Subscribe to our Personal NewsPaper-Online (Free Custom News Service) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Friday, 13 December 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

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

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.83/05 05.05.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat´s unlimited obsession against President Papadopoulos.
  • [02] The occupation regime is complaining to the EU and the UN because the Greek Cypriots are trying to defend their human rights trampled upon by the occupation army.
  • [03] Persons illegally occupying Greek Cypriot properties are taking legal action against the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [04] The beautiful scenery of Myrtou and Panagra are turned into moonscape.
  • [05] The colonization of occupied Cyprus is threatening the occupation regime itself. Statements by Ozkan Murat.
  • [06] The two Turkish Cypriots who represents the pseudostate at the European Council Parliamentary Assembly met with Talat and informed him about their contacts in Strasbourg.
  • [07] The German Chancellor is quoted to have said that the occupied areas of Cyprus could be included in the economic co-operation between Germany and Turkey.
  • [08] The Organisation of the Islamic Conference reportedly called on the Islamic countries to develop relations with the pseudostate.
  • [09] Rauf Denktas calls the Turkish Cypriots to file court suits at the courts of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [10] The generals of the occupation army congratulated Mr Talat. He admitted that he takes his decisions in close co-operation with the generals.
  • [11] Russia: We do not consider right to force a solution on the Greek Cypriots with pressure.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses how the ruling islamic Justice and Development Party approaches domestic and world politics.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat´s unlimited obsession against President Papadopoulos

    The new Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on Wednesday made statements regarding the Greek Cypriots who are trying under conditions of occupation to defend their human rights resorting to the legal means provided to them by Europe and the Republic of Cyprus.

    Instead of declaring that he is working for the restoration of legality and peace with the withdrawal of the occupation army and the Turkish colonizers, Mr Talat branded the legal efforts of the Greek Cypriots as attack by President Papadopoulos.

    On the issue Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.05.05) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia: Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos has launched an attack on Turkish Cypriots, President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (`TRNC´) said on Wednesday.

    Appearing on a Turkish Cypriot television channel, Talat assessed the property cases filed by the Greek Cypriot administration against Turkish Cypriots (who owned properties in that part of the island) as an attack launched against a whole nation. Talat said Papadopoulos left international law aside and started to use advantages of EU membership to eliminate political and equality rights of Turkish Cypriots. Talat noted that `TRNC´ decided that all Turkish Cypriot people against whom such lawsuits were filed should appear before the court, and said that they would defend themselves saying, "the Greek Cypriot courts are not authorized to try in the north of Cyprus or Magusa (occupied Famagusta)."

    The Greek Cypriot administration increased imprisonment from six months to two years, foreseen for violation of property, in order to be able to issue an arrest warrant valid in Europe, added Talat.

    "This is very dangerous because, for instance, a Turkish Cypriot will be tried (on charges of violating property) and sentenced (to imprisonment). When sentenced, s/he will be arrested when s/he crosses to the south. When s/he goes abroad, s/he will be arrested with a European arrest warrant. So, Turkish Cypriots will be isolated in the north of Cyprus and Turkey. This will totally isolate Turkish Cypriots. That is, while the EU was working for elimination of isolation of Turkish Cypriots, one of its members, 'Cyprus Republic', would totally isolate them," said Talat.

    Talat went on saying: "The Greek Cypriot administration doesn't have an authority to try in the north. And moreover, according to not only 'Republic of Cyprus' laws but also `TRNC´ laws, property problems are brought before a court in the place they occur. So, Larnaka court isn't authorized to hear a case that occurs in Magusa (occupied Famagusta). This is also accepted by the EU. So, we will attend the hearing and defend that 'this court doesn't have the authority to rule in the north of Cyprus'."

    Noting that `TRNC´ did not want to close border passes, Talat said that Papadopoulos could not continue his policies and would try to reach a compromise if the world ended isolating Turkish Cypriots.

    [02] The occupation regime is complaining to the EU and the UN because the Greek Cypriots are trying to defend their human rights trampled upon by the occupation army

    Istanbul NTV television (02.05.05) broadcast the following:

    The cases filed by Greek Cypriots at courts in southern Cyprus in order to get back the property they left behind after the 1974 Peace Operation have caused considerable discomfort in the `TRNC´ [`Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´].

