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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-01-22

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.14/04 22.01.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Mr Talat after concluding his talks in Ankara.
  • [02] The German Foreign Minister held contacts in Turkey.
  • [03] Denktas says he is worried regarding the developments in the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] Weston discussed Cyprus with Ziyal in Ankara.
  • [05] Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul: "We will tell Annan in the USA 'start the negotiations' ".
  • [06] Turkish ambassadors to the EU member and candidate countries to meet in Ankara on 20 February.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Commentary in Turkish Daily News calls on the Turkish side to stop its uncompromising policies and accept the Annan plan.
  • [08] Hasan Cemal: "Looking to Cyprus from Davos".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Mr Talat after concluding his talks in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.01.04) reported that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat who visited Turkey as the guest of Union of Turkish Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) departed from Ankara. Replying to questions of reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure on Wednesday, Talat said he had very beneficial talks.

    Asked when the application would be made to start negotiations, Talat said:

    "Prime Minister Erdogan planned to launch such an initiative by calling for the support of the United States. Of course, we will have support to this initiative. As Turkey and the `TRNC´ government our common attitude is clear. This is to find a solution to the Cyprus question. Efforts should be exerted in this respect. Our target is to solve the Cyprus question till May. There are also busy studies in Turkey as well as Cyprus. We are trying to form an atmosphere to bring them together and to start talks. Turkey is resolved on the way to solution and it has definite ideas. This is an important step. However the intention and the target is clear, it is to reach a solution. This solution will of course protect the vital interests of Turkish Cypriot people. This will be a solution protecting the assignments and rights of Turkey on Cyprus."

    Stating that a negotiation process on the basis of the Annan plan was envisaged for a solution to the Cyprus question, Talat said he supported the good offices mission of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and that preparations were underway to initiate talks in this respect.

    He went on: "Our preparations and contributions will continue. Of course the Secretary-General will decide for the date to start negotiations. What we should do is to find formulas that can meet his conditions. The Turkish side will also apply to the Secretary-General to start talks. You know, the Greek Cypriot side did it. It applied to the Secretary-General to start talks. However, they did this before meeting the conditions of the Secretary-General. They could not get a positive response. I think the Turkish side should take this into consideration and make a more careful initiative by meeting conditions."

    Replying to a question on what kind of changes the Turkish side would propose at negotiation table, Talat said studies continued for initiation of talks, noting, "there is not a picture that has been completed. Efforts are underway."

    Asked if the views of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were similar on the Annan plan, Talat said: "We are working on it. It should be the same. It should be at the same point."

    Upon arrival in the occupied areas Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot side's work on the Cyprus negotiation process continued and he added that the "strategy document" was not formed yet.

    Speaking to reporters at the airport, Talat said: "There are positive signals, there is also determination. The importance of May is known. But there is nothing which became definite. There is nothing which became definite and which is kept secret."

    [02] The German Foreign Minister held contacts in Turkey

    Istanbul NTV television (21.01.04) broadcast that the German Foreign Minister, Mr Joschka Fischer, who is visiting Ankara, said that Germany will continue to extend its support to Turkey's EU membership. Fischer issued statements after meeting with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara.

    Assessing the Cyprus developments, Fischer expressed hopes that the present opportunity will not be missed. Despite insistent questions by the correspondents, Fischer stressed that he did not bring any messages from UN Secretary-General Annan with whom he met in Berlin the other day.

    In reply to questions about the extradition of Metin Kaplan, Fischer said that the issue is in the hands of an independent judiciary.

    Ankara Anatolia (21.01.04) reported from Ankara that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and his German counterpart Joschka Fischer held a joint press conference following their tete-a-tete meeting and a meeting between Turkish and German delegations on Wednesday.

    Foreign Minister Gul said that the Cyprus issue would be taken up in the meeting of the National Security Council [NSC] to be held on Friday.

