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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-05-28

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.99/01 26-27-28.5.01

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] KIBRIS newspaper reports that the UN called on the two sides for the resumption of the talks.
  • [02] Mustafa Akinci: Turkey is cutting the ground from under its own feet.
  • [03] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey has unlimited options if Cyprus joins the EU.
  • [04] Denktash proposes 1960 balance for solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [05] Turkish Foreign Ministry alleges that Turkish Cypriots were never a minority.
  • [06] Cost of fighting PKK $100 billion.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Ankara/s policy on Cyprus on the verge of bankruptcy.
  • [08] Mehmet Ali Birand: Strange things afoot on Cyprus.
  • [09] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on Turkey to change its policy on Cyprus if it wants to proceed towards the EU.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] KIBRIS newspaper reports that the UN called on the two sides for the resumption of the talks

    KIBRIS (28.5.01), in a front page headline «Mute diplomacy», writes that the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary - General on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, has called on the two sides for the resumption of the talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In an exclusive interview of Mr. de Soto to the paper, the UN official «gave the sign» that Mr. Annan is planning to start the negotiations within the next months. Mr. de Soto warned the two sides «not to lose the chance of making real progress towards finding a solution».

    The UN official said also that Mr. Annan was very hopeful that significant progress would be made within the next few months and noted that there was a chance of real progress towards a solution which would be for the benefit of the two sides, the two Motherlands and the whole region.

    Mr. de Soto stressed that this was not a «zero sum game» which means that the one side is going to win and the other is going to lose. The Peruvian diplomat added, among other things, the following:

    «A just and lasting solution will, now more than ever, be in everybody's interest. History will be on the side of those who exploit this chance, because losing it would only cause new problems. That is why the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, is very hopeful that significant progress will be made within the next few months».

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has characterised Mr. de Soto`s invitation «surprising and untimely». Mr. Denktash said that after the European Court of Human Rights recent decision and Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou/s alleged statement that the Turkish Cypriots are a minority in Cyprus, he expected Mr. de Soto to declare that he could not force the Turkish Cypriots to return to the negotiating table.

    «We have been mistaken. He talks about not losing the chances as if those things had never happened», he noted, adding that he was expecting Mr. de Soto to say that «the settlement of this matter will not be possible unless all the sides concerned make new evaluations and new diagnoses».

    Mr. Denktash concluded alleging the following: «...No one should expect us to give up our equal sovereignty, our state, the global compensation of property, the limitation of the three freedoms for the sake of the safety of our lives and property and the guarantees of our Motherland. ...».

    [02] Mustafa Akinci: Turkey Is Cutting the Ground From Under Its Own Feet According to Istanbul Radikal (Ankara Edition, 26.5.01) Communal Liberation Party (CLP) leader Mustafa Akinci has assessed developments in north Cyprus to Radikal as follows:

    «- What is happening in north Cyprus?

    - First bombs exploded. The first was close to Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu's house. The incident took place two days before the National Unity Party [NUP] congress. The others were in Famagusta and Kyrenia. The latest exploded in the printing house of Avrupa. Meanwhile, the state television network reported the distribution of unsigned leaflets. The National People/s Movement [NPM] was established on 19 May. Rauf Denktash made a disclosure to deny the reports that he established it. However, Taner Etkin, his adviser, later said that he was one of the founders. I do not want to criticize the NPM. However, the way it appeared on the scene and the statements it made in connection with internal enemies have caused uneasiness.

    Democratic Party [DP] Leader Serdar Denktash resigned in favour of Salih Cosar some time ago. And, the green light was given for the establishment of a DP-NUP coalition.

    - How has the suspension of the peace talks affected the situation?

    - We called for the solution of the Cyprus problem before the island joined the EU. However, the Turkish side withdrew from the talks. The sides concerned stepped up their initiatives.

    Two schools of thought exist in Turkey. One of them supports changes, democracy, and accession to the EU and the other believes that Turkey should not join the EU and democracy is unnecessary. There are those who are convinced that the «TRNC» should not be included in the process. Those who believe in that cooperated with Denktash to achieve their objective. They gave a guarantee to Dervis Eroglu that he would again be designated as the new Prime Minister. The NPM will deepen polarization. Meanwhile, a right-wing front will take over the administration.

