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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-50-29

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.100/01 29 May, 2001

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Bulent Ecevit repeats Turkish intransigence over the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] On the eve of the National Security Council meeting Ecevit expresses views in favour of two states in Cyprus.
  • [03] Turkish hawks, doves reengage in fierce fight on Cyprus.
  • [04] Denktash and Eroglu assess the Parliamentary election results in the free areas.
  • [05] Forty one Turkish Cypriot Organizations declare that Denktash does not represent the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [06] The Turkish National Security Council is discussing the Cyprus problem.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [07] Cengiz Candar sees Denktash behind recent developments in occupied Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Bulent Ecevit repeats Turkish intransigence over the Cyprus problem

    According to Ankara Anatolia (28.5.01) the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit on Monday briefed reporters on the activities of the 57th government which was set up two years ago.

    Assessing the Helsinki decision, developments in the Cyprus problem and Greco-Turkish relations Ecevit said: The meeting held in Helsinki in December 1999 was an important point in Turkey`s relations with the EU. Full EU membership was among the most important foreign policy targets of Turkey which participated in several European institutions since the foundation of the Republic. Turkey was treated unfairly at the Luxembourg Summit in 1997. The Turkish government announced on December 14, 1997 that it would not enter into political dialogue with the EU which the EU is putting forward as a pre-condition as long as this unfair treatment continues against Turkey. As a result of this determined attitude, the EU realized its mistake and changed its position. The Helsinki Summit changed the dimensions and the content of Turkey`s relations with the EU. An EU General Secretariat was set up and Turkey announced its national program.

    Turkey must have full authority in the decision making, planning, preparation and implementation stages of ESDI. Turkey could not make any concessions on this matter.

    The Cyprus conflict is our national case. The government`s determined position regarding Cyprus would continue.

    The Turkish side adopted a constructive attitude during the proximity talks which were started by the U.N. Secretary-General. The acceptance of the Greek Cypriot Administration to the EU as a full member would yield very negative results if this takes place before a solution is brought to the Cyprus conflict. No point could be reached by ignoring the fact that the TRNC is an independent state`` .

    As regards Turkish-Greek relations which started improving during his administration, Ecevit said he believed the dialogue between the two nations would help to solve certain important problems.

    [02] On the eve of the National Security Council meeting Ecevit expresses views in favour of two states in Cyprus

    HURRIYET (29.5.01) carries a report by its correspondent Muharrem Sarikaya under banner headlines - «Velvet Divorce in Cyprus» and says:

    «Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, for the first time, put aside the federation and confederation thesis envisaged for Cyprus and said that two separate states should be formed on the island.

    Ecevit, in order to support his case gave Czechoslovakia as an example. Why they are putting so much effort to bring together the two communities whose language, religion and nationality are different? Is there any problem when Czechoslovakia broke down into two states?

    Ecevit also stressed that the TRNC should as soon as possible adopt the presidential system.

    While we were returning from Erzurum (Eastern Turkey) the other evening, Ecevit put aside the federation and confederation thesis, - at a time when Turkey mplicitly warned the EU regarding Turkey/s integration with the TRNC- and took a step further and said: `I do not understand why the USA and Europe are so insistent on the Cyprus issue. The example of Czechoslovakia is obvious. They split into two states, and there was no problem. They shook hands and separated, and now they are continuing their course without any problem. Apart from Greece, there is no situation that interests the EU countries. There are two different communities in Cyprus whose language, religion, nationality and the social way of life are different, and one of them is the TRNC, which for years continues its existence without any problem. The USA and the EU should understand it. Greece continuously threatens to preclude enlargement, thus leading the EU on the Cyprus problem into an impasse. Greece was unable to do this in Helsinki, we have very well explained this/.

    Ecevit also stressed that the TRNC should adopt the presidential system as soon as possible and said:

    In the TRNC which is about the size of one of the provinces or districts of Turkey there is both a government and a president. In a place where 180 thousand people live this should not be.

    I am against the presidential system in Turkey. But the presidential system will be more suitable to the TRNC, which is about the size of a province.

    Denktash is president but on many issues he has no authority. He is spending much effort on Cyprus. The domestic bickerings might harm his efforts. From the beginning I believe that the presidential system will be very suitable to the TRNC».

    [03] Turkish hawks, doves reengage in fierce fight on Cyprus

    Reporting in Turkish Daily News (28.5.01), Lale Sarribrahimoglu, writes: «The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is facing yet another internal political turmoil coupled with various bomb blasts. The last one targeted the newspaper called "Avrupa" (Europe) known for its anti-Turkish military as well as anti- Rauf Denktash policies.

