|Sunday, 22 September 2019|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-03-05
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.45/02 5.3.02
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Ismail Cem explains how he understands the Helsinki decision on Cyprus.Istanbul CNN Turk television (4.3.02) carried a 30-minute interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem by Mehmet Ali Birand on the "Headline" program.
Birand begins by touching on the controversy surrounding Turkey's EU accession issue and the fight conducted on this matter in the political arena. Cem says: "We are approaching the EU issue in the most erroneous manner. I believe that we are wasting time."
"As you noted, we turned this into a fight, and this is very wrong. First of all, we must place the EU issue into the correct perspective and give it a correct outlook. In other words, the EU is not the source of all the evil and threats against Turkey, nor is it the personification of all the good that can happen to Turkey or the saviour of Turkey. This wrong approach should be put aside. We should also realize that both the cause and the solution of our problems are to be found in Turkey. No one will either save us or ruin us from the outside.
"Second, the EU issue is not a subject of fighting, it is one of conciliation. Unfortunately, both in the public opinion and in the political arena, we are fighting with regard to the EU, and we are dividing into camps. We cannot attain anything in this way. This is much graver than the question of whether we are overdue in adopting certain moves. This atmosphere will lead nowhere."
Cem points out that Turkey adopted its National Program in response to the EU Accession Partnership Document through internal conciliation in the current coalition configuration. He notes: "Now, all of a sudden, there are the camps of those who love the EU and those who do not, those who favour democracy versus those who do not, etc. We are practically accusing one another. This is not the way. First, we must calm down. This is a serious matter. These matters cannot be discussed in excitement, in the heat of the moment. We must also realize that the EU is not our enemy. We are always occupying extreme positions." Cem remarks that there are naturally subjects on which we do not see eye to eye with the EU, adding: "We can calmly and seriously explain these matters and convince the EU. We managed to do so in the past."
Birand asks if there is a regression from the consensus that was reached on this subject. The foreign minister agrees, and says a regression might be in question even from the content of what was agreed in the document "if the current atmosphere continues." In Cem's view, "EU accession is a question of political will and goodwill. If we have the will -- which we do in Turkey -- and we are fulfilling the requirements in goodwill, we have won half the battle. If, however, we squeeze each other into corners and attack one another at every stage, if we view the EU as a colonial governor ruling us, there will certainly be those within the EU who will assume that role."
Cem asserts: "The EU is extremely important for Turkey. It concerns Turkey's future. No one should have the right to deteriorate the matter beyond recovery."
Asked if this situation adversely affects Turkey's relations with the EU, Cem says: "In a way, yes, because the tone used in Turkey is being raised and the content of the statements is becoming sharper. It is not possible to think that this sharper tone is not affecting the EU. It is also evident that certain EU circles that do not want Turkey will take advantage of this situation, and are actually doing so."
Cem also explains: "We have issues with the EU, and there are sensitivities in Turkey concerning these issues. These sensitivities are to a great extent justified. I personally share some of these concerns. However, other than the death penalty issue, these matters are not black and white." Cem adds that these matters are not as extreme as we make them out to be in the public opinion.
Prompted by Birand to refer to the death penalty issue, Cem notes: "A great majority of our parties have placed the issue of abolishing the death penalty in their program. The abolition of the death penalty is condoned by a great sector of the political world and the public in Turkey. I also share this view, as does my party, the Democratic Left Party." "If we approach the matter in terms of the EU, I would say we started this discussion too early. There is no death penalty issue in terms of the EU at present. This is a difficult matter, because it is a black-and-white matter. It is an easy matter, because Turkey is anyway not implementing the death penalty. In my view, raising this issue now was inappropriate and wrong in terms of its timing. I understand the concerns in this regard in Turkey, because we experienced very painful events."
Cem explains that we must establish a balance between freedom and responsibility. "In granting freedom, we are afraid that it will be misused, but it is our duty to prevent its misuse, the duty of the state and the legislator. We have failed in bringing about this balance." He adds that Turkey must review its criminal system.
Birand poses two questions, which he says are preoccupying the public: Is the EU deceiving us? Will the EU divide us?
