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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-12-16

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.238/03 16.12.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader assessed the outcome of the so-called elections during a press conference.
  • [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister assesses that the messages of the Turkish Cypriots from the voting is that they want a solution but also to safegurd Denktas´ views.
  • [03] The Speaker of the Turkish Assembly assesses the results of the Turkish Cypriot voting
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot daily writes about the possible scenarios regarding the establishment of a pseudogovernment in occupied Cyprus, after the Sunday ^Óelections^Ô.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] In fact Ankara won the elections in Cyprus.
  • [06] Interpreting the ^ÓTRNC elections^Ô: Cypriots tossed the ball into Ankara´s court.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader assessed the outcome of the so-called elections during a press conference

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.12.03) broadcast live a news conference by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in occupied Nicosia during which he assessed the results of the so-called elections.

    Following are Mr Denktas´ statement and his replies to questions: ^ÓThe `elections´ are now over. What have the `elections´ shown to us? They have shown that all the Turkish Cypriots, 100 percent, want an agreement and accession to the EU.

    Half of the people said: Let us quickly join the EU. We can consider the rights Turkey was given in 1960 later. That is because they were well-informed on the Annan plan.

    The other half said: Yes, let us join the EU but not by trampling upon international agreements. The EU concluded agreements with the Greek Cypriots for many years. Laws were studied and changed to comply with EU norms. However, we are not informed on all that. We need time to study them. The embargoes must be lifted and our equality must be established. The EU says that the economy of Cyprus is excellent. The Cyprus it talks about is not northern Cyprus. Our economy has to be improved and raised to the same level. So, let us solve all that and then join the EU.

    The world was led to believe that Denktas does not want to reach an agreement, he is opposed to the EU, and he moves his people in the wrong direction. No, we have repeatedly said that all our people want an agreement and accession to the EU. However, they differ on the method. So, the National Assembly has been locked. As usual, my duty now is to talk with the political party leaders separately to ask them whether or not they have the number of deputies they need to establish the `government´. My duty is to designate a party leader to establish the `government´, if he satisfies us. According to the `Constitution´, I believe that we will return to the `Republican Assembly´ if a `government´ cannot be established within two months.

    That is where we stand. Our people emerged stronger from the `elections´. It will be useful to say once more that they have upheld their `State´ and confirmed that all the `State´ organs function. They have shown the existence and beauty of their democracy. They have shown how civilized they are. What has come to light is the fact that the very disgusting attacks that were made before the `elections´, including those by foreign entities, were lies. It will be recalled that claims were made to the effect that the `elections´ were defective and that thousands of people were brought from abroad to vote. They were baseless claims made for propaganda purposes. They have come to light and we are proud of that.

    Question: Will you ask the Republican Turkish Party [RTP], which has received the highest number of votes, to establish the `government´?

    Answer: That might be so. But, the right thing for me to do is to talk with the political party in power. However, it might be any one of the two political parties. We do not have a problem. I was asked in the past to explain the constitutional requirement. I said that according to the `Constitution´, I am not obliged to designate the leader of a political party that secures the highest number of votes. The reports that were published by the newspapers said that I would not ask the party that received the highest number of votes to establish the `government´. We are committed to the `Constitution´ and the laws. We will take the necessary action in accordance with the `Constitution´ and the laws.

    Question: Mr Denktas, probably the question was if you are going to give the mandate to Mr Mehmet Ali Talat. Who will you give the mandate to?

    Answer: As you see, the `elections´ have created a 50-50 position in the parliament. So, unless a party can win over one or two others or two big parties join together, none of them will be able to form a `government´. But, we will give the mandate to them and we will test them. If they cannot form a `government´ within two months, then they have to go to a new `election´. The idea that Turkish Cypriots, and I especially, are against the EU, we are against the settlement, which has been publicized mostly by the Greek Cypriot press and others, was inaccurate reporting, political reporting in order to damage our image. And, it has been more or less successful. What is the correct position of the country of the Turkish Cypriot people? I think the `elections´ have shown it. They all want a settlement and they all want to join the EU. But half of them represented in the parliament say the way is through the Annan plan and we do not have to take notice of the 1960 Agreements, which say that Cyprus cannot enter any such organization unless both Greece and Turkey are there. We can disregard that. We must hurry. We must join. The first day of May is very important. We must do it before 1 May. The other half says: Yes, we want to enter the EU. We want a settlement. But we want a settlement first so that our status is known.

