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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-11-01

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.208/02 01.11.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Alvaro de Soto arrived in Ankara.
  • [02] The EU troika discussed the Cyprus problem in Ankara.
  • [03] Diplomatic activity regarding the Cyprus problem is expected in the second half of November.
  • [04] Mr Bulent Ecevit thinks it is not the appropriate time for Mr Alvaro de Soto to go to Ankara.
  • [05] Lord Hannay is optimistic over a solution to the Cyprus problem before December.
  • [06] TheTurkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that the mission of the UN Secretary-General is only a good-will mission.
  • [07] Kofi Annan visited the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.
  • [08] Hilmi Ozkok to visit Washington after the Turkish elections.
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions were prevented from participating in the All Trade Union Forum.
  • [10] Serdar Denktas: The Turkish Cypriots are not ready for a solution but have no alternative.
  • [11] Ali Erel is trying to deny the fact that Cyprus is under the occupation of the troops of Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Sener Levent proves with arguments why northern Cyprus is under occupation.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Alvaro de Soto arrived in Ankara

    TRT 2 Television (31.10.02) broadcast that Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus, has arrived in Ankara. Replying to reporters' questions at Ankara Esenboga Airport, de Soto said that he is hopeful about the solution of the Cyprus issue. He noted that political courage is very important on the issue. Within the framework of his contacts, de Soto will meet with Foreign Ministry officials this afternoon.

    Ankara Anatolia (31.10.02) reports from Ankara that after meeting with Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Ugur Ziyal at the Foreign Ministry, de Soto answered questions of reporters.

    Noting that he had held beneficial consultations at the ministry, de Soto said that he would leave for New York on Friday and in the beginning of next week, he would give Annan a report on his meetings.

    Replying to a question, de Soto said that meetings in Ankara were not negotiations, adding: ``I came here for consultations about the Cyprus question. ``

    When recalled of news that Annan was expected to present a document to the sides after the elections on solution to the Cyprus issue, de Soto said that he had seen many things and reports about the things they were expecting, observing and doing but so far all of them were ``speculation``.

    When asked whether or not he was hopeful about a solution to the Cyprus issue until December, de Soto said: ``Yes, I am hopeful. ``

    Noting that it was true that Annan wanted to have meetings with the two leaders early in November but he was not sure whether those meetings would take place, de Soto said that he could not deny that the heart surgery that Rauf Denktas had undergone had not affected the talks process but they hoped that the two committees would start working as soon as possible.

    Mr Alvaro de Soto added that they were expecting the sides to make use of this period for a solution to the issue.

    [02] The EU troika discussed the Cyprus problem in Ankara

    Istanbul NTV television (31.10.02) broadcast that the Turkish-EU troika meeting was held in Ankara today. Turkey once again expressed the need for setting a date for the commencement of membership negotiations at the Copenhagen summit, whereas the troika believes that Ankara has yet to meet the Copenhagen criteria. The political directors of the foreign ministries of EU term president Denmark and of next term president Greece, and officials from the EU Commission, who comprise the EU troika, arrived at the Foreign Ministry this morning. At the meeting, the Turkish delegation was headed by Ambassador Akin Alptuna, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. All aspects of Turkish-EU relations were discussed at the meeting. The Turkish side once again noted that it wants a date for the negotiations to be set at the Copenhagen summit. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc, in a statement he made while the meeting was still in progress, said that any proposal short of a date is unacceptable.

    ^”Turkey has fulfilled all the obligations with regard to the partnership. In other words, it has fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria,^‘ Mr Buluc said.

    The EU troika does not share Turkey's views. In a statement after the meeting, which lasted about three and a half hours, Michael Zilmer Johns, the political director of the Danish Foreign Ministry, drew attention to some of Turkey's shortcomings which also appear in the Progress Report prepared by the Commission. He said: ^”We discussed failures in the implementation of the laws and regulations dealing with torture. There are still complaints. We discussed the ways in which the EU can extend support to Turkey. We also discussed the issue of religious foundations. Progress has been made on the issue. The implementation, however, is important. We also discussed the legal arrangements regarding the media.^‘

    The issue of KADEK [Freedom and Democracy Congress of Kurdistan] was also discussed at the meeting. The Troika explained the EU procedure to Ankara which wants KADEK's inclusion in the EU terror list. Johns said that there are no new developments on the issue. Referring to the Cyprus issue, Johns said that this is a very critical stage, adding: ^”We have an important window of opportunity. I believe that Turkey and the EU should do all in their power to encourage the sides to make use of this window of opportunity.^‘

    Recent developments in regional countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan were also assessed at the meeting.

