Question: The European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] found Turkey guilty with regard to the Cyprus issue. How do you assess it?
Answer: It is clear that the ECHR did not make the right assessment with regard to the Cyprus issue. Problems concerning Cyprus are actually not judicial but political. There are two separate independent states in Cyprus. Even if many countries pretend to ignore this fact, this is a reality. The Cyprus problem can be resolved only through a dialogue between the two communities there. In actual fact, the Cyprus realities are not harmonious with the decisions adopted by the ECHR. I hope that the ECHR will properly assess the issue.
Denktash said: "This decision constitutes an imposition if it was adopted with the thought that it can assist the talks by putting us under pressure. This decision, however, is in no way a pressure put on us to secure conciliation with the Greek Cypriots because there is nothing to talk about with the Greek Cypriots if this is the way they view the Cyprus issue."
Alleging that history will show that the ECHR decision is a great mistake and that it will not assist in resolving the Cyprus issue, Denktash added:
"The ECHR will bankrupt itself if it continues to adopt unilateral decisions, and it seems it will continue to do so. Nobody will believe in the ECHR. Nobody will attach importance to the decisions they adopt. History will assess this decision. The message given in our view, however, is the following: This is the way Europe views the Cyprus issue. You are welcome if you consent, otherwise the issue will remain as it is."
In reply to a question Denktash said: "We now have a very good reason not to attend the talks, because they have left nothing for us to discuss. They resolved everything. It was already known that the decision was going to be adopted these days. It has nothing to do with the talks."
A statement of the so-called Ministry said that this decision puts forward the justice understanding of Europe which can be taken as a lesson regarding its mentality.
The statement noted that the ECHR decided that Turkey violated some articles of the European Convention on Human Rights due to some decisions and implementations in the pseudostate.
``Turkey does not violate human rights on Cyprus but it has always protected the fundamental human rights, especially the right to life and will continue to do so,`` the statement said.
The statement alleged that Denktash/s regime is an independent and sovereign state and underlined that the decisions taken by the ECHR cannot and will not change this reality.
The decision of the ECHR will encourage the Greek Cypriot administration to continue its intransigent attitude, the statement alleged.
The statement added that this decision will encourage the Greek Cypriots to try to make their dream to possess the whole of Cyprus come true and that it will turn the Cyprus question into a conflict which cannot be solved.
Gurel, who left for the U.S. from Istanbul`s Ataturk Airport, spoke about the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled that Turkey was guilty in the suit filed by the Cyprus Government and recalled that earlier 13 accusations took place in decisions of the court toward Turkey.
``This attitude toward Turkey is a political one to a great extend. We don`t feel the need to defend ourselves against these,`` Gurel said.
When asked how he evaluated the decision of the ECHR, that Turkey violated the European Convention on Human Rights, Gurel said the decision in no way binds Turkey.
Gurel said in earlier decisions of the ECHR, 13 accusations toward Turkey took place. ``This time a new one is added. We don`t feel the need to defend ourselves against those. This attitude against Turkey, which is submitted within the cover of principles of law, is a political one to a great extend. From now on, we will continue on the path which we follow regarding the Cyprus issue. We consider the decisions as those which will not affect Turkish Cypriots.``
Gurel claimed that the illegal Turkish invasion was an operation which brought democracy not only to the Turkish Cypriots but also to Greece, adding:
``Now they ignore this. The state set up by the Turkish Cypriots is a legal state. Wrong steps can be taken on the Cyprus issue by ignoring those facts. The recent step which was taken by the ECHR is a wrong step.``
Bahceli said: ``Unfortunately, by this case, the ECHR has shown that the institutions and organizations can reach decisions with political motives although they are set up in ideal frames, can leave aside the rule of law, and lose their impartiality. However, not only we but also all the world know the process that led to the 1974 Cyprus Peace Operation. There are documents and photographs of the massacres that the EOKA carried out in Cyprus -- including babies -- for the sake of Enosis.``
It is impossible to understand why Turkey, which used its right of guarantorship and brought lasting peace and stability to the island, was accused by such a decision rather than the bloody murderers, Bahceli alleged.
