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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-03-11

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.49/02 9-10-11.3.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides in the framework of the talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader needs heart surgery by August.
  • [03] Mesut Yilmaz in favour of a referendum in Turkey regarding the EU.
  • [04] Devlet Bahceli: Mesut Yilmaz/s EU referendum offer is a step backwards.
  • [05] Not looting but robbery.Social explosion begins in Turkey.
  • [06] The 54.8% of the inhabitants of the occupied areas believe that Famagusta must be returned to its legal owners within the framework of a solution.
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot political party leaders satisfied from the results of the visit of Mr Verheugen.
  • [08] Tenders for establishing a Sar station to be invited on 14 March.
  • [09] Motherland Party Deputy Chairman says real trouble will come about if Cyprus is accepted to the EU.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [10] Columnist in ZAMAN newspaper analyses the statements made by the General-Secretary of the Naitonal Security Council.
  • [11] Point of Discord.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Rauf Denktas before and after meeting President Clerides in the framework of the talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (8.3.02) broadcast that the second week of the second round of the Cyprus talks ended today. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met for the third time in the second round today. In a statement to the press before he left for the meeting, Denktas congratulated all women on the occasion of World Women's Day. He said that it is thanks to women that there are such great youth and he thanked them for it.

    The meeting was held at the Nicosia Conference Center near the Nicosia international airport in the buffer zone.

    Following the 90-minute meeting, Denktas replied to reporters' questions in occupied Nicosia. He recalled that another meeting will be held on Tuesday. He declined to discuss the contents of the meeting held today. He said that if the Greek Cypriot press reports on the issues discussed, then statements can be issued on the matter.

    Asked what issues he will raise at his meeting with EU's Verheugen today, Denktas said that he will ask him if the EU would be disturbed by a new member in the form of an effective state that is based on two founding states and that represents the two sides jointly. Denktas said: "When I asked him that in the past he replied that it did not matter to the EU, that the EU wanted to have an effective state that would negotiate and reach decisions in its relations with it. That is what we are doing. That is our greatest step toward the Greek Cypriots".

    Denktas stressed that certain restrictions are necessary for the security of the Turkish Cypriots. Recalling that such a clause existed in the agreement he had reached with the late Greek Cypriot leader Makarios, Denktas said: "We will ask Verheugen his views about the restriction of the three freedoms. Such restrictions have been made in various European countries. We should not have any problems there".

    Denktas asserted that the difficulty lies in the Greek Cypriot side's rejection of the things the Turkish Cypriots want, on the grounds that they prevent Cyprus' membership in the EU. He affirmed that these issues will be discussed with Verheugen.

    Asked if the restrictions on the three freedoms may be lifted in time, Denktas said: "No. We want these restrictions to be permanent. However, we are not saying no Greek Cypriot can come and live among us. That will be based on a quota. In time, it will be possible in line with the quota. This should be the case for both sides. This is a security precaution and a measure to prevent us from becoming a minority once again. Other countries have done it too".

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader needs heart surgery by August

    Turkish Daily News (9.3.12) published the following report: European Union Commissioner Guenther Verheugen said yesterday he hoped Cyprus talks would end until June, stressing that the solution of the Cyprus problem was not a precondition for EU membership according to Helsinki decisions.

    Responding to questions from reporters following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Verheugen said their meeting was constructive and informative, stressing that his talks with Denktas would continue in the framework of his support for the direct talks.

    Cyprus is a frontrunner for EU membership in its next expansion by 2004 and is trying to heal the breach between its ethnic Greeks and Turks to avoid having to join the bloc while still divided.

    Talks between Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas started in January, with no apparent sign of progress to date. With EU membership negotiations due to end this year and with Denktas needing heart surgery by August, both sides say it would be reasonable to expect progress by June.

    The EU had a clear preference to see Cyprus joining the EU united, but it was not a precondition, Verheugen said.

    Verheugen stated prior to his meeting with Denktas that the existing 15 EU members and its institutions had created such a momentum in favour of enlargement that it would be "impossible and unthinkable" to stop or delay the process, stressing that if there was no settlement between the two leaders in due time, the EU must make decisions anyway.

    Brussels wants to conclude its accession negotiations with the 10 candidates this year, allowing the new entrants to participate as members in EU elections in 2004.

    As Denktas and Clerides met early on Friday, Denktas was quoted as saying that the settlement of Greek Cypriots in the occupied part of the divided island would be tied to quota in order to secure the safety of the Turkish Cypriots and prevent them from being a minority again.

