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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-09-06

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.170/04 04-05-06.09.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat accuses the Greek Cypriots of resorting to intrigues to maintain the status quo imposed by the occupation troops.
  • [02] Statements by Gul before leaving for the Netherlands and after a luncheon at Maastricht with candidate countries. He expects the EU to legalize Turkey´s crimes in Cyprus in order to boost its image.
  • [03] The Missing Persons Committee met in the buffer zone.
  • [04] Turkish nationalists, members of the so-called "Idealist Hearth" burn effigy of Patriarch Bartholomew.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Columnist argues that the only way for the Turkish Cypriots to be saved from the isolation is to abandon the illegality and become legal.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat accuses the Greek Cypriots of resorting to intrigues to maintain the status quo imposed by the occupation troops

    Illegal BRT-1 television (05.09.04) broadcast that the so-called Prime Minister of Ankara´s regime in occupied north Cyprus, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said that the opening of occupied Famagusta is directly linked to the Cyprus problem. Talat said that demands for the return of Famagusta or the joint use of the Famagusta port are wrong alleging that the Republic of Cyprus is resorting to such intrigues just to maintain the status quo.

    In assessing the Cyprus government´s proposal for the joint use of the Famagusta port and the opening of the fenced city of Famagusta, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat said that these two issues should not be linked to the EU. Noting that demand for the return of Famagusta in exchange for the use of the Famagusta port for preferential exports is a trickery, Talat said that it is impossible to accept such a thing.

    Talat pointed out that the Cyprus problem should be solved comprehensively, there can be no question of solving the problem in a piecemeal manner. Indicating that the non-solution status quo still continues on the island, that the Turkish side wants to change this status quo, and that he is not sure if the Greek Cypriot side has a similar desire, Talat said: "The existing situation could only be changed through a comprehensive agreement, as the Annan plan had envisaged. It is wrong to assume an approach that says, return Famagusta and in exchange engage in free trade, or return the buffer zone and in exchange have direct flights to Tymbou."

    Noting that it is important that the economy of Cyprus under Turkish military control is developed and integrated with the world, Talat said that only in that way the Turkish Cypriots can gain a breathing space, feel relieved, deliver themselves from difficulties caused by isolation, and look into the future with the will to live. This is what is important and this is what we are after.

    "The opening of Famagusta is directly linked to the Cyprus problem. It is, therefore, a complete trickery to link the opening of Famagusta to the EU, to make one the precondition for the other, or demand the return of Famagusta as a precondition for the use of the Famagusta port for preferential exports", he said.

    Talat said that the real objective should be the solution of the Cyprus problem. "Such things as the return of Famagusta, territorial adjustments, and the settlement of specific number of Greek Cypriots in the north are parts of the solution", Talat said, adding that the Greek Cypriot side is formulating various formulas to hide the gaffe it has committed. Reiterating that the issue should be taken up comprehensively, Talat said that occupied Famagusta too should be regarded from that perspective.

    [02] Statements by Gul before leaving for the Netherlands and after a luncheon at Maastricht with candidate countries. He expects the EU to legalize Turkey´s crimes in Cyprus in order to boost its image

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (03.09.04) broadcast that replying to reporters' questions at Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for the Netherlands, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul said that a "joint working group" has been established to follow up the implementation of the measures taken in Iraq.

    Recalling that many Turkish firms are operating in every region of Iraq, Gul noted the difficulty of supervising everything given the atmosphere of chaos reigning in Iraq.

    Stressing that an important meeting on Turkish citizens in Iraq was held at the Foreign Ministry on 2 September, Gul said: "There are various reasons behind the incidents of kidnapping in Iraq. We are making an in-depth assessment of these reasons. We are trying to implement the necessary measures. We will take deterrent measures in a bid to prevent such incidents."

    Gul also said that mainly the Cyprus issue will be discussed at the bilateral meetings he will be holding.

    Noting that the issue of "adultery being considered as a crime" is not on the agenda of the meetings he will be holding in the Netherlands, Gul said: "A unity of views has not yet been reached with regards to the amendment to be made to the Turkish Penal Code [TCK] on the issue of adultery. This issue concerns the Justice Ministry. The justice minister is, anyway, conducting work on this issue. Every country has its own characteristics. While this law is being prepared, however, an amendment will be made after viewing the examples in modern countries and after taking our sensitivities into consideration".

