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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-01-10

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.6/03 10.01.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turks continue to involve the Cyprus problem in their bargaining with the U.S. over Iraq
  • [02] Prime Minister Gül responds to the Chief of the General Staff's claims that his government is encouraging fundamentalism.
  • [03] Turkey and the puppet regime to make cooperation in aviation search and rescue field
  • [04] Gurel on the intention of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to change the policy on Cyprus
  • [05] Kibris newspaper publishes the reply by Mr Denktas to the open letter addressed to him yesterday [06. A Turkish parliamentary delegation will visit the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] The platform "This Country is Ours" held a demonstration demanding the resignation of Rauf Denktas
  • [B] COMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] The Turkish Army is playing on active role in reviewing Turkey's policy on Cyprus
  • [09] Open support to Denktas from the military

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turks continue to involve the Cyprus problem in their bargaining with the U.S. over Iraq

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09/01/03) reported that Ankara decided on Thursday to sign the memorandum of understanding on the demand of the United States for site survey in bases and ports in Turkey.

    Sources said that Foreign Ministry and military officials decided to sign the memorandum of understanding which would enable a U.S. team comprised of 150 people to make site survey in bases and ports in Turkey.

    U.S. sources told A.A correspondent that the decision had not been conveyed to the U.S. officials yet.

    A U.S. official said that they would be very pleased if the news were accurate.

    The memorandum of understanding is expected to be signed by military officials of the two countries at any moment.

    The United States Charge d`Affaires in Ankara Robert S. Deutsch visited on Thursday Parliamentary National Defence Committee Co-Chairman Yuksel Cavusoglu.

    Replying to the questions of reporters during the meeting, Cavusoglu said that Deutsch visited him for giving information and added that he received information from Deutsch concerning the activities of the United States related with the United Nations.

    Cavusoglu did not respond the questions on Iraq issue and upon a question on the statements of Chief of General Staff Hilmi Ozkok.

    When asked whether this visit is related with the visits of General Staff and Foreign Ministry officials who will give briefing in the committee today, Cavusoglu said that it is completely a coincidence.

    Upon the insistent questions of reporters on the Iraq issue, Deutsch said that meeting of diplomats and parliamentarians in diplomatic life is an ordinary situation.

    Noting that Iraq and Cyprus issues were among the subjects which were taken up, Deutsch said that those subjects have an important place in the relations of Turkey and the United States. He added that those issues are always discussed in every term between Turkish and American diplomats and parliamentarians.

    [02] Prime Minister Gül responds to the Chief of the General Staff's claims that his government is encouraging fundamentalism.

    NTV television (09/01/03) broadcast that Turkey's Prime Minister has refused to comment publicly over allegations by the military that his government may be encouraging Islamic fundamentalism.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gül said he would not discuss such sensitive issues in press. Speaking to NTV Thursday after visiting Diyarbakir, the site of the crash of a Turkish Airlines flight that left 75 people dead, the Prime Minister said that there were more important issues to consider.

    "We are facing economic problems," he said. "There is high possibility of war in Iraq. As a person who is responsible in this climate I will not discuss such issues."

    On Wednesday, the Chief of Turkey's General Staff, General Hilmi Özkök, claimed that the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government, by calling for disciplinary decisions of the armed forces to it should be subject to appeal and the normal rule of law, was encouraging Islamist fundamentalism.

    The Prime Minister said that he would discuss the General's comments in the appropriate place and the appropriate time.

    Moreover, the internet version of Milliyet (09/01/03) reports that speaking at the same reception the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit, referred to the Cyprus problem and said: "Who until now helped Turkey regarding the Cyprus problem? If the Annan plan is accepted then the Turkish troops on the island will be in such a position that they will ask for permission in order to come out of their barracks. I have the impression that the plan is prepared together with the Greek Cypriots. Seventy two percent of the people of Cyprus support esteemed Denktas".

    [03] Turkey and the puppet regime to make cooperation in aviation search and rescue field

    Anatolia news agency (09.01.03) reported from Ankara that Turkey and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" "TRNC" will make cooperation in the aviation search and rescue field.

    The draft law on the cooperation agreement on the aviation search and rescue field between Turkey and the "TRNC" was approved on Thursday at the meeting of the Parliamentary Public Works, Development, Transportation and Tourism Committee under the chairmanship of Adem Basturk. The draft aims at developing the possibilities and capabilities of the "TRNC" in the aviation search and rescue field as Britain transferred its responsibility on that field in the island of Cyprus to the Greek Cypriot side on March 1, 2002.