Bahceli noted that this decision will be one that the ECHR will remember with shame.
A Foreign Ministry statement alleged that the decision of the ECHR is against the realities on the island, lacks legal basis, it is unjust and it does not have the possibility of being implemented by Turkey.
The Foreign Ministry further said that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which ruled that Turkey was guilty in the suit filed by the Greek Cypriot side, made difficult the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan`s search for a solution on the island. The Foreign Ministry statement said that the decision of ECHR is just the repetition of its earlier decisions taken regarding the three applications of the Greek Cypriot side to the European Commission of Human Rights (ECHR) in the years of 1974, 1975 and 1977.
The Ministry indicated that there is nothing to add to the views explained by the government about the earlier applications of the Greek Cypriot side.
``The Turkish government finds wrong this decision of the ECHR and maintains its view that the interlocutor of the issue is TRNC, not Turkey. This decision impedes efforts to prevent the manipulation of the Cyprus problem by the Greek Cypriot side and approaches which will contribute to the solution of the problem and make difficult the U.N. Secretary General`s search for a compromise,`` the Ministry concluded.
Answering questions at Q&A on CNN, Ciller stressed that the court ruling would not contribute to the solution of the problem.
Accepting that Turkey had some problems in the field of human rights, Ciller stressed that it was not only a duty for Turkey to improve its level of democracy and human rights records but for Greek Cypriots as well.
The Turkish judge member of ECHR, Riza Turmen, commenting on the court/s latest decision on Cyprus, said that all the problems of Turkey have been carried to the ECHR, and added: ``Turkey must put herself in order by taking into consideration all the decisions of the court''.
Turmen continued that these cases, which cause many headaches to Turkey, are cases of torture, bad treatment and violation of the right of life.
The Turkish judge went on: `` Whatever Turkey/s problems, they can be found at the ECHR. There are problems like Ocalan, the head-scarf etc: All the inproper cases that you see at Turkish courts are brought to the ECHR.
For this reason the decisions that are taken at this court are important for Turkey.
The ECHR/s decision is closely related to the criteria that the EU is looking for. Turkey/s problems in the European Union are not different from the ones Turkey is facing at ECHR.''
Turmen also stated that today there are 16,000 cases before the ECHR of which 2,600 are against Turkey
Negative developments have taken place on the Cyprus problem one after the other. Frankly speaking, many developments have recently upset the Turkish side. For example, the latest signs indicate that the Greek Cypriot side joining the EU is a strong possibility. The recent statements made by the EU officials indicate that the accession will be finalized by the end of 2002, regardless of whether or not an agreement is reached to solve the island's problem.
The Greek Cypriot side is a gradually flourishing sector of the island. Unfortunately, while it moves to integrate with the EU, the ``TRNC'' struggles to solve its economic problems. Meanwhile, what has been feared has actually taking place. Many Turkish Cypriots have either moved or are preparing to move to other countries. Many thousands of them have applied to the Greek Cypriot officials to acquire the "Republic's" passports.
The ECHR recently ruled against Turkey. Its verdict was the most serious blow to the Turkish side thus far. Let alone being an unfair ruling, it will create many problems for Turkey at international platforms''.
Cohen goes on by saying that the ECHR ignored the existence of the pseudostate, and adds:
``The judicial and political nature of the ruling will create an opportunity for the Greek Cypriots to easily defend their cause at the UN, EU, and other international platforms. The Greek Cypriot side has not asked for compensation. However, the Greek Cypriots will now be able to take the "Loizidou Case" as an example to file individual lawsuits against Turkey to force it to pay compensation. Turkey was sentenced to pay $600,000 to Mrs. Loizidou. It did not do so thus far. Thousands of lawsuits might be filed against Turkey in the future and it might be sentenced to pay millions of dollars in the form of compensation.
Turkey might say that the court's rulings are baseless and refuse to comply with them. It might do that if it is prepared to be expelled from the Council of Europe. It is common knowledge that the ECHR is affiliated to the Council. However, the adoption of such a defiant approach when Turkey needs the support of its Western allies for its accession to the EU would be very harmful.
