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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-07-29

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.143/05 29.07.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Disagreement between Ankara and London on the declaration.
  • [02] ORTAM: No change in Rauf Denktas´ intransigent stance, proposes Czechoslovak model.
  • [03] Kretschmer: EU accession conditions are same for all candidate countries.
  • [04] Intricate strategies in talks with the EU.
  • [05] The so-called Prime Minister met with Azerbaijani Delegation.
  • [06] The Turkish Parliament will convene before 1st of October in order to discuss the Additional Protocol.
  • [07] Turkey has exported goods worth 1 million dollars to the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [08] Iraqi Airlines will resume flights to Turkey.
  • [09] Turkey and Iraq hold meeting on opening second border gate.
  • [10] Pakistan proposes to Turkey to co-produce tanks.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Turkish columnist evaluates Blair's comments on EU protocol.
  • [12] Turkish paper views Kurdish Problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Disagreement between Ankara and London on the declaration

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.07.05) reports under banner headlines: Bargaining on the Declaration and says that despite the fact that the British Prime Minister Tony Blair had pledged that signing the Customs Union additional protocol by Turkey does not mean recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, the difference of views between London and Ankara continues.

    KIBRIS reports that British term presidency wants from Turkey to soften expressions in the declaration which might endanger 3rd October accession negotiation process. The paper further reports that Mr. Blair wanted to see the text of the declaration during his meeting with his Turkish counterpart Erdogan, but, Turkish Prime Minister refused it and informed him orally. KIBRIS reports that the British term presidency opposes to certain expressions such as - banning of the Cyprus registered ships and airplane using Turkish ports and airports to be included in the declaration. In its turn Turkey argues that if these expressions are not included in the text then there will be difficulties in getting the protocol to be approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    According to KIBRIS, in the declaration there are four basic elements. They are:

    a) Signing of the additional protocol does not affect the special relations between the `TRNC´ and Turkey.

    b) The additional protocol cannot harm the rights acquired under the 1960 Treaties.

    c) Signing of the additional protocol does not mean recognition of the Greek Cypriot side.

    d) Turkey´s support for the UN sponsored solution efforts continue,

    KIBRIS also reports about the view expressed by the EU circles in Brussels as regards the Protocol. The EU circles said: The more detailed declaration, the more risk for criticism, it would be better if the declaration to be issued by Turkey contains general provisions rather than detailed headings:

    Moreover, Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (29/07/05) reported that among the four elements is the point that services are excluded from the additional protocol.

    [02] ORTAM: No change in Rauf Denktas´ intransigent stance, proposes Czechoslovak model

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (290.07.05), former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas has said that Turkey may sign Customs Union Additional Protocol for its own interests but we will continue to resist as long as army corps (Turkish occupation troops) stay here, and as long as Turkey says 'I recognize TRNC, I don't recognize Greek Cypriot Administration".

    Denktas gave a briefing about Cyprus problem to Azerbaijani delegation, which arrived in the occupied area on Wednesday evening on a direct flight from Baku.

    "Two separate referendums were held in Cyprus. Various promises had been made to Turkish Cypriots before the referendum," Denktas said stating that those promises were never kept after the referendum.

    Denktas said: "They wanted Turkish soldiers to be withdrawn from the island, Varosha to be returned to Greek Cypriots and management of the ports to be given to the EU. Turkish Cypriot people feel uneasy over the course of the incidents."

    "We are anxiously waiting what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will make about Customs Union Additional Protocol," Denktas said emphasizing that, "Turkey said 'yes' to Annan plan for its own sake and made us say 'yes'. It made a very big mistake. I don't know how to get rid of this problem; I hope they know. Annan plan is a plan taking Turkey out from the island and removing its rights."

    Proposing Czechoslovak Model for the settlement of the Cyprus problem, Denktas said the two separate states could unite under the roof of the European Union (EU), "both of them should be sovereign and have internationally recognized borders, so that Greek Cypriots would not try to take over whole of Cyprus. So that there would not be bloodshed again," he stressed.

    ORTAM goes on and criticises Denktas´ statement and says that He is the same Denktas nothing has changed in him.

    [03] Kretschmer: EU accession conditions are same for all candidate countries

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.05) reported from Adana that the head of the Delegation of European Commission in Turkey, Hansjoerg Kretschmer said: EU accession conditions are the same for all candidate countries. Political and economic conditions are same. EU does not put big obstacles before Turkey.

    EU seems to ask for different conditions from Turkey which are not wanted from other candidate countries; and statements of authorities and officials have some responsibility in this situation, he said.