    And, as I said earlier, the Greek Cypriots have had years of preparation for entering the EU, bringing up their legislation to the level of the EU etc. And, we have no cognizance of what they have done. So we have to look into all these things and that will take time.

    So, I repeat that the `elections´ have proved that we are all in favor of an agreement with the Greek Cypriots, and no one should forget that it was I who initiated direct talks with Mr Glafcos Clerides. We are against any agreement which would give either of the two peoples of Cyprus the opportunity to dominate the other, politically, economically, or culturally. We are in favour of maintaining the Greco-Turkish balance in the region and we are in favour of quadripartite talks^×Turkey, Greece, Turkish Cypriots, and Greek Cypriots. We envisage a confederal system for the new State. We feel that a confederal system will have more chance of success than a federal system. And, if this works well, the two peoples may decide in the future to establish a closer union. We believe that an agreement is unlikely until the international community, and in particular the United Nations, the EU, Britain, and the USA, stop taking sides with the Greek Cypriots and they adopt a neutral position between the two `peoples´. As stated by Mr Clerides, their participation in the talks is for tactical reasons, not for making concessions but for projecting the Turkish side as the intransigent one. We have succeeded in this, he said, and that is how we have entered the EU. If any party sits at the negotiating table for tactical reasons, decides not to make any concessions because he does not need to make concessions, naturally you cannot get a proper result. We feel that under these circumstances, it is futile to expect the Greek Cypriot leadership to abandon their tactical approach to the talks and agree to power-sharing on the basis of equal sovereignty as long as they are made to believe that they are the legitimate Government of all, able to represent Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots internationally. It is this belief and their determination to stick to what they believe to be their title, the Government of Cyprus, which has prevented a settlement so far. We believe that the first step to be taken by the international community should be the removal of the embargo on Turkish Cypriot trade and communications, sport, and social life. Turkish Cypriots have done nothing to deserve this treatment, this punishment. And, the embargo has no authority under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. We do not believe that Cyprus is an obstacle to Turkey's membership of the EU. A Cyprus settlement was not a precondition for the membership of Greece or the Greek Cypriots, which created the problem. We believe that whether a settlement is reached or not, there is a bright and secure future for the Turkish Cypriots in cooperation with Turkey.

    Question: You have confirmed that the `Republican Assembly´ will be locked because of the number of seats of the `government´ and the opposition parties. What do you think about the situation? Do you prefer a coalition between the government and opposition parties or a new round of `elections´ in two months?

    Answer: What I prefer is not important. What do the parties prefer? What I prefer is not important at all because the political parties will have to decide through their legal organs. What would be most appropriate would be for them to get together in the light of the message the people have given to them to discuss and solve the problems related to the national cause. They should then establish a national `government´, if they can do so. That would prevent a clash between the two sides. One of them might argue that the other is running off with Cyprus and the other would say that it will not allow it to do so. They would unite to stand against the entire world to solve the Cyprus problem. That is easy to say but it is difficult to achieve because each party has its own political viewpoint.

    Question: You said that the Turkish Cypriots supported accession to the EU in the `elections´. Does that mean that the Turkish Cypriot side returning to the negotiation table is a possibility?

    Answer: Talks might be held. A new round of talks began every time the talks failed to yield a result in the past. The two sides must agree on the objectives and principles. In other words, nothing can be achieved if one of the two sides claims that it is the legitimate `government´ and it will join the EU; if it says that it does not need anyone; and if it argues that it will sit at the negotiation table for tactical reasons. In view of that, contacts must be established between the two sides. The Greek Cypriot side must be informed: You have admitted that you wasted many years for tactical reasons. So, we must agree that you will adopt a serious approach in the negotiations process and hold talks on principles.

    Question: Will you be disclosing a package of measures and proposals in the next few days?

    Answer: Well, I have almost drawn up a framework for you.

    Question: Are you surprised by the results of the `elections´? Answer: We thought that the polls indicated that it would be just the opposite, that the Nationalist Unity Party [NUP] would get about 35-38 percent of the votes and the RTP would get about 32-33 percent of the votes. So, those who conducted the polls did very well, but I think they miscalculated the activities during the last 24 hours.

    Question: Can the parties transfer `deputies´ among themselves. Would that be unconstitutional?

    Answer: It would not be unconstitutional. But, it would be unethical.

    Question: Can I clarify a point? I think you said that you would first summon the `government´ parties for the establishment of the new administration. Meanwhile, RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat said in the past that he would replace you in the talks and transfer authority to the `government´. Can you comment?

