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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-12-10

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.234/03 10.12.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader outlines the plan he is preparing in order to exhibit good will. He criticizes Mr Verheugen.
  • [02] Denktas argues that Turkey has the right to interfere in the Turkish Cypriot ^”elections^‘.
  • [03] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat wants the Annan plan in order to legalize the tens of thousands of illegal settlers.
  • [04] Erdogan: Cyprus has strategic importance for Turkey.
  • [05] Erginel says that foreign observers will be in the occupied areas for the ^”elections^‘.
  • [06] Marc Grossman discussed the Cyuprus problem with Ugur Ziyal in Turkey.
  • [07] The occupation regime imposed a 20 million Turkish lira fine to the two Greek Cypriots who were arrested yesterday for selling a bilingual newspaper.
  • [08] Former commander of the occupation forces interferes into the ^”elections^‘ and supports Eroglu^“s party.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] The views of Ilter Turkmen on the latest developments in Cyprus.
  • [10] Two separate plans for Cyprus are on the way.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader outlines the plan he is preparing in order to exhibit good will. He criticizes Mr Verheugen

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (07.12.03) publishes a report on an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas by Fikret Bila, under the title: "Denktas will propose umbrella state":

    ^”I interviewed `TRNC Presidentī Rauf Denktas at his office in Nicosia. He believes that Turkey and the `TRNCī will have the opportunity to test the Greek Cypriot Administration and the EU after the `general electionī to be held on 14 December.

    He outlined his approach, noting: "They have eventually understood that they could not persuade the Turkish Cypriots by offering money. They have sent a great deal of money, but they saw that Turkish Cypriots would not accept money to sell their honor. This will also be confirmed after the election. A new coalition `governmentī will be formed in the `TRNCī. The opposition parties were influenced and encouraged by the EU. They were under an illusion, but they now see the facts.

    "There are two steps that the Greek Cypriot Administration and the EU could take after 14 December. They will either admit the facts in Cyprus and contact us or conclude that there is nothing they could do and thus ostracize both Turkey and the `TRNCī. If they are full of good intentions, they should opt for the first alternative."

    When I reminded him that some groups hold the view that the Cyprus question will remain unsolved if pro-Denktas parties win the election and asked whether such an outcome could close the door on the possibility of a settlement, he responded: "No, it would just be the opposite. We have always devised and proposed solutions. We are now drawing up a plan and Ankara preparing out its own. We will combine those two plans and submit a proposal for resuming indirect talks through the United Nations. We have some fundamental principles, such as existence of two sovereign nations, two democracies and two states. The solution we propose is based on establishment of a common umbrella state to be built on those principles. This umbrella state will represent the whole Cyprus on the diplomatic stage, but it will consist of two separate states. This umbrella state should be based on two sovereign nations, two states and Turkey's effective guarantee. It would be the most reasonable, fair and democratic solution. In fact, there is a real opportunity of finding a solution and we are proposing that."

    Subtitle: A proposal directed to the EU

    Denktas said he had another proposal regarding accession to the EU, which, he said, should be considered by the `Greek Cypriot Administrationī and the EU. He said: "If they are acting in good faith, negotiations could start within the framework of the plan we will put forward after 14 December. In the meantime, the EU could hold talks with Turkey and the `TRNCī. If the EU sincerely wants to admit both Turkey and Cyprus as a whole, we would tell them that we need as much time as Turkey needs. The EU should start negotiations with Turkey and also hold talks with us. The `Greek Cypriot Administrationī, which has concluded numerous agreements with the EU, has enacted hundreds of laws. We have no experience in that regard. Therefore, the `TRNCī should prepare itself for accession to the EU from both economic and legal standpoints. When Turkey and the `TRNCī complete their preparations as a result of that negotiation process, they could join the EU together. We would be admitted to the EU as part of the umbrella state. In fact, this is a solution dictated by the agreements of 1960."

