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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-05

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.44/04 05.03.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Denktas threatens to quit talks.
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with Erdogan and Gul after addressing the conference organized by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce.
  • [03] Talat invited the ambassadors of the EU member countries for a meeting next week.
  • [04] Talat supports that the illegal Turkish settlers should vote at the referendum.
  • [05] Denktas returns "happy and confident" Turkey.
  • [06] Mr Alvaro de Soto will visit Ankara. The Turkish Foreign Minister prefers political personalities to carry out the talks after 22 March.
  • [07] Islamist Turkish leader refers to the "Greater Middle East Project". He supports that whoever controls Cyprus controls the East Mediterranean 100%.
  • [08] Talat met with the director of the American Jewish Lobby.
  • [09] The "Parliament" Committee for the harmonization with the EU is having a meeting today.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkey is trying to exploit fully the new US plans on Middle East.
  • [11] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the statement by Jack Straw as a threat to the Greek Cypriots who suffer from the Turkish invasion and occupation for 30 years.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Denktas threatens to quit talks

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (05.03.04) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas said on Thursday he would pull out of U.N.-sponsored Cyprus peace talks if his basic demands for the Turkish Cypriots are not met by the time it goes to an April referendum.

    "If we can't include our sine qua nons in the agreement, the Turkish Cypriots will be destroyed. Then I will quit and tell our people not to accept such an agreement," Denktas told a conference at the Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO). Denktas, on a one-day trip to Ankara to attend the conference hosted by the ATO and for talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not say at exactly what point he would leave the talks and campaign for a "no" vote. However, a report in daily HURRIYET on Thursday said he would pull out if there was no headway by the time Greece and Turkey, the sponsor countries of the island's two communities, join in the talks on March 22.

    According to a tight schedule the two sides agreed on at the February 10-12 talks in New York chaired by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, if they fail to reach an accord by March 21, Turkey and Greece will join in the process. If that fails as well, then on March 29 Annan will step in to fill any remaining blanks in the U.N. plan before dispatching it to separate simultaneous referenda on both sides on the island.

    "There is no way out from this process," Denktas told the ATO conference on Thursday. "The only way out from this process is a referendum. It is my duty to tell my people the real situation, and if we cannot acquire what we wanted, if we fail to get our 'musts' included in the document, it is my duty to withdraw and tell our people and Turkey, 'This is the case; vote against it.' I will not accept a settlement that does not include our sine qua nons," he said.

    He said the Greek Cypriot side was acting at the talks with the ease of being assured a place in the European Union with or without a settlement on the island. He said because of Greek Cypriot negligence in negotiating with him, he believed work on the peace blueprint could not be completed by May 1.

    "I am surprised at those chasing a fantasy. The work that needs to be done cannot be completed by May 1," he said. "If they want a settlement on Cyprus, they should allow more time. They may tell the Greek Cypriots, 'Wait until a settlement,' or let them in and give time for a negotiated settlement," said Denktas, adding: "What's important is not having a deal by May 1; it is to have a sound agreement. If Turkey has [to wait] until the end of the year, we should also be given that time to negotiate a settlement," he said.

    He said because of the intransigent Greek Cypriot position, he doubted any progress would be achieved in the talks by March 21. He said he as well doubted any progress in the period when Turkey and Greece would join the talks because of "known" Greek positions and underlined that eventually completing the task was likely to be left in the "hands of Annan."

    "How will he fill the blanks? He will fill them at his own discretion," Denktas said, stressing that such a plan could not have the sine qua nons of his people and therefore would bring about their total extermination on the island.

    "I shall not accept any such document," said Denktas, reiterating that unless his basic demands were included in the plan, he would never approve it.

    "You know my opinions about the Annan plan," Denktas said. "The Annan plan is a plan for the extermination of the Turkish Cypriot people. I have not changed my position. It is not a plan to be negotiated. I resisted negotiating it until they hit us from the inside and divided us. Then Ankara said it could be negotiated. We met in Ankara over from what aspects it could be negotiated. We have established a list of sine qua nons such as bi-zonality, Turkey's continued effective guarantee and the number of Greek Cypriots re-settling in their houses. Now I am in the position of seeing whether these [sine qua nons] can be put into the Annan plan for the sake of my people, for the sake of Turkey," he said.

    He said if the Turkish Cypriot sine quo nons were not incorporated into the document, it would make his people surrender to the Greek Cypriots.

