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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-03-23
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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.56/04 23.03.04
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENATARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Talat and Serdar Denktas before leaving for SwitzerlandIllegal Bayrak television (23.03.04) broadcast statements by Turkish Cypriot "Prime Minister" Mehmet Ali Talat and "Deputy Prime Minister" Serdar Denktas at occupied Lefkoniko Airport prior to their departure for the meetings in Switzerland on 23 March:
"Esteemed members of the press, we have entered a new phase in the negotiations process on the Cyprus problem. It will continue in Switzerland. We will probably have a very intensive program because significant progress was not made in Cyprus. Consequently, the talks in Switzerland will be a rather important part of the negotiations process.
I ask our people to maintain peace and unity and avoid any provocative action before a result can be achieved. I ask them to avoid creating problems that might render the effort made for unity in the future difficult.
It is time for unity and cohesion. The text of the document on which a referendum will be held will come to light by 31 March or 1 April the latest. As I said, launching a campaign either on a `no´ vote or for a `yes´ vote until then will be wrong. We should wait for the document. Our people must trust us. We will make a strenuous effort to defend their rights.
We are leaving for Switzerland with a delegation that has gained experience in the negotiations process. There should not be any doubt regarding the effort it will make to defend our rights and interests.
I wish to reiterate that it is time for unity and cohesion. Any excessive activity or tension will weaken our hand while we maintain the talks. We should be very careful to maintain a reasonable and calm process in order to be able to protect our interests. That is all I have to say at the present time."
On his part Mr Serdar Denktas said: "We are entering a new phase in the talks. It must not be forgotten that we are not going to Switzerland to sell off our homeland, as claimed by a number of people. We are going to that country to establish whether we can change the Annan Plan in a way that will safeguard the existence of the Turkish Cypriot people. We are going to Switzerland to wage a final struggle for that purpose. The result will be known on 31 March. We expect everyone, those who support the plan and those who are against it, to be equally careful. We will assess the result and determine the outcome of the referendum. In view of that, we ask our people to trust us like our esteemed president and patiently wait for seven days.
We will do everything we can together with our delegation. We will cooperate with the Turkish delegation in harmony to achieve a result. I hope that we will be able to change the Annan Plan in a way that will guarantee our future and return to the island satisfied with the outcome.
I wish to say that we expect our people to remain calm while they wait for the result."
 Erdogan praises himself for goodwill but at the same time he sets preconditions contrary to the EU and international lawAnkara TRT 2 Television (23.03.04) broadcast that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described the killing of HAMAS leader Shaykh Yasin as a bomb hurled at the peace process in the Middle East. Speaking during a television program, Erdogan said that the recent incidents have once again rendered rancor and hatred supreme in the Middle East.
"Just think. In my opinion, these bombs that targeted a person who lacks two thirds of his body have definitely cast a shadow over peace and have destroyed all hopes for peace in the future. Now feelings of revenge in the full sense have been fueled. Rancor and hatred are supreme there now," he said.
Assessing the stage reached in the Cyprus negotiations, Erdogan said that for a solution to be reached the sides should act in line with their mutual interests, and added:
"At the moment, naturally, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has goodwill. We have goodwill. We should see that south Cyprus reciprocates. If south Cyprus does not show this goodwill, then naturally it will be difficult to attain a result. Especially, if the first legal issue is not resolved it would be impossible to attain a solution, because we are looking at the whole picture. We cannot look at a single tree within the forest. We are in a position to see the entire forest. Only then can we attain a sound result. We are going to Switzerland with this understanding in mind."
 Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader after the last meeting of the first round of talks for a solution to the problems created by the Turkish invasionIllegal Bayrak television (22.03.04) broadcast live statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas on 22 March after the last joint meeting with President Papadopoulous under UN auspices in the buffer zone.
"The UN Official gave us comprehensive information on the work of the committee on the laws. Naturally, this is a lengthy document. We will study it.
