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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-07-04

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.124/05 02-03-04.07.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat is optimistic that the EU will eventually forget the international law. He speaks about alternatives if no solution is found under the UN.
  • [02] Meeting between Erdogan and the Generals is compared by the press to the meeting on 28 February 1997 which led to the ousting of Erbakan.
  • [03] Clarificaitons on the discussion of the National Policy document.
  • [04] ORTAM newspaper points out that Rauf Denktas used to blame the Greek Cypriots for the non-solution whereas Talat accuses President Papadopoulos.
  • [05] The United Cyprus Party stated that the participation of the pseudostate in the OIC under the name Turkish Cypriot state, strengthened the ground for the separation.
  • [06] Hackers claim the Turkish security forces are in co-operation with them.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Columnist in Turkish Daily News describes as Polyanna game the Turkish propaganda machine campaign to change the international law in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat is optimistic that the EU will eventually forget the international law. He speaks about alternatives if no solution is found under the UN

    Turkish English language daily Turkish Daily News (03.07.05) publishes an exclusive interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat as follows:

    Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat said the international community has no option but to end the economic isolation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (occupied areas of Cyprus) if it wants to make the intransigent Greek Cypriot administration sit at the negotiating table to find a solution to the partition of Mediterranean island.

    The latest international bid to reunite Cyprus failed in April last year when Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected a U.N. peace plan that was approved by the Turkish Cypriot community. Despite its rejection, the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government of the divided island joined the European Union in May.

    Talat's `TRNC´ is recognized only by Turkey. Despite insistent Turkish and Turkish Cypriot efforts, the Greek Cypriots managed to bar the EU's move to ease the `TRNC's´ economic isolation, arguing that the Turkish Cypriots would then not want a settlement to the dispute.

    Talat refuted the Greek Cypriot allegations and said neither direct flights or direct trade would satisfy Turkish Cypriot expectations. "We want both direct flights and direct trade [with the world] and equality in the new Cyprus state to be established," Talat told the Turkish Daily News in an exclusive interview.

    If the isolation on the Turkish Cypriots is lifted, that could motivate the Greek Cypriots to a find a solution. Otherwise, it won't happen because they are in an advantageous position, he said, referring to Greek Cyprus' influential position stemming from its EU membership.

    A confident-looking Turkish Cypriot president said the economic isolation of his people would come to an end sooner or later since the European Union, as a club based on the free-trade principle, could not tolerate forever the Greek Cypriot blockade in launching direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots.

    The internationally recognized Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island became a member of the European Union in May 2004. Since then, it has successfully barred the 25-nation bloc's move to ease the Turkish Cypriots' isolation despite an EU promise to do so.

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (`TRNC´) in the north is only recognized by Turkey. Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat does not agree with the assumption that intensive efforts by both Ankara and the `TRNC´ to bring an end to the Turkish Cypriot economic solitude have so far yielded little.

    Isolation (of the `TRNC´) has been seriously weakened, Talat told the Turkish Daily News in an exclusive interview at the presidential palace in the divided capital of Nicosia.

    As if to prove what he said a day before, the Azerbaijani government announced on Thursday that it would launch charter flights to the `TRNC´ and start accepting Turkish Cypriot passports. The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) decided to support projects in the `TRNC´ working with the Islamic Development Bank.

    Tourism boom:

    However, Talat's reasoning was different. For example, we are attracting more tourists now. Why? Because the Turkish Cypriots are now perceived as peaceful, pro-settlement people, he said, sipping his tea over breakfast.

    One-quarter of foreign holiday-makers visiting Greek Cyprus are also entering Turkish Cyprus, following the April 2002 opening of the crossing point on the Green Line dividing the two communities, he added.

    This is because we said 'yes' in the referendum, he said, referring to the Turkish Cypriot approval of a U.N. peace plan in twin referenda in April of last year in which the Greek Cypriots voted no.

    Brussels, probably feeling guilty for excluding Turkish Cypriots from the bloc despite backing the U.N. blueprint, sought to reward them by providing financial assistance and launching direct trade with the `TRNC´, but failed.