    He said the Annan plan, if unchanged, would lead to Greek Cypriot domination and gradually wipe the Turkish Cypriots off the island. "We are trying to turn it into something acceptable. Something that would protect our equality and rights," he said, stressing that he agreed to negotiate the plan because he did not want Cyprus be unjustly portrayed as an obstacle for Turkey's EU membership.

    "Seeing Cyprus as an impediment for Turkey's EU membership is unjust," Denktas said, adding that even if Cyprus was not divided it could not legally under the 1960 treaties join the European block before Turkey joined.

    As Denktas was delivering his speech at the conference hosted by the ATO, thousands of Turks, waving red and white Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags, were chanting outside the building in support of the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    "Persevere Denktas, we are with you," and "We will not give Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots," the crowd chanted. They represented nationalist parties and some trade unions.

    Denktas, claiming that the major Turkish newspapers and television programs were not adequately reflecting his views as well as the support for him in Turkey, said, "I have come here today to ask you to raise your voices for the defense of Cyprus."

    "We are with you," was the response of the crowd both in the ATO hall and outside the building where Denktas's speech was broadcast on a huge screen.

    Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit were among the guests at the ATO conference.

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader met with Erdogan and Gul after addressing the conference organized by the Ankara Chamber of Commerce

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (04.03.04) reported that this afternoon, Mr Rauf Denktas met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The meeting lasted about one hour. It was held at the hotel Rauf Denktas was staying. After the meeting, Denktas and Gul made a short statement to the press.

    Rauf Denktas said: "I am returning to the island very hopeful. I am relieved after hearing the information the minister conveyed to me. Foreign Minister Gul told me of his visits abroad and I was encouraged by what he said."

    Abdullah Gul said, in turn: "Turkey and the `TRNC" have announced their stand. They showed that in New York. We want both sides to agree on a solution. We want that to happen before 1 May."

    Rauf Denktas later went to Prime Minister Erdogan's official residence and met with him.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    [03] Talat invited the ambassadors of the EU member countries for a meeting next week

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.03.04) reports that in statements after a meeting of the so-called council of ministers of the occupation regime on Wednesday, Mehmet Ali Talat said that they have invited the ambassadors of the EU member countries to Cyprus for a meeting next week.

    Asked about the issue of the derogation at the Cyprus talks, Mr Talat noted that there are still "some obstacles on this issue". Therefore, he added, they invited the ambassadors of the EU member countries to meet with Mr Serdar Denktas and himself next week.

    During the meeting, said Mr Talat, they will "in a more clear manner" put forward the demands of the Turkish side and ask the support of the ambassadors. Mr Talat noted that the harmonization work with the EU continues intensively and added that the day before they had a "very long and serious meeting". He also said that today he would have a meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation.

    "The issue of the primary law is still standing before us, it has not yet been solved", he concluded.

    [04] Talat supports that the illegal Turkish settlers should vote at the referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.04) reports that the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat supported yesterday that the illegal settlers brought into Cyprus from Turkey in order to change the demographic structure of the occupied part of the island, should have the right to vote at the referendum planned for April.

    In statements during a press conference, Mr Talat said that at the referendum the "laws" of the illegal Turkish Cypriot state will be valid and all persons who are registered in its "electoral roll" will vote.

    Mr Talat argued that the discussion of the issues at the talks could not be completed until 22 March and added that the issues, which will not be completed, will be left to the UN Secretary-General.

    Mr Talat said that even if they fail to achieve final results from the negotiations, what has been achieved so far will be useful at the stage where the UN Secretary- General will be asked to use his judgment to fill in the blanks.

    Mr Talat pointed out that the negotiations are being conducted not only on the negotiating table but also in all platforms in a coordinated manner. He warned that an assessment made only on the basis of the results at the negotiating table would not be a sound one.

    He said: "If we can reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots, that would be our preference. That is what we are trying to do. If we fail to achieve that, for a variety of reasons, or because of the tactics to extend the talks beyond 1 May, then at least the UN Secretary-General will have enough material which we have prepared".

    Mr Talat noted that the two sides have not reached the stage of give-and-take during the negotiations and added that the rigorous negotiation process will probably be held during the last week.

    Responding to a question he agreed with the opinion, which had been expressed the day before by Mr Jack Straw who had reportedly said that if the Greek Cypriots say "no" at the referendum only "southern Cyprus" will become a member of the EU. He added that this was positively reflected on the negotiating table for the Turkish side and expressed the wish this statement to have positive reflection on the people as well.

    Mr Talat said that the 4th version of the Annan Plan will be submitted after 22 March, but the latest plan is the one that will be submitted to referenda.