    Mr Kretschmer wanted Cyprus issue not to be considered as a big question mark about EU-Turkey relations.

    MR Kretschmer visited Chamber of Commerce of (southern city) Adana (ATO) on Thursday and held a press conference.

    During negotiation process, the funds which EU provides for Turkey will increase significantly. Thus, Turkey will get prepared for EU membership more easily, he said.

    Mr Kretschmer said: EU reserved 300 million Euro in 2005 for Turkey within the scope of pre-accession assistance mechanism. This budget will reach 500 million Euro in 2006.

    Turkey's signing Ankara Agreement additional protocol cannot be assessed as a concession. Republic of Cyprus is a member of EU, thus acceptance of agreement is very normal, he noted.

    Accession talks are pursued between EU member and candidate countries. Thus, Turkey's accession talks will be held with 25 EU members countries. Republic of Cyprus is one of these countries. So we should avoid considering Cyprus as a big question mark about EU-Turkey relations, he said.

    Mr Kretschmer also said: There can be different views within EU against Turkey. However, if Turkey meets requirements of EU accession process rapidly, views of EU member countries can change.

    [04] Intricate strategies in talks with the EU

    Under the above title, Turkish daily RADIKAL newspaper (28.07.05) reported by Ismet Berkan on Erdogan-Blair meeting as follows:

    Turkey is ready to sign the additional protocol to the Customs Union Agreement while Greek Cypriots are maintaining a campaign in a bid to ensure that the framework document, which has not been finally approved by the EU, is revised to Turkey's disadvantage. Meanwhile, British officials are trying to ensure that Turkey does not face any hitch before 3 October.

    Subtitle: The declaration is ready

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul have been saying the same thing: "We are ready to sign the additional protocol to the Customs Union Agreement." The declaration, which will be unveiled by Turkey after signing it, has already been drafted but its content is a secret.

    Subtitle: Mutual gestures

    Erdogan relieved anxieties shared by British officials by saying that the declaration would contain a statement reflecting the agreements already worked out. Meanwhile, Turkish officials sighed with relief British Prime Minister Tony Blair pointed out that signing of the protocol would not mean extending diplomatic recognition to Cyprus. Those gestures were the result of negotiations being conducted between Turkish, EU, and British officials.

    Subtitle: The real debate

    The main objective, however, is starting the accession talks on 3 October rather than signing the protocol, which will include Cyprus in the Customs Union. Turkey is inclined to start the talks with debates focusing on some uncomplicated issues such as education and science. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is trying to finalize the framework document for negotiations, which has yet to be ratified by the EU's foreign ministers.

    Subtitle: Date for signing the document

    Greek Cypriots are pressing for changes to the framework document, which would be Turkey's disadvantage, and insist that the protocol be signed before the framework document is approved. London has told Ankara that it would be informed about the date set for signing the document when the protocol is signed.

    [05] The so-called Prime Minister met with Azerbaijani Delegation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.05) reports that the so-called Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer met with the delegation of Azerbaijani-Turkish Businessmen's Union which arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus by direct flight from Baku on Wednesday night.

    Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr Soyer said: The plane which took off from Baku and landed in Lefkosia (occupied airport) made great contribution to Turkish Cypriots' opening to the world as well as their struggle to gain equal rights with Greek Cypriots as an equal society. This situation brought a momentum to struggle of Turkish Cypriots which has been pursued on a right and legitimate base.

    Turkey's support in every area provides a great strength to TRNC (occupied area of Cyprus). From now on there will also be another power. This is Azerbaijani people, he added.

    Meanwhile, Azerbaijani-Turkish Businessmen's Union Chairman Ahmet Erentok told reporters that Azerbaijani delegation is comprised of businessmen, reporters and artists, noting that they are ready for investment and cooperation in every area in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Mr Erentok said: Turkish Cypriot and Azerbaijani businessmen will hold a business forum on Friday. They will exchange views and examine alternative investment milieus and facilities.

    [06] The Turkish Parliament will convene before 1st of October in order to discus the Additional Protocol

    Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (29.07.05) reports that the Turkish Grand National Assembly is considering holding an extraordinary session, in order to approve the Customs Union additional protocol

    Belittling Cyprus´ size and the population, chairman of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Mehmet Dulger said: Turkey cannot be put on a balance against a small country. Papadopoulos who did not dare to exercise veto on 17 December, from now on he could only collect my shoes.

