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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-09-02

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.165/03 02.09.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader calls Mr Talat a demagogue who tells lies.
  • [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister in statements before leaving for Austria.
  • [03] Erel says that Denktas no longer hopes for the support of the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [04] Talat says that Denktas threatens the Turkish government.
  • [05] The Nationalist Justice Party and the Patriotic Unity Movement face to face in the European Court of Human Rights.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader calls Mr Talat a demagogue who tells lies

    Istanbul TERCUMAN newspaper (31.08.03) publishes an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Following are Mr Denktas' replies to the paper's questions:

    Question: What does Cyprus signify from Turkey's standpoint?

    Answer: Former President Fahri Koruturk emphasized that Turkey would have no access to the seas surrounding it if Cyprus is left to the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks, while former President Ismet Inonu told me that they would resolve the Cyprus issue in Athens even if I were not involved and added that he was glad that I was.

    It was the prevailing approach in Turkey back then. Has it changed now? Some people argue that there never was such an approach and that nothing has actually changed. They may assert that Cyprus is an albatross around Turkey's neck and it should get rid of it. If we hear it from the Turkish nation, finding a solution to the Cyprus question would be easier. In that case, you would admit us as emigrants and allow us to settle in Turkey rather than being assimilated by the Creek Cypriots after being settled in different parts of the island as semi-emigrants within five to ten years like they did in Crete.

    You should, however, clearly tell us that you decided to give up Cyprus and stop saying that Cyprus is a national cause and indispensable for Turkey, etc. We have spent 50 years of our lives in order to maintain the struggle there. My people sacrificed their professional careers, youth and future and neglected their families. Turkey cannot let us down by saying that it pursued a wrong policy in the past and that Cyprus is not important and it will resolve the matter based on that understanding. Protecting us and preventing the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks to control the whole Cyprus is a matter of honor and dignity for the Turkish nation. If you decide to give up Cyprus because of a plan devised by this or that person, saying that the world has changed and Cyprus has lost its importance, then Greece may announce Enosis two or three days later. It is a dangerous process. In other words, it would be wrong to assume that we should accept Annan's plan ahead of the forthcoming elections and that the dispute is between the proponents and opponents of accession to the EU.

    Question: How does the EU look at the "TRNC" ?

    Answer: Everybody would want to enter the EU. We should, however, enter the EU preserving our honor and dignity. The EU admits states as members, but nobody has recognized us as a state so far. The EU is regarding us as a minority within a state it has admitted. If we accept this approach, we would have contributed to completion of indirect Enosis and deprived Turkey of all its rights by removing what we call the Lausanne Treaty's pressure on Cyprus. I cannot comprehend how our friends and opposition parties are unable to perceive or why they ignore that fact. I believe that they are actually aware of it. The problem is that an incredible amount of funds is flowing into Cyprus.

    Question: What kind of initiatives are being taken?

    Answer: There is a Federation of Disabled Persons, which was sponsored by the local government in Nicosia when it was controlled by our party. The federation organizes competitions for the disabled. It is usually sponsored by the local government, which is now controlled by the opposition. The Federation has a young and patriotic chairman. They have surprisingly summoned him to their headquarters recently and told him that they would give him 50,000 pounds sterling instead of 35,000 pounds sterling he used to get from the former local government on condition that he accepted to receive it immediately, because they predicted that he would want to consult with the board of the Federation, and thus by the "government". I was informed about the matter later. He and his colleagues have visited the "Prime Minister", who told them that they should refrain from receiving those funds, cautioning them that he could take some counteractions if they did. They have eventually refused to receive the money. He later informed me about the matter. I said: "Are you crazy my son? You should make no distinction between local governments offering you financial support. You have virtually donated that money, which they will spend to fund campaigns against us. They are now establishing a non-governmental organization sponsored by the EU, ostensibly to educate children living in poor neighborhoods.

    Question: Who are involved in those efforts?

    Answer: The wives of Mustafa Akinci (leader of the newly-established Peace and Democracy Movement) and Mehmet Ali Talat (Chairman of the Republican Turkish Party) are founding two or three non-governmental organizations and they have appealed to Turkey to ensure that the Turkish military officers in Cyprus and the Turkish "Embassy" refrain from interfering in the "election". They have, however, invited the whole world to meddle in. They asked the EU and the ECHR to send observers during the "election". What is the logic behind inviting them since our "government" has declared that it would not accept foreign observers? Moreover, the last local election was held last year and they won three major municipalities. Since they won those municipalities without any external intervention, why are they concerned about the outcome of the forthcoming "election" to be held four months later based on the same election system? There are allegations that we have granted citizenship to hundreds and thousands of Turkish citizens and that they would come here to be involved in the election process. Those allegations are totally unfounded. Everybody can see the lists of eligible voters, which were used in the last election which enabled them to win election in three major municipalities. Do they object those lists too? They are trying to create a certain psychological atmosphere among the public. Our sole mistake is that we did not take precautions when those activities started. "Laws" aimed at safeguarding the "state" as stipulated in the "constitution" were not passed. Now, the Chairman of the Union of Teachers of Secondary Education Schools is telling Turkey that they do not want its money or soldiers and urges it to withdraw its forces. We are not able to bring this man to account for what he has said. They say that there is a vacuum in the legal system. If it is true, they should immediately pass the necessary laws to fill that vacuum. The "government", however, refrains from doing that in order to avoid accusations that the "National Assembly" is controlled by the fascists and has passed laws in order to prevent the opposition from winning the election. Taking advantage of this suitable environment, they are taking steps designed to achieve Enosis in Cyprus in an indirect manner.

