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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-08-23

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.160/02 23.08.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey's priority is to start EU accession negotiations
  • [02] Necmettin Erbakan announces his candidacy
  • [03] AFRIKA: "Clerides spoke"
  • [04] KIB - SEK accuses Denktas of attacking the 90 civilian organizations
  • [05] The occupation regime will export stray donkeys
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Who has gained? Who has lost, and what?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Sukru Sina Gurel: Turkey's priority is to start EU accession negotiations

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel said on Wednesday that Turkey's priority was to start European Union accession negotiations, reports Turkish Daily News (23/08/02).

    Gurel was launching a campaign to persuade the EU to start membership talks with Ankara and to set a date for full negotiations at the Copenhagen Summit in December. Gurel, mentioning that the EU would undergo the biggest enlargement process of its history, said: "Turkey's priority is to start accession negotiations with the EU."

    Gurel, recalling that Romania and Bulgaria will get a date for terminating their accession to the EU, said: "The other remaining 12 members' positions will be clear, and it is not possible to think that Turkey will not get a date."

    Gurel stated that the Turkish Parliament has made important reforms on many important subjects, indicating that Parliament represented people's will and that it was not possible to have implementations that contradicted the reform decisions.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister indicated that there was always a probability of problems occurring during the implementation of new reforms. "Similar things can occur in European countries as well. There are courts to apply and correct the mistakes. They should have doubts about [their own] implementation in as much as they have doubts about others," Gurel said.

    Gurel also said that he believed that Turkey should meet universal standards and pointed out that the country should have accepted the same reforms, even if the EU had not existed.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem Gurel indicated that a solution on the Cyprus issue had nothing to do with Turkey's accession to the EU, but had a lot to do with Cyprus' accession to the EU at the same time as Turkey's accession to the EU.

    "I believe there is a misunderstanding on that issue in Western public opinion, maybe because the role of the military in the establishment of the Republic...is not well understood from the outside," Gurel told reporters.

    "Of course, the Turkish Army is an institution in Turkish society, which is incomparable with, for example, the Belgian army in Belgian society. There's no doubt about that, and nobody should doubt that," Gurel said.

    "The Armed Forces as an institution has been an important institution on the part of social change, social reform and restructuring in Turkey, and they have an appropriate place in the minds and hearts of the Turkish people, and that is reflected in the social role as well," Gurel said.

    Turkey passed a broad package of human rights reforms this month, aimed at meeting the EU's criteria on human rights and democracy, but the EU remains concerned about the influence of the military in a country that has seen three coups since 1960.

    [02] Necmettin Erbakan announces his candidacy

    Turkish Daily News (23/08/02) reports that the leader of the defunct Welfare Party Necmettin Erbakan announced his candidacy for the November 3 elections and started election propaganda in the name of Saadet (happiness or contentment) party (SP), with a press conference at Bilkent Hotel on Thursday.

    Erbakan sent messages to the National View grassroots and harshly criticized Justice and Development Party and its leader Tayyip Erdogan. Erbakan said: "There are 23 parties now, they are imitating, only the Saadet Party represents the National View. This job (party politics) is not a kid's affair. You cannot make training when an automobile approaches a cliff."

    The leader of SP Recai Kutan and deputy chairmen Sevket Kazan and Ahmet Tekdal also attended Erbakan's press conference. There were also many SP deputies, provincial and district organization officials present at the Bilkent Hotel.

    Erbakan started his speech by referring to the performance of the Refah-Yol government (which was constituted between the Welfare Party and True Path Party in 1996) and pointed out the Saadet Party as the address of the National View to the electors. In this way Erbakan has outlined the main lines of his election strategy.

    Erbakan also said that foreign enemies are playing a game in Turkey in order to obstruct an independent and powerful Turkey and called this Second Sevres (the agreement which was signed by the Ottoman Empire after the first world war). Erbakan also said that there is nothing hampering his election candidacy and added that he did not think there would be a problem.

    [03] AFRIKA: "Clerides spoke"

    Under the banner front-page banner title "Clerides spoke" AFRIKA (23.08.02) writes that President Clerides issued yesterday a statement reiterating that he had helped Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas' family to run away from Cyprus during the clashes of 1963.

    Above the title the paper writes that "Once again Denktas was proved to have said lies. The 'key person' of the trials, which resulted with the highest compensations and the heaviest sentence in prison in the history of our Press has spoken".

    Another Turkish Cypriot newspaper, YENIDUZEN (23.08.02) refers also to the issue under the banner front - page title "Clerides: I helped Denktas!"

    [04] KIB - SEK accuses Denktas of attacking the 90 civilian organizations

    KIBRIS (23.08.02) reports that Cyprus Trade Unions' Confederation (KIB - SEK) has accused Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas with aggressiveness and called on him to make steps towards the direction of the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Ahmet Barcin, General Secretary of KIB - SEK, noted the number of the organizations, which signed the "Common Vision" increased over ninety and added that when one takes a look at the sections of the society, which approved the "vision" he realizes that it expresses the tendencies and the wishes of the Turkish Cypriots regarding the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Barcin said that Mr Denktas attacks the 90 organizations and Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce "instead of listening to the voice of the society". Mr Barcin argued that at the negotiating table Mr Denktas should represent the Turkish Cypriots and not "his own feelings and opinions and the interests of others".

