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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-01-28

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.19/05 28.01.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu accuses the Republican Turkish Party of changing its policy and of becoming in favour of the "motherland" Turkey, which in the past the party did not accept
  • [02] Resignations at the "trial" of the suspects for the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family
  • [03] Erdogan: "Sensitivities on the Cyprus problem to continue in future"
  • [04] The Speaker of the TGNA alleges that it is unfair for the Greek Cypriots to criticize the presence of the Turkish army in their country
  • [05] Akinci had contacts with the Belgian Ambassador on the direct trade and the financial aid regulations
  • [06] 93 percent of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline project has been completed
  • [07] Rauf Denktas celebrated his 81st birthday
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist describes General Buyukkanit's statements on Cyprus as a message of the Turkish army to Prime Minister Erdogan
  • [09] Mehmet Ali Birand: "Let's give up the casus belli threat"

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu accuses the Republican Turkish Party of changing its policy and of becoming in favour of the "motherland" Turkey, which in the past the party did not accept

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (28.01.05) reports that Mr Dervis Eroglu the Chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP) accused the Republican Turkish Party (RTP)of Mehmet Ali Talat for changing its policy recently due to the political developments and in order to get more votes for the forthcoming "elections" of the 20 February 2005.

    Mr Eroglu made these statements as regards this issue during a meeting in occupied Lefkosia where the NUP introduced its "candidates" for the "elections" to the public.

    Mr Eroglu stated that the RTP took an oath to eliminate the "TRNC" since the day it was established and that it complained to the EU saying that the settlers who came from Turkey changed the democratic structure of the pseudostate. He also added that the RTP was disturbed by the presence of the Turkish army in northern Cyprus and that it did not recognise in Turkey the motherland.

    However, as Eroglu stated, the members of the RTP have changed now and are presented as the number one supporters of the motherland. "They even visited Hala Sultan Tekke trying to get votes from our Muslim brothers. They do things that they have not done during their entire life", said Eroglu.

    In addition Mr Eroglu stated that unlike RTP which gave promises to Europe and Cyprus, his Party gave a promise to the "people to live in these lands, freely, with prosperity and security".

    [02] Resignations at the "trial" of the suspects for the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family

    Under the front page title "Interpol wants them, the TRNC does not give them", Turkish Cypriot daily AFIKA newspaper (28.01.05) reports that both the "judge" and the lawyer in the case of the suspects for the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family have resigned.

    The paper notes that the new lawyer of the four suspects Kemal Aktay said yesterday that politicians exert pressures on the "court" and that the former lawyer of his clients, Mustafa Bulent Asena has resigned for this reason.

    Sener Levent, AFRIKA's editor-in-chief, writes in his daily column that Tanju Oncu, the "judge" who had been responsible for the case resigned yesterday and Peri Hakki has been appointed in his place. Mr Levent says that no statements were made on the issue.

    The paper notes that in spite of the fact that the "police" of the occupation regime has no other evidence than a car of BMW brand, the "court" ordered yesterday that the suspects should remain under custody for five more days.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.01.05) reports that the "police" announced that they were looking for two more suspects for the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family.

    "Chief inspector" Hasan Esenboga who is conducting the investigation of the issue said that Interpol had been informed regarding the names of the wanted persons, but there was no answer yet.

    According to KIBRIS the name of the one of the suspects wanted by the "police" is Ali Faryali. The "police", though, have not confirmed the information.

    [03] Erdogan: "Sensitivities on the Cyprus problem to continue in future"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (28/01/05) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey's sensitivity with regard to the Cyprus problem will continue in the future as well. Prior to his departure to Davos, Erdogan issued the following statement on the Cyprus issue.

    "The sensitivities we had on the Cyprus issue until now will continue in the same manner in the future as well. As you know, we did not make any concessions on these sensitivities prior to 17 December. In the same way as we have said everything necessary in the past, we will continue to do so in the future as well. We seek nothing but what is just and fair both for our country and the 'TRNC'. As you know, we have this saying that whatever is written on the sticker will be. Nothing less, nothing more."

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (27/01/05) reports from Davos that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that a collective platform must be established in order to fight against terrorism.

    During his visit to Davos, Mr Erdogan replied to a question from a journalist asking Erdogan what kind of a message he would like to give to world leaders. Erdogan said: "There is need for establishment of a collective platform to end terrorism."

    "A new stance must be determined on the basis of recent developments in Iraq. If we want to view the 21st century as the century of cooperation, we have to develop a collective understanding," said Erdogan.

    Erdogan remarked that he would not meet British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Davos.

    "Erdogan is expected to meet his Ukrainian, German, Pakistani and Egyptian counterparts. He will also meet the Deputy Prime Minister of Israel," said Turkish sources.

    Istanbul NTV (28/01/05) broadcast that the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for Ground Forces Commander Yasar Buyukkanit's statement that Turkey will not withdraw troops from Cyprus before the conclusion of an agreement. Noting that Buyukkanit's statement does not constitute a new evaluation of the situation, Erdogan said that at present there is no circumstance requiring troop withdrawal, something that cannot be said for the counterparts of Turkey, which so far has taken numerous steps in Cyprus.

