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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-04-21

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.74/03 19-20-21.04.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas interviewed by Sedat Sertoglu of Vatan newspaper. He admits that all his actions are after instructions from Turkey
  • [02] Milliyet newspaper writes that Turkey now defends the Annan plan which it criticized before
  • [03] Turkey to extend 450 million dollars of loans to the occupation regime
  • [04] Denktas says there is no need for the Turkish Cypriots to get hold of an EU passport, because they are given the chance to acquire a Turkish passport
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Columnist in Sabah supports that the new Turkish government has given up on Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas interviewed by Sedat Sertoglu of Vatan newspaper. He admits that all his actions are after instructions from Turkey

    Istanbul Vatan newspaper (19/04/03) publishes an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas by Sedat Sertoglu under the title: "I Will Step Down in 2005":

    Following are Mr Denktas' replies to Mr Sertoglu's questions:

    Question: Are you to blame for the present situation of the Cyprus problem?

    Answer: If it is a crime to uphold and defend the rights of Turkey and the Turks of the "TRNC" then, yes, I, Rauf Denktas, stand guilty.

    Question: Nevertheless, ultimately you are blamed as the person responsible for the deadlock that has existed in Cyprus for so many years. What do you think?

    Answer: In all these years I did not do anything, I did not take a single step without Ankara's knowledge or instructions.

    Question: However officials who want a solution in Cyprus are now in government in Turkey.

    Answer: The only difference between them and their predecessors is that they say they want a solution more often. Otherwise they are also complying with the decisions of the Turkish state, the decisions of the National Security Council. Turkey still stands by the agreements of 1960 and wants them implemented.

    Question: You said that the Annan plan must be buried. Ankara does not agree with this view. What will you do if they tell you to negotiate the Annan plan again?

    Answer: Ankara would not say something like that to me. It would not make such a demand.

    Question: What if it does?

    Answer: Then I would ask Ankara "what am I supposed to negotiate?." We have already negotiated everything with the Greek Cypriots. You have criticized me a lot. Ankara must make its decision. What does it want? Ankara should decide so that we know which way we should go.

    Question: Mr. Denktas, what would you do if Ankara tells you "to sign the Annan plan"?

    Answer: I would not sign it in its present form. However you should not worry. They can find many people here who would sign it in my stead. There are many who are enamoured by it.

    Question: You said "in its present form."

    Answer: I can sign it if Turkey inserts into this plan a provision that would allow those "TRNC" Turks who do not want to live under Greek Cypriot administration to be rehabilitated in Turkey.

    Question: In other words?

    Answer: In other words if Ankara guarantees that they can migrate to and settle in Turkey freely and that they will be provided with work opportunities, then I would sign it.

    Question: Mr. Denktas, why do you not want to hold a referendum on the Annan plan?

    Answer: I cannot take that risk on my own. In any event there are "laws" here. It cannot be done just because I want it. The "government" and then the "Assembly" must decide to hold a referendum.

    Question: Let us say that there is no agreement. What will happen then? What "end game" might be played in that event? Also, if this situation persists would not Turkey be occupying EU territory starting in May 2004?

    Answer: What you asked is a "rolling question." In other words it is a question within a question.

    Question: What will happen if there is no agreement?

    Answer: If that happens Turkey can ask the EU "to invite the 'TRNC' to negotiate together with Turkey for membership and to admit it with its own conditions." That system may work.

    As for the question of occupation, Turkey is not occupying the island. It has exercised the guarantorship rights it derives from the 1960 agreements. The entire world knows this.

    Question: What if problems arise in Turkey's relations with the EU, especially in the economic area, as a result of this?

    Answer: Then Turkey can turn to the United States or the Far East. Of course Turkey has some very serious economic problems of its own.

    Question: You have always been at the negotiating table but you have had several interlocutors in front of you. You have gone through many counterparts. Who of those counterparts was your favourite negotiator?

    Answer: Clerides. As soon as we would hit a point of disagreement either he or I would tell a sex joke and the atmosphere would relax.

    Question: Did Annan try hard enough?

