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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-12-18

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.240/03 18.12.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat´s views on what must be done after the voting in occupied Cyprus.
  • [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting the political party leaders winners of Sunday´s voting.
  • [03] More on Ankara´s rumoured proposal for amending UN Annan plan for Cyprus.
  • [04] Turkish sources say the Annan plan continues to be a 'Reference' and not the basis for a solution in Cyprus.
  • [05] The Turkish foreign Ministry on the situation in the occupied areas after the voting.
  • [06] Statements on Cyprus by the Foreign Minister of Turkey from Tokyo.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] MILLIYET newspaper publishes Denktas´ preconditions for resuming talks in Cyprus.
  • [08] Mehmet Ali Birand support that the JDP government has no Cyprus policy but it plays for time.
  • [09] Editorial in AFRIKA supports that as a result of the voting Cyprus will continue to be kept hostage by Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat´s views on what must be done after the voting in occupied Cyprus

    Istanbul NTV television (17.12.03) broadcast that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) which emerged as the first party in the voting held in the occupied Cyprus on 14 December, declared that his party views warmly any kind of ^Ógovernment^Ô composition within the framework of a solution and the EU vision. He was participating in the "24 Hours" program on NTV.

    Speaking live on the NTV program, Talat declared: "The Cyprus solution must be solved in one way or another by 1 May, the date when the Greek Cypriots will join the EU representing the whole of Cyprus. Given that this is the goal, I said that I could view warmly any kind of government composition that will support this and that will be able to realize this vision. I still hold the same conviction."

    Referring to possible coalition alternatives, Talat said that his party will establish contacts with the other parties as of today. Talat also said that an important role also falls on Turkey in this regard: ^ÓAnkara is very important for us because we must conduct the negotiation process in cooperation with Ankara, and, moreover, we have reservations and objections with regard to `President Denktas' role as negotiator. Conducting the negotiations with Denktas alone could in the end constitute a serious obstacle to attaining a solution in Cyprus. I believe that at this stage it is extremely important that Ankara at least convey to us its views on this subject, in relation to Turkey's EU process," he added.

    Commenting on the removal of Rauf Denktas from the role of negotiator, Mr Talat said: "In the final analysis, the government is responsible for this. The responsible person should conduct these negotiations. This aspect of the matter must also be considered. As I noted, however, we did not say that Denktas should be dismissed as the negotiator; we said that the government should conduct the negotiations; and this was indirectly tantamount to removing Mr Denktas from this role. Naturally, this is still on our agenda, but now that a balance of 25-25 emerged, we must adjust our rigid position on this matter to the existing conditions to some extent. This is what we are doing, but we certainly do not have any intention of retracting from our goal of conducting the negotiations and attaining a solution by May 2004 together with Turkey."

    Moreover, KIBRIS (18.12.03) reports that the RTP leader, after meeting Denktas yesterday answered questions put to him by journalists. He said that he had asked Denktas to mandate him to form the so-called new government. He added that the RTP Parliamentary Group met last night, and empowered him to start work about the forming of a new government, which will aim at reaching a solution by May 2004, on the basis of the Annan Plan.

    He said that as party they do not exclude the forming of a ^ÓNational Government^Ô provided that it will aim at solving the problem until May 2004. ^ÓOn the basis of this it is possible to establish all kinds of governments^Ô, Talat concluded.

    [02] Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting the political party leaders winners of Sunday´s voting

    Local KIBRIS newspaper (18.12.03) reports that after meeting with the leaders of the four parties which will be represented in the so-called Assembly, Denktas yesterday replied to questions put to him by the journalists.

    Denktas said that during the meetings he encouraged the party leaders to form a so-called government^Ô with the ^Óbroadest possible basis^Ô.

    When asked to comment on his position as interlocutor Denktas said that all his life passed as negotiator, and that he is not adamantly insisting on it because, he added, the post that he now holds, gives him the opportunity to control the negotiators.

    He further said that towards the end of this month either they will go to Turkey or officials will come from Turkey for consultations.

    He said that now he will wait for a few days during which the leaders will go back, will consult among themselves and will come to him to tell him whether they will from a government or not. ^ÓIf they say that they cannot form a government then we will see to it as well^Ô, Denktas concluded.

