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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-09-17

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.179/04 17.09.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey is using the Turkomans as a strategic minority in the same way as in Cyprus. Northern Iraq and Cyprus in a National Security Council Report
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot bus and taxi drivers members of KAR-IS trade union want to carry passengers to the free areas of Cyprus without applying the EU laws
  • [03] Gul to have several meetings during his visit to New York where he will participate in the 59th UN General Assembly - He will meet with Colin Powel and Serdar Denktas
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [04] Mehmet Ali Birand argues that Turkey was warned that members of the so-called Compensations Committee occupying stolen Greek Cypriot properties could cause problems in the ECHR

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey is using the Turkomans as a strategic minority in the same way as in Cyprus. Northern Iraq and Cyprus in a National Security Council Report

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (16.09.04) broadcast that according to the National Security Council [NSC] Secretariat General, the Kurdish groups in north Iraq are trying to change the ethnic composition of Kirkuk, therefore, a clash could erupt in the region. A report prepared by the NSC Secretariat General noted that the Foreign Ministry also issued a report on the Kurds' efforts to change the demographic structure of Kirkuk. The report covers Cyprus as well.

    The CNN Turk reportage by Kemal Yurteri is as follows: "The National Security Bulletin published bimonthly by the NSC Secretariat General contains important assertions. The section of the report addressing the developments in Iraq studies in detail the Kurdish groups' policy vis--vis Kirkuk, and asserts: The Kurds are trying to change the demographic structure of Kirkuk.

    The NSC Secretariat General makes the following assertions: The Kurds are trying to change the demographic structure of Kirkuk in their favor. This situation raises the concern that even if Kirkuk is excluded from a possible future Kurdish federation, it will de facto fall under the administration of the Kurds. Studies conducted by the Foreign Ministry on 6-11 July 2001 reveal that the systematic efforts to change the demographic structure of Kirkuk have reached worrisome proportions. It is believed that the continuation of this situation could lead to tension and confrontation in the coming period.

    The NSC report also states that as long as the internal security problem in Iraq persists and until the Iraqi army reaches an adequate level, it will be difficult to expect the United States or the interim Iraqi administration to undertake concrete steps with regard to the PKK.

    The NSC bulletin also probes the Cyprus issue, declaring that the Greek Cypriots will use the EU trump card until December. The report states the following in this connection: The Greek Cypriot administration of south Cyprus and Greece are trying to neutralize the statute enabling the Turkish Cypriots to conduct trade, which the EU is currently working on. It is estimated that, to this end, the proposal to open the Famagusta Port for Turkish and Greek Cypriot use under the supervision of the EU Commission and to return Varosha to the Greek Cypriots will be used by the Greek Cypriots as a pressure tool in the period ahead.

    The NSC report also states that the Greek Cypriot Administration could try to pressure Turkey before December on the basis of its veto right in the EU with the aim of extracting more advantages from the Annan Plan".

    [02] Turkish Cypriot bus and taxi drivers members of KAR-IS trade union want to carry passengers to the free areas of Cyprus without applying the EU laws

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.09.04) reports that Turkish Cypriot bus and taxi drivers, members of KAR-IS trade union, organized yesterday a protest demonstration at the barricades of Agios Dhometios and Strovilia demanding to be given permission to carry passengers with their cars to the free areas of Cyprus.

    The chairman of KAR-IS, Aziz Gece told the reporters that their protest was not against their Greek Cypriot colleagues or the ordinary Greek Cypriots and argued that the conditions set by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus could not be accepted. Mr Gece said that they would take more dynamic measures in case their protest had no results.

    Mr Gece noted that the policewoman who was in charge at the Greek Cypriot check point told him that she could give him temporary permission for his bus so that he could take it to technical control as in all EU countries and after passing successfully from the control he could get his professional license. Mr Gece alleged that with the licenses given to them by the occupation regime they could travel all over Europe and carry passengers.

    [03] Gul to have several meetings during his visit to New York where he will participate in the 59th UN General Assembly - He will meet with Colin Powel and Serdar Denktas

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.09.04) reports that Mr Abdullah Gul, the Foreign Minister of Turkey is going to New York, USA, today in order to participate in the 59th UN General Assembly Session, which is going to be held between the 17-28 September. During his visit to New York Mr Gul is expected to have a meeting with his US counterpart Colin Powell. He will also have a meeting with Mr Serdar Denktas.

    Mr Gul will address the UN General Assembly on the 23rd of September, while he will have contacts and meetings with more that 30 of his counterparts, using this opportunity to seek support for Turkey's candidacy to the United Nations Security Council in 2009-2010. He will also meet with the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr Kofi Annan with whom he will discuss mainly the Cyprus problem, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East.

