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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-07-28

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.142/05 28.07.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan: No Recognition until Cyprus solution.
  • [02] A delegation of 82 people from Azerbaijan arrived in last night to the occupied area of Cyprus from Baku to illegal Tymbou airport.
  • [03] Kretschmer commented on importance of reforms for Turkey's accession.
  • [04] Turkish opposition leaders urge the Erdogan government not to sign the protocol. [05 ]Mehmet Ali Talat goes to Ankara to meet with the Turkish President.
  • [06] Turkish Company The Net Holding is starting building of 250 apartments on Autumn in occupied Famagusta district.
  • [07] An international disabled people basketball tournament started yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus.
  • [08] Turkish paper views re-enlistment in the army.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Cross border operation could bring conflict with United States.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan: No Recognition until Cyprus solution

    Istanbul NTV television (27.07.05) broadcast that the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, replying to correspondents' question after his meeting with the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, said that the additional declaration, which will be issued with the additional protocol, will include constructive expressions and not terminology, which will provoke the Republic of Cyprus. Mr Erdogan further noted that the Republic of Cyprus will not be recognized until the Cyprus issue is resolved.

    Mr Erdogan said: Of course, I have to emphasize one thing here. We consider this additional document as a constructive additional document. That is, in the same way that we have not until today, we will in the future as well not think of adopting an approach, which can be considered a provocation and incitement by the other side. In other words, we will declare what is already evident. This is the situation. Our stand toward the issue of recognition will never change until a solution is secured. It goes without saying that we should keep one thing in mind. The procedure of having the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) give its approval will become difficult if we, as the parties concerned, do not handle this process in a constructive manner. I explained this because this issue will not be over with only our permanent representative signing the protocol. Later, the TGNA will also have to give its approval. With regard to this approval procedure, we expect the Council to display the same constructive approach as the one we pursued in this declaration.

    [02] A delegation of 82 people from Azerbaijan arrived in last night to the occupied area of Cyprus from Baku to illegal Tymbou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.07.05) reports about the direct flight realized by a private company from Baku to illegal Tymbou airport.

    KIBRIS under banner headlines Historic Flight writes that 82 people from Azerbaijan arrived in last night to the occupied area thus breaking 31 year old embargo. The paper reports that the Azeri group is made up of businessmen, journalists and artists.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (28.07.05) reports that although this flight is aimed at breaking the isolation, it has at this moment major political meaning.

    The papers note that the Azeri delegation will hold meetings with various officials of the occupation regime. A number of bilateral trade agreements are expected to be signed during the visit.

    [03] Kretschmer commented on importance of reforms for Turkey's accession

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (27.07.05) reports from Kahramanmaras the Ambassador Hansjoerg Kretschmer, head of the EU Commission's Delegation to Turkey, has said that Turkey has launched a significant process for political reforms and that the process will continue even after the talks on accession begin on 3rd October.

    Speaking to an AA reporter after visiting the Governor's Office in Kahramanmaras, Mr Kretschmer said that Turkey joining the EU before it fulfils all the conditions for its accession will be impossible. Noting that they are visiting various provinces in Turkey to study the process for reforms particularly from the point of view of political criteria, human rights, supremacy of law, and democracy, he said: A general assessment will be made on the progress Turkey has achieved after we compile the information we need. Turkey has launched a significant process for political reforms. The political reforms will continue even after the talks on accession begin on 3rd October. Significant progress has been achieved on the path that leads to the EU. However, there is also a lot of work to be done in various other fields. In view of that, Turkey has another difficult road ahead of it.

    Replying to a question as to when Turkey might be able to join the EU, Kretschmer noted: That cannot be achieved before 2014. However, the matter depends on how quickly Turkey might move. The sooner Turkey adopts and applies the EU standards and principles, the quicker it will be able to join the organization as a member. I am convinced that it will become an EU member. That will depend on how firm and eager Turkey will be to join the organization. Turkey joining the EU before it fulfils all the conditions will be impossible.

    [04] Turkish opposition leaders urge the Erdogan government not to sign the protocol

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (28.07.05) strongly opposes to the signing of the additional protocol by Turkey which will extend the Customs Union agreement, to ten new EU members including Republic of Cyprus. Issuing declaration after signing the protocol is a catch VOLKAN columnist Sabahattin Ismail declared and urged Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul not to sign the Protocol.

    VOLKAN further publishes statements made by Turkish opposition party leaders. Opposition leaders consider signing of the protocol, as the Liquidation of the TRNC. VOLKAN publishes statements by the Democratic Left Party (DLP) leader, Zeki Sezer, the Liberal Party (LP) leader Yasar Okuyan, the General Chairman of the Motherland Party (MP) Erkan Mumcu, the True Path Party (TPP), leader Mehmet Agar and the Felicity Party (FP) Chairman Sezai Kutan. The Leader of the main opposition party, in Turkey, Repulican People´s Party (RPP) Deniz Baykal, has said that the Government must not sign the EU framework agreement. He said: The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) must not accept the document even if the Government signs it.