    "We call on Mr Denktas to use his sense and not his feelings, to re-examine his behaviour and make steps towards the interests and the future of the Turkish Cypriots", underline Mr Barcin.

    [05] The occupation regime will export stray donkeys

    Under the title "We will export donkeys!" KIBRIS (23.08.02) reports that Ilkay Kamil, so-called "Minister" of National Education and Culture and deputy "Minister" of Agriculture and Forests, submitted yesterday a proposal to the so-called "Ministerial Council" regarding exporting stray donkeys from the pseudostate.

    The proposal was made on the basis that the wild donkeys, which live in occupied Karpass peninsula, cause a lot of damages to the fields and the properties of the villages.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Who has gained? Who has lost, and what?

    In his commentary in Turkish Daily News (23/08/02), Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the political picture in Turkey after Kemal Dervis' decision to join the Republican People's Party.

    The full text of the commentary is as follows:

    "Finally, it is over.

    Kemal Dervis's talks have been brought to a conclusion just when people were getting bored with this issue.

    Who have benefited from this job and who have suffered losses? Here is the overall picture:

    The winners

    * DENIZ BAYKAL is the biggest winner. His party had already filled its sails with the wind, using the advantage that comes from being in the opposition. With Dervis joining it, the party will grow further and continue on its path.

    Not only it will be a centre of gravity for the leftist votes but also it will be able to get a considerable amount of votes from the "centre". With sails filled to capacity with the wind, it will carve out for itself the "second biggest party" position.

    It is as if, in the autumn of his political life, Baykal has won the biggest prize in a political lottery. To put it more correctly, with an extremely clever manoeuvre, Baykal has managed to attract Dervis to his party.

    * KEMAL DERVIS is one of those who have benefited from this turn of events. Having realized that unification of the left is not going to happen, he has opted for Baykal's Republican People's Party (RPP) rather than New Turkey Party (NTP).

    He is yet to explain fully in a convincing manner why exactly he has closed the door to the NTP. In fact, his failure to do so has eroded his prestige to a certain extent.

    On the other hand, by choosing the bigger party, the one that has a bigger potential vote, he has shown that he does not want to embark on an adventure.

    The losers

    * ISMAIL CEM, unfortunately, will suffer a great loss due to this turn of events. His party would not be able to get the minimum amount of votes needed for parliamentary representation. However, Cem must not be underestimated. Cem will be a tough nut to crack -- in the next election if not in the November 3 election.

    * Some of MESUT YILMAZ's voters, albeit a small party, will shift towards the RPP-Dervis. Those Motherland Party (MP) supporters who do not want their votes to go down the drain, especially, may shift towards Dervis -- if the current turmoil in the ranks of MP cannot be brought to an end and the spectre of not being able to get the minimum amount of votes needed for parliamentary representation continues to loom on the horizon.

    * BULENT ECEVIT's Democratic Left Party (DLP) is now one of the parties likely to vanish altogether. The Dervis operation has delivered the biggest blow to the DLP.

    The others

    Now that the cards have been dealt, we can take a brief look as well at the situation the rest of the parties are in.

    True Path Party (TPP) is the party that benefits more than anybody else from MP's becoming "marred" and from the turmoil in the ranks of MP.

    In the right right, voters tend to shift their support towards the strongest party. Right-right voters too are anxious to ensure that their votes will not go down the drain. This is why the latest resignations from MP -- which created the impression that MP has become shaky -- have caused all heads to turn towards the TPP.

    The TPP's vote potential is growing not because its leader, Tansu Ciller, is considered to be highly successful but only because of the aforementioned impression. Unless Mesut Yilmaz springs a last minute surprise, MP will obviously find it quite hard to get the minimum amount of votes needed for parliamentary representation.

    Meanwhile, Justice and Development Party (JDP) is faced with the problem too -- stemming from the dizzying pace at which its potential vote is growing. In other words, their successful progress frightens even themselves. They do not want to emerge as the leading party with a wide margin and find themselves in the position of forming a single party government (!).

    Nationalist Action Party (NAP) is more at ease than all the other parties.

    It is getting prepared to stage election rallies with an anti-European Union, conservative and rigid rhetoric (!). In fact, with this attitude it has undermined its claim to be a "party of the centre". From now on it will be referred to and treated as a "radical" party.

    In the particular lane it is running, it has no serious rival. Even if it failed to get a significant amount of votes in the November 3 election it would still be considered as one of the parties with the highest potential in the future elections.

    The Turkish political scene is at a state of total upheaval. This process of change should not be expected to come to an end soon. On the morning of November 4 we will wake up to a quite different Turkey."


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