    Question: What could happen in the future? Your remarks indicate that you have complaints about the "government". Do you mean that the Turkish Cypriots could leave the island and emigrate to Turkey if it eventually decides to abandon this national cause?

    Answer: Being a person who has repeatedly read books about the War of Liberation and Ataturk's Address to Nation, I had no anxiety during any period in the past. Military coups were staged here and once Suleyman Demirel, then Prime Minister, was unable to send $500,000 to us. People, however, trusted us and we continued to move ahead.

    I am, however, extremely concerned now because of the reports about this deceptive plan called Annan's plan being highlighted by the Turkish press and media since the EU adopted a carrot and stick policy. The Turkish Cypriots do not want to become a burden that Turkey is unable to shoulder. We do neither want the Turkish economy to collapse because of us. We, however, emphasize that a national cause should be advanced by following a specific policy. I have also told the same thing to this government. We should follow the right path altogether. What are the facts? They include existence of two peoples, two democracies, two sections, two states and Turkey's efficient and effective guarantee. This has been the fundamental principle embraced by the successive Turkish governments for years. I have no complaint at all. I would, however, not like to be regarded as the man who has turned the Cyprus issue into a trouble for Turkey. Therefore, I always leave that door open. If following that specific policy vis-a-vis Cyprus will cause you to run into a trouble, then you may avoid it. If you have decided to give up and Cyprus is no longer considered necessary from the geopolitical standpoint and you will not be bothered if Cyprus becomes a Greek island after construction of pipelines conveying oil to Mersin and Iskenderun is completed, then we should speak our minds. I am sure that the response will be "No, never," but if they say "Yes, you are right," I would not know what to do.

    Ali Erel is founding a party. The members of the Chamber of Commerce, who have right-wing opinions, would not vote for Mehmet Ali Talat. They would neither vote for the leaders of the coalition government, including Dervis Eroglu and Serdar Denktas. He said: "We should form an umbrella organization that would bring all those people together. We will follow the same policy as the RTP [Republican Turkish Party] and the parties with similar programs. His remarks imply that he is holding negotiations with some circles and they intend to cooperate until the election. Meanwhile, the CLP [Communal Liberation Party] has virtually collapsed. Mustafa Akinci has ruined his own party. He is now presenting himself as a great statesman. If it does not stem from a secret deal, the Greek Cypriot press has started to say that there is only a nuance between Mehmet Ali Talat and myself.

    There is a cultural attache sent to the United Kingdom on behalf of the Greek Cypriot side. He and his colleagues are concerned about the influence of Talat's wife. They liken her to [former Turkish Prime Minister Bulent] Ecevit's wife on the grounds that she interferes in the party's affairs and fear that she could also meddle in the "government's" affairs if that party wins the "election".

    Question: People say that Talat is an honest person and liken him to Ecevit. What do you think about him?

    Answer: If following the AKEL blindly is a sign of honesty, he is. If allowing his wife to receive money from the EU means honesty, he is. I have never heard that he was involved in a financial irregularity, but he tells lies. He interprets Annan's plan in such a manner that even I doubt whether my or his interpretation is true. He is a great demagogue.

    Question: What could be the final result of the current trend?

    Answer: I know that our people have a strong character however angry they may be. There is a "government" which has remained in power for a long time and therefore seen a decline in its popularity. A political vacuum occurred during my stay in New York for three months because of my illness. There was widespread agitation for EU membership because people believed that it would pave the way for flow of funds. Then, I returned to Cyprus although I had not fully recovered. I first summoned the leaders of the political parties, who were urging me to step down immediately. I said: "You want me to sign Annan's document or to resign. Is there anything in the plan that you think should be changed? If there is, please give me a document containing your demands." They gave me a document. I asked: "You want so many revisions as the Chamber of Commerce, political parties and individuals. Do not you think that they should be negotiated?" They responded: "You should conduct the negotiations until the last minute, but sign the document as it is if you cannot persuade them to accept those revisions." I then asked them whether they have made that view public. They replied that they would not insist on their demands for revisions to the plan. When I asked them why they did not want to insist, they said: "In order to join the EU and become rich without Turkey."