Cem responds: "No, I do no think that anyone is attempting to deceive us, or that anyone has any benefit in this. Of course, there are those in the EU who are opposed to Turkey's membership, in the same way that there are those in Turkey who do not believe that Turkey will benefit from EU membership. In the same way as I have the right to say that Turkey will benefit from such membership, many others have the right to say the opposite. We are equally good citizens. The same thing exists in the EU. The opponents in the EU are not that sincere because they are generally people who are influenced by past hostility, racist viewpoints, and fanatic religious outlooks. Their opposition is not as legitimate as ours."
"As far as division, not only does the EU have no interest in dividing Turkey, no one can have the audacity to divide Turkey. This should be clear to all." Cem describes the arguments in this regard as "virtual reality." Birand then goes on to ask about the Cyprus problem and how the failure to solve this problem will affect the region and Turkey's relations with the EU.
Answering, Cem says: "Cyprus is not a condition in our relations with the EU. Some EU countries sought to posit this as a condition, but this is not the case. This was clearly expressed in the Helsinki decision and in the Accession Partnership Document. However, despite this, Cyprus is a factor that affects and that will affect the political relations between Turkey and the EU.
"As you will notice, all the leaders of the EU are declaring that they will admit the Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus as a member whether a solution is reached or not. Therefore, I am not saying anything optimistic here. I would like to point out, however, that the EU Helsinki decision pertaining to south Cyprus notes that the EU is preparing to admit Cyprus -- the Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus as far as we are concerned -- as a member, but all the relevant factors will be taken into consideration in making this decision. I am not exaggerating this or attaching too much importance to this, but legally this means: The EU is pledging to take all the factors into account when the time comes to make this decision. All factors relate to what the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides are doing with regard to a common solution in Cyprus. We have a great deal to say about these factors, given the initiative of Mr Denktas. I am not building on illusions, but when the time comes, we will easily be able to turn to the EU, reminding them of their pledge to take all factors into consideration, and tell them that the Turkish Cypriot side is doing its utmost and the other side is intransigent. Maybe, a few countries in the EU will say the same thing."
Asked if Athens and Ankara have never been involved in this matter, Cem replies "no, not other than in an informal chat." Prompted by Birand, he notes that if necessary "we would become involved." Cem also states: "If a joint solution is to be achieved in this Cyprus problem, it should be attained this year. Otherwise, no one should waste one another's time unnecessarily. As far as I can see, there is a chance for a solution. Mr Denktas is conducting the current negotiations with extreme skill, sincerity, and positive spirit. I hope that the Greek Cypriot side will not miscalculate the situation. I hope that the Greek Cypriot side will reach a point of conciliation. They also have a virtual sense of security that the EU will admit them anyway. Anyone can get into trouble, including them and us. I hope that this matter will be solved. If not, it would indeed constitute a negative factor in the political environment of Turkish-EU relations. However, this cannot be helped. This is my view. "Cem concludes by saying that "despite everything, I believe in common sense and I expect common sense to prevail."
 Motherland Party Deputy Chairman: "War will break out if the EU turns its back on Turkey"Turkish Daily News (4.3.02) publishes an interview with Motherland Party (ANAP) Deputy Chairman Bulent Akarcali.
Following is the full text of the interview: Question: What is the goal of ANAP? Does it keep an eye on the Kurdish votes?
Answer: Freedom is one of the basic approaches found in ANAP. This process began when the late Turgut Ozal recognized the personal application right to the European Court of Human Rights. Ozal, during his term as president, also accepted supremacy of the decisions of the European Court. These were revealing ANAP's view on freedoms, and its point of view on freedom is not only for people who accept themselves Kurds in Turkey, but for all citizens living in the country. Within the framework of this approach, Articles 141, 142 and 163 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) were lifted. Again as a part of this approach, the ban on speaking in Kurdish that was put into effect during the Sept. 12 era was also abolished. It was again ANAP that applied to the European Union for full-membership.
Question: What does ANAP want to do now?