    [05] Denktas returns "happy and confident" from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.04) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas returned last night from Turkey where he gave a conference at Ankara's Chamber of Commerce and met with Prime Minister Erdogan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Gul.

    In statements at the illegal Lefkoniko airport, Mr Denktas alleged that Turkey did and would continue to do whatever is needed with good will so that the Cyprus talks may have a positive result.

    Mr Denktas said:

    "During my meeting with Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Gul he informed me regarding some of his foreign contacts on Cyprus, which gave me confidence. I had a more than one-hour satisfactory meeting with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I saw Erdogan's views, thoughts, conducts and sensitivities regarding our indispensable conditions in Cyprus. I am happy and full with confidence. There is an excitement here. Cyprus is a national cause that concerns everybody in Turkey. We felt this. We saw this. Of course we were revived. We were refreshed. Our morale was strengthened and I am bringing to you the regards, the love and the messages of support of our brothers in Anatolia. I am very happy. '

    As the time passes, we realize that the Greek Cypriot side did not stop playing the game of getting hold of the whole of Cyprus under the name of the legal government (of the island). However, neither we not the government of Turkey will allow this'.

    [06] Mr Alvaro de Soto will visit Ankara. The Turkish Foreign Minister prefers political personalities to carry out the talks after 22 March

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry thinks that the presence of political personalities at the widened meetings, which will be held with the participation of guarantor countries Turkey and Greece in case a result cannot be taken after the current Cyprus talks, will be more beneficial.

    Upon a question, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Namik Tan told reporters on Thursday that they thought the presence of political personalities at four-party meetings would be more beneficial.

    Speaking about the news reports alleging that Mr Rauf Denktas would withdraw from the negotiations, Tan said they did not have any information in this respect and that meetings were continuing.

    Noting that the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto will visit Ankara after the Cyprus talks tomorrow, Tan said mutual political consultations were needed throughout the talks and that de Soto would pay his visit within that scope.

    Tan said that de Soto would have meetings with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and Foreign Ministry Cyprus Department officials and also he could meet with Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul. De Soto is expected to leave Ankara on Saturday.

    [07] Islamist Turkish leader refers to the 'Greater Middle East Project'. He supports that whoever controls Cyprus controls the East Mediterranean 100%

    Ankara Anatolia (03.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Felicity Party (FP), Mr Recai Kutan, has said that Cyprus is contained as the most important base in the "Greater Middle East Initiative" that has been discussed in recent days.

    Kutan was receiving, in his office, representatives of the National Solidarity Council who visited him from the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In a speech that he made there, Recai Kutan charged that the plan drawn up by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for a settlement of the Cyprus dispute is "completely treacherous" from the standpoint of Turkey.

    Kutan, asserting that the plan foresees giving fresh-water wells to the Greek Cypriot side and salt-water wells to the Turkish [Cypriot] side, declared that this is unacceptable.

    Claiming that foreign forces had worked with all their might during the [December 2003] voting in the occupied areas whereas Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced that he would remain impartial, and that this was a wrong stance, Kutan said that the statements made by the government against Rauf Denktas had deeply disturbed the nation.

    Stressing that "We do not see the Cyprus issue [merely] as solving certain issues on Cyprus", Mr Kutan continued as follows:

    "They have now let it slip out. They have recently proposed something called the "Greater Middle East Initiative". The United States, foreign powers, and Israel, which is behind it all, want to bring the entire Middle East under their control, and the most important base for this is Cyprus. For whoever controls Cyprus will control the Eastern Mediterranean 100 percent. The Cyprus issue is not just the issue of our kinsmen living on Cyprus. Much more important than them, it is intimately involved with Turkey's security and future."

    Kutan referred to Mr Denktas's visit to Ankara and that the Turkish nation, by meeting him at the airport with a tremendous crowd, will convey the message that "The JDP [Justice and Development Party], which by an accident of fate happens to be currently in power, does not represent the views of the Turkish nation."

    [08] Talat met with the director of the American Jewish Lobby

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.05) Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime and leader of the Republican Turkish Party had a meeting yesterday afternoon with Mr Berry Jacobs, the director of the American Jewish Lobby. There were no statements after the meeting.

    [09] The 'Parliament' Committee for the harmonization with the EU is having a meeting today

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.03.04) reports that the so-called Parliament Committee for the harmonization with the EU will have a meeting today at 12:00 hours, at the so-called parliament building. The meeting, which is the second one, was scheduled for yesterday but was postponed for today.

