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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-05-29

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.99/03 29.05.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The occupation regime gave its so-called citizenship to 2.584 persons within the last 25 months.
  • [02] Law for granting citizenship to Turkish Cypriots approved by the TGNA.
  • [03] The Turkish National Security Council held its monthly meeting amid signs of tension.
  • [04] Necmettin Erbakan supports that the vast majority of JDP is from `National View'.
  • [05] Eroglu on developments in the Cyprus problem, the Annan plan and EU membership.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Commentary in MILLIYET calls on the JDP government to take Gen. Ozkok's statements seriously.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The occupation regime gave its so-called citizenship to 2.584 persons within the last 25 months

    KIBRIS (29.05.03) reports that the occupation regime gave its so-called "citizenship" to 2.584 persons during the last 25 months. The paper publishes lists with information on the issue, acquired by the so-called "ministry of internal, village and housing affairs".

    According to the above-mentioned lists, within the period 1 January 2001 - 31 January 2003 the pseudostate gave its "citizenship" to 2.584 persons, without announcing the criteria according to which it had granted this "citizenship" of which country they were citizens before acquiring the "citizenship" of the pseudostate. 1.356 of these persons became "citizens" with the approval of the so-called "ministry of internal affairs" and 605 of them after a decision of the "council of ministers".

    KIBRIS writes that the serial number of the last "citizenship document" at the end of January was 53.023. This is important for seeing how many were given the "citizenship" since the end of January, continues the paper, noting that 623 persons were given the "citizenship" after they had been married to a "citizen" of the regime.

    [02] Law for granting citizenship to Turkish Cypriots approved by the TGNA

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.05.03) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) adopted on Wednesday a law that made easy the proceedings for Turkish Cypriots to have Turkish citizenship.

    The law foresees amendment in the Law of Turkish Citizenship about this issue. Turkish Cypriots can apply to representations of Turkey abroad or governors` offices to get Turkish citizenship automatically.

    Speaking about the law, Justice and Development Party deputy Nusret Bayraktar said that there was a study in South Cyprus to give passports to "TRNC" citizens adding: ``So we must act quickly.``

    Republican People's Party deputy Sidika Aydogan said in her part that Cyprus`s becoming a member of the EU could make the Turkish Cypriots pass to the South, adding that such a development could cause serious results if no measures were taken. Aydogan added that if the occupied area's economy could stand on its feet, this would help in the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    [03] The Turkish National Security Council held its monthly meeting amid signs of tension

    Turkish Daily News (29.05.03) reports that Turkey's civilian and military leaders met Wednesday for the first time since Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok voiced the military's concerns about the speculations in certain media organs over uneasiness in the ranks of Turkish Armed Forces and government's appointment of religious-oriented officials to top government posts.

    In signs of tension between the military and the ruling Islamic-rooted party, Gen. Ozkok told journalists Monday that the fiercely secular military was troubled by the replacement of top bureaucratic officials with those close to the party.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined Ozkok and other officials at a National Security Council (NSC) meeting where they were expected to discuss Turkey's European Union membership as well as the military's concerns over the dismissals.

    The monthly council meetings gather top military commanders, the president and members of the government to discuss matters of internal and external security.

    The meetings are traditionally a place where the military influences government policy and are closely watched in Turkey. The military, which considers itself the guardian of the predominantly Muslim country's secular traditions, has carried out three coups in the past decades and pressured an Islamic-led government out of power in 1997.

    In its last meeting in April, the council advised the government to protect Turkey's secular state. It was not clear what specific steps it urged the government to take.

    Newspapers have reported that the military is also concerned about a government-proposed reform package that aims to advance Turkey's EU membership bid by amending anti-terror laws and allowing Kurdish broadcasts on private television stations.

    The military waged a 15-year war against separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and fears that some EU-oriented moves could undermine internal security.

    On Monday, Ozkok refused to respond when journalists asked what the military would do if the government did not halt the appointments, and reacted angrily to speculation of a possible military coup.

    Erdogan has defended the dismissals in the past saying they are part of reforms to make the bureaucracy more efficient and root out corruption.

    According to KIBRIS (29.05.03), during the meeting the latest development on the Cyprus issue were also discussed.

    [04] Necmettin Erbakan supports that the vast majority of JDP is from `National View'

    According to Turkish Daily News (29.05.03) the leader of the Saadet [happiness or contentment] Party, Mr Necmettin Erbakan, claimed on Wednesday that ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) deputies except a few leaders of the party and its grassroots is made up from followers of "National View."

    "Despite this fact, efforts of a few JDP administrators to carry out comprador policies highly disturbs the party as well as Turkey. These few administrators tried to support foreign circles with all their personal powers during the war in Iraq," stressed Erbakan, the mentor of political Islam in Turkey.

    Erbakan also claimed that the JDP administration surrendered to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    The veteran politician recently returned to active politics when he was elected to the leadership of the Saadet Party.

    Although JDP denies its Islamist roots, it has been said that almost half of its deputies come from the "National View" and based its establishment on this concept.

    As a ruling party holding an overwhelming majority of seats in Parliament, JDP does not have problems with opposition parties but it suffers from opposition groups within itself.

    The National View is a concept invented by veteran politician Erbakan in an effort to find a common ground between various different Islamist sects in the 1960s.

    The National View was the ideology of all parties founded by Erbakan.

    Since his return to active politics, the National View debate has become a golden opportunity for Erbakan to criticize JDP members who are former comrades under the umbrella of defunct Virtue Party.

    [05] Eroglu on developments in the Cyprus problem, the Annan plan and EU membership

    Illegal Bayrak TV (27.05.03) broadcast an interview of the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu by Mete Tumerkan.

