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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-18

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.53/04 18.03.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot negotiator abandoned the talks.
  • [02] The Turkish Prime Minister says the issue of Denktas´ abandoning the talks should not be taken seriously.
  • [03] Turkish diplomatic sources on the new Alvaro de Soto document. Letter by Erdogan to Mr Annan.
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriots approved the new flag.
  • [05] KIBRIS newspaper publishes details of the Referendum law sent by the so-called Council of Ministers to the so-called Assembly.
  • [06] The Spokesman of the Turkish foreign Ministry stated that the UN and the EU are trying to form a written paper to satisfy the Turkish side on the issue of derogations.
  • [07] Talat told illegal "Bayrak" that he discussed with Verheugen the issue of derogations.
  • [08] Turkish Foreign Minister Reacts against Denktas' decision.
  • [09] Turkey, Greece begin Cyprus security talks.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot negotiator abandoned the talks

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (17.03.04) broadcast live the following statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in occupied Nicosia:

    "The issue of whether I will go to Geneva or Switzerland has become an issue of discussion in Turkey. In order to put a stop to this discussion and end this issue, I replied truthfully to the questions I was asked. The truth is that I would have given my people the wrong impression if I went to Switzerland since I realized, after taking into consideration the talks here, that there cannot and that there is no possibility of reaching an agreement on the essentials. As long as I continue to attend the talks, the people who trust me will expect for something to happen because Denktas is continuing. Certain friends who describe me as intransigent will say, in turn, that this affair will not be resolved as long as Denktas is here.

    We have, therefore, kept the promise we made in Turkey. We continued with the New York accord in Nicosia. We presented our demands in goodwill and in full cooperation and agreement with Turkey. We did not do anything on our own. They were reasonable demands and we toned down our sine qua nons. We were ready to talk about everything for an agreement even though we were not open to any kind of agreement. Despite all this, however, we saw that the Greek Cypriot side did not make an opening and did not even have the intention of giving an opportunity.

    Today, we studied the work under way at the committees and we realized that we were being pushed into a big deadlock. There is disagreement on basic issues, which are slated to turn into the laws of the country, between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot members of the committees. These disagreements, however, were not brought to the political officials. It becomes evident, therefore, that these will be presented to Annan and that we will be faced with a very big fait accompli as he will tell us what to do.

    The future and will of a nation cannot be managed in such a disorderly manner. We call on them to be fair. We urge them to put the good offices mission into a just and fair formation.

    On the other hand, you are aware of the derogations we demand from the EU. Now that the decision-making stage has been reached, it becomes evident that the issue is impossible after all the deceiving reports we received that they [derogations] are being looked at and that it is a possibility. They are even telling us that the accession of Cyprus -- the whole of Cyprus -- is completed. There is, therefore, not much to be done.

    Faced with these facts, I repeat, it would not have been right for me to go to Geneva, Switzerland. I have to be free in order to tell my people the truth. Let us see what our colleagues -- that is, the government -- will be able to do in Switzerland. As you know, Greece is not sending its prime minister in order not to waste the new prime minister with the belief that nothing will come out from this meeting. They may change their minds later, I do not know. At this stage, however, the level of the meetings were lowered. This is also a reason why I say that it is not necessary for me to go.

    This is my statement. I have also issued a call. It is very wrong to have the people divided on whether to hold a referendum and say `yes´ or `no´. This people should determine its future as an entity. This is a brave, trustworthy, and reasonable people and they founded this state. We trust our people, but, they have to know the facts.

    We have already reached agreement with Turkey on the sine qua nons. The government here has also accepted the sine qua nons. Let us, therefore, say openly together to our people that we are continuing with the talks, but that nothing will happen if our sine qua nons are not accepted. We must openly tell the world what we want as well. We should not allow them to deceive us and play with us like cats and mice.

    The situation is as follows: The Greek Cypriots are continuing in their path to finalize owning the whole of Cyprus by means of the EU. We, in turn, are wasting time in changing this and that as though there will be an agreement. The Greek Cypriots are using this in their advantage. We seek to save our people from foreseeable catastrophe and disaster. I believe that we can and will do this together with Turkey.