Answer: When Erdal Inonu and Suleyman Demirel said, "We recognize the Kurdish reality," in 1992, during a visit to Diyarbakir, it was not a problem. When Inonu made an election alliance with the People's Labour Party (HEP) and let Leyla Zana and her friends enter Parliament, it was not viewed as a problem. Because the approaches of Inonu and Demirel were not viewed as sincere moves aimed at solving a problem. They were cosmetic approaches. However, sincere approaches aimed at solving the root of the problem, came from ANAP, and this irked some circles in Turkey.
Question: Is it a threat to the unitary structure of the State?
Answer: French Ambassador to Ankara Bernard Garcia made an important statement in an international meeting two weeks ago. Garcia said, "Our state philosophy is based on citizenship and the national State, which are rooted from the 1789 revolution. Anglo-saxons had a state structure based on communities. Ours is a unitary structure." ANAP shares the same point of view. While saying, "One state, one official language, one country, one nation," we are not neglecting that every citizen has his own personal rights. These personal rights cannot transform into community rights, but they exist as individual rights. It is also mentioned as a part of freedoms granted by the Constitution and laws.
Personal right is a person's right as a citizen to reflect all elements of their own culture to his children and to his close environment. But this should not become a collective move.
Question: How can you draw the line between what is personal and what is collective?
Answer: Kurdish language is not the only issue. There are some half million Turkish citizens of Bosnian origin. There are millions of people of Circassian and Caucasian origin. If they want to reflect their culture to their children, or if they want to open courses in order to introduce their culture, language and music, it would be their natural rights, but they have to do it without asking the State's support.
The State has one official language, it is not obliged to give language training in other languages than Turkish, even if it is going to selective courses.
Answer: Because the system adopted from the French unitary system regarding the rights of citizens is like this.
Question: But if a citizen is paying his tax duty to the government, why cannot he ask for education in his mother tongue? What is preventing such a demand?
Answer: Education in mother tongue can only be optional. The State is responsible for giving equal education to everyone. If a citizen wants more of what the State offers, he should do it on his own. It is the characteristics of unitary structure. That is exactly what Bernard Garcia stated. Our party, ANAP, has defended the citizenship rights during the lifting of the 1980 pressure regime process. We are not saying that citizens of Kurdish origin have no rights, and we have to grant them special rights. They are equal citizens of Turkey. But personally, I, a citizen of Turkish origin can take my rights from the State directly, but those who are from different ethnics cannot use their rights directly, but they will get it indirectly. They have to give an extra effort to it.
Question: But this issue is discussed as a Kurdish issue. This creates sensitivity in a wider circle...
Answer: These are brought as bigger problems, as Turkey's membership to the EU has become more apparent. It is not far, it is there, as close as tomorrow, if Turkey fulfils its pledges, it can begin full-membership negotiations. This has increased the sensitivity among some circles. Those who cannot see Turkey as a full democratic country as a part of the EU and those who maintain their powers in the political aspect under the condition of State's domination in every field have waken up.
The source of the question is not granting personal rights to those who are living in the south and southeastern parts of Turkey, or to those who migrated to big cities from these regions. This is just an excuse, this is just abuse. The issue considers the whole of Turkey. The root of the problem is those who have settled in Ankara and who have the habit of ruling the country without feeling the necessity to explain their actions.
Question: But the problem is not new, it goes back. It began two years ago when Mesut Yilmaz said that "the road that goes to the EU passes through Diyarbakir." During the time that passed since then, an exclusive amnesty was asked for Leyla Zana and her associates. Recently, another ANAP State Minister Mehmet Kececiler, referring directly PKK said, "It would be better for it to be in politics rather than out in the mountains." How do you evaluate this process?
Answer: ANAP is not moving systematically from one center. ANAP wants its deputies to express their views freely. So, we didn't repeat the same things, and we paid the cost of this, we have seen the benefits of this freedom, but we are also harmed in some cases. Our party administration style is different, maybe this is the most important difference from other parties. I hoped other parties wouldn't get it wrong, but we are the only party with no unique uniform. For example, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) is giving the impression of being a homogeneous party. DSP members are not allowed to participate in any parties. I say frankly, it is banned. When you do not talk, you won't make mistakes. But politics is talking and daring to make mistakes.