    Speaking at a news conference, Baykal claimed that the protocol will recognize significant economic privileges to the Greek Cypriots but will not provide economic gains for the Turkish Cypriots. Stressing that the Government will make a historic mistake, Baykal asserted that Turkey´s cause on Cyprus will be significantly harmed if the document is signed.

    Baykal said: We condemn the Government´s wrong approach, which lacks foresight. We condemn its submissive foreign policy approach, which yields to faits accomplish and which will seriously harm Turkey´s cause on Cyprus. We believe that the Turkish Grand National Assembly should fulfil its historic duty by not signing the protocol.

    [05] Mehmet Ali Talat goes to Ankara to meet with the Turkish President

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.07.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, will go to Ankara on 1st August as a guest of the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Mr Talat will also meet with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok.

    Mr Talat will be accompanied by his wife Oya Talat, the so-called deputy Prime Minister and minister of Foreign Affairs Serdar Denktas, his adviser Rasit Pertev and the so-called Director of the Secretariat Asim Akansoy.

    [06] Turkish Company The Net Holding is starting building of 250 apartments on Autumn in occupied Famagusta district

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (28.07.05) reports that the Turkish NET Holding company is starting in autumn the building of 250 new apartments in the occupied Famagusta district.

    According to statements made by Mr Haluk Elver, the executive committee vice chairman of the company, the project will take place in a 26 donum plot in the occupied Famagusta district. Mr Elver stated that the project for the building of the 250 apartments will start next autumn and will be finished within a year.

    In addition, Mr Elver stated that the NET Holding will make more investment in occupied Cyprus. As he said they will add 90 new rooms at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel which is located in occupied Kyrenia. This investment will cost the company around 7 million US dollars, as he said.

    Mr Elver stated that at present immovable property prices compared to the past have sharply increased in occupied Cyprus and reached to 200-250% level. He also stated that the demand for immovable property comes mainly from British, Israelis and Turks who live abroad.

    [07] An international disabled people basketball tournament started yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (28.07.05) reports that the 9th Atanco International Disabled People Basketball Tournament started yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus. The tournament is organized every year by the Turkish Cypriot federation of disabled people and the company Atanco.

    Teams from Russian, German and Netherlands are taking part in the tournament.

    [08] Turkish paper views re-enlistment in the army

    Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (27.07.05), under the title Promotion Excitement for 116 Generals and Admirals, reports the following article:

    The Supreme Military Council (SMC) is set to convene in Ankara starting next Monday. The meeting will promote 116 generals and admirals in the higher echelons of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF). While the commanders of the Naval and Air Forces are leaving their posts, fresh blood will replace them

    Several outgoing officers are expected to give speeches warning the government about encouraging reactions within the Turkish Armed Forces.

    As in years past, personnel believed to be involved in reactionary activities will be terminated by SMC.

    The Military-Political Status Report, related to domestic and foreign threats, will be presented at the beginning of the meeting. The General Staff will speak about a possible anti-terrorism unit, a bone of contention between the military and government.

    The Supreme Military Council will convene in Ankara next Monday for the important task of reshuffling Turkey's top military brass. While 116 generals and admirals will experience the excitement of promotion at the four-day meeting, many members of the Naval and Air Force commands are expected to face mandatory retirement due to their age. Some outgoing commanders are expected to give speeches warning the government about reactionary circles in Turkey. Personnel believed to be involved in reactionary activities will be terminated by SMC, while the General Staff will tell the government about the possible establishment of a new "anti-terrorism unit," a recent bone of contention between the government and the military.

    General Staff Headquarters will host the SMC meeting chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Among those present will be Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, and Turkish Armed Forces commanders, generals, and admirals.

    On the first day of the meeting, the "Military-Political Status Report," covering domestic and foreign threats, will be presented by the General Staff. In this session, there will be a briefing for SMC's civilian members on a proposal to establish a new anti-terrorism unit. The military is reported to consider amending the Anti-Terrorism Law to facilitate anti-terror efforts a top priority. The importance of establishing an institution affiliated with the Prime Ministry to monitor and investigate terrorism using education, intelligence, psychological operations, and social and economic data, to coordinate Turkey's fight against terrorism from an overarching level, will be emphasized during the session.

    Chief of General Staff General Ozkok and Land Forces Commander General Yasar Buyukanit will remain in their positions this year. Ozkok's term in office will expire next year. Barring unexpected developments, General Buyukanit will replace Ozkok as the chief of General Staff. Buyukanit will chair the General Staff for only two years due to the age limit.

