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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-06
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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.210/03 06.11.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Turkish and Turkish Cypriot reactions to Turkey's EU progress reportTurkey's TRT 2 state television (05.11.03) broadcast that a briefing on the EU progress and strategy document was held at the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday evening. The assessment made in Ankara is that the reference made to the Cyprus problem in the document does not mean that Turkish-EU relations have ended or that there will be a crisis. The report in general was assessed as a constructive and a balanced document providing the necessary encouragement.
TRT reported, inter alia, the following: ".The strategy document announced together with the EU progress report notes that a non-solution in Cyprus might constitute an obstacle to Turkey's full EU accession process. This reference was received with caution by diplomatic sources at the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry assessment is that the Cyprus issue will either directly or indirectly have an effect on whether Turkish-EU membership negotiations begin in December 2004".
Noting that the Republic of Cyprus will become a full member of the EU in May 2004 and will become one of the countries to cast a vote on Turkey's membership in December 2004, it went on and said:
"The reference made to Cyprus in the document does not mean that Turkish-EU relations will end or that there will be a crisis. This is the assessment made by the Foreign Ministry. The report in general was assessed as a constructive and a balanced document providing the necessary encouragement. It was assessed as having a just and objective approach. The criticisms levelled with regards to the implementation of human rights and the freedoms of belief and expression did not come as a surprise. These criticisms were described as a reflection of the realities. In short, the Ministry noted that the sections of the report that do not pertain to Cyprus should also be considered and that the criticisms levelled on issues other than Cyprus were just and objective. The following assessment was made: We have to navigate these two ships together in the period ahead of us".
Meanwhile Anatolia News Agency (05.11.03) reported from Ankara that the Council of Ministers said yesterday that the Regular Report on the progress towards accession of Turkey and Strategy Plan for 2003 showed that the majority of expectations from Turkey listed in the Accession Partnership Accord had been met and stressed that Turkey was determined to meet expectations and criteria.
The Council of Ministers released a statement on the progress report for Turkey and parts of strategy plan concerning Turkey. The statement said that relations between Turkey and European Union (EU) had gained a multi-dimensional structure after the 1999 Helsinki Summit and pre-accession strategy for Turkey was put into practice with all its elements. EU Commission's report for 2003 once more put forth that framework, the statement noted.
The statement added: ''We believe that the progress that our country has recorded in accession process will also be stressed in the political level in the EU summit which will convene between December 12 and 13. Turkey's views on the solution of the Cyprus issue are known by all sides. The solution of the Cyprus issue should not constitute an obligation in context of Copenhagen political criteria. Yet, Turkey wishes a fair and lasting solution in Cyprus.''
Furthermore, TRT 2 television (05.11.03) broadcast that Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, has said that the EU progress report contains declarations that appreciate the legal measures taken by the Turkish government with determination and that can be described as objective. Gul noted that the issues that should be taken up in the report are the Copenhagen political criteria and that the Cyprus issue remains outside these criteria.
According to TRT, after the EU communications meeting, Gul commented on the EU progress report as follows:
"One thing is clear. With regards to the EU, Cyprus is not part of the political criteria. Everyone is aware of this fact. The EU has always applied and will continue to apply the same criteria to the candidate countries. It is obliged to behave in the same manner towards Turkey, and this is what it will do. No doubt, we all want the solution of the Cyprus problem. We will exert great efforts to solve it especially before 1 May 2004. Conciliation is part of the EU culture. The 'TRNC' and the Greek Cypriot Republic should sit at the negotiating table under equal conditions and should exert equal efforts".
TRT television (05.11.03) broadcast also statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas on the issue. Denktas said that the reference made to Cyprus in the EU strategy document to the effect that it constitutes a serious obstacle to Turkey's EU membership has not come as a surprise. Denktas, who made a harsh statement on the issue, replied to questions by the TRT.
Denktas said that he expected the EU to include Cyprus among the criteria and claimed:
"Why are you so excited about it now? Why are you so disappointed? I do not understand that. The EU wants Turkey to withdraw from Cyprus. The Annan Plan was drawn accordingly. The EU wants to tilt the Turkish-Greek balance in favour of Greece and to realize an indirect enosis."
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.11.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party - New Forces (RTP-NF), has said that the recent progress report announced by the EU for Turkey is a new confirmation that negative developments will be caused because of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Talat noted that the reference to the Cyprus problem was something expected and argued that if the Turkish Cypriots take their place in the new world order, Turkey will proceed with its EU process without facing Cyprus as obstacle. Therefore, reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem is a duty of all of us, said Mr Talat.
"The solution of the Cyprus problem is at the same time the most important contribution to Turkey", he added.
Mr Talat said that they wished the EU to give more clear messages to Turkey.
 "The Annan Plan is a balanced and realistic approach"Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.11.03) reports that Lynn Parker, the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, has said that the only reasonable way of reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem are the negotiations on the basis of the Annan Plan.
In a statement to KIBRIS, Mr Parker said that they believed the solution to the Cyprus problem must urgently be found and noted that in the long term this would be for the benefit of Turkey, Greece and the EU.
