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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-08-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.161/03 27.08.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Mustafa Akinci during a press conference yesterdayIllegal Bayrak television (26.08.03) broadcast that the Peace and Democracy Movement Party leader, Mr Mustafa Akinci, held a press conference at his party's headquarters in occupied Nicosia to inform the public on the initiatives they launched with the Council of Europe and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for a census in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Akinci said that the outcome of a research they carried out revealed that 134,000 voters exist in the occupied areas and noted that they will try to determine whether or not that is a normal figure or the number of voters has been increased as a result of manipulation.
Stressing that 1 May 2004 will be a vital date for the future and existence of the Turkish Cypriots, Akinci said that the talks on Cyprus should be finalized on the basis of the Annan plan to allow a united island to join the EU. Otherwise, he said, the ^ÓGreek Cypriot administration^Ô will register its existence in the EU as an entity that represents the entire island. Noting that the population of a country is important, Akinci said that the population in the occupied areas must be brought to light while an effort is made to hold ^Ôelections^Ô. He asserted that they have launched initiatives with Council of Europe General Secretary Walter Schwimmer and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul for that purpose.
Recalling Foreign Minister Gul's statement in daily RADIKAL that democratic elections must be held in the occupied Cyprus, Akinci said that Gul's views confirmed their approach and noted that he conveyed a letter to him. He said that he informed Gul that some of the Turkish military officials and civilian bureaucrats in the occupied areas interfere in the ^Óelections^Ô in various ways and that the commander of the Turkish occupation forces humiliate the supporters of the principle ^Ósolution and accession to EU^Ô during the demonstrations in occupied Cyprus. Akinci said that with the letter he conveyed to Schwimmer he informed him that the Turkish Cypriots will not be able to express their free will when ^Óelections^Ô are held in December.
 The Turkish Cypriot leader repeats his unacceptable positions and preconditions for a solutionTurkish Cypriot daily YENI CIZGI newspaper (27.08.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, yesterday took part in a local radio program during which he pointed to the importance of the forthcoming ^Óelections^Ô in December.
Rauf Denktas stressed that for an agreement to be reached in Cyprus, the sovereignty, independence and the territorial integrity of the occupation regime must be accepted.
Denktas said that the Turkish Cypriots will have to choose between achieving indirect ENOSIS or standing behind their statehood, showing their determination to act together with Motherland Turkey. ^ÓTurkish Cypriots will also open the way for a settlement by standing behind their ^Ñstate^Ò^Ô, he added.
Calling on the Turkish Cypriots not to attach importance to the scenarios being played over the Cyprus issue, he said the main aim of these scenarios is to achieve ENOSIS, the unification of the island with Greece.
Accusing the European Union of violating the existing international agreements on Cyprus, he said the responsibility of the Union^Òs attitude towards the island lies especially with Britain and the United States.
Speaking earlier at a reception, Denktas said that the President Tassos Papadopoulos should first accept that there are two ^Ópeoples^Ô on the island which both have their own sovereign states, if he is sincere in wanting a settlement in Cyprus.
^ÓMr Papadopoulos should respect Turkey^Òs effective and active guarantees over the island^Ô, Mr Denktas added.
Reacting to Mr Papadopoulos^Ò comments that there will be no chance for a solution if the parties supporting him win the December^Òs so-called elections, he said the Cyprus Government should once and for all accept the Turkish Cypriot ^Ópeople^Òs^Ô equality.
Stressing that the main obstacle in the way of peace is the property issue, Denktas called on the Cyprus Government to respond positively to the steps taken by the pseudostate and ^Óstop threatening its people on this matter^Ô.
Asked to comment on the relationship between the Cyprus Government and the opposition in the occupied areas, Mr Denktas claimed that the Greek Cypriot side probably wants to use this relationship to promote its own interests.
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriots are well aware of the Greek Cypriot side^Òs intentions, he said that the Government of Cyprus is still acting as though it is the legitimate government of Cyprus, and wants to make the Turkish Cypriots live under its domination by changing the 1960 Constitution.
^ÓThey see the opposition as a party which will easily accept this, and that is why they are supporting them^Ô, Denktas concluded.
 The Turkish Cypriot leader is leaving for IstanbulTurkish Cypriot newspaper BIRLIK (27.08.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, is leaving for Istanbul this evening for contacts. He will return to the occupied areas on Friday evening.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in MILLIYET says the Turkish General Staff and the Turkish Foreign Ministry support the Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and the occupation regimeIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (25.08.03) publishes the following commentary by Yaman Toruner under the title: "A customs bridge has been extended between Turkey and north Cyprus":
^ÓThe agreement that would integrate the `TRNC´ within the international economic system will be ready soon. This is the most accurate action that `TRNC´ and Turkey could have taken following the endeavor of the EU to accept the south Cyprus Greek Cypriot Republic as an EU member by ignoring the agreements earlier signed on Cyprus and Turkey's right to intervene.