    Warning of an alternative settlement:

    There is a limit to that, Talat said, when asked about the Greek Cypriots' blockade efforts within the Union. The EU still believes and says that direct trade is necessary. How long will the EU put up with it (the Greek Cypriot barrier)? I don't think forever, he commented.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said preventing exports from northern Cyprus would mean the breach of an EU principle since the bloc was based on free trade.

    Eventually, either the Greek Cypriots will sit at the negotiating table or alternatives to this will emerge. I mean, either there will be a solution to the Cyprus problem under the roof of the U.N., or there will be alternatives that could replace a solution, he added, declining to elaborate on what the alternative to a U.N.-sponsored settlement could be or the time limit for it.

    I cannot give you a certain time, but this will definitely happen. What we need to do is highlight the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side, he added.

    Pointing out the Greek Cypriots' advantageous position as an EU member, Talat repeated a call for the international community to lift the economic embargo on the `TRNC´ to push them to the negotiating table.

    If the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is lifted, that could motivate the Greek Cypriots to a find a solution. Otherwise this won't happen because they are in an advantageous position, he said.

    UN leverage removed:

    Admitting that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report on Cyprus, which could really help Turkish Cypriot efforts, has been effectively shelved, Talat insisted that by approving the U.N. peace plan, the Turkish Cypriots had killed the leverage in the hands of the Greek Cypriots.

    All the U.N. decisions against us were taken on the assumption that the Turkish Cypriots are secessionist. In a 1983 resolution, the United Nations said: Do not support the secessionist entity.' Now we claim that the justification of that resolution no longer exists, he said.

    The Secretary-General in his report says that 'the rationale of unnecessary restrictions has been undone.' That means the past resolutions are meaningless. That's why the Greek Cypriots are so angry and are blocking the report, he added, expressing confidence that the United Nations would not be able to adopt a resolution against the Turkish Cypriots in the future.

    When asked about whether his administration ever thought about implementing the U.N. plan unilaterally, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said the Turkish leadership has been discussing the possibility of securing international support by signaling its intention to do so but could not reach a consensus among themselves.

    Such a move would exclude the territorial and troop withdrawal aspects of the U.N. blueprint. We have not discussed the implementation itself but rather indicating our intention for implementation and seeking the support of the international community, Talat said. To reach an agreement on such matters depends on international developments. We are still talking and discussing, he added.

    Talat, however, was not warm towards suggestions on the possible opening of Varosha to Greek Cypriot settlers under the rule of the Turkish Cypriot administration. We have discussed this, too. There are pluses and minuses, the Turkish Cypriot leader commented. In such a case, the Turkish Cypriots were likely to face pressure due to the questions over the democratic nature of Turkish Cypriot governance in an area where the entire population is made up of Greek Cypriots, he added.

    [02] Meeting between Erdogan and the Generals is compared by the press to the meeting on 28 February 1997 which led to the ousting of Erbakan

    Istanbul VATAN newspaper (03.07.05) publishes the following report by Murat Gurgen under the title: Military calls for measures against religious-reactionary civil servants":

    The Office of the Chief of the General Staff presented a five-hour briefing the night before last to Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. This briefing was the longest in which the military provided information to the government since the 28 February period [referring to the period following the National Security Council meeting of 28 February 1997 at which the military insisted that the role of Islam in political life be reduced.] Included in the group providing the briefing were General Staff Chief General Hilmi Ozkok, General Staff Deputy Chief General Ilker Basbug, the Commanders of the Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, and the General Commander of the Gendarmerie.

    C-4 Actions

    The major portion of the briefing was devoted to the escalating terrorist actions of the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan] and the struggle being waged against it. It was noted that large quantities of explosive materials, particularly C-4, have been smuggled into the country in the recent period, and information was provided regarding the organization's planned action against high-level military and civilian officials of the state. It was stated that measures need to be taken against the actions which the organization plans to conduct against high-level officials via booby-traps or suicide bombers. It was also stressed in the briefing that it has been learned that certain leftist organizations outside of the PKK are preparing actions that will draw attention.