    Reporting on Gul´s statements, Turkish Daily News (04.09.04) wrote the following:

    "Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul dismissed yesterday foreign media reports that some Chechen rebel leaders, including Aslan Mashadov, was in Turkey as untrue.

    "Russian authorities, too, know that this is not the case," Gul told reporters after being asked to comment on British media reports that some of the top Chechen rebels, blamed for a series of recent attacks inside Russia and most recently on a hostage-taking in a school in southern Russia.

    Russian commandos stormed the school in the city of Beslan in North Ossetia where hundreds of school children and others were held hostage for three days. The hostage crisis came just a day after a suspected Chechen suicide bomber blew herself up outside a Moscow subway station, killing nine people. Just over a week before that 90 people died in two plane crashes suspected to have been blown up by suicide bombers.

    Gul said there was no question that was formally passed to the Turkish side by Russian officials to Ankara on the reported presence of Chechen rebels in Turkey.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin postponed a visit to Turkey scheduled to start on Thursday amid the tense standoff in the North Ossetia school. Asked to comment on speculations that hostage-taking was part of an effort to get Putin's visit to Turkey called off, Gul said Russia had been facing such terrorist incidents for a long time.

    "I don't know if it would be proper to exclusively link it -- the hostage-taking, to the visit. But I cannot know for sure," he said.

    The foreign minister also condemned the raid in the school. "Terrorism aimed at innocent people is utterly wrong," he said.

    Subtitle: Ankara investigates why Turks attacked in Iraq

    Responding to a question on attacks on Turkish workers in Iraq, Gul said the government was in intense effort to resolve the issue but complained some Turkish nationals failed to pay attention to official warnings on security.

    Three Turkish drivers were found killed this week on a roadside near Baghdad, becoming apparently the latest victims of violence. A number of Turkish drivers have been killed in attacks in different parts of Iraq and one worker was executed by militants for aiding U.S. forces in Iraq.

    Gul said Turkey felt reasons behind attacks on Turks should be investigated, suggesting that there were factors other than the overall security situation in the country to be blamed for attacks on Turks.

    "Turkey is a friend of the Iraqi people. Its attitude during the war has proved that," Gul said and added: "Reasons behind attacks against Turks, at a time when Turkey enjoys an unprecedented sympathy in the Middle East, should be investigated and we are investigating them."

    "We are in Iraq to help, to meet humanitarian needs and serve. If such attacks are still there despite this, then they need a thorough analysis," he said.

    Subtitle: Kerry's 'Armenian genocide' remarks

    Asked to comment on U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry's reported pledges that he would recognize the alleged genocide against Armenians at the beginning of the last century, a charge categorically rejected by Turkey, Gul said the issue was highly sensitive for Turkey.

    "But there have been such statements in the United States in previous races for elections," he said, apparently playing down Kerry's remarks.

    Gul was speaking at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure for an unofficial, "Gymnich" type gathering of European Union foreign ministers in the Netherlands.

    Gul will attend the second day of talks which started yesterday. He said he would hold bilateral talks with his EU counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting and added that the EU's proposed measures to help end international isolation of Turkish Cypriots would be his main concern at the talks."

    Moreover, Ankara TRT 2 Television (04.09.04) broadcast that following the EU foreign ministers´ informal meeting in Maastricht, Netherlands, Mr Gul attended the EU foreign ministers' working luncheon with the candidate countries. He also met with the Greek and German foreign ministers.

    In reply to a question, Gul stressed that the article on adultery was not raised at the meeting. He reacted to the debates on the issue as follows:

    "I think it is very wrong to view the matter in this way. Blowing it out of proportion in this way is very unfair. It is very unfair to Turkey. Everyone is free to voice his or her opinion but nobody has the right to dictate his or her views in Turkey. The Turkish Grand National Assembly is discussing these issues openly. Other countries, too, have their own differing views of justice in certain respects, they have their own different values," he said.

    On the Cyprus issue, Gul said: "The EU must consider its own prestige. It will not honor those who do not heed what it says. I expect the Union to reach a decision that will boost its prestige."

    [03] The Missing Persons Committee met in the buffer zone

    Illegal BRT-1 television (03.09.04) broadcast that the Missing Persons Committee convened again today at the Ledra Palace Hotel, which is under UN Control.

