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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-03-27

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.59/02 27.3.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting President Clerides.
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister in Brussels. No mention of the Turkish troops which occupy Cyprus illegally since 1974.
  • [03] Devlet Bahceli wants Cyprus and Turkey to accede to the EU together.
  • [04] KIBRIS writes that the British will react strongly if the Republic of Cyprus purchases 12 helicopters from Russia.
  • [05] The British Consul to Istanbul says that no one asks Turkey to make a choice between the EU and Cyprus.
  • [06] Denktas: "Verheugen is loosing his credibility".
  • [07] The occupation regime did not give permission to a group of EU parliamentarians to visit the occupied areas.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [08] Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly joins in the concerted attack against Gunter Verheugen.
  • [09] The backstage of the so-called passport law.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting President Clerides Ankara Anatolia (26.3.02) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and President Glafcos Clerides met today in the framework of talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a statement after the meeting Denktas said that he responded to President Clerides' statement made at the previous meeting, and during tomorrow's meeting, President Clerides will reply to him.

    In reply to a question, Denktas stated that the agreement between Montenegro and Serbia is a very close example of what the Turkish Cypriots want, and added:

    "The two sides in Montenegro established a union by recognizing one another. This is a very close example of what we want. The same thing is happening in other places as well. In other words, an agreement cannot be attained by ignoring the existence of something that actually exists. What is in existence? The Greek Cypriot side says 'I exist as a state,' but it calls itself by a different name and claims that the whole of Cyprus belongs to it. We, in turn, say 'it belonged to us, it belonged to both of us, we separated, now we are in our own part, therefore we exist.' If the goal is to unite, we can attain something starting from this point. This is what they have in Montenegro and Serbia. They said 'let us wait for three years, either it works, or we separate.' We are not even saying that, because we believe that we can perpetuate the new structure by means of guarantees. We believe that the guarantees of Turkey and Greece and EU accession will make this indestructible. However, basing our rights on our own republic and our own sovereignty will not hurt this. We will discuss these aspects."

    Denktas further said that he cannot understand the remarks of Gunter Verheugen, EU commissioner in charge of enlargement, adding that these statements are not befitting his position or impartiality. Verheugen may love the Greek Cypriots very much, Denktas said, "but, we do not understand what kind of justice would be served by the Greek Cypriots' dragging us along into the EU acting on our behalf."

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister in Brussels. No mention of the Turkish troops which occupy Cyprus illegally since 1974

    Ankara Anatolia (26.3.02) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who is currently in Brussels to attend a conference organized by the Turkey-Europe Foundation and to hold a series of contacts with the European Union (EU) officials, held a press conference to inform journalists on his meetings with EU Commissioner Guenter Verheugen and with EU`s Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana.

    Noting that these meetings had focused on the Cyprus question, Cem said: ``We have been trying to explain the Cyprus question to everyone.``

    ``I informed Verheugen and Solana on the initiatives of Mr Rauf Denktas. I think that my explanation contributed to the EU`s well-understanding of the issue. I told them that we had been doing our utmost with good-will. I said that the Turkish Cypriots did not give up their rights stemming from the agreements on the island. We expect the two nations to form a partnership state as two founder states, to discuss the issue of authority among three guarantor states, two founder states, and the partnership state.``

    Noting that he had criticized certain attitudes of the EU during his contacts, Cem told reporters: ``We believe that the EU is encouraging the Greek Cypriot side`s intransigent attitude by its attitudes. The EU has not only a moral, but also a legal responsibility. The EU said that an agreement in Cyprus was favourable but this is not a precondition for Greek Cypriot side`s

    membership to the EU. It said that the EU would consider all related factors while deciding on Cyprus` membership. These statements had caused the reaction of the Greek Cypriots at that time. The EU made a commitment to consider the efforts of both sides to reach a compromise while deciding on the membership of the Greek Cypriots. That means that if the Greek Cypriot side turns down all the positive initiatives of the Turkish Cypriot side and fails to make a contribution to the efforts to make an agreement, and if the EU says `Well it`s ok, such things happen`, and approve the Greek Cypriots` membership, that would be a violation of the Helsinki Agreement. This is what we discussed and we`ll continue to talk about it.``

    ``We don`t want to start a fight,`` Cem continued. ``We only want the Greek Cypriot side to share the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side to reach a logical solution.``

    ``We want a solution that could be acceptable for both sides. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are working to attain this result. We don`t make threats, but everyone should know that we won`t allow injustice to be done against Turkish Cypriots. Turkey cannot allow Turkish Cypriots to become a minority on an island under the sovereignty of Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots would not allow this to happen either,`` Cem said.

