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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 00-04-19

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. 74/00 -- 19.4.00

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The CLP let its supporters free in casting their votes.
  • [02] Denktash, Eroglu seek support for elections.
  • [03] Attempts to attract conference tourism.
  • [04] Live-stocks smugglers caught.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Turkey: Turkish Cypriot election outcome viewed.
  • [07] Denktash surprise.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The CLP let its supporters free in casting their votes

    According to KIBRIS (19.4.00) the extended party assembly of the Communal Liberation Party, CLP met last night and made assessment of the so-called first round of election results.

    At the end of the four hour meeting the CLP party assembly has decided to let its supporters free during the so-called second round of ``presidential'' elections. Reading the party/s decision to the press, party leader Mustafa Akinci, stressed that the so-called NUP-CLP coalition government was not established on a ``presidential'' bargain, and that the CLP electorate will vote according to its free will.

    [02] Denktash, Eroglu seek support for elections

    KIBRIS (19.04.00) reports on the efforts exerted by the so-called presidential candidates in the occupied area to seek support from political parties before the second round of ``presidential elections'' on 22 April. KIBRIS reports that ``independent presidential candidate Rauf Denktash `and Dervis Eroglu, National Unity Party (NUP) candidate, visited the political parties calling for their support. Denktash first visited the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and than the Communal Liberal Party (CLP). Eroglu, in turn, visited the (RTP), CLP and Patriotic Union Party (PUM) and exchanged views on the elections.''

    KIBRIS reports that Denktash said in a statement issued prior to his visit to the RTP that ``bargaining is not the aim of the visit. ``With regard to the election propaganda process, Denktash said that ``the level of the propaganda process was very low'' and added that certain candidates directed ``personal insults against him''. Noting that Dervis Eroglu made use of all the means of the state, Denktash added that all the presidential candidates adopted a ``militant attitude'' toward him. Denktash further said that ``from now on ministers and prime ministers should resign three months before they submit their candidacy for the presidential elections. Claiming that his mobile phone was tapped, Denktash added: this was reported by a high-level retired state official. I will launch an investigation onto the issue''.

    RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in turn, said prior to the meeting with Denktash that the RTP does not ``engage in bargaining for personal interests, but to protect the interests of the public''. After the meeting with Denktash, Talat said that the final decision on the ``presidential'' elections will be adopted at the party council.

    Denktash also met with the CLP leader Mustafa Akinci.

    After meeting Akinci, Denktash made a brief statement saying that it was a nice meeting and that they had a very good exchange of views. ``I am very satisfied''. Denktash said.

    KIBRIS also reports on Eroglu/s visits. It report that Eroglu ``paid courtesy visits'' to Talat, Akinci, and PUM secretary general Izzet Izcan.

    In his statement to the press prior to his meeting with Talat, Eroglu said that an exchange of views will be conducted with Talat on what can be done in the future. Talat, in turn, said that the RTP knew from the beginning that it was going to be a two-round elections. Reiterating that the RTP does not see any political differences between Denktash and Eroglu, Talat added that ``all the democratic possibilities will b e taken into consideration'' when adopting a decision on the second round of presidential elections. Stressing that the party council will make the final decision on the issue, Talat said that ``certain requests will be submitted to Denktash and Eroglu on behalf of the people. None of these requests are for our sake. These requests concern politics and measures. The replies will be part of the decisionmaking process''.

    In reply to reporters/ questions Eroglu said that he did not submit any proposals to RTP. In reply to another question, Eroglu said that his ``daughter/s house was surrounded before the first round of elections. Noting that photographs were taken of those who entered the Prime Minister/s Office, Eroglu said that he had doubts that the phones of the Prime Minister/s Office were tapped as well. Issuing a brief statement after his meeting with Talat, Eroglu said that it was a favourable meeting. Talat, in turn, said that it was a positive meeting and that they may hold a second meeting''.

    Eroglu, later, visited the CLP. In a statement he issued after the meeting, Eroglu said that at the meeting ``views have been exchanged on the future''. Eroglu said that he ``chatted and assessed various issues as government partners'' with Akinci.