    The TRNC, importing all the political ills from mainland Turkey, has recently decided to end the centre right-leftist coalition government established in January 1999. Turkey has been blamed as usual overtly and covertly for both the bombing incident of the newspaper as well as for the collapse of the coalition government in the northern section of this tiny, strategic island.

    Ankara immediately denied any responsibility behind the internal chaos in the TRNC. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit himself privately talked to Turkish intelligence as well as others to find out whether there was any linkage between Turkey and the bombing of the Avrupa paper, which had been engaged in an open challenge to the military last year that was widely publicized in the Turkish dailies. According to well informed sources speaking to the Turkish Daily News, Ecevit gave his personal assurance that Turkey was not behind the bombing of the Avrupa newspaper.

    The political turmoil in the TRNC coincides with the increasing debate over whether the European Union will formally accept the Greek Cypriot section of the divided island in 2003 as an EU member before waiting for a political solution to be reached on the island between the two communities divided not only physically but psychologically too. As the Greek Cypriot section has been moving rapidly on the road to EU membership, the U.N.-sponsored peace talks between the two communities have stopped since last November when the TRNC was denied equal status with the Greek Cypriots.

    An implicit fight between Turkey's hawks and doves has re-emerged in the face of increased pressure exerted upon Turkey by the EU over rapid action for a solution on the island. While doves argue that Turkey should make moves for a solution on the island, hawks insist that no concessions could be made over equal sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriots at any negotiation table. Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) headed by President Ahmet Necdet Sezer with the participation of military top brass and government members will meet on May 29 to discuss Cyprus.

    The hawks will dominate the NSC meeting as Sukru Sina Gurel, minister in charge of Cyprus affairs, will be representing Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, regarded as a dove and who would be at the time participating in a NATO meeting in Budapest, Hungary. Gurel is among the hawks on Cyprus policies together with the military. Sources close to the Cyprus affair say there has been no room left for manoeuvring to pursue a more flexible approach on Cyprus at the NSC meeting due to the absence of doves to be represented at the Tuesday gathering. Thus no surprise decision is expected to come out of the meeting during which the serious economic problems of the TRNC are to be addressed.

    The financial crisis that has hit Turkey twice since December plunging the value of the Turkish lira against the U.S. dollar by almost 44 percent has had a serious affect on the TRNC. Some $110 million in additional resources pledged to be given to the TRNC this year has not been released yet as the Turkish government is preparing a new fiscal budget for 2001 in line with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue package. This $110 million when converted into Turkish lira has already lost its value due to the lira devaluation, says a diplomatic source. Meanwhile Minister Gurel who was in the United States recently told senior U.S. officials including Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Advisor Richard Perle that Turkey did not regard the EU as an honest broker and thus the Union should not get involved in Cyprus affairs.

    The EU, however, is already heavily involved in the Cyprus issue and Gurel's views do not look like changing this reality. According to the reliable sources covering Gurel's visit to the United States, Turkey got the assurance from Washington that it would be behind Turkey on Cyprus. The U.S. officials reportedly told Gurel "Go home and do not worry about us [Washington]."

    [04] Denktash and Eroglu Assess the Parliamentary Election Results in the free areas

    According to KIBRIS (29.5.01).Denktash and Eroglu assessed the results of the elections held in the free areas of Cyprus on 27 May.

    In reply to a question on the issue yesterday Denktash alleged that the statements made throughout the election campaign clearly show where the Greek Cypriots stand. He added: The Greek Cypriots have no intention of reaching a conciliation. A logical assessment of the situation indicates that they will continue their stand. Because a person reaches a conciliation to improve his situation, not to exacerbate it. When viewed from the Greek Cypriot perspective, they have to share the title of the legitimate government, with which they have been deceiving the world for years, in order to reach a conciliation with us. They have to once again make us partners. They have to accept the existence of a sovereign people in the north. They have to once again place on the agenda the issue of a global property exchange and they have to accept Turkish guarantees. So long as the world tells them that they are the legitimate government, so long as they believe that they have the right to accede to the EU on behalf of the entire island, and so long as no one asks them the question of how they find in themselves the right to speak on behalf of the entire island and on which laws and constitution this right is based, it would be an illusion to expect the Greek Cypriots to establish with us a new partnership that will ensure our security and accept our equal sovereignty. They gained time by keeping us at the negotiating table for the last 37 years, and finally they invited us to accept a minority status as stated by Papandreou. This is all they think about.»