    Turkey and the "TRNC" will assist aircraft which are in danger or which have accident in their countries and make cooperation on that issue in accordance with the agreement."

    [04] Gurel on the intention of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to change the policy on Cyprus

    KIBRISLI (10.01.03) reports that the former minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sukru Sina Gurel, said that the Turkish policy on Cyprus is defined and cannot be changed. Mr Gurel was commenting on the intention of the Turkish Foreign Ministry to change the country's policy on Cyprus.

    Pointing out that Turkey has interests in Cyprus, which as he noted are protected by "international laws and international agreements", Mr Gurel stated that the country's policy towards the island was formed in order to protect the rights and the benefits of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. He also said that the Turkish Parliament, the Turkish presidency and the National Security Council decided upon this policy, which was also defined with the decisions of various governments. "If this fundamental policy is to be changed, all these decisions which were taken on this ground must be reconsidered and changed", he stated and stressed: "This cannot be done".

    Mr Gurel also said that such a change in Turkey's policy toward Cyprus couldn't be made with an announcement of the Foreign Ministry or with such bureaucracy. In his opinion this statement was made for negotiation reasons and stressed that Turkey's policy on Cyprus is definite.

    [05] Kibris newspaper publishes the reply by Mr Denktas to the open letter addressed to him yesterday

    Daily newspaper KIBRIS (10/01/03) publishes in its front page a letter by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, by which he replies to the open letter addressed to him by the paper yesterday.

    The paper had called on Mr Denktas to listen to the Turkish Cypriots' will, proceed with a solution until 28 February and submit the agreement to referendum on 30 March. (For the open letter to Mr Denktas see Turkish Mass Media Bulletin No. 5/03 of 09/01/03 item No. 3)

    Mr Denktas begins his letter by posing the following question: "What is the best solution?", and he answers: "Is it an agreement that will make 50,000 of our people refugees again; which will bring among us 60,000 Greek Cypriots and make us, from the administration point of view, in a short time, a preferential minority; is it a good study that the EU acquis communautaire will sweep away the rights that seem to be given to us in the document? Are the people's concerns related to these? Or do they have other concerns as well?"

    To the call to listen to the people's voice who gathered in the squares calling on him to resign, Mr Denktas says: "Would it not be better if, instead of presenting a document for tendering my resignation, they came as a delegation? My gates are always open for delegations and for the people in general".

    Mr Denktas goes on to say that he knows what the Turkish Cypriots want regarding the solution to the Cyprus problem, but that the Annan solution plan cannot be accepted as it is. "You as newspaper, do you accept the Annan plan as it is?" asks Mr Denktas.

    To the call that the Turkish Cypriots expect him to take courageous steps and decisions, Mr Denktas replies: "I too expect my people to study the Annan document very well and make a decision by placing their hand on their hearts."

    Mr Denktas stresses that he will continue to work for the best of the Turkish Cypriots and when the time comes for signing he will do so with the approval of Turkey and after informing the people.

    Mr Denktas then accuses a large section of the press of approaching the second Annan plan, like the first one, as a "salvation document" with the EU vision without examining it carefully.

    And Mr Denktas concludes:

    "Whatever is included in favour of the Turks in the Annan document is thanks to the struggle I have been waging for the Turkish Cypriots all these years.

    However, even though certain of our demands were accepted, I cannot act blindly regarding those points which annihilate the effect of the former. My responsibility is towards my people as well towards the motherland to conclude an agreement which will not repeat the 1963's."

    [06] A Turkish parliamentary delegation will visit the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to KIBRIS (10/01/03), a delegation from Turkey's Grand National Assembly (TGNA), headed by its Chairman, Mr Bulent Aric, will pay an official visit to the occupied area of Cyprus between 13-15 of January.

    The Turkish parliamentary delegation will carry out first contacts with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and then with Turkish Cypriot officials and representatives of the Turkish Cypriot civil organizations.

    The Chairman of TGNA, Mr Bulent Arinc, will hold a press conference prior his visit at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, KIBRIS reports.

    The Deputy Undersecretary of Turkey's Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Baki Ilkin, and some bureaucrats briefed yesterday the parliamentary delegation, which will visit the occupied area of Cyprus, about the Cyprus problem.