I want to mention the agreements. We [the Turkish Cypriots] concluded 255 agreements. The Greek Cypriots objected to 246 of them. We continued to discuss the matter. We withdrew 38 of them. The Greek Cypriots objected to 210 of the remaining 217 agreements. However, Mr Papadopoulos said that the matter is not one that should be tackled with objections to figures. He said that they objected to all of the agreements. In other words, he meant that we do not have the right to conclude agreements and that the agreements we have concluded will not be binding on the future government.
The Greek Cypriots said that they concluded 1,156 agreements. They withdrew seven of them. We objected to nine of the remaining 1,149 agreements. Work will continue on the agreements.
They submitted a lengthy document on the Central Bank and banking procedures. Our colleagues will begin to study it this afternoon.
The UN officials submitted a detailed document related to the funds for the realization of the [final] agreement's economic and financial requirements. Our colleagues will begin to study the document this afternoon.
Considering the Greek Cypriot rejection of all the agreements we have concluded, we established a balance by saying that we do not accept the agreements they have concluded. The matter will probably be taken up during the summit in Switzerland.
We have objected in general to the decision made to place between quotation marks the issues that have been accepted and objected to during the work the committee carried out on the laws. They should have been referred to the political level, in other words, to us, to enable us to decide on them. If we failed to agree, then they should have been referred to the meetings to be held by Turkey and Greece in Switzerland. They should have been referred to Kofi Annan if the two countries failed to agree on them. Kofi Annan would then be able to outline his views. We objected to the initiative to take the matter to Kofi Annan and ask him to decide on issues that are within quotation marks. They should have definitely been submitted to us. Otherwise, they cannot be taken up at higher level. We said that the conviction that an agreement exists on various issues is wrong. The Greek Cypriot side agreed.
The issue of the federation buildings was discussed again. A proposal was made for joint committees to visit the buildings that might be used in the future.
Mr Papadopoulos mentioned an important point. In a lengthy statement, he said that they have government officials who were appointed in accordance with the 1960 Constitution and that they should maintain their positions in compliance with the Constitution. Otherwise, he said, they might file lawsuits against them.
It must be noted that almost no government official appointed in accordance with the 1960 Constitution is left in north Cyprus. We have government officials appointed in accordance with our laws. Many of them will find themselves out on the street if the necessary measures are not taken. The amount of the compensation they might be paid and the source that might provide the necessary funds for that purpose is unknown. That is a very serious issue. It will seriously affect our social and administrative structures. We proposed that our government officials, who were appointed in accordance with our Constitution, be treated in a similar manner. Naturally, the Greek Cypriot side pushed the proposal aside. The matter is a serious problem.
A document was conveyed to us on the Central Bank as we prepared to leave the meeting. It informed us that they rejected our equality on matters related to the Central Bank. The document will be studied in the afternoon.
The Greek Cypriot side completely rejected our views on our rights related to airspace and navigation. According to the Greek Cypriots, everything must be placed under the central government's control.
They responded to the proposal we submitted on 18 March as we prepared to leave the meeting. They again insisted that the existence of the people they describe as settlers on the island is unlawful.
So, our delegation will leave for Switzerland tomorrow. There are many points of disagreement. We will all see how many of them can be resolved through the contribution Turkey and Greece will make. It will be up to the UN Secretary-General or his representatives in Cyprus to solve the remaining issues. We will cooperate with Turkey to assess the result of the work to be carried out by the UN officials and we will decide accordingly. In view of that, we wish success to our colleagues in Switzerland. I am certain that they will work to safeguard the rights, future, and security of the Turkish Cypriots, bearing in mind that incidents similar to those that occurred between 1963 and 1974 must not be allowed to take place in the future. We wish them success.
Question: Can you comment on the radio stations that can operate in north Cyprus?