    The `TRNC Foreign Ministry´ intervened and took the matter up with the UN and the EU.

    The Greek Cypriot administration had made a legal arrangement by which anybody other than the owner using Greek Cypriot property in the north could be jailed for two years.

    At this a large number of Greek Cypriots filed lawsuits to get back the property they had left behind in the north.

    When the subpoenas from the lawsuits filed with the Greek Cypriot courts were served on their addressees in the north the `TRNC Foreign Ministry´ intervened. The `Foreign Ministry´ took the matter up with the UN.

    It warned that this maneuver by the Greek Cypriots threatened to upset the two years of work to build confidence between the two communities. The `Foreign Ministry´ likened the Greek Cypriot maneuver to "harassment of the people".

    The Ministry called for the subpoenas to be recalled. The exact number of suits filed by Greek Cypriots to get their property back is unknown but could reportedly reach 200,000.

    These suits and the serving of subpoenas on the Turkish owners of Greek Cypriot property has seen a significant reduction in the number of crossings being made from the north to the south.

    [03] Persons illegally occupying Greek Cypriot properties are taking legal action against the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.05.05) reports that persons illegally occupying Greek Cypriot properties in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, and especially foreigners among whom are EU citizens as well, have gone into action against the government of the Republic of Cyprus aiming at stopping the cases filed against them by Greek Cypriots who demand the right of using their property and being compensated about it.

    A group of Turkish Cypriot, European and American lawyers has conducted researches on what they can do about the cases filed in courts of the Republic of Cyprus by Greek Cypriots against persons or companies. After the research they came to the conclusion that the solution to their problem is launching a legal struggle against the Greek Cypriots through a group of lawyers in London.

    According to the paper, last night a press conference was organized at The Colony Hotel in occupied Kyrenia aiming at calling for support to the struggle which will be launched against the government of the Republic of Cyprus. No Greek Cypriot media were allowed to follow the press conference, during which Turkish Cypriot lawyer Talat Kursat, American Shelley White and British Donald Crawford informed the participants in the conference about EUPRO. They said that one million sterling pounds will be needed for the struggle against the Republic of Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (05.05.05) Mr Kudret Akay, so-called deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Serdar Denktas advisor on political affairs, has stated that they were searching for legal ways to prevent the Greek Cypriots from giving summons in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    [04] The beautiful scenery of Myrtou and Panagra are turned into moonscape

    In its effort to usurp as more Greek Cypriot properties as sooner as possible the occupation regime is constructing factories in the area of occupied Myrtou and Panagra.

    Under the title: Desecration of Rural landscape, Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Times newspaper (05.05.05) reports the following:

    Gecitkoy (occupied Panagra) and Camlibel (occupied Myrtou) are small villages located in a lovely agricultural area to the northwest of the island, where for generations, farmers have worked the land. Water for agricultural use is taken from the nearby reservoir, also a beauty spot providing habitat for flora and fauna. This agricultural valley is considered an area of outstanding beauty, characteristic of the traditional relationship between Cypriots and their land.

    Today, a factory manufacturing cement blocks for the building trade has been built on the floor of that valley, presenting not only an eyesore, but potential health hazards for local residents, their animals and even their crops. Now residents are told that a further two factories are being planned for the same area.

    The paper further describes the reaction of the Turkish Cypriots, who settled in the homes and properties of the displaced by the Turkish army Greek Cypriots, and whose views on their health is not taken into consideration by the occupation regime, and adds:

    Now they wonder what is next for their community. If an anticipated two additional factories are built, they will require even more water from the reservoir as well as potable water from another source. And they want to know: Who allocated agricultural water to be used in manufacturing? Who gave permission to build the factory in the agricultural valley? And who is granting permission for another three to be built?

