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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-03-24

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 CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 53/98 -- 24.3.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Spokesman comments on possibilities of clash in Cyprus.
  • [02] Poll on people's support to political parties in Turkey.
  • [03] Turkish Party CHP's plan for early election.
  • [04] February human rights report in Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Spokesman comments on possibilities of clash in Cyprus

    According to Anatolia agency (13:05 hours, 23.3.98), Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Necati Utkan, said on Monday that the armament efforts on the island of Cyprus will be met with serious measures.

    Addressing a weekly press briefing to foreign journalists, Utkan recalled that the issues of the S-300 missiles, the opening of the Paphos base, the purchases of anti-aircraft guns and tanks were discussed during the visit to the US of Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, adding "the armament efforts of the Greek Cypriot side have created uneasiness not only on the island, but also in the concerned countries and now people are thinking about how to deal with these wrong steps."

    Noting that the armament efforts on the island have reached their highest level, Utkan said that this increases the possibility of a clash on the island.

    [02] Poll on people's support to political parties in Turkey

    According to a report in CUMHURIYET (19.3.98) there has reportedly been a five-point fall in the voting power of the closed RP (Welfare Party) and this fall has now frozen. It has been established that the former electorate of the RP see themselves as the electorate of the FP (Virtue Party). As opposed to the fact that the ANAP (Motherland Party) has come out as the leading party of the center right, the DYP (True Path Party) has begun to pull itself together and the CHP (Republican Peoples' Party) has come out as the leading party of the left.

    The study, named "the Electorate and Political Parties-Changes in Political Tendencies After the Closure of the RP" and conducted with the cooperation between the Istanbul University Communication Faculty and Diyojen Communication Advisory under the coordination of Communication Vakif among 10,500 individuals in Adana, Ankara, Diyarbakir, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Istanbul, Izmir, and Samsun, revealed that the ANAP, FP, and CHP, in that order, are the leading parties throughout Turkey.

    According to the study, conducted between 16 February and 4 March, the rate of the undecided stands at 20 percent. The ANAP, which had received 19.6 percent of the votes in the 24 December 1995 elections, now got 18.1 percent after losing 1.5 percent. The FP, formed after the closure of the RP -- which, for its part, was the leading party at the same elections with a 21.4 percent of the votes -- came out second in the poll with 16.6.

    percent of the votes, while the CHP, which had come out as the fifth at the same elections with 10.7 percent of the votes, came out at the poll as the third party with 16.4 percent of the votes. While the RP/FP and the DYP came up as the parties that lost most with a drop of 5 percent of their votes, the CHP came out as the party that gained most with an increase of 5.7 percent of the votes. The loss of the RP's voting power has frozen at the 5-percent mark. The DYP, which is disintegrating in the large cities, recently began to pull itself together. In contrast to the ANAP's maintaining the voting power in the large cities, it has reportedly lost votes in rural areas and the small provinces, but, thanks to its advantages gained from being a governing partner, the fall in its voting power stopped at a certain level.

    The speedy increase in the votes of the center left is the most eye- catching point of the study. The votes of the center left especially, which increased after the elections, have increased faster during the past three months and the CHP is the leading party at this turning point. While a small fall in the DSP (Democratic Left Party) votes drew attention, the MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) received 7.8 of the votes, the HADEP (People's Democracy Party) received 5 percent, the DTP (Democratic Turkey Party) received 3.2 percent, the BBP (Great Unity Party) received 2.8 percent, and the ODP (Freedom and Solidarity Party) 2.4 percent. The study revealed that the CHP and MHP electorate are the ones most attached to their parties. In assessing the study, Istanbul University Dean Prof. Dr. Nuket Guz indicated that the electorate of the center parties believe they have been deceived and that the votes of this electorate will undergo a concrete disintegration and they will cast their votes in light of their assessment of the new politicians.

    While indicating that 75 percent of the RP electorate in Istanbul will vote for the FP, 13 percent of this party's electorate say they are undecided and have an inclination toward not casting their votes at all. While 6 percent of the RP electorate moved toward the BBP, attention was drawn to the fact that the RP will receive 14.5 percent of the Istanbul votes in a likely election. The ANAP continues to maintain its power. A disintegration, albeit on a small scale, is observed at the DYP.