    The terms of Naval Forces Commander Vice Admiral Ozden Ornek and Air Forces Commander General Ibrahim Firtina will wind down this year. War Academy Commander General Faruk Comert will take over the Air Forces command and the Navy's Vice Admiral Yener Karahanoglu will take over the Naval Forces helm.

    First Army Commander General Hursit Tolon's four years at the position end this year. Tolon is expected to be made redundant at the SMC meeting, and his post will certainly be handed over to Deputy Chief of General Staff General Ilker Basbug. After being appointed Land Forces commander when General Buyukanit takes over the General Staff helm next year, Basbug is expected to become chief of General Staff in 2008, when Buyukanit steps down due to the age limit.

    Subtitle: Criticizing the government

    Military circles report that some officers preparing to step down will criticize some of the government's policies, and particularly its opposition to SMC decisions. These outgoing officers are expected to criticize what they see as the government giving a green light to reactionary activities by making an issue of SMC's practice of dismissing members of the military believed to be involved in reactionary activities.

    The positions of 60 members of the Land Forces Command, 23 from Air Forces Command, 18 from Naval Forces Command, and nine from Gendarmerie Command, totalling 116 vacant spots for generals and admirals, will be discussed at the SMC meeting.

    Apart from this, including those high-ranking members who will either be promoted or retired due to age, generals and admirals will be posted to the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA), the Military Court of Appeals, and the Military High Administration Court (AYIM) at the meeting. Forty-five generals' and admirals' proposed retirement from the Land, Air, Naval Forces ,and Gendarmerie will be discussed, and one-year extensions to the rank-holding period for 40 generals are in the pipeline. Forty colonels in the Land Forces will be promoted to the rank of general or admiral.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Cross border operation could bring conflict with United States

    Under the above title, Turkish daily MILLIYET (25.07.05) published the following commentary by Semih Idiz:

    The question as to whether or not Turkey might mount an operation against PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] camps in northern Iraq is adding fervour to the hot summer nights of foreign diplomats in Ankara. This topic is now being taken very seriously after both Prime Minister Erdogan and Deputy Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug raised the issue in quick succession. Under present conditions it must be considered quite natural that Washington and London are the capital cities following this matter the closest because both these countries have a military presence in Iraq. However, the EU is also on board because such an operation is considered bound to activate the widespread Kurdish lobby in Europe. It also goes without saying that those wishing to obstruct Turkey's path to Europe are going to try and make capital out of this operation; just as they are doing over the Armenian genocide issue.

    Subtitle: No Positive Scenarios

    Furthermore, the Arabs are also involved; but we are not paying them much attention, as if we ever did. The Arab League condemned every cross border operation mounted by the Turkish Armed Forces into northern Iraq in the past. These operations were even said by the United States to be "justifiable" yet respectable Arab publications such as Al-Hayat and Shark al-Avsat were commenting on them saying, "Ottoman-Turkish Imperialism on the Rise Again." Of course, this too is being forgotten: After the US has occupied Iraq it is not just the Kurds who are opposing Turkish soldiers entering Iraq, even if under US command. The Arabs too are against it, and expressing their opposition clearly.

    In short, everybody is trying to weigh up the impact any Turkish military operation into northern Iraq will have. If we look simply at what I have heard personally there does not seem to be any positive scenario for this. This is because nobody believes it would be a simple operation of the "Get in, do the job, get out" type we saw in the past.

    Subtitle: "We would set the world against us"

    Everybody says that should such an operation take place then it would have serious repercussions within the region, on the already delicate Turkish-US relationship, and on Turkish-EU relations. It is being said that Turkey basing this operation on Article 51 of the UN Charter claiming legitimate self-defence is not going to make the ensuing problems go away. It is clear that my mounting such an operation Turkey is going to set the whole world against it. Furthermore, the following estimates are being made about any possible operation:

    If Turkey attempts to enter northern Iraq it will come up against Peshmerga and US forces. We all know what the outcome will be if they say, "You cannot pass." There are even those who say that the issue might go as far as a clash between the sides, already on edge over the 'Al-Sulaymaniyah sack over the head' incident.

    Subtitle: "It Is Your Own Problem"

    Meanwhile, the words of one Western diplomat - words that will definitely make the Turks angry - sum up the general opinion among foreigners: "Your problem is not on Mt Kandil; it is at home. You can mount 50 cross border operations; it will not alter that fact." The fact that Arab diplomats I have spoken too fell the same way adds an interesting note to this business.

    No doubt much can be said about this topic ranging from double standards by the EU which supports the PKK to comments such as, "The United States and the United Kingdom are occupying that country; they have no right to lecture us." Much should be said. However, no matter how angry they are both military and civilian planners need to act pragmatically and not emotionally. In the end Turkey will mount such an operation if it feels the need to. Many people are asking for this in response to PKK attacks. However, if there is anybody out there who thinks that such an operation will be "cost free" and have a "happy ending", I am afraid it does not look that way.

    /SK


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