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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.55/04 20-21-22.03.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister. As in the past 30 years Denktas appears intransigent and Turkey trying to bring him to the negotiating tableAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday attended a program broadcast on private STV channel.
When asked how the decision of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, not to participate in the conference to take place between Turkish and Greek Cypriot side, Turkey and Greece would affect a possible solution, Erdogan recalled that Denktas had been a part of those negotiation processes from the outset, and added:
''I don't perceive anything like Denktas will withdraw from the negotiations when I consider his statements and I don't want to perceive such a thing. This is what happened at this stage of talks. Parliamentary elections were held in Greece. After the elections, the new Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis made a statement 'the conference should be held in the level of foreign ministers, not in the level of prime ministers.' After this statement of Karamanlis, Denktas may think of following the negotiations away from the location they take place. Moreover, we haven't received any official information about this issue.'
Mr Erdogan explained that a summit on Cyprus was held under the chairmanship of Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, the National Security Council (NSC) discussed the issue and the Council of Ministers also discussed it.
He went on that he took up the Cyprus problem in his meetings in Davos, with U.S. President George Bush in the United States, with European Commission President Romano Prodi, and with heads of state of other countries.
''We all say that if non-solution emerges in Cyprus, this should emerge from the south, not north. But, if something contrary to our sine qua non conditions occur in the island, then we show our reaction. It is this simple. But, we want to solve this issue and we are good-willed. We favour a solution of this issue before May 1. A United Cyprus Republic will be established. A different flag and a different national anthem will emerge. No state recognizes you at the moment, but after the United Cyprus Republic is founded, they will recognize you as a state. We will see if they are sincere in this attitude. We will take our steps sincerely. I can't imagine the cost of being a state at this moment. Achieving this goal, being recognized as a state in the world and use of Turkish as an official language in the European Union (EU) are very important,'' Erdogan said.
Erdogan drew attention that Turkey had sensitivities about three facts related with the Cyprus issue and listed them as strengthening bi-zonality, strengthening the position of guarantor states, and drawing a better map.
''We want the Turkish Armed Forces to continue to stay there at a certain extent. The two sides discuss our sensitivities about property issue. If a compromise is reached on these issues, a solution can be reached. But, we can't and should not say that 'we are withdrawing from negotiations'. I think that Denktas will not withdraw from the negotiations as reflected in newspapers. He may decide to watch the process from outside due to the recent tableau and want TRNC Prime Minister Talat and Foreign Minister (Serdar) Denktas to go to Switzerland,'' Erdogan said.
Asked if he thought Denktas would participate in the widened conference, Erdogan said: ''We haven't talked about this issue, but we will talk soon.''
 More statements by Erdogan. He rules out concessions from the intransigent positions placed after the Turkish occupation of CyprusIstanbul NTV television (20.03.04) broadcast an interview with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by NTV Ankara representative Murat Akgun aboard the plane from Denizli to Ankara.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made important statements to NTV Ankara representative Murat Akgun aboard the Ata plane on his way from a rally in Denizli to Ankara. Pointing out that the sine qua nons regarding Cyprus are determined at the summit of the state, Erdogan declared that there is no question of making concessions over these aspects. The prime minister announced that he will speak with Rauf Denktas after the summit meeting [to be held in Ankara tonight with the participation of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and General Ozkok, chief of the General Staff]. He added: We are in favor of concluding this matter together with Denktas.
Question: Are the sine qua nons of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots not in accord with one another?
Answer: In actual fact, there is no question so far of any disagreement between the "TRNC" administration and us with regard to these sine qua nons, because the steps taken until now were taken through discussions between the two administrations. Such steps will be taken in the same way in the future as well. The sine qua nons that we have ascertained until now will be aspects that we will be adamant on, and there is no question of making concessions over them.
Question: If that is the case, why did Mr Denktas withdraw? What, in your opinion, led him to harbor concerns?
Answer: As far as I can understand and according to what he wrote to me in a letter, Mr Denktas believes that south Cyprus is not approaching this matter in a spirit of goodwill and it is engaged in efforts to utilize its 1 May advantage against the "TRNC". Naturally, this is not a conviction that can be dismissed. However, it is not possible to explain or resolve this by withdrawing from the talks. In my view, there is a process that was launched in New York, and we must continue this process. If we fail to see the goodwill we expect when we arrive at the final stages of this process, then the motherland and the "TRNC" can together reach a decision and take a step back. This is not binding on us, and it cannot be binding on us.