Referring to the December so-called "elections" in the occupied areas, Mr Parker noted that they were crucial and added that the Turkish Cypriots must decide for their own future and they must be able to do this.
Mr Parker said that if a solution is not reached until May 2004, this will not be the end of the road, but it will cause some obligatory changes in the island and to Cyprus' relations with Turkey and the EU. Turkey will have some legal obligations towards Cyprus and the other EU - member countries, said Mr Parker and pointed out the necessity of the resumption of negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem in January 2004. Only in this way the necessary changes to the Annan Plan could be made, he noted by adding though that the sides should not want radical changes to the plan.
 Akinci: "No one will be forced to embark on a ship and leave"Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.11.03) reports that Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), has said that in case a solution on the basis of the Annan Plan is accepted, no one will be forced to embark on a ship and leave Cyprus.
Speaking yesterday in occupied Kyrenia, Mr Akinci said that "the supporters of the status quo are trying to deceive" the Turkish Cypriots on this issue and noted that his party do not struggle against the settlers from Turkey who had come to Cyprus many years ago and have accepted now to become a part of the solution. "Our struggle is against those who are trying to change our voters' structure by distributing the citizenship in an arbitrary manner", he added.
 Various trade unions, civil society groups and many Turkish Cypriots expressed their support to the journalists accused by the occupation regimeTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.11.03) reports that various trade unions, civil society groups and many Turkish Cypriots expressed their support to the journalists against whom the occupation regime filed charges upon a complain from the so-called Command of the Security Forces in occupied Cyprus.
Commenting on the issue, Mr Ali Erel, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTC) condemned the oppression exerted on the press and said that the policy of intimidating, will be buried on the 14th of December. Mr Sener Elcili, the chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), stated that the event is an open attack to the Turkish Cypriots who want self administration. On his part Mr Adnan Eraslan, the general secretary of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS) pointed out that those who accused the journalist tried to scared the Turkish Cypriots and silence their voice. Mr Ali Gulle the chairman of the Revolutionary Worker's Union (DEV-IS), stressed that those who oppress the journalists and the press try to stop the march of the Turkish Cypriots towards the solution and the EU. Moreover, Mr Mehmet Tosun, the chairman of the Customs Workers UNION (GUC-SEN) said that the press showed the true will of the Turkish Cypriots that is peace in Cyprus and EU accession.
In addition, the paper writes that some groups visited its headquarters and expressed in person their support to its journalists. A delegation of candidates of the Republican Turkish Party, a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS), and Mr Nuri Cevikel, the chairman of the Illegal Settlers' Association were among those who visited the offices of KIBRIS.
The paper also writes that many persons called or send emails to the paper expressing their support to the journalists and protesting about the attacks against the press.
 The Solution and EU Party accuses Rauf Denktas of taking sides in the "elections" and expresses support in favour of the Democratic PartyTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.11.03) reports that the Solution and EU Party (SEUP) accused the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas of violating the so-called election laws of the pseudostate by taking sides in favour of one party.
The SEUP complained to the "Election Commission" of occupied Nicosia district and to the "Supreme Election Board" that Mr Denktas with certain actions and statements showed support to the Democratic Party (DP) of his son Serdar Denktas. The SEUP accuses Denktas of participating in the opening of the new headquarters of DP and of showing support to this Party with statements he made on some TV shows and the papers. The SEUP stressed that with these actions Mr Denktas committed a crime and added that in order to prevent him from repeating this behaviour it made complains to the necessary boards.
Commenting on the issue Mr Denktas denied that he shows supports to his son' s party and stated that no one has to remain silence and make no statements because of the "elections".
 Survey shows that the right-wing parties are in the lead in occupied CyprusTurkish Daily News (06.11.03, internet version) reports that a survey by the prestigious Verso-Strategic Research Center (Verso-Sam) showed that the ruling National Unity Party (NUP)-Democratic Party (DP) "coalition government", which has strongly aligned itself with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas in opposing a U.N. blueprint for a Cyprus settlement, is likely to win the elections in the occupied areas with a collective 42.9 percent of the vote, while the leftist block, which has been supportive of the U.N. document, will receive only around 32.4 percent of the vote.
The paper notes, inter alia, the following: "According to the Verso-Sam survey, while the NUP is expected to come out from the Dec. 14 "elections" as the largest party with 26.2 percent of the vote, the leftist Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) front will come in second with 24.1 percent of the vote, followed by the Democratic Party (DP) with 16.7 percent and the newly established Peace and Democracy Party (PDP) with 8.3 percent. It is anticipated that the Solution and EU Party (SEUP), the Justice Party (JP) and other parties will not meet the 5 percent threshold. The SEUP is expected to receive 2.5 percent of the vote, the JP 1.5 percent and the other parties a collective 3.8 percent of the vote. According to the poll, 2.6 percent of the participants did not respond, while 9.2 percent said they were still undecided".
