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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-04-27

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.79/05 27.04.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The EU calls on Turkey to fulfil its commitments at the end of the Turkey-EU Association Council.
  • [02] Statements during a joint press conference by Gul, Asselborn and Rehn in Luxembourg.
  • [03] Through leakages by diplomatic sources Turkey is trying to present as good will the efforts to legalize its crimes against the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [04] The Turkish Prime Minister called on Australia to legalize the faits accomplis of the barbaric Turkish invasion against innocent Greek Cypriots.
  • [05] The illegal occupation regime announced a new so-called cabinet.
  • [06] Erdogans advisor on foreign relations says that the priority of the Turkish side after the referendums is the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
  • [07] The main goal of the program of the new pseudogovernment of the occupation regime is restructuring the occupied part of Cyprus and leading it to the EU standards.
  • [08] The efforts of the occupation regime to gain political recognition through sporting events continue.
  • [09] ORTAM writes that Turkey included occupied Cyprus in its EU harmonization program.
  • [10] Two Austrians, who live in the free areas of Cyprus, were arrested in the occupied areas because they entered a military area.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Erdogan´s advisers are reported to have advised him to take Turkey out of NATO. General Ozkok´s reaction.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The EU calls on Turkey to fulfil its commitments at the end of the Turkey-EU Association Council

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.05) reported from Luxembourg that the European Union called on Turkey to sign the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement that foresees extension of the agreement to new members of EU, as soon as possible.

    A statement titled "Position of the European Union" was published after the 44th meeting of the EU-Turkey Association Council held in Luxembourg on Tuesday. It was stressed in the statement that "the signing of the protocol, its ratification and its subsequent implementation would constitute important steps forward towards normalization of the relations between Turkey and all EU Member states" --including the Republic of Cyprus.

    The EU stressed that it welcomed the exchange of letters with Turkey which confirmed its approval of signing the additional protocol.

    In the statement, the EU pointed out to the importance it attributed to the implementation of reforms in Turkey. However the EU, which also referred to some problems seen in the implementation (of the reforms), criticized Turkey saying that "the political reforms undertaken were not fully understood at the regional and administrative level".

    The EU commented that "full implementation of the political reforms would contribute to the development of South Anatolia", and it also called on the government to find immediate solutions to the specific problems of religious minorities, communities and trade unions. Referring to the relations between the civilians and military, the EU defended the view that there was need for civilians to have full control over the army.

    In the judiciary field, the EU referred to the importance of implementation of the new penal code, and stressed that there were still complaints of torture and mistreatment.

    In the statement the EU stressed that there were some problems as regards the freedom of expression and association.

    "The EU urges Turkey to re-open the Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary," it was stated.

    As regards economic and social rights, it was stressed that 'honor killings' were still a problem in Turkey.

    The EU supported the efforts of Turkey to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem. It also referred to the economy and praised the success of Turkey in the economic field.

    [02] Statements during a joint press conference by Gul, Asselborn and Rehn in Luxembourg

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.05) reported from Luxembourg that the 44th meeting of Turkey-EU Association Council held in Luxembourg, was concluded.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Asselborn, and European Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn held a joint press conference after the meeting.

    Mr Gul underlined the importance of this meeting since it is the first one held after December 17th (2004 when the European Council decided to open negotiations on October 3rd, 2005), and said that initiatives launched, accomplishments and performance were discussed.

    FM Gul said that both parties expressed their expectations and discussed the possible solutions of several problems.

    Noting that they also discussed the customs union, Gul expressed belief that some problems in this matter would be solved with mutual understanding.

    Gul said that he reiterated Turkey's and Turkish Cypriot's decisiveness to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, and told EU representatives that they would support UN's efforts aiming at solving this problem.

    Mr Gul also said that implementation of two regulations prepared by the European Commission would be a serious step.

    Recalling the compromise reached on the additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, Gul said that Turkey was ready to sign this protocol after the EU fulfilled its liabilities regarding this matter.

    On the other hand, European Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn stressed the giant progress made by Turkey in reforms.

    Expressing pleasure with Turkey's compromise about the adjustment protocol, Rehn said that he believed the protocol would be signed ''in an appropriate time''.

    Rehn also expressed his expectation that the new Turkish Penal Code (TCK) would be put into force on June 1st, and said that the EU expected more progress from Turkey in areas such as judicial reforms, women´s and cultural rights.

    Noting that they had encouraged Turkey to exert efforts for settlement of the Cyprus problem, Rehn said that they had laid the ground for serious talks on this matter.

    Answering questions of reporters, Gul said: "We cannot forget about this problem (Cyprus problem) just because one party (Republic of Cyprus) joined the EU. The UN is the place where this problem can be solved."