    Cem said that Verheugen could have made some wrong statements, adding that he believed Verheugen was also working for a solution in Cyprus.

    Cem indicated that during his meeting with Solana he discussed the Cyprus issue into detail.

    ``I see that the more we explain the more progress we can record for a peaceful solution. I explain that everybody will suffer loss if a solution is not found. I say that they should not have a question mark like what Turkey can or cannot do. What Turkey will do is very clear. There are decisions of the parliament. If they prefer a unilateral way, Turkey will use its rights stemming from agreements. Everybody knows this. There should not be any hesitation. I explained these. We have discussed what can be done to enable this process to reach a positive point,`` he said.

    ``Denktas has really a very rational, constructive and compromising approach. Everybody should see this. And it is our duty to make everybody see this. In some circles of the EU, it is stressed that `southern Cyprus will be a member even if the Cyprus issue is not solved` but I think that this is made in an unnecessary way. I mentioned this clearly. My interlocutors in Europe have never said that the TRNC`s solution method is illogical, wrong and unfeasible. They keep saying `we wonder whether or not the Greek Cypriot side will accept`. That`s why, they are also obliged to attribute importance to what the Turkish side will accept or won`t accept,`` he said.

    ``The Turkish side has put forward a rational and feasible model appropriate to everybody`s reason, sense and logic. There is a legal infrastructure in Cyprus. Within the framework of this infrastructure, Denktas`s approach is very rational. I say that `tell me if there is a flaw and shortcoming and let`s discuss it with this regard`. They do not make such objections,`` he said.

    ``It would be good to have a result. Even if it enters a deadlock, we win as a result of our current policy. If it ends with a solution, we gain more. We want a solution,`` Cem added.

    [03] Devlet Bahceli wants Cyprus and Turkey to accede to the EU together

    Ankara Anatolia (26.3.02) reported that Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader, State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli addressing his party group meeting, on Monday said that European friends of Turkey should fulfil their obligations not only towards Turkey, but also for international law and cooperation.

    Noting that it is not possible to understand the attitude of EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen about the Cyprus issue, Bahceli asked: ``Isn`t Mr Verheugen aware of the fact that Turkey is one of the EU candidate countries?``

    He also said that the most sound and permanent solution on the island is a bi-zonal and bi-communal model, adding that a united Cyprus and Turkey should join the EU at the same time.

    ``The programme Turkey follows to integrate with the EU and the revision the EU will feel as a result of a possible solution on the island based on equity principle will make closer the calendars of the two candidate countries on the way to EU membership,`` said Bahceli and noted that this formula will certainly start a normalization and solution process in Turkish-Greek relations, too.

    ``If the EU is aware of the fact that the Cyprus problem and the membership process of Cyprus to the EU is not limited to EU`s own political and economic criteria, the EU will understand the seriousness of damaging the existing groundwork in Cyprus,`` he added.

    [04] KIBRIS writes that the British will react strongly if the Republic of Cyprus purchases 12 helicopters from Russia

    KIBRIS (27.03.02) reports that the government of Great Britain has reacted to information that the Republic of Cyprus will buy 12 military helicopters from Russia. Answering a written question of Lord Kilclooney of Armagh, member of the House of Lords, British government officials said that they are trying to prevent Cyprus from obtaining the twelve MIL MI-35 helicopters.

    According to KIBRIS London correspondent, Rasih Resat, the British government expressed the opinion that in case the helicopters come to Cyprus the negotiation procedure towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will be negatively affected. It is noted that on behalf of the British government Baroness Simons was giving the answers to the questions of Lord Kilclooney.

    "The Greek Cypriots have not taken their lesson from the S-300 missiles", alleged Lord Kilclooney in a statement to KIBRIS.

    [05] The British Consul to Istanbul says that no one asks Turkey to make a choice between the EU and Cyprus

    KIBRIS (27.03.02) reports that Great Britain's consul to Istanbul, Mr Roger Short has said that Turkey's making concessions in Cyprus is not regarded as the price it has to pay for its accession to the EU and added that no one has asked Turkey to make a choice between its interests in the EU and its interests in Cyprus.