    - Is Eroglu in the same camp?

    - He explained to me that the matter made him uneasy. It seems he was brought to a point where he was unable to turn back. I sincerely regret his situation. He is no longer able to explain the realities.

    - Can you comment on Ankara's approach?

    - I informed Foreign Minister Ismail Cem when he recently visited north Cyprus that I was worried. I explained that the Greek Cypriots will join the EU if we refuse to have the talks resumed. I said that that would be disadvantageous. However, as you have seen, Turkey is cutting the ground from under its own feet. No one would have said anything if the change of government took place in a normal way, in accordance with the wishes of the dynamic forces of the community. But, everyone is aware that that was not the case».

    [03] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey Has Unlimited Options if Cyprus Joins the EU

    According to HALKIN SESI (28.5.01) Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkish State Minister in charge of Cyprus Affairs, has warned the EU saying that in the event the EU accepts Cyprus as a full member, then Turkey will implement its unlimited alternatives.

    Participating in "Television Daily" programme broadcast on TRT-2, Gurel commented on the Cyprus and the EU issues. Gurel said that if the Greek Cypriots are accepted to the EU, then the de facto partition of the island will become official, adding: «Then Turkey will advance as far as it will». When reminded that the EU is advancing the accession process of Cyprus Gurel said that they have already announced the reaction Turkey and the pseudostate will show to such a development. He added that in the event Cyprus is accepted as a full member to the EU, then Turkey will implement its unlimited alternatives. Pointing out that Greek Cypriot membership in the EU will be the official confirmation of the de facto partition of the island, Gurel added: In our contacts in the United States and in other countries we are being asked the following question: What will Turkey do if the EU accepts the unilateral membership of the Greek Cypriot sector? We have a single reply: Turkey has unlimited options. Turkey will advance as far as it will.

    Alleging that there are many circles that want to exert an influence on the Turkish Cypriots, Gurel continued: «They are trying to frighten and intimidate the Turkish Cypriots. They are saying: The Greek Cypriots will join the EU and you will be stuck with Turkey which is going through a crisis. One should not heed these circles and should look toward the future with confidence. The Turkish Cypriots have proudly safeguarded their unity even at the most difficult times and have exhibited an exemplary spirit of resistance. I do not believe that a people with such a national experience can be frightened or intimidated. The Turkish Cypriots will not be intimidated.

    [04] Denktash Proposes 1960 Balance for Solution to the Cyprus problem

    According to KIBRIS (26.5.01) the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Friday met with Orhan Erinc, the Chairman of the Turkish Journalists/ Society, and journalist-writer Nail Gureli, the former Chairman of the Society.

    Speaking at the meeting, Denktash said:

    ``The matter in Cyprus has been the same for years. They claim that the Greek Cypriots should take over the island on behalf of Greece. Turkey has been rejecting it. And the 1960 Agreement provided a good balance to this end. I have been sending messages to Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides on every occasion, and recalling him that we were among people who made us found this balance. Clerides should realize the fact that he could not damage this balance by becoming a member of the European Union (EU). The region has become more important due to pipelines. If Cyprus is taken out of Turkey`s influence, it will be a serious blow to Turkey`s geopolitical rights.``

    When a journalist quoted Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou as saying that Turkish Cypriots should not be afraid of being a minority, Denktash said: ``We are not a minority in the island. So why should we be afraid of being minority? Turkish Cypriots are one of the two equal founder nations. I am pleased with seeing that all sections of the society reacted to Papandreou`s statement.``

    When a journalist reminded Denktash about information that Britain would declare Northern Cyprus as a region closed to British tourists, Denktash said: «The British High Commissioner has asked for guarantees for the security of British tourists, and we have given this guarantee. Bomb attacks in the «TRNC» are less than attacks in the Greek Cypriot side. Despite this fact, tourists visit the Greek Cypriot side. If they declare the «TRNC» as a region closed to the tourists, they will unveil their real intention. I do not suppose they are that malicious.``

    [05] The Turkish Foreign Ministry alleges that 'Turkish Cypriots' Were Never a Minority

    According to VATAN (28.5.01) the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that the Turkish Cypriots had never been a minority in Cyprus, referring to the statements of Greece and Greek Cypriots.