    In the meeting will participate Mr Ozdil Nami 'deputy' of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) who will be the chairman of the meeting, Mr Okan Dagli, Mr Kadri Fellahoglu and Mr Ahmet Gulle, also 'deputies' of the RTP, Mr Hasan 'acoy, Mr Nazim Cavusoglu and Mr Turgay Ayci, 'deputies' of the National Unity Party, Mr Ahmet Kesif 'deputy of the Democratic Party and Mr Tahsin Mertekci, 'deputy' of the Peace and Democracy Movement. Dr Halil Guven, deputy chairman of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), and members of the Bee Movement, who are visiting occupied Cyprus after an invitation of the EMU, will also participate in the meeting. The paper writes that Mr Kemal Koprulu is the chairman of the delegation of the Bee Movement and that Mr Damla Gurel, deputy of the Republican People's Party of Turkey, is among the delegation.

    According to the paper, the works of the Turkish Cypriot 'Parliament' Committee for the harmonization with the EU, have started officially last Monday, under the supervision of the United Nations at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone and they will continue next Monday with two separate meetings at the pseudostate.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkey is trying to exploit fully the new US plans on Middle East

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (04.03.04) publishes a commentary by Hasan Cemal in which he analyses the Greater Middle East Project and supports that Turkey is taking advantage of it to solve the Cyprus problem according to its interest and get a date for accession negotiations with the EU.

    'An Iraq living through civil war and chaos? Or an Iraq that makes progress towards harmony and peace by opening its door to stability and democracy?

    For Turkey, the second is certainly preferable. Just as for the United States and the EU. Being against the war in Iraq is now something for the past. The establishment in that country of a new structure that will lead not to terrorism but rather to peace and stability is coming to be in the interest of everyone with any sense -- and particularly of everyone who shares values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and equality between men and women.

    Why? The ability of Al-Qa'ida, which picked an Afghanistan forgotten by the world as its base, to come from the other side of the world and strike the Twin Towers in New York -- or else its ability to drench Istanbul with blood on 15 and 20 November [2003] - has caused some people to come to their senses...

    For this reason, the Greater Middle East Project, even if it has not yet fully taken shape, interests not only America, but also Europe, where 14 million Muslims live. The need for a change of the system in the geographical region of Islam, starting with Afghanistan and Iraq -- even granting the reservations in term of the questions as to how this is to come about -- is bringing the United States and the EU closer together.

    As the latest indication of this one can point to the agreement in principle on the topic of the Greater Middle East that German Chancellor [Gerhard] Schroeder reached with [US President George W.] Bush last week. In the meantime, the fact that the UN and NATO are, after Afghanistan, becoming involved in Iraq as well is likewise not outside the framework of the Greater Middle East Project.

    Turkey, as well, is not outside of this project. And it cannot remain outside of it. For it to do so would be contrary to its own interests. But under what conditions should it participate? Turkey will certainly have its own preferences, which will reflect its own balance of interests.

    It may be useful to repeat: There is a "devil's triangle" that is having a negative impact on the entire geographical region of Islam. This triangle has the Palestinian-Israeli dispute in one corner, fundamentalist terrorism in another corner, and the state of war in Iraq in the third corner. How is a new situation to be established here? In order for the winds of change to be able to blow in the Islamic geographical region, they have to start in this triangle. And while planting the security pillar first, it is also essential to put economic and political packages into play as well.

    It was not any different in Europe following the Second World War. The security system aimed at stopping Soviet expansion was established with NATO. The Marshall Plan was the economic pillar. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, abbreviated OSCE, which devoted itself to topics such as democracy, human rights, civil society, and transparency, was put into action later as the third pillar.

    Will an "OSCME" be established? That is, an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East... To what degree is NATO going to be able to continue with Iraq, after Afghanistan, and show itself in the Islamic region in the struggle against global terror? How will a Marshall Plan for the Middle East be constituted?

    These questions are on the agenda. These questions, which also involve us very much, make the NATO summit that will be held in Istanbul in June vitally important from Turkey's standpoint. From the standpoint of the shaping of the Greater Middle East Project, the most important threshold will perhaps need to be crossed at this summit.

    One can say that: If a Cyprus settlement and a date [to begin negotiations on full Turkish membership] from the EU are on the agenda today, both of these are linked to the Greater Middle East Project.

    Europe has seen in the world since 11 September [2001] that, if it is going to be a counterweight to America in the Greater Middle East, this door is not going to open very easily without Turkey. Consequently, it does not want to reject Turkey and abandon it entirely to the United States. Europe has now realized the importance of drawing Turkey to its side in order to become a global strategic power able to compete with the United States...

