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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-20

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.220/03 20.11.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Extract on Cyprus from a speech by Erdogan to his partyīs group meeting.
  • [02] Statements by Mr Thomas Weston in Ankara.
  • [03] Erdogan to announce measures for occupied Cyprus after the December ^”elections^‘.
  • [04] Turkish general interferes into the 14 December ^”elections^‘.
  • [05] Election campaign buses from Erdogan to Eroglu.
  • [06] The Patriotic Unity Movement calls on the parties of the opposition to withdraw from the ^”elections^‘.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Commentary in RADIKAL assesses the visit of the Turkish Deputy Chief of the General Staff in Washington and Westonīs visit to Ankara.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Extract on Cyprus from a speech by Erdogan to his partyīs group meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.11.03) reported from Ankara that that Turkish Prime Minister and leader of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking at the group meeting of his party, he gave information about his visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus on November 15.

    Prime Minister Erdogan said: ''After celebrating the 80th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, we attended ceremonies to mark the 20th anniversary of the `TRNCī. It was very meaningful in terms of showing the importance of historical ties and friendly relations between Turkey and `TRNCī.''

    He also said that they had a chance to repeat that they would be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots during their cause of existence and that during his visit they said that non-solution was not a solution. Erdogan added that they wanted a solution and noted that the solution in Cyprus should be fair and lasting. Erdogan went on: ''It should be a solution which recognizes bi-zonality and equality between two sides. The path for reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus is to accept that the issue has two sides.''

    Stating that Turkey considered the Cyprus problem as a national cause, Erdogan said: ''Everyone should know that there is also another fact -- that Turkey's accession to the EU is also a goal that we have to reach. Both issues should be taken up within their own reality and sensitivity. Those issues should not be connected with each other. Supporting the cause of existence of the Turkish Cypriots and taking steps for Turkey's target to join the EU are not contradictory factors.''

    Erdogan concluded: ''I would like to say once again that the international public opinion's showing sensitivity to the issue will help both the settlement of a fair peace in Cyprus and also Turkey's target to join the EU.''

    [02] Statements by Mr Thomas Weston in Ankara

    Istanbul NTV television (19.11.03) broadcast that Mr Thomas Weston, US State Department's special Cyprus coordinator, has ended his talks in Ankara. During his talks, he said that the acceptance of the Annan plan as a framework is essential for the solution of the Cyprus problem. He said: It looks like the Cyprus issue will be an obstacle for Turkey's membership in the EU. Furthermore, it is in the interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to solve the problem.

    Our correspondent has learned that during his talks, Weston charged that as cited in the EU progress report, the Cyprus problem constitutes an obstacle for Turkey's accession to the EU. That is why, Weston said, the United States wants the problem solved, because we want Turkey to join the EU.

    For this purpose the Annan plan must be accepted as a framework, Weston said, adding: Once this is done, the United Nations which withdrew from its role as mediator will resume its role. After that, the Turkish Cypriots can draw up a list of the changes it wants made in the Annan plan and submit it to a referendum.

    Commenting on the 14 December so-called elections, Weston said that it is difficult to guess the outcome given the narrow electorate.

    [03] Erdogan to announce measures for occupied Cyprus after the December ^”elections^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET NORTH CYPRUS newspaper (20.11.03) reports that Turkey^“s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country would announce measures regarding the occupied part of Cyprus after the so-called 14 December elections.

    In statements to Turkish mainland TV8 television, Mr Erdogan argued that his country had rights in Cyprus, deriving from international agreements and added that it was not possible to make compromises from these rights.

    Mr Erdogan alleged that his country showed a positive approach on the Cyprus problem until now and that they would continue to show the same approach.

    Referring to the measures Turkey is about to announce for occupied Cyprus, Mr Erdogan said that they were projects regarding water and energy. Their aim, according to the Turkish Prime Minister, was to overcome the problems which the illegal regime faces in these fields and turn occupied Cyprus into ^”a serious investment area^‘.

    Mr Erdogan claimed that the great majority of the Turkish Cypriots consider Turkey to be their Motherland. There are some people who do not believe in this, he continued, but this will not change the reality.

    Mr Erdogan alleged that they wanted a just and permanent solution in Cyprus and noted that within the period between 14 December 2003 and 1 May 2004 ^”special efforts should be exerted^‘. The Turkish Prime Minister argued that both sides should exert efforts and make sacrifices in order to reach a result.

    [04] Turkish general interferes into the 14 December ^”elections^‘

    Under the title ^”Is the General a side in the elections?^‘ Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (20.11.03) reports that the commander of the 28th army division visited yesterday occupied Diorios village escorted by 15-20 officers. The paper writes that the General gathered the villagers at the square and delivered a speech regarding the history of Turkey and Greece.

    The General told them that Greeks and Turks could not live together and stressed the importance of the land, noting that without the land people mean nothing. The general argued also that the Turkish army is the security of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [05] Election campaign buses from Erdogan to Eroglu

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (20.11.03) reports in its front and 6th pages that two minibuses arrived at occupied Famagusta port onboard the ship ^”Ozder Bey^‘ yesterday as a gift to the National Unity Party (NUP) of Mr Dervis Eroglu from the Justice and Development Party, of the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Erdogan.

    According to AFRIKA, in the documents presented at the port, owner of the one minibus is the Justice and Development Party and its plate number is ^”42 AK PARTI 002^‘ while the second was sent by an individual whose identity the paper could not find out.