    Meanwhile, the briefing was going to be given to all the members of the National Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee, but later they briefed only the members of the Committee that would be in the delegation visiting the occupied area of Cyprus. This incident created a tension among the rest of the MP's, who left the meeting room as a reaction.

    [07] The platform "This Country is Ours" held a demonstration demanding the resignation of Rauf Denktas

    YENIDUZEN (10/01/03), in its front page, under the banner headlines "Let's arrest!" reports that the platform "This Country is Ours" held yesterday a demonstration in front of the so-called presidential palace demanding the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    According to the paper, the police of the occupation regime took extremely strict security measures and prevented the demonstrators from going near the building. Sabahattin Ismail, Denktas´ adviser responsible for the National People's Movement, was there and gave the order to one of occupation regime's police, "Let's arrest them!" But fortunately the demonstration ended without any incidents.

    The demonstrators read also a letter addressed to the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas during the demonstration, which later was submitted to Denktas´ personnel. In the letter, they asked Denktas to resign from his duties and continue his life as a retired man. They also said that they are not represented any more by him and on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots they called on him to resign.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] The Turkish Army is playing on active role in reviewing Turkey's policy on Cyprus

    Radikal newspaper (08/01/03) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Ankara reviewing its policy on Cyprus":

    "In trying to decide how best to respond to the United Nations and the European Union's demands for a solution, Ankara is reviewing its policy on the Cyprus issue, which has been in force since 1974, in light of today's requirements. Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis has disclosed that military and civilian authorities in Turkey are working with the Turkish Cypriot administration to draw up a new policy on Cyprus and that they have already arrived at the final stage of their efforts. Yakis said that the initiative aimed to generate a policy acceptable to all parties including the Greek Cypriots and added: "There are no insurmountable differences of opinion amongst ourselves. The real challenge is finding a formula whereby we could get the other side to accept our arguments." The Foreign Minister also said that the finishing touches were being put to the undertaking and that the results of the workshop would be disclosed in a short time.

    Foreign Minister Yakis, with whom we spoke on the phone yesterday before he flew to Azerbaijan, gave the following response to our question on whether Ankara would state its new position on the Cyprus issue by the end of this week: "Maybe, yet I would not want to commit myself to naming dates because the work is going on. Diplomatically speaking, I could say, 'Not in terms of weeks.'"

    Signs of a change in Turkey's official outlook on the Cyprus dispute were seen at the meeting of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission on January 6. It was noted at the meeting that the integration thesis - "if the Greek Cypriot side joins the EU, the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] would be annexed by Turkey" - was no longer valid.

    When we asked Yakis whether the change in Turkey's position on the Cyprus dispute concerned the integration thesis, the Foreign Minister provided the following response: "The position you are talking about was determined by Parliament rather than by the Government. For this reason, it could only be changed by a parliamentary resolution. Parliamentary resolutions cannot be made over the night. What we are trying to do is to effect a settlement within the UN framework that safeguards Turkish interests. When such a solution is approved by the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot parliaments in Cyprus, the integration policy will naturally lose its validity."

    The Foreign Minister did not disclose the details of the work undertaken by Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot authorities. He did not say either exactly which components of Turkey's policy on the Cyprus issue were being reviewed. Yet it could be seen that Ankara attaches priority to a settlement on the UN basis. It is understood that the undertaking in question is a bid to amend or alter Ankara's position on Cyprus, which is a fundamental foreign policy issue for Turkey.

    The fact that the military approves this change of policy is important. The Turkish military is annoyed by the tendency of the anti-government demonstrations in northern Cyprus to target Turkish troops, who were once embraced as heroes. It is being rumoured in Ankara that Chief of the General Staff Hilmi Ozkok has been emphasizing at high-level meetings that "Cyprus is very important for Turkey" and that "we risked a war for Cyprus in 1974." It is also known that the Turkish military holds views to the following effect: "The previous Government (Ecevit) followed a hard line on the Cyprus issue partly for emotional reasons. The incumbent Government is more flexible. Moreover, international pressures and changes in global policies require Turkey to realistically assess the need for a change in its policy on Cyprus." It is obvious that the General Staff also endorses this view.

    The General Staff is playing an active role in reviewing Turkey's policy on Cyprus. Experts are surveying the TRNC painstakingly and comparing their findings with the Annan plan. They are discussing what changes could be made to the plan to prevent Turkey's interests from coming to any harm. They have already submitted their proposals to the Foreign Ministry together with suggestions for new maps.

    Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary and Ambassador Baki Ilkin, Chief of the Greek and Cyprus Desk and Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, and Director-General of Cyprus Affairs Necip Eguz went to Cyprus after giving a briefing to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission and met with government officials in northern Cyprus including particularly Rauf Denktas. It is to be noted that all this took place a day before the UN talks on Cyprus were resumed on the island.

    The fact that the Foreign Ministry delegation is preparing to return to Ankara today is a sign that developments concerning Cyprus are picking up steam. The delegation will give information to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defence Commissions at a meeting on Cyprus to be held tomorrow. The same delegation will be meeting with UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy Alvaro de Soto in Ankara on January 10. A total of 20 deputies from the Foreign Affairs and Defence Commissions will be paying a visit to the TRNC together with Speaker of Parliament Bulent Arinc between 13-15 January and meeting with both government and opposition representatives. As Minister Yakis says, all signs suggest that it is possible that the Turkish position on the UN plan will be disclosed next week if not this weekend.

    Ankara is considering a formula that involves Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots' simultaneous accession to the EU. For this reason, it could demand that the UN deadline of 28 April be extended to April 14, when the accession documents of some ten EU candidates including the Greek Cypriot Republic will be signed in Athens.

    If the United Nations endorses the new Turkish position on Cyprus, there will truly be hope for a settlement for the first time."

    [09] Open Support to Denktas from the military

    Under the above title Istanbul Star newspaper (09/01/03) carried the following column by Zeynep Gurcanli:

    "On Cyprus, ever since the plan of the UN Secretary-General was set forth, everyone related or not, authorized or not, talked on this subject. Not a single word came from the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF], neither on the plan, nor on the evaluations made.

    The military, however, must have seen the "verbal pressures" on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, especially of the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government and its leader Tayyip Erdogan. They put an end to their policy of "not speaking about Cyprus".

    At the reception for the press given last evening [Wednesday, 8 January] by the General Staff Secretary General, the most detailed Cyprus message was given by the Second Chief of General Staff, Gen. Yasar Buyukanit.

    Gen. Buyukanit supported Denktas with very clear and definite expressions and he clearly stated how the Annan plan was evaluated by the TAF.

    Buyukanit started to speak by saying, "Injustices are being committed against Mr Denktas, both in Turkey and on Cyprus", and he continued:

    "As the TAF, we believe that the evaluations of President Denktas are extremely correct. If Denktas says that a result cannot be obtained by 28 February, then we also agree with him".

    And the Annan Plan:

    The most striking evaluation of Gen. Buyukanit was related to the maps attached to the plan:

    "It is as though the UN prepared the maps together with the Greek Cypriots. It is as though they chose the headquarters of the TAF on the Island one by one and gave these places to the Greek Cypriots on the maps." He added:

    "If the plan would be put in force today as it is, then the very few Turkish forces, which would remain on the Island, would be forced to ask for permission, even to leave their barracks."

    These statements of Buyukanit had the attribute of being the "continuation" of Cyprus section in the "welcoming" speech made by the Chief of General Staff, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, at the reception for the press.

    With his evaluations, Gen. Buyukanit had explained the details of the message given by the Chief of General Staff in the sentence, "A Cyprus solution, which threatens Turkey's security and which does not provide for its need for security, 'would almost complete the imprisonment process of the Turks in Anatolia'".

    The criticisms of Gen. Buyukanit about the Annan plan were not only directed to the maps.

    Gen. Buyukanit also harshly criticized the articles of the plan on the subject of "ownership":

    "If these articles are applied, then in the future when there is a solution, the Turkish Cypriot people would be confronted with ownership cases totaling billions of US dollars to be opened by the Greek Cypriots. The amount of indemnities could go up to US$20 billion."

    Subtitle: Danger of Clashes

    And the danger of clashes:

    Furthermore, this time, it would not be between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. There would be a danger of clashes between the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey.

    Gen. Buyukanit did not deny the existence of this danger. First of all, he emphasized that the Turkish Cypriots are under a very serious "psychological operation" and said the following:

    "If this operation continues, then the probability of a clash could also emerge."

    The military waited for a long time before talking. But they talked after examining the plan "down to its finest details".

    Let us see what will be the attitudes of the politicians, who have not examined the plan and are not even aware of the "most basic realities" on the subject of Cyprus, after these evaluations of the military?"


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