    Subtitle: ^”Free zone^‘

    Denktas noted that the blame would fall on the EU and the `Greek Cypriot Administrationī if they closed the door on a possible solution after 14 December and Turkey is not given a date for starting accession talks by using the `TRNCī as a pretext. He added: "Such a move would indicate that they are ill-disposed towards Turkey and the `TRNCī. Therefore, the period after 14 December will serve as a litmus test and the real intentions of the EU and Greek Cypriots will be revealed. If they eventually close the door and ostracize Turkey, we will declare that the `TRNCī will be a free zone and its ports will be free ports. In that case, we will go our own way without needing their funds. Nobody should expect us to accept humiliation. Turkey's decision would be important during that process. People who have declared that they have founded their own state should not be expected to put their honor up for auction. In that case, we would continue to move on the same path as Turkey. If the EU and the `Greek Cypriot Administrationī attempt to ostracize us after 14 December, they would confirm Cyprus' partition."

    Subtitle: "The man is bad-tempered"

    Denktas accused Verheugen of being bad-tempered and said: "They have deceived Verheugen by saying that the `TRNCī would give up because I will be finished in the `electionsī if the Greek Cypriot side is admitted to the EU. Verheugen believed them, he persuaded the EU and a thorny issue was carried into the Union. He is getting nervous because his prediction has not come true. The man is bad-tempered, because it has become clear that the `electionī on 14 December will not yield a result that would satisfy them. Now, the EU criticizes him for making a miscalculation. My guess is that this man, who is already bad-tempered, will get even more nervous and uglier after 14 December."

    [02] Denktas argues that Turkey has the right to interfere in the Turkish Cypriot ^”elections^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.12.03) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has argued that Turkey had the right to interfere in the Turkish Cypriot ^”elections^‘.

    In statements yesterday during a meeting with Turkey^“s Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister, Abdullatif Sener, Mr Denktas claimed that Turkey did not interfere in the ^”elections^‘, but ^”it has every right^‘ to do this.

    Mr Denktas said he was sorry about the fact that ^”those who say that Turkey should not interfere in the elections say nothing about the real interferences^‘.

    Mr Denktas added, addressing Mr Sener: ^”Turkey is not interfering in the elections, but it has every right to interfere. ^ŇI am not telling you to interfere, but you have every right to do so. Why? Because you have the rights you acquired on Cyprus with the 1960 agreements, you have the guarantee rights about the balance between Turkey and Greece and the guarantee that Cyprus could not accede to the EU without Turkey.

    There are some people who are trying to abolish these rights. Turkey has the right to say: ^—you cannot do this, we are and will be defending these rights. You are not saying this in order not to interfere. Thank you. ^ŇGreece will not be able to get Cyprus either directly or indirectly. Why? Because Turkey has rights (in Cyprus). During these elections the rights of Turkey are on the agenda and those who are saying ^—we are against the Annan Plan, we want an agreement, but this could not be done with the Annan Plan^“, are protecting Turkey^“s rights. ^Ň^‘.

    [03] Mr Mehmet Ali Talat wants the Annan plan in order to legalize the tens of thousands of illegal settlers

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (09.11.03) publishes the following report by Soli Ozel under the title: "Erdogan's statements are in our favour":

    One of the most powerful persons participating in the elections is the RTP [Republican Turkish Party] leader Mehmet Ali Talat. We talked with the opposition at Kyrenia and he answered our questions on various subjects from the Annan Plan to the probable scenarios after the elections.

    "Rauf Denktas will create difficulties. We are sure of this. Ankara as well should respect the will of the people. Mr Denktas showed the Annan Plan as being bad immediately after The Hague meeting and put off Ankara. The Turkish government can attain success here with the solution government. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, 'We are not taking sides in the TRNC electionsī. This is in favour of us.

    "We know that the JDP [Justice and Development Party] government sometimes thinks positively and sometimes thinks negatively about us. Let the Annan Plan be realized, then in 10-15 years the island will be filled with Turks. Half of the Turkish Cypriots abroad will return here. There are Turks from Turkey who have been living here for 20 years, but have still not been made citizens. They will become citizens according to the Annan Plan. There are 54 thousand Turks from Turkey according to the official figures. This figure is 70 thousand in my opinion.