Question: Do you see any chances of Mr Denktas' agreeing to participate in the talks at this stage? Did you or will you speak to him on the telephone? We know that Mr Abdullah Gul spoke to him. Do you think there is a chance that he will change his mind if you become involved at the highest level?
Answer: From the beginning I have known that Mr. Denktas has serious experience in this regard, and the government is in favour of continuing and finalizing this matter together with him. Tonight, we will again conduct an assessment with the Foreign Minister and the chief of the General Staff. After this assessment meeting, I will discuss the matter again with Mr Denktas. After that we will take the steps that need to be taken.
Question: The deputy chief of the General Staff said that moderate Islam and secularism cannot coexist. Turkey is a secular and social state of law. Can moderate Islam and secularism not coexist? What is your opinion?
Answer: First of all, how can we bring secularism and Islam together given that secularism is not a religion. Secularism and Islam are two separate things.
 Erdogan: I cannot force Denktas to go to SwitzerlandAnkara Anatolia news agency (21.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday appeared on a television channel.
Stating that he would speak to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, by phone on Sunday, Erdogan said: ''I am still hopeful since we launched this process with Denktas. We are willing to continue and conclude the process together with Denktas.''
Replying to a question on the enlarged conference on the Cyprus issue and the summit which was held in Turkish capital Ankara on Saturday, Erdogan said that Saturday's meeting focused on the Cyprus issue and added that there was no change in the red lines and sine qua non conditions concerning Cyprus issue.
When the reporter said, ''then why does Denktas oppose? He said that he could not take full assurance from the Turkish government. Is there any problem on the issue of guarantee,'' Erdogan said: ''This is the first time I hear about such a remark.''
When the reporter said that in an interview to a newspaper, Denktas said that the Turkish government did not give full guarantee on the Cyprus issue and they had to draw their definite red lines, Erdogan said that he thought that Denktas did not make such a statement.
Erdogan said that he would speak to Denktas at the first opportunity today.
When asked whether or not it was possible for him to first go to Cyprus and then proceed to Switzerland with Denktas, Erdogan said that he should first speak to Denktas.
''I cannot force him to go to Switzerland if he does not want to do so. This issue is very important. So, we will be in effort to conclude this issue together. We share similar views on the sine qua non conditions and red lines, '' he added.
 Gul tries to persuade Denktas to attend the Switzerland meetingsIstanbul NTV television (19.03.04) broadcast that preparations are being made in Ankara to enable the participation of the Foreign Ministers to the first part of the meetings on Cyprus to be held in Switzerland. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul today phoned Rauf Denktas, and recommended that he attend the talks.
It is reported that Gul today phoned Denktas and conveyed the message that Ankara believes that it would be better for Denktas to participate in the enlarged meetings. It is also reported that during the phone conversation, Gul expressed his regret over the fact that Denktas announced that he would not be attending the meetings without notifying Ankara.
 High level meeting in Ankara on the Turkish side´s priorities with the participation of the armyAnkara TRT 2 Television (21.03.04) broadcast that the strategy to be pursued by Turkey in the widened talks on Cyprus to begin in Switzerland next week was crystallized in a high-level meeting that continued into the late hours of last night. Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, stated that the government will call on Rauf Denktas, to attend the talks in Switzerland.
Attending the meeting at the Prime Minister's Office, which lasted approximately three hours, were Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul; General Hilmi Ozkok, chief of the General Staff; and Foreign Ministry Under Secretary Ugur Ziyal. After the meeting, Erdogan and Ozkok held a 20-minute tete-a-tete conference.
In a statement after the meeting, Gul said that the distance covered so far was assessed and Turkey's sensitivities and priorities were affirmed. Gul summarized the said sensitivities as incorporating a possible agreement on Cyprus into the Primary Law of the EU, turning the bizonality stipulated in the Annan Plan into bizonality in the real sense of the term, continuing the guarantee and security system, and taking the necessary measures to ensure that the citizens settled in north Cyprus continue their lives in a tranquil manner.
Gul announced that there will not be a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot side in Ankara prior to the widened talks to begin on 24 March. In reply to a question if there is consensus between the chief of the General Staff and the Prime Minister with regard to the priorities, Gul stated: "I defined the points we affirmed very clearly."
The foreign minister also declared that Erdogan will telephone Denktas during the course of the day, and concluded: "He will say: We started this business together. Let us continue together. This is the best way.
Obviously, Denktas will not be transported there by force. After everything has been said, we will respect whatever decision he makes."