    [03] Diplomatic activity regarding the Cyprus problem is expected in the second half of November

    TRT 2 Television (30.10.02) broadcast the following by its correspondent Can Izbul from Brussels:

    Turkey is adamant about getting a negotiation date at the Copenhagen summit. There have been no changes in Turkey's determination in this regard. Diplomatic sources in Brussels are saying that the proposal by certain circles within the EU to give a date for a future negotiation date -- what they call a date for a date -- is unacceptable. The same circles find the conditional date option as unacceptable too.

    Turkey is continuing to pursue an aggressive policy to get a clear negotiation date in Copenhagen. In addition to the initiatives of the official circles, non-governmental organizations are also taking steps. Also, Turkish diplomats are giving certain messages to their European counterparts in connection with the post-election expectations. We have learned that the main message being given to the EU circles -- that are anxiously waiting for the results of the 3 November elections -- is that important changes are not expected in Turkey's EU policy after the elections. Turkey is also saying that its stand is final in connection with the European Security and Defense Policy and that the Ankara Accord is still valid.

    Diplomatic sources are saying that Britain, Italy, and Spain agree that Turkey should be given a positive message. The same sources note that France is observed to be in a generally good position, and that the German Government is giving positive signals. They underline that the Christian Democrats in the opposition in Germany are being careful to keep their distance from Turkey.

    Diplomatic sources told us that activity is expected regarding the Cyprus issue as of the second half of November.

    [04] Mr Bulent Ecevit thinks it is not the appropriate time for Mr Alvaro de Soto to go to Ankara

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (31.10.02) broadcast live statements by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit with unidentified correspondents in Ankara.

    Following are the statement and the replies by Mr Eceivt to questions:

    ^”I and my wife and aide Rahsan Ecevit have given the most important of our years to the Democratic Left Party [DLP]. During the past year, however, unprecedented ploys and intrigues were organized against the DLP. Half of our parliamentary faction fell into the trap and left the party, but this did not weaken the party. After the cruel blows struck at the DLP faction, the party became stronger. Our colleagues who remained in the Council of Ministers or who were appointed after these blows, displayed extraordinary honesty, industriousness, and success in the economic and social fields in a very short time and despite the election atmosphere. Today, our exports, production, and trade are growing, and many work places that had closed down are reopening their doors to the workers. That is why I am in a position where I can hand over the DLP leadership to my colleagues with great confidence. I am proud of that. Nevertheless, I am not going to leave the party leadership immediately. The majority of our people are looking to the aftermath of the elections with suspicion.

    Those who consider the secular democratic regime to be in danger are concerned. Some make promises in election rallies without giving those promises much thought, while others speak mere cliches and hide their true intentions.

    The absolute guarantee of solving Turkey's problems in every field lies in a DLP government.

    Three days before the elections, quite a large part of the voters seem to be undecided. I hope that our undecided citizens will unite their votes in the DLP, the most decisive and determined party.^‘

    Question: Polemics erupted between President Sezer and JDP [Justice and Development Party] Chairman Erdogan a few days before the elections in connection with the designation of a prime minister. How do you view this? Do you think there will be more tension after the elections?

    Answer: I do not think it is right to consider this a polemic. Our democracy and our Constitution give the president certain powers. The honourable president said that he is going to exercise those powers to the necessary extent. Therefore I do not see this is a polemic.

    Question: Are you concerned that only two or three parties may be represented in parliament after the elections because of the high election threshold? Would that create a legitimacy problem, and would Turkey have to consider renewed elections?

    Answer: I cannot make any guesses as to what will happen. I have been saying for a long time that the high threshold is not right in terms of democracy, and I am saying it again. Of course this problem cannot be solved immediately, but surely, at the first opportunity, a new threshold must be set.

    Question: What is your personal opinion about the picture that will emerge after 3 November?