    "Thanks to the unwillingness of `Presidentī Denktas to an agreement, the Greek Cypriots are appearing as angels over our heads. The visiting of the US Ambassador here is the boorishness of the United States. It is not in our favor for the US officials to go to the villages and say, 'The Annan Plan is good'. It developed outside of our knowledge. He talked with the Lefka, Trikomo and Kyrenia municipalities and with the nongovernmental organizations.

    "There are also members of the Northern Cyprus Immigrants' Association on our lists. There are four candidates from the Association. The Association chairman is in the second place on the list from Famagusta. We have two candidates from both Rizokarpasso and Kyrenia.

    [04] Erdogan: Cyprus has strategic importance for Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (09.12.03) reported from Ankara that terrorism, the Cyprus issue and Turkey-European Union (EU) relations were discussed in a Justice and Development Party (JDP) Central Executive Board meeting on Monday.

    Sources said that the effect of the terrorist incidents on the Turkish economy was assessed in the meeting under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Erdogan said that terrorism was not only an issue of Turkey and stated that where, when and how international terrorism would hit could not be determined beforehand.

    Stating that the terrorist incidents in Istanbul did not affect much the economy, Erdogan said that the economy should be made to ignore terrorism. He added that the government would work for it.

    Concerning the so-called elections which would be held in the occupied by Turkish troops territories of Cyprus at the weekend, Erdogan said that there was no change in Turkey's policy on Cyprus.

    He said that Cyprus was of strategic importance to Turkey and that Britain maintains two bases on the island.

    Mr Erdogan also said that the Turkish Foreign Ministry was carrying out a study on the solution for the Cyprus problem and stated that following the ^”elections^‘ in the occupied areas they would work to form a consensus toward a solution.

    Finally, Prime Minister Erdogan gave information about the EU summit which will be held in Brussels between December 11 and 13, and recalled that Italy would hand over its EU term presidency to Ireland. He added that he would have bilateral meetings there, concludes A.A.

    [05] Erginel says that foreign observers will be in the occupied areas for the ^”elections^‘

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.12.03) reports that Taner Erginel, chairman of the so-called Supreme Election Council, has announced that they have invited foreign observers for the14 December ^”elections^‘ and that there are observers from ten different organizations in occupied Cyprus at the moment.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Erginel said also that they were expecting observers from many foreign countries, including Turkey, to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus during the ^”elections^‘.

    Furthermore, Mr Erginel invited the observers to a scientific conference on the issue that will take place at the end of January in the occupied areas.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (10.12.03) reports that the German government is following the ^”elections^‘ in the occupied areas. The paper writes that according to a statement issued by the German-Cyprus Forum the MP^“s of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Dr. Lale Akgun, chairman of the party^“s Coordination Council with Turkey, and Elke Ferner, deputy chairman of the inter-parliamentary committee between Cyprus and Germany at the Federal Parliament, will be visiting occupied Nicosia on the ^”election^‘ day in order to follow the course of the ^”elections^‘, to see the results on the spot and make a political evaluation from the point of view of their future Cyprus policy.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (09.12.03) reported that six members of Turkey^“s Grand National Assembly (TGNA) would be visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to follow the ^”elections^‘. The six Turkish MP^“s, four of whom belong to the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) and two to the main opposition Republican People^“s Party (RPP), are: Mehmet Dulger, chairman of TGNA^“s Foreign Affairs Committee (JDP), Yasar Yakis, chairman of the EU Harmonization Committee and former Minister of Foreign Affairs (JDP), Mevlut Cavusoglu (MP from Antalia, JDP), Alaadin Buyukkaya (MP from Istanbul, JDP), Hasan Fehmi Gunes (MP from Istanbul, RPP) and Inal Batu (MP from Alexandretta, RPP).