    A statement released from the ministry said: ``The recent statements of Greek and Greek Cypriot politicians demonstrated that the Greek and Greek Cypriot mentality has not changed despite certain developments. The Turkish Cypriots have never been a minority and they will never be. The Greek Cypriot side should quit such obsessions and accept equal sovereignty between the two sides on the island to reach an agreement. Otherwise it is not possible to reach a consensus.»

    [06] Cost of fighting PKK $100 billion According to Turkish Daily News (25.5.01) State Minister Faruk Bal has announced that Turkey spent $100 billion in 18 years in its fight against PKK. Speaking on a tour of various districts in Konya, Bal said the economic crisis was the result of 30 years of accumulated inflation and that Turkey did not suddenly find itself in the position it is in now following the April 18, 1999 elections. He stated that Turkey had spent $100 billion in 18 years in the fight against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) separatist organization and that no other country in the world would have held out so long.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Ankara/s policy on Cyprus on the verge of bankruptcy

    In a commentary in SABAH (27.5.01) Sedat Sertoglu refers to Cyprus and writes:

    «Look, nothing can happen in the TRNC without the knowledge, support and planning of Turkey. Our Nicosia Embassy governs there. They (the Embassy) in turn get their instructions from Ankara. Everybody, including people living there, know this. However, what the state says is completely opposite to this.

    What is happening there does not surprise us at all since for the last 25 years Turkey carried all the illnesses in her body to the TRNC.

    Turkey, is in an elder brother position, where she is still unable to organize the import of the TRNC products, she is yet to organize proper flights to the TRNC, and as a result of this she is unable to make tourism to stand on its two feet, and she is unable even to transfer water there.

    Ankara/s Cyprus policy is on the verge of bankruptcy. As a matter of fact at a time, important distance was covered regarding the opening of Nicosia Airport and Varosha.to joint use. In fact Turkey had openly declared how much territory she will leave to the Greek Cypriots.

    In return, the embargo imposed on the TRNC was going to be removed, that there will be no question regarding transportation and trade that there will be no question of the Greek Cypriots/ unilateral entry to the EU, and that Turkey was going to be a country that had contributed to the peace in the island, and not her present position (of being considered an obstacle to the peace).

    All these were included in the Confidence Building Measures. On top of this in 1994, that is seven years ago. See, where were we seven years ago and were are we now?

    And now a National People/s Movement appeared. These are the ones who think that let there be no negotiations so that we can annex the TRNC to Turkey/ .

    Sirs, we are not in 1937 nor in Tayfur Sokmen era. Sirs we are in 2001.

    [08] Mehmet Ali Birand: Strange things afoot on Cyprus

    In a commentary in the column OPINION of Turkish Daily News (26.5.01), with the title «Strange things afoot on Cyprus», Mehmet Ali Birand comments on the crisis in the so-called government of the pseudostate in occupied Cyprus and the revival of the terrorist TMT organization.

    The full text of the commentary is as follow: «The government crisis in the `TRNC/ was the result of Mustafa Akinci going against the policies of both Ankara and Rauf Denktash. As Cyprus entered a critical period in finding a solution, the view that a right-wing coalition would be more beneficial became dominant. Former rivals Eroglu and Denktash are now walking arm in arm. A new secret organization has been formed. Its aim is to keep northern Cyprus out of the EU and to silence anyone who says differently.

    The pressure had been building up on Cyprus for many months. In the end the expected explosion happened. In fact, there is no personal problem between the coalition partners Dervis Eroglu and Mustafa Akinci. The problem lies in what Akinci says and thinks. There was a banking crisis in the `TRNC/ last year and this was followed by an economic crisis bursting onto the scenes in mainland Turkey. Both these developments led to intense disquiet in `TRNC/. There were demonstrations and protest marches held. Suddenly, the left-wing came to the fore.

    Mustafa Akinci entered a polemic with Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Nihat Ozeyranli. He also said, «we cannot use our police or even our fire department. Everything depends on Ankara/s word.» He drew a lot of flak from Denktash over this.

    The result is plain to see. The coalition broke up just to get rid of Akinci.

    When I asked Dervis Eroglu for the facts he told me, «There was never any personal grievance between myself and Akinci. We said let/s have a bit of a change.»(!)