    Moreover, the front page of YENIDUZEN (19.4.00) under the title ``RTP asks for a protocol, refers to the meetings between the leader of Republican Turkish Party (RTP) Mehmet Ali Talat with the two candidates, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu.

    In a statement Talat confirmed that he gave a written document to Denktash and Eroglu by saying''. With the support protocol, it can be an agreement, a promise. It is a political bargaining. It is a bargaining not only for the party, but also for the whole world''.

    The written text contains the demands of the RTP and is given to the both candidates.

    Finally, Talat said that the final decision is on the candidates, where they will agree to his party demands or not.

    [03] Attempts to attract conference tourism

    According to KIBRIS (19.4.00) the so-called Tourism Ministry of the pseudostate has decide to start a campaign to attract ``Conference Tourism'' in the occupied area.

    Speaking to the reporters the so-called Tourism Ministry Undersecretary Bulent Kanol has said that with a view to revitalising the winter tourism they decided to look into the possibility of developing the conference tourism.

    He said that some hotels in the occupied area have already invested in the ``Conference Tourism''.

    Kanol further said that to this effect three thousand businessmen from Belgium will be arriving in the occupied area in April. He said that these businessmen will be staying at the Salamis Bay Conti Hotel.

    He also said that they are closely cooperating with the so-called Near East University on the issue.

    However, Kanol admitted that to organize such tourism they are facing infrustructural problems.

    Meanwhile the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Union (KITOB) Turhan Beydagli, has said that the occupied area is not ready for conference tourism, because of the infrastructural problems. He added that their services yet to be reached to the desired standards of excellence.

    [04] Live-stocks smugglers caught

    According to KIBRIS (19.4.00) the pseudopolice in the occupied areas of Cyprus, have arrested recently 14 smugglers engaged in illegal trading of live-stocks from the free to occupied areas.

    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Turkey: Turkish Cypriot election outcome viewed

    MILLIYET (18.4.00) columnist Sami Kohen comments on the first round of so- called president elections in the occupied area. He writes: ``TRNC President Rauf Denktash/s failure to win in the first round of the presidential elections in north Cyprus was expected. He is now expected to win against Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu in the second round by a large margin of votes on Saturday.

    Denktash seems to be in a better position now to be reelected. The difference in the votes that were cast to support the presidential candidates in the first round can be taken as a sign. He secured nearly 44 percent of the votes. Eroglu was supported by only 30 percent of the electorate. So the difference between them is 14 percent.

    Undoubtedly, the most important factor in the second round will be the way the two left-wing parties (Communal Liberation Party headed by Mustafa Akinci and Republican Turkish Party headed by Mehmet Ali Talat) will vote. They secured the support of the 20 percent of the electorate in the first round of voting.

    The two parties will most probably allow their members to vote for the candidate they decide to support. That will mean that a large section of the electorate will vote for Denktash. Even if we consider for a moment that the two parties might decide to support Eroglu, their votes will not be enough for him to win. Meanwhile, many of their supporters might decided not to vote for Eroglu. That is a strong possibility.

    In short, those who predict a victory for Denktash in the second round on Saturday will not be wrong.

    Assessing some of the realities that have come to light after the presidential elections will be useful:

    - The fact that all the presidential candidates discussed the need for the solution of the Cyprus problem is meaningful. That includes Dervis Eroglu who believed that the no-solution situation was the best solution to the problem in the past. Of course, the candidates outlined differing views when asked to comment on the solution they envisagted. However, the opinion polls indicated that a large section of the people wanted progress to be made in the talks for the solution of the problem.

    n Significant attention was focused on the EU factor during the election campaign. Considering the situation of south Cyprus, the TRNC people do not want to be excluded from the accession process. Nor do they want to remain behind. In other words, they want and hope to have a better future and improve their economy to catch up with the Greek Cypriot side within the EU framework.

    - The members of the electorate vote in accordance with their political inclinations and sentiments during the first round of elections. However, they are aware that they have to be more logical and realistic in the second round. That is a fact that will be in Denktash/ favour because he will not be challenged by a strong rival. Meanwhile, he has proved that he has the qualities he needs to ``bring about a change while maintaining continuity''.