The court's ruling and the other developments we referred to in this column indicate that the Turkish diplomats must seriously reassess Turkey's policy on Cyprus. They must realize that nothing can be achieved through objecting to the resumption of the proximity talks, making firm statements, and failing to draw up pragmatic proposals. In fact, the point that has been reached through the approach Turkey maintained thus far is quite clear.''
``The European Court of Human rights has concluded a case brought by the Greek Cypriot administration and has found Turkey guilty. This verdict should get alarm bells ringing in Ankara because this is the first time in 27 years that the Greek Cypriots have secured a political victory over Turkey.
We all got embroiled in the Telekom business and were not aware of what was going on around us.
The new that came out of Strasbourg on Thursday should have made us all bleak with despair and got us thinking seriously, yet it did not get the expected response.
We have either become immune to such news or we have simply chosen to ignore it.
The matter is all to do with the verdict passed down by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The court ruled that Turkey/s staging a military operation on Cyprus and taking part of the island under its control was in violation of Article 14 of the European Human Rights Convention. It was the Greek Cypriot administration that initiated the trial. This was their fourth attempt, but the Council of Europe had not shown any respect. In the end, it turned a blind eye to Turkey/s being punished.
This case was ``political''. Its verdict was political. Europe is giving a message: As long as a solution is not found, Turkey is going to be punished.
Turkey has also been found guilty when a Greek Cypriot woman named Loizidou sued the country in 1998. She had opened a personal case. She stated that Turkey has seized her land in the north of the island and had prevented her from living in her house there. The court demanded that Turkey pay Loizidou $500,000.
The circle is closing in.
There are thousands of cases waiting in line.
Is there anyone in Ankara who is concerned with this issue''?
``It seems that the EU is determined to complete negotiations and accept Cyprus as full members in 2003, despite Turkey/s reaction.
And this latest decision by the ECHR refutes Turkey/s claim that there are two Cyprus there''.
Civaoglu lists a number of events in the 80/s and 90/s at the Council of Europe, NATO and the EU where Turkey was strongly faulted regarding her human rights record and democracy.
He says that behind all these was Greece and alleges: ``That is, the latest decision of the ECHR that condemns Turkey regarding Cyprus did not come down ready-made from heaven''.
Guneri Civaoglu adds: ``This latest decision is a turning point in Turkey/s EU (accession) process. It seems that the EU is determined to accept Cyprus as full member, despite Turkey/s objections, when the negotiations are completed by 2003.
The EU will have as a support for its decision the ECHR latest verdict, despite Turkey/s objection that there are two Cyprus there!
As a matter of fact for years Turkey based her Cyprus policy on the `French objection/ that `for membership, Nicosia should first solve her existing problems with Turkey, since we cannot accept a status that will make Turkey whom we have given status of candidate member an occupier of the EU territory, and on the assumption that there is a de facto settlement on the island. That there are two states, and that the EU cannot admit Cyprus, by turning a blind eye to the state in the north!.
The chances that France will raise this objection is very slim now. Well, if that is so can Turkey not speed up the Cyprus settlement negotiations?
Perhaps. but this will be a unilateral/one sided effort.
Because, the Greek Cypriot side and Greece were able to have al the trump cards of the negotiations in their hands that is. displaced persons to the south, (Tr. Note: Greek Cypriot refugees) their property in the north, the compensation that will be paid to these displaced people, and their return to the north.And more. the fact that there is a single state on the island.
`South Cyprus/ demand for compensation from Turkey might follow this. In addition to these, in the light of the ECHR decision, 600 thousand dollars of compensation won by a Greek Cypriot named Loizidou could be reflected on the more than 100 thousand Greek Cypriot displaced people who sought refuge in the south.
Turkey could be condemned to pay billions of dollars of compensation.
In the year 2003 Turkey will be at a turning point.