    Stating that after his visit to Southeast Asia he would hold a meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Erdogan added: "Our position is already clear. Annan should test the south Cyprus during this period. We will never agree to any imposition".

    Erdogan also said that EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn's statement that the negotiations [with Turkey] will start on 3 October is in keeping with the expectations and added: "There will be no problem if we make a decision as regards the Ankara Agreement by then".

    [04] The Speaker of the TGNA alleges that it is unfair for the Greek Cypriots to criticize the presence of the Turkish army in their country

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (28/01/05) reports that the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Mr Bulent Arinc is in Rome as an official guest of his Italian counterpart Pier Ferdinando Casini.

    Mr Arinc, who took part in the programme "Next" of the Italian state television RAI, commenting on the Cyprus issue said: "The reason that the Cyprus problem could not be solved is the Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriots proved that they support solution by saying 'yes' to the Annan plan. At today's stage, a project must be done for finding a status that will safeguard a just and a lasting peace for both parties, whether with the Annan plan or with another plan."

    Mr Arinc went on: "It is unfair that the Greek Cypriots, who refused the solution of the problem by saying 'no' to the Annan plan, criticize the presence of the Turkish army on the island."

    [05] Akinci had contacts with the Belgian Ambassador on the direct trade and the financial aid regulations

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (28/01/05) reports that the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM), Mr Mustafa Akinci, met yesterday with the Belgian Ambassador in Cyprus, Ms Collette Taquet, and the Director of the North East Europe Desk of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Mr Alexis Brouhns and they exchanged views on the direct trade issue and the financial aid regulation.

    According to a press statement released by the press office of the PDM, Mr Akinci said that he got the impression that at this level neither the financial aid regulation nor the direct trade issue, which are the main demand of the Turkish Cypriots, would be approved as a package or separately.

    [06] 93 percent of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline project has been completed

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27/01/05) reports that 93 percent of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) crude oil pipeline project has been completed as of January 9th, 2005, said authorities.

    The project aims to unlock a vast store of energy from the Caspian Sea by providing a new crude oil pipeline from Azerbaijan, through Georgia, to Turkey for onward delivery to world markets.

    Traversing 1,760 km of terrain, the BTC pipeline will be able to transport up to one million barrels of crude oil per day from a cluster of discoveries in the Caspian Sea. 1,076 km of the pipeline will be on Turkish territory.

    By creating the first direct pipeline link between the landlocked Caspian Sea and the Mediterranean, the BTC project will bring positive economic advantage to the region and avoid increasing oil traffic through the Turkish straits.

    The BTC pipeline is due to become operational in early 2005 with first oil planned to be exported from the Ceyhan marine terminal during the second half of the year.

    [07] Rauf Denktas celebrated his 81st birthday

    Turkish Cypriot Cumhuriyet newspaper (28.01.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, yesterday celebrated his 81st birthday. He was born in Pafos on 27 January 1924.

    The birthday party was organized at the so-called presidential palace and two birthday cakes were decorated with flags of Turkey and the pseudostate especially for the occasion.

    Mr Denktas seized the opportunity to repeat how he started his struggle to bring Turkey to Cyprus causing immeasurable sufferings and destruction to the Turkish and Greek Cypriots and to the whole island for decades.

    He explained as follows his philosophy of life:" Wisdom is not in one's age but in the head. To feel well with yourself, to be healthy, to find the energy and courage to make your ambitions come true, have many friends and not to feel useless..."

    The paper concludes that Mr Denktas repeated his warnings on the Cyprus problem as follows: "We lived with the nostalgia of being saved from the colonial power, not to come under the domination of Greece, and with the objective of freedom and independence. I got involved in the affairs of the community, in 1957 I started active politics and continued this struggle till today. Are we going to live free or be patched up to the Greeks? There is an alternative to everything but not to independence..."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Turkish Cypriot columnist describes General Buyukkanit's statements on Cyprus as a message of the Turkish army to Prime Minister Erdogan

    Under the title "The bitter confession of the commander", Mehmet Levent writes, inter alia, the following in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (28.01.05):

    "You have been thinking that Turkey conducted a military intervention in Cyprus in 1974 in order to protect the life and the property of the Turkish Cypriots and to restore the constitutional order as a guarantor power. Is it not so? I have been thinking in this manner as well, because this is what they taught us.

    Unfortunately many of us would find out later why they swerved from the purpose and turned into occupying northern Cyprus.

    The commander of Turkey's Land Forces General Yasar Buyukkanit confessed something very remarkable beyond all these during his recent visit to Cyprus! I do not know how it happened, but this is a very important and amazing confession that cannot escape one's eye. Upon a warning of a valuable friend I found the statement of the General. 'I read it again and again to avoid misunderstanding it. 'I am quoting the words of General Buyukkanit without changing even a comma: 'The reason because of which the Turkish army came here is not the people of the TRNC. It came here for the security of our Turkish citizens living in Northern Cyprus, for the security of our citizens of Turkish origin'. (!!!)