    Answer: It is very difficult to guess, because as I have been saying, politics were conducted on very slippery ground. There are parties that hide their intentions. First and foremost among them is the JDP. That is why it is difficult to make any guesses. I hope that all the parties without exception will protect the secular and democratic regime.

    Question: What kind of a schedule do you have in mind in connection with your party? You had said that you were going to leave the party leadership? What kind of a schedule do you foresee after the elections?

    Answer: Many of our members joined the elections as candidates. Therefore we must renew all the party congresses. This may take a few months, quite a long time. I will remain in my post during that process, of course. The party's deputy leader, Rahsan Ecevit, will remain in her post too. After these congresses end, the general DLP congress will be held and new arrangements will be made then.

    Question: Are you thinking of anybody in particular to succeed you?

    Answer: No. I believe that it is wrong to even think of that. In the coming months, our members will think of somebody.

    Question: You have been criticized for not designating a prime ministerial candidate.

    Answer: On the contrary, I think I should be praised for that, not criticized. I find it extremely inappropriate in terms of democracy, to impose a leader in my place.

    Question: You are holding this news conference three days before the elections, and you are calling on the undecided voters to vote for your party. Is that a tactic, or are you concerned?

    Answer: We have been delivering speeches almost every day during the election campaign. Of course we will go on doing that until the elections. We will have our last rally in Ankara.

    Question: Mesut Yilmaz said that the EU may give Turkey a conditional negotiation schedule at the Copenhagen summit. Can Turkey accept such an interim formula?

    Answer: No we cannot accept interim formulas. Turkey has all the rights the other candidate countries have. On this occasion, I would like to give you a piece of information: Mr Mehmet Canbolat, our Icel candidate, has written a book for our party about the EU. The book was published today. It is called: "A Dream, an Aim, and a Left-wing Course." I hope you will let the public know about this.

    Question: How do you view the fact that what seems to be the first party, the JDP, does not announce its prime ministerial candidate?

    Answer: That is not right. Despite all the legal obstacles, it seems that the party chairman wants to go on being just that. That means that he does not want to give others in his party a chance to become party leader.

    Question: The JDP's prime ministerial candidate is not known. Nor is the DLP's. Is there not a similarity here?

    Answer: No, how can there be? We do not face any bans. We are conducting our party affairs in line with our understanding of democracy. This has nothing to do with the behaviour of other parties.

    Question: Alvaro de Soto is coming to Turkey. Various plans are being discussed. According to one plan, there will be three states in Cyprus, one of which will represent the island at the EU. Do you have any information about the plan brought by de Soto?

    Answer: I have no detailed information. Nevertheless, this is not an appropriate time for Mr de Soto to come to Ankara. As you know, Mr Rauf Denktas is in the United States. I do not know when Mr Denktas will be able to come. Actually, his health is improving. I have no detailed information about the proposals that were reportedly made. Nevertheless, our general attitude on Cyprus does not change. There are two separate states, two separate nations, two separate languages, and two separate religions in Cyprus. Any agreement that does not take these facts into consideration will not satisfy either side.

    Question: How do you view the note Russia gave to Turkey following the Chechen incident?

    Answer: I have no information about a note. The Russian intelligence contacted our intelligence services immediately after the incident and they said that there are no links to Turkey. If a report to the contrary emerged during the past one or two days, I do not know. The issue has absolutely nothing to do with Turkey.

    Question: The Constitutional Court will examine the case against the JDP and Erdogan tomorrow. Do you think it is right that he is participating in the elections as party chairman?

    Answer: This issue is up to the judiciary. Mr Erdogan has been facing various legal obstacles, but he insists on remaining where he is. That is up to him. It is a judicial issue, so I do not want to say anything about that.

    [05] Lord Hannay is optimistic over a solution to the Cyprus problem before December

    According to KIBRIS (01/11/02) the British Special Envoy for Cyprus Lord David Hannay, who attended the reception of the ^”29 October Republic Day^‘ of Turkey at the Turkish Embassy in London, said to the correspondent of KIBRIS in London Emine Davut that there may be a Cyprus settlement before December and, evaluating his latest visit to the occupied areas, added: ^”I found your politicians more moderate^‘ this time.

    Lord Hannay avoided commenting on statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who said that if Cyprus joins the EU then Turkey will annex the northern part of the island.