    They cut off their dialogue with me after that point. They regularly hold meetings with the Greek Cypriot leaders without informing us. I am now negotiating the agreement I have concluded with Turkey in my capacity as the chief negotiator based on the mandate granted to me by the "National Assembly". More importantly, they have told de Soto that he should not deal with me as I had no influence on the public. Encouraged by the initial reactions from Turkey, they conducted separate negotiations with de Soto, telling him that I would soon resign as neither Turkey wanted me. They deceived him by saying that it was a high possibility. We should, however, continue to follow our own policy. I hope that the opposition will poll between 25 to 30 percent while the other group will receive 60 to 65 percent of the votes in the forthcoming "election". This second camp, which advocates our opinions, has a certain handicap in that it is divided into three or four groups. Fortunately, the other side is also divided into three to four parties. We will all see how the "election" will turn out.

    [02] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister in statements before leaving for Austria

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television in (01.09.03) broadcast live the statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at Ankara Esenboga Airport before his departure on an official visit to Austria.

    Following are his replies to questions on Cyprus:

    Question: Rauf Denktas, has said that if he loses the elections he will take the support of the people of Anatolia behind him and go on with his struggle.

    Answer: I saw that in the papers today. The people of Anatolia are already behind Mr Denktas and behind the Cyprus cause. It is the people of Cyprus that Mr Denktas must take behind. As I said, the people of Anatolia are already behind him and behind the Cyprus cause. We are all behind the Cyprus cause. The Cyprus cause is not being neglected in any way.

    Question: Do you think Europe believes that the "elections" in the "TRNC" will not be fair or democratic?

    Answer: We are proud of the fact that the "TRNC" has a democratic structure. It has a pluralistic and parliamentarian system. There are various parties there. In other words, everything is very open and transparent in that state system. There is no need for such concern. There will surely be honest elections. Honest elections will be conducted this time just as honest elections were held in the past. Nobody has the right to create unnecessary concern and to cast a shadow over the "elections". Mr Denktas is the elected "president" of the "TRNC". He was elected with the votes of the people. There is a democratic structure there.

    Question: According to reports coming from Iraq, the various tribes do not want to see the Turkish troops there. Are we going to make any suggestions to the United States about this issue? What kind of a solution will be reached?

    Answer: Of course we make various suggestions to the United States during our talks. In this respect, we attach great importance to the talks at the United Nations. The United States and Britain are actively making efforts at the United Nations at the moment. We hope that these efforts will prove to be meaningful.

    [03] Erel says that Denktas no longer hopes for the support of the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.09.03) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Solution and EU Party (SEUP), said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has given up hoping for the support of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Talking at a press conference and commenting on Mr Denktas' statement to Turkish mainland HURRIYET newspaper that in case he loses the December "elections" he will get the support of Turkey and the people of Anatolia and continue his struggle, Mr Erel said:

    "Does Mr Denktas not know that the non-solution (in Cyprus) has cost a lot both to us and to the people of Turkey? It has led the Republic of Turkey into very serious crisis and lost millions of dollars. After the Copenhagen Summit Turkey had entered into economic crisis once more. The reason for this was the negative stance of Denktas at the Summit and his position of not signing an agreement".

    [04] Talat says that Denktas threatens the Turkish government

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.09.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), said yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has actually threatened the government of Turkey with his statement that in case he loses the December "elections" he will get the support of the people of Anatolia and continue his struggle.

    In a written statement issued yesterday Mr Talat said that these words are "the admission that Denktas has totally been cut off from the Turkish Cypriots". Talat continued:

    "The people of Anatolia support the policy aiming at solving the Cyprus problem, which will remove the most important obstacle from Turkey's course towards the EU. The emperor of the non-solution has now been abandoned not only in Cyprus but in Anatolia as well. Ignoring the fact that the 70 % of the people of Anatolia wants the EU, which is a peace, prosperity, security and modernization project, continues his shameful behaviour and declares that his own people have been 'sold out'.".

    [05] The Nationalist Justice Party and the Patriotic Unity Movement face to face in the European Court of Human Rights

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (02.09.03) reports that Mr Ali Riza Gorgun, lawyer and chairman of the Nationalist Justice Party (NJP), will be lawyer in the appeal of the Patriotic Unity Movement (PUM) to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). PUM has appealed to the ECHR against Turkey for transferring settlers to the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus to prevent the Turkish Cypriot community from expressing its free will.

    Speaking during a press conference in occupied Nicosia yesterday, Mr Gorgun criticized the PUM's appeal to the ECHR. He also criticized the other Turkish Cypriot political Parties for not taking sides. He alleged that his Party "which wants to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots from those who want to take from their hands the right to elect and to be elected", will go to Strasburg to defend this case in the court. Mr Gorgun alleged that he represents five thousand persons.

    He compared the settlers brought to Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974 to the conquerors of Cyprus in 1571 and alleged that there is no difference between those who came to Cyprus in 1571, those who came after 1974 and those who were born in the island. He also alleged that the EU laws do not apply in the northern part of Cyprus, and therefore, the ECHR's verdicts do not apply in the occupied areas.

    Mr Gorgun went to Ankara yesterday in order to prepare for the trial and he will subsequently go to Strasburg. The paper concludes that in the trial Mr Gorgun might be assisted by a German and a French lawyer.

    /SK


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