    [06] Marc Grossman discussed the Cyuprus problem with Ugur Ziyal in Turkey

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (09.12.03) reports that Marc Grossman, US State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs, is holding talks in Turkey. After meeting Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal, Grossman was received by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    In a statement after his meetings, Grossman said that following the end of the cold war, NATO allies are faced with new threats such as terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. He stressed that there is a global need for change, first and foremost in NATO. In this context, he said, it is no longer the number of troops that is important, but capacity and competence. He pointed out that Turkey approaches the call for change positively.

    Asked what will happen to the Incirlik base in connection with all these changes, Grossman replied: ^”Before all else, Incirlik is a Turkish base. We are in favor of the continuation of our cooperation and of the arrangements that were made years ago to enable us to use the base.^‘

    In reply to a question on the US loan of $8.5 billion, Grossman said: ^”If Turkey makes a request, we are ready to release the loan.^‘ Noting that he discussed the Cyprus problem with Undersecretary Ziyal, the State Department official said: ^”I hope that a step will be taken in this regard in the near future.^‘

    Accompanied by a large number of military officials during his contacts, Grossman referred to the Istanbul attacks, and said that both Turkey and the United States have been the victims of terrorism. We are on Turkey's side in the fight on terrorism, he stressed.

    Grossman then went to the General Staff Headquarters where he met with General Ilker Basbug, deputy chief of the General Staff.

    [07] The occupation regime imposed a 20 million Turkish lira fine to the two Greek Cypriots who were arrested yesterday for selling a bilingual newspaper

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (10.12.03) reports that the two Greek Cypriots who were arrested the day before yesterday by the occupation regime for selling the bilingual (in Turkish and Greek) ^”Socialist Word^‘ newspaper were brought in front of a so-called court yesterday and were imposed a 20 million Turkish lira fine each.

    The two persons were let free by the occupation regime after paying the fine imposed.

    As the paper writes, the two Greek Cypriots, who were arrested for violating the so-called laws of the pseudostate, were selling their paper during a rally of the Peace and Democracy Movement in occupied Famagusta together with a Turkish Cypriot

    [08] Former commander of the occupation forces interferes into the ^”elections^‘ and supports Eroglu^“s party

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.12.03) reports that Mr Yasar Spor, a former commander of the occupation forces of the pseudostate is interfering into the forthcoming ^”elections^‘ and supports the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu.

    Mr Yasar, who in the past tried to persuade the persons who worked with him not to vote for the opposition, saying that ^”if the opposition wins, it will put Cyprus on sale^‘, is now touring occupied Cyprus and trying to convince the persons he meets to vote for NUP. According to the paper Mr Yasar has been seen lately in a coffee-shop in occupied Varosha trying to convince the people there to vote for Eroglu.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] The views of Ilter Turkmen on the latest developments in Cyprus

    Istanbul CNN TURK Television (08.12.03) broadcast a live 40-minute interview with former Ambassador Ilter Turkmen on the "Questions and Answers" program hosted by Yavuz Baydar. Turkmen is a former foreign minister, a current columnist, and member of the Foreign Policy Committee of TESEV, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation.

    A viewer asks: "What will be the stand of Denktas and Turkey if the Turkish Cypriots say `yesī to the Annan plan?"

    Turkmen replied that Denktas will remain in his post as ^”president^‘ and the current ^”government^‘ parties will be in the opposition but they will carry a certain weight. He adds: It is difficult to say how Ankara will react, but "as far as I can see, Ankara is currently working on the Annan plan. It is working on certain readjustments. A similar effort is being made in Nicosia but that is a little different; the Turkish Cypriots are leaving aside the Annan plan, in a way, and working on a sort of new plan. No matter what happens, however, there will be renewed activity for a solution. "Especially Turkey and the opposition in the `TRNCī see the need for a solution."