    [06] The Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that the mission of the UN Secretary-General is only a good-will mission

    KIBRIS (01.11.02) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yusuf Buluc, during his weekly press conference, said that the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan must not interfere in a way that will exceed the parameters of his good will mission in the negotiations towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Replying to a question whether Annan has prepared a proposal he will submit to the sides for a solution, Bulunc reminded that the mission of the UN Secretary-General is only a mission of good offices.

    [07] Kofi Annan visited the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas

    The UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan visited yesterday afternoon the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at his New York hotel to wish him a speedy recovery, KIBRIS (01.11.02) reports.

    The meeting lasted half an hour.

    After the meeting Mr Kofi Annan said that he visited an old friend to wish all the best for his recovery and that they didn^“t discuss anything else.

    According to Denktasī adviser Ergun Olgun, the visit of Annan was a social event and added that it was not related to the Cyprus problem. He also said: ^”We only give a summary of information of the Cyprus problem to the Esteemed Denktas and there is a strict order from his doctors that Denktas cannot deal with the Cyprus problem and other issues for at least eight weeks from the day of his cardiac surgery^‘.

    [08] Hilmi Ozkok to visit Washington after the Turkish elections

    MILLIYET (01.11.02) reports that General Hilmi Ozkok, Chief of General Staff of the Turkish army, will visit Washington between 4 and 10 November 2002. According to the paper, the US government considers general Ozkok as ^”a commander with whom it can cooperate on issues such as Cyprus and Iraq^‘. Washington, continues MILLIYET, believes that the Turkish chief of Staff has ^”a decisive role to play^‘ on the behaviour of Ankara regarding important issues such as Cyprus and Iraq.

    Yasemin Congar of MILLIYET, invoking ^”sources from the Bush administration^‘, notes that the American diplomats have been conducting ^”a sincere dialogue^‘ with general Ozkok even before his taking over the command of the Turkish army, because of his good knowledge of the English language. The same sources said that Washington looks at Ozkok^“s visit as ^”an opportunity to develop this sincere dialogue at the highest level during this very important period^‘.

    This opinion about General Ozkok, adds Mrs Congar, is expressed in a report of the^‘ Western Policy Centre^‘ regarding ^”The New Face of the Turkish Army^‘.

    The report notes that general Ozkok will have to pass some ^”examinations^‘ this year in order to preserve his positive image. These ^”examinations^‘ are the support he has to give to the US to change Saddam^“s regime in Iraq, the support to the continuation of the political and economic reforms for Turkey^“s being able to become EU member-state and finally the support to the diplomatic efforts towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and putting an end to the division of Cyprus.

    [09] Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions were prevented from participating in the All Trade Union Forum

    ORTAM (01.11.02) reports that the occupation regime did not allow yesterday seven Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions to participate in the fourth All Trade Union Forum, which is taking place at Ledra Palace Hotel between 31st of October and 1st of November.

    The Chairman of the Revolutionary Worker^“s Union (DEV-IS), Ali Gulle, protested against this decision and said that it is not possible to put obstacles for this meeting while there is a great progress towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and peace songs are sung.

    The Trade Unions which were prevented from participating in the All Trade Union Forum were the following: Revolutionary Worker^“s Union (DEV-IS), Turkish Workersī Trade Union Federation (TURK SEN), Turkish Cypriot so-called Public Servantsī Union (KTAMS), Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachersī Trade Union (KTOEOS), Cyprus Turkish Primary School Teachersī Trade Union (KTOS), Trade Union of the so-called Municipality Employees (BES) and Press Laborer^“s Union (BASIN SEN).

    [10] Serdar Denktas: The Turkish Cypriots are not ready for a solution but have no alternative

    KIBRIS (01.11.02) reports that the so-called Minister of Tourism and Environment, Serdar Denktas, stated that Turkish Cypriots are not ready for a solution regarding the Cyprus problem from the economic point of view. However he said that looking at things from the social point of view, there is no other alternative than a solution and he added that this situation causes confusion to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Denktas said that this country needs solution but added that neither the Turkish Cypriots nor the Greek Cypriots are ready for it. He stated that this period is of great importance for the Cyprus problem and that the Turkish Cypriots must be ready for any kind of solution. He also said that they must inherit to the next generation a more disciplined system.

