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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 01-02-15

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. 32/01 -- 15.2.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktash brands Turkish Cypriot opposition "a small ideological disease"
  • [02] International Symposium is being organized in the occupied areas.
  • [03] Russian Veteran Basket-Ball team in the occupied areas.
  • [04] The leader of the Republic Turkish Party met with the Slovak Ambassador
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Ilter Turkmen analyses Turkey's Policy on Cyprus
  • [07] Turkey and Greece: The limits of "Earthquake diplomacy"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] DENKTASH BRANDS TURKISH CYPRIOT OPPOSITION "A SMALL IDEOLOGICAL DISEASE"

    According to KIBRIS newspaper, (15.2.01) the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash has said that he will not allow anyone to create a rift between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, but that the silent majority must raise its voice. Denktash said that this silent majority must forcefully stress that peace must be based on the existence of the "TRNC" and that the Turkish Cypriots should never break away from Turkey.

    Mr. Denktash was speaking in occupied Nicosia yesterday after meeting officials of the Platform of Struggle for the National Goal. Faik Koyuncuoglu, the leader of the platform, said that the main aim of their organization is to raise their voices whenever it is needed. He noted that the country is going through a difficult period, that a delegation from the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] crossed over to the free areas last week, and discussed the latest situation in the occupied area.

    Koyuncuoglu said that the platform reacted when none of the political parties in the "TRNC" reacted. He stressed that he expected the "government" to raise this matter at the "Assembly" but in vain. He said that the platform greatly regrets these issues, that the people of the "TRNC" are being oppressed, that they can lose their right to live, and that nobody is protecting them.

    On his part, Denktash said that there is a small ideological disease in the community and that the Turkish Cypriots must learn to live with it. He said that the people should not act the way this diseased sector wants them to act, because that sector merely wants to demoralize them. Denktash asserted that this small sector is trying to make it look as if it is the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people, and it is trying to tell the world that the unsound cause it is defending is the cause of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Denktash also said that this sector portrayed the results of a survey conducted by a local newspaper as if indicating that 90 percent of the Turkish Cypriots want to join the EU, whereas the survey really shows that 85 percent of the Turkish Cypriots want a solution to the Cyprus problem before joining the EU. Denktash noted that the said circles did not even mention the survey findings to the effect that the majority of the Turkish Cypriots want Turkey's rights to continue, that they do not want to live intermingled with the Greek Cypriots, and that any agreement has to accept the existence of the "TRNC".

    The Turkish Cypriot leader pointed out that these circles are trying to keep the issue of a federation on the agenda. He said: " I ask these people if they have reached an agreement with the Greek Cypriots in connection with a federation. What kind of a federation? The Greek Cypriots want a German type federation. In other words, everyone will be free to go everywhere, claim that it is his or her old property, and settle down. In such a federation, there will be a powerful central administration and the two regions will have administrative rights.

    However, the Greek Cypriots are saying that they do not want to agree to even the global exchange of property that was accepted at the Set of Ideas. They are saying that they refuse to negotiate even that."

    Mr. Denktash concluded by saying: "Our people are absolutely justified in their position if the two separate parts of two separate nations have not been able to come together in Cyprus for the past 38 years, if one of the sides claims to be the legitimate government of the entire island in order to rule the other, if that side continues to arm itself under the false title, if it gives bases to Greece, if it tries to eliminate Turkey's rights through the EU, and if it rejects all the principles that protect the Turkish Cypriots by saying that they contradict the EU laws. Our people have the right to say to the Greek Cypriots: We are going to protect ourselves, and we have nothing to negotiate with you until you accept our rights, powers, and status."

    [02] INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM IS BEING ORGANIZED IN THE OCCUPIED AREAS

    KIBRIS (15.2.01) reports that the Environment Association in cooperation with the "European University of Lefka" is organizing a two-day international symposium on "Europe/s Environmental Policies and Mining in Cyprus" on 15 and 16 of February.

    Scientists from Turkey, Italy, Germnay, USA and the pseudostate will participate in the symposium.

    [03] RUSSIAN VETERAN BASKET-BALL TEAM IN THE OCCUPIED AREAS

    According to KIBRIS (15.2.01), the Russian Veteran basket-ball team, Chelyabinsk Veterans, which was in the occupied areas during the past few days, yesterday played a game of basket-ball with the "TRNC masters" team. The Russian team will fly to Istanbul today.

    [04] THE LEADER OF THE REPUBLIC TURKISH PARTY MET WITH THE SLOVAK AMBASSADOR

    According to YENIDUZEN (15.02.01), the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, (RTP), Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, had a meeting yesterday with the Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus, Mr Dusan Rozbora.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting Mr Rozbora said that his meeting with Mr Talat took place in the framework of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot political party meetings which are being held at the initiative of the Slovak Embassy that now has become a routine issue. Mr Rozbora said that the last meeting was held on 22 January, while the next is scheduled for Monday 19 February, 2001.