    Answer: I believe that Mr Talat is disappointed. He is aware that he has not found the strength to achieve his objective. But, talking about all that is meaningless at this point. We will talk with them. As I mentioned earlier, their statements are all in the past now. We now have to establish the `government´.

    Question: Will you first summon the `government´ parties?

    Answer: No, I have not decided on that yet. However, the right thing to do is to summon the `government´ parties. The others can be summoned later.

    Question: Statements were made to the effect that the general `elections´ would be in the form of a referendum. In fact, you mentioned that in your press conference a while ago. But, the voting was for the `election´ of `deputies´. Would a similar result be achieved if a referendum was held?

    Answer: I believe that the disgusting aspects of the Annan plan and the dangers the plan would create would have been explained to the people in detail. So, the result would have been negative.

    Question: You said prior to the `elections´ that you would have some new proposals and new ideas after the `elections´. Can you share some of these ideas with us?

    Answer: I think I did more or less by saying that the agreement to be made must honor the bizonality, which we have established long ago, exchange of population, meaning that property questions should be settled globally and not individually, otherwise the intercommunal trouble will continue endlessly, and that a confederal solution is better than a federal. You can proceed to a federation through confederation as confidence grows between the two sides, we are proposing that we should have the two national guarantors come together with our sides and confirm the guarantees system will continue as it is, thus giving us confidence for the future. If you have no confidence, naturally you keep putting walls between you two.

    Question: Should we believe that you are not going to accept the resumption of talks even if you are invited by the UN Secretary-General soon?

    Answer: The UN Secretary-General has said that he will invite the two sides if the two sides agree, and there is no agreement between the two sides on anything because Mr Tassos Papadopoulos has declared that it is impossible to settle the problem while Denktas is around. Well, unfortunately, I shall be around for another two years. So, he better make up his mind.

    Question: I heard very carefully the points that you made to the gentleman's question. I am a little bit confused. Can you tell me which are the new ideas?

    Answer: The new ideas you will see when we agree with Turkey because Turkey is also working on some new papers and we have not yet had the chance of coming together and aligning them together. So, it is useless to put things before you which we may have to change later. But, I gave you a general idea: Non-domination on any ground, one party not representing Cyprus as his Cyprus, this is our Cyprus, there are two peoples in Cyprus, and there are two zones which have grown into two states because we were left stateless.

    Question: What about the European prospective, since you were very very enthusiastic about Europe?

    Answer: The European prospective is there and the Prime Minister of Turkey has said that Turkey's vision is the EU, and that vision covers the `TRNC´ also, meaning that they are also interested in going into the EU together with us.

    Question: If you join Europe, why do you need the two guarantors for your safety?

    Answer: Greece is in Europe and the Turkish minority in Greece is still suffering. So, the EU is not the policeman of any party. The EU wants a well-organized unit as a state which has not trouble within itself. That is what the EU wants. And, we have to agree with the Greek Cypriots to create such an establishment.

    Question: Have you called Mr Tassos Papadopoulos during these days?

    Answer: No, I have not. He has discarded me by saying that there can be no agreement at all while Denktas is around because he believed that the opposition would sweep the parliament. Now that he has seen it is not so and that I am still needed, I hope that we will have contacts.

    Question: Considering what you said earlier, would you task Dervis Eroglu or hold talks with the political parties?

    Answer: I said that I would hold talks. I said nothing about tasking anyone. Talks will be held with all the political parties. If a party leader cannot respond to my invitation today, I will invite another party leader. The question as to which party leader I would invite first is meaningless.

    Question: Mr Denktas, would you encourage a coalition between your son, Serdar Denktas, and RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat?

    Answer: The coalition question belongs to the political parties, not to me. I do not have to encourage anybody.

    Question: Have you contacted Ankara?

    Answer: Ankara is preoccupied with President Aliyev's death.

    Question: Will you give an appointment to Thomas Weston?

    Answer: Who?

    Question: Thomas Weston.

    Answer: I have an appointment with Weston. We will meet on 18 December. I did not meet him before the `elections´ because he, too, believed that a political party would achieve a landslide victory. So, I decided to hold talks with him after the `elections´. That would create an opportunity for us to be aware of the conditions under which we should meet. We will hold talks on 18 December.^Ô

    [02] The Turkish Foreign Minister assesses that the messages of the Turkish Cypriots from the voting is that they want a solution but also to safegurd Denktas´ views

    Istanbul NTV television (15.12.03) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, has said that everyone should well understand the message conveyed through the ^Óelections^Ô in occupied Cyprus.

