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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-05-14

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.89/02 14.05.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] "This Country is Ours Platform" expresses support for Kofi Annan/s visit and for a federal solution.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas: The possibility of reaching a solution by June has diminished.
  • [03] Mesut Yilmaz/s criticizms of Denktas to be discussed at the Turkish leaders/ Summit.
  • [04] Another Turkish Cypriot athlete flees to the free areas of Cyprus.
  • [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

  • [05] Columnist in HURRIYET has doubts whether the present situation in Cyprus really serves the interests of Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] "This Country is Ours Platform" expresses support for Kofi Annan/s visit and for a federal solution

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (13.05.02) broadcast that the platform "This Country is Ours" composed of labour unions and nongovernmental organizations, including the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] and the Patriotic Unity Movement [PUM], has expressed support for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his Cyprus contacts.

    The Platform composed of 41 organizations held a news conference today and announced the peace actions it will be staging during Annan's Cyprus contacts. The representatives of the organizations that make up the platform participated in the news conference held at the headquarters of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union [KTOS]. KTOS leader Erdogan Sorakin, reading the text prepared on behalf of the platform, said that Annan's visit raises the hopes for a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution based on political equality.

    Explaining the actions the platform will stage in support of Annan/s Cyprus visit and contacts, Sorakin said that the organizations that make up the platform will unite at the Leda Palace barricade at 10:00 tomorrow morning and will hand over to UN officials -- to be conveyed to Kofi Annan -- a letter expressing their desire for peace with some 18,000 signatures favouring peace and democracy.

    The organizations comprising the platform will meet in occupied Nicosia at 19:30 tomorrow evening and march toward the Leda Palace barricade, where they will read the text of the letter which will be handed over to UN officials tomorrow morning.

    [02] Rauf Denktas: The possibility of reaching a solution by June has diminished

    Illegal Bayrak Radio (13.05.02) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, during a meeting he held with officials from the Turkish Cypriot Federation for the Disabled, replied to reporters' questions. He said that the possibility of reaching a solution by June has diminished because the expected progress could not be made at the talks.

    In reply to a question on whether UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan 's schedule has been determined, Denktas said that his program is not final but that he has learned that Annan will visit him at 15:30 on 15 May. Noting that he is not making a special visit to Cyprus, Denktas said that Mr Kofi Annan would be passing through the island on his way to another destination.

    In reply to a question on how he views the recent statements Annan made, Denktas said that he has not seen the text of the statements. Noting that the possibility of reaching a solution by June has diminished and that the expected progress was not made, Denktas said: "Every effort has been exerted despite the fact that each side blamed the other. The expected breakthrough has not yet been made. This is a reality. We will discuss these issues with Annan."

    Noting that as one of the parties involved he is not exerting efforts to miss this chance, Denktas said: "We were the ones who created this chance. We created the opportunity to begin the talks. Both sides should benefit from this initiative. For both sides to benefit from it, the sides should accept one another as equal partners. One of the sides should not try to oppress the other in the capacity of a government and should renounce the path of being sovereign over the other."

    [03] Mesut Yilmaz/s criticisms of Denktas to be discussed at the Turkish leaders/ Summit

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (13.05.02) publishes the following report by Deniz Zeyrek under the title: "From Cem to Yilmaz: Stop Talking":

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ismail Cem, who was disturbed by the statements of the ANAP [Motherland Party] General Chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, took action to keep Yilmaz from talking. At the upcoming summit of leaders, it will be requested from Yilmaz that he leave this subject completely to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and not to make statements, which are contrary to the official policy.

    Last Friday [10 May], when Yilmaz was talking with businessmen, he criticized Rauf Denktas of not being sufficiently constructive on the subject of Cyprus and said: "At this rate, in 10 years the number of Turkish soldiers on the island will be more than the number of Turkish Cypriots". This received a reaction from the Turkish government and Denktas the day before yesterday [Saturday, 11 May]. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Foreign Minister Cem and Deputy Prime Minister Devlet Bahceli made statements one after the other and criticized Yilmaz.

    Sub-title: The Disagreement Became Apparent

    The dispute made the disagreement on the subjects of the EU and Cyprus between the ANAP wing and the large partners rather apparent. The ANAP leader Yilmaz, who is also responsible for the relations with the EU, had said previously that Turkey's accession process to the EU was connected to a solution of the Cyprus problem. Whereas, the government has been defending from the beginning that it is necessary to keep the two subjects separate for the Cyprus problem not being placed as an obstacle to Turkey's EU membership. However, in every statement made related to the subject by the EU, it was said that the two subjects are most certainly connected.

    Sub-title: The Final Statements Were the Last Straw

    The statements of Mesut Yilmaz on Friday were the last straw for Foreign Minister Cem. Ecevit gave complete support to Denktas as a reaction against Yilmaz and said: "If needed, then they can go their separate ways". This gave courage to the Foreign Minister and he set to work to bypass the ANAP Leader on the subject of Cyprus.

    In the evaluation made at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a determination was made that Yilmaz's sallies delivered two important blows to the policies followed by Turkey for years. It was claimed that these statements were of no benefit other than "weakening" the theses of Turkey, "There is no direct connection between the Cyprus problem and the Turkey-EU relations" and "Our military presence on the island stems from our right of guarantorship". It was emphasized that Yilmaz's statements were equal to the determinations, which the EU and the Greek Cypriots had tried to make the international community accept for years.