If they use some mistakes of our friends in order to harm ANAP, it would be a wrong move. One thought is the speciality of fascist parties. We are against it. There has not been a single deputy in our party dismissed for his personal statements. We never had the intention of creating toy soldiers in our party. If deputies cannot talk, then there will be no democracy.
Question: There are different comments on what you have named as ANAP's structure. Some claim what you have called the freedom of making a statement a tactic aiming at getting Kurdish votes. What is your point of view on this claim.
Answer: All parties are patriotic. If the parties that are both patriotic and democratic cannot see the needs of the people of Kurdish origin, and if they cannot prevent them from voting for the People's Democracy Party (HADEP), how can they pay the rise of this move.
We have to maintain an environment for southeastern people and give them an option to say that, "this party is supporting my cultural rights, which party I should vote for."
Question: What are your views on capital punishment, education and broadcasting in one/s mother tongue?
Answer: The EU should be aware that Turkey is very sincere on these issues and is working on them no matter what the price, but we are expecting a kindness in the EU's approach to Turkey. We do not ask the EU to give priorities in the Copenhagen criteria, but these criteria were prepared for the eastern bloc countries. Turkey is a different country. If the anti-EU circles and conservatives of Europe got together to prevent Turkey beginning full-membership negotiations or postpone it to an uncertain date, and if Southern Cyprus Greek administration becomes a member of the Union, the situation that may emerge won't be so different from the Versailles Treaty the Germans signed after the end of World War II. Then, Turkey will witness the birth of people worse than Hitler. Turkey's distinction from the EU would be perceived this way, and sensitive Turkish people would embrace any kind of fascist development. This will lead to an armed struggle with Europe sooner or later. This should be understood clearly at home and abroad. Turkey's historical benefits would be endangered if this happens. If the EU, while preparing its own future, fails to see Turkey's goodwill by only focusing on details, it would turn its back on Turkey.
We and the Prime Minister announced that capital punishment should be lifted. But delaying full-membership negotiations because the death sentence has not yet been abolished would be a murder.
Since 1984, there has been moratorium in the executions. If Abdullah Ocalan had not been captured but killed during a clash, there wouldn't be a capital punishment issue in Turkey today.
Nobody should base their nationalism on the execution of a single person. The West should join forces with people who are working in an effort to abolish the death sentence. If the West fails to give this support, Turkey will start to have suspicions about the sincerity of the Western world.
Question: How long will this sincerity test take? Answer: We have only one year. Next year will be a decisive year. There are some who are against, but do not have the courage to express their stand; and there are some who devote themselves to this issue. There are some in the West saying "let's not take Turkey into the EU." We know who are they. If they believe they know Turkey well, we know more about them. We have more knowledge about them than they have about us.
Question: Are you hopeful about the future?
Answer: I never lose faith. The Helsinki and Laeken summits, and recent conventions, are the important indicators for us to be hopeful. Turkey should start full-membership negotiations. If the EU takes Cyprus into the Union without solving the question, it will be a historical responsibility. Turkey's full-membership to the EU will mark the real end of the Trojan War. Troy was captured by the armies coming from Europe. Some 30 centuries later, Mehmet the Conqueror captured Istanbul. He named it as the revenge of the Trojan war. Troy was the center of debate between the East and West. It was a foul capture. Mustafa Kemal pushed the button for the end of this dispute. Even now, there are some people in Turkey saying that "peace is the job of people who make cooperation with the enemy."
 Assessment of the illegal Foreign Affairs and Defence Ministry of the first round of the talks on CyprusKIBRIS (5.3.02) reports that the so-called Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry has issued a statement on the first round of direct Cyprus talks. It said that the UN Security Council's [UNSC] reference to UNSC Resolution 1250 should not be interpreted as a diversion on the points that were agreed between the two sides on December 2001.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministry assessed the briefing given by Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's Cyprus special envoy, on the Cyprus issue and the statements made by the Greek Cypriot side.