    Answer: When Annan declared that he would come to the island I told him: "If you come you will go back empty-handed." He brought Papadopoulos and me together and asked if we would be willing to go The Hague immediately. I said that that would not be necessary. Papadopoulos also said that he could not accept the plan in its present form but he said that he would go to The Hague "in order not to say no." When he did that I also decided to go so that Annan would not go back empty-handed. Annan shuttled between us and the guarantor states. This process lasted for 20 hours. Different alternatives emerged, but British Special Representative David Hannay ruined everything. That is how everything got deadlocked again. When we came across each other in the hallway he gave me half a hand wave. That was all.

    Question: If this situation persists there will be "presidential elections" in the "TRNC" in 2005. Will you be a candidate?

    Answer: No, I will not be a candidate. This is enough.

    Question: At some point [Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized you quite severely. How are your relations now?

    Answer: He was obviously blaming me when he referred to "those who have not been able to solve this problem for 40 years." However then he apologized saying that he was misled, and the issue was closed. One must understand the Cyprus problem well. Turkey's biggest mistake was telling me "to continue negotiating" and "not to be the one leaving the table" even as the Greek Cypriots were taking a harder stance. We have never been able to tell our side of the story, the justice of our cause, because, unfortunately, the Greek Cypriots are far ahead of us in propaganda.

    [02] Milliyet newspaper writes that Turkey now defends the Annan plan which it criticized before

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (18/04/03) publishes the following unattributed report under the title: "Clung to Plan After Sinking":

    "Ankara, which was "backed into a corner" when the southern Cyprus administration signed the full membership agreement with the EU, has started to defend the Annan plan, which it had constantly criticized before. Ankara views the plan as a way to avoid further distress with regard to the EU. Diplomatic sources pointed out that Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul "favoured the continuation of talks on the basis of the Annan plan" and would consider such talks a "success."

    Turkey exerted great efforts to get the United Nations to pass a resolution emphasizing that "the Cyprus problem has not been solved." Turkey heavily pressured the five permanent members of the UN Security Council during negotiations in New York and asked that the United Nations remain involved and not leave the matter of finding a solution to the EU. This is why Turkey tried to include in the UN document statements about "using the Annan plan as a foundation." It succeeded. The statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said: "We will welcome Annan's contributions."

    [03] Turkey to extend 450 million dollars of loans to the occupation regime

    Illegal Bayrak television (18/04/03) broadcast that Abdullatif Sener, Turkey 's Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs carried out an illegal visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus between 17 and 20 April 2003.

    During his stay in the occupied areas Mr Sener met with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas and signed two protocols, which aim at strengthening the economy of the puppet regime.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20/04/03) reported from Ankara that Mr Sener returned to Ankara and replied to questions of reporters at Esenboga Airport.

    When reminded about his visit to the occupied areas immediately after the signing of the Accession Treaty between Cyprus and the European Union (EU) on April 16, Sener said that his visit had been scheduled earlier.

    Stating that before his visit, a technical delegation carried out a detailed study, Sener said that they signed two important protocols with the so-called prime minister and state minister for treasury.

    Sener said: ``One of the protocols foresees economic and financial cooperation and the other foresees cooperation in investments. We aim to strengthen the "TRNC" economy and improve the prosperity of Turkish Cypriots with those protocols. The protocols were signed according to studies of technical delegations on investments, tourism sector and improvement of agricultural production.``

    Noting that there were significant investment projects in the protocols, Sener said: ``We focused on a project which foresees carrying water by pipes from Turkey to 'TRNC'.``

    Sener said that the protocol, which was signed within the scope of the Economic, and Financial Cooperation Protocol between Turkey and the puppet regime, aims at strengthening the infrastructure of free zone and carry out technical studies to make free zone implementation widespread.

    He stated that cooperation was made to increase additional employment possibilities in Cyprus and noted that there was cooperation to restructure loans of Cyprus Development Bank to increase investments and give loans to businessmen, industrialists, tradesmen and those who wanted to buy houses.

    Mr Sener added: ``We target to decrease the cost of transportation between 'TRNC' and Turkey. We plan to give credit by the 'TRNC' Development Bank to incomplete hotels and additional hotels. We also consider important to start a big promotion campaign about 'TRNC' tourism in order to increase the number of tourists coming to 'TRNC'. Cooperation will be made to overcome the obstacles in exports and tourism.``

    Sener said that universities came the first among the projects, which contribute, to economics and social life in the puppet regime, adding that 25,000 students studied in five universities. Sener said that 9,000 of these were Turkish Cypriots and the remaining came mainly from Turkey and other countries.