    Gul said that signing the additional protocol to Ankara Agreement by Turkey would not mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, and added: "You cannot just say that the Cyprus problem is solved just because the Greek Cypriot side became a member of the EU."

    Noting that Turkey could have a separate cooperation with Greece and Cyprus in the East Mediterranean other than the EU, Gul said that everybody would benefit from this (cooperation).

    Answering a question about the Turkish war planes violating Greek air space over the Aegean, Gul said: "Today, I explained how Turkish-Greek relations have developed and our searches for possible solution of our problems. There are areas in the Aegean, the status of which is not made certain by international laws. When you say these areas belong to me, they can't be yours. So, as in Kardak (Imia) incident, we have seen that there are circles who are uneasy with the good relations." Gul said that media and public opinion should also support the dialogue launched by the politicians, and noted, "we should well consider whether clashes or searches for a solution under rights and laws are for our interest."

    Gul said that the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting was very fruitful.

    Gul told reporters after the meeting that the reform process was important as regards Turkey's relations with the EU, but the reforms were in fact implemented for the sake of the Turkish people. Stressing that the 'critical threshold' was overcome in Turkey-EU relations, Gul said that there was no slow-down in the reform process.

    On the Cyprus problem, Mr Gul said he told EU officials that the ball was now on the EU's yard, and noted that some calls of the EU about Cyprus offended Turkey.

    Referring to Armenian claims of genocide, Gul said that the FM of Luxembourg Jean Asselborn expressed his pleasure about Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal of forming a joint commission with Armenia.

    Gul said that his overall contacts in Luxembourg were very fruitful. Later on he left Luxembourg for Turkey.

    [03] Through leakages by diplomatic sources Turkey is trying to present as good will the efforts to legalize its crimes against the Republic of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.05) reported from Luxembourg the following:

    Turkey asked the European Union not to make discrimination against it and to treat Turkey equally with other candidate countries.

    Diplomatic sources said that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul who represented Turkey in the 44th Turkey-EU Association Council meeting on Tuesday, told EU officials that Turkey expected the EU Commission to equally treat Turkey with other candidate countries. Gul also asked EU officials to send the first draft of the negotiation accession framework to the EU Council before October 3rd, as soon as possible.

    Sources said that Gul informed EU officials about the measures taken in Turkey to fight torture and mistreatment and about the draft law on foundations, adding that developments in the field of human rights were also covered in Gul's meetings in Luxembourg.

    The same sources said that Gul also expressed Turkey's disappointment about the Cyprus paragraph of the EU statement issued after the Association Council meeting. Gul asked a question to his counterparts that "Should Turkey, which supported the UN plan, or others continue to support efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem?" Gul also criticized the EU expression included in the statement referring to the 'normalization of the relations between Turkey and the EU' saying "isn't our relations already normal?" Diplomatic sources said that Gul also stressed that EU has not fulfilled its responsibility about Cyprus and no concrete steps were taken to end the isolation of `TRNC´. Gul also brought to agenda the problems of Muslim minority in Western Thrace, stressing that the Muslim community could not elect its mufti, couldn't set up its foundations and had problems in education of their children.

    On the same issue Ankara Anatolia later on (26.04.05) reported the following from Luxembourg and Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting in Luxembourg stressed that the Turkish government is determined to implement the reforms comprehensively and effectively.

    Diplomatic sources said Gul told EU officials that Turkey is aware of its deficiency in the reform process, and the government will eliminate each of these deficiencies.

    Gul noted that the government still assesses the re-opening of the Halki Greek Orthodox Seminary, adding that fight against torture and maltreatment has priority in the agenda of the government.

    Referring to the efforts of Turkey and `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (occupied areas of Cyprus) for resolution of the Cyprus issue, Gul said that Turkey is not the party which should be encouraged to take further steps for resolution. He said that they expected the international community to take concrete steps to lift the isolation of `TRNC´.

    Touching on Turkish-Greek relations during the meeting, Gul said Turkey welcomes dialogue and cooperation with Greece. He stressed that Turkey is determined to solve several differences of opinion regarding the Aegean issue on the basis of mutual interests.

    Gul denied claims about problems of Turkish citizens of Greek origin on Imbros and Tenedos. He also expressed uneasiness over conditions of the Turkish minority in western Thrace.

    [04] The Turkish Prime Minister called on Australia to legalize the faits accomplis of the barbaric Turkish invasion against innocent Greek Cypriots

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.05) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan met his Australian counterpart John Howard at the Ciragan Palace in Istanbul today (Tuesday).

    The Erdogan-Howard meeting lasted for about 50 minutes and was closed to the press.

    According to information received by the A.A, Erdogan and Howard agreed on making the 100th anniversary of the Canakkale War, 2015, very special and establishing joint committees to organize the ceremonies.

