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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-05-15

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 CYPRIOT PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA

No. 85/98 -- 15.5.98

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Serdar Denktash calls on Talat to safeguard "TRNC".
  • [02] Sezgin claims deployment of S-300's in Cyprus "crazy".
  • [03] Report on IHD members killed in 11 years in Turkey.
  • [04] Cem to meet Holbrooke, Hannay in Scotland.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Columnist on assassination attempt against Akin Birdal and its repercussions.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Serdar Denktash calls on Talat to safeguard "TRNC"

    According to illegal Bayrak radio (15:30 hours, 14.5.98) Serdar Denktash, so-called state minister and deputy prime minister, has claimed that there is nothing more natural than the recognition of the "TRNC".

    In a written statement issued, Denktash assessed the statement Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Mehemet Ali TAlat made in London. He said that the statement made Talat the leader of a political party that is opposed to the political situation of its own "state". Alleging that the fact that the world recognizes the Cyprus Government as the government of the entire island does not render the existing situation more difficult, Denktash continued: "Why should the TRNC's recognition request render the existing situation more difficult?"

    Denktash said that, being a party leader, Mr. Talat does not have the right to close his eyes to these realities, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side has adopted a new stand after the EU and the Greek Cypriot side destroyed the former parameters.

    Denktash called on Talat to make sound assessments befitting the leader of a "TRNC" political party and to safeguard the so-called republic.

    Talat, addressing a panel meeting in London some days ago, said that the recognition of the "TRNC" will render the existing situation more difficult, adding that it is contrary to the 1960 Constitution, the guarantee and alliance agreements, and other high-level agreements. .../..

    [02] Sezgin claims deployment of S-300's in Cyprus "crazy"

    According to Anatolia Agency (13:11 hours, 14.5.98) Ismet Sezgin, Turkey's deputy prime minister and the minister of national defence, claimed on Thursday that the deployment of the Russian made S-300 missiles on Cyprus would be "crazy".

    Addressing the journalists at the Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Economy and Policy, he said neither NATO nor the other states want a crisis in the region when the entire world is working on the new security and stability plans.

    Alleging that the S-300 missiles, which will be deployed by the Greek Cypriot side in the Paphos region, will threaten Turkey, Sezgin pointed out that Turkey and the pseudostate will take all the necessary measures against the missiles in question.

    Claiming that the Turkish Government works for a peaceful policy, Sezgin added, "we defend that the sides should come together and discuss the problems peacefully."

    [03] Report on IHD members killed in 11 years in Turkey

    According to a report in HURRIYET (13.5.98) the attack on the Chairman of the Human Rights Association (IHD) Akin Birdal has drawn attention to the association again. The IHD lost 12 of its officials in 11 years, from 1986 to 1998. They are:

    1. Didar Sensoy, one of the founders of the association. Died of a heart attack after being assaulted and hit.

    2. Vedat Aydin, member of the IHD office in Diyarbakir. Kidnapped and tortured to death.

    3. Siddik Tan, member of the IHD office executive council in Batman. Killed in an armed attack.

    4. Idris Ozcelik, member of the IHD office executive coucil in Sanliurfa. Killed in an armed attack.

    5. Kemal Kilic, member of the IHD office executive council in Sanliurfa. Killed in an armed attack.

    6. Orhan Karaagar, member of the IHD office in Van. Killed in an armed attack.

    7. Cemal Akar, member of the IHD office in Erzincan. Killed in an armed attack.

    8. Sevket Epozdemir, IHD representative in Tatvan. Killed in an armed attack.

    9. Metin Can, head of the IHD office in Elazig. Kidnapped and tortured to death.

    10. Hasan Kaya, member of the IHD office in Elazig. Kidnapped and tortured to death.

    11. Muhsin Melik, founding member of the IHD office in Sanliurfa. Killed in an armed attack.

    12. Ikram Mihyas, member of the IHD office in Izmir. Kidnapped and tortured to death.

    [04] Cem to meet Holbrooke, Hannay in Scotland

    According to Turkish Daily News (15.5.98, Internet Version) Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is to participate in a special meeting organized by a think tank in Scotland on May 14-17 where prominent politicians and diplomats will debate on vital issues ranging from the Asian crisis to the Cyprus problem.

    The series of conferences organized by Netherlands-based think tank Bilderberg will include guests such as Henry Kissinger, NATO Secretary- General Javier Solana, British Defence Secretary George Robertson, US special presidential envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke and the UK representative to Cyprus Sir David Hannay.

    The meeting is not open to the media. Cem and Hannay will participate in a panel discussion where the major issue will be the Cyprus problem.

    Cem is also expected to meet Holbrooke and Sir David during the Bilderberg meeting. The Cyprus issue and Turkey in relation to the European Union (EU) will occupy the meeting between the three leaders. Cem was said to be preparing to highlight Turkey's strategic importance in Europe. Turkey has boosted its diplomatic efforts as the EU Cardiff summit nears.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister was also expected to visit London on May 18 where he may meet with British Foreign Minister Robin Cook.

    Although there has been no confirmation from the British Foreign Office about a Cem-Cook meeting in London, sources hinted that it was a strong possibility.

