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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-05-16

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.90/03 16.05.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The occupier of Cyprus told Bush to encourage the victim of the Turkish invasion and occupation to solve the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Denktas adamant on his intransigent stance.
  • [03] Gul expects important developments in Cyprus, but he avoids any reference to his country's occupation of territory of an EU member.
  • [04] Eroglu: Greek Cypriots cannot return to their properties.
  • [05] The puppet regime stopped a service at occupied church.
  • [06] Mehmet Ali Talat: "A solution on the basis of the Annan plan until 2004".
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] While continuing the occupation of Cyprus, Turkey maintains its embargo on ships of an EU member to approach its ports.
  • [08] HURRIYET columnist describes Berlusconi's alleged statements as a bombshell.
  • [09] Columnist sees political interests behind the views of some opposition parties.
  • [10] The title deeds issued by the puppet regime are illegal.
  • [11] Turkish Cypriot daily calls for unity under Akinci.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The occupier of Cyprus told Bush to encourage the victim of the Turkish invasion and occupation to solve the Cyprus problem

    Istanbul NTV television (15.05.03) broadcast details of the telephone conversation that took place between the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and US President Bush.

    According to information received by NTV, the Bush-Erdogan telephone conversation was conducted in a positive atmosphere. Bush thanked Erdogan for the support Turkey extended to the struggle against terror. He said: "We are ready to cooperate with you in other regions just as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq." During this phone conversation, Bush also conveyed his views on Iraq, the Palestinian problem, and Cyprus. Bush said: "We appreciate your stand on and your sensitivity toward Iraq's territorial integrity and the situation in northern Iraq. I would especially like to stress this point." He later commented on the Palestinian problem. Noting that the Israeli prime minister will be visiting the United States in the coming days, Bush said: "We expect your support for our road map on the solution of the Middle East problem."

    Erdogan, in turn, said that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will be making a visit to Israel in the coming days, adding: "We support the road map." He said that Turkey shares the goal of achieving a lasting peace in the Middle East after having solved the Palestinian problem. Erdogan further noted that the Israeli president and prime minister will be visiting Turkey in the near future. Recalling the meeting he held with Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi in the beginning of the week, Erdogan said that all these issues were discussed in detail at that meeting. He continued: "Berlusconi will convey the details of the meeting during the visit he will be making to Washington at the end of the month. Berlusconi will have something to tell you with regard to our views on Iraq."

    Another item on the agenda was Cyprus. Bush told Erdogan that the United States is following with appreciation the recent developments in Cyprus. He then said: "We support your stand on Cyprus." Erdogan, in turn, recalled his visit to the occupied by Turkish troops part of Cyprus last week and said: "I also talked to citizens from the Greek Cypriot sector at the border, at Ledra Palace." Noting that Denktas took significant initiatives, Erdogan said that, however, the Greek Cypriot side should respond with new concrete decisions. In a way, he asked the US administration to encourage the Greek Cypriot side to solve the problem, reports NTV.

    [02] Denktas adamant on his intransigent stance

    According to KIBRISLI newspaper (16.05.03), the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has alleged that in case the three freedoms, (movement, settlement and right to own property) are exercised in Cyprus, this would bring Cyprus to the pre- 1974 situation, when Turkey invaded the island.

    When asked to comment on President Tassos Papadopoulos' statement regarding the Annan plan and the three freedoms, Denktas alleged that the Cyprus government was against the Annan plan but now after easing the conditions as regards crossing the divide, it is attempting to bring the Annan plan on the negotiation table . He claimed that this was a tactics resorted to by the Cyprus Government.

    As regards the three freedoms, Denktas called on President Tassos Papadopoulos to be "realistic". He said that putting into practice without any limitations the three freedoms is tantamount to returning to the pre-1974 situation.

    [03] Gul expects important developments in Cyprus, but he avoids any reference to his country's occupation of territory of an EU member

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.05.03) reported from Brussels that the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul met with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in Brussels on Thursday.