    In a speech yesterday at Istanbul's Cultural University on "The Relations between Turkey and the EU from Great Britain's point of view", Mr Short expressed Britain's support to Turkey's participation in the EU enlargement process and noted: "A just and lasting solution, which will guarantee the accession of a United Cyprus to the EU, will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. I hope Turkey develops its relations with the EU, as it did with Britain. .Turkey's accession to the EU will be in the benefit of both Turkey and Europe. .".

    [06] Denktas: "Verheugen is loosing his credibility"

    KIBRISLI (27.03.02) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has argued that EU commissioner responsible for the enlargement Gunter Verheugen is loosing his credibility.

    In an exclusive statement to KIBRISLI, Mr Denktas was asked to comment on Mr Veheugen's statement that "the Greek Cypriots will not be punished by not being accepted into the EU in case a solution to the Cyprus problem is not found", Mr Denktas said the following: "This is certainly the way to punish the Turks and Turkey. Verheugen is loosing his credibility. He is doing this knowingly. I am surprised. No one can look in such one sided way".

    [07] The occupation regime did not give permission to a group of EU parliamentarians to visit the occupied areas

    YENIDUZEN (27/3/02) reports that the occupation authorities once again did not allow a group of EU Parliamentarians and officials from the Social and Economic Committee of Europe to cross the checkpoint and meet with representatives of civil organizations in the occupied areas.

    The European officials had to wait for a long time at the checkpoint and then return back without being able to carry out their meetings with the representatives of the civil and social organizations.

    Seven Turkish Cypriot Unions issued a joint statement criticizing the above stance of the occupation regime. The Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Union (KTOS), the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Union (KTOEOS), the Revolutionary Trade Unions Federation (DEV-IS), the Turkish Workers' Trade Union Federation (TURK-SEN), the Turkish Cypriot Public Servants' Union (KTAMS), the Municipality Employees' Union (BES) and the Cooperative Workers ' Union (KOOP-SEN) said: "We protest against this outworn behaviour which prohibits the Turkish Cypriots to meet with the world."

    Two Rapporteurs from the Europe Social and Economic Committee tried yesterday to cross the checkpoint in order to carry out different contacts for the report, which they are preparing on the social and economic life of the occupied areas. Four parliamentarians from the European Parliament, one of whom was Greek, tried also to cross the checkpoint with them. But the so-called authorities of the Foreign Affairs Ministry got angry because one of the parliamentarians was Greek and showed an outworn behaviour to the Europeans by telling them: "In no way can the Greek cross over. In spite of the protests of the Unions to the so-called authorities, the so-called Foreign Affairs Ministry continued to say: "Even if he is an EU Ambassador, he must take a visa from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. If he does not take a visa, even if he is EU ambassador, he cannot enter". As a result the European officials, who waited for a long time at the checkpoint, returned back to the free areas.

    The joint statement of the Unions is as follows:

    "By prohibiting the bi-communal meetings, they behave contrary to the spirit of the direct talks which have been continuing since 16 January under the auspices of the UN in order to find a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem and they try to wipe out the existence, the identity and the thought of the Turkish Cypriots from the world.

    We also protest against the draft law for the passports, which is a characteristic attack to the human rights and freedoms. They prevented the representatives of the platform "This Country is Ours" to convey a letter to the UN Officials which aimed to inform the UN Secretary-General about these situations. A few days later they also did not give permission to representatives of the Teachers Unions to visit the North. And today this serious incident occurred.

    They prevented the European officials, who came to the island to establish contacts with civil organizations from both communities, to meet with unions ' representatives.

    These developments show that they are not sincere regarding the solution and that their statements and actions don't match. The Turkish Cypriots want a solution to the Cyprus problem and to have an honourable place inside the European Union."


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [08] Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly joins in the concerted attack against Gunter Verheugen

    In a column in ORTADOGU newspaper (25.3.02) under the title: "Verheugen!", Murat Sokmenoglu, Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly strongly criticizes EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr. Gunter Verheugen.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows: "With yet another nasty remark, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen said, "Turkey's attitude on Cyprus is going to block its own membership." Speaking with Greek Foreign Minister Papandreou in Athens and addressing the Greek Parliament Verheugen predicted: "We showed we would not be intimidated by threats. Once Cyprus is an EU member, any more threats will cancel Turkey's membership process."

