Greater Middle East expansionism, thousands of children were crippled and thousands of people were annihilated under bombs... Where are their human rights?

    Subtitle: The Iraq game

    President Bush's anger at not being able, during the Iraq occupation, to deploy 60,000 troops to Turkey as well and thereby give the impression of occupying Turkey as well as Iraq, is currently being concealed due to the renewed request being made of Turkey. But the game of a puppet state in Northern Iraq, and the PKK-KADEK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan -- Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] game, which they mention every now and then and then pull back from, are still continuing. And while it carries out that policy there, the inclusion of the forces in Southeast Anatolia and the Village Guards, based purely on hearsay information, in the letter and the report, are but an extension of that policy.

    Subtitle: Why such interference?

    The US State Department report also includes an absurd allegation of restrictions on the right of religious expression. Is this about, one wonders, the fact that the way is closed for religious brotherhoods [Turkish 'tarikat'] to acquire official status? For otherwise, no one in Turkey has any problems like those cited in the letter. But it is no doubt known to Turkish security units just which foreign intelligence services are involved, and in what ways, with certain such brotherhoods in Turkey. Subtitle: Fixation on NSC...

    Both Brussels and President Bush have become fixated on the NSC [National Security Council], and the government, with certain legal changes that include political errors, has instituted new provisions regarding the NSC. But even so, they are still obsessed with the NSC. Naturally, the strengthening of the TAF [Turkish Armed Forces] is not consistent with President Bush's policy of "Greater Middle East" expansionism. And Brussels is in any event caught up in its permanent antipathy toward the TAF. They are in a state of hysteria.

    Subtitle: New demands

    Now Washington is demanding new bases from Turkey due to its policy of "Greater Middle East" expansionism. Moreover, it is calling, or will be calling, for these to have a new status. Washington has realized that it is not going to have an easy time in Iraq. In other words, their expectations following the occupation have not worked out. And they have also seen that the Iraqi collaborators that they have found in Iraq and dressed in "colonial police uniforms" are not going to be useful for anything. Along with, naturally, their partners, the British.

    Subtitle: If It's like this...

    Naturally, however, some of the fault in the accusations in the US State Department report, as well as in the excesses in Powell's letter, lies with us. The government brought the United States into the Cyprus negotiations when it had no connection whatsoever. Promises erroneously expressed during the Washington talks that there were "still unknown aspects" [presumably in the Cyprus negotiation process], and agreement to various demands that were made, have encouraged them to write these presumptuous letters and reports. It seems that some people first have to realize that Turkey is a great state. But they show little sign of realizing this... "

    [10] The Turkish Parliament will approve the agreement on Cyprus only if accepted by the Turkish Cypriots

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (27.02.04) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Arinc: Assembly will be influenced by referendum":

    "National Assembly Speaker Bulent Arinc has said that, if the majority of the people of Northern Cyprus vote "yes" in the referendum expected to be held on 21 April, the Turkish Grand National Assembly [TGNA] will also give a positive response to this. Arinc, who made statements to RADIKAL regarding Cyprus and Turkey's European Union accession process, spoke as follows:

    "All of the party groups in the Assembly hope for a settlement on Cyprus. But attention will be paid to whether or not the text that comes out of the negotiations is consistent with the interests of the Cypriot Turkish people. Cyprus has a great impact on us. We do not want the issue to remain up in the air any longer; we want it to be settled in an appropriate manner. For the people to say 'yes' in the referendum will also have a positive effect on our parliamentary deputies. A text that is approved by the Turkish Cypriot people will certainly get a positive response in our Assembly as well. I do not want to say anything at this point that would bind our members, but the results of the referendum will certainly influence the Assembly."

    Arinc, pointing out that the referendum on Cyprus will be voted on by the Assembly not before the referendum, but rather after it, continued as follows:

    "According to article 90 of the Constitution, international treaties have to become law by being ratified by the Assembly. According to the final clause in this article, since international treaties are considered to supersede domestic law, it cannot be claimed that they are unconstitutional, and they cannot be brought before the Constitutional Court. Consequently, the vote in the Assembly that will be held following the referendum on Cyprus will be decisive."