    He added that at the next meeting the main subject of the agenda will be the "EU and the EU accession process" which he thinks is a very sensitive issue. In his turn, Mr Talat said that Cyprus is continuing the negotiations for membership, but this is an one-sided process where only Greek Cypriots are taking part in the negotiating team.

    Mr Talat said that the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side is not participating in the negotiating process, creates an unfair situation and it is for this reason why he insists on the Turkish side/s taking part in these meetings. He expressed the view that a method should be found whereby the Turkish Cypriot side/s participation in these negotiations will be made possible.

    Referring to the meeting that will take place on Monday, Talat said that they are already late in holding such a meeting where the issue of the Turkish side/s participation in the accession negotiations will be discussed.

    Those to decide on the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the negotiations process are, on the one side, the Turkish Cypriots, and, on the other the Greek Cypriots, said Mr Talat, and added: I think we have to take up these issues with the Greek Cypriots, because th Turkish Cypriots have different ways of approaching this issue. "I hope, however, that with mutually acceptable positions and with efforts we could change this approach." Talat noted that all these will be put on the table on Monday/s meeting and that with flexibility a result will hopefully come up.

    Following Talat/s statement, Rozbora said that the meeting will be a good opportunity for both sides to express their positions and exchange views without which no developments may be achieved.

    Talat further said that during their recent visit to the United Democrats Moment in the free areas they discussed the same issue and that they insist on the Turkish Cypriot side/s participation in the accession negotiations process.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] ILTER TURKMEN ANALYSES TURKEY'S POLICY ON CYPRUS

    Former Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ilter Turkmen, writing in a column under the title "Europan Timetable and Cyprus" says the following:

    I attended a conference in London last week at which the problems facing Turkey and the tests waiting in store for it were detailed and debated thoroughly. There were as many journalists, writers, academicians, diplomats, politicians and government representatives from other countries present as there were from Turkey. Naturally, much time was spent on the EU membership process, Cyprus and Turkish-Greek relations. The role played by the Turkish Armed Forces in the formulation and implementation of basic policies, a matter that has been raised frequently by the Europeans in recent times, was also the subject of much debate.

    Today, though, I would like to concentrate more on Cyprus because the tightest timetable from an EU perspective relates to this issue. Ankara does not accept this. The official viewpoint is that the EU membership process cannot revolve around Cyprus. Following moves made by us, the Cyprus issue was eventually removed from the list of criteria that have to be satisfied before accession talks can begin, and became a matter for the political dialogue. Even if not from a political point of view, this view is valid both administratively and legally. It should also be noted that there is no fixed timetable for the accession partnership process either. We can put off starting talks for as long as we want. Even if the National Plan were to be announced, we can delay its implementation period. As long as Cyprus remains an issue, the timetable is not linked to Turkey's membership process, but to Cyprus' membership process. This is the devil of it. There is no possibility of us controlling this process.

    Southern Cyprus is among that group of countries whose accession process had advanced the furthest. True, the Southern Cyprus Greek Administration's Accession Partnership Document contains, just like Turkey's does, the condition that a solution should be supported, but apart from this there is nothing that could obstruct or delay Cyprus' EU membership. The talks will in all probability finish in 2002. If the EU Council puts up no objections, the EU parliaments will give their approval in 2003 and Cyprus will be able to become a full member in 2004.

    Will Southern Cyprus be made a member or not without a solution being found? This issue was given much debate. As both Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" are generally perceived today as intransigent, it is clear that most member countries err on the side of granting membership even without a solution being found. At the very least, they are leaving the door wider and wider open. So, if this eventuality comes to pass, what then? Even if it cannot be said for certain, it is not hard to assume this will deal Turkey's prospects for membership a great blow. A joint Greek-Greek Cypriot front within the EU will doubtless do its utmost to keep Turkey under pressure. Tension between Turkey and the EU will become unavoidable. If despite this Turkey continues with its policy of EU membership, it will be obliged to step down from its position over Cyprus and to pay an even greater price.

    The consequences for "TRNC" could not be less grave. We are already seeing political, economic and social unease in northern Cyprus today. One cannot expect any community whose future is uncertain to trust official speeches and take an optimistic view of life. "Deputy Prime Minister" Mustafa Akinci personally let the Turkish President, head of Government and all its members, know of the unease in "TRNC." He pointed out in a letter written on the eve of the Turkey-"TRNC" Partnership Council that the decision had been taken last November to withdraw from the proximity talks that were being held under the supervision of the UN Secretary -General, that should Southern Cyprus be accepted as an EU member this would see an increase in migration from the island and he stressed that this situation would greatly weaken both Turkey and "TRNC" in the international arena.