    A viewer from the occupied areas of Cyprus asked what is so different in the Annan plan that it is being debated so much. Turkmen explained that first, the plan is far more detailed than the previous ones; secondly, that it foresees the disbandment of the current republic and its replacement by a new state, the United Cyprus Republic; and thirdly, that it places Cyprus within the EU context.

    Baydar asked Turkmen, as one of the founders of the `TRNCī in 1983, if it was not wrong to establish that state in the first place, seeing that it was not recognized by anybody. He replied, laughing: "I asked `Presidentī Denktas the other day whether I had made a mistake. He said that I did not." Turkmen goes on to say: "We thought that establishing the `TRNCī would strengthen our negotiating position. And it did. We must acknowledge that. The really good plans came after that; they were the plans that gave us 29 percent of Cypriot territory, that left us 50 percent of the shoreline, that gave us extensive internal sovereignty, and that foresaw a joint state. In that sense, it cannot be considered a complete failure. We must not forget, however, that the `TRNCī's declaration of independence asserted that the independence was not an obstacle to negotiations for a federal solution. As the Turkish Government, we too had stressed that at the time. As I say, that is the way it was then, but maybe with time we got used to the `TRNCī a little too much maybe."

    Another viewer from occupied Nicosia asked if the Turkish Cypriots will become refugees if the Annan plan is accepted.

    Turkmen replied that the pseudostate now holds a little more than 36 percent of Cyprus, and added: ^”With the Annan plan, this figure will go down to 29.2 percent. If they want, the Turkish Cypriots living in the returned areas will go to the north. They will probably want to do that, because their property in the returned areas will automatically go back to the previous owners. The United Nations believes that 47,000 persons will become refugees. Turkmen adds: "Nevertheless, it was obvious from the beginning that some land would be returned eventually. The percentage of that land was more or less known. Where the new border would pass from was also known, more or less. Therefore, it would have been wiser not to settle those areas so intensively. The figure 29 percent has been mentioned ever since the 1985 plan. Furthermore, both Turkey and Denktas had accepted that."

    The next question was from a viewer: "Following the necessary legal arrangements, can the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots live together in an EU-member Cyprus?" Turkmen replied that the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots will live both together and separately. He noted that according to the Annan plan, there will be two founding states with extensive powers. "They will live side by side and not opposed to each other," he said, and added that he does not foresee a serious problem in that. He cited former enemies who live very nicely side by side in Europe, such as the English and the French, the Poles and the Germans. Furthermore, Turkmen added, the Annan plan brings a series of measures against potential problems in that field.

    A viewer from Ankara asked if Denktas or one of his political rivals is the best person to conduct the negotiations with the Greek Cypriots. Turkmen replied that it is very difficult to find as competent a negotiator as Denktas. He stated: I am not sure that if it wins, the opposition will insist on being the negotiator. There will surely be an agreement with Ankara. What do we hope for? That the election results will be such that Ankara, the opposition, and the government in the `TRNCī will come together and declare: We have agreed on a common policy; we will resume the negotiations based on this policy; if it works, fine, if it does not, that is fine too."

    Asked why he thinks Denktas did not declare that he was willing to discuss the Annan plan with the Greek Cypriots, Turkmen said that Denktas is working on a plan, that he does not want the Annan plan, and that he does not want the United Nations. Denktas wants to negotiate with the Greek Cypriots directly, Turkmen stressed, adding: "And at this stage this is extremely difficult."

    Baydar asked Turkmen to comment on Rauf and Serdar Denktas' calls to Ankara to recognize the ^”Greek Cypriot Administration^‘. Turkmen said he finds it very difficult to understand the point, adding: "If we recognize the Cyprus Republic we will be denying the policy we have been pursuing since 1964. That is one thing. The second thing is that once you recognize a state you cannot withdraw your recognition. Thirdly, recognition is retroactive. By recognizing a state, you recognize all its previous policies. Fourthly, our intervention was based on the guarantee agreements. According to the guarantee agreement, the aim of the intervention is to restore the situation back to what it was. We are there because we could not restore the situation. If we recognize south Cyprus, then the Greek Cypriots will think that the problem has been resolved. In other words, the reason for the intervention will be eliminated. Furthermore, how will we justify having troops in the territory of a state we recognize? We would have to withdraw our troops immediately. Also, recognizing both south Cyprus and the `TRNCī is inconsistent. If that is the alternative to the Annan plan, I think it is unbelievable. The Annan plan is 100 times better than this. At least in the Annan plan, we are equal partners in an common state."