    Denktash went on: «One cannot forget that AKEL is the party that said that the path to peace passes through Kyrenia just as one cannot forget that DYSI [Democratic Rally], which emerged as the second party, is the stronghold of EOKA-B and that the son of Nikos Sampson has replaced his father pledging to

    continue the same cause. Therefore, one should apply oneself to the task of safeguarding the state, contributing to the economic recovery, and putting a smile on the people's face. The only thing that will make the Greek Cypriots see the reality is the knowledge that we will not renounce our state and that the strong support of the motherland will continue. There are developments on this path. I believe that things will get better. There is no reason why they should not.»

    Denktash said that he also wants to appeal to those who have made a habit of constantly blaming Turkey, saying: «They should be ashamed of themselves. What they are doing is evil. Safeguarding our republic is honourable, but they should know that this republic was established thanks to Turkey, it is recognized by Turkey, and that we have no chance whatsoever without Turkey. They should issue statements in line with this knowledge. One should feel and exalt the honour and assurance of being the inseparable and indivisible part of a lofty nation. After being assigned to form the «government», Eroglu also assessed the elections held in Cyprus on 27 May. Noting that AKEL became the first party by repeatedly stating that the path to peace passes through Kyrenia, Eroglu said: «The public should be aware of this and should not heed statements to the effect that it is a leftist party and that, therefore, it is in favour of peace. The son of Nikos Sampson has won the elections as part of DYSI. We are aware of the policy which he inherited from his father. Those who aspire to be sovereign over the entire island and who cannot digest the Turkish presence in Cyprus are supreme in the south. It is beneficial to take note of this. Our people should be aware of these realities and should assess them.»

    [05] Forty one Turkish Cypriot Organization declare that Denktash does not represent the interests of the Turkish Cypriots

    According to AVRUPA (29.5.01) the platform «This country is ours», which is composed of 41 Turkish Cypriot organizations, issued a statement yesterday declaring that «Denktash no more represents the Turkish Cypriots/ interests».

    The statement stresses that «the separatist, partitionist policy followed, contrary to the 1960 Treaties and the 1977-1979 high level agreements, has totally destroyed the Turkish Cypriots». «It is extremely dangerous the fact that the Presidential Palace, the Security Forces Command and the Civil Defence Organization are heading the activities for organizing an underground organization» adds the statement.

    The statement goes on to say: «We, the Turkish Cypriots who are against our country/s annexation to Turkey or any other country, want to continue our Communal existence and to integrate with the peoples of the world in a federal and united Cyprus as a whole.

    The will of the Turkish Cypriots is considered non-existent and their communal existence and identity are effectively being annihilated». The statement further says that the economic crisis was created artificially in order to force the Turkish Cypriots through threats and oppression to leave the island and to create a community structure that favours annexation. It says that Denktash no more represents the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and that he is an appointed «President» with the one third votes of the Turkish Cypriots.

    It concludes by urging for a federal settlement and Cyprus to become a member of the European family.

    [06] The Turkish National Security Council is discussing the Cyprus problem

    According to NTV television (29.5.01), the National Security Council of Turkey (NSC) is meeting at 9:30 a.m. today under President Ahmet Necdet Sezer for its monthly routine session.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem is not attending the NSC since he is in Hungary for the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting. The meeting is attended by Sukru Sina Gurel, State Minster in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, who recently held contacts in the USA.

    NTV reports that regarding Cyprus «the latest developments with the «government» crisis in the «TRNC» and the European Court of Human Rights decision that found Turkey guilty of human rights violations in Cyprus will be discussed».

    CNN Turk (29.5.01, 12:30 p.m.) reported that the NSC meeting was still going on.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [07] Cengiz Candar Sees Denktash Behind Recent Developments in occupied Cyprus

    Cengiz Candar writing in YENI SAFAK (27.5.01) in a commentary with the title «An assortment of Deep States» says:

    «Everybody, who has a general knowledge about Cyprus and its history and follows developments taking place there, should be able to interpret the recent developments witnessed in the island. Three events can be horizontally or vertically linked with each other:

    1. Establishment of the NPM (National People's Movement);

    2. The simultaneous bombing of daily Avrupa, known for its opposition to the government, which reduced it to rubble;

    3. The unexpected resignation of Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, ending the coalition government with pro-EU Communal Liberation Party [CLP], which was immediately followed by talks on formation of a new coalition government with Democrat Party [DP], publicly known to be controlled by Rauf Denktash.