    Denktas said that none of the Turkish Cypriots would say no to EU in case there was an efficient administration representing both sides jointly and depending on two founder states during the accession to the Union. Denktas said the EU had already accepted such an efficient administration, following his meeting with Verheugen.

    According to Denktas, the administration desired by the EU was an authority, which would carry out foreign relations, EU relations, business matters and solve further issues, urged by the both parties in an agreement.

    On the other hand, Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said yesterday that June would be a crucial month in terms of the future of Cyprus talks, stressing that he did not want to draw either an optimistic or pessimistic picture.

    Cyprus Parliament Speaker Dimitris Christofias noted that the Greek Cypriot side wanted to see whether there would be progress in talks until June. Christofias called on the EU, UN Security Council and international community to pressure Turkey to change its stance. According to him, Greek Cypriots should produce alternative strategies in cooperation with Greece against the strategy of Turkey.

    [03] Mesut Yilmaz in favour of a referendum in Turkey regarding the EU

    Turkish Weekly magazine TEMPO (8.3.02) publishes an interview with Motherland Party [ANAP] leader and deputy prime minister, also Minister for EU Affairs, Mesut Yilmaz.

    Following are the introductory paragraph and the questions and answers: Turkey is debating the EU. A Leaders Summit will be held on Friday 8 March. Ecevit, Bahceli and Yilmaz are going to discuss the time table for the "homework" that has to be done in order to get accession talks started. In a volatile atmosphere fueled by death penalty and Kurdish education debates, anti-Europe voices are speaking out loudly. EU impositions over the People/s Democracy Party [HADEP], Cyprus and the Armenian massacre etc are fanning the flames of anti-EU sentiment. This was the mood prior to the Leaders Summit in which Mesut Yilmaz answered Tempo's questions and suggested the EU issue be put to referendum in order to form a national consensus. Here are Tempo's questions and Mesut Yilmaz's replies:

    Question: What do you see as the greatest obstacle facing us on the path to the EU?

    Answer: Firstly, the ministers need to discuss objectively the obstacles they see regarding entry into the EU.

    The ECONOMIST published on 11 September 1992 a table concerning those countries waiting for EU membership. The list showed the obstacles for each country and there were three obstacles facing Turkey on this list: Islam, human rights and the financial burden.

    To these obstacles we have to add on occasion the size of the Turkish population and the Greek veto when it comes to foreign politics.

    What started as the greatest disadvantage -- the religious factor - has begun to turn around and become an advantage for Turkey. At Helsinki, while Turkey was being included in the EU enlargement process, Europe was acting with the following mentality:

    In a world where pluralism is increasing in value the way to stop being seen as a Christian club is to include Turkey in the enlargement process. It is an indisputable fact that taking Turkey -- which represents progressive Islam -- on board, the EU will be able to tone down the hostility some are trying to create between the West and the Islamic world. Turkey proved this fact at a single meeting -- the Dialogue between civilizations in Istanbul. Really, the EU wants to play a role in world politics equivalent to its economic might and so it has got to take Muslim Turkey on board. The point at which the EU is now -- and it is still in a state of flux and change -- is one where Turkey's Muslim identity constitutes an advantage for both Turkey and the EU.

    However, coupled to this is the hostility towards Islam that stems from religious bigotry and is history wide. This hostility looks like causing the EU problems for some time to come. It will always be possible for negative outcomes to emerge on issues such as Greece, Cyprus, Armenia and similar because of our religious identity.

    It is clear that EU candidate Muslim Turkey's importance has increased in the wake of the 11 September incidents. Consequently, the religious factor is no longer an obstacle to membership, but has become political fodder for some groups within the EU that are opposed to Turkey.

    Question: How do we stand vis-a-vis human rights?

    Answer: The issue of human rights became a very touchy issue for the EU -- one of democratic criteria -- after 1992, when this evaluation was made. The Copenhagen Criteria made this the benchmark for the starting of full accession talks.

    It is up to Turkey to stop this issue being an obstacle. Indeed, the legal arrangements Turkey is carrying out these days are mainly directed to this end. We believe that these arrangements have to be carried out regardless of EU membership. We do not believe anybody in Turkey is going to oppose this fact.

    However, there are those that assert the time and conditions in Turkey are not right for certain rights and freedoms to be recognized in Turkey. It can be said, however, that this view is going to lose credibility the more Turkey integrates with the EU.

