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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 01-01-31
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. 21/01 -- 31.1.01
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 EU/s Verheugen says Cyprus most important issue to Turkey/s membership Guenter Verheugen, European Union (EU) Commissioner for Enlargement, said onSunday (28.1.01), while in Davos for the World Economic Reform meetings, that Turkey is a very important country for the EU as a geostrategic and economic potential. Verheugen said that Turkey has proved that she is resolved to be a full member of the EU.
Answering questions from the Anatolian News Agency, he said that the most important issue for Turkey to be a full member of the EU is Cyprus, noting that other issues can be solved in some way. He added he believes the Cyprus issue too can be solved.
Turkey should continue taking concrete steps, Verheugen said, adding that they only expect her to take some more concrete steps. He stressed that EU is not a Christian club and it is open to all the democratic values. He said they want to see Turkey in EU.
 Turkish Cypriot paper on oil finds around Cyprus An article in KIBRISLI daily under the title ``Oil in Cyprus'' refers toreports in the Greek Cypriot press about sea oil deposits near Cyprus and says: ``The discovery of rich oil deposits in the vicinity of Cyprus has become the latest factor to add to the list of the other developments. Special photographs taken from Russian and US satellites have indicated the presence of very rich deposits of oil in the north and south of Cyprus.
We can now unhesitatingly say that the discovery of oil around Cyprus will make things more complicated and render the process of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem more difficult. This is so because the discovery of oil increases the complexity of the Cyprus problem whichnone of the two involved parties are willing to solve.
Meanwhile, as more people get involved in the sharing of this oil, the number will multiply of the parties seeking to get a share of the oil reserves around Cyprus. According to reports appearing in the Greek Cypriot press, Rauf Denktash is also aware of the existence in the vicinity of Cyprus of oil resources, which have been discovered thanks to the efforts of the Greek Cypriots.
Denktash has reportedly indicated that the Turkish Cypriots have the right to benefit from oil resources found in the north as well as the south of Cyprus and that everything will be done to protect this right.
According to information received regarding the matter, the British sovereign bases are also preparing to claim that they have the right to benefit from the oil resources discovered around Cyprus.
However, according to the provisions of international laws, the sovereign rights of the British over the island do not constitute rights emanating from the sovereign rights of a state, as the British have gained sovereign rights thanks to agreements reached in this regard. Consequently, the British do not have any rights in the economic field.
Greek Cypriots, for their part, are trying to prevent the leaking of any information to the outside world. The Greek Cypriots have a good reason to keep any information secret, because there is a high probability that this information contains details that are in favour of the Turkish Cypriots. According to information received from the Greek Cypriot press, Egypt and Israel have already started drilling operations with the aim of benefiting from the oil resources in the open sea in the region.
The introduction of the oil resources as a new factor that renders the Cyprus problem more complicated is a cause for concern.
We believe that instead of dreaming about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, we must get more interested about the oil resources found in the region and take the necessary measures to protect our interests in this respect.
The Cyprus problem is on the verge of entering a new and more complicated stage.''
 Turkish Industrialists urge Turkey to take steps on Cyprus The Association of Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen (TUSIAD) has saidthat the full compliance of the Turkish political circles with the Copenhagen criteria is crucial for the National Programme.
In a written statement, TUSIAD said that the EU defined the principles related to the concept of universal human rights and outlined the common standards it upholds for democracy in the Accession Partnership document, and noted that it called on Turkey to comply with them.
The written statement underlined that while the minimum common denominators were addressed, the EU considered the perspectives and differences related to Turkey/s compliance with the requirements. It said, ``when these facts are considered, the conviction that the requirement for the fulfillment of the Copenhagen criteria is a design to weaken Turkey will obstruct the effort that has to be made to realize political reforms''.
The TUSIAD disclosure emphasized that the political reforms which were debated in Turkey long before the Copenhagen criteria were announced, are necessary for the country/s social and political relations.
Considering the perspectives and the period in which political reforms have to be realized, it is essential for the national programme that Turkey agrees to completely comply with the Copenhagen criteria. We believe that the Turkish Government will strengthen its position on the Cyprus problem, the Aegean disputes, and matters related to Europe/s defense if it take concrete steps in that direction in the first half of 2001''.
 Turkey reacts with threats to French approval of Armenian genocide law Both the official TRT Television and semi-official Anatolia News Agency gaveextensive coverage to Turkey/s reactions to the approval of the Armenian genocide law by French President Chirac.