    If it goes ahead, the date of the visit is significant since it also coincides with the EU-US summit where Turco-EU relations are hoped to occupy the agenda. Cook is also visiting Turkey on May 19, a day after Cem's visit to London.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Columnist on assassination attempt against Akin Birdal and its repercussions

    In an opinion article in Turkish Daily News (14.5.98) Gul Demir says: "The murder was planned openly and the name of the victims were announced to the world through the media and the press. The trigger men got the clue. At the first word from their leaders, they seized their guns and took to the streets.

    The first item on the list was the demand for democracy and human rights. This call had to be stifled immediately. The belief that people of different cultures, ethnic backgrounds, religions and creeds could live in peace, solidarity and friendship in a democratic society that respected human rights had to be eradicated. In a land where basic rights, the freedom of expression and association were recognized and protected, the barbarous plundering of the national wealth would not be permitted. Indeed, the merciless struggle for power and the scramble for the country's resources required that defenders of human rights and democracy be silenced, by pen or by sword. Two days ago, these triggers were turned on Akin Birdal, president of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and friend of all defenders of human rights. Bullets cannot taint his character, tolerant, kind, polite and wise, but will they reach their real aim, the principles for which he stands? Akin Birdal and the IHD have defended human rights with determination, courage and commitment, earning the respect of human right defenders at home and abroad.

    Birdal exposed the falsehoods propagated by the rulers, adhering to values of truthfulness, objectivity and rationalism. Despite heavy pressure, he never let himself be intimidated.

    Akin Birdal sought to plant the seeds of democracy and human rights, still alien concepts in Turkey. He said that respect for human rights was sine qua non of the modern world. He wanted the banner of human rights to be taken up by large numbers of people.

    Obviously, Birdal's goals and efforts were highly disturbing to groups seeking to establish a hegemonic leadership in Turkey through the control of the media and the distortion of facts. These people wanted a `virtual state' where vice could parade as virtue, oppression as freedom, parade as virtue, oppression as freedom, falsehood as truth. Constituting a `deep state' within the state, they planted the seeds of a new armageddon. No method was too low - threats, drug trafficking, murders with hidden perpetrators. The shooting of Akin Birdal was part of this larger political design.

    As an integral part of the `deep state', the media played a key role in preparing the conditions for the assault. Semdin Sakik, second man in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) prior to his defection to Turkey, made sensational confessions dovetailing with the goals of the state. No day went by without another `shocking and horrifying disclosure' of Turkey's internal and external enemies - Greece and even Germany were caught deflagrante (!!!). The confessions pinpointed a number of individuals, whose common denominator was opposition to the state.

    Through his allegations, Sakik also bolstered Turkey's `new defense concept' in which `Islamic fundamentalism' is presented as high treason. Following Sakik's confessions, it would not be surprising if Islamist politicians were also targeted. (For instance, special protection for Fethullah Erbas, the former Refah party's Van Deputy, who, just like Akin Birdal, played a highly visible role in the operation to rescue Turkish soldiers from the PKK, may be a good idea. Actually we can't know who should be protected from whom but...)

    Sadly enough, the press, traditionally a defender of democratic freedoms, is one of the main actors in this new round of witch-hunting and is using Sakik as one of its props. Extreme nationalists are another group destabilzing Turkey. Prior to the

    military coup of September 12th, murders and genocides by irredentists were covered up. While some were later brought to court, today they act with impunity once again. They killed two young Kurds. They form factions at universities and urge the use of violence. It is clear that their goal is to throw Turkey into a new bloodbath. Akin Birdal predicted that the deep state would not wait long before it used Sakik's allegations. Last week, he told Mark Parris, the American ambassador, that `If they take Sakik's words seriously, let them do what is needed'. After the meeting, Birdal said that the US expressed concern over the latest developments in Turkey. Indeed, Birdal did not let the mudslinging against political opponents discourage him. This is the remake of an old movie, with the familiar refrain, `There are groups seeking to divide Turkey; just as the economy improves, they create political instability; be ware of their shady connections'. Indeed, these statements are heard all too often.

    Needless to say, we are given no more precise information about these `dark forces'.

    Leaving aside these intangible enemies, the revelations following the Susurluk accident left no doubt as to the involvement of the deep state in this event. This is now public information. We also learned that despite the reassurance of politicians, gangs were not disbanded after Susurluk. They were only reorganized, and police officers who had acquired too much power were shown their place.

    The producers of this movie were once in absolute agreement on every issue. If there are new fissures in the power structure, Akin Birdal's shooting may bring them to public attention. How long will it be before the culprits are caught?

    The answers to this and other questions will show the scope of the power struggle in Turkey. They will indicate the path that Turkey will follow in the near future; the road toward a democratic society where different people live in peace or to a state seized in the throes of civil war.

    Finally it should be noted that in the history of modern Turkey, periods of instability were followed by military coups.

    This time the considerable influence of the military on politicians renders more direct military involvement superfluous. Who would benefit from a change of the guards? This is only one side of the medallion. The other side is the reaction of the Turks to the assault on the president of the Human Rights Association. What kind of civil society initiatives will be taken? We hope that this time around the people will play an active role, refusing to play the part of a silent audience even though in the past, this strategy has failed to make an inroad into the deep state and lead to a freer and more democratic society."


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


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