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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-04-18

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.73/03 17.04.03

[A] News Items

  • [01] Extract on Cyprus and foreign policy issues from an interview by Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Istanbul Vatan newspaper
  • [02] Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader after returning from a visit to Turkey
  • [03] Statements by Mr Verheugen to Hurriyet's correspondent in Athens
  • [04] Angolemli and Talat comment on Mr Simitis' invitation to the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders
  • [05] Gul said that Turkey would examine a possible demand by the Republic of Cyprus to open an embassy in Ankara
  • [06] Talat blames Denktas for forcing the Turkish Cypriots to loose the opportunity to get out of the isolation; Denktas: talks could not continue with the same team and the same plan
  • [07] Demirel: "Let us not forget why we conducted war in Cyprus and that we should protect its results"
  • [08] The puppet regime continues its efforts to gain recognition through the sports
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Commentary in Istanbul Vatan speaks of tension between the Turkish Government and Denktas
  • [10] Commentary in Ortadogu supports that Turkey's strategic importance is lost
  • [11] Ant and the Cicada

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Extract on Cyprus and foreign policy issues from an interview by Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Istanbul Vatan newspaper

    Istanbul Vatan newspaper (17.04.03) publishes an interview with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Murat Birsel. Following are Mr Erdogan's replies to questions on foreign policy issues and Cyprus: Question: What is the extent of damage to our relations with the United States?

    Answer: US Secretary of State Colin Powell called Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during his visit to Luxembourg and expressed his thanks for the positive approach taken by Turkey during the current process. He also said that there were efforts to be jointly undertaken by the two countries during the new period in Iraq.

    Question: Gul's name brings to mind certain foreign policy issues. For example, we have said that we would consider any intervention in Cyprus and Mosul and Kirkuk a casus belli. What do you think about those possible reasons for going to war?

    Answer: Our Government has never made such statements. There is, however, a certain fact. We will defend our legitimate rights. As the sons and daughters of this country, we will spare no effort to defend the legitimate rights of the Turkish state. Nevertheless, a statesman should not lose his temper in the face of every minor event and say that he would consider it a casus belli. Only time will tell how the United States will approach the issue of Mosul and Kirkuk as part of the Iraqi question. We hope that the promises given to us will be fulfilled. We have taken a clear stand vis-a-vis the Cyprus issue. Unfortunately, however, some people cannot or do not want to understand it.

    Question: Are those people, who are unable to understand your position, in Turkey or abroad?

    Answer: They are both here and abroad. There are a small number of people in other countries who are trying to overshadow our concerted steps or approach, although there are some others who hope that we will eventually find a solution. Here, I would like emphasize a certain fact. Regarding the Cyprus issue, we have been emphasizing from the very beginning that no stalemate should be regarded as a solution. During my last meeting with Greek Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis, I told him that they should encourage the Greek Cypriot side while we encourage the Turkish Cypriots for reaching a compromise. I said: "We can resolve this issue if all the sides adopt a conciliatory approach." We have also devised alternatives. Denktas has proposed to open Varosha, which is currently closed to public access. We also proposed to hold tete-a-tete meetings in order to draw up a framework. We said that Turkey and Greece, which are acting as guarantors, could hold meetings and also invite the United Kingdom as well as the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots to join those talks if it was considered necessary in order to find a solution. We have put forward all those ideas as proposals. Who could argue that they are not aimed at bringing about a solution? We emphasized that there was a need to discuss UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan in order to make additions or to express our opinions on its positive and negative aspects. Unfortunately, Simitis did not respond positively to those ideas. Nevertheless, the negotiations still continue and at least he did not block them, which should be regarded as a heartening sign. This is how I look at this matter. Our brothers living in Northern Cyprus must formulate their policies very carefully. What I mean is that all expectations about the EU should be based on mutual compromises. It should not be regarded as a matter that could facilitate or hinder Turkey's accession to the EU. Firstly, Cyprus is not among the criteria that must be met by Turkey in order to join the EU. There is a misunderstanding about this matter. It is mentioned neither in the Copenhagen criteria nor in the EU acquis communautaire. In fact, there is a provision, which states that any country which has an internal political dispute should not be admitted to the EU. What we have here, however, is a country which could not resolve its internal dispute and they are admitting it in spite of that fact."