    Sub-title: It Will be Discussed at the Summit of Leaders

    Upon this, some points were "underlined" in the decisions taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the European Union General Secretariat (EUGS) to be presented as a proposal at the summit of leaders expected to be held this week. Attention was drawn to the fact that in contrast to what Yilmaz claimed every time, the number of problems considered to be "critical" from the aspect of EU membership was not four, but three. Subsequently, it was stated that the subjects of the death penalty, state of emergency and broadcasts in the mother tongue should be solved under the coordination of the EUGS connected to the ANAP leader Yilmaz, and on the subject of Cyprus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for all activities and determination of policies.

    It is expected that the government will discuss the state of emergency, broadcasts and education in the mother tongue and the death penalty at the summit of leaders. In connection with the Cyprus dispute, it is expected that Cem will personally make a presentation against Yilmaz and say, "the subject of Cyprus is a subject followed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in coordination with all the institutions. It is wrong to relate the subject with the start of the negotiations with the EU".

    [04] Another Turkish Cypriot athlete flees to the free areas of Cyprus

    KIBRISLI (14.05.02) reports that Murat Kasapoglu, a Turkish Cypriot body builder, fled to the free areas of Cyprus four days ago.

    The paper writes that, according to a friend of Kasapoglu who fled together with him but finally returned to the occupied areas due to pressure exerted by his family, Kasapoglu is now working at a sports centre in Limassol.

    According to the paper, the athlete has been facing economic problems for the last four years.


    [B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS

    [05] Columnist in HURRIYET has doubts whether the present situation in Cyprus really serves the interests of Turkey

    Istanbul HURRIYET (Ankara Edition) (12.05.02) publishes the following commentary by Ferai Tinc under the title: "Yilmaz Expressed his Opinions Very Clearly":

    "It is now time for clarity. Time has come for convincing each other by speaking frankly, just as Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz did in a meeting organized by [businessman] Sarik Tara on Thursday [9 May].

    There should be no hard feelings or resentment.

    What could happen if Turkey is left out of the EU?

    Using a clear language, which too few politicians had dared use in the past, Yilmaz has started a debate on the existing taboos.

    Turkey is facing a risk of mutating into a country, which is unable to eradicate poverty, involved in an impasse in Cyprus and coping with the problem of preserving its national unity.

    The quest for accession to the EU could minimize those risks if it is eventually achieved.

    Do abolishment of the death penalty and allowing people to receive education and to broadcast TV and radio programs in their mother tongue constitute steps that Turkey must take only for the sake of joining the EU?

    The question is no.

    The reasons, which motivate us to emphasize the need to lift the death penalty, are not only limited to our desire to join the EU. This is the demand of a civilized society, which is growing more sensitive to the rights of every living creature. It is our own demand.

    Furthermore, we have signed or promised to endorse many international treaties on this issue.

    Removal of the existing obstacles to education and broadcasting in mother tongue has been an issue, which Turkey has discussed first secretly in illegal fora and then openly for years.

    It is our own problem. Has it not actually paved the way for political plots targeting Turkey and a terror campaign which badly hurt it?

    Is it not true that we reached a national consensus that a series of economic and social actions should be taken to address the problem? Yes, it is now time to match our words with deeds.

    The possibility of getting a timetable for starting membership negotiations with the EU is another important motivation.

    Furthermore, no language used in education, which is the only prerequisite for establishing democracy firmly and promoting the democratic culture starting from the family, could do any harm to a society. Efforts made by people in order to promote their own language could only enrich that society.

    The limits of risks, which could undermine social integrity, political stability or national security, must be defined in the laws.

    In his address Yilmaz noted that anxieties shared by the sceptics of the EU should not be disregarded. Those circles believe that the European Union would never admit Turkey even if Ankara took all the necessary steps and that Turkey would get nothing in exchange for the concessions it could have made.

    In other words, they argue that we would have abolished the death penalty, permitted the people to learn and even broadcast in their mother tongue for nothing. Those groups fear that we would not be able to maintain our national unity should people of a variety of ethnic origins start to speak their own languages.

    It is a legitimate anxiety, but I have a question: What does the word "national unity" signify? Are not we speaking about national unity, which should be preserved based on the free will of the people?

    Could not we strengthen it by lifting prohibitions?

    Reinforcing our common goals is the safest alternative and the European Union is a project shared by Turkey.

    Nobody should have any doubt that the opposition would fill the vacuum which could be created if this goal vanished.

    Yet, the main source of those anxieties is Cyprus. There are justifiable fears that Cyprus will be transformed into a Greek island as a result of pressure put by Europe.

    However, there is another question: Does the present situation in Cyprus really safeguard Turkey's interests?

    The Cyprus question could not be solved even in the next millenium and it would continue to remain as an headache for Turkey if we stick to the present method.

    Turkey is going through the painful but also thrilling phase of a overarching social mobilization for change. Speeding up this transformation should be viewed as a duty by every individual of this society."

    KV/SK


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