    Why have we adopted such an inflexible stance? Had we really been forced into a corner at the talks held to date? Did our saying 'We are going to join the EU' jeopardize our interests on Cyprus? ╔ will attempt to answer these questions in a later column.

    [76] TURKEY AND GREECE: THE LIMITS OF ``┼ARTHQUAKE DIPLOMACY''

    Writing in the column OPINION of the Turkish Daily News, (14.2.01), with the above title, Ozdem Sanberk, President of the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation, a former Ambassador and Turkish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary, is making an assessment of the developments in Greco- Turkish relations since the earthquakes of 1999, stressing that "the key to achieving better Turkish-Greek relations lies in the Aegean, and, above all, Cyprus."

    The "new diplomacy " bore almost immediate fruit at the Helsinki Summit in December of that year, when Greece dropped its veto on Turkey/s EU candidacy. But more than a year has now passed since Helsinki. What are the achievements of Turkish-Greek diplomacy in that time? Do they justify the optimistic predictions of a new era? And what more can be done to turn these predictions into reality? Asks the former Turkish Diplomat and goes on to say that the two countries/ relations improved at individual social level with more contacts, in commercial exchanges and in tourism. "All these are encouraging signs", says Mr Sanberk, but we should be trying to push the process forward, and adds:

    "The way to do this is by addressing the big questions which divide the countries - in other words, Cyprus and the Aegean.

    On these issues, the achievements of the "new era" are not yet very substantial. We can perhaps point to a change in tone since the days of the Kardak/Imia affair. Bu the actual disagreements themselves - over the shape of a settlement in Cyprus, and delimitations of the continental shelf, territorial waters and air space, and the militarization of the islands in the Aegean - remain unresolved. And it seems unlikely that the "new diplomacy" will be able to survive an extended deadlock.

    We will be able to make progress on these issues if we can begin to perceive our shared interests. In the Aegean, for instance, we can identify areas for cooperation such as environmental protection, search and rescue, and promoting tourism. In Cyprus, the search for a solution must emphasize scenarios where both sides stand to gain from a solution, and equally both sides stand to lose if there is not a settlement. A major problem has been that there are no obvious reasons why the Greek Cypriots should agree to a settlement involving compromise and sacrifices by both sides, when they have nothing to gain from doing so."

    Mr. Sanberk subsequently expresses the opinion the Greece's membership of the EU has created an imbalance and writes:

    "The key to achieving better Turkish-Greek relations thus lies in the Aegean and, above all, Cyprus. But these complex problems can no longer be discussed in isolation from their context in international institutions. First and foremost, this means the triangular relationship between Turkey, Greece and the European Union. The imbalance in this relationship has made bilateral problems harder to solve. The evolution of Turkey's relations with the EU, and hence the smooth functioning of its accession partnership, will have a crucial impact on the evolution of Turkey's relations with Greece, and hence the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    Referring to Turkey's Accession Partnership, the Nice Summit and Greece's role. Mr. Sanberk, says:

    "In recent months we have twice seen Greece resort to the same strategy, using EU forums as a weapon in its bilateral disputes with Turkey. In October last year, Greek efforts ensured the last-minute inclusion of references to the Cyprus and Aegean disputes in the Commission's Accession Partnership document for Turkey. And at the Nice Summit in December, again at the last minute, Greek diplomatic pressure led to the inclusion for the first time of a reference to the Cyprus dispute in the final communique. This strategy raises serious questions about the prospects of Turkish-Greek relations. If Greece sincerely wants dialogue with Turkey and an agreed solution of the problems dividing the two countries, why is it outflanking Turkey in this way in EU councils?

    Of course you can "win" at European councils, if you are determined and perhaps a little reckless. But this kind of victories are ultimately self- defeating. And going down this road is going to produce a strong reaction in Turkey. It would be a misjudgement for Greece to base its policy on the assumption that Turkey wants so strongly to join the EU that it will eventually deal at any price."

    Concluding his article the Turkish former diplomat stresses that both countries must decide whether they want partnership or isolation, and says:

    "Greece must decide if its goal is a settlement and a new partnership with Turkey, or a victory over the Turks and the ensuing polarization between Turkey and the EU.

    If there are signs of backsliding in Greek policy after Helsinki, we must also reckon with the fact that there has been a deficit of intiative in Turkish diplomacy with regard to Cyprus, the Aegean and the EU during the same period.

    The Turkish government must also decide. Does it want to seize the tremendous dynamic which was brought about by Helsinki in favour of the accession process and good relations, which can very quickly gain momentum? Or to go through a period of exasperation and inward-looking policies once again.

    It should not be difficult to decide which of these is preferable."


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


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