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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-04-07

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.64/03 05-06-07.04.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister before departing for the occupied areas.
  • [02] Joint press conference by Rauf Denktas and the Turkish Foreign Minister.
  • [03] Gul met with Turkish Cypriot party leaders, while a group of PUM supporters were prevented from expressing their protest to him regarding Turkey's stance in Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkish sources say Ankara is launching an initiative with the EU and the UN on Cyprus.
  • [05] Mr Rauf Denktas assesses the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus.
  • [06] The Turkish Cypriots will be able to get the nationality of the Turkish Republic when they wish.
  • [07] A rally for solution and EU membership was held in occupied Famagusta.
  • [08] Letter containing suspicious powder was sent to the owner of Genc TV.
  • [09] Talat accuses Denktas of trying for years to create lack of confidence between the communities in Cyprus.
  • [10] Talat on the measures, which are reportedly to be announced by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus towards the Turkish Cypriots.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Sami Kohen assesses Denktas' proposal to open a neighbourhood of occupied Famagusta for settlement under certain conditions.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister before departing for the occupied areas

    Istanbul NTV television (05.04.03) broadcast live the following statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at Ankara's Esenboga Airport before departing for occupied Cyprus:

    "Today, I will pay an official visit to the `TRNC' and I am very happy about this. During this visit, I will meet with `President' Rauf Denktas, `Prime Minister' Dervis Eroglu, the opposition leaders, and other `state' officials.

    As you know, the Cyprus problem is still continuing. Our government's stand consists of exerting efforts for a solution, because, as we declared on several occasions, we do not believe that non-solution is a solution. In this respect, we find very significant the appeal issued by Mr Denktas on Greek Cypriot leader Mr Papadopoulos on 2 and 4 April. We regard it as an initiative to mutually build confidence. It is truly significant that Mr Denktas said that more comprehensive talks can be conducted in the wake of these confidence-building measures. This is something Turkey and our government support.

    Of course, the Cyprus issue is a chronic problem. In that respect, the international community is closely interested in the solution of this problem. We are also exerting efforts for its solution, as is Mr Denktas. We believe that it is not right to put the entire blame for the failure to attain a solution in the Hague on one side alone. The rejection of the Kofi Annan plan came from both sides, not only from the Turkish Cypriot side. Therefore, we believe that one-sided accusations are not right.

    Nonetheless, the doors are not yet closed. The efforts for peace will continue. We hope that these efforts will yield results. In that respect, our visit is important. Moreover, we all want our Turkish brothers in the `TRNC' to be in unity and solidarity. Their future concerns all of us very closely. Their happiness will be our happiness.

    This is all I have to say for now. I would like to touch upon another point, if I may. I saw a report in a newspaper this morning concerning Iranian Foreign Minister Kharrazi's working visit to Turkey on 6 April. First, I would like you all to know that this date was proposed by Turkey, because as you have also been following, we have a very intense working schedule. Today, we are going to Cyprus, on 7 April we have other visits. Therefore, it was our side that proposed 6 April for the Iranian visit. Moreover, the Iranian foreign minister did not request to meet with our president. He requested to meet with the prime minister, who will receive him tomorrow. I wanted you to know this, because there is no need for misunderstandings. We attach great importance to friendship with neighbouring countries. Such reports cause misunderstandings at times. I will answer any questions you might have."

    Question: What will you discuss in your talks with Mr Kharrazi?

    Answer: As you know, Turkey and Iran are neighboring countries. There cannot be anything more natural than our discussing the recent developments, the Iraqi issue. Turkey and Iran are closely following the developments regarding north Iraq. We will discuss these issues as well as bilateral topics that concern both countries. I believe that it will be an important visit.

    Question: The EU accession document for the Greek Cypriot sector will be approved on 16 April. A protocol will also be approved. The protocol states that the Greek Cypriot sector will rule over the whole of Cyprus and that the EU laws will prevail only in areas where the Greek Cypriot sector is sovereign. Turkey has reservations in this regard. We know that these issues will be discussed in the "TRNC". Are you planning to raise this issue with the EU as well?

    Answer: No doubt, these are matters that are discussed within the framework of the EU. Therefore, all the work pertaining to Cyprus and the EU will be discussed in this framework. What you mentioned is important, and it is one of the most important items on our agenda. The work in the days ahead will be aimed at rectifying all the mistakes on these issues.