    I repeat, therefore, that we should put forward all the sine qua nons openly together with Turkey for the unity of our people and in order to act in national unity and togetherness for our national cause. They may accept or not and it will not be the end of the world if they are not accepted. The `TRNC´ will most definitely open the path to the EU with Turkey because the EU wants the whole of Cyprus. It is their affair if they tell us that the whole of Cyprus is already a member of the EU and that there is nothing to be done. This is something to be assessed by Turkey. Thank you."

    [02] The Turkish Prime Minister says the issue of Denktas´ abandoning the talks should not be taken seriously

    Istanbul NTV television (17.03.04) broadcast live statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas' statement to abandon the talks.

    Erdogan: In my opinion, this is not an issue which we should take seriously. We will hold talks and settle these issues.

    Question: Are the reports true?

    Answer: As you know, I have just arrived.

    Question: Mr Rauf Denktas said that he will not participate in an initiative, whose outcome will be disastrous.

    Answer: Do not worry, the government of the Republic of Turkey will never take a road whose outcome is disastrous.

    Question: Will you be able to change his decision.

    Answer: Not to worry. We will meet and talk about all of this.

    [03] Turkish diplomatic sources on the new Alvaro de Soto document. Letter by Erdogan to Mr Annan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish side considered as insufficient the new document presented by U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto to the sides during proximity talks aiming to initiate give-and-take process.

    Diplomatic sources said the U.N. document included secondary issues instead of core issues about the process, and stressed there were some deficiencies in the document.

    Sources said the document did not include demands of the Turkish side for changes on European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    The sources noted that the document foresaw that the two sides should be equally represented in the new Senate, but it did not include any information about use of political rights to be granted to Greek Cypriots who would cross to the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The sources said those views were conveyed to de Soto, and pointed out that the Greek Cypriots also found some deficiencies in the document, and conveyed them to de Soto.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan and called for support to provide full adjustment of an agreement that could be reached on Cyprus, to EU regulations. No reply has yet come to the letter.

    The sources said no announcement was made to Ankara that Mr Rauf Denktas would withdraw from the talks, yet noted that a negative message would be given to the world in case Denktas withdraws."

    [04] The Turkish Cypriots approved the new flag

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.03.04) broadcast the following:

    "The Council of Ministers discussed and approved the flag for the new united Cyprus state to be formed after an agreement. The Council of Ministers held a meeting, which lasted approximately two and one-half hours, under Minister Mehmet Ali Talat today. In a statement issued after the meeting, Huseyin Celal, minister of health, social services, and spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said that the issue of lowering the funds to certain items in addition to routine issues were discussed. Explaining that the aim of lowering the funds is to lower the prices and the cost of living to the minimum, Celal added that another aim is adaptation to the EU legislation. Celal recalled that the funds are not included in the EU legislation.

    The most important item on the agenda of the Council of Ministers was the approval of the flag of the United Cyprus republic, which is going to be formed. Huseyin Celal said that the approval of the flag means that it will be hoisted on all the federal buildings after an agreement is reached."

    [05] KIBRIS newspaper publishes details of the Referendum law sent by the so-called Council of Ministers to the so-called Assembly

    Local daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.03.04) reports the following:

    "On Friday evening, 12 March, the Council of Ministers passed the "Public Referendum (Special and Provisional Regulations) Bill Related to the Solution of the Cyprus problem," which is also known as the public referendum law. The Council of Ministers will ask the assembly to take up the bill urgently. The Legal and Political Affairs Committee will then discuss the bill before it is submitted for approval to the plenary session of the assembly.

    Assembly to write history

    Some 26 `yes´ votes are necessary to adopt the public referendum bill, which is expected to lead to heated debates in the assembly. When we look at the numbers in the parliament for the approval of this critical law, we see that the votes of the coalition partners are enough: The Republican Turkish Party (RTP) has 19 seats and the Democratic Party (DP) seven seats. If the five votes of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) and the one vote of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), the two opposition parties that are waging a struggle in support of EU membership, are also taken into account, one would expect 32 votes in favor of the referendum law.