    This statement from Assembly Speaker Arinc, coming at a time when in public opinion polls conducted in Cyprus over 80 percent of the people support the result to be reached in the negotiations, carries political weight.

    It is being observed that the influence of the Assembly in foreign policy has been increasing recently. Arinc, drawing attention to the key importance of this year in Turkey's relations with the EU, stresses that the Assembly as well will make efforts to do what it is called upon to do. Arinc, who took part in the 3-5 February meeting in Hungary of parliamentary speakers of the countries involved in the EU expansion process, invited European Parliament Speaker Pat Cox, with whom he met there, to Turkey. (Arinc in the meantime says that he has determined that no Turkish Assembly Speaker to date had ever participated in these meetings.) Cox is going to come to Turkey on Monday, 1 March. He will make a speech in the TGNA General Assembly regarding Turkey's EU accession process and the reforms, and will also hold a joint press conference with Arinc."

    [11] The Turkish Army behind Denktas´ demands in the talks for a solution to the problems created by the Turkish invasion and the illegal occupation of a small EU member country

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (28.02.04) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "White or black?":

    "The General Staff held another of its monthly press briefings yesterday. The presentation and question-answer session previously held by General Staff Second in Command Gen Ilker Basbug was this time carried out by three generals, General Staff General Secretary Maj Gen Sabri Demirezen gave the presentation, Questions were answered by Gen Demirezen together with Chief of Operations Lt Gen Metin Yavuz Yalcin and Chief of Planning and Principles Lt Gen Aydogan Babaoglu.

    Top on the agenda was Cyprus and the following question was asked: "Does the government's road map match the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) road map? How do you rate the government's Cyprus policy?" The reply given was:

    "The TAF has always supported a lasting and just settlement on Cyprus. This is what it expects. It has made its views in this matter known at various times and places as was explained in the statement, and has presented them to the Prime Ministry. There is no change whatsoever in he TAF's views. Our wish and expectation is that the talks currently underway will produce a result that will answer both Turkey's and the Turkish Cypriots' security expectations. Therefore, we hope that these talks will conclude in line with our expectations."

    Speaking before Lt Gen Babaoglu's reply Maj Gen Demirezen had stated that the TAF's views on Cyprus had been presented at the National Security Council meeting, at the Presidential Mansion summit and most recently in writing to the Prime Ministry on 15 February 2004 after the talks in New York.

    These statements show that the TAF expects an outcome in accordance with Turkey's and the Turkish Cypriots' security expectations. It expects and hopes that the proposals to this effect submitted by the Turkish side will find their way into the Annan Plan. What are Turkey's expectations?

    Prime Minister Erdogan and `TRNC president´ Denktas have explained these expectations and proposals many times:

    1. Strengthening of bizonality.

    2. The continuation of Turkey's role as guarantor and the strengthening of the guarantees.

    3. Straightening of the `borders´.

    Now the `TRNC president´ Denktas is trying to get the Greek Cypriots to accept the Turkish proposals under these headings.

    Can it be said that any progress has been made?

    Not yet. Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos finds the Turkish proposals to be outside the Annan Plan and unacceptable. Furthermore, he states as a condition that the `TRNC parliament´ must accept the 115 laws passed by the Greek Cypriot administration before the referendum. He says that failure to do this will result in no referendum. He also wants the Turkish Grand National Assembly to ratify them before the referendum.

    In the light of these facts it would not be realistic to expect an outcome from the Denktas-Papadopoulos talks that would meet the Turkish side's expectations.

    Once this stage has been passed there is the expectation that progress can be assured by Greece and Turkey stepping in. At this second stage in proceedings the aim is to carry the Turkish side's indispensable conditions over to the Annan Plan. There is even the idea that progress could be assured if he United States were to step in. Even if it cannot be taken at this stage the expectation that the Turkish expectations can be met at least in part again with US pressure at the stage when Annan will fill in the gaps continues to be the final hope.

    Hair will start falling out soon but will it be black or white? We shall see."

    /SK


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