    Turkey's attitude over Cyprus is nothing new. It has been very clearly stated for many years now that if faced by a one-sided fait accompli, Turkey would respond to this in the toughest way it could. As Verheugen said in his address, "Cyprus does not yet have an international identity as single and united." If the reality that there exists on Cyprus a free and independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [TRNC] is forgotten or not bothered with and the Greek administration is accepted into the EU representing the whole island then there is no doubt this reality will hit them square in the face. If the well intentioned and frank talks started by TRNC President Rauf Denktas draw a blank, it is clear even now that any one-sided "de facto" move the EU might make by availing itself of the means provided by the Helsinki Summit will only exacerbate the problem.

    Verheugen takes every opportunity to express his insensitive and unrelenting attitude, which has begun to leave a bitter aftertaste. Accusing Turkey of threatening the EU, Verheugen said when it came to the matter of a membership date for the Greek Cypriots that the presence or not of a political solution would not affect the EU's enlargement calendar. His expression, "... either a solution to the problem will be found this year, when enlargement will be actualized, or the EU countries are going to use the means given them by the Helsinki Summit," constituted a "threatening" attitude against Turkey.

    Stating that conditions for Turkey's membership were clear, Verheugen said: "Turkey has been unable to meet those conditions to date. There is progress but not enough. Until the conditions are met, accession talks cannot begin. Respect for human rights and religious freedom is absolutely necessary." This again portrayed his negativity and his rigidity of thought. These expressions indicate that whatever Turkey does, there will always be fresh obstacles placed in its path.

    In response to the EU, which does not want to accept the facts as they are and which through its double standards does not give up insisting on shunning Turkey, we have clearly shown what we are capable of doing in the National Program.

    Everything in the program, all that we pledged to do, is being carried out one piece at a time. Parliament is executing the National Program through law amendments today as it has been doing all the time.

    The Turkish Nation and the members of Parliament ought to be aware now -- just as Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem are -- of the strong words Verheugen used against Turkey at a dinner meeting prior to his visit to Ankara. EU Representative Karen Fogg's ill-willed remarks are another expression of the regard for Turkey that oversteps the mark.

    Commander Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Cumhur Asparuk clearly expressed the sensitivities and reservations of the Turkish people at ceremonies that have been held. His words, "Let us bring EU personnel here and show them our martyrs' graveyards," [eloquently] interpreted the sensitivities of the Turkish Nation.

    The military hang-ups some people have and their desire to drag the Turkish Armed Forces into the EU debate and into politics ultimately push us away. While the realities on Cyprus are clear, it is impossible to understand what purpose is being served by those who say, "In order for the students of Imam Hatip High Schools to be saved from this torture, the EU is a must."

    [09] The backstage of the so-called passport law

    AFRIKA (27/3/02) under banner headlines "TRAP" reports on the games behind the scene of the so-called passport law.

    Those who try to silence the "opposition" voices in North Cyprus, want to condemn us to the passports of the Turkish Republic, which Ankara can cancel at any moment.

    After forbidding the use of the passports of the Cyprus Republic, everyone will depend only on the passports of the Turkish Republic and then Ankara will cancel the passports of those who do not like their political ideas or will forbid them to enter Turkey and cut them off from the rest of the world.

    In 1989, the Turkish Ambassador to the occupied areas seized the Turkish passport of the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Ozker Ozgur after an article of his was published in a newspaper. In addition to that they imposed a visa on Ozgur as a condition to enter Turkey. Arif H. Tahsin then protested against that fact and gave back his Turkish passport to the embassy.

    The prohibitions to Ozgur lasted five years and only in 1994 did he succeed to overcome them. Ozgur got his passport back only after he was so-called Deputy Prime Minister and only then could he enter Turkey without a visa.

    They will take the passports from all those who say "We are under occupation" and "We do not want Ankara, neither their money, or their package, or their employees" and they will forbid them from entering Turkey.

    Every Turkish Cypriot, who wishes to travel abroad, will be forced to do whatever Ankara wishes. And those who will not be able to get a visa to enter Turkey will not be able to travel to any part of the world.

    KV7SK


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