    However, due to the "no" campaign that the main opposition National Unity Party (NUP) has been carrying out against the Annan Plan, it appears definite that the NUP will vote against the law. The NUP, with its 18 deputies in the assembly, is expected to demonstrate strong opposition when the law is debated.

    In the meantime, political observers note that the position that Mr Rauf Denktas will take on the talks in the days ahead will probably have a bearing on the DP's future steps in the process. Referring to various prospects, political observers do not rule out a government crisis, depending on Mr Denktas' approach on the referendum law.

    Important details in the public referendum law

    The "Public Referendum (Special and Provisional Regulations) Bill Related to the Solution of the Cyprus problem," which was published in the Official Gazette, Number 32, on 15 March 2003, is made up of 32 articles.

    According to the bill, if the number of "yes" votes in the public referendum to be held on Tuesday 20 April proves to be one vote more than half the number of the valid votes, the subject put to the public referendum will be considered as approved by the people.

    We shall vote in the public referendum for the foundation agreement, including its annexes, related to the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession to the EU of the United Cyprus Republic that will be newly formed. In other words, we shall vote for our future. The bill refers to this as the objective of the public referendum.

    The bill also stresses clearly who will vote in the referendum, which is something about which everyone is curious. All `TRNC´ citizens who voted in the 14 December 2003 parliamentary elections, those who acquired voter status after this date, and those who have reached the age of 18, will be able to go the polls to vote for their destiny. However, those who have lost their citizenship right in the process after the latest elections will be taken out of the rolls and will not be able to vote.

    The voters will be given one ballot during the public referendum. On the ballot, the word "YES" will appear in black on a white surface, and the word "NO" will appear in white on a black surface. The Council of Ministers will decide what other wording will appear on the ballot. The words will be of the size and print type that will be read easily by the voters, will create no problems during the voting, and will not ruin the color of the ballot.

    Here is the public referendum law

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Assembly makes the following law:

    Short name:

    1. This law is named, "Public Referendum (Special and Provisional Regulations) Law Related to the Solution of the Cyprus problem."

    Aim of the law:

    2. The aim of this law is to put to a public referendum the Foundation Agreement, together with its annexes, that concerns the solution to the Cyprus problem and which UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has submitted to the parties, and the accession to the EU of the United Cyprus Republic that will be newly formed.

    Day of voting on the public referendum:

    3. The public referendum will take place on 20 April 2004 without regard for the provisions of Article 11, paragraph 4 of the Election and Public Referendum Law governing the day of voting, and the provisions of the Public Referendum (Provisional Regulations) Law Related to the Signing of Agreements on Behalf of the `TRNC´ with Foreign Countries or with International Organizations.

    Regulations to be in effect in the public referendum

    4. The public referendum, which will be held in line with the aims of this law, will be carried out subject to the special regulations that are stipulated in this law. The provisions related to a public referendum of the Election and Public Referendum Law, with the exception of paragraph (1) of Article 94, and the provisions of Articles 99, 111, 131, 133, 134, 140, and 141 that do not conflict with the provisions of this law will be in effect. So will the general provisions of the said law related to elections and to pre-election issues, such as voter rolls and propaganda, the day of election, ballot box formalities, voting, counting and distribution of votes, and post-election work.

    Those to take part in the public referendum

    5. The citizens of the `TRNC´ who were registered as voters in the voter rolls in the latest parliamentary elections may vote in the public referendum under this law. The voter rolls will, however, be updated with the deletion of the names of those who lost their citizenship after the latest parliamentary elections, and the addition of the names of those citizens who have completed the age of 18. The election committees reserve their authority to identify the voters who may vote under the Election and Public Referendum Law.