On 30.1.01 Anatolia quoted Turkish Defence Minister Cakmakoglu as saying:
``We will take into consideration the interests of the country and we will continue our stand of not allowing France to benefit from this development. Various French firms have participated in the ongoing tenders. Naturally, the endorsement of this so-called genocide law will affect our assessment.''
Prime Minister Ecevit/s reaction was that that he was not surprised but very disappointed. Ecevit said: We are reviewing our economic and political relations with France.
In a news bulletin, TRT Television reported a statement by the Turkish Government which calls the development ``a heavy blow'' to the relations between the two countries. It accuses the French Government of failing ``to protect the Turkish-French friendship'', and strongly condemns and rejects its attitude and act.
In the same news bulletin, TRT reports on a statement by Turkish President Sezer who finds ``unacceptable'' the fact that a law whose compatibility with the French Constitution is questionable was signed and adopted. He also criticizes the fact that the law was not studied at the Constitutional Council. The statement ends as follows: ``President Sezer condemns this development which will inevitably have negative effects on Turkish-French relations''.
Anatolia reported that Foreign Minister Ismail Gem said that the document signed by President Chirac is ``legally unsound'', because ``it is meaningless in terms of international law''. He says that the French president signed the bill instead of sending it to the Constitutional Court ``probably because the Court was going to cancel it''. Another reason why Chirac signed the bill, Cem says, is to divert attention from the atrocities committed by France during its occupation of Algeria. A third reason, Cem adds, concern ``petty political calculations'' regarding upcoming local and presidential elections in that country.
Cem also says that xenophobia against foreigners, against Turks, and against Muslims may have played a role as well. He goes on to say that this development will hurt France/s image in the region and its old desire to play a role in the Caucasus and the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.
Cem then added: ``Turkey/s confidence in France has been shaken. Our confidence as allies has been shaken. This will surely have an effect. We can no longer expect to have Turkey/s security or strategic needs met with France/s contributions. In other words, we cannot think of having the requisites of our own security, our own military security, met with French resources. The reason is that we can no longer be confident that the French parliament, which was capable of committing such an unjust act today, will not commit a similar injustice in fields that concern our security tomorrow.. In the same way, Turkey/s confidence in France has been shaken in the field of communications, and in the economic and strategic fields as well. This will by a very important factor in Turkey/s future relations''.
Cem concludes his remarks on the issue by saying that ``the relations which have been led to an impasse by French politicians and the French Administration may improve in the future, but this can happen only with France/s efforts. Mesut Yilmaz, state minister and deputy prime minister, was reported as saying: ``The French State is committing a grave mistake''. He then said: ``Turkey will not be hurt by this; it will be France itself that will be hurt''. Yilmaz says that the developments in France were caused by domestic political reasons. Asked if similar developments can occur in the United States and Britain, Yilmaz replied that he does not believe the developments will be as ``extensive'' in those countries.
 Teachers Union KTOS accused of treachery by Denktash KIBRIS, VATAN, HALKIN SESI, YENI DEMOKRAT, KIBRISLI and BIRLIK stronglycriticize the advertisement given by KTOS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union) to all papers but published by only two papers, (see Turkish Mass Media Bulletin, No. 20/01, dd. 30.1.2001)
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash commenting on the advertisement said that ``he was shocked when he saw the advertisement - ``this could only be an announcement coming from the Greek Cypriot side, permission should not be given to people with this mentality to teach''. Denktash said.
Denktash wanted ``legal'' arrangements to forbid the teachers to teach. He said: Since nobody listens and accepts these words in the TRNC, then the place these words could be uttered is the South, this is not trade unionism, it is clearly an act serving the enemy, it is treachery, a demonstration of ingratitude''. Similar criticism was voiced from right-wing and ultra- nationalist parties and organizations which oppose a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN Security Council resolutions. Leftist and Socialist parties CLP, RTP, and PUM made no comments on the Teacher/s Union declaration.
 Turkey/s Land Forces Commander in Cyprus According to HALKIN SESI (31.1.01) the Commander of the Turkish LandForces,General Hilmi Ozkok, is to arrive in the occupied area today (31.1.01).
Ozkok will take part in the ``Peace 2001'' seminar.
During his visit General Ozkok will visit various military units of the Turkish occupation army. General Ozkok will leave the occupied area on 4 February.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Ali Birand/s article in the ``Turkish Daily News (30.1.01) ``Chess Game played in Cyprus''Turkey has become introverted again. WE don/t want even to see what/s happening around us. We/ve been wasting our days within an environment of unproductive discussions. No matter how important the discussed issue is and related to the country/s administration, still an agreement cannot be reached.