    The ANAP appears to have won 10 percent of the DYP votes and 1.6 percent of the RP votes. While the DSP maintains the votes of 78 percent of its electorate, 8.5 percent of its electorate appear to have gone to the CHP, 3 percent to the ODP, and 1.2 percent to the ANAP. The CHP, which maintains 81 percent of its votes and won about 10 percent of the votes of other parties, lost 3 percent of its electorate to the DSP, and 3.7 percent to the ODP. Some 5 to 7 percent of the center left electorate stressed that they are undecided or will not cast votes to any of the parties.

    There is a large fall in the votes of the closed RP in Ankara. The rate of those who will cast their votes to the FP, which is said to be the continuation of the RP, is 13 percent.

    Despite the fall in the ANAP's electorate from 22 percent to 17 percent, the party continues to maintain the leadership and is struggling with the CHP. The CHP, the votes of which have fallen recently, albeit on a small scale, and which does not have much preeminence compared to the DSP, is reportedly one of the two most favoured parties in a likely election.

    The RP continues to maintain its power in the rural areas and the FP appears to have 19 percent of the votes. There is no serious fall in the votes of the center right and it continues to maintain an undisputed supremacy. The CHP, the voting power of which has increased from 8 to about 14 percent, is the only left-wing rival that may be able to put the right in a difficult situation. If the CHP's growth continues, it may constitute a strong option to the FP.

    Let alone the fact that it continues to maintain its votes in Izmir, the CHP is the only party that is getting stronger. The DSP, which came out as the first party in the last general elections with 24 percent of the votes and which is continuing to maintain its position, lost 8 percent of its votes to the CHP and appears to have put an end to the DYP's supremacy at the center right. The ODP received 3 percent of the votes in Izmir. While the ANAP quickly eliminated the five-point difference in favour of the DYP during the last elections, 5 percent of the Izmir electorate, who have not given any consideration to the RP at any time, say they will vote for the party claiming to be the continuation of the RP (in reference to the FP).

    BOT

    Changes During the Last Three Years

    Parties       1995 (%)      1998 (%)      Difference
    -------       --------     ---------      -----------
    ANAP           19.60         18.10          -1.50
    RP/FP          21.40         16.60          -4.80
    CHP            10.70         16.40          +5.70
    DYP            19.20         14.20          -5.00
    DSP            14.60         11.90          -2.70
    MHP             8.20          7.80          -0.40
    HADEP           4.20          5.00          +0.80
    DT P                          3.20
    BBP                           2.80
    ODP                           2.40
    Other          21.10          1.60
    Total         100.00        100.00         100.00
    

    [03] Turkish Party CHP's plan for early election

    According to daily SABAH (Internet version,23.3.98), following the "ultimatum" - like statement from the Chief of the General Staff and the force commanders, CHP (Republican People's Party) leader Deniz Baykal met his lieutenants and drew up a five-stage plan.
    1. A leaders' summit under Demirel.
    2. A summit decision on an election.
    3. An independent election government.
    4. An early election in June.
    5. If government insists on remaining in power, the CHP will consider bringing it down.

    According to CHP leader Deniz Baykal's plan, the leaders' summit to be held under President Suleyman Demirel should adopt a decision to hold an early election and ask an independent election government to conduct the elections in June or in the fall at the latest. If the government resists this plan, then the CHP will bide its time, and if problems increase it will consider bringing the government down.

    Noting that at present they have no intention of toppling the government, Baykal said: "This government's life span has come to an end. Its last deadline has expired. It has to realize now that it cannot proceed further with this insensitive approach. Yilmaz cannot ensure the continuation of this government."

    In a statement to SABAH, this is how Baykal explained the CHP's plans for the future: "What we want at this stage is for the leaders' summit to adopt a decision to hold early elections and conduct the elections under an independent prime minister.

    Unless we do this, the crisis in Turkey will escalate. In that case, we might reconsider our decision not to topple the government."

    This is the five-stage plan that has emerged from Baykal's meeting with his lieutenants:

    "1. This government has come to an end with the statement issued by the commanders. The disregard of the present situation is fraught with major drawbacks for the country and democracy. The President should hold a leaders' summit. If esteemed Demirel does not do that, then we ourselves will issue the call for a summit. That summit should assess the situation in the country.

    "2. The situation in which Turkey and the government find themselves should be discussed thoroughly and all the leaders should agree upon holding an early election.

    "3. The election could be held in June or in the fall.