    He went on and said: On the one hand a small country, and on the other a huge Turkey. At this moment Turkey is 3-4 steps ahead. The basis for a settlement in Cyprus is the UN. We are making favour to the EU and in order not to cause delays we are putting our signature. The EU cannot tell us `withdraw the troop from there´. The USA will be involved. The US getting prepared to withdraw its troops from Iraq. One thing should not be forgotten, the USA cannot withdraw from Iraq in a moment. The British Bases in Cyprus is not enough for its interventions later on.

    Dulger further claimed that exercising veto had ended on 17 December and that President Papadopoulos cannot use it. He could get my shoes nothing else Dulger boasted.

    [07] Turkey has exported goods worth 1 million dollars to the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title Turkey has exported 1 million dollars goods on May to the North Cyprus Greek Section which does not recognise , Turkish CUMHUR0YET newspaper (29.07.05) reports that Turkey has started to export goods to the Republic of Cyprus.

    The paper notes that according to the State Statistic Institution (SSI) of Turkey, Turkey has exported last May, for the first time in its history, goods worth 1 million and 20 thousand dollars to the Republic of Cyprus. The paper notes that the Greek sections has also exported goods to Turkey but the SSI has not information on the issue.

    Speaking to the paper Mr Ahmet Zeki, ex so-called ambassador of Turkey to the pseudostate stated that with the signing of the Additional Protocol the trade relations between Turkey and the TRNC will enter a period that will be passed over the Greek Cypriot Section.

    The TRNC economy will be destroyed, he noted and said that Trade and economy relations will start between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side.

    [08] Iraqi Airlines will resume flights to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.05) reported that Iraqi Airlines' flights to Turkey will resume as of August 3rd, 2005, said sources on Thursday.

    Officials stated that flights of Iraqi Airlines stopped 15 years ago due to embargo and war, noting that it entered restructuring period after the war and it would restart air transportation as well.

    Iraqi Airlines, with its new planes, will hold scheduled flights between Baghdad and Istanbul for two days (Mondays and Thursdays) a week.

    Iraqi Airlines will hold its first flight on August 3rd to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport.

    [09] Turkey and Iraq hold meeting on opening second border gate

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.05) reported that diplomatic experts from Turkey and Iraq held a meeting at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) today to discuss opening of a second border gate between the two countries.

    Diplomatic sources indicated that both sides presented its views on the possibility of a second border pass and that, in principle; both countries are not opposed to the opening of a second border pass.

    Meetings on the second border gate will continue in the upcoming months, said MFA sources.

    The second border pass is likely to get opened in southeastern town of Ovakoy.

    [10] Pakistan proposes to Turkey to co-produce tanks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.05) reports that Pakistan has proposed to Turkey to sell or co-produce tanks, Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Wednesday.

    Meeting Pakistani Minister of Defence Production Habibullah Khan Warraich, Gonul said that they were assessing this proposal.

    Also, we have a proposal about 9600 model electronic transceivers. Also, there are some other proposals regarding electronics. We have made a certain progress in these two areas, and we will search for new cooperation possibilities, said Gonul.

    On the other hand, Warraich said that his country saw Turkey as a good industrial partner, and added that they could cooperate in many military areas.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Turkish columnist evaluates Blair's comments on EU protocol

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (28.07.05), under the title Three Goals Conceded but do not Count Cyprus, published the following commentary by Omer Lutfi Mete:

    We have heard British Minister Tony Blair making a statement about the Additional Protocol, one of the key issues discussed in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to London, which should have eliminated widespread confusion and disagreements about the matter: "Signing of the protocol would not imply that diplomatic recognition is extended to Cyprus."

    The question is whether that comment will actually serve as a cure for those disagreements and confusion. Probably, it will not because there are sharp differences and utter confusion.

    In fact, the sceptics of the government's policy on Cyprus would hardly be satisfied with any guarantee offered. For the most sceptic group in that camp, the ongoing process is only aimed at giving up Cyprus for the sake of an unrealizable dream to join the EU. Meanwhile, the most fervent apostles of the EU have taken a totally opposing approach. They argue that the stalemate in Cyprus should not dash Turkey's hopes of joining the EU, which is regarded as a sacred cause, pointing out that the island has lost its strategic importance.

    How should we respond? Should we say that we share both approaches at two extremes without paying attention to significant differences between them?

    - Long live those who sneer at rice at home for the sake of empty dreams!

    - Long live those, who can easily accuse others of treason due to their deep suspicions!

