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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-05-08

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.84/03 08.05.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister continues to brand embargo the implementation of international law and the UN decisions on occupied Cyprus.
  • [02] Statements by Mr Verheugen to Turkish reporters.
  • [03] Different reactions to Wolfowitz's criticism of Turkey.
  • [04] The occupation regime advises the Turkish Cypriots not to buy Greek Cypriot and Greek products from the free areas.
  • [05] Lord Hanney: Britain does not intent to undertake any initiative in Cyprus at this stage.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister continues to brand embargo the implementation of international law and the UN decisions on occupied Cyprus

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (07.05.03) broadcast an interview with Abdullah Gul, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey.

    Asked what he felt when he found himself beside the Foreign Minister of Cyprus at a recent EU meeting, Gul replied: "Turkey is an important and great country. We are aware of that importance. We have no inferiority complex in this regard. Everything is clear. They are also trying to join the EU and they have taken a stride in that direction. We used to have many problems with Greece too. We are taking steps to solve these problems. Of course Turkey's position has not changed, but I was not going to walk out of a meeting where 28 countries were being represented, just because the Greek Cypriot foreign minister was there. In recent years, Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministers came to Turkey to attend international meetings here."

    Asked why he was late for the Athens summit, Gul says: "It was not right for that country [Cyprus] to join the EU before solving its problem. That was an indication of our stand on this matter."

    In reply to a question whether any new steps will be taken during Prime Minister Erdogan's upcoming illegal visit to Cyprus, Gul said: "The latest course of events is very good. The "TRNC" is taking those steps and we are supporting them. It is the "TRNC" that reaches the decisions, of course. The entire world showed great interest in the latest developments. In recent years, it had become a tradition to criticize President Denktas and the "TRNC". For the first time in a long time, good things were said about Denktas and the "TRNC". The United States, the United Nations, and the EU are backing these steps. All this shows the following: nothing could be achieved through negotiations, while a positive atmosphere was created by taking concrete steps in the field. I hope that there will be more. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriot side and the EU must take certain steps. First and foremost, the embargo must be lifted. I am sure that if they take such good steps, the Turkish side will respond by taking more steps. This will create the foundations for an atmosphere of mutual confidence. Maybe after that a solution will be easier to reach.

    The upcoming visit of our honorable prime minister is important in this respect, of course. The visits of all Turkish prime ministers to Cyprus are always important."

    [02] Statements by Mr Verheugen to Turkish reporters

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.03) reported from Berlin, that the European Union (EU) Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen said on Wednesday that Islam did not have to find a place for itself in Europe, stating that it belonged to Europe for centuries.

    Speaking to Turkish reporters, Verheugen said he thought all the religions in Europe should be together with equal rights, stating that Islam belonged to Europe`s history, tradition and culture.

    Verheugen said Turkey was a Muslim country, noting that he thought that the efforts of the government to show that a Muslim country may have a democracy and legal state, should be supported.

    Pointing out that Turkey has time regarding its EU full membership till the year 2004, Verheugen said they should work together with Turkey to launch political reforms, to implement decisions taken earlier and to reach the target.

    Verheugen said fulfillment of membership criteria was important both for Turkey`s interests and for the benefit of the EU. He said steps taken on the way of democratization, is a progress which had not been recorded in the 80 year-old history of the Turkish Republic.

    Speaking about the Cyprus problem, Verheugen said that utmost care should be shown in this very important issue, stating that he hoped that a solution would be found on the island with the U.N. cooperation and support of Turkey and Greece before membership of Cyprus.

    Mr Verheugen said the decision when the negotiations would resume should be left to the U.N., noting that they wanted a united Cyprus to be a member of the EU, adding that there were several other alternatives if this could not take place in May 2004. He said they organized the accession of Cyprus in a way that will facilitate membership of the whole island.

    [03] Different reactions to Wolfowitz's criticism of Turkey

    NTV television (07.05.03) broadcast that there have been mixed reactions to comments from a senior Bush Administration official that Turkey had failed to sufficiently back the US in the recently concluded war in Iraq.