    [05] The colonization of occupied Cyprus is threatening the occupation regime itself. Statements by Ozkan Murat

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.05.05) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Entries [from Turkey] into the `TRNC´ [`Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´] have reportedly begun to come under control in recent months following the extensive amendment of the Immigration Law by the `TRNC government´ last year and the implementation of the agreement signed with Turkey in connection with this law starting on 1 January.The legal amendments now require passports for [Turkish citizens] entering the `TRNC´ with the purpose of work and stipulate severe fines [for violators] after a transition period of six months. As a result of the implementation of this law [immigration] controls in [`TRNC´] ports have increased in recent weeks.

    Immigration officers conducting controls at entry ports have been denying entry to persons found to be objectionable. As a result 30 to 50 persons are sent back to Turkey each day on the average.

    Individuals who fail to comply with the new regulations that went into effect on 1 January will be subject to heavy fines after the expiration of the six-month transition period. Accordingly, starting on 30 June, [Turkish citizens] who entered the country using their identity cards and who are found to be staying without documentation will be subject to fines amounting to twice the minimum [monthly] wage and will be deported. Employers of such persons will be also be subject to heavy fines and their firms will be barred from bidding on [public sector] contracts.

    The amendments made to the Immigration Law last year limits entries using identity cards to touristic visits lasting at most three months and requires passports for persons entering the country for the purpose of work.

    In addition to requiring passports for work permits, the law specifies monetary fines and deportation for persons who work without permits. This regulation also stipulates active controls at entry points and authorizes immigration officers to interview prospective entrants. The law specifies severe fines not only for undocumented workers but also their employers.

    In a statement to the Turkish Agency Cyprus (TAK), `TRNC Interior Minister´ Ozkan Murat noted that the regulations introduced by the Immigration Law and the agreement signed with Turkey in connection with these regulations went into effect at the beginning of January and that the results of these measures will be seen soon.

    Murat said that the regulations contained in the law are being enforced strictly but that they have begun to be implemented only recently. He said that active control procedures are under way at entry ports in accordance with the law and that persons whose entry into the country is found objectionable are denied entry.

    Noting that controls are conducted every day at ports and that persons found objectionable are sent back, Murat said: "We are extremely determined on this issue. We will save the country from being a place anyone can enter without being asked any questions. We are enforcing the law and the agreement and we will achieve results. Nonetheless this is a problem that has accumulated over the years and we will need time."

    Murat said that severe monetary fines will be imposed and deportations will begin after the end of the six-month transition period, that is at the end of June, and that employers will also be subject to fines. He added:

    "We began to achieve some results when we publicized the regulations before even the law went into effect. The number of documented workers increased from 5,000 to 12,000 in the last one year. That is an increase of more than 100 percent. Naturally even that is not sufficient. Our goal is to bring undocumented activity completely under control. I believe that we will be able to do that through controls and legal sanctions."

    Stating that the number of undocumented workers in the `TRNC´ is estimated at around 30,000, Murat said: "This issue is among the priorities of our government and ministry. We have very serious work under way on this issue because undocumented activities are not only related to criminal activities but they also have a negative effect on the economy."

    Pointing out that criminal activities related to social and economic conditions are found in all societies, Murat said that, in addition to these, undocumented life in the `TRNC´ is a factor in the rise of criminal incidents. As an example, he said that half the detained and convicted inmates at Central Prison are undocumented persons who are not citizens.

    Murat said: "The crime rate will decline once undocumented life gets on the record and entries are brought under control. Documented and working people are far less inclined to commit crimes."

    When reminded of complaints by employers about bureaucratic procedures related to work permits, Murat said: "We are working on that issue. We are working jointly with the Ministries of Health and Labor to speed up these procedures. The procedure related to work permits will be made easier."

    Commenting on growing demands for the "complete prohibition of entries from Turkey into the `TRNC´ with identity cards," Murat said:

    "We have very close relations with Turkey. There are thousands of [Turkish] students and soldiers here. In addition there would be certain disadvantages if we prohibited travel with identity cards even as the rest of world makes such travel more widely available. In any event there is no rule that says that a person entering with a passport does not commit any crimes. It is also no longer hard to obtain passports. What matters is not what document is used to come here but what the purpose of travel is. For this reason it is important to control entries and to follow up on whether the stays of those entering the country are consistent with their stated purpose. We will do this effectively."