Answer: I believe that no one can impose limits on radio stations. We might have 100,000 radio stations operating in north Cyprus. People can quarrel through radio broadcasts instead of shouting at each other's face. No one can obstruct that.
Question: A problem exists between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot side on frequencies.
Answer: I am not informed on the details. The matter must be taken up in the talks.
Question: You do not differ with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on the bottom lines. It seems that you do not disagree on the matter. So, why have you decided not to go to Switzerland?
Answer: I have not said that a difference of views exists between us. Undoubtedly, I hope that a new agreement will be reached or, at least, talks will be held on all that before the delegations leave for Switzerland. I explained why I decided not to go to Switzerland. However, I will make a more detailed statement tomorrow.
As I explained during the meeting we had today, the main problem is the method. In no part of the world has an initiative been made to quickly impose a document drawn up by foreign entities on two peoples who have fought against each other and who have not been able to get together for 40 years. The method is unfair. The procedure is wrong. The pressure is unacceptable. It has been said that we agreed to the method in New York. Yes, we objected to it for one and a half years. Turkey was then persuaded to believe that talks can be held on it. We were held captive in the UN building in New York until 0300 in the morning. An interim formula was drawn up. So, we agreed that an effort should be made. The entire world put pressure on us to force us to believe that that was the only way. And I want to reiterate that such a method has been applied for the first time. The foreign officials might say that they applied such a method in Kosovo. Bloodshed exists in Kosovo at the present time. They might say that they applied such a method in Palestine. Unfortunately, bloodshed exists in Palestine and Israel at the present time.
Nothing can be achieved through pressure. They proposed a formula without diagnosing the Cyprus problem and they are making an effort to impose it on us. If we fail to defend our bottom lines and if we fail to realize the changes we want, then we will inform our people on the outcome of the talks. But, let us not draw up a pessimistic picture. Our delegation will leave for Switzerland. I hope that Turkey and Greece will adopt a merciful approach toward each other and toward Cyprus. I hope that the result of their talks will be acceptable, sound, and durable. Let us wait and see. We will discuss the outcome in detail.
Question: You have fully authorized the government to participate in the talks in Switzerland. Can we draw the conclusion that you have withdrawn from the negotiations?
Answer: I have said that I have not withdrawn. So, why should you draw such a conclusion? I have fully authorized the government. However, I participated in the talks today. I will consider the result before I decide to withdraw. That is because the government must resign if I do so. That is required by its protocol. However, I do not want my people to suffer. So, let us calmly wait and wish success to our colleagues.
Question: You submitted a written document on the authority you have transferred to `Prime Minister´ Mehmet Ali Talat?
Answer: Yes, I have submitted a written document to inform the United Nations that our delegation will be fully authorized in Switzerland.
Question: You described the method as a means of pressure. However, Turkey has agreed to it.
Answer: I will not argue on that. Turkey was forced to agree to the method. It objected to it for a long time. However, it was forced to agree to it in the end. We, too, had to agree to it. You might argue that we should not complain. However, I am obliged to inform you that such a method, which has been imposed on us through pressure, paving the way for a just and honorable agreement is difficult. I accepted the method. But that does not mean that I am committed to it. A promise was made to Turkey to the effect that our derogations would be accepted. However, when we said during that current week that it was time to officially accept them, those who made the promise argued that they were unable to do so. In view of that, I want to say that there are promises that have to be fulfilled within the framework of the accepted method. However, they have not yet been fulfilled. I hope that they will be fulfilled in Switzerland. That will prevent us from being engulfed by the flames that were ignited when we accepted the method.
Question: You cooperated with Turkey for a long time. Should you not participate in the summit in Switzerland to safeguard our rights together with Turkey?