    The guarantee given by Blair should have pleased Erdogan and Gul, who take into account a possible backlash from the public that could be triggered by developments related to the matter. Nevertheless, based on their recent experiences, they probably do not disregard the fact that such verbal guarantees would not have much meaning notwithstanding the issues discussed in the negotiations held there. During his return flight from Mongolia, Erdogan, who was conversing with a group of reporters, admitted that the Additional Protocol to the Customs Union had become a contentious issue from the legal standpoint.

    Some jurists argued that signing the protocol would be tantamount to extending diplomatic recognition to the Greek Cypriot State while some others shared the opinion that it would be wrong to come to such a conclusion in light of international law.

    When an issue is debated by jurists, the final decision would still be taken by the government. If you have a strong will, the legal opinion in favour of your approach would be upheld. If not, the opposite view would prevail. It is so simple.

    In fact, Erdogan created an impression during that conversation that he was convinced that there was a strong will that could serve as a guarantee against possible debates about recognition of Cyprus, which could result from the signing of the Additional Protocol.

    Of course we will have assessed the extent to which that guarantee was realistic several weeks before 3 October. In addition, we will also find out to what extent Blair's statement that there would be no problem if Turkey did not recognize the Greek Cypriot State, which he made in his capacity as the Prime Minister of a country holding EU presidency, was reliable.

    Despite those assurances, promises, indications, and approaches, Papadopoulos has been loudly saying that he would never accept it. Should we come to the conclusion that his statements are not worth considering? There is no problem for the apostles of the EU, who display a false self-confidence when discussing such issues: "How could you think that tiny Greek Cypriot country dictates its terms to Turkey, which is a major country?"

    It is true that such things would not happen under normal conditions just like the fact that Trabzonspor [a Turkish soccer team] would not suffer such a defeat against a soccer team from the Greek Cypriot side under normal circumstances.

    Was Trabzonspor actually a giant and the Greek Cypriot team a dwarf as earlier portrayed by our sports dailies? Those who watched the match and assessed it based on their knowledge about soccer without being influenced by the television commentator's nationalistic rhetoric realized that such definitions of a giant and a dwarf made in advance might have no meaning at all.

    The team, which was described as a dwarf, was using very simple and clever tactics whereas their opponents portrayed as a giant was not using any simple or complicated tactics. There were good Georgian and German players in that team albeit they were quite old. They were not very talented players but they outperformed most of our stars in terms of fundamental training. More importantly, there was nobody in that team, who could commit a suicidal act that could only be committed by a person coming from an underdeveloped country like Yattara [a player of Trabzonspor]. That is why they easily scored three goals in their match against Trabzonspor.

    Tiny South Cyprus has scored numerous goals against Turkey on international forums since 1974. Germans, British, and French rather than Georgians scored those political and diplomatic goals on behalf of South Cyprus. In addition, there have always been an adequate number of "Yattaras" in our Foreign Ministry.

    Of course we should not be paranoid. But should we abandon our suspicions, which stem from a cautious approach?

    [12] Turkish paper views Kurdish Problem

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (20.07.05) published the following commentary by Hasan Cemal, under the title In Order To Break the Charm of the Mountains...:

    It is necessary to bring down the armed PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan] militants from the mountains.

    It is necessary to prevent Kurdish youths living in the southeast and in the suburbs of big cities from going to the mountains.

    How will this be possible?

    By breaking the charm of the mountains...

    And how is it possible to break the charm of the mountains?

    This question has more than one answer.

    Actually, it cannot have a single answer.

    Nevertheless, it is impossible to resolve the Kurdish problem or the problems related to democracy in this country without first resolving the problem that is tangled around this issue. And as everyone knows, it is necessary to shrink the target in order to establish peace and tranquillity.

    And the target that should be shrunk is the PKK.

    And it is primarily necessary to destroy the break of the mountains in order to weaken the PKK, which does not give up arms, violence, or terrorism.

    Nonetheless, it is not possible to achieve this goal by merely carrying out military interventions or by taking security measures.

    Yesterday I talked to certain Kurdish intellectuals about this issue. Similar to my two previous articles, I will summarize my conversations and my notes and I will place this summary within quotation marks, without giving any names.

    I believe that these lines may help certain centres to do some brain exercises. Why not, after all?

    Why did they go to the mountains? It is true that fewer people are going to the mountains now, but why do they continue to go there?

    Think about the Kurdish youth?