    The two leaders reached consensus on searching cooperation possibilities between the two countries in the Middle East. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Huseyin Dirioz said that Gul and Papandreou mainly discussed the issues of Middle East, Cyprus, Turkey-EU relations and bilateral issues in the meeting.

    Responding to questions of journalists before attending the European Convention meeting, Gul said that they expected EU to take important steps about Cyprus issue in the coming days.

    ``We guess that important developments will take place about Cyprus in the coming days,`` said Gul.

    Gul stressed that they wanted the so-called embargo on the territory of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops to be lifted and that he continuously brought onto agenda this issue in his contacts with EU representatives.

    [04] Eroglu: Greek Cypriots cannot return to their properties

    According to KIBRISLI newspaper (16.05.03), the so-called prime minister of Ankara's puppet regime in occupied Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, commenting on President Tassos Papadopoulos' statement that he is ready to negotiate the Annan plan with the changing situation and the three freedoms, alleged that this statement is nothing but known "Greek Cypriot tactics to dupe the world public opinion".

    "With the three freedoms," noted Eroglu, "the Greek Cypriots want to return to their properties. It is out of the question to accept Greek Cypriots to return to their properties".

    [05] The occupation regime stopped a service at the occupied church of Ayios Mamas in Morfou and forced the Bishop to leave the church

    AFFRIKA (16.05.03) refers to an incident, which occurred yesterday at the occupied church of Ayios Mamas. The paper in its front page under the banner headline, "From the Turkish policemen to Bishop: Out!", reports that the Bishop of Morphou Neofytos wanted to conduct a serving at the historic church of Ayios Mamas, which is at the occupied village of Morphou. But while the Bishop was conducting the service, policemen of the occupation regime intervened and by saying "Get out, you cannot conduct a service here" forced the Bishop, the priests and the Greek Cypriot worshippers to leave the church. The illegal policemen also added: "You can only conduct a service at the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas".

    The occupied church of Ayios Mamas, which is one of the most important places of worship for Christian Orthodox in Cyprus, is used as museum by the occupation regime.

    It is noted that no other Turkish Cypriot paper covers the issue.

    [06] Mehmet Ali Talat: "A solution on the basis of the Annan plan until 2004"

    YENIDUZEN (16.05.03) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, attended a dinner on Wednesday night in the free areas of Cyprus hosted by the Cyprus Green Party-Environmentalists Movement.

    Speaking at the dinner, Talat explained his party's views on the Cyprus problem and replied to the questions of the participants in the dinner. Talat said that a solution within the framework of the Annan plan can be found until May 2004, when Cyprus will officially accede to the EU.

    Commenting on the Turkish settlers issue, Talat said that it is a very sensitive issue and at the same time a humanitarian one. He also added for the solution of this problem they should look at it as a humanitarian problem as well as most of the problems in the island and it can be solved within the framework of the Annan plan.

    In another article, YENIDUZEN reports that the leader of RTP, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, met yesterday with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Mr Martin Lavra, during which they have exchanged views on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    During the meeting, Talat stressed that the Turkish Cypriots must be equal with the Greek Cypriots from a political point of view and must have the right to administrate the island along with the Greek Cypriots and be able to represent Cyprus in international institutions.

    Referring to the partial lifting of the restrictions on free movement in Cyprus, Talat said that it is a positive step, but it cannot replace the solution. "The island must be united again under the roof of a federal government, which will be composed of two equal founding states", Talat said. He concluded that the Annan plan envisaged the political equality of two founding states in the island, and the reason that they lost this opportunity was the behaviour of the occupation administration against the Annan plan.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] While continuing the occupation of Cyprus, Turkey maintains its embargo on ships of an EU member to approach its ports

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (13.05.03) publishes the following commentary by Sedat Ergin under the title: "Uncertainties Exist in the Relations Between the Turkish and US Military Authorities":

    "It appears that the traces of the unpleasant incident that occurred between the Turkish and US military authorities in northern Iraq approximately three weeks ago will not fade easily. The interesting thing is the emergence of differences in the manner in which the Turkish and the US military authorities present the start of the incident each time they touch on the issue.