Meanwhile, Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus, will arrive in Ankara this morning to hold talks. It was also learned that Gul will establish contact with US Secretary of State Colin Powell at the beginning of the week prior to the widened talks.
 Mr Alvaro de Soto held contacts in AnkaraAnkara Anatolia news agency (21.03.04) reported from Ankara that the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto arrived in Turkish capital Ankara on Sunday.
De Soto told reporters that he visited Ankara to exchange views with the Turkish government on the Cyprus problem.
Alvaro De Soto will meet with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal.
On the same issue Ankara TRT 2 Television (21.03.04) broadcast that Mr Alvaro de Soto met with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal and officials of the Cyprus Desk at the Foreign Ministry in Ankara today. He replied to reporters' questions when he left the meeting.
Asked if he was hopeful about the expanded talks to be held in Switzerland, de Soto said: "There is a process on which everyone agrees. Promises were made at the highest level. If there is a spirit of consensus and political will, there is reason to be hopeful."
The UN official refused to comment on Rauf Denktas' decision not to go to Switzerland.
Asked to comment on the allegation that the widened talks will be similar to the Dayton talks held on Bosnia-Herzegovina, de Soto replied: "The most fundamental difference is that there are no clashes in Cyprus."
During the talks, the Turkish side underlined the importance of the sine qua nons such as guarantorship and bizonality once again. Also, the two sides exchanged views on the talks to be held in Switzerland.
 Denktas repeats that he will not attend the talks in SwitzerlandAnkara TRT 2 Television (19.03.04) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktas, has said that he has not changed his mind about not going to the talks on resolving the Cyprus problem to be held in Switzerland, and that he has informed the UN Secretary-General of this situation. Denktas also said that if the Turkish Cypriots do not get what they want at the end of the talks and if, despite that, they say "yes" at the referendum, he will resign from his post.
Replying to questions in the occupied by Turkish troops part of Nicosia, Denktas said that he will not change his mind about not going to Switzerland. He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot so-called government will be fully authorized and in attendance in Switzerland. He alleged that he does not intend to sabotage the talks, adding: "I want the continuation of the talks. They will continue. The fact that I am not going to Switzerland will not have any effect on the talks. I hope that the Turkish side will succeed there in connection with those things that I could not succeed here. In that case we will all be happy. Nevertheless, if they fail to gain there what we have not been able to gain here, they should not come back with screams of joy."
Denktas stressed that at the stage of signing the agreement, if the people say "yes" even though the agreement is unacceptable, then he will not sign such an agreement that will ruin the people, and that he will resign from his post.
 Denktas openly declares opposition to the federation solutionIllegal Bayrak television (20.03.04) broadcast that Mr Rauf Denktas said that in its present form the Annan plan does not recognize any international rights to the Turkish constituent state. Denktas also wanted Turkey to be firm on its sine qua nons at today's Ankara summit on Cyprus.
During a meeting with guests today, Mr Rauf Denktas replied to questions on the Cyprus problem. He said that he has not yet held any consultations with the Ankara officials ahead of the meeting on Cyprus to be held this afternoon in Turkey.
Noting that a conviction and perception is being circulated to the effect that the Turkish constituent state would gain international recognition in case of an agreement within the framework of the Annan plan, Denktas said that those who make such an assertion are mistaken, adding that a constituent state under the Annan plan actually constitutes nothing and enjoys no sovereignty. Denktas pointed out that such a state would simply enjoy the status of being a part of a federation. Pointing out that the United States is a federation comprising states with their own flags and anthems yet only the United States is internationally recognized, Denktas said that in such a situation recognition merely amounts to survival, if possible, as part of that federation.
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after meeting Alvaro de SotoIllegal Bayrak television (20.03.04) broadcast the following statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas after meeting with the UN Secretary-General´s Envoy, Mr Alvaro de Soto on 20 March:
"They [Alvaro de Soto and UN officials] came for a preparatory meeting on issues to be discussed on Monday. That is what we did.
As you know, they are calling it the national anthem. But it cannot be called national anthem, for in Cyprus there only exists a state. There are two nations in Cyprus, each will have its own separate anthem. As regards the issue of the state anthem, the committees appointed by us and the Greek Cypriots have reached a conclusion. On the issue of the flag and anthem of the state -- if it is ever going to be established --, there is no need to show excessive sensitivity. What is important is that the entire world and everyone else should know that we would preserve our own flag, our own flags.