    As for the United States, it believes that a Turkey that has been unable to get a date from the EU, and that has been rejected by Europe, would fall into a pit of instability from the political and economic aspects, and could, buffeted by both religious and secular nationalist winds, be driven off course into uncharted waters. That such a Turkey would no longer be able to play the role envisaged for it in the Middle East, and would lose its value as a model, is a point of view that is now weighing heavily in Washington...

    Thus both the United States and Europe have come to the same line in terms of the importance of a solution on Cyprus and a date from the EU in order for Turkey to be able to become a stable regional power.

    Is this good or bad for Turkey? Very good. And it is because the government considers it good that it is proceeding on the right path in Cyprus and the EU, and is showing resolve for both a solution [on Cyprus] and a date. Because Turkey knows that as it gets its own house in order internally, and as it cleans up its front yard by resolving Cyprus, it will make a great leap forward, and it will come to be a very important strategic player in its region at the same time as it resolves the economic problems of its people.'

    [11] Mr Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the statement by Jack Straw as a threat to the Greek Cypriots who suffer from the Turkish invasion and occupation for 30 years

    Under the title: 'Getting ready for the referenda', Turkish Daily News (05.03.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    'British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's statement on Wednesday on the Manset TV program greatly influenced the direction of the current Cyprus talks. It was the first obvious warning from an EU country, especially from one of the biggest countries, to the Greek side. Some may perceive Straw's statement as a threat and they would not be wrong.

    You most likely read Straw's statements. The point that I would like to make today is what the British Foreign Secretary's message meant and how it should be read. I read British Foreign Secretary's statements as:

    1. If the Greek side votes "no" in the Annan plan referendum, and the Turkish side votes "yes," the Greek side is going to take only its part of the island into the EU. They would not represent the North and the Turks. The island would be divided in two.

    2. In such a possibility, the EU would become obliged to change its attitude to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Therefore, if the Greek side says "no," the Turks would not be put outside the EU framework. That means the Turks could not be punished.

    3. The Turkish side's positive efforts would be viewed favorably. Even if the details have not yet been totally specified, the EU would be obliged to start speaking directly with the Turkish side. An era that could lead to the recognition of the Turkish side would start.

    4. There would be no obstacle related to Cyprus concerning the date supposedly given to Turkey for its entry, and Ankara would get the date for the accession talks with the EU.

    5. Since this situation would create difficulty for the EU, it will do its best to prevent any of this from happening.

    Turks are going to get the upper hand...

    This statement by the British Foreign Secretary has pinpointed the most "clearly stated" important direction to be seen on the part of the Greek Cypriots. If the Greek side are saying "no matter what we do, we will still be a member of the EU. Let the Turks be concerned," then they are making a mistake, because the EU has begun revealing how it will act in such a situation. Obviously, they are trying to make it understood that "we will not let you devour Cyprus."

    If the Greek side really says "no" to the referendum, they are going to give the Turkish side everything it has wished for.

    However, Denktas also says he will vote "no"

    In order for this scenario to materialize, it is necessary for the Turkish side to vote "yes." What will the Turkish side do?

    What the public's response to the referendum will be is not clear. However, Denktas has finally revealed his game plan. If the Annan plan does not change, contrary to Turkey's request for a solution of the issue, Denktas says he is going to vote "no" in the up-coming referendum.

    Denktas is now pursuing a very delicate policy. He is not clearly revealing his desire about how and to what extent the Annan plan should change. My guess is that Denktas is going to wait until the very end, after Annan fills in the blanks, before looking at both the atmosphere among the public and Ankara's attitude/reaction to make his decision.

    It seems that it is hard for the Turkish Cypriots to say "no" at this stage. But unless Ankara puts its full support behind the decision and manages to control Denktas, the result of the referendum could change direction. After one gets to this stage, it is hard to see a negative vote from the Turkish side. Such a vote would lead to a deadlock making any further negotiation impossible.

    As a result, the chess game is becoming heated. Each side is trying to hide its cards until the very end. The government in Ankara seems to be decisive. If no common solution is found in direct negotiations, Annan will step in to resolve any disagreement, and from then on the process is irreversible.

    I personally believe that things are not going to work as planned and that a successful settlement will not be obtained, even after Athens and Ankara step in. I believe the end result will only be learned after the referenda. Everybody is positioning themselves with the referenda in mind."

    /SK


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