    Think about the youth living in the east and in the suburbs of big cities. Do they live like the Turkish youths of the same age? I do not think so. Their expectations from the future do not resemble the expectations of the Turkish youths. They should also be able to study, they should also be able to have jobs, and they should also be able to have a happy family life. The number of the Kurdish youths who have such means and who can have such dreams is very limited.

    Furthermore, in the suburbs of big cities they also experience the pain of being hustled, being pushed away, and being humiliated due to the fact that they are Kurdish.

    Neither the youths nor their father are able to easily find jobs in the city. It was not so difficult in the past. When the employers look at their identity cards and when they see that they are from the southeast -- from places such as Lice, Dicle, and Sirnak -- they do not easily employ them.

    They are barking up the wrong tree.

    With the years, this paranoia has further strengthened in the state and in the bureaucracy. There is unease among the bureaucratic cadres of the state -- be it civilian or military -- regarding the success of Turkish citizens of Kurdish origin. There is suspicion and resistance. And this is such a shame.

    This way, the mountains have turned into a bright centre of attraction for the Kurdish youths who are unemployed, who have lost all their hopes for the future, and who feel that they and their families are being humiliated. And these youths may adopt the ideal of going to the mountains, taking up arms, and joining the PKK ranks.

    How is it possible to break this?

    The state should get rid of its paranoia toward its own citizens. The state should not estrange itself from these persons. Some of the citizens of the Turkish Republic should not believe that the state is treating them differently and that it is engaging in discrimination against them just because they are Kurdish.

    This has not been happening for years.

    There is another point and that is amnesty -- an unconditional amnesty! A real amnesty has not been announced in Turkey since the 12 September military regime. This has always been postponed because of the PKK. The state of emergency has continued forever. However, in terms of the Kurds on the mountains, the Kurds who are incarcerated in prison or who have been released from prison, and the Kurds living in the diaspora, such an amnesty -- a real amnesty -- means shrinking the target. It means isolating those who still insist on the use of arms and who talk in favour of an armed struggle. It means weakening the PKK. An amnesty is imperative for breaking the charm of the mountains. The arrangements that were made in the past, the steps that were taken with the amendments that were made in the Execution Law and the Repentance Laws that force these people to become confessors were not able to break the charm of the mountains.

    Furthermore this general amnesty should not merely be linked to the PKK. It is necessary to emphasize this point. Every time amnesty appears on the agenda, the same argument is heard: 'This is not the right time!' When will be the right time? An amnesty will not be passed when everything is in a state of peace and concord. In 1999 when Apo [Abdullah Ocalan] was sent to the Turkey, emphasis had been put on several points.

    One of them was: Apo would not be hanged. As a result, capital punishment was abolished.

    Second: The PKK would lay down arms. This also happened.

    As for the third point: An unconditional amnesty would be passed. Such an amnesty has not been passed, however. No one expected such an amnesty to also include Apo. Nonetheless, an amnesty that would have enabled the militants to come down from the mountains should have been passed. This did not happen. The three-party coalition government that consisted of Ecevit, Yilmaz, and Bahceli was not able to accomplish this task.

    The steps that were taken were inadequate.

    Later this issue was also put on the agenda of the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government in the beginning of 2003. In the beginning they were doing very well, but later it was seen that they applied the brakes. As far as we can understand, the military and the civilian bureaucracy were successful where this issue was concerned. It was not able to pass a real amnesty. The arrangement that was made was good for nothing.

    No one wants to continue to hear gunshots in the east. For everyone in his right mind going back to those days is nothing, but a nightmare. However, despite the fact that the PKK and Apo are no longer as strong as they used to be, they are still very strong and very influential among the people and the grassroots.

    They are able to get what they want.

    They are able to bring additional men to the mountains.

    They are able to do this in spite of the fact that they are no longer so strong and in spite of the fact that they are not able to undertake the actions that they used to take in the past. Given that it is still powerful, Kurdish intellectuals are not able to raise their voices. Neither are they able to constitute a counterforce.

    Let us once again summarize the important points that are required for breaking the charm of the mountains: It is necessary to shed light upon Hikmet Fidan's murder. It is necessary to pass an amnesty. The state should change its behaviour. And it is necessary to fix the economic and the social expectations. When we look at all this, we see that only one institution can do all this: The political government!

    Will the government be able to do this? Will it be able to take an initiative and to act courageously?

    I bring this article to a close with this question that was posed to the JDP government. Tomorrow, an article that questions the line that has been adopted by the government so far, that analyses what can be done in order to break the charm of the mountains, and that refers to certain issues related to the Democratic Society Movement will be published in this column.


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