    The fact that was not said so clearly was along the lines of: As Cyprus is entering a critical phase right now, it would be better to have a right wing coalition where Akinci is not present.

    This coalition will be formed by Dervis Eroglu and the party run by Rauf Denktash/s son, who have been at each other/s throats for years on end.

    Dervis Eroglu and Rauf Denktash will be walking arm in arm(!)

    What role plays the secret organization? As if none of this was enough, a secret organization called «The National People/s Movement» emerged. In much the same way as the former Turkish Resistance Movement (TMT), it operates under the logic: «Cyprus is Turkish, the Turks will stay». It is waging a campaign to silence any whose thoughts and views go against the policies of Ankara and Denktash.

    Unknown persons are planting bombs and causing intimidation. These are extremely dangerous developments.

    It is blatantly obvious that policies aimed at non-solution are going to throw Cyprus into turmoil».

    Note: Rauf Denktash forwarded a reply to the column I wrote about Cyprus earlier this week. I will definitely publish this reply in the days ahead. Watch this space.

    [09] Columnist in HURRIYET calls on Turkey to change its policy on Cyprus if it wants to proceed towards the EU

    Columnist Ferai Tinc, writing in HURRIYET (28.5.01) says: «Cypriot friends of mine complaining say: `When there is a problem here you write about Cyprus./ I know what they want. They want me to write more often about their problem and happiness, they want their voice to be heard in Turkey.

    I tell them: `Don/t worry, one and a half years later we will be forced to talk about you every day/.

    Once the EU starts evaluating Cyprus/ membership application whether you want it or not you will be on the agenda. You will be on top of the agenda.

    Of course if by then it is not too late. Last year following the argument between the Security Forces Commander and the government on the crisis in the banks, people were on the streets protesting.

    For years I commute between TRNC and Turkey and for the first time, I have realized that the reaction is directed towards Turkey. They were shouting `this country is ours and we want to rule it/. This inclination did not change. On the contrary it deepened further.

    South Cyprus/ locking onto the EU, Turkey/s insensitivity to this issue and the economic crisis that blew up has escalated the tension in the TRNC.

    Not a single step forward could be taken if one turns a blind eye to these realities.

    The year 2003 cannot be faced through speeches of National Unity and togetherness.

    The `hawks/ who always controlled the Cyprus policies, continue to insist on the same methods and approach as though they have no responsibility for the present situation.

    What will they do if this stance of theirs creates irreparable problems to Turkey and to the TRNC? In a community where there is a lack of tradition for shouldering political responsibility, they will act as thought there is nothing in Cyprus, and they will continue to occupy the opposition seats. The National Security Council will be debating the Cyprus problem. Last year after the incidents it was decided to strengthen national unity and togetherness.

    National unity and togetherness does not mean submitting to the difficulties and bowing to the centre.

    National unity cannot be secured through directives or orders, but through voluntary uniting around common projects.

    The EU is a common project. It is Turkey/s most important project as well as Cyprus/s. I do not think that the Turkish Cypriot community will accept to take part in this common project, as the Greek Foreign Minister said earlier to join under minority status.

    Instead of creating democratic platforms where the Turkish Cypriot will be able to make their voices heard, bringing up today light mouldy smelling models they organize resistance organizations. This is as if at the age of Internet Communications one prefers to send his message through a wireless set.

    If the EU is Turkey/s objective, then the same language and means regarding the Cyprus problem should be used. The gist of this is to start a mobilization to defend (Turkey/s) positions on the European platforms.

    Will it not be useful if all the political forces of the TRNC, instead of bickering about among themselves, direct their energies to Brussels and Strasbourg explain the Turkish Cypriots/ position and their demands to them, and make people realize that the Turkish Cypriots will not be a minority in Cyprus?

    It is no more possible to reach anywhere by escalating the crisis, it is not possible if you have in one of your hand IMF/s letter of intend and in the other the EU Accession Partnership Document. Don/t you think that it is time to understand the dialogue procedure between the USA and the EU? No one has the right to turn Turkey into a marginal country by talking back arrogantly or in a swaggering manner. This situation gives way to the outside forces to direct Turkey further inside. We have two important examples before us: Iraq and Yugoslavia, two utterly exhausted countries».


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