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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-05-07
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.83/03 07.05.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Serdar DenktasNTV television (09:00 hours 07.05.03), broadcast the following statement made by Serdar Denktas:
"His excellency Mr Erdogan, as Turkish Prime Minister is coming to our island for the first time. Of course, we will discuss domestic economic issues and make evaluations as regards the Cyprus problem. I sincerely believe with all my heart that Mr Erdogan's visit will boost the Turkish Cypriots' morale. Together we can engage in new openings as regards our domestic economy. I do not think that these openings would be in line with the Greek Cypriot side's expectation.
A solution on the basis of the Annan Plan was not accepted neither by the Turkish Cypriot nor by the Greek Cypriot side.
The new steps taken at present are aimed at creating trust between the sides. With these steps the Turkish Cypriot side has demonstrated its sincerity as regards its earlier proposals. From this point, the steps are important. And, this step, as long as it continues to maintain the rapprochement between the two peoples, is important if it could create a basis.
Of course at the end of the day negotiations for reaching a solution would resume. However, this would not be within the framework of the Annan Plan, but the Annan Plan could be taken as a starting point.
It is clear that the end-result would not be within the framework of Annan Plan. It could be another plan that would start from the Annan Plan."
 The Turkish Prime Minister will visit the territories of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation since 1974Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.03) reported from Ankara that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will leave for the occupied by his country's troops part of Cyprus to hold contacts on May 9.
Erdogan will leave the occupied areas the same day.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister remains stuck to the Turkish mentality. He wants something in return for the partial lifting by Denktas of the restrictions imposed by the occupation regime since 1974TRT 2 Television (06.05.03) broadcast live the joint press conference by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Kyrgyzstan Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov in Ankara.
Referring to Cyprus Mr Gul alleged the following:
There have been mutual visits. As you also saw, the length of the visits were extended. These are confidence-building measures. The United States, the United Nations, and the EU have all appreciated the step taken by Mr Denktas and the stand adopted by the "TRNC": It is only natural and is everybody's right now to expect something in return. One of the most important steps will probably be the lifting of the economic embargo. The steps to be taken mutually will build up the confidence even more. We hope, eventually, that those issues that could not be resolved on the table will be settled in the field. Our prime minister's visit to Cyprus is very important. He is going to Cyprus as the prime minister of the Republic of Turkey. I believe that this visit will be considered a confidence-building measure. This visit will encourage the steps taken by the "TRNC".
Question: The Greek Cypriot side is calling the Turkish side to resume negotiations. Mr Denktas, in turn, wants the talks to be postponed to next year. Is this true? What are your views on this issue?
Answer: The policies pursued are within the framework of what I have said until now. Undoubtedly, as the motherland, we support every step taken by the "TRNC". The decision, however, is up to them. Our wish is to instill a lasting peace on the island. For a lasting peace, however, those issues that can cause a problem in the future should be eliminated. Otherwise, the problems will continue even if peace has been declared.
 No progress in Turkey's human rights record in the first 3 months of 2003Turkish Daily News (07.05.03) reports that the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD) stressed in a new report, evaluating the human right process in the first three months of 2003, that there were no developments in the implementation of human rights during the term between January and March 2003.
IHD said: "The fact is that torture is underlined in this report as it was in previous reports. Unfortunately, we can not observe any progress in preventing torture in Turkey. Besides this, we observed that public prosecutors and judges did not interpret the laws in favour of freedom of expression."
"Some 183 people were subjected to torture and human degradation in detention: 33 people were subject to torture and degrading treatment in prisons. Furthermore, 53 people were subjected to torture and human degradation in their houses or streets. Thus, the total number of people who were subjected to torture and human degradation reached 392 during the first three months," said IHD in the report. IHD added that they had started to observe proceedings against torture perpetrators.
Underlining that women's suicides and "honour" killings continue, IHD said: "We could identify 11 suicides and five honor killings under the hard conditions."
Criticising the approaches of various administrative authorities and judicial -institutions to freedom of expression, IHD said: "Four radio stations and one local television station were barred from broadcasting for 180 days by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK). Six newspapers were closed for 79 days and nine journalists were taken into custody, while seven books and seven newspapers were levied or banned. On the other hand, 50 people had lawsuits brought against them because they expressed their thoughts. Besides all this, 23 people were charged of infringing Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code and five people were also charged on the basis of the Anti-Terror Law."