    Gul stated that today he called on Rauf Denktas and the party leaders and thanked them for showing to everyone the democratic structure in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Pointing out that everyone on the island should keep a cool head, Gul then called on the parties to well understand the messages conveyed by the people. Noting that the Turkish Cypriots want a solution, Gul said: ^ÓThe voters, however, also want to safeguard the views of the honourable Denktas and the rights and `laws´ of the `TRNC´. They want the negotiations to begin.^Ô

    Upon being asked about the timetable for the new initiatives that Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side are planning for the post-election period, Gul said that first one has to wait for the ^Ógovernment^Ô to be established and that at least a week has to elapse. Stressing that the Cyprus issue cannot be solved without Turkey, Gul said: ^ÓEveryone will take Turkey's views into consideration^Ô.

    [03] The Speaker of the Turkish Assembly assesses the results of the Turkish Cypriot voting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.12.03) reported from Ankara that the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Mr Bulent Arinc, responding to questions of journalists on Monday, said: ''The `elections´ were held in a democratic atmosphere. The Turkish Cypriots have put forward their political preference. We should respect it. The results are quite interesting. Fifty percent of deputies are in one block while the remaining half are in the other. The results of the `elections´ have revealed that the Turkish Cypriots were calling on `deputies´ to reach a compromise and find a solution. This is my personal comment.''

    [04] Turkish Cypriot daily writes about the possible scenarios regarding the establishment of a pseudogovernment in occupied Cyprus, after the Sunday ^Óelections^Ô

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (16.12.03) writes about the various scenarios that are possible to be adopted regarding the establishment of a so-called government in occupied Cyprus after the Sunday ^Óelections^Ô, which created a 50-50 position in the ^Óparliament^Ô between the parties of the opposition and the parties of the status quo. The paper also writes that the role that Ankara will play regarding the issue is extremely important, as to how the instructions Ankara will give to the party leaders and the road they will follow.

    The first scenario the paper refers to is the movement of ^Ódeputies^Ô from one party to another. The paper writes that it is most possible for three ^Ódeputies^Ô of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (RTP-UF) to join another party, because they were described as ^Óright wing persons and persons of Rauf Denktas^Ô in the past. These persons are Ozdil Nami, Nuri Cevikel and Gulboy Beydagli. The latter was a ^Ódeputy^Ô of the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu in the past. Another person who, according to the paper, is possible to join one of the parties of the status quo is Mehmet Caglar, ^Ódeputy^Ô of RTP-UF. In addition, Unal Ustel, ^Ódeputy^Ô of the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas could possibly join either RTP-UN or Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM). The paper stresses that this is the most possible scenario because only one person is needed to change the 50-50 balance and allow either the opposition or the ruling parties to establish a ^Ógovernment.

    The second scenario is forming a ^Ócoalition government^Ô between RTP-UF, DP and PDM. If the three parties decide to cooperate they can establish a ^Ôgovernment^Ô which will be represented in the parliament with 32 ^Ódeputies^Ô. However, according to the cooperation protocol RTP-UF and PDM have signed, they cannot combine forces with neither NUP nor DP for establishing a ^Ógovernment^Ô. The paper writes that the RTP-UF and the PDM leaders do not say a clear ^Óno^Ô towards this possibility, At the same time they are afraid that NUP and DP can join their forces and say ^Óno^Ô to a very crucial decision regarding the Cyprus problem while we are approaching the crucial date of the 1st of May.

    The third scenario refers to the establishment of a so-called coalition government between RTP-UN and NUP. However, this scenario is the least possible to take place, since the leaders of the two parties stated after the ^Óelections^Ô that this is not likely.

    The fourth scenario could be the establishment of a ^Ócoalition government^Ô between NUP, DP and PDM. According to the paper, NUP^Ò s refusal to form a ^Ógovernment^Ô with RTP-UF was conceived as a message for cooperation to PDM. If the three parties decide to cooperate they can establish a ^Ôgovernment^Ô which will be represented at the so-called parliament with 31 ^Ódeputies^Ô. However, the PDM chairman, Mustafa Akinci, is not very fond of this and had declared after the ^Óelections^Ô that he wants to stick on to the protocol his party signed with RTP-UF.

    According to the fifth scenario, the four parties which are ^Órepresented^Ô in the so-called parliament will establish a ^Ócoalition government^Ô in the form of a National Council. However, all the party leaders, with the exception of Serdar Denktas, are not very positive towards this possibility. HALKIN SESI writes that this is the least possible scenario to take place.