The work concerning legislation, that is, the laws of the common state, is continuing. They briefed us on that as well. The work concerning the agreements concluded by the two sides with the outside world is also continuing. We were also briefed about this.
A comprehensive report on the cost of the implementation of the agreement would probably be given to us on Monday. They said that it would be one of the issues on the agenda.
There is also an item concerning the selection of personnel to be employed in the common government. A study has been made on which buildings to house the common government and state. We will get the result of that study also on Monday.
As regards the property rights of the constituent states, we have a demand that each state should be the master of its own forests and hills, and natural resources. We will see how the Greek Cypriots will receive this.
They brought the names of the three foreign judges to be appointed to the High Court for a duration of 36 months. We would give our reply to that on Monday.
They again asked for our constitution [for the future Turkish Cypriot constituent state]. They are insisting that we give it to them. The way out of this impasse is to submit our present constitution [the "Constitution of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, TRNC"] to them, telling them that if an agreement is achieved and if our people endorses it at the referendum then we could amend the present constitution within the context of that agreement. I had already given them a written communication on this matter, now we are also thinking of submitting the constitution ["TRNC's constitution"] to them. They would probably accept it.
In this way we are not drafting a new constitution that would abolish our state [the "TRNC"]. We are submitting our own constitution. And an amendment to the constitution [of the "TRNC"] could be considered once we see the shape of an eventual agreement. That is, if and once the agreement passes through the referendum. If it does not pass the referendum then our constitution will remain the same. In this way we will obviate criticism that we are bent on abolishing the statehood. They again asked for the list of the Turkish citizens [list of settlers]. We again defended our position that our citizens are our citizens.
They asked us what we are thinking about the map. We did not think much about the map to date. We will continue thinking about it.
The talks thus revolved around these issues. We once again explained the great mistake being committed on the issue of property. This property issue is like a time bomb with the potential to cause conflict between our people and the Greek Cypriot people. This issue has to be reconsidered. If a lasting peace in Cyprus is really desired, there is no sense in turning people into litigants over property at courts, committees, and commissions for many years to come. Hopefully, an equitable position would also be adopted on this issue, though I doubt it would. This is the most difficult issue of all.
In short, we conducted a preparatory discussion of the issues to be raised on Monday."
 Turkish General is holding contacts in the USA on the Greater Middle East Initiative. He placed Turkey´s demands on Cyprus, Iraq and the Kurdish problem to the AmericansAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.03.04) reported from Washington that Turkey's General Staff Deputy Chief General Ilker Basbug held a news conference for Turkish reporters at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. after completing his meetings in the United States. General Basbug said: "Turkey has serious concerns about the interim administrative law signed in Iraq last week. Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul expressed these concerns in a letter he sent to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
We are concerned that the interim administrative law could not meet the requirements of Iraq for peace, stability and territorial integrity.
There are several ethnic groups in Iraq. These groups should be treated equally to provide peace and stability. If one of these groups is treated differently from the other groups, serious problems can emerge. Rights granted to Turkomans people in Iraq did not meet their expectations.
The U.S. side said that some correction could be made in the course of time under appropriate conditions. If the United States keeps its promise, it will satisfy both Turkey and the other regional countries," he said.
General Ilker Basbug also said that the Greater Middle East Initiative was taken up during his meetings with U.S. officials.
He said: "We believe that it is necessary to eradicate factors causing terrorism, and to diminish the acts of terrorism to the minimum level and to make the fight against terrorism more influential. The Greater Middle East Initiative will be beneficial to this end. On numerous occasions, we have been saying since 1980's that only the military measures would not be adequate in the fight against terrorism. Besides military measures, educational, economic, social and cultural factors should also exist. This initiative should be transparent. It should not be coercive.
For the success of the initiative, the problems in Iraq should be resolved first. If the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is taken seriously, the prospect of the initiative will increase," he said, and added:
"Some circles are talking about Turkey's undertaking a model role under the Greater Middle East Initiative. In fact, Turkey does not have any claim to be a model. The Republic of Turkey has been a secular, democratic and social state of law since its foundation in 1923. There are some allegations about model of an Islamic state. Secularism and moderate Islamic state cannot co-exist.
We have been explaining that Turkey was secular, democratic and social state of law. We think that other views are not appropriate. Our counterparts have well-understood it."
On Cyprus the Turkish Deputy Chief of General Staff said that he hoped that Turkey's demands for changes in Secretary-General Kofi Annan plan for Cyprus would be reflected in negotiations.