    I do not know whether or not Prime Minister Erdogan was thinking of withdrawing some troops from Cyprus and be one step in front. If he had, however, it means that this dream failed after the words stressed by Turkey's Land Forces General Yasar Buyukkanit during his visit to northern Cyprus. What has the General stressed? 'Not a single soldier will be withdrawn before an agreement is reached'! The commander came to northern Cyprus in order to give this message to the JDP administration. The inspection of the military units here was just a camouflage. The whole issue was warning Erdogan for steps he was possibly planning to make. To remind him what he must never do!

    Now you would ask: 'Well, could the commander not do this in Ankara and came to Cyprus to do it?' He could certainly do it, but he could not camouflage in such a beautiful manner the interference of the army in politics in Turkey and the fact that the army is the authority that has the last say, especially on the Cyprus issue! '".

    [09] Mehmet Ali Birand: "Let's give up the casus belli threat"

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (27.01.05) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    "In the past, we used to say the words 'casus belli' very often. Their direct meaning is 'cause for war'.

    Our relations with our neighbours used to be based on the threat, 'If you do that, we'll consider it an act of war.' The basis of this stance was our desire or habit of trying to give the impression that we would use our military power if necessary. Instead of long and hard diplomatic negotiations that necessitated patience, we used to brandish our military might, which might even have been the norm of the times. However, this stance was more based on the attitude of neighbours than a tendency to wield power.

    At the time, there was the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK/Kongra-Gel) dispute with Syria, the water dispute with Iraq, the genocide issue with Armenia, the well-known arguments on Cyprus and the Aegean Sea matter with Greece.

    In 1995, the words 'casus belli' were heard not in political statements but in a declaration approved by Parliament.

    Greece had just approved the International Maritime Law of the United Nations that allowed it to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles. In other words, if it desired to do so, Greece would have been allowed to extend its waters from six to 12 miles in accordance with international law.

    The Greek government made a statement as it was signing the treaty. It said that according to international law, it had the right to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles but that it wouldn't do so now, adding that it reserved the right to do so in the future.

    Subtitle: That statement made Ankara very nervous.

    At the time Greece, while it wasn't official policy, did not hide the fact that it was assisting the PKK. PKK supporters constantly held protests in front of the Turkish Embassy in Athens, and the number of PKK training camps was increasing. Former and current Greek politicians went to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon to visit PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.

    The 12-mile threat, together with their relations with the PKK, created significant tension between Turkey and Greece. Just at that time, Parliament's General Assembly issued a declaration that said: 'The Turkish Parliament, while hoping the Greek government will not extend its territorial waters beyond six miles, which would be a violation of the balance set by the Lausanne Treaty, has deemed it necessary to grant the Turkish government the authority to do what is necessary in order to ensure the protection and defence of national interests, including military means, and has decided to proclaim its decision to the Greek and world public in all sincerity.'

    This statement was nothing more than moral support for the Turkish government, but it resulted in further tension in relations with Greece.

    A decade later and everything has changed:

    A decade has passed since these developments took place. The environment of today is significantly different. Even though it was very difficult, Greece changed its stance vis-à-vis the PKK and, most importantly, it was able to properly assess the situation. It stopped seeing Turkey as a 'threat'. From being the country that created the most trouble for Turkey in its relations with the European Union, it became its biggest supporter in Turkey's efforts to join the community. It took great care not to cause any problems for a resolution of the Cyprus issue.

    In summary, relations between Greece and Turkey have entered a new era. The armaments race between the two has ended, to a great extent. The prime ministers of the two countries meet constantly.

    Making harsh statements or threats no longer earns politicians political capital in either country. Both nations have seen the benefits of peace and don't want a return to the bad old days.

    Meanwhile, Turkey will begin its EU accession negotiations on October 3. One of the most important conditions Turkey needs to adhere to is to resolve all its outstanding problems with its neighbours.

    Subtitle: What use is a threat of war?

    Under current conditions, Greece can't extend its territorial waters to 12 miles nor can Turkey declare war on Greece. Then what is the importance of the symbolic gesture of Parliament in 1995? I believe it has none. It is just a memory that provides a glimpse of the past.

    What do you think would happen to bilateral relations if Parliament declares this statement null and void or withdraws it?

    I believe this would show our appreciation for what happened before December 17 to both the Costas Karamanlis government and the Greek public. It would also boost the negotiations that aim to resolve the Aegean issue.

    It would show the EU how sincere Turkey is in its efforts to resolve both the Aegean Sea and Cyprus issues.

    I can almost hear those who would object to such a gesture. "Why should we withdraw it before Greece assures us that it won't extend its territorial waters to 12 miles? The declaration was issued to balance the Greek statement. Why should we unilaterally take such a measure?"

    Subtitle: It's not a sacrifice, but a gesture.

    We should not see such a move as a sacrifice. It has nothing to do with that. It's no more than a nice, simple gesture. However, it would be a very effective one.

    Moreover, the EU will never let Greece extend its waters, and by making such a gesture Turkey would not be saying that it wouldn't react quite harshly to such a move. Regardless of whether or not the declaration remains active, Turkish governments are free to pursue their own policies. Let's discuss this issue. Let's open a new page.

    Not only should we rid ourselves of casus belli, we should also rid ourselves of our 'red lines'."


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