Answer: I have been presented to the world as an irreconcilable leader who does not want to reach an agreement. I tried to establish whether a basis existed for reconciliation during the past six weeks. I promised Turkey that I would go to New York and avoid breaking up the negotiations process regardless of what might happen. That is why we agreed to the present procedure. I was able to have the talks transferred to Nicosia. I have not promised to go further. I made an effort in Nicosia. I have assessed the process and I have asked my colleagues to cooperate with Turkey to see if further progress can be achieved. There is nothing else I can do. However, I retain my right to assess the result to be achieved. Had I agreed to go to Switzerland, I would not have been able to retain my right to do so.
You [journalists] have criticized me by saying that I went to New York and returned after accepting the method. Had I gone to Switzerland, you would have criticized me again. I decided to obstruct that. I have said that I will assess the result. And, if I continue to make negative assessments, then I will naturally have the right to inform my people. I cannot make a significant contribution to the talks anymore. The media organs have presented me as a leader who does not want to reach an agreement in any way.
So, I am now doing everything I can for reconciliation. I believe that withdrawing will be a contribution toward reconciliation. Thank you.
Question: A development was expected in connection with the constitution today.
Answer: It did not take place."
 Turkey continues its efforts to turn the faits accomplis of the Turkish invasion and occupation into EU primary lawAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.03.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal met with representatives of diplomatic missions of the European Union (EU) member countries in Ankara on Monday. During the meeting, Ankara's sine qua nons about the Cyprus issue were conveyed to the EU ambassadors prior to the four-party conference in Switzerland.
Replying to questions of journalists following the meeting, Sean Whelan, the Ambassador of the current EU Term President Ireland, said that they had the opportunity of understanding Turkey's point of view about the Cyprus issue.
Stressing that political and legal issues should not be confused on the Cyprus issue, Whelan said that the EU's support to resolve the issue as soon as possible would continue, however, it was too early to comment about legal issues on an agreement since it was not clear yet which derogation would be included in the agreement. Whelan noted that the EU Commission and Turkish jurists have been continuing to work on the issue.
When asked whether or not approval of national parliaments was required to recognize a possible agreement as primary law of the EU, Whelan said that such a practice would take about 1.5-2 years when taking into consideration that the number of EU-member states would increase to 25.
 The US Ambassador in Ankara discussed Cyprus with Ugur ZiyalAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.03.04) reported from Ankara that the US Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman has said that the Turkish Cypriot side should be represented by an authorized person in the four-party conference to be held in Switzerland with the participation of the Turkish Cypriots the Greek Cypriot side, Turkey and Greece.
Edelman met with Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal on Monday.
Replying to a question following the meeting about Rauf Denktas' decision not to attend the conference, Edelman told reporters that the most important thing was the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the conference and their representative's being an authorized person.
Noting that his meeting with Ziyal had mainly focused on the Cyprus issue, Edelman recalled that the first stage of the negotiation process had been completed, and the sides would start a new stage. He stressed that the United States were ready to play its role in the new process.
Edelman described the current point reached in the island as the best opportunity.
Upon a question about the possible contribution of the United States to the process, Edelman said that the U.S. officials had been holding telephone conversations with leaders at key points, adding that contacts had been continuing in various forms and levels.
Replying to a question about the issue of derogation, Edelman said that the United States was not a member of the European Union (EU), and the issue should be debated in the EU in principle, noting that the United States was aware of the importance of the issue.
Edelman said that the sides reaching a compromise on principles would have significant contributions to the process.
Meanwhile, representatives of diplomatic missions of the EU-member countries were invited to the MFA.
During the meeting, the Turkish side will convey the ambassadors the importance it attributed to approval of an agreement to be reached in the island as the primary law of the EU.
If the principle of bizonality is to be effective in Cyprus within the EU, a permanent derogation on freedom of movement and settlement in Cyprus would have to be part of EU law, and it will need to exclude mainland Greeks as well as Greek Cypriots, the Turkish side insists, noting that it will have to be for the two peoples themselves, not the EU by some arbitrary time limit or pre-arranged mechanism, to decide when that derogation is no longer needed, concludes Anatolia news agency.