    Attention to Infiltration of the State Bureaucracy

    In addition to separatism and terrorism, the General Staff briefing also drew attention to religious-reactionary [Turkish irticai] activities from the standpoint of internal security. It was stressed that religious-reactionary infiltration of the state must be prevented, and, in this context, particular attention was drawn to the importance of entry examinations for those entering the civil service.

    On the same issue Istanbul NTV television (03.07.05) broadcast the following:

    The JDP [Justice and Development Party] Central Decisionmaking and Executive Council [MKYK] discussed the five and a half hour meeting held by Prime Minister Erdogan at the General Staff headquarters the day before yesterday. Erdogan denied the press reports that the soldiers expressed their unease with regard to reactionism.

    During the meeting, the MKYK members posed questions to the prime minister with regard to the terrorism briefing conducted on 1 July. Denying the press reports, Erdogan stated that the measures adopted against terrorism and the current situation were discussed during the meeting at the General Staff headquarters. Erdogan said: There was not even a hint about reactionism.

    Meanwhile, the bylaw amendment that pitted the JDP against the RPP [Republican People's Party] also created some problems within the party. According to our information, JDP Corum Deputy Agah Kafkas voiced the unease felt over the situation as follows: The party administration failed to manage this crisis. Things should not have been conducted in this manner. Kafkas added: Instead of resolving the crisis, we became the center of the crisis. I wish we would have worked for another 20 days, and things would not have come to this just three days before the parliamentary recess.

    3.Clarificaitons on the discussion of the National Policy document

    Ankara TRT 1 Television (02.07.05) broadcast the following:

    A clarification has been made in connection with the different media interpretations on the issue of the National Security Political Document. The President's Office has issued a statement, saying that the National Security Council [NSC] debate on the document was postponed upon the request of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and of General Hilmi Ozkok, chief of the General Staff.

    The statement issued by the Presidential Press Center says: Before the NSC meeting on 21 June 2005, Prime Minister Erdogan and Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, chief of the General Staff, stated that they had not made sufficient preparations regarding the National Security Political Document that was on the agenda of the meeting, and requested to postpone the debate on the issue. The NSC members were informed of the situation and the debate was postponed. This is an announcement that should clarify the different statements and interpretations that have appeared in the press regarding this issue.

    On the same issue Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper (03.07.05) publishes the following report by Kemal Balci under the title: "Is JDP heading towards majority rule?":

    One should first of all remember the two small but successful steps of the government. It's the government's success that Serdar Denktas participated in the 32nd Foreign Ministers meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), representing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (occupied areas of Cyprus). Although Southern Cyprus Greek Administration's Ambassador in Damascus Marios P. Ieronymides' taking part in the 'family photo' of the foreign ministers at the end of the meeting clouded the success, we should congratulate Abdullah Gul.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also achieved a similar limited success during his official visit to Azerbaijan . Azerbaijani President Aliyev announced that they would launch direct flights to `TRNC´ from Baku , which can be seen as another meaningful success of the government.

    Despite these two successes achieved in foreign policy, JDP government's losing its cool-headed attitude at home is increasing the concerns. As the government is becoming at odds with the leading efficient sections of the society, political tension is escalating. The National Security Policy Document which sets the threats against Turkey created a serious tension between the government and the military at the last meeting of National Security Council (NSC) that meets in every two months. Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc's suggestion of lifting the "casus belli" (cause of war threat) against Greece drew strong reactions from the military. While the military demanded that the 'casus belli' decision should be prioritized in the document, the government wing of the NSC insisted that the document should be published after October 3 when Turkey will start accession talks with the European Union.

    [04] ORTAM newspaper points out that Rauf Denktas used to blame the Greek Cypriots for the non-solution whereas Talat accuses President Papadopoulos

    Under the title Its the same old song!, the Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (04.07.05) reports that for forty years we listened to Denktas. Denktas was accusing continuously the Greek Cypriots. Now, it is Talats turn. Denktas accusations were towards the Greek Cypriots, but Talat has the Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos as a target.