    [06] The two Turkish Cypriots who represents the pseudostate at the European Council Parliamentary Assembly met with Talat and informed him about their contacts in Strasbourg

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.05.05) reports that Mr Ozdil Nami so-called deputy of the Republican Turkish Party and Mr Huseyin Ozgurgun so-called deputy of the National Unity Part, who represent the pseudostate at the European Council Parliamentary Assemblys meeting in Strasbourg, paid a visit yesterday to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The two men informed Mr Talat about their contacts in Strasbourg.

    Speaking during their visit, Mr Nami said that the Turkish Cypriot delegation had met with the term president of the EU, the Luxembourgian Prime Minister Jean Claude Junker, to discuss the possible removal of sanctions and the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr. Nami stated that the European Council supported a solution to the Cyprus problem under the aegis of the United Nations and expressed its desire to see the restart of negotiations on the basis of the Annan Plan.

    On his part, Mr Talat said that the European Council was an important platform for promoting the Turkish Cypriots just cause. He also said that the Cyprus problem could raise difficulties for Turkey but added problems between the Council and Turkey itself could create even more complications for Turkey. Stressing that despite all the difficulties the Annan Plan would have created for the north the Turkish Cypriots had voted overwhelmingly in favour of it, Mr Talat added that this alone was an important step for the Turkish Cypriots.

    Reminding that the voice of the Turkish Cypriots had failed to be heard by the international community due to the policies that were carried out in the past, Mr Talat said the new vision of the Turkish Cypriots would create a new Cyprus, one that would embrace international law and norms.

    [07] The German Chancellor is quoted to have said that the occupied areas of Cyprus could be included in the economic co-operation between Germany and Turkey

    Turkish NTV television (05.05.05) broadcast that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder stated that Germany could extend its economic co-operation with Turkey to include the pseudostate. Mr Schroeder made these statements addressing the Turkish-German Economy Congress that took place yesterday in Turkey.

    Mr Schroeder said that including the pseudostate in deals involving tourism and agriculture was a just reward for Turkish Cypriots supporting reunification of the two states on the island.

    We have to be fair, the German Chancellor said. Northern Cyprus took an important decision for the unity of the island. This was not shared in the south. Turkish-German co-operation should play an important role in there.

    Mr Schroeder also said that Europe had made a promise to Ankara 40 years ago about its joining the European bloc and this should be not subject to changes by sentimental mentalities or referendums. However, the Chancellor also called on Turkey to maintain its momentum in implementing reforms to bring it to the standards required by the EU for membership.

    [08] The Organisation of the Islamic Conference reportedly called on the Islamic countries to develop relations with the pseudostate

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.05.05) reports that during the preparatory meeting for the 32nd conference of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) support was expressed towards the Turkish Cypriots.

    As the paper writes, Mr Kamal Al Momani, one of the General Secretaries of the OIC called on the Islamic countries to develop relations with the Turkish Cypriot state in every field. He also stated that from now on the Turkish Cypriots will be represented in OIC as Turkish Cypriot state and not as a religious community.

    The paper also writes that in the conference a draft decision will be discussed in which the OIC will express full support towards the just struggle of Muslim people of Cyprus.

    [09] Rauf Denktas calls the Turkish Cypriots to file court suits at the courts of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05.05.05), in its front page under the title Denktas: The lawsuits notifications should not be accepted, reports that the veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots, who abandoned their properties in the free areas of Cyprus, must file court cases at the courts of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr Rauf Denktas, in statements yesterday to the illegal TAK news agency, reacted to the fact that the Greek Cypriots have begun to file court suits against the Turkish Cypriots, who hold Greek Cypriot property in the occupied areas of Cyprus and said that in this way the Greek Cypriot side continues to implement the Akritas plan.

    Alleging that this policy is part of a general policy, which aims to put the Turkish Cypriots in a minority position, Mr Denktas said: A conscious resistance against this is essential. The lawsuits notifications should not be accepted and the Turkish Cypriots, who left their property in the south, should file a suit with the governments permission at the Greek Cypriot courts.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper reports that Mr Rauf Denktas has begun to study the British archives for the purposes of his new books. The pseudogovernment and the so-called President Mehmet Ali Talat gave support and financial aid to Mr Denktas for his new task, the paper adds. Mr Denktas was also given a building and personnel for his research.