    Recalling that the NSC was not a decision-making organ, Gul noted that a decision the on Cyprus issue would not be taken in the NSC meeting and that it was normal to discuss the Cyprus issue in the NSC meeting which could make some recommendations, and added:

    "The final decision would be political. The government would make the final decision on the Cyprus issue. All concerned institutions in Turkey were working to reach a broad consensus. The government would exert efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem after the NSC meeting. Turkey is ready to fulfil its responsibilities in order to resume Cyprus talks. Turkey supports the good offices mission of the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General and Cyprus talks based on the Annan plan."

    [03] Denktas says he is worried regarding the developments in the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.01.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, said yesterday he was worried regarding the developments in the Cyprus problem.

    In statements during a meeting with a delegation of the Marmara and Bosporus Municipalities' Union, Mr Denktas supported that Turkey, which wishes to become a member of the EU, is cornered and some circles want to bring it into a position that it will not be able to defend Cyprus.

    Referring to the opinions, which support that Turkey should not seem intransigent, Mr Denktas said: "Come, give Cyprus away to the Greek Cypriots and get over with it".

    Mr Denktas alleged that the important thing was protecting their rights and argued that the whole world is exerting pressure onto the Turkish side because it is doing this. Claiming that the whole world is trying to get Cyprus away from the Turks, Mr Denktas added: "We are not at ease, we are worried. Our hope is the determination of our Turkey. 'Health is necessary to everyone. We understand its value when we lose it. Cyprus belongs to all of us. I hope that we will not understand its value only when we lose it".

    [04] Weston discussed Cyprus with Ziyal in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.01.04) reports that yesterday Mr Thomas Weston, the special coordinator for Cyprus at the US State Department, discussed the Cyprus problem with ambassador Ugur Ziyal, Permanent Undersecretary at Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other officials of the same ministry in Ankara.

    The paper reports that speaking after his two-hour contacts, Mr Weston noted that their meetings took place within the framework of the preparation of the many meetings to be conducted in the forthcoming period regarding the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Weston said that his visit was short and that he went to Ankara straight from Washington, where he would return without visiting any other place.

    Mr Weston said that his meetings in Ankara were conducted in a warm, friendly and constructive atmosphere, suitable to the traditional relations between two allies and friendly countries.

    The Weston-Ziyal meeting lasted one and a half hours and ambassador Eric Edelman was also participating in it.

    According to the paper, during the meeting Mr Weston stressed that a solution to the Cyprus problem should be reached as soon as possible and underlined the importance of the work to be carried out within this framework.

    [05] Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul: "We will tell Annan in the USA 'start the negotiations' "

    According to the Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (22.01.04), the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has declared that they will ask the USA to render a constructive contribution as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem. Gul said: "Today things are being discussed, which until now were neither discussed nor debated. For the first time as Turkey we stand up and call upon the UN Secretary- General to resume the talks. We do say let us work on this plan."

    Gul went on and said that in Davos the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and will present Turkey's position and will tell him "start negotiations". The Turkish Foreign Minister further said that a second meeting between Erdogan and Annan will not take place in New York, because at that date Annan will not be in New York.

    When recalled that Mr. Erdogan will meet with President George Bush at the White House immediately after meeting Annan and whether the timetable will be ready or not Gul said: "We will press on everything". He concluded by saying: "Of course we do want their constructive and useful contribution. They too are much interested in this issue"

    [06] Turkish ambassadors to the EU member and candidate countries to meet in Ankara on 20 February

    Turkish Daily News (22.01.04) publishes the following Cihan News Agency report from Ankara:

    "Turkish Ambassadors to European Union member-countries and EU candidate-countries will hold a second meeting to discuss Turkey-EU relations in Ankara on February 20.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a press statement on Wednesday in which it said that one of the most important aims of the Turkish government in foreign relations was to start accession talks in December 2004 for EU membership.

    The statement said that December 2004 would be a turning point for Turkey, adding that a similar meeting had been held in Ankara on December 25-26, 2003 to discuss Turkey-EU relations. The statement said that Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul would preside over the meeting."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Commentary in Turkish Daily News calls on the Turkish side to stop its uncompromising policies and accept the Annan plan

    Under the title: "We may miss the Annan plan", Turkish Daily News (22.01.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand from Davos.