    The amendment of the rules related to the procedure the committee will follow was the most important item on the meeting's agenda. It has been reported that the objective of the committee is to have the research that was postponed for various reasons in the past resumed with a view to finalizing the files on the missing persons.

    [04] Turkish nationalists, members of the so-called "Idealist Hearth" burn effigy of Patriarch Bartholomew

    Turkish NTV television (05.09.04) broadcast that the Turkish police intervened when a group of members of the so-called "Idealist Hearth" tried yesterday to protest Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul.

    "There were skirmishes between the group that hurled stones at the police and the security forces", noted NTV adding that "some 1,000 persons gathered in front of the Fener Patriarchate and protested the work being conducted by the Patriarchate in Istanbul and the purchase of Turkish land by foreigners".

    After reading a press statement, the demonstrators hung an effigy of Patriarch Bartholomew on a tree and then set it on fire, said NTV pointing out that police did not allow the demonstrators to march to the Patriarchate.

    According to the above-mentioned TV channel, some demonstrators hurled stones at the police upon which there was a skirmish and police responded by using pepper gas but the demonstrators continued to hurl stones and threw the pepper gas bombs back at the police.

    Some of the demonstrators stopped passing cars, got on the top of them, and damaged both the cars and the surroundings, concluded NTV.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish HURRIYET newspaper (06.09.04) the chairman of the "Hearth" in Istanbul, Yuksel Kaleci alleged during the protest the following: "The Fener Patriarchate is after a very big trick. The aim they want to achieve is become a separate state like the Vatican". HURRIYET reports that the number of the participants in the protest was 1500 persons.

    Furthermore, according to semi-official Anatolia news agency (05.09.04), the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has condemned the demonstration by a group of Turkish nationalists.

    The Patriarchate issued a written statement, expressing great sorrow over the incidents and said: "The incidents here today were carried out with the instigation of circles trying to block Turkey's path to the EU. The incidents could have become grave but the security forces intervened in a timely and determined manner. We condemn such meaningless acts of violence. We stress once again that we believe in our country's EU membership and that as always, we continue to support this membership."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Columnist argues that the only way for the Turkish Cypriots to be saved from the isolation is to abandon the illegality and become legal

    Under the title "It is a shame", Mehmet Levent writes the following in his daily column "The voice of silence" in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05.09.04):

    "While every single day some heads shout 'keep your promises, lift the isolations', the day before Talat admitted something very important that will keep all these mouths shut. 'No concrete promise has been given to us', he said. That is, the West undertook no commitment and gave no promise saying that it would do this or that in case we said yes in the referendum. In spite of this, we talk as if there is such a promise! 'Keep your promises, lift the isolation' we say!!! Brother, no promise was given and no commitment was undertaken, then to which promise do you refer? 0Does this mean unjustly accusing these men of lying? Furthermore, you are continuing the same old story!

    Yes, we understood that we might have some expectations from the international community because we said yes to the solution and peace and because the Greek Cypriots said no. We might consider these expectations just. However, we do not have the slightest right to accuse the international community of lying by saying that 'you have promised us, keep your promise'.

    I had evaluated the fact that Talat admitted this reality, even late, as an appropriate behaviour. However, I see that he began the same old story making a 180 degree turn as if he regretted the statement he made yesterday. 'The Turkish Cypriots kept their promise, now is the west's turn to keep its promise', he said!!!

    We are on purpose putting pressure on them to keep a promise that they never gave! The expression 'keep your promise' means many things, from accusing them of lying to insulting them.

    The realization of the will of or people for peace and solution has been prevented with the no vote of the Greek Cypriots. Within this framework having some expectations from the international community could be understandable to an extend. However, calling on them every now and then, to keep a promise that they never gave, is not in harmony with the political ethics.

    Let us say our expectations, but not with this argument. Although they do not say to our face that 'we did not give you such a promise', this is a shame.

    As Talat said, before lifting the isolations there is a legal framework which arises from the Republic of Cyprus and there are some legal obstacles which derive from this legal framework. Lifting these legal obstacles and changing this legal framework does not seem possible. In that case the only thing to be done is trying to enter into this legal framework and demanding this. That is to be saved from the illegality and become legal".

    /SK


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