According to the paper these results indicate that there could be a drop of 8.3 percent from the 1998 "parliamentary elections" vote level of 34.5 percent of the NUP. Such a development would make the NUP the largest loser of the Dec. 14 "polls", but the party still appears strong enough to maintain its place as the largest party in the pseudoparliament. The DP will as well be in the losing flank of the "polls" with a decline of 3.1 percentage points from its 1998 level of 19.8 percent, adds TDN, while the RTP, in part because of its alliance with the "United Front" and in part because of the wide communal polarization on the U.N. blueprint, appears to be the grand victor with a net increase of 12.9 percentage points in its votes from its 1998 level of 11.2 percent.
The paper adds: "Responding to Verso-Sam's questions, 46.4 percent of participants said they would not vote for any party other than the party they supported, a development considered by analysts of the polling company as indicating a strong polarization in Turkish Cypriot society.
To the question, "For which party you would never think of voting?" the participants responded in such a manner that further clarified the two poles in northern Cyprus. While 22.8 percent said they would never vote for the NUP, a higher 27.2 percent said they would never vote for the RTP-UF, while 18.9 percent said they would not vote for any party but the party they supported.
Verso-Sam analysts underlined that in replying to this question the participants listed the DP and the SEUP at the bottom of the list of parties they would never vote for, with 7.3 percent and 4.5 percent respectively, and thus hinted that some vote could shift in favour of these two parties".
TDN notes that a statement from Verso-Sam said that the Verso-Sam survey was conducted in the occupied areas of Cyprus Oct. 13-19 with a total of 2,060 people "eligible to vote" through the face-to-face interview method. In conducting the poll, electoral concentration, gender, ethnicity, place of birth and income situation were taken into consideration. TDN concludes as follows:
"Accordingly, the polled group consisted of 48.2 percent of participants from Nicosia, 26.9 percent from Famagusta, 7.8 percent from Morfou, 10.4 percent from Kyrenia and 6.7 percent from the Trikomo 'electoral' districts.
A total of 55.4 percent of the participants were northern Cyprus-born, while 19.7 percent were people who have their origins in southern Cyprus; 23.2 percent were born in Turkey and 1.7 percent were people from elsewhere. A total of 68.5 percent of the participants were men, while 31.5 percent were women. A total of 10.9 of the participants were between the ages of 18 and 24, 43.2 percent were between 25 and 40, 24.6 percent were between 41 and 50 and the remaining 21.4 percent were above the age of 51.
In addition, according to Verso-Sam, the participants were selected in a manner to reflect the outcome of the 1998 'parliamentary elections'".
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 "Isn't Cyprus a condition for the EU?"Under the above title Turkish Daily News (06.11.03) publishes the following article by Ilnur Cevik:
"The day that the European Union completed accession talks and decided to accept the Greek Cypriots as full members, solving Cyprus problem became a condition for Turkey to enter the Union. If anyone thinks any other way we feel they are either ignorant of the world realities or they are simply daydreaming.
Does anyone with a bit of common sense think that Greece and/or the Greek Cypriots would favor to start talks with Turkey on full membership if they did not get what they wanted? The Greeks may not be able to push for the solution to their problems with Turkey especially in the Aegean but it is a fact that they and the Greek Cypriots will definitely demand a solution to the Cyprus problem before we get a date for accession talks.
Some people are arguing that at the EU Helsinki Summit it was clearly stipulated that the Greek Cypriots would not hamper the expansion of the EU that included taking in members like Turkey but let no one make any mistake that there was also a clear reference to potential members solving their disputes with the EU countries. Besides all this when Greece became a full member the European Community members including Germany, France, Britain and Italy gave assurances to Turkey that Athens would not be allowed to block Turkey's full membership or its dealings with the Community. Yet, this did not work at all and Greece effectively blocked EU aid to Turkey.
What people here have to remember is that when the EU leaders sit in Brussels during their December 2004 summit to decide whether or not to start accession talks with Turkey the Greek Cypriots will be one of the 25 members represented. They may not even veto the talks but abstain along with Greece that would shelve the issue of starting accession talks with Turkey. Are the Turkish Foreign Ministry and its brilliant advisors aware of this?
So if this is the case why all the reaction when the EU slips into the progress report on Turkey a remark saying "lack of a solution on Cyprus may hamper Turkey's EU aspirations"? Yes, we should not allow injustices and meet the challenges head on but what we are doing with the EU progress report is to create a storm in a teacup. Of course we have to defend out rights but we should not get caught in a controversy of this kind. If the EU omits this reference to Cyprus we are sure the gallant diplomats of the Turkish Foreign Ministry will make victory cries but will it really change the fact that if we do not solve the Cyprus issue we will not get a date for accession talks?
We have to be practical. We have to see the realities and set our plans accordingly. We have to start pondering how we will deal with the mess in Cyprus if we are to get into the EU. We have to figure out how we can deal with the Cyprus situation when the hard-line conservatives opposing a solution remain in power after the upcoming so called Turkish Cypriot elections. We have to start concentrating on the forest and not the trees or even the branches as we are doing today. "