    [02] Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader after returning from a visit to Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.04.03) broadcast the following statement by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at occupied Lefkoniko Airport on his return from Turkey:

    "I was visited to Bursa to address a conference. I established a good dialogue with the press. Favourable articles were published in the Turkish press on Cyprus today. What was very important was the enthusiasm of the people in Bursa, particularly the young people. They said that Cyprus is their homeland as well and that concessions cannot be made on the island. Everyone was worried about what might happen. I informed them that there is no cause for concern.

    The new mistake the EU made on Cyprus has not changed the situation on the island. The plan Alvaro de Soto and the others drew up was based on the view that the EU carrot would force us to make concessions from our sovereignty, state, and rights and follow the Greek Cypriots in their move to join the EU. That is the view Alvaro de Soto and the others had when they drew up their plan, which is known as the Annan plan. They put significant pressure on us to agree to it. However, their calculations were wrong. The Turkish Cypriot people waged a determined struggle to safeguard their state and sovereignty. Turkey supported our indispensable principles. So, we were not affected by Europe's carrot and threats, which were aimed at forcing us to follow the Greek Cypriot effort to join the EU.

    I want to address those who claim that we lost an opportunity. The EU concludes agreements with states. As a result of a wrong assessment, it has recognized the Greek Cypriot administration as the entity that represents the state on the island. It has not attached importance to us. So, had we followed the Greek Cypriots in their effort to join the EU on the basis of the Annan plan, we would have joined the organization as Turkish Cypriot individuals within the state, not as a sovereign state."

    [03] Statements by Mr Verheugen to Hurriyet's correspondent in Athens

    Istabul Hurriyet newspaper (17.04.03) publishes the following report by Nur Batur from Athens under the title: "It is the preference of Turkey not to attend the ceremony".

    Gunter Verheugen, the Representative of the EU Commission Responsible for EU Enlargement, answered the questions of the "Hurriyet" Newspaper and said, "It is incorrect that we apply a double standard to Turkey. If Turkey would fulfil the political criteria, then we will start the negotiations. Although Cyprus is not a condition, still the situation on Cyprus would also be a factor in the final evaluation at the end of 2004".

    Mr. Verheugen stated that there is still a chance to solve the Cyprus issue by May 2004, but if it is not solved, then Cyprus will enter the EU in any case. The messages given by Mr. Verheugen are as follows:

    It is Turkey's decision not to attend the ceremony. I cannot make a comment on this subject. Turkey was invited to the ceremony. I had told my Turkish friends what would happen if the problem was not solved. The result is not a surprise, either for Turkey or for others. But there is still a period of time for the solution of the Cyprus problem. I am still hoping that the momentum created by the accession will be sufficiently strong for finding a solution to the problem.

    The Cyprus Government represents Cyprus in all of the international fora. For years, these have been the legal and open positions connected to a resolution by the UN. We organized the accession of Cyprus in such a manner that in case a solution is found to the problem, then it will be possible to easily make the necessary regulations, which will provide conformity. I have gotten the impression that Turkey is more determined than before to join the EU.

    It is not the responsibility of the EU to determine the conditions of how the United Cyprus will be in the future. The UN has assumed the responsibility of the peace process. Kofi Annan's proposal is still on the table. The EU will support the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in accordance with its previous position. I want our Turkish friends to understand how difficult it is for us to determine the conditions that would provide for finding a solution to the problem.

    [04] Angolemli and Talat comment on Mr Simitis' invitation to the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders

    Istanbul NTV television (17.04.03) broadcast that the invitation extended by Greek Prime Minister Mr Costas Simitis to Turkish Cypriot Political party leaders has created a dispute in occupied Cyprus. The opposition parties, namely the Republican Turkish Party [RTP] and the Communal Liberation Party {CLP}, responded positively to the invitation. The National Unity Party and the Democratic Party of the so-called government, however, have announced that they will not go to meet with Simitis. The opposition and "government" leaders, who assessed the recent developments in statements they made to NTV, levelled accusations against one another.

    RTP Chairman Mehmet Ali Talat said that Simitis' invitation has been extended to all the party leaders on the island, adding that solution perspectives in Cyprus will be discussed at the meeting and added.

    "Is there a possibility for cooperation given the current separate situations in the south and the north? This issue will be discussed. This is the point Denktas has brought the Turkish Cypriots to either by not holding negotiations for many years or by pretending to hold negotiations. This is the point he has brought Turkey to."

    Noting that one should not shun a dialogue, CLP Chairman Huseyin Angolemli said that he will raise the economic measures at the meeting. He also levelled accusations against Rauf Denktas, Turkish Cypriot eader.