    The paper was commenting on an interview of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to the Greek newspaper TO VIMA on Sunday. Mr Talat, in his interview, said that Mr Papadopoulos stance is not helpful for a settlement in the island. Papadopoulos does not want a solution.

    The paper goes on: President Talat, walking on the trail of his predecessor Denktas, tries to disguise the negatives sourcing from his passiveness by throwing the whole cost of the non-solution to the Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos. He prefers to behave as if the Turkish Cypriot side under his leadership has a Turkish Cypriot state and to continue contributing to the non-solution by applying the two-face policy, which aims at the recognition of the TRNC.

    [05] The United Cyprus Party stated that the participation of the pseudostate in the OIC under the name Turkish Cypriot state, strengthened the ground for the separation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.07.05) reports that the United Cyprus Party (UCP) criticised the fact that the pseudostate participate in the 32nd Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Foreign Ministers' Conference in Yemen under the name Turkish Cypriot state.

    The Party noted that this action strengthened the ground for the separation and not considered an initiative for solution. According to UCP, this acknowledgment does not match with the Annan Plan and the Plan cannot be implemented since it was accepted by only one side.

    As the UCP notes, this development is contrary to the Annan Plan because the Plans philosophy and aim is to bring to life the fact of the United Cyprus.

    [06] Hackers claim the Turkish security forces are in co-operation with them

    Turkish HURRIYET newspaper (03.07.05) reports the following:

    Hacker groups, the numbers of which are rapidly increasing in every country, also exist in Turkey. The groups are established when several computer experts with similar goals come together, and they work together in cyberspace. In Turkey, the best known of these groups are the Turkish nationalists and the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan] supporters...

    The nationalist hackers bring down the sites that they see as being active against the views that they themselves espouse. They primarily attack the sites of peoples they consider "enemies", such as Armenians, Greeks, and Greek Cypriots, as well as pro-PKK sites. The best known are the THS (Turkish Hacking Sabotage) Group (www.thsgroup.org), The Ayyildiz Team (www.ayyildiz.org) [named for the star and crescent-moon on the Turkish flag], Antisite (www.antisite.net), the Cyberwarriors, and DSS (Digi Security).

    As for the pro-PKK hackers, they primarily go after Turkish civilian targets. Included among these are the Gulluoglu baklava dealers' site, and that of the Arzu fashion house.

    Both sides report the sites that they have "brought down" to certain international hacker registry lists such as www.zone-h.org. These sites first review the application, then if it is accurate they register it and give that hacking group credit for it. With every new such registration, the prestige of that group rises a bit further.

    An interesting aspect of the affair is the statements that are placed on the hacked sites: The PKK puts the figure of a penguin with an organizational flag on its chest onto the sites that it has taken control of, or else writes legends such as "The Revenge of Dersim" [referring to Tunceli province].

    As for the Turkish nationalist hackers, they put pictures of Ataturk or the Turkish flag onto the entry pages of the sites they have taken down, or else legends such as "This site has been added to Turkish territory in memory of our precious martyrs." If they are in a good mood, they also have the opposite side listen to a hacking folksong after bringing down the site. Some of them claim that the security forces are aware of them but do not touch them, while others even claim that they act in coordination with them.

    Subtitle: Nationalist hackers feud among each other

    The Turkish nationalist hackers, comprised of four main groups, are also in competition with one another. Alliances, falling outs, accusations, and from time to time internal battles, take place. DSS Turkey and the THS group, for instance, which were acting together when we did the interview, later announced that they had split up. And the Ayyildiz group, which was established two months ago, closed down THS and Turk Darbe ["Turkish Strike'] with its attacks, and announced that it aims at uniting the entire nationalist front.

    They include students and bank security experts in their ranks. Although most are males, females are also encountered among them. They range between 18 and 35 years in age.

    Their jargon resembles that of Kurtlar Vadisi ["Valley of the Wolves", a television program on organized crime]. They use nicknames for each other such as "Sancakoglu", "Battal Gazi", "Tuggeneral", and "Bayraktar". They refer to the attacks they carry out as "operations".