 Diplomatic sources disclose that Turkey expects the March EU summit to satisfy its unprecedented preconditions for an agreement in CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.03.04) reported from Ankara that Turkey is expecting concrete developments from the European Union (EU) summit, which will be held in Brussels between March 25 and 26, on making an agreement to be reached in Cyprus primary law of EU, diplomatic sources said on Monday.
Diplomatic sources said that Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal stressed the importance of the issue during his meeting with the United Nations (U.N.) Secretary- General Kofi Annan's Special Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto and added that if this problem was not solved, an agreement would not emerge.
Noting that the solution of this issue was mostly expected from the EU and it was necessary to solve it before Annan was involved in the issue, the sources said that EU officials should solve the issue during the summit in Brussels.
Describing the derogations as a "vital issue", the sources said that De Soto also considered that the problem should be solved for the continuation of the Annan Plan and the United Nations was also carrying on meetings on that issue, however it was the EU which would solve the problem.
The sources said that a detailed and long meeting was held with De Soto at the Foreign Ministry and they added that besides the derogations issue, the sides took up the sine qua nons of the Turkish side such as bizonality and guarantor rights and all issues about the Cyprus question and also the situation was revised prior to meetings which will be held in Switzerland.
If the principle of bizonality is to be effective in Cyprus within the EU, a permanent derogation on freedom of movement and settlement in Cyprus would have to be part of EU law, and it will need to exclude mainland Greeks as well as Greek Cypriots, the Turkish side insists, noting that it will have to be for the two peoples themselves, not the EU by some arbitrary time limit or prearranged mechanism, to decide when that derogation is no longer needed, concludes Anatolia news agency.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister wants lasting peace in Cyprus but based on the intransigent position maintained by Denktas since the Turkish invasionAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.03.04) reported from Eskisehir that Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Monday, during his visit to the Justice and Development Party (JDP) Election Coordination Center in central Eskisehir province, held a press conference.
In reply to a question on the Cyprus problem Mr Gul said that there were matters concerning the Cyprus issue to which they attached great importance, and added: "Those are the most important issues for us. If those issues don't take place, it will be difficult to talk about a lasting peace on the island. Cyprus can reach a lasting peace only by a model, which takes into consideration the facts of the island and which improves bizonality in its real sense. Unfortunately, the latest developments in Europe and Kosovo have strengthened Turkey's concerns on the issue. Incidents have occurred which caused bloodshed in the middle of Europe despite attention of NATO, EU and all countries. People started to kill and ravage. Those incidents took place as lasting love and wish for living together between two societies had not emerged there.
Turkey wants a peace, which will be permanent on the island. We should do everything for a solution, but we should also be realistic. There are measures that we put forward. U.N. Secretary-General Annan will take into consideration those measures. I hope that we will solve this issue before Annan," he noted.
Asked whether or not there was any development on Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktas' participation in talks in Switzerland, Gul said: "We started this process together with Denktas. It will be very good if we continue this process with him. Denktas does not want to go there. Denktas does not go, but he gives Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister full authority."
 The pseudoassembly of the occupation regime approved a referendum lawAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.03.04) reported from occupied Nicosia that the occupation regime´s Parliament on Monday unanimously accepted the "Referendum Draft Law about Finding a Solution to the Cyprus Issue."
The draft law includes some arrangements about the referendum to be held at the end of the negotiation process aiming to find a fair and lasting solution to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the plan of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The Republican Turkish Party (RTP), the Democratic Party (DP) the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) and Communal Liberation Party (CLP) approved the Draft Referendum Law. The "parliamentarians" accepted to put the agreement that would be reached on Cyprus to referendum on April 20, 2004 or at any date which the "Council of Ministers" would determine and publish in the "Official Gazette" which will by all means be before May 1.
The National Unity Party (NUP) boycotted the meeting.
The draft law will take effect after the "president" signs it and after being published in the "Official Gazette".