    Question: Does Turkey's financial burden continue to be an obstacle?

    Answer: When it comes to meeting the costs that full membership for the 13 candidate countries will bring, as opposed to the membership process, the existing members look reluctant. Consequently, there will be no question of Turkey being treated any differently from the other 12 candidates. In addition, the size of the financial contribution Turkey will make to the European market is a factor that reduces the cost of financial sacrifice to be imposed on Turkey.

    Question: Can the European fear of population size be overcome?

    Answer: Another major disadvantage -- that of the size of population -- can become or be turned into a major advantage, just like the religious factor. What worries Europe is not the size of the population, but the fear of being stuck with an inflow of unskilled labour.

    When skilled labour begins to appear once Turkey's education system has been put on an even keel, we can say this obstacle will disappear all by itself. Indeed, European countries while saying they do not want foreign labour have begun to transfer labour in from India and many other countries in the field of computers and so on.

    Question: What about the Greek veto?

    Answer: The Greek obstacle has always been there in addition to the others. Since Helsinki we have seen this factor stop being insurmountable, although it is still a tough one.

    While evaluating the Greek obstacle, we must not ignore the fact that when the European countries met in Brussels over 5-6 February 1980 "they guaranteed the agreement made with Greece would not obstruct Turkey's rights in the future".

    Question: Will the EU ever really accept Turkey?

    Answer: There are attempts being made to form an opinion in Turkey: No matter what Turkey does, it will never be good enough for Europe and even if Turkey were to perform miracles the EU would still never accept it.

    This is devoid of any basis and is a deception founded on anti-European prejudice.

    We can definitely say this: Not one EU country has the might to reject Turkey's accession if it fulfils the same conditions as the other candidate countries. The EU will never stand behind such double standards.

    However, my key concern concerns the efforts by certain circles within the EU to put off Turkey's membership as long as possible. These circles have over the past 40 years or so made it a political tradition to put off Turkey's EU membership to as distant a future point as possible at every stage.

    For years on end now, all our applications have been obstructed by outside elements. For a country that has its wits about it and that has learnt its lessons from the past to witness the same fate again and again at every stage still is vile. We can sum up the policy of a few circles in Europe as firstly trying to postpone indefinitely Turkey's accession and if the opportunity arises to obstruct it altogether.

    In this they have always managed to exploit Turkey's internal dynamics and the weaknesses our country has fallen to on occasion to good effect. What I am really concerned about is that this might be repeated today. If we stand resilient we can foil the plans of these power centers in Europe.

    Question: Is the EU debate that has flared up again such an "exploitation of weakness?"

    Answer:The act of including Turkey in the enlargement process at Helsinki was argued about more in Europe than in Turkey because this decision was impossible for many parts of Europe to digest.

    Some of these groups openly expressed their concern, "What if Turkey immediately fulfils all the criteria and asks to start accession talks?"

    Others said that Turkey's membership needed to be obstructed for 30-40years.

    Others still said, "They will never fulfil the political criteria anyway, so there is no cause for concern."

    Ignoring all this, we as a nation need to warn those who think it a skill to stir things up in Turkey over the EU.

    It is extremely simple for power centers in Europe to use Turkey's internal mechanics. It is not enough to be sincere on the topic of faiths, one has to be alert. One should not become a pawn in European-centered ploys to delay EU membership.

    Question: Is that what happened after we applied in 1980?

    Answer: The then Turkish Government had decided in 1980 to apply to what was then the European Community. This decision caused much consternation within EU capitals. They found it mistimed and unprepared and wanted to obstruct it. The EU countries did their level best to do just this.

    The TIMES had published the Turkey strategy of power centers in Europe in 1980. The EC members are not going to say 'no' to Turkey, but they will do all they can to prolong the process." Let us not deceive ourselves. This policy is still very much alive.

    What the EC countries could not do with external pressure to obstruct Turkey's application they managed to do most successfully on the inside.

    The then Foreign Minister Hayrettin Erkmen had wanted to apply to the EU for full membership in 1980 but he fell foul of an appellation and the Europeans breathed a deep sigh of relief.

    Just read the appellation that resulted in Erkmen falling on 5 September 1980. It reads, "The moment he entered into office, he attempted to have Turkey join the Common Market, which would make Turkey a province of Europe and see it broken away from the Islamic world and politically integrated into the West."