As a matter of fact, it is exactly for this reason that the EU and the south Cyprus administration are against this agreement. Meanwhile, EU Commission spokesman Eric Mamer has said the following on the agreement that will be signed between Turkey and `TRNC´: "The UN plans on uniting Cyprus are being sabotaged. We should be consulted before this agreement is signed." The press in south Cyprus is presenting this agreement to the Greek Cypriots in banner headlines such as "fait accompli" and "the Greek Cypriot side is against this agreement." Greek Cypriot House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias, for his part, said that the agreement between Turkey and `TRNC´ would destroy the search for solutions.
Meanwhile, the technical preparations for the Customs Union Agreement between Turkey and `TRNC´ have been completed. Both the Office of the Chief of the General Staff and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs believe that this agreement is appropriate. On the other hand, everyone knows that Abdullah Gul, Abdullatif Sener, Kemal Unakitan, Ali Babacan, and Kursat Tuzmen visited Cyprus in order to express their support to `TRNC´ and to give the agreement its final shape.
The Turkish and `TRNC´ governments know what they are doing regarding this issue. Both `TRNC President´ Rauf Denktas and `Prime Minister´ Dervis Eroglu are aware of the fact that an agreement that may be reached with Turkey is extremely beneficial for `TRNC´ and that this agreement will be an important step for `TRNC´'s integration within the international community. Eroglu and Denktas, who are known to have differences of views on a number of issues, are cooperating with each other on the agreement under discussion. This is a lovely development.
However, we should pay attention to one point; the Customs Union Agreement that we have signed with the EU may be contrary to the agreement reached between Turkey and `TRNC´. I raised the idea of reaching a similar agreement between Turkey and `TRNC´ on the agenda during the time when I was serving as Minister responsible for foreign trade in 1996. However, officials told me that a similar agreement may contradict the Customs Union Agreement signed with the EU.
The following decision was made in order to solve the problem without harming the agreements reached with the EU: "Border trade will be conducted between Turkey and Cyprus. Not only goods imported from `TRNC´ to Turkey via the Mersin and Antalya ports, but also goods imported to Istanbul via airplanes will be included within the framework of this agreement. All these goods will be exempted from taxes and other fees."
These regulations on trade between Turkey and `TRNC´ are still in effect. That is, goods are being imported from and exported to `TRNC´ easily free of taxes or any other fees even now. There are no problems whatsoever between the two ^Ócountries^Ô in connection with the export and import of goods free of taxes or fees. Moreover, this process does not contradict the EU regulations. The EU is not against border trade. If necessary, these trade relations may be broadened.
What we should do in this field are as follows:
1. The border trade between Turkey and `TRNC´ should be broadened.
2. Regular and frequent boat trips should be organized between the Turkish and `TRNC´ ports in order to expand the commercial activities between the two countries.
3. Daily tours should be organized to touristic sites in `TRNC´. If necessary, the two `states´ should shoulder the cost of fuel spent for organizing these trips.
4. All the banking system of `TRNC´ should be integrated with that of Turkey. The entry of banks operating within `TRNC´, which accepts the monitoring activities of institutions such as the Banking Control and Supervisory Board [BDDK], should be accepted within the Turkish money and foreign currency markets. Thereafter similar markets should be set up within `TRNC´.
5. Turkey should not prevent the `TRNC´ from minting its own currency.
6. Plots of land as well as buildings should be provided to every foreigner, including Turks, seeking to set up businesses in `TRNC´. These foreigners should be assured that the plots of land or buildings provided to them will not be seized when the `TRNC´ reaches an agreement with south Cyprus in the future.
7. In the event that they display readiness, similar measures should be proposed to the Greek Cypriots. As a matter of fact, `President´ Denktas has already raised the issue on the agenda.
8. The agreement should not be called "Customs Union Agreement" or similar names.
9. The legal system within `TRNC´ should be changed in order to implement in `TRNC´ all the EU harmonization laws being introduced in Turkey.
10. The agreements reached with the EU should be assessed carefully. These agreements should not be opposed. It appears now that a solution can be found to the Cyprus problem without contradicting the agreements reached with the EU.
I believe that the agreements that Turkey and `TRNC´ will soon sign are appropriate. I wrote this article merely as a form of contribution toward these agreements.^Ô