    The NPM was established on an interesting date: 19 May. What is the NPM? Is it a political party? There is no clear answer to this question yet. It rather looks like an underground organization. It has issued Declaration 1 and Declaration 2 one after another. What is its goal?

    It says its primary aim is to fight against attacks, which may be launched by internal and external enemies, against the TRNC and Turkey. Of course, Denktash is supporting this organization pursuing such a highly noble cause. He has already made statements confirming his backing. After a couple of days, Taner Etkin, who has served as an adviser to Denktash for a long period, announced that he had assumed the leadership of the organization. Etkin is a relative of Denktash and he is like a son to him. Therefore, you can describe the NPM as Denktash' s organization. The NPM/s organizational structure and the wording of its charter indicate that it is built on the tradition of the TMT (Turkish Resistance Organization). A considerable part of its members are probably former TMT members.

    The TMT was an organization whose members were trained by officers sent from Turkey and it had a goal justified by circumstances prevailing during the EOKA-dominated epoch. Who would need an offspring of the TMT today?

    Since its main goal is to fight against attacks, which may be mounted by internal and external enemies, against the TRNC and Turkey and it has declared that it was against the EU after lavishing praise on the Turkish army we can guess that it will take actions designed to intimidate pro-EU Turkish Cypriots and even Turks who have immigrated from Turkey. Not surprisingly, at the same time the NPM's formation was announced, an explosion demolished the printing house of pro-EU Avrupa, leading to Eroglu government's collapse, ejecting Deputy Prime Minister and CLP Leader Akinci from the government.

    There is a fundamental question that needs to be answered. A large Turkish army corps has been deployed in the TRNC in addition to Cyprus Turkish Security Forces commanded by a Turkish general. Besides, there is probably no shortage of MIT [National Intelligence Agency] officers in the island. In addition, there is a Turkish Cypriot police force. Are not they able to protect the TRNC against "internal and external enemies"? Turkey, on the other hand, certainly does not need the help of NPM to protect itself. Therefore, the NPM/s declared goal of "fighting against attacks, which may be launched by internal and external enemies, against the TRNC and Turkey" is hardly credible.

    The NPM and the TRNC are displaying a disrespect for law and reinforce the TRNC's international image as a "pirate state", undermining the Turkish cause.

    We can guess the "external enemy": the EU. The question is the identity of the internal enemies. It seems that they are pro-EU Turks and Turkish Cypriots. The bomb attack that has targeted Avrupa raises the possibility that the NPM may operate like a "political murder machine." "We were advocating accession to the EU after finding a solution in Cyprus. Yet, the Turkish side has withdrawn from the negotiations and some groups have stepped up their efforts. Turkey has two faces. One of them is in favour of transformation, democracy and accession to the EU whereas the other argues that Turkey will not be admitted to the EU, that democratization is not necessary and that the TRNC should not be a part of this process. The advocates of this opinion, who are cooperating with Denktash, have attained their goal after giving reassurances to Eroglu that he would form the new government. The NPM is increasing polarization and a righ-wing front is being formed within the government," said Akinci, commenting on the recent events.

    There is no doubt that Glafcos Clerides is pleased by these developments. He is trying to accomplish Cyprus' admission to the EU without accepting a solution that would recognize Turkish Cypriots as the co-founders of a republic in the island. In other words, he is not in favour of a solution, just like Denktash. However, fascist inclinations emerging in the Turkish side legitimize Clirides' policies in the world. They also facilitate his efforts to join the EU.

    The left in the TRNC is pro-EU and it is now the target of intimidation policies. The situation is different in Turkey. Mumtaz Soysal, who is making preparations for establishing a "left-wing" party and "leftists" in his entourage appear to be the civilian supporters of the fascist nationalism in the TRNC. However, they have been isolated from the rest of the world. State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, an "Ecevit leftist" known for his hawkish views on Cyprus and maintains close ties with Soysal and his followers, was shunned during his visit to the United States last week. He was not able to meet with a high-level official there. These groups have no power and their purge from the Turkish political system looks inevitable. Since the TRNC is closely affected by developments in Turkey the whole problem will soon be resolved in Turkey, clearing the way for discarding the existing system in the TRNC.

    This is yet another problem that has to be dealt with by State Minister Kemal Dervis. Will moneys, which originate from Turkey and have transformed the TRNC into a "money laundry" continue to flow into the island under the IMF's supervision?

    What would Dervis, who has declared that he is a social democrat sympathetic towards democratic left and identified the European Monetary Union as the target of his economic program, do if he finds an anti-EU TRNC dominated by the NPM in his lap in the near future?»


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