We/ve been ignoring even the bargaining on Cyprus, a country just beside us, which is closely concerned with Turkey/s relations with the European Union. However, a breathtaking chess game is being played in Cyprus. Look, what are the players/ expectations and aims.
EU: solution up to 2002 EU will make its decision on the issue concerning Cyprus in 2002. Negotiations about Cyprus/ full membership are about to come to an end. There aren/t any economic obstacles concerning Cyprus/ full membership in any case. The only obstacle is the lack of political solutions. EU/s problem stems from the fact that they gave Cyprus a full candidacy before finding a solution to the deadlock.
On one hand it will be registered that the island was divided, on the other hand the materialization of Turkey/s full membership might become impossible. Relations with Turkey will be seriously damaged. The EU wants the finding of a solution both on the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides to enable itself to be rescued from the paradox it/s in. However, it isn/t satisfied with this and insists. ``If you hinder a solution, we would give full membership to Greek Cypriot side'', they say to the Turkish side and they give the message to the Greek side that ``and if you became the side to block the solution, then we would leave Cyprus out of the EU.'' When the time comes, that is; in the year 2002, the EU will evaluate the situation and make its decision.
The Greek Cypriot: Minority right is enough
The other player in the chess game, the Greek Cypriot Administration is highly content with the EU/s attitude. According to the Greeks, they will be given a full membership even if a solution cannot be reached. They are overly self-confident. They believe that they will be the victorious side the moment they obtain full membership. And this approach influences their attitude. According to the Turkish side, the Greek side does not want a solution. The Greek Cypriot side which put the full membership in their pocket is being satisfied with giving an ``upgraded minority status'' to the Turkish side. According to Ankara, Clerides is content with watching the developments as well as he doesn/t look for a solution. He accuses Denktash and displays him as the one to hinder the solution. If you want the truth, Clerides succeeds in this aspect. However, the Greek Cypriots are also playing a risky game.
Because there are some countries which are reluctant about possible problems which might be caused by accepting Cyprus before solving its problems and defend the delaying of Cyprus/s full membership with the EU.
Turkish Cypriot side: I wouldn/t bargain this way
It is deemed to be the side that makes the finding of a solution more difficult, both by the EU and the US. Rauf Denktash declared that he wouldn/t attend the proximity talks which were going to be convened by the United Nations General Secretary, under these conditions and drew back. Denktash says that he didn/t draw back from the negotiations but from the proximity talks which he deems to be unproductive and that he might restart proximity talks if the conditions were changed but he cannot be convincing. Denktash has only one condition: the guaranteeing that the talks will end in a confederation, before starting the talks. Neither the United Nations not the European Union accept this. Denktash is playing a risky game. However, he doesn/t have any intention to let matters take their natural course. Denktash says that he will find himself face to face with Clerides in Camp David and the US President from one side and the EU from the other side will make him accept their solution by putting pressure on him, in the event that he gave permission to the United Nations to initiate the talks.
Turkey: It is to support Turkish Cypriot side to the end Turkey is determined about supporting the Turkish Cypriot side to the end. On this level, Turkey is sustaining its insistence on Turkish Cypriot side/s not attending the proximity talks as long as the United Nations does not change its general attitude it displayed during the last negotiations. The United States and the EU have been putting heavy pressure on Turkey. However, any development can/t be obtained yet. Turkey states that it won/t change its attitude at the price of EU/s closing its doors to Turkey. Furthermore, it drew a plan with the Turkish Cypriot side, which may end in incorporation. This game is also very risky. A process has been being passed but none knows how far it can go and what it can end in.
ATHENS: Is it going to formulate a crisis?
The most important trump card of the Greek Cypriots is Greece. Athens has a powerful veto card in its hands. Greece said it would halt the entire enlargement strategy of the EU, if the Greek Cypriots are not given full membership. And such a situation would harm all the plans of the EU- especially Germany/s and would trigger the revolt of all candidate countries. I wonder if Athens would like to create such a considerable crisis merely to make the Greek Cypriot side a full member? Such a crisis would also cause the `Turco-Greek relations/ to become tense again. Greece/s self-assurance has increased since it has entered the euro. However, it is not certain whether or not it will dare to cause a crisis of such a large proportion.
CONCLUSION: Everything to become definite at the last moment Here are the trump cards in the hands of the players of the chess game and the dangers. Everyone is waiting for another/s rash movement. The most important element in the short term is that whether or not Denktash would sit around the negotiation table again. The coming weeks are very significant in this aspect. If a solution is found, other steps will follow it. And this chess game will continue until 2002.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/