    The date could be discussed and decided upon. The amendments to the election law could also be discussed. The electorate could be given the right to make a preliminary selection from among the candidates for the post of deputyship. While casting his vote, the voter should also indicate the candidate of his choice.

    "4. After a decision on the election, the meeting should also decide under which government to go to the elections. The government to take the country to the elections should not be one that thinks about the interest of its own part or uses the State's potential for its own interests. Therefore, the elections could be held under the premiership of an independent deputy.

    Such an (election) government will be supported by the parties in the parliament.

    "5. If the present government refuses this plan then the crisis will grow further. We could only wait for a bit more to see what is going to be done by this government, which has wasted Turkey's nine months, failed to fulfill what was expected of it in the fight against reactionism, failed to even prepare a program to reduce inflation, failed to solve the Susurluk problem, and instead resorted to changes in policy (toward the military and reactionism). The moment it is realized that all hope has been lost, then we could reconsider our decision not to topple this government."

    [04] February human rights report in Turkey

    According to Turkish Daily News (20.3.98), Human Rights Association (IHD) Chairman Akin Birdal issued the February human rights report during a press conference last Thursday held at the association's headquarters in Ankara.

    Birdal said that the system which blocks people's freedom and right to life in Turkey was being maintained. The right to life is being violated in particular, he said. The state supports attacks against freedoms and rights, and provides protection for the attackers, he stated. People have inflicted torture on citizens and youths have been killed in extra-judicial executions, and the people and gangs responsible for these actions remain free.

    "Today, journalist Metin Goktepe's case was finalized.

    Five of the policemen who inflicted torture on him were sentenced to seven years and six months of imprisonment. Others were acquitted. Two of the sentenced did not even participate in the session. Metin Goktepe symbolizes the public, and the verdict the court has delivered did not satisfy the public's conscience. The verdict is a further indication that those policemen who inflicted torture on Metin Goktepe are under the protection of the state itself. Moreover, since Metin Goktepe was a journalist, this verdict also encourages attacks and coercion on the press", Birdal said:

    Birdal pointed out that the draft bill concerning "freedom of speech", which has been under preparation for months in the framework of democratization at tempts by the government, has been lost inside the Parliament itself, raising suspicions.

    The draft bill was following normal bureaucratic procedures, when it was lost during the signature process. Unfortunately, its loss indicates a government attitude which disregards human rights and freedom issues.

    Birdal said that although a constitution that was drawn up after the 1980 coup exists in Turkey, the ongoing interim regime debates had taken the issues of human rights and freedom off Turkey's agenda. When the students and civil servants exercised their democratic rights, the police attacked them, said Birdal.

    Birdal underlined the coercion and threats to freedom of speech suffered by the press, citing the cases of Huseyin Karatas, the editor of daily Gundem, who was jailed recently for one of his books; and Yasar Kaplan, a columnist in daily Akit, who was taken into custody just in front of the courthouse where he went to give testimony concerning an article that he has written.

    Birdal also said that he considered the recent events at Radikal very discouraging from the perspective of human rights, freedom of press and independence. Five journalist-writers, Koray Duzgoren, Nazli Eray, Fusun Ozbilgen, Burcak Evren and Gulsen Karakadioglu, were fired from their jobs without being notified. Birdal said the depressing fact of the matter is that journalists do not have a sense of professional solidarity; that journalist organizations remained silent over the dismissals, bar a few remarks made on television. He said that this situation - journalists' lack of job security - would prevent people's right to access true, correct and objective information.

    HUMAN RIGHTS FEBRUARY BALANCE SHEET

    Mysterious killings                           19
    Extra-Judicial executions                      8
    People killed in confrontations               59
    Attacks on civilians                        4 (inj.)
    Claims of torture                             24
    Missing persons                                2
    People taken into custody                   4307
    People attacked or threatened                 37
    People arrested                               71
    Villages burnt                                 2
    Illegal job dismissals                      613 people discharged
    Attacks against prisoners                   24(inj.)
    Arson and bombings                            17
    Closures of Nongovernmental organizations,
    political institutions and regular
    publications                                  11
    Threatened NGOs, pol. insts. and reg.pubs.    20
    Outlawed and confiscated publications         33
    People who face fines or jail terms          143 years and three
                                                 months jail
    People sentenced to pay fines or go          6 years and ten
    to jail                                      months jail, an
                                                 28 milliard TL
    Prisoners of conscience in jail              110
    

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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