    "Proclaiming that people who support the Annan plan are traitors and calling the plan a trap has become a trend recently. It is evident that people following this trend do not know the details of the plan. If we have a look at the crimes which Turkey has been accused of for thirty years, we may find the real traitors.

    The reason we are stuck on the Cyprus issue is not because of any conspiracies generated by certain foreign countries, but due to our uncompromising policies that oppose a settlement. We should always keep this in mind. However, some people still insist on disregarding the facts.

    Accusations should not be made against people seeking ways for a settlement, but against those who pursued the wrong policies in the past.

    Let's have a look at what advantages the Annan plan could provide us.

    Turkey has long been accused (unjustly) of being an invasion force on the island. By accepting the Annan plan, we will totally get rid of this label. In addition, the existence of Turkish troops in the north of the island will be legitimized. Then, nobody will be able to accuse Turkey of being an invader on the island.

    The Annan plan will allow Turkish settlers in northern Cyprus to remain on the island.

    The right to govern the north of the island will be given to Turks, and the fact that there are two populations on the island will be recognized.

    The leader of the Turkish society will be able to become president. The `TRNC´ will be granted sovereignty within its own region and it will be able to form its own Parliament, pass its own laws, and establish its own police force.

    The Turkish population on the island will have equal representation with the Greek population. If a settlement cannot be reached by May, 1, Greece may send troops to the south of the island. The Annan plan foresees the disarmament of the whole island after Turkey's membership to the EU and therefore eliminates a possible threat from the Greek side.

    Finally, the implementation of all of these provisions depends on Turkey's EU membership. Therefore, if Turkey does not become an EU member, it will still have the chance to put the Ankara agreement into practice.

    Subtitle: Turkey has nothing to lose but everything to gain There are no major provisions in the Annan plan that could harm Turkey. On the contrary, Greek Cypriots who want to go back to the period before 1974 are cornered by the Annan plan and forced to make important sacrifices.

    In fact, soon you will see that these Greek Cypriots will be the group most strongly opposing the plan. If the Turkish side had played the game correctly in the past, if they had accepted the Annan plan before the Greek Cypriots were guaranteed EU membership, the situation today would be highly different -- the side stuck in the corner would be them instead of us.

    Now, there isn't much time before May 1, and the Greek side seems to have many more advantages than us. And when they take their place in the decision making mechanisms within the EU they will block many things using their veto rights. So our task is now much more difficult.

    In the middle of all these difficulties, the people responsible for the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot situation come up and say: "They are selling the island." They should see their failures and shut their mouths."

    [08] Hasan Cemal: "Looking to Cyprus from Davos"

    Turkish mainland daily MILLIYET newspaper columnist Hasan Cemal, in his regular column today (22.01.04) under the above title, says that despite the fact that he is in Davos to follow the deliberations of the World Economic Forum, his mind is in Ankara to see what will happen at the National Security Council meeting to be held tomorrow where the main issue on the agenda is Cyprus.

    He then quotes a paragraph from the 15 January issue of "Financial Times" where Quentin Peel in the article argues that this time the EU cannot avoid giving Turkey a negotiation date.

    Underlining a sentence from the Article: "this time Prime Minister Erdogan has to convince the generals..." Hasan Cemal puts the following question; "Would he do? Has he already done it? If not, would he be able to assert himself and demonstrate the will of saying 'I am the Government'? "I do not know".

    He then goes back to 24 January 2003, last year's Davos meetings where Erdogan and Gul said: 'We are in favor of finding a solution until 28 February through negotiations on the Annan Plan. If one sits around the negotiation table with a view to finding a solution, we do think that it is possible to get a result until 28 February'.

    A year passed and nothing has changed. The Cyprus problem is yet to be solved. A year ago Erdogan questioned Denktas' stance. A year passed and the solution was not realized.

    Is Denktas willing this time? Does Erdogan believe that Denktas, who does not even want to hear about the Annan plan, is ready now for a solution?

    A year ago I have noted in my dairy: "If the Justice and Development Party is unable to solve the Cyprus problem then its disolution could knock its door".

    This expression is still valid"' Hasan Cemal concludes.

    /SK


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