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, initiated the talks and that Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides agreed on the format of the meetings, the statement added: The document made no reference to UNSC Resolution 1250 nor any other resolution. On the contrary, the two sides agreed to express their views freely without any preconditions. The statement further said that considering that both the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides aim at reaching a lasting and viable agreement in Cyprus, such an agreement can only be shaped based on the realities in Cyprus.
 NJP says that the solution of the Cyprus problem is the existing status quoKIBRIS (5.3.02) reports that the Nationalist Justice Party (NJP) announced to the public its views regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem. The leader of NJP, Kenan Akin held yesterday a press conference, where he announced the proposals on the Cyprus problem that they will submit to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
Speaking at the press conference Akin said that the status quo in Cyprus is the solution and added that the agreement must be built on the existing status quo. He also said that the agreement, which will be built on the existing status quo, can only be possible under a structure of confederation.
 Forest area in the Karpass peninsula to be given to Turkish businessmen for investmentsYENIDUZEN (5.3.02), in its front page under banner headlines "Peskes" (to give something as a gift that does not belong to you), accuses the pseudogovernment that in their effort to attract Turkish businessmen in the occupied areas will give them a forest in the occupied peninsula of Karpass to make investments.
According to the paper the only obstacle to lease this area at the occupied village of Vokolida is that it is a forest. For this reason they must make an amendment to the law of the so-called Constitution. They want to use the property in order to built a huge sports centre, the paper says.
6. Eroglu said that the occupied region of Morphou will not be returned to the Greek Cypriots According to KIBRIS (4.3.02) the fifth Culture Festival of Guzelyurt (Morphou) was held last Saturday night in the occupied village of Morphou. Speaking during the festival, the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu stressed that the occupied region of Morphou will not be returned to the Greek Cypriots and that the important element in the solution of the Cyprus problem is that the Turkish Cypriot side's "just" thesis be accepted by the world.
 The Farmers' Union claims that Turkish Cypriots will become refugees if they move from the properties the Greek Cypriots were forced to abandon after living there for thousands of yearsVOLKAN (5.2.02) reports that the Union of the Turkish Cypriot Farmers has declared that it opposes an agreement, which "forces the Turkish Cypriots to become refugees again" after 30 years, ignoring the fact that the properties the Turkish Cypriots are living in today in the occupied areas belong to Greek Cypriots who were forced to abandon them after living there for thousands of years, due to the Turkish invasion in 1974.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Union describes as "unacceptable" the proposals allegedly made by the Greek Cypriot side on the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem, according to which after the solution the 24 % of the whole territory of Cyprus should remain under Turkish Cypriot administration. It is noted that a map on the issue had been recently published by the pro-Denktas KIBRISLI newspaper.
Furthermore, VOLKAN writes that the Union demands the names of those Turkish Cypriots who have sold their property in the free areas to Greek Cypriots to be disclosed and those persons to be tried and "punished as traitors".
In its statement the Union asks the Turkish Cypriot leader to ignore the blackout applied on the discussions in the face-to-face talks and "inform clearly" the so-called "Turkish Cypriot people" on the issue, because "those who are going to be displaced again after 30 years are not the Greek Cypriots, but the Turkish Cypriots".
 Gurel says the aim of Turkey is the "unification" with the pseudostateKIBRIS (5.2.02) reports that Turkey's State Minister responsible for Cyprus, Sukru Sina Gurel said yesterday that the aim of his country is the "unification" wit the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Mr Gurel, who is illegally visiting the occupied areas accompanied by a 250-member businessmen group from Turkey, addressed the so-called "Rating process and principles while switching to economic growth" which began yesterday in occupied Kerynia.
Referring to the plans of Turkey for this year, Mr Gurel noted that they aim at completing the infrastructure of the pseudostate and make the occupied areas a so-called "state fully unified with Turkey in the economic field".
Mr Gurel said also that the obstacles in the trade between Turkey and the pseudostate would be lifted. The first step for this, he added, is for the health and plant certificates given by the pseudostate in the field of the exports of food to reach the same standards of those issued in Turkey and internationally.