    The US side claims that members of a Turkish special operations team were detained while they were providing weapons to Turcomans under the camouflage of accompanying an aid convoy. The Turkish side, on the other hand, is presenting the incident in a completely different manner.

    First of all, the incident took place in Arbil, which is under the control of [KDP, Democratic Party of Kurdistan, leader Mas'ud] Barzani and not at the entrance to Kirkuk. Moreover, it has been ascertained that an aid convoy has not been involved in the incident. According to [the Turkish sources], the special team members detained by the US forces have not infiltrated into the region in secret. These special team members were officials who were already present in Arbil. Moreover, these special team members have entered this region several times through the same checkpoint before the eruption of this incident.

    What is more, these special team members were included in a 12-member group touring the area in a Toyota car. There were six Turkish special team members, three peshmergas affiliated with Barzani's forces, and three Turcomans in the same car. Members of this group possessed weapons that were sufficient only to defend themselves.

    Meanwhile, how is Ankara assessing the development of this incident--which paved the way for the US side to apologize for the incident followed by an apology made by the Turkish side--and the immediate reflection of this incident in the US press while the issue was fresh? Well, the Turkish side is assessing this incident as a "psychological warfare."

    According to officials, the aim of the psychological warfare is to force the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF] to withdraw completely from northern Iraq. This incident carries importance from the perspective of showing that the relations between the Turkish and US military authorities are going through a new era.

    Presently there is a detectable tension in the relations between the Turkish and US armies, which maintained very close relations with each other in the past. The incident that took place in northern Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg. The problems that emerged prior to the rejection on 1 March of the motion [on foreign troop deployment on Turkish soil] and the problems that emerged immediately after 1 March constitute the part of the iceberg that is submerged under the water.

    Within this framework, countless examples can be cited of the tension between the Turkish and US armies such as the arrival of a Cyprus-registered cargo ship at Turkish ports prior to 1 March despite the warnings issued by the Turkish authorities against the arrival at Turkish ports of Cyprus-registered ships carrying military equipment. It is obvious that the tight control mechanism that the Turkish military authorities imposed on the US military activities in Turkey made the United States extremely uneasy.

    In addition to all the aforementioned problems, the US administration holds TAF responsible for the failure of the bill on foreign troop deployment to pass from the parliament on 1 March 2003. The tension that emerged recently in the high-level dialogue between the Turkish and US offices of the Chiefs of Staff is most probably the extension of the aforementioned incident.

    It appears that in addition to the hitches that emerged in the relations between the Turkish and US administrations, the cooperation between the military authorities of the two countries is also set to go through an uneasy era."

    [08] HURRIYET columnist describes Berlusconi's alleged statements that Cyprus should not become EU member because of the Turkish occupation and that Turkey could be EU member in spite of its occupying EU territory, as a bombshell

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (14.05.03) publishes the following commentary by Yalcin Dogan under the title: "Berlusconi's midnight bombshells":

    "Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi saved his three major surprises for a private conservation he had at midnight. After accompanying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his car after the state banquet, Berlusconi met with four representatives of the TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association] and gave very special and significant messages to them.

    After noting that accession talks between Turkey and the EU could start later in 2004 should Turkey satisfy the Copenhagen criteria, Berlusconi dropped his first bombshell: "In economic terms Turkey is in a better situation than some new EU-member countries. If it takes positive steps in the field of democratization, it could join the EU in 2007 together with Romania and Bulgaria."

    It was the first time that a EU official had mentioned that date. The EU had never been so close to Turkey in the past.