    The sixth scenario is to hold early ^Óelections^Ô, in case it will not be possible for the parties to establish a ^Ócoalition government^Ô. However, the leaders of the parties which support solution and EU accession (RTP-UF and PDM) do not support this since they believe that holding early ^Óelections^Ô will waste valuable time. While the date of the 1st of May is approaching, RTP-UF and PDM^Òs leaders believe that a ^Ógovernment^Ô must be established the sooner possible so that Cyprus could be a part of the EU by this date.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] In fact Ankara won the elections in Cyprus

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (16.12.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birnad:

    ^ÓNow it's Ankara's turn. Ankara has always had the last word, but this time it's different. The results of these elections have deadlocked Cyprus, and now Ankara will make the final decision. The message of the results is very clear indeed:

    * The uncompromising attitude of Denktas, who totally rejected the Annan plan, has lost. The Turkish Cypriots have made it clear that they are against the status quo. This attitude becomes more obvious when the `election´ results are compared to those of 1998.

    * The opposition, however, did not receive as many votes as previously expected. This means that half of Turkish Cypriot society is hesitant about the arguments of the opposition. They don't want to lose the property or the statutes they have enjoyed up until now. They have not adopted the attitude of the opposition that claims, "We should sign the Annan plan as it is."

    Therefore, in such a case, all eyes will focus on Ankara's decision. Ankara will consider its own interests, the situation of the `TRNC´ along with international realities and will find a solution and implement it.

    Subtitle: The ball is in Ankara's court

    Many opportunities have been missed, and the Cyprus issue has remained a problem until now. The reason has always been Ankara's indecisive attitude, not Denktas or the opposition in Cyprus. The government failed to pursue a determined policy on the issue. The president says one thing, while the chief of general staff thinks differently. The Foreign Ministry is split along different lines. The prime minister, who plays a key role among them all, failed to be active and dominant on the issue and was unable to articulate his preferences clearly. If Ankara behaves in a determined fashion this time, the `TRNC´ could be saved. Otherwise, we should be prepared to lose the north of the island at any time.

    Subtitle: EU thinks THE Cyprus problem is solved(!)

    There has been an interesting change in the EU Commission's attitude. For the first time I have encountered a different feeling in my talks with some top officials. An official told me, "The Cyprus problem has been solved according to our perspective.

    "Now it is certain that southern Cyprus will join the EU. Turkey was not able to prevent this. It failed in blocking Greek Cypriot EU membership by not expending enough effort in Copenhagen and Vienna. That means you've missed the train. Now you have only until May, 2004. However, according to signals we have received, you won't take any action once again, unless you surprise us. If the current situation continues as it is, the Greek Cypriots will join the Union and the `TRNC´ will be left out. We have no intention of expelling Turkey from the island by means of armed force. This situation will harm the Turkish people on the island the most. They will remain poor. Turkey also will be harmed because you will pay the cost. You will spend more money than today. Furthermore, you will be under continuous political pressure. And the Greek Cypriots will have the authority to veto your accession. Therefore, the general thinking in Brussels is that the issue has already been solved."

    In fact, I have never thought this way. This approach in Brussels really surprised me. This logic is correct in a way. We will have northen Cyprus, but its cost will increase so much that we will have to leave Cyprus, and we will regret we haven't signed the Annan plan. And then we will present veto power to the Greek Cypriots as a gift and drag our 70 million people into chaos.

    I hope the government will come to understand this in time and change its attitude; otherwise, we will be faced with big losses.^Ô

    [06] Interpreting the ^ÓTRNC elections^Ô: Cypriots tossed the ball into Ankara´s court

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (16.12.03) publishes that following commentary by Cengiz Candar:

    ^ÓA deadlock. This is the most striking and obvious consequence of the long-awaited Turkish Cypriot elections held on Sunday. Even differences in how to read the election results have accentuated the deadlock. The pre-election opposition bloc and the ruling bloc, including Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas, tend to read the election results dramatically differently.

    For the pre-election opposition it is an incomplete and sour election victory. For the incumbent `TRNC Prime Minister´ Dervis Eroglu and Denktas himself, the election results reflect the desire of the Turkish Cypriot people reaching to a compromise for the resolution of the Cyprus question while retaining the sovereignty of the `TRNC´ and the effective guarantees of Turkey that the Annan plan allegedly denies.

    This interpretation suggests that the forces of the status quo in Turkish Cyprus as characterized by the Turkish Cypriot opposition parties do not budge from their anti-Annan plan position and do not read the election results as a reason to modify their stand.