Furthermore, in the year 2002 the building of a road along the northern coast of Cyprus will be started and a harbour in southern Turkey's Tasucu Seka area will be opened within the framework of the measures towards improving the transportation between the occupied areas and Turkey.
In addition, Mr Gurel said that improvement of water transportation with balloons from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus will be concluded this year and the project for transporting water with pipes will be launched.
At the same time, the system of electricity distribution will be improved by the 5 million dollars financial aid from the USA. This year the runaway in the illegal Tymbu airport will be completed and the campus of the Middle East Technical University will begin to be built.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas claimed that if the economic plan announced by State Minister Sukru Sina Gurel yesterday was announced just after the Turkish invasion in 1974, the Greek Cypriots would not think that "when the Turkish soldiers leave the island, the island will be mine".
If Turkish-Greek balance on the island is disturbed, there will be no stability, rather chaos on the island, alleged Mr Denktas, adding that the Turkish businessmen would serve peace by their investments in the pseudostate.
Mr Denktas argued that the geopolitical importance of Cyprus would further increase by the oil pipeline that will come to Iskenderun Bay and the oil reserves found in East Mediterranean.
 AFRIKA publishes the alternative draft settlement proposalAFRIKA (4/03/02), reports under banner headlines ''Here our proposals'' puts forward the three-stage settlement plan. The plan first envisages a preliminary agreement and then a framework agreement.
Following are the main points of the proposed draft agreement:
* The sides until a new agreement is prepared and put into practice, confirm the fact that the 1960 Agreements shall be valid and in force,
* Befitting with the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, ''A Provisional Government '' shall be established within one-month period.
* Varosha and the Nicosia Airport shall be opened under the UN control.
* The ban on contacts and on trade between the sides shall be removed.
* Together with the Preliminary agreement the direct talks shall be intensified and until June 2002 a Framework Agreement shall be made ready.
* With a view to charting the new constitution a constituent assembly shall be established, the composition of which shall be 50 Greek Cypriots and 50 Turkish Cypriots, who shall be elected with the free will of each side. The new constitution shall be ready not later than March 2003.
* While Cyprus is being demilitarised, naturally it shall be cleared up of the British Bases as well.
* The Federal Republic of Cyprus (FRC) shall be established based on political and economic equality, made up of two federal states.
* The FRC shall be comprised of three regions (South and North federal states and joint federal state).
* There shall be single international identity and single citizenship. Greek, Turkish and English shall be the official languages. Also there shall be a single flag and a single national anthem.
* The legislative body shall be made up of upper and lower Assemblies. At the 100 members Lower Assembly the 70 members shall be Greek Cypriots and 30 members Turkish Cypriots. The 50 members Upper Assembly shall be made up of 25 Greek Cypriot and 25 Turkish Cypriot members.
* The post of Presidency shall be for a six-month period and shall be rotational and the term shall be for four years. Presidents can serve for only two terms.
* Besides the prime minister and the deputy prime minister, there shall be an eight-man Council of Ministers. The composition of which shall be four Greek Cypriots and four Turkish Cypriots. The deputy of the Greek minister shall be a Turk and the deputy of the Turkish minister shall be a Greek.
* Following the signing of the Framework Agreement both sides' military strength shall be reduced, within one month, by ten thousand.
* And every three months there shall be troop reduction of five thousand, so that within one year the island shall be demilitarised.
* The territory of the FRC's shall be decided by the percentage of the territory to be ceded to it by the north and the south.
* If the Turkish side shall be ceding 12% (which is suitable) the Greek Cypriot side as well shall cede 12% territory. Thus the territory between the north and south, that is the territory of the FRC shall be 24%, north Cyprus shall have 24% and south Cyprus 52%.
* Right to return to their places to all the displaced people shall be recognised. Those who do not whish to return back shall be able to take compensation. With a view to not facing a new refugee problem housing units shall be built at the same area to those who shall be out of their houses. Refugee status shall be recognized to those who are born before 1974.
* Freedom of movement shall be recognized immediately, however the freedom of the movement of those who are found in engaging in harmful activities with a view to opening a wedge between the two peoples shall be curtailed.