    [10] The generals of the occupation army congratulated Mr Talat. He admitted that he takes his decisions in close co-operation with the generals

    The Turkish generals who are commanding the occupation troops in Cyprus visited Mr Mehmet Ali Talat on 28 April 2005 and congratulated him for his election as Turkish Cypriot leader in succession of Mr Rauf Denktas.

    As Turkish Cypriot newspaper KIBRIS (29.04.05) reports, the Commander of the occupation forces, Lieutenant-General Hasan Memisoglu, the commander of the so-called Security forces, Major-General Tevfik Ozkilic, the commander of the 28th Division, Major-General Aydemir Cuculoglu, the Commander of the 39th Division Major-General Yalcin Pehilivanoglu and the Commander of the 14th Mechanized Brigade, Major-General Yasar Bal, visited Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, congratulated him for his election and wished him success.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem the commander of the 40,000-strong occupation army said that a long process lies ahead which will be a bit more complicated and added: The stage of making statements belongs to the past, and now there is the phase of actions. Consequently the issue will develop in a more intense manner.

    On his part Mr Talat thanked the general and said: During my more than one year´s service as `Prime Minister´ I had very good co-operation with the commanders. We assess all our issues. We reach joint conclusions and, I believe, without facing any problem, we can implement them. I know that this nice co-operation will continue:

    [11] Russia: We do not consider right to force a solution on the Greek Cypriots with pressure

    Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (05.05.05), under the title A Russian obstacle to TRNC, reports as follows:

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report, which asks to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots, is completely removed from the UN agenda due to objections of Russia. Regarding the report dated 28 May 2004, in which Turkey put enormous efforts so that it would be approved at the UN Security Council, Russian diplomatic sources commented: This page is completely closed. A high ranking Russian official said: We do not consider right to force a solution on the Greek Cypriots with pressure. The UN Security Council, on the declaration of the `TRNC´ in 1983, called, with its resolution 541 that no other state on the island would be recognised other than the Republic of Cyprus. With the resolution 550, it was called that no financial aid in any way would be given to the `TRNC´. Annan, in the report prepared after the solution plan was turned down by the Greek Cypriots at the referendum of 24 April, said: The last referendum showed that the reasons of the pressure and the isolation towards to the Turkish Cypriots are unfair, whatever the justification is. In the report, it was expressed that an opening was expected from EU to the North Cyprus. Ankara, which was disappointed because Russia blocked the report, turned its attention to the steps that USA will take. During the contacts of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Laura Kennedy at the capital, it was known that she stated that they will continue their preparations but they want to see the steps that mainly EU will take. The proposals of direct trade and financial aid, which were prepared by the EU Commission, to the North Cyprus are frozen due to the obstacles of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Columnist in RADIKAL analyses how the ruling islamic Justice and Development Party approaches domestic and world politics

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (02.05.05) publishes the following Interview by Nese Duzel with HURRIYET columnist Cuneyt Ulsever:

    The Justice and Development Party [JDP] has become a real political enigma. Nobody can understand what the JDP has been doing and why after it secured an accession talks date from the EU. Everybody is scratching their heads as to the reason for the past four months of wavering within the JDP, which had put up an extraordinary struggle for EU membership and had secured support both at home and abroad, and why it has taken on an anti-EU profile. What is going on within the JDP? Why has it entered a time of uncertainty in both domestic and foreign policy? Why is it making statements that make people think it is distancing itself from the EU? What is the basic problem between the United States and the Turkish government? Cuneyt Ulsever had been supportive of Tayyip Erdogan long before he became prime minister because of his years in prison and was even put on trial because of what he wrote about this matter. He knows the JDP circles very well. He wrote that one of the prime minister's advisors had advised withdrawing from NATO. He stated that the United States had begun focusing it interest on other countries as an alternative to Turkey. The government reacted harshly to Cuneyt Ulsever's allegations. In fact they leveled strong accusations at him. We talked to Cuneyt Ulsever about these allegations, about what was going on within the JDP, about why the JDP had begun to appear anti-Western, where the sticking points were and the reasons for the wavering.