    Evaluating the latest situation regarding the Cyprus problem, Eroglu said that following the introduction of the Annan plan, a number of political parties in the occupied areas of Cyprus expressed their support for this plan without first assessing the plan in detail and that these political parties started to attract the support of the public for the Annan plan by saying that this plan is the last chance for the Turkish Cypriots.

    "To sum up, we witnessed, following the introduction of the Annan plan, an atmosphere in which our citizens appeared to be divided and the emergence of polarization among our citizens. Naturally, as the 'current government', we were saddened by this atmosphere. For we were hoping and are continuing to hope that our citizens would discuss their views within the framework of democratic principles and that our citizens would discuss these issues in a dialogue without engaging in arguments instead of having the citizens polarized," Eroglu added.

    Commenting on the partial lifting of the restrictions on free movement in Cyprus, Eroglu said: "The Greek Cypriots who visited 'north Cyprus' saw clearly that the properties that they left behind in the north have been developed further and buildings have been put up on these properties. The Turkish Cypriots who visited 'south Cyprus', for their part, saw that the houses that they left behind particularly in the rural areas have been demolished and new buildings constructed in their places. The Turkish Cypriots who visited 'south Cyprus' have now reached the conclusion that they cannot live in 'south Cyprus' any more. I guess that the Greek Cypriots who visited 'north Cyprus', on the other hand, saw that 'north Cyprus' is not the old Cyprus that they left behind in the past."

    Replying to the question of how the National Unity Party (NUP) would encounter the opposition political parties during the December 2003 so-called elections regarding the EU membership, Eroglu stressed by saying that first of all NUP is not against EU membership, "However, we are not saying that we should gain EU membership immediately. We are saying that EU membership should be gained after a solution is found to the Cyprus problem."

    Asked whether or not the Cyprus problem can be solved gradually by taking further steps similar to the partial lifting of restrictions of free movements, Eroglu said that unfortunately, the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", (TRNC), is not recognized by any country other than Turkey. He also added: "However, of late the Turkish governments started to conduct a more aggressive policy with regard to 'TRNC'. This is a reality. For example, Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for the first time drew the public's attention to the need for the lifting of the embargoes placed on 'north Cyprus'. Erdogan emphatically stressed upon his arrival at the occupied airport of Lefkoniko on this issue."

    Meanwhile HALKIN SESI (29.05.03), under the banner headlines, "Eroglu: EU's aid will interfere in the elections!" reports in its front page that the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu said that the support of the EU Commission towards to the Turkish Cypriots will interfere in the elections to be held in the occupied areas next December.

    On the other hand the leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Huseyin Angolemli, welcomed the economic support measures of the EU Commission and said: "This aid that is prepared by the EU for the Turkish Cypriots is our right."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Commentary in MILLIYET calls on the JDP government to take Gen. Ozkok's statements seriously

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (28.05.03) publishes the following commentary in the "Direction" column by Fikret Bila under the title: "Government's Duty":

    It would be very wrong to take Chief of the General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok's press conference as being aimed at refuting the title of a press report. His statement should be assessed as a whole. Particularly the Government and the Justice and Development Party, JDP, must not make a mistake. It is impossible for the Government to welcome General Ozkok's remarks, but believing that his views were related only to the report that said that the "young officers are uneasy" is tantamount to burying one's head in the sand.

    We welcomed General Ozkok's remarks that he is proud to be committed to democracy, respects democratic rules, does not want to hear the words "military coup," and an element or view other than the concept of hierarchy does not exist in the military forces. However, it must be noted that taking his remarks to mean that the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF] welcome the Government's steps that create suspicion from the point of view of the republic's characteristics would be a wrong approach. He stressed the following a few times: "Naturally, the TAF are seriously worried by and maintain a sensitive approach on various issues." Furthermore, he recalled the developments that added to the military sector's fears, which he disclosed on 8 January. As an example, he gave the appointment of cadres to the state. He felt the need to say that not only the TAF but also all the state institutions are following the appointments.

    General Ozkok asserted: "If the TAF are uneasy, it means that the military forces are uneasy as a whole, not just a part of them." He then pointed to the developments that made the military forces worry about the situation.

    General Ozkok outlined another point: "Identity of views." He asserted that Turkey's democratic, secular, social, and lawful state, which is called for by the country's constitution, and Ataturk's principles and reforms are a common basis on which a difference of view cannot exist in the military forces. He asked: Can a difference of views exist in the TAF on the republic's basic principles?

    General Ozkok's statement carried important messages for the JDP. Protecting the democratic and secular republic should not be seen only as the task of the TAF. Nor are the TAF the only institution that is expected to be responsible for the republic's basic characteristics. The Government has important duties to fulfill in that regard as well. It has to refrain from adopting policies and measures that might harm the republic's basic principles. Furthermore, it has to inspire confidence in every sector of the community. It must avoid initiatives that would create tension among the people.

    As far as the Government is concerned, General Ozkok's statement is meaningful. The Government must be aware of its responsibilities towards the republic and our democracy. Instead of internal controversies, all the sectors must concentrate their energy on initiatives that will solve Turkey's vital national problems in foreign policy. Problems related to Iraq and the situation in northern Iraq have not been solved yet. Meanwhile, the Cyprus problem and the Aegean disputes have to be considered.

    The experience we recently had confirmed that maintaining a successful foreign policy in the absence of a strong economy and military forces is impossible. Turkey must not weaken its economy and military forces because of its internal problems if it wants to avoid similar experiences in the future. That is the duty of the political administration more than anyone else.

    /SK


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