    In an interview broadcast on Turkish television on Tuesday, US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Turkey should recognise it had made a mistake in not giving greater support to Washington in the war against Iraq. Wolfowitz also said that Turkey should look into ways of how it could help the US in the future, especially in regard to Iran and Syria.

    While Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul tried to play down the comments, saying that much had been taken out of context and that many of Wolfowitz's statements had been "sincere and pragmatic", others were not so generous.

    A stronger reaction came from Justice Minister Cemil Cicek.

    "In fact it is the US and Wolfowitz that should look at themselves and ask, 'Where did we make a mistake?'", the Minister said.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also among those to comment on the statement, saying that his country chose its own path and had acted without having expectations in return.

    Opposition party leader Deniz Baykal of the Republican People's Party (RPP) said that Wolfowitz's statements were a reflection of his own personal disappointment. Baykal also slammed the US official for criticising the Turkish military for not being decisive enough in pushing for greater support to the US in the war.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that the US Deputy Defence Secretary had been given the necessary response.

    HURRIYET newspaper (08.05.03) reports that the US State Department's Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Marc Grossman also made statements on CNN Turk's "Headline" programme of Mehmet Ali Birand.

    Mr Grossman backed Mr Wolfowitz and called on Turkish leaders to listen carefully to what Mr Wolfowitz, "a friend of the Turks", said, and added:

    "What was done was done. We cannot behave as if nothing happened. However, at this moment relations between the US and Turkey are going on in the interest of both side.

    In order to carry out a very important issue in Iraq we devoted our energy, our blood and our reserves. The Turks throught that without them we could not achieve it".

    [04] The occupation regime advises the Turkish Cypriots not to buy Greek Cypriot and Greek products from the free areas

    Under the front -page banner title "Ban to the Greek Cypriot and Greek products!", AFRIKA (08.05.03) reports that yesterday the authorities of the puppet regime hung up on the Turkish barricade, which is by the Ledra Palace Hotel, a sign warning the Turkish Cypriots who cross over to the free areas the following: "To the attention of the citizens! Buying and bringing products of Greek Cypriot and Greek origin from the Greek Cypriot side, such as Greek Cypriot brandy and other Greek Cypriot products, is forbidden".

    The paper wonders whether or not the "From Turk to Turk" campaign of the 1950's is being revived and reminds that during the 1950's the Turkish Cypriot leadership forced the Turkish Cypriots not to buy Greek Cypriot products. "Those who were not complying with this have been threatened or punished by being bitten", adds AFRIKA noting that the Turkish leadership named this practice "From Turk to Turk Campaign".

    The paper writes also the following: "The behaviour of Turkish authorities, which are not satisfied with the free crossings, is noteworthy and could cause tension. First they said that they would prepare a black list regarding the Greek Cypriots. Then they incited the people to call the assistance telephone in case the Greek Cypriots attacked them. Now they have put a ban on the Greek Cypriot and Greek products!"

    [05] Lord Hanney: Britain does not intent to undertake any initiative in Cyprus at this stage

    KIBRIS (08.05.03) publishes an interview with Lord David Hanney, the British Special Envoy for Cyprus, who noted that his government did not intent to undertake any initiative in Cyprus at this stage and added that they share the view that the UN Secretary - General should undertake an initiative towards the direction of Turkey, Greece and the two sides in Cyprus.

    Lord Hanney expressed also the opinion that the limited freedom of movement is a positive step and stressed that the behaviour of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots towards each other after the doors were opened proved that the policy applied for years and kept the doors closed was illogical and has collapsed.

    Lord Hanney noted that the steps made on the island are positive but they do not constitute a solution to the Cyprus problem and added that the problem should be solved on the negotiating table. The Annan plan has been revised twice and is still on the table, he pointed out adding that as far as he understands the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey agree that the plan is still on the table. "Now we shall see whether or not the fourth element will participate in this equilibrium," he continued.

    /SK


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