    He said : "Since we have the EU goal, we will stress that the EU should bear in mind this point in the many decisions it will make. Mr. Denktas' views are not contemporary because criticizing a dialogue in the 21st century and associating it with separatism is a gross mistake."

    Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the puppet regime's foreign affairs and defense minister, in turn criticized the opposition.

    "It was evident from the start that individuals who are closer to elements that take a stand against this national cause than they are to their own country, state, and motherland would welcome and respond positively to such an invitation. They have acted as expected. It is impossible to view this invitation extended by Simitis with goodwill. This invitation is nothing other than a part of their sly Byzantine tactics. It is nothing other than an approach to ignore the reality of the 'TRNC'."

    [05] Gul said that Turkey would examine a possible demand by the Republic of Cyprus to open an embassy in Ankara

    Under the title "We shall examine it", YENI DUZEN (18.04.03) reports that Abdullah Gul, Turkey's Foreign Affairs Minister said yesterday that his country would "examine very well" a possible demand by the Republic of Cyprus to open an embassy in Ankara.

    In statements in Athens to Turkish and Turkish Cypriot journalists, Mr Gul noted, when asked what Turkey will do if the Republic of Cyprus applies to Ankara to open an embassy in the Turkish capital: "If such a demand comes onto the agenda, it will be very well examined and the decision on the issue will be taken. .Turkey does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus. However, in the broad platform we are now, we shall have to meet with the Greek Cypriots often and be on the same pictures with them. .".

    Asked to comment on the visit of the President of the European Council and Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis in Cyprus, Mr Gul described it as a "normal visit" of the President of the European Council. Referring to the meeting of Mr Simitis with the Turkish Cypriot opposition leaders and the fact that the other Turkish Cypriot political parties rejected the Prime Minister's invitation, Mr Gul said that "in a democratic country", as he described the occupied areas of Cyprus, meetings should not be prevented, because this is not right. The parties, which will participate in the meeting with Mr Simitis, should inform the so-called "government" of the puppet regime, he argued.

    [06] Talat blames Denktas for forcing the Turkish Cypriots to loose the opportunity to get out of the isolation; Denktas: talks could not continue with the same team and the same plan

    KIBRIS (18.04.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, chairman of the Republican Turkish party (RTP), said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas is responsible for the fact that the Turkish Cypriots have lost the opportunity to get out of the isolation the puppet regime and Turkey led them during the last 29 years.

    In statements during a meeting with Richard Balfe, British member of the European Parliament, Mr Talat reiterated that Mr Denktas does not think about the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Balfe met yesterday with Rauf Denktas, to whom he reminded that the Cyprus talks should begin again in accordance with the recent resolution of the UN Security Council.

    Mr Denktas told Mr Balfe that the talks could not continue with the same team and the same plan.

    [07] Demirel: "Let us not forget why we conducted war in Cyprus and that we should protect its results"

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN (18.04.03) reports that Turkey's former President, Suleyman Demirel has said, addressing a conference on "Turkey and the World", which took place at Ufuk University in Turkey, that Turkey should not forget why it had carried out a war in Cyprus in 1974.

    Noting that in the Mediterranean Sea there are 1800 islands, Mr Demirel supported: "The 1799 of those islands are in the hands of the Greeks. The issue is not whether or not Denktas has accepted or rejected anything. They say 'we posses 1799 islands, why do we not posses this (Cyprus) too?' This is called Hellenism. We have conducted a war for Cyprus. Let us not forget why we conducted this war and that we should protect its results".

    [08] The puppet regime continues its efforts to gain recognition through the sports

    KIBRIS (18.04.03) reports that within the framework of the efforts of the puppet regime to gain recognition through the field of the sports, its so-called "Handball Federation" has invited to the occupied areas the "Handball Federation of Kosovo", with which it signed a "protocol" for cooperation and training.

    In statements during the signing ceremony, Ahmet Kasif, so-called "minister of labour, social insurances, youth and sports", claimed that the embargo allegedly applied on the Turkish Cypriots and the people of Kosovo in the field of sports is "unjust".

    Furthermore, Tozun Tunali, director of the so-called "Sport Department" said that as a result of contacts they had with Kosovo two months ago, after their cooperation in basketball, now the door for cooperation is opened in handball as well. Mr Tunali noted that they are exerting efforts for organizing a match between the so-called "national football teams of the two countries" within the next few months.

    Meanwhile, Mevlit Devaya, chairman of the so-called "Handball Federation of Kosovo" said that they would increase "the bridges of friendship between the two countries".