Evaluating Turkey's aspiration to be full member of the European Union in the frame of harmonious laws with EU criteria, IHD said: "The EU declared the new Accession Partnership. The new document does not bring a new obligation in comparison with the previous one released in November 2000. This situation shows that the problems due to harmony laws with the political criteria have been continuing for three years. Unfortunately most of the problems, which the EU Commission underlined, remain."
Calling on the government, IHD said: "We are warning the political power because of its practice over the last three months. The protection of human rights and basic freedoms requires maximum responsibility and determination. First of all, all the institutions of the state and their staff should respect human rights."
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Turkish Daily News supports that Turkey's strategic importance is diminishingUnder the title "Geostrategic turbulence started" Turkish Daily News (07.05.03) publishes the following commentary by Kivanc Galip Over:
The post-Saddam era and new period in Cyprus have started simultaneously. You can favour any patriotic speech you wish that uses the terminology we desire. The geostrategic feature of Turkey cannot escape these two difficult situations without receiving harm.
While the EU reaches the eastern Mediterranean via Cyprus, the U.S. settles in the center of the Middle East with the invasion of Iraq. The plans are no more aimed at USSR threats, they are related to the energy sources in the Middle East and their transport possibilities.
Europe put its signature under a law that it ignored and bought an "aircraft carrier that doesn't sink."
The U.S. also ignored legality and invaded the world's largest barracks in the Middle East. Both the "aircraft carrier that doesn't sink" and the "world's largest barracks" will now produce security for the camps they belong to.
Even though the red lines are protected, Ankara will continue to face difficulties regarding Iraq. Leaving the enigma in Kirkuk aside, the new Iraq could be distant from Turkey regarding the economy and politics. Moreover, Iraq could be the "furthest neighbour" of Turkey. This is only logical if we think that the ones who would govern Iraq will be the products of the only war in world history that doesn't have an excuse and that Turkey did not support the war. Without doubt the new administration would want to build good relations with all its neighbors. It seems that it is not easy for Turkey-Iraqi relations to go any further than this. What is worrying is that such a possibility is the worst scenario.
No power in Iraq will please both Talabani and Barzani, Sunni and Shiites, Arabs and the Kurds. And in this geography, the ones who are not pleased will not be faithful to agreements made.
Even though the U.S. presence of forces serves as some kind of a "break", it is in full view that the U.S. will not intervene in disputes unless they peak. Previous crisis management performance of the U.S. points at this. Maybe, in order to establish peace, the peace has to be removed first.
However, even if the optimistic scenario is put to practice and Iraq becomes a stable country and manages to escape regional, national, ethnic, social and political decomposition, there is not much reason for Turkey to be optimistic.
The Kurds see themselves as the strategic partner of the U.S. The difference between "strategical partnership" and "full loyalty" is not yet understood in the region. The new regime that will be established in Baghdad will put "full loyalty" to the foreground to prove gratitude regarding their relations with Washington. For this reason, Iraq being the new "forward front" could be preferred both by Washington and Baghdad. The possibilities of overseas obedience, being close to crisis areas and direct control over underground resources strengthens this possibility.
The first direct negative effect of the new era in Iraq could be seen in the Baku-Ceyhan project. Just so, as it was in the press, the National Security Council (NSC) thinks that such projects as the "trans-Arabian pipeline", "pipeline-of-peace", "trans-Israel pipeline" and "dolphin natural gas pipeline" will compete with the Baku-Ceyhan project and that the priorities will delay Baku-Ceyhan.
From the U.S. point of view, the mentioned new projects are right steps in the framework of the idea to widespread the multi-sided regional infrastructure projects that are needed to develop overseas connections of the regional cooperation. Just so, the U.S. had previously planned similar projects for the Balkans, Caucasia and the Middle East and had put part of it into practice.
Indeed, the ending of Israeli dependence on Russia for oil could be preparations for new steps in the Middle East.
While the U.S. takes new steps with the loyalty it will receive from the "world's largest barracks", it is not a far possibility for the EU to put Cyprus at the center of the "European Army". In both cases Turkey could fall "behind all fronts", moving away from its position as a "wing country" -- as it was since the September 11 incidents -- and later as a "front country". Because Turkey is no longer the "end of the West."
The course of the relations of Syria and Iran with the U.S. may speed Turkey's being left behind fronts, or might slow it down. However, if Syria and Iran fall, they will be the front countries. If they don't fall, Iraq will stay as the new front country.
In the end, while Turkey becomes a less important country militarily, making less defense expenditure, it can start a new and a more secure period to realize its delayed reforms and to strengthen its economy.