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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-06-15

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.111/04 15.06.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey calls on the Islamic countries to break the isolation of the occupied areas of Cyprus which Turkey itself has imposed with 40,000 fully equipped Turkish troops.
  • [02] Talat expects the occupied airport of Tymbou and the port of Famagusta to open on 30 June.
  • [03] Serdar Denktas discussed with Walter Schwimmer ways of improving the relations between Cyprus, Turkey and the European Union.
  • [04] Rift between Talat and AFRIKA newspaper over new charges filed against journalists.
  • [05] Four Turks elected to European Parliament.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] The consequences of weakness.
  • [07] Ilter Turkmen: "In whose favour is time working in Cyprus?".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey calls on the Islamic countries to break the isolation of the occupied areas of Cyprus which Turkey itself has imposed with 40,000 fully equipped Turkish troops

    Thirty years after invading Cyprus, killing thousands of innocent Cypriots, forcing at gun point one third of the population to flee their homes and preventing them to return, turning hundreds of churches into stock-yards and barns, bringing colonizers from Turkey into the homes and properties of the Cypriots and degrading every element of human dignity and sensitivity of the Cypriots, Turkey now is asking from the islamic countries to recognize as Turkish state the areas of the Republic of Cyprus it keeps under military occupation.

    The appeal was made by Turkish leaders in their opening address to the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) being held in Istanbul between 14-16 June.

    Reporting on the issue local KIBRIS newspaper (15.06.04) writes that the draft decision on Cyprus prepared some time ago by high ranking diplomats was unanimously approved yesterday at the political affairs committee established within the framework of the 31st meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Conference Organization.

    According to the paper, the draft decision provides that the Turkish Cypriots will be represented at the OIC as "Turkish Cypriot State" and gives some messages, as the recent report of the UN Secretary - General's report on Cyprus did, towards "putting an end to the economic and political isolation of the TRNC".

    Commenting on the decision, the so-called Minister of foreign Affairs of the occupation regime, Mr Serdar Denktas expressed his satisfaction and noted that "this is what we expected". Noting that tomorrow this decision should be approved by the general assembly, Mr Denktas said: "I hope that this decision will pass as it is from there as well without any problems". Responding to a question, Mr Denktas noted that until yesterday he was less hopeful for the approval of the decision, but after it was adopted at the political affairs committee his hopes increased.

    Mr Denktas said: "I hope that there will not be any problems. In case this decision passes, no matter how symbolic it seems, this symbolic progress will really give us the chance for making more steps forward in the Islamic countries. We shall at least have the chance to directly explain our problem to these countries. Now we want of course to enrich this relation with economic and cultural activities. We have still the status of the 'observer', but there is an acceptance. This is an important step from our point of view, it is an important development".

    Furthermore, Mr Denktas reiterated the Turkish view that they do not accept changes or any further negotiation on the Annan Plan.

    The paper writes also that addressing the meeting the President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Abdullah Gul called on the Islamic countries to put an end to the "isolation" of the occupation regime in Cyprus.

    Mr Sezer expressed his belief that the Islamic world will "extend a hand of friendship and solidarity to their Turkish Cypriot Moslem brothers".

    On his part, Mr Gul reminded that in his recent report the UN Secretary - General called on all countries to cooperate with the pseudostate in Cyprus, supported that the time of launching direct economic, commercial, social and cultural relations with the occupation regime, has come.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot press (15.06.04) covers the developments at the OIC meeting under the following headlines:

    KIBRIS: The Turkish Cypriot State is coming

    HALKIN SESI: The first step from OIC for the Turkish Cypriot State

    ORTAM: We have been promoted!!!

    YENI DUZEN: Green light from OIC for the draft decision on Cyprus

    VATAN: OIC's Cyprus draft decision passed

    VOLKAN: The draft decision for supporting the Turkish Cypriot State at OIC passed from the Political Affairs Committee

    CUMHURIYET: Green light for the Cyprus draft decision

    [02] Talat expects the occupied airport of Tymbou and the port of Famagusta to open on 30 June

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (15.06.04) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, has said that the EU will be discussing the issue of the Green Line regulations in Cyprus on 30 June and that opening the occupied airport of Tymbou and the Famagusta port is included in these regulations.

    Mr Talat evaluated yesterday his visit to Brussels and Strasbourg on a program of SIM FM radio. He said that the problem of direct flights to the illegal Tymbou airport is something that the airlines of each country should separately solve. Mr Talat added that directives could be given to the official airlines of each country and at the same time the private airlines could be encouraged to fly directly to illegal Tymbou airport.

    Mr Talat supported that the steps for ending the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots have been late and noted that he says to his foreign interlocutors that the Turkish Cypriots might be disappointed.

    [03] Serdar Denktas discussed with Walter Schwimmer ways of improving the relations between Cyprus, Turkey and the European Union

    Local CUMHURIYET newspaper (15.06.04) reports that a meeting was held yesterday afternoon at the conference center where the 31st Foreign Ministers´ Meeting of the Oroganization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is taking place in Istanbul, between the so-called Foreign Minister of Ankara´s occupation regime in the Republic of Cyprus, and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Mr Walter Schwimmer.