    A viewer asked why Turkmen thinks the EU is so insistent on the issue of Cyprus, and whether it is possible that the EU is trying to formulate a strategy in the eastern Mediterranean in the face of the US policies in the Middle East. Turkmen replied: "There cannot be anything strategic, because the Annan plan foresees the complete demilitarization of the island." He explained the EU insistence on Cyprus by saying: Both Cyprus and Turkey will become EU members and there is a conflict. The EU does not want the conflict.

    Baydar asked what the most problematic issue is in the Annan plan. Turkmen cited the property issue, adding: "We want global compensation, while the plan foresees a complex system of compensation." Another problem, he said, is the residence issue.

    Baydar's next question was as follows: Some circles in Turkey believe that it is a good idea not to solve the Cyprus problem and use it as a trump card in the negotiations with the EU, while other circles think that it would be better to solve the Cyprus problem quickly in order to improve Turkey's chances in the negotiations with the EU. What do you think?

    Turkmen replied that the first stand is unrealistic. He asked: "How can you get a date for EU negotiations unless the Cyprus problem is solved, or unless you prove that it is only the Greek side that is responsible for the lack of solution? How can you join the EU if you do not get a date for negotiations? Therefore, I think that is a false dream. Furthermore, the solution of the Cyprus problem in line with a plan such as the Annan plan would bring us closer to the EU. The plan is based entirely on Turkey's EU membership. Look, with this plan, we guarantee an EU member country's territorial integrity, security, and Constitution. We have a 6,000-strong military force in an EU member country. And when will this force be withdrawn? When Turkey joins the EU as a member. All the problems, such as the property issue, the migration issue, and the residence issue will be resolved only when Turkey becomes EU member. In other words, it is as if this solution builds a bridge between us and the EU. That is where our trump card is, really. Our trump card is not in a non-solution but in a solution."

    [10] Two separate plans for Cyprus are on the way

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (10.12.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    ^”No matter who wins in the elections in Cyprus, a settlement of the Cyprus problem will appear on the agenda again after December 15.

    We will be experiencing a difficult process before May, 1 2004 and in this process, we will encounter a new Denktas who will be more compromising. Denktas will turn into a person who considers Turkey's long-term interests and we will be very surprised by that.

    Ankara will change and Denktas will begin to alter his arguments. We should all be prepared for such a transformation.

    Post-election scenarios are being prepared and details of two separate plans for settlement on Cyprus are being worked out. One of these plans is being prepared in the Foreign Ministry and the other in another place under the supervision of Denktas and Soysal.

    There is a huge difference between the two. Those in Ankara take the Annan Plan as a basis and plan to find a new solution by amending the Annan Plan.

    The one being prepared by Denktas and Soysal takes the positive sides of the Annan Plan and makes five amendments that contradict the arguments of the Turkish side. After the elections, one of these two plans will be eliminated or a combination of the two will be put forth according to the election results.

    Subtitle:Doors to be closed on May, 1 2004

    In fact, there is no more time to be wasted. The game will be over on May 1, 2004. The Greek Cypriots will take control of the whole island and will become a full member of the European Union. The daily life on the island will be changed and will become more difficult.

    On May, 1 crossings over the green line which divides the island will be stopped. The Greek Cypriot administration will demand a Schengen visa from `TRNCī citizens to allow them to pass on to the Southern pasrt of the island. Later on we will encounter new surprises. It seems we will have much difficulty if Ankara and Denktas do not speed up efforts.^‘

    /SK


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