    Senol Avci, chairman of the so-called "Handball Federation" of the puppet regime said that their cooperation would begin with a beach handball tournament, which will be organized in the Summer.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Commentary in Istanbul Vatan speaks of tension between the Turkish Government and Denktash

    Istanbul Vatan newspaper in Turkish (17.04.03) publishes the following commentary by Rusen Cakir: under the title: "The JDP Government Is Uneasy About Denktas":

    "It is being claimed that both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul are very angry at the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. Prime Minister Erdogan finds the Annan Plan "perfectly negotiable". Mr Denktas has realized to a great extent that his desire to "bury" the Annan Plan has considerably strained the relations with the statements he has made recently attempting to guide the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government.

    For example, Prime Minister Erdogan's not going to Athens for the accession ceremonies to the EU of ten countries, including Cyprus, and Foreign Minister Gul's attendance at the EU meeting after the ceremonies was decided upon days in advance, but it was not announced to the public. It was unclear whether or not Mr. Gul, who would attend the dinner, would take his place in the "family photograph", which would be taken after the ceremony.

    Mr Denktas, who was unaware of this decision, which was taken reluctantly and after long debates, made a statement in Bursa the day before yesterday [Tuesday, 15 April] by saying, "Mr. Gul should not participate in the ceremony". Mr. Gul was asked his view in Luxembourg and revealed his anger by saying, "Turkey decides on this subject".

    According to the information reflected in the back stages, the possibility of giving up the decision not to participate in the ceremony was even discussed in Luxembourg in order not to simply create the image of "they are acting in accordance with Mr. Denktas' instructions". In fact, in yesterday's "Hurriyet" Newspaper, it was written that Mr. Gul would not participate in the ceremony as a result of Denktas' statements. This and similar news and interpretations, which confirm the concerns of the government, have increased even more the anger against Mr. Denktas.

    Mr. Gul decided to phone and speak openly with the Mr Denktas after returning to Turkey and hesitated for a long period of time about whether or not to share these feelings with the public, because the JDP members, who have always expressed their criticisms directed at Mr. Denktas behind closed doors in order not to create an image of discord between Ankara and Nicosia think that the Turkish Cypriot leader has not shown the same sensitivity and in a sense, he has belittled them. This uneasiness could cause the quarrel to come into the open.

    For example, when Mr. Gul made his first official visit to Cyprus as the Foreign Minister, it is said that the bilateral talks passed with tension and that Mr. Gul directed very harsh criticisms at Mr. Denktas, but they gave the appearance of "unity and solidarity" to the press members. It is also known that besides Mr. Denktas, the Foreign Minister talked with the opposition leaders, and separately received the representatives of the civilian organizations with different views, and warned a person who defined those in favour of a solution as "sold out", by saying, "please, let us not use such expressions".

    Mr. Gul recently said, "Whenever I go to Europe my morale is restored", but it is obvious that the European leaders who praised Turkey's attitude in the Iraqi War, the steps taken on the course to democratization and the state of the economy, concluded their statements by saying, "but it is also necessary for you to convince Mr.Denktas".

    Actually, the JDP leaders knew from the very first day that they would not be able to realize the radical reforms that they promised without solving the Cyprus problem and most importantly, that the EU membership would be just a dream in case the Cyprus problem is not solved.

    For this reason, the JDP leader Erdogan expressed his determination on the subject of a solution to the Greek press immediately after the 3 November [2002] elections, but this was denied by the Foreign Ministry spokesman. The fact that after his visit to Cyprus the TGNA [Turkish Grand National Assembly] Speaker Bulent Arinc accused the Denktas opponents in a severe manner, showed that the matter was not at all easy for the JDP.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Gul had remained more in the background in this period and the role of wanting a solution as soon as possible had been left to Mr. Erdogan. But the JDP leader as well, took a step back after a while and came close to the traditional Cyprus policy of the state. But with the rejection of the second draft permission on 1 March, the relations with the United States were damaged and this caused the expectations from the EU to be increased even more and the need for a solution on Cyprus became even more important. The government, however, has not yet found the magic formula for overcoming the traditional policies and consequently Denktas is complaining a lot about the Turkish Cypriot leader continuously reminding them of this with a victorious air.

    [10] Commentary in Ortadogu supports that Turkey's strategic importance is lost

    Istanbul Ortadogu newspaper (16.04.03) publishes the following commentary by Kamuran Ozbir under the title: "What happens next?"