    [02] Joint press conference by Rauf Denktas and the Turkish Foreign Minister

    Illegal Bayrak Television (05.04.03) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas and Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, who visited the occupied areas on Saturday, met soon after his arrival. The meeting concentrated on the common strategy to be followed on the Cyprus issue at the point reached. Accompanied by the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu and Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktas, Mr Denktas and Foreign Minister Gul held a joint press conference after their meeting and luncheon and responded to questions.

    Following are Mr Gul's and Mr Denktas' statements:

    Gul: "I would like to express once again my satisfaction and joy for being in Cyprus with our Cypriot brothers. I also would like to convey, in the presence of `President' Denktas, the good wishes of our government to all our brothers in Cyprus. As you are aware, we are going through a period of problems, but we all have the intention and desire to see that these problems are solved. We are making sincere efforts for achieving lasting peace in Cyprus. A lasting solution should satisfy both sides, so that we might not face the same problems that we experienced in the past. This is the effort that we are all making. Within this context, I believe that the package that `President' Denktas submitted a few weeks ago should be taken into regard.

    First of all, the possibility of resettling a great number is being created. Subsequently, the embargoes will be lifted. Such sanctions in the form of embargoes are indeed about to be removed all over the world. Moreover, the package aims at paving the road for confidence building, coexistence, and doing business together. I am sure that all these will be taken into account and efforts will be renewed. These proposals will undoubtedly serve as confidence building factors within the more comprehensive solution.

    Turkey makes sincere efforts toward bringing about a lasting solution and peace on the island. Our efforts will continue, because there is a need for such a development in this region. We are also of the opinion that Cyprus deserves a lasting solution. It is for this reason that everyone should do his utmost. One can get nowhere through biased accusations. It appears that some people have made it almost a habit to accuse only Mr Denktas. They should stop doing so. There is need for considering and approaching things objectively and patiently. There is a need for learning a lesson from the events taking place in the world and from the events that took place in Bosnia and Kosovo. One should remember once again what took place in Cyprus in the past.

    Having said all this, I believe that in the search for a solution, one has to make efforts to come up with a solution that will not lead to problems in the future. It is also very important that the economy and trade in the `TRNC' be revived, and this place made attractive. I am sure that everyone will do his utmost in this respect. Turkey will do its utmost. We look to the future with confidence and believe that peace and the lasting solution that everyone desires will dominate in this island some day. I want to express once again my satisfaction for being in the `TRNC'. I state and reaffirm that the entire Turkish people support the Cyprus case. This is definitely not the problem of the Turkish Cypriots only, but all of us."

    Denktas: "We are happy to see among us once again Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, a friend of ours who has done everything necessary for the development of the `TRNC' economically and diplomatically. Our only complaint is that his stay will be too short. I think, though, that we have covered a long distance during our talks in this short period. We have both put on the table the realities for the solution of the Cyprus problem, and we have also looked into the new things in the economic field that we could offer to our people, and how Turkey can help us in our efforts. Our talks gave us great hope. I thank Mr Gul and his team on behalf of my people. Mr Gul and his party came to power in a difficult period for Turkey and the world, but, as I stated during the lunch, they possess the capability and the character to overcome the difficult jobs. We tested them in the past and witnessed their performance. We are confident that they will overcome the present difficulties, and that they will take the necessary steps courageously for Turkey and the `TRNC'. It is with such confidence that we wish them a safe journey back, and hope that we shall keep up our warm and brotherly contacts."

    Question: Reports say that the Greek Cypriot side will announce certain measures. Do you also plan to announce any measures?

    Denktas: "We have announced our measures. We expect a realistic and friendly response. One can get nowhere through the announcement of measures by one side and then by the other, but if the Greek Cypriot side does announce, we shall look at them. In the event that what they announce are not moves that condemn us to a Greek Cypriot administration, which they call the Cyprus Republic, we shall naturally consider them with goodwill. For the time being, we look at what they are doing, not at what they will be doing. For this reason, you should feel relaxed."

    Question: You said earlier that work on the Annan plan continues. Is the Annan plan still on the table?

    Gul: "I would like to state once again that we are working with goodwill for a lasting solution. It is not important how we arrive at such a solution. A solution to be reached should be mutually acceptable and satisfactory. Let me repeat that this island cannot afford to experience once again the very things it went through in the past. We have our worries in this regard. Once these worries are removed, I believe that peace will come about easily. It is also a reality and a fact that there are two separate and sovereign states in the island. There are two peoples. A solution that will take into regard these realities will naturally be a lasting solution. I would also like to say something that I did not have the opportunity to say earlier. There is no doubt that the `TRNC' is a democratic establishment. Having different views, different concepts, and different reactions within this establishment is normal. We definitely view these with great maturity, but we should not forget that we should all act in unity and solidarity for the sake of a brighter future."