    Berlusconi's second bombshell picked holes in all previous arguments voiced by some EU officials in the past: "The EU's policy on Cyprus and Annan's plan are wrongheaded. Admission of a divided Cyprus to the EU was not a wise decision. South Cyprus joined the EU in spite of my opposition. I will, however, bring Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Constandinos Simitis together in an effort to resolve this dispute."

    Now here comes his third surprising comment: "Even if a solution cannot be found in Cyprus, it should not pose an obstacle to Turkey's accession to the EU."

    It was the first time that the Prime Minister of an EU member country voiced such an opinion. With a view to building a stronger Europe, Berlusconi wants to include Turkey in the EU equation together with Ukraine and Belarus. He emphasizes that it is the only way to strengthen Europe against the United States.

    Berlusconi also told an anecdote during the meeting and referring to Praise of Folly, written by Erasmus, commented: "One should be crazy in order to do better and to have a vision. I and Erdogan have this personality trait and unfortunately Bush has too."

    He laughed at his own joke and added: "Bush was convinced that you would assist the United States in Iraq after the first government motion was passed and took his subsequent steps based on this judgment. He, however, felt deep disappointment later. In spite of that fact, I will suggest him that Turkey be given a role in Iraq's reconstruction."

    Berlusconi spoke as if he was not a Prime Minister, but a good fairy in a fairy tale."

    [09] Turkish Cypriot columnist sees political interests behind the views of some opposition parties

    Under the title "Is it a sheep herd?" Sener Levent writes the following in AFRIKA (16.05.03) regarding the issue of the illegal settlers:

    "Some of our leftists rebelled. They have the burning desire to defend the rights of the Turks from Turkey who live in our island. For so many years they have been telling Denktas: 'You are winning the elections with the votes of the mainland Turks'.

    Now they want these votes for themselves. Now they are saying what Denktas had been saying many years ago: Turk comes, Turks goes.

    What is the difference between us? We came here in 1571 and they came in 1974.

    Now we are hearing from the leftists the stories we had been hearing from the rightists. And they are telling us even worse things. They say that we do not consider these people (translator's note: the settlers) as human beings. They say that we exploit them, we treat them contemptuously and control them like a herd. One of them (translator's note: one leftist Turkish Cypriot) says and protests: You consider them a sheep herd.

    Is that so Hasan? Are they a sheep herd? Tell me; is it so because we have given them more rights than we have in our own country? If we have given them these rights because we consider them a sheep herd, then what are we? Are we cows or donkeys?

    We have given them houses, plots of vacant land, fields and jobs. We have given them everything we withhold from our own people. We have given them things we did not give to the refugees who came from the south. We gave them privileges in the army and in getting hold of citizenship. We gave them whatever we had and we even gave them whatever we did not have. We gave them the right to elect and be elected. We even gave other houses and fields to those who had sold the houses and the fields they had taken before and went to Turkey. Our hospitals and kindergartens offer them more services than they offer us. They are our citizens who have double citizenship. Many of them were made citizens within a few ours: the commander of our Security Forces, the Chairman of our Civilian Affairs, the chairman of our Civilian Defense, the chairman of our Central Bank.

    It is as if we are not refugees for so many years. However, who gave us anything when we had been in the tents? Read only once Hasan the article of Mr Halil Sadrazam. Then we shall see who is the sheep and who is the donkey here.

    Who else in the world did what we did for people who flooded into his country from outside? Who gave to the refugees so many rights? Answer me now Hasan, so that the people can hear you. After all these have they become a sheep herd and the poor people and we are their saviours? Save them Hasan. Let me see how you will save them. Let us see who are local people and who are foreigners in this crazy island. Who is the traveler and who is the host.

    All the plains, the mountains and the villages of this country are de facto under occupation. The Cypriots are still going around their country like foreigners. Since when are you dreaming such dreams? Since when are they sheep? Since when are you a saviour?"