    "Turkey no longer has any strategic importance in the region. The United States is transferring its base in Germany to Poland. It will control Europe not from Germany, but from Poland. The bases in Turkey are not of much value any more either, because the United States has reached an agreement with Romania. It will set up a military base in Romania during the next few days. Turkey's military and strategic importance in the region will completely disappear when the United States controls Georgia and Iraq. In the meantime, Azerbaijan keeps on moving closer to the United States. This should be strongly emphasized.

    Until now, Turkey had genuine military and economic strategic importance in the region. The incompetence of the Justice and Development Party [JDP] administration, and perhaps its ill motives, coupled with the carelessness of the Republican People's Party [RPP], destroyed this strategic importance in as short a time as a month.

    Germany is aware of the situation. German Chancellor Schroeder issued a statement immediately after Baghdad fell and said the progress of US and British troops in Baghdad was pleasing.

    The situation in northern Iraq is chaotic at the moment. The United States ended up having to depend more on the Peshmerga when it could not transfer its troops to the region over Turkey. The Peshmerga took advantage of the situation and, as can be seen, marched into Kirkuk.

    Following the serious warning issued by Ankara, the United States took action in a bid to keep its promises. Had this not taken place, the unilateral acts of the Peshmerga and their attempts to create various fait accompli could have forced Turkey to intervene. This could have culminated in grave consequences that would be unwanted for all concerned parties.

    Now, on this issue, the onus is on Talabani, Barzani, and mainly on the United States to assert full control in light of the pledges and assurances previously given.

    Subtitle: What Happens Next?

    However, what happens next will disturb Turkey a lot. A Kurdish state will be established in northern Iraq, but not immediately. Next is Syria, which is the JDP government's new ally and which abetted the Workers Party of Kurdistan. A bit of land will be taken from Syria and a Palestinian state will be established. This state will be recognized by the United States too. Therefore, the fever in the Arab world will be lowered. Then comes Kurdistan...

    Well, what will, or what can, Turkey, which considers this a casus belli, do? The borders of Kurdistan are not certain yet. After these developments, Turkey, which allied with Syria and Iran, will not be of much importance in the new balance that is taking shape in the Middle East.

    We already had a sick economy. We wasted our geopolitical importance. We are very worried. All the developments that we consider to be casus belli will unfold one after another. I had said so in this column before. Next is Cyprus. By saying "no" to a war in which Turkey did not take part, the current government is dragging Turkey to the brink of war all by itself. They are not aware of what they are doing.

    Another sad aspect of the issue is that the people who dragged Turkey into this quagmire will now try to foster enmity toward the United States. Let us not be a pawn in this at least.

    [11] Ant and the Cicada

    Metin Munir in an article in SABAH newspaper (17.04.03) under the above title cites the well-known fable between the hard working ant and the merry-go cicada. He then refers to the EU Accession Treaty signing ceremony in Athens on 16 April and says: "It became inevitable that following yesterday's signing ceremony where the Republic of Cyprus (Greek) became officially the EU member - we have to remove the crescent and the star on the TRNC flag and replace it with a cicada . Nothing could better symbolize as Turkish Cypriots our feeling of shame, defeat, lack of vision and backwardness.

    However, Turkey's shame should be deeper than ours. Turkey for the last 44 years is waiting at the EU door. You should be sure that Bulgaria and Romania will become EU members earlier than Turkey; most probably we will wait another 44 years or more to become an EU member.

    Yesterday there was a ceremony in Athens for the ten new EU countries. At this ceremony Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul represented Turkey. Gul with a view to not being present at the signing ceremony went to Athens in the evening. Gul did not want to be present at the signing ceremony because Turkey does no recognize the Republic of Cyprus. He did not want to be present when President Tassos Papadopoulos was signing the Accession Treaty on behalf of Cyprus.

    In fact with this action Gul missed an important opportunity. He should have pulled Papadopoulos to a corner and he should have asked: 'Brother Tassos how you could do this? 29 years ago we occupied one third of your territory. 60% of your income was from this territory. We have made one fifth of your population refugees and displaced. How have you succeeded in increasing your per capita income to 15,000 USD? How have you established the rule of law? How have you established good health services? Why do you not have bribery and illegal dealings? Why our Turkish Cypriot brethrens are not like you? They have devoured the war booty, they have plundered from you and now they want to suck our breast? Why?

    Gul did not go to the signing ceremony. I am sure nobody noticed his absence".


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