Basbug said that he and U.S. officials did not totally focus on the Cyprus issue, but this issue also took place in their meetings.
"Cyprus negotiations continue in Nicosia till March 22. Turkey's demands for changes in the Annan plan are obvious. We have already informed the United States and concerned parties about our demands. We will be very pleased if our demands are met in the end. I hope these will be reflected in negotiations," Basbug said.
Replying to a question on what Turkey would think if its demands were not included in the final Annan plan at the desired level, Basbug said: "Turkey has laid down its proposals for changes. We will see what the result will be. The state will make the evaluation when this day comes."
On the Kurdish issue Mr Ilker Basbug said that the United States has not yet taken concrete measures for eradication of PKK in the north of Iraq, adding: "Now, we want the United States to take concrete steps. We think that the United States should consolidate its political determination with concrete and persuasive measures."
Recalling that meetings on the issue of the PKK had been continuing for a long time and there was a compromise with the United States on eradication of PKK in the north of Iraq, Basbug said: "The only matter we have not solved yet is that we can't say the United States took concrete measures with this objective. Now we expect them to take concrete steps. We think that the United States should consolidate its political determination with concrete and persuasive measures."
When a reporter asked whether Turkey wanted steps to be taken before the authorities in Iraq would be handed over to Iraqis in June, Basbug noted that there were nearly 4-5 thousand armed PKK members in the north of Iraq, adding: "We think it beneficial to have those steps taken before July 1."
Asked whether Osman Ocalan was seized by Americans, Basbug said: "There is no information on this issue. We expect them to hand him over to us the day after they seize him. The PKK should be eradicated. PKK gave damage mostly to our citizens of Kurdish origin. Our indispensable target is eradication of the PKK and we are insistent and determined on it."
Replying to another question whether they had received any request from the United States for withdrawal of Turkish troops from north Iraq, Basbug said: "No, withdrawal of our soldiers was not discussed."
Noting that the United States had not made any new demand for use of the Incirlik Base in southern Adana province, Basbug noted that Turkey would continue to contribute to Afghanistan.
Mr Basbug met with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and other Pentagon and State Department officials in Washington.
General Basbug is expected to proceed to New York and then leave for Turkey later in the day.
 The French ambassador to Nicosia meets Serdar Denktas and underlines that long term derogations are contrary to the philosophy of the EUTurkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (22.03.04) reports that Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy prime minister and "minister of foreign affairs" of the illegal regime, has met at his party's headquarters with the French ambassador to Nicosia, Haselin de la Toudupin. Mr Denktas told Mr Toudupin that he believed that the Turkish side would reject the Annan plan in the referendum in case the issue of properties, which is one of the issues included in the indispensable conditions of the Turkish side, is not solved.
Mr Denktas said that the property issue concerns not only the Turkish Cypriots but also the foreigners who settled in the island and expressed the hope that the indispensable conditions of the Turkish side would be included in the plan during its last revision.
Mr Denktas alleged that in case a divided Cyprus joins the EU, the Union will have the most problems.
The paper notes that the French ambassador underlined that temporary derogations could be accepted, but long-term derogations are contrary to the philosophy of the European Union.
 A poll published by VOLKAN shows that 46,3% of the persons who live in occupied Cyprus say 'no' to the Annan PlanTurkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (21.03.04) published an opinion poll conducted the previous week according to which a 46,3% of the Turkish Cypriots say 'no' to the Annan Plan. The poll was conducted by the Raymond James Securities/strategy organisation between the dates 13-17 of March 2004 with a sample of 917 persons.
According to the poll, if the referendum for the Annan Plan was presented today to the persons who live in occupied Cyprus, 46,3% would say 'no' and 40,8% would say 'yes'. A percentage of 12% answered that they have not decided yet.
In addition, 52% said that they will say 'yes' to the referendum if the Annan Plan is changed in favour of the Turkish side while 27% said that even in this case they will say 'no' to the referendum. A percentage of 20,7% said that they have not decided yet.
Besides, in the question who or what will influence them as regards what they will answer in the referendum, the persons who live in occupied Cyprus said the following: 21,5% said that the decision they will take depends on what Rauf Denktas says, 19,0% said that it depends on the attitude of the Turkish nation, 7,0% said that it depends on the attitude of Mehmet Ali Talat, 5,6% that it depends on the attitude of the army, 0,8% on the attitude of Annan, 0,3% on the attitude of Serdar Denktas and 0,3% on the attitude of Dervis Eroglu.