    Prior to every operation, teams of dozens of experts are formed, and these people create among themselves a virtual hierarchy with virtual ranks, such as colonel and lieutenant colonel. Each person has his own duties.

    In international operations, thousands of addresses are attacked at once, and sites are taken over. In the attacks, younger activists occupy themselves with hack operations, while older ones busy themselves with propaganda and information propagation operations.

    In Turkey, there are from 15 to 20 hackers who know computers well enough to be able to lead attacks. This is a sufficient number to become well known in cyberspace. They recognize no rivals in Europe, and in a recent virtual war between Brazil and Turkey, they bombarded 17 thousand Brazilian sites.

    The other groups that they see as rivals to themselves are the Russians and the Koreans. They portray themselves as the biggest assault force in the virtual world behind these two groups. This situation is also clear from the fact that, recently, IPs [Internet Protocol addresses] originating in Turkey are being quickly blacklisted.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist in Turkish Daily News describes as Polyanna game the Turkish propaganda machine campaign to change the international law in Cyprus

    Ankara Turkish Daily News (03.07.05) publishes the following editorial by Yusuf Kanli under the title: "Pollyanna game":

    Talking with Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat, one gets the impression that he's involved in some sort of Pollyanna game -- a game to try and find something good in any mishap.

    Unlike his predecessor, Rauf Denktas, Talat is neither "fat" nor "old" but is artificially bold -- as whatever was left of his hair was ordered shaved by his image-makers during the campaign for the April 24, 2004, referendum on a U.N. settlement plan.

    Although the international community, and particularly the European Union, could not deliver the "If this plan falters because of the Greek Cypriots, we shall not leave you Turkish Cypriots out in the cold" pledge before the referendum, Talat appeared confident in speaking to the TDN that "there is a limit. This cannot continue as it is. A day will come and the injustice will be corrected. What's happening here is contrary to all the foundations of the EU. The EU started as a free trade concept. Now we are barred from trading with the world. This cannot continue."

    While we were talking with Talat, in Yemen's capital of Sanaa Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas, the son of former President Denktas, was attending a meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as the representative of the Turkish State of Cyprus despite all the efforts of Cypriot Ambassador to Qatar Marios Ieronymides, to convince the delegates that "the Annan plan has failed through a referendum, so it is null and void." The ambassador claims that the Turkish Cypriots should not be allowed to attend under the name of the state that would have been established had the plan been accepted. The Greek Cypriot envoy, of course, was attending the meeting as a "guest."

    This development, the visits to northern Cyprus by foreign politicians and even some ministers via the Turkish Cypriot Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport and the decision of Azerbaijan to allow charter flights between Baku and northern Cyprus and encourage its businessmen to open up bureaus there are all indicative of the gradual lifting of the international isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    Talat was of the opinion that the isolation and its easing were not "tangible issues" as neither could it be established with walls nor could it be torn apart by getting rid of walls. "By voting in favor of the U.N. plan, we have demonstrated to the world for the first time in 40 years that it was not us but the Greek Cypriots who were intransigent and who were against a compromise settlement. Over the past decades they were portraying us as such and forcing the world to adopt decisions and resolutions against Turkish Cypriot secession ambitions. We have demonstrated that we are not after secession; we are willing to make peace and ready to compromise, while the Greek Cypriots did just the opposite. This is the new atmosphere, the new international perception that makes me confident that the isolation of northern Cyprus cannot be continued."

    Talat appeared prepared to "contradict if necessary" with the world but was determined "not to clash or confront the world."

    He was of the opinion that "phobias of the past" should not be allowed "to haunt the future" but frustrated at the same time with the growing arrogance in southern Cyprus towards the Turkish Cypriots.

    Though we believe that under international law, except for some cosmetic gestures, the isolation of northern Cyprus cannot be ended unless the realities of the land -- that is, the existence of two separate administrations and the fact that neither of these two can represent the entire territory and population of the island -- are recognized, Talat appeared confident that not only is there a light at the end of the tunnel but also that substantive headway has already been made through that tunnel as well.

    Was that conviction a result of the Pollyanna game? We shall see.

    /SK


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