Either she will turn a blind eye to Cyprus/ EU membership as a whole. or she will integrate with north Cyprus, but she will bid farewell to EU''.
 The Cyprus problem and human rights carry a heavier weight for Turkey now
Local Turkish Cypriot daily AVRUPA (14.5.01) reproduces an article compiled by Erdal Guven in Turkish daily RADIKAL.
In his article Mr. Guven first describes the European Convention of Human Rights and the obligations of the signatory states to abide by the convention.
He then lists the accusations launched against Turkey, in the recent ECHR decision and says: ``It does not matter! Since Ankara refuses to recognize the decision; furthermore, Ankara maintains the view that `it is the TRNC and not Turkey that is the interlocutor on the issue!.
However, let Ankara defend whatever views she wants to the ECHR/s decision of 10 May, 2001. It is a Document of Shame for Turkey and the TRNC. Let Turkey try to defend herself with different reasons but the fact is that this decision strongly denounces Turkey/s democracy, her human rights record and of course her 26 years of Cyprus policy''.
Erdal Guven further says that this decision will give a lot of headache to Turkey in her course to the EU and says: The Cyprus problem and the Human rights are the two problems that Turkey has definitely to solve for EU membership. They carry a heavier weight now''.
 Turkey is responsible for everything in Cyprus Sener Levent writing in AVRUPA (12.5.01) in his column ``Angle'' says: Turkey
is responsible for all the events that happened in north Cyprus since 1974. That is those who rule Turkey. All the world accepts this.
That is everybody except us. On top of these is one of the most respectful institutions of the World, the European Court of Human Rights.
In this Court Turkey defends herself in a strange manner by claiming that ``I am not responsible for events happening outside my territory/.
But, she is unable to convince anybody.
She will not convince anybody. Whom can she convince since she cannot even convince me here as a Turkish Cypriot?
Everybody knows that Turkey has settled here with her 40 thousand troops, not only in the property whose title deeds belong to the Greek Cypriots but in the property belonging to the Turkish Cypriots.
The Turkish ambassador is not an ordinary ambassador here. A lot of people knock the door of the Turkish Ambassador to settle their loan/credit issues.
The entry and exit from our country is directed with the Ambassador/s orders.
Our government or our parliament cannot say anything against the Ambassador/s orders.
If we ask the ordinary people in the street: Whose words have weight in this country, ``the Turkish Embassy/s or the Assembly/s''?
The answer is obvious.
Who is the commander of the Security Forces here?
General from Turkey.
Who is the head of the Civil Defence?
Colonel from Turkey.
Who is the governor of the Central Bank?
A bureaucrat from Turkey.
Under whose jurisdiction are police and the fire fighters?
After all these who will believe that you (Turkey) are not ruling here? Who interrogated me at the police? In the presence of two Turkish Cypriots? The Turkish officer.
Who is the person who openly cursed the prime minister of this country in these interrogation rooms?
After all this you will go to the ECHR and you will say that `I am not responsible for the events that happen outside of my territory/ Don/t you think that people make fun of it?
What did journalist-writer Guneri Givaoglu say last night on the TV screen?
Turkey will either accept that she had occupied north Cyprus and will decide to annex this land and forget the EU or she will pay billions of dollars to the Greek Cypriots such as Loizidou.
There is no other way out! If there is, let us say it.
We have come to the end of the road The curtain will fall.
`The Naked King/ play will come to an end.
Gengiz Candar, Hadi Uluengin, Ahmet Altan, Erdal Guven, Guneri Civaolgu etc are not alone.
Soon the whole of Turkey will revolt against this illogical Cyprus policy. The ones who are walking on this road are aware that they have reached the end.
They are on the verge of losing their unfair benefits.
For this reason this is the most dangerous part of the play.
Ahmet Altan has said:
Pay attention to protect your life during this period. Because the last action that a thief, who realizes that he will be caught will resort to is reach his weapon.
For this reason, those who look for attacking us, do so because they realized that they have reached the end of the road.
Like the retreating armies that burn and loot the cities that they withdraw from, they too are getting ready to fire their last bullets''.