    Preparing the ballots

    6. (a) The provisions of paragraph (1) of Article 94 of the Election and Public Referendum Law, related to the ballots to be used in the public referendum, will not apply for the purposes of this law. The ballots will be redesigned as explained below. Moreover, the articles of the said law, as well as other articles that are related to Article 94, will be interpreted and applied in conformity with this article.

    (b) Each voter will be given one ballot in the public referendum. On the ballot, the word "YES" will appear in black on a white surface, and the word "NO" will appear in white on a black surface. The Council of Ministers will decide what other wording will appear on the ballot. The words will be of the size and print type that will be read easily by the voters, will create no problems during the voting, and will not ruin the color of the ballot.

    Reducing the periods 7. The High Election Council has the authority to reduce the periods stipulated in the Election and Public Referendum Law related to the preparation of voter cards and other formalities for ensuring that the public referendum takes place on the date determined by this law.

    Result of the public referendum

    8. In the event that the definite result of the public referendum, to be determined and announced by the High Election Council in line with the Election and Public Referendum Law, shows that the number of "YES" votes is one vote more than half the number of valid votes used, the Foundation Agreement, together with its annexes, that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has put forward, and the accession to the EU of the United Cyprus Republic that will be formed will be considered as accepted by the people.

    Execution of the law

    9. This law will be implemented by the Council of Ministers.

    Effective date

    10. This law will be effective as of the date on which it is published in the Official Gazette."

    [06] The Spokesman of the Turkish foreign Ministry stated that the UN and the EU are trying to form a written paper to satisfy the Turkish side on the issue of derogations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Mr Namik Tan, on Wednesday said that Turkey had not received any information that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, would withdraw from the Cyprus negotiations.

    Tan told a weekly press conference that the quadripartite conference would begin on March 24, as the second stage of the Cyprus negotiations. Noting that they were waiting for the decision of the U.N. on the place of the conference, Tan said that the U.N. was thinking of holding the conference in Luzern or Geneva, Switzerland. Tan stated that at which level the conference would be held was not clear yet.

    Asked if Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot side had any contacts with the United States, which has undertaken a facilitator role, Tan said that they were in contact with all concerned parties.

    Recalling that U.N. Secretary-General Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto held meetings with the two sides to start give-and-take process, Tan said that how that process would continue depended on de Soto. Tan stated that de Soto prepared a list of demands of the two sides to see give-and-take possibilities and shared the list with the two sides. That list should be considered "a study which laid down proposals of sides and consisted demands of sides for changes in Annan's plan," Tan stressed.

    Tan said: "There are some deficiencies in the list according to us" and noted that they had informed de Soto about their views on those deficiencies. They learned about the contents of the list by news published today, Tan added.

    According to news in Turkish and Greek Cypriot press, de Soto's list included below mentioned demands of the Turkish Cypriot side:

    "1- Permanent derogations in European Union (EU) acquis.

    "2- Method of rehabilitating Turkish Cypriots who will change their places due to territory arrangement.

    "3- Preservation of 24/24 rate in the senate.

    "4- Presence of Turkish soldiers in the island after Turkey's EU membership.

    "5- Protection of TRNC's special relations with Turkey."

    De Soto's list covered these demands of the Greek Cypriot side:

    "1- The territory to be given to the Greek Cypriot side after an agreement is reached on the island should be handed over to the U.N. immediately.

    "2- The Presidential Council should be formed by six Greek Cypriots and three Turkish Cypriots instead of four Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots.

    "3- The Presidency should be run by the Greek Cypriot side for 40 months and by the Turkish Cypriot side for 20 months.

    "4- Basic courts should be established.

    "5- The number of Turkish Cypriot citizens of Turkish origin should be announced and the number of those who will cast votes in the referendum should be unveiled.

    "6- Security is another issue attached importance by the Greek Cypriot side.

    "7- Federal organs should start to function immediately.

    When asked about the results of the meeting held by Turkish and EU jurists to make an agreement that will be reached in Cyprus EU's primary law, Tan said, "we have some problems in this issue. This is an issue of vital importance for us. The U.N. and EU are trying to form a written paper about this issue. This paper should satisfy us."