    Australia's Minister of Trade will be in Turkey on May 6th to discuss issues such as investments and double taxation.

    Howard assured Erdogan that Australia will do everything possible to ensure lasting -peace in Cyprus. Erdogan requested from Howard to end the economic blockade of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, the name given by the Turkish Republic to the areas of Cyprus the Turkish army keeps under occupation with 40,000 troops since 1974.

    Howard promised Erdogan that Australia will assess such a request.

    [05] The illegal occupation regime announced a new so-called cabinet

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.05) reported from occupied Lefkosia on Tuesday that a new government was founded by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the acting leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP).

    There are seven ministers from RTP and three ministers from the other coalition partner Democrat Party (DP).

    Five ministers who were in the previous RTP-DP coalition government kept their posts, while there are four new names from RTP and one new name from DP in the new cabinet.

    Below is the list of RTP-DP coalition's ministers:

    So-called Prime Minister: Ferdi Sabit Soyer (RTP), so-called Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister: Serdar Denktas (DP), so-called Interior Minister, Ozkan Murat (RTP), so-called Finance Minister, Ahmet Uzun (RTP), so-called Economy and Tourism Minister: Dervis Kemal Deniz (DP), so-called National Education and Culture Minister, Canan Oztoprak, so-called Agriculture and Forestry Minister: Huseyin Oztoprak (DP), so-called Public Works and Transportation Minister, Salih Usar (RTP), so-called Labour and Social Security Minister, Sonay Adem (RTP), so-called Health and Social Assistance Minister, Esref Vaiz (RTP) and so-called Youth and Sports Minister, Ozkan Yorgancioglu (RTP).

    [06] Erdogans advisor on foreign relations says that the priority of the Turkish side after the referendums is the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27.04.05) reports that Egemen Bagis, MP with the Justice and Development Party in Istanbul and advisor of Prime Minister Erdogan on issues concerning the foreign relations, has said that the priority of the Turkish side after the 24 April 2004 referendums in Cyprus is the lifting of the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Analyzing the relations between Turkey and the USA, Mr Bagis noted recently that the USA should undertake an initiative towards the lifting of the economic, political, cultural and social isolation allegedly applied on the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper writes that Mr Bagis separated the relation between Turkey and the USA into five main topics: Iraq, Cyprus, broader initiative in the Middle East, the Peace Process in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

    Mr Bagis alleged that the JDP government has fulfilled its duty for the accession of a united Cyprus into the EU and added:

    The Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have shown the necessary determination for the solution of the problem. In this framework, our priority is putting an end to the punishment of the Turkish Cypriots through isolations, who voted for a diplomatic solution in the referendum.

    The Turkish MP reminded that the USA had sent a while ago some American businessmen to the occupied northern part of Cyprus and described this as significant step, but not enough. It is understood as an important gesture of good will at the moment, he said.

    Expressing the belief that a solution could be reached in Cyprus, Mr Bagis claimed: In case the Greek Cypriot intransigent policy continues, the USA could help finding a solution if it repeats the policy it had applied in Macedonia and states that it will recognize the `TRNC´. Such a statement by the USA will help in activating the Greek Cypriot side for a solution.

    Meanwhile, after meeting the UNs Under - Secretary - General for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, Mr Bagis said that the UN official told him that a new process of dialogue between the sides will be launched in Cyprus. Making an evaluation on the meetings of NATO Parliamentary Assemblys Committee for Transatlantic Affairs, he noted that he had a bilateral meeting with Sir Kieran Prendergast and added that he expressed to the UN official the hope that the UN Secretary General will launch a new effort in Cyprus and pointed out that he encouraged him in this direction.

    [07] The main goal of the program of the new pseudogovernment of the occupation regime is restructuring the occupied part of Cyprus and leading it to the EU standards

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (27.04.05) reports that the program of the new government of the occupation regime under Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer was given the name Restructuring Program.

    The paper writes that the main goal of the program is restructuring our country and leading it towards the EU norms, ensuring the social understanding.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the program says: Our effort towards the United Cyprus for which we said yes will continue. Our duty is explaining to the world how the Turkish Cypriots are influenced from this problem and protecting the historical and political rights of the Turkish Cypriots when the problem is solved.

    Referring to the efforts towards the harmonization with the EU the program says: The State Planning Organization will be reorganized and in addition to its current duties it will be turned into a center of harmonization with the EU and of preparing projects.

    [08] The efforts of the occupation regime to gain political recognition through sporting events continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (27.04.05) reports that the chairman of the so-called Olympic Committee of the occupation regime, Mr Hasan Ali Bicak, has said that he continues his efforts towards the participation of the pseudostate in the Worlds University Games, which will be taking place next August in Izmir, Turkey.