    Mr Denktas said that whether there is a solution or not for the Cyprus problem, the Turkish Cypriots must ^”stand on their own feet^‘ and pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots must do a lot in the coming months in order to improve their standard of living.

    [11] Ali Erel is trying to deny the fact that Cyprus is under the occupation of the troops of Turkey

    Under the title ^”The President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce has started to see the realities^‘, VOLKAN newspaper (01.11.02) carries a report on a letter sent by Mr Ali Erel to the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) regarding the recent expulsion of Spanish journalists from the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The European Federation of Journalists issued a press release criticizing the occupation regime for the expulsion of the Spanish journalists and preventing them from carrying out their job.

    In his letter the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Mr Ali Erel, said that the expulsion of the journalists was a mistake, but at the same time criticizes the press release and explains the realities of Cyprus.

    ^”In his letter Erel responded to the European Federation of Journalists regarding their references to `violations of human rights in Northern Cyprusī, `Denktas regimeī and `Turkish occupied part of Nicosiaī and explained the realities of Cyprus^‘, writes VOLKAN.

    Mr Erel also alleged that the use of the above terminology will not assist in the efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Sener Levent proves with arguments that northern Cyprus is under occupation

    Responding to Ali Erel, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, who has sent a letter to the European Federation of Journalists, supporting that the northern part of Cyprus is not under occupation, Sener Levent, editor-in-chief of AFRIKA (01.11.02) proves with arguments that northern Cyprus is under occupation. Under the tile ^”The country of Ali Erel^‘, Mr Levent writes, inter alia, the following:

    ^”Ali Erel has not been punched by an army commander from Turkey for doing his job honestly. Ali Erel is not the guard the arms and the legs of whom have been tied during the St. Barnabas raid. Ali Erel has not been arrested because he entered by mistake into a military zone while he was hunting and when he was under custody the army commander was not unrestrained swearing at him.

    Ali Erel has not been thrown out from his house at Dikomo village and his belongings were not concentrated in the fields after a raid of the mobile striking force. Ali Erel has not been beaten by a squad of soldiers at Filia village.

    Conspiracies have not been worked up against Ali Erel because he has freely expressed his opinion. An armed military force has not broken the door of his house one night after a command given by an army officer. Ali Erel has not been accused of being a spy without any reason and he has not been thrown into those dirty cells. His passport and his identity card have not been taken away from him and therefore he can travel for years. Ali Erel has not been cursed in their call-up speeches and described as ^—dog^“.

    Ali Erel^“s relatives have not been threatened and attacked even by the intelligence authorities in Turkey and in Britain. His land has not been taken from him by the army, which for 28 years has not paid even a penny for rent. Unknown persons have not conducted two bomb attacks against his place of work. Ali Erel^“s children are not receiving countless telephone calls every day threatening to kill their father ^—like a dog^“. Ten black wreaths were not hanged on his door for some years.

    Ali Erel has not been facing hundreds of charges for years in military courts because he offended the military authorities. He has not been interrogated by a contra-guerilla from Turkey regarding his nationalism at the police station. Shots have not been fired against his house in the midnight. Ali Erel^“s car has not been bombed.

    Ali Erel is not the one who forces his citizens to come and go many times to the Turkish Embassy in order to ensure a loan. Ali Erel^“s parliament does not function for years after taking Ankara^“s commands. If all these happened to Ali Erel would he send a letter to the European journalists telling them that ^—My country is not under occupation^“?

    This country, the population of which is being eliminated and turned into minority because of those who have been brought from outside, is not Ali Erel^“s country. Could this country, for which Mustafa Akinci said that ^—they left only the job of a mukhtar for us^“ and that ^—the generals have gone beyond the limits^“, be the country of Mr Erel? Could this country for which the general said that he would bloodstain all those who oppose him, be Ali Erel^“s country? Could this country, which is full of military camps, from Limnitis until Karpass and everybody needs the permission of the army commander to go around, be Ali Erel^“s country? No it could not. ^Ň

    Is this country yours Mr Ali Erel? If it was yours, would you send a letter to the European journalists writing that ^—My country is not under occupation?^“^‘


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