    I am not accusing the political cadre that filed this appellation, but it later emerged that this development pleased most of all those European countries that wanted to deter Turkey from applying. These days the country has reached a new stage in the European issue. If we can fulfil the political criteria we are not going to break away from the enlargement process and we will switch to full accession talks.

    Question: Is there a similar game being played today to the one in the past?

    Answer: As this process will ultimately be unable to be held up there are circles in Europe that wish to see it delayed as much as possible. We must evaluate developments both at home and abroad in this light. We have to be aware of provocations both at home and abroad. It would be best for our nation to look at events from this perspective. Those with an interest in the issue know that the European Parliament is not the legislative organ for the EU, it is the Council of Ministers. The executive body is the Commission. The European Parliament is more a consultative and supervisory body, therefore its rulings are not binding.

    Decisions today must be seen as attempts to dissuade Turkey from demanding a timetable for accession talks. We must not walk open-eyed into the pitfall these centers in Europe have dug for us.

    Question: Is there public support for EU membership?

    Answer: I want to underscore this here. The indisputable condition for Turkey's EU membership is the broad political and social support that will be given by the Turkish public. Without this, Turkey should forget EU membership.

    It is a must for unanimous opinion to be formed regarding Europe in Turkish public opinion and for an indisputable consensus to be reached by all parties and walks of life.

    Looking at it this way, we as a nation ought to attach great importance to the efforts by some to generate EU hostility recently.

    The current EU members all saw membership as a "cultural, historical, sociological, economic and geopolitical necessity. It is with this mentality that they reached their goal. You will see such spirit in any study you make on the issue of Britain, Greece, Spain and Portugal's entry to the EU. This is why they were successful. Do we as a country see EU membership the same way or not? That is the question...

    The question is not one of desire for EU membership; it is one of whether we are ready to work and make the necessary sacrifices for this. The desire is not there if you only look at membership from the point of view of the bounties it will yield while ignoring the responsibilities, sacrifices and work that it also entails.

    Question: So, should there be a referendum held over the EU? Many EU countries chose the referendum path while they were joining.

    Answer: A referendum is not a prerequisite for EU membership, but something that is up to the discretion of the applying country. I believe the overwhelming majority of our nation has its eyes set on EU membership. Indeed, opinion polls seem to bear out my belief here. Therefore, I am in favour of holding a referendum on the matter. If the desire for a referendum becomes public-wide, I do not see the legal preparations being particularly difficult.

    Any referendum held at this stage prior to accession talks will have more political implications than legal ones as regards Turkey's will to join the EU or not.

    From a legal point of view, it might be preferable to hold a referendum after accession talks have been completed and a full membership agreement has been prepared between Turkey and the EU. However, from the point of view of pointing the way to the political authority and of eradicating the reservations others are trying to create, holding a referendum now would be advantageous. However, this requires firstly accession talks to be started and then an agreement made between Turkey and the EU.

    Question: Is the military opposed to the EU?

    Answer: As an institution, I do not believe the military is opposed to the EU. Were it opposed to the EU, then those that staged the 1980 coup would not have insisted in their first statements, "Relations with the EC and the European Council will continue in line wit existing agreements." Nor would the government formed by the military administration have set "full membership" as a goal in its program. Furthermore, the National Security Council would not have taken the decision to join the EC as it was then when it sat on 25 March 1981 -- the least favourable time possible. Indeed, the General Staff takes every opportunity to voice its views on this issue and openly states it is not opposed to the EU.

    I would like to say that it is wrong to see the General Staff as an obstacle to our joining the EU.

    Finally, I would like to say that the EU is in a state of constant flux; it is perpetually changing and it is getting progressively harder to follow this change. As the process is left more and more to time, the distance between us lengthens not shortens. We should put aside our reservations and step on the gas.

    [04] Devlet Bahceli: Mesut Yilmaz/s EU referendum offer is a step backwards

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (9.3.02) broadcast that in a news conference today, Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli focused especially on foreign policy issues, and commented in detail on the EU. Bahceli said that Turkey's geography, history, and national goals make it essential to pursue a multilateral, cautious, and realistic foreign policy. He described the suggestion to hold a referendum on the EU issue as a step backward. Bahceli said that the government is displaying a realistic and sensitive perspective on basic foreign policy issues, especially with regard to Cyprus.

