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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 97-02-05

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No.23/97 5/2/97


CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] No concrete development in Denktash - Han Sung Chu meeting
  • [02] Decreasing number of visitors in the occupied area
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [03] Columnist wonders whether Cillers is a "Godmother"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] No concrete development in Denktash - Han Sung Chu meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak Radio (11.30 hours, Feb. 4/2/97) Rauf Denktash yesterday met with Han Sung -Chu the UN Secretary General's envoy for Cyprus. The meeting was attended by Taner Etkin, "minister of foreign affairs and defense", Necati Munir Ertekun, coordinator and "presidential special political adviser, Ergun Olgun, special political adviser, Mustafa Evran, "political affairs director general" and Gustave Feissel, the UN Secretary General's deputy special envoy to Cyprus.

    In a statement to Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot journalists, Han said that he was not able to achieve a concrete development in his contacts. He said that he is trying to determine the political will of the two sides in order to reach a solution. Han noted that both sides have good will adding: "The two sides, however, interpret the dituation differently".

    Replying to a question, Han said that he did not bring a specific message, and that the next process will be determined at the end of his visit.

    Rauf Denktash said that at this stage he has nothing to add to what the special envoy said.

    [02] Decreasing number of visitors in the occupied area

    Kibris (3/2/97) reports that the number of people visiting the occupied area is decreasing. The paper says while 520,133 people visited the "TRNC" in 1995, the number dropped down to 497,289 in 1996. Statistics show a drop of 2.76% in the number of Turkish visitors, and a drop of 20.88 in the number of foreign visitors. Tourism "officials" blame the drop in the number of visitors on the incidents during the summer.

    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [03] Columnist wonders whether Ciller is a "Godmother"

    Gul Demir, writing in Turkish Daily News (4/2/97) under the title "Is Tansu Ciller the Godmother?", inter alia says:

    "Turkey's image has recently become the subject of intense debate in the European media and in the reports and statements of various government and nongovernmental organizations. These are international reflections on the activities of officially-backed criminal gangs, the existence of which can no longer be denied since the Susurluk accident led to the partial revelation of murky relations between the Turkish state apparatus and unltranationalist mafiosos.

    Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tansu Ciller's "heroes" are spreading Turkey's "fame" around the world thanks to their overstuffed criminal files- unsolved murders, money laundering, extorion, kidnapping, illegal gambling, coup-stirring in neighboring countries, sabotage, incitement to war and so on.

    The Turkish Republic's flag waves on German television screens -backround decor on which a heroin syringe has been superimposed. The needle hit a swollen vein when a German State Court judge pointed to a high level (female) Turkish minister as the "godmother" of drug smugglers. And so Tansu Ciller is transformed in the eyes of the citizens of Europe's biggest country from "mother" to "godmother" of her country citizens, adn as the "boss", the minister who protects drug smugglers. Ozer Ucuran CIller never left his wife alone in her appearances before the German media during her last busy visit to Germany. A photo purporting to show Mr Ciller with Turkey's biggest media boss and people accused of being involved in smuggling nuclear materials appears in newspapers and on television screens. In Holland the financial dealings carried out by offices belonging to some of Turkey's biggest banks are suspended on the suspicion of "laundering drug money". Turkey's name is mentioned often along with those of countries like Colombia considered to be the home of the world's leading drug dealers.

    So what do Turkish authorities do about this? They behave like parents who suspect that their children might be into drugs but since there is no concrete evidence, they would prefer not to think about it. The real disaster hasn't knocked on their own door yet. Even when they are confronted with reality, some try to play down the scale of the event; they rationalize to seek ways out of the situation, stressing what hasn't been said rather than confront reality.

    "Ciller's name is not mentioned in the German court's decision" they say or, "The judge did not mean to say that, but meant to say this," or "Look at this: even the prosecutor was surprised by the statement of the judge". People conveniently forget that Turkey has been known as a highway for drugs traveling from east to west for a number of years.

    Some of them stage a farce, issuing ultimatums and demanding apologies, trying to keep their heads above the sewer water in which they are swimming.

    Some circles would like the recent past to be forgotten, as if Ciller were not this country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, as if she had not been the Prime Minister for several years ,as if the activities carried out by gangs such as the unresolved murders and newspaper bombings did not contradict her public statements as prime minister, as if she hadn't offered Mehmet Agar a seat in Parliament and then appointed him to be Minister of Justice and later Interior Minister; the same Agar who stands accused of providing gang members with facilities enabling them to commit crimes and escape consequences.

    As if it were not Ciller who personally declared a gang chief killed in the Susurluk traffic accident a "hero" . In Turkey now these same circles are now maneuvering to prevent Ciller's name from entering international criminal files.

    Other circles fallaciously and foolishly resort to demagoguery in their attempts to cover up the whole affair. "But the state of the Republic of Turkey shoud not be accused of what Mrs Ciller has been doing" they plead.

    In reality, however the recent chain of events in Germany, France and Britain, three countries which can be said to primarily represent Western Europe, portrays today's Turkey as if it had been photographed from a different angle. The evaluations appear in the decisions of German state courts and in the German media; in the reports of the Geopolitical Narcotics Monitor (Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues) ih France, which prepares reports on drug trafficking; in the statements of the junior minister in the British Home Office, Tom Sackville; and in the reasoning behind Holland's suspending the activities of the Turkish banks branches there:

    * 70 - 80 percent of the drugs on the European market come through Turkey.

    * Drug trafficking has political connections in Turkey and the drug smugglers are under high level official protection from the state and politicians.

    * Some top figures in the security forces and government authorities are involved in the drug - smuggling business.

    * Criminals wanted by Interpol, far from being caught, are protected and provided with diplomatic passports and documents in Turkey which enables them to continue their activities.

    * The information supplied by Turkish security units about the international drugs trade is not reliable.

    * Drug trafficking information supplied by Western security forces to their Turkish counterparts is leaked to the smugglers and results in the failure of anti-drug operations.

    The news articles then reach the conclusion that Turkey is one of the centers of international heroin traffic and has become the Colombia of Europe. The opinion of some observers that the ongoing war in Turkey against the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) is partially finaced by the money earned trhough the drugs trade has been gaining more advocates, and certainly some funds come from that source. And this differs from previous government accusations that the PKK has been finacing its activities via the drug trade.

    All these developments indicate an upcoming disaster in Turko-European relations through an overdose on drugs. Turkey has not been able to avoid intense and incessant criticism over its attitude towards democratization and human rights and now it faces the more serious allegation of international drug trafficking.

    Western Europe has begun signaling that the attitude which they normally take against Colombia is on agenda for Turkey if Turkey cannot eradicate all the dirt thrown up by the gangs in which some state officials have been involved. To give one of the least of the possible sanctions, Tansu Ciller could be refused a visa to travel to European countries although she is said to hold a US passport". EF/YH

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