    In statements after the meting Mr Serdar Denktas said that with Mr Walter Schwimmer he exchanged useful ideas on how to improve relations between Cyprus, Turkey and the European Union.

    Mr Denktas informed Mr Schwimmer that after the referenda the Turkish side would not accept to re-negotiate the Annan plan and repeated his views on various aspects of the Cyprus problem, which by and large, are similar to his father´s Rauf Denktas.

    On his part, Mr Schwimmer said that he wanted to discuss with Mr Serdar Denktas the point reached in the Cyprus problem after the referenda and exchange views with him.

    Reminding that some time ago he discussed the Cyprus problem with the so-called Prime Minister Mr Talat, Mr Schwimmer further said that he was convinced that his getting first hand information from Mr Denktas will contribute to the EU exerting great efforts for a solution in Cyprus.

    [04] Rift between Talat and AFRIKA newspaper over new charges filed against journalists

    Under the title "What a double face" in its front-page leader, AFRIKA newspaper (15.06.04) reports that the so-called Prime Minister, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, is supplying the public opinion with false information regarding the new charges filed against the journalists of the paper.

    The paper writes the following: "Mr Talat, who is trying to divert the community´s and the world public opinion´s attention from the new charges filed against our paper, was asked the following question yesterday during a radio programme. `Will you apologize to AFRIKA´? His reply was as follows: `They are provocators. I will not apologize to those who do not deserve that´'

    Mr Talat, who is continuing the campaign to tarnish and slander and to undermine the people´s respect towards us, reminds of the intriguing behaviour of Denktas'

    Mr Talat resorts to the same methods as Denktas in the campain to tarnish us and in that sense he is no different from Denktas'"

    [05] Four Turks elected to European Parliament

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (15.06.04) publishes the following:

    "Three Turks were elected from Germany, a country that is home to more than 2.5 million Turks. Social Democratic Party candidate Vural Oger and the Greens candidate Cem Ozdemir managed to secure a seat in the European legislative. A third Turk elected from Germany is 27-year-old Feleknas Uca, who was a candidate from the German Democratic Socialism Party.

    "This is very important for me. We have always fought for human rights and democracy," Uca told the Anatolia news agency on Monday, after poll results were finalized.

    A total of seven Turkish candidates ran in the polls.

    Twenty-four German parties competed in the elections over the weekend and 99 German citizens were elected new members of the parliament.

    The four-day polls involved some 350 million registered voters from the EU, which took in 10 new members on May 1. The voting was closed late on Sunday.

    A fourth Turkish winner of elections was a female candidate from Finland, Nesrin Can, who was a candidate from the ruling Social Democratic Party.

    In Greek Cyprus, communist AKEL party, which opposed U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's reunification plan, led the polls with 30 percent of votes. Only 97 Turkish Cypriots participated in the voting on the island."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] The consequences of weakness

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (15.06.04) publishes the following commentary by Gunduz Aktan:

    "In matters of foreign policy, resolving differences and promoting peace is definitely the objective. Everyone praises those who direct all their efforts towards finding peace. If problems remain unresolved because of your defense of national interests, you are accused of obstructionism.

    The Justice and Development Party (JDP) wanted to solve the Cyprus problem in order to achieve the "higher" national interest of European Union membership. It approved of the Annan plan, which failed to satisfy the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. It accepted Annan's "filling in the blanks" method, which was in violation of international law. By approving the referendum and its results even before it took place, it abandoned the rights provided to Turkey by the 1960 system. Mr Rauf Denktas, who was doing everything possible to further Turkish interests, was sidelined as an "obstructionist."

    No serious progress has been made on the lifting of embargoes since the Turkish Cypriots approved the plan; however, the "TRNC" and Turkish governments don't want to demand recognition, fearing it would become an obstacle to a possible solution.

    By passing the fourth package on Aug. 3, 2002, Turkey had fulfilled all the preconditions for the start of EU membership negotiations specified in the Turkish Accession Partnership Document. Turkey, in order not to provide any further excuses to those who were against its membership, passed another four packages and lastly ensured that former Democracy Party (DP) deputies Leyla Zana and her colleagues were released. Domestic peace is now threatened.

    The failure of Parliament to pass a proposal that allowed U.S. troop deployment in Turkey on March 1, 2003 was a mistake. However, the reaction to the incident of putting bags on the heads of Turkish soldiers, injustices perpetrated against the Turkomans and changes made by the Kurds in Kirkuk's composition were weak. While the U.S. motive for invading Iraq was combating terrorism, the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) presence in Iraq was ignored. Despite all this, Turkey still attended meetings, where it was assigned duties as part of the Greater Middle East Initiative at the highest levels and failed to make any counter-demands.

    And we are here today.