 MILLIYET newspaper reports that more British are buying properties in the occupied areas of CyprusUnder the title "Houses on the Turkish side have fallen in value. The British are after a bargain", mainland MILLIYET newspaper (23.03.04) reports that as the negotiations towards a solution until May 1st are going on the British are buying houses massively in the occupied areas.
The paper quotes estate agents in occupied Kyrenia to be very pleased with the increasing demand and saying that the British are investing in the occupied areas so as to benefit from the increase in values after a solution.
The estate agents said that during the past year 30 new estate agencies were opened in occupied Kyrenia and added: "They buy a house with swimming pool for 80,000 pound Sterling (around 194 trillion Turkish Lira). In the South that could cost at least double that figure".
According to the paper the estate agents offer the customers houses with title deeds issued before the Turkish occupation of Cyprus in 1974, explaining that "otherwise the Greek Cypriots, who are the former owners of the houses, may ask for compensation".
[B] COMMENATARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in HURRIYET describes the Greater Middle East Project as efforts to turn the waters of a lake into yogurtIstanbul HURRIYET newspaper (21.03.04) publishes the following commentary by Ferai Tinc under the title: "The Kosovo example and grand projects":
"The Bayrakli Mosque is reported to have turned into ashes. I realized what "Ottoman grace" meant when I visited the Balkans, especially when I saw Kosovo.
I realized the dissimilarity between the Middle East, for which grand projects are being designed today, and the Ottoman Balkans when I watched the delicate, unassuming, and soaring silhouette of the Bayrakli Mosque. I realized that the Ottoman objective was Europe when I visited Pristina, and especially when I toured Prizren.
Now Serbs and Albanians are burning each other's Orthodox churches and mosques, all built by Ottomans.
They are repeating the bloody and painful process that broke up Yugoslavia at the same location, in Kosovo.
Exactly 18 years ago Milosevic roared against separatist Albanians in Kosovo and threatened "to use force" in a famous speech that presaged the footsteps of Serbian nationalism.
We all saw what happened afterward. Now, 18 years later, we have the same Kosovo problem and the same Serbian-Albanian conflict. That means neither NATO soldiers nor the solution formulas imposed from outside have helped.
As is evident, solving problems and establishing new orders in societies are not as easy as they look at the negotiating table. Change is essential. Certainly work must be carried out to find a solution but how?
Superficial formulas may produce some temporary successes but they are not enough to provide real solutions to the problems. "Order" does not work very well in these regions.
I am reminded of Cyprus when watching the news coming from Kosovo. Some Kosovars are after a "Greater Albania." Kosovo is one example that demonstrates that wherever there are groups that are after "greatness" the others will fight back bitterly to avoid being "small."
Iraq is another example that demonstrates how hard it is to impose a new order with outside intervention. As these examples stand next to us with all their complexities a new "beauty formula" is being prepared for the Middle East.
On Friday, we heard the views of researchers from the United States, Europe, and Turkey on the Greater Middle East Project at an interesting meeting dedicated to the project.
During the meeting, organized by the Bosporus University and the Foreign Policy Forum of TUSIAD [Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association], American speakers insisted that "the project will not be a democratization formula imposed from outside" and that "changes of order will not be realized by military interventions." Yet they do not see any contradiction between these remarks and demands that the project be put in place under the NATO umbrella.
[They believe that] the UN cannot be the command center of such a process because it has "lost its credibility."
The Greater Middle East Project has been put forward with an approach that is similar to writing a headline and then filling out the article in journalism. The project is not very clear in terms of its geographical scope and its tactics and methods.
Extending a helping hand to the problematic regions of the world, supporting struggles for democracy, and creating environments that will produce lasting solutions to problems are good deeds.
However efforts to transform societies with recipes prepared abroad is a bit like adding yogurt to a lake [with the objective of turning the entire lake into yogurt--from a Turkish traditional story]. It would be good if it works, but what if does not?"