    Mr. Devlet Bahceli/s statements are as follows:

    "In the discussions concerning EU membership, the questioning of the EU leadership's frequently insincere policies with uncertain goals and the principled attitude pursued in the amendment of Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code have merely been the outcome of our determination concerning our country's future and our nation's unity and harmony. The plot of those who wanted to imprison the issue of EU membership, which has formed our country's complicated web of ties for the past 50 years and which has increasingly become a state policy, into the dichotomy of the opponents versus the supporters of the EU has been foiled.

    Today, the fact that many circles, which until yesterday did not even conceive of questioning the EU's Turkey policies and which do not even want to accept that the negotiating process consists of a two-way bargaining system, have now begun to accept such concepts, is a significant step. Therefore, the foundation established by the nationalist movement has played an important role in the emergence of a more realistic and sound basis for discussion and in the lack of unease at safeguarding our national sensitivities. It is certain that we will preserve this sensitivity and determination from now on as well, because no one has the right to transform our Turkey's road to the EU into an uncertain and even dangerous adventure."

    [05] Not looting but robbery... Social explosion begins in Turkey

    Under the above title and sub-title: A robbery organized by two amateur robbers, a jobless oil engineer and a carpenter with a sick father and the fatal dispute at Istanbul's outskirts Esenler, reveal a long feared social explosion is happening in the country suffering from its biggest economic crisis ever, Turkish Daily News (10.3.02) publishes the following report:

    It may seem like just another ordinary bank robbery but it is one of the signals that reveals how economic crisis has affected Turkish people. Suat Durmus and Mustafa Muratoglu were not typical robbers. Durmus was a carpenter with a sick father and Muratoglu was an unemployed oil engineer. These two friends attempted to rob the Kazasker-Kadikoy branch of Finansbank in Istanbul.

    While they were grabbing the bundles of banknotes, the guard, Engin Bozkurt, managed to disarm one of them. During the scuffle, Durmus put his 7.65 mm Kirikkale revolver to the head of the guard and pulled the trigger. The gun did not work. So he hit Bozkurt on the head several times with the butt of the gun. Bozkurt stood up, blood streaming down his face, and shot first Durmus and then Muratoglu who was running out of the bank with part of the money. Then he did all he could to get the two to a hospital in time. But they died.

    It was feared that Turkish people would take to the streets and there would be mass riots. Then it was argued that Turkey would not become an Argentina, which witnessed lootings during its own crisis.

    This was not the sole event that took place revealing the dimension of unrest among people. Esenler, a ghetto in Istanbul where especially those who migrated from the southeast regions live, turned into a battle field.

    One person died and 14 others were injured during the street fight, which occurred between gypsies and the people from Siirt. The visual reason was that the quarrel broke out because of a debt of TL 3 million between a shop owner and a customer, but it was the long feared and expected explosion of the ghetto reality.

    The hard conditions dominating life in the shanty towns have prepared all the conditions for an explosion. Hatred and anger is the most common feeling, especially among the youngsters living in the poverty rings surrounding the big and wealthy cities.

    At an early age, they have encountered the bitter realities of the world. This anger and hatred is urging them to take part in violent acts.

    In this environment, social unrest and radical political movements have the opportunity to escalate. And these poverty rings become the places threatening social stability.

    The ever increasing income gap between classes in Turkey becomes more visual at the outskirts, and the majority of those living in ghettos are below the hunger line.

    According to figures from the Public Workers Union (KAMUSEN) the hunger line during December rose to some TL 300 million for a four-member family.

    Disappointment and hopelessness cause anger. And anger is the main reason for them to become involved in illegal moves and to battle against each other.

    [06] The 54.8 % of the inhabitants of the occupied areas believe that Famagusta must be returned to its legal owners within the framework of a solution

    Pro-Denktas KIBRISLI newspaper (10 and11.3.02) reports that according to a public opinion poll conducted by SOAR research firm, the 54.8 % of the people living in the occupied areas believes that the occupied city of Famagusta must be returned to the Greek Cypriots within the framework of the efforts towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The paper writes that the 31.8 % of the 960 persons who participated in the research said that Famagusta must not be returned. Asked the same question about the occupied area of Morphou, the 72 % of the participants in the poll expressed the view that Morphou should not be returned, whereas the 15.8 % argued the opposite.

    Asked whether they believed that a territorial concession must be made by the Turkish side within the framework of a solution, the 46.3 % of the participants in the poll said that no territorial concessions should be made, whereas the 31.3 % said that the territory under the Turkish Cypriot control could be reduced to 30 % and the 15.1% argued that this territory could be reduced between 25 and 29 %. It is noted that at present the 35 % of the territory of Cyprus is under the occupation of the Turkish Army.