    Duzel: You made a very interesting claim last week, one that could have shaken all of Turkey. You asserted that one of the prime minister's advisors has suggested he consider withdrawing from NATO and that the prime minister said he would think about it. Are you 100 percent sure of this information's authenticity?

    Ulsever: It is hearsay. I was not in the room that day. The Prime Ministry refutes it as a lie. We have to assume that it could well be a lie. However, when you look to see whether or not this person or institution's general disposition is in keeping with this rumor then in my opinion there is a match. If we had said, "Turgut Ozal wants to ruin our relations with the United States" nobody would have taken us seriously. It is often said that the idea of something happening is actually worse than the event. When you look at the JDP government's foreign policy position of being stuck between a rock and a hard place then a person's mind accepts that this may well have been said.

    Duzel: Why?

    Ulsever: The JDP government's mental map is oriented towards the Middle East. It is a mental map that puts Islamic solidarity ahead of national solidarity. However, despite being of the same religion Turkey's interests may clash with those of say Syria or Iran or Iraq.

    Duzel: Is there increasing American hostility within the JDP leadership cadres and among the prime minister's advisors?

    Ulsever: I think there is and that this is quite evident. I can comfortably say that the United States Turkey Desk came to the conclusion that certain ministers and advisors are anti-American. They always look at things this way. In other words, always with those prejudices. Actually, the JDP does not understand the 21st century. This results in emotional reactions instead of logical reactions. Of course, the United States is the aggressor in Iraq. It is the reason for people dying in Iraq, and is actually doing the killing itself. When you look at the situation emotionally you have to stop being human in order to side with the United States or feel sympathy for it. However, running a State means looking at things logically, in which case a completely different picture emerges when it comes to the interests of the country and the nation.

    Duzel: American hatred is a reaction to President Bush's foreign policy, which angers a large number of the people on this planet, is it not? Or is it more of a Muslim reflex? In other words would the JDP support America's initiatives if it found them to be right, or is it completely anti-American?

    Ulsever: In his interview with Mehmet Gundes in MILLIYET Fethullah Gulen said by way of self-criticism: "We used to look at the world solely through the Koran. We later found out that the world cannot be looked at solely through the Koran. You have to take a broader perspective." Now, the religious people are beginning to ask themselves: "I wonder whether or not the holy book we believe in describes everything in the world or not?" This is as true for orthodox Muslims as it is for orthodox Christians and Jews. This is the attitude that says: "The answer to everything lies in the book I believe in that was written by the Divine." Unfortunately, certain people within government circles always look at the world through the window of religion, with this reflex, even if their vocation is economics, international relations or political science. When they look at the world not from the perspective of their vocation but through the book they believe in then all they see are oppressed Muslims. In actual fact, Muslims have always been the oppressed and broken side throughout history.

    Duzel: Do they not see the Muslim dictators and the Islamic totalitarian regimes that oppress Muslims?

    Ulsever: They do not see them. Take government circles for example. You cannot make them say that Hamas and Hizballah are terrorist organizations. What Israel does is so drummed into them that the prime minister said, "State terrorism" to Israel. No matter what they think to themselves no serious state would ever say such a thing outside. However, when the ideology of religion is put first then naturally it becomes hard for people to come to terms with the realities of the world.

    Duzel: Fine, but are not the Turkish Armed Forces opposed to the United States as well? Gen. Ozkok said, "Turkey is not an Islamic state" in reply to the American Secretary of State saying that Turkey was a moderate Islamic state, did he not?

    Ulsever: In one respect he did. There is a warning to the United States here. The Chief of Staff is trying to say: "Things are cool between us, but if you try to use me in certain areas then you are going to try my patience. Let me be your ally as I am now. If you try to make me your ally by altering my chemistry then this is going to make me turn against you. Do not take my eye out while applying mascara." But, at the same time he is stating quite clearly that the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF] are not going to put American hatred into practice. Besides, the TAF is bending over backwards to improve relations with the United States. It has taken several measures.