    [03] Gul met with Turkish Cypriot party leaders, while a group of PUM supporters were prevented from expressing their protest to him regarding Turkey's stance in Cyprus

    KIBRIS (06.04.03) reports that during his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus, Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul met with Turkish Cypriot political party leaders, who after their meetings with the Turkish Minister said that they had taken the message from him that the work on the Annan plan could continue and that the efforts towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue after 16 April.

    Talking after his meeting with Mr Gul, Huseyin Angolemli, leader of Communal Liberation Party (CLP), said that they tried to learn Turkey' stance regarding the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas' statement that the Annan plan is dead.

    "Mr Gul said that the talks would continue, that they exert effort on the issue of reaching a solution and the efforts towards this direction would continue after 16 April", noted Mr Angolemli adding: "I got the impression that the talks will continue and that efforts on the Annan plan could be exerted".

    Furthermore, Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) said, inter alia, the following: "We are living in a very crucial period. Turkey has bought a very big trouble and in spite of this Denktas has proposed a package, which provides only for minority rights for the Turkish Cypriots. At the meeting we explained that these (proposals) could not be accepted".

    Mr Talat noted also that he got the impression that Turkey would make some steps so that a solution is achieved in Cyprus within the framework of the UN and on the basis of the Annan plan.

    Furthermore, Ertugrul Hasipoglu, leader of the Renewal Progressive Party (RPP), said that they explained to Mr Gul their views regarding the Annan plan and the issue of conducting a referendum on this plan. "We explained why we are saying 'yes' to the referendum, but 'no' to the plan in its present form", noted Mr Hasipoglu and added: "Thus I understood that the Annan plan is still on the table. He asked about the points we want to change. We explained this as well".

    Referring to the recent proposals of Mr Rauf Denktas, Mr Hasipoglu said that they support their content but they believe that their timing was wrong.

    Meanwhile, the so-called "police" of the puppet regime prevented a group of members of Patriotic Union Movement (PUM) youth organization to express their protest against Turkey in front of Turkey's illegal "embassy" to occupied Nicosia. The Turkish Cypriot young people were holding placards with slogans such as "Turkey is responsible for this geography", "Democracy and equality now" and "A new Cyprus is possible".

    [04] Turkish sources say Ankara is launching an initiative with the EU and the UN on Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.04.03) reported from Ankara that Turkish sources on Saturday said that Denktas' proposal that ``negotiations should be held through two channels`` would play a ``catalyst`` role for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The sources noted that the package would help overcome the confidence crisis among the two peoples, normalize the relations and give a new impetus to the efforts aiming to find a comprehensive solution.

    Denktas` proposals were still on the table, the sources stated.

    The sources pointed out that within that framework, Ankara launched initiatives in the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (U.N.).

    Meanwhile, Ankara wants the protocol to be prepared for Cyprus within the framework of the EU accession accord, to be signed in Athens on April 16, not to obstruct any solution to be reached in Cyprus.

    Pointing to the importance of the protocol drawing the framework of implementation of EU membership on the island, the sources agree that all arrangements regarding accession should keep the doors open during the negotiation process.

    Ankara continues its initiatives in this respect, the sources said.

    [05] Mr Rauf Denktas assesses the UN Secretary-General's report on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak Television (06.04.03) broadcast that it has been announced that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his report expected to be submitted to the Security Council tomorrow, has blamed Mr Rauf Denktas and the Turkish side for the failure of the plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem. According to the Anatolia News Agency [AA], in his report, Annan has praised the Greek Cypriot side for supporting the UN-sponsored negotiations, while claiming that Rauf Denktas bears the main responsibility for the failure of the effort.

    Reacting to the report, Mr Rauf Denktas said: "They looked for a culprit, and, as always, they found us to be the one."

    In a statement to the AA, Denktas said a synopsis of the Annan report was already conveyed to him and that he would issue a comprehensive reply after seeing the entire report. Stating that he will brief Tuesday's [8 April] extraordinary session of the "Republican Assembly" on the Cyprus problem, Mr Denktas said: "The parliament too may have something to say on this matter, let us hear it too."

    Noting that the content of the report was something to be expected, Denktas said: "They had a decision ready in advance. They tried to impose that decision on us. We could not have accepted it. Naturally, they looked for a culprit, and, as always, they found us to be the one."