    As far as the guarantees of Turkey are concerned, the 90.8 % of the participants in the poll said that no concessions should be made on these guarantees, the 4.3 % argued that some concessions could be made on this issue, whereas the 2.9 % said that concessions should be made.

    Asked whether they find the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, successful on his duty as a negotiator the 43.2 % answered that they find him successful, the 28.5 % very successful, the17.9 % partly successful, the 6.1 % unsuccessful, the 1.4 % very unsuccessful and the 2 % answered 'I do not know'. The 79.9 % who think that Denktas is successful belong to the National Unity Party (NUP), the 88.5 % to the Democratic Party (DP), the 36.6 % to the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and 59.1 % to the Communal Liberation Party (CLP).

    [07] Turkish Cypriot political party leaders satisfied from the results of the visit of Mr Verheugen

    Under the banner front-page title "Satisfied from Verheugen", KIBRIS (10.3.02) reports that the leaders of the main Turkish Cypriot political parties described as "good and positive" the visit of EU Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement, Gunter Verheugen to Cyprus.

    The paper talked on the issue to Dervis Eroglu, so-called Prime Minister and leader of the National Unity Party (NUP), Salih Cosar, so-called deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Huseyin Angolemli, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and Ahmet Gulay, General Secretary of the Nationalist Justice party (NJP).

    Mr Eroglu described as "satisfactory" the fact that Mr Verheugen "was more sincere than before". Mr Eroglu said that the fact that Mr Verhuegen visited the occupied areas and met with Mr Denktas, was "positive and good". The negative side of Verheugen's visit, alleged Mr Eroglu, is his statement that Cyprus will join the EU with or without a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Cosar said that Mr Verheuen's visit to the occupied areas was "a pleasing fact" and added: "This in a sense expresses our existence and that the status quo exists in Cyprus". Mr Cosar refused to make a further comment on Mr Verheugen's meetings because he said that he did not know their details.

    Mr Angolemli noted that Mr Denktas had the opportunity to ask some clarifications from Mr Verheugen about some concerns he had. The explanations of Mr Verheugen addressed the concerns of Mr Denktas, argued Mr Angolemli adding that his party had no doubts on these issues. "There are quota on some issues in some EU countries as well", said the leader of CLP who also claimed that the Greek Cypriot side would not be able now to "put obstacles to the Turkish side" with the excuse that its positions are not in conformity with the EU norms.

    Mr Talat said that the Cyprus problem has become a problem of the EU and added that Mr Verheugen told Denktas that the only precondition of the EU is that it wants a single state to talk with, whereas he told the Greek Cypriot side that the internal adjustments concern the sides on the island.

    Mr Gulay alleged that if we talk about accession to the EU, then the Turkish side should join the accession talks having an equal status with the Greek Cypriot side. Mr Gulay claimed that the EU should call on the sides once more to start the negotiations from the beginning.

    [08] Tenders for establishing a SAR station to be invited on 14 March

    KIBRIS (09.3.02) reports that the pseudostate in cooperation with Turkey will call for international tenders as from 14 March for the establishment of a SAR station the cost of which is estimated to be about 1.5 million dollars.

    The paper writes that Dervis Eroglu, so-called Prime Minister, met on Friday with a Turkish delegation headed by Ahmet Akcaba, Advisor in Turkey's ministry of Transport and Hucum Tulgar, Turkey's General Director of Coast Security and Rescue.

    The station, which is expected to be the biggest in the Mediterranean Sea, will be built in occupied Famagusta area. A rescue vessel will also be bought and the 14 lighthouses of the pseudostate will be brought to international standards.

    Mr Eroglu said that the coasts/ security, safety and rescue are important elements and they are "important steps" for stressing the so-called reality of the existence of the pseudostate.

    [09] Motherland Party Deputy Chairman says real trouble will come about if Cyprus is accepted to the EU

    Turkish Daily News(11.3.02) publishes the following report:

    "Coalition junior partner Motherland Party (ANAP) Deputy Chairman and Turkish Democracy Foundation Chairman Bulent Akarcali said that he found Turkey's alliance with Russia and Iran to be extremely appropriate, however he stressed that this view was not an alternative to supporting the European Union.