    Duzel: You wrote that with a solution to the Incirlik problem being dragged out the United States looked to Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. Is the United States really preparing to leave Turkey out of the loop?

    Ulsever: No. I asked American officials whether what I had written was correct or not. They said, "We do not refute what you wrote about us." It is true that they are looking for bases. They are also using this to apply leverage. They are trying to tell Turkey: "You are our first choice, but if you make life hard for us we can find other allies from which to reach areas to the south and east of Turkey. Do not make us go for the alternatives." America cannot ignore Turkey, but it can ignore those governing Turkey. Anybody can ignore anybody else, in any case. The American government can make it a principle not to work with this government but it cannot make it a principle to abandon Turkey. Let us not forget that the governments in both countries are temporary. Other governments could come to power in the future.

    Duzel: So, is the American hatred in the government and in the TAF derived from two separate sources? The government is opposed to the United States because it is attacking Muslim countries while the military is opposed because the United States wants to make Turkey a moderate Islamic country. Is that it?

    Ulsever: Yes. There is a common reflex for both of them against the United States but for different reasons. This is the reaction: "They are trying to reshape us and use us." The government wing finds itself stuck between the United States and the Muslim world. The military wing, or to put it in more general terms the "secularists" are afraid that Turkey may become Islamified and take off its secular course, and then used in this condition by the United States. From what I have seen so far things are really bad between the Turkish government and the United States. I am not saying, "A little bad." I am saying, "Really bad." The United States has issued repeated warnings asking: "How allied are we? Where do we stand together? What do you say about this?"

    Duzel: An agreement has been made over Incirlik. Do you not think that this has brought about an improvement in the JDP's relations with the United States?

    Ulsever: A step has been taken towards improving relations with the United States. Last week the prime minister was full of praise for the United States when he addressed his party group, and this shows that the JDP is putting its house in order. Look, Incirlik has been debated for 10 months now but the military told the government of its positive position three months ago. It said: "We have negotiated for the use of this base. This agreement gives us no cause for concern for the Turkish Republic." Despite this the government failed to reach a decision for another three months. If they are saying that this did not upset people and that our relations are all rosy, I do not know. They are probably talking with others just because it is the Americans.

    Duzel: Might the government's bad relations with the United States lead to consequences?

    Ulsever: My reading of history shows that no government in Turkey that has clashed with the United States has ever survived. Today, America has no right to be angry with the Republican People's Party [RPP]. The RPP has been saying the same thing right from the beginning. But is that true of the JDP? There are no examples of this in history. Was it not Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was the first party chairman ever to be welcomed at the White House before even being elected as a deputy? The prime minister probably knew better than I then that the road to becoming prime minister passed through the United States. They probably had a chat in that office. The prime minister pleased the Americans so that America, in a manner that would bother the other parties, gave the impression it preferred one side in Turkey. But now, heads are confused within the JDP. The JDP is all mixed up inside. How much time is left until 3 October, when accession talks with the EU begin? Still no chief negotiator has been appointed.

    Duzel: Why not, do you think?

    Ulsever: Because they are saying, "The chief negotiator will become a very important and influential person in Turkey." They cannot agree among themselves. Within the National View wing of the JDP there is a conflict between the teams that goes: "Will it be your man or mine as chief negotiator?" The Erdoganists, the Gulists, the Arincists, the Senerists and the Istanbul Mayorists are all fighting with the Ankara National View supporters. Furthermore, we have seen the cadres they work in. If Islamic prayer is today being performed on the executive floors of the huge banks seized by the State that means there is a vastly different perception of the world here. Our forefathers would have shut up shop or put the apprentice in charge for a while in order to go and pray. Money and interest are things that do not go hand in hand with Islamic prayer. To pray is the most natural right for mankind but if you are going to pray five times a day then you go to the nearest mosque, perform your worship there, then return to the bank to carry on working. But today, prayer is being performed on the executive floor of a huge bank. Our forefathers used to say, "You cannot have religion in places where profits are made, money is earned and where shopping and marketing is done."