    [06] The Turkish Cypriots will be able to get the nationality of the Turkish Repubilc when they wish

    KIBRIS (05.04.03), and other Turkish Cypriot newspapers, reports that that draft law which provides for changes to the Turkish Citizenship Law was tabled in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    The proposed changes will facilitate the Turkish Cypriots to obtain the Turkish citizenship by applying to the Turkish missions abroad or to the relevant Turkish government services. The principles and the exact process will be finalized after a Council of Ministers decision.

    Under the title: "Thanks Motherland. Automatic citizenship to everybody who wishes to acquire it", pro-Denktas VOLKAN newspaper reports that this development is the best news of the past years.

    In the note supporting the changes it is stated that "the draft law was prepared with the aim of safeguarding an economic, social and human future for the citizens of the `TRNC' by gaining quickly the Turkish citizenship, in view of the point reached in the Cyprus problem".

    [07] A rally for solution and EU membership was held in occupied Famagusta

    KIBRIS newspaper (05.04.03) reports that with the participation of about 3,000 Turkish Cypriots a rally was held in occupied Famagusta lat Friday evening under the slogan "March for Peace and Democracy".

    The rally was organized by the organization "This Country is Ours" and it set off from the Central Bus Station at 7 p.m., through Nicosia street to the Victory Memorial round-about. The participants were chanting the slogan "Denktas Resign", "Referendum is our right, we hold it as we wish", and were carrying symbolic ballot boxes.

    Addressing the demonstrators on behalf of the Platform, Mr Hurrem Tulga, inter alia said: "Now they are afraid. They have said that the philosophy of the Annan Plan is wrong and it is not on the negotiating table. And now putting the parliament aside, they have started exchanging letters. They are trying to create false impressions and regain the credibility they lost. They are alarmed. However, we will achieve peace, solution and EU in the squares".

    The paper also reports that during the march, which lasted an hour, the so-called police took strict measures.

    [08] Letter containing suspicious powder was sent to the owner of Genc TV

    Under the title "Anthrax Panic Again", KIBRIS (05.04.03) reports that a letter sent to Mr Ertan Birinci, Chairman of the "Birinci Medya Group", owner of local Genc TV, contained suspicious powder.

    The letter was left in the post-office box of Mr Birinci and when it was realized that it contained powder the persons working in the TV station panicked.

    The paper says that measures were taken but Mr Birinci said that he did not believe it was something serious.

    [09] Talat accuses Denktas of trying for years to create lack of confidence between the communities in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper VATAN (05.04.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has accused the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas of trying for years to create lack of confidence between the communities in Cyprus.

    In a written statement issued on Friday regarding the measures announced by Mr Denktas, Mr Talat reminds that the Turkish Cypriot leader and his puppet regime forbids foreign ambassadors to Nicosia to cross over to the occupied areas as well as any kind of social, cultural and sport event between the two communities.

    Noting that Mr Denktas has to eliminate firstly the lack of confidence towards his person, Mr Talat argued that this could be achieved only by applying a stable policy.

    [10] Talat on the measures, which are reportedly to be announced by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus towards the Turkish Cypriots

    KIBRIS (07.04.03) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has expressed the opinion that the measures which are reportedly going to be announced by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus towards the Turkish Cypriots "aim at turning the Turkish Cypriots into a minority".

    In a statement issued yesterday Mr Talat supported that the Turkish Cypriots are forced to face the dilemma of choosing between the minority rights given to them by the Greek Cypriots and the minority rights given to them by Mr Rauf Denktas.

    "We, together with the Cyprus people, are going to reject those who are trying to present our human rights and the right to live as a minority right", said Talat and added: "Denktas, who prevents the Turkish Cypriots from taking their place within the EU having at least equal rights with the Greek Cypriots, has humiliated our community with his proposals which provide for (the Turkish Cypriots to acquire) their 'minority rights'. After the proposals of Denktas, the Greek Cypriot administration is being prepared to announce its package of measures towards the Turkish Cypriots, as if it is saying 'take your minority rights'. The painful reality, to which the NUP - DP 'government' and Denktas lead us, is revealed. .".

    Referring to the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the elections for the European Parliament, Mr Talat said: "While we could have taken our position in the EU with our equal president, now we are given minority rights in the name of the Republic of Cyprus. Unfortunately, the warnings we have been making for years are being realized, as a result of shortsighted policies applied without vision. Before making their choice between Denktas' and Papadopoulos ' minority rights, the Turkish Cypriots have made their choice between the 'solution, peace and EU' and the status quo. In their conscience they rejected all those who do not represent them. .".