    [03] More on Ankara´s rumoured proposal for amending UN Annan plan for Cyprus

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (17.12.03) publishes the following report under the title: "Proposal with EU condition from Ankara for the Annan Plan":

    ^ÓAnkara, which has taken the initiative for a solution [on Cyprus] after the elections in the `TRNC´ while making changes in the sensitive points in the Annan Plan, will set forth the condition of implementing these changes as of the start of Turkey's membership negotiations with the EU. Ankara prepared the following draft text with the provision of not changing the philosophy of the Annan Plan:

    1. The Sharing of Lands: Turkey defends that it could give the Varosha region to the Greek Cypriot administration, but that it could not leave Morphou which is the only water source of the `TRNC´.

    2. Immigration Problem: In case the immigration of the Southern Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration citizens to the `TRNC´ is realized in the manner specified in the Annan Plan, then it is feared that the island could be transformed into a second Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    3. Representation: The Annan Plan proposes representation based on percentage of population in the new partnership state. In contrast to this, Ankara envisages equal representation of the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the Council of Ministers, which would be formed within the framework of the new partnership state.

    4. Presence of the Turkish Military on the Island: The Annan Plan envisages the reduction of the number of Turkish soldiers on the island to six thousand within three months. Whereas, in its solution plan, Ankara states that the Turkish military is present in the `TRNC´ within the framework of the alliance agreement and emphasizes that the Turkish military will not be withdrawn before [Turkey] becomes an EU member.

    5. Ankara gives the message, "Turkey will continue to cooperate with the new government in the `TRNC´, whether it is formed by the present government parties or the opposition parties", and expects this government to be formed as soon as possible in order to present its proposal.^Ô

    [04] Turkish sources say the Annan plan continues to be a 'Reference' and not the basis for a solution in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.12.03) reported from Ankara that Turkey thinks that the Annan plan still continues to be a reference as a part of efforts to find a solution to Cyprus issue and that initiatives should be carried out within the framework of the good offices mission.

    Diplomatic sources said on Wednesday that the Annan plan was a reference, but it was not a basis for a solution.

    The objections of the Greek Cypriot side and Turkish Cypriots should be reviewed, the same sources noted.

    The sources stated that although May 1, 2004 was an important date, ''it was not the end of the world'' and added: ''It can also be May 2.''

    There was no connection between the Cyprus talks and exploratory talks on the Aegean issue, the sources said, adding that ''good atmosphere could affect each other.''

    The same sources said that Turkey's only expectation was to be given a date to start negotiations with the European Union (EU) on December 1, 2004 and defined 2004 as ''very important for Turkey and the EU.''

    [05] The Turkish foreign Ministry on the situation in the occupied areas after the voting

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (17.12.03) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Huseyin Dirioz, in his weekly news briefing, replied to questions pertaining to the developments in the aftermath of the voting in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Dirioz declared: ^ÓThe process to establish a government has begun. In the end, the parties represented in the parliament will establish the government. We hope that this work will be concluded as soon as possible. We cannot have any kind of preference. Naturally, our cooperation will continue with all governments.^Ô

    Pointing out that mutual visits have not been planned yet with the occupation regime, Dirioz stressed that there is nothing more natural than conducting consultations in the coming period. Dirioz stated that the reports that Turkey will link the issue of a Cyprus solution to its own EU accession process are mere speculation.

    [06] Statements on Cyprus by the Foreign Minister of Turkey from Tokyo

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (17.12.03) broadcast that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, during his contacts in Tokyo, replied to TRT correspondent Pinar Cakirgoz's questions, as follows:

    Question: There are reports that Turkey is seeking assurances from the EU regarding a date for the start of accession talks before it takes any steps regarding security and its guarantor status in Cyprus.

    Answer: Nothing has been done in this regard. There are lots of speculations going around. The Foreign Ministry is working seriously on this issue. We will, of course, share this work with the other units of our state. After that, it will be integrated with the work being done in Cyprus, and steps will be taken to resume the negotiations.

    Question: Is this being linked to Turkey's EU membership?