    Sener stressed that universities contributed significantly to the economic and social life of TRNC, adding that they would extend all kinds of support to construction of the incomplete building of Middle East Technical University's (METU) Morphou Campus to start the education year as soon as possible. English preparatory school and a dormitory will be built in the Karpass region, Sener said adding that a technology centre will also be set up.

    Sener said that their interest in the occupied areas would continue, adding: ``Our visits to 'TRNC' will continue. We will review all kinds of cooperation fields and start a dynamic process not only within the framework of the signed protocols. We will assess new cooperation fields.``

    When asked about the cost of the economic cooperation to be undertaken, he said that a 3-year package of urgent economic measures was prepared within the scope of economic and financial cooperation between Turkey and the pseudostate.

    Sener said that support would be provided to revive the occupied area's economy with 450 million U.S. dollars of loan.

    [04] Denktas says there is no need for the Turkish Cypriots to get hold of an EU passport, because they are given the chance to acquire a Turkish passport

    KIBRIS (19.04.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has alleged that the Turkish Cypriots had no need to get hold of European passports because they could acquire a passport of Turkey, which would give them the opportunity to be open to the world.

    In statements during a meeting with a delegation of Turkey's Ataturk Researches Center headed by Prof. Dr. Sadik Tural, Mr Denktas answered to those who accuse him and his policy of preventing Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to become a member of the EU and said: "Now Turkey gives the Turkish Cypriot citizens the opportunity to be opened to the world: The respected and honorable passport of the Motherland. This is a passport that you will get without being humiliated before anyone. Therefore, the issue of 'let us acquire an EU passport and be opened to the world' has ceased to exist".


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Columnist in Sabah supports that the new Turkish government has given up on Cyprus

    Istanbul Sabah newspaper (18/04/03) publishes the following commentary by Metin Munir under the title: "The JDP has given up on solving the Cyprus problem".

    I have news to anyone who hopes that the JDP [Justice and Development Party] will remove one of the obstacles in Turkey's path to the EU by solving the Cyprus problem.

    Such hopes are in vain.

    According to the information I have gathered here the JDP has given up on its project of solving the Cyprus problem. There are several reasons for that. First, the leadership of the JDP is very much intimidated by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. Second, the JDP does not want to get into any arm wrestling match with the army. Third, it believes that the EU will not admit Turkey as a member even if it solves the Cyprus problem.

    In sum the JDP's policy of reaching a compromise in Cyprus, initially characterized by the slogan "deadlock is not a solution," is dead and buried even though, on the surface, the rhetoric has not changed.

    Still Turkey has some debt of gratitude to the JDP. Had Bulent Ecevit been at the helm of the government he would have annexed the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" [TRNC]--as Ataturk annexed Hatay--after the Republic of Cyprus (the Greek Cypriots) was admitted to the EU as a member. The Tayyip Erdogan-Abdullah Gul team called off the policy of annexation.

    Until a few months ago Rauf Denktas told his close circle "I will die only after I unite you with Turkey." Most likely the old grey wolf will be unable to realize his half-century-old dream.

    What may be expected in the Cyprus problem from this point on? There are two unknowns. One is the party that will win the parliamentary elections to be held in the "TRNC" this year. If the two rightist parties that are in power today and that support Denktas 100 percent win, the current policies will continue. (These policies can be summarized as: "Turkey should send money so that we can spend it and nothing changes.")

    If the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) wins the elections the island may change course. The RTP's chances of coming out as the top party from the elections are very high. However, it is not certain whether it can become "government" on its own.

    If the RTP becomes "government" it will remove Denktas as [the Turkish Cypriot] negotiator and will resume talks with the Greek Cypriots within the framework of the UN plan. At a minimum it has declared that it will do so. The truth is that this is easier said than done.

    No matter who becomes "government" in the "TRNC" Ankara will have the final say. I believe that RTP will realize this soon after it becomes--if it becomes-"government".

    The second unknown factor is the international situation. Turkey can no longer rely on U.S. support on Cyprus as it did in the past. The JDP has isolated Turkey in the international arena.

    EG/


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