    Mr Talat supported that the Turkish Cypriots are forced to choose between minority rights proposed by Mr Denktas and the minority rights proposed by President Papadopoulos, while in the Annan plan they would have been able to have "the Turkish Cypriot State", which would have been recognized by the whole world, they would have been "politically equal and sovereign partners" in the island and would have taken their place in the EU with their equal president.

    Mr Talat continued: "Some circles have been making fun of us when we were saying 'let us permit the free movement', 'let us abolish the obligatory military service', 'let us increase the bi-communal contacts', 'let us put the police under the civilian authority' and 'let us abolish all the practices which are contrary to the international law and the human rights'. These circles have until yesterday been trying to put in prison those who got hold of passports of the Republic of Cyprus. In their effort to stop our anger against them the same circles are today promising to give us the 0.001 % of the rights which the Annan plan would give us.

    The Turkish Cypriots will acquire all those rights taken from them for so many years by Denktas and his supporters. The Turkish Cypriots will get more rights than the rights, which Denktas and his supporters are trying to present to them as if they were doing them a favour. Of course they will do this by standing behind their communal rights until the end. When they take these rights they will call the indecent politicians to account. The Turkish Cypriots are not a minority and will not become a minority".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Sami Kohen assesses Denktas' proposal to open a neighbourhood of occupied Famagusta for settlement under certain conditions

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (04.04.03) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "Is an interim solution possible in Cyprus?":

    "An important development concerning Cyprus took place the other day, at a time when all attention was focused on Iraq. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas presented a new six-article suggestions package.

    First, let us speak of the timing of the package: Following the fiasco that was the ending of the talks arranged by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the Hague on 10 March, the process of negotiations came to a halt and the Annan Plan was shelved. Now, the Greek Cypriot side is eagerly waiting for 16 April. On that day, the EU's doors will be opened up to them (and only to them).

    Denktas, just before this happens, is taking the initiative, and, by presenting a new suggestions package, is trying to show that the process has not come to an end but can continue on another basis if the other side wants it to.

    The new Turkish proposal has two important elements. The first is very important: the Turkish side hands over the Varosha region to the control of the Greek Cypriot side in order to open it up to settlement. By doing so Denktas conveys the message that he is ready to make "land concessions" with regard to Famagusta. The second element concerns "confidence building measures" that would provide freedom of trade, transportation, movement and so on between the two sides. Thus, the Turkish side is requesting that the Greek Cypriots lift the embargo and end similar restrictions in return for the concessions it will make.

    Actually, all this has an even broader meaning. In summary:

    -- Denktas rejects the Annan Plan completely. He is trying to formulate an interim solution.

    -- This "interim solution" gives the Greek Cypriots the opportunity to "return to Varosha", which they very much want.

    -- The suggestion not only aims to provide the opportunities that would economically relieve the Turkish Cypriots but also aims to obtain political advantages with regard to the "de-facto recognition" of the `TRNC'.

    Denktas and officials in Ankara say the mood in the island would thaw if the suggestions were to be accepted, and claim it would provide dialogue with the aim of reaching a solution. Nevertheless, this is not how the Greek Cypriot side and foreign circles interested in Cyprus evaluate the suggestion. They see it as a "maneuver to shift ground" in order to "sidestep" the Annan Plan.

    The first reactions of the Greek Cypriot side show that this suggestion will not be accepted. It can be seen that Papadopoulos, on behalf of the "State of Cyprus", will present Denktas with a package encompassing a series of advantages ranging from commercial to passport issues.

    The Papadopoulos administration is acting with the comfort of knowing that the Greek Cypriot side will get what it wants after 16 April. In that sense, there are no "incentives" or "pressuring" reasons encouraging him to pay heed to Denktas' proposal.

    Turkish and Greek leaders could meet during the Southeastern Europe Conference that will be held in Belgrade next week. This could provide the opportunity to reassess the Cyprus issue within the scope of a "new format". Frankly, however, it is obvious that an "interim solution" of the sort Denktas has proposed will not create a basis for agreement. It might be a more sensible and realistic approach to fit this into the context of the Annan Plan once again, in other words to make it a part of the plan.

    I fear that unless there is progress in Belgrade, things will fall through during the new process, which will unfold to the benefit of the Greek Cypriots and will commence as of 16 April."

    /SK


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