    Answer: No. We will try to reach a solution in Cyprus before 1 May 2004, of course. As I always say, however, the approach of the Greek Cypriot side is very important here. It will not work with only the Turkish Cypriot side. I hope that the Greek Cypriots, too, will adopt a conciliatory stand, and that a solution will be reached before 1 May.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] MILLIYET newspaper publishes Denktas´ preconditions for resuming talks in Cyprus.

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (17.12.03) publishes the following column by Fikret Bila under the title: "Denktas' three preconditions":

    ^ÓTwo separate processes will continue in parallel after the general election held in the ^ÓTRNC´. Efforts will be made in order to form a new government amid debates over a new plan.

    The latest statements made by Rauf Denktas and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul indicated that the new plan will be a combination of two separate blueprints being devised by Ankara and the `TRNC¨, which will be harmonized with each other at the end of the process.

    A consensus on the underlying principles is considered essential in order to prepare the ground for negotiations before going into the details of the new plan. It appears that a compromise on those principles constitutes a precondition for the Turkish Cypriot side to be inspired by Annan's blueprint.

    In an interview he gave me yesterday, Denktas unveiled three preconditions which the `TRNC´ regards as sine qua non. Denktas summarized those preconditions together with an assessment of Annan's plan as follows:

    "1. Two nations: One of those indispensable conditions is that existence of two separate nations in Cyprus must be recognized. They, however, refuse to accept that fact, even though they had admitted it in 1960. They maintain that there is a single nation composed of two communities in Cyprus. Annan's document tacitly supports their view. It calls for settlement of Greek Cypriots in our territory as well as mixed representation in the government and Parliament without making any distinction between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, which would be tantamount to admitting that there is only one rather than two nations in Cyprus. We cannot accept that approach. There are two separate nations in Cyprus made up of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. The government formed in 1960 was composed of three Turkish Cypriot and seven Greek Cypriot ministers and there were 15 Turkish Cypriot MPs and 35 Greek Cypriot MPs in Parliament. Annan's plan does not even provide for such an arrangement. Therefore, it must definitely be revised.

    "2. Bi-zonality: The second precondition that we regard as sine qua non is recognition of bi-zonality. History has shown that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots must live in two separate territories if peace and order are to be maintained. Annan's plan, however, would effectively bring bi-zonality to an end as it suggests that Greek Cypriots be settled among our people. We could neither accept that proposal, which would put an end to bi-zonality and trigger civil strife between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots because of disputes over property at a time when even people from the same community can kill each other as a result of disputes over land and water. Attempts aimed at settling Greek Cypriots in places they left 30 years ago would be tantamount to setting the stage for conflicts and existing disagreements over property could be settled through a collective exchange agreement.

    "3. Guarantees: The issue of guarantees should also be resolved. Turkey and Greece have yet to work out an agreement about that matter. Finding a common ground without ensuring Turkey's effective guarantee would not be possible. Annan's blueprint is not reliable as regards that issue either. It calls for reducing the number of Turkish troops to 6,000, who, it says, should leave the island when Turkey joins the EU. We are not clear about the criteria taken into consideration in making that suggestion. If the plan is accepted, movement of Turkish troops will be restricted and subjected to the United Nations' prior approval. Even a military squad would be required to get permission 15 days in advance in order to go from one place to another. There are some other restrictions. How could a middle ground be established between the two sides unless Turkey and Greece reach an agreement about their role as guarantors?

    "4. Map: It is highly unlikely that a common ground will be found regarding map unless a compromise is worked out about those three indispensable preconditions. The map issue could be tackled only after those preconditions have been met. The suggestions put forward in Annan's blueprint concerning that issue should be revised too, because we would be obliged to return our most fertile lands which were handed over to Turkish Cypriots who had left their very fertile lands in the south. Turkish Cypriots were producing a third of grape and wine in the south before 1974. Taking that fact into consideration, fertile lands in the north were allocated to those people. Now, there are attempts to force them to return those lands. If they want land, we can give them lands in other areas. As I have just pointed out, however, a consensus about the issues I have mentioned is necessary as a matter of principle if those points are to be discussed."

    Denktas has no doubt that those points, which he described as sine qua non, will also be defended by Ankara.