    Attending a meeting of Turco-Azeri and Armenian journalists held in Capadoccia last weekend, Akarcali delivered a statement to Turkish journalists in which he evaluated the statement of the secretary-general of the National Security Council (MGK) Gen. Tuncer Kilinc, who said last Thursday that Turkish EU aspirations were doomed to fail and suggested the Ankara government seek new allies and forge closer relations with Russia and Iran.

    Assessing Kilinc's words as a "brave statement," Akarcali said that Turkey's alliances with Russia and Iran were extremely brave and appropriate. "It is important to secure this, whether or not in the scope of the EU. Taking Iran and Russia to its sides, Turkey may be the most preferable candidate for the EU. This would also bring comfort to the Caucasus," he added.

    Mentioning a "nightmare scenario" in case Turkey is not taken into the Union, Akarcali noted that if the EU agreed not to launch full membership negotiations with Turkey but made the Greek Cypriots a member, everybody would see the real hullabaloo. "The weapon producers in the United States will be happy, since weapons are sold to regions where there is high tensions," he added.

    Touching on the Caucasus problem, Akarcali suggested that a five-fold group, including Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia, be formed in order to solve the problems related with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Noting that Iran may also participate in this group in the long-term, he said that this group may form a subgroup within the Black Sea - Economic Cooperation Organization.

    Claiming that the Armenian diaspora does not help Armenia but follows an opium policy by giving money, Akarcali said that Turkey should show the harshest reactions to the genocide resolutions in ignorance of the Armenian diaspora. According to Akarcali, Azerbaijan and Armenia should first of all try to reach an agreement".


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [10] Columnist in ZAMAN newspaper analyses the statements made by the General-Secretary of the National Security Council

    Mainland Turkey ZAMAN newspaper (9.3.02) publishes the following article by Mehmet Yilmaz under the title: "Turkey After New Strategic Initiatives": General-Secretary of the National Security Council Tuncer Kilinc's remarks have sent reverberations through Ankara. Although at first glance Kilinc's statements appear to amount to a criticism of the EU, it is obviously possible to infer other meanings from his words by reading between the lines. Among the intended addressees of Kilinc's message, we could count the EU, the United States, and some of Turkey's neighbors. The fact that General Kilinc talked about only Russia and Iran in proposing alternative alliances and that he did not go into any details, prevents us from making an in-depth analysis of his remarks. Yet, it is clear that taking into consideration the EU's stance on the European Security and Defense Identity [ESDI] and the issue of Cyprus and the possibility that the United States may let Pakistan down after a while although it cooperated with it to overthrow the Taliban, Turkey is trying to form alliances as an alternative to its relations with the EU and Washington.

    Turkey has for some time been trying to establish special relations with Russia. The last two important contacts between the two countries took place in New York and Ankara. The Foreign Ministers of the two countries, [Ismail] Cem and [Igor S.] Ivanov, signed a friendship and cooperation treaty. Also, Russian Chief of the General Staff [Anatoly] Kvashnin visited Prime Minister Ecevit during the latter's visit to the United States.

    Obviously, Turkey's contacts with its neighbors are not limited to this. There has been a remarkable increase lately in high level contacts aiming to develop particularly commercial relations with Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

    All this gives rise to the following questions: Is Turkey trying to develop an Eastern model against the Western bloc? Does Turkey want to face eastward, as it were, because it has been disappointed about the West? If the answer to these questions is "yes," why does Turkey feel the need to launch such an initiative at the expense of abandoning its goal of Westernization?

    Let us look at Turkey's situation in order to answer these questions. The Turkish Military does not want Turkey to face any security problems because it has been excluded from the decision-making mechanisms of the ESDI. This is reflected in General Staff Chief Huseyin Kivrikoglu's judgment that membership in the EU is a geopolitical necessity. The fact that Turkey has lately moved beyond the concept of National Pact [i.e. the existing borders of the Turkish Republic] to efforts to create areas of influence outside its borders would appear to be a serious move to anticipate such problems.

    General Kilinc's remarks about developing a cooperation with Russia and Iran suggest that what is at issue is a bid to take advantage of the Ottoman Empire's experiences to avert the above-mentioned security problem. Historical experience shows that those powers that controlled Anatolia established a foothold in Europe when they created areas of influence in the Caucasus, Mesopotamia, and the Iranian plain. In the same way, when strong positions were gained in the Balkans, important footholds were secured in the east and the south. For this reason, Turkey will strengthen its position in Europe by establishing a close economic and political cooperation with Russia, Central Asian Republics, and Islamic States. In the same way, its emergence as an influential political actor in the Balkans and Eastern Europe will enable it to fortify its position in Eurasia and the Islamic World. The fact that the OIC-EU summit that was held in Istanbul last month generated great public interest confirms this view.