    Mr Gul will have meetings with his counterparts of Holland, China, Israel, Palestine, Greece, along with the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia. In addition he will have meetings with the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU Mr Javier Solana, and the Secretary General of the Arab Union, Mr Amr Musa.

    In addition, Mr Gul will preside over the annual Coordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Conference Organization which is going to take place in New York. He will also participate in various other meetings including the D-8 Ministers' Council meeting and he will attend the "Greater Middle East Initiative" meeting headed by Mr Colin Powell.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [04] Mehmet Ali Birand argues that Turkey was warned that members of the so-called Compensations Committee occupying stolen Greek Cypriot properties could cause problems in the ECHR

    Under the title "European Court may hurt Turkey", Turkish Daily News (17.09.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand: "If Turkey does not do something over the next weeks or months and take the necessary precautions and harmonize with international regulations, it will be in a lot of trouble.

    According to information sent by the Interior and Foreign Ministries in Ankara and the Refugee Support Association (Goc-der), we are faced with two important problems.

    The first is compensation for refugees.

    During the years when conflict with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK/Kongra-Gel) was taking place, around 4,000 villages were evacuated in the southeast because of security concerns. According to official figures, 400,000 -- unofficially one million -- people were forced out of their homes. Some of their homes were burnt down. These people lived in urban centers in tents for many years. They suffered poverty. At that time, the state, concentrating on its fight with the PKK, ignored these internal refugees.

    Diyarbakir, Mersin and even Antalya were flooded with refugees, and the problem simply got worse as time passed. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) supported these people who tried to defend their rights. They organized the refugees, initiated signature campaigns and filed cases in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the state, accusing it of ignoring the fate of these unfortunate people. The matter eventually snowballed into its current state.

    In 2002, people started saying there were 10,000 cases filed by the refugees at the European Court of Human Rights. While exact figures are not known, many expect there to be more.

    The court, to date, has never taken up any of the cases dealing with these refugees. It waited for Turkey to act on its own. The pressure on Ankara gradually increased.

    Eventually, the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) took a courageous stand on July 27, 2004, and decided to award compensation to those who were forced out of their homes.

    This decision was welcomed by almost everybody. It was to provide relief for those who had suffered and heal their wounds.

    The July 27 decision says regulations necessary to implement the compensation process would have to be passed within two months -- Sept. 27 -- and called for the establishment of compensation commissions. These commissions are set to examine the applications and calculate the amount of financial reimbursement.

    That's when the sensitive part of this process will start. The passing of a law is not important for the European Court of Human Rights. The only thing important is the establishment and the application of a proper judicial process.

    In this context, the commissions to be established after Sept. 27 are really important. If these commissions work properly, the court will turn down all of the 10,000 cases and ask them to complete the domestic judicial avenues first. If not, Turkey will have to pay billions of dollars in compensation.

    The second problem is the new Loizidou compensation claims.

    Another great threat that hangs over us is posed by the "Loizidou Cases" at the European Court of Human Rights. The 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' (TRNC) has made significant progress by approving the Annan plan and founding a special commission to assess the applications submitted by Greek Cypriots who had lost their homes.

    This way, hundreds of cases similar to that of Loizidou will be turned down by the court. It will say Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan, which was to solve the refugee issue, and note the commission set up by the 'TRNC' had produced new domestic judicial means to deal with the matter.

    The Turkish side cited this at the European Court, but despite all the warnings, it failed to implement an effective domestic judicial procedure.

    Because the president and members of the commission were living in homes formerly belonging to Greek Cypriots, and that this would affect their objectivity, they needed to be replaced. This could have caused a conflict of interest.

    This matter was ignored despite repeated warnings.

    The same commission needed to open its doors to outside scrutiny by observers and its regulations needed to be amended to make the awarding of land and homes to the applicants possible. These were not done.

    The result: The European Court of Human Rights listened to a new case and Greek Cypriot lawyers used the reasons cited above to raise objections.

    The court will reach a decision in the next few months. If it decides to take up the case, like it did with the Loizidou, Turkey will be hurt. This will allow many other such cases to be filed. Turkey will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation because Loizidou will be set as a precedent.

    The re-emergence of cases filed by Greek Cypriots that had stopped after the founding of the commission and the Annan plan will cost a lot in compensation.

    If Ankara and the 'TRNC' do not correct these mistakes in the next few weeks, or continues to ignore the matter, Turkey will be faced with a burden it cannot afford."


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