    He underscored that a single document would be drawn up and a single approach would emerge after his plan and Ankara's blueprint were harmonized with each other.^Ô

    [08] Mehmet Ali Birand support that the JDP government has no Cyprus policy but it plays for time

    Turkish Daily News (18.12.03) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    ^ÓThe last speech made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan looks as if he has drawn a road map for Cyprus. Let's see if what he says and does match. Or will we continue to back paddle?

    Let me tell you the truth. The heading of today's article was to be "I am tired of the Cyprus comedy." I was really sick and tired.

    There was a game played alleging that we would listen to what the `TRNC´ citizens were saying, we would take the new parliament seriously or we would try to convince Rauf Denktas. Everyone was patting each other´s backs.

    For the last 30 years, only decisions made in Ankara were implemented. All the money `TRNC´ received was coming out of our pockets. In return, Denktas did as he was told.

    Now, we have come to the most important juncture and a new attitude has developed. Let's go and consult with Denktas. Let's try to convince Denktas. There is democracy in TRNC, let's wait for the election results. This is very amusing. We can convince no one with this, especially ourselves.

    The main reason for this attitude is that the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) still has not composed a policy on Cyprus. They don't have a Cyprus policy. These are just actions to gain time.

    Now, Denktas has aired his opinions, down to the last minute detail. He showed that he does not want a solution under these terms. `Elections´ were held and those who wanted a solution won it, albeit by a small margin.

    On the other hand, time is short. There is only 4.5 months left. Are we still going to play along with the "rules of democracy?" Are we going to watch acts that will lengthen the process of government formation? Let's stop deceiving ourselves. See the truth. Accept the fact that we can lose all of Cyprus once and for all. Understand that nationalist rhetoric will not take us too far.

    Subtitle: Finally Ankara says, 'I will decide' Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's statements to the media and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's speech at the party group meeting on Tuesday show that finally Ankara has decided to act and want to end the comedy on Cyprus.

    Of course, we have to be cautious. The PM made bold statements before, but seemed to have changed his opinion afterwards. Let's hope we are not watching the same old movie. Let's evaluate the latest policies of Erdogan.

    1. There should be no crisis in `TRNC´ and a coalition government should be formed as soon as possible. However, Denktas's latest statements seemed to reflect that the process of the formation of the government would be lengthy or even new `elections´ could be called.

    2. The Turkish side has prepared a new standpoint based on the Annan plan. The details will be released next week. However, Denktas persistently said that the Annan plan was done with and that they were working on an alternative plan.

    3. The sides should return to the negotiation table. However, Denktas wanted to avoid negotiations until May 1, 2004.

    4. The `TRNC elections´ showed that the people supported a solution. Turks on the island want to protect their rights, but also want a solution. The status quo must change. However Denktas announced that the elections were won by those who were against the Annan plan, claiming that the people supported the continuation of the status quo.

    5. The elections showed that `TRNC´ needed a new policy and politicians. However, Denktas is opposed to any change. He could not have been pleased by Erdogan's statements. The only thing that has to be done now is to implement these policies. The Serdar-Talat-Akinci coalition should be formed without delay. All sides should accept Ankara's Cyprus policy and sit at the negotiation table. There is no other way out.^Ô

    [09] Editorial in AFRIKA supports that as a result of the voting Cyprus will continue to be kept hostage by Turkey

    The main editorial in AFRIKA (18.12.03) commenting on last Sunday´s so-called election results in the occupied area, says that the results encouraged Turkey to continue its hostage policy in Cyprus

    The editorial goes on to say that ^Ówith the new solution plan prepared by Turkey, Ankara wants to further its hostage policy in Cyprus and make it official^Ô. The most important point on which the new plan is based is: Turkey will not let Cyprus, unless it gets guarantees for its EU membership. That is,

    - The existing status quo will not change

    - The Turkish troops will not be withdrawn

    The editorial goes on and says that Turkey considers Cyprus as the only trump card for its entry into the EU.

    It says that with the new plan of Turkey, ^Ówe will continue to be held hostage by Turkey for a long time^Ô, the editorial concludes.

    /SK


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