    Tan recalled about news on this issue which dwelled upon some methods and said that one of those methods was endorsement of a constitution and a founder agreement to come out of negotiations by the U.N. Security Council.

    "We think that this method will not bear the required result due to its quality. This disposition of the U.N. Security Council aims to provide an additional legitimacy to an agreement to be reached in the island. Therefore, these activities of the U.N. Security Council will not bear the result we expect in regard to EU primary law. This issue is under authority of the EU," Tan added.

    [07] Talat told illegal "Bayrak" that he discussed with Verheugen the issue of derogations

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (17.03.04) broadcast that Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, accused the European Union of manoeuvring on the derogations wanted by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    In statements on "Akis" (Echo) program, Mr Talat alleged last night that the European Union was acting contrary to the promises it had made earlier on the derogations. Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot side had informed the UN Secretary - General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, of its concerns on the issue.

    Referring to the information that the union was not going to grant privileges to the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat said that Mr De Soto had advised them to listen only to EU officials and not others.

    Mr Talat noted that the EU Commissioner responsible for Enlargement, Mr Gunter Verheugen had called him to reassure the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue of the derogations. Mr Talat argued that Mr Vergeugen called him probably after some information he acquired.

    "We will grant you the privileges that are needed to protect your identity, so you should not have any concerns on this issue, Mr Verheugen told me", said Mr Talat, adding that when he asked Mr Verheugen how the Union will include the derogations into the EU primary law, the European Commissioner replied that the Union will have no objections to the derogations as long as the two sides come to an agreement.

    Criticising the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, for his daily statements on the course of the negotiations process, Mr Talat said that he does not think that Mr Denktas will withdraw from the negotiations, because he knows his responsibilities and because such a move would benefit the Greek Cypriot side.

    [08] Turkish Foreign Minister Reacts against Denktas' decision

    According to the private TV station, CNN Turk, (18.03.04 .11:00 hours) , the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has said that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, has taken the decision of not going to Switzerland alone, without consulting them. Gul said that he has learned the news from the press.

    Gul further said that the other day he had a telephone conversation with Denktas and Denktas did not mention anything to him.

    Gul went on and added that the important thing is to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and that everybody has to work in the coming days to safeguard the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [09] Turkey, Greece begin Cyprus security talks

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (18.03.04) reports the following:

    "Turkish and Greek officials on Wednesday started talks on security issues involving their role and military presence in Cyprus. But there was little hope that talks would produce a breakthrough ahead of new round of Cyprus talks beginning on March 24 in which Athens and Ankara will also get involved, Greek press comments said.

    The Greek delegation is headed by Ambassador Ilias Kilis, political director at the Greek Foreign Ministry, and the Turkish delegation is under chairmanship of Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin. No statement was expected out of the closed-door talks, which are being held in Athens.

    The Greek Foreign Ministry announced earlier this week that United Nations officials will also participate in the talks, which have made no headway since an initial meeting was held in Ankara 13 months ago. Greece and Turkey are guarantor powers on the divided island of Cyprus and the two sides must settle security issues, such as the number of troops that would remain on the island, where they would be based, and their weaponry, for a U.N.-backed reunification to go through in Cyprus.

    Turkey keeps more than 30,000 troops on the northern side of Cyprus and the number of Greek troops stands at 2,000. The Annan plan taken as the basis for ongoing reunification talks in Cyprus foresees 6,000 as the upper limit for the number of troops that each side can maintain.

    According to the Greek press, the Greek side is ready to end its military presence in Cyprus completely, while the Turkish side insists on having more than 6,000 troops. Turkey and Greece will join the Cyprus talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides on March 24 if the Cypriot sides fail to agree on the terms of a settlement by then. The United Nations said preparations were being made for talks involving Turkey and Greece, as there is little hope for a settlement by the March 24 deadline.

    If there is still no agreement at the end of four-way talks, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will be authorized to bridge differences and put the revised plan to both communities in separate referenda on April 20."

    /SK


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