    - I called Denktash to ask him to comment on the messages yesterday. He said: ``Yes, the people want the sides to reach an agreement on Cyprus. They want a durable agreement. They do not want an agreement to be reached no matter what the cost might be. Furthermore, they want the EU to open its doors but not in the way the Greek Cypriots want it to do so. They want their status to be established before that. Meanwhile, the solution that will be found must provide for Turkey/s guarantee to be maintained. I will work to reach a durable agreement in the light of our people/s messages''.

    I want to outline an important observation before I conclude: The presidential elections in north Cyprus have drawn the world/s attention to the fact that the TRNC is reality. Even the leading television networks in various countries reported the developments in the TRNC. It is true that they described it as a state recognized only by Turkey. But even that was enough for the de facto reality to be publicized''.

    [77] Denktash surprise

    Turkish Daily News (18.04.00) columnist Mehmet Ali Birand in an article ``Denktash Surprise'' says:

    ``Presidential elections held in the TRNC ended in a surprise.

    It was no surprise for (TRNC President Rauf) Denktash to come first in the race. This result was expected. The surprise is the fact that he won the race by more votes than he did when he was previously elected, and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu failed to increase his votes to the anticipated potential.

    During the first round of the previous elections, Denktash mustered 40 percent of the votes. This time, despite having served as president for a prolonged period, which inevitably caused his popularity to erode, and the campaigns waged against him, he managed to increase his votes to 43 percent.

    This is a significant result, particularly for those who are familiar with the environment in Cyprus.

    Eroglu had a 40 percent vote potential in the general parliamentary elections and was expected to garner a minimum 35 percent of the vote in the presidential elections. However, Eroglu only received 30 percent of the vote.

    A presidential runoff is scheduled to take place on April 22, with only two candidates, Denktash and Eroglu, running for office.

    In other words, the president and the prime minister will challenge each other.

    The other candidates will be the ones who have a determining influence on the election results with their potential 24 percent of the vote.

    Will they convince their electorate to support Eroglu? What will coalition partner Mustafa Akinci (who received 11.2 percent of the vote in the first round) do? Will he also support Eroglu?

    I just don/t think so.

    Not willing to let Eroglu become very powerful by controlling the government with his National Unity Party (UBP) on the one hand, and assuming presidential responsibilities on the other, they will most probably let the electorate vote based on their own free will.

    A great majority of the observers on the island seem confident that Denktash will win the runoff elections. The signals sent by Ankara adopt the same approach.

    Did Denktash receive the people/s message?

    These results should not be misinterpreted.

    At this point, the Cyprus problem is right at the crossroads.

    The people/s message to Denktash is crystal clear : ``We/ve had it. The source of the economic problems is the lack of solutions. We want you to find the solutions since we have not yet developed enough confidence in the others.''

    No one wants to surrender to the Greeks like they did before. They don/t want to be placed in a minority status either.

    But they want to save themselves from the predicament of having no solution as well as being saved from the vicious circle of confederation-federation arguments.

    Fifty-four percent of the electorate voted in favour of those other candidates who were against Denktash.

    The happens to be a very critical message.

    It is obvious that the demand for a solution is showing an upwards trend.

    This message should be understood by those in Ankara as well. Regardless of how much we try to hide, directives by Ankara are the ones that carry the weight in the long run.

    The Turkish side is in a situation of having to formulate new and creative policies without damaging its basic interests. By failing to do this, outside pressure will further accumulate, the rapprochement process with Greece will be hindered and relations with the European Union will become more difficult.

    What is more critical is that reactions among the Turkish Cypriots will increase, causing emigration out of Cyprus to accelerate. It is possible that we may one day see a society in Cyprus that is devoid of Turkish nationals.

    The third round of proximity talks, which is a negotiation process scheduled to take place on May 23 in New York, is extremely important.

    The plans and the solution proposals will be placed on the table and a completely new process will commence. Rather than maintaining that the Cyprus problem was solved in 1974, we must start producing new formulas for a consensus that will be approved by both the locals and those abroad.

    The alarm bells are ringing''.


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


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