    However, the results show that the underlying current on the divided island is towards reunification. The comparison with the previous elections of 1998 indicates a tremendous shift in the electoral preferences of the Turkish Cypriots. The ruling bloc consisting of the two parties led by the the Turkish Cypriot premier, Eroglu, and the deputy premier, Serdar Denktas, had constituted 65 percent of the vote. Eroglu's National Unity Party (NUP) had around 40 percent, while Denktas's Democratic Party (DP) had roughly 22 percent. The NUP dropped to 32 percent and its partner, losing nearly 40 percent of its former support, to 12 percent. On the other hand, Mehmet Ali Talat's Republican Turkish Party (RTP), with a tremendous upsurge, moved from 13 percent in 1998 to over 35 percent last Sunday to become the number-one party of the Turkish sector.

    Why has this turnabout occured? Mismanagement? A natural attrition of the standing of those who have remained too long in government? All these might have played a part in these results. Nonetheless, the major reason was the inclusion of a new factor: European Union prospects and the United Nations (Annan plan), which presented the most comprehensive blueprint for the resolution of the Cyprus question -- the reunification of the island -- thereby clearing the path for Turkish Cypriots for accession into the European Union. Though, not confessed openly and even rejected, nobody had any qualms that this election would be a referendum for the Annan plan and for Turkish Cypriot accession to the EU with the Greek Cypriots.

    The cold face of the statistics leave no ground for any interpretation on who are the victors and who are the losers. Yet the even distribution of seats in the new `TRNC´ Parliament´ as 25 to 25 for the competing blocs, and thus an insufficient mandate for the victors, do not allow them to implement their project. The referendum was won by the pro-EU forces, but not decisively.

    Talat and his ertswhile ally, Mustafa Akinci, the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (the former social-democrat party, the Communal Liberation Party) aspired to a clear mandate to relieve Denktas from his post as negotiator and to proceed rapidly towards negotiating a resolution on the basis and within the framework of the Annan plan, in order to reunify the island by May 1, 2004, the date that Cyprus will become a full member of the EU. But which Cyprus?

    If the deadline is missed or the timetable is not met -- not much cared for by Denktas and his allies -- that Cyprus would be the Republic of Cyprus, founded on the basis of the London and Zurich agreements of 1960, which is virtually under the control of the Greek Cypriots. That would be the old Cyprus with a new title -- an EU-member Cyprus.

    Or, if a renegotiated and possibly slightly modified Annan plan could be implemented by that "magic date" as desired by Talat and Akinci, then it would be the "State of Cyprus" composed of Turkish and Greek constituent states -- a totally new Cyprus with a new constitution and new structure that would bury the 1960 Agreements once and for all and carry the Turkish Cypriot community along with its co-islanders, the Greek Cypriots, into the European Union.

    As the popular saying goes that "the devil is in the details," Denktas found so much and so many devils under every detail that he successfully demonized the Annan plan. He does not want to relinquish the sovereignty of the `TRNC´ and seeks an extremely loose federation by safeguarding its sovereign existence, allowing Turkey to retain its right to militarily and unilaterally intervene, as stipulated (or rather interpreted as such) in the 1960 agreements.

    The positions of the Turkish Cypriot parties are, ostensibly, irreconcilable. The deadlock that emerged from the Turkish Cypriot elections, despite remarks to the contrary, as a matter of fact, consolidates this irreconcilability.

    Unless Serdar Denktas shifts allegiances and moves into a pro-Annan-plan and pro-EU coalition with Talat and Akinci, the Turkish Cypriot deadlock will produce nothing but a political impasse. Some might think that the Turkish Cypriot election results made President Denktas even more powerful with such a power vacuum on the Turkish side of the island and enhanced his status as negotiator. But one should not neglect the fact that he is a major party to the apparent deadlock, which may produce a political impasse, unless he changes his firm stand, an unlikelihood, also since he is in no hurry to meet the EU timetable.

    Therefore, the Cypriot deadlock and the impasse would, inevitably be transferred to Turkey, the motherland.

    The Justice and Development Party (JDP) government now has a dramatically divided Turkish Cyprus in its bosom, like an orphan baby found in a mosque courtyard.

    The Turkish Cypriot elections demonstrated that the status quo cannot be preserved on the Turkish half of the island. With what and how to replace it is beyond the capacity and ability of the Turkish Cypriots. The ball is in Ankara's court. Now is the time for vision and statesmanship. We will see whether or to what extent Ankara has these qualities.^Ô

    /SK


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