    [10] Turkish Cypriot paper notes that the title deeds issued by the puppet regime are illegal

    Under the title "It is our turn", in a short commentary, AFRIKA (16.05.03) writes the following:

    "Rauf is a shrewd and alert man. He is trying to get away from the pressure he is under, because of the things he is being serving for years. The Annan plan demanded Turkey's withdrawal from the island in time. In its substance there was the division. A man who gave an oath for the division rejected this plan because this would damage Turkey's interests. He was forced to reject it. This whole thing was prepared together with Ankara. Now he began working on the issue of the properties in order to protect Turkey from paying compensations and from possible embargoes. However, there is something he is forgetting. The TRNC is illegal. The documents, which are given by an illegal institution is illegal as well, because it is established that they constitute a crime of war. The Court in the Hague should begin its preparations from now, because we are coming".

    [11] Turkish Cypriot daily calls on the opposition parties to unite under Akinci and exclude the illegal settlers

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA (14.05.03) publishes the following commentary by Sener Levent under the title: "Unity in the left":

    "Columnist Arif Hasan Tahsin has rightly made three important suggestions regarding the forthcoming [December] parliamentary elections:

    1. The entire opposition should take part in the elections under a single list.

    2. Assurance should be secured from Turkey that it will not interfere in the elections.

    3. The Turkish mainland-origin people on the island should not vote in the elections.

    I do support these proposals, although with one exception. I am not sure whether Arif Hasan Tahsin makes any distinction when he refers to the Turkish mainlanders living in the island.

    I do make a distinction. I am of the opinion that those born in Cyprus and those who got married here should not be in the same category. This is so under international law too. The picture does not change no matter where one happens to be. Those born and those who get married in a given country enjoy all the rights entitled to the citizens of that country.

    In our case, the fact is that the situation has developed differently. Being born and getting married here came about after a military intervention -- that is to say, after an action based on the use of force. In my opinion, this does not, however, affect the situation much. If a man was born in Cyprus, he is a Cypriot. No one can argue that he is not. In fact, it would also be very difficult for the Greek Cypriots to object to the Turks born in Cyprus or who got married here. The EU acquis communautaire would not allow this.

    All the opposition parties, with the exception of the RTP [leftist Republican Turkish Party], appear to agree to the idea that they should cooperate and take part in the forthcoming elections [December 2003] under a single list.

    Having assumed that the masses taking part in the recent mass meetings represented its own constituents, the RTP has been carried away by the illusion that it will win the elections alone. For this reason, it is not supportive of such a cooperation, and it does not want to hear about "a single list."

    As a result, the Turkish Cypriot opposition parties will also miss the opportunity to get control of the parliament in the north. The tremendous unity of the people, which could not achieve success because of certain huge mistakes, but which was applauded all over the world, will go to waste because of the selfish behavior of the RTP officials.

    The people need strong unity, rather than division, at a time when they are passing through such upheavals. The people are in need of a liberation symbol, not a party symbol. What right does the RTP have to tear up this symbol?

    I am making yet another appeal in this column to Mustafa Akinci [Nicosia deputy and former Communal Liberation Party-CLP Leader], who I believe is in a position to establish strong unity among the opposition forces.

    The Turkish Cypriots are anxiously struggling to lay claim to their eroded political will. We have no option other than to stand collectively in the way of a process that will rapidly move us toward extinction.

    The importance of the `TRNC' has been completely lost after Cyprus joined the EU as a whole. In fact, it has been a ghost state until now; now it was turned into a complete illusion.

    Our problem is not one of taking or not taking part in the `TRNC' organs. Our aim is to achieve a solution. The elections will not be the elections of those who want to see the `TRNC' live forever. They will be the elections of those who are prepared to put their seal on the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Go to the meeting places to disappoint the plans of those who intend to waste the people's unity.

    We do not have much time. If you intend to set up a structure based on the notion that "This Country is Ours," go ahead. It is high time you put aside the party symbol and became just patriots."

    /SK


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