    In statements yesterday to the paper Mr Bicak said, inter alia, the following:

    Athletes from the TRNC must also participate in these games, the host of which will be Turkey. We are not given such chances so easily, because the host is our motherland Turkey. If we do not take the opportunity to participate as TRNC in an organization in Turkey, in which games organized in what country shall we participate? Before I was dismissed in an unfortunate manner, I had sent a letter in this regard to George Callihan, Chairman of the International Federation of Universities (FISU), to Izmirs mayor and to Ali Sahin, Turkeys State Minister responsible for the Sports. ..

    [09] ORTAM writes that Turkey included occupied Cyprus in its EU harmonization program

    Under the title Are we annexed? Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (27.04.05) reports that Turkey included north Cyprus, considering it as its own land, in the harmonization efforts with the EU.

    As the paper writes, The project for making a list of the number of the animals in occupied Cyprus has started to be applied by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian of Turkey. In addition, the so-called government of the occupation regime was left out of the implementation of this project, which is taking place in the framework of the harmonization efforts of Turkey in order to enter the EU. The project has started on the 30th of March. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of Turkey stated in an announcement that the Ministry will offer the services regarding this project free of charge.

    [10] Two Austrians, who live in the free areas of Cyprus, were arrested in the occupied areas because they entered a military area

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (27.04.05) reports that two Austrian men, who live in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, were arrested yesterday by the occupation regime because they entered into a military zone in occupied Cyprus. According to AFRIKA two persons, the 45 year-old with the initials A.T. and the 58 year-old with initials H.K. were arrested yesterday at noon for entering into a first-degree military area.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Erdogan´s advisers are reported to have advised him to take Turkey out of NATO. General Ozkok´s reaction

    Ankara Turkish Daily News (26.04.05) publishes the following commentary by Dr

    Cuneyt Ulsever under the title: "Why did Gen Ozkok make such a harsh speech?":

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök is, or rather was, known as a commander keen to keep the army within the limitations of its job description.

    Contrary to the "old tradition" he would refrain from making any comments with political nuances.

    Nevertheless, he has recently started making comments that would imply once again that the army is taking over the role of protecting the republic. Last week Özkök made a very harsh speech that directly criticized the government on political issues.

    He said that the fundamentalists, who had changed their policy of attempting to take over the country through terrorist or other not dissimilar methods, now seem to be following more peaceful avenues to affect change, but overall their strategy of establishing a religious state remains unchanged, even if the tactics have been revised.

    He also said that religious fundamentalists are swiftly taking over bureaucratic staff. He accused the government of assigning their own followers to critical positions within the state apparatus. He denied the term, "soft Islamic state in Turkey," and commented that Turkey is a secular state and not an Islamic country.

    Many people like me considered this speech as direct involvement by the army in politics, obviously we consider the speech as an unfortunate blow to the ailing Turkish democracy.

    But according to some allegations there is a very serious reason why the Chief of Staff felt obliged to make this unfortunate speech.

    The allegations may also enlighten remarks made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a few weeks ago. When Erdogan started receiving criticism from different sources, he retorted, "Somebody has pushed the button."

    According to some allegations in Ankara a few months ago, some "advisors" to the prime minister had suggested pulling Turkey out of NATO.

    According to these "wise" advisors, NATO would "definitely be used against Syria and perhaps Iraq."

    The advisors who may look very "metro sexual" on the surface thought that if the Turkish army would be used against Islamic countries, that would be the end of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) before the eyes of Turkish voters who are very sensitive to religious alliances.

    According to the allegations the prime minister told his advisors that he would "consider" pulling Turkey out of NATO!

    As soon as this rumour was heard in Ankara, many involved parties warned the government about the possible consequences of Turkey actually pulling out.

    American specialists told government officials that they may change the path of the so-called "Silk Road" and visited both Romania and Bulgaria. The Parliaments of these countries accepted a bill that welcomed NATO forces within their countries.

    These U.S. specialists also talked to Greece about redeploying some NATO forces from Italy to Greece, where they also received welcoming messages.

    Meanwhile, Turkey has hesitated on a new agreement for the Incirlik air base for around 10 months now.

    As it is felt that the prime minister did not want to heed the warnings that a possible catastrophe could happen if Turkey pulled out of NATO, some crazy radicals even talked about toppling the government.

    They even named the "toppling" after the name of a colour in line with coups in neighbouring countries.

    Eventually the Chief of Staff had to deliver his speech and held a special meeting with the prime minister.

    Finally, Erdogan eventually understood the consequences of such an idiotic idea.

    It is expected that those who are not that close to him but who are more enlightened and certainly wiser will replace some of the closer "friendly-advisors" of the prime minister!

    /SK


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