    Duzel: You wrote, "The decision on Incirlik has been made; let us see what the advisors have to say." Do you think there might be a rebellion among the prime minister's advisors?

    Ulsever: That is what I think. If some advisors are not replaced the prime minister should know that he will not get a true and sincere reception by the United States.

    Duzel: The prime minister's advisors issue is never off the agenda. What is this problem exactly? Is there really such a problem?

    Ulsever: Everybody, including the JDP deputies in their working life, and everybody in the media, is saying that the prime minister is under a blockade. His close circle has put the prime minister under such a blockade that they do not let him speak with anybody who is not of them. What it means to be of them is to be from the congregation, long time National View.

    Duzel: Why would the prime minister's advisors wish to see Erdogan and Turkey distance themselves from the United States?

    Ulsever: Their ideological view is only just enough to read the term: "The 21st century."

    Duzel: The JDP used to have the West's backing. Why would it now wish to prune away with its own hand the strongest support it had?

    Ulsever: It is presumably a reflex reaction. It is showing its true nature. No matter how much backing it claims to have, what remains unchanged and prevailing is the mindset that sees the world as perceived by the National View, a Christian world, a world of Western imperialism, of Christian-Jewish collaboration and a world working against the Muslims. The JDP cannot put its relations with the EU in order let alone those with the United States. The prime minister worked incredibly hard before 17 December to become a part of the EU and to tie the good ship Turkey's hawsers to the EU docks. But now he can stand up and say, "The EU is trying to divide us." He can say this because the JDP is saying: "We have our internal balances, our reasons for being and our rank and file. The backbone of our voting base is the National View. These are voters with high Islamic feelings. We need to fulfill the promises we made to them." Furthermore, the JDP is saying, "This voting base has an active element to it that has invested in us."

    Duzel: What does it mean by active element?

    Ulsever: They are saying: "Every party made fat cats out of its supporters but we never truly stuck up for our businessmen. Furthermore, we have not been able to install our cadres at the level we wanted." This request has begun to reach up to the prime minister from below. As this demand increased so it emerged that the JDP was trying to close ranks along National View lines and kick out all those with True Path, Motherland and Nationalist Action Party backgrounds.

    Duzel: What do expect will happen in the near future?

    Ulsever: I am waiting for the prime minister to ask himself, "Where did I go wrong?" He is the duly elected prime minister of Turkey. Nobody but the nation has the right to remove him from office and he has a long road ahead of him. He is a marathon runner. Sometimes a marathon runner's spleen swells up and he cannot catch his breath. That is what happened to the prime minister after 17 December. He is a marathon runner. But, if he says, "I am doing nothing wrong, and those who would criticize me are seeking to divide me" then he might consider taking the country to an early election much though he may not want to. He must know that there are no longer open military coups in this country. We cannot know who will be divided, how or when. But one day we may wake up and find out.

    Duzel: Are you saying that there is a chance the JDP may split up?

    Ulsever: There is a strong chance of that. That message has already been given with 15 resignations. There is no guarantee that message will not be given again tomorrow. The Republic of Turkey is very important. Its captain has to have a sound mind. The captain can be replaced but the ship's course remains the same. I warned the prime minister about this. He reacted very rashly. He will understand what I meant in the future.

    Duzel: In its statement on your column the prime ministry accused you of spreading disinformation in a matter of national security. Quite a serious accusation, is it not?

    Ulsever: A very grave accusation. They are saying to me: "You are a spy. You are working to ruin our relations with the United States." Yet, I have always been accused of being pro-American and of trying to tie Turkey to the United States. I ask the prime minister: "Who was it that visited him in prison? Which writer was it that was put on trial under Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code for what he wrote after the Siirt case? Who was it that first interviewed him and wrote, 'Say what you like, this man will be prime minister one day'? Who was it that got bounced around because of these columns? Seeing that I am conducting disinformation why did the prime minister trust in me? Why did he use to call me at home and ask my opinion on matters? Why did he use to hold my arm when we walked around?

    /SK


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    tcpr2html v1.00 run on Thursday, 5 May 2005 - 16:20:34 UTC