    Both minibuses were delivered to the NUP after being cleared with only the signature of the ^”Director of Customs^‘, writes AFRIKA and asks: ^”What do those who continue to present Erdogan being on the side of the opposition say on this we could not know^Ň why did Mr Erodgan, who has sent mini-buses to the NUP, not sent minibuses to the other parties as well? Where has his saying `I am keeping equal distance from all the partiesī gone? Mr Erdogan, who openly declares being on the side of Denktas lately, can no longer hide his material support. In addition to the minibuses he is sending other things^‘.

    The paper goes on saying that this news might be a surprise to some, but for its readers it should not, because AFRIKA has been consistently supporting that Erdogan would never abandon Denktas for the sake of the opposition, and concludes:

    ^”The opposition parties make the public hope for Erodganīs help to our ranks. For this reason they are hiding from the public Erdoganīs statements in favour of the status quo and always puts forth his phrase `non-solution is not a solutionī. We think that they will also ignore the news about the minibuses^‘.

    [06] The Patriotic Unity Movement calls on the parties of the opposition to withdraw from the ^”elections^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (20.11.03) reports that the Patriotic Unity Movement (PUM) called on the parties of the opposition not to participate in the forthcoming December ^”elections^‘ of the pseudostate.

    As the paper writes PUM called again on the parties of the opposition to withdraw from the pseudoelections because, as it supports, the political and military administration of the Turkish Republic interfere in the ^”elections^‘. The Party also stated that the so-called elections are against the international law, they are shady and their results are predictable.

    The party also stated that as long as there is no solution to the Cyprus problem whichever elections have no meaning and proposed to the parties not to take part in those ^”meaningless elections^‘.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Commentary in RADIKAL assesses the visit of the Turkish Deputy Chief of the General Staff in Washington and Westonīs visit to Ankara

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (19.11.03) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Washington urges Turkey to join EU":

    ^”The Deputy Chief of the General Staff General Ilker Basbug has been meeting with US officials in the United States for the past two days to discuss the course of Turkish-US military relations in the wake of the Iraq crisis. Basbug's appointment list includes political officials apart from his host, Vice-Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy State Secretary Richard Armitage, and Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley are also on the list.

    The High-level Defense Group meetings in which General Basbug is participating are actually a routine event held annually. Until this year, the agenda of these meetings has consisted of the measures needed to develop the military relations between Turkey and the United States, which form the backbone of Turkish-US relations, defense purchases, and the possibilities of cooperation in defense industry.

    Yet, military relations appear to be unlikely to continue playing their former role in Turkish-US relations in the wake of the Iraq crisis. This seems to be one of the impressions that General Basbug will be conveying to Chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok in Ankara, where he is scheduled to return before the National Security Council meeting on Friday, 21 November.

    The second impression or message will be a much more powerful and much more strategic one.

    The United States is once again issuing the following message to Turkey and, via Basbug's visit, to the Turkish Armed Forces: "The United States wants to see Turkey become a member of the European Union. EU membership will be the natural result of the process of Turkey's integration with the West, which began with its accession to NATO. If Turkey does whatever falls on it as soon as possible to qualify for EU membership, it will be taking the best step toward improving Turkish-US relations."

    In other words, the United States is signaling Turkey to join the European Union.

    The year 2004 will be a very crucial one from the standpoint of Turkey's accession to the European Union. Turkey wants to get a date for negotiations with the European Union by the end of this year. Starting to implement the Copenhagen Political Criteria is sufficient to make Turkey eligible to obtain a date from the European Union. Yet in actual fact, it seems difficult for Turkey to secure a date without taking new steps toward solving the Cyprus issue. The opposite is also true: It seems unlikely that Turkey will take any steps concerning Cyprus without receiving a signal from the European Union that it will be given a date for membership negotiations.

    The United States wants this deadlock to be broken. Yet it no longer maintains a passive stance on this issue as it used to. On the contrary, it maintains an active stance and wants Turkey to realize that Washington has the same position as the European Union on this issue.

    Interestingly enough, while General Basbug was attending meetings in Washington and Williamsburg, US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston came to Ankara less than a month after his previous visit, and at a time when nothing new had happened since. It is known that the Foreign Ministry thought Weston's visit at this time meaningless and reacted accordingly. It is also known that Weston could not meet with General Staff officials either during his previous or his latest visit. The General Staff wants the United States to discuss the Cyprus issue with the Foreign Ministry. We could conclude from this that the General Staff does not want to discuss Cyprus with the United States. This deduction might be left unsupported, however, when we consider that the Cyprus issue was actually touched on during General Basbug's meetings in the United States. The timing of Weston's visit - the fact that it took place while Basbug was in the United States - appears to be the real message.

    It is significant that the same day (that is, yesterday) saw US State Secretary Colin Powell meet with the 25 EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels to discuss the future of Iraq and the Middle East. There are no irreconcilable differences between the United States and the European Union of the sort on which certain circles in Turkey are trying to build theories. There is on the contrary a search for cooperation. It is probably needless to say that the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister attended this meeting.

    There is a conclusion we could draw from these developments. The United States is telling Turkey that if it wants to integrate with the West, it should do so by relying on its political and economic strength rather than on its military power as it did in the past and that the way to do it is to join the European Union. The United States wants particularly the Turkish military to realize this. Cyprus has also become a matter of priority for the United States. Washington also wants this to be understood.

    If, by the end of 2004, Turkey has failed to take any steps concerning Cyprus and to obtain a date for membership negotiations, those favoring retrogression in domestic politics will be hard put to retain the United States' support. The price of such support could only be complete capitulation to the United States.^‘


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