    The Greek Cypriots, once realizing that the Turkish side would make more sacrifices in order to be admitted to the EU, voted against the Annan plan in the referendum. They were willing to weather the short-term storm. Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos is saying that if we don't satisfy his demands at the EU summit in December 2004, he will veto Turkey's membership. If the large EU countries adopt a public stance, they might prevent this veto. If not, the U.N. Security Council will reassess its Cyprus resolution, which was vetoed by Russia at the insistence of the Greek Cypriots, and change it for the worse. Annan's report proposes that. And we will make "one final" sacrifice for a solution.

    At a time when the PKK is restarting its terrorist activities, Turkey has begun broadcasts in Kurdish and has released Leyla Zana and her friends. Turkey -- which is portrayed as a model within the framework of the Greater Middle East Initiative in line with the belief "There can be no terrorism where there is democracy," which has started granting cultural rights to Kurds as part of the Copenhagen criteria -- will become a target of terrorism. In addition to the U.S. ignoring the PKK, there are suspicions that some EU groups are also implicitly supporting this terrorism.

    If a date to start EU membership negotiations is granted at the EU summit in December, the "political" Kurdish movement led by Leyla Zana will be supported by PKK violence while the negotiations take place. The world will turn a blind eye. Kurdish separatism will progress towards its objective, helped by reports drafted by human rights associations that will engulf the region and the European Court of Human Rights decisions. In return for EU membership, we will be forced to accept this objective.

    We are faced with this situation because of our decision to sacrifice national interests in order to be perceived as peaceful. The interests we staunchly defended for many years were abandoned, and some increased their demands in the hope that we might also adopt a "peaceful" or yielding stance in other areas. When we demonstrate that there is no sacrifice we aren't willing to make in order to assure EU membership, others try to test the limits of our susceptibility.

    That's why we have been saying since the start, "Those of us who seem to be supportive of a solution on Cyprus and EU membership actually want neither." If you don't act in accordance with the nature of international diplomacy, you'll be able to neither solve the problems nor reach your objective. You'll only create more problems.

    Turkey is probably proceeding towards a disaster. Those who created this situation cannot save us."

    [07] Ilter Turkmen: "In whose favour is time working in Cyprus?"

    Former Turkish Foreign Minister and retired Ambassador Ilter Turkmen, writing in his column in the Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (15.06.04) under the above title says the following:

    "The press release of the TRNC businessmen (ISAD) made on 9th June very nicely summarizes, from the TRNC point of view, the present situation. It says: '65 percent of the Turkish Cypriot people has said `yes´ to settlement of the Cyprus problem and to the EU membership. This firmness demonstrated by the Turkish Cypriots has created the dynamics for removing the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots. However, the necessity to act according to the international law and the EU regulations in one's dealing with a country which is not recognized is creating difficulties in practice.

    The legal basis is conducive for the Greek Cypriot politicians to create problems. It will take certain time in order to put into practice the Green line Regulations. Removing of the isolation imposed on the Turkish side will be supported if it is directed towards uniting the island. Attempts to get recognition for the `TRNC´ will negatively affect the efforts directed to remove the isolations.

    Unless the Cyprus problem is solved, all the efforts to improve our economy and to solve our other problems radically will not be possible. Therefore, as Turkish Cypriots our main objective should be not to deviate from the settlement and EU vision'

    It is a realistic assessment. However, the settlement is not that much easy. And again the ISAD in its press release rightly mentions that there will be drawbacks if the Annan Plan is opened to renegotiation and according to ISAD the Annan plan without any changes should be put to referendum again in the Greek Cypriot side before December 2004.

    Well, it is all right, but Mr. Papadopoulos challenging the UN repeatedly says that he does not intend to do something like that. It is clear and definite that the Greek Cypriot leader will insist on substantial changes in the Annan Plan. His aim is to secure a solution in time within the framework of the presently existing 'Republic of Cyprus' the underlining philosophy of which will be very different.

    He thinks that time is on his side, in his favor. He has all the advantages of representing the whole of Cyprus. The total seats allocated to Cyprus in the European Parliament were given to the Greek Cypriots. The approval of the Annan plan in the referendum by the Turkish Cypriots has done away with an important obstacle before Turkey's path to the EU membership. However, from Turkey's point of view, non-solution has also drawbacks. It is not clear, after the referendum, whether Turkey will be held responsible or not in cases like the 'Loizidou'.

    Another difficulty is being created by the Customs Union Agreement. Turkey has to apply the Customs Union agreement to the ten new members. In the directive issued by the Turkish Council of Ministers, Cyprus was left out. It is not possible for Turkey to continue with this arrangement, south Cyprus has launched a strong protest to the EU.

    Turkey is looking for a formula to solve this issue. The aim is to solve the problem without recognizing the south Cyprus. A formula that would be tantamount to recognizing the south Cyprus as 'Republic of Cyprus' will provide to Mr Papadopoulos the chance to change all the parameters of Cyprus to his liking.

    One could not say that at present time is in favour of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. Unfortunately, in the international relations to have right is not enough. One has to chart new policies which will exert strong pressure on the south Cyprus. And that, to tell the truth, is not an easy thing to do".

    /SK


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