    An important point that is being overlooked is the fact that Turkey is undergoing one of the most serious economic crises in its history. It is clear that this crisis has exacerbated Turkey's security problems. Turkey is trying hard to ride out the crisis and achieve positive economic growth. The custom's agreement with the EU works unilaterally and the EU is being tight with the funds it is supposed to extend to Turkey.

    Because its exports to Europe have reached their ceiling, Turkey is looking for new markets. The fact that the United States will not accept any imports other than rugs and carpets is forcing Ankara to increase the volume of its trade with its neighbours. It is quite significant that Foreign Trade Undersecretary Kursat Tuzmen went with a large delegation of businessmen last week to Baghdad, which the United States is preparing to hit.

    Finally, it could be said that Kilinc's criticisms have also targeted the United States. Kilinc has got across to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers and Vice President Dick Cheney, who are due to visit Turkey in the days to come, the message that Turkey will support the United States in connection with Iraq only if it feels that it has Washington's backing where its vital interests are at stake. Turkey is at an important crossroads and needs to pass this junction without making crucial mistakes. Turkey's decision-makers should act with common sense, generate policies that safeguard Turkey's interests, refrain from making the country's future dependent on the EU and try to understand those who emphasize the need to do so rather than condemning them. No matter which angle they are viewed from, Kilinc's remarks clearly establish that in order to assure its future, Turkey has embarked on new strategic initiatives and is announcing this through very high-level authorities.

    [11] Point of Discord

    Under the above title Istanbul MILLIYET (8.3.02) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila:

    "Turkey continues to take steps in accordance with the National Program it submitted to the EU. However, the organization expects more from it. For example, it wants Turkey to take measures to lift the death penalty in a way that will save Workers Party of Kurdistan Leader Abdullah Ocalan and pave the way for the introduction of Kurdish education and broadcasts.

    It can be said that Europe's expectations might create a deadlock between the two sides. Meanwhile, the Cyprus problem can also create a new deadlock. Minister of State Sukru Sina Gurel recently visited north Cyprus. We asked him to comment on his visit. Stressing that he did not return with positive views, he asserted: "No progress has been made to satisfy the Turkish side. That has been disclosed by Mr. Rauf Denktas. The Greek Cypriot side failed to respond positively to the steps he took thus far. The Greek Cypriot Administration wants Guzelyurt [Morphou], the buffer zone, and the Karpass Peninsula. Furthermore, it wants Greek Cypriot refugees to settle in north Cyprus. Mr Denktas is convinced that the Turkish Cypriot side is treated like a community and that the Greek Cypriot side's intention is to create a situation worse than the one that existed prior to 1960. Cyprus will create a new deadlock if the Greek Cypriot side maintains its approach."

    Stressing that Europe should adopt a rational approach if a deadlock is reached, Gurel said: "Europe will create many problems if it reacts to a deadlock by saying 'I am admitting Cyprus into the organization.' Turkey will oppose it if it says 'I am admitting Cyprus as a whole.' What will it do with the Turkish Republic of Cyprus `TRNC/ if it does so? The Greek Cypriot side might be encouraged to move against the `TRNC/. If Europe does not want to create such a problem, it should either put pressure on the Greek Cypriot side to force it to approach the model the Turkish Cypriot side proposed or persuade Greece to agree to have Cyprus' accession to the organization postponed. The London and Zurich Agreements prevent Cyprus from joining an international organization in which Turkey is not a member. So, a simultaneous accession should be considered. Otherwise, a new deadlock will be reached on Cyprus."

    Europe should reconsider its expectations, particularly those it wants Turkey to fulfill within a short period. Furthermore, it should consider the Turkish Cypriot side's expectations.

    Meanwhile, the assessment made by Gen. Tuncer Kilic, National Securit Council Secretary General, should be heeded, regardless of his statement that what he said was his personal views. His statement that the EU has never supported Ankara on Turkey's national interests and problems and that Turkey must improve its relations with Russia and Iran outlined a strategic approach. In fact, the agreement that was signed with the Russian Chief of Staff when Ecevit visited the United States was in line with his approach.

    So, it can be said that Turkey moving to make strategic initiatives to create new alternatives will be unavoidable if the EU continues to put forward demands on sensitive issues".

    KV/SK


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